Friday, September 18, 2009

Ponderings on War

Mom, Dad, and I have been watching a documentary series called The War. It is about WWII, and the base of the series is about how the war effected 4 towns in America. It branches out a lot, but it keeps coming back to the home front and the inhabitants of these towns. Really, it is a beautiful documentary and one I think everyone should watch. I've learned so much about the war - a heck of a lot more than I ever did in class. Also, there is a newspaper editor from MN during that time who has some excerts of his work read. And it is the most beautiful reporting. He was a great writer - simple and sweet, perfect small town newsman writing. That is my favorite part.

However, it is not the easiest series to watch. It's about war - and war is never a beautiful thing. This series is quite touching, and so often while we watch it I have to look to away because I am so angry and frustrated by it. It seriously angers me watching things like this. No wonder there is so much hate in the world. Violence begats violence and so much pain and hurt comes from that. I can't go through an episode without crying 4 or 5 times. It's emotionally ravaging.

I have always been conservatively anti-war pretty much all of my life, and documentaries like this and TV series like M*A*S*H have fueled that feeling in me. Although M*A*S*H is a comedy, there are some very poignent moments. My favorite is actually (I think) a combination of two: Col. Potter looses his composure and in one scene he says something along the lines that humans keep building weapons that can destroy human lives faster than doctors can build instruments to save them, and the other is just him half-crying as he said "...put an end to this stupid war." I know, it sounds corny, but they are very powerful moments. And everytime I think of war now, I hear those words and that anger and pain.

I want to gather world leaders who take us into these wars and I just want to shake them. It seems like they have no hearts, that they don't understand the human cost. I don't think anyone can understand the true human cost - not until we have a way to give a testimony to every single person who is hurt by the war. Or killed. And not just names. Home videos, pictures, writings about their lives, interviews with family and friends - everything. A document of every single life touched by it. Then you might have a glimpse of the human toll.

The trouble is, I don't know if that would even stop war. It seems like there will always be war of some kind. I'm not saying that all war is pointless and bad - because a large part of WWII was necessary. We had to stop Hitler from leading the Germans to taking over the world. And I have no doubt that is what he truly wanted. If the Axis had won the war, I have no doubt that before long, Italy and Germany would have teamed up aagainst Japan. And then Germany would have gone up against Italy. It's not even just taking over the world, it was also the atrocities that he was doing. But we didn't get into the war because of that. We got into it because Japan needed oil and we blocked it from them. So they retaliated. There will always be reasons for going to war, and innocent people will always have to suffer because some people just want control.

Now, I know every army has its reason for being. There would be no war unless there are some grievences. And with a couple of strong leaders, mixed with pride and a problem or two, you have reason. Add to that the right amount of patriotism mixed with radicalism, and you have an army - or rather, a dangerous army. Multiply that by two and you have war.

I know this is increibly depressing. But another movie I have watched also made me re-realize that out of something so terrible can come some things so great. Where there is tragedy, there will be triumph in the human spirit. Of all things, I was watching Hollywood Canteen on TCM the other night (By the way, love TCM!) and although it is not a very deep film, I was touched by the story of how the Canteen came to be and how everyone in Hollywood pulled together to give the soldiers a good time before they left or when they finally came back. Which also was reflected everywhere in that time. It was one of the last times America pulled together for a cause. Everyone, it seemed, did their part to contribute to the effort. We got a glimpse of it after Sept. 11, but that was very quickly overshadowed by outspoken, bickering singers and anti-war protests, and charging into a war with a country we weren't sure we wanted to go to war with.

