Asides

Asides

One of my rewards to myself for finishing Stars Fall Out (and also an early birthday present) was a box set of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Best Star Trek ever, and best show ever.

I should’ve bought it ages ago on whatever flimsy excuse I could come up with.

I’m on one of the final climactic scenes of Stars Fall Out, and have ended up in a situation where my female main character is,  in a not at all tongue-in-cheek fashion, trying to break a glass ceiling.

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.

Now that everyone and their Uncle Bob has taken a sudden, pandemic-motivated interest in hiking, my hiking pole is also my social distancing pole.

Always remember that a social distancing pole is no substitute for choosing an unpopular trail with difficult parking and little to no markings either on the map or on the ground.

And no, I haven’t poked anyone with it–I would have to sanitize it.

My partner and I discussing the true meaning of Vaffeldagen, aka Waffle Day, aka March 25th:

Me: Vaffeldagen isn’t about the waffles. It’s about the friends we can’t see because of the pandemic.

Partner: The real friends are the waffles you made along the way.

When you Google “goat injuries” for book reasons because you need to get a guy out of an animal pasture so his wife can talk to her would-be-lover about some perjury they’re going to commit…

…and then a week later you still have six browser tabs dedicated to goat injuries, even though you decided not to go all plot devicey like that.

That’s writer life.