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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» Saturday, November 20, 2021"The State of Happiness is Just a Point of View..."
It was a week of in and outs. On the "in" side I did some book reviews and blogged and shelved books. On the "out" side, I finally got rid of the alarm clocks—we don't use them anymore and there's no radio station I want to wake up to any longer.
Thursday was a usual shopping day, Lidl, Publix, and Kroger in a row. And then we managed to have a little fun at Barnes & Noble. I'm having to buy "Yankee" magazine again since Nook canceled my electronic subscription. But at least the print copy came with a calendar, so I'm stocked on calendars now. James also took delivery on a sanitizer for his C-PAP machine. We are hoping this will cut down on the allergy problems he's been having for the last few months (he gets up sneezing very hard and it continues all day). I've been washing the mask and making sure there are no particulates in the tank, but this will make sure all the germs are taken care of.
» Saturday, November 13, 2021An Unexpected Vacation, or Doctors' Appointments, Store-Hopping, and Crime Series Watch
If James was going to have a week's furlough, at least we could get a "sort of" vacation out of it. So I turned off all the alarms and we looked forward to a nice Monday morning of sleeping in.
Thanks, Alex, for coming to cut the grass (last cut of the season). Absolutely no thank you for showing up at 6:50 a.m. Sigh. In the meantime, James devoted Monday to giving the stovetop a good scrub.
Tuesday I did the laundry (because Wednesday was reserved for our "big exciting trip" down to Kaiser Southwood) and a couple of the chores I would have done on Sunday. Happened to catch a message that Vincent D'Onofrio was going to be on the gossip show Daily Blast Live, so we watched it this afternoon. Sure wish the hosts would shut up and let the guest talk instead of bantering amongst themselves, but this seems to be the fashion today. Miss Johnny Carson, Mike Douglas, and Merv Griffin, who actually let their guests talk—what a novel idea. For the rest of the day I had my D'Onofrio/Erbe fix—mostly watched Law & Order: Criminal Intent. (I've started—early, since it was a birthday gift to myself—watching the DVD set I bought and realized the initial shows were still done in the era of pan-and-scan.)
So Wednesday we had to drive 35 miles to the Kaiser Southwood office—thankfully traffic only a problem until we got to the I-20 cutoff—to visit James' urologist. Didn't realize we hadn't seen him for over a year! Dr. Starr did a cytoscopy (sp?) on him to make sure his bladder was emptying properly (it is). Apparently his prostate is growing back slightly on one side, but has left a sizable enough gap for everything to come out properly, so it's not a problem right now. There was a bit of scar tissue from the surgery, which the doctor was able to clear. We also picked up some new "hats" so James could continue monitoring output. Dr. Starr will see us one more time in May, and then he is retiring, bless him. If anyone deserves it, he does. And then he will recommend a doctor at Glenlake, which will save us these marathons to Southlake.
We had planned to eat our anniversary dinner—did I mention Wednesday was our wedding anniversary? it's our "Baskin-Robbins anniversary," 31derful years—at the Olive Garden nearby, but, forever spooked by Atlanta traffic as always, we drove back home and ate at the Cobb Parkway location instead. I did the make-your-own-pasta (rigatoni with marinara sauce and meatballs) with a salad and James had his favorite, chicken marsala, with a "zuppa toscana" chaser, and we shared a piece of black tie mousse cake as dessert (the waiter wrote "Happy Anniversary" on the plate in chocolate fondant, which was sweet). Of course if Olive Garden's marinara sauce gets any sweeter, we're going to have to start classifying it as a dessert...
To get it out of the way, we stopped at Publix on the way home.
Thursday we had to complete James' doctor trifecta for the week. We had an appointment at Glenlake with a podiatrist in the morning, so instead of taking the freeway, we did our usual back door route through Lower Roswell and Paper Mill roads and were rewarded with gorgeous autumn color (Paper Mill is a ritzy neighborhood, so the houses are set in groves of trees, and the road itself descends to a creek bottom where the mill used to be and then back up). Glenridge Drive behind Kaiser Glenridge was beautiful as well.
We saw Dr. "Mosh" this time (he has a very long last name) and he agreed with me that Dr. Friedman's suggested method of treating the little ulcer on James left "ring toe" was not working and changed it. Now I am to put betadyne on it and he gave me some silver-infused Mepilex foam to put on top of it. He also gave us some silicone spacers to use to keep James' baby toe from rubbing the affected one.
