The Goldilocks Screen

Thing Two has a binary movie classification scheme that goes See / WAR (Wait And Rent - although that Rent might really be Stream).  In this day and age of social distancing and movie theatre closures, everything is "WARS" now.  The same closure applies to the live theatre, and the moment it became clear that was going to happen, Terry started to put out the following plea:

Then, today, he published a review of Syracuse Stage's production of Amadeus.  He watched the production at home, via his MacbookPro, which made me think about streaming in general.

Over the past few years, I've realized that very few movies I'd want to watch require the so-called Big Screen.  But the idea of watching on my laptop, a tablet or (even worse) my phone would lose far too much detail and honestly, who needs to squint that much?  But!  There is a screen that is "just right" - my television.  The bedroom tv can get Netflix, Acorn and Britbox which is perfect for most smaller fare.  However, if I'm streaming something like Amadeus (the stage version, not the movie) or the new National Theatre streams, I'll go to the living room's larger (40") screen.  There's even an HDMI cable I can use to mirror my laptop if the web-enabled stuff doesn't work.

It's just right.


Flashing back

Way back when, when I was in college, I joined a fraternity (stop me if you've heard this before).

We were unlike the other Greeks on campus, being the only group to go co-ed when the college went co-ed (by my senior year, we billed ourselves as a "co-educational, non-discriminatory alternative housing arrangement").  Plus we weren't part of national organization.  So, poor.  When we had our House Meetings, entry was allowed under one condition: bring a roll of toilet paper.

Just now I texted my father, who still lives in SmallVillage near the college and asked him how the toilet paper situation was where he is.  Later today he's sending me a care package of two rolls.  Not because I'm poor or can't afford my own: because I can't find any here.  It's been two weeks with none on the shelves.  Same with tissues, paper napkins, wipes and diapers.  However, if you need paper plates there's an abundance.  

And because if you can't laugh, you'll cry:


It's ok to feel

I'm not sure it's grief, but maybe?  As I've been getting ready for classes to start up and figuring out life social isolated from the world, I've also been feeling a great sense of sadness for:
  • friends like Terry, unable to be near Mrs. T as she recovers from her long-awaited double lung transplant, 
  • a high school friend who has been battling cancer for 30ish years and is at serous risk from this yet needs therapy,
  • my father, who can't socialize with his friends or attend his art class, both of which have helped him heal from my mother's death,
  • the fear that my aunts, uncle and older cousins, or older friends, will get sick and I won't be able to help,
  • all the people I know who have lost their jobs and may never get them back because the restaurant or store won't reopen soon,
  • not being able to see my friends at the four conferences between today and late June that have been cancelled,
  • students who don't know how their parents are doing or if they'll be able to get home to see them.
I'm also angry at our government for playing politics with people's lives.  We had time to better prepare.  We deserve better than what we've got now, a president who cares only about his "ratings" and pocket, and a Congress who can't get over partisanship to figure out a way to help people.  

I'm also terrified because I'm immunocompromised and are terrified I'll get this, That things won't go back to something like normal.  

The one thing I do know: it's ok to feel all those things. 



And I'm off?

Just over a week ago, and despite my lack of an immune system (and COVID-19), I'd planned to go off to Lisbon with Things One and Four.


And now?

I'm home, with a huge To Do list, many ARCs to read and lots on my streaming queue.  I'll let Marianne Faithful speak for me:

And now, it's time to snerdle.  Don't know that word?  


When fears come (partially) true

Nearly ten years ago I realized that I'd have to do something about The Collection.  It pained me to admit that yes, I had a problem.  That I was a philobibblian who also craved a sense of minimalism.  So I decided to release books that - to use Marie Kondo's phrase - no longer brought me joy.

The criteria I used was based on the following imaginary premise:
  1. We were in the middle of a pandemic (remember the H1N1 virus?) and
  2. Publishing had ceased due to
  3. Everyone being quarantined indefinitely
Given those parameters, and excluding Mt. Bookpile, would I reread this particular book?

For nearly half of The Collection, the answer was "nope.  not gonna happen."  Since then, I've been pretty careful with what goes into The Collection and those books that don't go into the Read and Release Program.

And now, here comes COVID-19 gathering steam...


Finding my level

I've talked before about how I just don't care if you read or not (unless, that is, you're supposed to read, like, oh, I dunno, POTUS is supposed to read).  The corollary to that is I don't care what you read.  One of the big bugaboos in school libraryland is the whole idea of book levels or lexiles or AR range. So this tweet got my grannyknickers in a twist:

When I was in sixth grade, I'd already read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, as well as The Count of Monte Cristo.  So what if I wanted to read all the Nancy Drews in the library?  And who cares that now I read everything from the middle grade to adult and all kinds of genres?

Folks, don't limit your kids.  They may grow up to be readers like me.


Always funny

Ok, maybe it's not funny to anyone else, but I read Terry's review of Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice and it made me smile.  Not for the obvious reasons, however.

I'm old enough to remember when the original film was released, although I wasn't old enough to see it (still haven't, all these years later).  My generation, those who remember the movie or, at least, the title, have treated it as something of a joke

However, in my family, it was more than a joke.  You see, ten years before the movie, my parents had gotten married.  Mom, trying to play match maker, had paired up her two brothers with two sisters she knew from college.  And here's where the funny part comes in.  You see, my uncles were named Bob and Paul.  And those two sisters were Carol and Alice.  So in my family, to me at least, the title was Bob & Carol & Paul & Alice.

As I said, YMMV on the funny.


Finding Balance

On the minus side:
  • It’s been 20 years since pain led to the discovery of osteoarthritis in my lower back
  • It’s been 18 years since my gall-bladder was removed
  • It’s been 17 years since a two-year bout of mono left me with chronic fatigue
  • It’s been 10 years since I was told that the lack of cartilage in my knees meant that in another three years, I could have knee replacement surgery (both are still original equipment)
  • It’s been four years since CRION became part of my life
  • It’s been one year since my mother died

On the plus side:
  • It’s been 40 years since I met Thing Three, 38 since I met Thing Two, 32 since I met Thing One and 14 since I met Thing Four - someThings are just right
  • It’s been 31 years since my first cat chose me as his human and nine catchildren later I can’t imagine life without them
  • It’s been 26 years since my first library job
  • It’s been 22 years since I joined TheReadersVine and met friends like Aravis, Camillofan, Wyndham, Ponderable and Puffin
  • It’s been five years since I moved back to my hometown.
  • It’s been two years since the CRION stabilized.

Overall, I’d say the pluses outweigh the minuses.  Yes, the latter are mostly physical ailments. But the friendships, catcuddles, job satisfaction and sense of belonging outweigh all the minor aches and severe pains.

At the start of another trip around the sun, it’s good to remember that.


My #GirlDad

My sister and I are adopted and my mother once told me that at about the time they were preparing for her arrival word also came that there was a boy available, two weeks older than my sister. They felt that two young’uns at once would be too much, plus the age difference would make birthday celebrations odd. Later, I wondered if my father ever regretted having two daughters, rather than a son.

Reflecting, I thought better of that. Dad didn’t miss having a son because he didn’t think about the difference in traditional ways. For example:

  • When I was six, he got a Heathkit color tv and taught me to solder so I could help build it.
  • He taught me basic carpentry and together we made an end table for my bedroom. Then he bought me a child’s carpentry kit, complete with plane, which he taught me to use.
  • We would watch Celtics games together, eating peanuts (he’d even let me sip his beer).

He never let me or my sister think that there was anything we couldn’t do or achieve in any endeavor. Just this past weekend he said that we’d both grown up to be strong, capable and assertive women. Isn’t that the ultimate goal of any #girldad?