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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in griffin1970's LiveJournal:

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    Friday, January 18th, 2013
    3:25 pm
    Yo
    Yo.

    Peace out.

    Current Mood: calm
    Saturday, May 15th, 2010
    2:16 pm
    Riding on the Metro
    If any trouble comes of this Metro blog, it's all Stacey's fault. ;)  Nah, but she suggested I write about my Metro adventures, as I was telling her about them this morning.  I'd love to, but I had no idea where to start, so I'll start at the moment of inspiration.  I'd thought of writing about the adventures, but I also have started developing more of a sense of privacy these days.  I see advice on what not to put on facebook to avoid identity theft, for a particular example.  I think it's good to be conscious of consequences.  But, hey, ya gotta live, too, y'know?  Can't always live by caution.  I don't want to start this whole wave of people adventuring and crossing boundaries that gets out of control to the point of death threats and riot gear, but that's my overblown sense of myself, and my overblown fears, too.  So.  If you take any inspiration from what I say here, it's up to you.  You're on your own.  Don't blame me.  And, no, I don't blame Stacey for this.  It's just funny. :)

    It's interesting to watch and interact on the Metro.  I guess it's this microcosm of society on the go.  We sit next to each other, we stand next to each other, but we're each in our own little world, on the most part.  Most folks on the train have their nose buried in a book, or in a newspaper like the ones they give out for free at the station entrances in the morning.  Or they're listening to their music on their iPod.  Or they're sleeping.  Or, at the very least, minding their own business.  Especially in the mornings.  And, in the mornings, on occasion, I see a woman putting on makeup.

    Funny, one of my favorite bands is Train. :)  Even more so these days.

    Anyway, to resume that train of thought, I'm pretty aware that most people really like it the way it is, each of us in our own little bubble, nobody crossing that line, everything compartmentalized.  People don't go on the Metro to socialize.  They go to get somewhere.  It's not a club.  It's not a bar.  But it does strike me as something of a shame that all these people, these stories on feet, spend half an hour or so with each other every day, and never connect.  And here's me, this troublemaker who doesn't want to hurt anyone, wondering, when I'm in the mood for it, when the little openings in the walls appear such that I can cross the wall a little, connect a little, take a little step so that we strangers aren't so strange to each other anymore.  I look around to see who's in their little world, and who is looking around with curious eyes like me.

    Maybe I don't see well who else is curious, but I think the only time I've really seen those curious eyes, they were the cute unwavering deep black eyes of a little Japanese boy sitting in a stroller.  He had this plaid cap on.  It was very cute.  He was there with his dad behind him.  His mother and sister were seated.  I marveled at the deep black eyes of his older sister, and I could understand why such eyes seem to be the focal point of so many Japanese horror movies.  But she didn't seem as interested in what was going on around her.  Anyway, that was the night a guy pressing the edge a bit was rapping in the train car.  He was walking and gesturing up and down the aisle, taking his shirt off at times, showing his tattoos, at times leaning forward onto the train doors, beating on the doors rhythmically with his arms.  He certainly had my attention, but I didn't want to stare too much, lest I set him off even more than he already was.  As I looked at the rapper, it occurred to me he probably had the undivided attention of the little Japanese boy, too.  I turned to look, and sure enough, the boy was staring with rapt attention, his head turned, his body leaning a bit out of the stroller.  A boy after my own heart.  There don't seem to be many of us travelling on the Metro.

    Maybe, if you ride public transit, next time you can look with such eyes, too.

    And one of these times, maybe I'll tell of last night's "adventure" when a nice drunk girl put her head on my shoulder, and a cute Asian girl was creeped out by a stranger waving "hello" to her, and a guy with a camping backpack makes his way walking from Alabama as a show of freedom.

    Peace out.

    - Chris
    Tuesday, October 13th, 2009
    12:59 pm
    Spotted
    I should have posted this the couple of weeks ago when I actually saw it, so I could actually say...

    Out on the road today, saw a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac.

    I waited for a little voice inside my head to say, "Don't look back, you can never look back."  But it didn't come.

    It was pretty funny.  I saw the sticker on the way to work.  It was the classic Grateful Dead symbol, the blue and red skull with the lightning bolt through the circle.  Then I thought of the "Boys of Summer" song lyrics.  Then I took another look, oh, wow, it's actually on a Cadillac!  That got a laugh out of me.  I'm pretty sure the sticker placement was deliberately mimicking the song.  The sticker was immediately under the word "Cadillac" on the car.  The Cadillac was black, a modern one.  The driver was an older hefty White man.

    Sure, one can't hold onto the past, but peace is never obsolete.

