Veronica


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Good riddance to 2020.  As I write this, there are 21 days left in the year and 41 left in the administration that made this year much worse than it needed to be.  But both are on their way out and so comes our annual holiday letter, pushed to the internet because I can’t go in to my office and print out copies.  So, let’s see what this year brought us. (more…)

I’m going to keep posting for as long as I can, but there are limits to that.  The 2001 Adapted Screenplay post will go up in a week or so but I can’t go past that because I don’t have the books I need and all the libraries are closed.  I have a 2019 specific post ready to go (probably going up Saturday) but it’s a different one than normal and I have to make a decision about the Year in Film / Best Picture posts.  Do I use our $15 in Fandango money to watch Uncut Gems and Bombshell and be in a position to do the post?  Or do we spend it on Emma which we would much rather watch and costs $20?  I would gladly spend $20 to see Portrait of a Lady on Fire (the only film other than Uncut Gems and Bombshell with more than 3 award nominations that I haven’t yet seen) but I’ve seen nothing to indicate that Neon will be making it available anytime soon.  Or should I just do the post without having seen those films?  I have a few other posts I am working on that don’t require anything that I don’t already have but we’ll see how long they take.

I don’t have unlimited time these days to work on posts because I am lucky enough to be working from home, joining Veronica who always works from home.  We’re keeping ourselves very isolated, only venturing out to buy groceries because Thomas is diabetic which makes him high risk if he came down with COVID.  So I’ll try to keep posting because maybe it will give something for people to read and escape from the shitshow of the world.

So, please, remember to follow the advice of Neil Diamond above.  I’ve sang “Sweet Caroline” during who knows how many Red Sox games and I’m glad he’s taking this seriously enough to adapt his lyrics.  So remember:

  • Wash your hands like you have a club stamp you don’t want your mom to see
  • Wash your hands like you were cutting jalapeños and have to change a contact lens
  • Wash your hands like you just convinced your husband to murder the king of Scotland
  • Love like Jesus but wash your hands like Pontius Pilate

note:  A little addition here.  From when I published it in February of 2011 until last month, my review of Camus’ The Plague never had more than 259 hits in a whole year.  It’s had 290 so far this month (with four days to go).  And my review of Love in the Time of Cholera, posted even earlier had only surpassed 100 hits in a month twice (one of which was the month Garcia Marquez died) and it’s up to 140.  So I guess we know what people are reading while stuck at home.

Veronica, Thomas and assorted friends gather to watch Christmas Eve on Sesame Street.

I will start, aside from wishing Merry Christmas (or whatever your choice of holiday is) to everyone, by quoting two different things I wrote in my piece on Christmas Eve on Sesame Street five years ago.

The first is “I have no religious feelings centering around Christmas.  I love Christmas for the feeling of good cheer and happiness that tend to abound.  The two songs “True Blue Miracle” and “Keep Christmas With You” both center around those notions.”  That is the explanation for the title.

The second is “Most of all this special works because it is a reminder that what I love about Christmas is the feeling in the air (and it doesn’t think Christmas is the only holiday – there is a nice Chanukah greeting for Mr. Hooper), that we can all love each other, that we can find peace on earth.  It makes me think of my e-mail signature, a quote from RFK: “But we can perhaps remember – even if only for a time – that those who live with us are our brothers, that they share with us the same short movement of life, that they seek – as we do – nothing but the chance to live out their lives in purpose and happiness, winning what satisfaction and fulfillment they can.”  That is what I love about Christmas.  And Sesame Street was always like that – always a reminder that we should be nice to each other, that life is so much better that way.” (more…)

I never did like that song anyway.  So, I’ll go with a different one.

You can take your snow and shove it /
This is our Christmas and we love it . . .

Yes, it’s only in the mid 60’s with some scattered showers, but last year on Christmas, it snowed several inches with a flash freeze and 30 mph wind gusts, so the hell with that.  We’ve come home and San Diego is where we’re staying and this year snow won’t keep us from going to the movies (Mary Poppins Returns at 10:30). (more…)

Veronica and Thomas leave for Wisconsin by car tomorrow.  My sister, Alison, and I leave by truck on Sunday.  That means there will be no posts until we are well and settled in California sometime in early July.  As for comments, well, we will approve them when we see them and can approve them, which may take some time.  So please be patient.  It will be hard for Veronica to find time to do that while with her family and hard for me to do it while strangling and/or being strangled by my sister.

I kid, of course.  Why, here’s a recent picture of Alison and I getting along:

So, while we have fun on our trip (“Yes, I can read a book while you spend 90 minutes plus whatever overage is waiting for someone to score in your World Cup match.”  “It is only the biggest spectator sport in the world, you jackass.”) rest assured that eventually your comments will be perused and approved.

Good times on the road ahead!  California here I come.  Right back where I started from.  In August of 1992.

