Monday, December 13, 2010

A day of firsts

My wife Leslie and I spent the day together yesterday. A sunday, that is not too terribly uncommon. But the day had its idiosyncrasies, on several fronts. We got up and played our customary three card games, crazy eights, gin rummy and our alternate version of rummy five hundred. Then threw in the long game of spite and malice for good measure. If you take notice of such things, I believe that she won the majority of the games, avenging the previous days defeat.

We made our way into town where we were treated to a wonderful brunch at Le Bistro by friend Reneé. Its nice to have pals that don't mind if you read your newspaper at the table, pals that allow you to enjoy the full measure of a sunday.

I spent the rest of the day taking shots of inventory so that I could construct my new website. Didn't get a hell of a lot done, started with my print collection, but it was a start. A few nice souls wandered into the store, no sales but good conversation.

We went down to the Moose Lodge after the Charger game and hung out for a little while. Leslie had a Tom Collins, her first in a long time. I wasn't in the mood to drink, battling a mild depression the last few weeks. Every step has been like moving through concrete. Drinking would be a too easy way to get lost in the soup.

We decided to catch a movie and drove down to Bonsall to see the newest Narnia flick, "The Dawn Treader."

And so my day of firsts started. Nothing monumental, but firsts nonetheless. When I walked up to the ticket booth I noticed the man in front of us asking for a senior discount.

Being two years shy of 55, I asked the young girl behind the glass if she thought I was a senior or not and was she wanting to see identification. "Why of course not," she exclaimed as she handed us our discount passes? My first senior discount, a bittersweet moment, to be sure.

I was then handed a pair of 3D glasses, a first for me on the large screen. A bit fatiguing really but an added dimension. Another new experience. After the movie, we had the imperial seafood soup at Peking Wok, which is world class. On the way home, my wife turned to me and mentioned that we had gotten along for a whole day, in fact a 24 hour period without a cross word or disagreement. Another first!


The Narnia adventure, the third in the series, was less than overwhelming. I had read the Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe as a kid. I was vaguely interested in C.S. Lewis because he was such a close associate of Tolkein, one of my literary heroes, being a major fantasy buff. Tolkein and Lewis were part of a group called the Inklings, an Oxford University literary society that met in the 1930's and 40's. They met at a pub called the Eagle and Child, later known as the bird and the baby. My early research on the Inklings always gave the impression that they had a strong theological bent, almost a successor to the earlier Order of the Golden Dawn or the Builders of the Adytum. I enjoyed the writings of Paul Foster Case and Waite when I was young and going through that phase and secret english societies are always cool, in my opinion.

Lewis, the author of the Screwtape Letters and a committed christian, of course imbued these books with some fairly heavy handed references to his savior. Aslan gets a bit opaque in this movie about the form his holy presence on earth will take. But in the spirit of the holidays, I will tread no more on this sacred ground.

I thought that the first Narnia movie was magical and fantastic, the second, Prince Caspian a bit too Disneyish. Disney pulled the plug on the franchise and now Fox has the reins. The Dawn Treader was a cinematic non sequitur, a pastiche of events that lacked reason and flow. The great thing about the first movie was the battle scenes, with all of the animals at war being so visually interesting. This movie lacked that kind of visual splendor. Even in 3D, it lacked depth. I kept thinking of N.C. Wyeth story boards, but very static images. Nothing made a lot of sense with this movie.

I prefer reading my fantasy to seeing it adopted to film. The best thing about the Lord of the Rings, and I could kvetch about the weaknesses for hours, were the battles as well. You don't go to this kind of movie for angst or character development, you go to see people getting pierced with lances and smitten with sabers.

I never cared for the Potter movies all that well either. Kids too conspicuously cutesy and miscast. The Narnia actors are far superior, imo. I usually fall asleep trying to watch a Harry Potter flick, never grooved on the second Dumbledore, although the Quidditch matches are kind of neat.


I got wacked pretty hard on the Village News website, having posted my recent Main St. blog as a letter per request of the editor last week. Most of the letters were people making comments about the downtown merchants being too expensive, not selling items that people want, la ti da. Some one made the preposterous comment that they wouldn't come downtown because they were afraid of gang violence and intimidation, something that is just not even there. Anyway most comments were okay even though I disagreed with a few of them. One commenter decided to go after me in a personal way, however. Anonymous, just a first name, always easier to spew your venom that way.

Anyway, this guy launched some personal attacks on me. Obviously didn't like me or my politics, which is fine, I am pretty much an open book. I dish it out so I have to be able to take it. But he said that I was only open by appointment (not true, thursday through saturday 11 to 5) made the whole thing a comment on my business, which is not what I wrote about, since I acknowledge I serve a different demographic.  Said I wanted to appoint an Obama Czar to regulate Main St. Since I don't regularly comment, he either knows me personally or has read the blog, since he has to take a shot at a the democratic president. Goes on to say that I want to bring more and better medicinal marijuana downtown? Don't really know where that was coming from but wasn't necessarily happy to see it in print. Accused me of wanting to kill off my buyers, obviously the writer not being a big fan of satire.

My buddy Tony Z saw it at Coffee this morning and said that he saw nothing wrong with the comments because my leanings are well known but I thought it was clearly a personal attack. I see that it has now been edited by the management as my reply to him was as well. I guess I shouldn't pretend that nasty people don't exist. At least I sign my name to everything. And like I give a shit what you think, George.


Speaking of signing my name, I am noticing a real breakdown in my motor skills of late. My cursive writing has been degrading for several years, with my addition or subtraction of an extra hump now and then becoming a common occurrence. My brain is apparently working faster than my fingers. Things seem to work out better when I slowly print.

Now my typing is going to hell too. I am self taught, but very fast. Lately I am switching letters around, in a dyslexic fashion, and my cognitive brain is not catching the siwtch, make that switch. Seniordom is fast approaching!

switching station© robert sommers


Anonymous said...

Gertie and I went to see Asleep At the Wheel last Friday night in Rancho Cucamonga at Victoria Gardens. Check out the female vocalist for Asleep At The Wheel Elizabeth McQueen's video on called Your To Blame. The whole video is one take. She swings!
Allan Seymour

Blue Heron said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Blue Heron said...

Your wish, my command, Sahib