Showing posts with label Coronavirus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Coronavirus. Show all posts

Saturday, March 27, 2021

My Pandemic - One Year Later

It's been a year since we realized that the Pandemic was real and dangerous, since we were on lockdown, since everything closed and the tourists were gone, Cannery Row and the Recreation Trail were wastelands, and we had to stay home to protect ourselves and, with that, our lives changed forever. 




But now things are starting to open up again, which is good, but it's been a traumatic year, so I am reflecting on where I am now, and what I have learned from all of this.

Before I can do that, though, I need to reflect back on what life was like before the Pandemic and how I have changed because of it. And then I can reflect on what I have learned - the good, the bad and the ugly!

[Disclaimer: I realize that there have been many people who have had it much worse than I, people who have gotten sick, who have lost their jobs, couldn't pay their rent or mortgage, who had to homeschool their children and much more.  So this story might be inconsequential to some, but it's my story.]


BEFORE THE PANDEMIC:

 I had a routine:

  • Every Friday morning, I would go to a movie. I would sneak in my Starbucks 16 oz. nonfat vanilla latte with an extra shot and watch a new movie in preparation for writing my regular Friday blog, which always included a new film and whatever else I had watched that week. In fact, I still have a vivid memory of the last movie I saw in a theatre - "Emma." 





What I also remember about that day is sitting in the front row of the balcony in a seat I reserved thinking I had the row all to myself.  I mean, it was 11am on a Friday, but, wouldn't you know, just as the lights went down, in comes a woman and her mother, and the woman sat right next to me and proceeded to sneeze in my direction.  Needless to say, I moved, but little did I know then how symbolic those sneezes were and how much I would be avoiding other people in the future.

  • And speaking of Starbucks, another part of my routine was going for a walk and the bathroom at Starbucks was a trustworthy place to go when needed. When you had to go, you could always count on Starbucks! And when I didn't feel like going for a walk, I would go to the gym which was right in my neighborhood. I would walk there and then read a book and listen to music while on the elliptical (I have always been a multitasker)!
  • I also enjoyed "exercising" at the mall, too, doing some normal shopping and trying on clothes. Grocery shopping and shopping at the mall was something we took for granted.
  • Before the Pandemic, I had lunches with girlfriends and a "Girls' Game Day," getting together with girlfriends to confab, play cards and board games. We would go to each others' houses, have snacks, drink wine, talk and play games...and drink wine.
  • Going to a restaurant was one of Hubby's and my favorite things to do, especially after a long walk.  After exercise, our reward was a nice lunch and a glass of wine or three.  Likewise, wine tasting was a regular activity. 




  • Hubby also sang in a band, a band that won the Weekly's "Best Band in Monterey County," so I went out to see him perform, but when he wasn't performing we would go out to local clubs to support other bands and mingle with our friends.



  • Our daughter lives in Virginia, thousands of miles away but we managed to see each other a few times a year, including the occasional Girls' Trip.  




  • I volunteered as a peer counselor and lent support to older people with emotional issues.
  • I went to concerts and had tickets to see Boz Scaggs.



Life was full.



THEN CAME THE PANDEMIC:

  • When the first lockdown occurred, I was hopeful. It was only going to be for a few weeks, right?  I wrote blog posts about gratitude and hope and everything I was going to accomplish because I had to stay at home. blah, blah, blah. Good luck with that.  That optimism didn't last long.




  • Masks were required at all times.  I acquired a large mask wardrobe. Hey, a girl's got to try to have some fun with this!
  • And speaking of wardrobes, good luck going to the mall. Even if the stores were open, fitting rooms at the mall were closed so you had to buy what you were interested in, try it all on at home and then return the items if they didn't. What a pain! Might as well just order online.  Which I did!  I was drowning in Amazon boxes!
  • If we wanted to go outside, we had to have an excuse, like walking the dogs.  Which we did.  In fact, we did it so much, the dogs were begging us to stay home! 


