Random January Thoughts


It’s January, and it’s snowing – a rare occasion in Vancouver.  So rather than risk starting a Netflix binge that could last all week, here are a few random thoughts on a frozen winter morning.

I’m old enough to have survived the great Jennifer invasion.  Remember those days?  You’d call “Jennifer” on a crowded street, and 30 teenage girls would turn around; teachers were numbering their female students and it got so bad parents were spelling it with a “G” (Gennifer) or a “Y” (Jennyfer) or both (Gennyfer.)  Ah, the good old days!  Currently, le nom de jour is Ryan, and I don’t think anyone saw that coming.  After all, Ryan O’Neil is too old to stir the imagination of young parents, and Saving Private Ryan is – uh – just strange.  Either way, our world is up to its elbows in Ryans.  There’s Ryan Reynolds, Ryan Gosling, Ryan Hansen, Ryan Merriman, Ryan Guzman, Ryan Kwanten, Ryan Rottman, Ryan Eggold, that “I’m no genius” swimmer Ryan Lochte, and for you older folks, Ryan Seacrest.  There are even a couple of women, including Ryan Newman.  But the weirdest thing about this phenom is Ryans seem to love to play hockey.  At last count, there were 57 Ryans in the National Hockey League.  That’s more than all the Johns, Dons, Rons, Steves and Toms put together.  In fact, you could field an entire team with nothing but Ryans on it.  Go figure!

Although I spend a ton of time complaining about millennials, I really have no idea who they are.  Honestly, once Gen X was over, I kinda got confused.  Especially when Generations Y and Z started to run together like eggs beaten into cake batter.  (Yeah, they’re different, but good luck trying to separate them.)  And now, apparently, there’s a Post-Millennial generation.  This is too much for my brain, so, like most people, I work on the assumption that if you’re younger than me and an asshole, you must be a millennial.  It just makes things a lot simpler.

Have you ever noticed, in the movies, when Satan comes back to rule the Earth, Hollywood always blames the Catholics?  It’s always some medieval Vatican screw-up that leaves a loophole in the space/time continuum for the Prince of Darkness to slither through.  You never see Tom Hanks trading riddles with the Archbishop of Canterbury or Arnold Schwarzenegger duking it out with a bunch of Baptists.  Protestants are cool and all that, but I’m pretty sure that when the Apocalypse shows up, they’re going to get their fair share of fire and brimstone.  You’d think Hollywood would know that.

And speaking of Hollywood, the Academy Award nominations came out this week, and everybody west of San Bernardino is already starting to apologise — too white, too old, too male – the list of Oscar’s offences is never ending.  Ironically, the only person to ever out and out refuse an Oscar was an old, white male — George C. Scott.  (FYI, it’s a popular misconception that Marlon Brando refused the award.  He didn’t.  He just sent somebody else to get it for him.)  And, incidentally, rather than having to fire another host for 10 year old Tweets or risk a Ricky Gervais ass-kicking, Oscar has decided to go host-less again this year.  If this keeps up, eventually, the Academy Awards are going to be Drive-Thru.

And finally:

Harry, the Englishman formerly known as a Prince, has decided he doesn’t want to be a royal anymore.  I’ve always liked you, Harry, but I don’t have a lot of boohoos for your predicament.  Yeah, it’s tough living in a fishbowl, but if you’re serious, you might wanna think about paying back all the taxpayer money you spent on The Wedding and renovating that house your grandma gave you.  Just sayin’!

Time Flies 2017

time-2017If you’re old enough to read this blog, you’re old enough to remember a time when 2017 was nothing more than a vague rumour.  It was part of that great bundle of stuff we always call “the future” or “someday” or “soon.”  But, hang around long enough, folks, and suddenly “someday” is now and the future is bright, bold and in your face.  Time has a tendency to do that.  The minute you’re not watching, it either sneaks up on you or disappears entirely.  Let me demonstrate:

In last year’s American election, the kids who voted for the 1st time to determine who was going to run the show in the United States weren’t even going to kindergarten on the morning of 9/11.  They aren’t aware of a world that doesn’t include social media or a War on Terror.  To them, the songs of Prince and George Michael are Golden Oldies.

