Friday, October 21, 2011

An Afternoon with Superman - a story by my brother, Sam Marinis

Kryptonite shmiptonite... I caught Superman with a bench vice.

And I guess I thought he would be bigger in person. Kind of a let down.

Like... how did his foes not kick his ass? He's like 3 fucking inches tall... COME ON! You can't be a henchman if ya can't beat a 3 inch guy. I'm sorry!!!!

Where's your wheelchair now Superman!!!

Superman is no longer fire proof.

As you can see, his foot is on fire. He obviously didn't read "How Not to Be on Fire" in the training book which is chapter 2.

And his ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound seems to be an over sold idea.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Jack Sparrow's Compass

You never think things are going to change. It's not that you're inept or unaware of the way the world works. When you're caught up in the moment you're not thinking of when it's all going to go south.

We never thought the band would change or that the music would change. If anything in the back of our minds we thought we'd all drift apart before our foundation fell out from underneath us. That the music would always be there. I think that's why we're sadden and embittered by the decline - the heart fell out of the music. And we feel betrayed by the uncouth treatment of the organization we came to love. We were unceremoniously laid off without severance. We stand in the parking lot in disbelief holding cardboard boxes filled with our remnants and mementos. No gold watch, no speech, no thank yous for years of loyal service and dedication, just a swift kick in the ass to make room for the younger recruits who will do more for less.

We were a family. What's more, we are a family still. The dissemination of the inspiration for our meeting doesn't negate our experiences. And what an amazing ride it's been. For 11 years this family has been my world. The experience of following a band around the country, meeting people from the internet and forging the strong bonds we have is not something most people understand. We've all had to defend our choices and endure strange looks. It's not something that can be rightly explained. We all eventually came to not care what others thought. This was our way, these were our friends, and we'll see you on the beach in Mexico. And now the ride is over. Our season passes expired. We're still milling around the parking lot with our boxes and wondering what the next step is. What is the next adventure? Where are we all headed? Are we going there together or will we meet up at the reunion?

I put my box in the car and headed into the sunset, destination known. Yet as I sit here in the city I have longed to call home, I find that I am without an identity. Lost. I've been this late night, dive bar, local band, built in camaraderie, Arizona resident for so long and now the page is clear.What will the next chapter be? There's an outline but what will I fill it in with? What will be the meat of my experience? What will the rhythm and atmosphere be? Who am I now?  It's like I'm the teenager I never was trying on different guises of my personality to see which one stands out the strongest, spinning into different directions, starting off and stopping...what new niche do I belong to? Beach bunny? Bohemian artist? Hollywood socialite? Trend setting combination of all of the above and more? I thought I'd know by now. Really, I never thought I'd have this quandary to begin with, but I don't know. For the first time in my life, I don't know. It's frustrating, exciting, maddening, exhausting, trying, infuriating, inspiring, irritating, exasperating, bewildering, daunting, frightening, challenging, adventurous and anxiety inducing.

The reality is I'm trying to watch the pot boil. Right now I feel like a man without a country and before long I'll turn around and find my passport stamped. I stand here with Jack Sparrow's compass concentrating on what I want most and trusting it will show me the way. I just hope there's enough rum.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Real or Fake?

Every year growing up, the day after Thanksgiving we would go down to the Hartman Christmas Tree Farm, pick out and cut down our own tree. We’d drag it over to the netting machine, pull it through, and get a candy cane. It was the BEST. A few years ago my parents bought a fake tree. They came to the conclusion that a live tree made us all ill every year. I'm sure it was just the change in weather.

With faux trees you always get a perfect tree. My mom is very into color coordination of decorations these days. I think that’s very attractive, but it lacks a certain personality. I miss the mismatched ornaments, the old wooden ones, our birth year balls, the tinselly garland, the funky shaped ornaments, the bubblers and, of course, the old badass, multicolored huge lights.

That's the fire hazardous stuff!
My mom made the tree skirt the year my parents got married: 1975. It's a huge green skirt with red fringe trim and the words Merry Christmas 1975 in red letters outlines in white, hand sewn across the lower half of the skirt. Above that my mom embroidered the full name and birthdates of my sister, brother and me. Her intention was to eventually add our spouses and children both of which, as of right now, pertain to everyone but me. No pressure, Niki. My sister’s been married for 20 years and Mom still hasn’t added my brother in law. I’ve got time!