  • The movie theatres closed. In fact, I think my local movie theatre has closed for good, but it still has that movie poster outside for "Emma," the last movie I saw in a theatre, the poster poignantly frozen in time, now tattered and yellowed. 

  • Because I was no longer going to the movie theatre to see the new movies, my blog became more sporadic and then morphed into reviewing TV shows and Netflix movies, those shows that kept me company while sheltering in place. I especially liked my time with the Duke of Hastings keeping me company!  You ladies who watched "Bridgerton" know what I mean, right?
  • My local Starbucks was closed and worse, so were their bathrooms.  That made those long walks rather nerve-wracking, especially after drinking my Starbucks grande latte!
  • I had to wait in line to get into Trader Joe's and Whole Foods because only so many people could be in the stores at any one time and once in, it wasn't easy avoiding other shoppers. It became an exercise in getting in and then getting out quickly.
  • So I bought a bread machine!

  • I continued my volunteer work as a peer counselor but now it was over the phone and most of it involved people having difficulty dealing with the isolation imposed by the pandemic. Most older folks felt robbed of the time they had left. So did I!
  • And forget going to the gym. They were all closed. So for exercise it was walking or doing yoga with other old ladies on YouTube.  And no nail or hair salons were open either.
  • No wine tasting!
  • We couldn't visit our daughter who lives thousands of miles away and she couldn't come here.


  • No gigs for bands. No Boz Scaggs concert.
  • No toilet paper.


NOW - ONE YEAR LATER -THE NEW NORMAL

I know, I know.  A terrible cliche but I don't think that things will ever go back to "normal" in my lifetime so I have come to expect a different kind of life, such as...

  • Wearing a mask...forever. We used to wonder why so many people in Asian countries wore masks even before Covid, and I think we chalked it up to pollution, but in fact, I think they knew something we didn't.  Riding mass transit and being in large crowds can lead to getting colds and flu so why not protect yourself?  Now we know.  But we Americans can't just figure it out and do what is necessary.  We have to turn it into a political statement.  "I'M AN AMERICAN AND YOU AIN'T TELLIN ME I HAVE TO WEAR A MASK! or fill in the blanks. 



  • The New Normal has changed what I think about going to the movies and dining out. I don't think I want to see a movie in the theatre again for a very long time (remember that woman who sneezed on me? - it could happen again!), and I am still very uncomfortable dining inside, even though it's now okay for restaurants to open up for inside dining and they are operating at a limited occupancy.  Despite the fact that I want to support restaurants and going out to eat has always been my favorite thing, somehow, I don't feel the same anymore when it comes to dining inside. And so far, dining outside isn't that comfortable either. Besides, while staying at home, I cooked and cooked and cooked and rather like my own food. 


  • And speaking of food, grocery shopping is no longer a leisurely activity that we take for granted. Yes, toilet paper has returned, but now it's still "get in and get the hell out" as soon as possible so as not to encounter someone with Covid or a possible nut case with an AK-47. 
  • The band Hubby played with hasn't played in over a year and who knows when bands will be playing in clubs and we will be dancing again?
  • Gyms have reopened but not my gym. My gym not only closed during the pandemic, it has closed for good, but now I am not so keen to go to the gym anyway. Wearing a mask while working out is one thing, but breathing other peoples' air is another.
  • Though we have managed to stay in touch with the grandkids, we still haven't seen our daughter and it's now been over a year and not sure when we will as getting on a plane no longer seems normal. And forget that annual trip to Europe.





WHAT I HAVE LEARNED - THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY!

So... it's been over a year since we learned we were facing a Pandemic.  There has been some bad and some ugly but some good has come out of it, too. And I want to add that whatever "bad" I have gone through, it doesn't compare to what others have, such as unemployment, home schooling, childcare issues, and the like.  Let's just say, these were "bad" things pertinent to me. But first the good...


