I am a far cry from MCU’s (the Marvel Cinematic Universe) intended audience, being the wrong age and gender. Having grown up with DC’s Superman and Batman (from television) I knew very little about Marvel’s heroes. So when Marvel got into the movie business, I was a total newbie. And you know what? That’s okay. We neophytes serve a purpose, too, bringing a fresh perspective to the stories. When you know nothing about the history of Iron Man or Captain America, you get stories that are entertaining in their own right.
So, I’m not here to see a life-long interest brought to life. I’m just here for some good drama, good acting, and a good story.
This is why, after the third episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, I was lukewarm about the series. I didn’t understand what the “Flag Smashers” were fighting for. Or against? A little research tells me they are anti-nationalists. Yet their agenda for this series centers more on the fall-out from the “reverse-blip,” Iron Man’s finger-snap towards the end of Endgame that brought back half the world’s population after a 5-year absence. Gosh, wanting to get rid of half the world’s population seems pretty radical. And their motto “One world, one people” doesn’t really fit that scenario.
The good thing about being at a low point in your life is that there’s nowhere to go but up.
Fracturing my right fibula in mid-June last summer was inconvenient, requiring crutches for only a couple weeks. The biggest annoyance was that I couldn’t drive and had to use Uber to get to and from my doctor’s appointments. The bigger challenge came shortly thereafter when I dislocated and fractured my left ankle in two places. That required surgery, a week in the hospital, and follow-on rehabilitation. Losing Romeo only added to my despair. It was one of the lowest periods of my life—only two or three things have left me more devastated.
That was 13 months ago. One year ago I made the trek down 4 flights of stairs to visit the orthopedic surgeon for follow up. That may not sound like much, but it was. Partly because that trip also required coming back up the steps, by myself.
Living alone is hard when you’re physically incapacitated. There’s no one to help you with anything.
I confess, I watch a lot of shopping television. All sorts of channels, HSN, QVC, ValueVisionShopNBC ShopHQ, even JTV (Jewelry Television). And I buy a lot of stuff—because this one thing is going to make my life better, easier, more productive, whatever. (Well, maybe not the JTV stuff, but it’s so pretty and sparkly!) Sometimes things work out, sometimes they don’t.
In these trying times, having something delivered to your door is better than going out to shop in a store. Plus, in my case, I don’t have to lug whatever it is up 3½ flights of stairs—IF the delivery person isn’t lazy and leaves the package by the mailboxes. The downside is you’re tempted to buy something you hadn’t planned on buying.
A few years ago I bought a Fire TV Cube but never hooked it up. Yes, it was one of those unplanned purchases from HSN. But, in my defense, I have a dumb tv, and the Cube would make it smarter. Plus, it was 1/3 the price of what it now sells for on Amazon.
Given my new-found interest in the Marvel universe, I decided it was time to look into Disney+. I’d paid money to rent several movies, and even bought Avengers: Endgame because it’s not available for rent. When I discovered Disney+ was available through Amazon devices, I thought “I have one of those!”
So, I hooked up the Fire TV Cube, having first unhooked the DVD player (which I haven’t used in ages) because my 2008* dumb TV has only 2 HDMI ports. I’ve now been watching Disney+ nearly non-stop.
The first thing I watched was the live action version of Lady and the Tramp. It wasn’t too bad. The original, animated Lady and the Tramp is among my top 15 favorite movies, and it was the one movie I’d wanted to see ever since Disney+ launched. (The animated version is also available to stream, although I do have it on DVD. Oh wait, I disconnected my player.)
The second thing I watched? The Mandalorian. Although I saw the original Star Wars the theater—three times!—and read the book, and bought the soundtrack, I haven’t been a rabid fan of any of the sequels, or prequels. The first movie (NOT Episode 1) was advertised as Star Wars, NOT Star Wars: Episode 4 – A New Hope. Nor did it contain the two scenes of special effects that George Lucas added when The Empire Strikes Back came out. (Sadly, that version isn’t available any more and I much prefer it to what the movie is now.)
