Monday, December 29

A story about "What Makes You Not a Buddhist"

Since I stopped going to church in the 90s I have struggled with defining my spirituality. No that’s not it. I understand and know where I stand, for the most part, spiritually but I have struggled with defining my spiritual affiliation.

I believe my main reason for not attaching myself is some weird reticence to belonging to a community of believers. I don’t know if its arrogance or selfishness but I just can’t get over this hurdle.

I picked up this book to see if I was really missing anything. Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse explores the trappings of being a follower or believer. As I read it, he says if you are caught up in what it means to be a Buddhist you are not one. Emptiness is the way; meaning you have to go beyond the I am/am not duality.

He is a contemporary person, not much older than me, so he uses examples and anecdotes that apply to today’s world without sounding like he is apart from it (I get this feeling from some of the writings of HH Dalai Lama). I like his writing and I appreciate his attempt to say get over it. Will it change my situation? I don’t know yet.

Friday, December 19

Obama's selections

Team of Rivals, Team of Schmivals.

I'm really not digging Obama's cabinet choices. It seems so Clinton heavy that I am having trouble finding the "Yes! We Can!" changes. Don't get me wrong, a lot of it makes sense. Clinton came in on the heels of a long rough patch and made significant and, I believe, positive changes. We need that again. 

I know Obama has said that he wants people who know what they are doing and he will take it all under advisement and then he will make the decisions. I was just hoping for more people from outside of politics. There are so many movers and shakers in the private or non-profit sector, let alone at the state level.

I'm still hopefull but this has not been a boost to my confidence.

Puppy Pad

I threatened to make a doghouse for Johnders way back when we first got him for a couple of reasons. I thought it would be fun to try, not having much in the way of carpentry training, and also because he used the cheap plastic one we bought as a toy and never went inside it.

I started with the idea of a green roof but as summer progressed I saw that he had a favorite spot in the shade and a green roof wouldn't work if I put it nearby. My next idea was to spend as little money as possible. I didn't know if he would actually use it and wood is expensive. So I went to our neighborhood listserv and asked for wood pallets, thinking I could break a few apart and use the parts. Somebody offered 2 right away, I picked them up, put them in the garage and there they stayed until a month or so ago. Tara was nesting by cooking. This was my way of nesting, I guess.

Anyway, its all but finished and Johnders loves it. I did some things out of sequence so it didn't work out exactly like I'd hoped but I think he is very happy.

I ended up putting a pallet on the bottom and a pallet on the top and support posts on the corners. I'm not good at geometry so my diagonal cuts on the support posts don't match the slope of the roof. I intended - to a degree, succeeded - to stuff the pallets with hay. I should have done that before I attached the plywood.
It was fun to see Johnders take right to this thing. Look at the pictures, he came right over and sat down before I put in the floor.
So its a roof, a floor, 2" of wheatstraw in the roof and floor, and a pile of hay in and around it. My next step is to use some plexiglass for sides. I decided plexi b/c Johnders loves to see the action. He's interested in anthing that moves. If I use plexi I can create a windbreak and he can see what's going on. I hope I can make it work.

What have I learned?
  • I need a circular saw, I've done all cutting with a standard hand saw and that sucks, especially when cutting plywood sheets!
  • Johnders loves to be in the middle and he loves wood. He would take every piece I dropped and walk of with it, gnaw on it until I dropped another piece at which point he would come take that piece and go gnaw on it.
  • Gather all materials before you start. Not having parts made me finish things in a bad sequence.
    If I had had the hay I would have remembered to stuff the pallets before I put the floor down.
  • Reevaluate at each step. Since I didn't have a complete plan, since I'm not a carpenter, since my geometry sucks, I really needed to take a step back at each point to see what I should or could do next.
  • Get some geometry tutoring.
Next project, bookcase for my office...

Wednesday, December 10

Julia Frances & Tara - need I say more?

Julia Frances



She was born 12/9/08 @ 3:22am.

There is more of the story and more pictures to come.

As you can see baby and mother are healthy & happy.