    Peace out.

    - Chris
    Friday, September 18th, 2009
    9:42 am
    Peace like a pirate
    Today is Talk Like a Pirate Day.

    Peace arrr.

    - Chris

    Current Mood: cheerful
    Friday, September 11th, 2009
    7:53 pm
    Thoughts on the eighth anniversary
    I'll be singing John Lennon's "Imagine" at church this Sunday in remembrance of 9/11.  I hadn't even realized that the day was coming up until September 10, when a coworker brought it up.  I had intended to sing a different song for Sunday, 9/13.  But after being reminded by my coworker, and hearing "Imagine" on my iPod, I knew I wanted to change the song I'd be singing.
     
    It's been eight years since the World Trade Center fell.  It seems that that day doesn't have so profound an impact on my memory these days, as it did even just last year, when I watched several movies in the week before 9/11, in rememberance.  The memory and its pain has faded some.  It's lost some of its salience.  And now we're more used to the security measures.
     
    Now, I do believe that what happened on 9/11/2001 is not everything that we are led to believe.  There is more to it than that.  Even so, many lives were lost.  Since then, I've evolved in my perspective on war and conflict and violence.  I feel more at peace with the world as it is, and more at peace with myself.  I feel more integrated, and better able to speak whatever it is I feel I need to speak.  I know even more deeply than before that death is a natural part of life.  And I in part see violence as coming from being "spiritually inarticulate", when the feeling of frustration or anger or whatever is just too much for words, and comes out in violence.  I don't feel so much the need to be a hero to save the world from itself.  And I know that sometimes we have to use force to defend our lives - or at least I find it understandable when we do.  But there is a difference between self-defense and murder.  Murder is premeditated.  And so is war.
     
    These days, just wishing for "peace", "love", "understanding", "joy"... all these WORDS... seems more trite to me.  They seem like cardboard.  What is it we're working towards as a spiritual goal, if I am at peace with the world and myself?  What is there to do if there is no need to do anything?
     
    But, the dream of peace and healing in the world lives on in me.  It's not just a vain hippie pipe dream.  I know this because when I sing the words "Nothing to kill or die for", I am still moved to tears.  It's a radical song.  It asks us to consider seeing beyond the walls that we built to separate us, to see that we are all connected.  And for whatever reason 9/11 happened, if we see beyond the walls, such an atrocity need never happen again.  Once we see beyond the walls, we can never go back.
     
    Peace out.
     
    - Chris


    Current Mood: anxious
    Saturday, August 29th, 2009
    7:41 pm
    Spotted


    Spotted this week:

    On the way to work in DC, I saw a car with this bumper sticker:

    "Don't pray in my school, and I won't think in your church."

    That got a laugh out of me.  Now, there's nothing wrong with voluntary praying in school.  It's just involuntary institutionalized prayer that I agree should be banned.  But I loved the turnabout on that bumper sticker.  I pulled up next to the car and shouted through my window and her open passenger window, "I love your bumper sticker!"  I don't know if she got the message or not.

    A new song I like a lot - Black Eyed Peas' "I Got A Feeling".  I've read it's the feel-good song of 2009.  And though slow was my embrace of it, I do know why they say that.  It's got great exuberance.

    I Got a Feeling - Black Eyed Peas

    I gotta feeling that tonight’s gonna be a good night
    That tonight’s gonna be a good night
    That tonight’s gonna be a good good night (x4)

    Tonight’s the night night
    Let’s live it up
    I got my money
    Let’s spend it up

    Go out and smash it
    like Oh My God
    Jump off that sofa
    Let’s get get OFF

    I know that we’ll have a ball
    If we get down
    And go out
    And just loose it all

    I feel stressed out
    I wanna let it go
    Lets go way out spaced out
    And loosing all control

    Fill up my cup
    Mazel tov
    Look at her dancing
    just take it off

    Let's paint the town
    We’ll shut it down
    Let’s burn the roof
    and then we’ll do it again

    Let's Do it (x3)
    And live it up

    I gotta feeling that tonight’s gonna be a good night
    That tonight’s gonna be a good night
    That tonight’s gonna be a good good night (x2)

    Tonight’s the night
    Let’s live it up
    I got my money
    Let's spend it up

    Go out and smash it
    Like Oh My God
    Jump off that sofa
    Let's get get OFF

    Fill up my cup (Drink)
    Mazel tov (La hayam)
    Look at her dancing (Move it Move it)
    Just take it off

    Let's paint the town
    We’ll shut it down
    Let's burn the roof
    And then we’ll do it again

    let's do it (x3)
    let’s live it up

    Here we come
    here we go
    we gotta rock

    Easy come
    easy go
    now we on top

    Feel the shot
    body rock
    Rock it don’t stop

    Round and round
    up and down

    Peace out.

