It was a deeply weird week, so I suppose it’s probably best to just go in chronological order. Also, today’s my dad’s birthday, so I’m trying to get this done and posted early so I can call him to chat later.
Okay, here’s the rundown for the week:
- Elon Musk is apparently buying Twitter. Everyone feels some ways about it. I don’t like the man, and after only a week of people talking about this I am tired of constantly hearing about his tomfoolery. I blocked him on Twitter, and now I find myself getting irritated when other folks discuss or quote tweet him. My most salient observation about the whole thing right now is that he’s doing what Donald Trump did up until he was kicked off Twitter following the January 6 coup attempt: sucking all the air out of the room and doing his level best to make us only pay attention to him. I lived through that once already, and I’m done with fawning over the mouth droppings of an internet troll with a literally obscene amount of wealth. I’ll spend more time fretting over what’s going to happen to Twitter when the buyout actually happens and we get official policy announcements from the platform.
- One of my coworkers got COVID this week, and I had a mini-panic over it because my spring allergies are kicking into high gear for the season. I spent a couple days home from work while I waited to get the results of a test back to make sure I hadn’t also caught it. Losing days at work is always annoying, but at least I was able to kick back and enjoy some leisure time while reminding myself that the responsible thing to do if you think you’re getting sick is to stay home. I definitely had an abundance of manic energy on Thursday when I got my negative test result back from the clinic.
- It took me most of the week, but I finished the piece I started last weekend, and I think it’s pretty good. I’m sure I would have been more productive if I’d not been afraid I was getting sick, but productivity is overrated, especially in a society where a person’s value is predicated on their ability to create wealth.
I have spent the last few weeks pushing myself to economize my workflow in Procreate to see just how complex an image I can make on my print-ready canvas settings. If I had any independent business sense I might start thinking about what I could make that would look good as a print, but I don’t really, and it’s always nice to do art for the fun of it. My piece this week involved three figures with multiple points of contact and overlap, and just because I haven’t done it in a while, a return to the colored outlining I played around with a few months ago. I actually really like the way this week’s work has turned out, although I suspect I’m going to retreat to some simpler compositions for a little bit. I find that any piece I do which takes more than about 8 hours of work tends to leave me pretty drained before I’m ready to tackle something else. Maybe it’s time I actually finish drafting the next couple pages of my fan comic.
The most annoying this about the process on this piece is that my autocorrect typed “Bridgestone” instead of “Bridgerton” in the above tweet, like I ever discuss tires at all. More seriously, I think my favorite parts of this work are the distinctly different textures I managed to make for Kate and Illyana’s dresses. I didn’t want it to feel like their skirts were made out of the same material, and I think I did a pretty good job making the gray fabric look much stiffer than the blue fabric. While I’m bragging, I’m also proud of the design on Rachel’s coat and vest that evokes the Phoenix logo.
I know that comics came out this week and that some of them were reportedly very good, but with the COVID scare, I haven’t had the bandwidth to sit down and catch up on my reading. Maybe I’ll get to it this weekend.
Seeing as I’ve had extra time at home this week, I played a lot of the metroidvania Blasphemous. This morning I finished getting to the two standard endings then confirmed that I’d need to do a complete replay to get the third ending that was added with the DLC expansion, so I’m calling myself done with this game for now. These kinds of games really scratch a very particular itch for me, so I’m sure I will eventually go back and do another playthrough. Having finished the game, I still can’t tell you very much of what it’s about, although I do get that it’s a world where there’s this vicious cycle of heretics trying to overthrow the fictional Pope only to find themselves being made into the next Pope when they succeed. It’s all very Catholic without being explicitly Catholic, but the important thing is that there are a bunch of rad boss fights and map exploration.
I’m now contemplating whether I should go back to Persona 5 Royal, which has lain abandoned for a couple months, or if I should look at playing something else in my backlog. It’s a tricky decision, because I can easily sink thirty hours into a game if I’m into it enough, but knowing it might be a time investment of over a hundred hours upfront always makes me feel a bit uneasy. The days of joyful over investment in games have passed, and now I have to think about how much free time I want to commit to an experience.
I feel like we’ve finished a few things in the last week, though most of them don’t leave a really strong impression. Russian Doll Season 2 was quite good but suffers by comparison to the first season, which is such an extraordinary piece of TV all by itself. I’m curious to see where the show would go with Nadia in a third season, since she’s such a compelling and complex character even separate from the absurdity of the spacetime shenanigans that happen in the series. We’ve also begun watching Our Flag Means Death, and it’s simply delightful. I can see its value as a comedy series that consists primarily of textually queer characters just going about their lives. The love it’s getting from its fandom is well deserved, and I hope the show continues.
Rachael and I also watched Turning Red the other night, and it was a really charming Pixar movie. I don’t have any really deep thoughts about it right now other than to quietly groan that the early 2000s are now far enough in the past that we can do nostalgic stories about that time period. I did love the animation though, particularly the way the characters’ eyes are rendered so that they really pop against everything else that’s on screen.
Like I said at the top, I had a COVID scare this week because of an ill coworker coinciding with the return of allergy season for me. It all worked out (for me, anyway) in the end, but this was definitely a week filled with thoughts about the pandemic and the failures of public health policy to get more people on board with taking precautions against infection. I wear an N95 mask at work at all times except when I’m completely by myself in a room with a closed door, and it was maddening to be worrying that I might be sick and an infection vector while most folks around me were going about their days without any masks at all. I think taking some time off work to sit at home away from everyone else, even though I ended up not being sick, was good for my mental health.
I have not been to any coffee shops this week.