Thursday, June 11, 2009


Strange day.  Spent this morning at the house we're remodeling at Driscoll.  At one point I was dismantling a stairway while climbing the stairs themselves, until their were only risers, the treads falling away into the basement.  At one point a hundred year old joist simply gave way due to the stresses being added to it, when the dismantled stairs no longer tied the floor together.  I had a thin piece of flooring that I was standing on, which I had crossing three joists, but that didn't change the fact that it feels weird and scary to see a floor joist fall twelve feet to the floor, between your legs.  So many things about this job are just crazy.  But nobody is taking risks without being careful, and that isn't always the case in my line of work.  So while it's somewhat crazy, their is a great deal of clear eyed sobriety.  You should hear me constantly reminding myself of various dangers involved throughout the day. I'm sure it drives my coworkers crazy, but I can't help myself.

Around noon I went to help my friend Rick move.  It wasn't a terribly difficult move, as he had done nearly everything, and all I had to do was move a few couches and other large pieces of furniture.  I was with my other friend Ben, and together we cleared the place out, while complaining, of course.  Ben is quite the taskmaster and had somewhat precise feelings on packing a truck.  Since Ben was helping Rick for free, and Rick has a bad back, it was amusing to see Rick's eyes go flinty at me when I was circling Ben with a bit of sarcasm.  I actually managed to keep things lighthearted and not be too exasperated by stopping with the heaviest objects and letting Ben take breaks.  Something to do with his wrists, or whatever.  Ben's a decent guy, and frankly, most people would have hated what we were doing.  

When I was done doing all of that I came home and worked out some details for some jobs I'll be doing next week, and walked around like a zombie in the garden.  I've done very little of anything at home lately due to being out of town and working every day.  I also noticed while helping Rick that my rotator cuff's are sore, but not in a scary way, just an annoying way.  All the more reason to get my ass in gear and have a bunch of thriving businesses one day.  I can't imagine doing work like this for more than a decade or so.  My hands look like a sixty year olds and are punctured all over from endless insults.  I feel enormously strong, and enjoy manual labor a great deal, but sometimes I think about the inevitable arthritis that I'm causing and it makes me sick.  

While writing to a family member David knocked on my door and asked me if I would go with him and his son Noah, and Noah's wife, Dell, to the new Pixar movie, UP.

I declined due to exhaustion, but David is perhaps the only person in the world, save a girlfriend, or maybe my Mom, to actually grovel and insult me into doing things.  So, I fairly quickly consented to the movie.  Of course, we all had a wonderful time.  To top it off, we saw a 3D version.  A fairly quirky technology still.  But Pixar, as usual, seemed aware beyond its years, and just used the 3D as a spice, when it wanted to make a particularly strong impression.  For the most part, it worked OK.  In truth I would rather have watched it without the 3D.  But, it added to the zaniness of the evening.

The movie was good.  In some ways great.  I don't completely trust myself with Pixar movies, because I generally am an extremely sentimental dude.  I love crying (not weeping, just tearing up) due to a sentimental point a movie makes.  Hell, the other day I was crying at something I wrote years ago.  Kind of odd to make yourself cry.

Well, Up is filled to the gills with sentiment, and centers around a character who reminds me enormously of Robert Boyer, but perhaps without Roberts rather pervasive coping skills.  The movie makes a number of gags about aging, one of which is unbelievably ingenious, involving something of a geriatric swordfight.  

Describing the movie, with any specificity is nearly impossible, since the movie sets itself up with a story about the main characters childhood, in which he obsesses about becoming an explorer in the mold of a famous aviator/explorer.  One day he meets another kid with perhaps an even greater appreciation of his hero, and for the next few minutes you watch as the kids turn into adults, then live straight through to the present time, when the main character is not only old, but widowed.  Everything in the movie is colored through the light of that montage, and while its the oldest trick in the book, the main character seems like just about the loveliest person in the world.

How he becomes involved with a boyscout, a gigantic rare tropical bird, and a talking (sort of) dog, is tempting to try to explain, until I realize that it was probably a joke at Pixar, that turned into a movie.  I think it pulled it off, but then, I always say that.  Some people won't agree.

I suppose the most beautiful thing about feeling the way the movie makes you feel is how everything that animates your emotions in the film, is pretty pedestrian human tragedy.  I live with somebody who sighs constantly with the burden of remaining without the love of his life.  He doesn't complain.  But there is a kind of dignified disappointment in some of the looks he gives, and throughout all of the ways he communicates.  

It is strange to think there are hundreds of thousands of people like him.  All of them mean something important to me.  I'm not sure why, and I'm not sure how.  

No comments: