Just some thoughts and ideas going around in my head while trying to figure out where I am and where everyone else is going.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Modern Family

Alright so this is a bit of fluff and I'm a little late to the table, but I’ve noticed over the years that with the more choices on television these days I seem to watch less and less of what’s being shown. Sure there’s the stuff on HBO like True Blood and that Mormon show that I can’t remember the name of right now that I watch and then there’s Boardwalk Empire that I’m trying to warm up to, but other than those there is nothing else that I actually watch. On the networks I’ve seen maybe 20 minutes here and there of Glee and the CSI shows and fallen asleep in front of something else, that is until a few weeks ago when I found on Hulu one of the funniest shows on TV, Modern Family.

Apparently the guy who played the father from Married With Children is married to a much younger woman with a son of her own from somewhere in South America. Al, I call him Al because that was his name in the old show, has two children of his own. His daughter, a well meaning controlling shrew of a woman is married to some sort of wuss who seems to live in his own ill conceived version of "coolness" and fatherly masculinity. They have 3 children of their own, but they’re just there to move the story along.

Al also has a son who is married to another man and they have an adopted Asian girl. Of course if you’re white and gay in America the only children that you will be allowed to adopt will be a minority or a better yet a foreign minority. Let the hilarity begin. And yet in point of fact, it really does.

With this combination of characters of different people with different ages and different outlooks on life and script outlines written by the numbers you would think that the show would have been cancelled before the end of the second commercial. Except of course it wasn’t. What was presented has been show that has been well written, well paced, and reasonably well acted. The scenes are sharp, inventive and thoughtful. They make you satisfied without dumbing down to all the usual sensibilities which many shows do. Everything in this sitcom flows easily for less than thirty minutes making it seem like you just sat down in front of the TV. Well it would seem like I just sat down in front of the TV if I hadn't watched all the shows that I've seen on my laptop.

But all in all, this show is a keeper.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

They're creepy and they're kooky, mysterious and spooky...

All I wanted to do was 2 things, put up the picture of Jared Lee Loughner's mugshot, the guy from the Arizona shootings, and say that if anyone had seen this guy walking down the street at night looking the way that he looked here, they would have been justified in shooting him on sight. No court in the land would convict the shooter because if this doesn't look like crazy and dangerous, then I don't know what does.

The other thing was ask why do famous killers in the U.S. all go by 3 names like Mark David Chapman, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Wayne Gacy, or John Wilkes Booth? I don't get that. In fact I believe that if someone should come up to you and say, "Hey, I'm John Jay Smith," that should give you the right to swing a bat or a two-by-four right across the left temple and save yourself and society.

Instead what I'm going to do is steal an idea from a blog written by Tom Freeland, a lawyer in Mississippi and say yes, Loughner does look like Uncle Festor, but without the charm.

I wonder if Lawyer Freeman in Mississippi can sue someone in New Jersey for stealing his stuff.

I wonder if this post too soon.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Yes, a New Year's Resolution

I have always hated making New Year’s Resolutions. Resolutions become failed resolutions and failed resolutions become another excuse for becoming disappointed with myself. So of course I have sworn never to make a New Years’ Resolution again, which means of course it’s time. Life is crazy isn’t it?

One day you’re making $1.50 above minimum wage cleaning somebody’s office, the next day you’ve become the focus of world attention when someone else decides to fly a plane into the building where you work. One day you are considered as scum of the earth and not fit to be in decent society for the rest of your life, the next day the government decides that the costs of incarceration and medical care are a bit much and that perhaps time served and probation might not be such a bad idea after all. I guess all I’m trying to say is that nothing is permanent nothing is written in stone. In fact the only really prominent thing that was ever written in stone was the Ten Commandments and even that was destroyed in a fit of rage by some crazy old Jew, or should I say Israelite?

Last year I didn’t allow myself to really go out in public, I was feeling a little Rubenesque shall we say. It wasn’t that I was covered in rolls of fat, or at least none that I will openly admit to. But there was, there is, a way that my body moves that makes me feel uncomfortable. The rhythm is off. I plod rather than stride. I grasp rather than stretch. My center of balance no longer makes me feel balanced and I am put off by it. It makes me feel old.

A few years ago I remember seeing Danté, a massage therapist on the beach at Fire Island. He was naked and moving about and stretching himself into all sorts of poses like a gazelle in heat, that is if a gazelle in heat is an elegant sight because Danté certainly was. This year I want to do that. I am going to take up yoga and I’m going to learn to stretch and breathe and move in a way that will keep me safe.

I say safe because after 7 or maybe 10 years of being accident free, the week before Christmas I’m walking a block away from my house crossing the street when I feel that old familiar feeling of my legs giving way from under me. But instead of finding my balance and adjusting myself quickly, I suddenly saw both my ankles at level with my head as I left the ground and waited for that inevitable thud to my lower back as my backside hit the street. I can still feel the sweat of embarrassment that I felt as I hoped no one that I knew had seen me and scurried away knowing that if I was better shape I might have been able to have avoided the mishap.

So there it is, it may be a little late so sue me. My first resolution in years is to take up yoga and if you should see me on the beach stretching like a mutha and you enjoy it, then feel free to come over and tap me on the ass and say, “Good job.” I know it will make me happy.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

No Obituaries Needed

I wonder why we only remember certain people when they’re dead. I wonder why we can’t honor them when their career has waned a little and nothing is going on with them but they are still here for us to tell them that we appreciated what they did for us.

By now everybody has heard that Teena Marie is dead. Of course I was saddened that she should die so young with so much left to contribute to the music world and I should say something about how she had an affect over my adolescence but to be honest I was never really a fan of hers. Yes she did "Behind the Groove" which would blow your mind and make you go without underwear so you could shake money maker on the dance floor, but it wasn’t the singing that I liked. It was the bass and the beat and the arrangements that moved me. It was more Rick James than Lady T, more Funk than R&B. But that was still no excuse for me to wait until she died just to say,”Hey.”

Today Gerry Rafferty also died. I sort of wish that I had bought his music and supported his efforts and said that he meant something to me, but I had never heard of him or his group The Stealers. They played "Stuck in the Middle with You," as the background music for one of the sickest and best movie scenes ever shot until today and for that I will always be grateful. If you have the time take click on this link and you’ll see what I mean and maybe we'll say so long and farewell together.

A few months ago I was in a friend’s car and he was playing a copy of Lionel Richie’s latest album. I laughed telling him that Ritchie was so yesterday and out of date and he told me that Lionel Ritchie may not have been as relevant as he used to be but he still was a phenomenal talent that should be recognized and respected. He was right of course.

I remember when the singer was at the top of his game when he was in The Commodores and after. He was king of the world and dancing on the ceiling and proving to everyone. He was doing R&B and Country, writing songs not just for himself but Kenny Rogers and other artists and was breaking all sorts of records and winning all sorts of awards…Well he would have been except for that small detail of Michael Jackson and his “Thriller” album kicking everyone to the curb and leaving nothing but dust and crumbs behind.

But Lionel Ritchie still wrote and still performed and still produced, and even though I may have been a little too young and inexperienced to realize what he was writing about at the time I do now. And even though I will probably still not buy his new music or pay to see him perform, I recognize him as a significant part of my life and salute him before the obits are needed by just saying, ”Hey,” and, "Good job."


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