2 Pokes

I got my 2nd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine today, hooray! Both times I visited the “Supersite” in Morden, and it was efficient and pleasant and the staff were very nice.

10/10 would recommend to mitigate effects of disastrous global pandemic!

There are anecdotes of people experiencing a wave of relief, people breaking down in tears, and so on. I have to admit I haven’t felt that. Mostly because

  • I still have to wait a couple of weeks for it to be maximum effective,
  • Even when it’s in effect I still have to obey mask / distancing / store capacity regulations
  • The province is doing better, but still Not Great and there will probably continue to be restrictions on gatherings for the foreseeable future
  • And if I’m being honest, I’ve been very privileged to be shielded from the worst effects of the pandemic.

Still, it’s nice to do, get the vaccine. For myself and for others, and for the future of our communities. I think, anyway! I had to strongly resist the urge to be snarky or glib when I posted to social media today; I wanted my post to be an encouragement for folks, not preaching to the converted about “those people” (conspiracy-minded anti-vaxxers) who think I’m magnetized now or something.

Did you ever have an imaginary friend as a child? I hadn’t thought about the idea for a long time until I was reminded of it recently, and remembered my own childhood. I did, but there are two main things I remember about the experience: it was short-lived, and unless I’m entirely wrong, it was a performance. As in, I conjured up stories of an “imaginary friend” and told them to my family because I remember thinking that it was a thing that all kids did. That might be kind of a weird distinction, but I don’t at all remember having an imaginary friend because I particularly loved the idea. Like, some people can still remember their friend’s name, adventures they thought up, and so on. I can’t. Because I’m pretty sure I was faking it, with the idea that it was something all kids were supposed to do.

I’m sure this says something about my essential nature, but right now I can’t figure it out. I will say that it seems very on-brand for me.

Thing I Saw: This excellent, mind-boggling text adventure game called You Are Jeff Bezos. In it, you play as Jeff Bezos, the Amazon guy, and it’s your job to spend all of his money. This proves surprisingly difficult. On account of, you know, the vast quantities of it.

Thing I Learned: Some spiders have fewer than eight eyes. This thanks to Cassidy, who was wondering, and then made me fact-check myself when I insisted that it was always eight, end of story.

I’m Grateful For: my 2nd vaccine dose!

I’m Dreaming Of: A complete Metroid series playthrough to prepare my mind and body for the recently announced Metroid Dread. I have dramatically reduced the scope of this project for feasibility purposes, but a man can dream. (Right now I think I’ll just try to do Zero Mission, AM2R even though I own the remake of Samus Returns, Super, and Fusion. Mayyyybe mix a Prime in there somewhere. But the mainest mainline titles are actually fairly short, so I think I have a shot of pulling this off by October.

Lori recently found this entire song, which I didn’t even know was a song to be found. You get 1200 internet points if you know where I know this from. Redeem them in the Internet Store!

Hi-diddly-ho, Neighborino

So, how was the week for you? Mine flew right by. The beginning of the week was rough, again; I was exhausted and declared to Lori that I was “tired of having opinions about things.” By which, I meant that I was really bummed out about the seemingly increasing polarization around discussion of like…every issue currently facing our community? And world? I know this isn’t a new drum to be banging on, but it really got to me. How do we find common ground and work together to make the world better when it seems like we can’t even agree on what’s…real?

I expressed this to some friends that I play online games with on a roughly weekly basis, and one of them gave me a valuable reminder. He said that disagreeing with a neighbour doesn’t necessarily make them a bad neighbour. People can have nutty views and still be decent people. I know that for some issues and some neighbours, disagreement doesn’t just mean “we don’t see eye to eye” but more like “my neighbour doesn’t think I should exist” which is very different. But I’ve been reflecting on what my friend said in the days since and realizing that I’d gotten to a place where I was getting afraid to learn anything about anybody. I was getting scared that any divergence on issues I care about would somehow “poison” the relationship altogether.

