Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

An absolutely beautifully poignant and present novel. I once again love how Emily St. John Mandel uses elements of science fiction to construct frameworks for stories that are filled with multiple complex characters. Ultimately, exploring those elements through a different lens than is typical of science fiction.

 Time travel is used to experience different characters in different years. Some we know all too well as readers, others are foreign, yet imaginatively familiar. Characters living through their first pandemics. An author experiencing the fame of a writer. A man playing violin in an airship terminal in Oklahoma City. What is the significance that connects these lives?


The Lake

Yesterday, I would have said I wasn’t interested in watching The Lake. Mostly because I didn’t quite know what it was. Though the fact that Julia Stiles was in it was going to mean that sooner or later I was going to watch it whether I wanted to or not.

Tonight was sooner. After about three minutes I was so glad that I had been taken on the journey.

WandaVision: When One Realizes How Important All The Other Movies Are.

I’ve watched WandaVision already. However, I did rewatch it briefly with someone who has never seen it. They’ve also not watched any of the Marvel movies or such a scant few that they don’t recall watching the movies. I guess they had something better to do.

Unlike me. Though I didn’t watch all of them with the same level of excitement that I did for the first few. After awhile, it kind of started to seem like a chore.

Though an equally large chore is having to explain WandaVision and all of it’s subtle references and all the needed context. I mean, what is anyone supposed to do with the phrase, “But wasn’t he killed by Ultron?”

That would make anyone ask questions. Each time that I thought I’d explained it, there was some other bit from some other sliver of movie that needed to be known. While WandaVision can be watched without watching the movies, it sure does help. A lot!

Wordle 372: The Answer Was Rusty

Wordle 372 was my first Wordle in over a week. It was one of the best ones I’ve ever played. Well, as far as solve time goes. Also, it’s not every Wordle where you practically solve the puzzle and then simply have to add one letter.

I started with Adieu. I may have taken a break, but that didn’t mean I was changing my methods. I got a yellow U.

Next I went with Crust. Sure it didn’t try to suss out anymore vowels, but I didn’t care. Everything but the C went yellow. 

So, there was a word I recognized in yellow and I knew if I put a Y at the end of it, that would also be a word. Quite likely in green. 

And it was. 

Wordle 364: Cacao Was The Answer

Wordle 364’s answer was Cacao. I began with Adieu.  Tried one of my preferred second guesses, Roast right after. Followed by Canon.

I think what the most interesting thing about today’s puzzle is after completing it, I found that my streak is one. Which wasn’t unexpected. I didn’t play yesterday. I’ve been missing a few puzzles lately. Apparently my numbering is off.

Oh well.

The Dead Don’t Die: When Allegory Is Too Real

When I watched The Dead Don’t Die, I was in near the right frame of mind with nearly correct expectations. I haven’t watched a lot of Jarmusch movies. In fact, I don’t even know if I’ve watched any. For about a year I had a copy of Deadman sitting on my shelf. A friend had loaned it to me. I cannot for the life of me recall if I watched it or not. I think I at least started to, or was that just the trailer?

[Spoilers Ahead]

Lack of Jarmusch experience aside, I had an idea of what to expect when one of “those kind of directors” decides to do a zombie movie. What I wasn’t expecting was a story that kinda mostly goes nowhere. Some things happen. There’s the illusion of time passing and progression. Then I began to realize that we’re still at the beginning of the movie. 

And then it was over.

While I’d enjoyed my time watching, all the actors were fantastic. The banter between Murray and Driver is what did it for me. For years Adam Driver has reminded me of a real life Napoleon Dynamite and I finally got to see him do something close.

However as the night and the next day drew on, I found myself becoming more and more frustrated by the pacing of the story. Each time the characters put it all together and seemed to answer the call to action, the very next scene would be them putting it together all over again. They hadn’t necessarily forgotten about the zombies or the things that had happened. Out of laziness or shutting down due to being overwhelmed, the call to action had been put on hold. 