Since it was on the way home, we stopped at Trader Joe's to (1) get a quick lunch, as we like their wraps, and (2) pick up more stuff. They had the Christmas stuff out so we got fresh "candy cane Jo-Jos" (Oreo cookie-type filled with crushed peppermint), peppermint bark, and peppermint puffs covered in dark chocolate. There is a Lidl nearby now, so we stopped there for our Lidl stuff like mandarin oranges, bakery items, etc. and found a loaf of whole wheat bread for James since Publix didn't have any. We were even able to get the two stores' worth of groceries home and put away and sit for awhile until it was time to hit the last appointment, the nephrologist, who gave James a clean bill of health.
On the way home this time we stopped at Kroger for milk and yogurt and ramen noodles.
Friday we actually had a free day, so took some stuff to Goodwill—sadly James' old desk chair was too battered for them to take—and then went to Walmart to get James new compression socks, plus what stock of sugar free hard candies they had (not much). On the way home we stopped at Popshelf to get James some Tina burritoes (their beef and bean flavor has the lowest sodium count of all the pre-made burritoes in the stores).
Saturday! Finally! The event we'd waited for for two years: Free Electronics Recycling Day! Now we could safely get rid of the damn microwave that James rapped the truck door on every time he got into the truck. And the three dead UPS units, a VCR that wouldn't even turn on anymore, a fan, various little electronic devices, my old alarm clock, RCA cables, old lamps, etc. However, they would not take the light bulbs, even the damn CFLs which are supposed to be toxic and are supposed to be disposed of properly. Made me angry.
We hadn't been to the Farmer's Market in downtown Marietta in a dog's age, so we went there next. Didn't have much money, but we bought some sweet Argentinian chorizo sausage (which we had for supper; it was delicious, but the sample we'd tasted was not so salty, or we wouldn't have bought it) and of course homemade dog biscuits for Tucker. We also brought the six preserve jars we've been saving for months on the drainboard to the guy who makes his grandmother Lillian's Hawai'ian marinade, as he recycles them to put his product in. It was crisply cold this morning, which made loading the electronic junk in the truck and walking around downtown a positive delight.
We walked around the square as well and stopped at The Corner Shop (a.k.a. the British store) and bought a Terry's dark chocolate orange, a couple of meat pies for James, some chocolate "Christmas pudding," and a Scotland sticker. Then we went into the candy store next door where they sell all sorts of hard candies and unusual candy bars and different brands and flavors of sodas, and they had four kinds of sugar free hard candies! James got sugar free Chik-O-Stiks, butterscotch candies, root beer barrels, and peanut butter bars. Finally we stopped at The Local Exchange, but they didn't have any Marietta Square stickers (ours have been burnt out by the sun), so we got back into the truck and headed for home. As a last treat for our unscheduled "vacation," we each had a doughnut at the new "Dunkin" on Powder Springs Road near where we used to live.
And thus ended the furlough, because James got the call that he was all funded up again—well, for the next six months anyhow—and back to work on Sunday. Alas, back to my having to cook dinner. But a week was a nice vacation from it.
In various other news, we are watching Star Trek: Prodigy—James likes it, I don't hate it, but I could skip it without pain—and, between out bouts with watching Murdoch Mysteries, we are dipping into the original CSI on Hulu (it's on Paramount+, too, but the commercials on Hulu are less obnoxious). William Petersen is almost as nice to look at as Vincent D'Onofrio. (Notice I said "almost" here...LOL.)
» Sunday, November 07, 2021Conjuration Convocation
We ended up having a really nice time at Conjuration. Again, it's highly Harry Potter oriented, but they have a very nice writer's track, and we spent a lot of time at those panels.
