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day 66: “Undone” and “Devs”: love the way they stay in the mind

Two good things to note about this spring: we’ve watched some series that generated really interesting conversations about existence and its possibilities. Last night we watched the finale of Devs (spoiler alert: it’s actually DEUS), and we’re still wondering what exactly it meant. Does the kinda creepy tech wizard messiah dude (played by Nick Offerman) get to live forever, as long as his blank-faced automaton girlfriend (Alison Pill) keeps the switch turned on? But what about the gamine, feisty, super-smart heroine Lily (played to perfection by Sonoya Mizuno)? Is she doomed to live in the messiah dude’s version of paradise? That could be nice, as is suggested by the sweet embrace with her hunky boyfriend (Jin Ha) at the end. But what if somebody turns off the switch?!!!!!

Undone, which we saw earlier this spring, was/is even better. In Undone, the heroine Alma (Rosa Salazar) struggles with “mental health” in ways that put a bite into the words–what’s so healthy about reality as we know it? (It is worth noting that her very name is inspiring: “Alma” has several meanings in a variety of languages but the gist is this child “feeds one’s soul” or “lifts the spirit”.) Even though the images are animated, Alma feels very real; her presence is what the French call tonique.

Alma’s situation is so interesting that I can’t wait to see Season 2 of Undone. I guess it’s what we all wish we could do. Sort of. Sometimes… She is able to see and talk to her dead dad. She sees him pretty regularly although with startling irregularity to her: he comes and goes at whim, played with spot-on timing by Bob Odenkirk, who has the most familiar voice from all those seasons of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, that you totally believe he’s the dad, or an uncle, or somebody you know.

The comedy/tension of Undone comes from watching this dazzling Latina heroine toggle between the two worlds: on the one hand, there are the moments of Zen awareness brought on by her dad and his teachings, but they are marred by the anxiety of wondering if he is messing with her for his own designs. On the other hand, there is Alma’s sweet (maybe too sweet?) boyfriend, played adorably by Siddharth Dhananjay. But wait a minute: what’s with his not telling her about their break-up before her near-death experience, amnesia and unwitting reconciliation? Is he intolerably weak, to be dropped immediately, or heart-breakingly lovable and to be married at all costs? Is she really going insane (again)? The possibility of wisdom hovers on the horizon, now and then you hear words you wish you could write down when the dad is talking or they’re walking in outerspace… But Alma’s sharp tongue keeps you on edge; she’s just irrational enough to make you wonder about her.  (Or identify with her!)

In short, it’s a slice of Zen 101 alongside funny scenes from a super-smart girl’s life, coping with the messy real-time stuff we call today. It is complicated, surprising, and philosophically complex.

Both Devs and Undone pounce on the power of humans to persuade each other of stuff, as does Sneaky Pete, another good series we watched recently.  (Hmmm… seems like the zeitgeist is on to something) All these shows stay with you long after the lights are out and bring on lively conversation—c’est un tonique!


Time to walk, now, and another day of sewing!


And yesterday’s face mask production, fyi

Face masks made on May 23 2020


Undone image By Source, Fair use,

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day 51, dazed and dazzled

I realized I was dazed when I looked at the paper this morning and saw a photo of actor Peter Gerety. My first thought was not, “Oh that’s interesting, he is in a new movie called Working Man.” No! My instinct was relief!  I thought: “Oh good, I’m glad Grandpa is ok!”

[We’ve been watching Sneaky Pete these evenings, and last night’s episode captured Peter Gerety’s character, “Grandpa,” in the midst of a murder attempt gone bad. Made a zillion times funnier/sadder by the fact that he took out a hit on … himself.]

What does that tell you about the line between fiction and reality in our pandemic?! It’s fuzzy…like a lot of other stuff these days (our bathtub for one).

Dazzled, because the world where I live is so pretty! The mountains are out today, for sure—what you’re looking at are the Cascades, to the North behind the Space Needle and to the East above the stadium and Port of Seattle terminals. Enjoy the views! (and sorry about the terrible weather you are getting in the Midwest and East! ☹ )


Well, back to work now. Those masks are not going to sew themselves!

Fyi: yesterday’s face mask production:

Face masks produced on May 8 2020