Showing posts with label Covid-19. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Covid-19. Show all posts

Monday, February 15, 2021

What I Enjoyed Watching While Waiting For the Vaccine

Who knew it would be so difficult to get the Covid vaccine?

But thank you, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and yes, PBS, for some stellar programs to keep me occupied while I wait.  Even though some places are no longer on lockdown or only in limited lockdown, once I heard that we needed TWO masks and it's not really safe to go grocery shopping, I decided to continue a sort of self-imposed lockdown until I get that elusive vaccine.  

So if you are like me, in a sort of self-imposed lockdown, here are some more movies and TV shows that will keep you company while you wait for that first shot!



All Creatures Great and Small


James Herriot and his cronies are back in a new version of this beloved show.

If you were around inte 70's, you couldn't avoid the books of James Herriot, the Yorkshire veterinarian who shared his G-rated stories about life in Northern England from the 1930's to the 1950's. A PBS series followed and if you were around then, you probably got to know James and the other cast of characters: Siegfried, James' mentor who ran the surgery in the fictional town of Darrowby; Tristan, Siegfried's feckless brother; the practical and caring housekeeper, Mrs. Hall; Helen, soon to be James' love interest; and Tricki Woo, rich Mrs. Pumphrey's Pekingese who dined on caviar, roast beef, trifle and brandy with Mrs. Pumphrey wondering why Tricki was under the weather and getting fat.  

Back when I was working full-time and raising my family, I would take refuge in this program that played for four seasons on PBS back in the late 70's and late 80's (The series had two runs: the original -1978 to 1980, based directly on Herriot's books - was for three series; the second - 1988 to 1990, filmed with original scripts but generally regarded as a continuation of the 1978 series - for four. A total of ninety episodes were broadcast.) I could forget my troubles, travel back in time to a lovely English village where everyone was civil to each other and the worst thing that could happen would be that Tricki Woo would have a tummy ache.  Well, not exactly, but let's say this show was as soothing as "The Great British Baking Show" is now. 

But now it's back in a new incarnation, and I wouldn't blame you if you had been a fan of the earlier series and are now reticent to commit to this one, thinking it couldn't possibly be as good as the first one.  Well, my peeps, it's not only as good but might just be better. It's so good that there will be a Series Two! 

We still have the same cast of characters but younger versions.  James (Nicholas Ralph) is just out of vet school and gets the opportunity to work for Siegfried Farnon (Samuel West), who already has a practice in Darrowby and is much admired by the townsfolk.  So James needs to prove himself and not just to Siegfried, but to the townspeople as well.  Mrs. Hall (Anna Madeley) is still sternly comforting and Tristan (Callum Woodhouse), Siegfried's ne'er do well brother, just out of vet school himself, is clueless and on board to provide some comic relief. Helen (Rachel Shenton), Mrs. Pumphrey (Diana Rigg) and Tricki Woo also make appearances.  Sadly, this was the last performance of the late Diana Rigg.

And don't worry about this just being a rehash of the original. It all feels fresh and new, just waiting for some new fans. But don't worry if you are a fan of the first one.  James is still sticking his arm up both ends of a cow!

If you want to get away from Covid, political divide and the cares of the modern world, this one does the trick.

Rosy the Reviewer says... and if you love British dramas, the beautiful English countryside and humorous, warm-hearted stories, you will love this. I know I do.  I am loving every minute of it. (Now playing on PBS)


Firefly Lane



A dramatic series that follows the friendship of two women from their teens to their forties.

Though there is some cheese to be found here (as in cheesy), this is a satisfying and very bingeable story of female friendship.  Think “Beaches.” Taken from the novels by Kristin Hannah, and adapted by Maggie Friedman, this 10-part series follows Tully Hart (Katherine Heigl) and Kate Malarkey (Sarah Chalke) over three decades in a coming-of-age tale of two besties, one beautiful, popular and out-going, the other nerdy and smart.

