Dog Days of Summer: Meet The New Boss, Same as the Old Boss

St. Augustine Record; August 15, 2021

So what’s left of your summer plans, hmm?

Got Stevie Nicks tickets? Oh, wait. Oh, okay fine. Well, there’s always the Florida Georgia Line. Oh, wait.

Okay, films then. We all need a good ‘ol blockbuster to forget our troubles for a couple of hours. How about the new James Bond flick, “No Time to Die”? I mean, what’s summer without 007, amiright? Oh, wait — delayed till October. Hmm… Perhaps the weirdly-named next Batman epic, “The Batman”? Umm… it apparently won’t be out now till next year.

Oh, never mind.

2021 has quickly become a rerun of last year. What with wearing masks again, it’s not so much social distancing but rather “just get the hell away from me, okay?” And by popular demand from the unvaccinated, a return to overflowing hospital ICU wards to boot. As Elton sang, I’ve seen that movie too.

It all really wouldn’t be so bad, but for that brief taste of freedom we all enjoyed this past spring. I went out to restaurants, I escaped Gorgeous’ ear-cutting moves and returned to an actual barber shop, and the two of us even went off on a road trip for eight days. I actually understood what people were saying again out in public!

Collectively all of us had been in our happy zones, weren’t we? And then it all was snatched away from us because of this fourth wave. I hope none of you blinked.

Lest you be concerned that I’m going to go off on a rant here about those who refuse to get their shots, fear not dear readers. Why bother when people way more talented are doing it brilliantly on a nightly basis?

No, instead I submit to you that maybe it’s just as well that we’re once again making the living room couch our happy place. Just like those men who sit each morning at the Dunkin’ table solving all the world’s problems (when Dunkin’ had tables available that is), I am again perched upon my comfy catbird seat offering verbal retorts to TV news makers. No one’s listening, especially Gorgeous, but I do feel a duty to speak my mind.

To wit: although I’m relieved to see sane adults running the government again, it does look like someone needs to tell Dad to stop pretending that he’s an air traffic controller and allow people with more experience to run the Kabul airport. The daily scenes on the news are just heartbreaking.

So in the midst of riding all of this out, we’ve returned to familiar themes and routines from a year ago. While dining out is now, ‘er, off the table, carry out — which never truly stopped — is fashionably back in vogue.

We are back to mixing our own cocktails. Negroni anyone? Thank you, Stanley Tucci

We’ve also increased our streaming options. I still stubbornly avoid the monthly fees of Netflix or Hulu, but we did add the relatively inexpensive offerings of Paramount Plus (a/k/a CBS and its corporate siblings). We highly recommend “Why Women Kill.” Also, although it took me over a year to realize I had access to PBS’s Passport service via a monthly contribution to the local NPR station, we’ve been pleased at the ability to binge entire seasons of new and classic PBS shows. We just finished the latest season of “Unforgotten” and are now in the middle of “Professor T” (the latter not a favorite of Gorgeous’, but I force her to watch anyway).

And somehow, if one looks hard enough, there remain things out there that can raise a smile. They didn’t invent the cell phone camera for just selfies, you know.

I saw the below in a parking lot earlier this summer. Assuming/hoping that everyone involved survived it okay, one does have to wonder if the driver will still receive his/her license. I’m betting AAA is re-thinking the branding here, eh?

Speaking of takeout food, I discovered that it’s not just computer chips that are in short supply to manufacturers at the moment. A recent visit to my favorite Chinese joint alerted me to the vastly unreported menu lettering shortage! In particular the R’s and E’s must be in high demand at the moment…

The only other thing to report is that we applied for and received financing to renovate our poor kitchen. Because of the hot home market, it took the bank a full four months to complete the process from initial review to final approval. However, we have absolutely no contractor lined up to do the work. While we once hoped to start the parade of interested vendors to come by in the fall, we’re not even going to bother with getting estimates now until probably November at the earliest. With each groan I hear from our present washer and refrigerator, my only hope is that all the appliances can make it through to the end of the year and slightly beyond. That is, if we all don’t encounter a fifth wave.

So careful out there. If climate change events of this year haven’t been enough on our plate, we are being held hostage by approximately one half of the population who refuse to believe in any sense of community.

