MJ Monday-Music: Boomer!

If you’ve followed my blog at all, you know that I have been slowly converting my home office into a sanctuary/retreat. I still have a long way to go, but one of things on the never ending list was music. Yes, I can play music through my laptop, but the sound stinks and computers are temperamental. My little red tablet laptop has some of the worst speakers I’ve ever encountered.

I own a couple of “boom boxes”. One is so old, it plays only cassettes. The other originally played both cassettes and CDs, but the cassette portion died years ago. Time for a new “sound system” for my haven.

It plays CDs and cassettes and (allegedly) mp3s, although I need some kind of cable to plug into a jack or something. It’s small. Is the sound awesome? Nope, but it’s a vast improvement over my computers.

Since I unboxed it (it sat untouched for several months), I’ve been listening to a lot of old favorites while I write. I light a scented candle, put on some mellow jazz or New Age music and my stress seems to melt.

This is an investment I do not regret.

Thursday Thought: Fleabag (Includes Spoiler)

My husband and I sat down one night to binge watch season two of Fleabag, an award-winning show on Amazon. We hadn’t seen season one. Hubs had been told season one wasn’t necessary to understand season two.

I wish I’d seen season one, if only for contest. The first episode of season two dropped the viewer into the middle of a complicated family dynamic, in addition to introducing a “hot” priest.

The show was wickedly, viciously funny. Reality can be hilarious at time, especially when it comes to families.

But. (Isn’t there always a but?)

Truth was also buried in the humor. Parts of the show upset me. People not taking responsibility for their own actions. In the family, okay. That’s what made for the humor. The “hot” priest is another issue. I was infuriated when he blamed the title character for his own failures.

The only thing in the world over which we have control is our own attitude. His was appalling.

I know the program is fiction. On the other hand, who’s to say similar situations don’t happen on a regular basis? It’s okay to admit we’re only human, with all the shortcomings that entails. But don’t blame someone else because you can’t control your attitude.

MJ Monday-Movies: The Ref

The Ref, a 1994 flick (Dennis Leary, Kevin Spacey, and Judy Davis)has become one of my favorite Christmas movies.

This is not a movie for children.

A thief whose heist goes awry takes a bickering couple hostage on Christmas Eve. Much comedy ensues as we see the underside of family holiday gatherings. The visiting in-laws (including Glynis Johns in a completely different portrayal of the mother-in-law than she was in While You Were Sleeping), the criminal child, a drunken Santa Claus, and an inept sidekick all come together for a laugh fest.

For those who think just because a movie is set at Christmas doesn’t make it a Christmas movie will probably argue that The Ref is in that category. But the underlying story is what matters, and although this is a black comedy, the story is deeper than laughing at a dysfunctional family.

Book Review-Karen Robards: Obsession

Image credit: tieury / 123RF Stock Photo

Imagine waking up, going to brush your teeth, and not recognizing the face in the mirror. Your hair is auburn, not the blond now adorning your head. What happened to the gap between your teeth? There’s an expensive ring on your finger you “know” you bought with an inheritance, but it’s not your taste. And that tattoo near your private parts? You have a phobia of needles, so how did that happen?

And you have a headache so bad it feels as if your skull is about to shatter.

Welcome to Obsession.

As usual, Robards’ careful attention to detail help establish the atmosphere of the story (although I think she messed up on the moon phases in this one).

No one is who they seems, except the bad guy. He’s bad.

Interesting twists.10

From page one, this book is full of violence, so if you’re squeamish, I’d avoid it.

 

MJ Monday-Meals: Lunch Hour

Warning: Self-serving 1st World Whining Ahead!

Pre COVID, I had a whole hour for lunch breaking up my work day. I didn’t have to think about lunch, because I could run out and grab something. I could run home and grab something. I had 60 minutes to deal with food.

When COVID hit, my employer changed our hours. We now begin our day a half hour earlier. Lunch breaks are now 30 minutes. And we get to leave an hour earlier than we use to. And that leaving an hour earlier is really nice.

My issue is the abbreviated lunch break. Even after eight months, I still haven’t gotten the knack of planning my lunches for the week. My choices are now to pack a lunch (something I really really hate, childhood “trauma” and all that) or order in. And ordering in gets expensive. Yes, GrubHub is wonderful, but expensive.

So I need to think about lunches. I try to plan meals where there will be leftovers for me to carry to work. How many days a week can I eat leftover pasta? I do try to remember to purchase things for sandwiches, but I really hate sandwiches. Unless they’re hot. (Thirteen years of tuna salad or baloney and cheese did a number on me.) A weight loss program I was on further traumatized me, although I have discovered good deli sliced turkey in no way resembles the sliced fat-free slime I once consumed in an effort to be svelte.

I warned you I would be whining. I know I’m lucky to have a job, lucky that I work in an “essential” business; lucky I have money to purchase food. I’m blessed in so many ways.

I just wish I could find a workable lunch break solution.