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Life is only what you wonder.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Must They Rape And pilage My Evey Childhood Memory?

    Marshall, Will, and Holly, on a routine expidition,
    Met the greatest earthquake ever known,
    High upon the rapids, it struck their tiny raft
    (insert screams here)
    And plunged them down a thousand feet below . . .
The Land of the Lost was a children's science-fiction television series produced by Sid and Marty Krofft which originally ran from 1974-1977, and was shown in syndication for many years afterwards, which was when I saw it.
It also happened to be a particular favorite of mine.

For those that don't know, it was the story of Rick Marshall and his two teenage children, Will and Holly, who inadvertantly enter a strange world (actually a pocket universe) where dinosaurs roam, furry caveman-type creatures (the Pakuni) dwell, mysterious pylons open doorways to other times and dimensions and the Marshalls are constantly threatened by evil lizard-like creatures (the Sleestaks!), all the while trying to make it back to Earth.

Kind of hokey, I know, but it was meant for children.

If you happened to be a little kid in the 80's like I was, you probably have fond memories of watching this show on Saturday morning.
In your flannel PJs, sitting cross-legged in front of the TV, munching on cereal and shuddering as the Sleestaks slink around or jumping out of your seat as a Tyranosaurus Rex lunged at the camera.

I haven't seen this show in years. (About 20, actually, which makes me feel really, really old.)
The series is on DVD now, and although there's a part of me that would enjoy seeing it again, there's another part of me that would laugh at the cheesy special effects, or see the Sleestaks (which were pretty darn scary when you were seven) as just men in rubber suits or the dinosaurs as cheap stop-motion animation.
instead of cherishing it, I would scoff at it, whether I wanted to or not.
It's better left as a memory.
Seeing it again now, after all I've seen since, would only spoil it.

Now, I find their making a movie of it.
A comedy.
Starring Will Ferrell.
(Read the article here.)

My thoughts on this are mixed.
On the one hand, I think it's great that they're paying homage to a show that I really loved as a kid.
On the other hand . . . Will Farrell? A comedy?

I'll keep an open mind, but I'm not optimistic.

Monday, April 17, 2006

A Five Minute Story

A Fistfull Of Dandelions

It was a very warm spring day as the child crouched in the grass. Fat fuzzy bumblebees flew lazily in the air and an occasional pastel yellow butterfly would flutter past as he attended to the task at hand.
He was picking flowers for his mother.
Not just any flower would do, though. The one's with the very long stems were the best, the ones that kind of drooped by the weight of their heavy golden heads. And the flowers themselves had to be thouroughly inspected, any that seemed wilted, or brownish, or missing some petals were simply not good enough.
When he had collected a couple dozen of the very best ones he ran to the house with them clutched in his small fist.
He found his mother in the family room sipping cold coffee and watching a soap opera. (She called them "her stories" and she watched them every day without fail.)
"Mommy! Mommy! I picked some flowers for you!" the boy said as he held out his fist, offering them to her.
A handful of brightly-colored weeds.
His mother paused only for a moment and then she said, "Oh, sweetie! They're beautiful! Thank you!" and she took the bright yellow dandelions and then she said, "Let's go put these in some water."
By the way she acted you would have thought they were orchids, or lillies of the valley, or some precious exotic flower that grew only in the remotests parts of the earth and only under the rarest of conditions, not some pesky weed that the groundskeeper had been trying valiantly (but unsuccessfully) to eradicate. Her soap opera forgotten for the moment, she went to get a vase.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Custodian Of Memories

I must remember this, keep it tight inside of me, store it and cherish it like a prized possession, for only then will it have any worth, and it will never come again . . .

Memories are funny things. Your memories are unique to only you. You and someone else can witness the very same event, and have two different (sometimes vastly different) versions of said events.

Like this:
A few years ago, the husband and I went to Montreal, Canada. I hadn't been to Canada since I was a child, and aside from a day or two here and there, it was me and the husband's first real vacation.
OK, I've set up the scene. Here is where I fill in the blanks.
It's our second day there, and there's a disco not even four blocks from our hotel room. It's a beautiful night as we stroll down Ste-Catherine Street, not too cool, not too hot. We look into the windows of the closed shops as we pass by, some shops we wonder what it is they sell beacause it's all in French and neither of us speaks it.
The disco was hoppin' that night. You could feel the pound of the music from a block away. As I recall, it was kind of crowded that night in the disco. Not the standing-room-only packed where you can't move, but a fair amount of people with plenty of lovely young men to gawk at.
After getting our drinks, we sit at a table and as we sip the song "When The Money's Gone" by Cher comes on. I'm a big Cher fan, and I love to dance so I take G.'s hand and lead him to the dance floor.
It was getting hot in there, sweat was dripping off my brow, my hair was plastered to my forehead as I was gyrating, my t-shirt was clinging to my skin and sweat was trickling down my back -- but who cared? I was in Montreal, the lights were flashing, the disco ball was spinning, the beat was pulsing through my veins and I was dancing with my man (to Cher!) surrounded by beautiful men (most of them with their shirts off)! I could have died right then and there and that would have (almost) been OK.
We didn't stay there that long. The husband suggested we go to a quiet bar/tavern up the street, and so we did.
It didn't matter where I went as long as he was with me.

