Thursday, October 7, 2010

No D-Day: Gremlins in my House

Today is a day when we write about anything NOT related to the chronic conditions we are living with. This idea is the brainchild of The Great Ninjabetic. This means no blogging, Tweeting, or Facebooking statuses on that subject. George describes it this way: "We are more than a disease, a lot more and tomorrow is a day to share some of that. There are many facets to each one of us and since we do talk so much about our D lives, we maybe miss some other cool stuff about each other. It’s not easy. It is a serious exercise to avoid all D talk but, I think it is a positive step in seeing that life is more than diabetes. We are more than diabetics or People With Diabetes. We give diabetes a lot of attention, let’s spend one day and give the rest of ourselves the spot light."
Since I'd neglected to mark this on any calendar and didn't even remember it until sometime later Tuesday, I had little time to get my sass in line for a specific Non-D post. My mind rolls through ideas, trynig to find the best one: Pull one from the past? Write about journalism, or the future of newspapers? Politics? My Faith Journey? Our homestate of Michigan and how we traded in lakes for cornfields more than six years ago? That Crazy Shadow Cat or Riley Dog? My Hoskins Family Genealogy Project that traces my roots back to Bartholomew Hoskins who came to America back in 1615...?

So many topics, but I couldn't settle on one as the time rolled toward the deadline.

This exercise began at 12 a.m., and as the midnight hour rolled around it became clear that we might encounter some questions began surfacing about how this all would practically play out: Is there a specific hash tag to use? Can we mention "diabetes" in our posts without actually writing about it? How much can we delve into this concept without crossing some line of actually delving into the topic we're meant to avoid? Oh, the mind games. And then there's those pesky time zones, which meant some of us in the Eastern and Middle parts of the country would hit the "No D-Day" roadblock before those to the West...

I began to feel like a Gremlin.

Instead of not being able to feed the cute little Mogwai after midnight, I wasn't able to post or write about my health. I thought about the food-stuck-in-the-teeth issue from the movie, and wondered what happened if I wrote something before 12a, but it got lost in cyperspace and then actually went online after the deadline. Pondering these issues and still struggling to pinpoint a particular post topic, I even managed to spill a glass of water on myself.

Luckily, there were no adverse effects as was the case with Gizmo and the Gremlins.

Up late, I wished I had thought about this earlier rather than dealing with it at such a late hour. With work deadlines hanging over my head, I was staying up to write stories and the pressure was weighing down on me. At that point, it became painfully obvious that I was in need of a Flying DeLorean with a Flux Capacitor, to rewind time and got back to an earlier point in the week.

That's when it dawned on me. A writing subject, I had found (Me, being all Yoda-like.)

Subject: Movies. Great classic flicks from the 70s, 80s, 90s, and "today." You may have guessed from this and past posts that I'm a movie buff in the sense that I quote them often, firmly believing that much of our wisdom in life comes from movies and those creative geniouses who penned the scripts. (Plug for Buried, the writing creation of Chris Sparling that rolls out nationally on Friday, Oct. 8). So, here was a chance to reference them and list some of my favorites in no particular order.

