Cloister Commentary, Day 237: Musical Pharmaceutical

An explosion of COVID cases, over a week of 100+ new ones daily, has us reeling–“us” referring to the community as well as our household, as Nicole is currently teaching in person and battling with several students to get them to wear masks properly. I am fortunate to be very isolated in my tutoring work; I’ve found it surprisingly easy to tutor over Zoom, and the Stephens Success Center has actually experienced an increase in tutorial sessions and a decrease in cancelled appointments.

In other health news–well, let me first say that my friend and music-loving brother Bryan Stuart and I one strange night wrote and recorded a Johnny Cash parody entitled “Prescription Bound”; I’ve written and co-written a handful of songs in my life, and that might just be my favorite. Neither of our eyes were dry after knocking it out. Suffice it to say that “Prescription Bound” is what I was yesterday, rounding up refills to treat my high cholesterol and my sudden crop-up of afib. Our insurance won’t cover the best meds for the latter, so when my samples of that run out, I will probably be battling the side effects of the generic meds that are covered, particularly drowsiness, my least favorite state of being.

Speaking of music, friendship, and aging, Nicole and I spent our Thursday Movie Night on Springsteen on Broadway. I go way back with Bruce: he hung the moon for me from the time I was 15 to the time I turned 25–I remember once seriously hampering a date because my main concern was picking up Born in the USA at Liberty Sound in Springfield the day it came out in ’85–but we fell out soon afterward, and the combination of his growing self-seriousness and his shrinking sense of humor and fun kept me from making up with him (artistically speaking). It’s clear he’s a righteous dude, but that does not guarantee creative brilliance. I quite liked his memoir, and as a result sampled about 15 minutes of the show. I thought what I saw corny, strained, mildly self-aggrandizing, awkward, and strangely uncomfortable. However, and I’m quite used to this outcome, I was very wrong. We have the last 20-30 minutes to watch, but it is stunning in its myth-puncturing, passion, and nakedness. These days, I can’t much take the way he sings, but I love to hear him talk, and the balance is perfect. Highly recommended, and being an older gent myself who’s experienced some loss and self-discovery lately made the experience extremely real.

Streaming for Survivors:

Musical pharmaceutical, right here.

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