Cloister Commentary, Day 332: Lundi Gras Workout

Ahhhh, intense, sustained physical activity! I’d truly missed it. Despite the possibility that I would feel crippled in the aftermath from 99% muscular atrophy, I shoveled a long, two-car driveway, accompanying sidewalk, and a bit of curb yesterday. And survived! I’m not even that sore as I thumb this out. One of three highlights of the day.

Second highlight: Nicole, Mom and I got caught up with David Letterman’s Netflix interview show by checking out his powerful conversations with Dave Chappelle (that dude is inspiringly thoughtful and eloquent offstage!) and Ellen DeGeneres (her journey’s been even more inspiring than I knew). We also dug DeGeneres’ recent Netflix special.

Third highlight: my good friend from NOLA, Clifford Ocheltree, called me on the phone–on the phone!!!–to wish me a happy birthday (it’s still pretty early, but also still welcome). He brought me up to speed on his mayor’s struggles with Mardi Gras and COVID, his continued genealogical deep-dive, which connects to Columbia, and the fascinating historical humans John Hay and Claude King. He packed all that in to about 30 minutes.

Streaming for Strivers:

It’s Mardi Gras–do what you wanna, to a point?

Cloister Commentary, Day 331: Valentine’s Day Cold Massa-cree

We didn’t really need another challenge, but we received one. The frigid temperatures plus a mess of snow just made my nerves twist and tighten, as we will be needing to be on the road soon, so I had to fight to just let it go. Can’t control it; gotta accept it. How many times have I said that to myself over the last 11 months?

Valentine’s Day, in spite of the winter blast, was nice. My mom is still struggling post-severe-UTI–but she’s inching her way back to health. Nicole made a terrific chicken stew for lunch (a perfect combatant against the weather), and I whipped up bacon and eggs (scrambled in the grease) and English muffins for dinner. We all read a bit in the afternoon, and enjoyed our usual PBS Sunday Night via an episode a piece of The Durrells and All Creatures. I’ve never read the latter’s source book by James Herriot, but–call me a sentimental old fluff–I think I’m going to have to. I’d hoped to catch the Lakers-Nuggets game but the wind had died behind my sails. Bottom line: I was locked in with my two favorite ladies on February 14th, and that was just right.

But…in a different reality…this morning it would have been nice to wake up in The City That Care Forgot. Happy Lundi Gras.

Streaming for Strivers:

I’m sending this, the first commercial recording to feature Mardi Gras Indian chants, out to Marsha and Tom. Bon ton roulez, y’all–two more days til ya gotta clamp down!