Still Alone… Day 9

Still Alone… Day 9

I was born into a family of writers, but a writer I am not. So trying to blog, participate in the NaMaBlo, is difficult. It is frustrating because I have all sorts of thoughts bouncing around in my head, but when I sit down to write, I can’t think of anything.

Forcing me to put thoughts (on paper? Can I use that expression anymore?) forces me to expose the lack of depth of my ideas.

Well, I’m off to work, but maybe I’ll try to write more when I get home. If I remember. That’s another reason I’m not such a good writer. I don’t have that burning urge to communicate. But I wanted to get something posted because I know I have to write a lot to maybe force the writer within to come out. After all, it’s in the genes.

Day 5 of 15, Alone for the First Time in 30 years

Day 5 of 15, Alone for the First Time in 30 years

Boy, was that a good weekend. Did I already say that? What was the icing on the cupcake is that it was Daylight Savings Time. (Or was it the end of DST?) Fall backward and get an extra hour goes a long way.

I was feeling pretty good last night after having a restful weekend and feeling a bit productive on Sunday with some chores and odds and ends I caught up on. Went to sleep early to keep my cough under control, but this morning was cold and I slept in until 6:15! I’m almost walking out the door at that time, so it wasn’t a good way to start the day.

Work was work. I like the people, but there are other issues I’m having a hard time managing. I won’t go into detail here, but if someone from the workplace were to read this, it wouldn’t come as a surprise so I’m not worried about writing that. There are just things that have to be worked through so it can be a fun job.

It was getting dark when I left work at 5 and it was dark by the time I got home 50 minutes later. The animals were happy to see me. Dog spit up. There’s always some body fluids to clean up around here from the pets.

Right now it’s still a novelty to come home and eat whatever I want, not have to talk with anyone, watch anything I want (I normally control the TV anyways, but there are sometimes snide comments), and just hang. By myself. It’s Day 5 of All About Me. Will it get old?

Days 1 thru 3 of Being Alone

Days 1 thru 3 of Being Alone

I’m on Day 3 out of 15 of being alone for the first time in almost 30 years. I think there’s been the random night once or twice, but this is different.

My husband, Mark, is traveling with our son in Peru for a couple of weeks. So far, I’m digging it. And I bet most people who are reading this are a bit envious. For whenever I tell someone, usually a woman, that it’s just me, myself, and I for two weeks, they get this look in their eyes that tell me they are fantasizing about the experience. I may be wrong, but I think women crave being alone more than men.

When I came home for Day 1, it felt a little weird. What was I going to do? Turns out, I didn’t do anything. Fed the animals, ate some leftovers, watched TV and went to bed. It was boring and I thought about whether or not I was going to waste my great opportunity and just watch TV for two weeks.

Day 2 – It was Halloween so I made sure to get out of work on time because it was going to be an hour and 15 minutes to get home on a big night like that. Came home to feed the dog and then right back out to meet friends for a glass of wine at a new place. This is a couple that we normally see as a couple, but it was perfectly fine being on my own. When I came home, I went to my neighbor’s house to visit. They had a total of three trick-or-treater groups knock on their door. It was a rainy evening. I didn’t miss much.

Day 3 – A Saturday! Showered, paid bills and watched two movies by noon! That was a productive morning in my situation. Took the dog on a long walk for about an hour and then came back to watch more movies while I worked on a new website. I really enjoy those stupid Hallmark movies and even have an idea for one that I would love to develop. Wish I had talent.

I just returned from going back to my neighbor’s where we caught up a bit on some TV viewing. We started watching Sunday night shows back when Desperate Housewives was on. Now we watch Once Upon a Time and The Good Wife. And maybe a Shark Tank here and there. It’s always a good time to catch up on what’s happened during the week, watch TV and do a little gossiping.

I’m not sure I’ll get everything I want to do done tomorrow. I will have to leave the house to do a little shopping and visit a friend who is moving into a new condo. What’s scary to me is how much I don’t want to leave the house. I picture myself growing old and never going out or even showering. I’ll wear sweats all day, or anything with elastic, and will go out once a week to replenish my wine, cheese and prepared meals. I know what I’m capable of and it’s not pretty.


Might-See TV

Might-See TV

I was born in the mid-1950’s, at the height of the baby boom. I have vivid memories of watching Leave It to Beaver and Ozzie and Harriet in glorious black and white. My sister will confirm that as a child, I lived for the Fall Premiere issue of TV Guide, which I devoured and memorized and selected all the great shows I wanted to watch.

