Cloister Commentary, Day 209: Dignified and Old

Got both my flu and shingles shots yesterday at the pharmacy. The administering official was a 1992 Hickman graduate and his mom once that school’s nurse, so he had much material to distract me with. Seriously, I don’t mind shots–but I will testify that the shingles stick leaves one a little sore (and it’s one of two). I guess that shot certified me as an elderly man; fortunately for me, I’d listened to the Modern Lovers’ song “Dignified and Old” early this week, which prepared me to happily and proudly accept that mantle. Some key lyrics, perhaps?

“Well my friends say that I deceive myself
And that I contradict myself
And I can’t say if they’re right
But I’m not ashamed
Oh I can take a challenge
And so I won’t die
Someday I’ll be dignified and old
I know it
And I say hey kids
(Hey kids)
I said hey kids
(Hey kids)
I say someday we’ll be dignified and old….”

Written by Jonathan Richman, a true original.

Also of note: Nicole and I finally sat down to watch the VHS of Sammy & Rosie Get Laid (directed by Stephen Frears; written by Hanif Kureishi) I purchased a few months ago, and it was well worth the $30 it cost me! In fact, given some of the striking scenes and images and especially the related political content, I think we now know why the film hasn’t made the leap to DVD/BluRay/streaming. Really? Something like that could still resign a film to the “where is it now?” pile? Yes. So what, Phil, is this that you’re speaking of? Reader, you’re on your own.

Woke up at 1 a.m. with heart pounding, thinking that the probable demise of our outdoor cat Scrappers might have actually been a conspiracy. I’m not kidding. Clearly, I need to get better rest.

Streaming for Strivers:

A wizard, a true star.

Cloister Commentary, Day 173: Extraction

I completed my on-line notary public profile, which can help folks who need me find me. In the process, I studied my seven steps to good notarization and explored Missouri’s new legislation regarding RON: “remote on-line notaries.” I don’t trust much our ledge passes, but this looks decent. Should I or shouldn’t I?

My Stephens College colleague, the legendary art history prof Jim Terry, invited me to judge his annual Punctuation Day Celebration, which of course I accepted. He may feel sorry for me that I don’t have a class, and this in fact will make me smile.

I took a gander at my young friend Benjamin Ruffin’s current rough draft and passed along some feedback. He has sights on being an architect, and he’d be a great one.

A few years back, we paid a guy a very reasonable fee to powerwash the house and stain our deck, and he was fast and skilled. I tried in vain to locate him, so we have need of someone new. Any suggestions?

I have mentioned this in a past entry, but I am reading and loving Hanif Kureishi’s The Buddha of Suburbia. It’s a less annoying Catcher in the Rye, very much updated to post-Sexual Revolution (is that capitalized?) social living and transplanted to just-post-punk Eighties London. I bring it up again for people who think everything ever filmed is streaming. Sammy & Rosie Get Laid, for which Kureishi wrote what must be a very similar screenplay, is not streaming. It is not available on DVD; it never made it to DVD. Used VHSes run in the $80-100 range; I tried to Christian a guy down to a decent price for his copy on eBay, but got denied. Word to the wise from a dude that still likes physical media.

I resumed my battle against corporate labyrinths in trying to settle minor affairs in the wake of Dad’s death, this time against an old dragon, AT&T. They had promised to send my mom a paper bill–they did not. They sent her instead a form letter seeming to imply that she had to participate in their AutoPay program (she does not). Also, they owe her $14.99 but that can’t be deducted from her phone bill because it’s from her old internet bill, which is under their auspices. Hammering a way for 70 minutes, I actually wore down a chat agent to do the unthinkable and start sending her a paper bill and cut her a check for the amount, even though I was initially unable to breach Fort Knocks with a passcode I couldn’t remember (I knew all 15 of the other secret digital handshakes). My dad also had paid for an accidental death policy with a company that, after six contacts with them, has not moved to act (for example, mailing me paperwork), though they have acknowledged the policy is in effect. I literally did scream when they, again, did not “call in one to two business days.” These a-holes are terrific at extracting; stingy when it comes to being extracted from. The American Way. Nicole brought me a spearmint candy and I quieted down.

The day ended on a great note, with a classic double-overtime clash between two teams I love, the Raptors and the Celtics, leading to a Game 7 that should be equally classic, and an episode of The Indian Doctor in which an amoral kleptocrat gets his (it’s a fantasy series).

Streaming for Strivers:

I need something catchy, funny, smart, weird, and absurd sometimes, don’t you?