Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Last Walk-In

 A nearly two-year streak came to an end this past weekend. 

Maybe you were too busy watching Here Comes Honey Boo Boo to notice.  But for the first time since 2010, I, Bone, went to see a movie. In a theater.

I know what you're saying. "People still go to the movies?"  Well, judging by the twelve souls who were in the same theater we were Saturday night, I'd say the answer to that question is a big ole resounding... "not really."

Tired of all the bizarre they-must-be-entirely-out-of-ideas movies lately, such as Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer and the talking Teddy Ruxpin (is that redundant?), we opted for an imperceptibly more practical flick: The Odd Life Of Tom Green.

What?  Oh.  Timothy Green.  Sorry.  Or as I kept referring to it: Honey I Grew A Kid In The Garden.

You may be asking, "What might possibly have possessed you to go see that, Bone?"  Well, as the title of one of my seven future autobiographies will state, I did it for a girl.  (There's also Unfortunately I Was There For Almost The Whole Thing.  And the groundbreaking On-bay: Y-may Entire-way Ife-lay En-nay Ig-pay Atin-lay.  The other four are TBD.)

Some will say the movie theater is dying, that Redbox, On-Demand, and poor writing have killed what once was a staple of American weekends.  They will say why put on clothes and go to a theater when you can lie on the couch in your underwear and pop in a DVD.

To them I would say only.... hmm... OK, actually they have a decent point there.  Where was I going with this?  Oh right.  It's not just about watching some crappy movie.  It's about the entire movie-going experience:  the sticky seats, covered by years of who-knows-what; the almost-expected projector malfunction; the previews of even worse movies than the one you're about to see.  

Plus, where else are you gonna get six-dollar soft drinks and nine-dollar popcorn?  An airport?  A ballgame?  A concert?

OK, those are all good answers.

Ah, but here's the kicker:  Where else can you go and pay to be annoyed by the small children of complete strangers for two hours straight?

OK, maybe an airplane.

Anyway, getting back to the movie. What was it called again? Hark, Who Grows There?  Jack Is The Beanstalk?  I must say, once you got past the almost-laughable unbelievability of the premise (which I never really did) it wasn't too awful, albeit predictable.  And I might have to take issue with the guy sitting behind us.  This cinephile could be overheard as we were exiting the octoplex saying in a steep Southern drawl, "That feeyum awwtuh win uh Ah-uhscur."

I'm guessing the Academy might go in another direction on this one, Siskel.

Still, it did have Jennifer Garner in it.  So there was that.  And the guy who played Peter on Office Space also had a small part.

Ah, Office Space.  Now there's a movie.  I actually watched it one afternoon last week. 

From my couch.

In my underwear.

You know, at this point I can't help but think it might be tough to fill seven autobiographies.

"Don't hang around and let your problems surround you /  There are movie shows / Downtown..."

Monday, August 20, 2012

The single shutting and reopening of one's eye

Sometimes it meant camping out.  I know some of the names changed from time to time, but for some reason thinking back on it now, I can only remember the four of us -- Me, Allan, Hollywood, and Mouse.  That was the core group.

Gazing up at the stars, talking about girls you'd dated and ones you almost had, singing any song that came to mind until eventually one of the other guys told you to shut up or threw something at you -- usually the latter, knowing you didn't have to go home until morning.  It felt like freedom.

And there was always a fire -- a big one.  As we gathered every stick and pine needle within a fifty yard radius, it was usually more bonfire than campfire.  I would say I was surprised no one ever called the fire department on us, but for that one time someone did.

Even so, once the fire died down, it seems like we always wound up chilled to the bone or soaking wet.  Sometimes both.  It probably didn't rain as much as I seem to remember it did, but those are the nights that stand out.  I can still vividly see Mouse, who weighed all of 120 pounds soaking wet, sitting there shivering, telling us how he was never doing this again.  But he always did.

I remember one night Hollywood and I rode Allan's tandem bike into town about 1 AM to go to the Walmart, for no reason whatsoever other than it was something to do.  It was about four miles one way, and long before we had a 24-hour Walmart, so we pooled our change and bought a couple of Mountain Dews from the vending machine out front, then rode back.

It feels like there should be more to this story, like we got pulled over by the police or ran into a mailbox or were shot at on our way back or something, but there isn't.  Just me, riding a bicycle-built-for-two, with another guy, at 1 o'clock in the morning.  That is all.

