Ice Breakers – T.V., Film, & Food

If you are new to this blog of the upcoming book Viking Funeral, celebrating the life of Dave Linane with booze, words, and fire, welcome.  The timeline above shows you where we are in the book. While each chapter can stand on its own if you wish to read from the beginning, click here.  More info is available, About Dave or the FAQ section explains who the book is about and the arc of the storyline. If you found me through a grief group, this page of my perspective of why we are all here in this place right now may be helpful. XO M

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T.V.
I am going to start with sports, ABCs Wide World of Sports. He never missed the Wide World of Sports show EVERY week. “The thrill of victory…” I always wondered if hearing that line “…and the agony of defeat.” Reminded him of breaking his neck, especially since those words played over that horrible ski jump crash (crash occurs around 2:40) in the introduction credits of the show, you know what crash I am talkin’ about. That athlete surprisingly only suffered a broken ankle, but we winced every time we watched the intro in the days before a pause or fast forward features were available. I love that there is a manner by which to search references I make in this book that are not that obscure thanks to THE Google.

Dave loved to watch all sports all the time, especially with a friend, my dad, brother, cousins, later my Sven so they could cheer or yell at the T.V. together. I would watch a portion of many of these sportscasts out of boredom, his room, with him (in bed) was still the heart of the house, so I was usually on his couch reading a book. I did not yell at the T.V. though; I would snort at his exuberance not quite openly but not completely to myself either. Boxing was the exception, the one sport that I could not watch with him. I CAN NOT STAND boxing, the sweat and body fluids flying off their distorted faces as punches landed, the spray highlighted in the bright lights for the camera. It is just so gross.

He loved the Olympics, hockey, speed skating, track and field, swimming, diving, all events, even curling! He loved watching Wimbledon tennis matches, the America’s Cup regatta, Indy 500, and surfing. Even golf. My husband laughed, remembering watching a golf tournament with Dave; Dave slept through it as all the best golf fans do. It was not uncommon to find either my dad or Anne’s husband, Randy, my brother Scott, my son Sven, or any one of a number of other guys asleep on Dave’s couch on a Sunday afternoon along with Dave, while a golf tournament was on T.V., everyone it seems sleeps through golf? I would poke my head in, see that the couch was taken, golf was on, and turn around giggling at what felt like a waste of programming time slot that is golf.

Ironically Dave never stopped loving the sport that forever changed his life. He was a true athlete through and through. He never missed a Sunday football game, College bowls, Super Bowls, or Monday Night Football, Monday Night Football recap, or the sports segment on the evening and late news.

Star Trek was an old favorite, the original T.V.series, the second T.V. series with Captain Janeway, then the one with Jean-Luque Picard, and all of the movies have to be in both this and the movie list. I probably watched every episode of the original Star Trek with him as a kid. Cue intro music: Oh-ahhhhhh-o-o-o-o-o-ohhhhhhh. He had a crush on Lt. Uhura. But then again, who didn’t? ‘Shwee’ door closes on the bridge.

Another old favorite of his was the series with David Carradine, the one where he was the Kung Fu transient, Oh, ya, Kung Fu. I was not a huge fan per se but found myself lying on the couch through plenty of episodes anyway. Being faced with burning tattoos into my forearms to move the volcanic hot metal stove to leave the sanctuary meant I would have remained in that building forever.

There was minimal programming content on in those days with what, 11 T.V. channels to choose from. We watched more than a few reruns. Don’t judge.
CHiPs – no comment.
Emergency –no comment.
Adam 12 – reruns- no comment.
He loved lots of other cop shows:
The Rockford Files – James Garner, a man’s man.
Quincy M.D. – Jack Klugman played an interesting twist on a mystery from the medical perspective.
Hill Street Blues – He appreciated the calm character Daniel J Travanti played, but REALLY loved Veronica Hammel, who played Travanti’s onscreen sexy and smart love interest.
NYPD Blue – Sipowicz was his favorite character.
Law and Order, pretty sure he saw every episode of every iteration of this show, Special Victims, Major Crimes, and strait up Law and Order. When the voice-over started following the opening scene, he would say, “You remember this one, don’t you? The fertility dr. impregnates all his patients with his own sperm.” Or whatever the synopsis was, he would describe what was going to happen to double-check to see if I had seen it before changing the channel to find something else. I missed almost a decade of episodes when I was in college, grad school, and raising Sven, so I would have to convince him not to change the channel that I really had in fact NOT seen this one, even though he gave the plot away beforehand every time.

