Simply Lou: Tropical Depression
article and illustration by Lou Davenport
Well, it’s the Home Issue of BayouLife. I really wish I could tell you that I have done all kinds of decorative and fun things to my little house. But, I haven’t. In fact, it’s beginning to look like a crime scene in here. It’s not a bio hazard, but I have to admit, it’s pretty messy.
I also wish I could tell you my yard is so outstanding that it would make P. Allen Smith jealous. But, I can’t. It’s looking a bit like that show on Discovery Channel, “When Humans are Gone.” You know the one. Plants take over.
I’ll tell you why though. This “Long Hot Summer” has about gotten on my last nerve. It is like living under a tropical depression! And that thing won’t leave! We have mosquitoes “bigger than Buicks” this year, too.
The older I get, the worse I deal with hot temperatures and high humidity. It’s been so bad you can hardly breathe! I get grouchy and grumpy, when it gets this hot. My poor yard and house have suffered from this awful sticky weather. I cannot wait for cooler temperatures, but we all know how the weather works here in Louisiana. We could be wearing shorts at Thanksgiving…or not!
My old car’s air conditioner doesn’t work, so it really is an ordeal to just go to the grocery store. I have to go. I can’t let these cats not have food. They would revolt! And I have to have coffee, junk food and frozen dinners. I don’t cook anymore. So, I just “suck it up” and go, drive as fast as I think I can get away with, get back home and peel off my clothes and get into my nightgown as quickly as possible.
It has even been too hot to paint. I haven’t quite figured that out yet, because I do paint inside the house with the thermostat cut down so low I need a blanket sometimes. But, I do draw. Zentangles. A LOT of zentangles. I have filled an entire binder with them. Someone asked what I was going to do with them and I didn’t have an answer. I have no idea. All I know is, they are fun to do, while you binge watch!
I have had a lot of “thinking time” during this “hot mess.” You know, ponder life’s big questions. I thought about being retired, being “put out to pasture” even though I know I had plenty more to give. I don’t think being a “confirmed Binge Watching Junkie” is exactly what I want to be for the rest of my life, but for right now, why not? It’s HOT!
Now, here’s what I have done to stay in and stay cool. Find me a good show on Netflix or Xfinity and binge watch it all the way through to the end. I added Hulu, Amazon Prime and Acorn Tv to my choices as well. I watch a lot of good stuff and draw zentangles! And drink coffee and eat junk food.
I try to watch intelligently. I still love to learn. I picked up some French words while watching Agatha Christie’s “Poirot,” mon ami! I learned some new manners from Downton Abbey. I love the writing for “Murdoch Mysteries” with its blend of fact and fiction, and the star is pretty easy on the eyes! “Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries” is absolutely beautiful. They did not leave out details from the 20’s and I love that time period! “Poirot” and “Murdoch Mysteries” are set in the early 1920s as well. Art Deco everywhere!
I re-watched “Fringe” and understood what was going on this time around. Watching back to back episodes has advantages. I watched all the episodes of “X Files” and “Twin Peaks,” because I never took the time to watch them when they first were on television. “Stranger Things” on Netflix was excellent! (Hurry up with Season 2!) Over on Amazo Prime, I found “Nixon and Elvis,” and Kevin Spacey stole the show playing Nixon. They could have found a better looking Elvis though. “Man in the High Castle” was very unexpectedly good, and now, I cannot wait for Part 2 of it. And as always, “House of Cards.” Kevin Spacey being Francis Underwood, the man we “love to hate”…with his monogram “F U!” Kevin Spacey can do no wrong. Anything I find that has Helen Mirren in it, I watch, too. She is another one of those actors who can do no wrong!
Moviewise, there’s those good ones that you want to see, but you know they will never come to Monroe. But I found it on Xfinity! One of the best movies I have ever seen! “Trumbo” is about the black listed screenwriter, Dalton Trumbo. Trumbo was sent to prison for being a Communist. When he got out, he had to find a way to support his family. He used “pen names” and still wrote some of the best screenplays of the time. One even won an Oscar! Brian Cranston played Trumbo and really looked like the real guy! Trumbo actually wrote while sitting in his bathtub! Wonder if I need to try that?
You can really learn a lot watching documentaries, and I have always loved them. I think I have watched every Ken Burns documentary he has made. But, I also found a lot of other good ones in my days of bingeing! Being the music nut I am, those were the first I found. Gems like “Muscle Shoals,” “Take Me to the River,” “The Allman Brothers, After the Crash.” And Keith Richards’ “Under the Influence,” that he himself tells about his newest solo album.
I found others about writers and photographers and artists. I enjoyed “The True Gen” about the friendship between actor, Gary Cooper and Ernest Hemingway. “Finding Vivian Maier” was fascinating. She was a nanny for children in New York but also a photographer, a wonderful photographer, who never showed her work! After her death, a young man bought at auction for a ridiculously low price, all of her prints and negatives. The work is unbelievably stunning scenes around New York. The mystery to why she never wanted any one to know is still unanswered, but this young man is making it his life’s goal to show her work to the world! “Exit Through the Gift Shop” was all about the world of the street artists who slip around at night and make statements on public walls and such. It was pretty interesting!
“Iris” and “Advanced Style” were both fun and insightful pieces about older women with flamboyant style! These ladies were so full of life and fun, you couldn’t help but be caught up in their joie de vivre! I would love to be any one of them “when I grow up!” And I can’t forget to mention “Burt’s Buzz,” about the eccentric fellow who brought us Burt’s Bee’s products. He is unforgettable!
I saved the best for last! If you truly want something totally mindless, do not have to think, escape from reality show, try “Trailer Park Boys.” I am proud to admit I do watch it, even if it is the stupidest show ever made. That’s the beauty of it. It’s “so bad, it’s good!” I offer this warning though. DO NOT watch more than three at a time. I am afraid I might turn into Ricky or Julian or Heaven Forbid, Mr. Lehey, if I watch it for too long. I have to go find something a little more serious after a few episodes. But, you will laugh in spite of yourself. I promise! I wouldn’t say this show is for everybody, but, if you like inappropriate language, stupid, stupid people and all out ignorance, then you will appreciate “Trailer Park Boys!”
So, that has been my HOME story for this edition. I was inside my little “one safe place” while the Tropical Depression raged on outside. I may not have done a lot, but, I do feel like I was somewhat productive. I learned a lot of new things! But, in honor of my little house I love so much, I am closing with part of the lyrics of one of my favorite songs. Funny thing about this song. I discovered it watching “House” many years ago. The wonderful things that you can find just watching some television!
One Safe Place
How many road’s you’ve traveled
Across sand and sky and gravel
Looking for one safe place
Will you make a smoother landing?
When you break your fall from grace
Into the arms of understanding
Looking for one safe place
Life is trial by fire
And love’s sweetest task
And I pray it lifts us higher
To one safe place.
Hoping this Tropical Depression ends soon and we all can get outside and enjoy! And cheers to the Cajun Navy who do not play! Blessings to South Louisiana as well, and that soon, very soon, they may all find their “one safe place” again.