So, while it was an atrocious time, the world wars have gone down in history as the good wars. The ones almost everyone wanted to fight. But truly, there is no good war. I wish there was a way to make people settle it themselves. I'm not saying that duels and fistfights are more humane, but at least they are one on one. No innocent bystanders. I support the military and I pray for them, but I would much rather that they didn't need to exist. Not the people, but the institution. I can't imagine they would feel that much different about it.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Late Night Ponders

So. I have had some issues with sleeping. I usually do not get to sleep until about 4 or 5 in the morning. I don't know why, but my mind is so much more alive in the deep dark of the night. I think, I watch movies, I listen to my music, I fool around on the computer, and I write. I feel like I have lost that talent - to write. But I haven't. I just don't have the flair for fiction that I once had. I have even lost a little of my creative non-fiction flare. But that always seems to be case when you lose something to write about. I guess what I do now is coronicaling. I coronical my life. Not so impressive as it may be.

I have been able to work extensively on my movie list. Since I found out it existed, it has been a goal of mine to see all the movies on the AFI's Top 100 Movies. With all this time and all this lack of sleep I have been able to seriously knock off some of them. I found some I really like, and some I really didn't. 2001: A Space Odyssey. I mean, what the hell was that about?! Right now I am watching Doctor Zhivago. A sprawling epic, I would say thus far. But I don't now if I like it or not yet. Beautiful music though.

I just don't have anything to write. At least nothing that is nice to think about. Some not so pleasantries: I still have not gotten a job. Not from lack of trying. I have gotten a call about scheduling an interview with a place in Bemidji, and I have been trying for the last two days to get back into contact with them. Which proves to be harder than it should be. But I'm not going to give them much rest until they do get back with me. I think this would be a wonderful help. A job - in Bemidji. A JOB, in a town where there is at least some theatre. I'm trying not to get my hopes up because, well, it would be a rather big disappointment if I didn't get it. I don't suppose I will, but that will not come from lack of trying. I need something.

Aside thing: My mind has been wracked with dreams of my friends. My dear friends. I miss them so much. A few in particular, and one or two I can not get out of my mind. Thank God for social networking. It makes it so much easier and much more casual. Letters are more romantic, more friendly, more sentimental, more ... meaningful. But there are people you can chat with and you can write on their walls that would deem a letter highly inappropraite. Why is that? I guess the charm of letters is that now they are so formal. I have always been bad at writing letters. I always stop and rewrite. I guess that is why typing is so much easier for me.

Well, I am getting way off subject and I am saying nothing, so I guess I should just quit now. sorry about this waste of a blog. I wish I had something to say, something to tell. But unfortunately I don't. I will try to refrain from blogs like this until I have something to say. Till then or till I get bored again

Friday, September 11, 2009

I Have the Coolest Mom

Ok, so I have to write about this. My mom is amazing. As many of you may or may not know, I am currently stuck in Thief River Falls. Finding a job outside of the area is near impossible, and even finding one that is in the area is also proving challenging.
So, having money is a thing - or rather, lack of money. And being apart from all of my friends definately is taking its toll on me. For a shy person, I am rather social - so this seperation from friends, from theatre, is taking its toll on me. Mom and Dad, while they are not like me in this aspect, understand how I feel and are being really good about supporting me through this.
This weekend was supposed to be a lake day which my dear friend, Barry, was going to host. A couple old theatre buddies on a lake doing some outdoor things and camping. Wonderful! Problem enters: no money. No way I can go. I warned Mom that I might be cranky this weekend, and she asked me why. I explained.
Mom told me that I could go, and that she would chip in on gas. Then she got this brilliant idea about her state quarter collection. You see, Mom started collection these quarters to make about 4 sets to collect. She had recently come to the idea that this was a waste, as there were so many of these quarters that they would not really be collectible. So, she decided to give me the quarters to turn to cash so I could go.
So we counted and sorted these quarters and I took them to the bank. I got about $50 out of it. So, it was settled, I was going.
As it happens, the event was canceled. But that is beside the point.
The point is, she did that for me. She knew that this meant a lot to me, and she went the extra mile to make sure that I could have this weekend of fun. It doesn't even matter that it is not going to happen. I mean, it does a little, because that sucks, but it means so much more to me that Mom did that.
So, yeah. I have the coolest Mom.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

