The end of the uni semester approaches and I am beginning to crash and burn. Not able to finish my assignments in time. I missed a week's worth of assignments for one class because I thought the due date was todaya nd it was... last Monday. I'm not going to get all my uni algebra topic studies in on time, but the deadline was extended to wednesday. Spent 14 hours on a piece of code and couldn't get it working, submitted a non-working piece of code three days late, didn't bother with another assignment because I was late. Crash and burn.

I haven't been socializing as much as I would like, my friends are gone and the good friend I have in the city is in grad school so I've seen him maybe once since mid-september. I think he's going to get married soon, so I don't expect to see him much.

Dog died, too. The worst part is that I'm not even sad at all about it, and I know I should be, I don't really understand it. My family had her for like 14 years. I loved that dog. I feel maybe very mild sadness, but I feel worse for no reason like four times a week. I acknowledge that it is sad, but for me it just seems mildly inconvenient. My counselor says he doesn't think I'm a sociopath, though (I brought the idea up with him, out of concern). He just said everyone reacts to sad situations differently, it's just how people work. I still think something might be wrong with me, but it's whatever.

Shitty past week in general.

BUT. I have chocolate.

Chocolate is good. I have been drinking a ton of hot chocolate. It is so good. It's really pulling through for me, keeping me going and not-miserable. 

I've made maybe 5 spotify playlists this week. I have been "highkey vibing", as the hipsters say.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep is a pretty shitty novel. Well, it's okay, but it doesn't deserve the buzz-talk and hype (if there is still 'hype' around it, so much as renown).

Really wanted to make IN this year but I can't think of anything to node. Grrrrrr.

I started on my third draft for Radial Drift. The second draft was incomplete, I got stuck because I wrote it all out of order. This time, I've decided to write it in order, beginning to end, using the previous draft as a sort of template but rewriting everything. It gets more polished with every draft, which is very satisfying to watch. I think my writing is getting better. The friend I have that goes over my work says it's decent. First draft was nothing special, but it "wasn't badly written and was a good story", so not below average. He writes screenplays but he hasn't gotten "made", though he did get quarterfinalist in a competitition. I don't think he got any money back. He wants to win a competition because that guaruntees that he'll get his script looked over by an agent, or so he says. 

I liked Zephronias' noding of grimdark. I really like stories in which it ends horribly for everyone. If I wrote a movie, at the very end the protagonist would get shot and just slowly bleed out on the ground as an aerial wide-shot slowly panned upward and away. No music, no curtain calls, we just watch the character slowly bleed out and die in silence. I have had this vision in my head for so long, and it would be SO GOOD. I keep telling myself I need to try writing a screenplay but I don't think the medium is right for me. I've played around with it and it's... different. It's just different. I could probably get into it.

I got an old TV from my parents, one of those old CRT TVs with the scanlines and static. Some of the buttons don't work, but I can get to AV and I can adjust the volume. Almost everything I own I have gotten for free, I'm not big on the whole consumerism mindset. My monitor was free, my computer was free (I upgraded the RAM and GPU though), my bookshelf and dressers were free (people just getting rid of furniture they don't want), my stereo system and amp, my soundbar and subwoofer, my lamps, almost everything I own I got thrift, from my relatives, or used on Ebay. Anyway, I tried to hook the Retron 5 up to my new(ly acquired) TV, and the HDMI to RCA doesn't work, so I need to buy ANOTHER convertor. I don't want to spend the money, but... Super Metroid... I haven't beaten Ridley yet.

But we have more opportunity in this part of the world to make good lives, knowing the darkness might drop at any moment.
--me, yesterday

We scrape and crawl each day, hoping to find traction and gain ground.
--an email received today

I've written about Carrie here and Carrie and Dan (briefly!) here. Short version: I variously dated and hung around with Carrie in university. I stayed with her and Dan in 1992 and (with my wife) in 1998. They'd then just had their first child. We met in non-virtual space again in 2018, the year the baby from '98 turned twenty. We only sporadically sent texts or emails but we always responded. That stopped last spring and, conditions being what they have been, I didn't pursue the matter.

I received an email from Dan today.

On a late spring day, Carrie experienced a massive stroke. She was airlifted from their small community to a hospital in London, Ontario. The medical people did not hold a strong hope of recovery. They clearly didn't know her. She has a stubborn streak. I'm not so optimistic as to imagine anyone will cheat Death and I recognize disease can lay anyone low, but strength of personality oft works wonders.

She returned home a month later. She cannot see out of her left eye and has almost no use of her right arm. She's in a wheelchair, but can now walk small distances with a cane. She will be working for some time to regain and rebuild expressive speech.

She has always had tremendous strength, and if anyone can find their way out of this particular labyrinth, it would be her. Their son, twenty-three, has returned home to help. And she always spoke in glowing terms about the helpful nature of their daughter, who looks almost exactly as she did at the same age. She has support and love and her own powerful will. We can hope.

Some days it seems the present is a foreign country.

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