I have learned my lesson and am composing this in an offline text editor (xed for those who care.)
Back in the old days, we’d do these posts that collected a bunch of stuff that didn’t fit anywhere else. This is one of those.
Night Mind has a couple of new videos out! There’s a new Backrooms post, and a new Mandela Catalog post that are in my queue.
Yesterday, I cleared a lot of debt off the books that Wil From The Past had accrued. I put clothes away, I did the dishes, I went through half a dozen bags and boxes of stuff that I brought home from conventions this year. The biggest thing I did, the thing that most fun and most satisfying, was cleaning my game room from floor to ceiling. I got out the dusting thing and the furniture polish and the fancy vacuum, and I went to work. It took a couple hours, but with the constant companionship of Bony Danza and the occasional visit from Marlowe, those hours flew by. The air is lighter, the protective layer of dust did its job and the bookcases look great.
If you follow my Instagram stories, you’ve seen my high score posts from my arcade machines, right? You know that I have two different multicade machines, and one of them is the “hard” machine. I play Mr. Do! on both machines, and though I’ve always scored higher on the easy machine, playing the higher difficulty is generally more satisfying. I haven’t played much for the last few months (Cyberpunk 2077 attached itself to the Skyrim receptors in my brain and spent 194 hours there), so it was shocking to me that when I sat down for my first game in a long time, I locked into some kind of symbiotic groove with the game and ended up recording my highest high score of all time! ON THE HARD MACHINE!
…or so I thought until I looked at my high score on the easy machine last night, which is 2000 points higher. I left WAY more than 2000 points on the board during my unexpected run. Damn.
I’m doing a TON of Donkey Kong again, too. I’m working on this piece that Donkey Kong is central to, and I desperately want to talk about it, but I’m gonna hold that back so I’m motivated to finish it. (Level 4 elevators though. Fuck me am I right?)
ANYway, back to cleaning. I can’t recall, specifically, how it happened, where it started, but I ended up listening to a whole bunch of early 2000s pop punk and stuff while I unfucked the game room. After I’d shared I think three or four tracks on my Instagram stories, I just went ahead and made a little playlist for anyone who feels that need to put Warped Tour from around 2004 into their ear holes. As I wrote in the description, it’s an incomplete snapshot of a very specific moment in my life, and it makes me happier to listen to than I ever would have expected. Feel free to use it as the foundation for your own curated memories.
Speaking of early pop punk … I have to admit that in the early aughts, the part of me that is a First Wave Punk and Hardcore Kid was mildly disdainful to entirely dismissive of pretty much that entire genre. I felt like it wasn’t serious, that it was about girls and cars instead of ending systemic oppression and fucking shit up. I mean, I wasn’t entirely wrong, but WOW did that guy I was miss out on a lot of fun times as a consequence of that foolishness. As a 50 year-old (nope. still doesn’t feel okay to say that.) I can absolutely ADORE all of it, accept it on its own terms, and allow it to exist alongside Bad Religion and Dead Kennedys. I wish I’d had this maturity when I could have seen all these acts live, in their prime. Well, live and learn and always pick up anyone who falls down in the pit.
Anne and I went to the hockey game last night, and watched the Kings win a game they were supposed to win, which has not been the case as often as it should be this season. I posted a picture from the game like I do, and OF COURSE some dickhead needed to show us his whole ass because we each wear a mask when we are indoors, in public.
I know why this is a whole stupid thing, but I don’t understand it. Yes, dipshit McFuckface made it all political because he is a fuckface, and the single-celled organisms that worship him are dying as fast as they can to own the Libs by deliberately exposing themselves to infectious diseases. (Great job, y’all. I feel SO OWNED.) But I can’t wrap my head around being so fucking stupid that you deliberately make yourself and your family less safe, to make a point that the people you are trying to own could not care less about. I can’t wrap my head around choosing to believe a Fox News personality over an actual doctor or scientist with an actual degree and actual experience and expertise. I just … wow. These people are why there are warnings printed on everything.
So, since I’m already here, I’m going to say this so I can refer to when this happens next time I share a picture of us inside a public place:
When I wear a mask in an indoor public space, I’m not making a political statement. I’m making a choice to protect my health and the health of my family. I’m listening to the advice of experts who are better informed and educated than all of us.
A political statement is something like, “Republicans are fascists and domestic terrorists who don’t care if you die as long as they have power.” Putting on a mask when it’s recommended by every expert who works with public health has nothing to do with my endless contempt and disgust for right wing garbage. Read that as many times as you need to, until you understand the difference.
I realize that it’s VERY important to a lot of extremely stupid people that masking be part of the culture war they’ve been losing my entire lifetime. That’s pathetic, they are pathetic, and I could not care less what they think about me and my personal health choices.
