Friday, February 26, 2016

The queen of binge

"Oh my love, I hope real soon
To be at home and get close to you."

I didn't know binge watching was a thing. I thought I invented the concept and the phrase.

For the past several years I've been in the habit of watching TV series on my iPad while I walk on the treadmill (3 mph for one hour, 4 times a week or so).

I watch a variety of genres, as long as it is crime drama, preferably British or Australian, although The Killing, all American, was a favorite.

I've worked my way through Morse, Lewis, Endeavor, Gently, Foyle, Tennison ((Prime Supect), Vera, Scott and Bailey, Chambers (Grantchester)), Holmes, Wexford, Wallender, Worricker, Banks, Blake, Brodie (Case Histories), Taylor, River and more.

I've watched (and sometimes rewatched) Above Suspician, Broadchurch (and Gracepoint), Single Handed, The Escape Artist, The Fall, Happy Valley, Hinterland, Top of the Lake, Whitechapel, and others.

I tried (and failed) to like Midsomer Murders and strugged through Death in Paradise. Neil and I have been working our way through all 12 seasons of New Tricks. We're interspersing that with the Honorable Miss Phryne Fisher and have the Murdoch Mysteries queued up next.

Others on my bucket list include Alleyn, Lynley, Frost, Bradley, the rest of Ruth Rendell, Rosemary and Thyme.

It only stands to reason that I've long since consumed Marple, Poirot, and Wimsey. I've mixed in some silliness (Grimm) and I've sucked down lots of miniseries such as Amnesia, Collision, Five Days, Heat of the Sun, The Last Enemy, Appropriate Adult. I just finished The Missing and I have Secrets and Lies on the menu for this week.

I tried to watch and like the X-Files because Gillian Anderson (wo was so riveting in The Fall), but it was too dated. I'll give the comeback season a chance when it's up on Amazon or Netflix.

I was mesmerized by Ashes to Ashes but only caught parts of it when it aired. I want to start with Life on Mars which just came out in Region 1 DVD format.

Not exactly a crime drama, but it still showed up in my Netflix recommendations (you liked this, you might like that), Rectify held me spellbound and I eagerly await Season 4.

I've only started binge watching recently. The Killing was my gateway drug. I walk on the treadmill for an hour, and the episodes are only 45 minutes, so watching two episodes in one day was my first step down that slippery slope. I think I gulped all 6 (hour-long) episodes of the final season over 3 days.

So far, three episodes at a stretch triggers my guilt limit, and I have to go watch something else, like Nature or Nova or Downton Abbey.

The best thing about being so hooked on a series is looking forward to getting on the treadmill for the next installment. And so far, my watchlist is looking quite healthy, but I'm still thinking about taking time out to re-watch all 6 seasons of Lost.

It's funny, there are quite a few shows that I never watched but heard a lot about and could watch, Breaking Bad, Orange is the New Black, The Walking Dead, but none have bubbled even close to the surface. We got Season 1 of Game of Thrones from my stepson, but I'm having trouble getting invested. You'd think with my passion for gritty mysteries I'd be pretty immune to violence, but there's something more disturbing about Thrones somehow.

Lest you think we've given up reading, be reassured, we have not. We're close to starting the last book in the Narnia Chronicles, The Last Battle, which I've never read. After that, we have three new-old Nancy Drew mysteries. I'd like to read C.S. Lewis's Space Trilogy, and Alice in Wonderland, and Through the Looking Glass, and the Madeleine L'Engle series, A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Many Waters, The Arm of the Starfish, Dragons in the Waters, A House Like a Lotus and An Acceptable Time. And after that, The Once and Future King - The Sword in the Stone, The Queen of Air and Darkness, The Ill-Made Knight and The Candle in the Wind. Whew!

But I suppose it's Neil's turn to choose. I wonder what he will pick. Perhaps not Sense and Sensibility.

Oh, remember my missing USPS parcels? As I imagined, they all rematerialized. I was at First Colony picking up a package for Neil. That's another story. We never got an orange slip. He called the vendor, who provided a tracking number and the USPS site said delivery had been attempted days earlier. I printed it out and went to get his package.

It was my lucky day because our former postwoman Roberta was working the package window, and also because miraculously no one was in line behind me. So after she retrieved Neil's package, I told her the whole sad story. She said, let me have a look around. Literally less than a minute later I heard her say, I found them.

She gave me back six of my eight missing parcels - including the one where the customer told me she had received the bead. I took them home, doctored up the "fragile" labels with butterflyand heart stickers and remailed them. Mysteriously, the other two missing parcels also appeared in the USPS tracking system the next day. I suspect Roberta found them after I left and pushed them through.

So far, only one person who I gave a refund to has insisted on repaying me. A couple of people who chose replacement beads offered to pay, but it seemed unfair somehow, since they didn't get money back to make them pay again, when they might not have wanted to buy two sets of beads. I haven't heard from everyone yet, but I'm calling this chapter closed.

So life is good. I've been selling a reasonable number of beads again. I finished up another 100 Carry a Bead pairs for Beads of Courage. I'm still waiting to be paid for the 100 pairs I sent in January but I know I will be paid eventually.

I started listing beads on Etsy again, and I've had some sales, old customers and new. I figured, I've taken the photos, I've measured the beads, I've written a description, why not. I'm not overthinking it, not bothering too much with tag loading or cramming as many keywords as possible into the title. SEO? The hell with that. Still it seems to be working, slowly picking up steam. Frit sales are trucking along too. I actually had to reorder some colors.

I've even rediscovered some lost love for melting glass. I limit myself to 30 mandrels in a torch session and I've been playing with a southwestern palette - coral, turquoise, ivory - as well as lots of earth tones and raku. I've had fun making little birds, which have been surprisingly popular.

The weather has been beautiful for torching. This is my favorite time of year.

Best of all, I've made life easier on myself by having all my bead auctions end at one time per day, 1 pm, and having fewer auctions at a time. It has been surprisingly liberating not to have auctions ending at 4 pm too. I hadn't realized how much pressure that 3-hour window in between auction-ending times was putting on me. Fitting in a workout, a bath, a trip to the post office, a stop at the store, it felt like I was always passing myself coming and going.

I feel like I have more freedom, flexibility and time now.

Time for my latest love.


Oh my love, we pray each day
May you come home and be okay
For now we'll wait
For you
For you
To come home

I'll send a pack of cigarettes
And some chocolates I hope you get
They're for you

Oh my love, I hope real soon
To be at home and get close to you
For now, we'll wait
For some news
For some news
To come home

My mind is always on your side
I see you all the time
With love for you.

(Inne Eysermans and Sebastiaan van den Branden of Amatorski - theme song from The Missing)

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Thanks for your comment! I will post it as soon as I receive it. Liz