Sunday, January 01, 2006

Another Year? I Haven't Used Up the Last One.

It seems that if I don't have a broken down car to report I'm out of conversation. Well, the car was in the shop again, but that was a couple or three weeks ago. Thank goodness it was something expensive. I'd hate to see my mechanic miss out on a first-class, around-the-world cruise on my account.

Christmas is over with and I enjoyed it. I didn't even let the crowds, lack of parking, and imbecile drivers bother me. I bought Steff a computer desk and spent most of the evening putting it together. I think there were 500 screws involved, and my power screwdriver was dead. I got Kristine a printer for her computer but beat it out of town before I had to deal with the installation. She probably did it herself; I ought to check.

The day after Xmas, I joined four other old reprobates for the annual gathering in the wilds known as Tankon. The venue is a cozy cabin belonging to Frank Denton. When I arrived this year Frank was there, having arrived a short time before me, and announced there was a problem with the electricity. We had enough to use the two overhead lights, but no more. No fridge, microwave, heaters, DVD player, or laptops (other than the limited battery). We kept the cabin warm using a wood-burning stove, but once we went to bed the fire died and my head and shoulders, not being inside my sleeping bag, were ice cold. I slept little, and finally got up and fired up the stove. Later that day the guys from the power company came and fixed the lines, and we were back to normal. We still don't have running water, but we're used to that.
We did the usual: ate too much, read, watched movies, chatted, argued, slept, wrote. At the end of six days I packed up and left, glad again to have had the isolation of Bestafar's Hut. I was also glad to get home to a hot shower and shave.
My New Year's resolutions are the same ones I break every year: read more, eat less. Maybe this time I'll keep them a bit longer than usual.

One of the movies I watched at the cabin (on my laptop, knowing the others wouldn't appreciate it) was BELA LUGOSI MEETS A BROOKLYN GORILLA, with Sammy Petrillo, Duke Mitchell, and an aged Lugosi. Petrillo's claim to fame, or infamy, is that he's a dead ringer for Jerry Lewis. Looks like him, sounds like him, and annoys me like him. I like Jerry Lewis impressions that exaggerate his goofy mannerisms, but to see someone act exactly as Jerry would act doesn't work for me. About the only thing that made this movie endurable was the pretty island girl. Better was THE ASPHALT JUNGLE, with Sterling Hayden, Jean Hagen, Sam Jaffe, and a very young and breathless Marilyn Monroe. This is a classic noir with dark streets, tough mugs, despair, lost innocence, and every bad act destined to doom the perpetrator. I loved it, with the possible exception of John McIntyre's lecture towards the end about the importance of cops.

Today ends the regular football season. The Seahawks are well positioned for the playoffs, but I wonder how they'll hold up against some of the teams they're apt to face. Sure, they beat the Colts last week, but the Colts' head coach was gone and some key starters were benched after the first quarter. I suppose we'll just have to wait and see. Seattle has never had a team in the Super Bowl or World Series, and this is the year it might happen.

Dinner awaits. May you have a safe and prosperous 2006.