Tuesday night, Remembrance Day Eve.

Today was an unexpected anniversary: 150 consecutive days of learning French (and/or Spanish) on DuoLingo. Time flies when you’re hiding out from a poorly understood highly infectious virus! Who knows, maybe eventually I’ll be able to do French improv like this absolute legend of a guy.

Remembrance Day is tomorrow: it’s not a full official holiday in Canada, but we still get a day off at work. This holiday is huge here. I don’t go out much lately (because, you know, the plague) but I remember seeing a lot of folks wearing poppies on their lapels last fall. Thinking back, I can’t recall ever seeing anyone in the US do that, and I lived all over the country… Peaceful people, these Canadians. I wonder if that’s because they take deliberate steps to remember their wars, or simply because they never felt the need to fight their way onto the world stage like the US did ever since the Spanish-American War of 1898.

I’m becoming even more of a brain in a jar. Workdays get longer, there’s less time to myself, and there’s really no other outlet aside from work: no strangers to hang out with, no dates or group meetups… My 11th work anniversary is less than a fortnight away: in a way, that’s the longest relationship of my life. (Sad, I know. Bigly sad.) With nothing else to do, that’s the sole recipient of all my energy and creativity: even accounting for the fact that 2020 is a year filled with unpredictability, I’m still finding a lot of weak spots and money-saving opportunities for them. (Being a financial analyst/controller and all.) This might result in a promotion next quarter. We’ll see.

I’m currently binge-watching The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix, and it most definitely lives up to all the praise. The casting, the acting, the fine attention to detail – it all comes together to make chess, of all things, an exciting topic for a TV show. (I wonder if that’ll set off yet another pandemic fad, with lots of new chess hobbyists playing with each other online.) A great, well made, and feminist show – five stars, two thumbs up, etc, etc.

In covid news, Vice President Mike Pence was about to go to Florida on vacation this week – but after the news got leaked, he cancelled his trip in a hurry. Normally, that wouldn’t be so bad, but he also happens to be in charge of the covid task force. At this point in the game, the task force is just a bad joke: the top doctors have given up on it, they hardly ever meet, and even a news junkie like myself can’t think of a single thing they did to fight the pandemic. Even so, that’s terrible optics when over 100,000 Americans get covid each day, and the town of El Paso, Texas, has to request 10 morgue trucks due to a spike in covid deaths.

…and in political news, Trump still hasn’t conceded to Biden, and appears to be fighting his loss in every way he can think of. His campaign is filing frivolous lawsuits, he’s sharing all sorts of conspiracy theories on Twitter, etc. Most worryingly, he fired his Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, as well as senior Department of Defense officials, replacing them with loyalists. Some folks online are concerned about a potential coup attempt, but that’s the same brilliant administration that couldn’t book a Four Seasons hotel. If and when they try something funny, they’re far more likely to shoot themselves in the foot – and nick their femoral artery in the process.

Stay safe out there, folks.