We were a little discombobulated Saturday morning, so did not arrive in time for an 11 a.m. panel that I was interested in; however, we discovered the schedule online was not accurate, either, and that panel wasn't being held. Alas, it also meant that the raptor demonstration we had wanted to see wasn't going to happen this weekend either. It was okay, though; we found things to do. In fact, I knew the moderator of the first panel we attended: Dr. Dea Mazingo-Gorman, who did the anthropology panels at Anachrocon. "When Magic Gets Sciency" was about customs in ancient societies that were considered "magical" back then that have a scientific basis. For instance, in ancient Egypt, worshipers of Horus wore eye makeup that identified them as members. While this eye makeup had lead in it, it also protected the Horus-worshippers from eye infections caused by bathing in the Nile due to its scientific properties. Another was Lake Avernus, which is near Pozzuoli, Italy. There are caves in the area which caused death when you entered them. Turns out the lake is the caldera of a former volcano and poisonous gas still issues into the caves. Also talked a lot about the interconnectedness of ravens and wolves, which appear in many different mythologies including Native Americans. Apparently when wolves vanished from Yellowstone, so did the ravens; when they reintroduced wolves, the ravens came back. Neat panel.
» Friday, November 05, 2021Fresh Apples and Magical Locations
We had a good weekend despite James' toe (which is now not red and looking better although the wound appears a little larger) and the news we got on Friday afternoon.
Alas, first we had to get through the shopping on Thursday as well as getting James a blood/urine test for his nephrologist appointment next week. But that was pretty painless.
» Saturday, October 30, 2021Doctors and Dinosaurs
How amazing! It seems like we wait years for October to arrive and then the whole month goes by like the wind.
Still looking for some real fall weather, but the temperature is dropping to better levels, and next week looks heavenly: nothing over 68℉! (Fifties would be better, but beggars can't be choosers, as they say.) Plus I had a first this week: cooked my first "stir-fry." It was actually pork bits in a sesame-seed sweet sauce, and it came out pretty well, especially when I did a reduction on the leftover sauce.
» Saturday, October 23, 2021Saturday on the Sofa With Vincent
It was a quiet week, thankfully.
» Saturday, October 16, 2021Bejacketed, Trimmed, and Reworded
A considerably more low-key week and weekend than last, but also very profitable. The big news (for me, anyway) is that I finished a piece of writing I started a couple of weeks back. This is the first bit of fanfic I've worked on since my Dan Palmer story in 2015; it's been a long dry spell and one that's left me depressed even if I hadn't let on it was happening. Now I have to go back and put all the details into it; I hadn't written any fiction at all in so long that I figured I'd just better get the bones down first and do the rest later. I know I'll be tweaking this one for weeks to get the voices just right.
(Plus I finally reviewed my September books, which is a relief.)
Still having strange gastric upsets every so often; this iteration seems to be since I got the third vaccine. Alas, my digestion has been troublesome for over twenty years; I doubt it's going to get any better as I get older.
Besides the usual weekly things (chores on Sunday, shopping on Thursday) we had a stop at the shopping center out on Dallas Highway that has Petco and Sprouts because Snowy was almost out of birdseed. Found the budgie enclosure full of a dozen baby budgies, some with head tucked under wing, a couple playing, several looking askance at this vertical living thing with the horizontal covering over the head. These days every time I go past the budgies, I always pray that each will find a loving home with someone who cares for them and understands they are little "bird persons" and not just toys to be stuck in a corner.
Saturday was Hair Day—we had to skip last month because Sheri had badly injured her ankle—and James finally looks neatly bewhiskered again, rather than looking like a refugee from Duck Dynasty. I trimmed the hair on his neck and around his ears a couple of weeks earlier (before Jessie's wedding), but I really don't have Sheri's chops in hair cutting. From there we drove up to Town Center to the DXL store because James needed a decent winter jacket; his old plaid with the hood, which he likes best, even over the "Rhode Island-weight" winter coat we got him in 2005, was on its last legs, as I had mended and patched it where it got mangled in front by one of the clasps on his koala bag. Since I am not a seamstress by any means and this involved patching plaid, it didn't look very good any longer, even if it did keep him warm. We found a very nice black jacket with a hood and a quilted interior for $90; as a plus it is also water-resistant, which the old jacket wasn't, so he has a good raincoat as well.
» Saturday, October 09, 2021Over Roads and Undercover
The rest of the week was not quite as solemn, and even a little fun. Thursday, of course, it was shopping, and then James had his six-months visit to the dermatologist. She froze off two little moles on his left earlobe, but otherwise gave him a clear bill of health. Unfortunately we should have popped in the pharmacy and picked up a new box of Ferrex. Now we're going to have to pop in at a Kaiser facility sometime in the two weeks he doesn't have an appointment just to get Ferrex. Bother. (Don't suggest online. Everyone is five dollars a box more than Kaiser.)
