Movies, food, and travel

For someone who has not had a drink of booze for more than years, starting the new year by having breakfast at Lefty O’Doul’s sports bar in San Francisco might sound a tad misguided, but the World’s Laziest Journalist’s New Year’s Resolution for Thirteen is:  “Have more fun!”  So, a very good breakfast, with good (regular not Irish) coffee for a wee bit more $ than we are used to paying was in keeping with our game plan for the New Year.

After breakfast, we discovered that our plan to proceed to a movie theater complex and view Quentin Tarintino’s new movie was moving ahead of schedule and we could see the 11:30 a.m. show for a bargain matinee price and our budget could recoup the money we had spent on the (IMHO) lavish breakfast.

While watching the story of a freed slave who becomes a bounty hunter in Pre-Civil War America, we saw an opportunity to write a column that would suggest that the saga of mean slave owners could be interpreted as a parable for contemporary America with the plantation owners being the one percenters and the slaves seen as the exploited middle class and poor workers.  Some comparisons with a spaghetti Western, with some of Ennio Morricone’s music, could be thrown into the hypothetical column.

Watching the slaves fight with each other, literally as well as figuratively speaking, we were reminded of the Republican strategy for holding the Democratic Party at bay:  “Divide and Conquer!”  The Democrats fall for it every time!

Would “(Gun)Violence is as American as cherry pie” be a good headline for such a review?

We could do some pop culture nit-picking and point out that at one point what seems to be a Winchester 73 rifle is shown in the story that takes place before the Civil War started.

Writing such a column would be too much work and be a betrayal of our intention to ignore politics during a year in which no politician in Washington D. C. faces reelection and just focus on pop culture as a way of keeping our New Year’s Resolution.

Around Easter time, gyms will start running TV ads suggesting that viewers get in shape for summer excursions to the beach this summer.  (It is summer in Australia and folks going to the January White Sales can wear short sleeve shirts and other summer attire.)  Thing of it is anyone who has ever started toward that goal on New Year’s Day knows that exercise is like a train pulling out of the station.  It is recommended (for good reason) that people start with very easy workouts because their bodies aren’t ready for a long workout session that will burn up <I>beaucoup</I> calories.

The gyms should be running the ads now that truthfully advise that folks who start now and keep at it faithfully will just be starting to show results by the time tax season is over and have a small but realistic chance of showing some results by the time the July 4th picnic is being served.  Those ads will run about the time Ascension Thursday arrives and most of the people who pay to join a gym will have given up the effort by the time Independence Day arrives.

Easter of 2013 should coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the release of the film “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” and for fact checking purposes we viewed it on New Year’s Eve and noticed that the star studded comedy is still funny and that the story of a wild scramble for $ is ripe for comparisons to the current situation in the USA.  A group of travelers learn that they can acquire a large sum of money (an obvious metaphor for happiness) “under the W.”  Was this a very accurate prediction of the philosophy of George W. Bush in action or what?  So maybe we’ll have to permit some occasional political commentary to seep into our year of living (as much as our meager budget will allow) lavishly in decedent splendor.

On New Year’s day of 2013, a Perils of Pauline finish avoided the financial disaster that the journalists in the mainstream media have been (enthusiastically?) predicting and so the politicians have nothing to do until its time for a replay later this year in December so it would only be an exercise in wasted effort to write about politics before then.

Based on past experience we think it may be too late to start applying for press credentials to cover this year’s Oscar™ Awards Ceremony but then again (as we were once advised) it never hurts to ask.

Maybe we should start now to apply for credentials to cover this year’s Le Mans sports car race?

Maybe this is the year we will be able to scratch a ride in a DC 3 airplane off our bucketlist.

Later this month the Noir City film festival will take place in San Francisco.  Usually a film noir movie opens showing a guy who is doomed.  Maybe we could use some pessimistic pundits’ quotes to compare him to the USA?  Whoops!  Staying away from political commentary is going to be challenge to our will power.

If Jeb Bush is going to jump into the 2016 Presidential race maybe we could do a column with a headline about the Bush Dynasty’s will to power?

See how easy it is to get sidetracked?

Maybe we could report on this year’s installment of the annual motorcycle event in Sturgis?

Could this be the year that we finally get to Hemingway Days in Key West?

We have had a ride in a B-17 G bomber.  To be fair and balanced, should we go to a gathering of warbirds and get a ride on a B-24?

We’ve been to Casablanca, Kalgoorlie, and Paris but we have never visited Paris in the month of April.  For sure, we would have to break into the piggy bank to write a first hand account about that.

One thing for sure.  We are not going to write a first hand account about what it feels like to go sky diving.  We are limiting our fact checking to repeated viewings of “Point Break” and that all.  Then again . . .

Two of our high school classmates have indicated that (finally) they might come and visit California!  We have been exploring the Golden State for a good many years.  On our first visit to Venice Beach, some activists were trying to advocate for ending the war in Vietnam.  (Some of them still are.)  We saw Bobby Kennedy campaign in Cali for getting the Presidential nomination.  We have not exhausted the list of “must see” locations in California.  I guess we’re going to have to offer to help either or both these friends get to the sequoia trees.  If they like the outdoor stuff, we can heartily recommend a visit to Yosemite.  Matter for fact, if they insist we’d go back for a second visit to see if it has change much in the last 42 years.  (Once, in a letter to a friend in Vietnam, we achieved a life time best with a quadruple end patentees bit of punctuation.  [Maybe we can beat that record in a 2013 column?])  The Golden Gate Bridge always looks very impressive, even in snapshots taken by folks who don’t know diddley about taking good pictures.

Our trusty Nikon Coolpix seems to be getting a bit worn out (we know that feeling) and may need a replacement.  In three years, we have take a ship load of digital images (25,000?) but we are ready to go on a new photo safari when the opportunity presents itself.

Four years ago, when we went to Australia seeking fun, quality photos, and perceptive and insightful insights into life, we had secret hopes of building a bigger and better journalism career, but now that a year that will be an “eye of the hurricane” time period has arrived, we are going to take a sabbatical year and just enjoy life and play things fast and easy just for kicks and giggles.  Our columns will be reports on pop culture items and our progress.

It’s like the character that Tom Cruise played in Risky Business said:  “Sometimes you just gottta say ‘What the fuck!’”

Now the disk jockey will play Duane Eddy’s “Rebel Rouser,” Jody Reynold’s “Endless Sleep,” and Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries.”  We have to go fact check the price for a hostel bunk in Paris during the month of April.  Have a (as Aunty Mame used to say)  “Life is a banquet and some poor suckers are starving” (even on a tight budget [they say that the best things in life are free]) type week and a happy new year.

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