What a long day.
I think all good days should be as long as possible. Why is it that bad days get all the hype, the longevity and the honor?
The dogs all loved Christmas morning. The giant dog in particular. Every time his number came up in the gift wheel he’d abandon the previous present and take the new one extolling it as the best present he’d ever seen.
When all the gifts were passed out he stole every one of them, making sure they weren’t better than anything he got. He was most pleased he got the rawhide he wanted. He carried it around with him all day.
The gentle dog was ecstatic. He got dental bones that he loves but would never ask for. He was happiest of them all because he likes it when everyone else is happy.
My puppy was disappointed. She didn’t get either a car or a helicopter. She used to like toys but she never played with them in proper dog fashion. She used to like to walk around with them in her mouth and then occasionally she’d lay them all out and arrange them, very carefully appreciating the shapes and textures. She’d get upset if they were moved and quickly put them back to place.
That changed. The giant dog loves to mangle and destroy toys. For him the reason that they exist is to be chewed, then to have a squeakerectomy, then finally to be de-stuffed. For him it is a glorious ritual that ensures peace on the planet and the removal of tons of carcinogenics and CTF’s from the atmosphere.
Since giant dog is so resolute my puppy has lost almost all interest in toys. Now she only will grab one if its to torment me in some way.
My puppy’s attitude quickly changed when we got back from our Chinese Christmas dinner. I had a particularly good haul and the smell of steak, ham, pork chops and chicken was maddening to them. If she had gotten a car or helicopter there’s no doubt that my puppy would have traded them all to me for just another smell of steak.
All three dogs loved Christmas dinner.
The Chinese Buffet was interesting. I was surprised to find it packed! I had figured it would be empty with a dozen or so lost souls wandering about feeling the warmth of Christmas cheer and willing to spare a smile and some conversation. Instead it was massive families of 12 to 20 people. The lost souls were there but barely noticeable.
The food was good. I’d gotten three plates before I got to eat anything.
I had a lot of shrimp things. The shumai was very good. I had the best onion rings in the world which are made from calamari and I had roast turkey, mashed potatoes and asparagus! First time I had roast turkey in six or seven years. I just had a small bit but I enjoyed it. I had jasmine tea and ice cream with bananas for afters. I wanted to have coconut pie but didn’t feel like running the risk of getting sick.
I was stuffed.
After giving the dogs their special christmas dinner we watched the hot new Korean film, “The Good, The Bad and the Weird”. It was pretty entertaining. One thing that made it jarring was well, its a Korean Western based on the Sergio Leone movie. Its based in the 30’s, when Korea was conquered by and occupied by the Japanese.
The weird, Kang-ho Song from “The Host”, is cool and funny stealing a treasure map. the map is targeted by the Japanese, the bad, Byung-hun Lee, the Russians, the Korean independent Army and finally by the good, Woo-sung Jung, who is brilliant. He’s the best horse rider I’ve seen in movies since Yakima Canutt!
THe film is fun and silly but takes a nasty spin into dark reality whenever the Japanese Army appears. Their evil far outstrips the inchoate evil of the bad. The Army’s evil is devastating, complete and disinterested.
The movie is so filled with cool scenes, great stunts and shoot out that the gory destructive power of the Japanese is jarring the way dying men and animals should always be jarring. It moves the movie from a spectacular romp into a dark region for a moment although more so because it seems to come when you’re laughing hardest.
It seems clearly premeditated. Its apparent it was an important part of the story. Even though the final denouement is bloody it still has less impact than booking cannons and machine guns smashing living flesh.
Writer-director previous film was the stunning “A Bittersweet Life”. He clearly knows what he wants to convey. I’m just not sure of the why here. All in all an excellent movie.
It makes me think of the best films of 2008. So far I can’t begin to come up with 10. I can only think of three . . . 1) A Man Who Was Superman – which is already worked its way into my daily consciousness 2) The Underdog Knight – A Mainland Chinese film about duty, caring and the lost dreams we all have (with good fight scenes) and 3) JCVD – Jean Claude Van Dammes powerful examination of celebrity, money and family. After that I draw a blank. Clint Eastwood’s “Gran Torino” might be up there but it hasn’t set quite right with me. Some of it is the triteness, some the predictability and some of it the lack of cliche. I’ll keep thinking.
So all in all it was the Merriest of Christmases, at least for me.
What a long day.