Sunday, February 24, 2013

I thought Channing Tatum was a girl

Travel back with me if you will, to a land before Twitter.  In those dark recesses of 2006, the only way to instantaneously get your virtual thoughts about a major event to the world was by live blogging.

It was a somewhat laborious process, and one that I will demonstrate here for all posterity, by live-blogging tonight's Oscars.

Now, I should preface this by saying I am not a movie person.  In Trivial Pursuit, entertainment/movies is always my final pie piece.  I'll be up like five pie pieces to one, then have to wait and hope to get a question like "What does E.T. stand for" or "What was the sequel to Home Alone called?"

So this will probably be something like if 2 Chainz live-blogged the Country Music Awards, except with less profanity.  Some profanity, just less.

7:37 PM - Getting a late start.  Sorry.

7:39 PM - I have no idea who this host guy is.  Looks kinda like Jon Cryer and Dr. Patrick Drake from General Hospital had a kid.

7:40 PM - OK, that boobs song was stupid.  And I'm a boob fan!

7:44 PM - Has Adele already sung?  Because if so, I may have a tough time sitting through three hours of this.

7:47 PM - Time for our first award of the evening.  Finally!  And it goes to... some guy I've never heard of, not surprisingly.  Kristoff Holtz?  (Bone trivia: One of my favorite songwriters is Kris Kristofferson.)

7:48 PM - Oh, according to Twitter, that should have been Christoph Waltz.  Why was I trying to make him Russian?

7:51 PM - Paul Rudd is announcing something!  I know him!

7:52 PM - Paperman just won something.  I'll let you guess whether or not I've seen that one.  (Bone trivia: Paperboy was one of my favorite Nintendo games.)

7:59 PM - This guy is wearing a kilt!  Not judging, just stating.

8:01 PM - Ooo, I've heard of three of the nominees in this category!  Django Unchained, Skyfall, and Lincoln.  I bet none of them win.

8:01:22 PM - None of them won.

8:02 PM - Just an aside: I don't know anything about movies, but I'm gonna go out on a limb and say Lincoln was probably a slightly better film than Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, if not as historically accurate.

8:04 PM - Another aside: I have never seen a single James Bond movie.  Well, unless you count Austin Powers.

8:07 PM - Life Of Pi?  I haven't the faintest clue what that could be about.  Though it does remind me of my freshman year of college, which I sometimes refer to as Death By Calculus.

8:09 PM - I think I always thought Channing Tatum was a girl!!  Suddenly, I'm totally reevaluating the mental image I have of Dakota Fanning.

8:14 PM - Anna Karenina is just now being made into a movie??  Tolstoy.  There's a tough read.   My brain is hurting just thinking about it.

8:23 PM - Halle Berry!  I liked her in Flintstones.

8:27 PM - Am I the only one thoroughly enjoying all these George Clooney crowd shots?  I think not.  I gotta tell you though, back in the Facts Of Life days, I never saw this coming.  I always thought Nancy McKeon had the brightest star.  Or Charlotte Rae.

8:31 PM - I have no idea who this lady singing is.  Some song about a spider's touch?

8:32 PM - According to Xinh, my resident Gchat movie expert, that is Shirley Bassey.  And just to be sure, I google imaged Shirley Bassey for the first time in my life. Yep, that's her.

8:53 PM - And... we're back!  Sorry.  Had to take a break there.  Actually, I found a site where you can play Paperboy online.  OK, that's a lie.  I simply lost interest.  This show has really gone downhill ever since Kilt Guy. 

8:54 PM - John Travolta!!!  Loved him in Welcome Back, Kotter.  I wonder what in the world he's been up to these last forty years.

8:58 PM - Jennifer Hudson, I've heard of her.  Not really sure what she sings, but wow, what a voice!

9:01 PM - I'm suffering from Adele-.... what's the opposite of fatigue?

9:02 PM - Vigor, according to  Adele-vigor?  That doesn't sound right.

9:04 PM - If they're gonna do all this Les Miserables stuff, could they at least do "Master Of The House?"  It's the only one I know. 

9:05 PM - Worst part about live-blogging the Oscars?  Having to italicize all the movie titles.  But I can't not italicize them!  Something very bad would happen.  I'm sure of it.

9:10 PM - OK, they just trotted the talking teddy bear out on stage.  I'm not sure how much longer I can watch this garbage.

9:15 PM - If I ever won an award, a teddy bear and Mark Wahlberg would probably hand it to me.  That'd be my luck.

9:16 PM - We have a tie!  A tie?  What a crock!  Next year, why don't we just give out participation ribbons to all the nominees.

9:17 PM - The teddy bear is gone.  Thank God.  I never thought I'd be so happy to see this Patrick Cryer guy in my life.

9:20 PM - Call it Oscar blogger's intuition, but sometimes I get the feeling you actually have to watch movies to get some of these jokes.

9:21 PM - Just a heads-up, if and when Adele finally sings, I'm probably going to bed.  I know it's only 7:30 in California, but some of us here in the heartland have to go to work in the morning.  Besides, Adele pretty much sings me to sleep every night anyway.  Sometimes gentle sobbing is involved.

9:24 PM - Anne Hathaway!  She was tantalizing in Devil Wears Prada.... I heard.

9:25 PM - Xinh says she probably got her start in The Princess Diaries.  If only it had been The Princess Bride.  I've seen that.

9:28 PM - Is it just me, or are the same six movies nominated for everything?

