Friday, March 21, 2008

I've Been Tagged . . . In 4/4 Time!!!

Bee has tagged me with the 4 meme.

Here's the deal - You learn things about me in groups of 4.

Here goes -

4 Jobs I've Had:

Bartender ----

I tended bar at the Viking Inn for about 3 years. It was the upstairs "Lounge" attached to a restaurant. We had live music 6 nights a week. If I ever write a memoir, my time at the Viking will play a prominent role. I was only 19 when I started working there, (The drinking age was lower back in those days) and I learned a lot about life in that brief time. One of the friends I made there is still one of my closest friends in the whole world, even though he and his wife live about 2000 miles away (1, 983 miles away, to be exact).

Magician ----

Err, What? Yes, Brave Sir Robin was a Magician. I worked table side close up magic at the restaurant downstairs from the bar, and I did children's birthday parties. When I moved to Houston, I had always planned to restart the children's party business, but life got in the way and I never did.

Store Manager ----

I spent several years in retail. It was one of those things that was never planned, it just sort of happened. I took a part time job during the Christmas season and within the next year, I was running a store. I worked for a company called Miller's Outpost. They were huge in California, and were expanding East. They have since pulled back to California. I think they are still around, but I understand they have changed the company name to Anchor Blue. I actually really liked that job. I had a staff of mostly high school kids, and I was a good leader. I was fair, easy-going, and competent. So why did I leave? I was tired of working Holidays, and the pay was not so good.

Nursery Worker ----

As in plants. I was the all around - do whatever guy at the local Nursery. (As an aside - Is that term no longer in vogue? I can't remember the last time I heard it used in that connotation. Perhaps Garden center is now the term? ) What ever you called it, I watered the plants, I carried flowers to little old ladies cars, I potted plants, I unloaded trucks of spring bedding plants, I sprayed people's yards, etc. . . I really liked that job. I was in College, and I would get out of class and go water the plants. I don't know, maybe it was the peacefulness of it. There were a lot of plants and it took me a couple of hours just to water them. I was 18, it beat the hell out of a fast food job.

4 favorite movies:

Boy, this is a loaded question to ask me! Hmmmm, that's like asking me to pick my favorite child. I'll give you my all time favorite first, then I'll give you three I love, that maybe aren't quite so mainstream. So I'm leaving off Godfather, Apocalypse Now, Holy Grail, Annie Hall, . . You already know I love those.

A Fish Called Wanda ----

First of all, if there is anyone reading this that has never seen this film, stop right now. I don't care what you're doing, stop. Go buy a copy of this DVD. Don't rent it, buy it. You will want to see it over and over and over. Ok, where was I? Oh yes! Kevin Kline alone is worth the price of the disk. He won an Oscar for his role as the Nietzsche quoting idiot hitman. Jamie Lee Curtis has never been sexier, Micheal Palin is hysterical as the stuttering, animal loving, k-k-k-k-k-Ken, and John Cleese is, well he's John Freaking Cleese. This is my all time favorite film.

Scotland, PA ----

This film came up recently in my "Movie quote meme". I was delighted that someone besides me had heard of it. Imagine Macbeth as a black comedy set in a small Pennsylvania town in 1975. The witches are now three hippies, Duncan is a fast food mogul and McDuff is a police detective.

This. Film. Is. Simply. Incredible.

Christopher Walken is just perfect. He plays the role as if he's in on the joke and he's "doing Christopher Walken" The three hippies, although they don't get much screen time, are just terrific. Amy Smart and Andy Dick, (along with Timothy Levitch) are just so entertaining you want to write another scene so they can be in it. Oh, but Maura Tierney. Oh my. Maura Tierney as Pat (Lady) Macbeth, just steals the show. She absolutely just chews up the scenery. Really, she is amazing. How this role didn't get a nomination is beyond me. I know the film didn't get wide distribution, (It opened on 15 screens, and never played on more than 25) but still. She is that good.

Whale Rider ----

This is a quiet, unassuming film that is just the sort of thing Hollywood would never make. A 12 year old girl in New Zealand, the only child in a line of Maori tribal chiefs struggles to assume her rightful place and win her grandfathers love. BORING!!! right? Except, it isn't. It is sweet, and sad, and moving, and joyful. If you can watch the last 20 minutes of this film without tearing up, you simply don't have any empathy or understanding of the human condition. Either that, or you're Dick Cheney.

Pan's Labyrinth ----

Ok, ok, I've posted about this one before. So I'll skip it. (But I still watch it every few weeks.)

