Tuesday, July 5, 2016

It's Been a Quiet Week...

Hi there! This is I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You, a blog with an SPF of 403. I'm Dave-El and I'm not wearing a bra, dammit! 

And we're BACK! 

OK, back from where? Were we even gone? 

Well, kind of. Sort of.

For the last week, I and the rest of my family was on vacation. And I was on vacation from everything, including blogging. Yes, I was on vacation from the blog. 

A "blogcation" if you will. 

But you probably won't. 

I've got a perfect record of not missing a day on this blog since January 1, 2015 and I didn't want to break that. Hence, the absurdity of the series of posts that occupied this space last week under the title Mayonnaise. 

No, you may not ask for your money back. You didn't pay anything to get in here. 

So what, pray tell, was I doing during this vacation time? 

Before I get to the actual vacation week, let me touch base with something that happened the Thursday before. 

Yes, my daughter got her learner's driving permit. I'm smiling because I'm proud of her and I'm holding back the tears thinking about my new car insurance bill.  

But mostly, it's pride.  

OK, the vacation itself. Unlike years past, we did not book a room down at the beach for a week. We're saving up money for a really big trip coming up before the end of the year. (More on that coming up... before the end of the year.)  

So since our vacation would be more of a staycation, this lead to really big news: Netflix here at the Fortress of Ineptitude. We can thank Buffy the Vampire Slayer for that. My wife Andrea, my daughter Miranda (excuse me, she's Randie on the internet) and I stumbled across some obscure cable channel I never heard of and didn't even know we had called Pivot and they were running episodes of Buffy. I used to follow Buffy back in the day but my daughter Randie had somehow not been exposed to the wonder of Joss Whedon's awesome creation. The three episodes we saw were all from Season 4 and not in any particular order. In fact, one of those episodes was Part 2 of a 2 parter where Buffy and Faith switched bodies. I guess it could've been worse and they ran Part 1 without Part 2.  

And the endless commercial breaks that cable channels are plagued with. Now, I think Kristen Bell is a lovely and talented woman but if I had to look at one more of her Neutragena skin care ads....

As Randie repeatedly pointed out, we wouldn't have to put up with this crap if we had Netflix. So I said the hell with it and signed us up for Netfix. And it has been a lot of fun. Randie is binge watching Supernatural, Andrea is catching up on Jessica Jones and I'm rewatching 30 Rock. And my wife and I also revisited episodes of Animaniacs. 

Yes, the series that prompted us to get Netflix, Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Yeah, we haven't gotten to that yet. 

Isn't it ironic, don't ya think?  

We did leave the Fortress to go see Finding Dory. I'll have a full review of that on Thursday's blog. Spoiler alert: we liked it. But how does it hold up in comparison to Finding Nemo? Hey, got to save something for Thursday's blog.

The El family ventured forth to the small town where I grew up for a visit for a couple of days. It's weird being in my childhood home without my mom there. She's doing OK with life in the assisted living facility. I still wish she could be in her own home but she is receiving the care and attention she truly needs at this stage in her life.  I'll post more about that on Friday.

While we were in the neighborhood, we did pop down to the beach which is about a half hour away. We caught the ocean at low tide and spent some enjoyable time bobbing in the very gentle waves. It was quite a pleasant experience. 

We had a late lunch at our favorite place to eat at the beach, Friendly's which is a chain restaurant that can be found at other places other than the beach but my family is a very obsessive compulsive people. We will only eat at Friendly's at the beach. 

Later we shopped at the Christmas Mouse which is an emporium that sells Christmas ornaments and stuff ALL YEAR ROUND. Yes, inside smells like cinnamon and the air is filled with holiday music. Much to our delight, we found Doctor Who ornaments which I will cover in more depth in this weekend's SECOND Doctor Who post. (Yes, that's TWO posts for you Whovians out there.)   

Back at the Fortress of Ineptitude, we spent part of the day a the pool. What's a summer vacation week without at least one visit to the pool.  

Saturday marked the end of Garrison Keillor's run as host of A Prairie Home Companion and I made time to actually listen to the broadcast. Most Saturdays (or during the repeats on Sunday), I have to settle for catching bits and pieces in the car on my way to something else.   

This is not the first time Keillor has left the show. He stepped down in 1987 to move to Norway with the love of his life. Things didn't work out so well with Norway or the love of his life so he came back to the states and relaunched his radio show in 1989. 

The last show in 1987 was hard to take because it seemed like Keillor was leaving too soon. I know the showbiz adage is "leave them wanting more" but in the case of A Prairie Home Companion, it seemed there was still so much more we wanted out of Lake Woebegon and Garrison's beautiful and clever tales of "the little town that time forgot and the decades cannot improve". 

The occasion of Garrison Keillor's 2nd departure from A Prairie Home Companion seemed more satisfying even if we didn't get a farewell installment of Guy Noir and we did get a rather awkward phone call to Garrison from President Obama. There was a shadow of mortality over this week's News From Lake Woebegon as Keillor reminded us of some of the town's colorful denizens are now below the ground but there was also a light of hope in the reminder that others still work and live in this town on the edge of the prairie, spinning out the stories of their lives. 

Garrison Keillor is 73 years old but this show in 2016 felt less like an ending than his exit in 1987. In the departure from 1987, Keillor delivered the News From Lake Woebegon with a story that ended with the town fading into the fog. In 2016, Keillor left the town still standing where we can still see it, if not in the picture of his words but in the images of our imagination. 

In September, the El family will get to see Garrison perform live in Greensboro and we're looking forward to that. 

Sunday, I didn't do one damn thing! 

You know, it's Sunday. I shouldn't cuss on Sunday. 

But I didn't go to church. 

Sunday, I didn't do one damn thing! 

OK, I did write this blog. So I got bored. Blogcation is over! 

Since I wrote this blog on Sunday, I'm going to assume that Monday, July 4th, we saw some fireworks somewhere. 

UPDATED on Monday: We saw fireworks in Downtown Greensboro...TWICE! Once courtesy of the city and the other time thanks to the local Grasshoppers minor league baseball team. No, we weren't at the game but the team helpfully shot off their display after the city fireworks were finished and we were still in the neighborhood of the ball park.   

OK, that's all I have for today's blog. Thanks for dropping by and until next time, remember to be good to one another.  

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