Thursday, December 31, 2015

2016 Is Coming

2016 is coming. It's going to be a year of change for me. This is the year I graduate. This is the year I go to prom. This is the year I start college. It really will be a lot of landmark events. Am I afraid? Not at the moment. Will that change the second I start packing for school? Probably. I don't know, I feel like these transitions are always so hyped because we hype them up, but really I feel like it's just the next step that was always coming. Anyways, I hope that everyone enjoys their remaining hours of 2015. May 2016 be as prosperous as it can be. We will see you next December. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Dreaming of 2016


We’re in total and complete darkness.


Is that you, Adele?

That’s funny.


Where am I?

Where do you think?

I’m in complete darkness and talking to God.  Holy crap!  Am I—

Dreaming.  Yes.

Whew!  That’s a relief.  Is there a light in here?

On your left.

Rob reaches out his hand in the darkness but can’t find a wall, let alone a light switch.

I can’t find it.

Your other left, dumbass.

Rob switches hands but still can’t find anything in the darkness.

A little help?

It’s your dream.  If you want light, think light.

Fluorescent lights sputter on.  Rob blinks repeatedly as his eyes adjust.  He’s standing in a massive warehouse – think the final scene of Raiders Of The Lost Ark, but double the size of the warehouse.

As in Raiders, there are row upon row of industrial shelves – too many to count – running from the floor right up to the 40-foot ceilings.

What is this place?

Well, it’s 2016.  More specifically, it’s where you’ll store all of your memories for 2016.


Sure.  You’ve got a place like this for each year you’ve been alive.  Some of the older years aren’t quite as big.

If each year is 365 days, why would some be smaller than others.

That’s because your world view is smaller when you’re an infant.  There’s probably very little you can remember from when you were 5 years old or younger.  Am I right?

Well, I—

Of course I’m right.  I’m God.  Even the memories you do have from those years have gotten dusty and cobwebbed so they’re much fuzzier to you than more recent years.

That makes sense.  (Rob looks around)  Are memories stored chronologically or in categories?

Well, this is your dream but I’m pretty sure you add them chronologically since they come in as they happen.  But the beautiful thing is that they can be sorted however you like when you’re trying to recall something.  Family vacations?

The storage racks re-position themselves with a loud clatter until an empty rack labeled “Family Vacations” is presented front and center.

Pretty cool.

And you can even search memories that span across multiple years.  We just pull those from the appropriate warehouse and make them available to you however you want to access them.  Kind of like an interlibrary book loan.

That’s excellent.  You’re like Google.


Er, um, I mean – that must be where Google got their ideas from.



Oh, hey – I just noticed it’s only December 30th.  You shouldn’t even be in here yet.

OK.  Can you tell me which direction is the way back to 2015?

It’s your dream.  You just have to wake up.

Right.  Well, thanks.

Rob turns to go.

Hey, Rob.

Rob turns back.


Happy New Year!

Thanks, God.  You too!


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Life After M*A*S*H -- Part 6

Last but not least, we need to cover the two gentlemen who worked as the backbone of the M*A*S*H 4077th ’s – its clerks: Radar O’Reilly and then Max Klinger.  Radar was perhaps one of the youngest soldiers in the camp – barely graduating from high school before he enlisted in the Army.  In many ways, he was still very much a kid who had to learn to grow up quickly in order to survive.  Luckily, he was a fast learner and quickly made himself indispensable to the two Officers in Command: Colonel Blake, then Colonel Potter. Towards the second half of the series, Radar gets shipped home when he is granted a “Hardship Discharge” due to the death of his Uncle Ed.  He returns home to Ottumwa, Iowa to manage his family’s farm and to take care of his mother.  This is where we pick up.  

