March, 2013 Archives

Welcome!

March 22nd, 2013

We have a brand new look.

wpid-rcpalmtest.jpg

It was pretty simple, really. Over at ReadTheSpirit headquarters they asked me what I wanted in a blog space. I showed them the site I volunteer for each fall, the Mountain Workshops, and they seemed to think it wasn’t a horrible idea.

Then I showed them the Boston Globe’s Big Picture site and the response I got from our web man Michael Thompson was, “I think I’m getting the sense of what you’re after.”

Old blog lookBoy, did he ever. I’ve always loved being able to display photos the way I like viewing them, eye-poppingly big. My first love being photography, it seems silly that I’d be confined to a small window when there is almost infinite space on the world wide web.

So as the old hair commercial from the 70s said, “I went from flat to fluffy.”

<—– As you’ll no doubt recall, we used to look like this.

 

                         Now, well, we look like THIS! (he said, gesturing to the whole page)

 

Sure, there will be times when I don’t have a photo or video to share. There will be others when my pictures look like poop and I won’t want them blown up all over the place. But now I get to choose.

I’m glad they trust me over at HQ. Hopefully they’re not sitting in the control room, nervously fingering their CENSOR key.

This is going to be a fun ride!

 

 

 

 

Picture This!

March 22nd, 2013

Hey, how ya doin’?

Alex "helping" me tie my shoes.

Yes, this is what the future looks like here at the Wanderer site.

Aren’t you glad you clicked in?

 

Soup For The Stage

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March 12th, 2013

Sustenance for the sick.

http://www.readthespirit.com/rodney-curtis/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2013/03/wpid-rcsoup.jpgIf, for some reason, you want to see what this looks like as a slow motion movie, click on the picture.I whipped up a hot, fresh batch of chicken soup with tiny star noodles for my sick daughter. She’s supposed be up rehearsing on stage as one of the leads in her high school’s Oklahoma production this weekend. Instead, she’s up in bed. I thought the stars were an appropriate flourish.

Setting it down on the kitchen table, beautiful sunlight streamed in through the window creating another star, a gorgeous starburst. I ran to get my camera; my ailing daughter could wait. I was thinking about any number of metaphors or spiritual meanderings that I could type out here, but that whole chicken soup for the soul thing was already taken.

A day later and no earth-changing revelations have popped into my brain. Now it’s time for more hopeful healing with one of her favorite childhood meals, “buhsgetti.”

The show must go on!

Men Of A Certain Age

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March 7th, 2013

Three amigos

http://www.readthespirit.com/rodney-curtis/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2013/03/wpid-rcMenOfACertainAge.jpgTNT’s Men of a Certain Age starred Andre Braugher, Ray Romano and Scott Bakula.

I just sealed up the little red envelope and put it in my mailbox. I am sorry I had to say goodbye to my three new friends, Andre Braugher, Ray Romano and Scott Bakula. If you are a man of a certain age — your 40s, 50s or 60s — You really should check out the pitifully short television run of Men of a Certain Age.

The series, which spent only two years on the TNT network, spoke to me personally. It’s funny, dramatic, and an exceptionally well-written peek into the daily, mundane lives of guys hovering near 50. Braugher is a happily married family man, Romano is recently separated and Bakula, a never-wedded Peter Pan figure.

I find it difficult dissecting what drew me in so much. Even though my wife and I have loved Scott Bakula since his Quantum Leap days, I never knew much about Andre Braugher. Sure, everybody loves Ray, but I only caught his sitcom sporadically. As the owner of a party supply shop who is a gambling addict, it’s great watching him contemplate a return to his primary passion, professional golf. But it’s the way we imagine ourselves in their shoes that made this series work for a mere 22 episodes.

In the show, Braugher has big shoes to fill, literally. He helps run a car dealership with his father, a retired fictitious LA Lakers star. It’s the very real, loving and respectful way, though, that he and his wife interact that makes you feel a little bit better about life.

Bakula is an often unemployed actor and aging lady’s man. Watching his story arc, it adds another key dimension to your own understanding of self. It’s almost as if these three guys are different aspects, different dimensions of the same person. Or they’re alternative paths that one person could traverse through their middle ages.

I know I run a risk when I let the entertainment industry dictate certain courses of action, but I have to say the show featured — as best it could — real life conversations about important, topical issues. Hearing these guys discuss all different facets of daily life — during their regularly scheduled hikes in the Hollywood hills or at the local diner — it made me happy to know that there were others feeling and talking about the same things I do. Even if it were just the writers plumbing their own lives for material, I’m so thankful that I had the opportunity to listen in.

On the final disk of the final episode, I listened to the audio commentary and wished that the show would continue on for years to come. It could’ve served as a companion piece to my own journey. I learned that Ray Romano, one of the creators, had a movie version of the series with all new material, but the ratings just weren’t high enough. Even though it was critically acclaimed, it never made the numbers it needed to survive.

Regardless, I’m happy for the 22 hours I did have. As I said, I highly recommend it to anyone of a certain age, men or otherwise. Television isn’t always the place to find real life struggles, decisions, arguments and conversations. Great examples of common, yet compelling everyday conflict are rare to find on the tube. Men having important conversations with each other are fantastic role models for us all.