Today I went to see the movie Argo. One reason I had to see the movie was that I had no idea why they called it Argo. Now I know, but no spoilers here. But of course you probably have already seen it so you, too, know the "secret" of Argo. Just kidding. Not that big a secret.
Anyway, I have to say I enjoyed this movie...even if I did already know the outcome. It is a true story (mostly) and I have to say Ben Affleck did an amazing job of recreating the time and events that many of us lived through. Hard to believe it was thirty-three years ago.
One thing I was surprised by was my changed impression of what went on then. I had already known the Shah of Iran was basically a bad guy. No wonder the Iranian citizens were so angry at America! I love my country, but right or wrong? I am not so sure any more. But that is not what I want to blog about here. What I came away with was the realization that I have never had an adventure where I was the hero.
I wondered if I would have what it took Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) to do what he did. He was always calm and self-assured. He was ready to lay down his life to rescue those six Americans who found themself in harm's way. Amazing. A hero...in his own life story. Imagine that. Can we all say that about our own life stories?
Ergo, Argo is more than a story. It is a journey...a hero's journey. Something to which I find myself now aspiring.
Ice cream directly from the fridge is just to hard to spoon out. So I put it in the microwave to soften. I admit it. I really like melty ice cream. Not too melty. Just enought to be soft on the tongue and coat your throat as it goes down. Generally, it should be rich. Cheap ice cream tastes just like it sounds...cheap. Rich, full fat ice cream satisfies. Why bother with anythng else?
There are things you just shouldn't deny yourself. Of course it is not good to over-indulge. Been there, done that. Paid the price with guilt and regret. No more. But something like melty ice cream, rich chocolately or carmelly or even French vanillily is rewarding yourself for suviving another day and giving your soul comfort.
So I will continue to microwave the ice cream just a few sec's, just enough to make it delight the palate and fill the empty spaces. Some little personal allowances must be made.
Looking for that cavalier spirit thing...
It's a matter of perception. Reality is often not what it seems. Point of view. It's all about point of view. From where you sit you might think I am a bon vivant. I remember once way back when a counselor in high school told me after I complained of being so shy and inhibited the he thought I had the potential to be quite the cavalier spirit. Well, it didn't work out that way. I never found that cavalier spirit in me. Nope, quite the homebody here. With slight reclusive tendencies. Yep, I know its hard to believe. But it's true.
Oh, alright, I don't quite believe it myself but that's just how it seems. And nothing is as it seems. And the strange thing, it is as it seems. Always was, always will be. At least it seems so...for the foreseeable future.
Oddly benches for two are fine for one
It is the day after Valentine's Day. It was a very quiet Valentine's. But then most Valentine's are like that for me. For me, the holiday is more of "Singles Awareness Day". Everything reminds you that, if you are not in some sort of relationship, you are odd. And of course the number "One" is odd too. So it makes sense. One is an odd number. Single is another word for one (or oneness). Thuse being single is odd.
But I don't find it so. I don't feel odd. Maybe I feel a little left out, but then that can be cured by my own devices. Yesterday I took time to enjoy the day. It was a beautiful day here in So Cal. Clear blue skies, warming temperatures bringing previews of spring. I worked in the front yard and made it attractive again. I really like mowing the lawn with my reel mower, sweeping up fallen leaves, pine needles and pine cones and in general feeling productive.
In the afternoon I took myself on a spontaneous artist's date. I went to the UCR Botanical Gardens with my camera. I have been intending to go for weeks and this seems like a perfect day to go. It was. While not much was in bloom yet, the views of the Riverside Valley were spectacular. The cactus garden seemed very alive and the turtles were sunning themselves on a log in their habitat. I
While in the gardens, I encountered several couples out for an afternoon stroll. Oddly (sic) enough, I did not feel out of synch. I was happy taking myself on a stroll all alone by myself. I even wished two of the couples who were holding hands a very happy Valentine's Day. They smiled and thanked me.
That night I made an odd dinner of orange chicken (that's it, that's all, that's what I wanted). I following it with some Caramel Caribou Alaskan Delight ice cream and watched some television. As it turned out, it was a perfect, if odd, Valentine's Day. Just me and my three little dogs and their sister the cat. Who could ask for more?
Maybe next year will be different. It doesn't really matter. Now is the time I have and now I will celebrate my "oddness". Oddly enough, being single is not so odd after all.
I didn't grow up with much religious training. The whole Lenten Season always seemed like a strange religious ritual to me growing up. It seemed a strange discipline to give up something as so many of my school chums were doing. I personally never did it successfully, probably because I never understood it. That has changed.