Any time Radar would talk about his mother and his family farm, it was always with the utmost fondness, longing, and sense of responsibility.  Based on this, I would say that Radar returned home and settled eagerly into his new role as patriarch of the house, as well as a big-man-on-campus type now that he was the only Army veteran in this small farm town.  However, there were two problems: first, although he relished being home and running the show, he also discovered that it wasn’t quite enough for him after returning from life-and-death Korea.  While Korea was terrifying, boring, lonely, crowded, too cold, and too hot, it was at all times exciting, different and exotic.  After so much over-stimulation, Radar couldn’t help but to feel like he was going through the motions in low-key Ottumwa.  How could he sit in the local coffee shop musing about whether “we’d get some rain soon” when he had witness so much horror and triumph of the human spirit while at war?  He couldn’t help but to daydream about his Army family and wonder if they were all happy and content and safe now that they were all back home as well.  Nonetheless, and mostly for lack of knowing any other path to take, Radar tried to content himself with his Iowa life.  The second problem that Radar encountered happened a little farther down the road: after a decade or so of taking care of his mother and the farm, he had grown tired of the confines of his environment.  Mrs. O’Reilly had grown older and more dependent upon him, and Radar knew she would not welcome a new Mrs. O’Reilly in his life.  Occasionally, Radar went out on dates with a local girl or two, but he was always home before his mother’s bedtime so he didn’t keep her up and waiting.  Over time, Radar grew resentful of this situation but again, for lack of knowing any other path to take, he just kept going along.  When Radar was about 32 years old his mother died.  At first, he did not change a thing about his life; he mourned his loss and kept up the farm.  But within 6 months, Radar came to the conclusion that it was now-or-never, and he leased the farm to some local farmers and packed up and moved to the big city – Cincinnati.  There, the first thing he did was to get a job as a clerk in an office as this was the only other thing he knew how to do besides farming.  This job was different than he recalled his job was in the Army:  everything moved slowly and systematically, and he was nobody’s Right Hand Man.  Nevertheless, Radar enjoyed the job and its intellectual stimulation.  Over the years, Radar worked his way up to Chief Operating Officer of this mid-sized company.  When he was 55 yrs old, he sold his family farm which made him financially secure for life (along with his company pension).  Radar is 63 yrs old as he heads to the Dedication Ceremony of the Korean War Memorial.

Corporal Maxwell Klinger was one of the more colorful characters of the M*A*S*H 4077th.  He started out as an orderly/corpsman and worked his way up to corporal rank, becoming the personal clerk of Colonel Potter. Through much of the series, Klinger is creatively trying to earn himself a Section 8 Discharge (mentally unfit for service).  He attempts lots of schemes but the longest-running among them is dressing as a woman.   It is obvious that this becomes a hobby over time as he really gets into his outfits.At the end of the war, he proposed to a local Korean girl – ultimately marrying her and bringing her home to his beloved Toledo, Ohio.    All is not a happy ending, however, as he struggles with prejudice in his hometown and also supporting both his wife here and her parents back in Korea. He has some mix-ups with the law and lands himself in River Bend, Missouri working for Colonel Potter as his assistant in a country hospital.  Klinger loves working for Potter again and slips right back into his Army clerk mode.  He relishes the challenge of learning how to “work” the system in this hospital and gets pretty good at it.  Over time, he makes enough money that he decides to invest in a local men’s clothing and tailoring shop.    He manages to balance both jobs and really utilizes the skills he learned during the war – about business and about fashion. When Colonel Potter dies, Klinger manages the clothing business full time.  He and Soon Lee have three children and he sends all three off to college – one of them to Harvard – his old Army buddy Charles’ alma mater.   Klinger cannot wait to be reunited with his buddies at the 4077th.

Monday, December 28, 2015

New Year’s Resolutions

We plan, we fail,
We thought we’d prevail.
Through the snow and sleet and hail. 
The resolutions sail.

In January he went to the gym.
In February, it was too much for him.
On New Year’s Eve he swore he would
But exercise is just no good.

“I won’t eat sweets”
I promised then.
But then I thought:
If not now then when?

And since this year's been great,
And next year will be better,
You can still hide your body
With a big Christmas sweater. 

Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Cinematic Future of the Cinematic Universe

           What’s the one thing cooler than seeing a sequel to your favorite movie? Seeing different characters from your different favorite movies cross over into each other’s stories to tell an even more epic story. 

The concept of the cinematic universe, in which multiple stories/characters exist in the same onscreen copy of the world, was a big damn deal when Marvel Studios introduced it with The Avengers three and a half years ago. They took beloved characters, each part of their own franchises, and stuffed them together into one bigger and more beloved movie. Genius. It was so big of a deal (and by that I mean we all loved it and threw our money at Marvel) that other existing franchises are getting on board. 

Lucasfilms, along with its fresh new trilogy, is putting out three new movies featuring different stories within the Star Wars universe. So now, a universe that has already been around for decades and has become a cultural phenomenon is going to expand upon itself and buy into the cinematic universe design. Genius.

 Universal Studios wanted to get in on this too, so they’re rebooting all of their classic monsters, i.e. the Wolfman, Frankenstein, and Dracula. Somehow, all of these infamous baddies are going to be part of the same cinematic universe. Are they going to join together in an alliance to fight some even bigger baddie, like in The Avengers? I have no idea, but that would have my attention. There are other studios that are trying to partake but they look dumb and like they're trying too hard (GI Joe and other toys). Essentially, the cinematic universe is "the next big thing" so get pumped for movies that are bigger and in some cases really awesome and in other cases, so so dumb. 

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Technology is Awesome (Until It's Not)

Follow the instructions
It should all work just fine

Beautiful picture
Not as simple as it seems

Let’s donate this laptop
We can just get another

Ten things off my tech “to do” list
And yet I’m still behind

Password change
Too many to remember
It makes me deranged

Plug and play
Crash and burn
I’m taking a nap
Let the kids take a turn