Friday, January 4, 2013

The Best Of 2012 - The Rest Of The Year

Magnificent In Venice

Justice By Jusko
I have to take this opportunity to name drop again because Joe IS a follower of the Cave of Cool.
 Important Health Story Of The Day - It's Always SOMETHING!
"Kimberly-Clark wants you to know that there may be metal in your tampons."

This is why you should always roll your own. Just to be on the safe side. OMG. I could never be a girl. How do you magnificent creatures do what you do everyday, especially with all the things around you that you can't the high metal count of your tampons?

Shows I Miss. Caitlin's Way

Caitlin's Way focuses on Caitlin Seeger (played by Lindsay Felton), a troubled girl who lives on the streets of Philadelphia. After being arrested, Caitlin is given the option of going to a youth detention center or living with her mother's cousin in Montana. She chooses to live with Dori, Jim, and Griffen on their ranch and experiences a culture shock. Caitlin is still upset about her mom's unexpected death when she was eight. All Caitlin really wants is a loving family and a permanent home. The ranch was actually near High River in southeastern Alberta, Canada. There were scenes shot in town (around the many murals, as well as in local schools), and in Calgary where the C-Train was occasionally seen in the background.

When I was teaching I did most of my marking and planning on Saturday afternoon after cartoons and a good breakfast. One of the shows that always seemed to be on was 'Caitlin's Way'. It got to be my 'go to' program that I went looking for to put me in the prober mental headspace for work. It also came on after Degrassi High and Higher Ground which I never missed.

They do lay it on a bit thick in the first episode but the charm and presence that Lindsay Felton has in front of the camera is immediately evident. Even playing a stereotypical 'bad girl' she make interesting choices as an actress. Her voice and her body language are tinged with anger and bitterness but it all come together to form a real person.

Linday's talent allowed her to create a very sympathetic and believable character - and play bitchy, cranky, sullen, indignant teenage to the max. Anyone who has lived with an older sister can relate to all of Caitlin's moods.

Don't judge the entire series on the short part of the pilot I've included here. Lindsay does the best with the material she is given and makes you want to watch more. You root for her to succeed because you can see alot of yourself in Caitlin. The scripts got much better as the series progressed and a nice comfortable rhythm between the family and their adventures was set early on. Sure it follows a 'lesson of the week' format but the stories never get preachy. Many of the antics of Griffen and his small town friends are laugh out loud funny. Everything here rings true.

The family stuff here is particularly strong. The parents are actually smarter than the kids, a rarity in most half-hour family shows. The issues are real life mundane daily issues. There is alot of material about the meaning of family and how a person fits into a new environment. The show rarely offered up easy answers of 22 minute solutions. Healing takes time and that is what brought me back to the show year after year. The re-runs hold up well to this day. I am surprised that I don't see this one syndicated on one of the teen channels or even, yes, the religious-based networks. There is no mention of God in the program but the family values here are strong and admirable. It showed on YTV and Nickelodeon back when it first ran from 2000 - 2002.

The setting is of course the beautiful foothills of the Rocky Mountains near High River. Many shows that have that kind of big sky landscape figured into their storylines (Heartland, Hell on Wheels) are well served by the area. I like that the locations are practically in my back yard. The show is much like Heartland in it being a story about a girl and her horse. Caitlin's relationship with the wild horse she rescues - Bandit - becomes a metaphor for everything she is going through as an orphan and a young woman.

It's about a girl who is trying to find another way of dealing with her problems. Caitlin's anger comes from her abandonment issues and her desire for some real stability in her young life. She uses her camera to record her opinion of the world around her. The lessons come from her understanding that her first perceptions of anything will always be tainted by her experiences. She has to get over her crappy childhood if she is ever going to survive to adulthood. Watching her struggle with what could possibly be her last chance at a happy family life is interesting and rewarding.

As I already mention, Lindsay Felton is the meaty center of this drama but she has a strong supporting cast around her. All the child actors are excellent, especially he kid who plays her step-brother Griffen. He is as stubborn and individual as she is and their squabbles make for funny and touching television.

LOL, Caitlin’s Way might be single handily responsible for the reason I tried to be a little badass in middle school and high school. She had that buckskin horse and a camera, she was a beast. Caitlin’s Way was my jam !

