The more I listen to this the more appropriate it seems to the ending of my last relationship.
Blogging is a time sensitive activity.
Thursday night I learnt that my Grandmother had died sometime Wednesday night. It is weird typing my Grandmother because for as long as I knew her, she insisted on being called by her Christian name. That is technically not correct, towards the end I don’t think she cared what I called her, but when I was five she most certainly did. I can not remember exactly what she said, but I do know it involved profanity and that the affirmation that she was a person and not a “Grandma” and that I was only to call her by her Christian name. If I could recount my reaction to this order I would but sadly I can not remember that either.
I do remember the last thing she said to me though: “Don’t forget me Liam.” I wish that it was a more a touching scene, that I could say I visited her regularly and I had heard those words Wednesday afternoon. Saying that would be a lie. Those words were uttered some time in September 2009.
She was 94 when she died and not 97 like I had believed. For some reason I had always believed she had come into the world the same year the Titanic was exiting it. This is not correct and she was actually born in 1915. My failure to know this is not surprising as I am unclear on the date of her birth too. Her birthday was never discussed with me, from the age of 6 to 13 she tolerated my existence and then from 13 to 24 it was ordained that I was her favourite and we were the best of friends. Even then she’d prefer to discuss ideas rather than trivial things like birthdays. Your value was based on how interesting you were not how old you were.
It was this metric for value meant that the news of her death was greeted with shock – I had always thought she’d make it to 100 – instead of sadness. She had been dead to me since 2007 when because of the dementia she was no longer able to hold a conversation like she had once been able to.
I feel like I should be sadder than I actually am, that it should mean more to me than it does. I feel this but doubt that she would agree with me.
I woke up yesterday morning to discover that a famous person was following my Twitter. This I found to be quite strange as I had not followed them, and even if I had why would they follow me? They had been mentioned in a tweet I had tweeted a few days ago but this happens to them hundreds, if not thousands, of times a day. Puzzled I took a screenshot of my followers page and e-mailed it off to a friend to tell them that I had won at Twitter and didn’t think any more about it. They would soon unfollow me and life would go on as normal. This morning I woke up to discover that her husband a famous person in his own right was following me on Twitter. This was even stranger, and made the whole incident far more intriguing to me.
How had this come about? The sensible and most probable answer is I got caught up in some kind of automated Twitter program and through circumstances got added to their lists. This answer is also the least fun.
The answer that is more fun, less probable and almost certainly a complete work of fantasy is that while egosurfing Twitter one day they came across the tweet, intrigued and fascinated by it they read through my Twitter feed. Riding the rollercoaster of emotions and developing an almost fondness for it they clicked follow with great glee and joy. This joy bubbled inside them, growing until it spilled out that evening as Honey, love of my life, you must see this Twitter, it is the simply the best! Putting down whatever it was that was occupying his attention, walking over to where ever it was she was reading my Twitter he looked through it out of a sense of duty. Reluctantly at first, then with more interest until finally he was so engrossed that it took him great effort to turn to his wife and say ”Why yes Baby, you are quite correct. This is indeed wonderful, I shall follow it too!”
Life would be very boring without an over-active imagination.
Yesterday after work a man asked me where Hungry Jacks was. This question was particularly pleasing and puzzling.
For a reason I am yet to ascertain the public at large see me as a trustworthy source of information and seem to gravitate towards me (despite being surrounded by individuals who could probably better answer their question) when they wish to know where something is. Rooms in buildings, train stations, streets or in this case eating establishments, I am the unsmiling, bearded face they look to. It it quite odd and something I have not yet been able to understand.
Excuse me do you know where Hungry Jacks is?
This was a question that I could confidently answer. Telling the old man exactly where he needed to go, what landmark he needed to pass through and when to turn left. Puzzling in the sense that the Hungry Jacks restaurant is not difficult to locate.
The idea of asking for information is something that I find interesting. Who an individual is determines how and in what medium they ask for and obtain information and what point they feel the need to ask.
The transfer of information connects individuals in society. Who an individual shares information with and who is excluded is one way of documenting and charting relationships that exist.
These are all ideas that are fascinating to me, and that one I day I hope to understand and posses the knowledge to articulate out further.