Don those masks again, get your upcoming booster, continue to let Bill Gates track you, and by all means don’t forget to eat your shkimp!

Until next time…

59 thoughts on “Dog Days of Summer: Meet The New Boss, Same as the Old Boss

  1. Ah, Chinglish — how I miss it!
    And thank you for the (grave) reminder of enjoying our bits of freedom before the fourth wave really takes hold.
    BC hasn’t reversed its opening up measures yet — but our COVID numbers are not good, and our Public Health Head is not happy.
    Hopefully we will all collectively begin to do the right thing (I can dream can’t I), and this fourth wave will skip on by.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ll dream along with you, Donna. Within all the bad news, there has been a significant rise in new vaccinations over the last few weeks. So perhaps a sizable part of the population is finally getting the message. Stay safe up there, my friend.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Darn about the ticket cancellations, Marty. For us it is James Taylor with Bonnie Raitt “postponed” twice now. You mirror many of the feelings I am having. We are definitely into our 4th wave with increased restrictions again. Everyone healthy in our family, so far.

    You remind me of a post I read this morning that talked about the “blink” of an eye, and how life changes. I suspect this is the message I need to pay attention to today and always. And unfortunately I agree with you, “heartbreaking.”

    It sounds like Gorgeous and Chuck have something in common. They will watch anything, even when we force it upon them. We also both like ‘Shkimp.’

    With the 4th wave upon us and possibly/likely a 5th wave, will Chuck ever cut his hair?!?😀


    1. Ha, I was wondering about Chuck in some of your recent pictures — the hair is still long! Unfortunately Gorgeous holds strict about what she likes on TV and doesn’t, but in some cases — “Professor T” for example — I put my foot down. She won’t admit to liking some episodes, but I can still tell that she does. 😉

      I trust and hope you’ll get to see J.T. and Bonnie at some point.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for laugh – which is so urgently needed! And to think we could all be done with this by now, if only… Well, it wouldn’t fix everything (the fires, Afghanistan,etc), but at least we would feel like we are winning on one front. Well, even though you have to postpone your kitchen remodel, at least you can order the take-out shkimp!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I feel really sad now that summer is almost over, but with the Covid numbers so high I do worry about my daughters who live in Broward. It’s back to school for them tomorrow and hopefully no problems with wearing masks, which they will of course, they are sensible girls and vaccinated.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope so too, for their sake and yours! What an unfair and scary time for young people right now. Just when we all sort of promised them a normal year coming up, then this setback had to take place. I hope things get better for their sake. Thanks for stopping by!


  5. Best reading ever with my morning coffee today.

    Here we go again indeed. Just when I thought it was safe to buy concert tickets again (and I did), I don’t think I’ll be attending any. Best-case scenario is the artists will reschedule to oh, let’s say, 2025 and if I’m still alive, I can go see them. Until then, like you, I’ll be watching Passport and anything I can watch for free on tv and hunker down in the house again, which I was going to do anyway since The Valley heat (and air) is not fit for man nor beast this time of year. Remember? GW has made it even worse than when you were here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I still have Steve Hackett tickets on our pitiful fridge door from 2020. It’s been delayed and rescheduled twice already; I might as well just request the refund for it and be done with it!

      Oh, that Valley air. I can only imagine how bad it must be this year. Stay inside and be safe, Sue!