I loved television so much that I decided I wanted to work in production, and majored in it in college. I used to cut out early in the afternoons to catch reruns of Mary Tyler Moore and was only half-joking when I told people it was for research. And for a while, I pursued that dream, culminating in a behind-the-scenes job at The Tonight Show, as well as writing and selling a couple of sitcom scripts.

Of course, that was another lifetime ago. Why I left the wonderful realm of television production and entered the real world of working people is fodder for another post. The point I’m trying to make is that for a very long time, television was my LIFE. And I never got over the anticipation of the joys of a new season, sampling as many new series as I can and making the hard decisions when the networks would inevitably schedule three really good shows right against each other. Of course, those dilemmas did not last long, as the programs I fall in love with tend to die in the ratings.

Which brings us to the Fall 2014 season. Maybe it’s a sign that I’m finally growing up, but I’m finding very few shows that I care enough to DVR for an entire season. And that’s a problem, because I’ve been at home recovering from surgery — which means this is the first time in years when I’ve had the time to watch a lot of TV. As it turns out: it’s not so easy.

I have tried, but cannot get excited about all the series this year that are based on comic books. I love the look of Gotham, but that’s about it. The show is very well done, but there’s something missing. I don’t really care about the characters. They’re just … boring. Even the villains like baby Penguin Oswald Cobblepot and crime boss Fish Mooney just make me yawn. Needless to say, I haven’t even bothered to peek at all the other comic book series currently airing on the networks: The Flash, Arrow and Agent Carter.

I will say that I am still watching last year’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and feel it got a lot better as the series progressed, so I’m giving Gotham a little more time. I just wish the characters were a bit more fun to watch, like the ones on Sleepy Hollow. I tend to avoid horror-type shows, but Sleepy’s over-the-top scripting and sense of humor hooked me last year. It’s like Scandal, only with the Founding Fathers and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

I have to laugh every time CBS touts Scorpion, its series about a bunch of crime-fighting geniuses as a huge hit. The show is overwhelmingly stupid and I will be surprised if it lasts an entire season. And I won’t even go near Stalker, thanks to all its fear-mongering promos. Between breathless reporting on ebola, terrorism and crime, I get enough paranoia on the local news. I don’t need it in my entertainment programming.

Maybe my ennui is rooted in the long, long, network roll-out this year – from early September for a few Fox shows into late October or even November on the other networks. NBC waited until Tuesday to debut its highly touted romantic comedy Marry Me. Thanks to the CBS decision to air Thursday night football, some of their new sitcoms and returning Thursday series won’t begin for another couple of weeks.

By the way: The Marry Me pilot was worth the wait. Funny and unexpected, with lots of energy. Casey Wilson and Ken Marino are adorable as the engaged, 30-something couple. If they keep it up, it will be the best of the three rom-coms on this Fall’s schedules (the other two being A to Z and Manhattan Love Story). I like rom-coms. They’re one of my many guilty pleasures. I’m watching all three, even if I end up hating myself for it.

Other shows I’ve been sampling this year:

Madam Secretary – Not as good as The Good Wife, but good enough.

Jane the Virgin – AWESOME pilot. Crazy concept, but they made it work. Jane (Gina Rodriguez) is a virgin who is artificially inseminated by accident and lives a real-life telenovela. It’s funny and charming and magical. I can’t wait for the second episode.

Selfie – This show, based on Pygmalion and anchored in the world of social media, is growing on me. I didn’t care for the way they characterized Karen Gillan’s Instagram-obsessed Eliza, but I actually LOL’d a couple of times watching the second episode, where John Cho’s analog Henry Higgins character gets hooked on Facebook. I was a fan of producer Emily Kapnek’s last series, Suburgatory, so I’m willing to trust her and continue to watch for a while.

Black-ish – This reminds me a lot of the Bernie Mac show, which I adored when it aired years ago. Not surprisingly, both were co-created by Larry Wilmore (who will be replacing Stephen Colbert on Comedy Central soon). ABC was smart to program it on the same night as Modern Family, The Middle and The Goldbergs – it fits right in. And like those other shows, it boasts a capable cast – from the parents (played by Anthony Andrews and the wonderful Tracey Ellis Ross) right on down to the kids (Marcus Scribner, Yara Shahidi, Miles Brown and Marsai Martin).

The Mysteries of Laura – The tone of this cop show reminds me a lot of Castle. It’s not going to win any awards, but Debra Messing and Josh Lucas are engaging performers.