Tara & Julia

Wednesday, November 19

Out of Pocket

I've been a little out of pocket recently - What does "out of pocket" mean anyway? - and there are several things to discuss.

First, last week I was deeply saddened to hear Mitch Mitchell died. I hadn't thought about him in a long time but those who know me know my utter devotion to Jimi Hendrix. Hearing that Mitch died meant that the last member of the Jimi Hendrix Experience has died. Why that means anything considering all of the music that is available I don't know but I do know that I mourned for Mitch. I owe a lot of my sensibilities, especially music sensibilities, to that band. I owe MY definition of being black, or at least part of my definition, to what Jimi did while he was here and Mitch was along for most of that. 

Second, because my father died of colon cancer I had to have a colonoscopy a couple of days ago. I will never look at Gatorade the same way again but I would love to have a sleep like the anesthesia offered once a week at least. I felt groggy as hell but refreshed. 

They don't tell but you might need to wear depends before bed the night before your colonoscopy.

Its interesting how many circumstances I find myself missing my father. Its hard to reconcile b/c I was such a mama's boy but maybe that's the reason I find myself missing him. The most recent example is our current photo exhibit of Christmas in Nashville and it has all of these photos from old Nashville. I can imagine my Dad with some stories from those days. He loved to talk about that kind of stuff and he was full of stories and, as I kid, I believed them all including the one about him being a pro football player. As I got older I understood fact vs fiction better or maybe, he stopped telling such fantastical stories. He was a child of the Depression, he was rural, southern, black and male. He was career Army and he was stationed in Germany, Guam and some other places I have the paperwork to backup. He was neat, organized, thoughtful, gregarious and he loved baseball. 

I wish he had lived to see so much more than he already had and now that I am about to embark on the fatherhood train I think about him probably more than usual. He was old school, he was a man's man, stuck with a wife who was a "modern woman" - full-time job, full-time homemaker, and Master's Degree holder. I know he would have lots to say about the world we live in. And I can't help but wonder what he would have to say to his son, a new father

I'm rambling a bit, aren't I?

Anway, those are a couple of things on my mind.

Friday, November 7

Alice Walker to President-Elect Obama

Thank you Alice Walker for bringing the Buddhist perspective into things. President-elect Obama is inheriting a crazy office and I have to agree with Ms Walker that the president, ney, we all, must work to find and maintain that peace within before we can affect change without. Only with clear mind and pure heart can we truly get anything done. Its tough to work on yourself the same time you are attempting to do a big job but you have to. 

Copied from The Root

Nov. 5, 2008

Dear Brother Obama,

You have no idea, really, of how profound this moment is for us. Us being the black people of the Southern United States. You think you know, because you are thoughtful, and you have studied our history. But seeing you deliver the torch so many others before you carried, year after year, decade after decade, century after century, only to be struck down before igniting the flame of justice and of law, is almost more than the heart can bear. And yet, this observation is not intended to burden you, for you are of a different time, and, indeed, because of all the relay runners before you, North America is a different place. It is really only to say: Well done. We knew, through all the generations, that you were with us, in us, the best of the spirit of Africa and of the Americas. Knowing this, that you would actually appear, someday, was part of our strength. Seeing you take your rightful place, based solely on your wisdom, stamina and character, is a balm for the weary warriors of hope, previously only sung about.

I would advise you to remember that you did not create the disaster that the world is experiencing, and you alone are not responsible for bringing the world back to balance. A primary responsibility that you do have, however, is to cultivate happiness in your own life. To make a schedule that permits sufficient time of rest and play with your gorgeous wife and lovely daughters. And so on. One gathers that your family is large. We are used to seeing men in the White House soon become juiceless and as white-haired as the building; we notice their wives and children looking strained and stressed. They soon have smiles so lacking in joy that they remind us of scissors. This is no way to lead. Nor does your family deserve this fate. One way of thinking about all this is: It is so bad now that there is no excuse not to relax.
From your happy, relaxed state, you can model real success, which is all that so many people in the world really want.
They may buy endless cars and houses and furs and gobble up all the attention and space they can manage, or barely manage, but this is because it is not yet clear to them that success is truly an inside job. That it is within the reach of almost everyone.