I headed off to the internet to find views that aligned with mine to bolster my opinion. It was my duty. Luckily, it was not hard to find disappointed people with unfavorable reviews on the internet. I’d found my echo chamber on Rotten Tomatoes and had my stance validated within minutes. 

The next day I was audibly complaining to my wife. She was doing her best to appear that she was listening while thinking about anything else. I was in the middle of complaining about the call to action when I finally figured it out. The behavior of so many characters in the movie is exactly how we’ve been handling climate change. Each time they decided to do something, to answer the call to action, they didn’t do much. Certainly never enough. Horrible things kept occurring. People kept dying. Yet, no one could actually get their act together and deal with it. Chloe Sevigny’s character became so less irritating as I realized most of us are feeling her fear and powerlessness. She bought a hybrid to do her part. Driver’s character drives a smart car. Neither are very effective in curbing what’s happening. 

In that one brief moment my opinion of the film changed. If the reviews on the internet are anything to go by, a lot of people haven’t had that moment yet. Instead thinking that poor pacing is an issue with the writing. Instead, it’s allegory that is all too real. 

One Hundred and Thirty-Eight Days In A Row!

Today marks the completely random milestone of 138 Days in a row of posting! Ever since February 8th I’ve had at least one post each day. It’s just something that sort of, happened. Though the idea did have it’s roots in me lying there in isolation with covid reading M.R. James. It wouldn’t be until a month later that I actually started hitting the output.

Sure, a lot of the posts have to deal with Wordle. Which I’ve gotten a little tired of, both playing and writing about. There’s been some bookish thoughts and some writing updates as well. 

I wonder if I can make it another one hundred and thirty-eight?

The Expanse: I Started Reading Leviathan Wakes

I recently started watching The Expanse. For years I’ve been intending on reading the books first. I even downloaded a sample of Levithan Wakes about nine years ago. I liked it and I have no reason for not continuing reading it, but I didn’t. 

That is until my I watched the show. I couldn’t get enough of the expanse and wanted to know what the books were like. To my surprise while the show and the book share a lot of the same plot points, the overall tones are completely different. In the books, Holden’s group of four get along well. In the show, they could use a snickers.

There’s also a lot more context and information. Like knowing why Alex has a Texan accent. Naomi, as a belter, is over eight feet tall. Mars and Earth are much more at peace with one another than the show would let on. 

At some point, I stopped watching the show and kept reading the book. Now I’m waiting for the second one to be returned to the library. I can’t wait!

Wordle 363: The Answer Was Apron

I knew Wordle 363 was going to be difficult right away. Somewhere around the D in Adieu going gray right after the A and before the I. My lips puckered and shift toward the size in a moue. I knew sensed that Adieu was going to strike out.

I didn’t play for another twelve hours. When I got a green O and L from Story and Clock. 

Could the word really begin with F again so soon? I thought as I hit enter on Flown. After, I watched everything go green except the F

Blown had to the answer. Even though B rarely makes a presence in Wordle. In this case, B did appear though and I was finished. I was right, it was going to be a difficult Wordle. It was also the second puzzle in a row that was all gray or green.

Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi Is A Bummer.

[Includes spoilers for the first two episodes]

Obi-Wan Kenobi is a bummer. Don’t get me wrong, I’m enjoying watching it. Is enjoying the right word? It’s difficult to admit enjoyment in the torment and near rock bottom depression of Obi-Wan the person. A man living with that fact that he killed his friend, utterly failed his padawan, and broke his promise to his previous master. Also, he’s in hiding because he’s a Jedi. 

Yet somehow, I’m deriving some sort of dopamine from it. Most of that started in episode two. Which I believe they released at the same time. At least, they were both out when I started watching. I’m really glad they were because the first episode was such a downer. If the second episode hadn’t been there right away and headed toward adventure and hi-jinks, I may not have continued watching.

I hung in there though as a young Princess Leia shows up and proceeds to get kidnapped by the rogue bass player of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. That’s when Obi-Wan quit being a bummer an turned into an adventure show. 

