Yet Another Journal

Nostalgia, DVDs, old movies, television, OTR, fandom, good news and bad, picks, pans,
cute budgie stories, cute terrier stories, and anything else I can think of.

 Contact me at theyoungfamily (at) earthlink (dot) net

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» Wednesday, March 25, 2020
The Simple Woman's Daybook


Outside my window... is dark now, but, watching the news, it's been dark for the past few days, even when the sun was out.

I am thinking...
...or trying not to think, while being mindful of our health, and washing hands. Since we really must go out to the grocery store, the paranoia is kind of hard to hold off. I went to Lidl today and sprayed the handle of the cart with alcohol, and the checkout screen, and used wipes. You hardly want to pick anything up.

I am thankful...
...for family and friends who are well.

In the kitchen...
...dirty dishes again. We had roast chicken and air-fried onion rings for dinner this afternoon. The latter was quite good! We think it needs nine minutes to cook instead of ten, but they were still luscious, and the onions used were very sweet. We were surprised because this was the cheap Publix brand.

I am wearing... Andy Runton "Owly" blue t-shirt, blue-grey-and-white buffalo check pajama bottoms, and white socks.

I am creating...
...nothing right now. I did cook chicken this afternoon. Not feeling like creating much now, although I should be.

I am going...
...right now, no one's going anywhere, unless they're six feet apart! But remember, folks, you don't have to stay inside! Fresh air is the best thing for you to beat off illness. Just don't be close to other people!

I am wondering... long all this can keep up. Small businesses are already suffering. Today Georgia government shut down hair salons and nail shops. I don't use either, but I know many paychecks are acquired through them. Restaurants? Hotels? Indie bookstores? What will happen?

I am reading...
..."dead tree": the second volume of the letters of Dorothy L. Sayers. Magazine: "Reminisce." E-book: The Journals of Beatrix Potter (but my loan ends on that today).

I am hoping... everyone else, that they find something to treat COVID-19. The stories of people's deaths are so heartbreaking: the 47-year-old, the 17-year-old boy, the elderly priest in Italy who gave up his ventilator to a younger patient...

I am looking forward to...
...freedom (and toilet paper not being a rare commodity!)

I am learning...
...impatience with stupid or callous people, like the jerk who spit on someone. Unmannerly brutes!

Around the house...
...James is gaming, Tucker is trying to find food (we had to put him on a diet; the vet says he's two pounds overweight), Snowy's been singing but is quiet now except for an occasional kiss, and the television is chattering with more closedown messages.

I am pondering...

A favorite quote for today...
"It is good to be solitary, for solitude is difficult; that something is difficult must be a reason the more for us to do it." . . . Rainer Maria Rilke

One of my favorite things...
...having a mandarin orange at night. James and I started doing this over a year ago, and it's such a homely [in the British sense] little habit that makes us feel as if everything is okay.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Picking up my prescription refills, a trip to Publix, and then it's back to social distancing for us.

A peek into my day...
How about a peek into quite a few days ago? This is my friend Juanita with her new Sheltie puppy Riley! Yes, he's as adorable as he looks!

If you'd like to participate, check out The Simple Woman's Daybook.



» Saturday, March 14, 2020
A Day Out

James decided he would go to his club lunch and meeting today. He promised to take precautions. So I let him go off, power chair in tow, and I decided I'd better go out before something else happened and everything got shut down like in Italy. I decided to go to Barnes & Noble. I was very careful, splashed alcohol on my hands before I went in, opened the door with a wet wipe, didn't get in close contact to anyone. The crowd was smaller than usual, but everyone there didn't act any differently. Checked out a book about female flyers during WWII, and opened the book in the middle to find the narrator referring to Jackie Cochran as "Ms. Cochran." Okay, I hadn't checked out the rest of the book. Perhaps this was an older woman narrating the story from the future. Nope POV through the entire book takes place in 1941. Characters refer to Jackie Cochran throughout as "Ms." Sorry, won't be reading that book. If you set it in 1941, I expect it to be historically accurate. What's next? The characters refer to burning their bras? Anyway, I had a 20 percent off coupon which I spent on a Tristan Gooley nature book, and then I picked out a book for me and a book for James: me the new book about the Carolina watermen and him about the Doolittle raid. I opened the door out with my shoulder and used wipes when I got in the car.

I had an extra protein at Tin Drum, so I went over there for a take-out lunch, discussing with the cashier the utter absurdity of having to emphasize to adults the necessity of washing your hands! Used a wipe after this as well, and stopped at Nam Dae Mun on the way home. They actually had some disinfecting sprays left! (I got one.) And food left, although it was rather scant. I got huge turkey legs (which I had to leave in the fridge because there was no room in the freezer), a nice round steak, and some pork chops, oh, and some low-sodium teriyaki sauce.

