Saturday, August 27, 2016

My Father

     I'm not going to go into this with some kind of nolanesque or shyamalanian twist- my Father is alive, just not well at the moment. He took a bad fall, broke four ribs, punctured his lung slightly. He is in a daunting amount of pain, and in ICU.

     For that reason foremost, I want things around me that remind me of him, to keep him close to me when I am not able to be at the hospital.

    Funny thing- Tango knows hospital. I told him we were going to the hospital, and his expression got really dark. "you are going to be going for days again" kind of dark, so I hastened to reassure him.

     My dad is 90(or will be in a month) and diabetic, has had and gone into remission from lung cancer. But I only remember him sick twice. My High school graduation(he had a bleeding ulcer that had to be operated on) and now. Don't get me wrong- he is not unbreakable- just strong and tough. Steady. Took care of his family- Still does.

     I went over to the parents house on Sunday, and knew something was awry- the car was covered, meaning no church for them, and lights were on that aren't usually left on. no one knew anything until my mom called me in the afternoon.

     It shakes you, to have a pillar knocked over, and see this strong man in a hospital bed.

     So I have Hailstorm, that he picked out for me for Christmas a few years back. The year he wanted all of his boys to have toys to play with.

     I have Hubcap, that I bought him his own of.

     And I am reading my favorite book of the ones he loaned me, that I later bought my own copy of.

     And I am doing my job, and taking care of my family, like he taught. My fathers 90th birthday is next month- there is said to be barbecue and cake in the offing. More on that next month.

     Update- I started this on Tuesday, and since then my father was moved from ICU to a regular room, and then to a rehab center for physical therapy and evaluation. He tends to heal pretty fast. Now he is mostly bored and disgusted at having to call the nurses when he wants to get up. Also, apparently telling his Nurse that you think a "Floor patient" is what happens when a patient falls out of bed is grounds for being told I tell "Dad jokes"

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Pop Culture League Challenge: Olympic Medal Winner

If _____ was an Olympic sport, I’d have a gold medal around my neck.

     This is a tricky one. What am I better at than anyone else? What is that one talent that there oughtta be an Olympic event for? 

     Enter the Media Pentathalon:
  • Genre-Bingeing
  • Flawed Gem Polishing
  • Verbal trailering
  • Media finding
  • Connection-hunting
     This is an event tailor made for me, and those who come after me-Come forth all ye Cheetos-dusted Olympians and try yourselves against the king of media events!

Anyone can go season by season- the truly gifted can binge a genre- or even just go movie to movie based on an actor, or even a gut feeling. If it starts out August, and you look up from the screen and find it's October, you may have what it takes. 

Flawed gem Polishing:
Take a movie that nearly everyone hates, and find it's silver lining. Find the facets, and find the shine. I have been accused on more than one occasion of having a low threshhold of entertianment. It is at once my gift, my curse, and my responsibility. I liked Dawn of Justice. I liked John Carter. I Liked Battleship and Gods of Egypt...

Verbal Trailering:
Talk to people, enchant them with the sound of your enthusiasm. Get them to see the movie, with a measure of your enthusiasm. No spoilers please, points will be deducted. 

Media Finding: 
Whether you buy a series of action figures or just that one odd bit of memorabilia that symbolizes the movie or show to you, that item to have and hold is your talisman, your tactile representation of that work of fiction-display it proudly

Connection Hunting:
Possibly the most grueling challenge of the five, to connect the movie you just saw to other things you have seen- examples are : the Lorax and Wall-E; Star Wars original trilogy with Wanted; Transformers and Spider-man

Come Join me on the Podium, with your Bronze and Silver, or give me a good argument for not getting the gold...

Other Olympic Champions

Sunday, August 21, 2016


     So I saw the movie The Lorax yesterday- I realize this is a little late to be a legitimate review so it isn't.

     I found it to be thoroughly enjoyable, hitting all the right feels, and all the right funnies. the message is as poignant as the message of the original book, although I think very few today would doubt the value of trees. in 1972 when the original book was published we were far less aware of our impact on the environment, and we thought that the Earth would just keep taking care of us forever. We know a little different now.

     The movie expands the books story, giving depth and flesh to it's somewhat one-dimensional characters. The voice casting is ecellent, and it is well acted, well animated. the forest creatures sounded like and behaved somewhat like "minions", and it was by intention, but that was a little jarring.

     The ride of the protagonist, Ted, through the wasted landscape to meet the Once-ler for the first time is spooky and disturbing. I had Sid sitting with me, and he got really worried watching it, calling for Mom. His journey actually echoes the Hero's journey, and in the end he is transformed from a boy trying to impress a girl to a man who willingly faces down the forces that control his city for his own beliefs.

     The books somewhat ambiguous ending becomes a a tale of redemption and forgiveness. with the Once-ler breaking his isolation, walking in the sun and caring for young trees. In the end, he and the Lorax are reconciled, and the animals return.

     The ending reminds me somewhat of Wall-E, and they share many a common theme.

     My rating, I would say see this one. I picked it up for $5 in the Wal-mart cheap DVD bin, and I would say it was an excellent purchase.

And if you don't understand the title of this post... Go see it, or read the book.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Patchwork Quilt

This started off to be a musing about some music, ended up being some thoughts about how we wind up carrying pieces of other people with us for life.

     We collide against other people, like cars in traffic, and leave tastes and behaviors like traded paint. My first serious girlfriend, who became my first wife left me with a love of Rush, a daughter, and some reinforced and fortified insecurities. Sam imbued upon me the love of birds, odd videos, and a better understanding of myself, good, bad and ugly.

     What brought this up was that I found myself listening to Emerson, Lake and Palmer's Tarkus, followed by Triumvirat, Spartacus. The same person (who I decline to identify here) introduced me to both of those, and in fact guided me to the Who, comic books, and a lot of my other lifelong loves.

     I'm not really close with that person any more, we are both self absorbed in incompatible ways, but the pieces he left behind on me, like a paintscrape on my soul, I wouldn't trade for all the buffing Maaco could do. For the pieces left behind, thanks.

     Thanks for every little collision, fellow travelers, every one of you. Good dents and bad, you helped to form my character.