Friday Laments

More first world blues…I’m just cryin’ in my coffee.

  1. One problem with the local C-19 vaccination plan: teachers are a high priority. Great! Many agree with this. But, boo, the shots are being administered during school hours. It’s not a dash and do, either.
  2. Our biggest issue in Oregon is as it is elsewhere, just not enough C-19 vaccine to do the job. People are generally accepting and patient, because that’s how it goes for now.
  3. I went for years without a doctor. Then I had trouble in Peckerville and ended up with a urologist. The trials exposed my hypertension, so I ended up with a GP. Each prescribed medications for conditions – BHP and BP – that I’ll probably take for the rest of my life. Less than three years later, both of these medical professionals are gone. They’d moved into the area, it didn’t work out, and they moved away. I liked both and they did a good job, but I’ll need to find someone new when my prescriptions expire this year.
  4. The healthcare insurance front grows more expensive for me. As a veteran and military retiree after twenty years, I had good healthcare insurance via Tri-Care. There were no premiums. That went on for years. Now, starting this year, I must pay $25 per month premiums. Not bad. But, since I’m turning 65, I’m required to get Medicare Parts A and B in order to keep my Tri-Care. A is free; B is about $150 per month. Guess this is all due to that wonderful ‘support the troops’ rhetoric that I often hear. As it so often happened, big promises were made with great patriotic fanfare and furor. Then, when the bill came, everything changed.
  5. I’ve ordered meals online from restaurants three times in the last three months. Each was to give us breaks from what’s in our larder and breaks from cooking. It’s a treat. But each time, they’ve offered a coupon, and then, each time, there’s no place to enter the coupon code when the order is processed. Small matter, but irritating: like a lot of modern life, it seems like a false promise.
  6. What I’m watching: “Baptiste” on PBS via Prime — terrific series; “His Dark Materials” on HBOMax, very strong, good production values and acting, faithful to the trilogy; “Doom Patrol” on HBOMax but it’s falling in our appreciation as the characters become sillier and seem to take forever to come to grip with matters; “All Creatures Great and Small”, a remake of the first series of that name, based on the books, and it’s almost as entertaining and charming as the first go-around. We’re not watching “The Undoing” which just seemed too insipid in too many ways after three episodes; we prefer more dynamic and intelligent characters. Just recommended to us is Portait of A Lady on Fire and Mary Shelley, so they’ve been added to the list. Still working through the last of “Vera” and “The Wire” during late night down time.
  7. Hulu manages to continue to irk me. Their system often seems to think we’ve watched an episode that we haven’t and wants to jump us ahead. It’s happened enough times that I don’t just click and go, but make mental notes: what’s the season, episode number, and title that I’m watching now? What was the last one watched? What’s the summary? Did we see this? No. I saw others experienced this. The fix is the digital equivalent of a hard reboot or a hammer to an appliance: sign out and sign back in. That works most of the time, it’s claimed. Guess I’ll try it. Haven’t done so yet because logging in with a remote is a pain, you know? I’m such a whiner.
  8. Meanwhile, Prime Video, the service previously known as Amazon Prime Video, has the opposite issue, insisting that I haven’t watched an episode when I’ve already watched it.
  9. Got my coffee. Time once again to write like crazy. Meeting Text for the first time today. She’s the late Zipper’s daughter. Looking forward to what she has to say.

Now Watching

We finished watching His Dark Materials. It felt rushed — like, the time with the bears should have been longer — and we have some casting issues, (well, one) but it was a worthwhile entertainment.

Alas, it ended too quickly. What to watch now?

Well, we have American Gods on deck, deciding to hold off on it until we finished His Dark Materials so we’d have something in reserve. Meanwhile, my wife said, “What about Watchmen?”

She didn’t have much awareness about the show. I was familiar with the movie and graphic novels and knew they were doing a series. Sure, let’s watch.

Well, the first damn episode was gripping. Hope the rest are as good. I know of series that started strongly but then faded.

Meanwhile, I’m finishing with Dublin Murders. I’d read the Tana French books and enjoyed them, particularly the first, In the Woods. Our neighbor, Walt, didn’t like “The Likeness”. “There’s no way that a person can live with people who know them and fool them into thinking they’re someone else. I just can’t buy it.” I enjoyed it, though, and I find the series moderately entertaining, with perhaps a little too much angst. I like the casting, as I’m familiar with a number of the actors via BBC (and Britbox), Acorn, and Netflix. I recommend the series. They’re not procedurals but murder/dramas, in my mind (where else) (would we call a murder/drama a murma?)

Cheers

Lee Scoresby

We’ve been watching His Dark Materials (HBO), and mostly enjoying it, although the story feels like it’s rushed more than the books. But then, that’s why I prefer reading (and writing) books. I can indulge in my imagination more, and let matters (and story) expand and flow with fewer constraints.

Lin Manuel Miranda is playing Lee Scoresby, aeronaut, friend of Irok (the armored bear) and protector of Lyra (one of many). Sam Elliot played Lee in the first movie, The Golden Compass. Sam aligned more with how I saw Lee in the novel, so I thought he was casting perfection. Nevertheless, Lin does a damn fine job (not surprising for someone as talented as Lin).

Here’s the kicker and the point to this whole post: a man who looks like Lin Manuel Miranda as Lee Scoresby just walked into the coffee shop. After I stared at him, watching his passage across the coffee shop (which he noticed) (it seemed to disconcert him), I had to go outside and check – balloon? Large white bear in armor? Gyptians? Flying witches?

No; just Lee, sneaking in for a cuppa…and perhaps here for a secret assignation.

Who the hell knows?

(The weirdest thing: after he came in…he disappeared…)

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