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Saturday, May 17, 2014


It's been a while but here's my views on the latest!
No, it's not one of the more recent big three.  Have not seen them yet but Angi and I start a week long movie fest tonight with Spiderman 2, then Godzilla on Wednesday, and (be still my beating heart) next Saturday we go to see a movie I have been waiting for since 1981!  Yes, you may guffaw at such a LONG pre-production stage, but I'm talking since I first read these...

This story is a pivotal milestone in the Claremont/Byrne run of the X-Men and quite frankly one of the greatest story arc's of all comic book history.  I DO hope they treat it with the continuity and respect it deserves.  Rumor has it (SPOILER ALERT) that like in the comic (see cover art for #142?)  in this film, Wolverine dies.  Yes, you heard that right.  Seems Hugh Jackman is getting a little long in the tooth to play the role, and in all fairness there is NOT another actor alive that could do the diminutive anger ball justice.  I applaud Marvel if they kill him off.  Like Heath Ledgers Joker, there could never be another! 
No, these are not the flicks I am talking about (believe me, you WILL hear about them!) but it was the film "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty".  Directed by and starring Ben Stiller, it is in a word, "Brilliant"!  This coming of (middle) age story is cinematically thrilling!  But, if you have a small screen TV, you will not get it's full impact,  as it's made for HD wide screen with a variety of uniquely angled,  panoramic shots.  This movie tells the story of Walter Mitty, a dull gray "nobody" with a hyper active imagination, prone to sudden bouts of reality shredding "space outs" where his mind vividly plays out the "should have said" and "should have dones" in  any given situation. 
Walter works at Life magazine, in the basement, proofing negatives for publication.  He has a long standing relationship with a globe trotting "action" photographer, Sean O'Connell played beautifully by Sean Penn.
 Here, I have to comment on this man.  When he was a younger actor and through his tribulations during his relationship with Madonna, I always thought him an annoying little pissah.  But once I saw his chops in "Mystic River" and "Sam, I am" I was hooked.  In this film, his part however brief on screen, IS the driving force behind the movie.  His lines are few, but he delivers them with such style and impact, it almost drives you to tears.  His weathered face, with every crease and fold an unexplored trail of mystery and eyes that portray both a  youthful lust for life blended with an aged Shamanic wisdom of someone who has "truly" seen it all, you cannot help but hold your breath for fear of missing the "moment".
At the very beginning of the film you get the gist of Walter's pedestrian life in stark clarity, as he sits in a sparse, immaculate kitchen, in an equally boring apartment void of personality as, through the use of  closeups,  you see him balancing his checkbook ( a reoccurring theme in the film).  Clearly, here is a man reduced to the daily pursuit of financial survival.  Later in the film you come to realize that his predicament is predicated by a family tragedy that occurred when he was a young man.  Thus, tearing him from his personal "adrenalin junky"  predilections to a mind numbing string of dead end jobs, all in a vain grasp at paying the bills.
Once he arrives at work, he is informed that over the weekend the magazine had been taken over, and would now be reduced to an online magazine.  Here he meets the inhuman corporate sleazeball "bearded guy" who processes very little intellect but masks it with a sneering condescending manner to all. 
Having been informed that the current staff will be working on the final issue, Walter returns to his basement office to process the final cover photo, only to find that the negative from O'Connell, that is the desired shot, has gone missing.  With no way to contact the photographer, Walter undergoes a harrowing step outside himself where the viewer, having already witnessed a few lapses into his dream world (one of which is a life and death struggle, imagined in Super Hero Epic style, between Walter and "Bearded guy" for the possession of Walters "Stretch Armstrong" toy) has to wonder "is this really happening" or has he "spaced out" as he travels to Greenland in search of Sean.  There, he is forced  to jump from a hovering helicopter, piloted by a very drunk pilot,  into icy, shark infested waters, only to have to fight off an attack from a great white shark with his brief case in order to climb aboard an archaic fishing boat bound for Iceland.  It doesn't slow down from there.  Of course, it being a Ben Stiller movie, there is always room for the befuddled, stuttering moments of quiet comedy where an event or moment leaves his character confused.  At one point, in a dream state, they engage in a poor spoof of "Benjamin Button" that must just be endured, but all is forgiven in light of the remaining cinematic grandeur.  All in all, the simple message of "live for the moment" may seem rather elementary, but is presented in a very endearing way.
On the home front, I find myself banging my head against a wall, sad to say.  Elijah has been back home for a little over a month, and although he comes to the shop with me each day, his grasp of his responsibilities is tenuous at best.  Having been given the ultimatum from the point of his return that he MUST seek paying  employment elsewhere, he has done nothing to procure one.  The truly enraging part is, that on his way to the shop the other day, Kaleb was approached by one of our neighbors.  Seems the gentleman owns a landscaping service and inquired as to whether or not he and Elijah were looking for work.  Should they be interested, he could put them to work the next day.  He gave Kaleb his contact info, but then discovered that Kaleb was only sixteen.  However, he would still hire Elijah.  Once Kaleb excitedly presented Elijah with this information, his response was less then impressed.  Had it not been for the fact that I was there when Kaleb gave him the contact info, I am sure Elijah would have discarded it, unread, with the secure feeling that he would NOT have to entertain the idea of responding.  Of course, I told him he needed to look into it, and gave him the chance to make good the next day and call the man.  He did not.   I just can't wrap my head around it.  Angi was helping take care of her two younger siblings at age five, while also assisting in the maintenance of a household as both her parents worked, and started a paying gig, as soon as she could, at age fifteen.  At one point holding down three jobs AND going to school.  I started my first paid position at nine, and have been working full time, in one capacity or another, since age twelve.  We were both BLESSED with parents, who while enjoying a relatively comfortable income, STILL found it prudent to teach us the value of EARNING what we wanted!  Our parents did an admirable job at providing us the necessities of life, while at times struggling to do so.  We may not have realized it at the time (and in my case I could, at times, be a real prick about not acknowledging their sacrifice) but we were learning the value of work.  Here and now though, we find ourselves struggling to get our kids to embrace the same philosophy.  Oh, there are shining moments, as in Kaleb and Logan, where they  appreciate the need and are even zealous in their desire to make it on their own. 
Angela is a strong woman who embraces the approach of "tough love", then there is me.  The best analogy I could come up with to describe my self is a campfire marshmallow roasting on a stick.  Hard and crusty on the outside but soft and squishy inside.  Now I find myself in the regretable position of having to mimic the same approach.  With fears of supporting this man well into his middle age, and not wanting to dump the entire burden on Angi, I am forced to present an ultimatum, in hopes it will stir him to life and get him back on the job trail. 
Lord.  I'm sure many of you have been bitch slapped with the same realization that there is nothing easy about parenting!
Spent the day yesterday putting the finishing touches on a VERY cantankerous Raleigh rebuild, and we put out a SWEET ladies Iron Horse cruiser.  Also, in pre-production is another two road bikes that will thankfully be under the $200.00 range!  One is a "well loved" Giant, and the other a honkin' "Big Boy" Raleigh, both in on trade from the last two days!  SAH-WEET!!  So keep an eye out for those, my friends!
All is quiet here today, as even in light of everything we are going through with them I was foolishly magnanimous enough to allow them to accompany Andrew (the new guy) to a concert in Saint Pete . I am here almost alone, Owen, the other one on the poo-poo list, is in accompaniment, so I should get a lot done!
It's a GORGEOUS day out folks!  Get off your butts and pay us a visit!
See ya!