This didn't take up much time, so I went rooting around on Disney+ (did I mention we got Disney+ for free? Verizon ponied up because we have an unlimited data account now) and found the first five episodes of The Mickey Mouse Club, not the half-hour syndicated version they showed in the 1960s and 1970s when I was at college, but the originals, mostly uncut (two episodes had the "Mousekartoon" missing). The originals were an hour long and featured a thrice-weekly newsreel and the serials ran every day. The first episode was fascinating, with the newreel (visiting the Seminole tribe in the Everglades, kids in Rome riding a carousel, filming of the new Davy Crockett story, etc.) and the famous "What I Want to Be" serial narrated by Alvy Moore (yes, later the dimwit Hank Kimball on Green Acres). This was supposed to be a regular feature, but was cancelled by Walt Disney after the first installment, which had a little boy who wanted to be an airline pilot and a little girl who wanted to be an airline hostess. Alvy Moore (playing himself) takes the two kids to TWA and lets them go through the training. It's a neat trip to the past, and for a girl stuck into a gender-specific role, Pat was a much better character than Duncan. She's spunky and sticks to her guns, where Duncan gives up easily and has to be persuaded.

I was totally surprised to discover that the girl protagonist in this serial was played by Patricia Morrow, who later went on to play Rita in Peyton Place! I had no idea she was a child actress. The second episode featured "Sooty," a yellow and black bear hand puppet brought over from Great Britain, who had a little skit with his "handler" Harry Corbett. Sooty was a big hit in his native land (he was still on TV a few years ago), but he wasn't much of a hit with American children and was soon off the series.

(I got a kick out of the fact that they showed the old ABC logo, too, which had an eagle holding a lightning bolt over a round shield that had the ABC initials, and the names of the sponsors of each segment of the show.)

James came home having had a good lunch, and we watched the final two episodes of Crusade. Pity there were no more. Matthew Gideon, Galen, Dureena, and Max Eilerson were all very compelling characters, especially the enigmatic Max, and I enjoyed Gideon's relationship with Babylon 5 commander Elizabeth Lochley. Dr. Chambers and John Matheson were duller characters and needed some rounding out.

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» Friday, March 13, 2020
The Coronavirus Craze (Crazies?)

We had to pick up meds for James this morning, and there was so much flurry on the news about the coronavirus, including the school shutdowns next week, Italy being on lockdown, people stuck on cruise ships, Disney and Broadway theatres closing, etc. that I didn't know if there would be a mob there milling about thinking they were sick, or if it would be very empty, so we went early to Kaiser. It was the latter; only about fifteen-twenty cars there and very quiet. It was only about ten minutes.

Now, yesterday we had done our usual shopping at Publix. getting BOGOs and other things on our list like Dawn dishwashing liquid. There were already signs that the crazies had been through, as there was not a disinfecting wipe to be found or paper towels—the most bizarre result of all this is that toilet paper is gone, which is very strange, as the virus does not cause diarrhea. One of the BOGOs was Ocean Spray juice—all juice is expensive today, but James needs the cranberry or cranberry mixes to help with keeping his kidneys and bladder clear. We'd only gotten 4 bottles, and when it runs out, we have to use the inexpensive watered-down stuff from Lidl.

So, thoroughly expecting crowds, we went back for 4 more bottles and also the tater tots we'd forgotten. Wow. Boy, were there crowds; it looked like Walmart on Christmas Eve, except more registers were open. I wanted to pick up more alcohol, but couldn't find it (or even the empty space where it should have been). We got one of the last of three rolls of paper towels, there was no toilet paper at all, almost no Kleenex, no wipes of course, no Gatorade, just big gaps in one section, none in others. Still plenty of vegetables, but bottled water gone. Lots of Banquet/Hungry Man/Lean Cuisine, almost no pizzas.

Well, I remembered seeing some alcohol at Lidl. And we could get bread. And, as much as I love the store, there's never a big crowd at Lidl, even on Fridays (and this worries me that the existing stores will close). Oh, but they found Lidl today. There were more cars in the parking lot than I've ever seen except when they opened and were offering free groceries. Almost all bottled water was gone (I noticed this at Publix, too—do these people's homes not have water faucets?), but we managed to snag one last extra purified water for the C-PAP machine. No alcohol, no liquid cleaning products at all, no peroxide, no milk, dammit, no eggs, no oranges, vegetables and fruit stripped, no packaged bread whatsover (and, bizarrely, a woman bemoaning on her cell phone that there was "no bread" when the bakery was stocked full of bread!

The one sane part of the day was having our usual Friday lunch, today at The BBQ Place with Alice, Ken, and Aubrey Spivey, and that was a nice downtime of blazing normalcy.

Tomorrow James is still planning to go to his meeting and to lunch, and I hope that goes well. It's just very unsettling.

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» Saturday, March 07, 2020
Not Quite the End of the Rain, The End of the Cold, and...Ugh!...Effin' Daylight Saving Time

Our three-day weekend ran the gamut from really awful to really awfully nice out.