So there are two ways to go here - A deep meaningful film that examines the depths of human depravity, and human courage at the same time, or a delightfully frothy comedy that does nothing but entertain?? hmmm, the rules say 4 . . . . So, I'll do the comedy, because comedy doesn't get the respect it deserves. (btw - The other film is The Killing Fields - It is not uplifting, think Schindler's List, but it is powerful)

Foul Play ----

I bought this on DVD a couple of years ago. My kids had never seen it, or heard of it. Neither had the college age girl who watched Zoe in the summer while I was at work. I was astounded!!!! Has this great comedy slipped into obscurity? What's not to love? Golidie Hawn at her perky prime, Chevy Chase, fresh off of the Weekend Update set, Dudley Moore as the perverted conductor, a bible selling dwarf, an albino, Gilbert and Sullivan? Whew, let me catch my breath. This is a classic screwball comedy. It sounds so cliche' to say they don't make them like this anymore, but they really don't. If you are under 30, chances are you missed this one. You owe yourself this film. Go find it, invite some friends who love to laugh, make some popcorn, and spend the afternoon enjoying this film. . . . . . You're Welcome.

4 Places I've Been:

I've never been to Europe, so I'll give you 4, here in America that are a little unique.

Big Bend national Park ----

Way, way, way out in West Texas, there is Big Bend, and not much else. If you've seen No Country For Old Men, you get the idea of far west Texas. The Chisos Mountains, the bluebonnets in spring that are waist high, the desert. All beautiful and peaceful. I love it. Anyone want to go back there with me?

The Ponemah Bog ----

In New Hampshire, right outside Amherst, there is a 75 acre wildlife sanctuary that encompasses the Ponemah Bog. My good friends Peter and Heidi are blessed to have this sanctuary adjacent to their back yard. Everytime I go to visit, I am as excited to walk the bog as I am to see them. It is calm and serene, almost other worldly in its beauty. There is wildlife, and plants that are endemic to the bog that are just incredible to see. I always feel a bit like Thoreau when I walk all alone on the paths in the bog. I've been there in all different seasons, and it never ceases to please me.

Snake River Canyon, Idaho ----

This one's a little quirky. In December of 1976, I was in Twin Falls Idaho. I stood on the mound of dirt that held the launch pad for Evel Knievel's jet cycle in his unsuccessful bid to jump the snake river canyon.

Boston ----

Ok, Boston isn't exactly unique, but what a city! I am a walker. I love to just explore on foot, and Boston is perfect for that. Take the tour of the USS Constitution. I'm a bit of a history buff, so I really enjoyed the tour of the ship. It is incredible how those guys lived and sailed the world on those wooden ships. A different breed of men than today. We are soft. Cambridge, the North End, Fenway . . . . . I love Boston.

4 places I've Lived:

Colorado Springs ----

I was a small child when I lived here. My Dad worked for the company that was building NORAD. I don't really remember it, but I used to enjoy looking at the pictures.

Houston ----
Houston doesn't get any respect. It is always playing second fiddle to Dallas. Ridiculous! I've made my views known before on this topic.

Beaumont ----
If the world has an armpit, Beaumont is a festering boil on that armpit. Nine months of HELL.

Port Lavaca ----
Meh,. . . it's a wonderful place,. . . if you like rednecks, ignorance, and your only definition of culture is what the doctor does with that sample you had to give him after last Saturday's party. Well, at least it's on the coast.

4 Favorite TV Shows:

Can all 4 be Buffy?

Buffy the Vampire Slayer ----
You know this already. If not see here.

Taxi ----
This was such a good show!!!!! Great Ensemble cast, wonderful writing, eccentric characters. Loved it.

Twin Peaks ----
See Here.

The Daily Show ----
I had to put something current on here. It was this or Good Eats. John Stewart and staff get the news more accurate than the MSM.

4 Favorite Radio Programs:

The Jim Rome Show----
I have been listening to Rome for at least 12 years or more. When he is on vacation, I feel like I'm missing something.

Morning Edition ----
Every Morning for what feels like forever. Although I did boycott for almost a year after Bob Edwards was fired.

All Things Considered ----
Ditto above. I am one of those "sit in the driveway to finish the story" guys.

The Bryant Park Project ----
A new NPR show, sort of a younger, hipper Morning Edition. The only Podcast I download daily.

4 Favorite Foods:

Duck ----
Almost anyway it can be prepared. Asian bbq'd, roasted, confit... (mmmmmm, confit . . .)

Pizza ----
You read the post.

Guacamole ----
Simple, yet rich and satisfying.

Pasta ----
Be it Italian, homestyle American, or Asian stir fried, I love pasta.

4 Places I'd Rather Be:

San Francisco ----
The most beautiful city I have ever been to.

Las Vegas ----(It's March Madness time, so sue me. I'd like to watch it from the Sport's Book at Caesars)


Anywhere in New England

If you read this post, consider yourself tagged. Drop a link in comments.


Bee said...

Brave Sir,

The thing about these things is that you want to respond to every single thing.

I will pick randomly: I vow to own all of the DVDs you've recommended. I haven't seen two them, and "Fish" was seen too many years ago. BTW, we took youngest daughter to see Whale Rider when she about 5. Not only did she understand it, but she was entranced -- and also capable of interesting commentary afterwards. My first realization that she had more than her share of brain cells.

