Hi there, Dear Reader. It is late morning in Lithia, Florida, on Wednesday, March 9, 2022. It is a warm, muggy spring day here in the Tampa Bay area. Currently, the temperature is 85˚F (30˚C) under mostly cloudy skies. With humidity at 70% and the wind blowing from the south-southwest at 13 MPH (22 KM/H), the feels-like temperature is 89˚F (32˚C). Today’s forecast calls for partly sunny skies and a high of 89˚F (32˚C). Tonight, we can expect partly cloudy skies and a low of 72˚F (22˚C).
If all goes well, by this time next week I will either receive emails from Amazon, Best Buy, and Target that my order with a specific variant of 20th Century Studios’ 4K UHD Blu-ray release of West Side Story has shipped, or I will be holding at least one of them in my hands.
Last month, as soon as Disney-owned 20th Century Studios – the rebranded version of 20th Century Fox – placed director Steven Spielberg’s 2021 “reimagining” of West Side Story in the pre-order queue, I put in orders at Target for the exclusive “art packaging” variant and at Best Buy for its exclusive steelbook packaging variant. Amazon and Disney have been arguing about the former’s pricing policies for a few years, so I had to wait to pre-order West Side Story’s “basic” Collector’s Edition 4K UHD bundle from that e-retailer.
I don’t usually buy multiple copies of the same movie when it premieres on home media. I usually get just one edition of a film when it comes out in a specific format (such as DVDs in the late 1990s), then, when a new but downward-compatible format emerges, I will upgrade and get new discs in the new format, especially if the movies in question are among my favorite films or are considered to be classics.
And normally, I don’t bother collecting packaging variants such as Target’s “Art Edition” or Best Buy’s SteelBook Edition. I don’t have a lot of storage or display space, and I have to use my spending money wisely, so I only go the “cool packaging route” for movies or franchises that I am passionate about. The nine Skywalker Saga Star Wars movies fall into this category; I bought the steelbook editions of the Original and Prequel Trilogies in 2015, when the then-independent 20th Century Fox owned the distribution rights. Later, I bought the steelbook editions of The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and The Rise of Skywalker to complete the collection. (I don’t have steelbooks for either Solo or Rogue One.)
West Side Story is my favorite musical, and Steven Spielberg is my favorite filmmaker, so I decided to splurge on three variants of the home media release, even though I think the one I will use for “everyday” watching will be the more conventionally packaged Collector’s Edition set from Amazon.
Of course, if I get either the Best Buy or Target order first, of course, I will open it and at least watch the behind-the-scenes stuff on the Bonus Features disc. I’m a sucker for “making of” documentaries, and those are usually the first items that I will watch when I get a new Blu-ray release. This is especially true of movies that I’ve seen before, and since I watched West Side Story on my birthday this past Saturday, this tradition will be upheld sometime next week.
In other news, tomorrow is my half-sister Vicky’s 72nd birthday. Since we have not spoken to each other in almost six years, I have no idea how she will celebrate the occasion, or with whom. As you know, her cousin Juan Manuel Pereira – from her father’s side of the family – died unexpectedly in October of 2020. He was the only person in her social circle to remain on friendly terms with me, and he was the only one who gave me occasional updates on how she was doing.
I imagine that she will invite a few people to her small apartment at the International Princess Apartments complex just a bit south of Florida International University’s main campus at University Park. It is not a large apartment, so if she has any sort of shindig for her 72nd birthday, she can’t comfortably accommodate more than eight guests at one time. And knowing Vicky as well as I do, there will be lots of alcohol, loud Colombian music, and – if the topics come up – lots of talk about how much she misses our mother (which I don’t doubt she does) and what a horrible, evil, sneaky person I was for not letting her get her way regarding our parent’s estate. (I suspect that she either pretends I don’t exist or, more likely, she thinks I somehow swindled her out of what she considered to be her rightful inheritance.)
I seriously doubt that Vicky misses me, cos if she did, she would have found a way to get a message to me, especially since we have cousins from Mom’s side of the family who can contact both of us.
If she has recovered fully from her hip replacement surgery of early 2020, it’s also possible that Vicky could go out with friends or her other Pereira cousins to a restaurant. I don’t know how well she’s doing health-wise, but she’s never been the kind of person to voluntarily stay at home in her apartment all day.
I don’t have anything else to report, so I will close here. Until next time, Dear Reader, stay safe, stay healthy, and I’ll catch you on the sunny side of things.
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