They meet in the 70’s when Tully moves across the street from Kate on Firefly Lane.  Tully has a hippie mother who abandons her so she sets out on a journey to find love and looks to men to fill that void. She is a bit of a slut.  She is also ambitious and becomes a celebrated television star. Kate, on the other hand, plays second fiddle to her more glamorous friend, envying her success and doesn’t really have much ambition herself besides being a wife and mother, never realizing that perhaps Tully wants what she has.

The series follows the up and downs of their friendship – jealousy, hurt, betrayal, those things that put friendship to the test - and hops around willy-nilly in time, but it’s not too confusing because it's amazing how music and hairstyles tell you what decade you are in!

Katherine Heigl and Sarah Chalke do a good job of portraying the yin and yang of Tully’s and Kate’s friendship, and it’s nice to see Heigl having some success.  Despite her being the Rom-Com Queen in the late 2000’s, she has had a rocky career of late but this is right up her alley.

As an aside, the series supposedly takes place in Seattle, so having lived in Seattle, I was surprised I didn’t recognize any of the bars (and I’ve been in a few!) or other sites, so I decided to look one up and yep!  Just as I figured.  The series was filmed in Vancouver, a common occurrence.  Whenever you see a TV movie that takes place in Seattle, especially if it’s a Lifetime movie, you can bet it’s really in Vancouver, B.C.  

But, this is no Lifetime movie.  It’s a coming of age tale that not only celebrates female friendship, but explores what it was like for women coming of age in a time when they suddenly had more choices and how difficult it can be to make the right ones.

Rosy the Reviewer says…we don’t see enough shows that celebrate female friendship, so despite the sometimes soap opera feel, I’m in! I mean, I loved “Beaches!” (Now streaming on Netflix)


 

Pretend it's a City


Writer and humorist Fran Lebowitz walks around New York City and hangs out with Martin Scorsese in the Players Club, talking about everything that bothers the hell out of her.

I am a huge fan of Fran Lebowitz, a female curmudgeon if ever there was one. She has opinions on everything, she knows everybody, and she is very, very funny. I have read all of her books and never forgot what she said in her first book, a series of essays - "Metropolitan Life" - about people who wear sayings on their shirts:

"If people don't want to listen to you, what makes you think they want to hear from your sweater?"

I think that's hilarious (and by the way, if you want to buy the book, Amazon is asking $500+ for it so get it at the library)!
Well, now Martin Scorsese is highlighting Fran as she makes her way around New York City, making those kinds of comments about everything from her stint as a New York City cabbie to working for Andy Warhol to the New York subway system to libraries in a series of 30 minute episodes about living in New York and about life itself. What's also hilarious is what a kick Scorsese gets out of Fran. He laughs his ass off at everything so watching him is as much fun as listening to her!

The title of "Pretend It's a City" comes from Fran's observations about people who don't seem to know how to walk properly through the city's streets. 

Pretend it's a city where there are other people,” she says, “Pretend it's a city where people are not just here sightseeing."

See?  How people walk around New York City also bothers her.
Rosy the Reviewer says...this is not for everyone, but if you are a fan of Fran or even a fan of the Big Apple, you will enjoy this. It's like spending the day with a crabby aunt who is also very, very funny.



Attractive rich Asians frolic and flaunt their wealth in L.A. in this eight-episode series on Netflix that will give Bravo a run for its money.

Yes, there is a stereotype at work here, but it’s not what you think. It’s not a stereotype about Asians but rather a stereotype about the superrich.

