May 29th, 2010

Dead Dog Cat

#40, 41

I got a couple of easy reads done, yesterday.

The first was a graphic novel...Air: Pure Land, the third of this comic. Not bad, but not great, and I'm starting to think that I may drop this from my want list...

Second, was Osprey Fortress #95: Ottoman Fortifications 1300 - 1710 which deals with another area of history that my prior education did little to cover. Some interesting maps as well.

After a terrific meal of fresh-baked challah with various dips, zucchini gratin, with herbs and vegetables direct from the garden in the backyard, and chicken smothered in a lime salsa, we relaxed and watched The Gold Rush via Netflix disc, and Karate Kid, which I'd never seen, via Netflix streaming. I liked both of them. I have to wonder, now, what the new Karate Kid project with Jackie Chan will be like?
Dead Dog Cat

(no subject)

When I dumped The Tudors, I found myself pondering the TV shows whose entire runs we've sat through, and which ones were satisfying, and which weren't. I don't profess to have watched everything that's ever been released, but especially in the last few years, with shows being released (or re-released) on video/DVD, it's been possible to really watch a show all the way through, from the first episode on, in its proper order.

My thoughts here are directed to shows that ran their course, not shows that were truncated by their networks. For example, Babylon 5 pretty much ran the course that JMS had intended for it, but Crusade did not.

So, off the top of my head, we have the following shows:

Battlestar Galactica: I watched the original run, until the start of the third season, and usually found myself cussing at the screen at the end of every show, because they always tied up all the complications at the end in a neat, but stupid, package. However, I loved the more recent series...until the last episode. It left me with the same feeling of "why did I bother watching this crap?" as the old series had.

Lost: I had suspicions as to the likely ending, sometime in season two, so this ending was fairly satisfying to me. Fairly. I still think that they left way too many threads untied, but there you go.

Forever Knight: I was shocked by the ending of this series. Utterly shocked. Still am.

Rome: Well-planned, beautiful mirroring of the commoners and the nobility. Outstanding.

Joan of Arcadia: Interesting idea, occasional bursts of excellence. It ended leaving us hanging, probably due to the networks not picking it up, but it did, at least, leave us with an ending, rather than just another episode.

Gilmore Girls: Yes, forestcats actually got me to watch this with her, and it definitely had an ending, which seemed to suggest that our present culture pressures women to be with men, and that not all women need that. Or at least, that's the impression *I* got.

Northern Exposure - you know, I just realized that I still haven't seen a significant number of the last season's episodes. I MUST RECTIFY THIS!!!

Babylon 5: Seems to me that this was the first TV series I EVER saw that truly had a planned run, with specific things happening at specific times in the run. I really liked it.

The Prisoner: The original one, not the recent one. It had an ending, but the ending remains open to wide varieties of interpretation, which is part of the joy of watching that series.

I'm sure that I've missed a couple of series that I've watched all the way through. Does anyone out there have any other thoughts on the subject?
Dead Dog Cat

(no subject)

OK, so I'd better talk about THE RING, today, lest I forget and later feel guilty.

This goes back decades to get to the very start...

I decided that I was going to beg forestcats to permit me to marry her. One of the things that required was that I get an engagement ring. Having visited a couple of jewelry stores with her at various times, I picked one out that I thought would be to her taste. I put it on layaway, planning to pay a little at a time. I then gave my parents warning of my plans, and they were aghast that I'd picked out a ring without forestcats participation. So, later on, I took her to the same store, and let her see the ring. She instantly disliked it, but loved another ring at the store, so we shifted the credit, and I continued to pay over time.

forestcats proceeds to take her grandmother to Ireland for a trip. On the day of her return, we were going to be at Windycon, so I decided to pay out the rest for the ring, and surprise her with it at O'Hare.

I checked into the hotel at the convention, showed the ring to a variety of people who were very excited for us, and then on Saturday, went to the airport to meet the ladies. At the international terminal, I ran into forestcats mother who was going to pick up the grandmother. So, I was a bit flustered...

Then, we see forestcats walking down the corridor from Customs...and then walking back in, as if she were going to run through the security check again, voluntarily. Then, she returned, grandma in tow. She immediately starts telling about how Customs had let her through, rapidly, not allowing her time to complete her declarations...and I pulled out the ring and put in on her finger.

Notice, I forgot to ASK her. So, even now, forestcats complains that I never asked her to marry me. And she's right. I guess it just came through via telepathy.

In any case, we went to the convention, people crowded around her to see the ring (which was a reddish-gold diamond ring of a very unusual pattern; an estate ring that she loved), even before we had a chance to take her luggage up to the room. She was irritated with me that everyone there already knew I was going to give her the ring...

Years passed. We got married; she had her wedding ring made special so that it fitted right up against the engagement ring.

Then, when I was working at Friendly Hills Medical Group (now defunct), she visited me at work, one afternoon, and the staff asked to examine her ring. She took it off, allowing it, while I went to see a patient; apparently, she stepped away for a moment to the bathroom, or some such. When she and I returned, the ring was gone. One of the three staff had stolen it! We were in a quandry, and instead of calling the police, we simply suffered.

Years have passed. I've gifted her with another ring that is beautiful in its own right, but we've never seen a comparable ring structure.

Until very recently. A couple of weeks ago, forestcats found a ring on Ebay from a dealer in estate jewelry from Chicago that looks almost exactly like the old ring. Apparently, there was a specific jeweler in the city who made these rings to a pattern of his own devising, and this was another such. She negotiated a sale at a very good price.

This week, it arrived in the mail. She took me by surprise as I returned home from work, and demanded that I open the envelope in the driveway. When I realized what it was, I shook, dropped it, picked it up, cried...and forgot to ask her to marry me...AGAIN!

But I can't stop kissing her on the hand next to the ring...
Dead Dog Cat

(no subject)

In another emotional vein...I guess this week I was so tired, that emotion really hit me hard...anyway:

I've been working pretty damn late all week, and so I've been often rounding at the hospitals and nursing homes well into the prime time for TV; most rooms have one or more TVs turned on full blast.

So, yesterday, I was walking down the corridors of one of the hospitals, and I could hear the distinctive voice of Vin Scully, the announcer for Dodger games.

And I was drawn back home...many many times, I would walk into the den, and my Dad would be stretched out on the couch, watching the ballgames.

And I was overwhelmed with the feeling of missing him...
Dead Dog Cat

(no subject)

As I was driving around, this week, pretty late in the evening, I regularly heard the NPR show The Story, via KPCC. It came to me, as I was listening to one particular fellow, that he was a pretty darn good storyteller, and I was reminded of a summer in the 70s.

You see, I worked three summers as a summer camp counselor, once at Camp JCA Barton Flats, and twice at Blue Star Camps Hendersonville, NC. At the latter facility, one summer, we had a person show up who told stories, and encouraged us all, kids and counselors, to tell our own stories in our own ways.

I was inspired, but didn't do anything much about it for a long time thereafter, being busy with pre-med classes, and later medical school. But then I did find a place to get published, and I did write and sell a few things.

I found that storytelling is a useful method for encouraging and educating my patients.

And now I blog.

And hopefully, I tell stories fairly well, and were I ever to meet the storyteller again, I could truthfully say that I'd taken his words to heart!