I’ve said this before, but this time I mean it. I’m going to try to revive here a tradition from the ancien régime, “Friday Five,” which was loosely defined as a collection of five relatively brief, unconnected things to share. A paragraph-ish each. Not everything deserves the 2,000-word treatment that has become the norm here. So look for these to happen on the semi-regular henceforth. In other meta-news, I’m going to be importing a bunch of posts from previous platforms where I wrote stuff. These old posts won’t be hitting the email individually as they go up; no need to fill up your inboxes like that. I’ll probably just shout it out when it’s done. I’m also coding up a couple of things that will amuse me and probably no one else, and that’s as it should be.
As I alluded the other day, I’m dealing with what is increasingly being recognized as another symptom of long COVID, namely exercise intolerance. It’s gratifying to know that the medical/research community in the large isn’t just chalking it up to deconditioning, as they had been. “Well, you were sick for a month, of course you’re a bit out of shape.” No, I had the sniffles for two days, and now when I walk up a flight of stairs my heart rate can zoom up over 100 bpm. That’s not out of shape, that’s a serious goddamn medical problem. And while I am glad that it’s getting attention, I remain less than optimistic that they’re ever going to figure out why it’s happening, or what to do about it. On the list of long COVID symptoms, this will have to come after they help the people who have been severely disabled by this monster.
I don’t tweet, but I do use Twitter. It turns out to be just about the ideal news aggregator for me. I follow a handful of journalists I trust, and I generally find that what they share gives me a pretty broad picture of what’s happening in the spheres I care about (politics, sports, and science). There is simply no better source for breaking news; Twitter will have any important story long before the networks or legacy news sites. So it’s with more than a little sadness and dread that I’ll have to say goodbye to it when the execrable Elon Musk completes his takeover of it (if he does). He’s an absolutely disgusting human with loathsome politics, and there can be little doubt that he’ll undo whatever progress Twitter has made to drain its own cesspool over the last few years within hours of signing the documents. I’m not alone in this feeling, not by a long shot. Twitter has evolved into something like a town square where politics, both domestic and foreign, get hashed out. Admittedly, it’s not exactly an ideal place for this discourse, but if you have a better example, I’m all ears. It’ll be a terrible shame to lose this. OTOH, it will probably benefit my mental health and productivity to be less plugged in to the daily rush.
I’ve got a possible opportunity to travel to India for work. It’s not a lock yet, and dates are TBD, but sometime this winter is most likely. I’d be helping to teach a class to customers. I’ve never been to Asia and I’m absolutely thrilled at the prospect. I’m sure it will be a completely brain-stretching adventure if it comes to pass. (Plus, any time away from the midwestern winter is time well spent.) Then again, this seems like yet another thing primed for the virus to take away, so, like literally every other future thing, I’m going to try not to get my hopes up too high.
The virus surely won’t take away the release of Midnights next week, though. So I am allowing myself to get excited about that prospect. Based on the tracklist, which is about all we know so far, I’m guessing it’s going to be more of the cottagecore of her last two records. Whatever. She could release a record of herself reading the Los Angeles yellow pages and I’d at least give it a listen. By the way, did you know that both Vulture and Rolling Stone have full, up-to-date rankings of all 200-ish of her songs?