Adventures of a Modern Day, Middle-Aged Hero, on the Glory Road(to family security)



Because a good movie is going to be a good movie no mater when it is watched, my wife I usually use our limited trips to the movie theater to watch movies that might not be the 'best' movie of the bunch, but rather a movie that would benefit the most from being seen in a theater vs. at the house.  Therefore, it's not uncommon for us to be WAY behind the power curve on watching movies that 'everyone' else has seen.  SWMBO and I have yet to see 'Fargo' or 'The Big Lebowski', while we have seen both Transformers movies. 

A perfect example of this would be the fact that we just got around to watching 'Up', one of the most universally acclaimed movies of the last few years.  It's 98% rating on Rotten Tomato makes it the best reviewed widely released movie of 2009, beating Zombieland and Inglorious Basterds.  It won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature, the third of 4 in a row for Pixar. 

That's a tough buildup to live up to...but, if anything...'Up' exceeded my expectations. 

It was a neat movie...great story, with WAY interesting characters.  I can not picture Carl being played anyway other than how Ed Asner played him...it was perfectly done. 

All of that were things that I expected.  What I didn't expect was the depth of emotion in this film. 

I make no secret of the fact that I am a crier(well, if it was a secret, it isn't now)...but it's not when you would expect.  I'm pretty immune to standard 'tear-jerker' stuff.   It's the poignant stuff that gets me...the missed opportunities and people heroically die to save others.  I cry at the end of 'Backdraft', and 'Saving Private Ryan' and 'Charlotte's Web'(I was 9!) and even at the end of stupid movies like 'Armageddon' and 'Pearl Harbor'.  Let's not even talk about 'Watership Down'(I was even younger then 9!)  As you can see, it's been deeply ingrained and reinforced in my personality. 

While it was a great movie, and at times a very funny movie, 'Up' also had some of the saddest moments in a movie I have had to deal with in a long time.  It could be that it is just an averagely sad movie, but the things that make it sad are hitting me at time when I am very vulnerable to those particular things.  The opening seen and the monologue that followed are 100% spot on examples of a life together, and how the real world can conspire to steal your dreams.

That's probably laying it on thick...but there are Carl and his wife, Ellie, with their bottle of change they are saving to fill in the last page in their Adventure Book, and stuff keeps happening.  Through all that though, they obviously still love one another, having a relationship that is very enviable. 

It is kind of where I find myself now.  I have started a new(well, 6 months ago it was new...not sure how long I can play the new job card) job, in a new city with my family.  We are currently renting an apartment that we do not like(hate is too strong, but at the rate the dislike is growing, it could be hate someday).  Because our house in Belfair hasn't sold yet, we are rapidly approaching a point where we will need to make some decisions, namely, do we rent month to month here, or do we just find someplace we might like a little more, like a small house with a yard to rent, and then sign a 1-year lease to let things happen as they will with our old house. 

Both these options are lame compared to my one-time goal of jumping feet-first into buying a house in the Tri-cities.  Renting long term upsets me...I know, from a straight monthly 'goes in/goes out' standpoint that with what we have for a down-payment, I can buy a house in the 175K range, and come out with a mortgage a few hundred lower than what I will be paying in rent...the challenge comes in convincing a lender of that.  I am not sure that I can get approved for a 2nd mortgage before getting out from under our first one. 

Continuing to rent is also a smarter move from a professional view-point...I am still not sure I made the right decision job-wise.  Currently there is an investigation underway at my new job that has 4 people suspended(with pay).  Things are as tense as they have ever been, and I am not sure that ANY outcome to the investigation will make things better.  Plus, there are real estate concerns.  In September, The Stimulus money runs out, and 1800 people will be laid off...not to mention that some of the projects at Hanford ARE starting to make progress, and that means jobs will be going away.  Just deciding to rent for a year should give the local housing market a chance to do it's shimmy, and then I can get into it next summer....if I haven't decided to run away from this job by then. 

So in this case, the smarter thing is also the more cautious thing...and as Carl learned in 'Up', sometimes the safe route keeps you from living your adventures with the one you love.  But, as Carl also learned in up...sometimes it is the boring times you remember. 

Like sitting on the couch with your family, and looking over your two beautiful girls, and realizing that your wife is crying also. 

1 comment:

  1. Good for you! I, too, am a cryer (self-analysis revealed some of the reasons, some, I already knew - so, I'm somewhat improved). I just saw 'Up' over the holidays, with my sister, her kids, and their children. I haven't watched a child's cartoon movie in years
    (since my daughter was killed).
    But, we all sat there and laughed, and cried.
    ps - I love Kevin!