Sunday, June 28, 2020

Isolation Report, Week #16

[You could also read the most recent report, or even start at the beginning.]

I originally thought I might make up for last week by doing a full post this week, but a number of factors have conspired against me.  One is trying to finish a thing for $work.  Probably the more time-consuming, though, is that our cycle of D&D (and other TTRPGs) has cycled back around to the Family Campaign, which is the one game where I tend to put in a lot of work.  So I suppose we’ll have yet another virus isolation report.

Aside from the slight interruption of Father’s Day, it’s been pretty much business as usual.  The news seems to be confirming that, yes, we did open back up too early—perhaps I’m just cynical, but is there really anyone out there who is surprised at this news?  Experts said, if you do a thing, another thing will happen, and then people who are supposedly in charge did the thing, and then the other thing happened.  To borrow the eloquence of a fourth-grader: well, no duh.  I’m definitely not feeling bad about our family’s decisions to maintain our mostly-staying-isolated lifestyle.  In fact, honestly I would say we’re staying at home even more now than we were at the beginning of the pandemic: we’re going longer between runs to the grocery store, we’re eating out way less, and, while The Mother and the smallies have been out a couple of times recently, expanding our “social bubble,” overall extra-domiciliar expeditions are, on balance, reduced.

Protests over our militarized police state continue, but the media seems less inclined to continue focussing on the story, which is ... frustrating.  I guess we’ll just have to see how things keep going.  I do find it encouraging that so many people—especially so many white people—are calling for change.  On the other hand, the idea that the public outrage might  be quelled by the 24-hour news cycle is ... frustrating.

So far, I haven’t baked any sourdough bread or tried to pick up any new hobbies.  Unless my daughter sucking me into Portal Knights counts.  I have been, admittedly, watching a shit-ton of television, have blown through most of my podcast backlog, and been trying to watch more videos on the Internet, but there’s not as much out there as I wish there was.  In many ways, we’re getting some cool new stuff—to name just one, check out Josh Gad’s Reunited Apart series—but a lot of what I used to watch is struggling to figure out how to cope with the new normal, and that goes for television too.

One spot of good news: Critical Role is returning this coming week.  This is good news, because, I gotta tell you: watching people who normally play games together live try to figure out how to play on Zoom or other videoconferencing technology where the lag is just enough to make it difficult for people to figure out whether to jump in or shut up and let someone else talk is ... not as satisfying.  The people who have been doing it that way for years already have a leg up, of course, but a lot of the streams I’ve tried to watch (such as the otherwise entertaining annual livestream games from the makers of D&D, this year called D&D Live 2020) are just not what they used to be.  So the news that Critical Role is going to come back, filiming with everyone in the same room (albeit no longer at the same table), is quite welcome.  And, also, they’re going to keep doing their Narrative Telephone series (new episode came out on YouTube just yesterday), which brings me a lot of joy.  We’ll see if the new format works for Critical Role or not.

In the meantime, we’ll soldier on, try to stay safe, and try to stay sane.  Hopefully you all will as well.

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