It is a massive waste of time and energy to engage with these people, who only want to waste my time, and yours. I just block them and delete their bullshit, so they have more time to spend with their increasingly worthless not-NFTs.
Can you believe it’s Solstice already? If December crept up on me, Solstice jumped out from behind a hedge and shouted BLESSED YULE MOTHER FUCKER!
I walked Marlowe this morning, and maybe it’s the Yule in the air, but my neighbors were all extra friendly and chatty. I felt … well, I know that I live in a community, right? I know that, intellectually, but I really felt it, and it was just great.
I’m gonna wrap this up with a couple of media recommendations. Anne and I loved Wednesday and The English. We are about halfway through 1899 (loving it) and just started The Recruit (more fun than I expected). I finished my full rewatch of the first eight seasons of The Simpsons (it falls apart for me right at the beginning of S09 and never recovers) late last week. There are a few clunkers, but the worst one is still more entertaining than anything produced during the Zombie Simpsons era.
Okay, Blaine Gretzky needs to get out on the ice, so I’m gonna elbow and send this. Stay healthy, friends. Remember to be kind; everyone is going through something. And rest in Peace, Grimey.
26 thoughts on “all the small things”
The mask thing truly drives me crazy. I never understood why it was a big deal to wear one and I certainly don’t know why anyone cares if someone else is wearing one. My mom had to wear a mask years ago when she was going through chemotherapy. I can’t stand the thought that people going through something like cancer would be treated poorly like by that guy that actually kicked people out of his restaurant for wearing one. When we go to our AHL hockey games I only see one or two other families wearing masks. So far, no one has given us a hard time though. I have to fly next month. I’m going to wear one even if I’m the only one on the plane with it.
Nobody has given me a hard time in person. It’s always cowards online.
I just sent out Christmas cards today. Nothing fancy. Just a few pictures alongside a simple “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year” greeting. One of the pictures is of my wife and I at Gallifrey One, dressed as Doctors 13 and 7, respectively, and wearing our masks (mine has a question mark pattern like 7’s sweater). I fully expect that some of my right-wing family will see something objectionable about that. I only hope they can keep their mouths shut about it.
Thank you for doing your part.
Thank you so much for wearing a mask. I’ve got an autoimmune disorder, which I’ve had for most of my life, but now I’ve had to disclose it to all kinds of people since the pandemic, which becomes very wearying. I also just found out I’m losing my remote work contract gig and I have to stay remote in any new position, which means disclosing it over and over again. We went to In-n-Out and I masked up to put the order in (we always eat outside) and none of the customers were masked. It makes me feel like nobody cares if I live or die so it means a lot to me when I see people masking and defending this extremely common sense behavior!
Media-wise I will recommend to you this little tiny book by Toshikazu Kawaguchi called Before the Coffee Gets Cold. It is weird, small scale science fiction and it’s heartfelt and thoughtful. The concept is so good I’m honestly mad I didn’t think of it.
Have a good holiday!
There is a FB group called “So…Are We Still Coviding?” And someone posted a picture of you that you shared on your page where you were masked at the bookstore, and they said it was so wonderful to see a celebrity showing themselves masked. There’s a whole conversation now about how refreshing it is to see and what a great person you are. I just wanted to remind you that there are so many people who respect and love your stance on protecting yourself and others and following the science.
I love Trusty Chords. Great list!
Happy holidays! To be honest, my wife andi cannot wait for this year (2022) to be over, as it was one of the worst years of our lives. We enjoy reading your blog, by the way. 🙂
I love deep cleaning a room that needs some TLC. The end result is very satisfying!
Thanks in part to the Convoy Siege last winter, the mask thing will never not be “political” here in Ottawa-Gatineau. I have my theories as to why that was brought about, and I won’t plague you with them. I wish more people would resume seeing health-and-safety sense about it, too, and my reasons are tangled up in job-seeking and care-giving along with other stuff.
Peace to you and yours, Wil.
Somehow Cyberpunk 2077 manages to hit the same dopamine pumps as Bethesda’s open worlds, in a way that other games just can’t quite manage. I thought mantis blades were the pinnacle of visceral entertainment, both figuratively and literally, until I built my ex-Corpo netrunner. There’s just something sublime about hacking a camera and wiping out a building full of gangoons while sipping a NiCola across the street.
My family and I are still masking up everywhere; my mother just started chemo and has no immune system. Can’t afford exposure to COVID, flu, or RSV. Fortunately, many others where we live never stopped, either.
While I wear a N95 all day at the arcade and everywhere I go inside that’s not my house, I have yet had someone in person say anything about it. We did lose at least 0.2 stars thanks to one star reviews for our arcade (by people who live in a whole other country) because we had a mask policy until recently. What they don’t know is that we still clean the air by having new HVAC, HEPA filters, have fans running, keep the doors and windows open and monitor the CO2 levels so that people can be safe even if they don’t know it. Haha! Got them!
