‪Two things right off the bat about Jeff VanderMeer’s Dead Astronauts: (1) I’m going to get a headache from this book, probably; and (2) his wordsmithing is at its most rhythmically seductive here — or, not just seductive: gravitational, like you don’t quite have entire control over your body stumble-stepping down a hill.

“Anxiety chest” has plagued me all day, since I pushed myself to do a grocery errand in the hot sun despite my sensory sensitivities; it never let up once I got home. At one point I surrendered and went to curl up in bed, but it remained in place when I woke up. Ever since, any decision I had to make, or wanted to make, no matter how small (e.g. trying to find a movie to watch) has only reemphasized the feeling. My anxiety meds are a one-a-day thing, so no extra help there.

Browsing around Movies Anywhere, the multi-studio, multi-platform, “merge your collections” service, I notice they now have a Watch Together feature but, honestly, here’s a promotional image and I could not watch a movie this way. That said, they also have a Screen Pass feature where certain of your movies you can digitally lend out to other people. If you’ve merged your collections on Movies Anywhere and have anything interesting to watch, let me know.

Nadia Eghbal notes an update to her notes, one of which struck me for two reasons of personal note.

How to virtually simulate a “fidget experience” / walking outside together? Ex. ppl listen to talks better when they have something to fidget with, and similarly going on a walk together gives two ppl something else to passively look at, which makes the conversation richer

Ex. video chat where instead of looking at each other, you’re both looking at a YouTube video on mute while talking (kinda like being in one of those hipstery bars with a movie projected on one wall)

That last bit of the first bit is sort of why I want to find a psychoconsultant who does walk-and-talk therapy, although in that context it’s not so much being richer conversations as being less anxious ones.

That second bit reminds me of something I thought about while watching Comic-Con@Home panels that were conducted via Zoom (or whatever), and I feel like such panels — or even such conversations you’re a part of — might be less stressful-seeming (to me, anyway) if people’s cameras and displays were not conjoined instruments, allowing for a wider variety of angles.

One of the first responses I got on Twitter for calling the Wall of Moms debacle a clusterfuck was that it wasn’t a clusterfuck. Jagger Blaec for Portland Monthly has some news for you: it was a clusterfuck.

It’s slow going in the beginning of The Seep by Chana Porter, and a bit like a kid quick-tripping through telling a story in an “and then this happened, and then this happened, and then this happened” way, but it settles down. I’d think that if you liked the James Tynion IV and Eryk Donovan triptych of Memetic, Cognetic, and Eugenic, you’d probably find this worth reading. Parenthetically, having just started in on Dead Astronauts by Jeff VanderMeer, I already can tell this one is going to give me a headache.

Fatigue has been heavier for around a week or so, to the point today where it’s so heavy I can’t even crash into a nap because it feels like my body isn’t settling into a proper state, which I understand doesn’t make any sense.

Reading through Pratik’s jottings about Goodreads made me realize that the biggest obstacle to me switching to any alternative book-tracking site (existing or forthcoming) is that while I don’t really make use of the social aspects (I don’t have Goodreads friends), I do use it to follow authors so that I’m alerted when they have new books coming out. Any potential Goodreads substitute would need to replicate that feature, or figure its way to something analogous, to entice me into switching. I’d love to take one more step away from large ecosystems like Amazon, but alternatives need to think hard not just about avoiding the bad things about the attention economies of scale such ecosystems offer but about finding substitutes for the good things they offer.

Everything about Ed Yong’s master list of how the United States systemically and systematically botched its response to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is depressing, but the most brutal part comes early on.

Deadlier pathogens almost certainly exist. Wild animals harbor an estimated 40,000 unknown viruses, a quarter of which could potentially jump into humans. How will the U.S. fare when “we can’t even deal with a starter pandemic?,” Zeynep Tufekci, a sociologist at the University of North Carolina and an Atlantic contributing writer, asked me.

Emphasis added.

Today during one of my intermittent checks of the web for psychoconsultants who are (1) local enough, (2) covered by my insurance, and (3) potentially applicable to a midlife-diagnosed adult autistic with Opinions About Autism And Psychotherapy, I found a place that’s a fifteen-minute bus ride away. Only one of the relevant people on staff currently is taking new clients; I sent an intake inquiry. I forgot to save a copy of what I sent them via their online form, otherwise I’d include it here. I don’t suppose browsers somewhere temporarily save web forms you’ve submitted?

There’s been an adjustment to how I’m posting the August photoblogging challenge. I’d started yesterday by including some copy that used the day’s prompt. I’m not going to be doing that after all. It’s up to you to have a sense, or not, of how my photos fit.