Weekly Wonderings – April 26th, 2021

I am starting to feel the excitement and anxiety of the move more. This weekend it was announced that Europe would be allowing U.S. citizens to enter the country sometime this summer which lines up perfectly for the rough timetable we have. It sounds like there will be a standardized vaccine certificate needed, and we both have had our shots, so just waiting to learn how we apply to receive those credentials. Sometimes it can be overwhelming to make such a significant change, but I know it will be worth it. I talked with my wife this weekend and said I don’t think I can spend the rest of my life in the United States. It just doesn’t seem this country is interested in fixing health care problems, racism, and everything else that is plaguing us right now.

We’ll be selling our house closer to the departure date, so we’ll be safe financially. We aren’t big spenders, so we don’t burn through money very fast. Since I left my teaching position in December, we’ve had one regular income and money made on the side by selling furniture, board games, etc., as well as money I’ve made making & selling products on Teachers Pay Teachers. We’ve made the tiniest of dents in our finances, and we’re four months in, which has been good to know. With the sale of the house, we won’t have anything to worry about as we do the whole job/residency permit thing.

Here’s the Spotify playlist, a lot of nostalgic music for me, taking me back to college in the early 2000s.

We watched the Ernest Hemingway documentary on PBS last week, and it reminded me a lot of being an English major in college. One of my professors said that people who were into American modernist literature were often divided into two camps: Hemingway or Faulkner. Despite growing up in the South, I always leaned more towards Hemingway. That said, I’ve never read a Hemingway novel but have read a large number of his short stories. The discourse I see about his longer work is undoubtedly mixed, and it seems like only a small number are actually considered excellent. If anything, I might pick up A Farewell to Arms as that appears to the most universally hailed. I am re-reading some of his shorts because that particular writing style is appealing to me as I do my own. I went back and revised part of a short story I’d been working on to align it with that style, and I loved the result. Funny enough, the short story is from the perspective of a female protagonist, but I don’t think Hemingway’s terse, exact style diffuses her point of view at all.

My wife and I are not spiritual people in any sense. We don’t adhere to any form of Christianity or other organized religion. We don’t buy into the other forms of spirituality, either. However, we acknowledge there are extensive unknowns in the universe; we just don’t stress them too much. Our dogs dying has caused us to spend some time thinking about the soul and what happens in death. I think we are both convinced that Clyde is with us in some way. When Lily passed, we could feel she was gone, and that fit with her personality; she was always the dog that would bolt if she got off her leash (inevitably coming back or letting us catch her). Lily wanted to see the world. Clyde was more of a homebody and never strayed far from us. Since he has died, my wife and I have both had multiple moments where we remark that it feels like he’s just off to the side. Last week she said she had a dream where she felt an animal climb up onto the bed and curl up against her side. She said it felt so real, but she was conscious of dreaming, a lucid dream. What she described sounded just like Clyde. Now, this could so easily be parts of our brains recalling sense memory and our emotions getting caught up in all of that. But, it is comforting to think that Clyde is still lingering around us, floating just beyond the periphery.

The blog may be spottier in the days before and the weeks following our move. That won’t likely be until July, though. For May, I am doing Science Fiction Masterworks on the site, much like my Horror Masterworks series, which I did in October 2020. In June, the big film series will be Flashback to 1981 as I turn 40 on June 21. I decided to look back at movies that came out that year. I’ll also be doing a series about my 40 favorite films in June that will run about 4-5 parts. When July hits, and we anticipate moving, the content will lag for a while, but once we are settled in with a routine, I’ll be back at it. The podcast will actually be easier to do with only two segments per episode. Look for that being weekly during July or possibly some bonus episodes for Patreon backers. All in all looks like an eventful summer for us with lots of welcome changes coming.

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