jims - Column for 1/10

The new year, and I had resolved to write columns more frequently, but already I am starting off on a bad foot. Like all resolutions in the new year, it is the though of making yourself do something that you previously were not doing -- be it losing weight, exercising, taking charge of some aspect of your life, or beating off less frequently. For me, the fact is life has been insanely wacky and hectic and affected my time and desire to write.

As I am writing this, I look through the folder of started ramblings and writings, wondering when I will be happy with them, or even when I might just finish them up. It will come with time, which I have more of. One thing this business slow down has pointed out, I have been working too much and need to dedicate myself to more meaningful persuits, like drinking beer, oggling cats, and beating my head against brick walls. That said, there are a couple of things that have been getting to me, and I really just can't muster up enough vitriol to turn them into actual columns.

The movie "A Beautiful Mind". I sat through this film just last evening, and I have to say it is a painful piece of schlock. I had heard it was alight from a couple of people, but didn't know a whole lot about it. If the credits had rolled prior to the film, I would have left. It was a Ron Howard movie. It was the sappy American drivel drama that we have come to know and loathe. Forest Gump (and most Tom Hanks movies) fit the category. Predictable, tedious, and just no fun. At one point, there were only two things that could have remotely redeemed the film. First, when one of colleagues of Russell Crowe's charater is speaking with his wife, the bad lounge music should of cued up and become a porno. Second, while losing it, a double suicide via some gory and painful means would of also have worked, maybe by trying to stuff oneself down the garbage disposal? A few of us in the audience were contemplating such things for ourselves at the time, I am sure. It did drive home the point, however, that Russell Crowe can not act. To make a movie with him remotely good, throw in lots of blood and violence, as in Gladiator. Please, please, keep him away from Drama. And, as if this movie wasn't bad enough, they are bringing back ET. Shoot me now.

US Drivers. So I live on a street that used to be fairly quiet. The city of Santa Cruz, for better or worse, has been under construction -- projects to widen Highway 1, putting in speed bumps to slow people down, and other sort of revisionist traffic projects. The problem is that they have just pushed the issues onto other streets. So, when attempting to pull away from my house -- be it out of the drive way or just away from the curb -- people attempt to pass me on the left, not wanting to wait the 5 seconds for me to actually accelerate (15 in a 25 is just too slow to start off with, it seems). When they realize that I am actually moving (mind you I am in the lane at this point) and that they are going slower than I am, I get honked at. Anothe favorite, of course is when I signal to turn into my driveway (a left turn across a lane of traffic), about half the time an idiot behind me will attempt to pass me on the left (yes, my blinker is on). I really just don't understand. I find myself longing for the reasonable country roads of Portugal -- if you want to pass on a two lane road, you drive down the middle, people will move.

Commercial Patriotism. Can it please stop already? Stop. Stop. Stop. I am sick of hearing things like 'spend money, if you don't you are anti american'. I am sick of hearing radio ads about how great California is and how I should come to California. I'm already here, damn it. If you want to support the country, fine, do it. Do it in your own way, quit trying to force everyone to do the same thing. Mmm...I have a desire to buy violent video games...*searching for subliminal ads* I wonder if such acts of patriotism are tax deductable.

I will stop rmabling for now. I've been back from vacation for two days and I am already cynical, jaded, and sleepy.

Columns by jims