And Friday it finally happened! The first time in two years there has been a library book sale! Report is here. Later in the day we went to Kaiser's TownPark facility and got our COVID-19 booster.
» Monday, October 04, 2021Betty Louise Bouler, 1947-2021
Betty's funeral took place today. James got up and worked ninety minutes so there would be sure to be coverage in the early timeslot. We then left to go to the service at the West Cobb Funeral Home. This was held in the adjoining chapel, and a box of tissues was passed from pew to pew as it was a lovely service, and Betty's husband, John, and our friend Juanita especially made us cry as they spoke. Juanita was so overcome John went to stand behind her and put a hand on her shoulder to steady her.
Next followed the funeral procession. We had been lined up outside before we went in for the service, and now we proceeded north with a police escort. It was fascinating watching the different police cars do their work to keep the line together: the Cobb County Police doing the overall procession, but the different community police handing off as we rolled through different neighborhoods, Sandy Springs, Woodstock, Holly Springs. It was like watching sheepdogs work. One car would stop to hold traffic and the second would race ahead to the next spot where coverage would be needed, and the community police blocked exits so the procession would not be interrupted. Despite that, at least three people cut into the procession; two of them stayed in the procession for several miles. One of them even put on his flashers like he was part of it all! The third was the most blatant: the neighborhood police had blocked one of the entrances to the freeway and this dork in a big SUV went around the police car and tried to get into the procession! We could see the folks at the end of the procession blocking him from getting in, and then a police car herded him to the side of the road, then let him go on as we got past.
» Saturday, October 02, 2021All This and October, Too
It was a...well, rather buggy week. Literally. Both James and I had been seeing little roaches feet up periodically in the kitchen (and we were glad they were dead!), so it was providentially we had the quarterly extermination service in on Monday because when I went into the kitchen that morning there was yet another roach on its back, feebly waving its legs. Squish! You're dead!
Evidently one still was hiding out in the house because it ran skittering underneath my bedding on Friday morning, which definitely made me not want to sleep in any longer and instead wigged me out enough to make me change the bed on what was a very busy day already and a fat pain in the neck to juggle. I also gave the dog a bath on Tuesday and washed all his bedding, which made it a triple-threat week.
» Sunday, September 26, 2021Hurrah! It's Fall! and Other Delights
The autumn equinox arrived this week to great cheering by the folks here at Autumn Hollow. Now only if it would feel like autumn—although we did have to wear flannel shirts Thursday morning to drive with the windows down on the way to Costco. But by the time we got to Costco (ten minutes) it was too warm for them. (We were also windows down a couple of other times, one early morning, one nighttime return trip. But it's not enough!)
Went out to walk the dog Wednesday night and discovered abruptly that sometime today they changed out all the streetlights. I think they are those new lights that only aim at the street and don't glow upward, and so don't interfere with migrating birds. It's a weird effect; they make what they're shining on brighter, but the light doesn't extend as much, so our front yard is now darker. There's also a rather large dark area near the upper cul-de-sac because all the lights appear to have two light fixtures except the one on the cul-de-sac itself.
We hit Costco Thursday morning because Procter & Gamble was doing their "buy $100 worth of stuff, get a $25 gift card" thing again. Since we can easily spend that much buying Swiffer pads, Oral B toothbrushes, Metamucil, and Downy, we went for it, plus we needed "plastic cheese" (Kraft cheese slices) as James calls it, and both BreatheRights and generic Flonase were on sale...needed almonds for my oatmeal and mandarin orange cups as well. It is so nice when it's not broiling outside and we don't have to rush into one store, dump perishable items in a insulated bag with an icepack, rush to the next store, etc. We were able to drive to Publix in a leisurely fashion and finish most of the rest of the shopping (although I still had to go to Kroger on Saturday morning for milk, yogurt, and no-salt-added mushrooms).
Friday we did a little of everything: paid our property tax, picked up a gift, had lunch at Okinawa with all the Spiveys and John Bouler, drove down to Kaiser so James could have blood drawn for what the doctor says is a minor problem, and then went to Barnes & Noble. James bought a book and I didn't, which seems ironic, but I'd already gotten three in the mail this week: a used copy of Madeleine L'Engle short stories (The Moment of Tenderness), a used copy of Hal Borland's Book of Twelve Moons (nature essays), and the new Vanderbeekers novel.
