Friday Five: Themes Like A Mighty Long Time

Sorry if you missed the Friday Five last week, folks. I was sitting in a hotel suite — and before you get jealous, it was the La Quinta in Phoenix, which means it was basically two standard hotel rooms with the wall knocked out between them, and the same really uncomfortable furniture and crappy cable TV, with only 38 channels available and only 37 working at any given time, never the only one you really want to watch (TVLand).

Anyway, this week’s Friday Five doesn’t have any overriding theme.
simpsons

But since it all happened to ME, maybe that’s enough, since, as we all know, the universe revolves around me. Anyway, here goes!

  1. Yesterday I went to this grocery store in West Hills, Fields Market. I like it ’cause I hate shopping at crowded, big box grocery stores, and this one, although it’s a normal-sized store, is hardly ever crowded.
    fields
    However, yesterday the usually empty parking lot was filled with that sight that makes everyone in California except the most wide-eyed tourists wince: a parking lot full of “Star Waggons” and other film crew vehicles.
    cars

    Apparently, they were filming a movie in my lovely, non-Ralphs grocery store today. Groan!! Well, the sign out front assured me “All business open during filming!” so I decided to chance it, parked at the outer fringes of Crew City, and walked over, careful not to trip over the big giant electrical cables.

    Inside, the store was COMPLETELY dark. A crew member (maybe the producer, or one of them) came over and whispered that they were just about to start rehearsing. I whispered back that I just wanted to get some cat food and pasta, and should I just come back tomorrow? No, no, she assured me, hang on, let me get someone to help you. She goes off in search of a store employee, while I hang around in the dark, trying to figure out just what they’re filming — a commercial? a TV show? a movie? a porno? You just never know around here.

    Finally she comes back with “Suzie,” a checker I recognize, and she tries to be helpful, asking me what I want (in whispers), and tiptoeing into the aisles, helpfully bringing back everything except what I actually asked for. Example: “I want to get one of those little pouches of cat treats.”
    cat treat

    “OK!” (five minutes of tiptoeing and rustling later) “Is it one of these?” (pant pant) and she’s carrying three giant bags of dry cat food.
    cat2
    “Um no, the little ones — but you know, since you went to all that trouble, leave one of those and I’ll buy it too.” “Are you sure?” (pant pant) “Yeah, we’ll use ’em sometime.” “OK, and what else?” “Um …”

    and basically we went through that conversation for about 20 minutes, till I got tired of seeing her haul back all the wrong stuff, and said I’d just buy what she’d brought up and come back some other time for the rest. As she rung up my bill (ssh! They’re rehearsing!) I asked what they were filming, and she said (whispered!), “It’s a movie with Sandra Bullock and John Malkovich, but I don’t know what it’s about.” After leaving with my purchases, I checked IMDB, and sure enough, Sandra and John are currently working together on “Bird Box,” by Josh Malerman.
    bird

    It’s described as a “dystopian thriller” based on a novel I haven’t read, but which, according to Goodreads, features a woman’s “twenty miles downriver in a rowboat–blindfolded–with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children’s trained ears.” Now I have to ask you, does that sound like a grocery store? Maybe Hollyweird’s just up to its old tricks. (Or maybe I should just read the book.)

    Anyway, if you’re a celebrity freak, you might enjoy knowing that you’re reading the blog of a woman who was just on the other side of a darkened grocery store from Sandra Bullock and John Malkovich. You’re welcome.

  2. Oh come on, I have to come up with four more? You people are insatiable! I haven’t even had my breakfast yet! (sigh) Oh, all right.

    Well, I dragged my old bike out of the garage the other day, wiped off the cobwebs and the dead spiders clinging to them, and carted it up to the local bike shop. It’s supposed to be ready today, so my plan is to WALK up there and RIDE back. This is a big deal for me because I haven’t actually ridden my bike for at least five years, primarily due to all the weight I gained after losing my job back in 2012. Now that the weight’s coming off, I decided it’s time to get back in the saddle! I’ll keep you posted on how that all works out.
    ladybike

  3. I’m also proud to report that I am walking for at least 30 minutes, almost every day! And on the days when I don’t walk, I feel funny. Kind of disconnected, like there’s something I forgot. Something important. Then I remember. “Oh yeah — walking!” And I go outside, and I walk, and I feel better. Sometimes I even just go out in the back yard and walk in place for a little while. I highly recommend doing that if you’re in the middle of a highly important binge-watching session.
    binge
    (And don’t forget: popcorn has fiber!)
  4. Finally, we can start watching Christmas movies and listening to Christmas music without some self-important know-it-all snottily whining about how “it’s not even Thanksgiving yet and you’re listening to Christmas stuff?”

    And since that self-important know-it-all is usually ME, that means I can stop talking to myself now. Bonus!

  5. Oh yay, finally, it’s the last one! Let’s see. What should we throw in now?
    boyle
    Well, since she and my husband are the only relatives I know of who actually read my blog, how’s about I take advantage of my position as a powerful member of the media to wish a VERY happy (if belated) birthday to my wonderful cousin, Kathy H., a totally cool person who urged me to keep trying, and never give up, till I did it — I FINALLY managed to actually READ “Lord of the Rings” all the way through! Thanks, cuz!!
    gollum

Whew — that’s it! Anyway, that’s definitely all I could think of. And I did all that without caffeine! Well, ahem … OK, I’ve had caffeine, but just a little. Now for the deluge!
morning1

And, as my cousin Kathy likes to say, “Have a sparkling day, everyone!”