Who didn’t love the nighttime soap drama of Dallas?  Every Friday. Who shot J.R.? To this day, my mom and I cannot mention going to the bank without mimicking Jock Ewing, whose most common line in every episode was that he was “Going to THE BANK” grovel-y emphasis THE BANK.

Does everyone quote lines from movies and T.V., or is that a weird thing? In our family, continuing through to my nieces and nephews and their kids, we all repeat lines from our favorite shows as applicable.

He loved watching comedy stand up. I remember watching Richard Pryor before and after he burned himself, Eddie Murphy, George Carlin. Dave loved to recite the types of farts that exist, according to Carlin, “fizz, fuzz, fizzy-fuzz, rip, shit, tear-ass and growler.” Farts that were dealt by him were identified by one of these descriptors. “Here’s a tear-ass, growler for ya!”

And comedies:

MASH
Soap
Cheers
Mad About You
Friends
The Closer – cop show and funny, win-win.

Later, he began watching cooking shows like Emeril Legasse. He LOVED watching Emryl and said “Bam” all the time after being indoctrinated by the show. I was not a huge fan and didn’t understand his BAM references, especially since he also used them outside the cooking. He also watched the Food Network and became an expert back-seat driver chef by doing so. As I mention elsewhere in the book, he would attempt to talk anyone into cooking something he had seen on the Food Network and wanted to try. My mom, Jaclyn, or my Sven participated in some of these back-seat chef scenarios with mixed results. The experience was always fun, but the food was where the mixed results come into play. You could never put too much cayenne on anything in Dave’s opinion. “Needs more cayenne.”

He also enjoyed late-night talk shows. Our parents usually went to bed at 11:30 after the news. Dave would sometimes watch the late shows if I stayed up late and watched with him because he needed someone to turn them off and lower his bed for the night. He loved Johnny Carson, David Letterman, Joan Rivers, Conan O’Brian, Jay Leno, and similarly Saturday Night Live. He preferred the original cast with John Belushi, Dan Ackroyd, Jane Curtain, Bill Murray, and Gilda Radner.

***

Movies:
When HBO and cable came on the scene in the mid-70s, it was a huge hit with Dave. It was so great to have so much more programming to watch and without commercials, actual MOVIES! This is how he came to see everything before I did, usually years before me, certain content I was not old enough to see when it first arrived on cable, which was a great deal of content. He curated what he thought I would enjoy and watch it patiently again. In the case of scary movies, he would watch M.E. when the scary scenes came along and laugh at my reaction, EVERY TIME!

I tried not to overthink his favorite movies. Two came to mind. I sent Brian a text with this idea of Ice Breakers and asked what he thought Dave’s favorite movie was, and his first thought was one of the two movies I had thought of, so I had to be on the right track.

Little Big Man – with Dustin Hoffman was a favorite and referenced a few times in this book because it is one of my favorites as well as so intertwined with my memories of Dave that they go together. He especially loved the relationship between the main character played by Dustin Hoffman and his adoptive Native American father. Dave loved to use the phrase Faye Dunaway said, he in a falsetto voice of a feminine Southern Belle: “I will avert my eyes.” I wondered if he related to the Indian chief who thought his time had come and that he should lay down and die but didn’t because the magic didn’t work. So he had to continue living his life.

Red Sun– With Charles Bronson. He loved Charles Bronson, Clint Eastwood, Steve McQueen era actors. He loved action movies; he was a total guy in that regard. He also loved roles or stories that featured the hero following a strict code of honor, protecting someone, doing the right thing, and in general, kicking ass.

Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, Cool Hand Luke, Nobody’s Fool, Three Days the Condor, The Sting. Buddy movies or anything with either Paul Newman or Robert Redford, he enjoyed.

All of the Godfathers, with much debate and opinion about which was the best. Apocalypse Now. Much quoted, “Are you an assassin?” “I am buddy!”

The Princess Bride – silly funny movies were up his alley. Monty Python and the Holy Grail or Life of Brian.

Alien- The first one! Besides loving Sci-Fi, he also LOVED a really suspenseful thriller. He LOVED sharing this movie with me. When that alien octopus-like thing flew out of the pod onto the guys face in the first tense scene, I remember clearly seeing watching me him out of the corner of his eye, just waiting for me to…jump!

Me: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Dave: Uh-Uh-Uh, that seal bark of a laugh on the uptake of air!

Me: That scared the FIRE out of me (I was too young to use curse words publicly but used the word FIRE interchangeably with FUCK in my head)

Dave: In space, no one can hear you scream…

In the entirety of the movie, the only character he hated to see die was the captain (Tom Skerritt’s character). But he appreciated his sacrifice and bravery for his crew.

Predator- Can’t mention Alien without the crossover of Predator.

First Blood– Because…fair is fair, and they drew first blood.

The Silence of the Lambs. I was an adult when I saw this with him for the first time. I was old enough to be able to deal with the subject matter and should have been old enough to have dealt with the emotional aspects of it as well. I have seen this movie four and a half times since and had a nightmare following the first and subsequent four-and-a-half viewings. Nightmare, bigtime! I am not into self-torture, but I LOVED that movie performance every time because it was so well produced. Dave loved to joke, making that disgusting noise Anthony Hopkins’ character Dr. Lector made when he described eating a census man’s liver with a Chianti “sv-sv-sv.”

The Hobbit. He loved all the movies. My Pre-cioussssssssss! That is about all I can say about this or any of the following J.R.R. Tolkien movies. I enjoyed the books more.

Rocky, the first one, Die Hard, all of them, Mad Max, what male doesn’t love this movie, the franchise, and the remake as well as the pathetic attempt to capture the same audience with water, Waterworld? I was not into any of them and would roll my eyes if I entered his room to hang out, and any of these were on, I would exit to do literally anything else.

Jaws. I watched Jaws for the first time with him, and of course, it scared the shit out of me. I never swam in a pool at night after that, an irrational fear that I, unfortunately, passed onto my son by way of the same movie. I joked that Dave’s head floated about the surface of the hedge outside our front door when he cruised by like a shark fin. He began making the ‘Na-Nuh’ music sounds of the scary bass notes when he was passing by for my entertainment.  He also inserted those same scary ‘Na-nuh’ notes in the event of anything remotely scary or to create random tension in silly situations, often when a forkful of food was headed his direction. I would laugh, which sometimes caused me to spill, but always a laugh because it is just so funny. There were plenty of times I had to admonish him to “Stop doing the na-nuh na-nuh na-nuh!” because it was distracting me with laughter and impeded the progress of whatever was taking place. But of course, Dave had plenty of both patience and time.

***

Some Silly Stuff:
I realized that when I would enter Dave’s presence, either in his room or outside, he didn’t enter conversations like most people. Probably because of his familiarity with those of us closest to him. After the “Hey.” “Hey.” Acknowledging each other, he would simply begin engaging conversations by sharing relevant observations of things he had seen or learn, besides musical factoids, he would go on about actors with questions like “You recognize that voice (Darth Vadar’s for example)?” Sometimes I could figure it out, sometimes not. “It’s James Earl Jones!” He announced excitedly! I never in my life saw a movie with James Earl Jones before or after Star Wars, so some things were pointless to ask me. He beamed with the answers. Not in a jerky gloating sort of way, he was so excited about it, which made it perfectly fine to be educated on such things. “You know who she’s (Kyra Sedgwick-The Closer) married to don’t you?” ‘No.” “KEVIN BACON!!” “Six degrees of Kevin Bacon, THAT Kevin Bacon? Hmmm. Interesting.” He also would have loved the Internet Movie Data Base IMDB for looking up such things on…a smartphone, man, would he have loved to have had a smartphone too! I am always on IMDB while we are watching movies or T.V. because I am forever curious about useless Hollywood among other useless trivia thanks to Dave.

