Hi there, Dear Reader. It’s late morning on Tuesday, April 13, 2021 here in New Hometown, Florida. Currently, the temperature is 77˚F (25˚C) under sunny skies. With the wind blowing from the east-northeast at 2 MPH (4 KM/H) and humidity at 59%, the feels-like temperature is 75˚F (24˚C). Today’s forecast calls for a high of 88˚F (31˚C) and partly sunny skies. Tonight, we can expect partly cloudy skies and a low of 62˚F (17˚C).
Today I woke up with the nagging feeling of “I wish I was elsewhere” again, compounded by an equally nagging pain on my left hip. I have not gone anywhere for rest and relaxation since the Caregiver and I returned from Disney Hollywood Studios and a nearby resort in March of that anno horriblis 2020. (I’ve gone out to run errands and eat at two nearby restaurants – Cali Viejo and Cracker Barrel – a few times, but not to the beach, a concert, or even a movie in a real cinema since then, thanks to the global COVID-19 pandemic.)
And since the relationship between the Caregiver and me is, at best, “amicable but distant,” I spend 90% of my time in my room, coming out only to take a shower, brush my teeth, and for meals and maybe watch the one cable-connected TV set I have access to in the house, which is the large TV out on the entertainment center in what I call the “common room.” I have a nice 4K UHD TV in my room, but (a) it’s smaller than the TV in the common room and (b) it only picks up certain channels via the Internet, most of which are the news-only broadcasts from some of the traditional networks, i.e. ABC News or CBS News.
I mention this because an episode of Hemingway: A Film by Ken Burns & Lynn Novick, a new documentary about the late novelist-adventurer Ernest Hemingway, whose shadow looms over many American writers 60 years after his death (by suicide), airs tonight.
I’m not a huge Hemingway aficionado; I have only one of his novels (For Whom the Bell Tolls), but I am interested in learning more about him, especially since the Hemingway family tends to have the twin strands of talent and tragedy running like threads through the tapestry of its history.
And if you’ve read either of my blogs for a while now, you know that I’m a fan of Ken Burns and own a few of his award-winning documentaries either on DVD or on Blu-ray. I have even reviewed some of them, either on A Certain Point of View in Blogger or here.
The problem is that because I live in a house that belongs to a philistine whose idea of good television is The Bachelor/The Bachelorette, The Masked Singer, and American Idol, I already missed the first episode, which aired on April 5. I could have streamed it in my room, of course, but I already spend way too much time in here! Ugh.
I haven’t felt this constrained since I stayed at my grandparents’ house in the Bogota neighborhood of Santa Barbara for three months in 1966 while my mom closed most of her business affairs in Miami before flying down to Colombia and finding a place for us to live permanently. My grandmother was a smart, loving woman in her own way, but boy, was she strict. And in her house, her word was The Law of the Land, and if she didn’t want you to watch X show on TV because she wanted to watch Y, by God, you watched Y or you watched nothing at all.
Here, it’s the same thing. If the Caregiver wants to watch The Bachelor franchise on Mondays, The Masked Singer on Tuesdays, and America’s Got Talent whenever the hell that show airs, that’s what you’ll watch if you want to plop your rear end on the comfy couch and relax in the common room. There’s usually no appeal, a fact I learned back in 2017 when Fox aired 24: Legacy and the Caregiver would not let me watch it due to her The Bachelor addiction.
 The Civil War (1990), Baseball (1994), Ken Burns Presents: The West, A Film by Stephen Ives (1994), Jazz (2001), The War (2007), Prohibition (2011), The Central Park Five (2012), The Roosevelts: An Intimate History and The Vietnam War (2017).