So, I’ve been counting Country Time in haircuts. I’ve had two in 22 months.
I thought it might be fun to start posting a bit again. Partly because I want to be sure it all still works; partly because I’m hoping to take in a couple of previously untraveled Southern States next month; partly to get back in contact with some more of you; largely because I believe I’m fascinating and you’re all clenched in your knickers waiting to hear about my life since my last blog on Mother’s Day 2020.
What new did everyone get up to during Covid days?
New Thing #1 I did because of the Pandemic: I bought a Peloton and started those online classes in June. I look amazing.
I have also started cartooning a bit again. Bored – me?
I did try and see as many of you as possible, within driving distance. Some photos included.
As a living-in-the-sticks aside, I arrived home early one Spring evening from Lowes (buying manly tool stuff) to find two black bears ransacking my garden shed. They did a runner with my garbage bags in tow. Next day investigation and cleanup in the woods revealed black bag evidence it was not their first visit. I got a handy man to put a new lock on the shed. I’m not that manly.
I have not been a complete hermit. Some traveling was done in the past months. I got to visit my good buddy Hannah in her beautiful new Knoxville home. Congrats friend! Already my fourth visit to Tennessee it’s a state I’ve grown to enjoy a lot.
Hannah introduced me to McKay’s on my latest jaunt there. It’s a warehouse sized dealership full of used books and all formats of music and movies. My friend enjoys blowing money on products she doesn’t need almost as much as I do. I left with a dozen used Blu-rays and as many books. Hannah also introduced me to Cracker Barrel. Their breakfasts with cheesy potato sides are delicious and healthy. They don’t serve scones or fruit.
New Thing #2 I did because of the Pandemic: From my standpoint, the most satisfying and fun thing I’ve done since the onset of The Plague was start up a Movie Club in my company. Basically, a movie is selected every week, all participants watch it (or not) and we run a video discussion each Wednesday afternoon.
Year One was a bit of a dictatorship – my good self being the dictator. My goal was to try and cover as many decades and genres as possible. We did – 52 movies in 52 weeks that spanned a century of film. Year Two we select from a pool of 300 movies with a dice roll.
The main purpose of the group was to form a community and keep people in contact during the dark, dull, can’t move about days. We succeeded. Lots of new friendships were formed, lots of old friendships strengthened and lots of colleagues became something more. We’ve celebrated weddings; birthdays; promotions; new hires; anniversaries; departures and retirements across the globe together on camera. Most impressively we’ve had multiple participants take the microphone and present their favorite films to the group; not something most had planned on their life calendar. Lemonade from Lemons!
Truthfully, the main purpose of the group was to give me the opportunity to show off my vast knowledge of film and shove my taste down people’s throats.
Besides the fun aspect the group has engaged openly on plenty of big themes . The topics have ranged from Porn to Diversity to Eighties Teen Cover Bands in Dublin to Race to The Troubles to Scottish Heroin Addicts to Baseball to Pandemics to The Costa-Del-Crime to John Malkovich’s Brain Portal to Ben Affleck’s Perfect Batman Chin to ….
I’m attaching a separate movie discussion page and the list of films watched to date. I’ll post future screenings each week so you can follow along.
If after reviewing the list there is a movie you would like to suggest the group watches – don’t. Start your own film club.
From a personal growth standpoint, I learned how to listen and be patient when other film viewer’s opinions are contradictory to mine, even though they are completely wrong.
This week’s movie marks our 71st selection – Crimson Tide (1995). Denzel; Hackman; Mutiny; Submarines; Aragorn & Armageddon; Tony Soprano; Tarantino; Honor & Duty – plenty to discuss.
The most popular move Year One was Sunset Boulevard; the most despised was Risky Business (what?) and the one that proved us to be two continents separated by a single movie Trainspotting.
Last week’s selection Sexy Beast (2000) got a 90% Thumbs Up. Yes – I’m confused.
Big Thanks to Brienne for being XO on The Rewatchables Weekly Voyage and all who’ve participated and presented.
Stacey commandeered my downstairs screening room as her home office, so I bought a ridiculously large 85” Flat Screen with a sound bar for the Living Room. Stacey has grown to love it.
On an extremely sad note, our very good friend Kevin Senecal passed away earlier this year. Kevin and wife Shelley are Stacey’s best friends from back in their University of Michigan days. Kevin’s brother Dan hosted a wonderful celebration of Kevin’s life in his St. Joseph’s, Michigan home over the Summer. I was grateful and touched that I got to attend and witness all the shared love and warmth for Kevin. Both Shelley and Kevin have included and welcomed me as a friend in their lives since my day one with Stacey.
Kevin was the best of us and is very much missed.
More unstructured rambling soon.