  6. It is a little harder this time around. So far, no restrictions but some store require masks and some don’t. It gets tricky. We’ve tried to get to our favorite restaurants just in case. You never know if they will shut down again. Good luck on your kitchen project. It took us 5 months from meeting with the first contractor to signing a contract with the 6th contractor we spoke to. Most rode off into the sunset without ever getting back to us. Now we are in queue. Cabinets come in September (supposedly, nothing is for sure these days). We’ll see when it really starts. Hopefully Santa won’t be stumbling over tools and plastic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, jeez, still contractors riding off with no communication? That happened to us last year, so we simply bailed on everything for obvious reasons. I hoped that things might have improved a bit. Ah, well, we’ll see what things are like in a few weeks/months, I guess. Raw goods such as lumber I fear is probably still at a premium. This project of ours is probably slated for next year, I bet. Thanks for the dose of reality here.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh, never mind. That’s the phrase that explains it all. We’re living in a county that has LESS than the state average of 51% of the population completely vaccinated. And of course few people are wearing masks. All my hope for a great summer has evaporated and I see no time in the immediate future when we’ll be going anywhere. Do I resent this? Hell yes!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yep, I’m with you, Ally. I had to get my car serviced last week, and I was the only person in the waiting room who was masked. I knew that would be the case, but I was hopeful for a few kindred spirits. Nope. I’m so completely over those who are shrill about the conventional wisdom of all of this. I just walk away, change the channel, turn the power off, etc.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Middle daughter’s 2020 PhD hooding ceremony just now (in the past few days) got officially rescheduled to Sept 2021 – masks thankfully mandatory regardless of vax status (though we carry xerox copies of our vax cards in our respective wallets). Hopefully our window of opportunity to drive up and back ‘safely’ will stay open…Until then?
    As for tickets to anything? Yikes. Dream on and stay alive long enough to keep dreaming.
    The fun news from little ole’ me is that hubby surprised me with turning on the TV last night and tuning into a PBS scheduled pledge week airing of a Frank Sinatra concert for ‘dinner music’ and dancing in our kitchen. It was like liquid chocolate for our souls!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nothing like a little Sinatra ‘dinner music’ to soothe the savage beast within us, Laura. Good on hubby for his surprise. I do hope that all will go well for your daughter’s hooding ceremony. East Lansing, right? We have that Michigan connection, as I recall. Keep playing those soothing guitar melodies to get us through this madness. Every ounce of positive energy helps! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh my goodness, you were reading my mind. We avoided talking about religion and politics, but we did talk about Covid in general. Now, we can’t talk about Covid vaccines though because it involves politics, religion, and all kinds of other issues and outrages we really don’t want to get involved in. People you thought you knew and would get vaccinated in order to stay safe and keep you safe suddenly have a platform of reasons why not to be vaccinated. Our state numbers are up, hospitalizations are up, everything is up except vaccinations. Where are we headed? Back to the couch. Stay well.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m with you there, Judy. In spite of our many differences, I thought we were all one against COVID. But perhaps not. Even medical issues have become fodder for partisan divide. When in G-d’s name is public health a partisan issue?!!!

      You two stay safe. Our couches are indeed the best places to be right now.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m so happy that you wrote this. It’s such a nut-so time but we all need to find whatever humor we can. As you know, we are currently traveling but, when we get home, I think will hunker down once again (and, we are staying as safe as we can now). It must be surreal to live in an area/state that not only believes “freedom” is more important than science, but somehow this virus gives a darn. Stay safe and enjoy your shkimp with lots of vag!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We all made plans earlier with full permission and approval from health officials. There was so winking and nodding from anyone, so you’re just doing what felt right at least at the start of your planning. But, yeah, conditions have changed. I live in a state that is politically bewildering, no doubt. Thankfully one doesn’t have to look too far to find like-minded people who take this seriously. There’s not enough of us, but it’s at least comforting to know you’re not crazy each day!


  11. Great to hear from you, Marty – always enjoyable to read your posts!

    My couch has developed a sag, I am sad to report, in the exact same spot where I prefer to sit. There can’t be a connection, do you suppose, between my COVID weight gain and that spot?

    We’ll get by, if and when the next lockdown occurs, but, man, I wish it wasn’t the case!

    Be well!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh, I love things that get lost in translation/spelling. Always good for a laugh. Sorry about all the cancellations. I think our Governors are in some sort of competition for biggest COVID jerk, but I’m glad people with common sense are putting their feet down. Alas, with the latest surge we too learned about our PBS Passport privileges. We loved Professor T. Beautifully weird and funny. Looking forward to checking out more PBS stuff. Thanks for the post Marty!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a competition that I’m pretty sure will go to a draw, Tracey! Yeah, it’s all about looking tough and Trumpian for the maddening crowd, as it were. But yes, thankfully there is a bit of common sense one can occasionally breathe in the air around our separate states. 🙂

      Re: PBS Passport. Oh, jeez, it took me forever to realize that I had access to it. Firstly, my contribution was to an NPR station and not the PBS one (though in actuality, I guess it’s the same station). So I was blissfully ignorant until we missed a showing of Call the Midwives last year, and I logged into the app. Bingo, I was in! Duh. 🙂 Professor T is a great show — I love it’s quirky sense of humor.


  13. Came here via Judy of New England Garden and Thread. Reading through the comments, I see a lot of mutual blogging friends, who have kept me sane and connected during the pandemic. Anyway, snappy post with lots of good thoughts. That fourth wave is a kick in the butt, isn’t it? Well, at least some of us know what to do now. The others? No comment.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. We just saw the Doobie Brothers at the Iowa State Fair so it was outside. But that didn’t keep me from feeling a little uncomfortable at times. We have tickets for James Taylor and Jackson Browne on December 8. And because they are owned outside of Iowa, they can and are requiring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test. I hope things like this get some butts in gear!!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Michael McDonald sounded a little weak to us. Maybe it was the outdoor venue, but he was hard to understand and his voice just didn’t sound as good as usual. Let’s hope that improves as the tour continues, since this was their first night on tour!! I’ll celebrate your birthday in style!!

        Liked by 1 person

  15. LOL, I was hoping to make shkimp curry this week. Hope it turns out okay.

    Don’t even get me started on the other half of the population. I’m in WI and when I go inside a grocery or other store (trying to limit that), I seem to be one of few people, if not the only one, still wearing a mask. I see adults with mask-less children who are obviously too young to receive the vaccine. It alternately angers me and breaks my heart. How did we get to a country with so little empathy and concern for each other?

    Although I subscribe to a few more streaming services than you, I will never leave Paramount. I am a huge Star Trek and NCIS fan and this gives me access 24/7. With that, I hope you live long and prosper with a mixed drink in your hand.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, so sorry to hear about the situation on the ground in WI. I always think of liberal Madison, but I guess the rest of the state doesn’t necessarily dance to the same progressive tune. Hopefully now with the vaccines getting full FDA approval that scenario might change a bit. If I can be optimistic here in FL, then the same should hold for your fine state too.

      We got Paramount Plus mainly because my wife is a “Young and the Restless” devotee, and she got tired of it often being interrupted on the local channel here by breaking news. But, yes, absolutely there is really great content on there. I love the classic shows such as Perry Mason, et. al. We also stream from Brit Box and Acorn.

      Many thanks for stopping by and offering your kind comments. Stay well up there!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Over here we’ve had the press-dubbed “Freedom Day” and are back to “trusting the great British public” to do the right thing. Some are, some aren’t, but it was ever thus. We’ve also been taking cautious steps back out – I shall be attending a (long-post funeral) Wake for an old family friend who died during lockdown while Himself attends a local military show, and we’ve been to see & play with the grandbugs. But no eating out, no cinema, no music events, as Himself still struggles with crowds…

    I’ve been watching the situation in Florida & feeling for you. I’m glad you & Gorgeous are content on returning to your safe sofa surfing. Stay safe you two.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Debs. It remains a very fluid situation. While first-time vaccinations are finally increasing again, so are infections among the unvaccinated. Today in a pharmacy I heard an unmasked shopper complain about the ever-evil “They” who first told us all was fine, and now are making us go back to the way things were before. Presumably she was referring to public health officials. I squelched my thoughts, of course, but the insidious venom at doctors and health personnel makes me get red in the face. I guess they have to have a scapegoat to explain away their own false narratives.

      Thanks for the solidarity. You two stay safe also.


  17. Shoot fire! I can tell you “Why Women Kill.” Ask me anything. 🙂
    This whole get your vaccination/stop stepping on my rights thing is exhausting! I just got my booster shot. Let me tell you…it damn near killed me. But being damn near killed and actually dying from the virus are two different things.
    A friend of mines’ husband just got out of the hospital. He had a break-through case. I was worried that he wouldn’t make it…given his age, but he did.
    I don’t understand the resistance. I tell ya Marty…fools and idiots…fools and idiots.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Boy, you got that right, Laurel: “Being damn near killed and actually dying from the virus are two different thing.” No truer words could possibly be said. So glad to hear about your friend’s husband.