Well, until Kenobi stumbles across a begger clone trooper. A scene that played our masterfully. Selling the fear that Obi-Wan of be recognized and attacked. With the anger of being betrayed being stayed by pity and empathy. Kenobi drops some form of currency in front of the trooper and walks away. 

Okay, Obi-Wan Kenobi is a bummer.

Wordle 362: The Answer Was Apron

Wordle 362 made me do a squinty eyed duckface immediately after beginning to play. The A from the starting word Adieu going green. That’s the second time in three days that a word began with A. Which is the second time that has happened in two weeks. That last instance being with the letter F.

Eventually that duckface turned into something that looked a bit more like frustration. I just wasn’t getting it and I had other things I wanted to do. 




Those three got me a green O and R. I was a bit stunned that none of them worked. I mean Ascot is totally in Wordle’s wheelhouse.

Turns out it was Apron. Which came after that flurry of choices.

Wordle 360: Atone Was The Answer

Wordle 360 did what I love and that is to have Wordle to become a little to on the nose. Atone was the answer. In away, I had some atoning to do. I hadn’t really been in the mood for Wordle for the last few days. While I did stretch this one out, it was nearly as long. It also had better results. 

Plus, I guessed Atone on my third guess. After Alone sent everything but the L green, Atone was the only real choice. So, I had some atoning to do there as well. 

I do have to give credit to Adieu getting me a green A and yellow E right at the start. Though it did take me a few ours to decide on Alone. 

This was actually a really good Wordle.

Wordle 359: Donor Was The Answer

Wordle 359 made me admit that maybe I’m stretching Wordle out for hours because I’m getting a little bored of Wordle. I don’t get the rush anymore. I used to see that timer ticking down, letting me know how much longer I’d have to wait for a puzzle. That would anticipation would lead some form of excitement.

That was never more apparent than my second guess. After twelve hours of not knowing what word to use, or having time for a second guess I typed in Doggy. Oh, I knew it was a dumb idea, but I was having a lack of imagination or want to figure out what to do with that silly yellow D I’d been given by Adieu.

For a stupid guess, Doggy did give me a green D and  O. Honestly not all that helpful, but good none the less. Next up was the arguably just as ineffective Dooms at least I now know that there was another O lurking.

That’s when I started tryping like crazy for a few minutes, Donor became an obvious non-self destructieve choice.

Wordle 357: Wordle X: My First Incomplete

Wordle 357, I just wasn’t feeling you. At least I’m pretty sure. I have no recollection of completing you anyway. No, I wasn’t in some sort of state where my memory should be called into question. I just chose to watch television and read instead.

I did intend to play and started with Adieu. Then made a boneheaded move. Actually, it was a typo. Instead of typing Store like I intended, I typed Stare. After that, I lost interest. 

That counts as a Wordle X. Which I assumed it would. I do wonder what happens if Wordle isn’t played at all. If no guess is entered does Wordle X occur?

Wordle 358: Float Was The Answer

Wordle 358 continued the days long new take on Wordle where I play it for hours. Unlike Wordle 357, I did finish this one. Unlike the previous Wordles, this one took me five guesses.

Adieu and Roast did great at getting a yellow O and A with a green T. That was that. 

Twelve hours later I returned with Gloat which shifted everything except the G to green. Awesome! So, I bet it’s Bloat, right? I mean, how many words this week are going to start with F. And someone at The Times has to be reading these posts, right? We have to be nemesi of sorts, right?


With the B sitting green and mocking me, I double checked my choices. Convinced that F couldn’t be the solution, but that was how it looked. That’s because that is how it was.


Wordle 356: Piety Was The Answer

Wordle 356 continued the trend of all day Wordle play. Taking my time while playing Wordle seems to be improving my chance of not failing.

While Adieu was the first guess, as usual, my second was Tiers. The yellow I and E went green and brought along a yellow T

That was pretty exciting. So I took a break. When I returned, I brought Feint along. When that didn’t work, I tried Piety.


