Las Vegas is 2100 feet above sea level and surrounded by mountains. The highest peak is 11,000 feet. Right now, snow covers most of the ranges, which I did not expect when I moved to the desert. But I should look at the mountains instead of the news. The New York Times has a story about “the power of instant pudding mix” next to horrific photos from an endless war.

My office has three little whiteboards that tell me what to do, and I rely upon them entirely because I’m a nitwit in the morning. The dust doesn’t shake lose until noon. I also have a large plant I’m trying my best not to kill.

Yesterday I ignored my whiteboard and watched the profoundly unnecessary mid-2010s remakes of Total Recall and Robocop. It must have taken a heroic effort to destroy all the joy that made the original versions so iconic. (It’s called “Robocop,” for fuck’s sake, how can you not make it fun?) Even the winks at classic moments such as the Two Weeks Lady or “I’d buy that for a dollar” were delivered with furrowed brows among grayscale scenery. Now granted, Paul Verhoeven is a uniquely bonkers director, but the gulf between his 20th-century sci-fi camp and these glum 21st-century remakes might be the clearest example of the condition that has infected so much contemporary television and film, in which grinding ponderousness is mistaken for prestige entertainment. I hope the darling of the moment, The Last of Us, marks the vanishing point for these dour fantasies, and we can make robots and zombies fun again.

Another vanishing point: I know I’ve reached a tough spot with writing when I find myself dithering over whether to use a serif or sans-serif font for my blog. I cannot overstate how much this decision pains me. It is philosophical, perhaps ethical, and certainly reflects a point of view.

Sans-serif makes good sense on screens. Dull typefaces like Arial and Source Sans have become the invisible carrier waves of email, Wikipedia, and search results; they are Beatrice Warde’s crystal goblet of the digital age, and I feel obligated to embrace this future. Serifs, however, are willfully defiant of the pixel, reaching instead back to the days of chiseling letters into stone. This emphasis on the manual rather than the mechanical gives serif text a sense of warmth and ease. So I’ve switched my stylesheet to serifs because I could use some of that. Although by the time you read this, I may have changed it back again.

Now I should return to my whiteboards, which are admonishing me to finish revising the last sixty-eight pages of my manuscript—and to do it with pen and paper so I don’t wind up in typographic cul-de-sacs or lost in stories about instant pudding mix.