Weekend Update/Pointless Post

Unless you like pretty pictures of food and second thoughts on Guardians of the Galaxy, there’s no excuse for this post, and no reason for you to read it. Just being upfront.

A. Did get a bunch of reading in last week, will do a couple more book reviews soon. I could get used to this. In addition to the client visit/long plane flights/boring evenings in hotels providing opportunity to read, I felt well, which reinforced how not well I have been feeling since about November. Nothing in particular, just draggy, sleepy, unfocused. Might be blood pressure meds – but those have been the same for years. Will be seeing the doctor soon, but, as usual, I always feel better after making an appointment. (If only this worked for dentists – chipped teeth and decaying fillings just heal themselves once you’ve got a date to get them fixed. No?)

B. Saw Guardians of the Galaxy II a second time because it’s Father’s Day, it’s 105F outside, and my younger daughter had not yet seen it. Gotta say: as goofy as the action is, as unnecessary 90% of the (slight, I’ll admit) potty talk is, this movie works so well on an emotional level it’s shocking. Yondu steals most scenes he’s in, manages to convince you you’ve misunderstood him all along, and gets you crying (well, I, at least, had something in my eye) near the end – and then they ratchet it up from there – and it works. One of the reasons I wanted to see it again was exactly that: had I just fallen for cynical manipulation the first time? I kind of think not – I think they really understood that the only stakes worth raising were emotional stakes, and they went at it with everything they had, and it worked.

C. Speaking of pretty pictures of food: this year, my basil crop has been and continues to be outstanding. If you’ve got basil, make pesto; if you have fresh homemade pesto, make pasta; if you have homemade pesto pasta, you must bake fresh bread. I do understand that wasting people’s time with pictures of food is lame. I’m making an exception this once (well, except for my daughters’ cakes – but those are art) because my family kept going on about how beautiful this particular loaf of bread was:

IMG_3984

So, yea, it’s a picturesque loaf, I’ll grant. It’s the simplest loaf of yeast bread I know how to make – this one just came out particularly beautiful after the manner of its kind.  Tasty, too.

D. On the flight back from Atlanta, got to see lots of snow. There was plenty in the Rockies near the New Mexico-Colorado border, on  into Utah (especially considering I was on the right side of the plane heading west, meaning I was mostly looking at south-facing and thus less snowy slopes) .

The real snow action was the Sierra:

 

We seemed to be flying right over Yosemite, so my view was of Mono Lake (too low for snow, just north and east if Mt. Whitney and just north of the Long Valley Caldera), Hetch Hetchy, which is the valley on the western slopes just north of Yosemite and which contains San Francisco’s main reservoir, and the high granite domes which make up the bulk of the high southern Sierra.

Lots of snow, even in mid-June. Several ski areas have announced that they will be open through August! The pictures are too small to see this, I suppose, but even from the air you could see areas above 8,000 or 9,000 feet just buried in snow. Along the western side, I could see white-water waterfalls coming off those high granite domes down into the valleys, and all the rivers were likewise white until well into the foothills. Spectacular.

E. My son asked long ago for me to make him a shield. After googling around, I decided to try fiberglass. Just because I’ve never done it before. So I made a hardboard form, if you will, gave it three coats of varnish to seal it, had my son apply 4 coats of wax to it. I’d attached some 3X2 boards along the sides, screwed in a couple big hooks, had my son lean on it in the middle, them wired between the hooks to get the curve:

 

Then we applied the world’s sloppiest gel coat – hey, it was our first time! As soon as we can get 2 uninterrupted hours, we will put on 4 layers – 2 mat, 2 cloth – and epoxy in a handle and adjustable strap. Then let cure over night.

And pray we can get it off the form!

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Author: Joseph Moore

Enough with the smarty-pants Dante quote. Just some opinionated blogger dude.

9 thoughts on “Weekend Update/Pointless Post”

  1. I think they really understood that the only stakes worth raising were emotional stakes, and they went at it with everything they had, and it worked.

    Exactly. “Guardians of the Galaxy” started off with a threat that literally…would have destroyed the galaxy. Once you try to “top” that it just gets silly, and not in a fun way. It also gets repetitive.

    I think the decision of the second film to raise the stakes on an emotional level was a very smart one. It keeps things interesting and fresh for a film that probably could have coasted by pretty successfully with more of the same. But Gunn goes for something else here, and to his credit he mostly hits his mark.

    (The movie didn’t lessen my impression of “Guardians” as “dumber ‘Firefly'”, though. Even the emotional scenes, good as they are, are shadows of Whedon’s. The climax and final scenes of “Jaynestown” rival anything I’ve ever seen as far as emotional gut punches go; Adam Baldwin is one of the most underrated actors in Hollywood, along with Vincent D’Onnoffrio and Walton Goggins).

    1. I like this flick inordinately, even as I pick holes in it non-stop. The contrast between emotional depth versus a level of emotional indestructibility is stark: the leads are all emotionally fragile enough for us to care, but way less emotionally fragile than they are physically fragile. They can drop 100 feet onto solid rock, survive blows to the face that would kill a human, get flung a hundred yards by an explosion – and just shake it off, which is par for the superhero course; but Yondu, Nebula, and Gamora have shaken off the emotional equivalent of nuclear blasts. Sure Peter, like Batman, had the love of his mother to fall back on emotionally, but those other three would be sociopaths at best after what they’ve been through. Only Nebula seems to be – Gamora calls her a psychopath at one point, at least. That’s a mythology for the modern age: no matter what they do to you, you can come out OK. If only it were true aside from the occasional miracle.

      This is why, I suppose, the Incredibles is still my favorite superhero movie. People with superpowers and, at the same time, normalish interpersonal relationships.

      1. I still don’t get that criticism of yours, I’m afraid. The movies are basically *about* overcoming their pasts; if what they go through in those 2 films isn’t enough for you, I feel like you just don’t like that sort of story at all – which may not be unfair in this degenerate modern era, so hey.

        That said, of course “The Incredibles” is the best superhero movie ever made, and maybe the best animated movie ever.

      2. Well! Then I’m just going to have to post on this. It’s not so much overcoming their pasts, it’s the nature of the pasts they’re overcoming, and what it says about us all that we buy it.

      3. Hmmmmm, maybe.

        I’m just saying, to me it looks like you’re saying if the abuse is extreme enough, it’s *impossible* to overcome it. That strikes me as too far, though you’re right I may be missong something.

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