Friday, May 24, 2024

Movies that aged not so bad

 Recently I rewatched a few movies from the 80s-'90s.  In no particular order:

  • Die Hard - 1988
  • The Fugitive - 1993
  • Backdraft  - 1991
  • The Untouchables - 1987

It's just a coincidence that 75% of them are set in Chicago. It's hilarious that I will re-watch movies I've seen more than once, yet won't invest the time to watch movies I missed out on their first passes like Goodfellas, The Shawshank Redemption, or Saving Private Ryan.

 I won't say the movies didn't age well, but I will say that wow, I really willfully suspended my disbelief when watching them the first time.

Most of these movies get boring (for me) by the 3rd Act.  And they certainly insult my intelligence well before that.  

For instance, in The Untouchables, there is a scene set at Union Station.  It's late at night and the point of the scene is the hero is trying to stop the bookkeeper from catching the 12:05 am to Miami.  First of all, the station is virtually empty.  Union Station is busy at all hours that there are trains coming and going.  

Second, a lady is trying to get two pieces of luggage and her child in what I guess passes for a stroller at the time up a flight of stairs.  You are going to tell me that no one, no one would help her?  And even if no one was around to help her, the clumsy climb she does makes no sense.  Any parent would simply carry the bags to the next landing, then go back for the kid and move on to the next level.  Don't even get me started on her having two big suitcases and a bassinet for her toddler.  

These movies were entertaining back in the day and I didn't mind re-watching them as a distraction from other things, but it will probably be many years before I watch them again, if at all.

Same as it Never Was

In the late 80s, I attended NMSU, a liberal arts college located in Kirksville, Missouri.  It took me a while to get any traction but eventually, I was getting good grades and had an active social life.  My mother took that away from me.  She lost a job and had a car accident and couldn't afford to keep sending me there.

But here's the thing.  back then, financial aid was more abundant than it was later.  we could totally have been able to send me back but my mom wouldn't allow it.  Because she knew the longer I was away from home, the more I would realize how dysfunctional our life was.  and she was jealous that I might meet someone who would be competing for my attention.

I tried to rebuild what I had in Kirksville in Chicago but a neurodivergent 20-year-old wasn't gonna be able to do it.  Many of my high school friends were away at other college campuses and the ones who went to city colleges didn't have the free time one does at a college town.  and a part of me thought I'd find a way back to Kirksville or after college move to St Louis where my so-called friends lived.  

There's a lot of complexity but it wasn't until I gave that up that I truly created a life in Chicago.

Fast-forward to 2021.  Nightingale decided we needed a change and she moved us to Mississippi-stan.  Not out of malice.  But because she hated her job and wanted to be closer to family.  The only reason we are in this particular city is because her younger sister set down roots here and as the baby of the family, she needed help once she had children with Confederate Jethro.  

Almost Daily, I get an On This Day from Facebook showing me some memories of our Chicago house.  I miss it terribly.  But the truth is, Chicago isn't perfect, and moving back wouldn't be the panacea I want it to be.  Just like moving to St Louis wouldn't have been the magical solution I wanted it to be.  

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Double Nickels

I turned 55 last week.  Nightingale tells me stories about her dad and it might be true that girls marry a guy who is like their father, for better or worse.  He is 79 and his body started betraying him long ago.  He

can't really do much and what he can do takes 3x longer because of his physical limitations.  and I am scared shitless this will happen to me too.

I haven't even tried to go for a run in 2 years.  There are so many paths that are now closed to me.  The best I can do is focus on the ones still open, such as being the best parent I can be.  

My Current Existential Crisis

I've never been very good at setting boundaries and putting my foot down when it comes to the people I call friends.  I mean I eventually do it but by the time I do, it's too late.  They are like hey when I kicked you in the stomach last week you didn't say anything, why are you making a big deal about it now?

I wrote about this last year.

We talked in January for her birthday but not since.  I figured time just moved quickly for her and she was waiting for my birthday for our next live talk.    Her text didn't mention calling to chat, but her card did, so a few days later I texted about it.  She said she's on a crazy schedule for the next few weeks and would let me know when she catches a break.  

I got a birthday text and a card from Jewel last week.  In the card she wrote that it has been way too long since we talked and wants to catch up in 3 weeks after her daughter's wedding.  So let's unpack this.  She couldn't find a few minutes in the last 49 weeks to chat with me for 20-30 minutes and now is too busy for the next three weeks.  And then she will want to talk about her daughter's wedding.  

seems appropriate

A few years ago, when I lost my job at Big Audit, I sent an email to a small group of friends I thought gave a shit.  Most responded.  One person didn't.  But a month later I was on Gmail at the same time and she said "Sorry you lost your job."  if I hadn't been online at the exact same time I might never have heard from her.  

I get that email isn't her thing, though she works in Corporate America and certainly works with email.    She could reply with a "Hey sorry this happened, you know I'm not a big emailer but if you want to jump on Gchat, I'm available. "  But her way has to carry the day. 

Our friendship was damaged (technically a 2nd time but I won't go into that). 

Back to Jewel.  Chances are good it will slip her mind.  She's not big on Social Maintenance and perhaps once enough time passes, she will forget like last year.  On the other hand, she keeps the number of friends around her small because she's not big on Social Maintenance and Friendship Obligations.  She likely has bored to death anyone she interacts with Tales of Wedding Planning.  

And this is where I have to decide what I want to do.  I could take the call and the crumbs she throws me occasionally so that I have someone to talk to in my Southern Isolation.  Or I could punt it away with my own unavailability.  I could tell her how she hurt me but all that will happen is she might acknowledge, apologize, promise and then never reach out again.  

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

First Day of May

A freeloader has arrived
It's hard to believe that three short weeks ago, we actually had to turn on the heat in the mornings.  Then it was heat in the morning, AC in the afternoons.  Now it's AC on a moderate setting just to deal with the humidity.  By next week the AC will be running more regularly.

I need to note for the future that I should work on some outdoor/garage projects in late March or early April versus now because it is getting too hot.

There is so much I want to do around here but I lack the motivation to get started.  The detached garage is now empty enough that I could use it as a workshop.  I could theoretically epoxy the floor without too much trouble although I think I would rather outsource that task if I ever get employed again.

The attached garage needs a few more things to go away and I could definitely epoxy it as well.  I would like to use some of the leftover paint from the House Repaint to repaint the dirty and chipped walls.  

Three weeks from now the kids are done with school and I will have to entertain them.  In theory, that means we get to sleep in a bit.  in reality, Boris will be on his iPad as early as he can.  And once he's been awake for a bit, he gets hungry.  And if I don't feed him a proper breakfast, he will raid the cupboards in search of crackers, pretzel chips, or other unwise choices.

When they were kept home from school because of snow, way back in January, they discovered that a school friend lived kiddy corner from our lot line.  They have been hanging out with K ever since.  In fact, she has become our third child in a way.  She's the sister Natasha never had but always wanted.

Alas, she won't be here for the summer so another BFF bites the dust.  Fortunately, she gets to see her BFF from the old neighborhood in another month. 

We have plans to visit Chicago and Grosse Pointe, Michigan in June.  It pains me that we have to spend so much money to do so.  My mom's house isn't an option so we need hotels and/or friend's houses.  And it didn't need to be this way.

My mom could have sold her house and lived in our Portage Park home.  We could have worked something out so that the mortgage didn't change but her name could be on it.