On one occasion, He identified Billy Baldwin as Alec Baldwin’s brother in one of his early movies Three Of Hearts. He added that there were four Baldwin brothers. I have no idea if all four Baldwins are in show biz or not, but I invariably mistook Mathew Modine for Billy Baldwin or the other way around ALL. THE. TIME. It was comical. I phrased the question, “Is that a Baldwin?” so many times that he, as patient a human as he was, he would comically cut me off at “Is that a-“and answer, “NO!” I would shout in response, “Come ON! You don’t what I was going to say! You should have waited for me to finish my question because I MIGHT have got it right THIS time.” “NOPE, It’s the opposite of whatever you were going to say!” I would be quiet just a moment and quickly sneak out “Mathew Modine?” “NOOOOOOO!” To which we would be laugh.

It became a running interchangeable joke when asking a question about anything in the world. If we were at a restaurant perusing and chatting about the menu, “What looks good to you?” “I think I am going to have the TWO Baldwin Brothers (chicken tacos) with beans and rice.” He would correct me and say, “Noooo, those are Mathew Modines.” For the record, I never misidentified Alec Baldwin. Wait, maybe I mistook him for Mathew Modine in Beetlejuice. I take it back. They all look so similar when they were young! In my defense, I showed my husband side by side images of a young Alec and Billy Baldwin and Mathew Modine. He could see how I could mistake them in any context movie or taco orders.

Speaking of food, Dave enjoyed staple meat and potatoes type food, steak and baked potato, meatloaf and mashed potatoes, a hamburger and fries. His other food group included anything with salsa. A Meat and Cheese burrito from his favorite place in San Bernardino, Rosa Marias, on Sierra Way was enjoyed by way of him drinking a swig of their tabasco-esque hot sauce following every bite. Dessert was never a disappointment to him. He loved everything, cookies, cake, brownies, ice cream, cherry pie. He loved them all.

His dislikes in this world were few but included any kind of fish. Yogurt pronounced as I mentioned as if he were throwing up Yo-GURT. Lastly, his all-time food nemesis, we all have one, was garlic. He had a very bad night of food poisoning as a child. He was staying the night at our parent’s dear friend, Suzie’s house with her kids. They, all the kids, must have had Norovirus. Suzie’s older girls and Dave threw up so many times in one night that between Suzie having to wash several sets of bedding and all the kids barfing, her septic system overflowed. Needless to say, it was a dramatic night in his life and burned in his memory by way of stomach acid in his throat and contents therein flying full force out of his little body. They had spaghetti and garlic bread that night for dinner. The garlic bread, taste of garlic, became his proverbial worm that many people cringe and swear off after drinking too much tequila. Everyone has a thing, a worm they cannot eat or drink under any circumstance. That something was anything garlic forward for Dave.

Dave and most of the people in our family community make jokes in relation to the best lines in our favorite movies or songs as mentioned. I don’t know how many times I can say or hear in wildly myriad contexts, the misinterpreted line, “A dingo ate my baby.” “We’re gonna need a bigger boat.” Or “You talkin’ to M.E.?” And still laugh.  Life imitates art. The art we surround ourselves with, music, movies, literature, visual arts, dance, I am going to throw food in the art category as well are needed to fill our lives in a rich and meaningful way.  Our favorites in a way define us, separate from our character, but frames our view of the world, the jokes we make and get, the way we pursue our own art and live. Dave lived through these art forms much more fully, more aware than he ever did before breaking his neck which caused him to be forced to see everything in a very different beautiful new light of day. These details are meant to provide something beyond his lovely character rather than leave one simply visualizing Dave in the mind’s eye, but relating to him through these silly but genuine idiosyncracies.

© Mardi Linane Copyright 2020

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