Montague Dawson

By now most of you have figured out that I love Tumblr. For a visual guy like me such a resource of images is a godsend. I find most all the images for my blog on Tumblr and a single picture often sparks good memories for things that I had thought I had forgotten.

What does any of this have to do with this image from artist Montague Dawson? This print hung in my room for the first twelve years of my life. It was framed and I always loved it. I would stare at it while trying to fall asleep from my crib and as I got older it became the pirate ship that chased me and my stuffed animals across the Spanish Main. It represented everything exciting or adventurous in my life. Novels like Treasure Island, Robinson Crusoe, and Mutiny on the Bounty filled my bookcase.

To make a long story short, this was one of the items I lost when we moved back to North America from Germany. My childhood toys can be replaced but I thought this print never could, since I never knew the name of the artist and didn't know even where to begin my search. Over time I forgot about the ship.

Then not ten minutes ago I saw this on my Tumblr dashboard. My heart actually started to beat faster when I realized it was MY ship - the one with the X on the main sail -the one that I called the New Dawn Treader because that was the only ship name I knew (besides Titanic) when I was seven.

I now have a high res version that I intend to get enlarged and then framed before finding a place of honor for it in the Cave of Cool.


The Dutch Hate Me

Once again they have refused me an invitation and press credentials to their annual red head festival located in the Netherlands. Do you understand what I am missing out on? Cute redheaded Dutch girls in wooden shoes and those floopy hats their wear. After a day of relaxing with my fellow gingers I could go to a cafe for some of that fine imported Lebanese hash.

Smack That

Coplay Of The Year - Part 3

A Gift From Dr. Goat
This is the exact kind of quality friend that has been with me a long time on this blog. Peter (Dr Goat) never has anything but words of support and encouragement for me and the things that are important to me. Check out the letter he sent me today. I was overwhelmed by his generousity of spirit and ashamed that I haven't returned a tenth of the love he has shown to me. This is the kind of gesture that I will remember long after I have left this stage of my life behind.

Hey Cal,

Saw your post of the dio de los muertos. Here in Tucson we have had a day of the dead parade for 16 yrs. First Sunday in November starting at around 7:00 at nite. Hundreds of people get dressed up and a giant urn is built and the couple of thousand people along the route put in prayers to lost loved ones, then the urn is hoisted high in the air (via a local large crane) where it is set on fire. It's like something out of a movie. I haven't missed it in over 10 yrs. It is quite a spectacle and a chance to remember lost people in your life. I have plenty including my parents, so it is really a poignant night.

I wanted to tell you about one thing they do. They set up a digital projection and giant screen in this lot along the parade route and show pics of all the people and pets that folks have lost. Everyone submits a pic a month before and they scan it and show it up on the giant screen for about 6 or 7 seconds all night. There are thousands. Last year we sat in the lot and watched for about an hour. Old pics of grandparents, parents, lots of cats and dogs, lots of WW2 pics of dads, like yours and mine. We always give a pic of both my parents and one of Dad in his uniform from '43. It's pretty emotional for us that are left. The night is about the people we have lost and not religion especially. It;s pretty cool and it did help me get a certain amount of , for lack of a better word, closure.

The Mega Me Meme
1. Would you have sex with the last person you text messaged?

I don't text message because it means typing with my thumbs like some retarded jungle monkey. I didn't suffer in Mr Chudobiak's typing class learning home row for a year to ever go backwards. I can't. I won't. I type like a concert pianist plays the piano and I don't want my skills to deteriorate.

2. You talked to an ex today, correct?

No but I discovered recently that an ex friend still reads my stuff because when I mentioned her she was quick to jump in and try to rewrite the past because she thinks the truth makes her look bad...and it does.

3. Have you taken someones virginity?

No, that's a lot of pressure to put on a guy. You don't want to be anyone's first anything because you can only be seen as a disappointment in the long run.

4. Is trust a big issue for you?

It isn't until someone loses it - then it's all over. I take things like that personally because I hold the secrets of others close to the vest. I usually know enough about a person that is close to me to DESTROY them but I would never use that knowledge against them. Part of my personal ethics. Don't be so surprised to hear that. Say what you will about me but I am fundamentally a decent guy.

