Sitting down to write this I have been thinking about a lot of things. You know, besides that thing and the other thing. Stuff like, my damn phone was acting up until I got lint out of the charging port and why is the garbage disposal suddenly making noises that sound like crushing bones?
What all of this proves is that it is interesting to discover just how much the mundane of now can become a big deal with these “unprecedented times.” The combined anxiety of so many things right now accentuates everything and send folks into a dither.
With regard to the title of this post, it’s from a Morrissey song and seems appropriate. I remember those halcyon days when Morrissey was just weird and not a complete jerkface. So far, November has been a crappy month with lots of ugly people trying to do ugly things. Whatever happened to that Pope of Mope that was so odd and kooky that we bought all of his singles and 2000 best of compilations?
There’s the one thing that started parties in the streets and celebrations but I am reserving judgement until it is all over. So, with that in mind it is kind of a crappy month. Seriously, enough with storms, hurricanes, COVID and idiots who didn’t take civics class.
I am mostly holding up okay. Entropy seems to have permeated everything, causing frustration and insanity. I am really tired of people freaking out about masks and meeting in large groups and being stupid. It is all so frustrating.
But let us turn to other more interesting things……
The International Space Station is now 20 years old. It must have been cool to be around for those early space missions in the late 1960s where each trip to space was a real big event. It must have been a real thrill ride since the public had a pretty cool idea of what was happening with NASA and its missions. Now it is more of a curiosity for the public, unless you have an interest in science of space stuff.
Still, the fact that people of all kinds of nationalities and backgrounds have lived in space for two decades, in relative harmony, is kind of cool. It would be nice, in this time of division, if something like this was more widely celebrated.
The last week or so has seen some really great night sky viewing. The Full Moon on Halloween was pretty cool.
With the exception of a week or so, we’ve been pretty lucky in these parts to have mostly clear skies at night. It has allowed for some terrific autumnal evenings.
A quick note on Halloween. I got a rock and I hate Kandy Korn.
It is still to early to play Christmas music or put up a tree. However, if that gets someone through all of this emotionally I can’t really argue. This is a big step for me.
I also have no qualms with not doing large gatherings for the holidays. I wish everyone stayed the Hell home.
Maybe it was a pang from not being able to go to a movie theater or I was just nuts, but, I recently got a box of Milk Duds. That was a mistake. Sadly, they all glopped together in the box making it impossible to eat just one without chopping each piece up. That’s a lot of work for mediocre candy.
Nancy Noisemaker, the girl on the 2nd floor, still likes to talk loudly into her cell phone. But at least the loud bowling like sounds have stopped. She is really very nice, but for a person living on her own she sure makes a ton of noise.
One of the happy frustrations of the last few months is that there’s been some good television to watch. A lot of it is streaming stuff, but nonetheless, there is some great stuff out there.
I am far behind with what I want to see. It’s gotten so weird I’ve had to go old school and start making lists. My friend has been recommending a lot of Korean dramas and there is always a plethora of British stuff to watch as well. Then, there’s also PBS stuff and sports and great old shows too. It’s maddening to try and keep it all sorted.
The Crown is starting up again. Olivia Colman is a force of nature in anything. I am fascinated by how good the casting always is.
The last season of Schitt’s Creek has been a nice remedy for when I was sad. It runs the board on emotions and never fails to deliver on giving audiences some laughs when they need them.
Matt Lucas has been a breath of fresh air for The Great British Baking Show (aka The Great British Bake Off in the UK). I still think the original lineup for the show was the best but I am making do.
Lucas’ sense of humor works really well and his interaction with the bakers is a perfect blend of curiosity and sympathy. He has been a real hoot to watch.
The format makes it pretty watchable and the bakers always seem properly British in that they never loosen their reserve. But, the biggest problem I still have with the show is that Paul Hollywood just seems like a big jerk.
I found out he races cars. Of course he does, I am guessing that goes along with the chasing young girls part of his persona.
The Mandalorian is back. Despite some really subpar films, you can always count on some part of the Star Wars universe to come through and cheer you up in dark times. I am hoping Season 2 is just as awesome as Season 1.
It is early in Season 2, but so far we’ve I’ve been pretty happy with things. It’s cool to have the Tuscan Raiders back and Timothy Olyphant was great in the season opener. Boba Fett is maybe back, or its a clone. This makes me happy. I heard he is getting his own series. That is swell.
I finally saw The Go-Gos documentary. Overall, I thought it lived up to the hype. Each one of them has their own issues and problems. they each are kind go a mess. But musically, each of them brought something to the band that made it unique and fun and awesome.
