Thursday, May 28, 2009

Holiday Roundup

Had a fabulous time in Charleston over Memorial Day weekend. Rode through a lot of flat, green country on the way there. Ate, drank, and lounged by a pool to excess. Walked on a beach in the rain. A change of scenery can be very liberating.

Wyatt and I stayed with Claudine and her husband. It's become an annual event. We again sat on their back porch and drank Bombay Dry gin and ginger ale (we didn't get Blenheim ginger ale this time unfortunately, a serious oversight.) I warned them that when and if the fall of civilization arrives, bad guys after their canned goods might hide in the pool and they'll be difficult to shoot in there. But it's hard to worry too much about stuff like that when it's warm and you're on vacation with a drink in your hand.

Claudine has sattelite TV too, and Wyatt and I got sucked in to that more than once. We don't have cable and even when we did, we just had the basic package, so we are utterly defenseless when it comes to the distracting power of such a large number of channels. We watched part of Star Wars The Phantom Menace, for Chrissakes, and remarked out loud the whole time that we can't believe how bad it is.

Which turned out to be a synchronistic event in a way, because when we got home, we had the film Fanboys waiting in our mailbox. The story takes place about six months before the release of The Phantom Menace, and it's about a bunch of Star Wars fans and their plot to break into George Lucas' house to watch the rough cut of the film. It's ironic that such a good movie was made about such a shitty one.

We also watched Choke at Claudine's. I liked this movie a lot too, though I've read a lot of online bitching about how the movie's not as good as the book. So my advice is to see this disturbing, quirky, funny movie unless you have read the book. Warning: It is not family viewing or first date material. It has bounteous booty scenes.

Claudine gets something called Free Speech TV and on it I saw part of a documentary about Islam in Bali called Promised Paradise. This was the most interesting thing I've watched in a long time. It's got Muslims from opposite ends of the extremist spectrum arguing about Islam in much the same way you'd see Pat Robertson and (gee I wish I could think of a famous moderate or liberal Christian I could compare him to) talking about Christianity. It made me realize that in all the fuss since 9/11, all I've heard is Muslims explaining Islam to Christians or Christians explaining Islam to Christians. Hearing Muslims talk to each other opens the door to a whole nother realm of understanding about the religion. It's got your hardcore Holy Book literalists, and it's got your more laid back Let's Use Our Common Sense To Interpret the Holy Book folks. At one point the subject of the documentary is talking to a guy in jail about why said guy in jail is a terrorist. Guy in jail says something like "I follow the Koran blindly and disregard my own common sense because I don't see the big picture, and I trust that the author of the Koran does/did."

His words rang quite a bell. They took me back to Vacation Bible School in my tender youth, where I heard that same argument for following the Bible blindly.


Anonymous said...

I love your nature pictures. I would even go so far as to say that you could make a living taking them if you really put your mind to it. What kind of camera do you use and what resolution? (it has to be up there)


verona said...

thanks - I use a Canon Power Shot 6.0 mega pixels. I wish there was more of a paying market for nature photography -

Anonymous said...

cool. keep it up regardless.