Friday, September 29, 2006

Still no photo essay. But it's coming, I promise. There are too many good stories from this summer--I have to get them down (for posterity!) before they get lost among the random bits of flotsam and jetsam floating around in my dome.

Watched Domino the other night. I'm still twitching. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new archetype of the commercial as movie, with the flashing images and dramatic volume swings. Wait, "swings" is the wrong word. Swinging denotes a graceful path from one extreme to another. There are many words that can be uttered about Domino, but graceful certainly isn't one of them. Dramatic volume jumps: quiet, LOUD, quiet, LOUD, quiet, LOUD. LOUD. LOUD. LOUD.

I'm pretty sure it was about a pretty girl who became a bounty hunter. And I'm relatively certain that we got to see Keira Knightley topless, but it might have been a car accident caused by a goat in a blender that dropped out of a 747 flying six inches off the ground. One or the other.

Oh, how far Tony Scott has come since the days of Maverick and Goose, Cole Trickle and Robert Duvall, Denzel and Gene. We saw it coming. How could you miss it (unless you didn't see it, and most of you didn't), watching the promisingly frenetic Man on Fire? In Man on Fire Scott's new dementia worked, or at least it worked as much as the plot would let it. The girl should have stayed dead--it was a much better movie when the man was actually figuratively on fire.

But with Domino it looks like the dementia is just Tony's way of standing out next to big brother Ridley, he who has made many good and some very good (and one very great) films. Tony struggles by comparison, but then he toils under a Colosseum-sized shadow.

Get it? Colosseum-sized? Like the Colosseum in Rome? Where Gladiators played? You can't get that kind of wit just anywhere, people. And it's free! Now check this segue:

Speaking of disappointing Scott brothers movies. We, by which I mean my family, have Kingdom of Heaven saved on our DVR, where it's been hiding for months now.

I was thinking about the plans for the weekend. The wife and I can't do much because our children ruin everything. (I think it's best for kids to grow up in an environment of seething bitterness born of resentment for what could have been if they hadn't been born.) Unless we go through the whole rigmarole of a babysitter, the movie theater is out, late dinners do not work, and we can't even think of going to evening events like comedy shows or theater. Even with babysitters we can't go tie one on like the old days. Stupid kids, ruining all those hangovers with their unbearable cuteness, undying love, and boundless joy.

It used to be that renting a movie was a nice substitute for a night on the town. You could pop some popcorn, get some candy, and snuggle up on the couch to watch a movie. You could pretend it was an event. Then came DVRs and Netflix. Now we get movies all the time, watch them any evening we please, pause them and pick them up later. It's not an event anymore. Stupid modern conveniences making our lives so convenient.

By the way, I know Kingdom of Heaven is disappointing because I saw it in the theater with my friend Robert--actually, it was at the Athena in uptown Athens, Ohio. We went to the eternal Tony's afterwards to drink beer.

Side note. This may be the first time in my life that I actually remember where and with whom I saw a movie. I have a serious mental block in this matter: on several occasions in high school I remember telling my friend Chad about some movie I had just seen, only to have Chad remind me that he drove me to the theater and sat next to me in the movie I was describing. However, I could guess that we went to Bowles Crossing to see said movie, because that was probably our favorite theater in those days.

Which reminds me of the time that I went to a movie with my friends Ryan and Brandon at Bowles Crossing--no idea of the movie--the summer before our senior year. It just so happened that the guy who was the quarterback of our biggest rivals in football (Douglas County High School, the Purple Pansies) was at the theater that night. After the movie, Ryan goes to the bathroom, and who is in the can but this quarterback (who also played linebacker, lest you get the wrong image). Ryan steps up to the only open urinal, which happens to be next to the guy, whose name was Reed something or other. So they are there handling their business, and all of a sudden Reed leans forward, and with the arm nearest Ryan, kind of punches the wall with the side of his fist, leaves his fist and forearm against the wall, and flexes his biceps. Ryan was laughing so hard when he came out of the bathroom that I thought we were going to have to call an ambulance. Classic.

(We beat Douglas County that year to get a share of the conference championship and make a trip to the state playoffs. We stopped them on a two-point conversion that would have tied the game with time running out. Two of the other teams in our conference were at the game and cheering us on. Our crowd came out of the stands and rushed the field. Top ten moment in my life.)

Side note to the side note. My friend Chad had this amazing habit of taking jobs--waiter at a restaurant, cook at a fast food joint, stocker at a grocery store, etc.--and being the best employee the place had ever had. For about six months. I'm not kidding, he was awesome--he would show up early, leave late, work like a dog until his bosses were trying to make him into an assistant manager. Then he would drop off. He'd start calling in sick or, better yet, he would claim his fresh new set grandparents were dying one by one so he could miss work. Oftentimes, he would give massive amounts of freebies to his friends--not me, never me, I'd never accept something like that, never--and start borrowing things himself. By about six months, he get fired, usually with some threat about never returning or the police would be involved.

Last summer I heard that Chad had come out of the closet. My friends and me were thinking about sending a warning out to the gay community, letting them know that that for about six months Chad was going to be the greatest gay man ever. After that, he would stop showing up, start stealing things, and have to be fired. Which is pretty funny, if you think about it.

Second side note to the side note. I dated a girl in high school who had gone to Platte Canyon. The last time I went to Colorado, I had breakfast with my Dad at a restaurant in Bailey, which is on the way to my parents' house.

What made me think of that right now is that you can just about throw a rock from Bowles Crossing and hit Columbine High School. We played Columbine in football my senior year (we lost). I played with guys from Columbine in college. April 20, 1999 was my soon-to-be wife's twenty-first birthday. Not a good day in Colorado to have a 21st birthday, but we went ahead with the festivities. Around midnight, my friend Ryan (same one from high school), my soon-to-be wife, and me were at the Purple Pig, having a few cocktails. The phone rang at the bar. We were friends with the bar's owners, and they gave the phone to Ryan. His soon-to-be step sister never came out of the high school.

Her name was Rachel Scott. Look her up. A terrible loss, but there's some hope there, and hopefully there will be some hope to come out of Platte Canyon, too.

Have a nice weekend. As for me, since watching a movie is out, I guess we'll grab some neighbors and play Mexican train. Anyone know what kind of game that is? You betcha.

(See how it all ties together?)


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