Here are the last eight movies I watched in 2021. I would say watch all of them although Damacus Cover is the weakest one of all. Definitely watch Looper for its story plus seeing Joseph Gordon-Levitt with blue eyes is a little weird, Niagara for the acting of Frank Sinatra, and Jungle Cruise for its comedy and cheesy lines.
Looper (2012) is about as assassin who meets his older self. It is rated R and is 1 hour and 53 minutes.
Niagara (1953) is about a married couple trying to outwit each other. It is not rated and is 1 hour and 32 minutes.
The Legend of Zorro (2005) is about Zorro’s torn between the duty of being a father and hero. It is rated PG and is 2 hours and 9 minutes.
Damacus Cover (2017) is about an undercover spy on a mission. It is rated R and is 1 hour and 33 minutes.
Night Hunter (2018) is about finding the person responsible for a string of murdered women. It is rated R and is 1 hour and 38 minutes.
The Detective (1968) is about a police detective discovering corruption in his precinct while trying to solve a crime. It is not rated and is 1 hour and 54 minutes.
Jungle Cruise (2021) is about a scientist and skipper in search of magical flower while traveling through the Amazon. It is rated PG-13 and is 2 hours and 7 minutes.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016) is about four underground turtles battling their enemy called Shredder. It is rated PG-13 and is 1 hour and 52 minutes.
Your family welcomes you when you are born. This is the beginning of your life. It is yours and only yours alone. There is no one to take your place. No one wants to go back to being a baby. Sucking on your thumb is out of style. Your family are adults and adults act adultlike. Your friends become your family as you enter classrooms. Girls gravitate toward girls and boys stick with boys. Crayons and stickers are replaced with rulers and calculators. You are still young and make foolish decisions. The boy you thought was cute is really a jerk. Your mother asks you why you are crying. There will be embarrassment if you tell her the reason. You are born that way is something she won't understand. There is nothing to tell you this is normal. She tells you to talk to your father. He would be the worst person to turn to for this problem. It is yours to handle and yours alone. No one else in your life will help you. This is something only you can sort out. The nerds used to be your friends as you skip school. This is the true beginning of your life. A life you do not want to understand. Inhaling your cigarette gives you comfort. It is your confidant now that allows you to be cool. The prom king got his girlfriend pregnant. They aren't keeping the baby is the rumor. You are still the skinny child from high school. The hunger might grow inside you, but you quash it well. No one can ever know the pain. Being the chubby adult is no longer seen as tolerant. People want their celebrities to be size 2 and below. Eating carrots is the only diet. Your admirers give artificial comments on your body. You give them a fake smile as they are your family.
The first U.S. Congress was from 1789–1791 but it wasn’t until the 66th hat there was a Minority Leader and 69th that there was both a Minority and Majority Leader in the Senate. The primary reason I did this was because this week Harry Reid died from Nevada. He served as the Majority Leader from 110th to 113th Congress and Minority Leader in 114th Congress. The longest Republican holding either one is Mitch McConnell. The longest Democrat holding either one is Mike Mansfield. The salary for a senator is $174,000 in 2021 although it was $42,500 in 1971, $7,500 in 1921, and $5,000 in 1871. Here is the list of the Majority and Minority Leaders from 1919 to 2021. Information is from U.S. Senate. If you want to know more from the website, click on the link below.
I have a thing of sending out holiday cards each year. I almost didn’t do it this year, but I did. I send out more cards than I get back. This is okay. I received a letter from an old professor of mine. The only one I talk to still. The only one who is able to see me for me. He adopted two children from South Korea. He’s definitely one of a kind. He has a deep, hearty laugh like you’d imagine Santa having if he was real. After I looked at his card, I opened his letter a little confused. This is what it said.
“I have achieved my 70 years. . . I will now teach, offering my way of life to whomsoever desires to commit suicide by the scheme which has enabled me to beat the doctor and the hangman for 70 years.
I have made it a rule to go to bed when there wasn’t anybody to sit with; and I have made it a rule to get up when I had to. . .
I have made it a rule never to smoke more than one cigar at a time. I have no other restrictions as regard to smoking. I do not know just when I began to smoke. I only know that it was in my father’s lifetime, and that I was discreet. He passed from this life early in 1847, when I was a shade past eleven; ever since then I have smoked publicly. As an example to others, and not that I care for moderation myself, it has always been my rule never to smoke when asleep, and never to refrain when awake.
As for drinking, I have no rule about that. When others drink, I like to help; otherwise I remain dry, by habit and preference. This dryness does not hurt me, but it could easily hurt you, because you are different. You let it alone.
I have never taken any exercise, except sleeping and resting, and I never intended to take any. Exercise is loathsome. And it cannot be any benefit when you are tired: and I was always tired.”
