Matthew David Rodgers


Entry 3

Ok, it’s gonna be a short one this time, I can feel it. Here we go.

This week is a big one: I got my first shot of the vaccine! I have so many feelings– first and foremost being relief that I didn’t pass out at the vaccination site. I do NOT do well with injections, because I am a huge man-shaped baby. But I managed to hold it together, and now I’m halfway there!

I don’t really know what this means for me in the grander sense– I am desperate to climb out of all this and back into a more normal world, but I don’t know if I’m ready. We all had to do a lot of changing in response to such a global tragedy, and I’m not quite sure what those changes look like outside of my apartment.

I haven’t been playing a lot of video games recently, which is a bit upsetting to me. I have a huge library of games that I’m dying to get to (or even finish), but for some reason, I haven’t found myself reaching to pick any up. With one exception: I played through the DLC for Doom Eternal.

MAN that game is fantastic. And HARD. But I love the way the developers have engineered the experience. With every inch of the design, they’re pushing you into a play style is exciting and engaging. Everything goads you to move quicker, think faster, switch contexts on a dime, and utilize every ability in the player’s toolkit. I suspect a key part of this is the balancing of the game: making sure no weapon trumps the others, but making sure each one fulfills a task perfectly. Or ensuring that encounters are paced to get your heart rate up and palms sweaty, but never move into the realm of unfair. That I can only imagine how much time and care goes into getting that stuff right, but they’ve blown it out of the water in my book.

I finished Guards! Guards! this week, and could not have enjoyed it more. The comedy was so mind-bogglingly good, the kind that could only exist in a novel; translating it to the screen or even just relaying a joke in person would make it evaporate. Up next for me is probably Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Left Hand Of Darkness. I know very little about it, which is always exciting.

I’ve tried multiple times now to use Goodreads as a place to organize my reading: what I’m reading now, what’s next, what I thought of things I’ve finished. But each time it falls apart. Maybe it just doesn’t feel right to sync something so analog with something so digital. What can Goodreads do that my library and my nightstand can’t?

As for stuff I watched, a friend and I have gone through the first season of The Leftovers. Something about a show that focuses on the trauma of a worldwide event where 2% of the population vanishes just seemed… apt. And it’s fantastic. Damon Lindelof, the showrunner, is a writer who can really annoy the hell out of me, but the setting and subject of this show fits his style perfectly. And the premiere of the second season was even better than everything we’ve seen so far. This is an exciting watch.

I’ve also finished the first two seasons of Infinity Train (not a huge feat– each season is comprised of 10 11-minute episodes). My early opinion was that this was just a sci-fi version of Over The Garden Wall, which, it is. But it quickly became clear that that’s selling it short.

Infinity Train evolves in that especially magical kind of way, where writers build small but perfects arcs before moving on, only to have pieces of those arcs come back around and take over the story much later. It’s so charming and inventive, and it really grinds into some fun sci-fi stuff. Apparently, Cartoon Network has not renewed the show, meaning the fourth season that was just released is its unexpected final one. This is a show that knows where it’s going, and it’s gonna hurt to get to the end and know that that there’s more unrealized story out there.

Good lord, someone is going to have to sit me in front of a dictionary and force me to copy the definition of “short” 200 times. EVENTUALLY these will get more brief as I run out of steam. I promise.