Sunday, December 26, 2004

December 25, 2004
Santa brought bikes and books. T. Charles brought down two used bikes, one for Deena and one for me. We got up around seven and I made Christmas pancakes and then we opened presents. We all went for a bike ride at about ten. Went across the creek at Rockaway Hills and saw all the new mansions going up over there.

Read books and took naps all afternoon. The Radinas all came over for Christmas dinner at about 5:30. Big turkey feed, 13 place settings. Kathy made everyone tell the most amazing thing that happened to them in the last year. Debbie's new boyfriend Kenny told about driving the APS transformer from Long Beach to Phoenix. They had to rig up a trailer 300 feet long (a football field!) and twenty yards wide. If you remember the CNN reports, the load shifted at Victorville on a 20% grade and the transformer slid off, gouging the pavement and setting off tremors up and down the political West coast. Really a fascinating story (APS built special roads for them behind the White Tank Mountains). And as they approaced Phoenix at eight miles an hour, Kenny talked APS into putting handmade signs on the monster that said, "This side up." Funny.

After dinner we all sat down and watched Napoleon Dynamite (Deena has seen it six times, Tomas four, it was my second time, none of the other Radinas had seen it). The DVD was quite hard to find before Christmas (T. Bell couldnt find it anywhere in Flag) and Kathy got the last one at Target last week. The clerk said they got 300 in that morning and Kathy bought the last one. It was even funnier the second time. I really love this uber-nerd movie. It is so original. Written and directed by two Mormon brothers for $400,000, it has grossed some $40 million. Amazing. A gentle, clean story (the biggest cuss word is "Gosh!" and it's hipper than most movies that are allegedly "edgy").

On the other hand, we tried to watch a gag movie that Deena bought for Tommy called Hail Caesar evidently the brainchild of Anthony Michael Hall. Just horrid. Trying so desperately to be funny and missing by so far. Amazing. The video box is unintentionally zany with the tag line: "It's hard to Rock 'N’' Roll When You're Knee-Deep in Rubber." (evidently the hero Hall works in an eraser factory). Deena thought it would be a hoot to watch, a kind of so bad it's good kind of thing, but no, it is just wretched. You can practically feel the film crew off to the side in every scene. Just so completely false and bush.

I'm reading Bob Dylan's Chronicles and he spends quite a bit of time writing about capturing the moment, making it come alive, sometimes taking out technical proficiency to get back down to something that matters, or that doesn't seem contrived or fake. It's so elusive.

"Nothing can be falser than a truism."
—Old Vaquero Saying

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