Sometimes it meant tapping on my future (now ex-) roommate's bedroom window late at night -- the universal signal that a game of spades was about to commence.  He'd let us in through the carport door and we'd play for an hour or two.  One night we were a person short, so he went and got his sister to play.  His sister was one of the great crushes of my adolescence.  I spent a good solid four years, I'd say, finding any excuse I could to hang out with her.  So from then on, I always tried to make sure we were a person short.

Sometimes it meant sneaking into the basement door of the Baptist church and playing ping-pong, or cards.  Axl and his parents attended there so he knew where they hid the key.  He said no one would mind, and who were we to argue.  We ended up holding our fantasy baseball draft that year in the classroom for the 5 & 6-year-olds, amidst some Noah's ark memorabilia which I may or may not have played with a little.

Sometimes it meant picking a road we'd never been down and seeing where it led.  Pick A Road, we called it.  The name has a certain understated stupidity to it, don't you think?

Flying through the countryside with the top off my old Jeep sated a bit of wanderlust, I suppose.  As we lamented the lack of anything better to do, all the while pondering life and wishing we had one.

And the radio.  There was always the radio, or some worn out cassette.  Turned up wide.  Letting the songs affect me too much.

I still remember a couple of those roads, and any time I pass by I can feel a smile start to begin.

Such were my late teens and early twenties: One long continuous quest for something to do, some place to be, never wanting the night to end.  There seemed to be time to burn.  So burn it we did.

When I think back on those times now, they're not some faded, distant memory.  Rather, they're clear.  Vivid.  Almost close enough to touch.  Like if I could somehow turn back one single page, there they would be, as real as the day I lived them.  But when I reach out to grasp them I unclench my fists to find my hands still empty.  And it blows my mind to think, and it just does not seem possible, that twenty years have passed.... just... like... that.

I suppose that's how the brain's files work.  Twenty years ago can seem as close as twenty minutes ago.

And just as far away.

"And the sound the king of spades made / In the spokes of my old Schwinn / I was racing Richie Culver / For a Grape Nehi / Yeah, lately I've been thinking / 'Bout Route 5, Box 109..."

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Anyone wanna venture a guess as to what this week is?

National Breastfeeding Week?  No, that was last week.  National Scrabble Week?  Actually, yes it IS National Scrabble Week!  But while that surely deserves its own post, that's not what we're talking about today.

No, today we are talking about a week you probably thought you'd forgotten about.  A week as fundamental to your being as International Whistlers Week, or Bread Pudding Recipe Exchange Week.  A week that has ruined you for all other weeks.

It's NaBloSoFroDraWe!!!!!!!!!!

That's, uh, National Blog Something From Draft Week for you newbies, or those of you who don't have photographic recollection of a made-up blog holiday you might have read about once or twice, long ago.  (I'm thinking about shortening the name to make it easier to remember, since even I have trouble keeping the abbreviation straight.  NaBlo and FroDra are my two best ideas thusfar.  What do you think?)

The brainchild of wannabe-seminal-blogger Bone back in 2008, NaBloSoFroDraWe is the perfect cure for what ails ye bloggers during these dog (and often blog-less) days of summer.  Don't have any ideas for a post?  No worries!  Just reach back into your drafts, pull something out, then copy and paste for all the world to read.

Perhaps it's something you started but never finished.  Now you don't have to finish it!  Just click and post.  Maybe it's a personal post you're afraid could cause a schism between you and a family member.  Well, chances are you're gonna have a falling out someday anyway, so why prolong the inevitable?  Just. Hit. Publish.

In previous years, it has been brought to my attention that some bloggers don't have anything in draft.  As someone who has 111 things in draft, that seems like a foreign concept to me, but I can respect it.

This holiday is for the rest of us.  Those of us who thought we were ready to post something but once we stepped up to the blog urinal and saw all those people standing around, we got a little stage fright and couldn't quite pull the trigger.  It happens.  But today is the day to shed those blog inhibitions and just let it go.

(You had to know someday I would manage to work in a writing/urinal analogy.  I'm only surprised it took me this long.)

Still, some will say, and even I have said, posts that are in draft are in draft for a reason.  Well, as the always eloquent Biz Markie once pontificated, "Don't give me that.  Don't even give me that."

Besides, remember our slogan: "Someday we'll look back on this and cringe."

For those who might be interested, I dug into my drafts and posted something over at Poetry Wrecks.  You know, since it somewhat resembles a poem.  And also because I haven't posted over there since early spring.

