Monday, June 18, 2012

After 12 years! And on Sir Paul's birthday!

My friend John was let go by his advertising agency today. After 12 years of service and good work! He was completely blindsided by this.

I know it was a difficult move for his agency to make, as many of the people in management like him personally, but right now I just want to go over there and yell, "FUCK YOU!"

He is my friend. He is of fragile health. He is 58 years old.

Plus, today is Sir Paul's birthday. Is canning people really the way we should celebrate a global treasure?

Oh. My.

Tom Cruise is a revelation in Rock of Ages. I saw it on stage almost two years ago, but it was a very different show. Back then, it revolved around lovestruck Drew and Sherrie and starred American Idol's Constantine Maroulis. He's a good singer and a winning personality and it was a fine time.

The movie, though, is raunchier. Way ranchier. And the dissipated Stacie Jaxx, now played by Cruise, has a much bigger role. He behaves in a far more unvarnished way than we tend to see stars of his caliber, and I am reminded again that he's a compelling screen presence when you can forget him jumping on and off Oprah's sofa.

He's also staggeringly well preserved. While the sight of his bare ass may not do for chaps what Pippa Middleton's backside did for white dresses, it was still quite memorable.


This week's challenge: Using between 33 and 333 words, write a response including the third definition of the word:

BLUE (adjective)

3  a : low in spirits : melancholy
    b : marked by low spirits : depressing

She tried to follow her mother’s example and simply skate across the surface of life, where it was safe.

But as much as Tess loved her mother, she was simply too smart for that. She couldn’t resist delving deeper, where the reality of the past and present reside. It was painful, but she was compelled to do it, the same way she probed a cavity with her tongue when she was waiting to see the dentist.

Now, as her mother’s life was drawing to a close, Tess would have to redouble her efforts to just skate along. What good would it do now to discuss (yet again!) the sexual abuse Tess had suffered at the hands of the revered family patriarch? Or the cruel way Tess’ grandmother had systematically diminished the little girl’s self esteem? To maintain peace, Tess would have to outwardly accept her mother’s view that these things couldn’t have happened, “at least not that way,” or simply weren’t “that bad.”

Tess wanted her mother to leave this realm finally enjoying the peace she deserved. She didn’t need Tess’ voice ringing in her ears, challenging her. “Why didn’t you protect me? I was only a little girl!” Tess was tempted to ask (again), “How can you still display their pictures in a place of honor on the mantle?”

But what good would that do? Mommy had lived nearly 80 years on the surface, skating along where the ice is always smooth and there are no obstacles in sight.

Every visit with her mother these days left Tess a little blue. Not because she knew she was going to lose her beloved Mommy, sooner rather than later. She accepted that as the natural order of things.

What hurt was that she and Mommy had spent their entire relationship on the surface, without ever truly knowing or understanding one another, and now they never would. 

You say it's your birthday

Guess who will close the show, performing last at the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympics in London. It will be the birthday boy himself, Sir Paul McCartney, who turns 70 today. His is the face the United Kingdom wants to show when the whole world is watching because he represents, as the Fleet Street press has dubbed him, "The Very Best of Britain."

Certainly the metrics support this. According to the Guiness Book of Records, he is the most successful composer and recording artist of all time. An asteroid has been named in his honor. In 2010 he was awarded the Gershwin Award by President Barack Obama. He is, of course, a knight. His personal wealth is estimated to be $735,000,000.

Enjoy your birthday, My Liege. You deserve to rest on your laurels, but you won't. You have worked hard since you were 14 years old, but have always made it look like play. You have brought millions of us joy. Your dedication to your craft and your family are an inspiration.

To borrow a phrase, "It's been a wonderful life." Happy birthday and many, many, many more.