Friday, March 27, 2015

Curb Alert!

Oh how I love Craigslist's "Free Stuff" category. Once again, the shit people want to give away just cracks me up. This sampling is from just yesterday for the Orlando area Craigslist:

Party Like It's 1999! (More like 1992!)


Party Like It's 1499!


RATS! RATS FOR SALE!


ROCKS! ROCKS FOR SALE!


NOTHING! I GOT NOTHING FOR SALE!



Bacteria! Yummy, yummy bacteria!


Bees! ALL YOU WANT!!


Saturday, March 21, 2015

Thicker Than Water

Going through the usual change-of-seasons tumult. Maybe it's the pollen count? I don't experience the sneezing, fever and aches like I used to during the fall to winter transition up north but maybe the obscene amount of pollen here in the south does affect me in other ways. I always seem to get confused and addled during the transition to springtime here. Been that way since the start of this multi-decade/bi-century colonization of the land of sunshine and palm trees.  All the way back to the New London Syndrome in February of '97. I think it was an early spring that year.

Trying to stay solid with a new endeavor to stay dry. Needless to say, my sip just now out of the glass of Sierra Nevada Torpedo beside me on my desk, is pretty much testament to the folly of that Herculean task. Oh well, tomorrow's another day.

I blame this latest lapse on a Netflix TV series. "Bloodline" is a new Netflix exclusive drama starring that guy from that show in the 90s about the guy who wakes up each morning to find a mysterious newspaper on his door stoop that tells the news of the future (Sounds like a lame premise but I did like the show; it was written better than it sounds at first.) and Sissy Spacek. I've loved her since "Carrie" of course.

In "Bloodline" almost every character is drinking in almost every scene. I'm almost not kidding! I get the idea...they're trying to play up the fact that this family live in the booze-flooded leisure paradise of the Florida Keys and know how to chill. But I suspect from the unadulterated labels on the bottles that a bit of product placement is going on here. Shit, what am I saying...it's all product placement. Anyone else have a craving after watching an episode or two? Take your pick, so far I clearly saw Heineken, Dos Equis, Jose Cuervo and Tanqueray.

The plot is twisted. On purpose though and this trend is getting a tad old. Every episode is a cliffhanger and there are so many un-revealed questions about past and future events. But they feed you a piece at a time, bit by bit. Yet there are also red-herrings and McGuffins and cliches galore. A bit manipulative but so far, on episode 7, it is really well acted and plays out like a Shakespearean play. Prodigal son returns to the noble family homestead, mixed feelings abound and they try the ties of the various and diverse family members, a past secret within a secret haunts them all and a future rainy night has grave consequences for at least one family member.

The omnipresent drinking wasn't the only cause for my relapse. The well-acted scenes between the very different and independent minded siblings and their parents summoned up feelings about my own family. We too have secrets within secrets from our mutual past that haunt us to this day. We too, like the characters in the show, have our own independent lives that have little to do with each other. But in the show, they still have the tendrils of FAMILY that tie them together, no matter how delicately. For my family and I, there's nothing what so ever. The ties are long ago broken and can never be mended.

Maybe, in my case, it's for the best. Although I have a few more episodes to go to the end of this first season, I think the Rayburns of "Bloodline" are heading into more trouble than it should be worth.

Blood may be thicker than water but I don't think it's thicker than booze.

Monday, March 16, 2015

SIMS CREATION: TV Memories Series "House of Cards"

When the new season of "House of Cards" showed up on Netflix a couple of weeks ago I tried to pace myself and only watch each episode over a period of a few days a little at a time. But by episode 3 or so, I was like, "Fuck this!" and binge-watched the rest of the series in one long night. This season was just as great as the first two and had Frank really showing his truly evil core (spitting in Jesus' face was a shocker even for an atheist like me) except I was disappointed he didn't directly murder someone in this season. Oh, BTW, there are spoilers in this post, did I forget to mention? Oh well.

Here we have President Frank Underwood and First Lady Claire in the Oval Office. We'll see in season 4 how long they'll stay. And if Claire decides to stand by her man or goes through with leaving Frank. Oops! Another spoiler. In the famous words of another great Kevin Spacey character from the movie "Seven", "Oh....you didn't know!"


Tuesday, March 03, 2015

My Civic Duty

Yesterday I reported to the Seminole County Civil Courthouse in downtown Sanford to serve my called upon duty as a prospective juror. Like the two other times over the past decade I'd been called up, I didn't get to serve on a jury. Like the last time back in 2011 or so, I just waited the whole day in the jury waiting area. But this time it was not in the comfortable, modern and perk-filled space allocated for this purpose by the wealthier Orange County Court system but it meant I was relegated to staring at four blank walls in a dated, poorly air-conditioned depressing room with a single pot of stale coffee as accommodation provided by this county.

But it gave me time to reflect. Especially as my phone's battery life dwindled during the later part of the afternoon and it became necessary to just stare out the grimy window at the beautifully sunny and warm day I was forced to let slip by.

Much in the same light as when we, as citizens, are called up to perform our civic duty and serve as an impartial juror to hear out the case of one of our peers, we all have a civic duty to ourselves, so to speak, to honestly assess the decisions we make in directing our own lives.

As I was in these thoughts, Ric texted me saying he was going to Gator's at 6:00 and asked me to join him. As luck would have it, the long, arduous and utterly boring day I'd been forced to endure was drawing to a close and we remaining juror chaff were allowed to be whisked away into the wind.

Ric and I sat on the outdoor patio of the bar and sipped our beers out of our shared pitchers one after the other. Our conversation was stilted and, I think for him as well, boring. You see, we just don't have much in common anymore. He talked of his bicycles and I recalled my dreary day. It felt like the depressing atmosphere of that gloomy juror lounge was still around me. And instead of getting more convivial as the alcohol took hold within us it just made things worse. I was failing to feel any euphoric lightness, becoming just more depressed and worried about driving home while he was turned amazingly quickly into his usual boorish drunk dickhead insulting me through rather blunt passive-aggressiveness in virtually every sentence he uttered. Needless to say I left early.

So perhaps last night I did in fact get to participate in a jury of sorts. A jury of one. And after weighing the decades of evidence built up since 1998 I've had to come to a verdict. I think we know what that verdict is. Now the only question is, in my alternate role as judge, what sentence shall be bestowed upon him?