Saturday, January 30, 2010


We went to the Super Target in Hiram today. In the rain. And cold. In the middle of the afternoon on Saturday. I'm still trying to figure out what we were thinking. Anyway, we were looking at toys with the kids and we decided to let them get something cheap. Holli got a Barbie outfit. Anybody notice how slutty those outfits look now? Really, her entire collection looks like a whorehouse lineup.

George is into trains, sorry Choo Choos, so He got a train from the Thomas line. Ash got a HotWheels car. A Ford GT40 to be exact. Very cool. Now, Ash is 5 years old and right at 4 feet tall. The car display is at its' lowest 4 & a half feet from the floor. Therefore, Ash had a hard time seeing the cars in detail. He did see a little thing that looked like a cross between a popcorn popper and a Smart Car. I didn't like it and looked for something different. So, I picked out the GT40 and he liked it. Gravy.

This got me thinking. Ash gets a bunch of cars for gifts at Christmas and for his birthday, just as I did. That means he gets cars that I pick out. I try to pick ones he would like, but ultimately , it comes down to what I like. Did my Dad do the same thing?

I would ask him if he were still with us. I suppose I can ask my Mom, but I like to think that he did it the same. He was a little bit of a gearhead. He loved cars and was pretty good with a wrench. I had some cool cars as a kid and Ash has a lot of the same ones I played with. Going with the belief that Dad chose based on his preference, than he did a good job.

The thing is that I think I'm a pretty good father. I'm not even close to the man my Dad was. I'm not feeling bad for myself or fishing for compliments. It's the truth. He was probably the nicest person I've ever met. Ash is taking after him nicely. He was a great father. So, I like thinking he and I have some things in common as far as parenting goes. No matter how small it seems, picking out toy cars for our sons the same way means a lot to me. I aspire to be more like him. If more men were, society would definitely be better.

Who knows? Maybe my Mom did the choosing.

By the way, has anybody seen the new e-trade baby? It's not the kids fault, but he doesn't work in that commercial. They just chose wrong. Poor kid.

"Please call. Please be a part of my life!" Miss Li

Friday, July 17, 2009

Simple Men

Ned - "I want adventure. I want Romance."

Bill - "Ned, there's no such thing as adventure, there's no such thing as romance. There's only trouble and desire."

Ned - "Trouble and desire?"

Bill - "That's right. And the funny thing is when you desire something, you immediately get in trouble. When you're in trouble, you don't desire anything at all.

Ned - "I see."

Bill - "It's impossible"

Ned - "It's ironic"

Bill - "It's a fucking tragedy is what it is Ned."
Simple Men, 1992, Hal Hartley-Dir.

I love Hal Hartley movies. Every one that I've seen. There are a few I haven't caught, yet. But Simple Men holds a special place in my heart because it's the first one I saw. I was browsing the selection at Popcorn Video in Newport, Tennessee one evening. Nothing looked good and then I saw the box for it. Yes, it was a tape. This was 1993. DVD was still a ways away.

I'm still surprised they had this flick. It was Newport after all. Not exactly a hotbed for indie enthusiasm. I had been a movie junkie for years. I even had a subscription to Premiere magazine back in '89. But, I hadn't heard of Hal Hartley. So, I watched it and was enthralled. Then Amateur opened at the Terrace Theater in Knoxville and I raced to see it. Enthralled once again. Being before the internet age, I had to go to the book store and look up any info about Hartley I could find. I got a list of his movies to date and started looking for them in video stores.

Basically, I was hooked. Simple Men introduced me to the Hartley "style" of movie making. Kind of like a play. A little theater of the absurd. Quirky, halted dialog. And amazing musical arrangements done by Hartley himself. I could listen to the opening scores from most of his movies all day long. The best is from Amateur. Haunting and beautiful. Classic.

Probably his best, most complete film is Fay Grim. It's the sequel to Henry Fool. But, Simple Men is still my favorite. It's all about love with a little bit of domestic terrorism thrown in.

Why am I writing about this? Don't know. I love the exchange between Ned and Bill and was thinking about it. So I got on Netflix and watched that part to make sure I got it right. I thought I would bore you with it.

