Hello again, Dear Reader. It’s mid-afternoon here in New Hometown, Florida. Currently, the temperature is 86˚F (30˚C) under sunny skies. With the wind blowing from the east-northeast at 14 MPH (22 KM/H) and humidity at 62%, the feels-like temperature is 91˚F (33˚C). No rain is in the forecast for the afternoon.
After trying – and failing – to think of any truly happy memories related to Mom’s birthday, I took a shower and changed into my street clothes hoping that The Caregiver would remember that she promised to take me to the barber to get a badly needed haircut. Well, so far it looks as though that hope has been dashed, since (a) she is engrossed with her new boyfriend, and (b) she has not popped into my bedroom to say, “Hey, are you ready? We gotta go to get you that haircut.”
Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, I am still somewhat leery about going to the barber shop, which is named Just for Guys. However, my hair is getting long, especially in back where it is still thick, even if it is not as chestnut brown as it used to be when I was young. The Caregiver has been talking about taking me today for the past few days, yet here we are, past three on Saturday, October 17, and…nada, zip, zilch, zero.
If I had the same level of confidence that I had back in Miami, I would try and walk to Just for Guys. According to Google Maps, it’s 1.4 miles away and would take me 28 minutes, more or less, to get there on foot. Alas, no. I’m sad – not just over this being the sixth recurrence of my mother’s birthday since her death, but also over how weird The Caregiver behaves toward me, especially now that she has a New Guy. Even with directions to Just for Guys on my phone, I’m honestly too distracted by extraneous thoughts, and I still – still – have a strong instinct of self-preservation, so I don’t want to venture out, cross several minor roads and at least a major one, and either end up exhausted after the hike or – worse – injured or dead because I had a close encounter of the worst kind with a car.
If The Caregiver remembers that she promised to take me to the barber today and says, “Let’s go,” fine. I’m ready to go. All I have to do is give my teeth and gums a second brushing to minimize any chance of having bad breath, and I’m good. If not…well, I’m not going to make a big deal about it.
Someday, I am going to have to – at the very least – try to make the hike to Just for Guys and go get a haircut on my own. I used to do this in Miami-Dade all of the time when I was younger, cockier, and a little less fearful of being hit by a car while crossing a road. When I was a teenager, I’d walk 1.6 miles from my former home – it still saddens me to think of it as such- to a barber shop called Mr. Tony’s in Sweetwater, a small city adjacent to Fontainebleau Park in west Miami-Dade County.
I first walked to Mr. Tony’s when I was 17, and I went there every so often (maybe five or six times a year, since I have never been a huge fan of haircuts) for the next 15 or so years. Later, I would go to the barber at the Mall of the Americas (formerly Midway Mall), either by bus or on foot, though my mom would sometimes take me herself in her car when she still drove.
Eventually, a barber shop (Blades) opened in the shopping plaza close to my former home and I’d get my haircuts there from 2015 till April of 2016.
So, yeah….someday I’m going to attempt it. Just not today.
In Other News
When I was trying to think of happy memories of times spent with my mother Beatriz, I couldn’t think of one that was explicitly related to her birthday. However, I eventually remembered that Mom and I used to watch WGBH-Boston’s Evening at Pops TV series on Miami’s PBS affiliate WPBT-TV (Channel Two) from the late 1970s – when the Boston Pops Orchestra was led by the late Arthur Fiedler – until it was unceremoniously canceled in 2004 by the Pops’ parent organization, the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Per Wikipedia: The long-running show ended after its 2004–2005 season because the Pops’ parent organization, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, did not want to continue funding the nearly $1 million production cost of each episode.
For quite a while, I have been searching for any DVD or Blu-ray that either features the Pops’ laureate conductor, Academy Award-winning composer John Williams and the Pops or Maestro Williams conducting any orchestra in a Pops-like setting. I haven’t had much luck finding any Evening at Pops compilation DVDs, but I did find this new Deutsche Grammophon CD/Blu-ray set online:
Limited Deluxe Edition John Williams – Live in Vienna
When the legendary American film composer John Williams conducted the Vienna Philharmonic for the first time, Der Standard headlined its report “A Visit from God” and continued: “He was hailed by a standing, cheering ovation like God himself received by earthly disciples.” John Williams in Vienna documents this historical performance – “a very special honour” in the life of the composer.
Symphonic Hollywood sounds on the stage of the Vienna Musikverein: the world-famous orchestra plays iconic themes from Star Wars, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park and other milestones in film history. Star guest Anne-Sophie Mutter performs violin arrangements made especially for her by Williams himself.
Star Wars, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park: the soundtracks of John Williams, the master of cinematic magic, are among the most popular in the history of film and have received numerous prestigious awards, including five Oscars, five Emmys, four Golden Globes and twenty-five Grammys. Now the legendary American film composer has recorded the most famous, beautiful and touching of his cult themes for the first time with the Vienna Philharmonic. “Star moments of film music” was the headline of the Wiener Zeitung: “Hollywood’s grandmaster and the Vienna Philharmonic thrilled audiences with excerpts from his life’s work.”
I found out about this set purely by chance; I was browsing through YouTube in hopes of finding some clips from Evening at Pops that weren’t uploaded from someone’s old VHS troves, and I was directed to the video from Deutsche Grammophon touting its brand-new album (recorded in Vienna on January 18 and 19, before the COVID-19 pandemic threw a huge wrench in the works of 2020 – and released a little over two weeks ago.
I have a bad habit of shopping when I’m sad or upset, but since I did get a stimulus check this month and thus have a bit of discretionary money in the bank, I thought, “Hell, I don’t go out much anymore, I have no girlfriend to do anything fun with anymore, and I can’t buy too many Star Wars collectibles because my study is now smaller thanks to the addition of a futon. But I still have space on my shelves for a few Blu-rays or CDs. So, yeah. I’m buying this.”
Per Amazon, my CD/Blu-ray Limited Deluxe Edition set of John Williams – Live in Vienna is due to arrive on Tuesday, but I think it might get here as early as Monday, depending on when it’s shipped and where it is shipped from.
Well, that’s all the news that fit to print. I still see no sign that The Caregiver remembers about taking me to Just for Guys, which closes at 5 PM (it’s now 4:29 PM Eastern), so I think I’ll just sit here at my desk and game for a while. Or stream something from Amazon Prime Video. Or…read one of the many books on my TBR list.
I might be back later with a third post. It depends on a few variables, not the least of which is “If I have anything to say on my blog.” If not, I’ll be back tomorrow.
Either way, stay safe, stay healthy, be kind to others, and I’ll catch on the sunny side of things.