You can’t tell me that the smoke from our Oregon fires that spread to New York City didn’t circumnavigate the globe and return to Oregon! Sunset last night was the color of a neon tomato. A melange of smoke, marine air and inversion smog covers our skies this morning and the air is as thick as that in the Yucatan.
While I work on various projects for BVC and others on my main computer, my laptop is open at my side playing various venerable BBC serials (only shows I have seen before multiple times and therefore entertainment that I don’t need to give my full attention to.) Anything with subtitles is out of the question. Having just finished “The Duchess of Duke Street” I am now blissfully rolling through the Tom Baker iterations of “Dr Who”. It’s a character flaw of mine—there are many known only to me, apparently—to be unable to get down to a work-task without some pleasing amusement on the side—on my previous day-job WFH (work from home) days I got through all seven “Mad Men” seasons. That was my third run-through.
When measuring productivity, accomplishment of a task is one measurement. Always meeting deadlines is another. But length of time in finishing a project? Difficult to measure, especially if said project is uninteresting, rote, or worse, a useless time-waste. Working as I do, it does take me longer to complete a task. Take this blog, for example. I started at 8am and am only half-way done by 10:50. Part of this delay belongs to errands and chores—getting dressed, doing stretches (right hip bursitis), trip to the farmer’s market (must get there by 9am to get our duck eggs before the vendor runs out), laundry, breakfast, and letting the dogs in and out. Several times. (Just had to get up to let Conan out once again. An English mastiff, he prefers being outside. One of his responsibilities is to monitor the realm.)
Another of my character flaws (all from my own viewpoint, to be clear) is that I love watching movies and original fictional dramas. Not all of my choices are old, like the original “Forsyte Saga”, 1967. Or “I, Claudius”, 1976. And of course, “Pride and Prejudice”, 1995. I am currently hooked on several contemporary streaming series and eagerly awaiting upcoming seasons. During this hiatus period, I have tackled new ones: “Cid”, produced in Spain and “The Gift”, from Turkey. Just finished “Katya”, originated in Iceland.
But also I’ve noticed that I’ve grown a little bored with these shows. I can’t figure this out, except if it has to do with too much of a good thing, like ice cream. There is a plethora of streaming options. Better yet, a deluge, and even better, a conflagration (taking into account the current state of affairs in the West.) Production values are high, casts are excellent (trained actors, not former models or internet influencers) and scripting is of good quality. Still, I finding myself glancing at the clock far more often lately. How much longer until the end of this episode? Shall I stop now or try to finish?
Undiagnosed ADHD? Loss of concentration due to too much focus on character flaws?
I’ve found solace for this lack of interest in streaming channels like Criterion’s “Neo Noir” collection and Kanopy’s documentaries. Even HBO Max is showing The Night Porter. As much as I love watching favorites over and over, my new rule is to watch one vintage film that I haven’t seen before for every re-run classic. We’ll see how long that one lasts.
As character flaws go, I’ve given my characters far worse ones than these.