Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Live Fast, Die Hard


 I stayed up too late last night, which is a habit I've gotten into, but I tend to be a bit of a night owl anyway, as I've mostly worked second and third shifts throughout my working life.  When I finally could hold a daylight job, it was tough getting up and getting into the groove.  I would often wonder how it would be to have a normal 8 to 5 job with weekends off.  I finally got one, and it was good while it lasted, but it didn't last too long.

At any rate, I watched my regular shows the other night, which includes the SyFy Channel's FaceOff, and now also the Jim Henson Creature Shop show.  After that I watched this biography on Phil Spector.  It was really interesting as I'd always heard about the guy, but never really knew much about him.  I  was aware of some of the earlier bands he had produced like The Crystals, The Ronettes, etc., though I'm not a huge fan of that style of music per se.  He's currently in prison for the 2003 shooting death of Lana Clarkson.  From what the documentary said, he always had this gun fetish, and I guess, it finally got him in trouble, along with his ego.  He did seem to be an egotistical, hard to get along with type person, which may have been  his downfall.  Yet it was interesting to hear about his earlier accomplishments and yes, even some of his wackiness. 

I guess my recent movie shame this month is On The Waterfront.  I'd always seen scenes or parts of the film, but decided the other night to watch it beginning to end, and it was pretty good.  It had an all star cast with Brando playing a misfit, Rod Steiger as his brother, and Lee J. Cobb as the waterfront boss. It was also Eva Marie Saint's first picture, and won eight Oscars that year including best director for Elia Kazan, best picture, and winning Brando and Saint their first Oscars.  It was about corruption inside the union business for longshoremen who worked the docks in New York City.  I'm glad I finally made some time to see it.

I also got around to watching Dallas Buyers Club, and enjoyed it a lot as well.  McConaughey was real engaging in the film and pegged the role of Ron Woodroof  perfectly, warts and all.  And there were a lot of warts.  Ron was depicted as a rather lowlife loser, but with a good ole boy streak inside--sort of an asshole and misguided, yet friendly too.  It was a well rounded characterization.  I actually knew someone like him.  I worked for a railroad, and back when I first hired out (it's changed a lot since then), it was pretty wild and wooly, much like working in the oil patch, similar to Ron in the film.  It's a different world into itself.  At any rate, I knew a guy that we called House.  He was skinny and even had dark hair similar to the Ron Woodroof character.  He always talked tough (though I never saw him in a fight, and he was as skinny as a rail), had a streak of con artist in him, and was all about getting high, loose women, fishing, and not too much else.  I also knew House's brother, who I had met earlier.  We called him Mouse, and he played drums for a local band called Bicycle.  They were pretty good too for a local band.  Whenever they would play if I wasn't working, I'd try to make it to hear them, as it was always a good time.  I also met the guy that ran the lights for the band called Paco.

At any rate, I'm not sure where I first met House, it may have been just through the job, and I put together that he and Mouse were brothers.  Odd, but that's how small towns work.  At any rate, we'd were working the night shift, and House was acting as foreman, Paco as helper, and someone else.  I remember we did what we had to do that shift, although House could be a slough off type guy, which didn't bother me, at least he was quick and efficient.  We finally got caught up, and decided to go get coffee and take a break.  At any rate, we piled into my car, and as I drove to a 7-11 for grub, I hit a dog while driving across town.  House winced at the fact of the accident, but it was dark, I couldn't see, and it came from out of my peripheral vision, and was unavoidable.  Though at least it seemed to be a glancing blow.  We got to 7-11, and got something to drink, and played a few video games to kill a bit of time, and just to have fun.  They had a foosball game there, and we played that, and also a odd football game there so you could  pair up, like the foosball game.  Don't know why I'm remembering this, just an odd remembrance.

At any rate, House was a bit of a con artist, if not a lot.  One of my co-workers said he had a destructive personality.  He was on his second marriage, I believe, and still was messing around with other women (no matter what they looked like), and still overindulging in drugs and alcohol.  He and a friend one night had got caught stealing things from out of a boxcar.  They got fired for a bit, but amazingly got put back on.  That's one of the things about House, he had a bit of  a crazy lucky streak, until his wife caught him cheating on her.  He also got injured at work, which I always suspected  him of faking it.  He got a nice settlement, and I thought that was it for his career.  But, they actually allowed him to continue working, AND, he got hurt again.  A telling sign about his personality was one night we were talking about how hard it was to score any weed, and he confessed how he was going to start investing everything he had in cocaine.  Yes, that pretty close to what he said.  I thought, either he was deluded, crazy to say something like that, or he was dealing way more than I figured.

The amazing thing about the guy is that he even had the bosses buffaloed.  My immediate boss said something about how smart House was.  Sort of blew my mind.  He went on to relate how he had score a one hundred on a rules test.  I thought, are you kidding me--he was probably cheating his ass off.  At any rate, House finally bit the big one after his second divorce.  I guess he did care about his wife a lot, just not enough to keep his dick in his pants.  His drugging got the better of him too, and perhaps, I think there may have been something to his injury.  It's hard to say, he was such a complex individual to get a straight reading on.  He ended up killing himself sometime after his divorce.  Live fast, die hard, I guess.

At any rate, back to Dallas Buyers Club, it's a great film, check it out if you get the chance.


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