Let Tommy Lee Jones and Robert Duvall Teach You Everything You Need to Know About Life

As ‘City’ as I like to think I’ve become over the past decade, there are a few little things that will always mark me as having been born and raised in the country. For example, no matter how many years I spend soaking up every movie Netflix Instant spits out and every bloody, psychologically thrilling slasher I can get my hands on, my favorite movie is, always has been, and always will be the 1989 epic Western TV miniseries, Lonesome Dove.

Now, I won’t bother to go into the multiple award-winning plot, but I will out-crazy myself by saying this: I relate everything in my life to this movie.

More importantly, I firmly believe that every straight man in the world falls into a category/type represented by one of the main characters in Lonesome Dove.

Let’s explore. We have:

The Captain–  Captain Woodrow F. Call (played by Tommy Lee Jones)

The “boss” and provider to the entire bunch, Woodrow is the picture of all work and no play. Solid and dependable but humorless and emotionally crippled. If you find yourself  involved with a modern Woodrow, don’t expect much in the way of affection, quality time or empathy, but you may just find yourself in a shiny new house with all your credit card bills paid off. If you can live without emotional support, understanding or companionship of any kind, you’ll have it made.

The Rake & Rambler: Two Sides of the Same Coin-

Gus- Captain Augustus McCrae (played by Robert Duvall)

Probably the most beloved of the entire cast is loveable witty old joker, Gus. A Good Time Charlie; the yin to his BFF, Woodrow’s yang. If you find yourself involved with a modern Gus, you may be in for an uphill battle if your standards are too traditional. Charming and entertaining to a fault, you may find yourself in the background, or even waiting up at home more often than not, and those rumors of ‘extra curricular activities’ are probably true. Though this type may not always be by your side, on time, or even show up at all, when it comes down to the things that really count, you will see him riding in on the horizon, unlike the flip side of this coin:

Jake Spoon (played by Robert Urich)

This is the one to look out for, the one so many women have fallen and will fall victim to in our lifetimes. Jake has nearly all the same personality traits as Gus on the surface, but without any of the saving graces. A Jake will tell you anything he thinks you need to hear to get what he wants from you, without letting the truth get in the way. He is charming and manipulative and will drag you into the middle of whatever dangerous mess he’s gotten himself into, then take off and leave you to face the music, and probably won’t even remember your name when he gets to his next place and moves onto his next victim. You may think you have a Gus, when really you’ve stumbled upon a Jake, and the worst part is, you probably won’t realize it until it’s too late. If you find yourself involved with a modern Jake, get out and don’t look back.

The Pup– Dish Boggett (played by D.B. Sweeney)

A pretty face with a bit of a  black-and-white view of life, he spends the majority of the movie following after Lorena (Diane Lane), the town whore who’s discarded along the cattle trail by Jake, like a puppy. Maturing from a hot headed naive young man into a hard-working potential leader throughout the story, he never gives up on his love for the woman, despite the fact that she never gives him more than a moment’s notice, even at the end. If you find yourself involved with a modern Dish, I’d say you’re a lucky bitch, and if you don’t want him send him my way.

The Doormat- Sheriff July Johnson (played by Chris Cooper)

Poor, poor July. You already know this type. The dude who is just too nice to date. The one who always ends up in the Friend Zone because women with any decency realize that it would be just too easy to take advantage of this guy. The one time he gets out of the FZ, it is bound to be a disaster. The good sheriff travels hundreds of miles to try to save his wife, after he finds out that she ran off with a bunch of outlaws on a whiskey boat to find her real husband, and that she neglected to tell him that she was carrying his child, whom she gives birth to and leaves behind along the way, only to end up scalped herself in the end. If you find yourself involved with a modern July, I hope you’re one of the most pure, honest and difficult to tempt people in the world, otherwise do both of you a favor and walk away now.

The Loner-Josh Deets (played by Danny Glover)

Guide, wise adviser and medicine man to the entire crew, Deets is the one who keeps everything running for these guys, and it is a thankless job. You won’t hear a complaint from this type though. It’s unlikely that you’ll find yourself involved with a modern Deets. He’s too busy quietly volunteering to take care of cancer patients, or tending to his secret life’s work of curing Diabetes or saving endangered species of animals, and always avoiding recognition. It’s a shame too, because this would be a good one to snag, if only he had any interest beyond the greater good.

The Doofis-Pea Eye Parker (played by Tim Scott)

Some guys seem to exist 90% of the time only to provide comic relief to the rest of us with their stupidity. This is the type. Unarguably loyal and true, just dumber than a box of rocks. If you find yourself involved with a modern Pea Eye, either you’re not too bright yourself, or your self esteem is in need of  a serious reevaluation.

  The Psycho- Blue Duck (played by Frederic Forrest)

Sadistic and cruel, this Cherokee/Mexican “half breed” is know across the country as a thief, murderer and rapist, and he’s damned proud of it. Unfortunately, as anyone who reads true crime or watches 48 Hours knows, this type does exist. If you’re involved with one, you probably won’t be reading this.

There you have it. If you haven’t ever seen this glorious display of cinematic genius, you simply must. Next time you have a sick day, or a bad case of cramps, or the wine flu, set yourself up on the couch, soak up the story and thank me later. And take note of the men in your life, and which character they correlate to.

Less than twelve hours until the Hatfields and McCoys 3 day mini series on the History Channel. Cue nerdy squee.

Don’t judge me.



I remember exactly two black kids passing through my school during my entire K-12 education here in the sticks. I am more than positive that it was not a pleasant experience for them.

Up until now I have lived my adult life in very ethnically diverse cities, and I very much liked it that way. I was thrilled that my son started school and attended for 3 years with various cultures swirling around him, being absorbed as just another normal way of life. My son has some behavioral issues, and I was always really touched by the fact that at the park , he would always be the one playing with the kid who couldn’t speak english, or the little girl with two dads.

Now, going to school could pass for a mini white supremacist gang meeting, not a non-white face in sight. On the rare occasion that we do spot a person of another race in the area, for a brief second I almost have the urge to pull my kid aside and remind him that not everyone looks like us, and that’s perfectly okay. But I don’t think the person on the other end would appreciate being treated like some kind of zoo exhibit.

I’m sure I’m just projecting my own boredom with life here onto my child, but at least it gives me something to do with my brain occasionally. Like, other than absorb episodes of My Strange Addiction and Chopped.

Sore Thumb is Me

Picture this….
You’re sitting in your living room, enjoying an average evening in your home in any medium-large sized American city. Suddenly, outside, there is a mild disturbance; someone yells, a siren zooms past.
What do you do?
Obviously, you ever-so-slightly roll your eyes, barely registering your own reaction on any conscious level. You turn up the volume on your rerun of Toddlers in Tiaras a notch or two, and you light up your next bong hit like nothing ever happened.

Now, let’s say you live in the country. Perhaps in a small town or village with a population of less than 5,000…maybe in actual Deliverance-like backwoods. It’s all the same. As the wailing emergency vehicle passes, you involuntarily drift to the nearest window, nearly pressing your face to the glass, eyes wide. You notice the familiar vehicles of your neighbors filing onto the road one by one to hunt down the action. The next thing you know, you’re loading up your brood of the next generation’s gawkers into the Ford, like a family outing to a hanging.

Is this behavior caused by nature or nurture? Is it more prominent during rural mating season? Is keeping tabs on the town’s emergencies some sort of country form of keeping up with the Jones’? The power of I know something you don’t know instead of a more elaborate display of Christmas lights or a new sports car in the driveway?

I don’t know.
I’m just an observer here…at least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.