Wordle 355: The Answer Was Girth

Wordle 355 was decidedly slower paced than the previous Wordle. I played it for close to twelve hours. I still used four guesses, but the added length of time could be why I didn’t use six.

Adieu left with with a yellow I. That I put in Choir  immediately after. Adding a yellow H to the letters. 

Then I took a break, like an hours and hours long break. An entire workday passed. I took dogs for walks. Lived life and let all the words I was fixating on disappear.

When I came back Girth was an obvious choice. It just bubbled up in all that clear space I’d made available. No other words were there to hinder it’s arrival. But I chose to type in Birth at the last second. Because B so often appears in Wordle. For those keeping track it does not. 

Four guesses.

Wordle 354: The Answer Was Trait

Wordle 354’s answer was Trait. An answer that I got in well under a minute. Once again, I can’t stress enough that Wordle needs a speed run mode. It would be just one more way to play the super popular word game.

With the yellow A and I from Adieu, I hit return on on Stair. What was yellow went green as T and R went yellow. 

Trait was almost a reflex. So fast was my decision, typing, and committing the guess. I could have totally made a boneheaded move, but I didn’t. Everything went green and I was done.

Wordle 353: The Answer Was Flood

Wordle 353 stumped me right off the hop by giving me a yellow D. It’s probably my least favorite letter to go solo yellow. It’s that lack of vowels that makes me despair so. Also, it doesn’t help that Wordle used double O’s for the second day in a row. Gloom followed by Flood, that just isn’t fair Wordle. 

So after Adieu left me with that yellow D, I tried Chord. Both the O and D went green. Totally positive, but not all that helpful. 

I took a break. After an hour or so, I played Blond. The L went green and I was still stumped. 

After another hour or so, I figured it out. The answer was Flood.

Wordle 352: Gloom Was The Answer

I thought Wordle 352 was a great Wordle. One of the kind of Wordless that made me take a few hour long breaks to figure out. Even though I was trying to use as few guesses as possible, it still took me five guesses to do. 

Adieu was no help and Roast added a yellow O. This is where hour long break occurred. While taking the dogs out I came up with Flown, which gave me a green L and O. It also helped address some semi-vowel concerns. Though I still couldn’t be sure if Y was lurking somewhere. Yet, it seemed to soon for Y to be at the end.

After a few hours of work, it was time to take the dogs out again. Before we’d even left, I’d conjured Block. I waited until we got back to enter it. When I did, I surprised that I got nothing. I was starting to feel stumped. Looking at all the ashen letters that I’d burned through. Gloom was the only word that made sense.

Wordle 351: The Answer Was Depth: The Guesses Did Not

Wordle 351 answer of Depth was ironic given the hissy fit a pitched about P not really showing up much in Wordle. In less than twelve hours of writing that post, P ended up appearing in Wordle. Don’t you think for a moment that my fingers paused in place, hovering above my keys. Tracing my soul for any sense of self-sabotage. My care levels were high, intentions pure, and guess true. 

Depth went green pretty quick. With Adieu being my go to starting word, D and E appeared in gold. In under thirty seconds I had those letters down at the end of Trode. After getting a yellow T in addition to everything that was already yellow staying yellow, I wasn’t sure where to go.

Words like Detox and Death came to mind. Both already eliminated by gray letters. However, the last one gave me inspiration for Depth. Full disclosure, I’d spelled it as Deth. Which was certainly not going to work for Wordle. 

Depth did however. Tiles are green, Wordle wasn’t that mean.

Wordle 350: Froth Was The Answer

Wordle 350’s answer was Froth. Not Broth as B doesn’t really make an appearance in Wordle very often. So, why did I pick Broth before Froth? Probably because I’d picked Troop prior. Because P shows up so often in Wordle. I guess I just had my heart set on being as ineffective as I possibly could.

Admittedly, striking out with Adieu kind of sets the mood to ineffective. Though Roast did score me three yellow letters: R, O, and T. The rest is history and covered in the first paragraph. 

A five guesser. The sting only made worse as I write this hours later and a friend shares their two guess victory. 

Oh well.