In which we’re gonna need a bigger boat

I’ll get to the graphic in a minute; this is gonna be another grab-baggy sort of post. Bear with me.

I just finished mowing the back yard, just in time for it to start pouring outside, so I’m sure all the grass will be regrown in a day or two. I have shared my distaste for lawn work many times before; in fact, bitching about my lawn was one of my first posts around here. My wife, who is more fond of working outdoors than I am, generally handles it; my job is to remove snow, and we collaborate on leaves. You may recall that she broke her foot a couple of weeks ago, which coincided with the weather being nice enough that the grass came back to life; to her credit, she waited for me to figure it out myself that I was going to have to mow the fucking yard and didn’t bring it up until I’d ruined my own day. Having mowed the full mess over the last two days, I have realized something: I feel basically the same way about yard work as I do about writing fiction. I absolutely hate doing it, but the feeling of being done with it is absolutely stellar. I love looking at a freshly-mowed yard. I just don’t want to have to create the conditions to be able to do that. If I ever figure out how to enjoy writing as much as I enjoy being done with writing I will be at Seanan McGuire levels of productivity in six months.


Speaking of mowing: I don’t wear headphones all that often, so it was already kind of weird that I shelled out so much money for the AirPods Pro that I bought a bit ago– but holy shit, am I impressed by how good noise cancelling works. I wasn’t even listening to music for a good part of mowing the yard; I just had the headphones in with the noise cancelling on and I could barely hear anything. Cue someone hopping into comments to tell me that’s going to kill my ears, of course.


Regarding yesterday’s addendum to yesterday’s first post: I think, based on comments, that it is clear that 1) I don’t know anything about Great Britain or their money; and 2) It is absolutely the way people write about their money that is bullshit, thus Option Two wins. I don’t feel like it is unreasonable to suggest that if you are going to spend a fair amount of your time in a book talking about people’s income levels and how much things cost, and the people you are talking about use a monetary system that is no longer in use and is not exactly intuitive, maybe put a chart somewhere explaining how it works? I’m willing to be accused of shocking ignorance on this, that’s fine, there are lots of things I don’t know, but part of the reason I was able to not realize that the shilling got phased out however many years ago was that nobody ever explains what the fuck a shilling is in history books. They just assume you know there are 3.2 shillings in a Cumberbatch and move the fuck on with the narrative. Put a damn chart in there somewhere!


The feasibility study has been returned, and it turns out I’m not actually able to watch the Snowpiercer TV series without spending additional money. I had heard it was showing up on Hulu, but apparently that’s only true if you pony up for some sort of “Live TV” add-on, and … nah.

I will, nonetheless, bow to the will of the interwebs and watch this program as soon as I can do so without spending money for it. That may take a while, however. In the meantime, Avatar: the Last Airbender is on Netflix and I somehow haven’t finished Season 5 of She-Ra yet so I need to up my TV-watching time as a percentage of my day.


I have seen a couple of different variations of the graphic at the top of this post floating around on the internet recently, as well as a couple of different NO NO THIS IS THE INTERNET BEING STUPID types of counter-posts. Folks, the official CDC “considerations” are right here; feel free to look at them yourself and compare them to whatever version of the graphic you’ve seen recently. The paraphrasing is essentially accurate, and the fact that the CDC, whether they’re calling them “guidelines” or “considerations”, doesn’t actually have the power to make their thoughts law doesn’t really matter. The point is, the fucking Center for Disease Control has effectively said that there is no way to safely open schools. Because these “guidelines” or “considerations” or whatever the fuck you want to call them are impossible, and every teacher and other adult who has ever spent any time in schools knows that. I am done for the year, effectively, and my son’s last day was yesterday (I still have some PD stuff over the next couple of weeks, and grades have to be finalized, but there is no further e-learning this year) and there is a lot of time for things to change one way or another between now and August, but the way things stand right now we are not going to be able to reopen schools this fall. Not safely, at least. I know the person in the White House doesn’t give a damn; that’s perfectly clear, but so far the governors have been more reasonable.


Speaking of governors, I had this conversation with my wife earlier:

For context, Woody Whoever’s last name is not Whoever and he is running for Governor as a Democrat, and he is running such a low-key, bullshit campaign that I literally didn’t know that there even was a gubernatorial race this year until seeing his name on my primary ballot. I do not at this time remember his last name and I’m not about to look it up. I did some quick research before I marked his name on the primary ballot (not that it would have mattered, as he was the only candidate) and he seems basically competent, but Gov. Holcomb is one of the few Republicans I’m aware of who I would also describe as “basically competent.” He’s shit on education, but so is everyone else in the damn world. Obama was shit on education. I’ve voted for one candidate who was good on education policy in the last fifteen years or so and she turned out to be a shitty politician and got voted right out again after her first term. It just doesn’t happen that damn often.


Regarding the headline to this post: when I initially wrote it I had plans to tie it into one of the parts of the post, and it was going to make sense and be at least moderately funny in the way my post titles occasionally are, and I have completely forgotten what the hell I was going to tie it into or how– something about classroom size, maybe?– but I’m not going to change it. “I am an idiot” is definitely a theme of this post so we may as well run that shit straight into the ground while we still can.


3:24 PM, Friday, May 22: 1,590,349 confirmed cases and 95,490 Americans dead.

