Saturday, September 24, 2022

News and Updates

1. It’s actually autumn here in Baja Canada, by both the calendar and the weather. I’m good with that. Summer only gets romanticized because for the first two decades of most Americans’ lives it’s the one part of the year when they have unstructured time to spend how they like, but the weather itself is miserable. Bring on the crisp nights and the cool breezes and the grey skies, I say.

2. We went up to see Lauren and Maxim last night, dropping off Maxim’s bookcase on the way and then finding a nice dinner right by campus. I’d never been to a Brazilian steakhouse before. There’s a salad bar full of lovely stuff that you can help yourself to at any time, and then there’s meat that they bring around, and that’s pretty much the set up. There is no menu. You just sit there with a large piece of wood on the table that has one end painted red and the other end painted green and if you turn it so the green end is up someone comes by with a skewer full of tasties – steak, pork, chicken, and in one case grilled pineapple – and slices some off for you and if you don’t do anything after that more people come by with more skewers. Eventually you turn the wooden thing over to red and they stop coming for a while. And then the cycle repeats. It was a very nice experience, yes indeed, though I suspect not one I will repeat frequently.

3. Tonight we will go over to a fundraiser dinner at the local historical society where Oliver is working, and I suspect I will be there with some of the kind of community leaders that I don’t get to see in person very often even if this is a fairly small town. Look at me, ‘obnobbin’ wi’ the upper crust! Well, it’s for a good cause, and somebody has to paper the house.

4. While I’m on the subject of food, I was very happy to notice last week that my local grocery store here in southern Wisconsin carries chinotto! It’s right there in the weird soda aisle, waiting for me to place my greedy paws on a four-pack and toss it into my cart! That store carries almost everything. Life is good.

5. I’m nearly completed the project I was supposed to have completed on August 31 and it will be an entirely frabjous day when that happens. I may celebrate irresponsibly if I can remember how to do that. At least I’ll sleep better, which at this point of my life is a celebration in itself.

6. My life is a constant whiplash between the fact that my everyday experiences are perfectly fine and yet the broader culture and society in which I live seems to have landed squarely in The Worst Possible Timeline. I have a lovely family, good friends, a job that I generally like with colleagues I enjoy talking with, a house full of books and tea, and at least at present no major health issues that I am aware of, and yet the prelude to WWIII is happening in Ukraine, the planet is melting down, and unapologetic Fascists have taken over one of the only two major political parties this country has and 46% of Americans are perfectly fine with that as we barrel toward what may well be the one of the last free elections in American history. Truly these are interesting times.

7. We are all held hostage by the delusions of madmen.

8a. So there is a story about a mermaid who can sing and dance, one where she and the other main characters break out into song at just the strangest times, accompanied by full, unseen orchestras. You might have seen it. Her best friends are a crab with a Jamaican accent, a flounder, and a seagull with bad hair whose main function in the story seems to be giving the mermaid incorrect names for flatware. The mermaid falls in love with a human prince who happens to be drowning nearby, and then a giant evil octopus swaps out her voice for a pair of legs so she can pursue him romantically. The octopus eventually turns into an eldritch god and is stabbed to death by a boat, after which the mermaid marries the prince. And the thing about all of this that strikes some people as being unrealistic is that … the mermaid … is … black? Really? Are those people receiving the psychiatric care they so desperately need?

8b. Seen online: “The sort of people who will forcibly load people they hate onto airplanes are also the sort of people who will load them into boxcars.”

9. It’s a strange and lovely thing to see adults that you knew when they were very young children all grown up now and interesting to talk with on top of everything. This whole getting older thing does have some advantages after all.

10. It’s Great British Bake-Off season again. It’s nice to watch a show where people genuinely seem to like each other and help each other out, where the stakes are fairly low and there really aren’t any villains. I haven’t quite figured out a favorite among the candidates yet – so far Janusz and Maxy are in the running, but we’ll see how it goes. That will come in time I suppose. Right now the main issue I have is that they broadcast the shows on Tuesdays in the UK but not until Fridays in the US, so for several days I just have to avoid my Instagram account – a good 15% of which is devoted to former Bake-Off contestants – so I don’t get spoilers. On the one hand, yay Bake-Off ! And it’s not such a bad thing to skip social media. On the other hand, Instagram is my primary source of funny memes and we all need funny in these parlous times. It’s a trade.


LucyInDisguise said...

