Cloister Commentary, Day 210: The Shingle-Shot Shuffle

I wallowed around most of the day in a post-shingles-shot quasi-fluish state, and it came home to me vividly how the lurking presence of COVID makes every ache suspicious these days. I read, napped, shuffled around, ate a tomato sandwich, slurped a big bowl of ramen, applied two hours of Jane Austen filmage (the 2020 version of Emma, thumbs up), and finally started to feel normal–in time to hit the sack. Even a vehicle idling for a half-hour across the street with its bass CRANKED did not delay my appointment with Hypnos.

If any of my readers happened to have read Yaa Gyasi‘s scintillating debut novel Homegoing, I’d like to strongly recommend her second, Transcendent Kingdom. It’s very different in many ways, following the narrator’s generational, spiritual, familial, and intellectual struggles during two parallel periods in her life. Gyasi has a real gift for handling story, and her look at the clashes and embraces between culture, religion, and science are of the moment.

Also, Nicole and I dipped into a Showtime free trial just to watch the channel’s limited-series adaptation of one of our favorite recent novels, James McBride’s The Good Lord Bird, a kind of flipped Huck Finn. Though the trailer and reviews seemed very promising, we were praying they didn’t eff it up. Unfortunately, the free trial didn’t give us access to the series, so it’s back to the drawring board.

Lil’ Scrappers, 2018-2020 (we’re pretty sure): A Humble Tribute.

Streaming for Strivers:

For the unfolding of your Saturday morning.

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.