I spent a large portion of today and yesterday helping my father put up a fence. He measured and cut and I drilled and nailed the slats to the posts. After retiring from teaching he decided that the best thing to do was to become a gardener. So for $25 an hour, $40 if my mother is working with him, he mows lawns, prunes hedges, and will if you ask nicely and pay your bills on time construct things like steps, raised garden beds and fences. Because my studies are over and no one has ordained me worthy of a job I have been working for him whenever he has had any jobs that require heavy lifting, lawn mowing or the construction of things such as steps, raised garden beds and fences.
Nailing the slats to the posts I thought about the times where I had gone on practicum as part of my degree and the various Libraries that I had left my mark on, that all have physical evidence that I had been there. The books I had stamped to make shelf ready, the deleted records I had entered into the ledger to record why they were deleted, the instruction manual I wrote for a library system are all parts of myself that I left there and will remain there far longer than the two weeks I was there.
Not as impressive as arrowheads and clay pots but still it is something.
Rufus’ favourite thing in the world after food, milk, and his toys is being told what a good dog he is. He especially likes this if he can lean on you while you stroke his head and rub his ears and underneath his neck. He is a responsible Dog as he takes his responsibilities very seriously. It doesn’t matter that none of these responsibilities have been assigned to him by somebody more senior in the family, he still feels that he must carry them out to the best of his abilities. Some of Rufus’ responsibilities self assigned responsibilities are that to ensure that when the family goes out it stays together, that at night before bed milk must be dished out for the cat as well as himself, and most importantly that the family is alerted to any strangers who may be in the general vicinity of the house.
It is with great gusto that Rufus performs this last responsibility. Often without any discernible provocation, warning or sign he will be awoken from his slumber and run outside to his fence and bark loudly and repeatedly until somebody from the family comes to see him, to tell him to be quiet and to get inside. Rufus is not like the majority of other dogs who wag their tails when they bark as if to say “I’m only barking because that is what is expected, really I just want to be your friend.” No when Rufus barks he keeps his tail down to make sure you know he isn’t fucking around, that he doesn’t like you until somebody with more authority than he has says that you’re ok. It’s nothing personal, it is just the way things are. This commitment to the integrity of his and the family’s borders has meant that Rufus may possibly have developed a reputation as being scary. This is a suburban street where nobody talks to their neighbours so there is nobody to second the comments made by the small child who knocked on the door one day to ask for one of the shells that sits to the side of the front door.
The idea of Rufus being scary is one that I have trouble with. This is natural because I am exposed to him on a regular basis and that in the hierarchy that exists within the house he accepts that I am higher than he is, that when I tell him to sit he sits, or to get his favourite toy he retrieves, and that a stern word or signs of my disapproval is enough to make him sulk in a corner. It is impossible to be afraid, to even contemplate being afraid of anyone (animal or person) that you have that level of control over.
The more puzzling reason – for me – as to why I am not afraid of him is that he is the wrong colour. I can not bring myself to be afraid of a cream coloured dog and I have no real idea why. My best guess is that it is a conditioning thing, that growing up only being exposed to cream and golden coloured dogs almost exclusively (Golden Retrievers, Labrador, a gold/copper Cocker Spaniel and a Doberman) has led me to become familiar and comfortable and develop assumptions about the temperament of these dogs. My other idea is that is a sign of a deep-seated genetic racism as a result of being Caucasian.
Jaws 2 is equal to, if not better than Jaws. While the first the Jaws film was character driven with the shark as something between a plot driver and fourth major character Jaws 2 is unashamedly a monster movie. It makes no apologies for this and can not be accused of trying to pass itself as a piece of high art. How can it when the movie poster has an image of the shark about to bite down and feast upon a bikini clad water skier? It is also true that the film is a retelling of Jaws with less character developing dialogue and more shark, but to accuse it of being nothing more than a monster movie, a shameless cynical money-making exercise is unfair. It deserves more than the 5.6 IMDB fans have deemed to give it. It is at least a 6.something, possibly even a 7.
At its core Jaws 2 is a movie about a man trying to regain the respect of his family and the community that he lives in. Instead of being recognised and lauded as a hero for ridding Amity of the first shark he is viewed as if he is the village idiot, a crazy man who requires tolerance and understanding. Smile and nod when he talks to you but for Jesus’ sake don’t actually listen to him.
The corruption that exists within Amity is explored further and viewers are shown just confident those in power in the town are and their belief that they can act with impunity. This attitude is most clearly demonstrated by Len Peterson who is anything but discrete in his attempts to sleep with Chief Brody’s wife Ellen.
There are very few bad films. Most just require some work to watch them properly or a more eloquent advocate.