Saturday, August 07, 2021

notes & things | 8/7/2021

I have to admit, my three days a week in the library (courtesy of all those extra vacation days I'd been hoarding the past couple years) have made this summer seem a bit lengthier than they usually are.  While most pass in a stack of weeks that are indistinguishable from the next. Now there's some space between the work weeks--days I can devote to other kinds of work--mostly writing and the press, but sometimes a little painting thrown in. They make the days I go downtown feel like a singular week and not just one bleeding into the next.  But even still. we are already knee deep in August it seems. Already creeping closer to  the beginning of the semester while side-eyeing the news headlines. Columbia seems to acting from a place of hope I'm not sure they will get to just yet.  The edict a few weeks back about going maskless on campus was snatched away even before most of us actually took ours off for any period of time.  There are plans for in-person outdoor convocation and 75 percent reduced instruction, but I still feel like they are being way too optimistic given that even in well-vaxxed Chicago, our positive rate is somehow, impossibly creeping up nevertheless and the rest of the state is a giant, under-vaccinated mess. I fear for the folks I know in Florida and have a governor intent on killing everyone it seems. Even places under good leadership are failing. 

So I wear my mask as I've done ever day I go out as I've done for the last year and a half and try to avoid public places and in-person things as much as I can. Even our upcoming programs are things that can be done virtually and well-spaced out. My session on library marketing during the pandemic went live at the SLA (Special Libraries Assoc.) conference this past week, but my main complaint was that it feels like you are shooting information blindly out into the dark sometimes. Esp. with everyone pre-occupied with the news and, you know, staying alive and all.  Our campus leadership is leading with the dream of thousands of students hungry for in-person experience, but I imagine even their enthusiasm for things is dampened by fear--if not for themselves--then for the world in general.  I did feel a lifting in the early summer that vaccination provided--a lifting of the hand that felt so tightly clamped around me, but I see the shadow of it still, so tread carefully lest it descend again. 

But still, summer. It is, in fact, still summer. I remember this when I get to dreaming about fall things as I do every year at this time. Last year, we had a couple good months and then covid went crazy and shut down most of November and then just kept going. I am hoping movie-going at least will be possible since there is so much new horror coming, some like Candyman, postponed since forever. Also Antlers, which I've been preparing for by filling in my Del Toro gaps, which were many. I've now moved on to The Strain--a freaky vampire pandemic series hailing from FX. I highly recommend both Mama and The Orphanage (which) Del Toro produced), along with Crimson Peak and The Shape of Water I wrote about a week or so ago. 

In writing news, the first copies of dark country shipped today, which is tremendously exciting.  Watch for more little teaser trailers and news of when it's available to order, which should be coming in the next few days. I will also be offering discounts for the release in the shop through the end of August.

Stay tuned....