Thursday, January 3, 2019

Little Thoughts from Q4 2018

A few things from the past few months that are probably too small or fleeting to ever possibly warrant their own post, even as part of a "link list": 

1. // I've started playing Pokemon Go again, after taking a nearly two-year hiatus since last time. As you can see, my best Pokemon now are much more interesting than my best Pokemon back then. I've even - gasp! - spent ~$30 of real world, actual money to buy fake, digital money (Poke Coins) to buy fake, digital products in-game (mainly item bag and Pokemon box expansions). 'Twas my very first in-app purchase ever. I was about to make one in Candy Crush a few years ago to get past a level I was stuck on for weeks, but forgot my iTunes password and never got back to it (or the game in general). I don't plan on spending money on Pokemon Go often, definitely far, far less often than once a month, but it could happen again, heh. 

2. // With regards to the health insurance and contraception co-pay situation I was fussing about earlier this year, things have settled down to my being charged $35/month in copays for the brand name. That's a monthly expense level at which I just swallow the cost with a grumble, even though the whole thing makes me extraordinarily grouchy. The generic is not covered at all (judging by GoodRx, the cash price could also be expected to be approximately $35/month, in at least some instances). It really makes me miss how I used to be able to get this exact same pill for ~$15/month over the counter back when I lived in Hong Kong! 

3. // Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was an absolutely delightful movie, I highly recommend it!

4. // I've been taking a bit of a hiatus from reading for fun since I finished Kathy Wang's Family Trust (affiliate link), which I greatly enjoyed, but also needed some time to process. It's darkly humorous and entertaining, but because some underlying aspects of the story are so personal to me, and about things I view as ultimately somewhat tragic, it put me through an emotional wringer a lot more than it would most other readers. 

One thing about the general lack of diversity and representation in media and books is that it's so rare to see a story that's so truly about people like me (this may be the first time ever that I've ever seen such large parts of my lived experience so deeply embedded in any work of fiction) that, even had the book been a much more cheerful one, I might still have needed all this time to process the great shock of finally seeing people so much like myself depicted! I never thought it was possible, much like I didn't fully believe the Crazy Rich Asians movie could be such a box office success here in the US until it actually happened. Here's hoping that there will be more and more room for Asian-American representation in American media and books in the future. 

5. // Another book I read late this year that really put me through a different kind of emotional wringer was Bryan Stevenson's Just Mercy (affiliate link). It's a memoir about Stevenson's work of building the Equal Justice Initiative, the profound level of racial injustice in our criminal justice system, and some of the unjust cruelty that results when children are tried as adults and sentenced to extremely long terms of incarceration, sometimes for life. To me, it really drives home the point that the work of building a better world, particularly as an attorney with an eye towards public service, is never-ending and infinite. Even a person as extraordinary and tireless as Mr. Stevenson often finds himself realizing the devastating truth that he can't do everything, and won't always succeed in what he is able to do, but that doesn't stop him in his work.  

6. // The "White Walker" Johnny Walker product tie-in I glimpsed at a shop in JFK airport while on my way home from California is probably one of the stranger product tie-ins I've ever seen. The writing on the Game of Thrones show often displeases me (among many other things, I detest how they manufacture scenarios to show additional instances of violence against women, particularly sexual violence, that weren't originally in the book), but I'll probably still be watching the new season when it comes out. I just can't quit!

I hope that everyone is having a good start to 2019 so far. What were your favorite books or television shows in 2018? Things will be very hectic at the office for the next two or three weeks so things might be quiet around here, though I'm hoping I'll still get a chance to post once or twice in that time. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love to hear from anyone who might be reading! Please feel free to leave a comment or question.