The Good:


  • Not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but I learned that once Starbucks reopened for take-out, getting my usual Skinny Vanilla Latte with an extra shot at Starbucks was often the highlight of my day, especially since they know me at my local and say, "Hello, Rosy." They even recognize me with my mask on.  But I guess that could be because my name is on my mobile order. But, whatever, it still makes me happy. These days, you get your happiness where you can.


  • I learned I had many friends to call upon for long walks and talks...as well as our doggies.  Well, maybe not the talking part for them, but we definitely walked and bonded, friends and dogs.
  • And where there is a will there is a way.  I learned we ladies can figure anything out when we want to do something. We were able to continue Game Day - we met in a park, wore masks and plastic gloves and played our little hearts out.  So good to have that female companionship during hard times.

  • I have learned to appreciate the beautiful place I live in. I have always loved it here but now I love it even more. I live in one of the most beautiful places on earth, and those walks in nature went a long way to keep my spirits up.

  • I learned that I actually enjoy being alone and I have many resources to call upon when I am stuck at home.  I enjoy my own company...and television. I have an interest in Tarot cards, but I have stopped practicing my Tarot card readings.  The Tower came up too many times! Didn't need that!


  • With my peer counseling volunteer work, I feel I have helped some people who were struggling with the pandemic and that has made it easier for me to handle it myself. I learned that helping others takes your mind off of your own troubles.
  • I learned that I don't need to go to the movie theatre to see new movies - Netflix, Amazon and Hulu have all made it possible to keep up with new releases in the comfort of my own home and wine.



  • The grandkids are within driving distance and now that we are fully vaccinated, there are visits with hugs!
 





  • And I managed to avoid getting sick!



But despite the good, I am also still dealing with some bad stuff.


The Bad:

  • My life has completely changed and that routine I was used to no longer exists.
  • I am sick of wearing a mask, even though I have some cute ones, if I do say so myself!
  • I am tired of walking as my main source of exercise and, I got tired of online yoga with those old ladies.  Believe it or not, I miss the gym but I am reluctant to go back.

  • I still don't like crowds or being inside with other people, especially until everyone is vaccinated.
  • I miss going to clubs and concerts and the movies and restaurants, but do I want to anymore?
  • I stopped caring about what I wear. Since I am home most of the time, I have developed a staying-at-home uniform that I wear almost every day - black leggings, black top and maybe, if I am feeling wild and crazy, a red sweatshirt - and with that I have realized I may never wear all of my clothes in my lifetime. I mean, these days, where do you wear a sequined jacket and bejeweled booties? But I can't bring myself to get rid of anything. I still like looking at them. 





  •  I miss my daughter.


The Ugly:


But here is the Bottom Line.  

When all is said and done, we did it!  The Pandemic is far from over, but we have hopefully made it through a terrible time, the worst of it, an ordeal I have never had to deal with in my lifetime before. The uncertainty, the lifestyle and schedule changes, the fear of catching something that would kill me, having to wear a mask all of the time, waiting in line to buy groceries, canceled concert tickets, eating at restaurants outside in the cold, staying home, walking and walking and walking...  

But I an grateful.  I came through it with a loving husband, with a loving family, with good friends, with gratitude, and with a sense that I am able to withstand anything that is sent my way.  And after not being able to go to the hair salon, I even know what my real hair color is now!

You know that old saying, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks?"  Well, this old dog has learned some new ones.

I have learned that I am resilient.  No matter what comes my way, I can make it work.

How have you coped?

Thanks for reading!

See you soon!



If you enjoyed this post, feel free to click on the share buttons to share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn, email it to your friends and LIKE me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/rosythereviewer 


And next time you are wondering whether or not to watch a particular film, check out my reviews on IMDB (The International Movie Database). Go to IMDB.com, find the movie you are interested in.  Scroll down below the synopsis and the listings for the director, writer and main stars to where it says "Reviews" and click on "Critics" - If I have reviewed that film, you will find Rosy the Reviewer alphabetically on the list.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

What I Have Loved Watching During Lockdown, Part 2

I was thinking this would be my last Lockdown installment but looks like we are in for more of the same - long days at home - so as usual you can count on me to help you decide on what is worth watching.

