A Slice of Fried Gold

March #9 (Power Out)

Monday, March 10, 2008

You know the old saying (or maybe it's a Joni Mitchell song), you don't know what you got 'til it's gone? Well, I really understand that now.

My internet and TV were out all of Sunday. Never have I realized how connection based my apartment was, but man, that place is nothing at all without those things, at least in terms of staying connected to the world in any facet. My apartment was essentially its own desert island (except instead of five things I got to choose, I had everything I own in terms of books and DVD's), and it was not so great.

Thankfully, I had a ton to do Sunday, and I was barely home, but man - that really sucked. Plus, it looks like it will not get resolved until Wednesday at the earliest. What does that mean for my blog? You're going to get megablogs like this until I have a steady internet connection. Yay! I had a great weekend though, with tons to do, so today's blog is going to be all about that. Expect tangents like crazy, and so many twists and turns you'll think you're reading an M. Night Shyamalan script. Ok, maybe not, but it should be somewhat entertaining.


Saturday morning I woke up at 10:50, feeling like death (went to First Friday the night before...much wine was consumed) and needing to be somewhere in 10 minutes. Surprisingly, I made it there in 22 minutes, just in time as Colver and Brian were pulling in at the exact same time. What were we doing?

Getting measurements for tuxes!

Sobo and Erik are getting married in July and September respectively, and we'll be partaking as groomsmen in said weddings, thus we needed to get our sizes measured for the ordering of our tuxes. Brian had thankfully brought a massive coffee for Colver and I to share, as we were both feeling...ahem...under the weather. It was alternately the most delicious and disgusting thing I've ever had, but it was exactly what we needed.

Well, that and the insanely bizarre woman who did our measurements, who thought I was crazy and a swimmer ("Huge neck!"), needed Brian as a translator, and thought Colver was very sarcastic (incredibly enough, it was me that was being that way). Her hilarity definitely woke me up, and prepared me for the next event of the day - There Will Be Blood.

It was of course spectacular as per usual, with Brian and I agreeing that it is in fact one of our favorite movies ever, and I decided, three months into the year, that it tied with Atonement as my favorite movie last year. Who knows what Colver thought, but I think he enjoyed it. This is the person whose Facebook page states under the movie sections "I like anything higher than 80% and lower than 25% on Rotten Tomatoes."

Tangent #1:

My nephew called that evening, as he and his friends apparently decided to see Blood instead of Semi-Pro for a birthday party event (I love Blood, but birthday party event? Not the right time), and he was wondering what the deal with me liking it so much was - it was "irrelevant" and the last scene was one of the most unintentionally hilarious scenes he'd ever seen. Now, I understand not liking it - it isn't the most likeable movie. Nearly every character is despicable, it's very long, and as Colver pointed out, conversations are awkward at best (intentionally stunted, I believe). Also, certain scenes could be considered unintentionally funny for sure (more on this in a bit).

Why do I think it's so great? Why do I think the term irrelevant is quite possibly the worst term ever used to describe it?

Relevant - Connected with or saying something important about what is being spoken about or discussed.

Under that definition, I think it is as relevant as anything I've seen in recent memory. Not only does it work as a brilliant character study, about how greed can destroy a person and create a monster, a modern day Frankenstein set in the Oil Rush time of the early 1900's, but it also works in a more metaphorical relevance. My nephew's friend was yelling in the background (albeit sarcastically) "down with corporate America!" about the movie. Correct young man, to a degree.

I think that within Blood, there lies a very interesting study of modern day business through the microcosm of the Oil Rush and Daniel Plainview. About how the lust for money makes us do monstrous things - sure it isn't always killing people, using small children to accomplish goals, or using and abusing entire towns, but it is embezzling from shareholders, it is sacrificing groups for the sake of the individual, and it is a complete lack of moral compass more often than not.

Of course, this all is expressed through a wondrously performed and shot film, one with one of the single greatest scores ever created, and one of the greatest characters ever seen on screen in Daniel Plainview.

It's a movie about greed and it's effect on people, and to me, it works perfectly both literally and metaphorically. The relevance of the film to me is undeniable. Both in terms of making us understand the insanity caused by the gold and oil rushes locked in America's past, and in giving us a metaphor for the way avarice affects those infected by it throughout the ages. I think it could be argued that the film has no greater relevance than in this era.

Back to the point of unintentional hilarity...I think this is a misunderstanding. I think Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Day-Lewis made the film with the intent of multiple angles to the same scene. Not literally on the angles, but I mean you can view scenes in entirely different ways. The first time I watched the film, I was enraptured by it, and never gave it a second thought as to it being anything besides deathly serious. The second time? Brian and I went in looking it as a pitch black comedy, and it was incredibly funny in a sick, sick way. I believe any perceived unintentional humor is actually inentional. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

Of course, this is all one person's opinion, and that opposing view is of my nephew. I was incorrect in originally saying that he "just didn't get it." Just because I believe otherwise (even if it is in the extreme other direction) does not mean I am right and he is wrong. I do believe it takes a specific type of person to love Blood. I just happen to be one of them.

End tangent #1.

So after the viewing, I went off to visit with my sister and then join her for dinner at Thai Orchid. I tried a new dish there, going with a red curry that featured chicken, green peppers, jalopenos, and pineapple. Man. That was a delicious meal, and Thai Orchid strikes again. I think it is officially my favorite Thai restaurant in town, as it already has the best Pad Thai, but it also makes curry and fresh rolls like nobody's business.