F. Scott Fitzgerald famously said, “[The rich] are different from you and me” and he was right. They are rich! But for us plebes, it’s fun to see what the very rich get up to. Think a private jet to Paris for a birthday lunch or party favors in a red box (you know what a gift in a blue box signifies, right? But did you know about the red box?)
Part soap, part reality, the series follows a bunch of attractive young people presided over by Anna, the Grand Dame, who is CRAZY rich. This offers 45 minutes of escapism into the world most of us could only dream about, but it’s not all fun and games. There is also some substance here as this is one of the first reality shows with an all Asian cast, and it casts a light on what it’s like to be Asian in the U.S. It highlights the cultural differences between Asians and Americans, but it also shows the diversity of Asian culture. All Asian communities are not the same and not everyone within each community wants the same thing.
This is also the story of Kevin, a handsome model, who is kind of a fish out of water, not only with his rich friends (because he is not rich), but with Asian culture, because he was adopted by a non-Asian couple and grew up in a white Pennsylvania neighborhood. He embarks on a journey to find his birth parents along with Kim Lee, who is searching for her biological father.
Rosy the Reviewer says…if you enjoy the Housewives or loved “Crazy Rich Asians,” you will enjoy this too. It’s addictive!





A behind-the-scenes look at the nationally televised morning show. Think "The Today Show."

We're not really supposed to think "The Today Show" but you won't be able to help it because it involves a handsome achor who has been fired for sexual misconduct and a culture of silence has been uncovered. Sound familiar?

This is a wonderful, topical series that highlights the #Metoo Movement but also shows all of the behind the scenes machinations at a high pressure NYC television morning show. There is also a nod to the film, "All About Eve," as the younger anchor, Bradley Jackson (Reese Witherspoon) puts the pressure on the older long-time anchor, Alex Levy (Jennifer Aniston).

Jennifer Anniston manages to avoid some of her twitchy mannerisms and brings a great performance. Reese Witherspoon plays against type as a tough reporter from the wrong side of the tracks and Steve Carell, not one of my favorite actors in the past, proves me wrong. He is believable as the disgraced anchor and I enjoyed his performance. 

But it’s Billy Crudup, as slimy Cory Ellison, who is the revelation.  I was a huge fan of him as a handsome leading man 20 years ago when he starred in “Waking the Dead.”  I thought he would really blow up as a romantic lead, but for whatever reason, he didn’t, but rather has made his name as a wonderful character actor. And lucky us because he really blows up in this.

Created by Jay Carson and Kerry Ehrin, I don’t know how I missed this Apple+ series.  Last year, it won Golden Globes for most of the stars and a Golden Globe for Best Dramatic Series as well as five Emmys.  Oh, right.  I missed it because I didn’t have Apple+, but now I do and I am glad. 

Rosy the Reviewer says…a smart, well-written and well-acted dramatic series that will keep you guessing and coming back for more. (Now streaming on Apple+ and Season 2 is now in production)


Blood and Money

A retired loner hunting in the Maine back country stumbles upon some bad guys and a lot of money.
Remember when Tom Berenger was one of the sexiest actors of the 1980’s? I do, and I also remember that I didn’t think he was a very good actor. Well, Tom has gotten older (he’s 71) and is showing his age, but with age comes experience and he has certainly upped his acting game. He carries this film about Jim Reed, a damaged, recovering alcoholic, out in the desolate Allagash back country of Maine looking for that elusive buck so many hunters seek, but instead accidentally kills a woman who, along with four of her cohorts, had robbed a local casino of over a million dollars. Oh, and Jim finds the money, too, but the bad guys don’t like that, so now the hunter becomes the hunted. But those bad guys don’t know who they are dealing with.
Written and directed by John Barr, this is a slow-moving film but in a good, intense way. Berenger’s character is a complex man – lonely, angry and living with grief and guilt - and Berenger is up to the task of making you care about Jim.
The Allagash back country is so remote and desolate that there are checkpoint stations where those entering and leaving must check in. Naturally, he finds himself in a part of it that is not being monitored at the moment so when he encounters the bad guys, he must survive on his own.
I don’t know what it is about my love of survival shows because I am not an outdoor type at all. My idea of roughing it is having to shop in an outdoor mall. But for some reason I can’t resist movies and TV shows about survival – everything from “Survivor” to “Alone” to “Naked and Afraid (I even wrote a whole blog post called “How Would I Do on Naked and Afraid?- not well, as it happens).” I may not be a survivalist myself, but I can appreciate what it would take and am in awe of people who can and want to do it.
Rosy the Reviewer says…if you like harrowing stories of survival against all odds this is a good one.
(Available on DVD from Netflix and for rent on Prime ($3.99) and Vudu ($2.99) – well worth the price!



