I logged in to write a post, and I’m not quite sure what to write, but I suppose that’s pretty representative of my state of mind at the moment.

Let’s start with this WIP entry from May 9, 2017 that I never posted, after seeing Ghost In The Shell with Maja, just so I can clean out my journal drafts. It also feels like an appropriate glimpse back into when the world was normal and we could actually do things.

I see movies so rarely that I feel like I have to write a post every time I do.

Last night I went to dinner with Maja and we saw Ghost in the Shell. I went into it not really knowing much about the film or its original manga other than, “They whitewashed this movie it’s terrible.”

Also, it’s weird that people have issues with the protagonist being white when most of the rest of the cast was white. :P It only makes sense that a company headed by a white guy and a team of white scientists would build a white robotic shell, even if the brain they’re putting into it was from an Asian girl. Meh?

But in any case, the movie itself was pretty good. Had all of the obligatory fight sequences and big CG effects and plot twists that you’d expect from a big film.

The world, and particularly the US, continue to fall further into viral despair. I think we’re officially cancelling our Phoenix trip this year, since cases are trending up again and we never actually hit a low enough level where we’d be comfortable with a cross-country drive and plane trip.

But while I could rant about anti-vaxxers and Republicans for hours, I want to talk about some other interesting things that have come out of the pandemic, instead.

I used to be a huge couponer, and even after I stopped cutting coupons, I would always watch sales and plan at least some purchases around sales… only get the sale cereals, only get the fruit-of-the-week, buy the bread or buns that are on sale. The pandemic’s condensing of grocery trips, combined with a switch to Aldi’s as our primary grocer, kind of put a stop to that. But it’s interesting to note as we’ve started going to Giant Eagle again that I haven’t switched back into it. We made a trip today where we just kind of grabbed the things we wanted, without regard for price, which was similar to the last trip where I bought a full-price pack of Milano cookies because I wanted them. I suppose it’s yet another indicator of how financially fortunate we are.

The housing market has also been crazy, probably thanks to the pandemic simultaneously keeping people at home (and therefore looking to upgrade where possible) and causing people to move to cheaper areas (since they’re not going into an office anyway). This is particularly true in Pittsburgh, where we started looking at house listings because Yubin was looking at buying a house, to find that none of the prices made sense to us anymore. If we were looking at buying a house today, there are barely any houses available in our neighborhood (and those that are available are huge), not to mention they’d cost between 25% and 50% more than what we’d be expecting.

Social arrangements are also… odd. While it’s been really nice seeing people in person (and playing outdoor board games with them) again, it also just feels strange to arrange disjoint plans (and gaming sessions) with different people to keep group size reasonable. We haven’t gotten the usual large games group fully back together (and probably won’t this year, if cases continue to go up), which makes some of the larger games I’ve been wanting to play a bit more difficult to manage, as well.

Work has been busy, as always, but I’ve just been having an increasingly hard time concentrating lately. I think it’s a confluence of a bunch of things, such as recent changes around work culture, my ever-fragmented jumping around between teams and topics, and the same general sense of “What do I actually want to be doing?” that I think has been on the minds of many people I know during the pandemic.

All of this is generally just giving me a sense of restlessness, where I feels like I need to be doing something different in my life, but having no idea what it is. I wonder how much of that was the itching to return to normalcy combined with what currently feels like any chance of that being ripped away from us again.

Anyway, this has been a huge wall of text. Boo pandemic. Boo another wave.