5. Did you hang out with the person you like recently?

I went out with wings and drinks with a follower last year but didn't hear from him afterwards so I thought I was a big disappointment but he just got back in touch with me asking if I wanted to go to some movies with him like The Hobbit. He's married with kids and just lost track of me until a few weeks ago when he called to reconnect. I liked hanging with him so I think I will try again. He knows alot about the things that I like and we had a good chemistry. Plus he does superhero role playing with a group once a week and I need to get out of the house.

6. What are you excited for?

The end of the horrible Christmas season with it's non-stop commericals and the same music I have heard for decades. There are no surprises left. I wish I could feel the 'spirit' of the season just once, for a couple of seconds. That would make all the difference.

7. What happened tonight?

I slept ten hours straight and I have no idea what to do with my rested mind. I feel like a tree lemur who wants to jump from tree to tree.

8. Do you think it’s disgusting when girls get really wasted?

Only if she forgets telling me all evening how sexy I am and that she wants to jump my bones and ride me like a horse in the Kentucky Derby. It's hard to find romance the next day when her head is buried in the toilet. Takes the magic out of the moment.

9. Is confidence cute?

As much as a quick mind and a sarcastic attitude. I like it most when girls think that they are not pretty and forget that being funny and kind is something I would take long before choosing a more attractive girl who is self centered and critical of others who are not as physically attractive as them. Does that make sense? Personality trumps looks most every time.

10. What is the last beverage you had?

I have gotten to the point where I NEED a nice hot chocolate in the winter morning and a fruit smoothie daily in the summer.

11. How many people of the opposite sex do you fully trust?

Only one and she gave birth to me and didn't drown me in the tub as a kid, despite how much easier it would have made her life. I love that woman for many reasons but especially for that.

12. Do you own a pair of skinny jeans?

I have the legs of a GOD so I need a more husky fit to my jeanwear.

13. What are you gonna do Saturday night?

Same thing I do every night Pinkie....TRY TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD!

14. What are you going to spend money on next?

Myself. I am out of body wash and cashews.

15. Are you going out with the last person you kissed?

I can't. She is busy making movies and hangs out with this punk kid who meets our PM wearing overalls.

16. Do you think you’ll change in the next 3 months?

I hope I continue to lose weight as I have these past six months but mentally I plan to stubbornly hang onto my ways. You can't change me you stupid world. I have recently learned that I have the ability to freak out in a busy shopping center and that was something new. I love the fact that I am delicate and difficult.

17. Who do you feel most comfortable talking to about anything?

I used to have someone like that but now I keep my own counsel. I find myself to be much more reasonable to deal with.

18. The last time you felt broken?

I have to build myself up every single day from the pile of broken Lego pieces I start out with in the morning.

19. Have you had sex today?

Not yet. Your momma doesn't get off work until five. SNAP!!

20. Are you starting to realize anything?

That people have the ability to annoy and age the shit out of a person. I have had almost 50 years of living in the company of others and I need to spend as much time as I can by myself if I want to maintain any semblance of sanity.

21. Are you in a good mood?

I have the power to control my destiny and have nothing that is pulling me in a direction I don't want to go in, so yeh, I am happy.

22. Would you ever want to swim with sharks?

Only if I could have a long talk with the shark first where we both lay down some ground rules. He doesn't touch me in any way and in return I don't put a spear through his head. Also if he asks to bring his octopus 'buddy' on our swim, it will be an instant deal breaker.

23. Are your eyes the same color as your dad’s?

Blue within Blue - like all the Fremen on Arrakis

24. What do you want right this second?

Someone to discover my blog, get really exited as they read through it and make it their life mission to meet me. Hopefully this time it's a girl from some farm in the Ukraine and not a yak herdsman like the last time. He was tough to let down.

25. What would you say if the person you love/like kissed another girl/boy?

"Yes, I did kill him, good luck proving it."

26. Is your current hair color your natural hair color?

Red with white streaks? Who would ever CHANGE to THAT color? It's usually the color guys dye their hair to get rid of. But I like that I look like a wise old Viking.