9:31 PM - Sandra Bullock!  I've seen at least three of her movies!  You cannot say that about very many actresses.  It's a short list.  The only ones that come to mind at present are Sandra Bullock, Michelle Pfeiffer, Meg Ryan, and the woman who played Adrian in the Rocky movies.

9:34 PM - Jennifer Lawrence?  There are way too many Jennifers for me to keep up with.  Of course, even one would be a challenge.

9:38 PM - Ladies and gentlemen... Adele!!!  That's gonna do it for this year's Oscars.  I'm pretty sure that's all the big awards anyway.  I don't know about you, but I think that went remarkably well considering I've seen exactly one movie that came out in the past year.  Let's have one more token round of applause for our host, the incomparable Patrick Cryer.  He may not have always been funny, but I rather enjoyed his demeanor.

See you next year! 

OK, probably not.

"You take the good / You take the bad / You take them both / And there you have / The facts of life..."

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A blogger grapples with forty

It is a largely nondescript Saturday evening.  A group of people have gathered in a restaurant.  There are candles on a cake.  Presents on a table.

There are forty-two or forty-three people in all.  I would count them later.  Why were they all here?  It must be bingo night.  Or they must be having a raffle or something, giving away cash.

No, they are here for me.  Some by choice, some because they're family -- they're required to love me.  There are aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, even a former co-worker and her husband.

I am caught off guard.  When my sister asked me out to dinner, I had been suspicious at first.  But by the time we arrived at the restaurant, I had forgotten to be.

There is a face cake, with me as a kid of probably seven or eight, with my Bo Duke hair, wearing a football jersey, shoulder pads, football pants, full uniform.  Funny thing, I never actually played football on a team or anything.  But still, a face cake!

My Mom was nice enough to bring an essay I wrote in grade school, "The Person I Admire The Most."  The person I chose to write about?  Axl.  He is at the party, and he is LOVING this.

"Come on, we were in the fourth grade!" I really thought we were.
"Bone, we were in seventh grade."
"What?  So I wrote this when I was like thirteen?"
"Oh... well... that is a bit more embarrassing."

He will milk the essay for every last drop.  I wouldn't expect anything less.  That's not to mention all the "You write like a girl" comments the essay drew. 

Elsewhere, Nephew Bone is proudly displaying Uncle Bone's age with his fingers. (Is this really the sort of thing we want to be teaching our children?)  Or attempting to anyway.  More times than not he winds up holding up four fingers on each hand.

There are the requisite gag gifts.  At least, I hope they are gag gifts -- Polident, chocolate laxative, and a Viagra bottle filled with M&M's.  At least, I hope they were M&M's.

It strikes me more than once during the evening that the next time this many people show up for me will be at my funeral.  Or wedding.  Po-tay-to, po-tah-to. (What? Either way, I'll most likely be in a suit and people will be crying.)

There is an ease to the evening.  A comfortableness.  But still, there is an underlying feeling I can't seem to escape.  A feeling of "I can't believe this is me."

And yet, it is.

I still feel twenty-five most of the time, save for maybe Friday evenings when a week of work and waking up at 5:30 has caught up with me and I fall asleep on the couch by 8 PM.  And yet, these candles on the cake betray me.

For...... ty.

There, I said it.  I admit it's been a little tough for me.  And yes, I know that if I live long enough, someday forty will seem oh so young.  I guess I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do now, how I'm supposed to handle it.  Do I just pretend to take it all in stride, when suddenly life doesn't seem quite as long as it used to seem?

Am I not supposed to say that?  Is it taboo?   It's sure easier not to think about it, if only for sanity's sake.  So much more convenient to put it out of mind.

And yet, we mark the passing of these years with, of all things, candles.  Has ever there been a thing more symbolic of the life's impermanence than one of these?  Coming to life, burning to its peak of brightness, flickering for a little while, and then gone, all in a matter of moments.  (I don't know about you, but I think this is shaping up to be one of my funniest posts ever!)

I read a quote recently that I would butcher badly if I tried to paraphrase.  But the gist was that life is made up of a million instants.  There is this instant, and that instant, and as soon as they are here they are gone, a part of our past.

So there is right now, then there all the days of our past and all the days of our future.  And I suppose I have always tended to yearn for the larger of those.  When I was young, I longed to be older.  And now that I am older...

People have been saying all the usual things to try and be helpful/keep me from losing it:  "Life begins at forty."  "Forty is the new thirty."  Or even better, "Forty is the new twenty-five."  "You're just a baby."  (I gotta admit, it was refreshing hearing that from someone other than a current or ex-girlfriend.)   "You're not really forty,  you're eighteen with twenty-two years experience."  And my personal favorite, "Studies have shown that people who have the most birthdays, live the longest."

Still, it's just weird for me to think about not being here someday.  Me!  Bone!  I mean, take a moment and try and picture each of your lives with no Bone in it....

Not a few seconds, a moment...

Not a pretty sight, is it?  Didn't think so.  Here, have one of these odd-shaped blue M&M's.  They've sure been making me feel better.

I'll close with a photo.  My aunt who snowbirds in Florida sent me a birthday card.  Inside, she had included the newspaper clipping of my first birthday.

(My God, was I adorable!  I could have been the Gerber baby!   Kinda makes you wonder what in the world happened.)

She wrote, "I came across this handsome little boy.  Thought you'd like to keep it as I have all these birthdays.  Lots of love..."


It brought me to a complete stop.

Out of life's million little "instants," only a cherished few are able to do that.

"Guess my life's moved / At near light speed / Since I started this wild and crazy run / Such a long way / From that first birthday..."