Tag Archives: TV

Pollyanna Plays Around and About and All Over

What do y’all mean, that’s what you heard?

Lyda here. I know I promised fiber-related content, but I can’t resist a Random Weirdness post…

Firstly, about the post title:

1) It’s okay for me to play around, I’m a single and commitment-free Pollyanna;

2) Unfortunately, there hasn’t been any of THAT kind of playing around in a while (a dry spell this long could prove fatal, y’all);

3) If there was some of that kind of playing around, I would not hint about it… I would either tell y’all about it or not mention it at all, depending;

4) So now y’all are wondering if all this is a clever rouse to distract from any playing around I have been doing and on that subject I will say…

No comment;

and 5) I wasn’t talking about that kind of playing around anyway, and y’all should be ashamed.

Actually, I brought it up. I’m the one who should be ashamed. Should I also be ashamed that I’m not ashamed?

But I digress…

What was I talking about? What day is this? Where am I? What planet is this? Ah yes, Earth. “Oh, what a dull name.”

And speaking of cake – and I believe we were…

What? We weren’t talking about cake? Let’s!

What do y’all think about Chocolate Bacon Cupcakes? If you’ve tried them, I’d love to hear what you thought. I found them here: Bacon is the New Black. I love this blog – all baking, all the time! – and plenty of yummy cupcakes to drool over. There is even a Battle for the Cupcakes, which Marin and the Sith Master will like.

I love the rainbow cupcakes – that would work with any light-colored batter and would be fun for a kid’s birthday party. Or just a rainy day. I wonder how it would look with chocolate batter – I’m thinking you might get just a hint of color… Hmmm….

I miss cooking, y’all. I’m a weirdo, I know. But I miss having my own kitchen and cooking meals for my son and for my friends. I miss making a pot roast and then eating it for days in a row. I miss my Famous Mashed Potatoes and my Famous Roast Chicken. I miss making stew on a cool day. When Santa’s sleigh approaches, I miss knowing that I’ll be making a big feast and then eating it for the rest of the week. I would have really missed cooking last Thanksgiving except I was busy having the Worst Cold In The History Of The World.

I really miss baking too. Mixing ingredients together, adding heat, and – science! alchemy! magic! – you get cake.

CAKE!!

Right now, I pretty much microwave my food, and occasionally make something on top of the stove. It’s not that I couldn’t cook in the kitchen – I think my roommates trust me enough to let me use the oven, even though I’m not allowed to use the fireplace and I can’t figure out how to open the patio door.

Okay, the door has a very weird locking/opening thingy, and I’m always worried I’ll have to leave it unlocked and the zombies will get in and eat the dog. For which my roommates would never forgive me.

Also, the zombies might disturb the decor at Chez Disney. Zombies are always looking for the perfect Disney memorabilia. Or so I’ve heard.

The fireplace thing is because a previous tenant apparently almost burned the place down. I don’t mind not being able to use it, though, because I spend all my time up in my room, and the fireplace won’t fit up the stairs.

But I digress again…

Two, three, four… and then there was the time…

Y’all know I spend a lot of time watching TV.

I’ve been watching Being Erica, which combines time travel and psychology… it’s hard to explain… just trust me, y’all will relate… and even if not, there is a very cute guy…

And Elementary – modern day Holmes and female Dr. Watson, with a few tweeks. I like it but…

I prefer Sherlock . You may recognize a hobbit in the cast photo…

My favorite new discovery is probably Misfits. British sci-fi comedy with a dark edge and a gritty attitude… plus funny sex scenes. SEX! When they say “adult content” on the official site, they mean it.

I was watching  Terra Nova even after it jumped the shark(here’s the scene that is the origin of that fishy phrase… but I digress even more…) I was attracted to Terra Nova for a lot of reasons:  time travel, sci-fi excitement, interesting promos. Attractive leading man. 

But really, they had me at dinosaurs. DINOSAURS!!

Of course, I’m also eagerly gobbling up this season of The Walking Dead. And also The Talking Dead.

ZOMBIES!!

Ahem.

Chores. Work. A life.

Right.

I’ll just go and get right on that, shall I?

Just ignore the remote in my lap…

Quick, I’ll distract y’all with this, so you can get next year’s holiday shopping done really early:  the perfect gift guide… if you are seeking revenge, that is!

VINDETTA! VINDETTA!

That’s for the Sith Master. Can anyone name the Simpson’s episode that it’s from?

Be sure to check out this post too.

PIG LICKING!!

Ah, how I’ve missed digressing with y’all…

Advertisements

Pollyanna Pleads Insanity

Again.

Lyda here.

