Sunday, May 18, 2014

Your Own Private 9/11

I have noticed a trend in modern blockbusters that I find rather disturbing. I just got back from watching the movie Godzilla and realized that quite a few movies these days show tons of multi-skyscraper destruction. Examples: Godzilla, Man of Steel, Pacific Rim, The Avengers, Iron Man 3, Star Trek: Into Darkness, Star Trek, etc. It could be that those are the only movies I tend to watch. (It is interesting that the majority of these scenes take place in San Francisco (Star Trek 1 and 2, Pacific Rim, Godzilla)). But I couldn't help wondering why the sudden interest in building removal. Answer? Because they can. Technology has advanced to the point that such feats of titanic destruction seem plausible and real. But that doesn't really answer the question. Perhaps we are inured to it, post 9/11? Or is it that 9/11 gave the analog data needed to simulate realistically the act of a falling skyscraper? Is it no surprise that Star Trek: Into Darkness had an afterword dedicating the film to the victims of 9/11. What disturbs me is most is this: What filmmaker believes that we want to relive that moment over and over again by creating images that is immediately going to invoke such memories? Or maybe I am more affected by 9/11 than I care to admit. When United 93 came out in 2005, people found it difficult to see it. "Too Soon" they said. It just seems to me that it is still 'Too Soon'. I am already getting inured to mass destruction, and I take it our American audience is as well. Already Hollywood is trying to find a way to raise the bar. What's next?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Musing at Huntington Beach

So I am on the beach in SoCal watching the sun set with a Dos Equis in my hand. Watching sunbathers bathe and swimmers swim. And here of all places I feel the rent in the fabric of my soul, if I have one. I have come to the conclusion that I may be wrong about some things. Something like Morpeus says in the movie, The Matrix, "like a splinter in your mind." That something is not quite right. Something doesn't make total sense. What is it? A tugging between the heart and the mind. A knowledge of meaninglessness but the inability to believe it. Or the not wanting to believe it. I love life. I love life more in my 40's than I ever have in my 30's or 20's. Why is this? Is it because I have a stable career for once? Perhaps. Is it because I am truly free to do as I wish? Not really, because it has always been so. Is it the fact that I have and appreciate my friends and family more than ever now. Could be. Like this blog, I feel the need to write without really writing anything that could be construed as meaningful. Or logical. What is the sun set saying to me, I wonder? The ocean surf? The gulls just a few feet above my head? The sandcastles and the orbiting children? Life just is? For now I will accept that conclusion for I do not have the will to seek another. I will simply sip my beer and stare lazily at the light which will inevitably snuff itself out in the west awaiting the cool embrace of an August darkness.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Kentucky Blues - Day Six

I woke up in a semi-refreshed state. I wandered around, ate some oatmeal with sugar and bananas. Dad asked me who makes the best oatmeal in the family, and I answered "You do, Dad!" which pleased him immensely. Sadie and Kayden woke up and we played around for a while. Kayden and I and Poppy went with us to Aldi's and shopped for milk and stuff. Then we went home to drop Kayden off and Dad and I went to Dixie Bowl and tried to perfect my approach. Dad was giving me pointers on what do and not to do in order to spin my ball. We played three games and during the last game I did pretty good, even by Dad's standards. Mind you, during all this, Pat is watching little Benjamin. Then we came back to eat lunch. Lisa came by to pick up Benjamin and we talked a bit about things to do in Louisville. She commented on a painting exercise that roves about Louisville (or perhaps the eastern half of the country) and for a nominal fee and a glass of wine, an instructor teaches you how and what to paint. I thought that was a cool idea, but the schedule didn't mesh. We looked at the planetaria in the area and their schedules didn't match either. So, we planned for Friday to go to the Science Center in Louisville and eat sushi at Osuchi's or Wild Ginger. At least, that's the plan. As is common for this family, plans change on a moment's notice. A fact I am trying very hard to get used to. I stayed up late with the kids and watched some programs on TV with them. Then Kayden and I looked up Bane and Green Lantern and Batman on the internet and talked about their adventures for awhile. We then went to bed. It was kick-back day - which was nice for a change. See y'all tomorrow.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Kentucky Blues - Day Five