We also bought a new gadget that is three plugs that are operated by one remote. Since I was depressingly unsuccessful in trying to set up a "smart home" system to turn on the lights through Amazon wifi plugs and Amazon Echo devices—two of the wifi plugs worked flawlessly for a month and then quit working; I contacted Amazon and they walked me through all sorts of remedies that didn't work for one and they finally told me to send the plug back for repair, but when I tried to set up a third plug I had bought, brand new out of the box, it wouldn't work either. They supposedly work on the 2.4GHz portion of the router, and I tried resetting the 2.4GHz, which reset perfectly and everything else that worked on them, like the Roku box and James' Kindle, worked perfectly. Then we ended up resetting the router anyway, and the plug still didn't work. We have to press a remote button instead of doing a voice command, but it works!
So Saturday I did the Kroger thing and James had to cook meat and breakfasts for the rest of the week, and we broke up the time with original Law & Order episodes on WE. I've become so besotted with Law & Order: Criminal Intent that I am reading fanfiction, most of it of the "shipping" sort, but I appreciate that the stories that I really have enjoyed have chosen to actually have a mystery plot among the romance. One story has Mike Logan down so pat I can hear Chris Noth doing the dialog. Unfortunately I think that was the one that got to part eighteen and then never was finished—and, darn, I wanted to know the solution to the mystery!
This week I also worked out a way to get all the videos I've saved on YouTube to show up in the YouTube app on Roku. I have so much saved that the idea of re-bookmarking them gave me the horrors. It's a great big dog's breakfast worth of stuff: old British black and white films, 1930s black and white films, the Old Indiana Jones segments they cut out of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles DVD sets, an uncut version of the 1960s animated The Night Before Christmas with Olan Soulé as the voice of Professor Clement Moore, Lucy Worsley specials, Lassie episodes, and more.
Today I got all my weekly chores done and there was still time to go to Alice and Ken's house after James finished work to celebrate Aubrey's 28th birthday.
September 22 was the Autumnal Equinox! All hail Queen Autumn and her colorful court! (Now for cryin' out loud, do something about that big bully the Sun!)
» Saturday, September 18, 2021Blessed Quiet and Video Success
This week was quiet, for which I was glad. Seems it's all I can do to keep the insatiable dishwasher empty. 😀
Even the weekend was quiet. We had a nice Friday lunch with Alice, Ken, and John Bouler at Shane's BBQ. James had a good visit with his GP. On Saturday James went to his club meeting and I made a new Remember WENN web page—I haven't created a web page since I did one on Kate Seredy—with "WENN sounds" because someone on the Facebook page had asked if anyone had Celia's "Hi-hi!" sound. That was fun.
Sadly, although it was the Saturday "Taste of Smyrna" was supposed to take place, it did not. Not due to Covid-19, but because the restaurants don't have enough help to do the event. So no "drunken pork" from Atkins Park for me.
Something fun did happen, though. I have some old videos of when we used to do fundraising for Georgia Public Television that I want to digitize. I found out you could do it through the VLC media program, but attempts to do so didn't work: the sound would drop out after about 45 seconds. I tried all sorts of settings, but the video would be bad, or no video at all, or the sound would be unsynched. Finally a friend suggested something called Shutter Encoder. This worked beautifully and I was able to "rip" on of the videos and post it on Facebook. Very nostalgic and a little sad to see friends "way back then," including a couple no longer with us, like Amy Rutledge and Chris White.
» Sunday, September 12, 2021The Future, the Present, and the Dream
If last weekend was a partial letdown, this week had something to sweeten the pot, especially on Sunday, although the time period came with a rather puzzling event as well on Wednesday: it was "Star Trek Day" and Paramount+ was running a special program saluting all the different series, hosted by Wil Wheaton [Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation] and Mika Burton, LeVar Burton's daughter. They had a live orchestra playing different Trek themes, interviews with current and past casts, and other goodies. The only irritating thing was listening to the two young ladies who were keeping up with social media updates, apparently as a sop to the younger people in the audience. Boring twaddle for the most part.
However, I started feeling ill in the middle of the program and was sick on and off for the rest of the night (bathroom visits, chills). Still don't know what happened. It couldn't possibly have been the Cup of Soup and crackers I had for supper. And it shouldn't have been dinner.
