Friday, September 25, 2009

I Love This Place!

We've spend almost a week at Ocean City, Maryland. We are using a time-share week. Time-shares are a use-it-or-lose-it proposition. Since we are also in the travel business with our bed and breakfast, it is not always easy to get away on our own. (And this time, we lost money from bookings we couldn't take while spending money on a vacation we could.)

We've been to Ocean City before. Since close friends live in southern Delaware, this is a convenient way to visit loved ones, use a time-share week, and get away from it all.

Last night, my wife remarked, "I could live here." We realize we have missed peak seasons and dense crowds in this resort community, but it still seems more laid back, cleaner, and developed with more thought and care than similar beachfront strips we've visited.

This is the second time we've managed to be here during Sunfest. We enjoyed the day with a bus ride from the convention center, the many beautiful and imaginative arts and crafts booths, the over-priced-but-good food, and the family-friendly and classy entertainment.

The layout of the Boardwalk featuring acres of flat beach with its volleyball areas, playhouses, amusement park, and pier--and shops,shops,shops--reminds me of a fantasy sequence in some Italian movie. Where there is expectancy and magic in the air.

Ocean City evinces civic pride and responsibility. The broad streets are clean and well-designed. There are monuments to soldiers, firemen, and the rich ocean legacy. I feel safe here and at peace with the people and nature.

The same goes with all of the Chesapeake Bay area I've experienced. It's real. Unpretentious perhaps, but solid.

We enjoyed an Elvis impersonator with his backup band and vocal duo. He did a good job of conjuring up the iconic wonderment of the gifted performer too soon gone. While Jesse Garron offered his rendition of "American Trilogy," I glimpsed the colorful ferris wheel behind the stage and the American flag which backdropped the performers. I couldn't help but feel this is Americana, this is what we strive and fight to preserve.

Almost There or Not

My wife has become quite involved with a game on Facebook, called Farm Town. This game apparently simulates running a farm--choosing the virtual crops that will grow there, planting, and harvesting said crops. And you have to time the growing season so your crops won't wither before you get back online to take care of them.

There is great promise in this game and the ramifications thereof. Let's say that I eat virtual foods. With such foods, there must be the possibilty of a virtual diet. So, I can eat these virtual foods and even undertake virtual exercise. If real food does not enter my body, then, in virtually no time, would't I be able to lose all manner of weight?


Trip, Stumble, and Fall ... and ...

In her book, High on Arrival, Mackenzie Phillips of the '80's sit-com, "One Day at a Time" revealed the shocker that she'd had a long-term incestuous relationshipe with her father, Mamas and Papas' rock legend John Phillips.

I saw her on bits from "Oprah" and "Today." One could make a rhyme of her remarks and appearance: diver, survivor, thriver. She had explored life's dark side with drugs, arrests, sex and apparent incest, unemployment, and divorce. Somehow, as much by the grace of God as by her own efforts, she had survived.

She seemed composed and even self-actualized. She acknowledged that she eventually became a consenter in the sex with her father. She appeared transparent in discussing her own flaws with drugs and boundless behavior. The interviews elicited her full awareness of the lack of parental support and guidance. Yet, she professed continued love for her family, especially her deceased father.

Mackenzie Phillips declared that she wants to help victims of incest to tell their stories and to grow past the pain, bitterness, and stunted self-image. I felt I saw a fully-functioning human being as she articulated her position. I saw one who thrives, full of love and devoid of naivete about the challenges confronting her.

I don't know if she ever received Emmy consideration for her performance in the TV series, but if she is anything less than the emergent person she appeared to me on these recent telecasts, she is long overdue an Academy award.