Get Ill + Life Post

I am pretty sure I have shingles. 99.9% sure. But the doctor’s office is closed on Sundays so I have to wait until tomorrow to find out for certain. It started Friday… I started getting nerve pain in my arm (technically all pain is nerve pain but you know what I mean) and that evening a red spot started forming on my chest. Now, Sunday, there’s a rather painful rash down my back and my lung hurts on that side of my body. I also was very nauseous Friday night and dry heaved twice but managed to swallow it down like a fucking champ.

It’s not too miserable yet. It’s a constant dull pain with an occasional stabbing pain in my right side, and it itches a little bit but honestly I’d rather have pain than an itch (probably why I like women who kick me in the balls… I jest).

Other than that it’s been a good week. I got back on track with my planner and knocked out a lot of my classwork early. It’s due tomorrow and I have a bit more to finish up but not nearly as much as I have had on my last couple projects. I outlined the whole thing so really all I have to do is ramble for a few pages and fake some sources. I’d be a great CNN reporter.

As I mentioned in my last personal post, I ordered a VR headset and it arrived Friday. I’ve messed with it a little bit but I haven’t been in the mood to dive in thanks to the shingles. Did you know shingles is named so because it’s a Latin (I think) word for girdle and they usually present in a circumference around your waist? Now you do. Still, I tried out a few VR games and some free content. Unfortunately Oculus doesn’t come with much out of the box so you have to spend some money to get a full experience. I picked up The Walking Dead game which is said to be one of the better ones on the platform and it was indeed mind blowing. Even though you know it’s not real, your brain can’t tell and once I let my guard down and was immersed, I found myself ducking and trying to hide behind objects (which fortunately actually works). You need a pretty big empty room to really take advantage of it but even with the 3×3 area I was playing in, it worked.

The second thing I tried was a VR fitness program which was also awesome and I can actually see myself making a habit out of it. It feels like your instructor is really in the room with you and the activities are fun and you don’t feel like you’re working out even though I was just as sore the next day as when I go to the gym. Basically it sends black and white orbs at you in time with a beat and you have to hit them with two bats of corresponding colors (or lack of color I suppose). You can only hit white orbs with the white bat and so on. Then big triangle shapes come at you and you have to squat or lunge under them and they really do make you squat quite a bit. That’s where most of my soreness came from, I’m sure. I started off with the beginner stuff which was really easy and then just for kicks I tried one of the “hard” courses and I didn’t even have time to notice what color an orb was before it passed me. That’ll take some practice.

The Netflix Burn Pit: Stowaway

Netflix’s new space-drama about astronauts on a two-year mission to Mars naturally peaked my interest because I love space. Outer space, cyberspace, personal space… I love it all! However, as the title of this blog series should indicate by now, I hate everything about Netflix.

Warning: Spoilers Abound

Prior to writing this, I looked around for other reviews on the movie and the general theme was “is it worth watching”. Forgive me for saying, but if you’re so pressed for time that you have to ask a question like that, you’ve done something wrong in your past and maybe should be addressing that instead of watching movies. But I digress. Critical consensus, for what it’s worth (nothing), is that Stowaway is a “good movie”. I could write a whole other post on how little that phrase tells anyone about something’s quality, but let’s press on.

There’s very little backstory to Stowaway, which in retrospect might set viewers up for the discovery that there’s very little closure. The end of the film is by far its worst part even though it’s (allegedly) supposed to be emotional and thought-provoking. In reality, anyone who has seen more than a handful of these films (think Sunshine if it were written by someone who can’t write) will see the final sequences coming virtually from the beginning of the film.

After a run-of-the-mill launch sequence which is admittedly quite good, the crew discovers that a pre-launch technician had an accident and passed out in a sealed compartment of the ship. There’s some speculation that perhaps it wasn’t an accident but this is never addressed. Given how this character reacts throughout the film, I believe it was an accident. While wrestling the passed out technician (sorry I’ve already forgotten everyone’s names and I’m not going to look them up because that’s how I roll) from his compartment, the CO2 scrubbing system becomes damaged. This is the crux of the whole film.