This was a memory that I cherished like a precious jewel.

Not that long ago the husband and I were at Leon's. We popped in there for a nightcap, and as we're drinking someone played "When The Money's Gone" by Cher on the jukebox.
"Oh!" I excaimed happily, "This song reminds me of Montreal!"
For a split second I was back there again, lights spinning all around me.
G. had a puzzled look on his face.
"Why does this song remind you of that?" he asked.
"This is the song we danced to at that club on Ste-Catherine's."
*blank stare*
"Don't you remember?" I asked.
"Well," he replied, "I don't remember that. But I do remember the place was too crowded -- and way too hot. I could barely breathe in there. The stupid bartender made my drink all wrong, and the drinks were way too expensive. And you practically yanked my arm out of it's socket pulling me to the dance floor. And once we got out there I kept getting kneed, elbowed and stepped on.
I couldn't wait to leave there and go someplace quiet and cool."

Frankly, I was stunned. His version of events was so not like mine. I had thought we had a much better time than that.

It was then that I realized:
The only place this event exists (as I remember it) is in my own mind.
That's it.
Not any of the 500 or so people that were there in the club that night have this memory.
Other people might have memories similar to this one, but not exactly.

This is why I hold on to trinkets, movie ticket stubs, and why I never want to throw anything away.
If I don't remember it, remember it as I saw, tasted and felt it, there's nobody else that will.
Plus, those memories are mine and I aim to keep them.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Travels With My Anti-Hero

Back from vacation.
It was fun, relaxing and enjoyable -- but over way too soon.

We didn't stay in Myrtle Beach as planned. The timeshare there was booked solid. Instead we went to Fairfield Resort in Williamsburg.

You know, I would reccomend going to a resort to anyone. I had never stayed in one before and I was amazed at how nice everything was.
First, the accomodations were like living in a luxury apartment. Living room with a huge TV, VCR and DVD player, dining room, fully-stocked kitchen with plates glasses, silverware and appliances, spacious bedroom and a bathroom twice the size of the one in our house. Turn a dial on the wall and the music on the stereo is piped into any (or every) room in the unit. The unit even had a washer and dryer, and a dishwasher.
That's just the living quarters. Not far away was the "Recreation Center" with an indoor and outdoor pool, spa, hot tub / jaccuzi. There was an arcade, weight room, pool tables.
I could go on and on about how nice it was, but I won't.

The night life in the area left something to be desired, though. The closest gay bars were in Richmond, a 40 minute drive away, and there were only two to choose from.
I'm spoiled, I guess. If I want to go to a gay bar in Baltimore they're less than a ten minute's drive and theres seven or eight to choose from, and a half dozen more if I drive a little farther, and all of DC's bars if I feel like driving 45 minutes.
The one we spent the most time at was this place called Barcode. It kind of reminded me of the "pub" part of Grand Central (without the pool tables).
Going to bars in other areas is weird because it's so not what I'm used to. Bars in Baltimore are kind of segregated. The cute young club boys go to the Hippo, the slightly older guys go to Grand Central, Leon's and The Drinkery are the "wrinkle rooms", the leather and fetish guys go to the Eagle, The black thugs go to Club Bunns and the Sportsman and all the ladies go to Gallagher's, Port in a Storm, or Coconuts. (I've left out some places, but you get my drift.
Of course there are other kinds of people that go to those places. I've been known to sip (a powerfully strong) cocktail with my gay brothas at the Sportsman now and again, but almost every time I've gone I was the only white boy there, and I've also been known to shoot a hot game of pool while tippling a drink at the Port with my lesbian "sisters", but I was also one of the very few men there.
But when you go to bars in rural areas and everybody is there. All ages and races and sexes (although I didn't see any "thugish" black people or guys dressed in leather from head to toe). I guess if it's the only gay bar for miles, it's gonne be like that -- a bar for everybody.
It was kind of nice, actually.

So we had a really good time. We visited my Mom for a day and she was so happy to see us.
My mother is so motherly -- I love it. She packed us brown bag lunches for the drive back with sandwiches, and Little Debbie oatmeal cream piees and she made me promise to call her the instant we got back, so she would know we were safe. I didn't have a mother for the longest time, so I miss this kind of treatment.

Anyway, now I'm back, and it's back to work.
It was fun and you wish it could last forever, but it dosen't.

We're planning another trip in August or Sepember. Don't know where we'll be going, but I can't wait.