Cloister Commentary, Day 190: I’m Into Literature

Nicole and I went to the grocery yesterday morning. Our pandemic routine is usually that she goes in while I sit in the car and write these, but my taste-aholic ways led me to tag along and sniff around for some new brews. I happened to be wearing an Arkansas Razorbacks shirt; I didn’t graduate from that institution, but its impact on me was stronger than any of the others I attended. Wheeling into the liquor aisle, I came upon a woman older than me who stopped me, looked me in the eye, pointed south and said, “Arkansas is that way!” I chuckled, not sure of her exact attitude, and she continued by rather confidently saying, as she then pointed to my shirt, “Big football fan, are you?”

“No. Literature.” And I proceeded to the beer cooler. That Cigar City Brewery‘s doing some interesting things.

Later, we received a visit from the young Mizzou scholar London Rayhill Santacruz, who dropped by to change the oil in his jalopy. We treated him to some pad Thai from Tiger Chef, shot the bull for a bit, and let him get to work. Mercifully, he did not need my assistance, because, as I just noted, I’m into literature. However, after he finished we exchanged hip hop enthusiasms: he’s an Earthgang man (I told you he was a scholar), I tried to sell him on Little Simz and Boldy James. After he left, Nicole and I noted that we must have a knack for choosing friends, because they all raise stellar youths.

We then poured a couple at the kitchen table, cracked pistachios, and listened to and discussed The Beatles’ White Album.

It was a great day.

Streaming for Strivers:

This is a full EP.

Cloister Commentary, Day 168: Trip to Typhoon Island

By surprise, in these locked-down days, I was able to take a trip to Typhoon Island yesterday. I was not planning on a tropical vacation, but I did not turn it down. I paid for the Ultimate Package, and when I arrived, I put the chair back, got out a great book, and relaxed to the sounds of splashing waves.

Unfortunately, Typhoon Island is a car wash, and I thought that, since I paid for the Ultimate ($11.99), I’d be chilling in my mom’s vehicle for about 10-15 minutes. I was snapped out of my reading reverie seeming seconds later by the car wash proprietor knocking on the window.

“Sir, did you get a wash at all? Just wondering because you’re still sitting here!” she asked–with genuine concern.

I replied, “I guess I was dug in for the long haul.”

Some vacation.

Earlier in the day, Mom and I had a great visit with two of her and Dad’s long-time best friends, George and Virginia Terry, who were on their way to antique in Branson. George (besides being on old rascal) is a craftsman–I once wrote a research paper about his “folk art” for Dr. Bob Cochran at the University of Arkansas–and he left us with his recent, characteristically excellent creations.

In the evening, I Zoomed with Nicole and our best friends, Gwen and Kenny Wright. We caught glimpses of their twins and dawg, and rapped about many things of concern and delight. After our Zoom, I watched my new co-favorite NBA team (now that OKC has been vanquished), Miami, crush the hapless Bucks. Milwaukee, you need a couple more pieces, and Giannis? You have to hit threes and frees. My other favorite team is Boston; I’d never have predicted that would be how I’d be ridin’ at this point. Also, Mom overheard Nicole and I raving to the Wrights about Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, and was curious, so we watched the first episode of the former. I think she liked it!

Finally, I invented what seems like a tacky drink but it works for me: the Monett Margarita Mixer COVID Cocktail. 4/5ths Salvador Top Shelf Margarita Pre-mix, 1/5th Lunazul Agave Tequila, heavy ice and salt on the rim.

Streaming for Survivors:

I forgot to grab this to listen to on my road trip, so I guess I’ll stream it. One of the many great albums Kenny introduced me to.