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Livin' on Tulsa Time Christmas 2018: Coda

Updated: Jan 1, 2019

Thursday was a long day in airports and on planes...but, hey, what are holidays without a little travel misadventure? Multiple rebooking was involved.

My initial schedule had me departing Tulsa 11:20 am, arriving Portland around 3:30 pm by way of Las Vegas. The Tulsa flight was delayed just enough for me to miss the connecting flight. The Southwest ticket agent got me on a flight out of Vegas at 9:55 pm. I had a book.

Once in Vegas, facing eight hours in a dark, cramped, dismal airport cluttered with slot machines, I checked again for options and snagged a plane to Sacramento, just getting ready to board as the gate agent handed me my new boarding passes, with connecting flight due into Portland at 6:30 pm. I got to Portland 6:45. My bags came in on the later flight sometime after midnight, necessitating a return to the airport Friday morning to retrieve them. It was worth it.

The Tulsa visit was the best start to finish. We opened gifts on Christmas Eve because my nephew, Dan, had a crack-of-dawn flight back to Minneapolis Christmas morning to celebrate with his girlfriend and her family. Dan is a great guy. So is Trani for getting him to the airport at 5 am. So too, maybe a little, am I for tagging along.

I think they all liked gifts from me, and it goes without saying I was delighted with the new Mizuno shoes, assorted other running gear from the store—shirt, socks, gloves, &c.—and a nice flannel shirt from Eddie Bauer. Santa was good to us. He always is.

Vice was the annual Christmas Day movie. Word on the street is that early reviews have been sharply divided. Critics loved it, despised it, and gave mixed reviews (Alissa Wilkinson and Todd VanDerWerff, Vice doesn’t want to humanize Dick Cheney. So instead, it (maybe) demonizes America, Vice, December 27, 2018). I fall into the mixed category leaning toward negative. Not quite a thumb down. I don't regret seeing it.

Many of the amusing lines and scenes are in the trailer. The historical aspects are interesting, for me a refresher on American history since the 1960s, when I was in my teens, for my niece Rachel nice because she was too young to really take in the aftermath of 9/11 and run-up to the invasion of Iraq, whose fallout is still with us. Highlights, or lowlights, as the case may be, are presented with reasonable accuracy to the best of my memory and knowledge. The acting is fine.

Vice never really engaged me. Dramatic events lack dramatic tension. Artistic flourishes such as the identity and fate of the narrator are so-so. The major characters, Dick and Lynn Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, George W. Bush, have almost no complexity, which may be a reflection of reality. Cheney and Rumsfeld are morally bankrupt clowns whose rise to power presages that of the current occupant of the White House. Lynn Cheney is a dragon lady extraordinaire, or maybe Lady Macbeth Wyoming style. Bush is buffoonish. Surely there is more to him than the movie shows.

Back during the Iraq war years I took to referring to the vice as "that dick" Cheney. I came to view this as a not terribly clever jibe that rose little if any above a cheap shot. I should have been able to do better. After watching the movie I am inclined to think maybe I had it right the first time.

Tulsa photos and a brief video can be found on the Gallery page.

Memo from the Editorial Desk

This is a re-creation of yesterday's post, which was inadvertently deleted while doing website admin. Drat. Content is substantively the same.

Minor revisions were made with the aim for more felicitous expression and to add the observation about artistic flourishes in the Vice review.

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