Sujal tends to keep up with this more than I do, but I just wanted to link to this new(ish) WH blog, West Hartford Forums. A “conversation place” is key to democracy and community. It looks interesting so far, and I wish them the best!
The past few weeks, Sujal has gotten me hooked on the HBO show The Wire. It’s a pretty gritty show set in Baltimore, and it follows several police and various police “targets.” It’s pretty addictive. One of the things that drives me a little nuts is that there is so much product placement. Being that the show focuses mainly on cops, you can imagine there is a lot of coffee drinking, and there are no shortage of front and center Dunkin’ Donuts coffee cups. Once they showed a junkie eating McDonald’s food, again, name prominently displayed. The cops are often drinking — the show must have contracts with Jameson and with Miller Lite.
I just started watching season four, and a kid buys a nail gun (for all the “wrong” reasons, I might add) in a large home improvement store. But Home Depot seemed unwilling to give the okay (or perhaps the cash), because the storefront had a very similar style sign — same colors — called Housewares Barn.
The show has some great character development as well as good storytelling.
Last night Rita and I went to play Bingo at The Beth David Synagogue in West Hartford. I had not been to a Bingo game since I was a child and my grandmother took a bunch of us to church bingo. I remember how intense the games were, and I always wanted a bingo inker. Well all of those dreams came true last night!
So, yes, Rita and I were considerably younger than the vast majority in attendance, though we were of the majority gender. When we made the plan to go, Rita asked me if I thought it would be really smoky, and I figured in our ever-increasingly smoke-free age that there would be no smoking. Alas, I was wrong, which was the major drawback to the event. But it was a riot! People are very serious about their game. We got a lot of bingo cards, and it was hard to keep up with the calling at first. Most people had at least double the cards we did. They had these systems of taping their cards together and this trash bag system. I tell ya, it is a whole subculture. And there are all of these crazy games that are pretty confusing — different configurations on the bingo card. But Rita and I, armed with our one inker each, stuck the evening out with great bravery! Even though husbands and friends derided us, we enjoyed the evening with the old ladies. We were also shocked at how many inkers each person had. Some people would line up ten bottles of ink. We could not figure out why the heck anyone would need that many bottles. It’s not like one would run out.
For those of you with your need to fulfill your bingo fix, here’s a helpful link of bingo halls in Connecticut and a national listing. Perhaps Rita and I will see you at the next game — hopefully a smoke-free game. I turn 35 on Saturday, so perhaps this is a stepping stone to middle age.
Summer vacation has been lovely so far. While I’ve been doing a few things for school and prepping for tutoring, I’ve been enjoying my less structured time. I have a bunch of projects I’m working on — but getting out and about is at the top of my list — camping, hiking, socializing. I’ve been going to the West Hartford farmer’s market, and I’d like to check out some others. Last week I did the Heublein Tower Trail. I hope to do some more fun adventures.
Early this week, I had jury duty. It was pretty interesting to be in a bona fide court room. I’m not serving, but it was a pretty interesting experience nonetheless. I did get to read some of Jhumpa Lahiri’s new book while I was there. So far, I really like it. It feels a little different from her previous work, perhaps a bit more emotionally ambiguous.
Anyway — it’s good to have some unstructured time. I’ve even been cooking. Last week I made dosa. I can’t say I’m a particularly skilled dosa chef. Actually, my dosa kind of suck, but they get better as I make them. Then I made saag paneer, which actually turned out pretty good.