Nonetheless, having watched the Disney Gallery, which focused on The Mandalorian behind-the-scenes stuff, I now have not only the Marvel universe to explore, but also the Star Wars universe, So, yay! More time to waste save money by not watching the shopping channels.
Incidentally, The Mandalorian is terrific. I especially love the artwork featured in the end credits and the music. I may have to buy that soundtrack as well. My only complaint is that I wish Werner Herzog had been nominated for the Emmy (Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series) instead of (or at least in addition to) Giancarlo Esposito. Not that I don’t enjoy me some Giancarlo Esposito, I just thought Herzog gave the better, more ominous performance.
*As for the TV, I know it’s a 2008 model because I bought it specifically to watch the much-anticipated season 4 premiere of Supernatural, “Lazarus Rising.” Hmm. It’s been 12 years, a myriad of improvements, and drastic price reductions since then. I think it’s time for a new television. I wonder what the shopping channels have to offer…
Note: I’ve had the best intentions of finishing the cliffhanger post, but every time I come to the blog, I get sidetracked with the design… as you can see.
So… the right leg healed reasonably well. I became officially bootless on July 24th or thereabouts—at least toward the end of July. (Can’t remember the day of the week I went to the doc.) The ankle was still a bit sore as it turns out the break wasn’t completely healed. But I was cleared for shoes, albeit with ankle support of some kind, and warned not to go on any day hikes or such.
My car started up fine after 6 weeks of sitting idle. (Subarus may not be sexy, but they sure are reliable!) And life got back to normalcy, except for a bit of digestive problems I was having.
On Tuesday, August 6, I went to the 7-11 in the afternoon to pick up some milk (because I was out) and chicken noodle soup (for my digestive distress). While waiting in line (the guy in front of me was taking forever, what with talking on his phone and trying to get just the right kind of “cigarillo” [or whatever those cigar-colored cigarettes are called]) I became dizzy.
It didn’t happen when I retired. It didn’t happen when I started getting Social Security. It didn’t happen when I started Medicare. Nope.
It happened when I fell.. and couldn’t get up.
In my defense, I had been drinking wine. In fact, I was on my way to the kitchen to refill my glass when I slipped. So yes, I was somewhat inebriated. Hey! It was Friday night and I was celebrating my successful endoscopy/colonoscopy earlier in the week.
It was a strange feeling, not being able to pull myself up. I couldn’t believe that all of a sudden I was that old. A chair was nearby so I tried pulling myself up, but I couldn’t get my legs underneath me. So I got on my knees and tried pushing up that way.
The azaleas are in bloom! So the dogwoods can’t be far behind. Because I’ve been hermit-like in my hidey-hole too much this spring, I was surprised at all the beautiful color when trekking (ok, driving) through a wooded area yesterday.
I should not have been surprised. My best friend and her husband are celebrating their anniversary today. Don’t ask me which anniversary it is, though—the ’90s are all a blur.
Here’s the reason I should remember this is a beautiful time of year: my friend had been a docent at the John Carlyle House in Old Town Alexandria and knew that’s where she wanted her reception. It’s quite a popular site for wedding receptions, so the weekends fill up fast. Because of her docent status, she had preference and was first in line when registration opened. The young couple behind her said they had scoped out Alexandria the previous year to determine which weekend was the most colorful. Turns out that happens to be the first weekend in May. So, my friend snatched May 2nd from them.
And that’s the story of one of the most beautiful weddings ever.
Sadly, I have no pictures of the wedding. My friend never got around to ordering any photos. I do have one snapshot print of me, but I haven’t bothered trying to set up my scanner. I suppose I could try taking a picture of it with my camera, but that’s too much work for right now. Maybe later in the month I’ll get my act together.
And it’s a no-go for photos of the John Carlyle House. The website won’t let me copy their photos. And my work-around (to take a screenshot with my preferred graphics program) is a bust because I’ve yet to downloaded Paint Shop Pro to this computer.
The good news in all this is that perhaps I’ll have some pictures to share later in the month.
