I will be better tomorrow. On balance that’s a good thing to believe, unless the evidence clearly points in the other direction. There was nothing bad about today, except that the snow underwhelmed and the short grey ache of the day was just rote Tue, standard Feb. I worked at home since I was finishing up a video for work, and all the equipment is in my studio. No sun. Wan light of the monitor, crick in the neck. Dangerous boredom. Dangerous because you actually want something to happen, shake it all up, move things around - a situation that produces the opposite desire, and makes you seek the comfort in order.
But no: live! Live dangerously! I was making instant mashed potatoes for dinner, and was appalled to find out that the box had a foil pouch of Cheesy Sauce. I was expected to stir it into the mush for a Homemade Creamy Flavor. Well. Anything described as “cheesy” must surely be 95% synthetic goop, full of hydroglomerated dextromaltese phalconate-3. I checked the expiration: oh for heaven’s sake, this stuff was best used by the fargin’ Fourth of July. On the other hand, it probably had so many chemicals it would be good for six years. Yay synthetics! So I poured it in - but just a little, because if it had gone POISONOUS this meant we would only throw up a little.
In the end I dumped it out and made something else. Stupid, I know; paranoid. The “Best By” date is a brilliant touch, because it makes you doubt your food. I looked at some sausage in the fridge yesterday, and it was USE OR FREEZE by the day before. Gah! I threw it in the freezer and slammed the door and almost crossed myself. I was 14 hours into the danger zone. It’s a miracle the sausages didn’t kick open the door and go for my throat.
Okay, I’ll tell you what’s bugging me. I decided to do an audiobook of the last novel. I had such hopes. I was going to produce it like a radio show with background sound, music cues, sound effects, all sorts of stuff. I had the voice for the main character down pat. It took me an hour to do six pages. You have no idea how much you come to hate your own stuff when you have to read it over and over again. I scotched the project.
There. I hate, hate, HATE having great enthusiasm for things that evaporate. Also, I had to come up with a column, and column days are like sitting in a doctor’s office paging through old magazines, waiting to be called. I only do these things at night. The whole day is spent Not Doing the Column Yet.
But: it’s midnight right now. The column is in hand. I did a video. I wrote 15 web pages and designed a new site. I played with the dog. I walked him. I read a book. I played a game. I’m about to watch TV. There’s absolutely no reason for me to complain about anything. It’s tomorrow right now, and I was right: I am better!
Hell, I’m great. Am I throwing up expired Cheesy Fluid? I am not. Hello, Wednesday. Everything’s going my way.
So I’m watching “Broadchurch.” The UK version. I understand the American version is awful, and I’ve no interest in seeing why. There are always a few moments that make you adjust your expectations of a show up or down, and so far I’ve started at reasonably high level and only had to adjust downwards a micron or two. There have been some nice surprises. It’s another multi-episode murder mystery set in a place where murder mysteries have not yet been set. In this case, a small town on the edge of a cliff on the south end of the Island, where you just plain run out of England.
Here’s the problem. In the episode I watched last night, they found incriminating fingerprints at the remote location where the murder took place, and that points directly to . . . PERSON YOU SORT OF SUSPECTED. But you want the policeman to say “don’t worry, chum - I know it looks bad right now, but it’s only the second episode. If we’d stumbled on this plot point in the penultimate episode you might have cause for alarm.”
Whoever it turns out to be - and I know the second episode set us up to suspect the priest in the middle episodes; you can just feel the writers putting that one in their pocket for later - I am sure it will not be an itinerant laborer with little schooling, or a devil worshipper. The murderer will turn out to be Somebody, thus revealing the Hidden Secrets of the small town. It’s as if the crime of murder is so special they can’t waste it on the little people.
Something new to feel guilty about:
Wasteful tubes! When I hit the stores on Wednesday night I will look for these, and I’m 99% certain they cost more, because once the holy glow of the eco-premiumn is bestowed, you’re hitting a market willing to pay more if it means they’re not part of the problem. The real question is how well they spin, isn’t it? Anyone who’s ever dealt with a roll that got bent and suffered an eliptically-shaped roll knows they spin poorly.