I would further advise you not to take on other people's enemies. Most damage that others do to us is out of fear, humiliation and pain. Those feelings occur in all of us, not just in those of us who profess a certain religious or racial devotion. We must learn actually not to have enemies, but only confused adversaries who are ourselves in disguise. It is understood by all that you are commander in chief of the United States and are sworn to protect our beloved country; this we understand, completely. However, as my mother used to say, quoting a Bible with which I often fought, "hate the sin, but love the sinner." There must be no more crushing of whole communities, no more torture, no more dehumanizing as a means of ruling a people's spirit. This has already happened to people of color, poor people, women, children. We see where this leads, where it has led.

A good model of how to "work with the enemy" internally is presented by the Dalai Lama, in his endless caretaking of his soul as he confronts the Chinese government that invaded Tibet. Because, finally, it is the soul that must be preserved, if one is to remain a credible leader. All else might be lost; but when the soul dies, the connection to earth, to peoples, to animals, to rivers, to mountain ranges, purple and majestic, also dies. And your smile, with which we watch you do gracious battle with unjust characterizations, distortions and lies, is that expression of healthy self-worth, spirit and soul, that, kept happy and free and relaxed, can find an answering smile in all of us, lighting our way, and brightening the world.

We are the ones we have been waiting for.

In Peace and Joy,
Alice Walker

Tuesday, November 4

Speechless


I am filled with emotion.

Barack Obama is the president-elect. How I wish Papa was here to see this. He would've loved Obama.

I am excited - Barack Obama is the president-elect of the United States of America. I never believed a black man, even one as eloquent, conscientious and smart as Barack Obama, would be on his way to the White House. I am excited b/c my child will be born into a world where a black man CAN be president. I am sad b/c my father, a black man who grew during the depression in the urbanized rural south, who spent most of his adult life in a segregated world, who knew an awful lot but only had a high school diploma, is not here to see this happen. I am nervous b/c there are nutjobs in the world who would do Obama harm. I am nervous that my choice for president won't live up to my expectations, hopes and dreams and will not only let me down but give those nutjobs ammunition to say and believe stupid shit.

PS: Barack has some incredible speech writers.

Can you feel it in the air?

Maybe its just me and this glorious day we've had but there seems to be an electricity to downtown Nashville today.

It might have something to do with this picture...

Friday, October 31

The Angry Hippie

Hope Your Face
Most people assume that hippies are easy going people, at least that is the most familiar to me. You know, that "all who wander are not lost" type, the flowing skirts and patchwork pants, the "yeah mans" and "Dudes!". The people who will drive from city to city collecting riders along the way as they work their way to the next festival or "show" of some band that plays 30 minute songs 3 nights in a row and the songs are "never played the same way twice".

I know these people. I spent most of the 90s in and among them. I was never as hardcore as some but I got it, and I still get it, but there is one thing I have learned along the way about these folks. Many are nowhere as near the care-free soul you might expect. Some of these "Deadheads" and "Phish Phans", "Brothers and Sisters" and dreads are the most uptight, unsatisfied people you will ever meet.

What inspired this post is the Deadhead who works at a coffee shop I frequent. She's about my age, maybe a bit older, cute in that plain jane, Deadhead kind of way but she is so depressing to talk with. She's like Eeyore. Its not what she says its how she says it. She hates everything, she misses the people and the places she's been and she misses "the scene". After a couple of chit chats with her I realized she wasn't the first person I met like this. In my years traveling to see these bands I met all sorts along the way but now I have some distance from the scene and the music. With that distance comes perspective. Looking back at the people I met there were so many who used the music as a veil. They weren't happy and they thought the music would make them happy. Now, I have to say I wasn't the happiest person during the 90s but I was never under the illusion that music & scene would make me happy. Shoot, being in the scene sometimes made it worse.