27. Would you be able to date someone who doesn’t make you laugh?

She could have a hump and man hands but if she makes me laugh, that is what makes her beautiful in my eyes.

28. What was the last thing that made you laugh?

Ron James, a great Canadian comedian. He has such a great delivery style and CBC has been showing a bunch of his specials all month.

29. Do you really, truly miss someone right now?

I miss Coral. I miss driving around all night just talking about everything from music to the consistency of our poops. At one time she was the person I most admired but I no longer feel that way about her. She has turned petty and cruel which, thankfully for me, is it's own kind of hell.

30. Does everyone deserve a second chance?

Yes, unless your name is Hitler, Stalin or Coral.

31. Honestly, do you hate the last boy you were talking to?

Guys can be forgiven because they can't hurt me enough to ever hate them forever.

32. Does the person you have feelings for right now, know you do?

I would never ruin a good friendship by telling them the truth. No one wants to know that someone loves them. It's an awful lot to live up to and the easiest thing to lose with only a few misplaced words.

33. Are you one of those people who never drinks soda?

I instinctively mistrust someone who doesn't drink soda.

34. Listening to?

When it gets really quiet - the beating of my own heart. But musically I am all over the map. A good song is good no matter what the genre.

35. Do you ever write in pencil anymore?

What's a pencil?

36. Do you know where the last person you kissed is?

Travelling the world on a river of her tears. (DAMN...that is GOOD writing)

37. Do you believe in love at first sight?

Of course, the fantasy is always so much sweeter than the reality. Once you meet the person you are crushing on they can only let you down.

38. Who did you last call?

The police because shooting at people from a water tower didn't attract the attention I was looking for.

39. Who was the last person you danced with?

Like in the Billy Idol song I was dancing with myself. Damn the 80s were cool!

40. Why did you kiss the last person you kissed?

I was paid a dollar and their breath was minty fresh

41. When was the last time you ate a cupcake?

Today. I found it in my coat pocket and I hate for good icing to go to waste.

42. Did you hug/kiss one of your parents today?

No, that would be weird.

43. Ever embarrass yourself in front of a crush?

I once was talking to a cute girl while eating an egg salad sammich. Once the bit of food hit her face I knew the romance was over.

44. Do you tan in the nude?

What, and burn my shmeckle?

45. If you could, would you take back your last kiss?

Well it got me free crazy bread so I have no regrets.

46. Did you talk to someone until you fell asleep last night?

Yes, myself because I am the most interesting person I know.

47. Who was the last person to call you?

No one. I never answer the phone. The phone is the devil.

48. Do you sing in the shower?

Of course. The acoustics are fabulous.

49. Do you dance in the car?

Only if I can raise my hands in the air and wavim' like I just don't care.

50. Ever used a bow and arrow?

Only to hunt other teens in a game to the death.

51. Last time you got a portrait taken by a photographer?

When I was teaching. It's sad to watch my deterioration year after year. I was a good looking boy once.

52. Do you think musicals are cheesy?

Delightfully so.

53. Is Christmas stressful?

Christmas is a nightmare from which there is no escape. I wish for one year we could just not acknowledge it but that would be hard on the children who really have nothing else to brighten up their otherwise dismal and terrifying existence. My Dad loved Christmas and always did it up right. I have no reason to complain but I do because I have such good memories to compare my current life to.

54. Ever eat a perogi?

My people come from the steppes of the Ukraine. Half my blood is a mixture of cheese and potatoes.

55. Favorite type of fruit pie?

Huckleberry and don't tell me that is not a berry.

56. Occupations you wanted to be when you were a kid?

I wanted to be a jet pilot for a long time until I was told that you wouldn't ever get to fire the missiles. Seems kinda pointless to go through all the training after that. Damn Canada and it's peaceful ways.

57. Do you believe in ghosts?

I so wish there was such a thing as ghosts and aliens and cryptids but in all my studies and experience nothing so magical exists in this boring old world of ours.

58. Ever have a Deja-vu feeling?

Only when there is a glitch in the Matrix. Then you better be on your toes.

59. Take a vitamin daily?

Sure, why not. If I can live one more day in my glorious suffering it's worth it.

60. Wear slippers?

I dream of heated footwear that I can plug in.

