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Category: Personal

Goodbye, Nixie

This is another belated post. As with Maggie, I didn’t have the heart to write it immediately. I finally wrote my post saying goodbye to Maggie because we were pretty sure Nixie didn’t have all that much time left; I’m writing this one because we’re going to visit a lovely pair of foster kittens this weekend, and one way or another I expect we’ll have new cats soon. Happier moment, same desire to speak before new emotions arise.

2022 in Movies

Something weird happened in 2022: I watched 423 movies.

This is pretty atypical for me. It’s over 20% of the movies I’ve watched in my life. I’ve never watched as many as 100 movies in a year before. I’ve been trending up a bit recently, particularly during the pandemic, but 423? Sure, some of them are shorts, but that’s balanced by the 7 hours of Les Vampires and the 5 hours of Fanny and Alexander (TV version) and the 4 hours of Ludwig. At the end of the day — uh, of the year — we’re talking 730 hours of movies. WTF?

Well, I quit playing World of Warcraft, and that’s a huge time sink right there. I also just got into a rhythm. On any given weekday night, it’s easy to catch a movie after dinner. If you’re not doing anything else during a weekend, what’s a movie after each meal? I joined a couple of subreddits that watch a movie a week collectively, I took on a challenge to watch 52 Criterion movies, and about halfway through the year I realized I was on pace for over 350 movies. All those neurons I’d been using on making WoW numbers go up got dedicated to making my movie count go up. Whoops. Fortunately S. is supportive of my whims and obsessions.

An aside: Letterboxd, which I am linking to throughout this post, is amazing. Also a total enabler of my numbers go up obsessions. Worth every penny I pay them as a patron, which is not all that much. It’s been a great way to find movies I might want to see, it’s way more comfortable to use than IMDB, and I just love them to pieces.

At times it was a grind. The trickiest month was October, because S. and I took on a horror movie challenge together. I didn’t love the way I was engaging with challenges in general; I love movies but I want to watch them because I love them, not because they’re leaving my favorite streaming service or because I need to finish a checklist. I am not taking on any challenges next year, although S. and I made a list of 50 date night movies. (Each one has a connection to the one before, and we swapped picks. It was really fun making the list.)

But you know, it’s like anything. If you spend a lot of time on something you love, you’ll discover new depths and new joys and new preferences. Or I guess you’ll start hating it, but that wasn’t me and movies. I’m still not a guy who can breezily analyze Kurosawa in terms of his shot choices, but I know which directors and actors make me happy, which is good enough for me.

Covid Conclusions

Feeling mostly better other than being a bit more tired than usual. The final timeline:

  • 10/29: almost certainly my initial exposure — I was at a loud crowded event without a ton of mask usage.
  • 10/31: light symptoms.
  • 11/1: first positive test (all my tests were at home).
  • 11/2: Paxlovid course started.
  • 11/6: Paxlovid course ends; maybe a couple of negative tests in the next few days? Can’t recall.
  • 11/11: testing positive again; feeling sick but able to focus.
  • 11/13: negative test (probably because at-home tests are not 100% reliable).
  • 11/15: positive test again; able to focus well enough to deliver budget presentations.
  • 11/19: able to write code again! A surprisingly important milestone.
  • 11/23: negative test again, and this time the negative tests stuck. Haven’t tested positive since.
  • 11/27: still getting a bit tired here and there, as noted, but I feel pretty much OK otherwise.

All told that was three and a half weeks of positive tests, and I felt pretty sick during most of that. Able to focus but definitely not great. Please get vaccinated and boosted.

Covid Update

One of the ways I knew I was getting sick was that my ability to code dropped through the floor, so I’ve been fiddling with things from time to time as a test.

I’m still veering between faint positive tests and negative tests, but I got a wild hair and wrote some Python today. Credit for the underlying text and mechanics goes to Oliver Darkshire. I have taken the liberty of skipping assassination attempts when there’s no chance of success and decided that you can’t try an assassination attempt after an ending is reached.

./ldor.py
Lions are released onto the streets in an attempt to calm the population.
Flames: 1
Desolation: 1
Relocation: 0

You might want to assassinate the emperor, but there's no chance.

<snip>

Work continues on a house made of pure gold. It keeps melting.
Flames: 5
Desolation: 3
Relocation: 3

You might want to assassinate the emperor, but there's no chance.

There are no goods at market. "If you have no bread, then eat shit" is the word from the palace.
Flames: 5
Desolation: 4
Relocation: 3

Would you like to assassinate the emperor? [y/n]: n

The emperor sits in front of the flame and commands it to obey. It does not.
Flames: 6
Desolation: 4
Relocation: 4

Would you like to assassinate the emperor? [y/n]: y

You failed to assassinate the emperor with a roll of 11, and you are dead.

Obviously my play is sub-optimal. Don’t expect too much from me yet.

Status Update: Covid

Well, “no big Paxlovid bounce” remains true, but last week was certainly a small one. I tested positive again on Friday and the weekend was pretty much no fun; no huge symptoms but I’ve just been tired and a bit fuzzy. Testing negative again today, which hopefully will continue. S. is still fine. We’re masking diligently, we have house zones we keep to, and we have air purifiers running.

Jury Duty

I completed my superior court jury duty a little while ago, and enough time has passed so that I can write up some coherent thoughts on the experience. This is as much for myself to help me process as anything, but I do have some helpful tips if you ever find yourself serving on a jury.

Mundane details: jury selection was over Zoom, while the trial itself was conducted in person. It was a homicide case, although we had scope to consider manslaughter as well. The whole thing lasted almost exactly four weeks, including a little more than a week of deliberation. We were unable to reach a verdict; the judge and the lawyers were very clear that we shouldn’t consider that a failure on our parts. There will be a new trial.

I’m not talking about details in public for various reasons, but feel free to ask in private if we know each other.