It's Memorial Day. While we are encouraged to remember the soldiers whose lives were sacrificed for our own, I think it is also appropriate to remember all the others who did not serve in an official capacity but quietly, with powerful effect.
Today I am thinking about a friend who died suddenly, only a week after learning she had cancer. She was clever, straightforward and honest about life. She was my first good friend old enough to be my mother. She taught me about life in between selling sandwiches in her cozy bakery. We discussed astrology, her children, my uncertainty about a path during my college years. She laughed at me, at herself, at the world. She quit smoking cigarettes and began exercising during our friendship. She loved her golden retriever and took her for long walks. She loved her husband but complained mercilessly about his lack of direction. She loved her children who, she observed, were too smart for their own good.
She and I lost touch when I graduated and moved away. Then, a few years later, we began emailing each other with updates. She told me she escaped from the cold, damp days of Washington and returned to California. She complained about real estate forcing her to live in Sacramento. Then she became a realtor, a very successful one. It was 2005, she was happy and then, she was gone.
Thank you Pat, for your life. I remember you as a teacher and a friend. You are in my thoughts as the warm bread comes out of the oven, enveloping me in a sense of comfort.
Monday, May 29
Sunday, May 28
If you have seen the previews for the new Jared Hess movie(aka Napolean Dynamite director) you know that is stars Jack Black as a priest-in-training turned masked wrestler. But do you know about Lucha Libre? That is the mexican tradition of masked wrestlers enjoyed for decades by old and young alike. It is a tradition not to be mocked. The masks are integral to sport. To be unmasked is to be defamed, stripped of your power. The hipsters have beat the rush in celebrating Lucha Libre. Check out this website for a little insight. frompartsunknown.net I don't know about the movie but, the combination of a good mask, costume and some wrestling sounds...intriguing.
Friday, May 26
Saturday, May 20
The word on the street is that the Ron Howard adaptation of Dan Brown's novel is a waste of time. Surprised? Not really. What Ron Howard movie do you remember really liking? He often goes overboard on sentimentality while giving characters the depth of cardboard. A Beautiful Mind, Cinderella Man, even if they are successful at jerking a couple of tears I always feel a twinge of viewer's remorse as I leave the theater.
My early prediction for the DaVinci Code is that it would fail miserably. That was back in '05 when I saw the first trailer for the film. I couldn't help but notice that Tom Hank's hair detracts from the already difficult task of taking him seriously. Who can believe that Audrey Tatou, an adorable frenchy, would not provide a quick hairstyle upgrade. Beyond this...there's the story itself. the Louvre and Audrey Tatou, the only two reasons to see this movie
I remember the hype. I waited months before borrowing the book from one of the legion of fans raving about it. I was intrigued by some people's impulse to follow up on the Mary mystery. The fans purchased reader's guides and books explaining the symbology introduced in The Code. Lunch breaks were spent explaining the importance of personal epiphanies facilitated by the book. Their fervor seemed akin to the deadhead's dedication to Jerry. I remember Autzen Stadium
Unfortunately, I believed their hype and brought the book along on a holiday with friends. Even my atrophized critical thinking skills recognized the Code's pop literature recipe, closer to trashy television writing than revelatory fiction. Fortunately, I finished reading it by my second day at the beach and could pack it away beneath my never worn sarong.
It makes perfect sense that the Da Vinci code should be adapted for the big screen. But I don't think I'll fork over the ten bucks to see it. No, I may be slow but I have learned my lesson.
Friday, May 19
Tuesday, May 16
For the second consecutive year our porch has been chosen for a robin's nest. Last year, delighted by this close encounter with nature, I began a ritual of bird watching. I peered into the nest to see the small eggs and observed the bird's dilligence in sitting around waiting. This went on for a couple of weeks until all my wonder turned to horror when I arrived home to find bits and pieces of the nest and eggs on the ground below. I was distraught by the tragic end but Mas stoicly pointed out that it's part of the life cycle. Fast forward one year, the bird, the nest, the eggs. All I can do is hope that my little buddies make it out successfully.
Saturday, May 13
So, Thursday we find out that our friendly government (National Security Agency) has been purchasing our telephone records for the past five years. While I am all about a worthy stakeout, I find myself aghast (again) at the infringement on our personal liberties. I am also infuriated that the crooked communications businesses that bring us nonsensical cell phone plans make extra dough selling off our info without our knowledge. But, amid my fury I learn that there is a hold out. Qwest refused the NSA's request. I am proud of my phone company. All of a sudden I am awash in regionalistic pride. It must be something in the water that provides our west coast superiority-I buy a Starbucks giant latte celebrating our NW stubborn independence and all that. A round on me in my fervor
Then, the plot thickens: Joseph Nacchio (former CEO of quest who refused to sell) is currently facing federal charges of insider trading stemming from a financial scandal at Qwest. It may just be coincidence, but USA Today's scoop on the NSA program, which was sourced to "people with direct knowledge of the arrangement," seems quite helpful to Nacchio's defense as he prepares for trial in Colorado.