So here is Part 2 of what I have enjoyed watching while staying home during this latest lockdown. (Even if you aren't locked down anymore or are in more relaxed conditions than we are, these will all be enjoyable watching experiences). 

(As I said in Part 1, if you have been following my Facebook page, you will recognize some of these recommendations but, if not, here are some movies and TV series I have enjoyed while sheltering at home.  And even if you do follow me on Facebook, these are expanded reviews that might get you to watch if you haven't already).


Bridgerton


Wealthy and romantic shenanigants in Regency England.

Produced by Shonda Rhimes, who wrote and produced “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal” and other successful television series and based on the novels by Julia Quinn, this is a Regency romance about the wealthy Bridgerton family, particularly Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor), the oldest of eight, who feels compelled to find a husband during her debut year into London society. But she wants to find love too.
At first Daphne is the belle of London society until Lady Whistledown (the voice of Julie Andrews), who writes a high society scandal sheet, casts aspersions on young Daphne. Daphne's prospects start to dwindle. So when she meets Simon Basset (Rege-Jean Page), the handsome Duke of Hastings (and did I say he was handsome?), a desirable catch but one hell-bent on avoiding marriage, the two join forces to help each other, even though they start out not liking each other at all (see where this is headed)? Here's the deal: He will pretend to be her suitor thus making her more desirable and shield her from unwanted suitors and his being her suitor will ostensibly take him off the market, because remember, he doesn't want to get married.

However, with Lady Danbury (Adjoa Andoh) and Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel) doing a bit of matchmaking and Daphne's older brother, Anthony (Jonathan Bailey) meddling in Daphne's affairs (there is a duel in his future) as well as the Featherington family, who are in competition with the Bridgertons, also in the mix, all kinds of drama ensues. You see, Daphne's brother feels a responsibility to marry Daphne off to someone suitable, and in the meantime, make sure she doesn't do anything to sully her reputation while the Featheringtons have daughters they need to marry off too, but they are having a bit of a problem about money which poses a difficulty when it comes to the issue of dowries. There is also a secret pregnancy, unrequited love and some lies and betrayals. You know, those sorts of things that find their way into costume dramas. All very delicious. And just who is the mysterious, gossip mongering, Lady Whistledown?

Dynevor and Page are a handsome couple, she projects a shimmering beauty and I am obsessed with her adorable bangs. And did I mention that he is just handsome as hell? It’s a big cast and almost everyone gets their time in the spotlight, though some more than others. Not everything works, but this will still quench your appetite for romance and opulence (the costumes and set design are to die for) and take your mind off your troubles for a time.

Created by Chris Van Dusen, who also worked with Rhimes on "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal," the series is definitely a comedy of manners. Yes, there is some comedy, some manners, but there is drama, too, and it's quite scandalous, with a decidedly modern feel. There are people of color in high places, all kinds of sexual inuendo, not to mention actual sex (the "modern" kind), and if you listen closely you will notice that the chamber music playing in the background is actually a current pop tune from today. However, for me, sometimes the anachronisms were a distraction.
Rosy the Reviewer says… if you have been missing “Downton Abbey,” you might enjoy this Regency comedy of manners that also plays a bit like “Pride and Prejudice” with a some of “The Bachelorette” thrown in. Yes, you heard me.
(Now streaming on Netflix)



Long Way Up

Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman continue their motorcycle journeys, this time from the tip of South America to Los Angeles -- on ELECTRIC bikes!

I am not a huge fan of motorcycles, but I am a huge fan of this new 11-part documentary series now showing on Apple+ TV that follows actor Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman (son of director John Boorman – “Deliverance”) as they ride motorcycles from the tip of South America to Los Angeles. I have to say it doesn’t hurt that I am a huge fan of Ewan McGregor too!

