Monthly Archives: October 2021

Would You Wear the Green Sash?

Envision yourself on a quest where you must arrive at a specific location by Christmas and follow through with a promise you made the previous year.  If you keep your word, you will lose your head…literally.  A woman offers you a green sash (or is it more of a large ribbon? belt?) that as long as you keep it tied around your body, you will never die (or at least never be mortally wounded).  Do you accept?

Of course you accept…and to wonder anything more would be to venture into spoiler territory, which I shan’t do.

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Since the start of the year, I’ve only vaguely kept up with what movies would be playing in theatres in my city.  I still have not been to a movie theatre since I watched Tenet a year ago.  Among other films, I skipped The Green Knight (David Lowery, 2021) when it came to town.  As the months went by, I was no longer sure I would see it at all…and then it came out on DVD.

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Passively waiting until it was available on DVD was the right choice in the end.  I got to enjoy the subtitles and a few making-of featurettes, which really contributed to my positive regard for the film.  In one evening, I viewed the film nearly twice from start to to finish with a few repeat-watches of specific segments.  I wasn’t expecting to see a fox companion…that eventually talked [somewhat like the one from Lars von Trier‘s Antichrist (2007) but minus the ridiculous delivery].

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Not long after Gawain (Dev Patel) encounters the fox, he sees giant entities traversing across the landscape before him.  On the one hand, it shifts abruptly the viewer’s perception of the time-and-place and even genre of the film, but on the other hand, Gawain did just unknowingly eat some fungus that isn’t meant for dietary consumption.

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I really like The Green Knight and I don’t know why.  Perhaps it is due to the film’s fairy-tale tone and story.

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In sports headlines, the Atlanta Braves may bring competitive glory to this here city once again (in general but also for themselves and longtime Braves fans).  I remember the 90s Braves and watching them win the World Series in 1995 against Cleveland on TV.

This moment…the pile-up at the end:

Now that I think back on the last decade before the turn of the 21st century, there was a period of time when I watched a lot of televised baseball and so many of the games were of the Braves.  Why?  Now that decades have passed, I realize fully that it was because of Fred McGriff (who played first base) and Javier Lopez (the catcher).

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While we’re at this juncture in the corner of reminiscence, check out these videos:

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Et plus, the Atlanta Falcons beat the Miami Dolphins 30 to 28 (via 3 touchdowns and 3 field goals).  Get game summary, stats, and play-by-play here.

Pic creds: IMDB

In the Graying Blues

Or greying blues.

I don’t know which vowel looks better.  I doubt, though, that Dorian would agree to being a Grey instead of a Gray.

The old street hockey team uniforms were once blue, but they’ve been turning greyer, no, grayer — neither of them look good — for many seasons.  Yes, my school has a street hockey team, just a dozen-years-old.

It doesn’t seem like a long time for a sport at a school, but when there are no balls to be thrown, kicked, struck with wood or passed around with hands, then it does seem odd.

My teammates and I believe the principal gets pleasure out of watching teenagers enclosed by protective gear (helmets, knee pads, wrist guards, elbow pads, and mouth guards) trying to play regular hockey without ice.  We don’t get into fights for random reasons, but a slide across the asphalt and our skin starts dripping.

It is not cold enough for ice.

And even if it were, I don’t think the principal would prefer to see his body-conscious male students fully covered by protective gear and needing a lot more dental insurance than the local orthodontists and insurance agents would care to negotiate prices for services categorized as for the teeth or for the body.

The last I checked, the teeth are part of the body.

Now, our uniforms are blue again. And I still don’t know if gray or grey is better.

Earl gray.
Earl grey.

What do you say?

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This piece of flash faction came to me while listening to this mix.

Contemplating Romance Languages Again

Over the summer I wrote a post about words in French, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese that are and are not cognates.  I’m doing it again tonight because I was curious about how to say “good-bye” in Portuguese.

