Health reports: how can we keep from singing?

I’m giving a talk about March, Books One, Two, & Three>, graphic novels by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell for the Friends of the Albany Public Library Tuesday at noon.

singingYou may recall that my sister Leslie had a serious bicycle accident back on June 4, 2018. She missed about six months of work recovering and has had a number of medical procedures.

On April 8, 2019, she had a couple more surgeries, around her eye socket and nose. They were done more or less simultaneously, in order to minimize the total time of recovery. She’s doing well.

Meanwhile, I’m recovering from whatever health thing that I had. You know you’re unwell when you have to stop and rest walking DOWN the stairs.

On Sunday past, I barely got out of bed, except to watch two recorded basketball games that had been on the day before. And I couldn’t view anything more than 30 minutes at a time. It was impossible to focus enough to read or write.

Even back at work this week, I felt… loopy. I was still taking meds all week, including one at night that contained codeine. And I couldn’t ride my bicycle for the same reason.

I’m glad my wife finally submitted the paperwork for the taxes to get done. Usually, that process starts in the third week in February, during the school break. But because of our extreme busyness, worse than usual, it didn’t begin until the last week in March.

It’s just as well. Last year we got back around $700 federal; this year we PAID about the same. I was happy that all those early filers girded me for what I thought was a likely outcome.

Even though I’ve not seen five minutes of Game of Thrones – it’s just not my thing – I find myself skimming all episodes, RANKED BY TOMATOMETER; I blame my pharmacist. There are even GoT Oreos.

And speaking of religious behaviors, it’s Holy Week on the Christian calendar. Monday: I get my annual physical. This is a fortuitous occurrence, as it will be the follow-up to the treatment for my illness. I think the yo-yo weather is wreaking havoc with my allergies as well.

Tuesday: My daughter’s heading to Montreal on a ONE-DAY trip, which means getting her to school by 5:30 a.m., and picking her up around 10:30 p.m.

Also, I’m giving a talk about March, Books One, Two, & Three, graphic novels by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell for the Friends of the Albany Public Library.

Wednesday: Get my teeth cleaned.

Thursday: Sing.

Friday: Not sing, but attend service.

Easter Sunday: sing, a LOT, if I still have a voice left.

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

Television as a cultural anthropological prism

Recently, I referred to my wife as Ramsey Gordon, which was that she was the total opposite of Gordon Ramsey, that mean chef on whatever that cooking show he’s on that I have actually never seen five minutes of.

Ike and Mamie watching TV

I think I keep reading about, and therefore writing about television, despite the fact that I watch it in decreasing amounts because I find it a fascinating cultural phenomenon. I was at our choir party this month, and we were talking about how networks, particularly ABC, will start broadcasting a serialized show and either never show the ending (The Nine, which I watched) or truncate it badly (this season’s Last Resort, which I wouldn’t watch for that reason). I saw the ads for the Dana Delany show Body of Proof; first, the season premiere was supposed to be the first week in February, but then it got kicked back to the third week in February. Why? Because they failed to realize that they had never broadcast the last show of the previous season, after which wholesale cast changes took place.

What particularly interested me is Mark Harris’ case against binge-watching in Entertainment Weekly, which I really related to. He has binged himself, but: “Sometimes your deep engagement with a series turns out to be intertwined with your patient willingness to spend weeks and months in the company of its characters, getting to know them in what feels like real-time and living their evolution as you live your own.”

His piece was in response to the disappointment some have felt over the fourth season of Arrested Development, 15 episodes available en masse on Netflix. I tried to watch the first season, but never got engaged. Some folks, particularly Gordon, suggested I give it another chance, and I saw seasons two and three, mostly enjoying them. Whether I ever see Season 4 – on DVD, because I’m not getting Netflix – depends on my time and inclination at that point. If I DO watch, it’ll be one or two episodes at a time.

I admit I liked the Daily Kos piece on How ‘Arrested Development’ explains the Republican Party. Also enjoyed the NSFW video parody of Girls: Season 38, featuring the original SNL’s Laraine Newman, even though I’ve never seen one minute of the Lena Dunham show.

Here’s an interesting side-by-side comparison of three cable news networks with their coverage of President Obama in Germany.

Recently, I referred to my wife as Ramsey Gordon, which was that she was the total opposite of Gordon Ramsey, that mean chef on whatever that cooking show he’s on; I’ve not viewed it. Weird how the brain picks that up.

Speaking of food shows, Paula Deen is getting booted from hers because of some nostalgic racist language. Heck, I thought she should have been let go after continuing to promote her high-calorie meals while hiding her Type II diabetes last year.

Apparently, the first season-ending of Game of Thrones, featuring a beheading (can that be a spoiler, from two seasons ago?), was not nearly graphic enough, so this season has the infamous ‘Red Wedding’. Big time thanks, but NO thanks.

Another show I’ll never see is Pregnant & Dating on the We network; Ken Levine’s description could have come from The Onion. It is “complete with the usual crying, angst, pretty people, upscale settings, cloying background music, and jaw-dropping stupidity.”

Read about the Latina stereotyping that’s endemic in a show such as Devious Maids. Someone once said to me that I can’t judge a show fairly unless I watch it; I totally disagree.

On the other hand, I TOLD you seeing the Tonys was worth it. Here’s the opening number which was THE highlight of the show.

I watched Paul McCartney on the Colbert Report, of course. Watching TV with commercials is brutal, and Colbert’s schtick wore thin but loved seeing Sir Paul, especially on Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite!, which he said he’d never performed before. On the other hand, I loved what Colbert said about his late mom this month.

Still, most of my affection for television is nostalgic. This video about Johnny Carson, delving into his Nebraska roots, is quite entertaining; it features Dick Cavett, one time Carson writer, then a competitor. Cavett writes about going to his high school reunion. Ken Levine shows – part 1 and part 2 – what a CHEERS outline looks like. Although he met him only a couple of months ago, Levine has an interesting story about the late James Gandolfini.

Chuck Miller reminded me of all the weird pets fictional people had. Ah, a picture of MTM and DVD on the set of the Dick Van Dyke Show. And Evanier showed my absolute favorite TV commercial when I was a child; it was that nifty 4th verse. Unfortunately, he has no idea who the singers were, and neither do I.

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