We all look for ways to define ourselves and music can quite often be the vehicle for self-discovery but this music was typically happy music - the exploratory nature, the non-sensical lyrics, the positive melodies and the peace and love sensibility - and so many would attempt to replace their dour being with the glory and joy of what they heard and/or experienced. Its sad to me for many reasons but mostly because I think it is a misunderstanding or misinterpretation of how music can be transcendental. I mean, who am I to say how anyone other than myself gets satisfaction about how to enjoy music but I think the music should help discover or understand not replace what you are feeling or who you are.

Anyway, it bugs me and saddens me to see folks who talk the talk of "going to shows" and "jerry this" and "trey that" but don't actually try to feel the music...

To quote:
They're a band beyond description
Like Jehovah's favorite choir.
People joinin' hand in hand
While the music plays the band.
Lord, they're setting us on fire.

Monday, October 20

What is wrong with that boy?

LJ freaks
What is wrong with that boy?
Originally uploaded by bmitd67.
My nephew, LJ, celebrates his birthday. He turned 14 and is hyper and goofy as all good 14 year boys are. This is one of several classic facial expressions I have witnessed him make.

Sunday, October 19

General Colin Powell speaks and endorses

How can you not respect a man with a career like he has had and a thought process as well formed and an eloquence as sophisticated and honest as Colin Powell.

Tuesday, September 23

Gov't Mule - Thorazine Shuffle

I don't listen to the Mule as much as I used to but I saved this article months ago and finally read it. Traveling musicians have a rough row to hoe and god forbide they get sick. You can talk about and to any number of old blues, jazz and country guys about this. The jamband world is filled with bands who create a work environment that is beneficial to the band, fans and world. The Dead did it, Dave Matthews does it, Phish did it, the Allmans have gotten better at it, etc.

It is appropriately attached to one of my fav songs, Thorazine Shuffle, or back in the old days it was called 5557.

Thursday, September 11

Am I really better than the rest?

A little self congratulatory post...actually, that's not true. The following is an email my boss got from her boss (the details have been changed or omitted).

Hi Jai's boss,

I just want you to know that Jai handled this situation with grace and conviction. Mr. patron was quite upset about the red tape, etc. and requested that we have everything worked out by the morning for his kids. I was able to just hand the information to Jai, who immediately knew who I was talking about and had been in contact for months with the proper department. Then, I asked Jai to contact Mr. patron, which he did.

Jai is a true role model for public service staff!

Signed Senior Administrator.

I was quite shocked when I saw the email (my boss forwarded it to me). I didn't think I had done anything more than what she asked. The guy was pissed and he had been given the run-around, mostly because we had questions about how to handle his situation and no one would get back with us with an answer.

Anyway, its nice to be loved.

Wednesday, September 10

Friday, August 29

Self Defined

Whenever big political things happen I always find myself reconsidering where I stand. Not so much where I stand but how I define myself.

Listening to Barack Obama last night I found myself all over the map related to his points and I decided to label my political self.

I am a liberal/conservative libertarian-socialist-democrat with anarchistic leanings.

Now let me explain.

My bottom line, philosophically & politically, is that we should treat each person with compassion and honesty. I think we, not only as humans but especially as Americans, should all have access to the same opportunities. I believe the government should be there to make sure everybody has that access and to fill in the gaps where individual communities can't or won't, as well as take care of large scale issues - large project infrastructure, national disasters, global relationships and if  necessary, military protection. I do believe that government should be representative...there is no way to get things accomplished if it we actually waited to hear from all individuals...communities should be the basis of all discussion and there should be representatives from communities to go to the national level. Each community, which means each member of the community has the responsibility to help other members of the community (its not called community or society for no reason). If someone opts out of that community by pulling their own weight they should then recognize that the community might not be there to back them up.

I know this is dreamland philosophy but when I was watching the democratic convention I realize that I don't  follow the party line on a lot of things. I defintely lean more that way than toward republicans but there are things there that I agree with as well, as well as the libertarians and definitely the greens.

If we had a multiparty system I would  probably be a Green but in our one party political system I cannot claim any party. I can go green but it won't make a difference to anyone other than those who know me. I have done that in the past but even the Greens are off base as far as I'm concerned.

