Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Multi-Topical, Stream-of-Consciousness Update With More Topically Unrelated, Hopefully Pretty This-April-In-Washington Pics -OR- Fran-the-Wonderful Nanny and a 50-Year Old Fat Fanny

Hot pink roses on a rosebush growing up a row house exterior façade along N Street NW, Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 6:57 p.m., April 25, 2020

The outdoor pictures in this entry are -- as in other entries this month -- taken outside on my various about-D.C. walks this lovely April, chiefly in Georgetown, Cathedral Heights, and Glover Park on the weekends, or down on the National Mall on my weekday afternoon treks into the office -- all during this deeply unsettling time of COVID-19. 

Another view of the up-the-façade hot pink rosebush

To be clear, the pics are not specifically topically related to the entry but are intended to be pretty and break up the text. I'm not captioning most of them, but the file names contain place/time location, so if you like any of them, just download those images.

*******


Home tonight in my small comfortable apartment watching my oft-mentioned comfort old television shows on the trio of digital channels of Antenna, Cozi, and MeTV, depending on the time, program, and episode (since I've more or less seen all of these shows over the course of my life).

This entry a multi-topical, sometimes stream-of-consciousness update rather than the COVID-19-related posting I've been wanting to post.

A flower growing along Woodland Drive NW,
Washington, D.C., 3:25 p.m., April 25, 2020

This might be a Parrot Tulip, but I'm not sure.

*******

About that, I had intended to post a COVID-19-and-Trump-catastrophe entry last night, but I ended up having too much to drink -- a mix of Tito's vodka, Simply Smoothie brand orange/mango juice, and Poland Spring sparking lemon lime (fizzy) water.


I was having my in-apartment solo happy hour, as it were, while trying to post an entry, except I got too distracted by any number of things I was reading and viewing on the internet. (Maybe I'll continue it after the lockdown and end to social distancing, since it's cheaper and less trouble prone than going out.)

I was doing that even while watching four wonderful episodes of The Nanny (aired on Cozi) to include the terrific self-titled pilot episode "The Nanny" and episode 3, "My Fair Nanny," a hilarious riff on My Fair Lady by George Bernard Shaw.

I really like that show and Fran Drescher is absolutely wonderful.

Fran Drescher is yet another one of these famous actresses that I love to include, in no intentionally specific order, Carol Burnett, Candice Bergen, Dixie Carter, Linda Lavin, Betty White, Bea Arthur, and Mary Tyler Moore.

Then there are all those other lesser well-known actors and actresses in sci-fi movies and shows from the 20th Century.


Anyway, that got me to looking up info about cast members, and I came across an interview of Charles Shaughnessy, in which he recounts that some people thought he was affecting a British accent while Daniel Davis, who played the butler, Niles, was actually English. In point of fact, Davis (who shares my Nov 26th birthday) was born in Arkansas (the town of Gurdon).


Shaughnessy mentions that his own British accent has become more subdued after living in the U.S. for so long -- and now he just sounds as though he has a "Mid-Atlantic" English accent.


That got me to look up about the Mid-Atlantic English or Transatlantic English accent, which turns out to have been an affected accent of movie performers back in the 1930s and 1940s -- and is the reason, at least by this theory, of why they "sound so funny" in those old films. It is a hybrid British / American accent that was never actually a real dialect.



That led me deeper into a typical nighttime internet rabbit hole, specifically, a YouTube one.

Relatively quickly, I came across Canadian political commentator and "vlogger" J.J. (John James) McCullough, who has a prolific YouTube channel dealing with, in his telling, "countries, culture, and Canada."

J.J. McCollough is featured in several major publications to include as a Global Opinions contributing columnist to online Washington Post and National Review. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Appearance-wise, he's sort of a chameleon in his shifting looks -- with various colors and degrees of puffy, wavy bouffant and on-again, off-again 'stache. And like Andrew Sullivan back in the 1990s, he's a flamboyantly gay conservative.

Anyway, J.J. McCullough had this 20-minute video from March 7, 2020...



In the video, McCullough gives a bouncy presentation in which he walks us through a video compendium of different world leaders (presidents and prime ministers) speaking English at different levels of fluency -- as well as certain American, Canadian, and British politicians and other figures (such as Henry Kissinger) speaking other languages to include Spanish and German.

It turns out that some leaders -- to include Latvian Prime Minister Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš and, Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu, both speak fluent English precisely because they lived and/or educated in the U.S. As for Kariņš, he was actually born in the U.S., specifically, in Wilmington, Delaware.

He was born to Latvian parents who fled the old Soviet Union in 1944 via Sweden and then the U.S. His alma mater is Univ of Pennsylvania in Philly. Kariņš, 55, has four children and speaks four languages fluently to include Latvian, English, German, and French.

The most unusual of the English-speaking foreign leaders is Vladimir Putin. As shown between 7:45 and 8:10 of the video, the Russian President speaks English in a soft, disarming, slightly stilted lisp with his lips and mouth moving to over-enunciate. Putin's English sounds nothing like you'd expect from a malevolent, amoral dictator-for-life.

In fact, it sounds so strange that I'm tempted to think the video was a "deep fake," although I found this Fareed Zakaria clip of Putin speaking English in 2013 that was similar, although not quite as lispy-affected.


Of note, the MeTV-aired episode of The Carol Burnett Show tonight guest starred Carol's good friend Lucille Ball and the late George Carlin, who was then 32 years old. This episode (season 3, number 9) first aired on Monday, November 24, 1969 -- two days before I was born on Wednesday, November 26, 1969. That was when the show was on Monday nights.