I awoke in pain. The drinking of the previous evening left me with a slight hangover in the form of a mild headache. I bore it as well as I could before I finally relented and took a couple of ibuprofen. We lingered and talked for a while - chillin' - and then Dad and I took off for the Corvette Assembly Plant in Bowling Green, KY. We didn't have time to go through their museum, but the one hour tour through the plant was quite interesting. We saw the Z06 and ZR1 being assembled. We found out that the least wanted color of Corvette was Arctic White, the most requested as Torch Red, and the color that they discontinued as of next year is Inferno Orange. Bowling Green was an hour and a half away (110 miles) from Valley Station (where Poppy and Meemaw live). Then we made another trip to Kart Kountry, this time with Emily and her new boyfriend Matt. We made one round on the go-cart track (I was not too impressed even with a better cart), then we did 18 holes on the mini golf course. I made another hole in one on Hole #8 as did Dad. But Dad made another hole in one on Hole #16. So I still lost. Though I did better this time, Dad still had me by 12 strokes. We then went back home and milled about a bit (this happens a lot with this family) and then went out to eat at Bonny and Clyde's Pizza Parlor at 9:30pm. I love this place. It was a former Shakey's that kept a lot of the original feel and taste of Shakey's. I ate about five slices and a couple chilled mugs of Michelob Amber Bock. We went home again and I taught Sadie and Kayden the game of Carcassonne and played until they got sleepy. I turned off the lights as I was the last one in bed and made sure the doors were locked and I turned in. See y'all tomorrow. P.S. There was a cornhole tournament going on down the road at Brewski's. When we passed it there was about six or seven games going on with a large crowd. When we came home from Bonny and Clyde's, only one was left... the crowds had thinned. I don't know if that was the finals or a couple dudes squeezin' one in at the last beams of daylight.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Kentucky Blues - Day Four

I woke up to a screaming baby. Not much happened for the front half of the day. Ate breakfast and talked to Poppy and Pat until Emily showed up. Then I talked to her for a while about life in general. We decided after a long while to go see a historical site that was quite close to home: The Farmsley-Moormen Landing off the Ohio River. This place was a booming center of commerce during the early days of Kentucky (1820-1870). The house was solidly built and had two stories. We learned a considerable amount about the 13 slaves he owned and what their duties were. Farmsley himself died of malaria at age 49 and left no will nor children. After a ten-year long court battle, the Moormens acquired it and kept it until 1983, when the Archeological Society took it over. A very nice tour guide, Renee, escorted us through the home and had a lot of historical information. I noticed she had a Germanic accent and her co-worker remarked that she was originally from Mannheim, Germany and married an American soldier during WW2 and came over to Kentucky during that time. Yes, she is an old woman, but very alert. After that, we came home and I was Grillin' and Chillin'! I cooked up seven steaks and some hamburgers (there were some complaints that was more because of timing and not so much my grilling competency). I drank a few Guinesses and a couple of terribly made Margaritas. Got a little tipsy. Ate some of that grilled zucchini and yellow squash and loved it. So Dad was right...again. Eric (my brother in law) made some excellent potato salad. I ate until I got full (what else does one do in KY). Poor Natalie tripped and fell again which kind of dampened the mood near the end. Talked for a bit with Trish until she left, then silence.... I went to bed listening to Andante Cantabile by Tchaikovsky. See ya'll tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Kentucky Bues - Day Three

