Friday, March 31, 2006

Building Something

Today is the sixth anniversary of The Harding Lunch. There have been few lunches in Kent, Washington, like The Harding Lunch. (There have probably been few lunches anywhere like The Harding Lunch.) We built something that day. Or we tried to, at any rate.

I cannot thank dear Karla enough for allowing the Harding Lunch to happen.

Harding (whom Venetz always referred to as "The Little Man") was the recipient of a very nice pair of brown leather shoes. This was our gift to Harding. Venetz and I had purchased them at the Hudson Bay Trading Company in Vancouver, British Columbia. We chose very nice, comfortable Canadian shoes, but we missed on the size. No matter how carefully one might study Harding's feet, one will invariably misjudge his shoe size by a size and a half. Harding's feet are much smaller than they look. Do you think they look like an 8? Ha! You're way off.

And I probably don't have to say how difficult it is to exchange a pair of Canadian shoes in the United States. You can't do it. Venetz had to go back to Canada to exchange a pair of shoes. Most likely a rarely used reason for crossing an international border.

Those of us involved in The Harding Lunch have gone our separaterate ways. I'm downtown now, working for a different company. Venetz is in Los Angeles. Karla moved to Nevada some time ago. And Harding...he's around somewhere, I understand. Perhaps Federal Way, Washington. The last time we talked -- more than a year ago -- he had gotten into the tee-shirt business. Interestingly enough, the image above is from the front of the official Harding Lunch tee-shirt. Only three were ever made.

We wish Harding the best in his on-line tee-shirt venture. Take it from me -- if you are searching for a vintage 1970s tee-shirt, your search is over. Harding has it.

He's building something.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

He's No Arkin

The reviews of this latest attempt at reviving The Pink Panther franchise have not been kind. And I must admit that I had not been too eager to see Steve Martin take on the character so brilliantly portrayed five times by Peter Sellers. I love the character Sellers created in 1963’s The Pink Panther and its subsequent sequels. Sellers, who died in 1980, has few comic equals. One might argue Martin is one of them.

But he’s no Clouseau.

Yet I saw new The Pink Panther movie anyway.

There were a couple of things that gave me pause before going in to this movie:

The film was originally supposed to have been released last year. Typically these delays indicate a film performed poorly before test audiences and scenes needed to be re-edited or re-shot.

The post-Sellers Panther films have been terrible. This is the fourth.

My friend Mike and I promised one another we would not see this movie, yet through a bizarre series of unconnected events, each of us saw the film, unplanned, the same night at the same time, but not together. The following day Mike called to warn me not to see it. I was about to call him for the same reason.

Despite my disappointment with the film, I will give Martin two things:

One, he did have a few deliciously funny moments between long stretches of unfunny-business.

And two: while Martin is no Sellers, he did a better job playing Inspector Clouseau that either Alan Arkin or Roger Moore. (Yes, Arkin and Moore both played the inspector in really bad movies. If you don’t believe me, look it up. Arkin starred in 1968’s abysmal Inspector Clouseau, and Roger Moore played the part of Clouseau in the 1982 film The Curse of the Pink Panther.)

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Doing What I Can

Wednesday night I attended a kick-off event in Seattle in preparation for the 2006 MS Walk.

I have been blessed with good health, which is something I think most of us take for granted. I know I have. Then there are those whose outlook on their personal health, on their entire lives, changes when a doctor tells them they have Multiple sclerosis.

At the meeting I had the opportunity to speak with many of these people, and hear their stories, and I was moved by their honesty and courage. I was filled with admiration at a number of these volunteers who have devoted their lives to supporting the on-going fight against the disease.

My co-worker (and MS Walk Team Captain Rob) confided to me a number of months ago that his wife had been diagnosed with MS. This was concurrent with the happy news that they were expecting their first child. Realizing that there are people in my life who have suffered from MS, I decided to take the initiative and do something, no matter how small. My grandmother had MS, and a close friend’s mother, a beautiful woman I have known very well for many years, also suffers from MS.

Which is why I have decided to walk this year.

If you would like to support me, you can click here to go to my MS Walk Team Page. You will see my name in the lower left. Click on my page to make a donation to the MS Society.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Pants Resolution

My relationship with my cleaners of two years has come to a bitter end.

A restraining order prevents me from saying anything more.