(excerpted from speech of Mark Twain, December 6, 1905, at Delmonico’s Restaurant, at a party celebrating his 70th birthday)
After seeing the year 1847 typed out, I thought did he make a mistake and mean 1947. Then again, his father dying in 1947 would be much too early. I scanned the page and saw the name of Mark Twain (born Samuel Langhorne Clemens). In a way although less cooler, I too am using a pen name because my actual birth name will forever be a mystery even if my “given” name is tattooed on my arm in Korean. As I continued reading the excerpted passage from Mark Twain about this 70th birthday celebration, I thought jeez I really hope I make it to 70 and if time is good to me 80, 90, and maybe even 100. My body and mind will go when it’s ready to go. In the 75 years Mark Twain lived on Planet Earth, he had an impressive catalogue of works. I wondered how he viewed himself when he left the world. Was he satisfied with everything he had accomplished? Did he wish to live longer so he could write more? Or was he glad to be leaving this place for another? He contributed in so many ways to the literary world as did my ex-professor. He is still involved in coaching and judging high school speech and although he has given up being a pizza driver in his retirement, he keeps on doing what he loves. He keeps doing what keeps him waking up each morning despite having health issues. Next year I will turn 46 and while I haven’t smoked in a long time and I can still count on one hand how many times I’ve drank in my whole life (okay maybe two hands but no more than 7), I wonder for as much of me thinking and writing and talking to close friends about my passion and resistance to write, if this struggle will ever end. I highly doubt it. I’m not the only one who feels the energy going out of their wings or the spark going out of their body. While I really haven’t made concrete New Year resolutions, I guess I have made a commitment on paper to do the things I used to do PRE-COVID. My goalpost has moved so far from me that it isn’t even in the vicinity. It’s been hard to see it with my own human eyes. I know I need to get back on track, but I’ve resisted. I used to find comfort in these activities. Now is the time to slowly find the benefits of having a routine each week (not needing it to be perfect), of making progress each week (no matter how small it is), and most of all having some hope along the way.
“New Year’s is a harmless annual institution, of no particular use to anybody save as a scapegoat for promiscuous drunks, and friendly calls and humbug resolutions.”
I’ve never been one to want the year to end as 2021. Of course, I thought the same thing the past two years. It’s never been quite right since 2019. My whole life feels like it’s been uprooted and not in a good way. I moved to another state in 2018. I have pretty much acclimated to living in the desert minus the eczema on my legs. It seems many things have eluded me in life. I want it but whether I get it is a whole different story. I wish I could go back in time and redo many things. I can put all my eight fingers and two thumbs on what could be better in my life. For all the positive thinking the world needs, it’s also important not to sugar coat problems and live in a fantasy world where everything is just peachy. There’s a lot wrong with society, especially U.S. culture and customs as of late, and for this I go into 2022 with some reservations and much caution. I’m a little disillusioned about what is happening in Washington D.C. I’m still getting used to my new work hours and responsibilities. I wonder what 2022 will really have in store for me and how many things I want in life continue to not happen because I don’t have the motivation or want to make the time. Another part of me wonders if it’s not in the cards to begin with and why even attempt or try to make it work. These are topics and emotions many go through in life, but it’s much harder when you don’t seem to have any clear-cut direction or answers. I suppose this is a part of growing up to the reality of simple, mundane, and boring. There is such a thing as running out of energy. The thrill of the ride ended a long time ago. It’s hard to see any kind of surface because you’re too far below the water. You wonder if you have become a kind of mechanical robot within a living human being. There must be more than this disappointment and unfulfillment. There must be something left than this missing spark. No one should find comfort within electronics. It should be found out in nature. Yet, I’m not wanting to venture out in nature. I want to be under my bed covers while watching anything on my TV. Like COVID that keeps hanging around and mutating, I too can’t seem to shake my current situation. I’m feeling a little lost and destination is completely unknown. I suppose this is good and bad. It means nothing is forever. It means I still have about 45 years left to live (I hope). There is time to do more in and with my life. Maybe, I’m looking for a miracle to occur in 2022. I know I could use one. I would also love to win the lottery. Now, I just have to cross state lines into CA and buy a lottery ticket there. There’s more a possibility of me doing anything else but that so all I have left is knowing 2022 is around the corner whether I change or not.
When I opened the front door, I wasn’t expecting anything.
Nothing special that would happen to me tonight.
I ordered my drink and took a couple sips through my plastic straw.
The only thought, at the time, was being relieved it wasn’t paper.
If I wanted floaties in my drink, I would’ve brought my own straw.
I could’ve rolled up my receipt I got from the drug store, or better yet,
rip up the receipt into tiny pieces and with much emphasis,
drop it into my drink as people watched in horror.
That would teach others to be so damn nosy when in a bar.
My butt hadn’t felt the effects of the wooden chair I called home.
I threw the straw onto the floor and gulped down half my drink.
My body needed some good old-fashioned drunkenness quick.
I couldn’t take anymore talking around me.
The men use their mouths as much as the women.
If I wanted to chat with strangers, I would’ve made eye contact.
My drink was empty, and I grabbed a few pretzels.
I wondered what kind of germs had been touching these.
Nothing bad would happen to me by eating these.
When I stuck one in my mouth, even the salt was stale.
If I was being honest, I was here because I didn’t want to be home.