Post-The-Rona

The weather here in Columbus, Ohio is currently engulfed in a civil war. One side is fighting for all things sunny and flirty and beautiful; the other is hell-bent on thunderstorms and gloom, which has a beauty all its own.

Which side will win? It doesn’t matter.

Our household is slowly coming down from our brief experimentation with Covid. Both Jess and I are largely feeling much better. I’m still experiencing some general fatigue, and have a persistent headache and some body aches, but it’s been manageable and I was able to work most of the week. If we had to get Covid – and let’s be real, we were bound to get it eventually – I’m grateful that it was now, three years after the rona first reared its ugly virus face. Now, after we’ve been vaccinated and boosted, and things like antivirals exist and, in this country at least, are readily accessible. Paxlovid can be a bit of a motherfucker while you’re on it, but its efficacy at reducing the length and severity of Covid, as well as lowering the risk of experiencing long Covid health issues, has made it, to me, worth it.

All told, the last two weeks could have been a lot worse.

ADDENDUM: I wrote the majority of this post on Saturday morning, which apparently was interpreted by the universe as me giving it the finger. Because on Saturday night, Jess developed what is colloquially referred to as “rebound Covid.” Apparently, in 4% of people, five days of Paxlovid isn’t a sufficient length of time, and their Covid symptoms return. In theory, those symptoms are supposed to be mild, but we shall see. In the meantime, our household shall live with the fog of Covid a little while longer. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ It be like that sometimes.

Here’s what I’ve been up to the last couple of weeks.

I finally finished THE GLASS HOTEL, by Emily St. John Mandel. This is the second novel I’ve read by Mandel, after SEA OF TRANQUILITY, and I can quite honestly say she has become one of my top five favorite authors. THE GLASS HOTEL is set before, during, and after the 2007-2008 financial crisis. A key plot element involves a Madoff-like Ponzi scheme collapsing, and those both involved in and impacted by it, but that’s not the main point of the story. The narrative is not linear, continually jumping all over the timeline and switching points of view. It’s occasionally jarring, but by design. This could be annoying and confusing in the hands of a lesser writer, but Mandel is the opposite of a lesser writer. A subtle feeling of the surreal threads throughout the book, especially in the last seventy pages, which gives it a dream-like quality that just enhances the story. Mandel’s writing is gorgeous and haunting, sharply funny at times, and very easy to get lost in.

Watching:

BONE TOMAHAWK: A gritty, character-driven Western for the first hour that turns into a brutal horror movie for the second hour. It’s really good, but some of the more horrific scenes are hard to watch. Kudos to the sound design team, though – while you might be able to close your eyes, you can still hear everything, in vivid, squelchy fashion.

DO REVENGE: A darkly funny teen/revenge film loosely inspired by STRANGERS ON A TRAIN and every teen comedy you’ve seen from the past 30 years. This makes for a hilarious and chaotic viewing experience. I loved loved loved this film. And it boasts a killer soundtrack, to boot.

Wanting:

I’ve long admired the work of Belgian artist Sammy Slabbinck. One of his more recent pieces, THE EQUATION, is quite stunning and will one day find a home on my wall.

Listening:

I was out somewhere a while back and heard a song that I vaguely remembered from my youth. Didn’t know the band or song title, only that it was from the 90s and had the line “I only wanna do bad things to you.” I googled it and all the results were for some shitty Machine Gun Kelly song. It took a ridiculous amount of detective work (10 minutes on Google and Wikipedia), but I eventually found the song I was looking for. Turns out the actual lyrics are “I never mean to do bad things to you,” and my brain had just misremembered them. In short, the shitty MGK song included interpolated lyrics from the 90s song I was thinking of, which is what was confounding my google search. Apparently, both my brain and the songwriters of the shitty MGK song had independently arrived at the somewhat hornier lyrics of “I only wanna do bad things to you.”

Anyhow, that’s my long-winded way of saying I’ve had Fastball’s “Out Of My Head” stuck in my head for a while.

And Kirby:

While Jess and I may have not felt great the last two weeks, Kirby has been having a marvelous time being connected to his mom’s hip even more so than usual.

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