I don't know. Sometimes I get frustrated with our political system and then I get fatalistic about it and this is one of those times.

I'm cautiously hopeful about Obama. I don't think McCain will make any difference. I don't know Biden and I don't trust Palin. I've ignored both McKinney & Clemente. The liberterians I've met are crazy so I'm not even going there. (What are they drinking in Georgia to have two indi presidential candidates?)

Thursday, August 28

Big Al on the Big Stage

Alejandro performed at the DNC. It looks like lots a fun...

Here's a link.

Way to go Al

Tuesday, August 19

in the hands of the government

Quote of the day:
 
"As staunch conservatives we don't believe that libraries should be in the hands of the government." 
 
Can someone explain this to me? I don't understand what that means.
 
If it is a public institution who should run it? If its a private institution how will you guarantee access?

Monday, July 28

Dog Park Friends

This time last year we got a dog. I've posted pictures and told little strories and have even mentioned how much we love the dog park.

This is the greatest dog "toy" known to man. What I don't talk about is the people. Our dog park has the nicest coolest folks. East Nashville is know for its artsy people but what you don't hear about is its sense of community and camaraderie. While at the dog park you hang out with bartenders and attorneys and retirees and you talk a lot about dogs. You talk mostly about dogs, "Does your dog do ________?", "Have you ever tried peanut butter in a Kong (the 2nd best dog toy)?", and so on.You can spend hours comparing and laughing and learning about dogs. After months of talking about dogs you begin to learn about the people. You learn about housing problems, work problems, hobbies and other stuff. You gravitate to people like yourself b/c more than likely your dog has gravitated to their dog.

The most fascinating thing is that we all seem to learn the names of dogs but rarely the names of the owners. You can talk to somebody for weeks and know all sorts of things about their personal life but not know their names. I wonder what this says about us? Are we better able to relate when we are still remotely anonymous or are we too wrapped up with our own lives to care about learning someone else's name?

Friday, July 18

Wildlife In Inglewood

To set the scene, I live perpenticular to Gallatin Rd, a major roadway in Nashville. I am last than .2/mile from the road. There are houses on three sides of me and an apartment complex behind me with about a 1/2 acre maybe 3/4 acre of wooded area.

When I was a child, this wasn't less wooded and a horse was kept in this area but the horse was gone by the time I was 6 or 7. Before Johnders I saw snakes and rabbits nested in my backyard. Now there are no rabbits. When this morning I was pulling out of the driveway and I look on the fence of my neighbor's front yard and I think, "I didn't know he had a bird decoy on his fence." As I pull away I notice that its not a decoy its a hawk (I am guessing its the sharp-shinned hawk b/c they seem to be common at Shelby Bottoms which is close to me))! It was about 8" tall perched on his fence. I fumbled for my camera and by the time I had it he had flown away. Damnit!

I saw a hawk this morning. That has to be a good omen.

Monday, June 23

Why do I do this?

Why do I insist on letting toxic people intrude on me?

I have an acquaintance who is about as toxic as they come. They are lonely and insecure, they were put under lots of pressure to be perfect when they were kids and now they not only put that pressure on themselves but they put it on those around them.

Every conversation I have with this person is a repeat of the last conversation. There are non-sequiters, there are blurbs, there are pronouncements, there are silences but most of the conversation is "Why do people do this (what ever this is) to me?" This person actually told me this weekend that they could not, I repeat, could NOT, accept the fact that everybody has different skills! How ridiculous and narcissistic is that? Jesus, if someone gets to their station in life b/c they know how to talk to people instead of graduating "Magna Cum Laude" big deal, right?!

I get really frustrated. The thing I can't get past is in my eyes our upbringing is extremely similar and it bothers me that someone seemingly so similar can't or won't grasp things that we talk about over and over. Time after time, its the same questions and scenarios. I've tried to be philosophical, I've tried to be practical and nothing makes a differences. A few months pass and we have the same conversation all over again.