    - Chris

    hoo, hoo!
    Friday, August 21st, 2009
    9:55 pm
    Inspiring dancer
    Sixteen year old Kiera Brinkley, who had both arms and both legs amputated at age two because of pneumococcosis, has been admitted to Julliard as a dancer.  Here is an article, with video of her dancing:

    http://www.kgw.com/news-local/stories/kgw_072709.80108747.html

    Peace out.

    - Chris
    Thursday, August 20th, 2009
    7:11 pm
    The Andy Warhol Project

    When Andy Warhol died in 1984, he left behind boxes and boxes of things he collected starting in1973.  They are still sorting through and cataloguing his collection.  Apparently, one thing was a signed poster of Jackie Onassis Kennedy before she married Jack, while she was skinny-dipping.

    Check it out:

    http://news.aol.com/article/andy-warhols-junk-yields-nude-jackie/630536?icid=main|aimzones|dl1|link4|http%3A%2F%2Fnews.aol.com%2Farticle%2Fandy-warhols-junk-yields-nude-jackie%2F630536

    Peace out.

    - Chris
    Friday, August 7th, 2009
    8:36 pm
    Stop and smell the thoughts

    Continuing the thought from the previous entry, something else that my work situation reminds me of is an essay I read for a philosophy seminar I attended the summer after sixth grade.  The seminar was part of a two-week Arts and Humanities Maryland Summer Center program held at University of Maryland at College Park.  The essay was about the philosophy behind the construction of the Great Wall of China.  It spoke of the importance of dividing up the work of an enormous project so that the individual workers could get a sense of completion without being overwhelmed by the enormity of the project.  The strategy for preserving the sanity of the Great Wall workers was to have a worker commit to helping to construct just one segment or section of the Wall.  Once they completed one section, they were done.  They could then have a sense of accomplishment, and go back to their lives.  I don't remember how long one section took to complete.

    My thought today has been one that's been with me for a little while, maybe a few months, maybe longer.  That thought is that each of us as humans, in our efforts, are so much like nature.  On the surface, the constructions we make of steel and concrete (I look out of my office window at the DC cityscape), attempting to make closer to eternal what nature makes ephemeral, look very unnatural.  But I look at the works we make, especially art and advertising, and including what I'm writing now, and they all resemble flowers competing for the sun, or animals competing to survive.  They are all efforts to make something of ourselves, to feel accomplishment, to receive attention, to receive love, to give love.  It's quite natural.  It's just that the form is unlike the forms found in nature.

    Just wanted to share that, before the flower (or weed?) of my life expires...

    And speaking of expiring, I learned today that John Hughes died yesterday.

    Here's a video tribute to his life that told me of the news.  The tribute was posted at thechive.com and is originally posted at youtube.com:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOkNIUw0c2s

    The tribute opens with the quote from Ferris Beuller, "Life goes by pretty fast.  If you don't stop and look around once in a while... you could miss it."

    My dad sent me an email today about master violinist Joshua Bell performing six Bach pieces for 45 minutes in a DC Metro Station one January morning.  "The musician played continuously.  Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.  He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.  This is a true story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities. The questions raised: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?  Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?  One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made... what else are we missing?"

    I sit here, at 9pm on a Friday night, in an office, in front of a computer.  What is it I'm missing?  In my fear, am I missing out on life and letting it pass me by?  Am I just an antisocial loser who's afraid to get hurt, afraid of losing his freedom, afraid of commitment?

    Or am I also paying attention to the life in me, my thoughts, and sharing them, sending my flowers and fragrance and pollen out onto the Net?  Is this just my neat little trick to compete for a little sun, in the quiet way of a flower, and my way of hoping that the flowers of the world get smelled once in a while (that thought hadn't happened until a few minutes ago)?

    All of it, I guess.

    I spent some time at deviantart.com, today.  I smelled the flowers of Brittany Jackson's art and life.  You can find her work here: http://liol.deviantart.com.  She's lovely.  Cute, sharp, and warm.

    Peace out.

    - Chris

    Current Mood: peaceful
    Tuesday, August 4th, 2009
    6:35 pm
    The view from my cube

    I once read a book when I was in elementary school.  I think it might have been in third grade.  Maybe fourth grade.  It was a collection of horror stories.  Now, what such a book was doing on the shelf of an elementary school classroom shelf is beyond me, but I read the stories.  Maybe I'm entirely mis-remembering the grade when I read it.  But I distinctly remember "third grade".  The back of the room.  A short wooden dull tan bookshelf.  Paperbacks on it.  But the classroom feels like Mrs. Cooper's room, which would make it fourth grade.  Even so, such a book seems out of place in any elementary school classroom, when I think back on it.

