Monday, February 22, 2021

Monday Malarkey

Our week in a nutshell:

That's a sleet drift. We had sleet for nearly 24 hours, followed by a full day of snow flurries that melted into the sleet and formed a solid block of ice. The third day we had snow most of the day (big, fluffy flakes) but again, it just solidified. And, then I think we had a day off followed by freezing rain. At any rate, we were stuck indoors for 6 days. When I went outside to take photos it was so slippery that I had to put a towel down over the ice to get close to the icicles I wanted to photograph. On Saturday, we took a drive and, although it was in the 40s and the ice was melting, even on the highway there were still shady stretches where it was down to one clear lane. It was kind of a tense drive, actually. We enjoyed getting out of the house but were glad to get home. 

Recent arrivals:

Not a thing. I do have one pre-order winging its way to me but due to the winter storm, Saturday of this weekend was the first time we received mail since the previous Saturday and there were no books. Delivery by USPS and UPS was so thoroughly shut down due to ice on the roads (trucks couldn't get up the off ramps because they were so icy and locals actually went out to feed the stranded truckers) that there weren't even any tracking updates till Saturday and I still have at least one outstanding order for which tracking hasn't been updated. I imagine the backlog is something. We also still haven't had trash service.

We were very fortunate. Our refrigerator got up to 70°, one night (it's temperamental but not broken), so we lost most of our fresh food but we had plenty of canned and frozen and our power never even blinked. In advance of the storm we cleaned the kitchen, bought groceries, cooked ahead, and did literally all the laundry because we've been through ice storms that knocked out power and water (not at the same time) in the past and knew exactly what we needed to do to prepare. We were undoubtedly in better shape than a lot of folks stranded at home. It was a little weird not doing laundry or running the dishwasher or vacuum cleaner (to prevent rolling blackouts — I also unplugged the computer and other things we didn't absolutely need plugged in). I'm playing laundry catch-up, today. 

Books finished since last Malarkey:

  • A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain by Robert Olen Butler
  • In Our Time by Ernest Hemingway
  • Apex Hides the Hurt by Colson Whitehead
  • The Widow of Pale Harbor by Hester Fox

This has been a disappointing month, both in quantity and enjoyment level, so far. But, I haven't disliked anything badly enough to DNF; I just haven't fallen massively in love with anything I've read. I'm about ready to trash February and move on to March, but the book I started last night is an improvement.

Currently reading:

  • The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart

I set Milkman aside completely and didn't read a single page of it, last week. Not sure if I'll return to it or not. I remember exactly what's happened so I don't think I'll have any trouble resuming the reading but it's just exhausting. I need actual chapters and paragraph breaks. I'll have to think about it. In the meantime, Coyote Sunrise was calling to me and so far it's the first book I've fully enjoyed reading, this month, so we'll see how that goes. 

Posts since last Malarkey:

In other news:

I managed to finish Season 1 of Stargirl but not The Flight Attendant before our son's HBOMax subscription expired. Stargirl was fun. And, I was enjoying The Flight Attendant, but it had a few too many flashbacks to the bloody dead guy. Husband hates blood and gore — which I don't enjoy but tolerate if the story is good enough — so I had to keep turning off the TV when he walked into the room. For the same reason, we started watching Harrow (Australian series about a forensic pathologist) and didn't even last a full two episodes. It was too gory and not compelling enough to be worth the yuck.

So, we're back to watching Chuck from the beginning and our new daily thing for the last couple of months has been watching Good Morning, Britain at the end of the day. I particularly enjoy it when they're talking about the US because I like seeing a British perspective on American events. It was great fun watching Piers Morgan get riled up about our Insurrection and his belief that his former buddy should be convicted and prevented from ever running for office again. So emphatic. He also told Sarah Palin that she sounded "bonkers" when he tried to get her to say the presidential election was free and fair but she kept saying, "There were all kinds of shenanigans" then wouldn't elaborate. 

In movies, I watched Outbreak (1995), the old hemorrhagic fever movie starring Dustin Hoffman. It held up well except for one thing: The doctors saying, "We might not ever see another brand new virus in our lifetimes!!" Of course, new viruses emerge all the time so that was silly. But, otherwise it was a pretty solid movie with plenty of tension and, I thought, better than the more recent Contagion (2011), which I viewed recently and found forgettable. 

Mid-week, husband and I watched Letters to Juliet (2010), which we've never seen, before. A friend posted on Facebook about viewing loads of romance movies on Valentine's Day and most were old favorites of mine. But I'd never heard of Letters to Juliet and I figured if she liked all those other movies I liked, it must be good. Well, no. Husband's review of the movie: "That's not even good enough for The Hallmark Channel." My review of the movie: "Meh." But, I did cry when Vanessa Redgrave found her long-lost Italian love. 

Another movie we watched was Broken Arrow (1996). And, I say "we" but Huz walked in and out of the room. He'd sit for a while and then wander off. I thought it held up very well. John Travolta's character is a bit overdramatized, in my humble opinion, but it was every bit as entertaining as the last time I saw it and I didn't feel like it was outdated in any way. 

I also watched The Outsiders but unfortunately my DVD was probably a pirated copy because it was missing some scenes, crucially the beginning scene with Ponyboy coming out of the theater and getting attacked by the Socs. Bummer. Fortunately, I did see that bit when I tried to find to find the movie on YouTube. I guess I may have to pay for a digital download. I'm old enough that I have a very low digital download mental maximum but this time it was clearly a mistake to go for the DVD instead of the download. Oh, well. Live and learn. 

In the midst of all this, I've been doing a 100-day art challenge. Some days, I had to put on 3 layers before I warmed up enough to paint (we kept the temp in the house at 67°) and I don't always do much, since most of what I'm doing involves building up layers of paint and collage. But, I have so far done something every day for 21 days. Very fun! 

Wow, this was a long post! We had such an eventful week. My heart is with Texans still dealing with the aftermath of last week's storm and fingers are crossed that something will be done to prevent a repeat of the horror. We know we had it easy, here. 

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  1. We've had sleet that freezes solid, also- though not as much I thnk. No power lost yet. Looks like it might start to thaw out today. Yesterday I was amusing myself picking up ice chunks that had slid off the roof (solar panels) and tossing them off the deck onto the yard. Two inches or more frozen snow/ice on the lawn, and the ice would just shatter and skid across it. Nice time to stay cozy inside with some books!

    1. We still have a little sleet drift under the front bushes but otherwise, all has melted. You're right, icy weather is a great excuse to stay indoors and read! I never went beyond the covered porches, apart from the one time when I wanted to photograph the icicles, last week. It was just too hazardous and I figured that in case the power went off I should keep myself warm. It never did go off and we're back up to normal temperatures. I don't miss being trapped indoors! It was fun, though. We just look at things like being trapped by pandemics and winter storms as new adventures.


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