One Night in Miami


This is one of those "What if?" movies. What if Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, Muhammad Ali and Jim Brown got together to talk about Civil Rights and what was going on in the 1960s? It's a fascinating "What if?"

It's 1964, the eve of Cassius Clay’s (Eli Goree) victory over Sonny Liston to become the Heavy Weight Champion of the World (Clay was soon to become Mohammad Ali), and he has gathered in Miami with Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben Adir), Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge) and Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.) to celebrate.
Though this is a fictionalized account, the four did know each other and did get together and we get to be flies on the wall and hear what they might have talked about.
All were already famous but not everyone had made the impact they would soon make, but it was clear that no matter how famous they all were, they were still struggling with what it meant to be a black man in America as well as coming to grips with the struggle within the black community itself – does one try to get along in the white world or shake everything up?
There is something for everyone here: boxing, politics and the dulcet sounds of Sam Cooke thanks to Leslie Odom Jr. who has been nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance. But it's also about so much more and where we still haven't gotten to when it comes to equality.
Ali says later in the film, when talking about Black Power: “Power just means a world where it’s safe to be ourselves.”
Written by Kemp Powers and directed by Regina King, who is also nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Director, this is a film about a time 60 years ago that resonates today because, even though Sam Cooke sang that “A Change is Gonna Come,” sadly nothing seems to have changed. We not only no longer have the Black Power movement, America still does not appear to be a safe place for black people to be themselves.

Rosy the Reviewer says…knowing what we know about the lives of these four men and everything that has transpired since, if the ending doesn’t make you cry, then you have no heart. A must see!
(Now streaming on Amazon Prime)


Penguin Bloom



A paralyzed woman finds something to live for when her family rescues an injured magpie.

Describing the plot, it probably sounds corny as hell but I promise you it is not. Based on a true story from the book by Cameron Bloom and Bradley Trevor Greive and adapted by Shaun Grant and Harry Cripps, Naomi Watts plays Sam Bloom, an energetic and happily married Aussie with three sons who goes on a fateful trip to Thailand where she falls off a balcony and is paralyzed. Goodbye old life. Needless to say, she doesn't deal well with this.

In the meantime, her young son, Noah (Griffin Murray-Johnston), finds a baby magpie that has fallen from its nest. He rescues it and nurses it back to health. He names it Penguin because of its black and white markings and it becomes a pet. But Sam wants nothing to do with it or anyone else for that matter until one day she is alone in the house and must look after Penguin. A bond is forged (and can I say for a magpie, Penguin is awfully cute)?

Needless to say, Penguin worms his way into her heart. But this isn't just a story of an animal healing a human. Penguin has issues with flying and Sam, of course, has her own issues. Both overcome. Both learn to fly.

Like I said, this could have been a corny film but it is saved by the direction of Glendyn Ivin and stellar performances, most notably Watts, whose quiet strength permeates the film.

Rosy the Reviewer says...yes, this is a quiet film but a testament to the healing power of our connection to animals and a reminder, especially relevent today, that no matter what your situation, there is still joy to be found in life. Now pass the box of Kleenex, please.
(Now streaming on Netflix).



What Would Sophia Loren Do?


A short documentary on the power our heroes have on our lives.
Eighty-two-year-old Italian-American Nancy Kulik, who lives in New Jersey, is a Sophia Loren superfan who, when facing adversity, was helped by Loren's movies. The film intertwines Kulik's story with Loren's, both of whom faced challenges in life. Kulik looked up to Loren's portrayals of strong women and mothers in her films and highlights how two very different women were connected by the power of film.

