Day 16 [Pandemic Edition]

Well. Here we are on Day 16 of being back from NYC. It’s crazy how quickly things change. Three days after we got back, the state shut down all restaurants for dine in and turned them into delivery/take out only establishments. A few days after that, the county issued a “stay at home” order and all non-essential businesses shut down. Movie theaters, gyms, most retail shops, etc are now closed. Thank goodness the liquor store is considered essential! Today at 5:00 pm, the whole state goes into “stay at home” mode until the end of April. I am guessing that working from home for the past nine years has prepped me somewhat for what the next few months hold. Homebodies for the win!

It appears that David and I made it back from New York City without any germs. We have been monitoring ourselves every day and so far no fever/cough/shortness of breath. Part of me is paranoid that we are asymptomatic even though we have made it past the 14-day self-quarantine window. Silly, I know. So far there are not any reported cases in our county … but I suspect that will change. It just seems to be EVERYWHERE.

What sucks is the timing. Spring has arrived (finally!) and things are beautiful outside. Too bad everyone feels the same way and the walking paths and hiking trails have been jammed with people since there is nothing else to do. They have closed some of the local state parks and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has also totally shut down due to the influx of visitors. I am fully expecting that the Blue Ridge Parkway will follow suit in the next few weeks. So, I guess walking around the back yard is going to have to do.

Here are some back yard blooms …
Spring

Bowser has certainly been enjoying the fact that we are around the house all the time. He also appears to be unconcerned with the miseries of the world. Oh, to be a dog …
Bowser Buddy!

Saturday night, we tired out the new way to socially gather in these times of social distancing. It was super nice to actually see some friends … even if it was via a computer screen. I am guessing this will become a regular thing for the foreseeable future.
Social Distancing

Meanwhile … I received a copy of Dave Stewart‘s book, Monster Man. Thanks a bunch for sending it my way, Dave! [Kissy!]
Monster Man by Dave Stewart

And, finally … before we went to New York City, I picked up a copy of Horrified™: Universal Monsters™. How could I resist a game where you battle Universal’s classic movie monsters? It looks like it’s gonna be a fun game to play. Now for this pandemic to end so we can invite people over for a game night!
Horrified Board Game

Day 16 [Pandemic Edition]

Upcoming

Come and See

To say that I am stupid excited about Criterion‘s upcoming release of Elem Klimovs Come and See would be a huge understatement.

This legendary film from Soviet director Elem Klimov is a senses-shattering plunge into the dehumanizing horrors of war. As Nazi forces encroach on his small village in Belorussia, teenage Flyora (Alexei Kravchenko, in a searing depiction of anguish) eagerly joins the Soviet resistance. Rather than the adventure and glory he envisioned, what he finds is a waking nightmare of unimaginable carnage and cruelty—rendered with a feverish, otherworldly intensity by Klimov’s subjective camera work and expressionistic sound design. Nearly blocked from being made by Soviet censors, who took seven years to approve its script, Come and See is perhaps the most visceral, impossible-to-forget antiwar film ever made.

Special Features

  • New 2K digital restoration by Mosfilm, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New interview with cinematographer Roger Deakins
  • New interview with director Elem Klimov’s brother and frequent collaborator German Klimov
  • Flaming Memory, a three-film documentary series from 1975–77 by filmmaker Viktor Dashuk featuring firsthand accounts of survivors of the genocide in Belorussia during World War II
  • Interview from 2001 with Elem Klimov
  • Interviews from 2001 with actor Alexei Kravchenko and production designer Viktor Petrov
  • How “Come and See” Was Filmed, a 1985 short film about the making of the film featuring interviews with Elem Klimov, Kravchenko, and writer Ales Adamovich
  • Theatrical rerelease trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: Essays by critic Mark Le Fanu and poet Valzhyna Mort

Upcoming

NYC [Pandemic Edition]

After a week and half of me stressing out totally over going to New York City in the current world situation … we went to New York. The idea of loosing the money on the theater tickets and hotel was just too much to bear. So we headed out last Thursday.

The nearly empty plane should have been a sign. Seriously. There were ten people on this 70 seat plane.
Empty Plane

We arrived in New York City to the news that Broadway had closed down and we were not going to get to see any theater. Well, shit. We Uber-ed into the city, checked in the hotel and got settled.

