Chapters

07/10/2013

It is my intention to present the next several posts as chapters from my memory over the past 40 or so years. From my first memory to the memory I just had of typing “memory,” the events, people and things I’ve witnessed definitely fall into “chapters” of this life; they also seems dreamlike in their own way. I’ll make a sincere attempt at keeping each chapter brief, but there’s no guarantee. TL;DR may apply.

Anyway, this should be fun.


Run That By Me Again, Terminator 2?

01/18/2013

Quite some time ago, I blogged Run That By Me Again, Top Gun?, a simple observation on the lack of logic in a successful and otherwise entertaining movie I like. I could have made a series out of this phenomenon, but I chose to wait until the next time I re-watched a favorite and noticed a glaring lapse in logic I hadn’t noticed before.

That time is now.

chill

(Carolco)

Thanks to Netflix (thank you!), I had the opportunity to see Terminator 2: Judgement Day again. Let me be clear that this James Cameron film is one of my all time favorite examples of how an action movie should flow, complete with explosions, cars getting the shit knocked out of them by big rigs, bullets flying everywhere, and, signaturely, that THUMP sound when Mr. Terminator shoots and reloads his grenade launcher. But even a perfectly scripted adventure like this can have the writers wedge in a scene that doesn’t make any sense, when you think about it.

Case in point: The Cyberdyne  Building Sequence.

So we have a T-1000, who “knows what the T-100 (Arnold) knows about Miles Dyson”, but is not tipped off to the reports on his police radio about a situation at goddamn Cyberdyne until Sarah Connor’s name is mentioned. OK, fair is fair. But here’s where T2 writers went off the map… but it’s all for a cause.

 

T1000

 

The T-1000 shows up late for the party, but clearly observes that some shit has gone down, probably at the metallic hands of his adversary —  the lowly T-100 series douche who has been fucking this whole mission up since the arcade scene.

Hmmmm, better be careful here. I think I’ll creep into this door, here…

Door

And from there, I’ll awkwardly gun my awesome copcycle up some flights of stairs…

Stair

Because…. WHY?

As we all know, by the time this lethal machine has done all of this, Mr. Terminator and his wife and kid have escaped and are speeding away in a fucking police vehicle.

RUN THAT BY ME AGAIN?

Okay, I’m a huge fan of this story line because it presents a villain that is even more threatening than its predecessor, to the point of irony in some moments. But come on, T-1000, did you suffer from a logic chip malfunction?

You’re a fucking COP in a COP UNIFORM. Of course you could have walked right into the fray of their escape, and carried out your mission, stabbing the absolute shit out of anything that got in your way, and planting a bullet into your target’s gasmasked face. But, no. You chose the more difficult, slinky, obstinate path. I’d accuse you of being a Randian, but I know why you did it. It was so you could do this:

smash

…And land on that helicopter for a stunning stunt. Why the hell else would a terminator in police uniform sneak around, up a staircase on a freaking traffic cop’s motorcycle, unless he was really just down for some helicopter snatching. Oh, and about that helicopter…

Why is it even anywhere near the building after this happens?

explosion

(All images courtesy Carolco Films)

 

 


Mr. White’s Neighborhood

12/06/2012

I recently had the opportunity to travel from Portland to Houston. Since I had the time to waste on it, I decided to alter my route to visit the city of Albuquerque. Yes, we all know this to be the city of fame because it’s the only word to feature 3 U’s. That is a pretty impressive achievement, but I’m not going to denigrate that fine city by pointing out its inherent vowel-fouls. I’ll just go with the obvious.

I took these pictures:

IMG_1052 IMG_1053

Fans of Breaking Bad need no explanation. The first photo is that of the White residence, and the second is that of Saul Goodman’s office locale, sans giant inflatable Statue of Liberty. Incidentally, Saul’s office is located a mere six or eight blocks from the house, which made this detour easily reward-able.

I had help from this site in finding the locations, and there are many more, but I had to get to Houston for my new job pronto, and couldn’t stop for a car wash and some Pollos Hermanos chicken.


More Talking in Movie Quotes

08/22/2012

In 2009 I posted about my tendency to talk in movie quotes that nobody got but me. This is a quick addendum to that fine list; two one-word lines from films I hope you’ve seen.

