Bloomington


5
Oct 22

Review: ‘Old on the inside’

We had a physical therapy appointment for The Yankee this morning. I drove her over, since, just four-days post-op and in a sling for the next several weeks, she doesn’t have her driving privileges.

We walked into the therapy center and it was like when Norm entered the bar at Cheers. They all called her name. Everyone came over to say hello. Everyone wanted to know what this latest thing was.

She gets good service at the ortho clinic. If they open a new wing it might be named after her.

I got in some quality work time today. Everything there feels back to normal. Monday was a lot of telling people what had happened and how we were progressing. Yesterday was spent buried in a computer and compiling my sophisticated note system — presently it is two calendars, a few notepads and index cards. Today, was just kind of a day. Looking for this, preparing for that, tracking down some person or another.

I also started preparing for four video productions I have to produce and direct next week. Whoever booked four shoots in three days should receive a stern talking to.

(That was me, of course. To be fair to myself, my concentration was divided last week.)

On my second, yes, second trip to the grocery store of the day I saw this.

I assume that dog had gotten the last of the hair care products I was looking for.

Meaning there’s another trip to the grocery store in the very near future. Fortunately I pass the store twice every day. And, today I learned the only thing more frustrating than a long series of cars in a perfect rhythm of ongoing traffic that prevents the left turn for several minutes is that the grocery store has somehow managed to rope off the primary entrance and exit to the shopping center for subtle parking lot maintenance purposes.

There was a guy there tending to the rope and traffic barrels as I was leaving. They were down, but they should be up. He said words to my windshield, but who knows what that was about. He spoke with authority when I rolled down the window.

I could not, he said, go straight ahead because this was closed.

Could I turn this way? Maybe.

Could I turn that way? Perhaps, but I don’t really know.

Seems like the guy tending the traffic modification system should have a firm grasp on the modified flow of traffic. But that might be a big expectation for 6 p.m. on a Wednesday. He was game to help, though, and so I drove one of the two ways he wasn’t sure about.

This took me through the movie theater’s parking lot. I used to love movie theaters, and then somewhere in the oughts the crowds became more of a burden. After that everyone’s TVs got better and, well, you know the rest.

But the movie posters! Everyone likes movie posters! And this theater has that row of poster frames on the exterior wall, just in case you aren’t sure what is showing, or what you are planning to see.

Half of the frames were empty. It had the tired look of a retired gas station, but the few posters that were on display were for current films, both successes and box office flops. The last movie I saw in a theater before the pandemic was inside this joint, it was a 40th anniversary screening of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, which I had never seen on a big screen. (Too young the first time.) How’s this place faring? These are the last six months of reviews on Google.

Not really impressed by walk in theaters anymore. You really take a beating at the snacks and drinks bar.

A very quiet place to watch a movie and very affordable prices.

Old on the inside.

I really enjoy going to this theater.

You can tell that it’s an old and worn out theatre. But it’s generally clean and just a stone’s throw from College Mall. Not much to complain about.

Nice clean place to come watch a movie for an affordable price.

Scary theater, not from the movie either LOL. Dirty seats and crammed. Old and run down. 0/10 don’t recommend. ALSO for all of you youngsters out there, if you’re going to see and R-rated movie both participants have to have their ID. Not just one like other AMCs around the area.

It is difficult to say how old this theater is, but the web tells me it goes back at least to the mid 1990s. The interior suggests that if it is any older it hasn’t been redone since the early-90s.

It doesn’t really matter if it is true, but the place has a reputation for bed bugs. Whether that’s there or not, that’s always going to influence your decision about which theater you’ll visit.

And my choice is to watch stuff at the house. I, too, am old on the inside.


22
Sep 22

A night in the ER

I was walking from the control room into the studio — two back-to-back doors — just before a taping began tonight when my phone rang.

My phone never rings.

I have dedicated ring tones for most people, even though my phone never rings. So, even while the phone was in my pocket I knew from the song that it was my lovely bride.

She never calls me. We text.

I answer the phone. There’s some other woman on the phone.

Not good.

And her voice is breaking up. Bad cell signal.

I’m trying to be polite about this, but then suddenly there’s The Yankee on the phone, clear as can be. She’s had a bike accident. She’s OK. Deputies are coming and so is an ambulance and people have stopped to help. She’s going to the hospital because she’s sure her collarbone is broken and where am I.

I’m at work, of course. She knew that, but she forgot it or was speaking without thinking about it, same as I asked her, for some reason, what she’s going to do with her bike and what hospital she’s going to. I told the guy running the TV shoot and the engineer that I’m leaving. I rode my bike into the office this morning, which means I have to ride to the house to get the car to go to the hospital.

This was the fastest I’ve ever made that commute, perhaps even by car. I don’t even remember breathing hard or feeling it in my legs, which had complained all the way in this morning. At one point, just before the last hills, I remember being upset I didn’t have harder, faster gears to work through. My machine wasn’t equipped for the moment or the adrenaline or both, which never happens to me.