Eventually via some blah dialogue back and forth and half-hearted attempts to do things I wasn’t completely paying attention to, the crew comes to grips with the fact that the system is not repairable and there’s only enough life support for 3 of the 4 astronauts (including the stowaway). Well, almost everyone comes to grips. Anna Kendrick’s character refuses to believe the situation is hopeless and persuades the captain to let them have 10 of the 20 point-of-no-return days to figure out a solution. This is where I figured out how the movie was going to end. Any time you have a character who goes out of their way to save one person at the expense of everyone else, that bitch dead.

The 3 original crew members have a secret meeting about all of this (which apparently never strikes as odd to the stowaway) and decide not to tell the stowaway because knowing he has 10 days to live might make him less than able to contribute. I agree with that part of the plot. But Jin from Lost, being Asian and thus incapable of emotions (Netflix only cares about racist casting decisions if they involve African Americans) tells him anyway and gives him a needle with which to kill himself. Anna Kendrick, in a brilliant move, stops him right before he commits suicide and essentially dooms the crew.

So, some stuff happens, none of it works because if it did it wouldn’t be a movie, and Anna Kendrick pops out the airlock in the middle of a solar storm to fill an O2 canister from some backup supply that’s inexplicably located at the far end of a half-mile long assembly of beams. She succeeds, drops the canister into the ship, and the camera fades to black as she looks at Mars in the distance and her breathing becomes belabored.

Moral of the story, don’t try to save anyone because in the end you’ll have to die just to keep a few people alive. Except they might still die. That part isn’t addressed at all, so the ending just feels pointless.

My thoughts are mixed. I didn’t hate the movie, I watched it with mild interest (I was also studying at the same time) until the end and even rewound a couple parts I didn’t catch. I don’t do that often so I know I cared a little bit. That ending though. It just made me feel like I wasted my time watching the first three quarters of the movie because I knew it was coming but I stuck it out anyway, hoping someone would surprise me. You can’t make a surprising movie on Netflix though, they’re very formulaic on what they approve.

I didn’t find this one to be as “polit-icky” as many of Netflix’s other movies. They still tick all the racial and gender boxes, of course. Two strong female characters, one being the captain. A black man plays the stowaway. And the closest this film gets to an antagonist is Jin from Lost even though at the end of the day he’s still a good guy he’s just trying to do the logical thing because Asians are Vulcans. Still, there weren’t any coded messages about how men are trash, white people are evil, etc. Perhaps now that Derek Chauvin has been convicted we can all go back to not having to pretend we care about race.

Insomnia is So Not Lit.

I had a rough few weeks from mid-March until last week. Lots of procrastination, depression masked by amphetamines (prescribed, don’t worry), and general malaise. It can always be worse, of course. I still received A’s on all my class assignments, I finished a complete redesign of a file system at work, and now I’m in charge of training a new employee because I’m the only person qualified to try. Unfortunately I’m not being paid for any of that extra work, but kudos are nice too.

I’ve been sleeping very poorly for a year, at least. No matter what time I go to bed, I get about 5 hours on a good night. If I go to bed early, planning on having a good day tomorrow, I end up waking up 2 hours before I’m supposed to. Why not just stay up late and get more done, then? Waking up early is usually worse. The morning is when I have enough energy to act on all of my crazy impulses. This morning at 5 AM I bought two new synthesizers, a portable phone charger, and a VR headset. Now, I could quite easily justify this. I’ve wanted to check out VR for years and now it’s affordable enough and stable enough to be worth it. Music is my only real hobby (gaming isn’t a hobby it’s just putting off the things you really should be doing) so getting more gear is genuinely enjoyable long-term. The phone charger… well… I guess I didn’t really need that 😂. Side note I finally looked up how to use emojis on a desktop. My life has forever changed.

Even after all of that I’m still writing this thirty minutes before I even need to leave for work! I’ve already washed my sheets, filled out my planner, started my final class project… hmm I actually got a lot done so far today.

Maybe insomnia is lit after all.


P.S.: Oh, I met someone online and she’s amazing so far. She’s gorgeous, intelligent, and has a real job. She lives in New Jersey so we’ve only had “video dates” but that’s at least better than texting. I guess Hillary Tan was right.