This is not the first time that these two adventurers have ridden their motorcycles on epic journeys. In 2004 they rode “around the world,” a 19,000 mile journey from London to New York, documented in “Long Way Round” and in 2007, it was “Long Way Down,” their motorcycle journey from Scotland to Cape Town, South Africa. Both of those series were fascinating and exciting but what sets this 2019 trip apart is the fact that this time they are riding electric motorcycles. You see, our Ewan is not only talented, super handsome and sexy but also environmentally conscious and cares about his carbon footprint.
The first episode is all about getting ready (it took eight months to prepare for this trip 13,000 mile trip), and if you are not into motorcycles, you might think that would be a snoozer but it’s not. Harley-Davidson makes them some killer electric bikes and the crew travels to my home state of Michigan to get some electric support trucks from Rivian, a company that looks like it will give Tesla a run for its money.
Ewan and Charley rode for three months (pre-Covid, of course), and had many adventures, some good and some bad (finding places to plug in the bikes was always challenging). There is beautiful scenery and they met some amazing people along the way. One was man riding a regular bicycle through the Andes -- and he only had ONE LEG!
And did I say how much I love Ewan? I know I did, but what you may not know is that I almost didn’t forgive him for singing in “Moulin Rouge.” I thought he looked like a Muppet. But I forgive you, Ewan. And thanks for being such a swashbuckling adventurer. You, too, Charley!
Rosy the Reviewer says…nothing like an exciting adventure to escape a pandemic lockdown!


Sylvie's Love


Two beautiful young people meet in 1950's Harlem and embark on a love story that endures through changing times and personal choices. 

I needed the comfort of a good old-fashioned love story and I got that with this romance that reminded me a bit of “The Way We Were.”
The film takes place in the 1950’s and 60’s in Harlem. Sylvie (Tessa Thompson) is a young woman working in her father’s record shop and Robert (Nnamdi Asomugha) is a saxophone player in a jazz band. Robert sees Sylvie through the window of the shop and gets a job there in hopes of getting to know her. Unfortunately, Sylvie has a fiancé fighting in Korea and her mother is an etiquette teacher so a jazz musician is certainly not a fit for her daughter. But the two get locked in the record store’s basement and sparks fly, literally. As in, how come I didn’t know what a “French light” was? Well, in case you didn't know either, it’s when your cigarette is only half lit. It means you will soon fall in love. Awww. Guess what? It happens to both of their cigarettes!

Let the love story begin.
But you know how these love stories go. True love never runs smooth. She gets pregnant but doesn’t tell him because he gets a gig in Paris, you know, that old love story trope – she doesn’t tell him, he doesn’t tell her, so they break up, years pass, they meet again.
We also have that other trope - boy meets girl, boy loves girl, boy gets girl - then what happens? You will have to watch this and see. And if you like engaging actors, an engaging love story and great music, you will enjoy this.
Written and directed by Eugene Ash, the film also touches on issues of class, racism and the expected role of a woman in the 1960’s (did you know, a married woman could not get birth control until 1964 or her own credit card without her husband’s signature until 1974? That's not all in the movie. I'm just saying), but this is really one of those old-fashioned love stories that cuts through racial and cultural lines with a great musical score.
Rosy the Reviewer says…love, great music and a time that will bring back many memories for Baby Boomers (you young’uns will enjoy it too). Just what you need while you wait for that vaccine!
(Now streaming on Amazon Prime)


The Wilds


After a plane crash, nine young girls find themselves on a deserted island...but turns out, they didn't end up there by accident! 

It begins with nine girls from disparate backgrounds on a plane headed to some kind of retreat. The plane crashes and eight of the girls survive but find themselves stranded on the proverbial desert island. However, we know they get rescued because each episode focuses on one of the girls as she is interviewed by some mysterious guys in suits. We learn each girl’s story, how she ended up on that plane to that mysterious retreat (each is damaged in some way) and how she fared on the island.

But were they really rescued? Twists and turns ensue.