You gotta love this beautiful view from our room. Ha, ha.
Hotel View

We decided to walk around some before dinner. The city seemed busy, but not overly so. Here are the ice skaters at Rockefeller Center. Not nearly as many as there usually are.
Rockefeller Center

I love this They Live themed billboard at the corner of 7th and 48th in Times Square.
Awesome Billboard

We had an incredible dinner a OBAO on 9th in Hell’s Kitchen. Yum.
Pho Bo at OBAO

After dinner we walked around the Theater District and I tortured myself by going by the now darkened theaters of the shows we were supposed to see. Seriously crushed to not be able to see Hangmen.
Hangmen at The Golden
Book of Mormon at the O'Neill

We went back to the hotel, but I was craving donuts. So, I went back out and got some at the Dunkin’ across 8th. Jelly Filled and Chocolate Covered with Sprinkles!

We also found out on Thursday that all the museums had shut down as well. There went our backup plan. Dammit. So, we Uber-ed into Brooklyn and had an early lunch at Junior’s. It’s my kind of place!
Junior's in Booklyn

We caught a movie at the Alamo Drafthouse. I now know I would give my left nut to have an Alamo Drafthouse close by. Such a cool movie theater chain.
Alamon Drafthouse in Brooklyn

Since we were close to the Brooklyn Bridge, we decided to walk that way back into Manhattan. It was a really beautiful day to be out and about!
Brooklyn Bridge
Pandemic Tourists
Brooklyn Bridge

And then we just kept on walking. We navigated up into the West Village and had drinks at The Stonewall Inn. Then we went around the corner and found my old friend, Ian. I hadn’t seen him in years, so it was great to show up unannounced and surprise him. For the record, this picture is not a good example of social distancing.
Old Friends

Then we continued our walk up to 44th and had pizza at John’s Pizzaria. I guess that was the one good thing about Broadway being shut down. We were actually able to get a table there with no wait. Once back at the hotel, I decided to go out one last time to see Time Square. I might have stopped at the Junior’s Bakery on 45th and gotten a slice of Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake. Yum (again)!

We were supposed to be in the city until Sunday but had decided to change our flight to Saturday just to get out of the city early (and away from any carriers). Delta let us switch with no added fees and we were able to upgrade to first class for cheap. So fancy!
First Class Drinks!

We did end up loosing to money on the hotel for Saturday night. Oh well. We made the best of it but the trip was a bit of a bust. Had we know one day earlier that Broadway was going to go dark, we would have cancelled the trip. Double oh well.

We were very proactive in regards to our safety with lots of hand washing and sanitizing and touching as little as possible … especially our faces. As a precaution, we are self-quarantining for the next 14 days since we were out and about in (what I suspect is) a fairly active contagion zone.

Hopefully, this mess will pass through quickly and with as little death and disruption as possible. Everyone stay safe (and stay socially distant)!

NYC [Pandemic Edition]

Countdown!

NYC
We are just under two weeks until our trip to New York City … which is EXCITING! Though I would be lying if I said that the whole COVID-19 situation isn’t weighing on my mind a little. A lot can happen in two weeks. So, I am just keeping my fingers crossed that a major outbreak (which all the experts are saying is just a matter of time) won’t happen before or during our trip. Ain’t nobody (i.e. David and myself) got time to be quarantined.

Countdown!

Designer Blues

A few months ago I got asked by an acquaintance to design some artwork for a production he is directing of Three Tall Women. I put together something I thought was beautiful, elegant and really captured the feel of the show.

Here’s the original art …
Three Tall Women

So, imagine my annoyance when he posted this image to Facebook the other day. It seems like the theater that is presenting the show took my art and added some branding and dates. Notice anything wrong?
Three Tall Women Butchered

They used a chunky, bold, serif font (for the branding and dates) that doesn’t match the look of the art at all. Gross. But most egregious is the fact that they cropped the art and then stretched it vertically. Ugh.
Three Tall Women How It Was Butchered

This isn’t the first time I have had something I designed changed for the worse by another person. So, I guess I shouldn’t be so sensitive. It’s just super annoying to see something you spent your time and energy on getting butchered like this …. especially when I would have added this information in a tasteful way had someone only asked me. Needless to say, I will have to think long and hard before I do art for this person or organization again.

Grrrrrrrrr.

[Okay … Rant Finished]

Designer Blues

Human Again

A couple of weeks ago, the boyfriend got diagnosed with Strep (and the Flu). Fun. I felt fatigued and not great all that week but managed not to get fully sick. Everyone was better for one day and then I came down with a cold. Ugh.

Thankfully, the one good day for me was the day we had long standing plans to go drink moonshine in Gatlinburg with A&A. We might have even thrown some cider from the Tennessee Cider Company in there.

Ole Smoky Moonshine

Of course, we might have had to romp through the Mysterious Mansion. Spooky!
Mysterious Mansion!

