Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Revolutionary Road: Rorschach Movie Test

I fired up the movie Revolution Road last night and early on I had a thought pop into my head and I tweeted it. A bit later I had another thought. Tweeted that one, too. Then I decided to just keep tweeting whatever thoughts popped into my head as I was watching the movie.

Granted, these are not ALL of my thoughts. I have excluded stuff like "nice boobs" and "how many vintage cars did they need to shoot this street scene." Not to mention any auditory exclamations I may have made.

Here they are, my first reaction, thematic thoughts on the movie Revolutionary Road:

  • Never hang all of your hopes on accomplishment.
  • Accept where you are. Embrace it. Persevere for the change you desire.
  • Are good neighbors helpful? Or do you impose on them so they can impose on you?
  • You don't necessarily have to go anywhere or do anything in order to have a passionate life.
  • If you are ever disappointed with your life just remember that everyone does what they want. You are where you are because of your choices
  • Of course the grass is greener on the other side, you haven't peed all over it yet.
  • It isn't the endgame that excites us so much, it is the possibilities of what might happen that sets our hearts racing.
  • Life is never so alive as in our memories.
  • It's never as good as when people say exactly what they think and feel, yet can accept whatever others have to say.
  • The real trick is adapting to reality as it intrudes upon what you thought was possible.
  • The trouble comes when you let the expectations of others intrude upon your possibilities.
  • A memorable big moment is only a collection of simple small moments.
  • Whatever that magic is you are looking for you can find it wherever you are.
  • It would be great to be with someone where it always feels like the two of us are sharing an inside joke.
  • Just remember, if you blow bubbles then they are gonna pop.
  • When you live your life according to the choices of two people, sometimes the both of you end up with what you don't want.
  • The point of life is to learn what is important to you, because most of the time we are chasing ghosts.
  • And that concludes tonight's movie tweets. Revolutionary Road.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

L to the A

It was my first time to visit Los Angeles. Being in town for just one night, and accompanied by my teenage daughter with the stated purpose of visiting college campuses, my options were limited.

As we drove away in our rental car I noted the locations of a few gas stations so I could fill up on my way back. I reached an overpass, which I drove under, and not paying attention to signs (or the lack thereof) I thought it might be 405. I simply made a left from under the overpass to find that there was no entrance ramp, and this was not 405. No biggie, and besides, fate was rolling the dice.

I drove down a ways and turned right and as we neared 405, and rounded a bend, a huge donut loomed ahead. Randy’s Donut’s. This was my first movie moment, being that I have seen that huge donut in movies. We stopped for donuts, of course. It was 9:30 in the AM, after all. Cake-like donuts with loads of sugar.

We had no official appointment at UCLA, but we walked around the campus just to check it out. Pretty campus. I liked the big, tall trees. It was also hilly. A quiet Sunday morning. Driving back down 405 I decided we would head out to Venice Beach and have lunch.

This is when it became obvious that freeway ramps in LA are almost never setup like freeway ramps in Dallas. Except right in downtown Dallas there are feeder roads alongside freeways, with entrance/exit ramps. If you want to make what amounts to a left-turn from a street unto a freeway then about 95% of the time you do so from the left lane. But the norm in LA would seem to be from the right lane, with a clover-leaf ramp. Or even turn right and drive down a block to turn right twice more. Two rights really do make a left.

After finding myself on the wrong side of the street a few times I settled into the routine.

My second movie moment came when I saw exits for Olympic and Pico. Don’t ask me how my brain functions, but when I saw the names of these two streets the first Terminator movie popped into by head, as both streets get a mention.

Venice Beach was as expected; full of good people watching. We checked out a few shops and ate lunch at Danny’s, a tasty deli. I had the Cuban sandwich and my daughter had the pastrami. Very good chips. Walking along Venice Beach was a definite movie moment; how many movies have featured Venice Beach?

We drove by USC to get familiar with the area and then headed to the hotel, a Ramada near the convention center. Nap time.

On a recommendation we drove out to Tarzana for dinner. Sol y Luna. It is on Ventura Boulevard, so more a music moment than movie. Awesome guacamole, good Mexican food. Mmm, guacamole.

The following morning I searched for “breakfast in Los Angeles” and the third choice down, nearby and on the way to USC, was Jacks N Joe. I had buttermilk pancakes, and I tell ya, they might well have been the best pancakes I ever stuffed in my mouth. Daughter had the French toast, which also a got a thumbs up.

USC is great. I want to go to school there. Interesting that USC is flat, while UCLS is hilly. We were there for quite some time. Read the campus paper. Observed student traffic between classes.

We had plenty of time before out late afternoon flight and headed toward Santa Monica. My daughter was browsing lunch spot reviews and we opted for some deli-style place. To be honest, I forgot the name. We found it and parked across the street in a Von’s parking lot, with “you will be towed” signs all over. We headed into Von’s and bought a few snacks for the plane.

We had lunch at a place called Swingers (not our original destination). I had the pasta special and it was tasty. My daughter kept worrying about the car, thinking we would get towed. I tried to explain to her that the only way they would know to tow us is if we didn’t go into Von’s, and we went into Von’s and even bought something! But she just couldn’t get over it.

Then it was out the airport and a flight outta there.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Connecting Space

There are times while standing in some line that the person behind me is way too close. I mean, they are standing right next to me. I might move a bit, to give myself a little space, but then they move a bit, too, and they are still right on top me! I feel like giving them a stiff elbow, or stepping on their toes, or turning and sneezing into their face.

Conversely, there are times when someone behind me in line is way far away, like 8 feet back there. Then I am, like, yo! Do I have cooties or something? Do I stink today? Why are you so far back there? Can you not trust yourself standing near me?

Then there is space in a relationship, which has less to do with physical space and more to do with emotional and mental space, although the two usually go hand-in-hand. Now, I haven’t been in a relationship in over a decade, but I have dated during that time, and can draw on the before-time as well as recent escapades to talk about space in a relationship.

Most of the woman I have dated have not lived nearby; they have lived across town. Usually 40 to 45 minutes away, without traffic. None closer than 30 minutes. I assure you this was completely unintentional. I would much prefer to date someone closer. It just never worked out that way. Mayhap you could argue I was lackadaisical about dating those women because of the distance, in which case space did play some role. Or more like travel time to cross that space.

If I am “just dating” someone then I  expect there to be space. If that dating becomes a relationship, then I expect less space, i.e. more closeness.  If I like you then I like you, and I want you around. If I start to say “I need more space” then clearly I don’t like you as much. Don’t confuse this with me engaging in an activity by myself. The two loner activities I do is read and play a computer game. The woman with whom I have a relationship is welcome to read next to me, or play the game, too. The question is, do I do those things to as simple hobbies, or do I use it as a means of pushing her away? The latter would mean I need more space; that is, I don’t like you as much.

Someone recently said to me, “everyone craves human connection.” Aside from hermits, I guess. But maybe hermits just suppress or ignore that craving. How much connection is enough? What type of connection? What if you don’t get enough human connection? Is that when you go out drinking and attempt to connect with anyone,  until you wake up the following morning next to someone who you don’t want anyone to know you woke up next to?

Some people might need human connection so much that they can never really be on their own. I know people like that. Do they force relationships just to satisfy that craving? Do they end up with someone they really are not compatible with, but ignore the red flags for the sake of human connection? Sure they do, and they typically pay the price later but then solve it by immediately finding another relationship

It isn’t really about craving human connection, since it would seem we all crave it, it is about how well you tolerate a lack of human connection, and what you would do to satisfy that craving the longer you go without.