What a day! What a week! I don’t have anything intelligible to say about *gestures*, so here’s a respite thread where we can say things about other stuff. Like how nice it might be to be a cat:
Bonus Samwise below the fold… and keep in mind this here is a RESPITE thread!
The Thin Black Duke
Drink a beer, smoke a J, or playing loud music, whatever people gotta do to deal with what happened today is OK. Hell, it’s essential.
Samwise and a video of a French bulldog on my phone are keeping me sane. Thanks!
Ruff the Dog
It’s warming up in suburban Maryland and I’ll shut my home office window soon, but for now the fragrance of the mountain mint outside my window puffs through and the birds are still active & have something to say. Two out of three cats are sleeping peacefully and the third is gazing thoughtfully through the screen door. At the end of my workday I will play my instruments and prep my bike for a long ride tomorrow.
Thank you, MMMM. Samwise is always welcome. Respite threads are always welcome. Deep breaths . . .
@The Thin Black Duke: If things had worked out, I’d be at the Kate Wolf Music Festival right now. Limited Net access where it is at (boondocks) but I’m sure someone had a satellite dish on their RV. Given Folk Music can run fairly political, I’m sure they are gonna have an interesting weekend. I hope THEY turn it up.
This was useful and appreciated. Sadly, I’ve already grabbed a pint or two at my local publican house (that’s my problem; I need better responses) which fixes nothing.
@Ruff the Dog: that sounds wonderful.
I am waiting out a 10 day covid isolation in a motel in York PA trying to avoid talking to my rabid anti abortion in laws. Wishing I could be home with my kitties instead of here in purgatory! Thanks for the pic of samwise.
That is all.
@Ceece: 10 days in a motel! Yikes, that sounds awful. You have my sympathy.
Also, my MIL has good politics but is unbearable anyway. There is something about acquiring ersatz parents as an adult that is mainly unworkable. Yeah, I know some families manage it but not too many.
Today I am dressed in black, though I don’t think anyone will notice or understand. I went for my first Shingrix this morning so even as the world careens I am taking care of myself.
Continuing my mystery reading and watching. Just finished reading Magpie Murders, which I thoroughly enjoyed. There’s a book within a book. You get to read the “manuscript” for the next book in a long running Christie-ish historical mystery series (which is quite good on its own). The book then continues with the “main” mystery, which involves the manuscript, the personally terrible author, his editor, publisher, ex-wife, hot young husband, and the hedge fund guy who lives next door.
Watched the recent Death on the Nile and The Essex Serpent TV series. Both were OK, but dragged in places. It’s interesting to see how diverse casting of historical series is working out how to get it right. Seems to be working much better in comedies than drama. Part of the issue, especially for the British stuff, is that so much of the character’s interactions are influenced by the relative class of the characters involved. Traditional casting simply cast white people of the appropriate class. Comedies work extra meaning out of having higher class people of the “wrong” color. Dramas seem to have a different issue, where they want to deal with the racism of the past, but also have characters whose race would have precluded their having the role they have in the story. This is a larger issue than these two shows, and someone will figure it out, but I’ve been thinking about it.
Death on the Nile – OK adaptation, second half much better than the first, if you know the story, feel free to fast forward when it gets slow.
The Essex Serpent – great lead performances undone by sloppy directing. I actually stopped after the first two episodes, got the book out of the library to see what was going on, and then watched the rest. As I talked about above, class distinctions were largely erased, which lead to a lot of the story that held the whole thing together just sort of vanishing and leaving a muddle. Excellent to knit to.
Looking forward to season two of Only Murders in the Building.
J R in WV
Our cats are unmoved by recent events, for which I am grateful. Everyone doesn’t need to be falling off into the deep end, after all. Dogs too!
And some years ago I bought Wife a blooming orchid at Kroger’s, along with dinner and wine. Mostly it has been 4 broad leaves on the windowsill above the kitchen sink, not ugly, but not beautiful, really.
I give it a cup of water once a week or so, easy since it’s right there practically in the kitchen sink. Very recently it put out a long sprout, that then grew 4 little bumps. Now there are 3 flamboyant white with purple trim blossoms and one more little bud that may make it into bloom. It did bloom once a couple of years ago. Its window faces east but there’s a ton of shade between it and the sun this time of year.
Anyway, a pretty break from just four leaves and a cheap pot it came in.
Out in the “yard” — the wooded hillside around the house — I have planted ramps in several patches. They were once a major ground cover here and everywhere in the mountains, but in many locations were dug and eaten while subsistance farming was the major occupation in rural Appalachia, forced into extinction by hunger in spring after a long winter. I buy bundles every spring and plant some of them we don’t fry up with potatoes and / or beans.
So now I have them reestablished around our house. If I planted them out in the woods, someone would dig them all up and ea them, which would piss me off to no end.
Anyway, the ramps have died back already, they are a early spring delicacy. But the older parts of the patches , starting last year, are putting up skinny shafts with round blooms. Hopefully some of them get pollinated and will produce seed, spreading the ramps around the woods on our mountain. They are very pretty. Once I get my email situated I’ll send some pics for the weekend garden thread. Little white balls, a little more substantial that a dandelion seed ball, several dozen little white blossoms arranged in a sphere.