Me & Dad checkin' out the lights
Mom wants to retire out stockings. They’re three feet long, wide fuzzy red stockings trimmed with white fuzz with our names stitched on in green felt. Mine says Nikie. I'm not sure when the spelling changed. My name was never my call, contrary to popular belief. I love these stockings. Mom is very, very into stockings. When she was growing up it wasn't about the presents under the tree, it was all about the stockings. We always get an orange and an apple: red for Sammy and green for me (we're particular) and the apples are always impossibly huge. I don't know where she finds these bad boys. Also nuts of all kind and ribbon candy. The ribbon candy always stuck to the inside of the stocking and became covered in red fuzz. She learned one year to wrap them in plastic. Now get Christmas cellophane bags of M&M's, peanut butter cups, a storybook box of Life Savers and a paddle ball. She individually wraps each little present. Each pack of batteries, new toothbrush, Yo-Yo's, mini travel games, mini remote control cars, bubbles, poppers, jewelry, make-up, nail polish, hair ornaments, flu medicine....all kinds of little toys and trinkets and odds and ends.

The Mom
We open our stockings first while mom and dad wake up, and mom has usually made blueberry muffins, OJ and eggs. We open the far too many, yet very appreciated, gifts it is solely my mom's responsibility to procure. Our cat would rummage through the crumples or wrapping paper to sneak around to the back of the tree so he could eat it. He would invariably barf it up in the hallway in the middle of the night and I'd get up to go to the bathroom and step in it. "Ewww!!!! DAD!!!!" Dad was always on cat barf duty.

And Tinker Toy duty.
A big breakfast, a big dinner and we kept the tree up until at least New Years day. I could buy some pine air fresheners and hang them inside our fake tree and it'll be just like when we were kids! There is a certain magic of Christmas that stays with childhood...the anticipation, the wonderment...but keeping the traditions alive lets that magic echo up and ring through the last strains of the year, swollen with reflections, nostalgia and the hope for my very own Christmas tree that Jameson can eat next year.

This tree will do nicely.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Reality Behind the Interview #12

“This position pats $8.50 an hour. Is that ok?”

No. No, it’s not. I made $8.50 an hour working at a bookstore 8 years ago. What is that take home? $250 a week? I get that in unemployment that doesn’t require me to bore myself to tears 40 hours and 6 days a week in your impossibly tiny, dirty, ricketty, undecorated, unfurnished office.


The Reality Behind the Interview #83

“What attracted you to this position?”

That fact it was available. What company is this again? You are aware I send out hundreds of resumes a day, aren’t you?

“I just really enjoy administration and organizing and being there to help others!”

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Inception - The Greek Labyrinth

Ellen Page's character's name is Ariadne, a Greek goddess. Ariadne was " 'Mistress of the Labyrinth', both a winding dance-ground and in the Greek view a prison with the dreaded Minotaur at its centre."

The main character Cobb hires Ariadne to be the architect of the labyrinth of the dreams they traverse.

A young man named Theseus, future king of Trozen, volunteered to kill the Minotaur. Ariadne fell in love with Theseus and gave him a sword and a ball of red fleece thread to help him find his way back out of the labyrnth.

Some modern mythologists regard the Minotaur as a solar personification and a Minoan adaptation of the Baal-Moloch. Baal is an Arabic word meaning lord or master. Moloch can refer to any person or thing which demands or requires costly sacrifices. Moloch = Mal, Cobb's deceased wife who haunts his dreams and is the proverbial Minotaur at the center of the dream labyrnth that he must slay in order to return home and back to reality.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Nature of Existence

Why are we here, and what are we supposed to do about it? What started the Universe, and was it a mistake? Does God exist, and why does he seem so interested in our sex lives? After exploring the phenomenon of Trekkies, filmmaker Roger Nygard took on The Nature of Existence. Nygard wrote down the toughest 85 questions he could think of, roamed the globe to the source of each of the world’s philosophies, religions, and belief systems, and interviewed people who have influenced, inspired, or freaked out humanity. Combining an investigative approach with a spiritual quest, the film is a humorous yet uplifting search for enlightenment, presenting some of the most challenging ideas and extraordinary people living today.