Later, we may analyze why suddenly my blog has become all about obscure holidays and asking questions which I pretend someone else is answering.  Or... we may not.

And hopefully I won't have any more brainchildren, at least not for awhile.

"Shake it out, shake it out / Shake it out, shake it out, oh whoa /  And it's hard to dance with a devil on your back / So shake him off..."

Friday, August 10, 2012

Interpretive blogging?

In honor of Duran Duran Appreciation Day today -- no, seriously, it's an actual day -- I have decided to finally do something I've had in mind to do for a long time.  Start my own band?  No, but now that you mention it...  Profess my love for Simon Le Bon?  Surely I must have already done that somewhere along the way.  Do a Duran Duran: Where Are They Now post?  Sadly, no.  (By the way, those were all really good guesses!  I'm impressed.)

Some time ago I had the idea for a new blog feature where I would give my interpretation of the lyrics to a popular song.  The idea was born one day when I started thinking about the number of songs I liked, but had not the faintest idea what they were talking about.  It would be called -- wait for it -- Song Interp Sunday.

Of course, today being Friday, it kind of loses a little zing.  But I felt it more important to observe Duran Duran Appreciation Day than to post something on Sunday that has "Sunday" in its title. Apparently.

Because I, for one, appreciate Duran Duran.  How much?  Let's put it this way, if blogs had been around in 1985, my blog name probably would have been Bone Bone.  Also, Arena was my first cassette.  (I wanted that or Word Up, and I guess Mom was preferential to the band whose members were not wearing codpieces.) 

And that's pretty much the extent of my appreciation.  Well, besides this post.  I mean, I'm tearing myself away from SongPop and Google Kayaking for this!

Now for the first time in the history of the blogosphere -- and let's be honest, there's a decent shot it's for the very last time, as well -- I proudly present Song Interp Sunday.  On Friday.  Only here, my friends.  Only here.

Today I attempt to interpret the song "Wild Boys," by the aforementioned Duran Duran.

"The wild boys are calling, on their way back from the fire"

First lines are so very important.  Here, we can deduce the so-called Wild Boys are either fire fighters, or perhaps, arsonists.  Also note they are "calling."  From a cell phone?  Fairly advanced for 1985, I would say.  So they must be top secret government agents.  Or Zack Morris.

"An August moon surrender to a dust cloud on the rise."

It's summer.  And night.  Or is it?  It has been my experience the moon sometimes comes out during the day.  But the sun never comes out at night.  Weird how that happens.  Also, the subject-verb disagreement really bugs me.  Like I want so bad to correct it.  Just.  Have.  To.  Move.  On.

"Wild boys fallen far from glory, reckless and so hungered on the razors that you trail."

Hungered on the razors?  Double-you-tee-eff!  So they haven't eaten in awhile, are not the greatest drivers in the world, and someone is just tossing out Gillettes like they're candy?!?!  Do those happen to be Mach 3's?

"Because there's murder by the roadside, in a sore afraid new world."

Fire.  Murder.  Perhaps this is a musical take on Fahrenheit 451!  Yes!  I think that's it!

"They tried to break us. Looks like they'll try again."

I don't know who "they"" are, but apparently they're quite persistent.

"Wild boys never lose it.  Wild boys never chose this way."

What is "it?"  Who are "they?"  I'm so confused!  Don't lose faith, Bone.  This will probably be like Sixth Sense and I'll get to the end and realize Bruce Willis was alive the whole time.

"Wild boys never close your eyes.  Wild boys always shine."

Is this first sentence a command, advice, or a symptom of insomnia?  Always shine?  What does that mean?  Is there radioactive material involved?  I'm starting to think Duran Duran is working on a whole other level here.  I mean, Hungry Like The Wolf?  Would it have been the same if, say, the title had been Hungry Like A Water Moccasin?  I think not.  And what if The Reflex had instead been called The Response To Stimuli?  Let's face it, these guys were geniuses. 

"You got sirens for a welcome.  There's bloodstain for your pain."

Second verse starts with another apparent fire fighter or Fahrenheit 451 reference.

"And your telephone been ringing while you're dancing in the rain."

It's the fire department calling!  Run, Montag!  Run to Farber's house!  He'll know what to do.  But watch out for the mechanical dog!

"Wild boys wonder where is glory?  Where is all you angels?"

I have this exact thought near the end of every 10K I've ever run, just as I'm on the verge of retching.  Except replace "glory" with "water."

