Omir the Storyteller

Stories. Music. Politics. Technology. Baseball. Friends. Family. Potrzebie.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Sky High

Stories, sort of

OK, I'll admit it. Every now and then I'll go out to the movies and watch some mindless piece of eye candy. What can I say?

So anyway, last night we went to see Sky High, a recent teen flick from Disney. Hey, my wife wanted to go. My daughter wanted to see it. My granddaughter wanted to see it. And truth be told, I thought it looked like a couple of hours of just turning my brain off and enjoying something with my family.

Will Stronghold is an average kid. In his case, that's a very bad thing, because his mother and father are both superheroes. In fact in the world of this movie superheroes (and villains) are common enough that there's a high school for them. Everyone expects Will's superpowers to have manifested themselves by the time he starts his freshman year at his father's alma mater, Sky High (which is literally several miles above the earth). Unfortunately, they haven't shown up yet, so instead of being a hero, he's relegated to being "hero support" -- a sidekick, along with the other kids who either haven't manifested their powers or (in the case of Will's girlfriend) don't want to show them in public.

The movie is of course a superhero spoof, but it's also a riff on the "in kids vs. out kids" dynamic of high school. It has some great campy performances by Kurt Russell (who is obviously having fun) and Lynda Carter, whose exit line is one of the best in the movie, if somewhat particular.

Omir sez check it out.

Thursday, August 11, 2005



You can guarantee that when a story on the P-I web page has a teaser that reads Ex-Mariner Cameron hurt in collision, it's going to get my attention.

Here's the short version of it: Cammy and fellow outfielder Carlos Beltran were both going for the ball full tilt, neither one saw the other, and they ran into each other. Beltran got up and got off the field on his own several minutes later. Cammy was responsive and at one point shielded his eyes from the sun while being attended to, but he was taken off the field on a stretcher with his neck in a brace. He has a concussion and a broken nose, at least.

Mike Cameron has always been one of my favorite players. It's not that he's the best player out there -- although seeing him in center field in 2000 for the Mariners took some of the sting out of losing Griffey, defensively at least -- but he just seems like he genuinely enjoys being out there playing the game. In an era where players are getting millions of dollars to play a kids' game and all too often treat it like a business, having someone with an attitude of "Enjoy my enjoyment" out there playing strikes me as a breath of fresh air.

One of my Great Moments In Bad Timing was, back when Cammy first signed with the Mariners he was doing an autograph session in the building I worked in. Westlake Center has offices on the upper floors and a mall on the lowest ones, and one day in April 2000 I saw a sign that said Mike Cameron of the Seattle Mariners was going to be at the Westlake Center Lenscrafters that day. Of course I found out about this about fifteen minutes after he was scheduled to leave. I believe the echo from my scream of frustration finally stopped kicking around the atrium sometime last year. Part of the reason for the extended reverbration was that eventually I figured out he probably stayed long after he was scheduled to leave. He's just that kind of guy.

Hurry up and get well, Cammy. Baseball needs more guys like you out there.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Someday The Truth May Come Calling


Once upon a time there was a man who had a five-year-old son. He loved his son very much, of course, and cared for him as any parent would.

One day when he had to leave his village on business, the man left his son in the care of a neighbor. The neighbor had a son just the same age, and the two of them were happy to have some time to spend together.

While the man was gone, the village was raided by bandits. The bandits burned, and looted, and pillaged, and siezed captives, as bandits do. They grabbed the man's son and took him away with them. The boy's playmate was not so lucky, for the bandits burned the neighbor's house to the ground, and their entire family burned in the fire.

When the man returned to his village and saw what had happened, he was overcome with grief. In the ashes of his neighbor's home he found a body, burned beyond recognition, that he took to be his son's. He carried the body away, buried it, and mourned for his son every day thereafter.

About four years later the boy, left unattended by the bandits, managed to escape. He made his way back to the village, and though the memory of his past was dim, he remembered his father's name and went looking for him.

His father had rebuilt his house, with a little shrine to his son, and was sitting quietly before the shrine when he heard a knock at the door. The father went to answer the door and saw a young boy standing there.

"Father?" the boy asked. "Is that you?"

The father looked at the boy, said "Go away," and closed the door.

The boy knocked again, louder this time. "Father! I have returned!"

The father threw the door open and yelled at the boy. "Stop mocking me!" he said. "Isn't my grief enough? Go away and stop causing me pain!" and closed the door again.

The boy pounded at the door, cried, yelled for his father, but was only met with threats and curses, and eventually silence. At last the boy turned and went away, never to return.