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Pandemic Diary VIII

It's been twelve days since my last post. Sorry. It's just that not much is happening during this pandemic. My mood doesn't change that much. My emotional well-being is fairly stable from day to day. My health is fine.

The worst thing that has happened since my last post is that they've closed the malecon. This has created a major disruption to my morning ritual of getting out for a walk. For a few days after it closed I continued to walk there (along with lots of other folks), but then the police started telling people to go home.

After I got kicked off the malecon, I tried walking on the ciclopista, the  bike path that runs alongside the carretera, the main highway that goes through town. The problem is that the ciclopista is narrow, and even at the crack of dawn there are too many walkers, bikers, and runners to maintain appropriate physical distance.

I've settled for a walk to the other end of town, where, in the neighborhood of La Floresta, the streets are wide and the sidewalks even. I can walk there early in the morning and barely encounter anyone else. However, the walk to get there goes through the towns cobblestone streets and uneven sidewalks. I may start driving there.

The other thing that's been going on is my kitchen remodel, which is behind schedule by more than a week but which is finally very close to completion. In fact, they may be done today. Or maybe tomorrow. Or maybe the day after that.

I am happy I have my mirador, where I can sit in the shade, enjoy a view of the hills and my "garden" of plants I potted in colorful Talavera pots. I come up here every morning for a few hours with my laptop to do the NY Times Crossword puzzle, some reading and writing and listening to music, and just to relax while the kitchen work is going on downstairs.

I am trying to keep up with the news, but there's absolutely nothing I can do about the situation or the moron in the White House and what he is saying and doing. So I'm avoiding opinion pieces for the most part, trying simply to stay informed about actual events and factual information.

I'm also happy to be able to connect, thanks to phone, videochat, text messaging, and email. with friends who are geographically dispersed but close to my heart.

And there's been a lot of Netflix and Amazon Prime. Some of the shows I've watched have been better than others. Here's a rundown of what I've watched since I've been pandemicized (all are on Netflix unless otherwise noted):

  • Elite (season 3): This is a really fun and engrossing guilty pleasure. A Spanish series about high school students who commit murder and have all kinds of kinky sex, who go from being best friends and allies to bitter enemies and back.
  • Fuller House (seasons 1-5): The sequel to Full House, that 80s sitcom about a single dad raising his three daughters with the help of a friend and his dead wife's brother. This show has the grown daughters (minus the Olsen twins) and neighbor Kimmy Gibler living in the same house raising their families. It's surprisingly not terrible, escapist, and requires no expenditure of mental energy.
  • Toy Boy (season 1): Another Spanish series, just one season so far. Taking place in the resort town of Marbella, on the Costa del Sol, its main character is a male stripper who has just been released from prison after new evidence suggests he may not have been guilty of the murder of which he was convicted. There's a lot of eye candy as he goes back to work at the strip club, and a lot of suspense as he tries to figure out who the real murderer was. There are thirteen episodes, giving it too much time to indulge in its many plot twists but I enjoyed it.
  • The Two Popes: Good performances by Anthony Hopkins (as Benedict XVI) and Jonathan Pryce as the future Pope Francis. It was interesting to imagine the conversation these two might have had, but not particularly riveting.
  • Gentefied (season 1): A fun, funny, and moving story about a family in East Los Angeles trying to keep their taco restaurant alive in a changing neighborhood. The fragile balance between maintaining tradition and embracing innovation to appeal to a new demographic is played out with humor and pathos. I recommend this one highly.
  • The Irishman: I didn't realize this was a true story until I finished watching it. Fascinating depiction of organized crime. Well done.
  • The Stranger: A stranger reveals a secret to a man about his wife, leading to a spiral of death and destroyed families. A lot of silly plot twists, but the overall narrative kept me hooked right up to the end.
  • Tiger King: I made it through the first fifteen minutes. Time I will never get back; even in quarantine when there's nothing to do, watching this any longer would have been a colossal waste of time and brain cells.
  • Freud: I only watched the first episode. I was not drawn in, and not sure I will watch more. But I might give it another chance.
  • Unorthodox: Superb drama about a Hasidic woman who escapes from her community in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and from the stifling life there. Based on a true story; it made me want to read the memoir it is loosely based on.
  • I Am Not Okay With This (season 1): I have one episode to go. It's a good and offbeat coming-of-age story about an awkward teenage girl who starts to discover that she has telekinetic powers she is not able to control.
  • Tales from the Loop (Amazon Prime, season 1): I watched two episodes. The Loop is an underground facility in an Ohio town where strange things happen. The strange things were just kind of annoying. I quit.
  • Will and Grace (NBC): This is the final season. I still love hanging out with these characters.
  • Law and Order: SVU (NBC): Season 2349872347, and just renewed for three more seasons. It's still as engrossing as ever, one of the few procedural shows I've ever been hooked on. When there are reruns, I watch them too.
  • Modern Family (ABC, season 11): This show finally ended last week. I think over the course of its run it was as funny as any show on TV. It didn't always succeed in sustaining that, but I will miss the Pritchetts!
What are your binge-worthy shows? I'm running out!


  1. I like reading your blog, Lane. Thanks for sharing.

    About binging. I am possibly the WORST person in the developed world about binging. I only did it once (Game of Thrones), so I have no sense of the world of binging.

    I enjoyed reading your list, but you have (unintentionally) pressed a hot button for me with one of your choices. The Irishman. May I vent? Well, I am going to.

    I know Scorsese is brilliant. I used to think Robert DeNiro was the best living American actor. Pesci can be entertaining. Pacino is hot and cold for me---love some stuff, hate some of his other stuff.

    All of that said, I NEVER want to watch DeNiro, Pesci, or Pacino in another gangster/organized crime film. Ever. That well ran dry for me a looong time ago...

    1. I only just saw this now, Kevin. And I have to ask, does your NEVER mean that you won't watch The Irishman? Or that you watched it and it was the last straw?


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