Friday, June 29, 2007

What's for Lunch?

Having complained to my wife that I did not eat lunch yesterday because nobody at home made a lunch for me to take to work, my daughter responded with all the goodness in her heart and prepared for me a most excellent meal, put it on a plate, wrapped it in plastic and sealed it with masking tape.

I am presently seated at my desk enjoying my daughter's culinary efforts.

On the menu:
  • one blueberry jam sandwich, extra jam

  • red potatoes

  • a stick of white cheese

  • Capri-Sun grape drink
I recall the last time she made lunch for me. It was another sandwich. Peanut butter and ham.


Monday, June 25, 2007

Oscar the Grouch as a Father Figure?

When my daughter is grouchy we call her the grumpus. When I am grouchy my family calls me, well, grouchy.

But in my defense, I have been taught from childhood that husbands and fathers -- or father figures -- are to be grouchy. It's part of the persona, goes with the territory, it's what's expected. Those men who served as examples for me in my formative years helped to cultivate my inner grouch, and today I would like to honor them.

Fred Flintstone -- the model husband and father, always grouching and mumbling, losing his cool and blowing his top, he demanded his dinner with crossed eyebrows and passed the time by yelling at Barney.

The Skipper -- a father figure to Gilligan and world-class grouch, the Skipper kept control of his charges by yelling and striking out with his captain's hat.

George Jetson -- "Jane! Stop this crazy thing!"

Ricky Ricardo -- always yelling in Spanish.

Darren Stevens -- was there ever a man so constantly grumpy who had such a lovely wife? Everything annoyed this man, from his mother-in-law and her clan to his boss, Larry Tate, and he expressed his irritation and dissatisfaction by complaining without ceasing.

George Jefferson -- demonstrated his authority by shouting at Weezie, yelling at Lionel, harping at the neighbors and constantly griping about the maid.

Archie Bunker -- what didn't he gripe about?

Fred Sanford -- everyone's favorite TV father, Fred G. (the "G" is for "Grouch") Sanford was ever inconvenienced and in a foul mood. Remember how he talked to his son, the "big dummy," and Aunt Ester?

These men were my examples. And all were grouchy to a fault. I don't think I'm doing too badly.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Week at a Glance

Travel has been brutal as of late, and I am happy to report that, aside from a planned vacation to South Carolina, I don't have any trips planned in the near future.
I got back to Seattle last weekend and my daughter, whom I have not seen much of, wanted a Daddy-Daughter outing. She wanted to go to the Space Needle, a favorite spot of ours. Lunch at the space needle was her specific request. So we dined on clam chowder and Mountain Dew and had a fine time.
Sunday was Father's Day. My parents sent me a Father's Day gift: The Reagan Diaries. ("Getting shot hurts," he writes.) I look forward to the book.
My daughter planned her response to my frequent film-going at the Seattle International Film Festival with her own Father's Day Film Festival. She made passes for the whole family (ones you wear around your neck, like they issue for SIFF), and provided sodas and popcorn for the event. The features we screened were Muppet Treasure Island and Hoodwinked.
It was the best Father's Day I have ever had!

Monday, June 18, 2007

What's On?

At work there was this discussion among 7 of us about our favorite TV shows. As the discussion progressed, I had to admit that I had never seen an entire episode of the shows that came up: CSI, Married with Children, ER, Survivor, Everybody Loves Raymond, Lost, Alias, The King of Queens, Law and Order, Will and Grace.

There is so little on network TV that I watch anymore. In fact, there are only five network TV shows presently running that I have seen start to finish: The Simpsons, Family Guy, Boston Legal, American Idol, and the new Julia Louis-Dreyfus show which I have watched three times but only on an airplane. Oh. Is King of the Hill still running? I've seen that one, too.

I like two shows on the Food Network: $40 a Day and Alton Brown's Good Eats, which I absolutely love.

As for pay TV, I am most pleased with a new channel that's showed up on DirecTV called "Chiller." I am not so interested in the modern horror movies they air, but they do air reruns of both Alfred Hitchcock's television show and Rod Serling's Night Gallery, which I have found was an exceptionally well-written program featuring some of the finest actors of its day. (Spielberg got his start on that show, you know.)

This channel also airs many of the great old (read: black and white) horror flicks and thrillers.

For the record, my favorite TV shows of all time are: The Rockford Files, Twin Peaks, Seinfeld, Star Trek, and The Twilight Zone. The wacky classic Green Acres might have made its way onto my list but Mr. Haney annoys me so much that he has been the cause of several burst blood vessels in the brain.

For now I will stick with the Chiller channel and movies on DVD. Oh, and Boston Legal if I am in a hotel room with nothing to do.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

The Life of Reilly

My six-year-old daughter is for some reason enamored with Richard Dawson (and has repeatedly expressed dismay that he is no longer on "Family Feud") and is a fan of "Match Game." Why, I don't know, but she is too young to pick up on some of the innuendo present in many of the questions and answers. I think the fact that the celebrity panel seems to be have such a good time appeals to her.

(And usually the panel was having a better time than the viewers realized. They taped a week's worth of shows in a single day, and if you watch reruns of the show you'll notice as the week progresses the celebrities become more and more "loose.")

While my daughter is infatuated with Dawson, it is Charles Nelson Reilly who amuses her the most. She refers affectionately to him as "Charles."

In Life of Reilly, which we screened at the Seattle Film Festival with director Barry Poltermann, came days after Reilly's death of pneumonia. Charles Nelson Reilly, known best for his stellar run on game shows during the 1970’s, rebuffs the notion that he has been long-dead in this funny and powerful one-man show filmed in 2005. Winner of two Tony awards for his stage work, Reilly easily dispels the notion that he is merely a quick-witted game show contestant.

My family found amusing the tee shirts we received at the screening.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

An Update fom the Seattle Film Festival

Today begins my second weekend at the Seattle International Film Festival. Because I had to travel to Chicago, I managed only four films during the past week, all of which were excellent choices.

The Battle of Wits, depicting a siege of a walled Chinese city in the 4th century, B.C., and Never on a Sunday, a dark comedy from Mexico, were worthy fare. But two films stood out as exceptional - Death at a Funeral, from director Frank Oz, and Paris Je t'aime.

Read my thoughts and reviews from the film festival here.