Other Bodies Somewhere
2020-09-24, 9:03 p.m.
Today at work:
(a) The morning meeting boiled down to "We have people complaining because (Snooty Sibling Giant Org) rarely gets back to us about any of the forms we submitted." (These are the same people who nitpick the forms you send them in the first place and out of like 15-20 we've sent them, have only sent back like a quarter.) If Snooty Org always accepts everything sent to them, do we have to wait for their actual "permission" before just giving the people what they want, really? The person who used to manage the special crap was called onto the Zoom to essentially say "Nope, you are stuck waiting on them to give permission, which may not happen for freaking months, you're stuck." Joy. GOD I HATE THE SPECIAL UNIT. I just do not have the octopus arms to handle that too.
(b) I have to print 114 mailing labels for the international clientele. My boss emailed our vendor and asked if there was any way to batch print, and he said there was, but I could not get it to work. We all had a meeting in the afternoon in which I demonstrated that (a) batch wasn't working and (b) it takes like 2 minutes of slow loading to print each one individually, and my boss was all "gaaaaaah, gonna call Grandboss about this." Grandboss said to switch browsers, which mostly worked, except the batch printing still somewhat did not work. I sent complaints to the vendor, he's looking into it. That said, I spent like 4.5 hours or so printing 68 labels individually. I have to give whopping points to Penguin Girl (and presumably Adventure Girl, but I didn't talk to her today) for dealing with all of that.
(c) Per yet another crazy workload being dumped on me, I heard from a buddy in another office: "I'm glad I have you to go through Fall Hades with me."
I had signed up for a showing of a new play called 'Become the Flowers." "Warning: this play contains themes of suicide/suicidal ideation." Y'know, I wish I'd had that warning before signing up.... Anyway, this one is using OBS ("fancy phrase for actors aren't in the same room acting," per the theater program director). It shows two people in a park looking very realistic and in the same screen, sitting on a park bench together. How sweet. They seem to be reuniting after fleeing from a riot and living off whatever food they had in their backpacks. They even pass food to each other!
This appears to be an end-of-the-world Armageddon play in which two exes (Violet and Morgan) somehow meet up in a park. "Any island nation is long gone." The Middle East is probably gone. Africa's on fire, Europe is flooded....just sounds like everything has gone to hell and these two are a few survivors. They seem to expect to be gone in a few hours. They haven't seen each other in 2.5 years. He's a scientist who has regrets that they didn't do any better with the world's destruction, she's a musician who wonders if she wasted her life waiting around. Anyway, even though the world is over, they discuss their bad relationship and how she moved on and got married before he did.
He calls her high maintenance: "You made me ask for things I shouldn't have had to ask for." GOOD POINT. They talk about death, find a dying bird, talk about their parents' deaths and how nobody will be around to mourn them. Maybe we should just kill ourselves now and go out on our own terms? I think that's a legitimate thing to ponder under the circumstances. He loses it when his watch breaks, confesses he tried some of his cognition-enhancing medication and got fired.
Later he says they had 13 hours to wait, and then it starts raining (well, getting darker) and he starts freaking, is it now? Then he starts laughing. (Obviously they aren't looking so wet.) 'It's the most anticlimactic apocalypse you could imagine!" Then comes the thunder. He holds her hand, just off the screen, as they stare into space and wait, not wanting to die. "How many people get to mourn their own deaths?" "Should we eulogize?" They slightly squish together as the scene fades out.
Filmwise, this is the prettiest and most realistic show I've seen filmed. If not for the background not moving, you'd think it was all real. Though I do think the two of them seemed kinda....clean...for the end of the apocalypse? And also, sitting in a nice green children's park as a background frankly just didn't look apocalypse-y. Some nice orange sky, some smoke, some dirty clothes would have made it more realistic. Just saying.
In the talkback, the director talked about having them find that connection and intimacy while having to look at marks on the walls. In rehearsal, they read the script to each other over zoom ("I would blow Kyle's face up full screen,") and she said she had to remember what he was like in person before (they had been in a show together before). "It feels like it was written today, but it wasn't," the theater program director said. The playwright said she'd started writing it 2 years ago. Someone else was "Maybe we should have run outside and filmed it" when the sky was orange. DAMN RIGHT YOU SHOULD HAVE. The playwright called it "climate depression." 'It feels a little on the nose, I guess." "It is a play of today," the program director said. "You have no idea how long it takes to make something look so simple." The playwright said she was inspired by "micro grief over the end of a relationship and macro grief over the end of the world." OBS stands for "Open Broadcast System." I was guessing it was "Other Bodies Somewhere," myself.
Then I watched a Night Vale recording of "The Sandstorm," my favorite Night Vale show. I love the description of Steve Carlsburg: "a stand up guy, who you wish would just sit back down." PERFECT. The Sandstorm, and Desert Bluffs, and Kevin, the anti-Cecil, really sold me. Kevin is a weird cheerful creepy delight. When Steve Carlsberg asks whether or not to kill his double: "I've always found that a smile will solve everything." Steve: "Will that kill him?" They also had a fun dancealong at the end.
In other news: Kelly sent over version 3 of the play and it's VERY good. People are predicting the LMU fire will be out entirely by October 1. Leaf blowers are getting temporarily banned during bad air periods in my town. Huzzah!
10 Questions: 7. How would you like to improve yourself and your life next year? Is there a piece of advice or counsel you received in the past year that could guide you? I would like to not suck so bad at my job. That would be the number one improvement. I am so tired of being a fucked up brain dead idiot trainwreck who keeps having problems, keeps struggling, keeps needing help. I have no advice or counsel that could guide me, other than "Just keep swimming." That's all I can do.
Supplemental Question: As society reopens and you reemerge, how would you like to see society shifting in the coming months? Or would you like it simply to go back to the way it was pre-COVID-19 pandemic? Honestly, I just want it to go back to the way it was. I'd like race relations and whatnot to improve, of course, and god knows I wish politics could improve (YEAH RIGHT NEVER HAPPENING), but I just don't want to feel like we all have to be in jail and treat each other like we have the cooties for eternity. That we could just be able to be around other humans indoors without 3 weeks to protracted death. That would be lovely. Society shouldn't reopen and I should not reemerge if I want to stay alive. We're not even close to doing that less dangerously yet.
I didn't bother to finish yesterday's 30 Day thing before going to bed. Day 9: -Pull out your journal and write down who your future self is 3 years from now. I feel like I already did this, except that was for five years, and in quarantine time it was a decade ago and nothing matters any more and nothing exists any more..... I'm going to say that in three years the quarantine is over, life is about back to normal, I can go back out into the world without fear again, and I've gotten together romantically with Scott. I'm reuniting with the theater crowd and back in shows again and much happier. Work is the same but I haven't gotten canned. That's the happiest future I can see for myself at this time.
Day 10 is literally the same thing that Florie did: have a conversation with your future self, blah blah blah. -Take the time to have an imaginary meeting with your future self. -What would you ask them? -How would you feel in their presence?
"Did the pandemic ever end? HOW?!?! How are you still alive? You didn't catch it, right? Did anyone we know catch it?! Did anyone die? Is my mom okay? Is Roger? What about my friends?" (Seriously, stuff like this is somewhat hard to take seriously during this time in the world. Like literally nothing else matters except for what I just said above, really.) Frankly, I'd be relieved to find out I survived, that's how I'd feel around them! I know I'm being smartassy about answering these things and I'm supposed to be serious, but it's hard to be in that mindframe that I think this dude wants.