Friday night.

There are few joys greater than being able to wake up on a weekday, see 8:50am on the alarm clock, and go back to sleep without having to scramble in blind panic.

I spent the entire morning lounging in bed (or chilling like a villain, as kids used to say once upon a time) and browsing AirBnB listings around the world. Well, mostly Mexico, really. Despite all the fear-inducing headlines about cartel wars, Mexico is a fine and safe country where millions of people live their lives just fine. I looked at some of the AirBnB rentals, and they’re amazing. In a fun coastal city like Puerto Vallarta, if you rent a place for an entire month (that gets you a special discount), you can find a nice little studio apartment for just $300 USD, which is frankly mindblowing. Or there’s an entire house (five bedrooms, five bathrooms) for just $1,230 USD – a fine destination for a sunny family reunion, eh.

Right now, those are nothing but fantasies – but they’re a great proof of concept. Incidentally, I might have to stop my French&Spanish DuoLingo lessons and stick with just Spanish for now. I may very well move to Quebec at some point within the next five years, but it won’t be within the next two – and I’ll definitely be spending some time south of the US border.

In my other fantasy world, Skyrim, my alter ego (an orc named Grgor) has reached level 25, built a house, and successfully escorted a pilgrim with zero survival instincts to see a giant holy tree. That game still hasn’t quite made me forget about the raging pandemic, but it helps pass the time. More importantly, it keeps me away from my phone, which may as well be the Pandora’s Box of bad news. There was a strange car explosion in the tourist section of Nashville early this morning. Some reports say the RV played a recording of gunshots and warned people to stay away just before it blew up. The whole situation is remarkably weird: three people were wounded and fortunately no one died, but all the buildings in the vicinity are wrecked. Is this the beginning of a new stage for the US politics? Actual car bombs?.. I was in that very neighbourhood less than a year ago during my January work conference. It’s hard to imagine someone trying to attack that fun and tourist-friendly area… I expect we’ll know more within a week.

In covid news, there are reports of allergic reactions to both the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccines. A doctor in Boston had a bad reaction to the Moderna vaccine, which made some headlines. Apparently, something similar was reported during the vaccine trials, but it was supposedly rare. Then again, the US has already vaccinated over a million people, and given that only a few reported that side effect… On the balance, the vaccine is still overwhelmingly good, but this will give the legion of anti-vaxxers even more fuel to spread misinformation. (On the balance, social media is one of the worst inventions of the twenty-first century.)

Merry Christmas, y’all.