Thursday, March 06, 2008

the time of my life

(Two posts in one week. This probably won't happen again for six months.)
Sad news came this morning when on the Today show it was announced that Patrick Swayze has pancreatic cancer. They say he's undergoing treatment and doing pretty well. Meredith Vierra then made a point of saying, "Well, if you're going to have cancer, pancreatic cancer isn't the one you want." As always, she was waiting in the wings with just the right thing to say.

There are a number of 80's/early 90's films, all of widely varying levels of quality, that if I find are on TV, I get really excited and feel immediately obliged to watch them. And as luck would have it, Patrick Swayze plays a significant role in this list of hits. In honor of everybody's favorite dancing man and his speedy recovery, let's copy so many other blogs today and dork out with a walk down my personal Swayze-memory lane.

Dirty Dancing. There's so much right with Dirty Dancing, it's impossible to really delve into this topic here. It's a post unto itself. First love, first overtly sexual dance moves, back alley abortion, class wars, triumph over both adversity and terrible music. But at the end of the day, Swayze and his tight little pants made this movie and without him, well, Baby might as well have stayed in that corner.
(Side note: Friends of mine over the years have said that Baby's dad, played by the late Jerry Orbach, looked a little like my dad.)

And not that any real DD fan needs a reminder, but Swayze was also a triple threat this time around:

Ghost. I don't love Ghost the way some folks do - primarily because Swayze wasn't dancing in this film, and to me, that's like chocolate without peanut butter; it's good, but it could be better.
Regardless, it's a hit - high on drama, lots of tears, cheese. And nobody gets pissed off like Patrick Swayze, especially pissed off ghost Swayze! Even though his fight scenes were always a little too graceful, he still got the job done. Whoopi Goldberg is also in this movie, but don't let that deter you. She plays a character named Oda Mae. She's naturally pretty annoying. But there is a bonus: hearing Patrick Swayze say Oda Mae over and over. It couldn't sound more unnatural coming out of his mouth.

Roadhouse. For years this film was somehow interwoven in my mind with Rhinestone as an odd hybrid featuring Patrick Swayze, Sylvester Stallone, Sam Elliott and Dolly Parton. (add Cher and you almost have Mask in there, too.) Here again we find ourselves dealing with Patrick's overly graceful fight moves. He got away with it in Ghost, but in a white trash bar fight all that prancing around doesn't cut it. Fortunately Sam Elliott is there to balance out the necessary scruffy masculine equilibrium as only he can. And the soundtrack? Bob Seger, Little Feet and a song called "Raising Heaven in Hell Tonight", another original by Swayze. Can you believe I couldn't find a clip of that song on YouTube?

Maybe someday I'll post about the other films in my private hits list which includes the aforementioned Mask, Ghostbusters, House Party, Fast Times as Ridgemont High and Porkie's. (I know you'll all look out for that post with great anticipation.) But today it's just about Swayze. Get well soon, Johnny Castle.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

hump day

** Try googling for images related to "hump day". When I did, I ended up with lots of porn shots and a few photos of US soldiers pretending to hump camels in the Iraqi desert.**

Hump Day is a stupid saying. Today is the big hump, and it's one of those days that started bad and has slowly rallied to being tolerable. Want the details? Of course you do.

3:30ish am - I awake to the drone of some asshole's car alarm. (And yes, it's totally fair to call this guy an asshole. He consistently parks under my bedroom window and his goddam car alarm goes off at least once a week. And he's perpetually topless in the condo gym. And judging by the bizarre stubble, he shaves his chest. And he drives a Miata.)

4:00am - Still awake. I've taken multiple bathroom trips, one trip to the kitchen to drink some juice that will lead to more bathroom trips, and am now watching an infomercial sharing the secrets of how people just like me are making thousands of dollars every day by selling crappy stuff on eBay. Dizzy and sleepy, I make a note-to-self that I really should learn more about this money-making phenomenon as soon as possible.

5:00am - I've fallen back to sleep, but I'm awakened again by - wait for it, wait for it - dickhead's Miata alarm. I consider screaming something nasty out my open bedroom window (wouldn't be the first time), but decide against it. He's probably still asleep and wouldn't hear me anyway.

5:45ish am - Back to sleep. Awakened this time not by the car alarm, but rather by my own mind suddenly remembering that I have a doctor's appointment at 9. I also have a work meeting at 9. Oops. Go back to sleep. Have a dream about being at the gynecologist's office and the waiting room is filled with my coworkers.

7:00am - Good morning, bright eyes. I get out of bed and turn on the Today show. Meredith Vierra is on the screen, saying something dumb. I walk to the kitchen and feed my cat his daily can of food that smells like rotten fish guts. I eat a Balance bar, drink some juice while sitting on the coffee table, staring at Meredith Vierra for a really long time. I know I could fall sleep in this position.

7:30ish am - Shower, apply extra concealer under my wore out eyes, dress. Just for good measure (and consistency, really) the fucking Miata goes off again.

8:15am - I give a coworker a call, seeing if she can cover for me in the 9 o'clock meeting. She can, no problem. I knew I liked her.

8:20am - I pull out of my parking lot where I'm greeted by a long line of cars, stopped. In front of that long line of cars is a longer line of tall girls waiting to get into the Atlanta casting call for America's Next Top Model at the hotel across the street from my building. Many of them are in mini skirts, despite the 35 degree chill. I give them props for that level of commitment. But it doesn't change the fact that they're holding up the traffic flow and will likely make me late for my appointment.

8:35isham - I mutter "bitches" over and over, then focus my attention to the Regular Guys radio program. They're on the phone with Tommy the Tard. (If you know me well, you know I'm a closeted Howard Stern fan. They're no Howard, but the Regular Guys serve as a good supplement for my secret love of listening to dirty ol' shock jocks.)

8:40am - The line of cars and models move. I hit the road with enough time to get some coffee and make it to the doc's office on schedule. No coworkers in the waiting room.

10:30ish am - I get to work. The first email I read is alerting our staff of multiple toilet and urinal leaks throughout the building. I'm disgusted, and still exhausted. I get another cup of coffee before getting any work done.

12:30 pm - For lunch I eat a delicious chicken salad sandwich - and immediately, all is right with the world again. A quality sour dough and dark meat chicken chunks are really all it takes to get me back on the sunny side. That, and of course this: