28.4.20

Imponderables

While browsing the other day I saw what looked like a nice, comfortable caftan-esque dress.  I never thought I'd say this, but I'm getting just a little tired of always wearing my jammies (at this time of year, a long-sleeved t-shirt and sweatpants) and maybe a caftan thing would be nice.

On the other hand, I know a lot of these companies are, well... let's just call them less than reputable.  So I did some poking around.  Without any links or naming the actual vendor, here's what was on the "About" page:
[vendor] is a leading online retailer of pet products that are smartly functional and stylishly creative. 
Our mission is solely focused on bringing joy and fulfillment towards pets and pet parents. Specifically with products that ease the pain and frustration of pet owners, at the same time providing a better experience for pets in their daily lives. 
We believe that we can change lives by bringing pet parents and pets closer together. Nothing excites us more than achieving our goal.  
We understand that pets can be the center of our lives, and it's our responsibilities to treat them with extra love. 💗
Cheers to all pet parents! 
Connect with us on social media ! to keep updated with new pet products and amazing content.
I don't think I'll be buying anything here.

12.4.20

We've created a monster

Despite being a scientist who brought home a Commodore PET in 197 , in many ways my father is strangely tech resistant.  Getting him to understand that a cell phone was necessary when my parents traveled was difficult, and forget having one that was modern or that was easy to retrieve messages.  Their plan had limited minutes and increasing them was not going to happen.  Not on his watch.  Towards the end of my mother's life we were able to convince him that everyone needed to be able to reach him and that a phone, and plan, that didn't even work within his house was simply a bad idea.

Shortly after her death, Dad had to come to Boston for another family member's funeral and between me and my sister, we cajoled him into getting an iPhone, and attached that to my family plan.  You know that phrase "be careful what you wish for?"  Well....

Yesterday, he was driving Miss Daisy (not her real name) to Wal-Mart and sitting in the parking lot.  And bored.  I'd sent this video to him, my sister and her daughter (we have a text group going):


My sister thought it was called a Zoomba, and, well, the conversation deteriorated from there:


When we were children, sitting in the backseat of the car on long trips Dad would amuse us with a game he called "Oh no!" where a word would be misdefined and I would respond, "oh no! you mean [real word]" and he'd misdefine that.  I could get very creative with how I told him he was wrong, much to my young delight.  My sister rarely played but, well, she got into it yesterday.

Stay tuned for next week's episode of "Waiting for Daisy".

10.4.20

A national theatre?

When I was growing up, the Tony Awards were a way for me to keep track of which shows I wanted to see when I visited Long Island or NYC to see my father's family. There were years when I'd seen a lot of shows, and years when I hadn't seen any.

SmallCity, next to SmallVillage, had a regular touring Broadway show program, and I know that friends of mine now, both back "home" and in places as diverse as Ohio and Seattle, love seeing those shows.  Some times they come to NYC to actually experience the glamour of the Great White Way, but for many, that's not possible or desirable. With the price of tickets even to LORT B or C theater is growing, and with the lure of the small (or miniature) screen growing, the Tony's focus on only Broadway seems less and less relevant.

Perhaps this is an aluminum lining to this dark cloud, but I loved Terry's suggestion that theatre's stream shows and share them with him to review.

He has been reviewing some and letting readers know where and how to find these productions.  In today's column, he said:

Even those companies that ultimately resume more or less normal activities will likely integrate some form of webcasting into their regular operations. Lauren Gunderson, America’s most frequently produced playwright, took to Twitter to argue that pay-per-view webcasts allow theater companies to “connect to new audiences” and “offer art to those who can’t get it.” I agree, and I’ve heard the same thing from nearly every regional artistic director to whom I’ve spoken of late: One way or another, webcasts are here to stay.

Boston has a great theatre scene.  From small to large to Broadway touring, there's a lot going on.  But there are some shows I want to see that aren't here, some acting companies I would love to see at work but never have the opportunity.  While it not as immersive as being in the house with the actors in front of me, if I could see the Alley Theater or the Mark Taper Forum from my couch?  Yes, please.
And then, maybe, the Tony could actually be a national theatre award, not just limited to the shows in a few theatres in NYC but to shows at major companies (or smaller ones, even) nationwide.  And people would be as invested as they are with other awards because they had the opportunity to see the show in question.

It's a thought.

6.4.20

An Anti-Social Butterfly

Back when I was in Junior High (in SmallVillage, the closest schools were K-3, 4-6 for elementary, 7-9 for junior high and 10-11 for senior high) I had a brief flirtation with wanting to be like everyone else.  By nature and, in some ways, nurture, I was happiest with usually one other friend (Hi K!  I hope you, your kids, in-laws and grandkids are doing well with this COVID craziness), the kids across the street, or with my books, reading.  But after K moved, things changed and, well... I tried.

Now, I don't want you to think I was friendless or a pariah, it's just that I wasn't all that socially inclined.  But there were people I'd seen every week, sometimes more than once a week, at either ballet class (don't laugh - I took ballet for eight years) or in Sunday/Saturday School at Temple, as well as classmates with whom I felt comfortable.  However, compared to my sister, who had so many friends and playdates that staying home was considered a serious punishment, I was, well... a loner.

Every fall our Temple had a weeklong sale of used and donated stuff, and my grade took over running the used clothing "booth".  We had fun joking around, selling and stocking and arranging, and because we all went to the same school, the others would make plans for later that day or the weekend; despite having fun at the time, I never joined in those plans.  One day, amid all that, someone mentioned that another friend was the definition of a social butterfly while I was the "anti-social butterfly."  I was neither insulted nor shocked.

Years - ok, decades - have passed and I am still naturally an "anti-social butterfly" and I'm ok with that.  I have friends that I talk to and spend time with (or, in this moment, Zoom with), but I'm just as happy, if not more, to be home with The Herd and Mt. Bookpile.

I've been reading a lot of articles and seeing videos and television snips about dealing with the isolation and feeling of being removed from society.  All I can think is that the previous 50+ years have been training for just this moment and that for all anti-social butterflies out there, this is our moment!  Let's grab it and celebrate how prepared we are.