Your job list reveals some of the aspects of your personality not quite captured in "engineer."

I am fascinated by Big Bend, too -- and love Boston. I'm also a big walker -- love walking towns. I will try to visit Ponemah Bog when I'm in NH this summer.

Daily Show was in my top 10; and probably the one it hurt most to "cut." Thank goodness for Jon S and his writers. They've given a lot of comfort during the Bush years.

I also have to agree with your assessment of Port Lavaca and Beaumont. As a Houston fan, I will just share that a good friend moved to Dallas (after years of living in Houston) and just HATED it. She said that she had never met more unfriendly people in her life. (She's English; been all over the world and back; lives in Peru now.)

Hey, I like your inclusive way with tagging. What a good idea!

Brave Sir Robin said...

What part of New Hampshire will you be visiting?

btw - I'm not an Engineer, I'm a Mechanical Designer. (I do the design, Engineer stamps it)

I totally agree with your friend's assessment of Dallas.

Robin said...

I'll definitely do this one (though probably not today), as I need to post something light-hearted after my recent posts!

The radio shows may not come out to 4 though...

Bee said...

I have no idea! I'm flying into Manchester, but my final destination is about an hour and a half away from there . . . in what direction I do not know.

As explanation: my NY friends rented the place. I'm just joining in. Can't wait!

So what kind of things do you design?

SAP said...

Yea gods! No FIREFLY?!?

That's OK. I covered you. :)

Brave Sir Robin said...

Bee -
I fly into Manchester as well. I used to do Logan, but my friends only live about 20 minutes from Manchester, so it works better.

I design Industrial Mechanical systems. I specialize in piping systems, but we are a small Engineering Company, so everyone is expected to "multi-task". We are a multi-discipline firm, which means we do Architectural, Industrial, Civil, survey, Marine, etc..... Early last year, when things were slow, I did a couple of banks. (The pneumatic tubes, you send your money through? - I did those.)

Hey, SAP long time no see!

ouyangdan said...

i loved "A Fish Called Wanda", tho i was *coughtooyoungtoappreciateitcough* at the time i first saw it. i do need to pick it up again...i love kevin cline and "john freakin cleese". i haven't seen the other one you mentioned...but i love Maura Tierney, et all...who doesn't like Christopher Walken?

i knew a guy from Beaumont. can't say he was much of a pleasant person either. my impression is the place is one big swamp...sticky w/ bugs.

i will do this...not sure when...but damn you you got me...that's what i get for having "regular haunts". ;)

maurinsky said...

4 Jobs I've Had:
1. Meat wrapper
2. Video store clerk
3. camp counselor
4. waitress

4 Favorite Movies:
1. Pride and Prejudice
2. Raising Arizona
3. The Fisher King
4. Singing In The Rain

4 Places I've Been:
1. Galway, Ireland
2. Paris, France
3. London, England
4. Edinburgh, Scotland

4 Places I've Lived:
1. Hebron, CT
2. Wallingford, CT
3. Portland, CT
4. Manchester, CT

4 Favorite TV Shows:
1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
2. Firefly
3. Freaks and Geeks
4. Six Feet Under

4 Favorite Radio Programs:
1. Writer's Almanac
2. Car Talk
3. The Faith Middleton Show
4. WAMC Roundtable

4 Favorite Foods:
1. Cheese - pretty much any kind, any way
2. watermelon
3. pizza
4. a really good steak

4 Places I'd Rather Be:
1. Monmartre, Paris
2. 2 Passage des Postes, Arr. 5, Paris
3. someplace warm and sunny
4. Hanging out with my cousin Eileen in London.

Brave Sir Robin said...

Maurinsky -

I always forget about The Fisher King!

Great one!

pidomon said...

A Fish Called Wanda is (IMHO) one of the two perfect films.
The other is The Freshmen with Marlon Brando and that guy married to Sarah Jessica Parker.

While I share your love of Houston (Sister2 lives there and Dad is in Brenham not far away)and agree Dallas is the pits my heart is still in Fort Worth

Brave Sir Robin said...

Pido -

My parents and two nieces live in Fort Worth, (my sister lives in Mansfield)

I tend to call the whole area, "Dallas"

My bad.

(I do the same thing to Houston. When I say I'm going to Houston - It may be Pearland, it may be Katy, It may be Clear Lake)

And yes, The Freshman is really good. I need to get that one.

Anne said...


konagod said...

I'm not sure who I get most of my memes from but it's very annoying when I do one and then see the same meme elsewhere but WAY better and longer. I'm going to start looking around when I see memes sprouting and then pick the version I want to do. :-)

Brave Sir Robin said...

Kona - I say to hell with the rules and add whatever you want!

seventh sister said...

I was hoping to be in Big Bend about now. I wanted to spend my birthday there. It is not happening. Boo Hoo

Brave Sir Robin said...

Seventh Sister -

It's going to be Blue Bonnet season out there any day now . . . .

sexy said...






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