As each episode progresses, we learn about each girl and the mysterious Gretchen Klein (Rachel Griffiths) who seems to be the mastermind of an experiment and these girls are her lab rats! Turns out, the plane crash was supposed to happen and the girls were all being watched to see how they would handle their survival!
Created by Sarah Streicher, there is a strong ensemble cast of young women and it's all about female empowerment, friendship and survival.
Rosy the Reviewer…it’s a little bit “Lord of the Flies” and a little bit “Lost.” It will grab you because it’s a crazy plot, you will begin to care about these girls, and you will want to know how it ends. But let me warn you...you might have to defer gratification because it kind of doesn't end. Looks like a sequel in the offing.
(Now streaming on Amazon Prime)



A Rainy Day in New York


A young couple plan a day together in New York City but get separated and embark on a series of separate adventures on a rainy day.

Whatever you may think of the controversy surrounding writer/director Woody Allen (and I personally think he got a bad rap), you would have to agree he is one of our premiere filmmakers. It says something about his stature that so many big name actors have wanted to work with him and at 85 he is still at it with his 48th film starring Timothee Chalamet and Elle Fanning and other all-stars.
Chalamet plays Gatsby Welles, a young college student at Yardley College, a lovely little college in the middle of nowhere (think Dartmouth). However, Gatsby is more of a gambler than an academic. When he wins big in a poker game, he invites his girlfriend, Ashleigh (Fanning), to a day in New York City where he wants to wine and dine her at some of his favorite spots (the Carlyle figures prominently) and hit the museums (wonderful scene in the Metropolitan Museum of Art). But Ashleigh is an aspiring journalist and gets an opportunity to interview Roland Pollard (Liev Schreiber), a famous director, and though Gadsby and Ashleigh make it to the City together, they get separated and basically spend the day each on their own having some wacky adventures in the beautiful atmosphere of New York City on a rainy day. A lot can happen in one day! And it does!
Chalomet is decidedly Woody’s surrogate here, even down to capturing Woody’s speech cadence and hangdog demeanor, a far cry from Chalomet's usual forays into handsome romantic leaddom. And Fanning is a ditsy blonde, a trope Allen seems to enjoy, who is caught up in some romantic situations with not just the director but his long-time friend (Jude Law) and a famous actor (Diego Luna). They seem to enjoy the fact that she can’t hold her booze. And Selena Gomez stands out as the younger sister of one of Gatsby’s old girlfriends.

Like I said, it's an all-star cast. Everyone seems to want to work with Woody!
Is this one of Woody’s best? No, but even his lesser films are better than most that are out there. And if you are a Woody fan, many of his signatures are here –a glum protagonist, a soundtrack of 40’s standards, witty repartee, references to classic films and beautiful cinematography, with the Big Apple playing a prominent role.

Rosy the Reviewer says...a classy, atmospheric day in New York City. Wish I was there right now!
(Available for rent on Prime - $4.99)



Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom


August Wilson's award-winning play brought to the screen.
Ma Rainey was an early blues singer, considered “The Mother of Blues” and Viola Davis does her justice, fat suit and all, in this filmed version of August Wilson’s acclaimed play. August Wilson was referred to as "the theatre's poet of Black America." His plays reflected the African American experience in America but also the human experience.

The film begins in a rundown recording studio in Chicago in the 1920's while the band members who arrived on time wait for Ma to arrive. Three veteran band members, Toledo (Glynn Turman), Cutler (Colman Domingo), and Slow Drag (Michael Potts), show up followed by Levee (Boseman), the trumpet player.  Levee takes his time because he likes himself.  The older band members have been around the block a time or two and know the drill, but Levee has higher ambitions. He wants to write and play his own songs.  He is also holding back the rage of a black man in America, a man who has been held down.

When Ma finally arrives, she is not in a good mood because someone ran into her new car. She also doesn't want to do what has been planned, she has some demands of her own, and because her records make money, the white men who run the studio will do what she wants. She can throw her weight around, literally, but as a black woman, she also knows it all hinges on her continuing to make money for the white man. As the day progresses, we also get to know the band members as everyone gets a monologue that tells his story.