But this documentary short directed by Ross Kauffman is not a puff piece about a movie star. This is also an homage to the power of movies and how our admiration for celebrities can sometimes be a good thing that actually inspires us and helps us get through life. It also reminds us what a superstar Loren is.

And get out your handkerchief because the ending is not just surprising but heartwarming.

Rosy the Reviewer says...if you are a fan of Sophia Loren, and I am, you will enjoy this, but now I am a superfan of Nancy Kulik! A very powerful and emotional 32 minutes. (Now streaming on Netflix)


Oh, and by the way. NEWS FLASH! I just had my first shot of the vaccine! My wait is over. My next post will be about waiting for the second dose!


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, November 8, 2020

How I Am Coping With "The New Normal"

In my last post, I talked about how "The New Normal" had affected my life, but I didn't really talk about how it made me feel.

I think that the pandemic has affected us older folks in a particularly troubling way.  I don't mean to downplay how awful it has been for people who have lost their jobs or families with young children who can't go to school, but there is light at the end of that tunnel.  At some point, people will resume their lives - they will get jobs, the kids will go back to school, parties will resume, etc. - but us people of a certain age don't have that much time left.  That light at the end of the tunnel is our mortality beckoning and we feel robbed. The Golden Years aren't so golden.

Those of us lucky enough to retire and feel good about it had plans.  I didn't work for over 40 years as a librarian to not be able to go to the library! I didn't work all of those years and save money for retirement only to stay home and watch television.  Don't get me wrong, I have and have had a personal relationship with television, 

but I don't need to watch it 24/7. I also have other interests.  

  • I love movies and went to the movies every week and wrote reviews on this blog. I even belonged to a Fantasy Movie League. 

  • Believe it or not, I actually liked going to the gym.



  • I also liked to go out to eat and sit in a nice bar with a tasty adult beverage while listening to live music.  I have even been known to dance upon occasion.


 

  • I liked to have friends over. 

  • I moved closer to my son and grandchildren so I could spend more time with them.



  • I planned to travel more. In fact, right before the pandemic hit, I had first class airline tickets to go meet my daughter in New Orleans for another mother/daughter trip (we have had some good ones)! 


We planned to go to Europe, which in the past had been fairly often. Now who knows?





Though I am hopeful that things will get back to normal, some kind of normal anyway, I can't help but think that I only have so much time to enjoy those things and people I love and that time is ticking away. 

And I know I am not alone having these feelings.  I volunteer as a peer counselor for seniors and so far everyone I have encountered who is in my age group feels the same - robbed of what little time that might be left.

So what to do?

I don't pretend to have the answers.  I have good days and bad days just like everyone else.  On the good days, I can be positive.  On the bad days, I can't imagine the point of even getting out of bed.  But I have figured out a few things that make me happy so I thought I would share them with you in case some of it might resonate and help you too.

  • I write down how I feel.

This blog started when I retired.  I wanted to have a purpose but I also had many strong feelings about retirement and getting older.  So I wrote about retirement but then moved on to "reviewing" all kinds of things - from concerts to restaurants to life itself (here are some - "The Best of Rosy the Reviewer's Tuesday Blog Posts").  It eventually morphed into mostly movie reviews, but I always managed to add something about my personal life even to those.  This blog gave me an avenue to express myself.  I can't go to the movies anymore so am not regularly reviewing movies, but now I am back to talking about myself and how I see the world, which is where it all began.  And it helps me.  It makes me happy that perhaps it can help someone else.  You don't have to start a blog but it really does help to write down how you are feeling.  You could keep a journal or write letters or just start writing when something moves you.

  • I cook.



And cook and cook and cook. The Covid "19" is real but I don't care. When I am at loose ends, I love to create something delicious to eat.  I also bought a bread machine which has given me hours of fun!