In which I let the hivemind decide

Six years ago I watched a certain movie and had some opinions about it. I, as I am occasionally known to do, put those opinions on the interwebs for other humans to see. That post is still the number one Google result if you search for the words “Snowpiercer stupid,” and is, somehow, still my highest-traffic regular post on a day-to-day basis:

You may be aware that they have decided to make a television program out of this very silly movie, and that that television program is currently airing, which is responsible for the current surge in pageviews– the post never died; there has been one day since 2015 where it didn’t get any views at all– but I’m not used to it being back up to having three-figure days again.

So here’s the question: do I watch the show? I’m not actually interested in watching the show, but I’m willing to do it for science, if the Internet wants me to.

So, uh, let me know?


3:54 PM, Wednesday May 20: 1,539,633 confirmed cases and 92,712 American deaths.

On important dates and important dates

First, the pointless griping: Film director Bong Joon-ho apparently won a pile of Oscars last night. I have not seen Parasite, which as far as I know features no American superheroes, although my wife has expressed an interest in streaming it once such a thing is available, but I have no reason to disagree with the award given that I saw virtually none of the nominated films, and in fact I’m saying “virtually none” here because I have no idea what was actually nominated for anything and it’s therefore possible that I’ve seen some of them.

Man, I remember when the Oscars were a big deal, personally, and I was seeing 40-50 movies a year. I really miss that, believe it or not; I just don’t have that kind of time any longer, and living in South Bend instead of Chicago means I’m much more limited in what I can see.

Anyway, point is the Goddamned Snowpiercer post is surging again; it’s gotten about as many hits today all by itself as the entire site typically gets in two days, and as it’s only 6 PM I suspect that ratio will be increasing fairly radically by the time I go to bed tonight, and the bump will probably last at least another few days. That post will never, ever die.


So:

  • My wife’s birthday is Thursday;
  • Friday is Valentine’s Day;
  • The 29th is our 12th/3rd anniversary; we were married in 2008 so it has been twelve years, and we were married on Leap Day so this will be the third actual real anniversary we should have.

We typically make a fairly big deal out of Real Anniversaries, although the last big celebration was for our 10th anniversary when we went to see Hamilton in Chicago. We are … somewhat bereft of ideas for any of these things this year; I asked my wife if she wanted to do anything either for her birthday or for Valentine’s Day an hour or so ago and I could see part of her soul die when I asked the question. Before you jump on my case, be aware that neither of us are either especially romantic people or big celebrators of arbitrary dates; we don’t make a big deal out of my birthday either, and Valentine’s Day has always been treated as more of an annoyance instead of an actual thing. So chances are this weekend is not going to be all that big of a deal.

But I wanna do something for our anniversary, dammit, and my first choice– going to Chicago and having dinner at Alinea— got shot down on account of being insanely, grotesquely expensive.

This is where you come in, Internet. What shall we do for our 12th/3rd anniversary? Give us good ideas; we’re broken and don’t have any.

In which I might have been wrong once four and a half years ago

You may be aware that four and a half Goddamn years ago I wrote a review of a stupid movie that I did not enjoy. That movie was called Snowpiercer. I’m not linking to the review, at least not in the text of this post; I’m sure it’ll show up at the bottom somewhere. That post has proven since then to be The Post That Will Not Die. There has been one– ONE day in the four and a half years since it was written that no one clicked on it. It is my second highest-traffic post of all time (it will cross 30,000 pageviews sometime this month) and it is the #1 Google result in the world for the phrase “Snowpiercer stupid.”

It’s been spiking again lately, going from 3-5 hits a day to 20-25 for the last couple of weeks, and whenever that happens I wonder why. This was a not-very-high-profile bad movie from six years ago, for Christ’s sake, and I don’t understand why people are still searching out bad reviews of it. Well, it turns out there’s news about a TV series, which … dandy. This is never going away.

And then I found this video in the comments on that post. And I have chosen to embrace its central thesis fully, and I officially take back everything I ever said about Snowpiercer, if and only if it turns out that it is true that it is a direct sequel to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Yeah, that’s what I said.

Watch every second of this, please. Don’t watch Snowpiercer, but watch every second of this video about it:

You are adorable (dumb)

So the Snowpiercer review’s been spiking in hits again lately.  I followed a new and surprisingly robust referrer back last night only to discover that among the usual chorus of derps suggesting that I JUST! DIDN’T! GET! IT! there was one accusing me of plagiarizing the title of the review.

The title of the review is SNOWPIERCER: I HATED, HATED, HATED, HATED, HATED THIS MOVIE.  I’m not linking to it.  It’s not hard to find.

If you are remotely film-literate, you recognize that as being very close to a line from a review Roger Ebert wrote of a film called “North,” differing only in the addition of the word Snowpiercer, which one would clearly not expect to appear in a review of North from many years before Snowpiercer actually came out.  One of his books, named after that line, is I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie.  

Everyone fucking knows about that line.  Ev. Er. Y. One.

vjdmUA7.jpgWhen literate people do this, it is called a reference, and you are supposed to notice it.  It is not “plagiarism,” which is an entirely different and completely unrelated thing.  There is another of these tricksy “references” somewhere in this article!  See if you can spot it.

You moron.

(Wait, there’s two!  Wouldn’t want anyone to think I plagiarized the word tricksy from Tolkien.)

(Three, if the .gif counts.  I did not write The Professional.)