Time On My Hands

This new freedom I have granted myself to write when I feel like writing instead of when the calendar says it is time, may to be a very handy thing to have during this isolation period. I am inclined to want to pity me for being stuck in the Tiny House when there are so many places I would rather be right now. But then it occurs to me: It would really be terribly self indulgent to complain. I have got a place to call my own and a dog that loves me unconditionally to share it.

When I am lonely, I have a television set that serves me comedy or drama on command. And when the days seem endless, I can brighten it up by indulging in so many gadgets. Of course, I do not understand how most of these gadgets works and I am still reluctant to connect those wonderful, fluffy white clouds in the sky with storage space in the sky deemed THE Cloud.

I no longer drive. My family finally won me over and I gave up my car…and of course, that $490 ticket I got helped me make up my mind. So now I Uber or LYFT anywhere I really want to be…except for right now when everywhere I want to be is closed.

What I do mostly right now is pick out a program on television that I really enjoy and watch it. Until I seen every single program in a series. I know I did not invent this way of viewing.  It is called “binge watching” (I keep up).

For me it all started with two of show business’ royalty. Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. I have watched – and mostly enjoyed – Frankie and Grace, And I have very definite feelings about both leading ladies. I think Lily Tomlin does a fantastic job as the nutter character, but if you watch too long at a time she gets to be a royal pain. But my complaint is with the writing, not the portrayal. I cannot believe that anyone as sensible as Jane Fonda would allow Gracie the freedom of her (their) home for so long. Because loveable as Lily is, she IS infuriating, and I have the feeling that Jane’s character would not welcome infuriating into her well controlled life.MV5BYWFhMjc3YTUtNTNlOC00NjVkLWI4YjEtZDg0YTJhMGYxNzI1XkEyXkFqcGdeQXRyYW5zY29kZS13b3JrZmxvdw@@._V1_UX477_CR0,0,477,268_AL_

As for Jane Fonda’s character I must admit that I am lost in admiration for the bravery of the actress who loudly, and proudly, announces that she is 80, and, not satisfied with just saying so, reinforces her argument by peeling off all kinds of artifices she uses to maintain her perfection. Of course I console myself with the knowledge that, even after peeling all kinds of gadgets like phony hair and lashes, she still looks like Jane Fonda.

What I’m talking about is the danger of too much binge watching. It seems to me that, like poker players, actors have their own “tells”, and, again like poker players, dedicated watchers pick up on those after a while.

I notice this mostly in the Brit mysteries I watch constantly,. After a while, the lead character gives away his – or occasionally her – Tell. A twitch, a raised eyebrow, a request for “a nice cup of tea”. Whatever it is, that character will telegraph it if you watch long enough. It’s sort of sign language for “Gotcha!”

The problem here is that once you know it, it either increases your enthusiasm because you are now “on the same page” as the detective, or a page ahead of the script. One make you feel really smart, the other makes you feel impatient.

Oh, yes, directors have TELLS too. If , for example, early on, the camera lingers over an empty bottle or two empty glasses in a room for one, you can depend on it. Those are clues, and if you work at it, you will probably know the killer before the camera confirms it.

Okay, it isn’t Brain surgery but it IS better than spending your enforced time at home cooking stuff you shouldn’t be eating….like the fudge in my fridge. I swear I will give it away to the first person who comes to my door, whether they or not they want it.

 

 

The Freed Spirit

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Okay. Here we go. I am about to write my first Blog using the new, carefree, deadline free approach.

As I’m sure most folks have noticed, there is almost nothing on anyone’s mind currently except the virus… and the list of “Don’t Do That’s” circulating. Just reading that list should keep us nestled snug in our beds for the foreseeable future…should we wish to abide by it.

The options? Well, actually, there aren’t many options.

You might go out to dinner or to a movie of course Except that restaurants are closed – and yep, so are the theaters. And Bars! And clubs – and that includes my piano bars!

And most of our favorite stores like Ralph’s and Trader Joe’s etc, are rapidly running out of things we already have a lot of but suddenly feel the need to stock up on, which explains why so many hall closets are stuffed with 48 rolls of toilet paper.

I almost understand the toilet paper…but why are people buying so much bottled water? We don’t have a plumbing problem…at least not yet.

I went to Ralph’s the other day when they opened the doors early for older folk and the handicapped. Admittedly that sentence is redundant…being really old IS a handicap. I got to the store a little late, but the line was fairly short – and impatient. Well, the line wasn’t impatient, but the folks standing in it were (you probably figured that out, but no dangling participle will make its way inadvertently into my blog)

However, I can do a fairly pathetic old lady and the guard at the door let me in. I headed straight for the paper aisle…the one where there should have been, but were not, stacks of toilet paper, paper napkins, paper towels…all that good stuff. Instead there were vacant aisles of aisles.

Next real need…eggs. The aisle was shorter, but just as empty.

However, the one shortage that got my attention, was encouraging…It was the lack of impatience and rudeness that I’d heard folks were enduring during these early days of deprivation. Not once did one of the “older generation” slam into my cart or try to grab a prized item from my hand.

Instead folks taller than me volunteered to get things from the top shelves that I couldn’t reach and once a gentleman offered to let me have the last package of Miso Soup. I didn’t accept, but I was pleased to find out that good manners are NOT dead. One woman who watched me search for some fruit specials mentioned that bananas were running low so I ran over and managed to get a nice bunch in various shades of yellow to green. There were shortages of things I’d come to buy, so I bought a few things that look interesting instead. I ended up with a basket filled with things I hadn’t planned to buy. But that’s a good thing because it will require some thought as to how to plan meals made up of something I never tried before.

I wish I were one of these people who love to knit. Or Sew. Or paint lovely pictures. But I’m not. The only way I would like that is if I could just decide to do it and be marvelous at it. I have no time for a learning curve.

I have been touched and delighted by the number of friends who have called to warn me about – everything.

But mostly about washing my hands. I expect my hands to just fade away if I don’t stop scrubbing them, but it DOES make me feel like I am doing something positive to help me through this mess.

Whoops. Almost forgot the thing that inspired to post this Blog right now. Since I reached this advanced age, I have become accustomed to the idea that I am nobody’s target audience. I’m no looking to paint my nails purple or maybe yellow…I’m not where the designers go when looking for inspiration.

But when it comes to medicine, by god I SHOULD BE part of a huge target.

So. Can anyone explain to me why the powers that be have decided to cap almost all medicine bottles with a little drawing and a message that reads:

PRESS DOWN AND TURN.

Are they kidding me?

I have in my kitchen drawer about five devices that are meant to help open things. They can turn them, or pull them, or bang them on the counter to loosen them. BUT THEY CANNOT PRESS DOWN AND TURN!

Yesterday I found one of those Press Down tops on my salad dressing bottle. I gave it a good try for about 20 minutes. It did not give. But then neither did I. Instead, I pick up the freaking thing and tapped it –okay, I slammed it – on the sink.

Unfortunately, the bottle was made of glass and it finally gave up the fight. There was salad dressing all over my little home and my littler dog – who objected loudly. I must admit, all the self control I had left went flying too…along with a bit of blood from my hard working, but very clean hands.

As for the bottle cap…it remained in place. It was still attached to the top of the bottle, touting its message:

Push down and turn.

I plan on sending out a warning: if I ever find the guys who came up with that cursed cap, I plan to sentence them to life in a factory, trying to open bottles.The rest of what I would like to do to them is highly illegal so I won’t write it here.