61. Wear a bath robe?

Who am I, the Pope?

62. What do you wear to bed?

The skin of my enemies - which is remarkable cozy.

63. First concert?

Trooper - right after they released HOT SHOTS. It was like seeing the Beatles

64. Wal-Mart, Target or Kmart?

Woolco. They had the best pizza pops before they were available in the stores.

65. Nike or Adidas?

Safeway brand runners. You could get two pairs of hightops for five bucks back in the day.

66. Cheetos Or Fritos?

Corn chips are the food of the Gods.

67. Peanuts or Sunflower seeds?

Pumpkins seeds. I had a roomie who had a secret recipe and roasted them special every Christmas. The recipe will die with him and that is a shame.

68. Favorite Taylor Swift song?

They are becoming all the same, aren't they? She seems unable to write any songs that are not about her breaking up with a boy. I am starting to think that the problem is her.

69. Ever take dance lessons?

I could have been a beautiful dancer! I could have been a SHUMKA dancer but my Mother didn't love me that much which I tell her at every opportunity when she ooos and awwws over the guys on Dancing With The Stars. Then I am told to leave the room and stop spoiling the romance for her. The romance was PRE-SPOILED if you ask me.
70. Is there a profession you picture your future spouse doing?

Fighter pilot and vampire hunter.

71. Can you curl your tongue?

Ask your Momma. She still knits me sweaters and it isn't even my birthday.

72. Ever won a spelling bee?

No but I ate a bee against my will once. I think that was the last time I drank purple pop from a glass bottle.

73. Have you ever cried because you were so happy?

Every year, when the Grinch's heart grows three sizes.

74. What is your favorite book?

DUNE - it changed my life. LONG LIVE THE FIGHTERS!

75. Do you study better with or without music?

I would never have graduated University without Stevie Nicks

76. Regularly burn incense?

Not anymore because I understand it makes people think I am a pot head...which I aspire to be.

77. Ever been in love?

Only with myself because I am terrific.

78. Who would you like to see in concert?

QUEEN - when Freddy Mercury was at his prime. Greatest voice of the rock era.

79. What was the last concert you saw?

I can't even remember.

80. Hot tea or cold tea?

Hot, in a glass, with lemon, Kremlin style.

81. Tea or coffee?

I don't drink coffee. It's the devil's brew. I got viciously sick on it in my teens and the memory of that moment remains to this day.

82. Favorite type of cookie?

Peanut butter

83. Can you swim well?

When I was 13 I was shipped off to my Aunt's place in Pinnawa Manitoba. Every morning she dropped us off at the lake for swimming lessons which basically consisted of swimming back and forth to a wooden platform in the middle of the lake. You either got good or you died. There was no in between.

84. Can you hold your breath without holding your nose?

Of course. What do I look like? An immigrant? (I have NO idea what that means)

85. Are you patient?

Not in the least. Why should I compromise with a world that already moves too slow for me?

86. DJ or band, at a wedding?

DJ. I am not paying good money so some greasy base player can have sex with my bride's sister in the coat room of the Shereton.

87. Ever won a contest?

It may not look like it now but I was quite accomplished in my youth. I have trophies and certificates up the 'ying yang'.

88. Ever have plastic surgery?

How does one improve on perfection? I have young features. I will age well. Why would I ever mess with that?

89. Which are better black or green olives?

I have an addiction for garlic stuffed giant olives. Add some fresh bread and cheese and I couldn't be happier.

90. Opinions on sex before marriage?

You gotta test drive that car before making a single payment.

91. Best room for a fireplace?

The family room which also is the answer to the question, "What is the best room for a bar?"

92. Do you want to get married?

If someone could ever see past my flaws and make that leap then who am I to ever question their judgement?



Debra She Who Seeks said...

I'm off to see the Shumka Dancers next week!

Kal said...

So is my mother. I was going to go because I LOVE me some Shumka, I could have been a dancer but my mother didn't love me enough to enrole me. I DESEVE those boots. I would have jumped to the sky. I would go with her but that is a bus for old old people and I hate being the one with most of his original teeth.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Hey, if she's going to the Friday performance, maybe My Rare One and I will bump into her!

DrGoat said...

You're tops in my book.