Musings & Thoughts for Saturday, October 15, 2022, or: Weekend Update, Part One

The view from the front porch of our house. (Photo by the author)

A Quick Life Update

Hi there, Dear Reader. It’s Saturday, October 15, 2022, and it’s early afternoon here in Lithia on a warm subtropical autumn day. I went outside a little while ago just to see how the weather is beyond the confines of our house in Fish Hawk Ranch; it’s not too bad, temperature-wise. We’re in the low 80s (that’s high 20s to those of you who use the Celsius/centigrade scale) and mostly cloudy, and I would not be surprised if we had some scattered showers later this afternoon.

Goodbye, Beard!

This was taken after the last time I went to the barber in early July.

Well, I did it. I shaved off my beard.

After seven years – the longest time that I’ve ever grown and kept a beard – and only getting the half-hearted “I’ve got to get you groomed” comment from the Caregiver (it’s words, not deeds, with that woman) regarding my facial hair, I decided to borrow a Wahl styling shaver/trimmer and removed the beard from my cheeks, chin, and neck. I briefly considered shaving my mustache as well, but I can trim that easily, something that’s untrue when it comes to the beard.

Why did I do it?

Well, as my mother – whose 94th birthday would have been this coming Monday – admonished me the first time I grew my beard back in 1982 (I was 19 and wanted to look a bit more grown-up for my senior year in high school), beards are fine if you can “maintain” them. That means trimming the parts that make you look good when you have a beard and shaving off the excess hairs from your neck and cheeks, depending on the individual style and taste.

The author’s senior year photo, circa summer of 1982. Photo by Bryn Alan Studio, Miami, FL

I have some dexterity issues, so I don’t fare well when my beard stops looking “writerly” or “professor-like” and gets bushier and longer as if I had been stranded on a desert isle for a while without access to a shaving kit. I can trim my mustache if I am careful and take my time, but when it comes to the full beard, I’m not as adept and the results are…uneven.

The one way that I had before 2020 of keeping my beard nicely maintained was going to the barber on a regular basis and getting it trimmed by a professional. I did it in Miami the few times that I grew a beard when I lived there, and the Caregiver – when she was my girlfriend and actually gave me care – took me to the nearby barbershop every six weeks. But starting in mid-2020, when she told me she had reconnected with a childhood “friend” and that I had been relegated to the “friend zone” for good, the trips to the barbershop became less frequent and often coincidental with the new boyfriend’s own trip to the barbershop to get his beard trimmed.

In 2022, she has only taken me to get a beard trim (and a haircut) twice; one of those occasions was when her now-late boyfriend was still able to go to the barbershop (March of 2022), and once when he was in hospice because his liver had failed and he was waiting for a transplant that never materialized.

So, yeah. I got tired of waiting on someone who can’t be relied upon for something as basic as a trip to the barber. I could have tried taking an Uber or Lyft to one of the two places where I get my hair cut, but I am not the most trusting of souls, plus adding the cost of a ride to the haircut and beard trim is just annoying. Plus, my face was itchy in some places covered by facial hair – so, bye beard!

Photo by Matthias Oben on

Now, of course, I must get back in the habit of shaving regularly, but it’s a small price to pay for not looking like a bum – or a crazy terrorist.

Photo by Liza Summer on

Waiting for the Post to Arrive

As I write this, my package with my Amazon order of the Blu-ray two-disc set with Frank Darabont’s adaptation of The Mist is marked as Out for Delivery by the U.S. Postal Service. It went “on the road” at 6:10 AM (around the time I was waking up) and is scheduled to arrive before 2:45 PM.

Since I ordered this from a third-party seller with an Amazon “storefront,” the postal service is handling the delivery. That’s why the delivery window on the night I ordered this was so wide – between Friday the 14th and Wednesday the 19th.  I would have been okay with the latter date; I own The Mist (which is the only outright horror story Darabont has adapted from Stephen King’s works; The Shawshank Redemption has zero supernatural content, while the thematically similar The Green Mile does have some magical or supernatural elements) on the Collector’s Edition DVD.

(C) 2022 Lionsgate and Alliance Entertainment

I’ve owned the 2-disc edition on DVD since, oh, 2009, and like the Lionsgate 2022 reissue of an earlier Blu-ray edition, it has two versions of The Mist. One is the theatrical release, which is in color at the studio’s insistence; the other one is Darabont’s preferred version of The Mist, which is in black and white.  And since that DVD set is still in good condition, I can watch it anytime. I just happen to like the high-definition Blu-ray format more than I like the standard definition DVD one and waited for the price to drop so a double dip would not affect my bank account too much.  

My plan for the rest of this Saturday is to watch The Mist (probably the black and white version) out in the Florida room. I could watch it my room, of course, but I spend way too much time in here, so if no one else is using the television that’s hooked up to the 5.1 home theater sound system, I’ll park my butt on the reclining couch – a Seagram’s Escape within reach – and enjoy the movie out there.

Obviously, if the Caregiver’s daughter has the day off from her job at Target and wants to watch her shows on Disney+, then I’ll have to watch The Mist in here. Either way, I will still see the movie on Blu-ray…but I do prefer watching it in a more comfortable venue than my bedroom/writing study.

Other than that…I don’t have anything else to report, so I’ll close for now. Until next time, Dear Reader, stay safe, stay healthy, and I’ll catch you on the sunny side of things.

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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