Monday, February 18, 2008

The Question & The Answer

Not much to say about this one, except that she said "yes" and that I am a happy man. Much more to come...

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Why "A-Team" Could Save Society -- The Lost Manuscript

EDITOR'S NOTE: I thought I had lost this post, but somehow I figured out what the heck I'm doing with this blog thing and found the draft. I haven't re-read, I'm just posting it (making two posts in the last 24 hours, athankya!).


So for those who don't know where the title of my blog comes from, first of all shame on you. Actually, it's likely not your fault because you're either too young to remember "The A Team" or you were raised in a home so devoid of love and affection that the charitable antics of a band of renegades was not allowed to be shown.

At any rate, Hannibal Smith (played by the late George Peppard), at the end of an episode of successful underdog-saving, would often smile and say as he clenched his cigar between his teeth, "I love it when a plan comes together." Given that Hannibal was pretty much the coolest gray-haired character ever on television, it became a goal to be able to say that at the end of any exploit. For instance:

  • TPing a house

  • Tightly pegging one's pants (hey, it was the 80's)

  • Getting an A on a test you basically didn't study for

  • Making up a book to do a book report on (I am not proud of this, but whatareyagonnado?)

Aaanyway, back to my point. A few years ago a friend of mind gifted me a DVD of "A Team" episodes for Christmas, and during my break from school I decided to watch some of these first-season gems. Meanwhile, my nieces and nephews wandered into the room (when there are about 15 people in one house during a rainy Oregon holiday there aren't a lot of places to hide) and started watching with me. At first, I'm thinking, "There's guns and explosions and cars tipping over in this show... should I let them watch this? Will I, on some future Nancy Grace or The View show, be castigated for my early indoctrination of violence into the little growing minds of my nieces and nephews?" I figured I had already ruined Andrew when he was about 4 and came downstairs to find me playing "Quake" on his mom's computer, but the REST of them... how dare I poison their little lollipop-loving minds with such killing and mayhem?

It was then that I realized how good the show really was. Although I deemed it violent in my day, I began to notice that:

  • Nobody gets killed. When machine guns are used, they blow things up next to people, followed by some tremendous stuntman leaps filmed from below.

  • When cars explode or flip over in the air, they always show the passengers alive and getting out of the car safely.

  • There is a lot of smashing of plate glass windows, but no blood or death or really much in terms of injury. When the A Team vanquishes its opponent (remember, in the name of good), their enemies just seem really tired and they get tied up and ostensibly taken to the authorities.

  • The A Team, while mercenaries, are hired to help "the little guy" in their fights against wealthy landowners, mafia members, drug dealers, gangs, and the occasional just plain jerk.

Suddenly, I was quite proud of the programming I was allowing the kids to watch. What a great uncle I was! They loved the show and wanted to see more episodes. The lesson is (I suppose) that TV programming can send a good message and still kick some butt. I think we need more of that on today's shows. In fact, why isn't any channel showing "A Team" reruns during the writers' strike? I see great Nielsen ratings in the future...

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Making Lemonade Out Of Melons

Those who have known me for a long time know that I just plain don't like melons. I'm not exactly sure why or if it started at a specific time (like my 10-year boycott of mustard when I once put too much of it on a hamburger, but that's another story for another time), but it's even become a more violent, proactive dislike for the dang fruits. Why, you ask, would I openly despise not just one fruit but an entire phylum of them? Because they have taken over fruit salads and cocktails and changed the assorted fruit landscape as we know them.

When I go to a restaurant and I'm thinking about the healthy choice of fruit, I have to ask what fruits are in their mixture. Without fail, it's mostly canteloupe, watermelons, honeydews or some other strange type of melon I've never heard of, topped off with a whole one (usually seedfull rather than seedless) grape and a lonesome, often uncomfortably bruised strawberry. As you can tell by the tone of this paragraph, I don't eat a lot of fruit at restaurants unless they bring me some apples or oranges to gnaw on.

But today, quite spontaneously, I made a change. I was sitting on my flight from Denver to Portland (after a 4-hour overnight layover in Tulsa, long story on that one) where I was tired enough to use some of my upgrade certificates on United to get into first class. They served breakfast on the flight, and when the attendant asked me which meal I wanted I was still half asleep and somehow agreed to an assorted fruit plate without subjecting her to a CIA Rendition-type interrogation on the elements thereof. I should have known, however, that this assorted fruit plate would not only be dominated by melons but would be exclusively and entirely melons. (At that point, why not just call it an assorted melon plate? Just don't get my hopes up with assorted fruit, it's like a video store offering a wide assortment of movies when all they stock are the "Ernest Goes To..." series. But again, I digress...)

What a dilemma -- no other real option for the meal besides a scary omelet-type concoction that I swear I saw move on its own on the guy's plate across the aisle. All melons. And I am hungry. So what did I do? Well, I'm proud to say that I made a conscious decision to EAT THE MELONS. My inner dialogue went like this: "Dave, for many years you've taken a strong stance on eating melons. At times, you have violently opposed their tyrannical rule over assorted fruit plates. But is it rational? Does it make sense anymore, Dave? You used to hate broccoli and asparagus -- now, you gobble them whole as long as they're cooked right. There was even a time many years back when you thought 'Lost' was overrated, and you were way off on that point too. Why not just TRY the melons again with a fresh perspective, and see how they are?"

So I did. I ATE THE MELONS. Not all of them, but I ate all the watermelon pieces and a few of the canteloupe-type ones. Sorry, it's been a while so I'll need to bone up on the melon classifications again. Don't get me wrong, I will still choose a good pear or berry over any melon, but I consider this a decent first step towards an unimaginable reconciliation with the Gwen Stefani of the No Doubt fruit assortment collection.