Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Epic weekend.

This past weekend was my three-day weekend off.

On Friday evening, Scott, my best friend of 29 years, called me and said that he and his parents and kids were having dinner and seeing movies nearby. I hopped in the car and met them at the cinema to see Act Of Valor, which I had it on good authority was worth seeing. It was. I found that the reaction to the movie by the packed theatre was almost identical to what Tamara observed: no one moved for 5 - 10 seconds after the lights came up, and what slight voices were heard were very hushed, as about 300 people (?) left. Something about a dead warrior's best friend telling the dead man's son about his father's outlook on life, and quoting Tecumsah to him, that hits you (well, me, anyway) right in the middle.

I won't reprint those strong words here. I suggest that you read them all (just three short paragraphs), because there is iron and tenderness in the admonition there.

Scott and I went with the kids for ice cream afterward, and who doesn't like to watch kids enjoy ice cream? I ask you.

On Saturday, after fire training, I dropped by my shift partner's house to drop something off. He had out cases of quality Belgian, American, and German beers, and entreated me to try a sample, with his old roommate. Never one to insult a gracious host, I had a sample. He pushed another into my fist. I explained that I had to drive home. Nonsense, he argued. His bride would be happy to do so. She smiled and said that she would be glad to do it. I looked at her face, and saw the love of a good woman spouse for her life partner. She really wanted me to stay, because it gave her pleasure to see her husband happy. We ordered pizza a spiced mussels from a local Italian place, and commenced to enjoying great beer, and better stories around the kitchen table.  My shift partner's friend had some great ones about his time in the Navy, and he appreciates good beer like I do. Before long, my partner and I were conducting SFST's on each other, and laughing about the outcome. It was all very silly, I assure you.

It was 3:00am when his wife dropped me off at my house. I had dropped by their place at about 6:00pm. 

I woke up on Sunday feeling great. Seriously. I haven't had a "choir meeting" like the one on Saturday night in years and years, yet I felt as right as rain.

And I was late. Dad wanted to go see a matinee with me. We picked up my car, and went to luncheon on Mexican food, and went to see Act Of Valor again. I watched for tactical techniques. Word is that a lot of the scenes were shot with live ammo. The operators were for-real operators. Many of the scenes were shot with Canon SLR digital cameras, from first-person perspectives, so that you see what the operator sees. I thought it a shame that the director had the guys in low-light using IR goggles but red-dot lasers, when he could have shown the IR beams that they all had on their M4s, through their goggles. But that was a very small criticism. I almost never see movies twice. This one was worth it.

I thanked my wife and my partner's wife for making Saturday night possible. Understanding spouses make a huge difference.

I'm about to go to work, and I'm looking forward to it. Such is what a good weekend can do for you.

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3 Comments:

At Tuesday, March 06, 2012 11:40:00 AM, Blogger Old NFO said...

Yep, THOSE are the weekends that recharge us for a LONG time :-)

 
At Thursday, March 08, 2012 3:14:00 PM, Blogger The Raving Prophet said...

I dunno; I saw Act of Valor, and while I found it entertaining, I didn't find it quite as powerful as you and Tam apparently did.

What I liked:
1) Tangos getting shot in the face.
2) Operations being operated by real operators; it was blessedly short on Hollywood's ideas of special ops.
3) Tangos getting shot in the face.
4) A respectful and honoring portrait of our armed forces illustrating otherwise normal people making great sacrifices for the sake of people they never meet.
5) Tangos getting shot in the face.
6) It held my interest and attention the entire time. I didn't feel cheated for the eight bucks and change.
7) Did I mention I liked seeing tangos getting shot IN THE FACE?

What I thought was so-so:
1) The guys are SEALs, not actors. Their acting chops were ok, but you could tell they weren't skilled or seasoned at on-screen work. Yes, I didn't go expecting awesome acting performances, but it does show the difference between an even mediocre actor and somebody who isn't an actor at all.
2) The story was formulaic. Sorry, but it felt like a so-so buddy cop movie. It took almost no time at all to know who wasn't coming home from that op. It wasn't a tearjerker because that kind of trope is so overused. This is tempered some because it's what really DOES happen in this community, but still... it felt like somebody was trying to play my emotions, and when they try that, it isn't going to work.

Definitely worth seeing, I'd recommend it, and it's as good an action movie as anything else, but I had a hard time feeling it was anything other than an action movie.

 
At Friday, March 09, 2012 11:23:00 AM, Blogger Tam said...

"I thought it a shame that the director had the guys in low-light using IR goggles but red-dot lasers, when he could have shown the IR beams that they all had on their M4s, through their goggles."

Apparently they decided that audiences would have just been confused by IR lasers because everyone knows lasers are red.

 

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