The Interview

He should have lied.

The minute Jared got a look at the man on the other side of the desk, he should have made up some excuse and got the hell out of there, but…

He had student loans to pay, and he was fed up with the short-term contract jobs, and he really needed to move out of his parents’ place —

“U of T,” Nicholas Allan Noyes, President and CEO said, reading from the resume in front of him. “Master of Arts in Ancient History.”

“Yes.”

Jared didn’t add a sir to the yes because this wasn’t the military, he wasn’t a freaking boy scout, and — bullshit. He didn’t say sir because, oh God, he so wanted to.

“Latin?” Noyes asked. “Bet that comes in handy.”

“Not so far.”

That got him a smile. Fortunately, it was there and gone in a nanosecond because Jared couldn’t think when Noyes smiled at him. He was having enough trouble concentrating even without the smile. Concentrating on anything, but the fact that there was something about this guy that just flat-out did it for him. Something? Hah! Make that everything. The air of command, the stone jaw… God, even his hands—

“I see you’ve moved around a bit since graduation,” Noyes said, tapping the resume.

“Yes, contract work mostly. I’d like to find a more permanent home.”

With you, Jared thought, but he didn’t say that. He wasn’t psychotic.

Noyes sat back in his high-backed, high-tech, black leather throne, Siberian blue eyes regarding Jared across the expanse of the polished slab of wood between them. “And what makes you think you’d be an asset to MicroSource?”

Jared trotted out his customary spiel, trying to sound intelligent when all he really wanted to know was what Noyes looked like under that bespoke suit and if he had a chance in hell of finding out …

Aimer at Amazon

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Get Your Geek On

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

Still remember the opening to the original Star Wars movie? That theatrical crawl, the gold words marching off the screen into the distance? 

Still find yourself doing a really bad imitation of Darth Vader come Halloween? Saying, “Luke, I am your father,” in your deepest voice and brandishing a plastic lightsaber?

What if that lightsaber wasn’t plastic? What if you could fence like the guys in the movie, slashing and feinting, saving the world from the dark force?

Thanks to the French Fencing Federation, you can.

Well, maybe not you…or me, but someone willing to put in the time to learn how to fence? Definitely.

The federation has officially recognized lightsaber dueling as a competitive sport.

The Académie de Saber Laser isn’t messing about. They’ve standardized the rules, and ensured that all participants are equipped with the right protection, because the bouts can be dangerous. The polycarbonate blades of the LED-lit lightsabers have been known to break bones.

Just to keep it interesting, the competitors fence in a dark space—making the glow of the weapons truly visible.

jediChristope Ena / Associated Press

So far, no Jedi costumes available, but stay tuned, the Académie is working on it.

Tired of the gym? Maybe, it’s time to get your Geek on 🙂

Aimer at Amazon

 

 

The Kiss

Two weeks ago, on a Sunday, George Mendonsa died. He was 95.

This may not mean much to you, it certainly didn’t to me. I had no idea who the guy was, but…

I’d seen his picture. We’ve all seen his picture. This picture…

The Kiss 11945, Times Square, New York.

People poured into the streets to celebrate the end of WWII and a kiss was caught on camera. That image has become a romantic icon.

The moment captured though, according to the two people involved, wasn’t romantic at all.

George Mendonsa and Greta Zimmer Friedman weren’t a couple, they didn’t even know each other.

George, who’d served on a destroyer during the war, saw a woman in a nurse’s uniform and wanted to say thank you to all the nurses who’d cared for the wounded sailors on the hospital ship.

Greta, who passed away in 2016 at 92, remembered not having much choice in the matter. A stranger grabbed her, kissed her in celebration. In her own words, “It wasn’t a romantic event.”

But, the camera didn’t know that.

Here’s the thing about cameras, they see everything, and interpret nothing.

That’s our job.

Aimer at Amazon

 

 

 

 

Because It’s Right

Life has gotten complicated. With new options come new questions… and new answers.

My daughter has two children, they both call her Daddy — because my daughter’s wife is Mommy.

Takes a bit of getting used to, doesn’t it?

From multi-generational, to nuclear, to blended, the concept of family continuously evolves, as we evolve.

Oftentimes, the law is slow to adapt to these changes, but in California this week they got it right.

Aidan Dvash-Banks, born in Canada to American and Israeli fathers, (Andrew and Elad Dvash-Banks) had been granted U.S. citizenship. His twin brother, Ethan Dvash-Banks had not.

At first glance, this doesn’t seem blatantly discriminatory, or it doesn’t if you don’t know much about citizenship law which I don’t. It seems logical that the biological son of the American gets citizenship status and the biological son of the Israeli doesn’t…

Yeah, no.

If Andrew had married a woman both boys would have been granted citizenship. The government failed to recognize the Dvash-Banks marriage as legitimate. They applied a born out of wedlock policy to the twin boys.

Fortunately, District Judge John F. Walter explained to the U. S. government where they had gone wrong.

Both boys have now been granted citizenship and the family is healthy, and happy, and living in L.A.

Boys

Family is about heart, some people know that 🙂

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Hearts and Flowers?

Personally, I’m not into the whole Valentine’s Day hoopla. That heart-shaped box was a big deal back in high school, the year I was actually dating someone when February 14th rolled around, but I’m over it now 🙂

I don’t know what the day means to any of you, but I’m betting no one does Valentine’s Day like Paul Lewis. No hackneyed card, or mediocre chocolates for our boy, Paul.

The Victoria, B.C. man, finding a creative use for all the white stuff lying around his backyard, built his girlfriend an igloo.

igloo

The home-made snow house, featuring solar-powered lights, a fire pit, and a bed kept  Paul and Julie warm as they toasted each other over a glass of wine.