I know I'm not being as compassionate as I need to be but it drives me up the wall. I feel compelled to stick it out thinking that every conversation will be the one where the "aha" light goes off and this person will get it. But alas, I am stressed during and after each call.

When will I stop trying to make someone see the light when I know its out of my control.

Monday, June 2

Who Do You Love?!

Bo Diddley was one of the first blues guys I connected with. I can't tell you what it is about his music that always got to me. It always brings a smile to my face. I saw him live a couple of times and loved him. The last time he was a cantankerous old man but he was still Bo Diddley, Elias McDaniel from McComb, Mississippi.

When I moved to Baton Rouge back in 91 I got sooo excited when driving down I55, tired after a long day of driving I saw the highway sign for McComb. I felt like I had reached something. I never did stop in McComb but I always felt a connection, a jolt of something when I drove past.

Going back even further, I had a dorm mate who used to make me play "Roadrunner" at obscene volumes at obscene hours. It didn't matter whether we were studtying at 3am or coming in drunk Roadrunner would be blaring down the hall of Lower Gailor. Another college memory of mine was my one and only radio alter-ego was Diddley Bo. He showed up, played two or three songs on my radio show, "Blues Explosion" and was gone.

I haven't listen to Bo in awhile but I think I know what's about to go on my iPod. Elias McDaniel thank you for what you gave to the world.

Thursday, May 8

If exercise makes you happy...

...why don't more people do it? Why don't I want to do it?

My wife exercises all the time. I have a membership to the YMCA. My doctor says I should exercise. My dog needs exercise and now I read this article that implies if I exercise I will become a CEO.
Most CEOs exercise regularly, so you could say that regular exercise is important to getting that top job.
Now, I don't have designs on being a CEO but I know I need to move. My current job has strapped me to a desk. I walk to and from the busstop and that's about it. That's about 1/2 mile total walking. I need to do something. I hate going to the gym and I make excuses about why I don't ride my bike. What can I do?

Monday, May 5

Boycott the Man

I don't have a lot to add here but read what Marjorie has to say and boycott Nestlé, Pepsico and all those companies!

Now I know, not all companies are purely evil but some took a sharper right turn towards it than others. I also understand that the corporate decisions are not made by the workers and I don't really want them to suffer b/c of any action I take but Marjorie talks about personal responsibility and we all have to find our "line in the sand" and our comfort zone.

As far as the mega-corporations...there is not one service or product produced by these companies offer that you can't find at a smaller, more local, probably higher quality place. Yes, they are possibly more expensive but where are your priorities?

Tara and I make a conscious decision on most everything we spend money on...how local is it, how fresh is, how ecologically sound is, how humane was the process? If it is then something that fits our budget we buy.

So draw your line in the sand, ask the important questions and tell your friends.

Friday, April 18

Earth Day vs Record Store Day

You know rockers and hip-hop folk can beat up hippies but you really don't have to choose.

Sat isn't Earthday but it is the day Nashville has its big Centennial Park event. Its gonna be a wonderful weekend b/c there are so many things to do in addition to Earth Day stuff.

Shelby Bottoms Pedestrian Bridge

The pedistrian bridge will link East Nashville & Donelson...you can walk across the Cumberland in grand style. You can get you movie groove on at the Nashville Film Fest and you can hang out at your fav record store for Record Store Day, a year ago I would've said my fav was Grimey's but now East Side is represented by a fine addition to the record store tradition, The Groove.

Thursday, March 20

Sunday, March 16

NATIONAL RECORD STORE DAY

Got the following from my friendly neighborhood record store. Yes, I did say neighborhood. East Nashville has a real record store!
On April 19th, National Record Store Day will be taking place across the nation with hundreds of other stores, and The Groove is jumping in on the activities! We are planning an event for this day including bands and a sale, so keep checking back for more details! This is going to be a big thing so make sure to come out and support your local record store.
Check out The Groove

Wednesday, February 6

The right decision

I can't go into details but don't you love it when know you made the right decision?

