Do You Have Netflix? / Chris Kornman

Merry & a Butterfly - photo by Kathy Kornman
Editor’s note: This conversation has been transcribed from memory, and is arranged and condensed for clarity.

I speak with my parents over the phone once every week or two. Easter Sunday, 2020, was no exception. In a normal year, I’d have expected them to attend their house of worship, but they are responsible humans who understand the implications of a pandemic, and prudently stayed home.

Kathy: Hi Chris, sorry the phone upstairs died and I don’t make it downstairs as fast as I used to. Happy Easter!

Chris: Happy Easter. Is this an ok time to call?

Brent: Yep. Perfect time.

K: How was your week?

C: About the same. Colleen just finished up an improv show on Zoom, she’s talking with her parents now, too.

K: That’s great! How are those going?

C: Good. She usually has a ton of folks watching live and gets four or five actors to play. There’s always some technical difficulties -- they were going to live stream on Youtube but Zoom wasn’t integrating for some reason so they switched to Facebook. What have you all been up to?

K: Staying busy in the garden. Merry [their rescue beagle] has been chasing butterflies. She tried to climb a tree to get one. She is pretty good at tracking their erratic flight. I’m perfectly content though.

B: I’ve been working a lot actually. My team is more productive than usual working from home, but I’m struggling to keep up, I think because I’m trying to make sure the projects are all lined up in advance of their work. Putting in around 10 hours a day.

C: That’s a lot.

B: Yeah.

C: Are you all doing anything creative to stay busy?

B: Projects around the house.

K: I’ve been keeping an eye on the bluebirds. It’s funny, I ran out of mealy worms to feed them and every time I’d go outside the mother would come flying over waiting for me to put them in the feeder. I called up the local bird store and they were accepting curbside orders, so I was able to get some more food for them.

B: The chicks are probably going to fledge any day now.

C: Yeah, it’s nice to be able to go outside. Weather’s sunny today, we got out for a walk to check on the theater. Saw Alex and his dog. We’ve been trying to get out for a jog most days, but kind of avoiding the lake on the weekends, it gets kinda crowded.

K: Been reading anything interesting?

C: Not really, to be honest. I have a book on the shelf I need to get to for work. What about you?

K: It’s actually been kinda slow for us, too. I usually read outloud in the car when Dad’s driving, and we’ve been doing a lot less of that. We’ve got a mystery book a guest left us as a gift and a book on lament by Michael Card.

B: It’s interesting, the mystery takes place in Africa and it's these three women. I think it’s a series, I can’t remember which country.

K: The stories aren’t about murder or anything that serious, smaller crimes.

B: And it’s less of a detective book, more about the culture surrounding the circumstances. Interesting, but we probably won’t pursue the other books in the series when we’re done.

C: What about movies, seen any good ones?

B: Well, so we signed up for the free month trial of Netflix. Do you use that one?

C: Yeah, yeah. We have Netflix.

B: I’m so disappointed. I thought they had everything, but we spent all night searching for this movie and they didn’t have it, thinking of another movie and they don’t have it. They hardly have anything.

C: Yeah, I think it’s less like an archive than it used to be years ago. More competition, and they rotate stuff in and out, and have a lot of original content. It’s a lot of series, too.

B: We’re probably not going to renew at the end of the month. Is there a streaming service you like?

C: I guess it depends what you’re in the mood for. We have HBO…

B: They’re streaming?

C: Yeah, yeah, HBO Now. All the places are streaming, CBS, ABC, Disney. Disney’s got all the Star Wars and Pixar and Nat Geo I think is under their umbrella…

B: I think you’re right.

C: We signed up for that to watch the Mandalorian and then cancelled it.

B: How was that?

C: Good. It’s like a western, not a lot of dialogue, pretty different than the movies, but good. Anyway, we like the series on HBO, but they have a decent movie selection. But it rotates in and out too. I heard — we were Zooming with some friends from this writing group and the teachers were saying they have access to the service that has the Criterion Collection through they’re school but I can’t remember what the service was called. That might be more your speed.

B: Criterion Collection.

C: Yeah. I don’t remember. Anyway, we’ve been cooking a bit. I put some garbonzos in the slow cooker on Saturday morning and I hadn’t really worked with those before. They were ready and I was kinda paralyzed, didn’t know what to do, but fortunately Colleen came to the rescue and made a salad with them. I might try and roast them and get them crispy...

K: Oh, like a snack.

B: That sounds good.

C: Yeah, put some chili powder and salt on them. What about you all, any good cooking happening?

K: Besides the usual — we’ve been grilling a bit, the weather’s been good — I tried a roasted chicken recipe, the herbs were tasty but the chicken got so rubbery, I don’t know what I did to it. Oh well.

C: Oh well. Been making more sauces, too. Couple new ones fermenting, oh and the pickles in the fridge finally started slow fermenting, got carbonated. They’re super fizzy, it’s fun. I threw some carrots in with them today. We got a lot of carrots in the CSA box.

B: Oh I forgot you were doing that. Did you have to go to the grocery store this weekend?

C: No, we stocked up, and with the CSA delivery we’ve been alright. Well supplied.

K: About the same for us. Trying to avoid going out as much as possible.
B: Yeah, my allergies have been awful. I figure if I were to get COVID now, well, it wouldn’t be very good let’s just say that.

C: Yeah take care of yourself, stay safe. Thanks for the extra toilet paper, by the way. The puzzle pieces finally came yesterday.

K: Oh good. I couldn’t believe it. We packed the boxes up and USPS said it was going to be like $50 for shipping. We checked FedEx and they were a little better but it just seemed so expensive, I guess because the box size was irregular. Anyway, we figured, what if we try sending it in two smaller packages, and I was sure the regular size one with the pieces in it would arrive first. Anyway, Colleen must think we’re nuts. I mean, you probably do too but you got to live with us and get used to it first.

C: It’s no big deal, we’re happy to have them. We put the whale one together the other night.

K: Gil [the cat] didn’t try to eat the pieces?

C: No, he knocked one or two off the table and picked one up in his mouth. But he won’t eat them, that’s not really his style. Mostly just the impish disruption, that’s more his speed.


K: Well thanks for taking the time to call.

B: Yeah, thanks Chris. Talk to you soon. Give our love to Colleen.

C: Thanks, love you both. Take care, hope you feel better, Dad.

K: Love you, too. Bye!