Michelle is unexpectedly back in town … now a refugee from China due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Even with me not at 100% (yay, cold), we went for burgers, beer, green bean fries and karaoke. Michelle seriously is the best.
Best. Human. Ever.

And, on Saturday, we tripped down to Anderson, SC for a super tasty dinner at Reed’s. The Mac ‘N Cheese he made was off the chain!

The work week is now underway. Ugh. But, the big excitement for the week will be going to see The Lodge tomorrow night. Whoo!

Human Again

Obsessed [Parasite Edition]

Anyone has been around me since November 26, 2019 knows that I love Parasite … like LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT!

(I have been following Bong Joon Ho since seeing The Host and am a huge fan of all of his films. Seriously. Seek out Mother and Memories of Murder immediately if you have not already seen them.)

Needless to say, I am super thrilled with what went down at the Oscars on Sunday night as I never though Parasite had a chance to win the top prize let alone walking away with FOUR top prizes. Yes! Sometimes the Academy voters get it right.

PARASITE - Best Picture

Last week, before it blew up on everyone’s radar, I snagged an original double-sided theatrical release poster that I paid waaaaaaaay too much money for. The plan is to get it framed and hang it in my office.

I have even switched my phone’s lock screen off of Captain America (Chris Evans … *drools*) and over to Parasite. Yeah. I am not obsessed.
Parasite iPhone Lock Screen Wallpaper

Obsessed [Parasite Edition]

Rainy Day Blah’s (Sorta)

So … it looks like I am doing weekly updates now? Ugh. I have got to get back into some sort of routine. I like routines. They mean that everything is moving along smoothly.

TASCHEN had another “display and slightly damaged” book sale and I grabbed a copy of The Pedro Almodóvar Archives for half off. Almodóvar’s movies are so great!
The Pedro Almodóvar Archives

I met up with Shortlegs this past Saturday afternoon for drinks, food, and (most importantly) gossip at Boojum Brewing. I had the Whistle Pig starter for my food … and OMG, I am in love. It’s soft pretzel sticks stuffed with pimento cheese and bacon and served with a spicy ranch for dipping. Heavenly (and I am sure it’s totally fat free)!
The Whistle Pig at Boojum

I am continuing to go to the local Rec Center on a fairly regular basis. Doing the weigh machines makes me feel pretty productive for the most part … but it’s depressing that I can’t seem to increase the weight on the bicep machine after several weeks of working at it. I guess I am destined to be a weakling even after working the muscles?

David and I have also started counting calories in an attempt at loosing weight. Checking serving sized and calories contained therein has become a bit of an obsessive task for me now. I have also switched from coffee to green tea in the mornings. I read on the internet that green tea can help boost your metabolism. Does it work? Who really knows … but it’s been nice to be doing something other than coffee every day. I have become totally hooked on Tazo’s Green Ginger tea. It’s also heavenly!
Tazo Green Ginger Tea

Tomorrow night some friends are coming over to watch Parasite. I am pretty excited about this as I love turning people on to my favorite films. And, if you have not seen it yet, you need to remedy that situation immediately. Seriously. It’s the best movie from last year hands down. Too bad Oscar probably won’t do the right thing this coming Sunday.
Parasite

Rainy Day Blah’s (Sorta)

Updating Randomness

Yeah. Things have been going. Last week was stressful as one one my bosses ended up in the hospital and I had to cover all her work (on top of mine) for three days. Ugh. Thankfully, things are looking up and she was back at work today.

Meanwhile …

I got started on and finished the Stranger Things: The Upside Down LEGO set that I got for our anniversary in December. It was fun to make … but, I really do hope Will Byers survives. Plus … how cute is that Demogorgon minifig? Very!
Lego Stanger Things The Upside Down
Run, Will! Run!

I took my sister to Biltmore. I love this picture I took (near the grand staircase) with lots of overlapping archways.

We went bowling with our friend, Chris, at Sky Lanes. My highest score was 86 which confirms that I suck as bowling. Here’s David getting ready to gutter-ball it. 😛
Sky Lanes Fun

On the vinyl collecting front, I have FINALLY managed to acquire a first pressing of X‘s debut album, Los Angles. Score!
X: Los Angeles

Meanwhile, meanwhile …

I watched two more of the Best Picture nominees.
1917 (Technically impressive but DOA as far as tension and emotional engagement.)
Joker (It’s Taxi Driver-Lite. Just watch Taxi Driver. It’s sooooooooo much better!)

So, yeah. Totally bumfuzzled as to how Joker scored the most Oscar nominations this year. Parasite is still the movie to beat. Seriously. Go see Parasite!

Updating Randomness