Mangoes!  This is from Apocalypse Now, shrieked by Chef as he’s being ordered to search a Vietnamese skiff for weapons. Keep in mind, Chef was prejudiced against mangoes since the tiger incident. Viewer discretion advised:

Firewood!   This is from Force 10 from Navarone, elegantly delivered by Barbara Bach in a succinct staccato: “FIE whood!”

These have the unique disposition of being things I say out loud, non-sequitur, whenever I see or hear the words. They’re also both exclamations, which leads to the fact that they both get me into awkward social situations. Especially at Hawaiian BBQs.


What to Do When Your Cat Leaves You

08/22/2012

Photo by Johnny Cat

One year ago I had to move out of a house due to the recession. I had two cats I had to consider as I transitioned from 1600 square feet to a tiny room in a shared duplex unit. One of them, Scooter (who graces the top of The Litter Box) found a home with my friend. I kept Jasmine because I knew she just wouldn’t fit in with anyone else; she’s unadoptable. Having raised her from her earliest days, I knew she’d only be happy with me.

Within a week of the move, Jasmine disappeared. To this day, I have no idea how she got out, but she was missing for a week. I checked the Humane Society twice – a heartbreaking act that knows no parallel. I put up Lost flyers. I even listened to neighborhood rumors about a crazy cat lady who kidnaps cats (catnaps?) and pounded on her unanswered door a few times. Around the time I had given up hope, and prepared to accept the fact that she was gone, she slinked back into the yard, into my arms, and back into our room, where I snapped that picture above as we reunited.

As awesome as that moment was, I realize now, a year later… she was mentally changed by that move. She now views every move made by anyone who comes into this place as suspect, all of her habits have been thrown into whack because of my work schedule, and she discovered the one thing I was hoping she’d never discover. See, my yard has a chain link fence that I thoroughly fortified so she couldn’t sneak out, and for a while it worked fine. I could leave her outside, unattended, for as long as she wanted to get her porch time on.

The problem? Strays. The neighborhood is thick with them, and they appeal to her cat-sense of adventure. So, after maybe 10 or 20 observations of these feline Fagins deftly hopping over the four foot tall fence, Jazz caught on. And now that she’s found her freedom here, she refuses to come back inside; she’ll only come to the back door for food and water once a day. She also wants love and pets, but if I physically bring her into the room we shared for a year, she becomes visibly uncomfortable, and bolts back to the exit, untrimmed claws a-blazing.

I feel like she’s left me, but I did let it happen. And I think that’s the key; letting my cat be what she wants to be is sometimes liberating, and very difficult at the same time. I know she’s still going to be around, but I think her life decisions may end up shortening her life. I can’t afford to take her to the vet anymore, but I know she’s going to need some meds for the fleas alone come November. But these problems all vanish when I take her into my lap, and she climbs my chest and wraps her tiny arms around my neck, giving me the best hug I’ve ever gotten.

Love you Jasmine.

Update:

Through the past four months, Jasmine and I have gone through some major changes. Long story short — she’s now an indoor only cat, living with me in New Orleans, and as healthy as can be! Thanks everyone who offered words of encouragement.


Beck’s Hilarious Recordings

08/03/2012

Beck is still cool, but in the 1990s, when he was fresh, he was the hipster before it was cool to be a hipster. His experimental album, the one before Mellow Gold, was frequently played at my household, but these three tracks got the most play, because they are HILARIOUS.

 

 

Of course, Beck had them on the album in random order, but I present them in chronological order, because I do.

For adding to the weirdness that is Beck’s strange voice recordings, try playing them simultaneously.


Theia

08/03/2012

Photo: Sylvain Weiller

As this week’s full moon rose in a clear Portland night sky, I happened to be reading Robert M. Hazen’s The Story of Earth, chapter two: The Big Thwack. Hazen’s experience in the subject of Earth’s 4.5 billion year history is impressive, and I never knew basic things about our solar system before reading it; such as Jupiter was vying to be a sun, as were Uranus and Neptune, but due to a variance in stellar “winds,” cooled too fast, and they became gas giant planets, instead.

The Big Thwack is also known as the giant impact hypothesis, that Hazen believes to be the only scientifically plausible origin of our moon. Take a look at this video to see what most likely happened a long time ago, in this galaxy.

What’s not fascinating about that? Especially the name Theia. The goddess child of Earth and Sky, who gave birth to the Moon. I used to lament that the moons of other planets all got names, but ours is just called the moon. Since it was clearly a planet before thwacking into this larger sphere, I will forever refer to her by the true name she deserves.


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