Yes, that title is past tense. While I was on the road a couple of weeks ago, I experienced the unique opportunity of having an entire weekend to myself, unattached to any of the normal commitments I usually have at home.
So, I lived it up during my “dream” weekend. Saturday was the fullest day. I slept in to 7:00 a.m. (gasp!). Treated myself to some foo-foo coffee and a muffin. And then. . . . headed out to the local “Pick ‘n Pull” junkyard.
I didn’t have any tools, and I wasn’t dressed properly, but that didn’t stop me. You can never really tell what kind of hidden treasure lies rotting away in these places, and my strategic plan was to identify any really great find during my initial visit, and the return the next day to extract it.
As it turns out, this particular yard, being somewhere below the Mason-Dixon, featured more American iron than the foreign crap I usually drive. There were not many exotics (none), but the trip wasn’t entirely wasted. I did find two screwdrivers under the back seat of an old VW (one of the few there), so they were worth approximately what I paid for admission ($2.00 – I really don’t keep track of these things — really).
By this time it was early afternoon, and my next adventurous stop was at one of the largest used bookstores in the country. It’s the kind of place that has more than a whiff of mold lurking about, and where there used to be a resident cat who prowled the bookshelves (and relieved himself wherever his heart desired).
Sure enough, the mold was still there, but I didn’t see the cat.
I spent a couple of happy hours trolling among the tomes, and ended up in the philosophy section, where I thought I might source a nice volume on Buddhism or Zen, or something along those lines. As luck would have it, the more I looked, the more confusing the titles became, and then my back started hurting from standing around for so long.
I decided the best course of action was to indulge in a nice dinner, which I promptly did. I won’t tell you what I ate, but I did drink two glasses of Sweet Iced Tea. Sweet!
To finish off the day, I visited the 24-screen multiplex theater at the mall down the road from my hotel, and finally got to see Skyfall. Even though it’s been out for several months now, I didn’t know much about the plot or action. I was just looking for some mindless 007 entertainment, because I really like Daniel Craig in the role.
Do I imagine myself as Daniel Craig? Nope. But I certainly can envision myself in an Aston Martin, driving my own personal Soccer Mom (read, my wife — please) around.
However, in the meantime, I have to settle for my Beater Miata, in which my wife hesitates to ride (because of its size; not my driving, I think).
SPOILER ALERT: Stop reading now if you haven’t seen the movie and intend to.
I have got to tell you I was almost completely bummed out regarding two aspects of the overall Skyfall experience. First, I don’t go to James Bond flicks to see the main character deal with the problems of getting older. If I wanted that, I would just stare a few more minutes longer at the mirror in the morning when I get up.
I want to be entertained, damn it! I want spills and thrills and chills. And high-class Soccer Moms driving Ferraris and not minivans.
And, second, what did I get?
That just really sucked. As James’ eyes teared up during that final scene with her, mine did, as well.
Not really. But I didn’t like it.
By the time I returned to my room from the cinema, it was well after midnight, and I slipped off to sleep trying to figure out if I even cared to watch the Super Bowl the next day.
When I woke up the following morning, I knew I wouldn’t be following football.
Because I was in luck. The local PBS station was carrying back-to-back episodes of Downton Freaking Abbey, so I would not only be able to catch up with the previous episode I missed, I would have an entirely new one to watch, as well.
SPOILER ALERT: If you are one of the three people in this country who has not watched any Downton Abbey episodes this season (but intend to), stop reading now.
Let me fast forward to a conversation I experienced on the following Monday morning just a day later:
“What did you think of Beyonce’s halftime show (I actually had to look up how to spell her name just now — man, am I out of it, or what)? It was one of the best things I ever saw.”
“Didn’t watch it. Didn’t care. I was watching Downton Abbey. It’s got girls, too.”
What I failed to mention is how gut-shot I was because, damn it, Lady Sybil died. I didn’t know. Had no idea. Hadn’t prepared myself.
So there I found myself, late Sunday night, pondering the loss of two characters I episodically cared about now and again, over the past few years.
But then I realized. Another Bond film is already in the works, and Downton Abbey continues for at least one more season.
Hope, indeed, does spring eternal.