ONLY $80.00!!!


  1. Steven-

    While I did see that cool old Raleigh in the repair stand the other day, you know my jaw dropped over the GORGEOUS vintage Trek road bike still in the pile, as yet untouched. For anyone seeking a fine bit of metal art to hang on the wall, that's The One!

  2. The military is unusually good at motivating and straightening out young men who need that sort of thing. And can also provide a lifelong career with great benefits.

  3. Oh THAT Raleigh! OY!! Let me tell you, the owner Jeff is a very nice gent and I applaud his desire to resurrect the old classic, but it's cursed! It happens some times. An older bike (or sometimes newer ones) are just imbibed with bad MOJO! We had it in the rak for almost three days, and everything we fixed led to another problem. We finally thought we had it done, but when he came in to pick it up, the shifter kept loosing tension. We figured that issue out, then realized that the ONE original component that was left, the front derailleur, was NO good! FINALLY we had her running, nd he took her for a ride, topping off the air (a wee bit to much as it turns out) and the tire exploded on his ride! Of course, THAT wasn't enough, as the cataclysmic blow out...DAMAGED THE RER DERAILLUER!!!
    But yes, the Trek is gonna be sweet!
    Yea, John, I really think the military will do Kaleb a lot of good!

  4. Alas, Raleigh, I knew it, Horatio. A bike of infinite SOMETHING. Not jest, surely. Like old Schwinns, old Ralieghs are just quirky enough to be, um, interesting. Still it sure is a purty bike!

    As for the boys, it will be interesting to see if the military WILL take them.

    And if they'd go.