Friday, June 29, 2007
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Had a great Austin film time last night. Started off watching McCabe and Mrs. Miller at the glorious Paramount during the Summer Film Classics series. Film friends all around. After that powerful immersion, nostalgic but still mesmerizing, we walk over to bid farewell to the beloved Alamo Downtown. As we enter, our hearts skip a beat spying the empty Mondo Tee wall. Then upstairs, a few folks milling around are wearing yellow hard hats. Walking into the theatre to catch the Earthquake rumble in Sensurround, we realize EVERYONE is wearing yellow hard hats. It's hilarious. The Sensurround roars. I jump everytime they up the ampage. I also surprisingly engage in the movie, a suspenseful prototypical 70's disaster flick, now of course viewed differently through the Post 911 and Katrina lens.
But mostly it's an exhilaratingly happy night as we hang amongst the Alamo faithful. The mood is high and fun. Tim & Karrie, Lars (of course since it's Weird Wednesday), all the Alamo staff, putting on a great show. It's the place to be for movie love and film community in Austin.
We were there opening night, for the sxsw premiere of Company of Men. I loved that film intensely, though my memory is hazy on the half-finished soon-to-be-open theatre we were watching in. There were other, clearer, sxsw highlights, in those years as out-of-towners. How's Your News, first as a work-in-progress, then finished film quickly comes to mind. When we moved here three years ago it was easy to succumb to the gravitational pull. Our first private dinner with Tim & Karrie as a blast - because it was only too clear that Tim and John were peas in a pod, obsessional guys who shared an innate, deep love of movie exhibition and showmanship. And that Karrie and I, as their work and life partners, shared a unique skew and bond as well. I'm too old to be a regular for all the crazy experiential film happenings, but love them in theory, and love the moments I have imbibed. I'm particularly grateful for all the collaborations with the Austin Film Society.
As a still die hard movie goer, thanks Alamo D. for the good times! Looking forward to the next incarnation at the Ritz.
For more on the Alamo Downtown closing, check out the Alamo Downtown Blog-A-Thon initiated by Jette Kernion.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
We had a surprisingly good time tonight watching the first episode of Shaq's Big Challenge. He's set out to help 6 very overweight kids get in better shape. I was crying my eyes out throughout. Because I loved the kids, because I know what it's like to be a fat kid. Oh, not that fat but close enough. It was always an issue. It's still an issue!
And this show's inspiring me as I just set out to regain lost ground the other day. I've been building the physical effort for years, stronger in yoga and pilates, now stepping up the cardio, but I also just started the whole WW food tracking thing again the other day, (again) trying to re-lose the 30 pounds lost in 2002-03. I hate the topic, I hate the worry, but I hate feeling uncomfortable too.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
It was excruciating yet I couldn't stop. On the one hand, it reminded me of the self indulgent whinings and pinings I started writing in H.S. I still have the tendency. It's just the unrelenting nature that's terrifying. No ups to the chronic downs. No identifying info either, this blogger could be anyone, anywhere. Writing weekly to mark their existence, despairing of the solitude, yet sure of an audience. Felt like a cautionary tale.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Thanks Eugene for the tip! Excellent read and now for the first time in my life I see that the index finger on my left hand is much longer than the one of my right. And you have to check palm up! The relative lengths are different palm up or palm down.
Friday, June 22, 2007
So here it is 30 years later, and millions of us are typing our secrets online. Well maybe secrets, or maybe facades, or maybe just the day to day. When I started this, I wrote about bleeding through my jeans. So how come now I'm not writing about the cessation of the bleed? And how weird that feels? About buying Germaine Greer's, The Change over 15 years ago, keeping it on my bedtable and never reading it? About the surgery consult I had on Tuesday, for a procedure first suggested by my father, when I was 16? Why is that suddenly off bounds? Or why would it be in? Because we hunger for community? And the facades and what's behind the facades? I'm not sure where I want to draw the line.
I know I get sucked into almost everything by peer pressure. I'm the opposite of the loner explorer, iconoclast. Instead I get pulled in - what are they doing? what's that feel like? maybe I should be doing that? So I'm writing this blog because I'm curious. I really don't know if it's a good idea, a nice warm up, or a total waste of time. I don't know what it'll bring, but I'm sucked in, in the flow. So are we all. Pulled faster and faster, in more directions. No time for understanding the consequences, just slipping into the experience. What's it matter?
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Only so many hours in a day. And way too many ways to spend them. I don't jump out of bed like you read of captains of industry, or yoga masters, or writers. I stall, I go back to sleep, I worry about what to wear, and what next I'll do. I wake slowly. The day continues, filled with activities that other's might call hobbies, or as my longtime astrologer laughed, "a life you should have been born into money to lead." Around 10pm I get a second wind. I start to focus. Overall, things get done, perhaps not the most important, but still things get chipped away, experiences had.
