Why Me? Why Write? Why Now? Why Not?

The Me is Doug Curran…Douglas M Curran…Douglas Metcalf Curran. Douglas is Celtic for “dweller by the dark stream”. Curran in Gaelic means “little spear”. And Metcalf? Scottish for “I met a calf”? Hey I don’t know! I don't have all the answers. I'm still trying to get the questions right. At least I seem to be a spear fisher by some dirty water. Or maybe I'm a Druid. And that Curran thing may not even be as Irish as my Irish American wife, Colleen Fitzsimmons, hoped it was when she married me. Ok, I might be a Viking. It's like this. I was reading this book, The Lion Of Ireland, see, and the author, Morgan Llewellyn, recounts a last battle between Brian Boru and the Viking invader king, to regain Irish dominance again throughout the island and kick the fureners out. The Viking king's name? Olaf Cuaran? Cuaran? Curran? I'm a Viking now, so I am? And a descendent of one of those marauding and murderous pillagers and plunderers? I've never pillaged a thing in my life...well, maybe a book or two from somebody. I'm really just a gentle giant who loves books and music. Ok, I bought a sword recently, but only as a wall decoration to enhance my Irish family history coat of arms! Honest! Viking, Schmiking, so rest my Irish soul! Or my wife will have my old bald Irish head!

February 15, 2010

Can you say "Happy.....'"?

It all started Friday night with a mesmerizing opening ceremonies for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, BC, with amazing winter images and Canadian ethnic welcoming celebrations - so I guess I should have said "Happy Winter Olympics!" But I was alone because Colleen felt too tired and was coming down with a cold. My young grandson Kai joined me for a few minutes, while I tried to make it a significant event for him for as long as I could keep his attention. But he was involved with his uncle Sean and brother Kalin, doing some recording in the next room, way more interesting for all of them than watching Olympic history. But then the NBA All-Star festivities and multiple shooting contests started that night too, going through Saturday and Sunday night, with a totally dazzling idol-worship intro of these players, making them gods to whomever was watching - so maybe I should have said "Happy All-Star Weekend!" But there was more Olympics to compete with and of course it was pizza night and nobody cared.

And then along came Valentine's Day on Sunday, with Colleen and I scampering around the day before to find some kind of chocolate goodies for our single grownups and grandkids too, while trying to find a good celebratory dinner and movie we could enjoy for our "sweetheartness" instead of indulging it on Sunday. We both got up late Saturday though because she was still nursing a cold and I've been having attacks of facial nerve pain from as yet undetermined sources. When we finally left the house late Saturday afternoon, we thought we had outsmarted the other local folk and got to the restaurants early - but as we drove by our first dinner alternative, Olive Garden, it was packed with people standing outside. We had gotten ourselves up for some Italian - but as we turned ourselves towards Provo and another possible lasagna option, we drove by TGI Fridays and decided to check it out. It was virtually deserted, so we prided ourselves at finding a place no one else had thought of yet, got a table and ordered some great vittles with hardly any competition.

Our movie option fell through however, as it turned out our newspaper had wrong info and the show "Extreme Measures" wasn't actually playing at the Provo Mall after all, or anywhere else for that matter. Every other movie option and time just didn't appeal to us. So there we were at the mall with nary a thing to do but walk and window shop, something we don't find that appealing anymore with our bad knees and legs and lack of money. So we got those aforementioned goodies, headed home to see if we could find a movie on Comcast OnDemand. I just paid the past due bill today so we should have had selection options, but a message kept coming up that we couldn't order any pay-per-view movies - and their offices were closed to try to find out why. (Found out later they're supposed to be open 24/7 so there was a hiccup in the works somewhere) The Free Movie selections sucked, so we watched news and pooped out before we could find any visual entertainment to mark the day as a pre-Valentine's success.

So here it is, the twilight zone between two holidays, and I watched news all day, neither of us attending church for health reasons. It was interesting to hear all these news interviews on Fox, with each one ending in "Happy Valentine's Day" wishes from commentators to interviewees. What does it all mean anyway? What are we really wishing to each other? For sweethearts, yes, another way of saying "I love you". But for news makers and other tv personalities? "I love you"? "Have a nice loving day with your families"? "Eat a lot of sweets and don't get too much diabetes today"? Are we just so needy to wish people something good that a holiday of sorts like this one is just another excuse? Not that that's bad, but is it really meaningful or necessary in any way? How about today now? I know it's early and I'm having another insomnia attack. But what should I say to anyone today? Happy President's Day? Why? What would I be really wishing anyone? It's really just another big shopping day, a day of celebrating our rampant consumerism and materialism, of finding good sales as a reason to spend money. Would all our past presidents be all over that? Is this the best way to honor our Presidents? How about dinner and a movie? Honest, Abe, I'd like to know!

PS - Oh yes, and we can't forget saying "Happy Chinese New Year!" to all our many Chinese friends of whom we actually have none that we know of. But "Happy Chow Fun" anyway just to be sure. And to all my Brazilians and other N. O. Saints who will be celebrating Carnaval and Mardi Gras, Happy ...Happy...Happy what? Happy Ash Wednesday? Isn't that when it starts? I just hope those festive folks don't make ashes of themselves! I was in Brazil in 1962 for my first Carnaval as a young LDS missionary, walking the streets trying not to feel the incessant pulsations of drums and dance, trying not to react to being squirted with all kinds of perfumed intoxicants, trying not to notice the scantily and non-clad - but instead keep my hands on the "iron rod" and keep from being crushed by the tumultuous, heaving crowds as we tried to get from one end of a block to another without falling down and getting stomped to death. Finally we gave up and stayed in our apartments for three days till it was safe to hit the streets again to do the Lord's work and pick up the pieces left by the Adversary. But I still loved that infectious samba beat.

PPS - Ok, and I guess I should wish everyone a Happy Westminster Dog Show in NYC this week too. Best In Show, right-o, eh what?

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