    I remember one story was about a man's fascination with fast-reproducing snails, and he ends up being covered with them, smothered to death, or something.  Great fourth grade reading, eh?  I don't remember any other stories, except one.

    The other story I remember was about a man who lived in some underground cave factory.  I believe he was either born there, or he just gained consciousness there without remembering anything about his life before gaining consciousness.

    His living space was just a cube-shaped space with a side just perhaps five feet long.  This living space was also his working space.  That space was in an underground tunnel.  Each side of the cube-shaped space was stone.  And this was a moving cube.  The floor and the ceiling was the floor and ceiling of the tunnel.  The front wall of the cube-shaped space was the back of the stone cube that was in front of him.  The back was the front of the stone cube behind him.  The sides of the cube-shaped space were also the side walls of the tunnel.

    His job was to push the front stone cube so that it would move along the tunnel.  I don't recall if he was to push on a particular cue or not.  In front of the front stone cube was another living/working space where another worker lived/worked.  His job was the same.  In front of his front cube was another living/working space.  Same thing behind.  It was just this long tunnel filled with stone cubes, each pushed by the man between the cubes.  The cubes must have been separated by some planks of some sort, so that even when a man was not pushing, the cubes would still move by the force of the men who WERE pushing.  I guess this would mean that when a man was sleeping or unconscious, he was moved along by the force of the other men pushing.  Each man would not be able to see much at all beyond his cube-shaped working/living space.  He could only surmise that there were other men in front and behind him by the voices he could occasionally hear that would be mostly muffled by the stone surrounding each man.  None of the workers would know why he was pushing, or what the factory was making.

    Great fourth grade reading, eh?

    This is the image I keep comparing my current project to.  Except that I do know what the big picture is, or at least what I'm told of it.  The current client is the US Postal Service.  My job is to test software that channels the data that passes between the Postal Service and businesses, to regulate commercial mail.  I like to joke that I'm helping to support junk mail.  It's not a high calling, but it's honorable work, and it's a living.  I know enough to do the day-to-day work, but I'm not sure how things will be further down the timeline.  Whenever someone knowledgeable tries to explain to me the details of the intermediate picture, I get confused.  The explanation sounds like babble to me.  It's a huge complex system we're working on.

    But the people are nice, and my officemates are helpful in explaining the part of my duty that I missed when my mind was wandering.  I help them, too, sometimes.

    The work isn't as dark and depressing as the story feels.  It's fairly enjoyable work in a pleasant atmosphere.  But the size and complexity of the project, and my limited knowledge of the project just reminds me of the story.

    In the story, the main character finds that occasionally, his stone would be pushed so that one of the side walls would actually be an open space.  Perhaps he would then see another tunnel of men and stone pushing in the opposite direction.  One of the times such an opening appeared, the man took the chance to crawl through it, trying to make some kind of escape.  I don't believe the story said whether the man's attempt to escape was successful or not.

    The story is a great metaphor for office life.  Kind of like Plato's story of the caves and the shadows.

    Anyway, I just wanted to share that.  I'm not actually working in a cubicle, but at a desk in a conference room that I share with four officemates.  I came to the conference room soon enough to claim the desk with a window view.

    Peace out.

    - Chris

    Friday, June 26th, 2009
    12:35 pm
    The King is dead
    The "King of Pop" is dead.  Long live what other king?

    My receptionist, with whom I am friends, said that Michael Jackson's song "Childhood" really described well his experience as a child and how it echoed on in his later life.

    I relate to Michael Jackson and his issues.  I once told my psychic therapist, years ago, that I could help Michael.  He replied, "I bet you could."  But I think he might have been just saying that.  I had a lot to learn about my big ego.  But my strategy would have been to have Michael let all those children go, and stay in their place, and keep Michael company.  I would have given understanding, and try my best to speak the truth with kindness, and keep Michael accountable to his actions and choices.

    Anyway, here are the lyrics to "Childhood", which I read is on his "HIStory" album.  I haven't heard the song.

    Childhood

    Have you seen my Childhood?
    I'm searching for the world that I come from
    'Cause I've been looking around
    In the lost and found of my heart...
    No one understands me
    They view it as such strange eccentricities...
    'Cause I keep kidding around
    Like a child, but pardon me...

    People say I'm not okay
    'Cause I love such elementary things...
    It's been my fate to compensate,
    for the Childhood
    I've never known...

