Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Movies, Books and Obama

It seems like recently I've been doing three things mainly. That is, aside from going to work. My life at the moment seems to be filled with reading books, going to movies (and out to dinner) and exercising. Well, okay, I also went to MoveOn's town hall meeting to listen to the Democratic candidates' webcast.

To tell the truth, at first listening, I thought Hillary did best. Then, after re-listening to three of them, Barak Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards, I have to give the nod to Obama. He came across, to me, as insightful, understanding of the issue and issues surrounding the war in Iraq and the most eloquent. Certainly the other two were outstanding, as well, but Obama just resonated with me.

On the other side of the political fence, Giuliani, McCain, Gingrich, and Romney don't turn me on at all. I don't see where any of them have what is needed to lead our country. Romney, especially, is such an opportunist that he has no conscience, just a lot of going where he thinks the political winds are heading. I lived in Massachusetts for his last two years of his one four year term as governor of the state and I have to agree with the collective opinion that as a governor he stunk.

In early March Dixie developed seborrhea. Her skin developed into a huge rash and she smelled. I went out and bought shampoo that had coal tar in it and bathed her every 5 days for about a month. It finally went away, for the most part, and now she just has some flakiness. Poor dog. I put lotion all over myself in the winter but I never thought about her. I'm glad her condition's under control.

Over the past month or so I've read some interesting books. Let's see, I've read Judi Picoult's book, "Plain Truth," "Atlantis," by David Gibbins, "Master Butcher's Singing Club," by Louise Erdrich and "Water for Elephants," by Sara Gruen. Just this morning I finished Cormac McCarthy's book, "The Road." Each of the books is an excellent read and I wholeheartedly recommend all of them.

Plain Truth is about an attorney who represents an Amish girl accused of killing her newborn baby. The author spent time living with the Amish in preparation for writing the book and gives a really insightful look into that segment of America.

Atlantis postulates that the lost continent of Atlantis was actually located in the Black Sea. I've read elsewhere and have come to believe that the Mediterreanean Sea has actually been devoid of water at least once. So the story goes, during the ice age the straits of Gibralter were ice locked and the Med was empty, for like 10,000 years. Civilizations came and went. You don't have to believe it but there is tons of evidence to support people having lived at the bottom of the Mediterreanean for a long time. One theory goes that the original diaspora was as a result of the Mediterreanean flooding when the Straits of Gibralter were broached by the Atlantic Ocean. The story of Noah's Ark was a part of that theory.

The Master Butcher's Singing Club is about a WW1 german sniper who emigrated to America after the war and eventually settled in the mid-west. He had his wife come over and they started a butcher shop, along with a family. He formed a singing club of a group of the townspeople. The book chronicles their life and the times of America from the 1920's through WW2. How the woman who operates the local funeral parlor that she inherited from her family kills the local cop who had been obsessively infatuated with her and disappears into the day is a story into itself.

Water for Elephants is a story about how the traveling circus' were back in the late 1890's - early 1900's. The writer did exhaustive research on the topic and put together a wonderful story. All of the stories and anecdotal information is true. Back in those days, running away to join the circus was truly only a fantasy. The reality was quite different.

I finished reading The Road this morning, a cold, raw, dismal day, just like the book. I couldn't put the book down, though. It takes place just after the apocalypse. A father and son on the road, looking for the rest of the good guys. Let's please hope that we're not taking the world down this road due to war, environmental abuse and loss of faith in humankind. It's very scary to think how easily we could all be living this way.

I also went to see a few movies, as well. Saw Dreamgirls, which was really good. Saw Blades of Glory, which is hilarious. And, saw The Namesake, which is a must see. The first two movies are good escapes, the last one makes you want to embrace your family.

Aside from that, not writing to the blog has, to me, continued to demonstrate my lack of discipline in this effort. I have also been trying to meditate consistently, which I have only done inconsistently. I have managed to get to the gym three days a week, however. Haven't lost any weight but am stronger for the effort.

A few weeks ago I went down to see my two daughters and granddaughter. They're all doing well, working, paying the bills and living where it's warmer and cheaper.

A couple weeks ago I bought a new computer - a Dell laptop. I've now gone mobile and wireless. I struggled with replacing my desktop with another one versus downsizing - not in terms of quality or quantity, but in terms of taking up space. A laptop is just so much smaller than a desktop. Now I can sit at my kitchen table instead of a desk and not worry about having enough space for the monitor. I think I made a good decision. I got the Inspiron E1505, jacked up the memory, added external speakers and got a wireless mouse.

I also went with Verizon broadband. I'm going to get rid of my landline phone and my dial-up connection. The net effect will be a total of $10 more a month than I'm now paying for my communications. I chose broadband over DSL or Comcast because I don't watch TV much and also because of the portability of the laptop. Now I can sit in the woods and get on line. That last sentence was a joke. It's true that I could do that but I hope to resist the temptation of working on my blog or surfing the net while sitting at a picnic table in the park.

Anyway, I hope to become more disciplined writing. Who knows? Maybe one day I'll say something of interest to someone.