Car Photo of the Day: Rust never sleeps.

This old Ford Model T truck was sitting behind the barn at RPM when I stumbled upon it last spring. I was intrigued by the pattern of the rust stains on this fender. They showed the trails of previous precipitation and the fact that it was lightly raining when I was out there made it seem that much more poignant. Rust indeed never sleeps.

Movie Review: Mi Mejor Enemigo (My Best Enemy)

I am a movie junkie and I have a huge NetFlix queue. I love to watch movies as I appreciate them as an art form. I imagine if I had any exposure to a movie camera as a boy I would have pursued a career in film making, likely as a cinematographer. I have no desire to act or direct or anything like that, but I love seeing life, light, and space through a lens. I can watch a movie in any language and appreciate it for what is on the screen. My NetFlix queue started out several years ago as this huge “gotta see everything ever made” pile of eccentricities and is now down to “only” a few hundred films.

When Christopher was in Chile (two years ago now… amazing how time flies) I threw some examples of Chilean cinema into the queue. Machuca is one I actually watched while Chris was in Chile, and I found it a wonderful view of astounding historical events from a perspective that provides a unique vision: that of a child. I highly recommend seeing it. I did not know of Mi Mejor Enemigo until I saw it mentioned in Wayne Bernhardson’s blog in a post last month. I tossed into my queue and set it to a place that would coincide with Christopher’s Spring Break home from College. I watched it the other night and found it to be a very nice movie. VERY well photographed, and a good story. I had to resort to subtitles, as my Spanish stops at “Dos grandes cerveças por favor.” The tragicomic story takes place in the midst of the Beagle Conflict which occurred at the end of 1978, where Argentina was preparing to invade Chile over a border dispute concerning 3 islands at the southern tip of the continent. Rather than focus on the broader conflict, this movie revolves around 12 men, two squads of 6, from either nation, essentially lost in the featureless plains of southern Patagonia. Each is lead by a practical Sergeant, and filled with semi-stereotypical soldiers. The shy & sensitive city kid pining for his girl; the hard-core soldier ready to die for his country; the country bumpkin – in this case a more indigenous, less-European looking fisherman from Chiloe. While stereotypical in nature, the characters are not caricatures however and each is very believable and sympathetic. Through accident, and the sheer expansive and featureless space they occupy the Chilean squad has no real idea of their location, but somehow find themselves in a trench opposite a squad of Argentines. A unique aspect here is that unlike many international conflicts the soldiers share a common language, and are able to relate to each other. First they trade tea for cigarettes, using a sheep dog to run between their trenches. They then come together to assist an injured soldier. Food is shared, along with water, though the dog is lost in the process (I won’t share how though.) This escalates into football matches, and settles into an easy truce after they establish, through mutual agreement a “border” between them. (Something the two countries themselves did with the mediation of the Pope at the same time.) While neither is the “main character” the two Sergeants, wonderfully played by Erto Pantoja (Chile) and Miguel Dedovich (Argentina) are really what hold this movie together. They represent the practical and reasonable while the emotional and unreasonable soldiers they lead, and countries they represent ride a seesaw. There is all sorts of subtle humor here, as well as pathos. I imagine for those who fully understand the language and cultures involved there is even more.

I haven’t had a chance to confer with Christopher about the movie yet (he’s spent the majority of his Spring Break borrowing my car and visiting friends he has not seen since summer!) to see how well it dovetails with his experiences with Chileans. I did note a character referring to all of the Chileans as “northerners” despite every one of them being from places in what I would consider southern or central Chile. Christopher’s time in Chile was indeed spent in northern Chile, a place the Chilean’s call “the little North” as it is situated in the southern half of the Atacama desert, specifically the town of Copiapo. Of course given Chile’s unique geography and extreme length the characters may have been using the term “northern” in a relativistic way, since they were so far from anything really feeling like home. An analogy for an American would be one of our soldiers standing on Adak calling somebody from Idaho as being “from the south”, since in that context they’d be right.

Here is the movie’s trailer (sans subtites) from YouTube. If your Spanish is up to snuff you can watch the entire movie (in 11 parts) on YouTube. If you are like me and can’t comprende Español, or prefer to watch the excellent cinematography in high quality, then grab the DVD from your local video store or NetFlix. It is a great film from a source rarely recognized in this hemisphere. The tale has universal truths about human nature. You’ll love it.

Goolsbee News: Nick @ Hi-Q

Following his big brother’s footsteps Nicholas tried out for the Arlington High School Hi-Q team. Even though he is only a Freshman he managed to land a spot on the team. Last year, when his older brother was in his last year of high school the AHS Hi-Q team won the regional championship in an intense final. Hi-Q is a question and answer format quiz contest, with categories ranging from Math, Biology, Chemistry,and Geography, to Literature, Shakespeare, Current Events, and American History.

Since Chris is home on Spring Break, he was able to watch his brother’s team advance from the semi-finals to the finals.

The semis were held at Everett Community College on a rainy Saturday morning and was a very tight match:

tight race

This match featured Edmonds-Woodway high school, Arlington, and the dreaded Kamiak, who apparently put up a very good team each year and provide Arlington with plenty of tough competition. The match was very close throughout, with Kamiak pulling away with an early lead and maintaining it up until the mid-match break where it was 14-18-14. You can see Nick on the right, just to the right of the boy in the red sweater. Nick’s side took the table at the half-time and immediately started to pull even…

a tie!

Then away… strongly…

they win!

The above photo was taken with 7 seconds to go in the final question, and you can see the Kamiak stumbled from their lead and Arlington really poured it on. This win in the semifinals allowed Arlington to progress to the finals. These took place at Stanwood High School, and pitted Arlington against two strong teams, Stanwood High School and Marysville-Pilchuck High School. Stanwood were the Division II champions & achieved the highest overall score with 136 points, earning a direct seed in the finals. Marysville-Pilchuck were the Division III co-champions (I think with Kamiak) and won their semi-final match. Arlington were the underdogs in this match having only landed in 6th place overall, but winning their semi-final. Christopher, as well as his good friend and teammate from last year Rob Peiffle, and I were able to attend the match and it was pretty thrilling.

(Apologies for my crappy cell-cam photos!)

On stage at the start.

It was held in a large auditorium at Stanwood High School, filled with a few parents & family, and a vast sea of Stanwood High students, there to cheer for the “home team”.

Unfortunately for the crowd, Stanwood managed to only answer two questions correctly in the first half, with Marysville and Arlington pulling away early and leaving them in the dust. Just after the half Arlington managed to catch Marysville and tie it at 21.

tied at 21

Stanwood seemed to wake up (most of the crowd left at the half, perhaps lowering the pressure on the home team?) and pulled to within a few points, but then Marysville hit their stride and just went off seemingly beyond reach.

Surprisingly, Arlington rallied and came within one correct question of Marysville but just could not catch them in the end. The final was Stanwood 24, Marysville-Pilchuck 34, and Arlington 30.

Final Score

Onstage for their 2nd place awards

Nicholas wearing his Second Place medal

Close but no 1st Prize for Arlington this year.

We’re very proud of Nick though. He’s got three more chances to win it all before Graduation. 😉

Quick Mystery Car Photo.

Yes, this car has appeared before as a CPotD and I’m sort of recycling it, but there is something about the lighting of this photo that I really like so I’m posting it. If you guessed at it last time let some of the others have a go. Meanwhile I’m behind the scenes digging up today’s CPoyD and writing a bit about it.
This should keep you busy for a bit. 😉

I also have some fun “Goolsbee News” updates coming for the family readers.