All very strange and I was better by morning. We had intended to go to the Yellow Daisy Festival on Thursday, but what with me being ill and James not sleeping (he discovered only in the morning that he'd forgotten to take his pills before bed), instead we did the usual shopping: to Lidl, Publix, and Kroger. And it was cool enough that we could drive there with the windows down (a condition that changed in the short time we were in Lidl). We also picked up our dry cleaning for Sunday and cash, then instead headed for Stone Mountain on Friday morning.
It was nice to get back to the Yellow Daisy Festival after two years, but they had some COVID procedures in place for this year I really hated (as did others, judging by their Facebook page). The booths for the festival are always laid out on the park trails, under the trees, wandering occasionally into small sun-dappled clearings, but mostly shaded, so you get a nice walk in the woods with the smell of trees and pine straw and coming autumn, and get a browse at each of the tents as lagniappe. For this year they had all the booths out in the parking lot and in the street in the front of the area where the trails are. Luckily it wasn't really hot out, but the sun reflecting off the tops of the white tents hurt my eyes and what heat there was made me feel ill. Most of the craft booths I stumbled by in the parking lot were for jewelry and other wearables; it got a little better as we did the street, where there was a bit of shade and a small breeze.
Some of our favorite vendors were not there as well: Meadowcroft Farms were not there, nor were Smack Your Mama barbecue sauce, both of which had items we needed. One Screw Loose, the jelly place which makes a cherry jam that James absolutely loves, was supposed to be there, but was not at their booth. Didn't see the guy who made home-made jump ropes, nor the maple syrup people from Vermont, nor the man who makes doormats from old tires, nor the guy with the porch hammocks, and many of the clothing vendors (but that was okay because we don't need cute little clothes for our grandchildren). Sadly, none of the music vendors show up any longer; I miss getting unique Christmas music played on equally unique instruments like hammered dulcimer and harp. Zampir did show up, so we got more maple-flavored barbecue sauce; we got our yearly fudge at Ginny's Fudge and Nuts; we bought a bottle of maple syrup aged in a bourbon bottle; and as always I bought a few things from the Country Pick'ns people from Kansas who make the little miniatures that go in shadow boxes. I was the most worried about them during the pandemic, as they have no online presence at all, not even e-mail. But the couple was there doing business briskly as ever, for which I was glad. I'll use the things I bought for two gifts.
By the time two and a bit hours were over, we were both over-sunned, and didn't want to cross the hot field to get to the food vendors. Instead we headed home via Golden Corral near the old North DeKalb Mall. The food was just mediocre and we probably shouldn't have eaten there, as there was a terrible smell as you walked in, as if they kept the garbage up front. (Neither of us got sick, thankfully.) North DeKalb Mall, which I knew originally as Market Square when I first moved to Atlanta, looks terribly sad. All the anchor stores are gone except for a Macy's, and apparently the mall itself is closed except for something like two stores you can access from the outside. When I lived in Brookhaven in the late 1980s, Market Square was hopping, with several anchor stores, a bookstore called "Cole's," a Woolco, a PharMor that for a year or two was a Lechmere (before that went out of business), and our favorite store of all, the Aviarium, where we adopted both Merlin and Bandit. They raised their budgies right in the front window of the store, so that the baby birds heard human voices from birth, and both Merlin and Bandit were so easy to tame because of it. I had Merlin sitting on my finger within a week.
Saturday was pleasant and calm, at least for me. We went to Costco for gasoline and then had lunch at Chicken Salad Chick. Alas, back to work when we got home, washing things, vacuuming, and other chores for me, and making breakfasts for himself for James. He was quite worn out when he finished after hours of chopping veg and cooking it in with ground turkey and TVP. This time he used biscuit dough to make himself little meat pies out of it.
It was Sunday that was best: James worked until one, I did some of my Sunday chores, then we had some dinner, and finally it was time for us to attend a wedding! We have known the bride since she was a tiny premature baby, the daughter of our friend Juanita. I first met Juanita at a Space: 1999 convention in 1979 and James has also known her for ages. Her daughter Jessica has been going with her boyfriend John for some years now, they'd already bought a house together, and Sunday evening they "tied the knot" in happy fashion. The bride wore a beautiful full skirted, frothy white gown and gazed up at her future husband with a look that made me cry, the groom and groomsmen wore wizards' cloaks, and the bridesmaids were in purple or green gowns (Jessie's best friend Aubrey, daughter of Juanita's best friend Alice, looked lovely in a sea green gown). We sat at a table with the Lawsons, the Lucyshyns, and Clair Kiernan, were alternately in tears and smiles throughout the ceremony and the toasts, noshed on prime rib and chicken thighs, and just had a great time. We left reluctantly to get home in time for me to walk the dog and then it was time for bed. But what a wonderful evening!