As a brief update, today was a gray-gloomy, cool, intermittently showery day with temps well below normal -- high of 58°F versus normal daily high of 71°F -- and 0.02" of rainfall. It was actually too gloomy and depressing for me today given the ongoing sprawling COVID-19-related shutdown of so many things.

Yes, typically, I like this sort of weather -- especially heading into the hot and humid months -- but not being able to stop anywhere and with everything as it now is, it wasn't pleasant.


So, I walked part way into the office (getting the Metro at Farragut West station) since it wasn't very enjoyable walking in a rain shower and carrying my bookbag. By contrast, yesterday I walked the full way into the office on my usual route zig-zagging down the grid from 22nd and Q over to the Ellipse and National Mall (to and around the base of the Washington Monument) and thence to L'Enfant Plaza.


Yesterday's weather -- breezy, cool, variably sunny and cloudy, high of about 60°F -- was actually enjoyable, maybe because of the breeze and peeks of sun through the cumulus / stratocumulus clouds above across a vibrant, spring green and flowery landscape.


In addition to the gloomy light rain, the problem with the walk today was that I had to go over to Connecticut Avenue / Dupont Circle, something I find stressful, especially when I need to stop some place such as the CVS.


That's because the number of pan-handing homelessly insane around Dupont Circle and up-and-down Connecticut Avenue is greater than ever. The number of encampments where Q Street passes over Connecticut Avenue continues to grow.


I'm fairly sure the Mayor likes this -- it's what she wants. And in the current situation, they're also significantly more noticeable and upfront insistent, even aggressive, given that so few other people are around.

I will be honest and relate that the reason I went over to Connecticut Ave Wine & Liquor to get a bottle of Tito's vodka, so I'm sure that makes my complaints sound horribly bad, the antipode of WOKE.


Look, in my world, I would have a vast array of social welfare safeguards up to and including appropriate housing (no, not shelters as they presently exist). There would also be psychological and psychiatric fail safes, to avoid the intractable, interwoven problems of homelessness, mental illness, and addiction.


On the other hand, in my world, it would be simply illegal to sleep outside and be homeless. It's dangerous to everyone including themselves; it's filth-and-disease-spreading; it encourages all kinds of crime; it creates endlessly repeating cycles of addiction, mental illness, and more homelessness; and its simply unacceptable for a society as fucking wealthy and a country as powerful as this one.

Again, that's how my world would work, which, again, I know is not woke.


Anyway, I'm actually busy with work. As for going in, as I've previously mentioned, it's just me in that little office that's part of the suite of offices in the building housing the L'Enfant Hilton Hotel -- as I try to finish a series of Grantee financial monitoring reports for one of the agency programs before the April progress report period starts in early May. That whole process eats up two weeks of each month.


After leaving work, I took the Metro to Foggy Bottom and went to the Whole Foods and bought a bunch of stuff. Of note, there was actually toilet paper and paper towels in the store. I still have a bulk supply -- especially since I've started using Kleenex as a decent TP substitution. I haven't been able to find bleach -- the Clorox sort -- at CVS or Safeway. (Maybe Trump's maybe-we-should-all-inject Lysol comment last Thursday caused a run.)


On a related note, I'm wondering if there really is a meat shortage -- per the fear-stoking by Smithfield Foods -- if it will affect Whole Foods given how it sources its beef and pork with all its supposed Animal Welfare Certified local, organic and grass-fed choices. And this is a good time to call attention to this Bill Maher "New Rule" piece from his Real Time show last Friday:



In it, he likens America's fucking meat processing industry to China's wet markets -- and, in similar fashion, responsible for the proliferation of all kinds of ecological and biological travesties to include species-jumping novel coronavirus pandemics.


And, of course, the "ag-gag" rules "banning" any sort of criticisms of these biotoxin slaughterhouses proliferated in all the usual fucking one-party Republican rule Red States where they whack off to "limited government" and all that other libertarian horseshit that's totally belied by everything they do.


Anyway, before finishing up this entry, let me just say that it was such a miserable, dark, empty, depressive sort of external world day that it made me decide that I need to get the hell out of fucking D.C., even if it is to visit my crazy father in Florida in mid-summer. At least he's right by the ocean.


So, to that end, my tentative travel plans for the year are as follows -- and, yes, I realize how sensitive all this is to the COVID-19 situation and resulting shutdowns, lockdowns, and Boomer quarantines...

Late July: Visit crazy father in Flagler Beach and end it with a few days in Daytona Beach proper for an ocean-side stay. I don't imagine the rooms will be all filled.

Sept 19 - 25: Trip to Oceanside, Calif., with Gary (flying between BWI and SAN), as part of a trip to see his mom.

Veterans Day weekend: Visit Chris T. in Atlanta

Christmas Eve / Christmas Day: Trip to Buffalo with Gary (we've done this before.


Alright, I think I'm going to wrap up this entry right now but without a bow.

Oh, yes: The first of my two packages from my first-ever online purchase, from Macy's, arrived.

But I also went to Target on Sunday and bought clothes. So, I now have three of the four pairs of pants; all three of the boxes of boxer briefs -- totaling 14 in all (5 + 5 + 4); and both sets of t-shirts -- totaling 7 (3 + 4) have arrived. I'm still awaiting a last pair of pants.

Pant size is now 36 x 30, which is typically pathetic for a short 50-year old man.

I also need to get a bunch of new socks, but I don't like how low so many of them are. That is -- and perhaps this is an artifact of a 1970s childhood -- I dislike the ankle and lower calf ones.


And with that, I really will end this entry. Given the length of it, I probably won't post another one until Thursday night or Friday.

--Regulus

1 comment:

Zig said...

Regulus,

What have you seen, tell me your story! Are the leaves so bright that you cannot see the grass!

With mild apprehension,

Zig