I mean, as a Christian, I don’t really suppose that Jesus called us to only hang out with the people we already agree with. But it’s scarrryyyyy

Anyway, I often get in my own head about having to have the Right and Most Convincing answers for people I disagree with (see: posts about trying to “script” difficult conversations) and this is just another good reminder from a friend that I can let that anxiety go. And that it’s okay to have and express my own thoughts about things. One conversation with someone doesn’t have to change their entire worldview. Even my daughter’s Dog Man comics reminded me in the past few days that you don’t have to be able to move the whole tree at once; sometimes just one branch can make all the difference.

Thing I Saw: Lori and I are working our way through WandaVision and we really like it. I’d like it to be about 20% creepier, but there you are.

Thing I Learned: [Content warning: this is about the recent discovery of the remains of 215 children at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School] So, another friend of mine works for the city administration. Our city, like many across Canada, decided to collect and display 215 pairs of shoes in front of city hall to memorialize the horrible discovery announced at the end of May. My friend told me that apparently this display had garnered some vehemently negative feedback on social media; I wasn’t told the specifics, but knowing that people could be angry about this small acknowledgement was troubling enough. In response, I told them about the article I’d recently read, in which archaeologists and researchers talked about the painstaking process of finding these mass burial sites. They said that because these things can be so difficult to find after time has passed, they start with primary sources: they interview survivors, the people who attended these schools as children. Because very often, the children were made to dig the graves that their peers were buried in.

With that fact in mind, I have only profane words on my mind for those who would complain about a small acknowledgement of a horrendous tragedy. I don’t want to reprint them here.

I’m Grateful For: Wise friends.

I’m Dreaming Of: A Skor McFlurry from McDonalds, to be honest

I love BDG, and as somebody who’s also watching his way through the Backstreet Boys video catalog with his wife, I can tell you that his moves and voice are on point

Best of the Best

Baby Update 2021! He was born March 29th, is named Avery, and is a baby. He looks completely astonished a lot of the time, and started out very barfy but we’ve brought that down with some lil’ probiotic drops. A bottle of which is surprisingly expensive! He’s smiling more regularly and (I think) making intentional “glgg” sounds when we coo and burble at him. This has been Baby Update!

Well, it’s been quite a while since I’ve updated last. I’ve got my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, and I’m waiting for eligibility to expand for 2nd doses. My city and surrounding area have the worst vaccination and per-capita infection rates in the province, and the province is currently the hardest-hit (per capita) for COVID cases in North America! We’re on another lockdown as we endure the Third Wave of infections. We did it, reddit!

That last bit is usually said very tongue-in-cheek, but it reminded me that I’ve actually had to step away from the Winnipeg subreddit recently. After our local area has hit provincial and national news a few times, those articles of course make their way to r/Winnipeg and with it…a lot of vitriolic comments. I understand logically that the members of this subreddit represent a tiny fraction of the provincial population, but still, the sentiment I saw more than once was a real downer. Basically, when articles mention that a.)our region is suffering and b.)people won’t get the vaccine, the comments often went along the lines of “good! buncha idiots! if they won’t protect themselves then good riddance”

I’m paraphrasing of course, but the actual comments were not much more nuanced. It hurt! Because many of us here are disappointed with those who reject health guidelines and vaccines, and many of us have family and friends who are vulnerable or suffering every day because of the pandemic. And rather than wade into every comments section to post #NotAllSouthernManitobans forever and ever, I just left the subreddit. I briefly wrestled with whether to message the moderators but decided against it.

Anyway, I’m kinda just checking back in for now. I was starting to do these weekly before our new baby, and if I want to get that going again, I need to tell myself it’s okay to keep them short. I know I said I’d write about Tales from the Loop. I’ll get there yet. Possibly.

Thing I Saw: Record-high temperatures in the past few days. Unofficially, we got to 42.5 degrees celcius here yesterday. Thanks, climate change!

Thing I Learned: Manitoba’s largest export is not agricultural products as I would have guessed but…pharmaceuticals! Huh!

I’m Grateful For: Air conditioning 🙂

I’m Dreaming Of: Running through a complete game of Long Haul 1983, a solo journalling/rpg experience I discovered yesterday. I want to do it. I might do it. If I do…I probably won’t post the results anywhere that anyone can see them.

A little pandemic lockdown encouragement