The rain was still hanging on with skeletal damp and chilly fingers on Thursday morning, so we took the car to go shopping at Publix, and it got us damp, cold, and disgusted enough to just bring the groceries inside and stay put. Used the opportunity to collect another box of books to take to McKay's (if we ever find a nice day that we don't have anything else planned!). I'd had to rearrange some book piles yesterday anyway, to pull up reading for Women's History Month, so I had at least one to add myself. Swept out the foyer, did a few other tidying things, finished reading Mary Poppins, She Wrote (which did not make me fond of P.L. Travers at all; she struck me as self-absorbed and willing to follow any sort of philosophical mumbo-jumbo from men who were charlatans or Bronson Alcott wannabes). We had a new Young Sheldon episode this evening, then watched the next Babylon 5 film in the queue, Thirdspace. Not my favorite of the films, to say the least.

The rain cleared out late in the afternoon, and by the time Friday dawned it was bright, sunny, and windy enough for Mary Poppins herself to go aloft. I took Tucker for a long walk today, as we've been cooped up by the rain for three days. The birds seemed very happy to be shut of the rain, and a mockingbird was singing his head off overhead on a telephone wire. Then James and I went off to stroll Hobby Lobby for a half hour (bought some nice bright orange duct tape to put on the bottom of the chair lift in the desperate hope that it will help) before James and I joined Alice, Ken, Aubrey, Mel and Phyllis for lunch at Top Spice. Had some very nice pad thai with enough left over for a lunch, and equally good conversation.

We'd been waffling about what to do after lunch because President Trump was flying into town this afternoon (at rush hour, of course, every single President has flown into Atlanta at the worst possible traffic time for years) to meet with CDC officials about the coronavirus outbreak. He comes in at Dobbins Air Reserve Base which is just a few miles from our house, and then they shut down the freeway when he arrives and again when he leaves, which dumps more traffic on our local streets. So early this morning he was coming, and then he wasn't because a CDC employee was suspected of having coronavirus, and then by the time we had lunch the trip was back on because the test for coronavirus was negative. So we gave up and just went to Barnes & Noble across the street (nothing bought, just to look around) then came home.

This evening's B5 feature was River of Souls, followed by Hawaii Five-0. There are only two episodes left after this, with the series finale on the third of April. Alex O'Loughlin needs to quit because the back injury he sustained a few seasons back is now so bad that he can't even pick up his little kids, plus his and Scott Caan's contracts are up, so they are ending it. I'm sure Scott Caan will be glad not to have to fly back and forth to Hawaii every other week and be with his family instead. I will miss it, but it's no tragedy. One less program to have to remember.

Today was a brilliantly beautiful day, still with a bit of wind, but bright and blue. Tucker and I had another long walk, but had to dodge so many glass shards on the sidewalks the moment we step out of our street. There are broken beer bottles everywhere on the main street on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Instead of watching the spring creep in I have to watch the sidewalk so Tucker doesn't step on glass! I wish people would get drunk and wreck things in their own homes and quit spoiling the landscape for the rest of us.

So we braved the Saturday crowds and went to Walmart for this and that. Got more sugarless candy, more melatonin for James, other foodie items, etc. While wandering around just looking at the DVDs, discovered Peter Jackson's World War I film, They Shall Not Grow Old, in the rack for just five dollars! I love old newsreel footage, and that is what this film is comprised of, old film footage from British military sources that has been colorized with a narrative. It has gotten all sorts of fantastic reviews and I wanted to see it, but never managed. And the DVD is a lot less expensive than seeing at the movies would have been.

This particular Walmart was celebrating the opening of their new garden center, so we got a burger, chips, and a drink (water) for only $2 each (a lot bigger burger than one from Wendy's that would have set us back $4 each alone!). Then, since we were halfway there anyway, drove a few more miles out to Hiram, checked out the big Michael's there, bought Snowy more birdseed in Petsmart (they had several little groups of budgies, including a sweet yellow and green one who was almost a dead ringer for Bandit), and Five Below to get some dark chocolate Reese's peanut butter cups for desserts.

The last stop was at the Sam's Club at the far end of the shopping center which was selling gasoline for $1.969 a gallon!

I spent the rest of the day turning all the clocks (thirteen) and timers (six) ahead one hour, James made the humongous turkey wing we bought at Nam Dae Mun in the air fryer with a side of tater tots (also done in the air fryer and then kept warm in the oven) for dinner, and the movie du jour was the prequel movie to the Babylon 5 sequel Crusade, A Call to Arms. Alas, it's the last we see of Michael Garibaldi. Rest in peace, Jerry Doyle.

Tomorrow's our final day of cold nights (and, by extension, a good night's sleep) and by the end of the week it's supposed to be in the 70s. I don't suppose some year we could actually have a proper spring and have temps in the high 50s and 60s for three and four weeks at the time before it gets to the seventies and broiling point? Could we please? Please?

And now, because our clocks are already set back, we're going to goosestep to the command of stupid Federal law and Damn Daylight Effin' Saving Time and go to bed. Die, DST, DIE!

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