Their parents, however, grew up in a time before Osama Bin Laden, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.  As kids, they never heard of iPods, Smart Phones, Facebook or Twitter.  They probably weren’t old enough to go to the movies by themselves, and therefore didn’t see Princess Leia kiss her brother, Luke.  And they knew Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber, not Severus Snape.

Meanwhile, their parents grew up during the Cold War, when there were two Germanys, divided by a wall — and two Americas, divided by the Vietnam War.  A quiet guy from Ohio stepped off a ladder and onto the Moon.  David Bowie was Ziggy Stardust, Patty Duke was Helen Keller and Merle Haggard was proud to be an Okie from Muskogee.

And finally, at the end of our living memory, their parents never did figure out Disco.  They listened to Frank Sinatra (and maybe his son Frank Jr.) on vinyl, 8-track, cassette, compact disc and that music thing that their great granddaughter has.  They remember Colonel Glenn blasting off and splashing down.  To them, Zsa Zsa was more famous for doing nothing than Paris Hilton ever was for doing things badly.  And, of course, long before she was Carrie Fisher’s mother, Debbie Reynolds was Singin’ In The Rain.

So hiya, 2017!  I have no idea how you got here so quickly, but I’m old enough to know I’d better enjoy the hell out of you while I can — because before I know it, you’re going to be history.

50 is a Biggie!

cindyCindy Crawford is 50.  I remember when Cindy was — OMG! — she still is.  To say the gods have been good to Cindy Crawford is like sayin’ John Dillinger robbed banks.  Yeah, she’s had some work done — big deal!  In an age when image is everything, this woman is the poster child for Wow!  And, to seal the deal, she’s worth north of 100 million dollars.  Anyway, Cindy Crawford is 50, and she’s decided to retire — or at least not model for money anymore.

Despite all the age-is-only-a-number bullshit that old people try to pull to feel good about themselves, 50 is still The Biggie.  It marks a distinct change in life and attitude.  I would not presume to give aging advice to Cindy Crawford, but for mere mortals, here are a few things you can expect when you hit the big Five-O.  (For those of us who are looking at 50 in the rear-view mirror, think of this as a stroll down memory lane.)

1 — You rediscover all the stuff you thought you couldn’t live without in your 20s and 30s and get rid of it.  Things like the soup tureen, that brass thing from Mexico, 24/7 house cleaning, punitive underwear, the whiny kid who thinks parent is spelt s-l-a-v-e and sometimes even that old thing on the sofa that’s been making your life miserable for years.

2 — Your clothes start to shrink.

3 — You start to make noises like your parents.  These aren’t words or opinions — just noises — like when you get up in the morning or bend down.

4 — Your body hair begins to resemble the fur on a badger.  The hair in your nose, ears, eyebrows and other places starts to regenerate overnight and have a wiry will of its own, sproinging off in all directions.

5 — The people on TV all start to look the same.

6 — Sex is way simpler.  First of all, you don’t have to wear uncomfortable clothes to get laid — sweats will do.  There are no Consent Forms (in triplicate) no medical history, no Vaccination Certificates, no birth control paraphernalia.  It’s all very straightforward.
“I’m horny.”
“Me too.”
“Ya wanna?”
“Meet ya behind the salad bar.”

7 — The six second delay between your mind and your mouth disappears.

8 — Everything under three feet tall appears to be unbelievably cute — kittens, pandas, Disney Princesses, ugly babies, — even those stupid little dogs with the kicked-in faces.

9 — Your body begins to betray you at the most inappropriate times, threatening to exude gases and fluids when it’s not supposed to or developing that unholy itch in a personal area just when you’re about to meet the new boss — or Kevin, from Accounting, behind the salad bar.

And finally:

10 — Even though you’ve been telling yourself this since you were 21, at 50, you finally realize that, in fact, you DON’T actually give a shit what people think.

Happy Birthday, Cindy!  Come on over; we’re having cake — and Pepsi!