A Spoonful of Sugar

It’s crazy windy today and, because my office is situated directly across from a brick building that is separated by a narrow walkway, that breeze is howling through the eaves. Sounds like a congregation of tortured souls screaming for mercy.

Yikes. Too much Ted Bundy for me.

I’m referring to the Netflix series, Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, that began live-streaming on the 30th anniversary of his execution last week. I have long been fascinated with the notorious serial killer and remember watching the television miniseries about Bundy, The Deliberate Stranger starring Mark Harmon, back in 1986. I think it’s the idea that somebody so intelligent, witty, articulate, and unassuming can commit such depravity. Then again, I also closely followed the Green River Killer case and Gary Ridgway is the complete opposite of Ted Bundy, so maybe it’s just an overall lurid interest in true crime. I am a self-admitted Dateline NBC addict, after all.

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In any case, I devoured the four-part special over the weekend and paid for it in my dreams last night. Not a nightmare per se, but a strange narrative in which a nameless and faceless “they” were trying to strap me to equipment and kill me and I kept trying to escape, eventually finding freedom by simply walking out the front door. Pretty easy to match up that symbolism with the Netflix doc I’d just watched (the electric chair/Bundy’s escape out a window). The psyche is a powerful thing.

All I know is, I need to watch Mary Poppins or something equally wholesome tonight.

Aside from watching documentaries about psychotic bipolar killers, our weekend was fairly low-key. Spent most of Saturday at the Journey Museum and Learning Center, the perfect way to while away a 37-degree day that was spitting snow. Regular admission is $12 but they were selling movie tickets for $10 that included free museum admission. We could have bought the movie tix, skipped the film, and still come out ahead, but we decided to check it out – and were glad we did! “Neither Wolf Nor Dog” is a drama adopted from an acclaimed novel and is about…

A white author who is summoned by a Lakota Elder who asks him to write a book about his perspective. After a blundering false start, he is all but kidnapped and sucked into a road trip through the heart of the contemporary Native American landscape.

Cutting and pasting was easier than explaining in my own words. It’s not like I’m a writer or anything! Oh, wait…

In any case, we enjoyed the film quite a bit. It’s poignant, emotional, and humorous. And very much a South Dakota movie, filmed on location at the Pine Ridge reservation. The book has 4.3 stars on Goodreads and is the first in a series, so I may need to pick it up sometime.

Afterwards, we grabbed an early dinner at Sickie’s Garage, a small regional chain that boasts over 50 burgers. After much deliberation, we chose the following:

sickies

Both were excellent.

Sunday was super warm; the temperature approached 60 before gusty winds kicked in. A few hours later, it was snowing. So typical of this area! It will be 13 degrees on Tuesday and 48 on Friday.

At least there’s plenty of variety as the temperature swings between kinda cold, cold, and cold AF.

 

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Perfect Script

It gets dark so early this time of year, it’s barely 3:00 and the shadows are already lengthening. Especially on overcast days like today, when there are no shadows. It’s almost time to turn the lights on! Or, better yet, plug in the Christmas tree.IMG_20181126_174901_751.jpg

Gotta love the holiday season!

And it’s definitely beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. Friday I hauled our harvest decorations to the storage unit, swapping them out for our Christmas bins; Saturday morning, we decorated the apartment. Right about the time we got the tree all decked out, it began snowing. Big, fat flakes that quickly covered the ground. The snow did not let up until after dark, which made the tree lighting ceremony and Festival of Lights Parade in downtown Rapid City especially festive. Between the ice skaters, Santa Claus, holiday lights, and falling snow, it looked like a scene straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting. We couldn’t have scripted things any better.

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It was a tad cold, especially with a brisk wind blowing, but we spent a lot of time warm and cozy inside Firehouse Brewing and, later, the Wobbly Bobby Tap Room. There’s nothing like hot artichoke dip to take off the chill. That, and a few Manhattan cocktails.

The parade was pretty impressive, I might add. There were about 90 floats, and it took a solid hour for them all to roll on by.

