Let’s replace “Krogan” with “Americans”

I don’t really know what spawned the line of thinking, but I recently had a thought in my head about comparing the mythical one-day vaccine to coronavirus to the cure to the Krogan genophage in the Mass Effect series.  Frankly, I don’t know how this post is going to pan out, but I figured I may as well just start writing, and see where it ends up.

For those who don’t know Mass Effect lore, the Krogan are a race of these almost dinosaur-ish, triceratops-ish, reptilian species.  They’re ultra-tough, aggressive, burly and violent, and as the story goes, they reproduced at a speed that gave concern to the galactic alliance, and for lack of a better term, a virus or genetic ailment of some sort, known as the genophage, was unleashed onto the entire race, in order to help suppress their population growth.  Yes, it’s a fucked up concept, but as all stories go, there’s really no bigger villains in the galaxy than man (and their intergalactic allies).

In Mass Effect 3, there’s a mission (Priority: Tuchanka) where the cure for the genophage is developed, and it’s up to you the player to travel to the Krogan planet, to determine the fate of the entire species.  If successful, the cure to the genophage is airborne released into the skies of Tuchanka, where it presumably cures every Krogan who breathes.  Given the way ME3 ends, who’s to say if it actually amounts to anything, but it’s a nice gesture to try and give them some sort of semblance of life back to the Krogan before the Reapers emerged from dark space.

In my perfect world, when the vaccine for coronavirus is developed, it will basically be Priority: Tuchanka, except that it’s more like Priority: America.  Unfortunately, as much as the idea of Commander Shepard going up against, and inevitably killing hundreds of right-wing, over-armed anti-vaxxing Karens and muh-rights Karls is a sadistic fantasy to behold, the mass killing wouldn’t quite go over so well in the real world as it does in a video game.

But the end result where an airborne vaccine is just mass-released into the atmosphere, and takes the choice out of the hands of everyone, seems like a pretty ideal outcome to me.  Granted, given the fact that the world is currently rushing the shit out of this, and who knows if we won’t accidentally sterilize the whole planet in the process, but it’s a risk that many would probably be willing to take in order to get back to some sort of normalcy in the world.

Ironically, the amount of resistance it would take to get a vaccine distributed throughout America much less the rest of the world, would probably be equivalent to the massive resistance we the players get in trying to save the Krogan in a video game.  And unlike in a video game, we can’t just annihilate everyone who is resistant, as gratifying as it might seem.  But the idea of the vaccine simply being dispersed in the atmosphere and taking the choice out of everyone’s hands seems very appealing to me, because it’s not about freedoms, it’s not about rights, it’s entirely about the long-term survival of the human race, and when too many people are being stupid, intelligent ones need to step in and make the smart choices for them.

Well, that didn’t turn out entirely as I had thought it might, but it’s sad/funny that we’re even in a position where the American future can plausibly be potentially compared to the genocidal plot of a video game.

New Father Brogging, #023

tommen jumping

This gif is precisely how I feel after my kid wakes up at 9:30 pm, 12 am, and 3 am to scream bloody murder for an hour each time.  Although we’ve narrowed the possible causes to a bad case of reflux or teething syndrome, it definitely seems to be more the latter, given the related symptoms going on.

At no point did any book, parent or any other resource tell me that teething was going to be this bad.  Teething is absolutely the worst thing that’s happened throughout my foray into parenthood, and there aren’t many ways to describe how much I’ve grown to hate the misery it puts me, mythical wife, and our child.

If teething were a person, and you locked me in a room with it, the baked potato and Adolf Hitler, and then gave me a gun with two bullets, I’d shoot teething twice.  I’d rank teething higher than coronavirus and Atlanta morning radio, as in things that absolutely suck.  I would rather have an entire week of one-on-two you-suck-at-your-job meetings than a single night of the hell that teething put me through the night prior.

Seriously, I could go on, but there aren’t enough words to express just how much I hate teething now.  Obviously it’s of no fault of my precious kid herself, but damn does it chap my ass to how much things are sucking, and having no expectation or warning that teething was going to be this bad.

There is no more feeling of being helpless and defeated than your kid wailing in agony at their little infant teef, drilling and boring upward to try and be out in the world, and us as parents who have little to no ability to do anything about it.  We’ve tried teething rings and other little aides, and as much as I don’t want to have to, we even tried infant Tylenol to try and dull the pain, but nothing seems to be working other than snuggling her until she tires herself out back to sleep, which usually takes anywhere from 45-60 minutes, which at 3 in the morning is about as appealing as getting on I-75 the morning when the baked potato is in town.