"Now the figureheads have fell.  And lovers war with arrows over secrets they could tell."

Does this have anything to do with Cupid?

"They tried to tame you.  Looks like they'll try again."

Again with the persistence.  I gotta be honest, Wild Boys, I would have given up long before now.  Kudos to you.

And there you have it!  Blog history has been made.  Obviously, this song is a musical account of a literary classic with undertones of a bit of a murky (and quite violent) love story.  That, or a heavily veiled tribute to Bruce Willis and Zack Morris.

Either way, I feel all but confident in saying each of us now have a clearer understanding of this somewhat ambiguous but catchy tune, which peaked at #2 on Casey's Top 40 in 1984.  I hope you have a meaningful Duran Duran Appreciation Day.  And as Casey would say, "Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars."

That, I understood.

"It gets worse once we get to her room / As she stops and she sings / Doot do do doot do do doot do / I claim New Religion is my song / Ah, she doesn't get it / It's all before she was born..."

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Today's hurdles, tomorrow's "goals"

So what does Bone do all day?

Perhaps this is a question you've found yourself asking before.  Perhaps it is even a question I have found myself asking before, when several hours seemed to have disappeared with not a trace of anything tangible to show for them.

Today, we begin to answer that question. For today, Google unveiled it's latest interactive doodle: the hurdles.  Go ahead, click over and play for an hour or so.  This post will still be right here when you get back.  It's not like I'm gonna blog again tomorrow or anything.

So I played Google hurdles today.  And -- and this is an important "and," for without it this post would be over now -- I tweeted about it.  (Don't worry, I'm still watching the Olympics, but occasionally I need a break.  I mean, there's only so many hours of Greco-Roman Wrestling a man can watch.)

I believe my day can most accurately and succinctly be summed up in these 140-characters-or-less bits of social media goodness.  Therefore, with apologies to J. Adamthwaite and anyone else who follows me on the Twitter and may have already had the misfortune of reading these once, I present today's tweets:

/begin Twitter log
Oh I'm gonna be doing this Google hurdle thing all day now.

Just shaved 3 seconds off my hurdles time! That's gotta be virtually unheard of in Google-ympics, right?

I don't wanna work. I just wanna play Google hurdles all day.

Someone should video me playing this. Teeth clenched, face in some sort of odd contortion. Don't tell me this isn't a real sport.

My guy is slow! Where's the option to select the Princess from Super Mario 2? She could float right over these hurdles.

I kept getting tripped up by the first hurdle for the longest! That'll ruin your whole day. I mean, race. (I meant day.)

11.3 seconds! They need some Easter Eggs on here, like hurdle invincibility, or "break twelve seconds and unlock the Usain Bolt character."

Amazing stat: Every 2.5 seconds today, someone has tweeted about #GoogleDoodle... And that someone is me.

Remember the Laff-A-Lympics?  I loved that!  The something Yogis, the Really Rottens, and... can't remember the other team.

FYI, I'm using both index fingers to run, and my left pinkie to jump. Requires extraordinary index-pinkie coordination.

Get your arms up! You run like you're about to do the vault.

I think I would do better if there were music playing like they have in gymnastics.  Maybe "St. Elmo's Fire." Or "Ride Like The Wind."

11.9. Crap! And why isn't Google showing the Olympic and world records in the bottom left corner while I run?

Oh!  The Scooby Doobies!  Duh.  #LaffALympics

Could one say that I am easily entertained? I think at this point it's at least conceivable.

Why do people keep walking in?!! You think Missy Franklin's boss keeps coming into the pool place every five minutes while she's practicing?

This requires like twelve seconds of absolute concentration and focus. Which is the longest I've focused on any one thing in five years.

11.3! BOOM! #GoogleDoodle OK, my hand is cramping. Seriously. #athleteproblems

Tomorrow on the Keyboard Olympics: Modern Pentathlon. YESSSSS!!! I'd better do some finger limbering exercises tonight.

11.0! OK, I think I'm done. Thanks to all of you who did not unfollow me. Today, and always.
/end Twitter log

And that's what Bone does all day.  At least for today.  And no, I'm not gonna spend all day tomorrow again playing the hurdles. Don't be silly.  Give me a little credit, would you?

There's a new doodle tomorrow: Basketball!

I'm gonna spend all day playing that.

"It is the night / My body's weak / I'm on the run / No time for sleep / I've to ride / Ride like the wind / To be free again..."