Oscar Hangover

March 1st, 2011


It seems that, much like professional athletes, the folks in Hollywood often take themselves far too seriously.  And much like the Super Bowl, the Academy Awards are given an obscene amount of attention. 

Talent, intelligence, and beauty all have value – and a price tag.  And well they should.  But sometimes it does seem as though our society’s priorities are perversely misaligned. 

Consider that a medical doctor might earn $300,000 per annum – and that’s after four years of undergraduate studies, four years of medical school, a ear as an intern and then several years of post-graduate studies in various specialties … and of course licenses, certifications, and stifling malpractice premiums.  And they save lives.

Someone with physical strength and the coordination to throw a ball makes how many millions of dollars? 

And someone who can act and who was probably in the right place at the right time or perhaps has the right last name?  Well, it’s safe to say they earn more than most doctors as well.   

My point isn’t that these men and women aren’t worthy of handsome compensation for their work – they are.  Getting to the Super Bowl or making a movie is indeed hard work.  But the value we place on entertainment does seem conspicuous at times. 

Comparatively we undervalue those in education and medicine, as well as others who change lives.  Of course, I’m a little biased toward both teachers and doctors. 

All that said, I do love movies and I’m fascinated with Hollywood – particularly circa 1940-1990.  Other than music, nothing can transport me to another place and time like a movie.  They can alter my mood and frame of mind. 

I’m often unfamiliar with many of the films that win Oscars – the blockbusters being the exception.  The films on my favorites list aren’t usually the Academy’s choice.  The clip above is a prophetic scene from 25 years ago – an awesome film.

Life would be pretty boring without anything to entertain us.  Thankfully we do have sports and the performing arts.  Otherwise what would we all do?  Read? 

Just an observation…
…And so it goes…
Peace be with you,
JCD

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Cupid in a Dairy Truck

February 14th, 2011

The universe has an interesting way of putting people in our lives and connecting us.  We never know when we meet someone new how that person will alter the course of our life, if at all. 

Every once in a while, someone comes along who completely changes life as we know it.  He or she may become a friend, a business acquaintance, or perhaps even a partner in life. 

We might be introduced to that person by a friend, sit next to them on an airplane, or they might be sitting at a desk when the elevator doors open.  We simply never know. 

And then, there are my parents, who just celebrated their 48th wedding anniversary on 8 February.   My father was my mom’s milk man – no shit.  That makes for a great story – because it’s true. 

As Dad tells it, he was driving a route for Banquet Dairy and was looking for new accounts.  He saw Mom in the window and knocked on the door.  He got a new customer, eventually asked her on a date and the rest is history. 

Five children, eight grandchildren, six houses, a dog, a couple cats, and countless vacations and holidays – all spanning a half century. 

Although not exactly Leave It To Beaver, I had a relatively storybook upbringing – all engineered by the Clyde and the Martha.  And while I might not have selected some of life’s variables – most notably my illness – all things being equal, I wouldn’t change a thing. 

They are extraordinary parents and an awesome team.  Clyde – the quintessential provider and figure of stability, stoic, man of few words with unflappable integrity.  Martha – hausfrau extraordinaire, resourceful, efficient, structured, organized, and more energetic than a Tasmanian devil. 

Thank God for Clyde and Martha.  And thank God for Banquet Dairy. 

Today is St. Valentine’s Day.  If it hasn’t happened for you yet, don’t’ be surprised if cupid strikes when you least expect it.  That’s usually when it happens.  Just ask my parents. 

Just an observation.

…And so it goes…
Peace be with you,
JCD

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Nature IS a Mother and She’ll Be at the Super Bowl Too

February 5th, 2011

Tuesday was Groundhog Day.  Interesting tradition, having a day named for a varmint.     

 So, the tradition states that if the animal pokes his head out and sees his shadow, we’re in for six more weeks of winter.  If he doesn’t, then supposedly an early spring is on its way.   Impressively scientific. 

Are you kidding me?  Who comes up with this shit?  Surely, Hallmark can’t claim this one too.  I don’t recall ever seeing Groundhog Day greeting cards.  But then again, I never looked and it’s been years since I bought a card. 

Evidently, the little pecker saw his shadow.  If there were anything to all of this, that would really piss me off.  It seems the older I get, the less tolerance I have for winter.  I understand why retirees go south in the winter. 

Of course, as much as I bitch and moan about it, Washington has gotten off relatively easy this year – at least so far.  Those in the Midwest and up the East Coast have gotten pummeled. 

It all has me a bit envious of my friends in southern California.  I guess it’s all relative, as I’m not anticipating the ground under Washington, DC to buckle and swallow my neighborhood anytime soon. 

Earthquakes out west, tornados in the Midwest, hurricanes down south, snow up north – anywhere on the map has its meteorological liabilities.  It stands to reason.  After all, nature is a mother, and often a wicked one. 

I suppose no matter where you live, there’s inevitably some dreadful element to deal with.   Aside from atmospheric conditions, some places have things far worse and far more destructive than earthquakes, tornados, and hurricanes.  For instance, Alaska has Sarah Palin and Minnesota has Michele Bachmann.  Inclement weather doesn’t seem so bad, after all. 

The cold is a great excuse to stay inside and watch TV.  For many, it’s the perfect weekend for it, as the Super Bowl is on Sunday. 

I’m not even going to pretend to care, because I don’t.  Watching football is about as exciting to me as watching ice melt.  If the Indianapolis Colts were playing, I might be marginally interested, but even then I can’t say I’d actually watch the game.  That is, unless Janet Jackson were scheduled to perform at half-time, complete with encore wardrobe malfunction. 

With the money that goes into it and the attention it gets from our society, one would think that people were assembling to witness the Second Coming.

Nah … I don’t need an excuse to make a meal off of junk food, get drunk, shout obscenities, and swear at the TV.  I do those things all the time. 

Just an observation…

A quick shout out to my brother-in-law Tim Pashley, whose birthday is Saturday 5 February.  Happy birthday, Pash!  Thanks for being so good to my sister and for being a great dad to the kids.  Marcia, Noah, and Katie are lucky to have you and the rest of us are … um …  well, we’re … well, happy birthday!  Hope it’s an awesome year for you. 

…And so it goes…
Peace be with you,
JCD

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