And this has been going on, off-and-on over the last few days, which now that both mythical wife and I are both back to working, is very much discouraging.  We already get less sleep than either of us would really want to be getting, but the one thing we’ve always been able to rely on throughout the last six month is that our kid has been a very good night sleeper, capable of sleeping through the entire night.  But now that’s been compromised, and we’re very much feeling frazzled and defeated on a nightly basis, as we have no time to really wind down and relax, without the anxiousness of worrying about if/when she’ll wake up unexpectedly, and we’ll be greeted via monitor of angry cries and screaming.

Suffice to say, teething has really been the worst thing about new parenting there has been.  I know that all babies are different, but as far as ours is concerned, I don’t think anything has been as painstakingly crushing as the teething experience has been.  I know this storm too, will eventually pass, and it’ll hopefully be back to some semblance of normalcy again, but until then, it’s a nightmare every single night.  And the fact that she’ll have like 30 teeth give or take to grow in, it’s only a matter of time before we realize that this will either happen frequently, or mercifully only in bunches.

Happy Trails, Animal

The end of the road for this warrior: legendary tag team wrestler, Joe “Animal” Laurenaitis passes away at the age of 60

Here’s a big oof moment – when looking for a picture to use for this post, I came across this particular image from Survivor Series 1990, and realized that now, every single person in this particular promo was dead.  Kerry Von Erich, Road Warrior Hawk, the Ultimate Warrior, “Mean” Gene Okerlund, and now, Road Warrior Animal, all gone from mortal existence.  This particular Survivor Series was also the debut of the Undertaker, whom has just officially retired from the business after 30 years in the WWE but is otherwise alive and well.

But back to Animal, 60 is not quite an age where the royal we can say he’s gone too soon, but at the same time it’s not really an age where we can say that he lived a full life, closer to general white male in America life expectancy than not.  The cause of death hasn’t formally been revealed, but I don’t think it’s going out on a limb to assume that it was probably his heart, it was probably enlarged, and couldn’t have been helped by some of his life spent with his former tag team partner, who was a notorious partier, substance abuser, and was someone who was gone too soon, at the age of 46.

For the record, I was always more fond of Animal than I was Hawk, even though I fully understand that when the day was over, Hawk really was the stronger worker and more talented of the two.  I guess I just preferred Animal’s power game and his general aesthetic, and the single center mohawk looked cool, and not like he was prematurely balding like Hawk’s dual mohawks.  Hawk would carry matches, take the brunt of the punishment, but then make the hot tag to Animal, who came in and bulldozed opponents, before eventually putting someone up on his shoulders for the Doomsday Device, which to this day, is still one of the more legitimately devastating looking finishers in all wrestling, and there’s a reason why so few tag teams even try to replicate it today.

Continue reading “Happy Trails, Animal”

New Father Brogging, #022

It’s been two days since I’ve reported back to work, and the first day wasn’t admittedly as horrible as I thought it would be despite the fact that my credentials didn’t get activated until nearly 1:30 pm despite me following all proper protocol to come back to work, but on the second day, I’ve already had a ten hour work day, where I had maybe 45 minutes before my child was ready to go down for bed.

After she goes down, I have some errands to run, and then when I’m back home then I have to run, because it’s good for my health and I don’t want to ever be at risk of ending up on My 600 Lb. Life no matter how stoked I’d be to be able to meet Dr. Nowzaradan, and when I’m done with that, I have a litany of little chores, cleaning and baby prep to do, before I go upstairs to shower and then finally sit down to relax.

It’s practically 10 pm at this time, and I’ll have less than two hours before the smart move is to get ready, and go to bed, but not before waking up my child for what mythical wife and I call the nightcap, which is a miniature feeding, in order to tide her over through the entire night despite the fact that on this specific morning she awoke at 5:11 am screaming bloody murder to which really was just, hunger.  We’re hoping this is a growth spurt or some aberration, and nothing that will become an ordinary occurrence because 5:11 am is frighteningly insane.