Exhausted and hungry after a very long day of work, I drove home and put some food in the microwave to heat up. When it is ready, I will abandon you to eat and watch TV.

Sitting on the couch with my feet up, with the remote, a blanket, and probably Disney dog drooling on me.

An ambitious plan for a Friday night, yes?

Pollyanna Survives the Extermination

Lyda here.

Today was a cloudy day with bouts of gentle rain. I spent the whole day inside, mostly on the couch watching TV. I did do my laundry and put it away, but that is all I accomplished today.

I spent part of the day watching a series on BBC America called Survivors. Not a reality show. At least I hope not. It is science fiction, set in the modern day, about the survivors of a disease that has killed 99% of the population. The episodes are surprising, at turns touching and scary, but always engrossing, as the show explores what it means to be human, and what civilization really is. The actors are all excellent, enjoying playing well-written characters dealing with difficult and complex situations at every turn. 

A update of a classic 70’s show , which also was a book by Terry Nation. You have have heard of another show Terry Nation worked on, Doctor Who. He created the Daleks.

Executive productor Adrian Hodges co-created another of my favorite BBC shows, Primeval. A show with creatures from the past and future appearing through tears in time and causing no end of problems for a valiant and funny team of scientists – y’all know I love it. A mammoth crashing around on the freeway, raptors running loose in the mall, team members crossing into past and future terrain… Definitely worth watching on DVD.

And why am I up so late? Because I said I’d post every day in March, and I couldn’t drag myself away from the TV earlier…

Time for bed…

Pollyanna Versus the Endless Apartment Search

Lyda here.

It sure feels like this search is endless. Haven’t found the place yet. Heck, it’s not like I have to move next week or anything.

Wait… I DO have to move next week.

I hit the rental ads again today. Spoke to a lot of people, but no one with an immediately available apartment in my price range that takes cats. Left some messages. I have two leads – one nearby, one a distance away. Hopefully I’ll be able to see these places and apply tomorrow or Monday. Nothing more I can do today, so I’m doing this post instead. 

It’s looking bad for keeping the cats at this point. I cannot even talk about how bad I feel about that, how sad and guilty and lonely it makes me feel. And if I can’t keep them, what will happen to them?

And I’m afraid that I won’t be able to find anyone who will take me because of my credit history and my situation with my current landlord.

And in the midst of all of this, my body is freaking out. I’m having a huge fibromyalgia flare-up which is causing me a lot of pain, loss of sleep, and screwing up my digestive process (I will spare you the details).

And my right knee and my right achilles tendon have been excruitatingly painful for the last two weeks and have practically refused to work at all.

Which could be related to the fibromyalgia. Or it could be the extra physical exertion. Or the stress. Or the lack of sleep. Or something as yet undiagnosed because I haven’t had the time / energy / courage to make a doctor’s appointment about it.

Or it could be all of the above.

To add to the overwhelm, my *expletive deleted* current landlord just stopped by with another *expletive deleted* letter in a sealed envelope. Which so far has been the opposite of good news. I’m afraid to open it, and so I’m beating myself up for being afraid, and for not opening it, and for even being in this *expletive deleted* situation which was totally created by my own stuff.

A lot of beating myself up is going on.

Yet there is a tiny voice inside saying that opening it tomorrow – when my son can hold my hand and my brother and my BF will probably both be available by phone for support – will not make any difference in the cosmic scheme of things.

And also it is totally okay that I can’t spell “scheme” today without looking it up. Edited on 12/31 to add: I finally looked it up and corrected the spelling – I was spelling “scheme” as “squeem” – which dictionary.com says isn’t a word. Apparently it is a brand of shapewear. Rubber underwear. Curiouser and curiouser. And have you noticed, the models never look as though they need this kind of support wear? Not that anyone really needs it. It can’t be good for your internal organs, being that squashed.

But I digress…

And it is okay that my heart is pounding just a bit about all of this.

Okay, a lot.

Trying not to go into a full panic attack.

Breathe. Think of something else. Listen to happy son killing zombies with his friend on his new game. Look at adorable cats curled up and sleeping on packing paper. Remember that it will all work out okay somehow.

It’s okay that I don’t know how it will work out. It’s okay that I’m scared. It’s okay that I want to distract myself for tonight and deal with it when I’m rested and fed and have support. It’s okay that I don’t know where I’m moving yet.

It’s okay.

And so I interrupt this post with happy things.

I spent Xmas Eve and Xmas morning with the Resident Sith Master. We had a great time, both of us enjoying our presents and not minding at all that there were not more. He got me two videos – one for my birthday which I opened early so the present doesn’t get lost in the move: the new Star Trek movie, and “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” (1993). He went to his dad’s before lunch, and I was happy because he goes to his dad’s happily now and I’m so pleased that their relationship is in such a great place.