President's Speech to School Kids

So, I normally do not meddle in politics - for several reasons. One being that I don't know enough, and two being that I do not care to get into these ridiculous narrow-minded fights most people have.
That aside, I will change that this once.
I have just read an advance copy of the President's speech that he will be giving to school children. And you should read it too. It is a good speech. There is no partisan politics in it (as far as I can tell) and it is sending a message to kids that I don't think they hear enough.
I'll leave it there, and let you decide for yourself what you think about it.
Here is the link:


Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day at Red Lake Falls

For Labor Day and for my brother Nick's birthday - happy 30th Nick! - we went to Red Lake Falls for a picnic. It was a pretty nice day for it. It was nice to see Nick, Amy, and the kids. Did a little walking around and played on the playgrounds. Got on a swing, something I haven't done in a while, and I remembered how much I miss it. I used to love swinging when I was little and in 3rd grade I was the champion swing jumper in my class. I tried to teach Daniel how to swing on his own, but either I am a bad teacher, or he is still too young to do it on his own because every 2 minutes he was asking me to get him going again. Between those 3 kids, I got my pusher workout.

Took some pictures and some of them turned out pretty good. I'll only post a few, but if you are interested in more you can check them out either on Facebook or my Photobucket account : mizmouse86

Don't have much more to add to that.
Savanna exploring in the water. She had her own island and decided that her name would be Miss Clam Looker because that is what her job would be.

Just a couple pics I took of this man who was fishing in the park. Thought they turned out kinda cool.

The views of the river from the bridge.

The bridge

The wooden beams of the bridge

Amy going 'round and 'round - weee!

Darling little Matthew: don't let the face decieve you, he's ornery.

Just a fencepost.

Old playground equiptment.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Home Alone tonight

Just sitting here, watching movies. Mom and Dad have gone to Mankato for a horseshoe tournament. So I am here alone tonight. Sadly. I could go to the bars, but that is not my scene. Instead I am sitting here bouncing back and forth between the internet, reading The Cider House Rules, reading some scripts, and watching some movies. In a minute I will be starting Frost/Nixon. Which is based on a play about the event, so it better be good.
No rummage sales or auctions tomorrow, so I don't quite know what I will do with myself. Clean house, I guess. Maybe go for a walk and take some pictures. Not much else to do.
Life kinda sucks here in the middle of nowhere.
Oh well. I am going to bake tomorrow. That ought to cheer me a bit. Some baking, some good music to go along with it.
I miss my friends. Next weekend is a get together down by the Cities and I really want to go, but I don't know if I can afford it. At this point I would almost steal the money in order to go. I need to see some of them. It has been too long.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Auctions and burns

The past 2 weekends have been very intereting for me. But they have also had a painful after-effect. I've been going to auction with my parents. For some reason, the TRF has many of these wonderful auctions. Sometimes they are farm equiptment, but there are also some amazing estate auctions. So, I have been able to get a few finds. A prop cart for $1, a WWII era cot in a bag for $1, a doctor bag and a pair of wooden crutches for $2, and last but not least, a sewing machine and stand for $2 - you know, the old fashioned kind. Here is a picture of the top:

The bottom is iron and it has the pedal, and the sewing machine inside is gorgeous - looks worn, but perfect. Haven't actually tried it to see if it would work, though.
So, I have been lucky. Except for after. After, when I got inside I realized that I was sunburnt. Not just sunburnt ... SUNBURNT. The worst area was just at the hairline on my head. I was stupid enough to keep my bangs back with a headband. And my forhead payed for it! It's still a little tender. So, I'm having second thoughts about checking out the auction scene this weekend. 2 sunburnt weekends in a roll should teach me a lesson, shouldn't it?
I also wanted to show you some of the pics I took at the last auction while I was waiting for them to get started. Some of these are kinda interesting:

A rusted old John Deere tractor. There were about 10 of these older tractors of various makes on auction there.

Some people looking over an old fire department truck. Old, but I think it still ran.

Just a wheel on an old wagon, circa 1900ish

The inside of a 1920s milk truck.

The friend I made at the auction. Fun little pony that snorted at me while I was looking over the tractors.