I also really liked seeing the old footage of them when they started out. There is a lot to process but the big takeaway is that Gina Shock is probably the most ground of them all. She has a great laugh too.
Basically, the band got worn out after they became popular and it really accelerated a breakup. Plus there was a to of blow and craziness. Despite this though, it was cool to hear about their chart success and their tours with Madness, The Police and The Specials.
Overall, I would say the film is something that their fans will love as well as anyone who loves ’80s music or is interested in the music business. It’s a very realistic and compelling view about life in rock music.
I have not watched Barnaby Jones or Cannon lately but I love me some Columbo. It is still great. Each of these shows are great in their own way. Cannon has that wavy side hair that needs to be trimmed, Jones is just a guy who you guess smells like a good aftershave and Columbo is a frumpy mess covering a very perceptive mind.
I have been taking advantage of streaming stuff as much as possible. Lately there has been some great live theater to watch from a wide range of sources.
I have enjoyed the The Seattle Shakespeare Company’s production of Richard III. It resonates emotionally and maintains all of its momentum from start to finish.
Presented in an audio format, it does not lose any of the performance’s emotion. It is riveting, well acted and nothing short of amazing.
Playbill presented an encore of the Goodman Theatre’s 1999 production of Death of a Salesman. Starring an unstoppable Brian Dennehy, it eventually went on to Broadway and won four Tony awards. It that was not enough, it also nabbed a slew of Drama Desk awards for acting and directing.
Just as intense now as it was when it got a Pulitzer Prize in 1949, it remains the quintessential American drama. I saw it live in 1999 and was mesmerized by it. Seeing it all these years later that feeling remains unchanged as the production delivers some potent rage, raw angst and tension. Dennehy is a force of nature.
Every year around halloween I watch Ed Wood again. It remains one of my favorite Tim Burton films and I love the ensemble and the soundtrack and the way it looks.
Beneath the schlock and goofiness however, there is great tragedy and sadness with Bela Lugosi. This is because Martin Landau completely inhabits the role and takes over the film. While Johnny Depp is quirky and odd and somewhat affable despite his finer jerk qualities, he simply is outmatched by Landau. Bill Murray is terrifically sublime as well. It is one of his more under appreciated performances.
I love the wacky stupidity of it. I love how it is creepy and spooky while still having no problems at all with mirroring Wood’s own ineptitude. Burton also did a great job of giving some heart to a rogues’ gallery of oddballs, charlatans and misfits. The result is a fun film made by a wonderful ensemble.
With science under such ferocious attack I feel compelled to read more science books. The problem is, I am not a brainiac in these areas but am fairly inquisitive. Sadly, my Catholic education did give me a broad understanding of several concepts and theories which means that I have an appreciation for science and a desire to learn more about it, even though I am not really proficient in any one area.
Usually, I get into some archaeology books that I can dovetail into my love for history and nonfiction. I also love astronomy but the math gets me all the time. Nonetheless, I love reading about it.
Everyone should have a physicist friend to ask questions to. It is so helpful in understanding what is going on.
I read a review of The End of Everything and am pretty curious to check it out. It seems like it won’t overwhelm me too much.
I may also try my hand at the new Brian Greene book, Until the End of Time: Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe. I have seen Greene on PBS and the way he breaks things down is pretty terrific. His books also don’t lose me with lots of smarty pants fiddle faddle.
At a time when everyone is looking for finite numbers and final counts, reading a book that explores infinite possibilities is a welcome sight.
As my city slogs along through a weak economy it is important to support as many of our local restaurants, stores, venues and independent businesses as we can. Most of these are run by really nice, hardworking people who have built something out of their sweat and passion. They deserve your love.
Please buy local and give back to your city. I would not preach about it if I didn’t know so many chefs, bartenders, booksellers, stage crews and business owners who were up late at night trying to plan their next steps.
I wrote about the plight of local bookstores for Sophisticated Living. But don’t just take my word for it, go out and read the blogs, social media and press releases of local entrepreneurs and then see for yourself.
As 2020 winds down I am determined to make it work on my own terms. I will probably fail, but I am determined to get some more reading in and make a dent in all the pop culture I am waiting to consume. From a practical standpoint, I am hoping to make cabbage in a cornfield and find some decent work where I am not an underling getting barked at by a burned out boss whose spirit has been nibbled away by an aching resentment of almost everything.
If that dense;t work then there’s always Vonnegut and Vicodin.