That's the point, right? Write down what's on your mind. Well, I don't want to think about my job situation and lack of money. I don't give a shit about politics and I don't watch the news. Call me ignorant, but I'm depressed enough without having to see the rest of the horrors in the world. So, lately my mind has been a little bit Mitty, a little bit string theory and a little bit trouble 'n desire.

I have trouble putting my thoughts down on "paper". It looks like a child's writing to me. Add to that the fact that someone else may (and I stress, may) read this and I get very self conscious. This is one of the reasons that I'm totally in awe of Paula and Sue. They're writing styles are very different, but equally amazing.

Paula's writing is so personal. Heart wrenching and hilarious. Caustic and hopeful. All at the same time. She's like a whirlwind.

Sue's is straight from the heart, too. But it reads like a conversation. Almost as if someone wrote down exactly what she was telling them. Well thought out and complete. She gets her point across and I understand exactly what she's saying. And there isn't a lot of extra bullshit. I find that so hard to do. Get my point across, writing or speaking, without going on and on.

I constantly check to see if they have posted anything new. I'm addicted to both.

"Be good to her and she'll be good to you." - Bound Security Guard, Simple Men, 1992

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Incomplete Thoughts

"And when you hurt someone so much that still they die loving you."-Deep Water, Seal, 1991.
I love that line.

So I was laying in bed the other night thinking before sleep. It takes me forever to get to sleep. My mind races on and on so I can't mentally relax. I was thinking about the beginning and end of things. By things I mean everything. All. The universe. It doesn't matter if you believe God created the world in 6 days or that the Big Bang is responsible for the universe. It doesn't matter. Really. Because neither religion or science has an answer to what came before.

Think about it. God whipped everything up, but where did God come from? When?
The Big Bang popped. Great. What was the catalyst.
There had to be something before. I see why people have gone mad from thinking. It's too much to comprehend.
In "The Gunslinger", Stephen King say the Roland saw white light and then a blade of grass.
Roland says, "And I was tiny. Infinitesimal."

I get sick to my stomach when I focus on it. What if the universe is just a blade of grass in some being's yard waiting to be cut?

I know others have thought and spoken about this very subject far more eloquently and intelligently than me. That's OK. It still keeps me up at night. Human nature dictates that we search and wonder. We want to know. Maybe not everyone, but most people are curious. I want to know.

String theory.

I'm a big believer that if the human mind can come up with, then it has occurred somewhere. Magic, dragons, elves, houses that talk, giants...anything.
Maybe not here on this earth, in this universe. But in another? Absolutely.
Why not? Because you haven't seen a wizard on a mountain top wielding his magic to shape the cosmos? So. We have no real, honest to goodness proof of God, either. Yet millions of people believe in an all powerful being we call God. Or whatever your religion or language calls him, her, it. Why?

Faith. We have faith in God. But something tangible that we can hold in our hands? No. And please don't throw the bible in my face. I am a Christian. God fearing. I have faith. But the bible has been mangled by MEN for over a thousand years. Each with his own agenda in God's name.
The bible is definitely useful as rule book or guide book. You know. Live well. Treat others as you would be treated. Love God.
But, so many of the rules are written by men to control the people in their time. They aren't about the well being of all. Read up on it. Its there.

Paula, Sue & I joke about string theory all the time. But I believe its real. There is a "ME" in another dimension or universe who graduated from college and learned to levitate. In another, I die from a drug overdose. Why not?

Maybe I'm totally fucking wrong. Maybe I'll die and God will say that fleas were indeed worth dealing with and there is only one universe, dimension.
Maybe I'll die and find out there is no God. But I don't think so. I told you, I have faith. I believe.

So, where do I go from here? Back to trying to get to sleep the other night. I eventually wore my brain out and fell asleep. But I woke up with the thoughts still in my head. Usually, I live a very Walter Mitty life. Walking around, my mind flying off on numerous tangents. Thinking about saving the world. Destroying that asshole behind me, who refuses to stop tailgating me, with telekinesis. I don't dream very often, at least I can't remember what I dream when I do. And I don't tend to retain my thoughts from just before sleep, so its a little surprising that this is still running around my head. Walter Mitty has been put in the background. I suppose I'll have more to say on this later.

"All at once the ghosts come back, reeling in you now. Oh, tell me what if they came down crashing. It used to be, that you and me play for all the loneliness that nobody"-41, Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds, 2007.
I love this one, too.