Friday night.

Someday, decades from now, somebody will tell me how much they envy all the alone time we all got during the covid pandemic. I like to think that I’ll just smirk, shake my hand, and say “You wouldn’t understand.” In reality, I’ll probably just stare at them and walk away without a word. The way each week flies by… I wrote about it many times before, and I’ll never be able to fully express just how weird that is.

Last night, I finally got enough motivation to sit and watch a two-hour movie Netflix, even though I cheated and started browsing Twitter halfway through. It was a South Korean sci-fi flick called Space Sweepers, about a group of morally ambiguous space scavengers who try to do the right thing. A bit like Firefly, and a lot like a live-action version of Cowboy Bebop. It takes about 20 minutes to fully get into the movie, but the payoff is well worth it. Highly recommended, two thumbs, five stars, yada yada yada.

It took me five consecutive evenings, but I finally defeated a particularly difficult mission in the original Tropico game I started playing about a week ago. The mission is simple on its surface: retaliate against your former homeland by growing and selling $2 million worth of cigars within 50 years. Early on, you get several choices: whether to bribe a cigar magazine in exchange for charging higher prices, and whether to use chemical fertilizer that would produce more tobacco but destroy your environment. I kept saying “no” to the second question, and I kept failing the mission despite all my efforts. It looks like that was by design: the game is too subtle to say it out loud, but the only way to accomplish the mission is by being a bad guy: poisoning your own island in pursuit of the profit. The environmental damage sets off social unrest, attempted coups, etc, which leads to more questionable decisions like rigging the elections in your favour, blatantly bribing your own officers, etc. What a fascinating game… It’s easy to disregard games that came out 20 years ago, but they were brilliant and engaging in their own way, and at least in this case, they’re more interesting than almost anything that comes out now.

Current boredom levels: making beep-boop noises when pressing buttons on my laptop. (Seriously, how is that not an actual feature?)

New boredom distraction: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. This book is about a lonely brainiac who discovers a chance to explore all the paths not taken, all the potential futures stemming from her life. The premise reminds me a lot of one of my all-time favourites, The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North. So far, the beginning is rather engaging. That should help fast-forward through an entire day – maybe two if I pace myself, eh.

In covid news, premier Ford is thinking of reopening Ontario – at least in parts, and starting with schools. They’re scheduled to reopen on February 16th, even though the province-wide will remain in effect. (If that makes no sense, don’t worry – nobody here can figure out that logic either.) If parts of Ontario, such as some of Toronto’s many suburbs, get their restrictions lifted, that’ll just encourage everyone else to drive extra 30 minutes out of their way to enjoy the newly reopened restaurants, hair salons, etc. All the local health professionals are extremely unhappy about this turn of events, and trying every argument they can to get the local government to change their minds. (So far, they haven’t succeeded.) The consensus is that an early reopening will get us hit with the third wave of covid, especially since the B117 variant is out there and spreading. This reminds me an awful lot of the Tropico mission, except I can see zero incentive for someone to be so villainous against their own people in real life. Is the gratitude of small-business owners really worth this?..

Stay safe, y’all.