Once each month, I like to recap what I’ve done around Tucson. This serves two purposes: one is that I can give my readers more details about the locations where my stories take place; the other is to encourage me to get out of my apartment and out of my rut and go somewhere different. The “somewhere different” can be a place I’ve never been before, maybe one of the art galleries, or one of my favorites, like Tohono Chul Park.
But by August, the heat and the monsoon thunderstorms discourage me—and everyone else—from going outside. We’ve entered our third month of one-hundred degree temperatures and now added almost daily periods of heavy rains, accompanied by high winds and amazing lightning displays. Fortunately, this week’s highest temperature is supposed to be 99, so there’s a bit of a respite, but not much. If you live in one of the northern states, think about the way you feel in March, where cold and snow and ice have kept you indoors most of the time since before Christmas, and you’ve developed a severe case of cabin fever. Mostly, I’ve been making a list of places to go when we get to fall.
One of those is Steam Pump Ranch, a historical site just north of Tucson. Regular activities resume in October, and I’ve marked the date on my calendar. Another is the Museum of the Horse Soldier, which now that I look it up, I must pass by several times a week. But it’s in what is basically an outdoor attraction, which I want to visit as well, so it will also wait until it gets cooler. And Empire Ranch, where many of the famous western movies were filmed, including the original 3:10 to Yuma, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, and Oklahoma!
So I’ve done some things I’ve been meaning to get around to that don’t require leaving my air-conditioned apartment. One is finally watching “Hidden Figures,” and I have to say this is one of the most amazing films I’ve ever seen. I lived through the fifties and sixties, so the discrimination against women, and particularly black women, wasn’t news to me. But the movie brought what it felt like home to me. And despite all the obstacles, these women succeeded. It reminded me a lot of my own path in the IT world, a largely male-dominated field. You did what you had to do to achieve what you wanted, no matter how hard it was. Truly inspirational.
I also subscribed to Hulu, and have been binge-watching the old TV series “ER.” I watched many episodes when this program was on television, but it’s a different experience watching all of them in quick succession. It ran for fifteen seasons starting in 1994, which is a very long time for a television show. George Clooney was one of the original cast members. I admit that I not only wanted to watch if for enjoyment but was curious about what went into a show that was successful enough to have fifteen seasons.
I was surprised by the amount of sex in the series. Now, I had remembered the relationship between Dr. Doug Ross (Clooney) and Carol Hathaway (Juliana Margulies) and the resulting set of twins, but the musical partners theme was fairly consistent throughout. I would imagine working in the same place as both your ex and your current paramour would be a lot more difficult than the episodes portray it.
Mass casualty events were also fairly common: mass shootings; motor vehicle accidents, particularly during snowstorms or long rain events; mysterious illnesses. I was also surprised by the number of patients who died. I started wondering if I really would want to go to “County” if I had a medical emergency.
But the stories are involving, and even though I’m only up to season nine, I’m wondering what I’ll do when I finish up the last season. Because I’m not terribly fond of most of the current batch of streaming series on Netflix or Amazon Prime. While “ER” definitely had its share of sex, it was as the result of relationships. With the current choices, a relationship may or may not follow the obligatory hot sex scene, which is either the first scene in most series, or soon follows the opening violent, loud battle/car chase/hostage situation/what-have-you that today’s producers seem to think necessary to get the audience to pay attention. Me, I hit pause and start looking for something else.
So, not a very exciting month, but I’m keeping life interesting.