Sunday, November 25, 2007

all i want for christmas

three bedrooms, two baths, 1,800 square feet, and a water view.

somewhere in the san juan islands.

mind you, the same configuration in hawaii would be better still. but there's a little matter of access. and by that i mean access to a bank vault full of thousand-dollar bills.

case in point: behind the oahu property we recently rented was another home up for sale. it was, basically, a double-wide with an awning and an attached deck. it wasn't waterfront, and near as we could tell, may not have even had a water view.

it was, by any standard, a ridiculously humble abode, and it could've been ours (or yours, or anybody's) for the low-low price of $1.75 million.

the fact is, there aren't many places in the world that are warm, waterfront and within our means. so, like most people, we're required to manage our vacation expectations. and by that i mean, "rent."

that said, mrs. spaceneedle and i have decided it would be nice if we had a family vacation home somewhere--a place to which we could retreat on short notice, a place we could get to know over the course of years, a place we could live, perhaps, in our rapidly approaching old age.

somewhere like the san juan islands.

we spent the thanksgiving holiday on orcas island, and found it agreeable. not too close, not too far, not too crowded, not too desolate. we took the ferry out of anacortes this trip, but spoke to some folks who jump on a kenmore air flight that departs from lake union and drops them off an hour later, right in front of the rosario resort.

sounds pretty good, right? yeah, as it turns out, orcas island property (and old age, apparently) is beyond our means. so we're looking for investors.

if you have a love of the san juans and a quarter of a million dollars you can't decide where to park, we need to talk.

we need to talk about 3 or 4 months a year, at least one month per season, on one of the most scenic islands north and west of seattle (but south and east of, say, vancouver island). we need to talk about our mutual love of marine mammals in the wild, and grilled salmon on the table. of pristine water views and bucolic wooded woods. of an investment that will secure our place in the annals of family vacations and our place in the sun when global warming really takes hold.

if you don't have a $250 large on hand, no problem. we'll entertain the idea of undeveloped land, upon which we can pitch a nice tent, until such time that we can afford to build something slightly more permanent. like one of these.

keep in mind, the clock's ticking. water-view real estate ain't getting any cheaper, and we ain't getting any younger. i can feel old age settling into my joints as i type.

act now! buy now! location, location, and that third thing, whatever it is!

hyperventilating. must. find. paper bag.


okay. i'm fine. thanks for caring.

we now return you to reality, and our regularly managed expectations.

* * * * *

update: when we find our spot of land, we'll start by building one of these on it. maybe a whole compound full of them. yurts rule.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

to boldly go where others have gone before

i ain't down with this. not one bit.

paramount studios is gearing up to shoot a new "star trek" movie, featuring the characters from the original series.

not the original actors, mind you. same characters, different faces.

i'm a big fan of the star trek franchise. i have been, i realize, for decades. so i should be happy to see another installment, with an all-new (old) enterprise brought to life with the latest digital legerdemain.

but i'm not.

kirk should always be william shatner. sure, he was overwrought, but that was part of the fun. spock and leonard nimoy are indistinguishable. and no one, but no one, will ever replace james doohan in his signature 'scotty' role.

i know, it's silly. it's just hollywood fiction and now completely about the money. i should care about this not one bit.

can't help it. it feels like they're trying to take something valuable from those of us who embraced the originals for all their quirks and flaws. it feels like they should just leave this fond memory of my childhood well enough alone.

it feels like i'm getting old.

take a look at the actors in that link. cripes, they're children. they don't have the chops of deforest kelley or george takei. they have none of the gravitas of patrick stewart or kate mulgrew. to quote shatner from one of the star trek movies, "i don't think these kids can steer."

creatively, i also object to the completely derivative nature of the project. as if the failure of upn's retro 'enterprise' experiment weren't instructive enough. why would anyone want to go down the "butch and sundance--the early days" road again?

it's pointless. and lame. and it diminishes the franchise.

i know. i should wait to see the damn movie. it might be the greatest thing since klingons and tribbles. and maybe i'm just afraid i might like it. because, really, i don't want to like it. i like the old characters, and the old characterizations. the idea of throwing them over for a bunch of upstarts feels, i don't know, disloyal.

after years of watching the plot lines mature, and the actors grow old, and the series itself evolve in myriad directions, i'm loath to let go. then again, enjoying the premise all this time requires a certain suspension of disbelief. perhaps resistance is, in fact, futile.

we'll see. maybe the old magic can happen--one more time.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

the narcolepsy machine

evenings at the spaceneedl household...

we eat dinner. we drink wine. we watch a bit of tv.

and we fall asleep on the couch. or in the chair. or just about anywhere in the vicinity of the fireplace.

it's warm. it's mesmerizing. it's just too darn comfortable.

hours later we wake up, barely coherent, and complain about the fireplace.

we trudge off to bed, and complain that the bedroom is just too darn cold. "it's like the arctic tundra in here," mrs. spaceneedle laments. so we bundle up and we snuggle up and we go comatose for a few brief hours.

the following day, it happens again.

it's become a routine. not an ideal routine, perhaps, but a routine nonetheless.