I settled down to a day of watching TV and eating chocolate. In my robe. Watched some of “Fido” and some old Sherlock Holmes movies, and some “Clean House” and some of just whatever I wandered across. I took a short nap, even. RSM surprised me by coming home for dinner – I wasn’t expecting him back until this morning – and we had a nice relaxed evening and watched more TV together.

Today I spent some quality time killing zombies with RSM, and then listening to him play with Second Son who lives in New York. And now listening to him play with his friend who’s home from college for the holidays.

Just being in the same space with my son is the best thing ever.

And I spent some quality time today catching up on the blogs on our blogroll, which are funny and insightful and informative and touching and… Y’all are just fabulous!

I spent some quality time petting each cat. Ditto laughing at their antics.

I spent some wonderful time talking with Gorgeous and Available Engineer Brother, which is always quality time. I spent great time yesterday talking with Gorgeous and Younger Brother, which is also always quality time.

And yesterday, Anna-Liza and I had a fantastic and long conversation which was the best present she could ever give me – herself.

So, the wonderful still and always outweighs the ick.

Tomorrow is another day.

And, no matter what, it will all be okay.

Pollyanna Versus Acedia

Lyda here.

I recently read “Acedia & me: a marriage, monks, and a writer’s life” by Kathleen Norris.

And now I know what I’ve been battling lately. And by “lately” I mean the last several years. Actually, most of my life.

Acedia. Naming the beast is the first step to taming it. I hope.

Because of its subtle and complex nature, defining acedia requires some effort. Wordsworth described “a state of almost savage torpor.” [Preface, “Lyrical Ballads.”] 

Norris writes:

The person afflicted with acedia refuses to care or is incapable of doing so. When life becomes too challenging and engagement with others too demanding, acedia offers a kind of spiritual morphine: you know the pain is there, yet can’t rouse yourself to give a damn.

She says “the boundaries between depression and acedia are notoriously fluid.” And later, she writes:

Acedia contains within itself so many concepts:  weariness, despair, ennui, boredom, restlessness, impasse, futility… [It is] a time of great spiritual aridity, when desire itself seems dead, and forsaking hope seems the only adult thing to do.

The medieval monks understood acedia to be a deadly sin (it was later absorbed into “sloth”), and called it “the noontime demon.”

Norris includes quotes about acedia throughout the book, and collects many more in the last chapter:

In Inferno, Dante speaks for the dead who had succummed to acedia in life, now confined to the fourth circle of Hell:

Once we were grim
And sullen in the sweet air above, that took
A further gladness from the play of sun;
Inside us, we bore acedia’s dismal smoke.
We have this black mire now to be sullen in.

Poet Anne Finch  in “The Spleen“: “Through thy black jaundice I all objects see / As dark, as terrible as thee”

 Henry David Thoreau: “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”

Shakespeare certainly understood acedia. It is one of the reasons I’m drawn to “Hamlet.” I feel at home from the opening scene when Francisco says “’tis bitter cold, And I am sick at heart.”

I realize that many of the characters I identify with suffer from acedia.

Hamlet:

How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable
Seem to me all the uses of this world.  Act I, scene ii

Sherlock Holmes:

I cannot live without brain-work. What else is there to live for? Stand at the window here. Was ever such a dreary, dismal, unprofitable world? See how the yellow fog swirls down the street and drifts across the dun-coloured houses. What could be more hopelessly prosaic and material? The Sign of the Four” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Adrian Monk:

Don’t get me started on joy. When you’re older you’ll understand. Joy is a trick, a diversion. It doesn’t last forever. It breaks your heart every time. DAMN JOY!  “Mr. Monk and the Man Who Shot Santa”

It may seem strange, but reading this book really helped me. Kathleen Norris did a lot of research, but she also describes her own battle with acedia, her own ups and downs. Somehow, it helped to read that she has her own noontime demon, that others throughout history have struggled with this, that I am not alone.

What have I found that eases my acedia?  Meditation is very helpful, when I can do it. For me, meditation is one way to pray, and the medieval monks believed that prayer was the cure for acedia.

I often find that I cannot start with prayer or meditation, that I have to use another coping strategy first.

Like cleaning. Cleaning helps a lot, actually. It has something to do with physically changing my environment for the better; if I cannot do anything else, I can at least clean.

And then perhaps I can move on to something else.

Journaling. Writing. Quilting. Knitting. If I can get myself started, it is meditative for me, moving me into a more peaceful and positive place.

Painting. Photography. Collaging. Sketching. All of them help.

Sometimes the images created during these times are horrific, dark, and frightening. Sometimes they are surprisingly light and positive.

