Shobhit was gone most of the evening last night, as I did laundry, set clothes and other items out for packing for our trip, made us both totally separate dinners, kept his in the microwave for him and ate mine while watching this week's rather bleak -- as they all are -- episode of The Handmaid's Tale. If we don't see some real change toward some actual hope in the next couple of episodes by the end of the season, even I might consider giving up on it. We can only take so much bleakness in an already bleak real-life world. I mean, Jesus.
Although I do have to admit, when Serena was completely degraded by having to submit to a beating by her husband, I actually thought to myself, You made this bed. Now you can lie in it. Amazingly, June/Offred is capable of far more empathy for Serena than I seem to be. But then, June hasn't been privy to the flashbacks that the audience has, of Serena taking an active part in the revolution that turned America into Gilead. She literally helped create this new hellhole everyone is living in -- and now she's paying the price. I'm already feeling like I'll have a hard time deciding how I'll feel about whatever ultimate fate Serena is given. I just want June to get the fuck out of there with her baby. But I guess, if they want at least a third season, that's going to have to take a while. In the meantime, it's fucking dark shit. This season takes things much further along than the original novel did, and it's just doubling down on the bleakness. I don't know how much more of it I can take.
Anyway. As this week has predictably resulted in a renewed obsession with Fleetwood Mac, after watching that 1997 concert special with Shobhit on KCTS last weekend, last night I created yet another couple of playlists. The previous night I had made playlists that focuses on three eras: 1975 - 1980; 1982-1990; and 1992-2003. I figured last night I would finally do two more for the earlier years: 1971-1974 (the Bob Welch Years -- five albums) and 1967-1970 (the Blues/Rock early years). That last one is the shortest playlist, with only two albums plus other random early stuff from the 1992 The Chain boxed set; 17 tracks but only about an hour run time due to how short the average track is. As a general rule playlists run an average of 18 tracks and 80 minutes, a holdover from the time of actual CDs having that as their time constraint.
Oh! I didn't even mention the other playlist I created two days ago, Fleetwood Mac Extras, an update of a mixtape I made in the nineties of the same name, with bonus or new tracks aggregated from live and best-of collections. It was originally made before The Dance was released in 1997, and so I updated it replacing several "alternate mix" versions of regular album songs from The Chain with new and a couple of updated songs that had been from The Dance -- that being the live album version of the aforementioned concert special.
So that's six new Fleetwood Mac playlists I've created in the past two days. I already had seven others, most of those being collections spanning half or all of their entire catalog -- which, as I have demonstrated, is pretty big.
Anyway, Shobhit was at a script riding he managed to secure a part for somehow, and didn't even know until he got there that it was actually a SIFF event. For his participation, they gave him ten SIFF cinema movie vouchers, for regular-run movies they show year-round, not just for the festival! I thought that was pretty damn awesome.
Alexia, our direct neighbor to the east on our floor, will be looking after the cats -- starting on Sunday anyway, as Ivan arrives this evening and will look after them until he leaves on Sunday. She has looked after them in the past, but it has been many years; although I have asked many times, she usually has had travel for work going on at the same time and was thus unavailable. But, I have always liked to ask her first since she's so close, and it would be easiest for her to do.
She told me when I brought it up when passing her in the hallway last week that all the travel was taking its toll and she told her work she just couldn't do it anymore. She got back from Chicago late Wednesday night and has no more travel through at least July. She's very excited about that, and immediately said so again as soon as she came into the condo last night to get the rundown. We chatted for several minutes.
Luckily, she has two cats of her own, and has no issues with, for example, the potential for hairballs or cat puke. There's been a lot of that since we started giving them dry food in the evening, but that's one of several things changed since she last cat sat: now there's canned food for breakfast (which they barely touch now because they clearly prefer the dry food) and dry food for dinner; automatic-dispenser snacks every morning (which gets refilled every four days); litter set outside the master bathroom since Guru is no longer allowed in there unsupervised as he'll pee on the floor and/or eat the plastic garbage sack.
Alexia asked about water, and I showed her the water dispenser that's on the opposite living room wall from their food -- she said, "I might refill it after a few days, because it can get a little stale." I said, "Shobhit will love you for that." Shobhit is constantly fretting over how fresh their water is, while I got the dispenser to begin with so I could go days without having to worry about it -- the water is fine. So, Shobhit just replenishes it himself, before the dispenser is even half gone. I think it's a waste, but whatever. He'll be happy to know Alexia will refill it.
She even said she's happy to sit and read for half an hour to give the cats some company for a while. I did like very much that she offered to do that. It's been quite a long time since we have left them for as long as we'll be gone this time -- eight and a half days -- and I do think they will appreciate some company. Also, she apparently works from home a fair amount, and her son is staying with her and can be used as a backup. She wanted me to leave our phone numbers and even our vet's phone number as well. The cats are clearly in very good hands with her.
I just ate lunch in the kitchen -- not out on the patio today, it's actually starting to get wet -- and Cate, the CEO, actually sat with us for the first time in a while. I almost didn't recognize her at first, as she did her hair in a way I had never seen it before. And then she asked what people were going to be up to this weekend, and asked me directly: "What are you doing this weekend, Matthew?" I got to rather surprise everyone that I'm about to take a week's vacation, first visiting Mom and Bill in Wallace, Idaho for the weekend before going on to Yellowstone National Park on Monday. The people around me, including Cate, seemed kind of delighted to hear that. She said I'll love Yellowstone. I expect I will!
She also said, "Is it Yellowstone where elk have been attacking people?" What? Then she said, "Actually I think that was at Yosemite." Uh . . . no, actually it's at Yellowstone. Note to self: stay the fuck away from the elk.
[posted 12:42 pm]