Viola is the centerpiece and is wonderful in the film, but Boseman is also wonderful and the film also marks his last performance before his shocking and untimely death. He is skinny and gaunt and you can see that he is not well but to think that he delivered this performance in the last months of his life is just jaw-dropping. When Boseman shares Levee's story of his mother getting gang-raped, and he rages against God - if he exists how could he let that happen? - one can't help but think that Boseman knew he was dying and was talking about himself. It's a powerful moment for him as an actor and for us watching him. It’s a physical performance, but it’s also a deep, heartfelt performance that not only embraces the struggles and exploitation of black people in the United States but foreshadows Chadwick’s own future. So sad to think that he won’t be able to bask in the glory of probably the best performance of his career.

Adapted from Wilson's play by Ruben Santiago-Hudson and directed by George C. Wolfe (Denzel Washington was executive producer), the film has performances that are not to be missed, especially since we won't be seeing Chadwick Boseman anymore, but the film is also relevant for today as the struggle for equality continues.

Rosy the Reviewer says…This is a must see. Ring, ring! Viola Davis? Oscar calling. Chadwick Boseman? Wherever you are... Oscar calling.
(Now streaming on Netflix)




Wonder Woman 1984





Rosy the Reviewer says...don't bother.



Thanks for reading!

See you again soon!



If you enjoyed this post, feel free to click on the share buttons to share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn, email it to your friends and LIKE me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/rosythereviewer 


And next time you are wondering whether or not to watch a particular film, check out my reviews on IMDB (The International Movie Database). Go to IMDB.com, find the movie you are interested in.  Scroll down below the synopsis and the listings for the director, writer and main stars to where it says "Reviews" and click on "Critics" - If I have reviewed that film, you will find Rosy the Reviewer alphabetically on the list.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

The New Normal

Remember when someone would say "That's not normal" or we wish things were "normal" and someone else would pipe up and ask "What's "normal?"  "Define 'normal."

Well, today, ironically, thanks to the coronavirus, we have a "New Normal" to try to define.


So just what is the "New Normal?"


Here are some thoughts on that:


  • The New Normal means that, because of Covid-19, it's safer to stay home.  The upside of that is Hubby is home more.  The downside of that is that Hubby is home more.

  • The New Normal has given us a new expression: Covid Fatigue.  That's when you wake up in the morning and the realization hits you that we are in the middle of a pandemic and you have to stay home, wash your hands, wear a mask when around other people and go on endless dog walks for exercise.  It's also the reason you would rather just stay in bed and watch endless reruns of "The Price is Right" on the Game Show Channel. 

  • The New Normal dictates that we have to wear masks everywhere and because of that we are suddenly getting zits where zits never were before. One has set up permanent residence on my chin. It's a new medical mystery called Mask Acne!


(But, hey, I am trying to make the best of it, seeing it as an opportunity to make a fashion statement and I have always been into fashion! I have a mask for every occasion and every outfit).  

Here are a few:


And I probably have about 25 more!

  • The New Normal makes going to the store an adventure.  You never know what you will find or won't find. One day there is no toilet paper, Wet Wipes, or bleach.  The next trip, no flour or pasta. For awhile there was no Thai peanut sauce.  What was the deal with that? Each trip we discover something else the store has run out of.  Rumor has it stores are going to run out of outdoor heat lamps this winter.  And what's the deal with coins being in such short supply?

  • The New Normal is buying clothes at the mall, getting them home and discovering you are no longer a size 8 because you gained 15 pounds. You didn't discover your new clothes didn't fit until you got home because the store no longer lets you try things on there!

  • The New Normal is discovering you haven't gained 15 pounds, you have gained 20 pounds!


  • The New Normal is trying to find fun things to do at home like buying a bread machine and making a fresh loaf of bread every day.  The house smells delicious but, gee, you wonder why you have gained 20 pounds?