Red Band Society – I did not expect to like this series set in a pediatric hospital ward, and it felt ironic to begin watching it following my recent surgery. I was pleasantly surprised by its heart and its winning cast (I would follow Octavia Spencer anywhere). The plots are outrageous (they let teens who need organ transplants out of the hospital whenever they want? And admit an undocumented teenage cancer victim for treatment without parental consent or insurance?), but once you suspend your disbelief (and get reeled in by the sweetness of the cast), it’s an entertaining hour.

How to Get Away with Murder – This is the one everyone’s watching, thanks to the Shonda Rhimes connection — and so am I. But I’m not yet at a point where I’m lovin’ it. But Scandal took me some time to warm up with, too.

It bothers me that the networks have nearly given up on programming anything on Friday or Saturday nights, preferring to air repeats of shows they run earlier in the week. It saves them a ton of money, I’m sure – but the result is fewer opportunities to take chances on something quirky or original. I understand that viewership is down, but I am also old enough to remember when Saturday night was THE highlight of the CBS schedule, with Mary Tyler Moore, Bob Newhart and Carol Burnett generating huge ratings from every demographic (because these were the days when families sat down to watch TV together).

That’s why I’m so grateful for streaming services like Netflix. Last Saturday, I binge-watched something called The Peaky Blinders, which is a British gangster series set in the era right after World War I (kind of a UK Boardwalk Empire). All I can say is: WOW. And that I’m sorry for the lag between when it airs in the UK and when we finally get it here (the second series is running on the BBC now and it will likely be another year before I get to find out what happens next). I recommend it highly.

And ask you: What should I view THIS weekend?

Many (not just two) Drinks Away

Many (not just two) Drinks Away

Over the fourth of July weekend, Donna and family came up, as well as my brother-in-law and his wife. The in-laws arrived Thursday and left Monday morning after I went to work. There were a lot of wine drinkers in the room… for days. Some champagne, too.

When I went to work Monday morning, I can’t say that I was hungover, as I didn’t have a headache nor was I dehydrated. But I think along with the anemia problems I have, I had a very difficult time focusing all day. I was very tired and my head was foggy like I get sometimes with the low iron. In the past I worked at home at my own business, so if I wasn’t feeling well, since I worked for myself I figured I was just hurting myself. Working for someone else was different.

I really struggled through the day and was almost embarrassed. I tried to put off answering emails that needed any critical thinking. Everything for me felt “off”.

I felt better by Wednesday, but on Friday my sister-in-law and her husband came for a visit. They stayed at a hotel and had other things to do during the day on Saturday, so the visit wasn’t quite as intense. But they, too, enjoy the red wine.

My husband was quite surprised when I said I was going to buy some wine before the second-weekend visitors arrived. “We have so much wine!” he said. I tried to withhold my shock  and control my mouth regarding his lack of awareness. Did he not see the trash being hauled out to the cans?

I did much better that second Monday morning, both because I think I my iron was slightly better and also because I had stopped drinking wine after Saturday (well, except for the mimosa while watching the World Cup on Sunday. Does a mimosa count?).

I haven’t had much to drink the last during the weeks because I find that my body tells me enough is enough when I’ve really had too much. I just haven’t felt like it. I’m very grateful for that.

This coming Thursday, however, I will be going to Blogher with Donna. We’ve had good times in the past and I figure the will alcohol will be flowing and I’ll quickly get in the mood. And while it will be fun, it won’t be the same as when I’m with our family. I guess that’s why we enjoy being around each other so much.

P.S. The Sodaro Felicity Cabernet picture with this article is that of a very nice wine. Try it if you get the chance to go to their tasting room. Yum.


Day 5 of 15, Alone for the First Time in 30 years

The Sun and the Moon

When we were in our 20s and still both lived in Los Angeles, some of our mutual friends dubbed my sister and me “the Sun and the Moon.” I’m still not sure which of us was which, but the point is — we have very different personalities.

My sister is a very social animal: She loves surrounding herself with friends and family and makes entertaining look easy.

Me? Not so much.

I’m not exactly anti-social. But I’m lazy. I hate housework to the point that I rarely do any unless I know someone is coming over. That someone is usually my sister — and she doesn’t make the 400-mile trip to see me all that often, so you can imagine the state my house is in most of the time.

The thought of allowing a friend to come to the house and follow me around while I clean gives me the heebie-jeebies.

I have friends, and I enjoy socializing with them – but it’s usually at a neutral place, like a restaurant. Or their place.

Unless they want me to help them with their cleaning… That’s when I’ll say adios.