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From left to right, French = Spanish = Italian = Portuguese. Words in blue are not like the others, words in green are not like each other at all, words in magenta are very similar to the others:

Au revoir = adiós = arrivederci = adeus 
Où est la toilette = donde estan los baños = dove sono i servizi igienici = onde estão os banheiros 
L’année dernière = el año pasado = l‘anno scorso = ano passado
La semaine prochaine = la próxima semana = la prossima settimana = semana que vem

Prends-moi = toma me = prendimi = leve-me
Je suis à toi = soy tuya = sono tuo = sou seu
Dis-moi = dime = dimmi = diga me
Qu’est-ce que tu as cherché = que has estado buscando = cosa stavi cercando = o que você tem procurado 

Les yeux bleus = los ojos azules = occhi azzurri = olhos azuis
Fermez la bouche = cierre la boca = chiudi la bocca = feche sua boca 
Tais-toi = cállate = stai zitto = cale-se 
Bon appétit = buen provecho = buon appetito = aproveite sua comida 
La fenêtre = ventana = la finestra = a janela
Sur la montagne = en la montaña = Sulla montagna = na montanha 

Je vois des étoiles = veo estrellas = vedo le stelle = eu vejo estrelas 
L’agrafeuse = la engrapadora = la cucitrice = o grampeador 
Le cinéaste = cineasta = regista = cineasta
La chanteuse = la cantante = la cantante = o cantor

 

We Mustn’t Build It or They Will Come

But build it we did and the enemy did come.

As many individuals who served in the American military believed, building an outpost at the bottom of a valley in Afghanistan was an absurd and terrible idea.  Even when respectful apprehension at the plan was met with agreement, the commands from higher pay grades and ranks superseded all forms of reconsideration.  Jake Tapper’s book The Outpost opens with the lunacy of building an outpost in a valley and not atop a mountain when he relates a conversation between “a young intelligence analyst named Jacob Whittaker” and his “superior officer, Second Lieutenant Ryan Lockner” in the “summer of 2006” (3).  Lockner gave Whittaker an assignment to create a visual aid for a morning presentation detailing the location of a new outpost.  After verifying that he had the correct information for its exact location, Whittaker confirmed that he could make the requested Power Point, “But sir…that is a really awful place for a base…it’s located at the base of a mountain peak…and flanked by a river on the west and another river to the north?”

Lockner added, “And there’s no good road to get to it — they’re still building that…”

To which Whittaker responded, “And it’s an eternity away by helicopter if something goes wrong..Sir, this is a really bad idea…A. Really. Bad. Idea. Anyone we drop off there is going to die.”

Jake Tapper’s summary of the exchange between Whittaker and Lockner includes more information on the topography on the area that Camp Kamdesh (eventually renamed Camp Outpost Keating) would be built no matter how tactically nonsensical.  Orders were orders after all.

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I finished reading Jake Tapper’s book recently and loved it.  I experienced a substantial pang of sadness and “what the hell?!” afterwards because of current events.  So many lives lost, so many dollars poured into plans, projects, and good intentions that evaporated just like that.

I had wanted to write a blog entry about it after I’d rewatched the The Outpost (Rod Lurie, 2019) and re-read some of the passages in Clinton Romesha‘s account of being at Camp Outpost Keating when it was breached by the enemy….but, I didn’t feel like waiting any more.

If you’ve not seen the film nor read either of the books but would like to plunge into the triumvirate of texts, I recommend you watch the movie first, then read Red Platoon, and then read The Outpost.  Most of the book consists of establishing geo-political and historical contexts that preceded, facilitated, exacerbated what happened at COP Keating.  If you have seen the movie and read Clinton Romesha’s book (or have consumed just one of them) and you want a more compare-and-contrast reading experience of Jake Tapper’s book, then I suggest you read the final section, Book Three entitled “Enemy in the Wire: The End of Combat Outpost Keating”).

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I do want to re-watch the movie soon and organize my notes and thoughts for a blog post.

And, the Atlanta Falcons were in merry ole London over the weekend for gridiron action against the New York Jets.  The Falcons moistened the Jets’ towelettes 27 to 20.  Final score.  Get game summary, stats, and play-by-play here.

NFL Films: 30 years ago in Atlanta

The year was 1991.  The Berlin Wall had fallen two years ealier; the Oscar winners from that spring included Whoopi Goldberg, Kathy Bates, Jeremy Irons, and Dances with Wolves among others; Mariah Carey‘s Emotions album was released that fall; and Desert Storm was making news headlines.*

Such is all the prologue you need for what 1991 was like.  Just sit back and enjoy this NFL Films production.

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Part of me wishes that I had watched more Atlanta football back in the day so that I could have relished all of that end zone celebration.  Alas.

Please enjoy these videos as well:

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*I was in fourth grade.  I remember the teacher bringing in a TV to the classroom for us to watch the news.  I didn’t understand the significance if what was happening, but I do remember many of my classmates began to worry about their fathers, who were in the military.

Pic cred: NFL Films YouTube screengrab