That part wasn’t important, of course. I got to the house, doused my head with cold water, put on dry clothes. Grab the insurance card, some snacks and a hoodie. Fed the cats, because who knows how long this will take. Out of the saddle and back out the door in seven minutes, at the hospital in nine more.

Emergency room. Chairs. Someone calls my name and I go to an exam room. The Yankee is off for a CT scan, and she’ll be back in a moment. There’s some of her cycling kit, and her shoes and her helmet. I pass the time studying the helmet. There’s one small displaced part on the left side. One crack inside. Some light scrapes near the crown of the helmet. So it’s her left collarbone. We’re going to match.

A guy wheels her bed back into the exam room. She’s in a neck collar. No one said anything about a neck collar, but when the doctor comes along with some of the results from scans and X-rays, he removes it. The collar was a precaution that was thankfully not needed. But her left arm is definitely the worse for wear. She’s got one tiny scratch on her knee, and a little scrape on her leg that wouldn’t impress anyone who has ever had a carpet burn. She tore the pocket out of the center of her vest which sits on the small of her back, but her lower back seems fine.

She was going straight through a small intersection on a straight road. A guy in a pickup truck was coming from the other direction, aiming to turn to his left. Apparently they made eye contact, he slowed, and then he decided to turn across her direction of travel. She doesn’t think she hit the truck, but we know from witnesses that the ass paused briefly and then drove away.

“Bicycle Friendly Community” is another quality B-town joke.

As we sat in the Emergency Room waiting for the next thing to happen one of the witnesses calls. This is the woman that called me earlier. She’s taken custody of the bicycle. She says her husband is also a cyclist. He has pronounced the bike fine. Like that matters.

What really matters is this: In one of those weird moments of normalcy that infiltrates a mild medical emergency, The Yankee says “I didn’t stop my Garmin.” Twenty minutes earlier she was getting brain scans and wearing a neck brace, but now the important stuff.

The lady says I can come get the bike whenever. I thanked her for that, and thanked her many times over for stopping. I think we were all a little moved by that. And so, to lighten the moment, I said, “Since your husband is a bike rider, would you mind asking him to stop her Garmin?”

“It was the first thing he did,” she said.

Cyclists, man.

Now an RN comes in. They’re going to move her to another exam room and put her shoulder back into the socket. This is news. But it turns out, apparently, that the RN was misinformed. Or at least I continue to hope so. I asked the doctor directly, in front of this RN, if we had to reduce a shoulder. And he said no. But he also missed the collarbone later, turns out. (Thanks for that catch, radiologist.)

So it seems there’s a collarbone break, and two broken ribs. And an orthopedist appointment in our future. Fortunately, she has an orthopedist.

She was discharged from the hospital at 11 p.m. We spent a half hour, 30 solid minutes, in the drive through of the only 24-hour pharmacy in a town of almost 100,000 people. There was one car ahead of us.

Our immediate future: Not much sleep tonight. And, if the memory of my own broken collarbone serves, the next month or so is just a bunch of gritting through pain, finding the least uncomfortable position possible and vowing to never move, ever again, and finally, wondering when you can sleep through the night, and waiting to use your arm again.

But we’ll let the orthopedist tell us that tomorrow morning, for sure.

What we are is lucky, and we don’t need an ortho to tell us that.

Wear a helmet, kids.


26
Apr 22

Pro movement

This blocked traffic this morning. I’ve sped this up, because it is a three-minute effort and let’s be honest about our web habits but this beam and assorted other things started on that truck and it’s an interesting move.

The car in the foreground is close to the move. The small tree and the truck are very much involved. Those power lines aren’t exactly far away. This is a fair effort. And these guys handled it ease.

I do believe they’ve done this before.

We never think that much about the hard parts of putting up a building we are in. We don’t even know what the hard parts are. This might have been the easiest thing they did all day — and, if so, I hope everyone got a good night’s sleep. When the owner walks in the door when that build is complete, they’ll never know.

I did that thing today where you struggle with technology and you can’t find the solution to the problem and someone has to come by and show you the obvious thing you’ve overlooked. That happens to everyone. Except, when it happens to me it’s always the same guy who wanders by just in time to solve the problem. And I’ve never seen him do that brain-lock oversight thing. He must think I never get a good night’s sleep.

But, later in the day, things went pretty smoothly in the studio. It was the last news production of the semester. Everything is winding down this week, but it’s winding down with enthusiasm!

That’s the pop culture show. Also, Ashton just got a haircut and somehow that becomes a feature. And there was a taco hat and that was purely a serendipitous thing. I’ll need to get the full story on that.

We got a proper springtime forecast.

And a quick summary of the biggest stories going on abroad.

And, of course, all of the local headlines.