I just had a scenario, an angry email - angry might be too strong of a word but it as good as any - and I was about to respond via email. I was in the middle of revising the email to make sure my response didn't have the same negative tone and I decided to call instead. Not only did the person apologize for the tone of their email AND send me email of genuine thanks but I said what I needed to say in about 1/4 of the words I had written in the email.

I'm proud of myself for making the right decision.

I still hate the phone!

Wednesday, January 30

Monday, January 28

DYI Film Festival

This past Saturday I had the inaugural date of Jai's Southern Film Series. The film of choice was what I think most people would consider the quintessential Southern film, Gone With The Wind. Some people thought it was a bold choice b/c it is so long but I thought it completely appropriate.

The week before the event I had about 8 people lined up but Sat morning I got several emails from people getting sick. I was appalled by the fact that people had the nerve to get sick on the day of my film! So. Tara and I made some food - I was thinking something southern but then I realized that it was almost Mardi Gras week so I decided to do some red beans & rice but I had to do it Turnip Truck style which meant chicken sausage instead of pork - and waited to see who would show. We ended up with two guests. Two Gone With The Wind virgins.

Tara loaded up the movie and we were off.

"Tara, I hate Tara. Why must we do all of this work for Tara?" were some of the first lines we heard. We all got a kick out of that b/c Tara was sitting right there with us.

While we were watching someone would periodically ask about the relationship between characters, there were several relationships alluded to the we were sometimes confused about; some have to do with actors looking similar, some related to dead characters (which we didn't know why they were talking about dead characters but thats what it seemed like). Tara, my Tara, was the go-to because she was the only one who had seen the entire movie and she remembers stuff like that.

Two hours later the movie was over and we were satisfied. We were confused b/c everybody had talked about how long the movie is which we wondered if this was some abbreviated version. I grabbed the case and immediately saw the problem...we started with disk 2. :-O

I put disk 1 and and story points and relationships immediately started to made sense. 1.5 hours later the movie was truly over and we were even more satisfied.

"Gone with the Wind" is a wonderful film; it is beautiful and has an amazing screenplay. It is filled with solid repeating images and themes, lush costumes and sets, and an incredibly snappy dialog. Yes, there are some horribly offensive ideas and dialog about blacks (it was 1939 and a movie about Reconstruction Era Georgia). Yes, there are some arcane notitions about the relationships between men and women. The flipside is you have strong women and realistic anti-war dialog, even some references to Southern's being disallusioned about the Civil War let alone the way they feel about its outcome.

Was my first film showing a success? Yes, in a backwards, low-key kind of way. I saw a cousin I don't see often, we had friends over at the house, we laughed and ate.

Next month's showing has not been decided upon. I will keep you posted.

Monday, January 7

Dreams & Movies

I usually don't remember my dreams but withing the last month I've had two that remained pretty vivid well after I woke. The first one, which was an anxiety dream, has now faded. The second one was last night and I have no idea what it means but it does make references to a movie and video game.

In this dream I am some sort of spanish speaking government agent (video game & movie reference...Call of Duty 4, Charlie Wilson's War, The Unit). We are waiting for the other guys to show while I am waiting for my guys to show. Then, I think, I get up and walk away. I walk toward music that I instantly recognize, Derek Trucks Band. I walk over to the side of the stage and Derek holds back to say hi. He shakes my hand, says something like "Its good to see you Jai, its been a long time." I return the comment, he goes on stage and I think I wake up. The crazy thing about that is that as many times as I saw Derek and had conversations with members of the band I never once had a one-on-one conversation with him. So, it is highly unlikely that he would know me by name.

The dream was very movie like. The more I think of it the more it was very much like "The Unit" and, in turn, CoD4, which took the WWII Call of Duty and moved it forward about 60 years to modern day Middle East and Europe with some sniping and lots of modern weaponry. You get to snipe, you work strategically to fight the enemy and of course, when you die you can start over.

I enjoy the game and have for years but this is the first time I've remembered a dream about it. The last dream I completely remembered was an anxiety thing this one I'm not sure. Maybe a yearning...I want to have an adventure? I want to be known by people I respect? Not sure.
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