  • The New Normal is lots and lots of television and movies at home. Recently watched all 10 seasons of  "Curb Your Enthusiam" in one day while eating a nice piece or two of freshly baked bread slathered in butter. This has become a habit.  "Schitts Creek" is next. And I see more bread in my future.


  • The New Normal is wondering how you will lose that 20 pounds because your gym is closed.

  • The New Normal is no more all-you-can-eat buffets.  Good thing, though, because you need to lose that 20 pounds.

  • The New Normal is lots and lots of walking your dogs because the gym is closed and it's one of the few ways you can get some exercise.  You are grateful to not only have a beautiful place to walk, not to mention gratitude for being able to actually walk, but to be completely honest, you are really getting tired of lots of walking... and so are the dogs.


"Let's go for a walk!"


"Do we have to?"

  • The New Normal is not being able to use the toilet at Starbucks.  In fact, public toilets are few and far between requiring preplanning for all walks and thus making said walks a tat uncomfortable.

  • The New Normal is Zoom happy hours or drinking in the driveway with your neighbors because the bars are closed -- and happy hour seems to start around noon.

  • The New Normal is drowning in a mountain of Amazon boxes because after a couple of glasses of wine at Happy Hour, some retail therapy seems like a good idea, but you are still wondering how you got the idea to order "Brazilian Bum Bum Cream."



  • The New Normal is no live music, no dancing, no movies, no parties, no reunions, no church, no weddings, except on your own, virtually or in a parking lot. Just to rephrase that, fun has been banned.

  • The New Normal is working at home, if you even have a job, and not being able to get anything done, because your kids are bugging you to help them get on the computer so they can attend their virtual school. And you can't get rid of the kids, er, keep them busy with sports because most of those activities have been suspended.


  • The New Normal is going to the doctor or dentist and discovering there are no magazines to read in the waiting room which makes going to the doctor or dentist even more boring. And that's even if you dare go to the doctor or dentist.

  • The New Normal is having to eat outside at restaurants, which probably explains the upcoming shortage of outdoor heaters.  




  • The New Normal is no carpooling, no hugging, no hand shaking, no sitting next to anyone, basically no human contact lest we catch Covid. You can't even imagine what dating must be like now, so that is one reason you are over all of that and thankful to be old.

  • The New Normal is no more trips to Hawaii or Europe, because Hawaii requires a two-week quarantine upon arrival from the mainland and the Europeans don't want us.

  • The New Normal is getting so bored staying home all of the time that you put your cookbooks in order by color.  Well, I did, anyway.



Okay, I don't mean to be so negative.  Things may have gone to hell but there must be some positives to this. Will something good come out of all of it?

Let's hope so.

I have to believe that our happiness isn't totally dependent on all of these externals.  We humans are resilient creatures, and though we are being tested, I have hope that things will improve.  With a little gratitude about what we do have and some hope for a brighter future, we will get through this. We might even come out of this better people.

As Maya Angelou said, 

"Hope and fear cannot occupy the same space at the same time.  Invite one to stay."






I choose hope.

But now, no more splitting hairs about what is or is not normal. We remember what normal was. So next time someone says "I wish we could go back to normal," I don't think we will say "What do you mean? What's normal?"  I think we know.  And I have hope we will get back there again.

This is some of what Normal used to look like.



























Like I said, I choose hope.

I bask in those happy memories and plan to be around to make many more.

Feel free to share what you miss or don't miss from the pre-Covid days or if you think some good will come out of this, please share it!


Thanks for reading!

See you again soon!



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Next time you are wondering whether or not to watch a particular film, check out my reviews on IMDB (The International Movie Database).


Go to IMDB.com, find the movie you are interested in.  Scroll down below the synopsis and the listings for the director, writer and main stars to where it says "Reviews" and click on "Critics" - If I have reviewed that film, you will find Rosy the Reviewer alphabetically on the list.