      As I was remarking to Debs below a few minutes ago, I was astounded by this overhearing this woman in a Walgreens this morning, “blaming” the recent surge on public health officials rather than the unvaccinated. How I was able to keep my trap shut I have no idea.

      Stay safe, my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yesterday, I was talking to the realtor who found my house for me. I asked if she had been vaccinated yet, and she said NO. I almost lost my nut! She said she wasn’t sure if it was “real” or not. I asked if she believed the deaths, and she said she thought a lot of that stuff was just made up. Okay…how to end the conversation gracefully. (You know me…I’m all about being graceful, charming and understanding). Ha. “Well…gotta go. I’ll send flowers.”

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m not on social media…thank goodness! I’d lose my mind! My sister said she heard that the vaccination was made from the testicles of aborted males….or something like that…and that there was a tracker in the shot. Bwahahahahaha! Lord have mercy!! She sure did get her shot though. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Hey Marty! I don’t know how you can remain so composed while describing the state of the unvaccinated and resulting surge of the delta variant. Thanks for the streaming recommendations. I need to do some good binge watching to get my mind off of all the idiocy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nice to see you again, Joe! I hope you and your family are all faring well. Yes, it’s certainly taking lots of patience and dark humor to have to think about so many who refuse to consider being part of a greater community (and acting accordingly!). I suppose we’ll get to herd immunity out of spite now, eh?!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. The tongue-in-cheek humor helps. And it’s hard to be humorous when the unvaccinated (ahem, excuse me) are helping the virus to rear its ugly head again, again. Good news is that here in MA we have a high rate of vaccination so until now, people felt safe without masks. But no more. Over the summer though we were able to dine outside and enjoy the company of friends. On streaming, we bit the bullet and started streaming Acorn because friends recommended a series (old-ish 2014?) called A Place to Call Home set in Australia. It was excellent.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. We eventually added Britbox because, even prior to the pandemic, we noticed that there was a significant lag to what Acorn was adding. But, yes, Father Brown is also one of our favorites.

        We also recommend Ackley Bridge, Good Karma Hospital, Line of Duty (first episode of quite violent, but then it fortunately is not), Delicious, Doc Martin, and Kingdom (which ends abruptly and way too soon).

        Of the two services, I much prefer Acorn’s navigation, functionality, and closed captioning (for those fast talking accents!). Britbox is clunky, but it has slightly better content, especially the old classics such as As Time Goes By, Are You Being Served, One Foot in the Grave, etc.

        It’s a bit of a luxury, but we enjoy going back and forth between the two now. 😉


  20. That’s hilarious Marty! Love the Vag! I thought you guys have plenty of contractors and supplies?
    Over here prices of timber has gone up and people are turning to steel to build and the industry can’t keep up!
    As for Covid I just got an email from work on Wednesday saying the muscle relaxant for intubation is in short supply due to Covid and they are rationing it. Doesn’t look good!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Materials goods are still in short supply because not enough people are going back to work yet. Lots of contractors out there looking for work, yes, but costs are way too high because they’re all scrambling for the same supply. We probably will have to wait till well into next year to fix up our kitchen. Ugh, it’s just like a bad, endless movie, isn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

  21. I do think about you and Gorgeous whenever I see “Florida” in the news.

    Unfortunately, our idyllic Island, has also become a sh.. sh… Despite the drama and obvious repercussions, I am still the cup half full kind of gal.

    Interesting about Negroni and Stanley Tucci – he has become my new “follow” these past couple of months. (His health scare? Unfortunately his first wife died. Marrying Emily Blunt’s sister? A fun, relatable Instagram and Netflix show….I need to get a life…)

    Ha, ha, about the student driver photo – I feel (slightly) bad laughing out loud. Another laugh out loud, “menu lettering shortage.”

    Thank you for my smiles, Marty. I am off the grid, again, for an indefinite period of time…..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Stanley Tucci was one of those pandemic phenomenons, wasn’t he? I loved him in “Julie and Julia” and also “Big Night.” He’s certainly seen the highs and lows, as you mention. And thanks to him, I now enjoy negronis!

      Glad to offer you a brief respite. Enjoy your grid-less moments!

      Liked by 1 person

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