Has anyone ever worried about this, or is this just a brilliant case of getting out in front of an issue before it ever occurred to people? Googling around I see this has been tested for a few years in select market, so if you saw it in a store a year ago and are wondering how long it takes civilization to reach the upper plains, the answer is “generally, instantaneously.” When I was growing up it took things about a year to get from Minneapolis to Fargo, it seemed. Now the world arrives all at once, every day.
Which causes no small amount of unhappiness among some, because it arrives imperfect, with yesterday’s braying flaws still unfixed. Not unaddressed: no sir, they were addressed good ‘ n’ hard in that Medium post yesterday about YOU’RE MAKING HAGGIS SMOOTHIES WRONG or something about how we're not doing something about something and thus everything will die and also here's a Buzzfeed piece about the need for Toe Fungus Awareness titled "Eleven Things Only People with Fungus Issues Will Understand" - subtitled, of course, the struggle is real.
In an age of miracles where water is regularly turned into wine, most of the conversation will turn to complaining about the glasses.
When we left our hero and the Moon Woman, they were falling off a cliff. Saved once again by clever editing: turns out they didn’t tumble over the ledge into the volcano - you know, the active volcano on the Moon - but just landed a few feet down, and were extracted when their comrades threw them a rope. During this time the Lunarians, suddenly possessed of energy weapons instead of swords, fired upon them, but since the weapons emit no beams of light or cause explosions, the amount of nail-biting drama was low. At best you might examine a nail to see if it is in need of trimming.
Why did they go there? Right, right,to get some Lunarium. (This is like going to Earth to battle the Earthians for control of Earthium.) But here come the reinforcements:
Well, back on earth, Sidekick Sandy and Gal June decide to go to the moon to see what’s up with Brick, since he’s been gone for two chapters. Sandy doesn’t get as much special effects this time, because the budget’s low; he just gets a wavy dissolve. Ditto June:
Once on the Moon - a trip they undertook, I should note, without using the bathroom first, packing a gun or food, or asking how this thing works in reverse, if at all - they’re captured by the evil Lunarians, of course.
Everyone in the audience has forgotten about the criminals who were posing as the real Doctor Ray Inventor, so it’s time to bring them back to the Science Cabin and hold everyone up at gunpoint. Except just about everyone’s on the Moon now. Upon learning that the plot and all the good screen time is up on the Moon now, the crooks demand to go through portal to the Moon.
So . . . consider that. They come looking for Doctor Ray and his Atomic Protector, Brick Bradford, and his sidekick, and the old guy, and the dame. The one guy left behind says “sorry, you missed them. They’re on the moon.”
"No, seriously. See, you walk through this door, and you end up on the moon."
Alright, I’ll try it. I’ll walk in this door and you’ll close it and send me to the moon. But no funny stuff, okay?
This time the crooks don’t get the special effect, because it’s getting old. Within about 2 minutes they’re striking deals with the evil ruler of Lunariumia or whatever it’s called, which is like transporting into Berlin in 1939 at 11:45 AM and sharing trade secrets with Hitler over lunch. The evil ruler wants the Earthmen’s help so he can rule the Moon - the stupidest motivation ever, since there’s just his colony and the other guys - and the lead Earth Crook decides that he can use the Lunarium element to rule Earth. Mind you, this guy is a cheap crook who previously tried to kill an interloper by putting him in an ore car and giving it a shove, hoping the tracks would go over the cliff.
Did I mention that Sidekick Sandy and Gal June were instantly captured as well, and that the Lunarians had captured Brick Bradford as well? And that the evil tyrant decided to strike fear into Brick’s heart by sending him something that proved he’d captured Jane? Namely:
They drew her picture.
Well, they get out of their cells somehow, but we cut to a hand on a control lever, and you know what that means. FLAMING DEATH
Er - no. SMOKY DEATH!
Well, okay, but you get the idea. Death. Are we done with the Moon - by which I mean the three sets that are meant to indicate the entirely of lunar civilization - for a while?
Can't wait. Because it's an odd thing to say about a serial that bounces between the earth and the moon: this is going nowhere.
And now? Sci-Fi covers! Go have fun and I'll see you around.