Musings & Thoughts for Sunday, December 13, 2020, or: How I Spent My Weekend (Without Going Off the Deep End)

Photo by Any Lane on

Hi, there, Dear Reader. It’s late afternoon here in New Hometown, Florida on Sunday, December 13, 2020. Currently, the temperature is 78˚F (26˚C) under partly sunny skies. With humidity at 65% and the wind blowing from the south-southwest at 6 MPH (10 KM/H), the feels-like temperature is 78˚F (26˚C). The day has been mostly cloudy, and the high was 81˚F (27˚C). The forecast for tonight calls for partly cloudy skies, and the low will be 63˚F (17˚C).

Well, here we are, only 12 days before Christmas Day 2020, and I am still not in the “holiday spirit.” I try my best to be at least…not morose…and for the most part I succeed. I sincerely strive to be a nice guy whenever possible, and I do my best not to be mean, spiteful, or rude to others. When I know that my mood is heading into “dark territory” (which ranges from melancholy to anger and resentment), I simply go into my room, close the door, and either play video games – Cold Waters is my current favorite, although I do play others – or listen to music on my Amazon Music app until the blues have gone away.  If those forms of entertainment don’t work, then I either read a book or watch a movie.

(C) 1971 Warner Bros. (C) 2017 Warner Home Entertainment

Last night I tried to watch my Blu-ray of director Robert Mulligan’s Summer of ’42, the 1971 coming-of-age classic that stars Jennifer O’Neill, Gary Grimes, Jerry Houser, and Oliver Conant and tells the bittersweet (and autobiographical) story of screenwriter Herman Raucher’s first experience at falling in love as a 15-year-old boy during America’s first wartime summer during the Second World War.

I said, “tried to watch” Summer of ’42 and not “watched” because even though it’s one of my favorite films, it isn’t a romantic comedy where Hermie (Grimes) meets an older (23-year-old) woman “cute,” after which they fall in love and live happily ever after. It is funny in a lot of scenes, especially when the story focuses on Hermie and his best friends Oscy (Houser) and Benjie (Conant), but it is mostly a reflection on how confusing it is to be a teenager, especially when it comes to dealing with sex and feelings of attraction that are not necessarily appropriate, i.e. Hermie’s crush on Dorothy, who’s not only eight years older but is also a recently married “war bride.”

Suffice it to say that this movie is one of the few that can move me to tears, literally, so I only watch it every so often; the last time I watched Summer of ’42 from beginning to end was five years ago, not long after the Christmas/New Year’s season and when I still lived in Miami. Since I moved here, I have not played the Warner Archives DVD once – the Caregiver doesn’t care for the film and its May-December love story.  I did buy the Blu-ray edition last week, though, because that’s what I often do with “favorite films” – I get them in the latest video format for the best audio and video playback.

Well, even though I’m impressed by how good a “regular” Blu-ray disc’s content looks on a 4K UHD set. I am still feeling emotionally vulnerable as a result of my breakup with the Caregiver. I’m trying my best to cope with that loss, and I think I’ll eventually recover – this isn’t my first visit to this particular rodeo, after all – but after watching Summer of ’42 for 15 minutes, I realized that I’d end up feeling sad and lonely instead of being properly entertained.

(C) 2018 Lucasfilm Ltd. (LFL) and Buena Vista Home Entertainment

I did watch another movie – 2018’s Solo: A Star Wars Story. And even though there’s also a “lost love” subplot in Ron Howard’s origins story about a young Han Solo, it’s more of a action-adventure/caper film than a romantic film, so I could enjoy it and not end up brooding about my own situation.

As for today, I didn’t do anything special; I got up around 7 AM, lurked on Facebook for a while, read half a chapter of Craig Symonds’ The Battle of Midway, then played a couple of Quick Missions in Cold Waters. I also listened to Disc 3 of The Great Escape soundtrack, which presents Elmer Bernstein’s score as it was heard in the commercially-released 1963 LP album. (Discs 1 and 2 present Bernstein’s complete score.)

Well, that’s all the news I have to share today, so I’ll close for now. Until next time, stay safe, stay healthy, and be kind to others. And remember, Dear Reader…I’ll catch you on the sunny side of things.  

A rare screenshot in which I capture a view of my Los Angeles-class fast attack sub and a Soviet ship as it sinks into the cold waters of the North Atlantic Ocean.

Published by Alex Diaz-Granados

Alex Diaz-Granados (1963- ) began writing movie reviews as a staff writer and Entertainment Editor for his high school newspaper in the early 1980s and was the Diversions editor for Miami-Dade Community College, South Campus' student newspaper for one semester. Using his experiences in those publications, Alex has been raving and ranting about the movies online since 2003 at various web sites, including Amazon, Ciao and Epinions. In addition to writing reviews, Alex has written or co-written three films ("A Simple Ad," "Clown 345," and "Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss") for actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez. You can find his reviews and essays on his blogs, A Certain Point of View and A Certain Point of View, Too.

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