* On March 11 the WHO (World Health Organization, not the band) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic, which is defined as a disease epidemic that has spread across a large region, in this case the whole world (except Antarctica and the International Space Station)
* NYC seems to be the new hot-spot for COVID-19. However New Orleans numbers are going up really fast. But in the end the official numbers could be way below reality. How many infected are at home under lock-down? Or afraid of going to a hospital because they lack health insurance?
* Melissa is working crazy hours at OEM (Office of Emergency Management). She’s my all-time favorite super-hero.
* About a week’s time spent in Madrid. Museums, food and drinks (mostly wine). Long walks and a couple of day trips via train to Segovia and Toledo. Met with two old friends (last time I saw them was in Bogota back in 2006). Melissa was very excited to attend a soccer match between Real Madrid and Celta (and a few days later at a bar we watched Atletico Madrid and Liverpool). Still regret not spending more time at the convent where nuns make yummy marzipan treats (but we were lost and had a train to catch).
* Had a dream that giant killer clown robots were destroying the world. Our dictator in chief is pretty much the same…. (no offense to all the nice robots out there).
* It’s almost the end of January, the month that Melissa refers to as “the Monday” of the year. Recently had a memory trip back to 1989, 1999 and 2009… as 2019 was coming to an end. What was I doing, where I was at, on each particular year. Can’t recall much of 1979, but pretty sure that was a good year.
* The original “Dungeons And Dragons” was first published in 1974 by TSR (Tactical Studies Rules), originally designed by Gary Gygax and Dave Ardenson, a pen and paper fantasy RPG (role playing game). Personally I’ve never been a fan of tabletop games but can’t deny the fascination I had as kid with Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny.
* Recent news recap: global scare of a new pandemic, impeachment trial of a wannabe dictator, democratic left-wing candidate gaining steam, my grandma turned 89 years old.
* First time I read HP Lovecraft stories was around 20 years ago. One theme of his stories is that humans are at the mercy of the cosmos, not of gods or supernatural forces, but simply the cosmos.
* Both our dads were in town. As usual I spent more time with Melissa’s dad since he was staying in Brooklyn. My dad was somewhere in New Jersey and came to Manhattan on a Saturday afternoon. Love them both.
* “What? What is this? I… can’t remember, not a thing… only, I feel… a yearning, something I’ve never felt before… what’s happening to me? Tell me hunter, could this be joy?” quote from Bloodborne – the Doll in the Hunter’s Dream
* On Thursday night Melissa joined me for “Fractured Worlds: the art of Death Stranding” exhibit. On display were paintings, music+videos, photographs, a life size statue of Norman Reedus (playing Sam Porter Bridges).
* Afterward we had a wonderful italian dinner. Then walked to Best Buy and picked up the PS4 Limited Edition of “Death Stranding”
* Hideo Kojima is really a genius
* Work troubles creeping into my sleep, woke me up around 5am. Made coffee and read some news and watches a set of short videos on YouTube. Since it’s Saturday I went back to bed next to Melissa and fell into deep sleep.
* Dreamt that I was inside an action horror RPG video game. Inspired by “Bloodborne” and “Dark & Demon Souls” series, horrible sounds and scary monsters. But I was amused. At one moment I saw myself in a mirror and my hair was again “mushroom” long.
* Used my mobile phone camera to spot hidden monsters around a kitchen kind of room. Found a backyard where more creatures were gathered together around a fire. And I yelled at them: “You guys are too low resolution, I’m going back inside”.
* At the end of August / early September we spent some time in Georgia, visiting Melissa’s parents. Being on the road across Georgia state was rather pleasant, since back in NYC we’re mostly used to simply taking subway or bicycle rides. Almost every night was spent on a different house, sleeping on different beds. Mom’s house. Cousin’s house. Dad’s house. Found out that Colonel Sanders (the icon of Kentucky Fried Chicken) was a real person. Watching the end of “Overboard” (the original 1987 film with Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn) was a wonderful moment we shared.
* “The bureau wants to control, not to comprehend” said Dr. Raya Underhill (a fictitious character)