Sick Week: Ash Wednesday
Hello my dears!

Well, about ten minutes after I finished last week's page, I crawled into bed with a fever, and I haven't really gotten out since. I have contracted this year's hip and trendy flu virus, complete with round-the-clock exhaustion and an exciting feature called "a racking cough."


I've gotten in approximately two hours of work since I took to my sickbed (I miss work so much, you guys); so there's not going to be a page this week. I can't subject my studiomates to this plague, and even if I cobbled it together at home, I physically and mentally can't put in the 10+ hours of focused work that a page requires. Booooo.


That said, I have been conscious for long enough periods of time to absorb some light entertainment (or at least to happily fall asleep to it). Some hits from the haze:


Regency Solitaire (PC game, available on Steam). Came to my rescue in the first, foggiest days, when I felt like a sack full of wet crumbs. This set of variations on Solitaire, escalating in complexity and difficulty ("difficulty" being a relative term here)  is interspersed with little story elements from a fannishly shallow but lushly illustrated Austen-style romance. A low-grade fever made this game more challenging than it would usually be (what order do numbers come in, again?), but if you are looking for a pleasant, attractive, silly, and not too demanding way to kill some time, this is a winner.


The Wolf Among Us (PC game, available on Steam). Once I gained the ability to stay awake for more than an hour, follow conversations, and respond to cues like "hit the Q key right now!", this game was a godsend. I haven't read much of the Fables comics it's based on, but that's not really a requirement here; it's a nasty murder mystery with a fairy tale twist (if you watch Grimm, you get the idea). Well written and presents some nice ethical choices to the gamer, and the art style – combining Telltale Games' usual 3D look with a more graphic, line-heavy style – really grew on me. 


The Time Traveler's Guide to Elizabethan England (book, by Ian Mortimer). If, like me, you are a total sucker for breezy popular history writing that covers the lesser-known elements of normal life in another time, this (pretty well-known) book will be very enjoyable. Even if you're a Tudor/Elizabethan history buff, there will be some new knowledge in here for you. Who knew that sheep used to be so puny, or that most petticoats were dyed red? Perfect reading if you don't have a great attention span or you're on cold medication, because you can zonk out after any paragraph then pick right up and learn something about glove manufacturing.


Poirot (TV series; currently streaming on Netflix). The quintessential Cozy Period Mystery show! David Suchet's deadpan performance as Agatha Christie's fussy Belgian detective is always a pleasure, and the production values do not disappoint. This is perfect sickbed watching, full of nice pictures and familiar characters and the promise of at least one total jerk getting interestingly murdered. I turn it on when I'm starting to crash, and weave in and out of consciousness in its tender embrace. (Also recommended for this purpose: Star Trek: The Next Generation; the Great British Bake Off.)


Blackstar (album). Surprising to nobody, I love David Bowie; my favorite album for a long time has been Low, which is mostly moody experimental electronica with brief but haunting lyrics. Blackstar, as I'm sure you all know by now, is his final album, and there's a lot for me to love in it. It is also completely hypnotic if you're feeling at all unwell, out of it, or otherwise a bit dissociated. You probably don't want to fall asleep to it (especially not after watching the deeply creepy video), but it's like a warm, surreal bath of golden brain-radiation otherwise. Thank you for the company, David.