Friday, October 02, 2015

The Friday Round-Up

So I went out to the garage, chased away the raccoons, threw off the tarp, jiggered with a few things under the hood and started up the old blog. Right now she’s running a little rough, but in time I hope to have this baby humming every Friday. We’ll see.


We all have our closet likes. I’m going to be brave and tell you one of mine: “Dancing with the Stars.” I know, sorry, that may have been hard to read. It began when Heather Mills entered the dance contest five or six years ago. I was curious because the ex-Mrs. Sir Paul has a prosthetic leg and I wondered how well she would do. As it turns out, she did pretty well, but what I didn’t expect was that DWTS would become my wife’s and my show for a long time.

Unfortunately, “Dancing with the Stars” (which really has never boasted of very many real stars) has officially sunk too low for even me to watch. They’ve fiddled with the format too much, the irascible judge Len Goodman, who gave DWTS a certain measure of credibility, has left, they replaced co-host Brooke Burke with Erin Andrews for no good reason, and this time around the only “stars” I can identify are Paula Deen and Gary Busey, both of whom are mainly famous for self-detonating their careers and are maybe the hardest-to-watch celebrities this side of TMZ. So, despite the appreciation for dance I gained from having watched the show, I’m out.


Watching Donald Trump is like swimming right after eating. You know you shouldn’t, but you do it anyway. In the latter case, chances are good you won’t cramp up and drown. In the former, chances are equally good that indulging in a morbid fascination won’t lead you to take him seriously and actually vote the guy into office. But why take the risk? 


Why is every adult film actor a “porn star”? How can you differentiate if they’re all stars?


We watched “Black Mass” last Sunday. A pretty good movie despite the bad Boston accents that regrettably reduced some characters into caricatures. Every actor in the film tried to affect a Boston accent. Someone should tell Hollywood that not everybody in Boston talks that way. I don’t, my kids don’t, the people I work with don’t. 

In other news, Johnny Depp’s head made up to look like Whitey Bulger reminded me of an old illustration of Humpty Dumpty. Not the effect they were looking for, I think. 


Another movie I saw last weekend was “Pawn Sacrifice,” the story of Bobby Fischer winning the world chess championship. I was explaining to my much younger co-workers what that was like (after first explaining who Bobby Fischer was). Bobby Fischer in 1971 was a rock star. For a short period of time, the whole country went chess crazy. He was idiosyncratic, demanding, unreasonable, a total diva, but he was the best at chess the way Muhammed Ali was the best at boxing. Channel 2, the Boston public broadcasting station, very briefly hit a ratings bonanza by following the match with a panel of chess experts who discussed the moves in real time as displayed on a giant, wall-mounted chessboard. I was in the sixth or seventh grade and didn’t understand any of it, but it was fun to watch anyways. Much later in life I started playing chess with a friend during lunch breaks and had to agree that chess, especially with a clock, is the one of the most exciting games in the world.


What’s big and red and a mile long? A Boston University bus . . . in this case, a double bus that stalks the rush hour traffic up and down Commonwealth Avenue with malicious intent, making abrupt pick-up stops to the right and hair-raising lurching shove-offs to the left. Last Tuesday this bus, this Moby Dick to my Ahab, nearly smeared me into a line of parked cars as I rode my bike home from work; this infinitely long, moving red wall of steel and hurt kept me trapped in the narrowest of spaces for twenty Mississippi’s until it finally cleared past me. I later caught up to the driver at a red light. With the door closed, all she could really see was an angry cyclist yelling something maybe in English and demonstrating with his hands what six inches looks like. Then she drove away wondering what the hell was that all about.


Yesterday was my father’s birthday. He would have been 96. Dad died last New Year’s Eve day, concluding a very long, happy, successful and well-lived life. He had just spent Christmas with the entire family the week before and, although in recent years he had become quite limited, Dad seemed very content to enjoy the comfort of his home, the company and care of my mother, and the frequent visits from his children and grandkids. We should all be so lucky.


Cindy Crawford recently said, “I decided that, rather than run and hide from the fact that I'm turning 50, I would embrace it.” Wow. That took a lot of courage. In the spirit of Cindy’s brave decision, I have decided to not run and hide from turning 60, a milestone scheduled to occur this coming February. I’m already grooming myself for it. If my age ever comes up in conversation, I now say, “I’m nearly 60,” or, “60 is right around the corner.” But the truth is, I don’t feel 60. In fact, I don’t consider myself 60 like my father was 60. I’m still a kid, really, a kid with a few aches and pains and wrinkles. No gray hair though. Not yet.


That is all.


Blogger LL said...

Every Friday? Setting the bar a bit high aren't you Schprockie?

It was serendipity for certain that I decided to check on some of my blogroll favorites before retiring for the eve. It was a post most enjoyable...

10:13 PM  

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