Sunday, March 30, 2008

a weekend at the movies...

Friday evening came with the sweet promise of a weekend with nothing to do. It feels like ages since I've had a weekend like this, and what a welcome weekend it was. The time was filled with good eats, the typical amount of sleep, which sadly isn't much, and the time forgotten lazy afternoon at home. I even cooked dinner with legitimate fixings! A very welcome weekend indeed.

The above title is a lie, though I did watch a few movies. The first was "Jackie Brown", the third film directed by Quentin Tarantino. The only of his movies I'd not seen, it was a smart tale of a street-wise flight attendant and the arms dealer who pays her bills. Not as raw and over the top as Tarantino's other work, the story is well told, written, and acted, featuring a terrific cast including the always welcome Michael Keaton, Samuel L Jackson, Robert DeNiro, and Bridget Fonda. I liked it.

Yesterday, Ryan, Scott and I went to see "Diary of the Dead", the fifth film in George A Romero's "(Noun du jour) of the Dead" franchise. An attempt to comment on the violent depravity of men, the story of a group of college film students documenting their flight from the un-dead falls short of other recent zombie flicks like "28 Weeks Later", and the remake of Romero's own "Dawn of the Dead". I confess that I like movies about zombies, but the script more or less sucked, as did the acting. So in other words, it wasn't great.

Speaking of movies, my ever more creative, not to mention funnier and better looking, companion Sarah presented me with a fabulous suggestion we will soon be undertaking. In the wake of my humiliating upset at the Oscar's (see the below reminder of my humorless obsession), Sarah, no doubt aiming to restore my pride, proposed we start watching the Best Picture winners, all 80 of them. We quickly got excited and committed ourselves to the task, and soon we will start to work our way through the movies in reverse order from "No Country for Old Men" to 1927's "Wings", plus the first two installments of "The Lord of the Rings" to catch Sarah up to speed. We both have our reservations, Sarah dreading "The Silence of the Lambs", and I "Titanic", but we're looking forward to starting. Sarah tells me I have much to learn about "The Sound of Music", and I will certainly post updates along the way.

That's all for now, and I best get to bed. Right now people the whole world over are restoring their strength so they can wake up, call and complain about their iTrip, meaning I need all the help I can get. Cheers!

Monday, March 24, 2008

so long...

I lost my iPod to a glass of week old Coke tonight, and I find myself in a quandary. I spend most of my day talking to people who own iPods. Almost everyday I talk to someone who says my company’s product ruined their iPod. I then give this spiel about how we’ve never had an instance where our product fried one, but that we would be happy to get it back and test it. This is the truth, I’ve never seen it happen, but no one cares, and for the most part no one believes you. I hate being the villain, but the truth is that things quit working, products fail, even expensive ones, and all day long I wish I could tell someone it’s just stuff.

This was my fourth iPod. The first one developed this pitiful frowning face and ultimately quit working all together. The second one had a short in it, causing it to turn on and off if you squeezed it in the right place. The third one was stolen when some high school kid broke my car window and took it along with Sarah’s. My father graciously replaced the iPods, and tonight that one bit the dust too.

A friend of mine is a Young Life leader and tonight I volunteered to help students kidnap their friends and bring them to Young Life. The 15 year old girl riding shotgun was looking for some music and set the iPod down in a cup of Coke. I didn’t know this until after the kids got out of the car and I realized the iPod was all sticky. I turned on the light and could see the liquid under the screen. All of a sudden I’m looking for someone to blame, frustrated over the fact the girl knew what she had done the moment she felt the Coke in her hands, though she never said anything. If I was in her shoes at that age, I don’t know if I would have either, and I can’t hardly blame her. While I try to take the high road, I really wish in my heart of hearts I had someone to blame who could do something about it.

No matter what I learn about the world, it is hard to overcome the materialism that pervades it. I have a very good grip on my guitars, when they were made, what they cost, the location of every nick and ding. I can even hold one, run my hands across the strings, and sense the infidelity of another person’s hands. Every DVD has a specific place on the shelf, and I can see what’s missing with a passing glance. I know where every CD I own is, how it is organized (alphabetized by genre with records chronologically sequenced by artist), and who has borrowed one. It is quite pitiful. Tonight the passing of my fourth iPod makes me sad, and in the midst of all this I forget what a luxury it was to even have one.

I have seen third world poverty with my own eyes, walked in a slum where one out of five people had HIV or AIDS. Countless homeless have heard the sound of my car doors locking, or the so simple “I don’t have any cash.” Yet I have so much more to lose, so many other luxuries that can only be lost in time. All these things are replaceable, and in spite of what I know about the world, it is hard to remember that which is not.

There is no cute anecdote here, just the knowledge that in this time of frustration, I am very aware of how easily I get priorities messed up. Even in thinking about this blog tonight, I have marginalized and hurt someone I hold closer than any other, and it sucks to realize that. I should be grateful for my sticky, caffeinated iPod, and be humbled by how quickly the things we revere become worthless. Maybe I will be come the morning.