Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

John from Cincinnati

One of the things we love the most about time with our son and his wife is that they open our horizons. I am waking up these mornings around 3:30, can’t get back to sleep. But my son helps me towards the end of the day, to stay up one more hour, by hooking me on John from Cincinnati, a new series on HBO.

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The series is bizarre. I have only seen four episodes; and now I am going to have to wait until Sunday nights for the next one to view.

It centers around a California surfing family, the Yosts. The eldest was a surf champion until his knee gave out, his son wowed the surfing world until he got lost in a haze of dope and booze, and the youngest Yost, Shawn, is just beginning to show his supurb stuff.

But that isn’t all. There is the main character, John, who seems to be a transpositon of John the Baptist into modern times and lacking all kinds of clues as to how we humans behave. He doesn’t excrete, he doesn’t sleep, and he doesn’t understand sex. One of the funniest scenes is a surf-savvy supporting character named Kai explaining how sex is accomplished. It sounds pretty absurd as she explains it.

It’s about the surfing culture. It’s about family interactions. It’s about a small town and how they deal with conflict. And about how they support one another in tough times. It’s HBO, so it can be crude, it can be violent, and it can be very adult. It’s also thought provoking and intriguing.

Very strange things have begun to happen in this small town. Grandpa Yost ended up levitating as he washed off after surfing. Shawn had a fatal surfing accident, from which he recovers. John from Cincinnati can pull whatever money he needs out of his pocket. Butchie has been without drugs the two days John has been staying with him, and is amazed that he isn’t going through withdrawal.

Five segments in, we still don’t really know what we are seeing. We are beginning to understand how the community works, the interfamily struggles. I can’t wait to see what’s coming next.

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July 11, 2007 Posted by | Community, Cross Cultural, Entertainment, Relationships, Satire, Social Issues, Spiritual | 4 Comments

It’s all Relative

I lived in Florida for six years once, in another life. I hated it.

At first, I was enchanted. It was so warm! And the air was humid and soft! And I went into my first Home Depot and fell totally in love. We had our own pool, we had pool toys and a new Florida life style and we were having fun.

Then, September came. And it was still hot and humid. Nothing changed. I waited expectantly for the cool breezes to begin, for the leaves to turn, all the things I was used to happening in September, including getting out my winter clothes – none of that happened.

I remember the first cool breeze. It was October 20th.

At Thanksgiving, we were still using the air conditioning. I had figured out by then that the hot, humid air made me sweat when I did housework, and made exercise much less attractive. Even sedentary activities like needlework seemed steamy and undesirable.

As I put up the Christmas tree, still with the air conditioning on, I was NOT happy. I really wanted some winter.

We did get one cold month, January, where we had two days of possible frost.

When we left Florida, I felt like I’d been let out of jail – I moved to Seattle and relished the coolness, even the rain. We have air conditioning, but in Seattle, we have never had to use it – the house stays cool, and the night breezes freshen everything up. I can have the windows open most of the year.

Now, back in Florida – from Kuwait – I am noticing how soft and warm the climate is once again, even in the torpid heat of summer. Record highs? No problem. I drove during rush hour traffic yesterday, and it was calm, relaxed . . . almost boring. I am probably the worst driver on the road – I have to remind myself to signal, and to take a deep breath – driving here is totally NON-aggressive.

Little Diamond sent me a clipping from the Kuwait Times on the AWARE center having a diwaniyya on driving problems in Kuwait, with the outcome that if laws were enforced, Kuwait would have far less of a problem. Amen.

This morning I awoke to the chirping of a cricket and the cries of pelicans flying over. Big clouds, threatening thunder, crowded out the clear blue of the sky. And just down the street, I am not kidding, is a Lebanese restaurant. Life is sweet.

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July 11, 2007 Posted by | Biography, Building, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Florida, Living Conditions, Uncategorized, Weather | 8 Comments