  • I cuddle my dogs...or better yet, dress them up in costumes! (They LIKE it)!




Dogs can be such a comfort. I have heard that's it's almost impossible to get a rescue dog these days. I guess now that so many of us are in some form of lockdown, working from home or just not wanting to mingle with strangers, there is plenty of time to train a puppy or not feel guilty about leaving the dog home alone.  I have had dogs most of my life



and can't imagine not having a little creature to take care of (I know, I can take care of Hubby but he's not exactly a little creature)!  It feels good to be needed. 

  • And speaking of being needed, I volunteer.

As I mentioned, I volunteer as a counselor for other people my age, people who are having a difficult time, are anxious, grieving or in some sort of transition. I offer support on whatever road they are traveling and at whatever speed. I spend an hour a week with them, these days mostly over the phone, and I hope that it helps them.  I know it helps me to feel I am helping someone else.

  • I go for a walk and listen to music.

I am fortunate to live in a beautiful environment and being mindful of that is comforting.



  • I meditate.

Spending still time with myself calms me.  When things get scary, I can say to myself, "Here you are, sitting quietly in a chair, and right now you are alive and well."

  • I arrange my cookbooks by color.



 (oh, right, we've already been there - see the last blog post).

So those are a few things I do when "The New Normal" gets depressing.

But I have also discovered that it's not all about the externals, the keeping busy thing, the negatives around the pandemic.  Yes, it's a pain to wear a mask, to not be able to go to a concert or sit inside a restaurant, or think that in my lifetime I will never wear all of the clothes and shoes I have accumulated (especially that sequined jacket!). 



And yes, I get bored, but I can still be happy, because I have discovered some mental exercises I can do to change my feelings. Because in the end, it's really just you and your relationship with yourself.

What you think can change how you feel. 

I discovered some of that over the years through meditation, but thanks to my peer counseling group, I have also discovered that there are certain characteristics of happy people that we can cultivate and they have nothing to do with physical attractiveness, money or even finding Mr. or Mrs. Right. They are all inside ourselves.  They are spelled out in an excellent book called "Real Happiness: Proven Paths for Contentment, Peace & Well-Being" by Jonah Paquette and being reminded of what real happiness is has helped me through this time. 



Really happy people cultivate gratitude, practice kindness and compassion toward others and themselves, live in the present moment, are optimistic, strengthen their relationships and practice forgiveness.  The book has several exercises to help you do just that so you can join the ranks of truly happy people.

Now I am certainly not there yet. But there are a few little things I do when I am feeling down and kind of hopeless.


  • I buy stuff off the Internet (just kidding - well, sort of, but not recommended)

  • I savor a moment or a happy memory.


















  • I entertain The "What's the worst thing that could happen?" scenario.

I think we all tend to catastrophize a bit when something goes wrong.  We go to the worst possible scenario.  But you know what?  That's okay.  Go there.  Ask yourself, "What's the worst thing that could happen?"  After you have wallowed in that a bit, think about the best possible outcome.  What would you wish for?  And after you have basked in that, ask yourself, "But what is the most likely?"  When I think about time ticking away, the worst thing that could happen would be, well, duh...to die. But then I think, the best thing would be that I live to be 100 which would give me (mumble) years left.  At this moment, I seem to be in good health, my Dad lived to be 83 despite a cancer he refused to treat and my mother lived to 91 so it's likely I still have quite a few years left and the pandemic will likely be over well before that.

  • I feel grateful for what I do have and the time I have left.  I have a loving Hubby, loving children and grandchildren, a clean (most of the time), dry place to live and friends who show they care.

There.  I feel better already.

So yes, there are times I feel robbed thinking that I don't have the freedom to do everything I want to do in the years I have left, but none of us know what the future may hold, so I plan to make the most of the years I have left...and things are looking up already!


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 




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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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.