Sunday, July 31, 2011

Love, the Stupid & Crazy Kind

I went to see "Crazy Stupid Love" this weekend.  Yes, I know, most guys born during the "Mad Men" decade would sooner drive their cars off a cliff than admit to watching a chick flick.  But we would be jumping to conclusions.  First of all, the movie was more of a comedy than a chick flick.  And second of all, I lost my man card a long time ago anyway.  Literally.  I tend to misplace things, or so I've been told by the people who find them.  I once misplaced the entire city of Florence, much to the surprise of the ticket inspector aboard the train.  It was a good thing that my faithful traveling companion was a good sport, as she followed me on my Chinese fire drill around Italian train stations from one end of the country to the other.  Ah yes, pazzo stupido amore indeed...

But back to the movie.  The story actually reminded me of what happened to me three years ago, when I found myself home alone for the first time in twenty years.  Just like Steve Carell’s character in the movie, I hit a neighborhood bar to drown myself in something that could knock out a small hippo.  Except, in my case, I did not run into Ryan Gosling, and therefore I did not have an instant wingman to introduce me to a bevy of beauties.  Nooo, that only happens in Hollywood movies.

So after downing a couple of shots of tequila, I finally looked around to see where I was.  What I saw was straight out of the “Twelve Days of Christmas”:  6 geezers drinking, 5 golden girls, 4 jail birds, 3 french fries, 2 turtle necks, and… well, me.  But, as fate would have it, there was something “different” in store for me.  Yes, maybe it was Christmas in July after all 

I'll spare you the details on what happened next, though I will say it involved a cute 25 year blonde, who was celebrating her birthday with what surely seemed like a shot of tequila for every year of her life.   So at one point blondie and I went outside to get some fresh air.  Just a few minutes into our outdoor break, blondie turns to me and informs that she has to pee.  So I tell her, not sure why, "Okie-dokie.  I'll wait right here."  Great line there, Steve Carell.  But before I could even kick myself for my  line, blondie begins to take the much announced pee within two feet of me.   Of course all I could think to say was, "So… I wait right here then??"

Love is crazy. And Stupid. But it's the only love we've got. Figure it out.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Independence Day

I have been noticing for a few years now that national holidays tend to bring out the best in people - and sometimes the worst.  July 4th seems to be no exception.  And I think it leaves us all scratching our heads, wondering how that’s possible.  After all, there are really not that many significant holidays throughout the year, and they all tend to focus mostly on the positive: celebrating our nation’s birthday, celebrating the lives of those who do the real work and those that fight for freedom, giving thanks, and celebrating a handful of religious events.

Now it seems to me that all of those holidays have one thing in common: the countless of references to a handful of powerful abstracts, such as Freedom, Peace, Respect, and Love.   That’s all well and good, except that no two people I know can agree on the definition of much more mundane words, like, say, “Burrito” or “ Hanging Chad”.   So how are we supposed to unanimously agree on concepts that are a thousand times more complex?

Maybe if we found a more balanced middle ground we would stand a fighting chance to finally and truly grasp these few but significant annual milestones.  I mean, surely the answer lies somewhere between Love and a Burrito.  Between Freedom and a Hanging Chad (OK I admit there’s a little irony in that last random comparison, but I swear it was unintentional.)

Let’s take Memorial Day and Independence Day for a moment, appropriately so on this sunny July 4th (if it’s not sunny where you are, just use your imagination.)  Every year, on these two days, you can hear the same two awkward extremes from a very loud yet thankfully small minority of people: on the one hand you hear one of these extremes proclaiming that this is the time when we celebrate our freedom as the free-est freedom fighters in the history of freedom.  And then there’s the other extreme, people that are angry about the senseless killing that takes place during unnecessary wars.

So on this beautiful July 4th, I would like to proclaim independence from both of these groups.  These two very vocal minorities are clearly missing a point that, thankfully, the silent majority seems to grasp rather well: if you are not truly independent, a part of you is already dead.  This unalienable right knows no borders, it is a universal truth.  America did not invent this concept, but it sure did improve on it.

Happy birthday America.  The world is a better place, thanks in great part to you.  And you are also a better place, thanks in great part to the world.

Mother Should I Run for President? (A Video Blog)

Almost forty years ago , the British psychedelic rock band Pink Floyd released its masterpiece titled " The Wall ". The double...