Thursday, February 12, 2009

S Is The Word

Jen of Jen's Book Thoughts kindly gave me a letter so I could participate in this meme. I'll paraphrase the gist of it:

...identify 10 things that you love that start with a particular letter. Hand out a letter to any commenter that asks to participate and continue the meme.

Now I never thought this was going to be easy, but it's even harder than one would think. Sure, you can dilute things enough to fill this out, but then limiting it to just 10 really causes one to self reflect. So, since we're talking about the letter S, I'll not mention the obvious thing that comes to many a mind, sex. And while I enjoy the heck out of it (I have two kids, mind you), it's too easy, probably cheating and much too pedestrian for this lofty a list ;-). So, in no particular order.:

1. Sunsets - I've lived all of my life in Los Angeles. It's home. And whether it has some minuses to go along with its long list of pluses--like all big cities--it also has some of the most breathtaking sunsets on display throughout the entire year. All for free. I've been to the other parts of the country, including the Hawaiian islands (and theirs are magnificent too), but all of those twilights are not in my hometown. And few compare. I consider myself lucky to be in this part of the world looking at that portion of the sky come close of day.

2. Sting Ray - no, not the Dasyatidae. The car. Specifically, the distinct model era of the Chevrolet Corvette that was produced between 1963 and 1967. I don't know any red-blooded American male born anywhere near that period that does not recognize this vehicle, or that striking styling. I can thank Route 66 for this now aged love. Not specifically the historic mother road, but the 60's TV show. And though those TV heros started off using the older CI model, they upgraded and incorporated the really cool Sting Ray version--and I've been sold on it ever since. And when I discovered my favorite book series by Robert Crais, Elvis Cole, some years later, I was only too thrilled to see him drive a 1966 "Jamaica Yellow" Sting Ray convertible. 'Nuff said. 

3. Starkey - as in Carol Starkey, the hard-bitten, ex-LAPD bomb squad heroine from the Crais standalone novel, Demolition Angel--BTW, I'm using here the Corey Meme Corollary (established and validated here, item 4) whereby the first, middle, or last names can be used to meet the letter requirement of any meme. Not only was she a favorite book character of mine in her own right, but her insertion afterwards into the Elvis Cole/Joe Pike universe brought an awesome dynamic into an already great series. Each appearance segment within each of the last three Cole novels was always a highlight for me, especially any of her interactions with the "World's Greatest Detective".

4. Sword & Sandal films - these have a special place in my heart going all the way back to childhood. I fondly recall the times watching, in the theater or at home in front of the TV set, the telling of biblical, Roman, or mythological tales, and being completely enthralled in the epic, adventure and spectacle that was unique to them. From The Robe to Quo Vadis to Ulysses, and all of those in between and beyond. They were such fun! That is, until the deviant Capt. Oveur said that memorable line to the kid Joey in the movie Airplane! Then, it I'd just keep my mouth shut and move on to...

5. Samurai movies - that's right, I'm talking about that one particular film genre from Japan. Known as chambara or "sword-fighting" movies in that part of the world. I first discovered this notable group of cinema during the 70's and found the only outlet, outside the L.A.'s Little Tokyo, was the now defunct mid-city Toho Theatre (it's a church, now). I learned to relish these period dramas, which share a special context with our own "Westerns". Many of these "Easterns" spawned or influenced some of their famous counterparts (Seven Samurai :: The Magnificent Seven, The Hidden Fortress :: Star Wars). Great stuff.

7. Star Trek - I know, I know. He's in tech, so must be a geek (an old one, at that), so of course...he's into Star Trek. Guilty as charged. My fondness for Sci-Fi was influenced early by exposure to some seminal works when they were initially released--this is one of them. Although, I wouldn't call myself a Trekkie or Trekker or even a Niner--I've never attended an Star Trek Convention (please, I'm not that nerdy). But, I have seen  (at least once) every TV episode of every series, except for Enterprise (which was the weakest of the lot), and all of the big screen releases. And, I'm introducing my kids to the newly digitally re-mastered Original Series--much to the chagrin of their mother.

8. Scallops & Shrimp - I was going to put down seafood, but I've become more selective in my old age (and if my acidy stomach has anything to say about it). But these delectable mollusk and crustaceans have never been put on the sideline, ever, when we go to a favorite seafood restaurant of ours, or when we breakout the BBQ. Some grillin', lemon and some crusty artisan bread, and this one is good to go--that, and having a 150mg tablet of Zantac.

9. Summer - while Fall used to be my favorite season, now it's this one that brings me the most enjoyment. What's not to love: my joints creak less, my golf and handicap improves, 4th of July picnics, beach-combing, and I get to run around in short sleeves and shorts. The warm weather in southern California during this time of year brings everyone out. And, as opposed to some places, our humidity remains low (except for a portion of July when the monsoonal moisture comes from up from Mexico), so it's a comfortable heat. Plus it's time to break out some of my favorite summer movie DVDs, like Tequila Sunrise.

10. Sexdecillion - okay, I lied. I had to get sex somehow onto this list, and this seemed like the best way (and least suggestive) to do this. I happen to like this large number name for 10 to the 51st power on the American Short Scale--learned it many moons ago in some distant math class. Plus, it just sounds so good

And there it is. If you'd like to continue and participate in this alphabet meme, please let me know in the comments.


  1. Woo hoo! Very good one! I, too, LOVE summer...and shrimp! Of course I already mentioned I'm a fellow fan of Tequilla Sunrise and Carol Starkey rocks! :) Great list, Michael.

  2. Tequila Sunrise? Yeah, there's the Sex, right there. That pool scene is, um. Yeah, the pool scene.

    Pool scene aside, I love that film.

    Great list, Michael. You make me want to drive around LA in a Sting Ray. Or maybe a GTO, I've always had a fondness for yellow convertible GTOs.

  3. This was a fun meme from both of you, too. It was great to join in. Thanks, guys.