And, in case you’re wondering…

Yes, they spent the night outside, inside their bubble of snow 🙂

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Watching You

We’re all paranoid these days, with Google listening to our every word and Facebook tossing our personal information around like so much confetti.

My phone reads my emails and pops flight information into my calendar. Convenient, but just a tad creepy.

And yes, I can search Incognito to keep targeted ads from talking to me on my tablet. Psst, did you forget? Don’t you want to buy…? 

I can, but I don’t.

Truth is, as pathetic as I am with tech, I like it. Forgetting my cell phone at home makes me break out in a cold sweat. I thank Google just to hear her say, “No problem.” How cute is that?

Am I aware that some machine somewhere is crunching numbers about my spending habits, that Big Brother is watching me?

Hmmm…

Just a thought, but it occurs to me that while the tech aspect may be new, someone was always watching…

european cruise 2010 259 (2)The Palace of the Grand Master, Rhodes, Greece.

Aimer at Amazon

Winter Whining

Over a weekend, in the middle of January, winter bared its teeth and bit us hard.

For those of you who remember the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson…

Drum roll… How cold was it?

Cold enough to dig out the winter hat I bought in Russia and thought I’d never wear.

Cold enough to actually wear it.

Cold enough for the snow to protest with a high pitched squeak as you drive over it.

Cold enough for frost bite to threaten any sliver of exposed skin.

Cold enough for me.

In proof of the old assertion, This Too Shall Pass, I offer…a scene from summer  🙂

Entrance to the Acropolis Buildings in Athens

Remember what sweltering in +34C was like?

Yeah, me neither 🙂

Aimer at Amazon

 

Winter Wise

Your walkway is buried under two centimetres of ice, your driveway is a skating rink, and you’re holed up inside waiting for summer.

The snowplow cleared your street by depositing thirty centimetres of frozen slush at the end of your driveway, and you’re booking the first flight to Hawaii.

Endure or escape, those are your only options when Frosty the Ice Man stands in for Mother Nature — or are they?

Cory Hamilton in Saint John, New Brunswick thinks not.

To paraphrase the old proverb, When life hands you lemons… 

When Mother Nature throws down the ice, get your skates out 🙂

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Bandersnatch

Turns out, my smart TV isn’t smart enough — Remember when televisions sat in a box, were dumb as toast, and you had them repaired instead of buying a new one? Probably not, but I do 🙂

My laptop might be slightly more intelligent than my TV, but I didn’t inquire. For Bandersnatch, I wanted a big screen.

A little whining to younger family members got me the loan of a gizmo that temporarily increased my TV’s IQ and voila — I could now access the You Choose features that make Netflix’s production of Black Mirror’s Bandersnatch so intriguing.

Mind you, anything from Black Mirror is intriguing. Tales of a future just close enough to today’s reality to be deeply disturbing. I’m a fan.

This time, though I was more interested in the interactive format than the plot …

A few minutes into the movie and you’re given your first opportunity to affect the story line. Do you choose Door A or Door B?

Doesn’t matter, the fun is in the choosing. It’s incredibly satisfying watching the actor on screen follow the path you set. You get to play God from your couch. Very cool, but …

The novelty wears off quickly. The emotional charge you get from pressing that button becomes more of an intellectual experience. What happens if I …? Where will this end …? When will it end …?

The choices are all yours. You’re given many opportunities to choose and continue the narrative or exit to credits. It’s fascinating. You’re an active participant rather than a passive voyeur.

Multiple choices mean multiple endings. Interactive movies are not the shared experience we’ve become used to.

And that too, is fascinating 🙂

Aimer at Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Proposal

“I’ve been thinking,” Martin said, spreading low-fat margarine over his toasted bagel. “We should get married.”

Charlie lowered his newspaper, looked at Martin over the top of his reading glasses. “What?”

“You heard me.”

“No.” Charlie went back to reading his paper.

“No, you didn’t hear me or no, you don’t want to get married?” Martin asked, grimacing as he bit into his bagel. It wasn’t the same without cream cheese and jam.

Charlie’s head popped over the paper again. “What’s the matter with you?”

“Nothing, I want to get married.” Martin said, setting his bagel down and picking up his coffee.

Charlie flapped the newspaper pages, but he didn’t look up. “No, you don’t.”

Martin snorted. “You mean you don’t.”

“Don’t tell me what I mean, you know I hate that.”

“Why? You tell me what I think.” Martin popped the last piece of bagel into his mouth and dusted toast crumbs off his fingers.

Charlie folded his newspaper, pushed away from the table. Thirty years with Martin had taught him when to retreat. “I’m off to the gym.”

“I don’t know why you bother going. It’s not like you actually work out,” Martin said, getting up to slot his breakfast plate into the dishwasher.

“Should have thought that was obvious,” Charlie said, rounding the kitchen table, and pinning Martin to the counter. “I go to get away from you.”

Laughter spilling into Martin’s face, he slipped Charlie’s reading glasses off, and set them on the counter. “Get out of here, moron.”

At the kitchen door, Charlie turned back, raised an eyebrow at Martin. “You bought rings, didn’t you?”

“Thought you were leaving?” Martin asked, pouring himself a second cup of coffee.

“Ah, shit.” 

Martin sipped his coffee, heard the hangers clang in the hall closet as Charlie got his jacket. 

“No reception,” Charlie called down the hallway to the kitchen, closing the front door behind him.

Ever the romantic, his Charlie.

Aimer at Amazon