Tuesday, August 18, 2015


It's been a week, but I don't seem to have anything of substance to say, or my brain can't manage to put together two consecutive sentences on the same basis subject. Not that any of that will keep me from trying...

Jury duty - I was called to serve in May, but postponed, due to the need to file the university tax return right about the same time. As a reserve, I needed to check by phone or web after 5:30 p.m. this past Sunday to see whether I had to report at 9 the next morning. I wasn't needed, but the message said to check at noon on Monday to see if I needed to report at 2 p.m. that day. I didn't, but had to check again after 5:30 to see if I had to report on Tuesday...

Whereupon I did not have to report, but had to check again at noon to see if I had to go in this afternoon.

Ay. I'm seriously considering bringing suit for pain and suffering. My blood pressure, I'm sure, has been elevated the last couple days due to the uncertainty. I know I haven't slept well, and have felt vaguely and/or actively anxious.

Party time - After four years, I am finally having the neighbors over. The invitations went out in the mail today for a dessert party the afternoon of the last Sunday of this month. Easy peasy - my fool-proof, feeds-a-crowd cream cheese tort and a vanilla pound cake, with various berries available for toppings. A pan of Lethal Layers. Probably a bowl of mixed fruit for those who won't eat the goodies. Coffee. Lemonade.

The baking is the easy part. Let the massive cleaning effort begin (I really shouldn't stress over this. After all, I've only been in one other person's place in the four years I've been here - people just don't invite others in anymore. The kitchen and bathrooms are spotless, and if there is a little dust and clutter elsewhere, hey, that's how I roll).

Reading - Why yes, I've not put up the nonfiction books I've read the last several months. I'm trying, truly, but the siren call of fiction is difficult to ignore, especially in the summer. My reading time is down overall, anyway, primarily due to spending more time sewing. It seems I can't have my cake and eat it, too.

Daylight, or lack thereof - It's not all that long ago that when I rolled out of bed at 4:30, I could see my way around the condo by the light that came in the windows. Now, however, the sun doesn't rise until about the time that I leave the house to go to work, just after six.

Both living room lamps are on timers. The lamp next to my usual chair only has a single on/off, set from early evening to bedtime. The other lamp has a fancy digital timer, with two on/off cycles, one similar to the other lamp, the second set to illumine the dark first floor in the early morning hours. That lamp's light bulb has been burned out since the beginning of May; not until this week have I really seen (ahem, not seen) enough reason to replace that bulb.

Winter is indeed coming.

Speaking of changing seasons - The neighbor party is August 30th. In the normal course of things, I'd put out my autumn d├ęcor then. Will it be strange to have it out already for that party? Rushing the season? No clue what the weather will be - this being Wisconsin, it could be mid eighties as we've been having, or a high in the low sixties, so the weather is no real help in deciding if it is too early.

Gratuitous television recommendation - The Last Ship on TNT is fantastic. I don't have cable, but have been buying the series episode by episode on Amazon Prime. The first season is now available on Netflix, but DVD only. Season two is currently running; they've already been picked up for season three. Briefly, a plague has decimated the earth. The US Navy destroyer Nathan James has been on radio silence up in the arctic while the plague takes hold. Unbeknownst to the commander, the research scientist they have along is actually looking for the primordial strain of this flu. The fun starts when they are attacked by the Russians.

Filmed on board an actual destroyer, with active Navy participation and guidance, it's directed by Michael Bey of Transformers fame. Episodes are movie-quality cinema, the acting (Eric Dane and Adam Baldwin, to start) is superb. If nothing else, it's worth watching to see the ship in action.

Have I talked about the series before? Probably - it's that good. Or rather, it is extremely refreshing to see our armed forces portrayed in a positive light, even if it has to be in an apocalyptic story.

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