Pandemic fatigue is really taking its toll. We're very lucky in that we don't care to go out and socialize much, but this is still exhausting - doing everything we can to self-isolate and limit exposure, and everyone continues to sicken and die. And it's only getting worse. Meanwhile, friends are going, "Oh, maybe I shouldn't go to Mom's for Thanksgiving" and "Hey, when are we reopening the office so we can all work together again?" and I'm like wtf?
Work whinging: Yeah, I'll save this for another post.
Other than the people at work, the only person we have any regular contact with is mom-in-law. My husband is getting increasingly frustrated with her. He gets that she often treats him like a child because he's her youngest (as well as the only one left) and internalizes that okay, but he's disgusted with her egotism and callousness. I'm trying not to whinge too much about this, but...
My birthday was the week before Thanksgiving, and she called him to ask for suggestions, saying that she wanted to get me a DW thing but didn't know what. He suggested a jigsaw puzzle. So she sent one, and it was awesome (see next section), and when I talked to her to thank her for it, I told her that it was perfect. The next time she talked to him, she gushed about how her choice was so good, and said, "It's a good idea that I thought of getting a jigsaw puzzle!" And no, it wasn't a joke. This is a common thread for her - anything good that happens becomes caused by her, and anything bad, well, this is why it isn't her fault.
Also during my call with her, she started talking about the pandemic and said, quote, "It's starting to get a little scary. I know someone who got sick." "A little scary"? It was "a little scary" back in March. At this point, it's horrifying.
DW jigsaw puzzle:
This is the jigsaw:
There were two others from the same manufacturer, but this was easily the best. In case you don't follow the link, it's a grid of TARDISes each featuring the name and am image from each episode from "Rose" through "Resolution". This was the best! Much better than the other two (one with pics of the thirteen Doctors and one with "postcards from time and space") - I get to relive all the episodes as I put it together.
I sorted out and assembled the edge pieces first, as I normally do, but then, instead of going section by section, I randomly grabbed a piece from the box and tried to identify what episode it was from. If I could, I placed it approximately where I thought it would be located. If I couldn't, it went into the discard pile. After going through the entire box like this (1000 pieces), I probably placed about a third of them - I'm very pleased at how many I could identify. Then I started randomly picking pieces to fill in the gaps.
One of the cool features of the puzzle is that the pieces are randomly cut, so they aren't fully gridlike like most jigsaw puzzles. It was also interesting to see trends. Most of the time, if I couldn't identify a piece with a substantial part of the image, I knew it belonged to Twelve's run, as I'm not as familiar with his episodes. There are obvious differences in cinematography - if the feel of the image is realistic or surrealistic, it's series 1-5, but if it feels more like modern American sci-fi cinema with either over-saturated colors, dark foreboding backgrounds, or lots of cold white walls, it's series 6-11. All of the images for the Moffat-era Christmas specials were promo pics, fanciful with twinkling backgrounds. Monster quality was a dead giveaway, too - rubbery suits = RTD-era budget.
Writing's been hard. I try to every day but haven't been doing much. It's not that I don't want to, or don't have ideas. It's that I look back at what I've written (specifically Blue Rain) and think, "How in the bloody hell did I ever write that many words?" I just feel that I can't. It's an interesting feeling, since I recently finished and posted a multi-chapter.
I've started and stalled on a few new ideas. I've been having a bit more luck slowly working on old WIPs. I have one that I changed the ending and is now complete, but I'm reluctant to post it; maybe I'll post it here but not on AO3 or ffnet. The problem is that, well, I'm not sure it's a good story. It's like this: when part of the intent of the writing is to show everyone how good or bad a character is, it's obvious. You can tell the author's being preachy. I've seen a lot of good stories ruined by the insertion, conscious or otherwise, of the author's opinions. Doesn't matter who you're writing about - Rose, Donna, the Doctor, whoever - it just doesn't work. As they say, write the events of the story and let the reader draw their own conclusions.
This story is borderline. While she's only a minor part of the story, I don't like River and the story mentions a couple of the reasons why. I just can't convince myself this is a good thing to do. Ah well. We'll see.
TV and other thoughts
While earlier in the pandemic, I'd been doing a good job keeping busy on hobbies and things, more recently, we've been defaulting to watching TV, and not even new TV. We've been rewatching modern DW and Stargate SG-1. DW's hard to do: We watched most of series 1 and then got stuck on "Bad Wolf"/"Parting of the Ways" because my husband can't stand watching the Ninth Doctor leave. This will repeat at "The End of Time" for me. Now we're stuck on the middle of series 2, partly because we're also watching SG-1 but also because I feel like I insist that we watch the Tenth Doctor too often and don't want to annoy my husband with more. Note that 1) he likes Ten as well and likes watching the episodes, and 2) I don't actually watch Ten episodes all that often; in fact, when we do grab a random episode, it tends to be classic. But that's just the way I feel, so we're stuck again.
We've watched through the first season and a half of SG-1 and realized that as each new episode comes on, we go, "Oh, this is the one where..." We've concluded that we started rewatching this too soon, and so we'll probably switch to Stargate: Atlantis, which we've only seen once and cannot recite. :) It'll also be a relief to get away from Sam and Daniel, who get on my nerves a lot, though SA means having to watch Teyla, who's worse than both of them combined. But Shepard and McKay make everything good.
We had a fun discussion yesterday, after observing that the SG-1 team really don't have lives outside of their work. Jack at least goes fishing and drinks beer and stuff, but the show confirms that any time they get time off, Sam goes to work in the lab, Daniel goes to decipher the latest alien script, and the SGC doesn't let Teal'c off the base.
This observation, as discussions do, morphed into a conversation about what people do in their off times in other IPs, and we came to this conclusion: the worst world to live in a normal person (other than Westeros, where you never know if something's going to suddenly backstab you for no reason) is Harry Potter. Seriously, what does the average witch or wizard do all day? There's no mass media other than newspapers, few books (all non-fiction, and the implication is that you can only get them in Diagon Alley), little convenient transportation if you can't Apparate, two games, one sport, two musical artists. We've seen one craft - knitting - but that's done with magic so you set it going and don't actually do it. And lastly, if you're an average witch or wizard, you're contemptuous of Muggles so you're not going to participate in any of their activities.
You have to wonder, what did Ginny Weasley do during Ron's first year at Hogwarts? There's no school for children younger than eleven. Her brothers are all gone for nine months. She's not allowed to do magic. The Weasleys live out in the middle of a cornfield nowhere near any other so other wizard families, so there are no friends to hang out with or woods to go explore. I suppose she played wizard chess with her mother? Molly's another person who had so much time on her hands, especially with her children gone to school. All her tasks were already done by magic, and now she only has to do them for three.
Yes, this is all a big generalization, but honestly, except for the magic itself, the HP world is pretty boring. The best life to live in that world is Muggle-born, so you get to choose the best of both worlds. Imagine sitting there, playing your favorite game on your PS4, and picking up your wand and yelling, "Accio Coke!" Now that's the life.