Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Wrestler

After finishing The Wrestler, I felt a bit depressed. To say that this is a serious movie is an understatement. This is a somber, even dour piece of film making. Some said it was "gritty." I'll say. It's gritty like your mouth must feel after having been sucker punched in the face.

The Oscar buzz around Mickey Rourke is deserved. His character is relentless in his remorse. He knows he's alone, and he seeks the warmth of two women who won't give him the real time of day (a stripper, played by Marisa Tomei, and his estranged daughter, played by Evan Rachel Wood). However, despite being rewarded by both for some sincere attempts at connecting, he finds the allure of the ring too strong to turn away from.

My wife kept talking about "the stapler scene", and yes, there's a lot of bloody violence in this movie. The director, Darren Aronofsky, very early on reveals that the violence is all pre-arranged, blood and all, but it's still slightly sickening to watch.

While reading the message boards about this movie, I learned that even though the ending felt "open", I realized that decisions were made, that conclusions were reached. I didn't think that happened for Mickey's character, Randy the Ram. But when he's in the ring, reveling in the adoration of his faithful fans, you get the feeling that he's made some peace with himself.

It's a fascinating though difficult movie to watch.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Valentine's Day Proposal

I proposed to my wife on Valentine's Day, 1993. It's mildly embarrassing that I don't remember much of the details, other than the restaurant (formerly known as the Bay Tower Room) and that she said yes.

Right after this, the wedding planning took on a certain importance. Every decision seemed fraught with meaning. The invitations, the gifts, the seating arrangements. After the day came and went, those things diminished in importance. Bigger things took over and I'm glad for it.

Earlier this week, we agreed that flowers wouldn't be missed this year (hey, it's the economy). This morning, we both discovered that we each decided to give one another some chocolate. Mine was a Kit Kat.

Happy Valentine's Day.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

25 Random Things About Me

Without further ado, here are 25 random things about me.

1. Earliest memory: swallowing a coin (I was likely three years old).
2. One of the childhood friends I miss the most: Jose Cornielle.
3. My Myers-Briggs Type Indicator: ENFJ.
4. Favorite book from childhood: "Catcher in the Rye".
5. Got Greg LeMond's autograph after he raced a criterium in New York City.
6. Once thought I'd grow up to be a journalist.
7. Met my wife in the personals.
8. First computer: VIC-20.
9. Best decision in my teens: Leaving home for college.
10. Contemplated becoming a Catholic priest.
11. Best sports thing I know how to do: ice skate.
12. Favorite movie from childhood: "Star Wars".
13. One of the best times in my life: Living and working in Pasadena, CA.
14. Favorite part of my morning: Watching my daughter in line for school.
15. Last concert: Joe Bonamassa, 2006 at Scullers.
16. Second best sports thing I know how to do: play golf.
17. Was a college radio DJ.
18. Dream profession: television production.
19. One of the best things I learned in high school: French.
20. Most awe-inspiring moment in life: Watching my daughter be born.
21. Prefer Pepsi over Coke, and Diet Pepsi over Regular Pepsi.
22. Favorite DVD commentary: "Metallica: Some Kind of Monster" (the commentary with the band).
23. Best sporting event watched live: Italy versus Spain, quarter-final of World Cup (1994).
24. Grateful for having two funny and interesting brothers. [1] [2]
25. On an airplane, I like the window seat.

My wife did this exercise, listing 100 things on her now defunct BLOG. I have 75 more random things coming, if I'm to meet her standard!