1. Cool Weather is Cool. Anybody wanna buy the worn-out Easy Bake Oven I’ve been living in for the last six months? Will entertain all offers …

5. Deadlines are for losers. Live out there on the edge, I always say. Keep ‘em guessing!

6. As a Professional Historian, I’m very nearly certain that you are aware of the dangers of invoking that ancient “interesting times” curse. Thanks, again. for bringing that back up. [/snark]

7. If one must be held hostage, better it is by a delusion than an actual madman. Unfortunately, thanks to someone’s continuing repetition of an ancient curse, it would appear that we are doomed to be held by actual madmen. See? it’s all your fault!

8. [The First] When I first heard about the outrage, my first reaction was, quite literally, “WTF?” Then, about .003 nanoseconds later I was like: "Oh, yeah. Seems about normal for them." Then there was this fictional Storm Trooper once upon a time in a galaxy far, far, away - who, as I recall, was plagued with a similar issue …

8. [The Second] Cite? (Joking. Honest. Had to put something in here to draw attention to the fact that you’re still having trouble with numbers. Outlines? Deadlines? All kinda runs together at this stage, doughnut?)

9. Recently reunited with an Old High School Friend. Turns out we have a lot more in common now than we did back then. Stranger things, I suppose. Each of us were known to be rethuglicans back in the day. We danced around the subject for about 10 minutes, each of us probing, carefully, trying to diplomatically determine where each of us stood politically. It came as a great relief to us both that neither of us had partaken of the Kook Ade™. There was great merriment and humor at TFG’s expense thereafter. Fun was had by all!


David said...

1. Yeah, I'm retiring to Scotland for the weather, remember? Good luck selling the oven - I know there are people who enjoy that sort of weather but I have no idea why.

5. Well, true, but for long and complicated reasons if this doesn't get completed in the next few days I will get shat upon from a great height. It's pretty much done now, though - I just want to let it sit for a day or so and then go through it for final edits. Yay team.

6. If only I had such power!

7. I realized I forgot the "the" in that sentence so I have added it now. Apparently numbers are not the only things my brain is having trouble with these days.

The 8s. Now renumbered 8a and 8b! Sigh.

Now that you mention it, I do feel bad for John Boyega. Wasn't it it he who pointed out that the Star Wars fandom is the most toxic in all of film? If it wasn't it should have been. Not wrong, either.

9. It is always nice to be reminded that most people mature after high school. I have a couple of Facebook friends who are people I knew and didn't really talk to much in high school but who either changed much for the better or I seriously underestimated at the time. Well, I've matured too. Glad to hear that you've reconnected with an old friend and even happier that you've grown in the same ways!

LucyInDisguise said...

1. Being one who lays claim to Welsh Heritage, I’ve got my sights set on Wales. There could be a bit of a language barrier, though.

6. Ahhhh, But You Do! Just look around at what ye hath wrought!

Actually, I hate me some Sunday mornings. I have WAY too much unstructured time on my hands; turns out, it’s not an ancient curse after all:

7. I am frequently un-amazed at how easily our brains just skip over missing articles, only to derail when a article is used improperly. (see what I did there?)

8(a). I'm pretty sure you’re right about Boyega. Personal opinion: the fandom is toxic in large part because Spielberg is. Jus’ sayin’.

8(b). Look at it this way: at least you didn’t have to add (c)(d) & (k).

9. Turned out that Mike privately declared himself Independent at almost exactly the same time I did. Nixon. But Mike wasn’t stupid: he ran as and was elected as a rethuglican State Representative in … I’ll just say a western state … and totally helped turn that state purple. Win. He decided to give it up once the hypocrisy became too much to bear. He then decided to play Real Life Monopoly™ - bought himself nine hotels and built his millions and retired to Arizona just in time to lose most of it during Bush’s Fiasco Economy. Managed to salvage enough under President Obama to live out his remaining time in relative comfort, but he has few kind words for rethuglicans these days … as you may well imagine.

Understatement is a gift I have. Yes, I do.


David said...

1. Having grown up in an area settled by the Welsh with all of the place names that this entails, I feel your pain. On the other hand, if you've ever seen Robin Williams discuss Scotland and golf you'll understand that Scotland may not be much better on that score.

6. Clearly I need to use this power for good.

Well, even if it's a modern British curse, it's still pretty effective I say.

7. I did!

9. Good for Mike, subverting the right wing extremists that way. I wholeheartedly approve.

Understatement is such a handy thing at times.

It's interesting how what you said fits with my original item perfectly well and yet the item was actually describing someone who I first met as a friend of Oliver's when they were both in kindergarten and now they're an adult and a lovely person to spend time with. Either way, it's a win. :)