One of my sister and I's primary discussions over dinner was whether I should attend the Emerald City Comic Con or the Sasquatch Festival as my big event for the year. My sis made a very good point: I go to plenty of concerts, last year I had my huge blowout at the Bumbershoot Festival (although it was incredible), and I haven't went to a comic con since I was little. Diversity is in fact not a wooden ship, so I should check out the ECCC. I liked her point, and that combined with the fact that my friend Sheri and her crew missed out on a premium camping spot at Sasquatch means I am likely to skip 'Quatch for the ECCC (or the San Diego Comic Con, if I feel very saucy).

Shortly thereafter, after our delicious dinner was completed, I was beginning to feel like death. I left my sister and went home for a classic 7 pm nap. I woke up at 8:30 and was joined by Jason, Amy, and Hannah shortly thereafter for a rock session. And boy, did we rock. We totally shredded until 2:30 am, even tossing in a delicious pizza in the midst (from Manhattan Pizza, the Anchorage Press' food rec of the week). I apparently now love Hawaiian pizza. Who knew? No less, the night was a total blasty blast, and it was fantastic having an out and out rockfest for the first time in a while.


I woke to a house with no TV and no internet. Sad panda, but ok considering the fact that I have a big day ahead of me.

First up? My first Fantasy Baseball draft of the year, and even better, my first ever live (as in sitting in a room with the rest of the league) baseball draft. The league was very similar to my previous football one, with it being compiled of Pat, John Yee, Rolston, Chuck, MJ, Sweet, and myself, plus new member Colver.

This being Colver's first baseball draft, there were some new experiences to be had. First off, the draft is HUGE (30 players per team, 8 teams), there is no running list of who is and isn't available (gotta keep tabs yourself), and baseball has some horrendously intense names. Personal favorite pronounciation error? Jason Isringhausen (Is-Ring-Hows-En) = Jason Irish Spring Hausen. I wish I was kidding.

The draft was very fun, if not overly lengthy. There were some intense lulls and tons of "is this guy available? is this guy available?" filled sections, but the banter was flowing between the league members and my draft went really well. How well? My starting pitching staff is studly (slightly gay sounding terms like that are perfectly acceptable when involved with Fantasy sports). I have the best hitter (A-Rod) and the best pitcher (Johan Santana). I have tons of upside (BJ Upton, Nick Markakis, Corey Hart) and tons of sure things (aforementioned A-Rod, Santana, Justin Verlander). My offense and pitching is incredibly balanced.

This may be my greatest Fantasy Baseball team ever, and I am unfathomably stoked about it.

Anchorage and Sleeping Lady from Flattop

After the draft (all 3.5 hours of it), Amy and I went up and hiked Flattop. Now before you think we're crazy for hiking Flattop in March, I want to make sure everyone is aware that this is a strange March in Alaska. It was nearly 50 degrees yesterday, and breakup is in full swing. Sure, when we got up there it was down to 35degrees, but a couple layers and gloves were more than enough to take care of that. Of course not bringing a hat and deciding a t-shirt and a thermal was plenty may have been a pinch on the crazy side, but what can I say...I'm a rebel.

It was an awesome time, and it was great seeing Amy's dog Myka get to go out and run free. She ran through the mountain "like a million singing children" as Amy said, and it was oh so joyous.

Amy with Myka on Blueberry Hill

Taking this hike made me think about how different Alaska really is than every where else I've been. Looking around from the top of the mountain, you just know that Alaska really is just more beautiful and diverse than other areas. You see a city, tall mountains, forests, blue sky, sunshine, snow, the ocean, everything. All from one view. Now I still have my issues with Alaska (eternal winters, long spells of darkness, THE COLD!), but things like that really take my breath away. Not to get too cheesy or anything.

Me sliding down the mountain...oh so gloriously

Speaking of cheesy, for some reason Amy and I decided that we wanted to get to the top of the mountain my climbing directly upwards, which required us to go up and angle of about 65 degress in about 6 feet of snow. Not to be Captain Obvious (you are wearing pants, by the way), but it was rather difficult. We managed to make it up to one rock formation, and that was our tippity top. We did take some wonderfully cheesy pictures, as you can see from Amy's shot (seriously, it felt that steep), and it did give us the ability to slide down incredibly fast (which was amazingly fun).

And cold. My pants, shirt, socks, shoes, hair, body were full of snow afterwards, as you can see below. Well, after that and the hurricane that managed to strike the mountain while we were up there. I don't know about Amy, but I was legitimately terrified as intense gusts of wind went on for 20 seconds straight, nailing us with incredible amounts of snow and ground fragments. It was so intense that we both dropped to our knees to hide from the wind, and Myka pretty much flipped out. I found myself screaming and laughing simultaneously, and must admit that a big part of me was thinking "this is awesome!" while another part was thinking "you're crazy! this is terrifying!"

No, I do not have multiple personalities.

After the sliding, Amy and I headed back down the mountain (much easier than the way up) and went off to chow down on some delicious gyros from the Greek Corner, and then to watch Lost (groovy as per usual). Sure, it was very chill weekend (literally on the hiking part), and one that was definitely more powered down than usual, but I loved it quite a bit.

Alaska, this weekend I was very pro-you. Keep it up, and we may be able to keep this relationship going for a while.

If my internet is up later, I'll post some more things (Vampire Weekend totally rocked the heezy this weekend on SNL, and I wanted to share), but I wanted to get this bad boy out there while I was in contact with the rest of the world for sure.


Patty said...

Glad to see you tuned in to SNL for Vampire Weekend. I missed it altogether. Internet and TV are both spotty on the RV road.

Bobbie said...

Long post!
I knew you'd choose wisely... Say hi to Apollo and Jane for me!
Already craving more Phad Tai. :o)

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