Whatever your religious beliefs or non-beliefs, this (Lent) can be a time of introspection and examination of the choices we make. The purpose of the tradition of giving a self-indulgence during the lenten period between Ash Wednesday (today) and Easter (this year on March 31) is to cause one to stop and reflect on the choices one makes every day. The hope is that we will become more fully conscious of our every day decisions and their effects on ourselves and the world around us.
Every choice you make is like a ripple in the pond eventually reaching distant shores.
From Isaiah 58 "Is such the fast that I choose, a day to humble oneself? Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush, and to lie in sackcloth and ashes? Will you call this a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord? Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house?"
Judgement in the path to understanding
Every day is Judgement Day. I woke up this morning ruminating on how judgement plays such a big part of life...my life in particular. Good judgement, bad judgement...and every nuanced opinion and observation in between. Judgement is the blessing and the curse of being human.
Wayne Dyer is credited with saying, "We are the sum total of the choices we have made." That, I beleive, is also true of all the judgements we make every moment of every day. And we are limited by those judgements when it keeps us from seeing the possibility that our judgement might be clouded by the filters of our very personal experiences.
I am thinking maybe I have lost sight of why people have come into my life. Each has something to teach me. Each holds the key to a secret I have been yearning to know. Everyone brings lessons to learn about myself and about life. I know this sounds very grandiose. Perhaps it is. Perhaps there is no meaning behind personal relationships other than making life more bearable. But I don't think that is so. There is more to it.
Watch your judgement. They can come back on you. I know I am watching mine.
Captured recently as rainbows crossed the sky in Riverside.
I think life should be full of double rainbows and on really special occaisions, triple rainbows. Imagine looking up in the sky and seeing all the colors of the rainbow blazing across the sky at any given moment, just because, all day long.
Eventually we would grow accustomed to them. We would even come to expect them, count on them...maybe even take them for granted. Alas, they would no longer be special. They would fade into the background of daily life and we wouldn't take scarcely a notice.
Well, that tears it. Maybe Hawaii has rainbows all the time. But that's Hawaii. Here rainbows are still special. They come near the end of the storm. In the Bible they represent God's promise to mankind He will never again flood the earth. Rainbows are ephemeral and fleeting and must be enjoyed while they last. Somewhere over the rainbow bluebirds may fly, but in the here and now, rainbows are heaven-sent.
The tide comes in. The tide goes out. Ebb and flow. That is how it is. Yet there is always the maybe...maybe the moon will lose its pull on the earth. Maybe the sun won't rise tomorrow. Maybe their really is/isn't a God. Maybe.
Yes and No are options. Maybe. Somewhere in between is the answer to every question. You can agree. You can disagree. You can agree to disagree. And of course you can disagree to agree. Just say no. Say yes to life.
Maybe. Maybe that is where the lies. Maybe.
The Monopoly iron heads into history
I always thought we would be able to iron things out...forever. But things change. The people spoke. The iron is out. A cat is in. The Monopoly goes on.
In case you didn't know it, Parker Brothers, the makers of the classic game, Monopoly, held a open contest to choose which of the venable tokens of the game would be retired and replaced by a new, modern token, also to be chosen by popular vote.
So much for that.
I am just not sure what to think. I grew up playing Monopoly. We often scoffed at the rules and made up our own as we played. It always seemed like a very long game, too. But we always had fun. I always wanted the Scotty Dog or the Thimble. The Iron, ironically, never appealed to me. Yet I mourn its passing. What is that about?
Over the years Parker Brothers has found ways to make the game more relevant. Themes like Wizard of Oz, Star Trek and city-based boards featuring Detroit, New York, Los Angeles have come and gone. But the basic original game persisted in popularity. It is a part of the American experience. And should we monkey with that?
Speaking of monkeys, the replacement for the Iron is a sweet appearing Cat. I'm okay with the that I suppose. It was prejudicial to only have a dog in the game. It will all pass into history and the Cat will become part of the Monopoly lore.
But still change is hard.
For a complete history of the Tokens of Monopoly click here:
The mind is a funny thing: it functions best when open. I read that somewhere and am not sure who said it. It might have been Frank Zappa and likening the mind to a parachute. I have found it is true, though. When I come at something with an open mind, it is much easier to learn something new.
I am taking several classes here and there and I have to say it is true, at least for me, that to be curious is to be alive. I wonder. I wonder a lot. I wonder so much that I have begun to realize I will never know anything...for sure, anyway.
And that's okay.