Tales from the Critic: A Cruel and Grief-Stricken World

Waking up on the day after Easter is always at least a little difficult. That is because, for people – like myself – who love holidays, the realization that there is a 3-month wait until the next one can be a bit overwhelming. The nearby existence of second-tier holidays Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day and Easter make the hangover from Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve bearable. But once Easter has come and gone, there really is not much to look forward to until Independence Day. Sure, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day give us a reason to celebrate our parents and Memorial Day kicks off a series of summer BBQs and pool parties, but, for the most part, our costumes and decorations have to go back into storage for a little while as life resumes its normal monotony.

Speaking of which, after waking up and enjoying a cup of coffee, I stepped on the scale and discovered that I had gained 3 lbs. I was unsurprised by this since I had over-indulged on pulled pork sandwiches and lasagna all weekend. Even Saturday night’s purge could not save me from this inevitable fate. Still, sometimes I wonder if I should just starve myself. After all, it is getting too hot for me to wear the single pair of jeans I fit in at the moment. Anyway, I worked out while watching “The Amazing Race” and then got to work on packing several items that had sold on eBay the day before, including a few more pieces of Goosebumps memorabilia.

I then headed out to pick up the donations to the food ministry for which I volunteer and drop off the eBay sales that had been paid for at the post office before making a pit-stop back at home to enjoy a snack – some bread nuggets and marinara sauce I had been given by family friends and neighbors Bonnie and Gary…

After that, I dropped off the donations with the food ministry organizer Karen and visited with her for a little while, discussing (over a cup of coffee) Saturday’s birthday/anniversary party, Sunday’s Easter gathering and other noteable occurrences in my life over the past few days. Once back at home, I put a hamburger patty in a frying pan and prepared lunch for myself…

I enjoyed my hamburger (on a hot dog bun) while watching “The Chew,” which was back with new episodes after last week’s spring break of reruns. None of the recipes impressed me enough for me to add to my “to-make” pile of print-outs from the show’s official website but the Robin Eggs Fudge and Easter Peeps S’mores Dip did picque my interest. The latter one also reminded me that I still did not know the identity of the flavors of this year’s three mystery Peeps. As it turns out, I was spot-on with No. 1 – maple – but I never would have been able to put my tongue on Nos. 2 and 3 – blueberry and grape slushee, respectively…

A little later in the day, I watched the latest weekly vlog from my favorite YouTuber Tami Dunn as well as a few episodes of “Days of Our Lives” (I had fallen behind on my “stories” since last Thursday). I also selected the songs that will make up the playlist for Breathrough Entertainment’s Earth Day Special next Saturday. They include “Circle of Life” from “The Lion King,” “Colors of the Wind” from “Pocahontas” and – of course – Israel Kamakawiwo’Ole’s “What a Wonderful World/Somewhere Over the Rainbow” mashup. Hey, I guess we still have some holidays to celebrate after all! I wonder if I can find my Captain Planet costume – complete with tight red shorts – by this weekend?

Forgive the hard U-turn but because I compose this column throughout the day smooth segues are not always possible. Without revealing too much, let me just say that life is filled with unexpected twists and turns. Just when we think we have figured it all out – even in the short-term – we are thrown a curve-ball and our entire life is turned upside-down. Unfortunately, there is no way to escape this phenomenon. Nor are there any sufficiently comforting words we can share with someone caught in the middle of one of life’s tragic tidal waves. The only thing we can do – the only thing any of us can do – is hold the people we love close and live every day as if it were our last.

I have done my best to live my life believing that everything happens for a reason. That philosophy is, at times, more difficult to adhere to than others. If tragedy teaches us anything, it is that explanations, apologies and reparations are far less important than simply loving one another and therefore unnecessary in the grand scheme of things. And if right now you are feeling like everyone leaves you, please know that I never will. We are a team – always and forever. It is you and me against a cruel and grief-stricken world.

Joseph J. Airdo

Joseph J. Airdo is a film critic, producer and on-air personality for Breakthrough Entertainment, a talk radio show airing 10-11 a.m. Saturdays on KPHX 1480 AM and BreakRadioShow.com that shines a spotlight on the practical perspectives of the topics and themes explored in movies. He has a pet duck named Frozen who is as opinionated about movies as he is. E-mail him at joseph.airdo@gmail.com.

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