About Donkey Kong…we recently had a guy come in who can get to the kill screen and his highest score is close to 900,000. We introduced him to Donkey Kong Remix and he was so challenged by it, he had to come in the next week and get a day pass and play it all day again. So if you want to have a challenge and mess up your regular DK game, the roms are out there.
Or if you want to feel extra Christmasy, there is Donkey Kong Christmas, which is the same but with Christmas sprites. The local paper just posted about us having it in the arcade.
My wife and I still wear masks anytime we go out in public. I travel a lot for work and wear a mask anytime I fly. I don’t care what anyone thinks- I am keeping myself and my family safe. I loved this post, it feels like catching up with a friend you haven’t talked to in a while. I come to the site almost everyday hoping that there will be an update. 2 in 1 week- Christmas came early. Thank you for sharing with us!
So, this is like the Airing Of Grievances in Festivus?
I don’t understand people pissed about someone else wearing masks. That is like being angry someone is wearing pants, or a hoodie, or green earrings. It doesn’t affect them personally, just look away.
But on a side note I am glad to hear that a protective layer of dust works… The Lego shelves have been looked over lately. 😂
Them “WHY? MASK? NOT REQUIRED!”
Me “It helps me remember to mind my own business.”
I adore the fact that your ‘Big Red Statement’ is written in Comic Sans. It is indeed the most sensible choice of font, as the Dipshit McFuckfaces of this world deserve no better options. You show ’em, Wil! 💪
I wish you’d make more Radio Free Burrito content by the way. I am one of those weird nerds that doesn’t do social media, I use RSS to quietly follow and enjoy your content, but I think that folder has probably accumulated more dust than your game room by now. I really enjoy your voice and miss hearing you talk about life, culture, your experiences and indeed, all the small things.
I didn’t know the theme was going to turn that into Comic Sans, and I almost changed the CSS, before I realized that would defeat the entire point.
I think you should hardcode it into this post, for when you eventually revert back to a more sane theme.
My eyes are bleeding.
Ctrl + Alt + R = reader view (in Firefox anyway)
THANK YOU for still wearing a mask. I still wear one much of the time. Go you!
I’m going to express a difference of opinion about one point in your comments on Musk, and only one: for me, his footprint on the world and on the lives of most of us is incredibly minute. I go my many places and do my many things, and he’s nowhere in my view. SpaceX? Something I’ve read about and will never use. Tesla? Another brand of car, one that I rarely notice and will never own. Twitter? Another thing I read about but don’t use; its biggest impact on my life is that it’s a source of discoverable evidence that can be used in the longed-for upcoming indictments for right-wing domestic terrorism — and all of that happened before Musk touched it.
And, of course, Musk didn’t actually create any of these things; he only used his money to attach himself to them like a particularly vile species of leech. If the associated technology has any knock-on impact on my life, it won’t be Musk’s impact.
His biggest “contribution” to the world is the entertainment value (although “entertainment” really is the wrong word) of the train wreck he’s made of himself.
Gonna try to bullet point this.
1-great job on the cleaning and the game!
2-I’m still not as familiar with that era of music as I could be. I’ll try to check it out.
3-masks. Sigh. Yes. That. I wear a mask indoors. But as one of those public health types (I’m on the veterinary side, as you know, but frankly we’re better at infectious disease control than a lot of physicians), I’ve got to say that the hardest part of my job is the “why bother?” When your opinion doesn’t count as much as the groomer/breeder/random cousin who once worked at a pet store/media person/etc, it’s hard to keep trying. It’s hard to fight the good fight. I’ve largely given up on this particular one. After all, I don’t know how respiratory disease works. Or something. So I don’t try to help others here. I’m too tired. But I wear my mask. For me. For my dad with cancer. For, well, everyone. But yeah. Sigh. Sorry.
4-Elon is a waste of everything.
5-happy solstice. I think I’m going to try Heartstopper soon. I’ve heard it’s great.
Nice to see you here again, Wil. fist bump
“I have to admit that in the early aughts, the part of me that is a First Wave Punk and Hardcore Kid was mildly disdainful to entirely dismissive of pretty much that entire genre.”
I feel seen. There were a few songs I thought were fun, but the idea that any of it was “punk” was scathingly laughable. What a gatekeeping tool I was.
Elbow and send just brought up so many wonderful memories of you and Annie and Shane. Blog nostalgia!
Speaking of Warped Tour, just yesterday I was wearing my Mighty Mighty Bosstones shirt that I got from the Warped tour in ’98 (bad religion was there too). Yeah Dickey Barrett turned out to be a tool but I am never throwing that shirt away. It brings me back to a really fun time in my life when I had the energy to be out in the hot Florida sun for an entire day of great punk!
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