As always, we’re enjoying “Scary October”, making sure to watch scary movies and TV shows. We really liked “Midnight Mass”, delightfully creepy and very well-acted. It got a little monologuey at times, and I didn’t buy the ending where none of the townspeople could find shelter. Nonetheless, bravo and I think we will pick up “Haunting of Bly Manor” or one of their other efforts at some point.
(Probably forgot to mention here that we’d seen “The Flight Attendant” last month. That was pretty great too, also very well cast.)
We started “Squid Game”, with the caveat of, since it’s a foreign-language subtitled show, we’d give up on it if it turned out we couldn’t watch it, read the titles and eat dinner at the same time. This has turned out to be not-a-problem. It’s really fantastic. Takes a while to get going, and our antihero is someone that you would want to kick out of your life in frustration before too long, but boy is it atmospheric and tension-inducing. The idea of games that are fatal if you lose is not new – definitely feels like a cousin to “The Hunger Games” and Richard Bachman/Stephen King’s “The Long Walk”, but oh so well done.
We are also embracing our annual October tradition of “The Twilight Zone”. We’re watching it on a different platform than where we started, so I wasn’t sure where we’d left off, but we started with season 4, where the episodes become an hour long. Still great concepts, low-budget sets, and a bunch of actors who became famous later.
Moviewise, we’ve watched the Bela Lugosi “Dracula”, the Boris Karloff “Frankenstein”, “The Conjuring 2”, “It: Chapter 2”, and “Poltergeist”. Also “Rocky Horror”, which I was just in the right mood for. Closely watching, I saw how many actory/performing tricks out of the hammy toolbox both Tim Curry and Barry Bostwick are doing, and it’s totally delightful. Oh, and I watched about half of “ParaNorman” when C fell asleep before we could get to Twilight Zone. We’d seen it in the theater, it’s a lot of fun. I’ll catch the other half at some point.
I’d loaded up a collection of scary stories on the Kindle (the Bram Stoker “Dracula”, the Mary Shelley “Frankenstein”, Poe and so on), but didn’t get that far into it. I did read Stephen King’s “If It Bleeds”, which I liked a lot, and realized one of the short stories was a follow-on to the Bill Hodges books. I’d never read the third one, “End of Watch”, so I skipped the short story and am reading the book now. It’s nicely creepy. We still haven’t watched the miniseries with Brendan Gleeson, but will at some point.
I played in a concert! It went pretty well! We played Jennifer Higdon’s “Fanfare Ritmico”, which was very modern and complicated and which I thought easily could have not-been-good, but it was very solid, thanks to our excellent assistant conductor who was herself rock-solid on it. They finished the first half with the 4th Beethoven piano concerto (I didn’t play that one), and then we did Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony! I’d never played it before, oddly enough, and was delighted to finally get a chance. The iconic first movement is terrifying, because it can be tricky for entrances and fermatas, and because everyone knows it, it’s really obvious if you screw up. It has been a teeny bit shaky in the last rehearsal, so we went over it in the sound check and it firmed up. Then in performance, it went back to being shaky again, but it was never seriously in danger, and it was basically fine.
The other three movements were not a problem and went beautifully. It was so nice to play this piece and play with my delightful colleagues and friends! I’m playing the next concert too – we’re doing Tchaikovsky #4, which I love and which I’ve played before. We already had a brass sectional for that.
Oh, you know what happened on Saturday as I was warming up at home for the concert? Suddenly I got a big massive floater in my right eye. That’s never happened before, but I knew what it was and I was like “oh fuck”. Imagine if you cleaned your hairbrush, and then sort of languidly waved the clump of hair in front of your eyeball. That’s how I see out of my right eye now all the time. So I got an eye appointment and the doctor was like, ‘yep, you got one’, but the retina looks fine, although she wants me to check with a retinal specialist in a month or so. Apparently, eventually the hair-clump thing will sink to the bottom of the eyeball (maybe) and then not be quite so obtrusive.
C continues to be frustrated by both his non-working leg and the lack of diagnosis, despite more tests. He’s mostly fine getting around the house by himself, but sometimes it’s a problem getting in and out of bed or off the couch, and wer’e both worried. If this becomes the new normal, we may have to replace some furniture or something. We’re not there yet, but the possibility is looming.
I’ve booked the travel for spending Thanksgiving week with my dad and brother. Again, wtih C’s leg, it’s going to be a lot more complicated than usual. Dad looked into renting a wheelchair in case we need one – that’s easy to do, and not expensive. And much as we like to host things for Christmas, I don’t see how we can do that this year. (and C lives for that stuff, so he’s very frustrated)
Otherwise, things are fine. C keeps plugging away at his job. He was going to retire at the end of the year, but may not if he feels it’s a bad idea to switch medical insurance situations in the middle of this. My job is pretty great, but busy.
Yeah, probably more to share, but that’s plenty.