All happiness and health, joy and wonder to Jessie and John!
» Tuesday, September 07, 2021...And We Didn't Go to DragonCon
We did start prepping for it. I have the 100-calorie packs, the goldfish crackers, the Lance cracker packs, etc. all carefully stacked on a shelf in the laundry room. (Never did find juice boxes!) We talked about it. We had friends that intended to go, and these were the most sensible of our friends. They weren't the type that took unnecessary risks. Nevertheless, we were riding on the edge of that fence for most of the summer. James didn't even ask for Sunday and Monday off, I never reserved parking spaces. The news about the hospitals being overwhelmed by the Delta variant of COVID was daunting. But we were still considering it.
When Betty passed away it was the last straw. She and John had just gone away for a weekend, and I know both of them were also sensible. They probably took precautions. And they were both vaccinated. And they both got sick. And Betty died.
At this point James had already decided not to go, but oh, I was still thinking... We do have to get up early for DragonCon. I hate getting up early anymore (even though I'll have to do it for the Yellow Daisy Festival...and the Georgia Apple Festival). I don't feel any kind of refreshed unless I get up around 8:30. And you can't do that going to DragonCon. It has to be up early (at 6:30 on Friday because of registration and the traffic, and 7 a.m. other days if you have a panel at ten and you don't want to gulp your breakfast).
But, as I admitted to someone, not going felt horrible. I felt like an superannuated firehorse who'd been put out to pasture, but still heard the ringing of the fire bell from the field, and oh, how I wanted to jump the fence and go to the fire, too!
And I could still do it, if I wanted: get up at seven, grab some breakfast here to save money, take the car downtown (surely the garages weren't full). But I ended up not doing it because...well, as James and I were talking about: there are always alternate futures, and there was a future in which we both went to DragonCon and nothing happened. But there was also a future where we went and he got sick despite the mask and the lowered crowds, because of his co-morbidities. Or one future where I got sick, and then who would take care of his leg? Or a future where we both got sick...and who would be there for Tucker and Snowy?
I could cry all I wanted all weekend about DragonCon (and I did, in odd corners), but nothing would be worse than how I would feel if something happened to James if I encouraged him to go or if the fids got neglected if we came down with the hellish thing.
My wish about this past weekend is that in two or three weeks we can look at the posts on Facebook and realize no one we love got sick...not Alice and Ken, nor Aubrey, not all my friends at Brittrack, and that we were too cautious. Because that's so much better than the alternative.
The Brittrack folks did do some virtual panels, including one on Agatha Christie and one on early Doctor Who, which were fun, and they did have the DragonCon parade on YouTube. Meanwhile, to make up for things, James took us up to Canton on Friday so we could have some decent pizza at Uncle Maddio's—that poor guy up there is still running the whole place alone since February—and go to Books-a-Million (bought Untamed, about a woman who is protecting the wildlife on Cumberland Island, and The Women's Hour, about the suffrage movement, the latter from the bargain books). It's sad when Books-a-Million has more books than most of the local Barnes & Nobles! We sacked out when we got home and watched Law & Order reruns. Saturday we took our clothes to the cleaner to prep for Jessie and John's wedding, and had dinner for James' birthday at Longhorn. I found a beaut of a gift for him from Hamilton Books: all about British aviation films.
Sunday I put up more fall decor and Monday got to see the Sunday morning Christopher Eccleston interview from DragonCon that someone posted on YouTube. (If I'd gotten to see him, it would have meant I would have seen all the available Doctors live...Hartnell having passed on and Jodie Whittaker being unavailable.) Otherwise I've been mainlining Law & Order: Criminal Intent episodes in the afternoon from Peacock (and reading fanfic as well), starting from the beginning. Not sure I can stand the eps where they start playing with Goren's head, though. God, how I hated all those Hawaii Five-0 episodes where a member of the cast got tortured! But, gawd, it's fun watching Vincent D'Onofrio play "Detective Twitchy," as James calls him. It's an art form.