So what do I do to unwind starting at 10 pm?  Watch something else on Netflix or Plex?  Burn time browsing through YouTube and instead inevitably watching video clips I’ve seen hundreds of times?  Nope.  Brog about all of these slice of life experiences and inevitably end up sitting on my recliner and doing internet surveys for 42¢ for 15 minutes (I’m currently at $569.99 made through internet surveys).  Because when the day is over, that combination of activities seems remotely more productive and self-gratifying to me than burning brain cells looking for something to watch and inevitably finding nothing, plus I’m still building towards the inevitably blet fund for a blet that will never ever be released so maybe it can go towards a fancy vacation or something in the future instead.

A long time ago when I was in the midst of my life of freelance, I developed a pretty good working relationship with one of the account managers of the agency in which I temped through.  She was really nice, and one quality important to me, which was loyal.  We kind of lucked into each other when I came aboard their roster, and within days of starting up with them, I was immediately placed with ScumTrust, which at the time was a massive career upgrade for me, but was more importantly, an open-ended contract with no definitive end date, which means we were both getting paid as long as I did good work, which I did.

Continue reading “New Father Brogging, #022”

Should we get excited about the Braves?  Fuck no

SS;DY – Braves clinch the NL East, for the third consecutive year

Doesn’t have the same ring as winning 14 consecutive division titles, but it’s still pleasant to hear that the Braves are back on top of the NL East as if it were the 90’s again.

But ultimately, it doesn’t really matter, because the Braves are basically dead in the water already.  As I’ve posted about numerous times throughout the years, and as history has proven, the Braves making the playoffs means absolutely nothing except another first round bounce.  The Atlanta Braves are the new Buffalo Bills.  Atlanta is now the new Cleveland, if you’re the type to not acknowledge an MLS championship as an actual championship.  Atlanta is undoubtedly the most insufferable, prone-to-choking sports town there is in the country.

To make matters worse, the way the playoff picture is shaping up, there’s a very good chance that the team the Braves will be lined up against is the St. Louis Cardinals.  The same St. Louis fucking Cardinals who bounced them out of the playoffs last year, the same St. Louis fucking Cardinals that bounced them in the bullshit infield fly Wild Card game in 2012, and the same St. Louis fucking Cardinals that swept them in 2000.  Needless to say, the Braves are shit against the Cardinals in the playoffs, and if such matchup is locked in, the conclusion is already forgone.

If they don’t get the Cardinals, then they’ll probably end up getting the San Diego Padres, who in spite of their own historic ineptitude, have been playing like a season of destiny, and in spite of their wild card positioning, they actually have a better record than the Braves, but unfortunately share a division with another team of destiny, the Los Angeles Dodgers who are playing mad because they’ve lost two of the last three World Series to teams who were basically cheating, and are determined to make things right this year.  But the Padres would absolutely annihilate the Braves because if it’s not the Cardinals or the Dodgers knocking them out of the playoffs, it’s the lightning-in-a-bottle teams like the Padres that will 100% sweep them out of the playoffs.

Admittedly, I thought it would be funny if the Braves would find success in another shortened season, seeing as how they won the World Series in 1995, the last time there was a shortened year.  But that was still over 100 games, and not 60* games.  Plus, this was a great year to put baby luck to the test, since it was finally my turn to see if a team that I favored would win a championship in a year where a baby was born, but since mythical wife is a goddamn Yankees fan, she’s still in contention now and more likely to cash in than Braves will since they actually have some starting pitching.

*if a team was lucky to not get any games cancelled on account of coronavirus AND remain mathematically viable to playoff contention

The point is, just because the Braves clinched the division, there is absolutely no reason at all to be excited about the playoffs.  There is too much history, too many complexes, and most importantly the fact that the Braves have NO STARTING PITCHING, to believe that there’s any chance for success, and that a conclusion that isn’t a catastrophic failure isn’t a guaranteed result. 

Although it will be impossible for me to not pay attention to the Braves in the playoffs, or be annoyed when they inevitably get bounced in the first round, the one thing that I won’t be when all of this comes to fruition is, surprised.  And that, is nothing to get excited about.

It must be nice to be HBO

Because it seems like just about everything they touch is basically gold.  And because all they do is produce gold, they can somehow manage to not just survive, but continue to thrive releasing programming in an episodic format, whereas just about everyone else out there is being forced to drop entire series at a time in order to make ends meet.