By the time the snow finally tapered off we had a couple of inches on the ground. Not a huge amount, but it’s stuck around for several days thanks to below-freezing daytime highs. Today is the exception; it managed to get up to 54 degrees. But the weather is turning colder again this weekend, and there’s a potent winter storm system that is going to hit somewhere on the Plains. The track is still uncertain at this point. We could potentially see a lot of snow, so we’re keeping an eye on the forecast because we are planning a weekend getaway to Pierre, the state capital, to see this. A little snow wouldn’t be too big of a deal – my only concern is a lot of snow (and wind). There are 191 miles of freeway between Rapid City and Pierre, and navigating that stretch during a blizzard would not be fun. We have until tomorrow to cancel our reservation without losing the deposit, so hopefully we’ll have a better idea of what’s going to happen by then. If not, well, I guess we’ll go – and be prepared for an adventure.

 

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In other news, we have really been getting our money’s worth out of Netflix lately. We have a very basic cable package in order to save $$$, and I was mourning the loss of a bunch of favorite shows because we don’t get AMC, Discovery Channel, A&E, Bravo, Food Network, truTV, etc. But we have offset those losses with “Ozark” and “The Haunting of Hill House” and “The Ranch” and “The Final Table.” Add in Hulu, and campy-but-good classic sitcom fare like “Perfect Strangers” and “Blossom,” and we haven’t been lacking in things to watch.

Gotta run – darkness is descending. Wish us luck this weekend!

Ode to the Red Envelope

Yesterday I stopped by the clinic before work for a blood draw in anticipation of my annual checkup next week. Because they did not open until 8:00 and I had to fast, I took my time getting ready in the morning. Took a brisk walk and was treated to a spectacular sunrise. People are always asking me why I get up so damned early rather than sleeping in.

This is why, folks.

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In any case, I got there promptly when they opened, and was in and out in about 10 minutes. When the nurse stuck a needle in my vein she exclaimed, “Good news – you have blood!” I laughed politely, even though I’m pretty sure this is the exact same thing, the nurse who took my blood last year said. Word for word, even though it was a completely different person. Which makes me wonder if there’s a Making Small Talk With Patients course that’s a prerequisite for graduation from nursing school. I’ll have to ask my mom, who is a retired RN.

Then the nurse mentioned the lab work includes a cholesterol check, and without missing a beat, urged me to get an Egg McMuffin after my blood draw because I had been fasting and she said it would really hit the spot. I found that sort of funny and ironic. Then again, my doctor is a big fan of diet soda – he once extolled the virtues of Diet Coke to me and seemed to pooh-pooh the idea that aspartame is bad for you, so I wonder sometimes whether this clinic is on the up-and-up.

Not that it matters. Next week’s appointment will be my last one with these guys, barring an unforeseen case of the bubonic plague or something.

Knock on wood.


When I got to work I was swept up in a conversation with the web developers, which is weird because my interactions with them are typically pretty limited. They code, and I make sure modifiers aren’t dangling. We run in different circles. What happened was, I was walking by and decided to be a smartass by pretending to crash their meeting. Only they insisted I stay and wanted my input on a question, so the joke ended up being on me. The question was an interesting one, though: they wanted to know what type of technological innovation I am resistant toward. So I thought about it for a minute and  answered, streaming.

Not music streaming so much. I’m Team Spotify all the way. I refer instead to video streaming, which I tend to abhor.

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This is still my life.

I explained that I still have an old school Netflix DVD subscription, and dropping those red envelopes into the mailbox is a time-honored Monday morning tradition to this day. They regarded me with equal parts compassion and amusement. One of the guys said, “They still make those?!” I’m not sure whether he was referring to Netflix DVD subscriptions or DVDs themselves, but it’s not the first time I’ve heard that.

I don’t know what to say, other than, watching TV on a laptop (or god forbid, a phone) just feels weird to me. The screen is too small, the volume’s too low. It delegitimizes the whole experience. To be fair, I do have a Netflix streaming subscription as well, and a smart TV, and just this week I’ve been streaming a WWII documentary, so I’m not completely out of touch with the modern world. I just prefer the old ways, which makes me sound like a grandpa. Whatever.

Don’t even get me started on how much I miss Hollywood Video…

Countdown: 107 Days