The PVP Diaries #84

Freakin’ cat’s been meowing like crazy today. Just looking for attention. I think it was Lileks who defined (or at least tipped me off to to it) a dog as an animal that always believes itself to be on the wrong side of a closed door. Today it is one of the cats. Rae. She’s upstairs where two rooms are occupied with people who have their doors open specifically to admit cats, and one room, also occupied, but with its door closed specifically to deny cats. That, of course, is the door outside of which Rae is sitting and mewling, insisting on admittance. I have no doubt that once The Boy finally lets her in (though he knows he should not, because the cat is a notorious and unwelcome Zoom distraction), she will walk into the room, sit somewhere almost close enough for him to reach her for a chin-scratch, then when he finally gets up to give her some attention, she will shrug and walk out of the room.

That’s how you know there’s nothing wrong.


I watched the saddest movie in recent memory a couple of nights ago. A Monster Calls. It’s aimed for younger people, somewhat, though it’s heavy enough that I would not foist it on either of my kids just yet. It’s from a book that has illustrations and all the markings of a children’s story. It is no chintzy modern manipulation packed with twists and surprise endings. Everything happens exactly the way you expect it to, and perfectly so, and I think that’s why it hit me so bloody hard in the end. I had spent the whole movie more and more worked up about what I knew was inevitably coming, trying like hell to not look towards the ending – trying to pretend you know, that everything was ok – and instead of being rescued by too-clever story-writing that re-jiggers the emotions to something more superficial before they get a chance to fully develop, it simply delivers on its promise. And crushes you with it. And the plain, obvious simplicity of what the monster is trying to drag out of the boy throughout the movie is exactly what’s so powerful about it. It’s profound like reading the lyrics to a song and realizing you’ve been singing one word of a line wrong for 15 years. And it makes the song a thousand times better.

And who knows, maybe I was just there that night, in a place where that kind of story was going to work so well. Could be that if I watched it a day earlier or later, it wouldn’t have had that effect. Good thing I got to it when I did.


We’re back to hanging on Governor Inslee press conferences. They’re coming in fast and furious these days. Last night he appeared with his wife, presumably because the focus of his remarks was family holiday plans. They stressed the importance of staying away from family this year, for Thanksgiving at least. I would imagine there are plenty of people relieved to have that excuse ready at hand this year. “Sorry, mom. I know we only live 20 miles apart, but the Governor said no.”

They keep pumping out charts and graphs, of course:

Well that’s alarming. If you’re into being alarmed. It’s not really my thing. The data is a mess, though, and you can look at a table and a graph on the same page and find different numbers for the same category. New positive test results, for instance, are either 622 or 462, depending on what you look at (and again, on the same page). Hospitalizations are either 19 or 2. I could probably look harder and find the reason – maybe a day’s lag between the two charts, who knows. Not that it matters. Having an explanation for the discrepancy doesn’t excuse it from existing. Inconsistency breeds doubt and mistrust. But hey, if everyone trusts you, who will you mock?

Speaking of hospitalizations (this one from a different page, same source):

No matter what numbers you find, we’re still way below anything alarming. The red line is the target, set at 10% of all King County hospital beds. According to this, we’re at 2%. A different page says 2.5%, but we’ve been over this.

Also, in his address last night, the Guv forebodingly mentioned “further measures” to be announced in the coming days. I can’t wait. Nothing scares me like the confluence of earnest mediocrity and low-grade tyranny. Legacy chasing is always a solo act, except for the casualties.

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