Thursday, July 07, 2005

When in doubt -- pick another one

I didn't get to see Fantastic Four because it isn't actually scheduled at the theater until 11:59 tonight. They forgot the AM or PM and I figured it was a preview showing before tomorrow. WRONG!

Oh, well. Onward and upward. I still saw Bewitched and it was fun. Shirley MacLaine looks like her face is pulled a little too tight from all the face lifts, but she does an interesting turn as Endora with a witchy turn that rings true. On a hot summer day Bewitched is a cute diversion -- even if it's only for the twist on an old story and a gander at all the Bewitched memorabilia Isabel receives when she signs on to be Samantha. Michael Caine turns up as Isabel's witch father and gets turned on his aging and lecherous head by the intriguing Iris who plays Endora. Not a great movie, but definitely fun and funny. Nicole Kidman is too cute with her soft musical voice the prancing that have become her trademark.

Since I didn't get to see FF, decided to take a look at War of the Worlds. I missed a few minutes of the beginning of the movie but came in when Tom Cruise had just told Dakota Fanning that lightning didn't strike in the same place twice. It strikes more like eleven times in the same place in front of them and 26x down the street where Robby was illegally driving his father's car when the lights and powered everything went on the blink. Cruise is predictably adequate in the role of Ray. Dakota Fanning is by turns irritating and frightened but it works. Spielberg's special effects do not outweigh the characters like a certain recent Lucas film I refuse to mention, but provide a good back drop for the acting, and there is good acting. Tim Robbins turns in a memorable performance as an ambulance driver determined to live to become the underground that will defeat the invading aliens. He certainly steals the show from Cruise and Fanning and the special effects, but he has had considerable practice. Jacob's Ladder comes to mind.

This is not the first time Cruise and Robbins have shared screen time, but this time Robbins comes away with center stage. The first time was with the classic Top Gun, one of the few movies I really enjoyed Cruise.

Guess that means I will be going to the movies this weekend or some time next week to see FF. I don't want to miss it. Then there's Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Dark Water and... Well, you get the idea.

That is all. Go to a movie and get some of that chilly A/C. Disperse.

Too pretty... stay inside today unless it's watching a movie or two. So I'm opting for a movie. I'll see Fantastic Four and Bewitched. But you should click on the above link and watch the trailers. That's the real reason for me not being able to stay inside this morning. The only showing today is at 11:59 and I plan to be there early.

See you at the movies. I'll be the one with the brand new top, drinking water and munching popcorn while my curly ponytail swings freely from my new hair clip.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Sunday in the park...

...and the bed. And at the computer and in the kitchen and all over.

My mind is full of sailing ships, but no sealing wax, while patriotic John Sousa music plays in the park two blocks away, battling admirably with a hot jazz/rock band at the BBQ place across the street from the park. It is a night of firecrackers and whistling roman candles and the quick pop of cherry bombs as darkness creeps slowly in and the raspberry dark sky hovers like a settling cloak. I know tomorrow is a holiday, but it feels more like a second Sunday waiting to be enjoyed lazily in a hammock rocking gently in a soft ocean breeze to the slap of fish falling back into a quiet lagoon where waves tickle the sandy beach.

I am in love again with the idea of the sea. I have had an on again-off again romance with the sea, one I have indulged on surf boards or in diving gear or wearing a snorkel. Jacques Cousteau was my idea of a romantic figure, but I always saw him as a pirate brandishing a slender stinger of Toledo steel. Probably why as a child I was captivated by Captain Blood, Scaramouche and the Prisoner of Zenda, among so many others. The time when life and death were judged on the point of a blade at the end of a dance of shining steel death.

So many idea swirling around in my mind right now as the Eagles burn a bright path through my mind with their music.

Jimmy Buffet, swords, sailing, flying and fly fishing

I spent most of the day on A Salty Piece of Land with Tully Mars, Solomon, Cleopatra and Ix-Nay, among others. All I ever knew about Jimmy Buffet was his Parrot Heads and Margaritaville music until the Evil One entered my life and suggested another of his favorites. I suppose it's only fair since I have introduced him to literary novels of many stripes and types. It took a while because, like a tarpon or bonefish struggling with a fly lure and diving into the deeps trailing a nearly unbreakable line, I didn't want to like his writing. He was no weaver of prose poems or author of magical realism -- and yet he is. His simple words magically placed me in the islands on both sides of Panama's isthmus and in the Pacific Islands where ex-cannibals still believe the world was created from the volcanoes on their little island, flying a PBY, landing in a pink jet and driving a jeep through the misty jungles of Belize with a three-legged ocelot looking for the soul of the light to repair a Bahamanian lighthouse so masted schooners can navigate the coral atolls in the darkness toward safe harbor to watch a simple man with a gift for hurling the horsehide in shut out after shut out for Cuban fans.

Tall ships always remind me of pirates and swashbuckling adventurers on land and at sea with four or five feet of supple steel in practiced fists. That makes me want to take out Excalibur and learn the dance of death with a broad sword or Toledo Salamanca or Japanese Samurai sword. For some reason the idea has planted itself in the midst of my mind that it is possible to mold and shape a body with a sword while learning the tango of Toledo steel. It's another book whispering in my mind before I have finished with the rest of my list. And it is so far from what I did yesterday.

Yesterday I drove up to Woodland Park to work as VE again with the MARC (Mountain Amateur Radio Club) where I had the privilege of telling a 77-year-old gentleman, who took his Technician exam during my VE baptism by fire last month at the Monument hamfest and failed, that he passed. I admit I made the announcement as dramatic as possible, coming out of the testing room with a straight face devoid of emotion, catching the eyes of him and his family and shaking his hand to tell him he passed. Okay, so I was accused of being mean and his son said he needed a new battery for his pacemaker, but it is a moment I will never forget and one I doubt they will either. And the day kept getting better.

I will be on the communications team next year for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, a car race to the top of Pikes Peak and I'll also be involved with the ARES group to provide emergency communications during forest fires and the like. I'm a little long in the tooth to fight forest fires, but I can still keep them connected and dispatch smoke jumpers. And I've been invited to come back to Woodland Park every other month to help with exams.

Living here is very different from the solitude and silence of my mountain cabin, but when life comes with musical accompaniment, new challenges and adventures and a new world to explore, it brings nothing but joy. I definitely live in exciting times and this is ground zero.