That’s all the respite I got right now. Now I got to go to town as I ordered some bakery goods from Charleston Bread, a delight to have home made bread you can just go buy.
Got a text that a prescription is ready to be picked up at the Kaiser Med Center in Falls Church, so, if I can galvanize myself into action, I might combine that errand with some self-care in the form of Mexican comfort food and a gigantic margarita at La Unión on Wilson Boulevard.
Yes, I could have renewed the prescription earlier and had it mailed to me, but, like blogfather Cole, my “headspace” has been suboptimal lately.
J R in WV
Sorry about your MIL — Wife’s parents were hard to relax around for everyone.
Fortunately my parents were quite welcoming to her and she was close to both my parents for all their lives once we wed. My grandmother also, who treated her in-law children like they were her own.
My dad loved his MIL, my grandma, which set my parents a good example for my Wife. She was a prime person in everyone’s life around her.
Magpie Murders is going to be a mini-series on Masterpiece Mystery! this coming season. Saw a promo last night.
I can contribute a picture of my bright orange and yellow lilies, which are blooming today.
Very nice! Harmonious colors.
Finished Kenobi last night, going to watch Dr. Strange 2 tonight. Plus beer. And brats (I have whiskey peppercorn & mango habanero). It’s still a bazillion degrees out, so that may be the best respite I get.
@J R in WV: Yep, your family is one of the rare ones. I think it has a lot to do with the older folks respecting the boundaries of the younger folks.
My MIL still thinks she’s in charge of Ohio Dad so of course she’s mad at me for existing and having a claim on O.D.’s attention and priorities.
Major Major Major Major
@Steeplejack: That book was… okay. Found the present day quite underwhelming.
@Steeplejack: I love his books. Haven’t read that one yet.
@Major Major Major Major:
I’ve been trying to read more fiction lately as a way to avoid doom-scrolling on the Internet. Finished Liu Cixin’s Three Body trilogy (really interesting ideas but very leisurely) and am now about halfway through Mick Herron’s Slough House series. Pretty good so far, with occasional flaws in the fit and finish.
A move to Canada is looking mighty tempting right now…
@Arclite: That’s weird, I have an edit box for your comment.
I hestitant to say this because it is a respite thread but unless you are fairly young with an in-demand career, Canada does not want you. You get extra points if you are bilingual (French).
The rise of overt venality and gross stupidity in the R party tracks almost directly with the rise of cat pictures on the interubes.
As a respite here’s a person who shows us how wonderful our world is meeting nature’s greatest vocal mimic. If you do watch, watch to the end, it’s mind blowing
Major Major Major Major
I had a hard time seeing past the sexist fascist propaganda parts, myself, and yeah the bad pacing didn’t help.
Recently started Gene Wolfe’s “Book of the New Sun”, fantastic so far.
@Major Major Major Major:
Oh, jeez, you are going to really see leisurely in the New Sun books. “Atmosphere turned up to 11” starts to wear after a while. But YMMV.
Major Major Major Major
@Steeplejack: I don’t mind leisurely pacing at all! I mind bad pacing, which is more a factor of consistency and communicated expectations.
ETA For example, a long, pointless, and blatantly political digression spent being appalled by a decadent, individualistic, effeminate culture, in the middle of what had until that point been a fairly standard action-driven sci-fi story.
Incredible! The camera noises.
‘@Major Major Major Major
You’re in for an engrossing treat. Have been recommending the original tetralogy for forty years.
@Major Major Major Major:
Wolfe, to me, was like “I’ve successfully limned this dark, dystopian world, but let me lay on another five or six coats of paint just for the hell of it.”
The new Soccer Mommy album is a significant departure from her prior work, but still pretty good in its own way. Worth a listen.
One man’s paint is another man’s lacquer.
@Steeplejack: It just got better and better. Handsaws, Chainsaws, falling branches, that bird is a living sampler
Talenti double chocolate.
@Steeplejack: Late reply, but – cool! I’m very curious to see how they will handle the book within a book thing. In the book, it’s basically entire book-within-a-book, followed by the story of the murder that the book incites. It would be very difficult to follow that structure in a TV show.
Returned Magpie Murders to the library today and picked up the sequel, Moonflower Murders. I need something absorbing for the weekend. Read Magpie in a day and a half.
From what I could tell from the short, teaser-y promo:
A woman (maybe the dead author’s agent or editor?) gets the MS. of his last book, which is intact except for the last chapter, which is missing. She realizes that it must be about real people in the author’s life and vows to investigate both the book’s mystery and the real-life mystery. Stuff happens.
@Steeplejack: Yes, that’s the book. The book, however, contains the dead author’s complete “manuscript.” What’s incredible is that this “book” is incredibly good on its own, which makes me wonder if they will just talk about this secondary story or also have it filmed and intercut somehow.
The author (actual, not asshole dead guy in the book) is Anthony Horowitz, who wrote several episodes of the David Suchet Poirot series, and went on to create Midsomer Murders and Foyle’s War. So the man knows how to spin a mystery plot.