Speaking of weird RPG item drops, a flying skull in Stardew Valley gave me relaxed fit pants.

Did it hope it would need them again one day? Was it on a quest for a new body, possibly mine? I’ll never find out because I killed that skull and put those pants in a chest without even trying them on.

One day, almost a month ago, I went onto the Target website to place a pick-up order, something I did with some frequency even before the pandemic, thanks to shopping anxiety.

Even before outright mentions of COVID-19 had been added to the site, it said everything about the transitions people were making to self-isolation.

Deals on board games.

Deals on home fitness equipment.

Deals on lounge wear for the whole family.

I reused a file folder that had previously been labeled “Bitter Machines Flash Fiction.” Since the new label didn’t entirely cover the old one, it now says “Health Insurance Flash Fiction,” which is the worst, most boring, and also most soul-chilling and existentially dreadful type of flash fiction there is.

Sometimes during these early spring days, in this little not-quite-idyllic, rural New England town where I live, I go out walking and a brilliant, sunny daffodil snaps into my line of sight from across the street, and I think, “Pandemic. Pandemic? Pandemic. What the fuck, what the fuck?”

I started texting my partner to ask if he could “pick up some stuff,” but autocomplete assumed that the word stuff was supposed to be “snakes.”

What I find disturbing about this is that Google utilizes user data to make predictive text more accurate, and that there is apparently enough recorded user behavior to make “snakes” seem like a viable completion for that sentence.

The pandemic has meant that I finally started making homemade yogurt again. A local farm store is doing phone orders and pickups, so we have better access to quality milk than we do yogurt.

I worried that this batch wouldn’t come out because the milk felt hotter than normal, but in ten years of making yogurt, I’ve never had a batch fail “to yog,” as my partner puts it.