The very thing that blocks my creativity is healed by expressing my creativity. Just as the medieval monks found it difficult to pray when suffering from acedia, yet knew prayer was the cure.

The irony is not lost on me.

And so my battle continues with my own noonday demon.

Other things that almost always help? Talking with the Resident Sith Master. Talking with Anna-Liza.

And humor. Humor is essential.

So I think we’ll give Monk the last word: 

 From “Mr. Monk and the Actor”:

Dr. Kroger: And they canceled the movie [about you]?

Monk: [Ruskin] said he wanted to play a character who wasn’t so dark and depressing. [pause] He’s in England playing Hamlet.

Pollyanna’s sign says “I still aten’t dead”

Lyda here, not Granny Weatherwax. Confirming that the infusion of cake from Marin was what I needed to keep going. That, and lots of Sir Terry Prachett and TV.

All of the infusions are helping. The foot is still sprained and the doctor is referring me to a foot specialist. “I spent 6 years in medical school and two years as an intern to spend my life with feet??” Hey, could be worse, and ya’ll know what I’m talking about. But I digress…

In my time on the couch, I’ve seen a lot of zombies – more about that soon – and discovered that cable television is more proof that the world is weirder than you can imagine. Yes, even weirder than that.

For example…

Ya’ll have heard of, and probably seen, “America’s Next Top Model”. C’mon, ‘fess up.

But… have you seen the drag queen equivalent?

RuPaul’s Drag Race is um… educational. And good old fashioned bizarre fun. I watched Episode 1 “Drag on a Dime”, which combined my love of a bargain with my love of… well, the weird. No excuses, Anna-Liza, that’s a video link to the full episode.

Hot cars and hot guys soaping up queens for a photo shoot.

I love television.

Pollyanna Rainbow Sunshine Does the Java Jive

Anna-Liza here.

I have to confess, I have never, ever seen most of the TV shows Lyda mentioned in that post. Gilligan’s IslandHogan’s Heroes and Star Trek are all exceptions. Just to give you an idea of the depth of my television illiteracy. BTW, loved Hogan’s Heroes. I was pretty fond of I Dream of Jeannie, too. In the ’70’s, I was watching Charlie’s Angels (and wishing my hair would do that Farrah thing–which would have been hideous on me, frankly), The Bionic Man and The Bionic Woman. And I remember Mannix and Berretta being staples, and Emergency! I’m pretty sure Randy Mantooth was my first Tiger Beat crush, although Parker Stevenson eventually supplanted him. Or maybe the other way around. Oh, and Tony DiFranco, who, as far as I know, is no relation to Ani.

But I digress. What is it that I do to relax if I don’t let my mind get sucked into the Tube of Mindlessness? (Although, as Lyda points out, there’s a lot of good stuff, too. PBS rocks, except perhaps for Barney.) Well, mostly knitting or reading, and most weekends I spend one morning at my favorite coffee place, Java Stop, knitting and watching the kids play and sipping a mocha. I’ve mentioned it before, but now I have pictures!

    

Kevin and Ellen, the owners, are super folks. Kevin does the baking, and he makes some of the best muffins ever. When I walk in, if there’s a line, there’s a fresh mocha sitting on the counter for me before I can even order! And they make “hot” chocolate for the kids that is just warm enough to be called that without scalding their mouths. The kids like them and like going there, because there’s a toy closet and there’s a big space on the floor to play right next to it, with comfy chairs and sofas around for parents to hang out. Which is what we do.

Once we have all our food and drink gathered, I usually settle into my favorite chair by the window,

Me, knitting, mocha, favorite chair.

take a few sips, and start knitting. The kids have their snacks sitting on the floor  

(yes, they’re in their pajamas) and then start playing, and I can watch them, talk with them, and have conversations with whoever else is there while knitting away. I probably get most of my progress done there! If I ever win a knitting prize of some kind, I’ll have to include Java Stop in my list of thank-yous, for providing me with a way to keep my kids entertained while I got my projects done! I’ve certainly gotten farther on Eris there than anywhere else since I took it out of hibernation.

So anyway, Kevin and Ellen don’t have a website, and they don’t have internet access in the café (which means you rarely see someone sitting and staring at a laptop). They do have a cozy, comfy place to hang out and have conversations, read, (or knit, whatever), with excellent coffee and really good breakfast and lunch fare. And they’re big supporters of locally owned stores and community events. And, since there’s a limit to how much I can actually spend there, I figure maybe I can send a few more customers their way.

But not too many. I want to be able to grab my favorite chair when I’m there.

(If you’re wondering, they’re in the historic hotel building at the corner of 3rd and Main in Longmont.)