I woke up in a daze. I ate some oat cereal then went with Dad to Meijer's and bought some food. Particularly some Moscato, margarita mix, and some yellow and zucchini squash. Now Dad swore to me that I would like squash (I can't stand the taste of it) if he grilled it. I never had it grilled, so I am open to the idea. After a few hours, we went with my sister Trisha and her family to Kart Kountry in Shepherdsville. It was freakin' hot! And it rained just a few minutes before we got there. Kentucky weather. Humid and hot. We took a lap around the 1.5 mile track with go-carts (avoid Black 21 - it's a gutless wonder. Guess which one I got?) and I came in last place. Then Dad and I played a game of miniature golf and he beat me despite my hole in one on the 10th hole by 8 strokes. The heat was nigh unbearable and we went to Taco Bell for a Fruitista. We then went home. We messed around for a while, then Emily came over and coughed all over us. We told her she had chronic bronchitis and should see a doctor, but she just took some Mucinex and waited to see what would happen. Turned out she got better after a day elapsed. Oh, I forgot to mention, Dad and I went to the Dixie Bowl and bowled three games. He taught me how to spin the ball and to perfect my game. Very valuable information. At 9:30pm we took off for Ernesto's for some margaritas. They were closed. So we wandered from Mexican restaurant to Mexican restaurant until we came to Teumbleweed. On no! We went in twenty minutes to closing. Another family of five were waiting ahead of us. We waited for another twenty minutes until we were seated then another twenty minutes until the manager asked if we were waited on. We said no. We didn't get out of there until 11:00pm. We were the last ones out. Btw, their margaritas are 99 cents for a reason. No drinky. Time for bed. See ya tomorrow.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Kentucky Blues - Day Two

Are they trying to kill me?? Go to Fisches Big Boy and EAT! I have some bacon, scrambled eggs, potato hot dogs (hash brown logs), and doughy biscuits. Dad goes for thirds and a plate of dessert. I made a deal with my tummy that if I went for seconds I would not eat for the remainder of the day. Deal. I exited the place the FATTEST MAN ALIVE! So I nursed my overfull tummy until 1:00pm when we were to go to the GE facility that my sister Lisa works at for an Open House. My neck was killing me due to the bad way I slept on the flight over here, so Pat produced a Homedics Therapist Select Wave Action Massager which was the size and weight of Thor's Hammer. However, after using it on my neck, I was almost completely relieved. The topic soon wandered to outdoor grilling (an artform in Kentucky) and in particular a form of grilling chicken called affectionately, "Beer Can Chicken". Perhaps you have heard of this perverted form of cooking chicken, I have not. Apparently, you stick a half-full beer can up a chicken's ass and grill it. Then after a while, you use tongs or cloth to extract said beer can from the chicken's cavity. People swear by this form of grilling and say that it is the moistest and tastiest chicken ever sampled. I for one will not eat chicken with a Budweiser up its ass. Sorry. We went with Lisa's family to GE and visited the production facility for the new line of refrigerators and water heaters. It was quite warm, perhaps in the low 90's. I grabbed a free water from a washtub and visited the Bubble Truck where children were forming soap bubbles with various and sundry instruments ranging from huge rubber slingshots to multi-holed paddles. We went to building 3 and noticed that all bathrooms are hazardous weather bunkers. I saw people going in there and wondered if a tornado was imminent. But Lisa pointed out to me the small, innocuous, blue sign that said "Men" and it all became quite clear. Inside, I saw plastic mold robots and injection machines. Everything that showed how they build appliances at GE. Above were big ass fans moving the stagnant air about. I mean it: Big Ass Fans. Check it out at We got home about 5:00pm. Ate around 6:30pm and I became fat...again. Ate some scrumptious banana pudding that Pat had made. Had a few glasses of Moscato and finished the bottle then went to Blackberry Wine from Huber's Winery. At 9:00pm Matt and Emily showed up and we played games and drank Margaritas and wine coolers. Then everyone went to bed and here I be. See y'all tomorrow.

Kentucky Blues - Day One

I don't know if I would call it the blues... I'm quite chipper, in fact! No work and I'm a thousand miles from home. Paradise! Weather is fine. High 90's and somewhat dry. Went to Texas Roadhouse (second time - first was in Tracy 3 weeks ago) and had a New York Strip (16 oz) smothered with cheese and fungi. Saw Eric crown himself king by colliding with a chandelier and having the paper ring fall on his neck. Three tables turned to witness the spectacle. Classic! I met Uncle Danny and my cousin Cindy. First time for both. Uncle Danny told me about his time in Madrid and Barcelona seven years ago. Cindy put words into action as she called ahead for reservations at Texas Roadhouse and ended a potential two hours of debate as to where we were to eat. Drank some Moscato... Ate some Key Lime Pie. Went to bed. Woke up with a slight headache and ready for Sunday.