Musings & Thoughts for October 9, 2022, or: What’s on My Mind Today Redux

My mom (center) wins the “Best Legs” contest in a Paris (France) hotel in the early 1960s.

Things on My Mind, Sunday, October 9, 2022:

Early this morning – shortly after midnight, to be exact, I was still awake and, as is all too common with me these days, in a deep funk.

I should have been asleep on my futon – I don’t dare call it a bed, because although it functions almost like a bed, it’s not as comfortable as one – at that ungodly hour. In fact, I had dozed off on the family room couch while watching Manhunt: The Inside Story of the Hunt for Bin Laden. But the drowsiness wore off during the short time span between getting off the couch, ejecting the DVD from the family room Blu-ray player, turning off lights, and ambling down the hall to my room, and I was wide awake when Saturday ended, and Sunday began.

If you are a regular visitor to my blog, you know that my life since 2015 has undergone vast changes. My mother died, I X’d my half-sister Vicky out of my life because she’s – in essence – a narcissist who is not as prominent as Donald Trump but shares a lot of his personality traits, I moved out to the west coast of Florida because I could not afford to live in Miami solo, and had more ups and downs than a roller coaster ride on Coney Island or the Miami-Dade County Youth Fair & Exposition.’

Dad was astonished (and a bit annoyed) when he was told that Mom had just won the Lido Hotel’s “Best Legs in the Restaurant” contest. (The original photo was stolen by my half-sister in 2015; I had taken a photo – of a photo! – of it with my Samsung smartphone before then, otherwise I would not have been able to post this image.)

Also, if you’re familiar with my content, there are certain times in the calendar when I have a hard time coping with negative emotions, birthdays of lost loved ones, or sad anniversaries. July is one of those dreaded months because my mother died on July 19, 2015, as is February, because my dad died on February 13, 1965 – less than three weeks before my second birthday.

Well, October is also one of those bleak months because my dad’s birthday falls on October 9 – today – and my mom’s falls on the 17th.  I never got to say “Happy birthday” to my father, at least not at an age in which I could remember, and I don’t remember my mother commemorating his birthday during all the years that we lived together. The reverse is true of my mom; when Vicky and I were still civil to each other – cos Mom was still around, you see – we always celebrated our shared parent’s special day as a family, although in Mom’s last years Vicky tried to make the occasion a contest about who could get the most ostentatious presents. (This annoyed both Mom and me because Vicky made approximately $25 an hour as a registered nurse, so obviously she could outspend cash-strapped me.)

So, yeah. I knew that today is the ninth day of the tenth month. I also knew that my father would have been 103 years old today if he had been granted a longer, and healthier, lifespan. The fact that he died the way that he did in 1965 still irks me, so I was on edge last night when I went to my Facebook page and wrote this post:

My father’s official Aerocondor company photo. (Author’s collection)

Today would have been my dad’s 103rd birthday. Since he was a man of his time (he smoked cigarettes and drank martinis), I don’t think he would have lived to be in his 80s, much less the 90s or 100s.

Alas, we’ll never know how old he might have lived to be; he died only a few months after his 45th birthday and 20 days before my second in a plane crash that was caused by bad management decisions on the part of AESA, the Salvadoran airline that owned the plane flown by my father and his 24-year-old co-pilot…a plane that crashed near Miami International Airport on the morning of February 13, 1965.

Since he died when I was too young to remember him, I always feel a bit out of sorts when I realize that I’m far older than he ever got to be. I do know that my living relatives who did meet him when they were young all say he was one heck of a guy, so I can honestly say that if I am ever remembered half as fondly as he is now, I’ll be happy.

‘A Simple Ad’ Gets a Review…at Long Last

Adria and Juan in A Simple Ad.

I don’t have much in the way of news; this weekend is like the previous weekend, and I have not done anything worth writing about. I am not dating anyone, not even in the “friends with benefits” way that was how my 2009-2011 next-to-last relationship with a woman can be best described. I also live in a state where real estate prices are steep and getting steeper, so I can’t afford to find affordable housing either in the Tampa Bay area or elsewhere in Florida. And as you can see from my blog content, I have a ton of stuff to review; I just lack the desire to write reviews of the stuff I’ve watched or otherwise enjoyed recently.

The only thing of note is that fellow former Epinions reviewer and present blogger Denise Longrie today posted on her blog, Reviews of Old and New Stories. Mostly Old, a review of A Simple Ad, the first script I’ve written that made the transition from page to screen. (In this case, it is a direct-to-YouTube short, but I’ll gladly take the official “Written by” credit!)

John (Juan Carlos Hernandez) fiddles with a skateboard in A Simple Ad.

I’ve mentioned elsewhere that A Simple Ad came about because actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez (High Crimes, Cop Out, War of the Worlds) asked me if I could write a two-minute-long short. I said I’d never written anything that brief (which would entail writing a two-page script), but that I’d do my best to do so.

Alas, as hard as I tried, I ended up giving Juan a somewhat longer script, but he and his wife Adria liked what I turned in (via email) and shot it without too many changes to the dialogue.

A Simple Ad has been on YouTube since 2019, but it had not been reviewed, so I’ve asked a few people that I know from Epinions to write honest, impartial reviews of it. One of those Epi-buddies, Denise Longrie, posted her contribution this morning; hopefully there will be one or two more reviews that I can then add to the External Reviews section of A Simple Ad’s Internet Movie Database (IMDb) page.

Here, in case you are interested, are both the movie and Denise’s review. (Thank you, Denise!)

The Movie

The Review

Reviews of Old and New Stories. Mostly Old: A Simple Ad (2019)

Photo by Ekaterina Nt on

This is the only bit of “newsworthy” material that I can share today, so I’ll just close this post here. Until next time, Dear Reader, stay safe, stay healthy, and I’ll catch you on the sunny side of things.

Published by Alex Diaz-Granados

Alex Diaz-Granados (1963- ) began writing movie reviews as a staff writer and Entertainment Editor for his high school newspaper in the early 1980s and was the Diversions editor for Miami-Dade Community College, South Campus' student newspaper for one semester. Using his experiences in those publications, Alex has been raving and ranting about the movies online since 2003 at various web sites, including Amazon, Ciao and Epinions. In addition to writing reviews, Alex has written or co-written three films ("A Simple Ad," "Clown 345," and "Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss") for actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez. You can find his reviews and essays on his blogs, A Certain Point of View and A Certain Point of View, Too.

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