Groundhog Day: The legend says that if the groundhog (Punxsutawney Phil, to be precise) sees his shadow on February 2, he’s frightened back into his hole—meaning we’ll suffer six more weeks of winter. But what happens if the groundhog doesn’t see his shadow? Does he stay topside to frolic under cloudy skies? Does it mean spring will arrive on time? Or early?
This is just one of the questions that perplexed me as a child. So I did my own analysis.
If P. Phil sees his shadow, as he did this year… well, let’s see…
6 (weeks) x 7 (days per week) = 42 more days of winter
42 (days of winter) – 26 (remaining days in February) = 16 winter days in March
Therefore, spring will arrive on March 17
If P. Phil hadn’t seen his shadow? A look at my handy-dandy calendar tells me the first day of spring for 2017 is March 20.
“Six more weeks of winter” means spring will arrive on March 17; otherwise, it will arrive on March 20.
And that, my friends, is why we don’t employ rodents to forecast the weather.
My knitting heart is officially broken. My favorite local yarn shop (acronym LYS) is closing. The owner is retiring, and rather than sell the shop and its merchandise, she’s closing the store towards the end of August. I. Am. Devastated.
There are two local yarn shops I semi-routinely visit, fibre space in Old Town Alexandria and Uniquities in Vienna, VA. fibre space is young and hip (you can tell because its name is all lower case), neat and spacious, and closer to my home on the outskirts of Old Town. It specializes in locally-sourced yarns, very high end, and very expensive. And you must pay for street parking, if you can find a spot. (This is, after all, Old Town.)
fibre space in Old Town Alexandria, blooming tree optional
Unitquities in Vienna, VA; not fancy, but fabulous
Uniquities is further away, but it boasts free parking, and stocks many well-known high-end yarns. (Think Rowan, Noro, Tahki Stacey Charles, you get the idea.) It doesn’t have one inch of wasted space. And I love it! So guess which store is closing. Yep, Uniquities.
Mildly frustrated with my experiences at the Arlington and Alexandria animal shelters (emphasis on mildly), I did a Google search for cat rescue organizations in the area. It came back with Fancy Cats and King Street Cats, two organizations I’ve heard of. A friend had adopted two adorable cats from Fancy Cats a while back. A neighbor has volunteered with King Street Cats, located just down the road from me. (There’s also Tails High, which I found from a pet rescue website; and FOHA, Friends of Homeless Animals, which someone recently mentioned.)
I looked through Fancy Cats and found a few cats I might be interested in. When I emailed them asking about seeing some cats, they replied that I should fill out their online application form. So I did. I then received an email asking to elaborate on a few of my responses, mainly having to do with why I’d surrender a cat, but also how my current cat would respond. I replied once again, only to get a damn phone from them this afternoon, expressing even more reservations. These had to do with Shadow and his litter habits. They decided (sight unseen) that Shadow didn’t like to share his litter box and that a new cat would smell his outside-the-box mess and mess there, too.
This is my current pedicure. I’d been thinking about getting something American flag-esque for years, and while this isn’t exactly what I had in mind, the intention is clear. (This is the first time I’ve had nail art done, and it’s a bit distracting. I’ll probably never do it again.)
Q: Do they have a 4th of July in Great Britain?
A: Yes they do. They also have a 5th and a 6th and a….
My dad told that joke way back in… well, Mom was still alive, so it was over a quarter of a century ago. 😮
I think I’m finally ready to see How to Train Your Dragon 2. Apparently I’ve missed the IMAX version, but it’s still being shown in 3-D. I’m sure it will still be a beautiful experience. I’ll need to remember to restock my portable tissue supply. I’ll probably be a mess when it’s over.
On a related note, the Arlington animal shelter had a trio of two-month-old kittens for adoption named Astrid, Hiccup & Toothless. Toothless was an all black male, Hiccup was a black-and-white female, and Astrid was a cream-colored cutie. Astrid was spoken for when I visited, and Hiccup & Toothless were adopted shortly thereafter (hopefully together). Then Astrid returned. As of now, she’s still shown as being available. I will likely visit the shelter tomorrow. Encouraged by Suzanne’s success with Fizzie and Tig, I may have to bring her home.