If I were to summarize the 2020 albums as I heard them, as I did in 2018, even though everything went to shit, at least we got some good music in many genres. The year started off like any other, with my earlier meandry reviews implying a mindset of getting out in life more to random concerts and such, but after COVID closed concerts and my health problems, well, at least I heard 193 good albums released in 2020.
I initially thought of bumping these PAX 2020 essays to earlier publication dates. PAX “Online” happened from September 12 to 20 and these essays will publish in early November. My reporting timing is insignificant since other than some PAX-only demos, all of the information will be archived online… I think? Despite valiant efforts by the PAX staff to recreate the expo feel, I feel that the production quality was lacking in ways that should be improved next year.
On my first day of being able to walk around any supermarket after surgery, I went to buy S&M2, and also soak in the excessive capitalism materialism. While passing through the apparel section, I impulsively bought a Nirvana shirt that I’ve probably spent years deciding to buy. I enjoyed wearing the shirt and love S&M2. While my days of randomly buying things are done, I think I’ve achieved a good balance between excess and satiation.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned while reading Picture Of Dorian Gray, it’s overcoming the romantic notion that books are sacred, and should be read within some sacredly focused mindset. If the book resonates well, then sure, read like that. If the book or any media doesn’t, then it’s alright to keep the book open in a tab and read a paragraph while something loads, like we would spend that time reading a text message.
Becoming more decisive in life takes many shapes. Making difficult decisions in life can be practiced by making difficult decisions in our recreational time. I’ve procrastinated on completing videogames since I was young because I wanted to savor them. Even now, I find it difficult to “find the time” to proceed through plot-heavy sections in FF7. I’m more likely to level up my characters for hours. Today, I decided not to savor the plot anymore.
For years, I’ve struggled with ways to balance my vocational work, my avocational work [writing], and my leisurely time. For years, that meant never actually taking much time to play games, relax, or do anything that would help me release steam. I’ve made attempts, through writing, over the years. One such experiment was allowing myself thirty-minute time slots to play games, if I wrote pithy reviews. Those reviews weren’t great, but the thought was good.
Going through my things to downsize leads to interesting questions. If I want to watch a movie like Charly, based on Flowers For Algernon, should I watch it on the VHS tape I own or does it matter if I watched it somewhere else? If the legal options aren’t as readily available, what’s the problem with watching it through other routes? Who profits but the current legal owner? Let’s explore those and other problematic questions.
Rating: ★★★★★ [5/5]
Post Office, by Charles Bukowski, has a vibrancy that has faded somewhat from American consciousness. Some sections are vile, but not all. If it weren’t for the stories I’d heard from workers over the years, some of the vignettes in this fictionalized tale of what it was like for Bukowski to work in the postal system in the 70s might have been obscured to time. It is telling, then, how immediate it feels even today.
It’s fitting that I’m writing this review of The 4-Hour Workweek while on the clock. I’m currently paid to be “ready” to take a call. Over the course of the past two hours, there’s been nothing for me to do, even while scratching around at things I can do. Not enough to exceed a comfortable middle ground. I do, after all, am prioritizing my writing. In this sense, I think Tim Ferriss would be proud.
The headaches got so bad I felt like a junkie by the time I stood in line waiting for the anti-inflammatory medication that had cured my headaches for years before. I had to wait for the right headache, one severe enough that drove me to feel like requesting a lobotomy would be a good idea and still being able to drive before I could see a doctor that would listen to me. Here’s that story.