Cloister Commentary, Day 23: “Sound and Vision”

We, like you, have stumbled upon (or been forced to observe, rather) several habits in this sheltering that I think we’re going to keep when we are liberated. Nicole is a great cook, but she also works her butt off AND we both are tasteaholics who love supporting our many local restaurants, so we haven’t ever eaten in all that much. However, by my calculations, we’ve only gone out to pick up food once in the last 27 days. I’m here to tell you: homecooking is great. Yesterday, she sautéed some fresh asparagus, fried some new potatoes, and grilled some cheese sandwiches (with, instead of butter, Blue Plate Mayonnaise)–that was just lunch. Dinner was chickpea tikka masala with basmati rice! Now, I don’t just sit around like Henry VIII, fork and knife in fists that pound the tabletop! Our deal has always been that she can make as big a mess in the kitchen as she wants; I’ll clean up and put up everything. Feels about even, but I know I get the best of it–plus I’ve lost weight while never feeling unsatisfied. Ok, I’ll stop…

This was our first “flipped house” of the plague. That’s when the feline-o-phobe dog and I go downstairs and the cats come up. So it was “Music in the Man Cave” for me.

I loved“Fame,” “Golden Years,” and (especially) “Young Americans” (that song tortured me) as a teen, and“Let’s Dance”always kicked ass no matter HOW many times I heard it lifeguarding that summer in Monett, but I was never a massive Bowie fan at the time. However, reading’s always been a corrective to my waywardness, and after taking in David Bowie: A Life (by former Ziggy crumbsnatcher Dylan Jones), Rob Sheffield’s On Bowie, and Sasha Geffen’s Glitter Up the Dark: How Pop Music Broke the Binary, I’m fully on board. Better late than never. I listened to his work alllll afternoon. And hit up Discogs for some CDs I surprisingly don’t have.

Speaking of music and habits, I recently hit my Apple Music limit of 100,000 songs in the ol’ iCloud library. So I just blew the whole thing up and started anew. I need to remember to only “Add” what I need, and that the entire contents of my external drive don’t have to be (can’t be) in my library, too. #nerdalert

Random facts of COVID-19 impact: 1) My garage door opener fixed itself on its own after I ignored it for two weeks. Word to the wise looking to save money. 2) We decided to cancel our lodging in Lawrence in late June for theFree State Fest(this year, John Waters and Boots Riley were among those scheduled). It ain’t gonna happen, we’re fairly sure. And if it does, we won’t be inclined to attend.

I’m not religious, but happy Easter anyway. He not busy being (re)born is busy dying.

Streaming for Shut-Ins:

Such sound and vision.

Cloister Commentary, Day 17: “Everybody Disco!” (April 5, 2020)

Work: Nicole made delicious buttermilk biscuits out of Southern Living as well as some spicy hummus. I put together an order for us from Powell’s Books (is that work?) and drifted into a project I had not planned: moving these over to one of my blogs to improve their readability.

Play: When I came up from the man cave after finishing said project, Nicole was playing disco songs from her computer. Without really discussing it, we switched the sound over to the stereo, turned it up, and danced until we got tired–about 15 minutes, probably, but it seemed longer, and that’s a positive statement.

We didn’t even shut the blinds, so any neighbor watching got to see me mincing like ’70s Jagger (scolding, pointing, wrists on hips) and helplessly gyrating. Partial playlist: three Hot Chocolates (“Emma,” “Every 1’s a Winner,” “You Sexy Thing”), Chic’s “Real People” (the greatest song of all-time), Bowie’s “Let’s Dance”–I forgot how great that one is!–two “Last Dance”s (George Clinton’s answer to Bowie, and Donna Summer’s), James Brown’s “Super Bad, Parts 1, 2, and 3,” Sylvester’s “Mighty Real,” Maxine Nightingale’s “Right Back to Where We Started From,” and Trammps’ “Disco Inferno.” Those are the ones I remember, as cognac Old Fashioneds were involved. But it was the definite highlight of the day. You should try it!

Disco did not and does not suck, even though I was once kicked out of high school for an afternoon for hypocritically wearing a t-shirt that said as much. At the time, I was regularly crossing state lines to dance under the glitter ball in Columbus, Kansas, and that shirt was tight and black, with the offensive message decorated in glitter and colored pink and green.

We made contact with Planet Earth again with “Call the Midwife”, which we never miss. You shouldn’t, either.

Streaming for Shut-Ins:

Not quite a full album, but 17 minutes might be just enough!