But really today, what I'm thinking about is Twitter. Twitter, for those of you who don't know, is like crumbs in the forest. It's a line you post from your phone or computer - saying something like, "just had coffee with joe" or "standing in line at the bank." I first stumbled across it during the Sundance fest coverage. Lately, I've noticed Matt Dentler is using it more and more. Austinite, sxsw film fest producer, and inveterate blogger, Matt's clearly of an entirely different generation - chronically multi-tasking, and living his life out in public. His blogging, a daily must read, has everything to do with breaking down my initial resistance. But now Twitter? I read his daily messages, and wonder what is this??? They show up in a list with all my regular blog reads, and I can't help but wonder, who are they for? Who needs to know where he had dinner? Who's he writing them for? Why I'm reading them? And of course it's not just him! Apparently Twitter's gaining millions of twitters daily. It's addictive of course, but is it more than that?
Here's an interesting perspective by Kathy Sierra, creator of Creating Passionate Users blog. Excellent read.
Twitter scares me. For all its popularity, I see at least three issues: 1) it's a near-perfect example of the psychological principle of intermittent variable reward, the key addictive element of slot machines. 2) The strong "feeling of connectedness" Twitterers get can trick the brain into thinking its having a meaningful social interaction, while another (ancient) part of the brain "knows" something crucial to human survival is missing. 3) Twitter is yet another--potentially more dramatic--contribution to the problems of always-on multi-tasking... you can't be Twittering (or emailing or chatting, of course) and simultaneously be in deep thought and/or a flow state. (cont)
June 11, 2007 issue - John M. McCardell Jr.'s latest mission may have a greater effect on college freshmen than anything he did during his 13 years as president of Middlebury College: he wants to lower the drinking age to 18—but not in order to encourage drinking. In January he started a nonprofit organization, Choose Responsibility, which proposes educating teens in responsible drinking just as we teach safe driving, and then rewarding them with a drinking license, for which they become eligible at 18. He spoke with Samantha Henig.
What's wrong with the current legal drinking age of 21?
It has driven drinking off campus, behind closed doors and underground, into dark corners where it can't be supervised or managed and where responsible drinking can't be modeled. Binge drinking is this generation's protest of an unjust law.
That's a rather sympathetic view of binge drinkers.
If I shake my finger in your face often enough, and say to you, "Your brain's not fully matured, your judgment is incomplete, you are still a child when it comes to alcohol," why should I be surprised when I get infantile behavior? Alcohol is a reality in the lives of 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds. Anybody denying that inhabits a different planet. The goal of public policy should be to create the safest possible environment for that reality to take place.
You believe education can help make that happen?
Alcohol education now consists of little more than lectures, readings and videos. We would never teach driver's ed that way. We would never tell potential drivers just to read some books and hand them the keys.
You'd let 18-year-olds, licensed or not, drink at home with their parents?
A vast majority of 18-year-olds already are consuming alcohol, [but] for the first time they're going to be able to do it in the presence of their parents, out in the open, in the privacy of their home. We think that's a good thing. Legal age 21, frankly, is antifamily.
I'm sure you have encountered a lot of critics on this issue.
I've been described as a wacko or as somebody who's tilting at windmills. I don't know what the public or the scientific community has to fear about having this debate.
This makes a lot of sense to me - perhaps it's because it was my father's approach. He felt it was more important for us to learn how to drink responsibility than to be out puking in an alley somewhere. He also advised me to drink my liquor straight. Said to stay away from mixed drinks, particularly those super sweet girly ones, since you could never be clear of how much alcohol you were taking in. I've followed that to this day - from the early years of drinking a lot, to my neglible intake at this middle-age. Of course some people will always have problems with alcohol, with knowing how much is enough and drinking responsibility (hell, I have that problem with food!), but I agree we've created a monster by encouraging a sense of taboo and hidden thrills. Binge drinking is a terrible by-product.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Sunday, June 17, 2007
What an incredible treat! Tonight went with Yvonne and Brian to see Blue Lapis Light's performance of Constellation. It's a magical experience: sitting outside in the beautiful Austin night. Between two Federal Buildings, you witness dancers descending from the roofs, dancing and gliding and turning. In the wind, in the light, up high. It's glorious. Like Tinkerbell made flesh, multiplied.
June 14, 17 & 21: 9pm
June 15-16 &amp; 22-23: 9pm & 10pm (2 shows per night)
Photo from Requiem - previous performance
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
I flinched when they first mentioned the destination - knowing only the war and documentaries from the early 80s. David says, "But now it's the second safest country...." did he say in the world? in Central America? They report that it's a surfer's paradise. She has Fiji as a reference point, the heat, the poverty, what it means to live without phones and electricity. It's clear she can't wait to get back to that kind of life. Spreading her wings, exploring, conjuring up expat business ideas.
Some parents prefer the innocence. Some parents try to keep their kids young as long as possible. I've never been that way. I've loved too much every step forward. The first sitting up, walking, asserting themselves, growing into who they are. This is another big one. Her first big travel adventure. Nicaragua for three weeks. She sends me the first email today, "It's awesome."
Monday, June 11, 2007
GET THIS CODE
......................Watch Episode 7