  • Gremlins: As mentioned above, you can see why it's a great flick. There's nothing like cute fuzzy little pets turning into little green creatures and multiplying exponentially. Swinging from ceiling fans, invading movie theater popcorn ovens, and causing havoc in a small little community. Great theme song, too.
  • Animal House: I am a Sigma Pi Fraternity man, and despite all the stereotypes in this movie that just don't portray how most modern fraternities operate, it's still an irreplaceable movie worth watching and citing in everyday situations. The quote-worthy list is almost endless, but I'd go with this one at this time: "Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son."
  • Back to the Future(s): My ultimate, all-time favorite movie trio. The first from 1984 is the 1st movie I ever recall seeing as a child, sitting on the floor of my paretns' family room in my pajamas. If there's any movie I can quote every line from, it's BTF Part I. And I'm not too far off in the latter two. We're nearing 2015, though, and the countdown for those Flying DeLoreans is coming down to the wire here. I'm not seeing the promised progress. Doc Brown should get on this. We may need 1.21 Jiggawatts to make it happen!
  • Braveheart: "Every man dies. Not every man really lives."
  • Caddyshack: Be the ball. Just don't kill all the golfers. And, always appreciate advice from the Dalai Lama, 12th son of the Lama with the flowing robes, the grace, bald... striking: "Gunga galunga... gunga, gunga-lagunga. So we finish the 18th and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, 'Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know.' And he says, 'Oh, uh, there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness.' So I got that goin' for me, which is nice."
  • Cocktail: Once upon a time, I dreamed of turning my banquet hall waiter gig into a bartending career on an island somewhere. Alas, my "Cocktails & Dreams" didn't materialize and I did not became the last barman poet. Yet, one scrap of wisdom to take from this movie: "Coughlin's Law; Anything else is always something better."
  • Anything from the 80s, particularly those starring Molly Ringwald or Anthony Michael Hall: You name it, these movies are the bomb-diggaty. Breakfast Club (the best). Weird Science. Sixteen Candles. Pretty in Pink. There's others, but those are some highlights. Oh, and St. Elmo's Fire must be mentioned - as it has the love theme Suzi and I played at our wedding reception entrance five years ago.
  • Office Space: "It's not that I'm lazy, Bob. It's that I just don't care."
  • Princess Bride: "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father. Prepare to die."... "INCONCEIVABLE!!!!"
  • Godfather: Well, of course this was going to make the list. Having the ability to list it is like an offer you can't refuse.... Quotes are many, but when in doubt: "Go to the mattresses."
  • The Paper, I Love Trouble (the remake from 1994): Being a newspaper man, these are two outstanding movies in my world. Plus, I love Julia Roberts (from the Pretty Woman and Steel Magnolias days and so on...). Journalism words to live by are a scene from where the editor is reading from a dictionary: "Deadline: A date or time before which something must be done." For me, this is a work in progress.
  • Shattered Glass: Staying on the newspaper theme, this is an important movie from 2003 about the fall of a young journalist who fabricated more than half of his work. It's about plagiarism, stealing content -> what you NEVER do as a reporter, or for that matter anywhere. But sadly, it's a practice that does happen and hurts those of us working every day to do it right.
  • Star Wars: They aren't movies, they are a way of life. They have their own culture. No, I don't dress up like Darth Vader or anything. But I do watch the Clone Wars on CartoonNetwork. Classic good versus evil stuff. And yes, Yoda does rock. "Do, or do not. There is no try."
That is a small portion of the list that comes to mind. What are your favorite movies and what do you take from them?

Now, since the midnight hour has long since passed, I must venture away from the computer and try to grab some sleep. But first, I'll tiptoe downstairs and investigate the strange noices I'm hearing in the house. You might want to, too... If your air-conditioner goes on the fritz. The washing machine blows up. The TV conks out. Before you call the repairman, turn on all the lights. Check all the closets and cupboards. Look under all the beds. Cuz you never can tell. There just might be a Gremlin in your house.

10 comments:

Penny said...

And guy who can quote appropriate and funny movie lines in a given situation is beyond alright in my book. I laughed out loud cause I remember those lines. Great post Michael!

Reyna said...

OK, seriously our lights over the kitchen island started humming this morning as I was trying to get out my No-D-Day Post. I turned off the switch and now the buggers won't turn back on! Gremlins? Perhaps. BTW, JOE and BRIDGET (my 2 kids) love, love, love Star Wars...and The Clone Wars on Cartoon Network. Joe has been Anakin for 3 years...@ halloween and you will frequently see flashes of light sabors careening through my home as they are re-inacting scenes with their pals. It is truly a way of life.

My favorite is Steel Magnolias. I like the way the seasons come full circle, the friendships, the small town feel - very much like where I live...here in Vermont. I won't mention what else is in the movie (I am restricted by the date and time and the letter that resides between "c" and "e")...but it is somewhat ironic that this one has always spoke to me.

Great post and I enjoyed getting to know a different part of you.

Araby62 (a.k.a. Kathy) said...

OMG...I love your favorite movie list. Mine would be way too long for a comment! I'll have to blog it sometime.

I don't know why but you talking about checking out the strange noises made me think of "Poltergeist." Remember when the steak started crawling across the countertop?!?! Eeew! Yet another great flick from the '80s :)

Cool post!

The poor diabetic said...

Office Space
Greatest guy movie ever made, that's all I have to say about that lol

Cara said...

I'm loving the fact that you share my adoration for 80s music and I think it totally ROCKS that you played the theme from St. Elmo's Fire at your wedding! :) I just watched it the other day.
Oh the 80's movies. Sigh. Now I feel like I need to go home and set up an 80s movie marathon.... .hmmmm, my roommate may hate me tonight. :)

Judi said...

One of my favorite movies coined the phrase, "Do you feel lucky, punk?" You should know that one easily.

shannon said...

Huge fan of 80's movies here, so I was really digging all the quotes. And Office Space, TPS REPORTS! Great post, man, thanks for the smiles!

Meri said...

Great list. My fave of all time is Princess Bride. It is a classic!

George said...

"No more rhymes now I mean it!"

I LOVE that movie.

Great post dude, keep Gizmo away from me!

thisiscaleb said...

Godfather I and II and The Wizard of Oz and among my favorite "classics".

Thanks for sharing your list. :)