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On sickness. The Fugitive. U.S. Marshals. Total Recall. Backpack Hero.

Luna // Nine Months // On Sickness

This week, my daughter has become my shadow.

Luna is sick, and as a father, I'm seeing firsthand how limited a baby's resources are in the face of illness. The things I do without thinking, like blowing my nose, are unavailable to a nine month old with a lack of motor skills or an understanding of what a 'nose' even is.

On the first day of her cold, her breathing punctuated by tiny sniffles, I took her into the nursery to feed her a bottle and put her down for a nap. As I cradled her in my arms, her tiny eyes locked with mine, and in that gaze I felt her saying: "I'm trusting you. I'm scared."

In that moment, the world seemed to shrink down to just the two of us, and my heart felt a pang that's becoming familiar in parenthood – a unique mix of pride and sorrow. Pride, because this little person was mine to care for; and sorrow, because she was so vulnerable, so entirely reliant on me to get better.

Luna clung to me during her sickness, and even as she's recovered back to full health, I notice that she stays near by. The past month's rush of development, her newfound mobility and curiosity, has taken a backseat to an instinctual need to be close. As I made coffee this morning, I looked down to see her tugging at my ankle, looking up into my eyes once again.

This newfound proximity, lingering even as Luna regains her strength, shows me that I've done my job providing comfort. As a parent, it's easy to fixate on the big milestones—the first steps, the first word — but I know that I'll never forget this moment, where I was able to provide reassurance and safety when she was in need.

What I Watched:

With a sick baby, it's no surprise that I ended up sick too. There's something about being bedridden with a cold, my child's germs triumphantly claiming me as another victim, that called for a dive into some 90's action classics.

First up was The Fugitive, the Harrison Ford / Tommy Lee Jones vehicle that pits a wrongly convicted man against a tenacious U.S. Marshal in a game of cat and mouse. Ford brings a weary charisma to his fugitive, but Tommy Lee Jones snagged an Oscar for his scene-chewing performance (besting a young Leonardo DiCaprio!), and is simply incredible to watch. There's an overarching story as Ford tries to exonerate himself and learn who actually killed his wife, but it rightly takes a back seat to simply watching these two characters orbit each other in a dance of hunter and hunted.

The Original Script for the Film THE FUGITIVE Saw Tommy Lee Jones' U.S.  Marshal Character as the Bad Guy — GeekTyrant

In my weakened state, more of the same held appeal, so I queued up the film's sequel, U.S. Marshals. Unjustly maligned, its cardinal sin seems to be that it just isn't as good as The Fugitive. Which…yes! It lacks the sleek urgency of its predecessor, but it offers compensation by shifting the focus to Jones. It may fail to fully escape the long shadow cast by the original, but it's worth watching all the same.

Still in a 90s mood, I decided to watch Total Recall, starring a hulking Arnold Schwarzenegger as an earthbound working stiff plagued by dreams of Mars. This movie wasn't exactly for me, but I found myself unexpectedly engrossed by the worldbuilding of Mars and a rundown Earth: mutants in the resistance, Johnnycab robo-Taxis, and a government that sells people air at a premium. It's all served up with 80s-era cheese, but unlike so many modern blockbusters that are polished to an impersonal and sterile sheen, this film radiates a raw authenticity and human touch.

In Total Recall (1990) Johnny Cab has a small vent visible on his upper  torso during the cab scene. This is foreshadowing the later reveal he was  in fact a robot all

What I Played:

You know how in games like Resident Evil you have to manage your inventory? It turns out that fleshing this out and turning it into an entire game absolutely rocks.

Backpack Hero elevates inventory management from a chore to a core gameplay mechanic as you make your way through a dungeon with a grid-like backpack. Each item you encounter, from bulky armor to compact weapons and provisions, must be meticulously arranged within this grid. The challenge lies not just in fitting items into the available space but also in strategizing which items to keep. Do you opt for a large piece of armor that occupies a significant portion of your backpack, or do you forgo it in favor of a more diverse set of tools and weapons?

Backpack Hero is an inventory management roguelike and my new favourite  game | GamingOnLinux

This management turns every item discovery into a critical decision, forcing you to choose what matters to you as you go deeper and deeper into the dungeon. Highly recommended for fans of deck-builders looking for something new to play over the holidays.

That's all for now.

From the present moment,

~ Drew

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