It’s that time of year

Brandy and eggnog, there’s plenty of cheer

I’m not going to finish any more of the song because if you know it, then you’ll know why (and why I’m not embedding the video) and if you don’t, well then go here.  It’s appropriate though because it could have been called “A Very Southie Christmas”.  So it will make for a nice comparison to the song that is embedded at the end. (more…)

Our first picture together – by a waterfall off Route 6 on the road to Tillamook

As Veronica and I lay awake at four this morning listening to Thomas cough, something we had been doing since two since he is still terrible at blowing his nose and instead sniffles, allowing everything to go into his lungs and give him a raspy cough, I reminded Veronica that it was now the 12th of September.  “I assume that’s important,” she said.  “It means eighteen years ago today you were wearing sunflowers.”

That’s a reference to the sunflower dress that she was wearing the first day I met her.  Yes, I remember what she was wearing.  I remember the really cute manager I met on my first day at Barnes & Noble, the one who was all excited about the firemen who came into the store in full uniforms, the one I thought was 31 because she was a manager and in charge and so mature (she was 23) and who, I would later learn, thought I was 19, because of my youthful exuberance, I am certain (I was almost 25).  The manager who I picked out in the Secret Santa exchange (after putting two other names back) and who, when I was waiting for her to leave the breakroom so I could put her final present in her locker, looked at me and said “Are you waiting for me to leave so you can put my Secret Santa gift in my locker?”

We’ve survived through working together at five different jobs, through autism and diabetes, through far too many moves to mention and through a lot of early mornings wishing Thomas was asleep so that we could get back to sleep.  But I wouldn’t have wanted to go through this with anyone else for these last 18 years.

Our most recent picture together. She’s still wonderful. I’m still me.

Get ready for Series 10 with our Doctor lists.

Veronica’s Intro: I started watching Doctor Who because of Harry Potter.  I was rewatching Goblet of Fire for the umpteenth time and found myself thinking, “Barty Crouch Jr. is a really horrifying character, but the guy playing him is really compelling.” Okay, I may not have used the word “compelling,” but you get the idea. All I really knew about him was that he played Doctor Who and that a new season (or series if we want to be British about it) was coming to BBC America. Ironically, it was 2010, so the first episode I watched was The Eleventh Hour featuring Matt Smith, not David Tennant. And while I still have a huge crush on David Tennant, I don’t actually love his Doctor, but I appreciate that he’s what drew me in. I do, however, love Smith’s Doctor because he is a clown and all of my favorite Doctors are clowns: Troughton, Smith, and McCoy. Granted, they are clowns covering up deep pain and immense power and intrigue, but you never doubt they care for their companions and that they trying to make things better, even when they are running away.

Erik’s Intro:  I wrote more on the Doctors than Veronica did because writing is my thing.  I first started watching Doctor Who when I was a Freshman at Brandeis and I met a group of like minded geeks and we would gather to watch that and Black Adder on Saturday nights.  I never really took to Adder like I did to Who.  Watching those Fourth Doctor adventures, with Sarah Jane Smith as a companion was great fun and nights like those were really the only things I missed when I decided to leave Brandeis after just one semester.  It was after Veronica got into watching Matt Smith that I insisted we should do it right.  We started with the halfway measure, watching from the start of the new series, but after catching up (in 2012), we bounced all the way back to the beginning and began everything with Hartnell and did it right.  And long, as it took us five years. (more…)

img_1574Well, 2016 is almost over and it’s about damn time.  But there’s still time to open presents and relax for a day (or, maybe more, since Veronica and I left work early on Friday after the idiots doing construction at UMass Boston cut the water line to the Mass Archives).  The picture is Thomas opening his annual ornament from Great-Aunt Melinda and Great-Uncle Dave (who is home for Christmas after a rough year, so that’s something good).

img_1575On the left is a picture of our breakfast.  It’s baked French toast, which Veronica baked in her new Dutch oven, a gift from my mother.  Later today, well, later today we will sit around and probably open the pile of presents and later watch some football.  Later in the week, Veronica and I will be headed down to the City, because, you know, HAMILTON!!!!!!  Woot!  And 2017 might hopefully be better, because, you know, Baby Groot!  And more Star Wars (I’ve seen Rogue One three times so far)!

Oh, and as for why we thought 2016 sucked?  Well, part of it should be obvious.  And part of it is made more obvious with the embedded video below, just one of the gazillion people who died this year.

2015-12-25-bestWe hope you had fun.

As ever, still my favorite Christmas song.  Thank you, John Lennon.

We are not roasting chestnuts on an open fire, because 1 – I don’t particularly like that song, 2 – we don’t have a fireplace, 3 – I don’t like nuts, and most importantly, 4 – because it’s too friggin hot!  It was 70° yesterday!  70!  On Christmas Eve!

For once, all the presents haven’t been opened yet, which is causing Veronica much consternation.  We combine various Christmas traditions – there’s no way she’d go for my family’s old tradition of actually spreading things over 12 days but this is the first time in years I’ve managed to keep some of the presents until after lunch.

So, a Happy Christmas to everyone who celebrates it.  Happy late (C)Hanukkah to others.  If your thing is not one of those two, we hope you enjoy that as well.

We got Christmas Eve on Sesame Street watched last night.  We watched Mickey’s Christmas Carol (which we gave to Thomas this year so we wouldn’t have to keep checking Disney every year to find out when it will air).  I’ll be cueing up A Charlie Brown Christmas after I post this.  We also headed to the theaters to watch The Good Dinosaur, a fun movie but one of Pixar’s weakest. (more…)

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