These shows will be online tomorrow, and I can share them then. But, until then, I can share the latest from the Behind the Curtain crew. They’re highlighting a student spec commercial. (The commercial is good, if long.)

And maybe this has gone on for too long, as well. So I will thank you, and step aside until tomorrow.

If you have some more time to kill right now, however, there’s always more on Twitter and check me out on Instagram, too.


25
Apr 22

If you’re keeping count, this is week 17 of the year

Let’s get this week started off the best way possible, by recounting our weekends! It’s as good a way as any to work through the reality of a Monday, I suppose. So, most importantly, how was your weekend? Great and warm and as precisely relaxing or fruitful as you planned, I hoped.

Mine started at the track. I left the office to catch the end of the Women’s Little 500. I briefly talked with the race director on Wednesday and it didn’t occur to me until later that I should have asked him why they start the thing at 4 p.m., when most of us are working. We ran into a guy we know who is a professor at a nearby school. We’ve had dinner with him before, worked on a paper together, used to hang out a bit socially, when that was a thing. This was the first time I’ve seen him since before Covid. Since then he’s bought a house, gotten married and had a child. The kid is already solving mid-level mathematical equations apparently. Time flies.

On Saturday was the men’s race. They take 200 laps around the track that surrounds the soccer field. Here’s the start and finish.

There were just three crashes. One was small and early in the race and the three or four guys that got tangled up in it popped right back on their bikes. One other I missed, and the guy seemed to be OK-ish when they hustled him off the track. And the last was in turn four of the white flag lap. They never threw up the caution flag — perhaps they have rules about that, or they just messed up — but this one was in the lead group. One of the guys was still crawling off the track when the remains of those hard-charging riders came back around 30-some seconds later. Most importantly, the group of eight contenders was whittled down to three or four guys, and that was the race.

Also, if you are wearing your best overalls, but somehow forget a shirt, a copy of the newspaper is highly adaptable.

Let’s check in on the cats. Here’s Phoebe at play in the cat tree.

And here’s Phoebe catching up on her time in the sun.

You can’t see it from the angle here, but Poseidon is sitting with his back legs on the sofa, and his front legs on me and his torso is hammocked in mid-air.

He seems to think that’s comfortable.

He also seems to think he’s a model.

I saw this car on Friday. I’m still surprised this was the first time I’ve seen this car around here. You think you’d notice that. It does stand out.

And, finally, a bloomington tree in blooming bloom.

Spring is upon us, thankfully.


19
Apr 22

Just the regular stuff

It was a sunny day. I know that because I drove in the sunshine. Because I have a late night on campus, I enjoyed a late start. So I lazed around a bit and read and did some laundry and generally wasn’t productive enough for most of the morning. A shame, really, because productivity is the mark of your downtime! Otherwise you’re just staring at the clock, waiting for your chance to spring into action.

And after I’d sprung, I spent the day in a room with no windows, which always helps productivity. So the sun could have done any number of things over the next six or so hours, and I’d be none the wiser. But I did see this streaming from a colleague’s office as I went up to the studio.

This will bake your bean: what if the universe is telling you something, but you just don’t understand the symbols?

That’d be too much to think about in the control room, where there was a lot going on this evening.

And, next door, in the studio, they were talking table tennis.

Because we had the recently crowned national champions in for an interview. These guys are twins, born 40 minutes apart. They’ve been playing internationally for about a decade, already. And one of them was an Olympic alternate during the most recent Games.

They said they practice about three hours a day. Later, the studio gang had a talk about all the things we could all be good at if we practiced it three hours a day.

Aside from autonomous things, like blinking and breathing and so on, what do you do for three or more hours a day? I probably read that much, presumably making me an expert reader. It gets pretty thin after that, though.

Also, Mia told us it is going to warm up just in time for Little 500 weekend. Every year since we’ve been here, that weekend has marked the precise retirement of winter, and beginning of spring.

Why they can’t have these races, then, in February, or March, remains a mystery to me.

Just as mysterious, where they’re going next with this show. It’s a mix of scripted and improv comedy, and we’re all just going along for the ride. Anyway, this week’s premise is that we’re on the search for a new co-host, and all of the awkwardness that you can possibly imagine from that is probably under consideration here.

Here’s the new longform interview show. All of the guests are IU or Indiana type folks, and that’s not a bad hook. So far they’re three-for-three on big names, including Michael Uslan, who’s the guy responsible for all of the Batman movies you’ve seen since Michael Keaton put on the cowl. So the caped crusader is probably going to come up in this conversation.

And this is a rock ‘n’ roll show. Three bands came into the studio, including one brand new band. This was the first song the three-piece band ever played together. Fooled me.

It was after 8 p.m. when I left the building, and still vaguely daylight when I made it outside. I walked to the parking deck and drove up to the top floor to look to the west. The gloaming hadn’t even begun.

That’s a great feature here. The best one, if you ask me.