As much as I love binging shows on Netflix, their sheer thirst for churning out original and acquired content means that we’re long past the days of stalwart originals like House of Cards, Daredevil, and Stranger Things, and for as many good shows and series there are in Netflix’s libraries, there’s almost a growing equal amount of clunkers in the tank as well.

HBO is more like a baseball player that does nothing but hit home runs.  They curate vastly more than their television competitors, and they produce a vastly higher clip of quality programming than anyone else.  I’m currently watching Lovecraft Country and the show that follows it in The Vow, and both are excellent pieces of programming, and as much as I’d love to binge them, I can’t, because HBO is still operating in an antiquated format of releasing them weekly, an episode at a time, but there’s nothing I can do about it except feel owned and sit patiently for the next installment to come out.

I realize this has often been the case throughout the years, with most notably series like Game of Thrones and then Westworld coming out to capture the imagination and to anchor the entire network for years.  And by proxy of such hard carries, other shows get exposure, and I have fond recollections of watching captivating series like True Detective and The Night Of, both of which were strong series.  Shiny Objects was fantastic, and even the shit that are more comic and one-offs, like Class Action Park and 7 Days in Hell are gold as well.

And then, they get shit like the Watchmen television series, and it just further proves that HBO can seemingly do no wrong.  To pile onto all this winning, each stalwart series is always a vehicle towards the next one, with carefully curated advertising for the next hit series often placed as a preview going into the next episode of what you’re really wanting to watch.

The point of this whole post is really to just show a little bit of love towards HBO for constantly and consistently putting out top-notch content.  Both Lovecraft Country and The Vow have been excellent watches, and they’re one of the few indulgences mythical wife and I make time for every single week because 90 Day Fiance: The Other Way is on hiatus, there’s currently no guarantee that there’s even going to be a ninth season of My 600 Lb. Life. Frankly, in my little world HBO is the only network outside of the Discovery family of networks that remotely is worth existing.

Have ad blockers become obsolete?

Ever since I got my brog back up, I’ve occasionally struggled to find a good groove in which to get back to writing.  Even being down for four years hasn’t really changed anything in that regard, in spite of how gung-ho and excited I was to get it back up, and thought that I could bounce back quicker than hoped.

Honestly though, it’s not so much the lack of want or desire to write, it’s just that I’ve had difficulty finding things that I want to write about.  Considering my life is basically like 85% thinking about baby, I kind of rely on the internet to feed me news, articles and stories to hopefully inspire me to write words, instead of me having to search for them currently.

But a large part of my difficulties these days is that all of the sites I used to go to, to look up local and national news, stories and potential inspiration, all of them have become neigh unusable for people like me who don’t want to be inundated with ads, because either sites all have anti-ad block blocks on them, or I have to white list them and I’m drowning in an ocean of ads that turns me off faster than seeing pictures of psoriasis on Google images and I leave disgusted.

I guess this is one of those points in my life where I realize how much of a parent I am because I don’t want to dig to find out or look for solutions, but basically I’m a Chrome user, and having Ad Block Plus on either makes the browser mostly unusable unless I whitelist all sites to which then the aforementioned drowning in ads becomes the norm.  I’ve given cursory Google searches to why this is the case but finding no real tangible proof of it, but all I know is that in the end it just discourages me from seeking news from once-reliable sites to seek out inspiration to write about, and it’s definitely contributing towards the struggles to keep on writing.

It’s frustrating because this is one of those situations where a little bit of give and take on either side might fix everything, but advertising has gotten so out of hand these days, which is what necessitated ad blocking to begin with, but with advertisers getting into bed presumably with the sites that shill them, they’re making it less possible for people to browse them without the luxury of blocking.  Maybe if every banner wasn’t animated, needed sound or autoplaying video, they wouldn’t be so obnoxious to want to block, but here we are.

Anyway, this is all mostly one big excuse to why I’m struggling to write more regularly, on top of the usual explanation that my kid comes first.  So I’ll leave it with this unnerving photo I saw on the AJC of some Asian women wearing MAGA caps and shirts that appear to state Asian Pacific Americans for the Baked Potato, and all it really does is make me wince, cringe, and shake my head at how disgusting such a thought is, and how I really can’t comprehend how any Asian minorities, much less those of the female gender, can support a guy who fucking hates their very existence.

What a perplexing and obnoxious ‘Murica we live in today.