    Have you seen my Childhood?
    I'm searching for that wonder in my youth
    Like pirates in adventurous dreams,
    Of conquest and kings on the throne...

    Before you judge me, try hard to love me,
    Look within your heart then ask,
    Have you seen my Childhood?

    People say I'm strange that way
    'Cause I love such elementary things,
    It's been my fate to compensate,
    for the Childhood I've never known...

    Have you seen my Childhood?
    I'm searching for that wonder in my youth
    Like fantastical stories to share
    The dreams I would dare, watch me fly...

    Before you judge me, try hard to love me.
    The painful youth I've had

    Have you seen my Childhood...

    Peace out.

    - Chris

    PS - My childhood wasn't that bad.  It was pretty good.  Sheltered, in a lot of ways, but good.  I had a lot of fun.  Didn't learn about sex or how to be intimate, but I had fun, and was provided for in a lot of ways.  It was just frustrating enough to seek out in later years the things and experiences I didn't have as a kid or teenager.  So here I am, a late-bloomer.  I'm still learning, still having fun, still growing up.  This being a Lost Boy is not a forever thing.

    Current Mood: pensive
    Friday, June 19th, 2009
    9:43 am
    An Eschatological Laundry List
    I first found this list framed in calligraphy script on the wall of the waiting room of my therapist, a couple years ago.  I'm sure there are some questions it doesn't answer about life, and there are counter-perspectives, but I do rather like it.  I liked it enough to write it all down in a little notebook, but there are many other things in that notebook, too.  But this below, I copied and pasted from the Internet.

    You may have seen it before.  It's An Eschatological Laundry List, by Sheldon Kopp, PhD.  Dr. Kopp, while he was still alive, was a psychiatrist, or something.  This is the first 43, so it's said, of 927 "Eternal Truths" (which is what "eschatological" means - "pertaining to the ultimate destiny of mankind and the world").  I have never seen the other 884 Eternal truths, and don't know if indeed they actually exist.  If they do, they are probably in a book that Kopp has written, which is what the list is from, which is If You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him.

    1. This is it.
    2. There are no hidden meanings.
    3. You can’t get there from here, and besides there is no place to go.
    4. We are already dying, and we’ll be dead a long time.
    5. Nothing lasts!
    6. There is no way of getting all you want.
    7. You can’t have anything unless you let go of it.
    8. You only get to keep what you give away.
    9. There is no particular reason why you lost out on some things.
    10. The world is not necessarily just. Being good often does not pay off and there’s no compensation for misfortune.
    11. You have the responsibility to do your best nonetheless.
    12. It’s a random universe to which we bring meaning.
    13. You really don’t control anything.
    14. You can’t make anyone love you.
    15. No one is any stronger or any weaker than anyone else.
    16. Everyone is, in his own way, vulnerable.
    17. There are no great men.
    18. If you have a hero, look again; you have diminished yourself in some way.
    19. Everyone lies, cheats, pretends. (yes, you too, and most certainly myself.)
    20. All evil is potentially vitality in need of transformation.
    21. All of you is worth something if you will only own it.
    22. Progress is an illusion.
    23. Evil can be displaced but never eradicated, as all solutions breed new problems.
    24. Yet it is necessary to keep struggling toward solution.
    25. Childhood is a nightmare.
    26. But it is so very hard to be an on-your-own, take-care-of-yourself-cause-there-is-no-one-else-to-do-it-for-you grown-up.
    27. Each of us is ultimately alone.
    28. The most important things each man must do for himself.
    29. Love is not enough, but it sure helps.
    30. We have only ourselves, and one another. That may not be much, but that’s all there is.
    31. How strange, that so often, it all seems worth it.
    32. We must live within the ambiguity of partial freedom, partial power, and partial knowledge.
    33. All important decisions must be made on the basis of insufficient data.
    34. Yet we are responsible for everything we do.
    35. No excuses will be accepted.
    36. You can run, but you can’t hide.
    37. It is most important to run out of scapegoats.
    38. We must learn the power of living with our helplessness.
    39. The only victory lies is in surrender to oneself.
    40. All of the significant battles are waged within the self.
    41. You are free to do whatever you like. You need only face the consequences.
    42. What do you know for sure…anyway?
    43. Learn to forgive yourself, again and again and again and again.

    Peace out.

    - Chris
    Thursday, May 21st, 2009
    12:40 pm
    More movies from the Rainbow Reviewer
    In reverse chronological order of viewing, these are movies I've seen since my last LiveJournal entry:

    Requiem for a Dream - Four stars.   Excellent movie.  The kind of innovative filmmaking expected of Darren Aronofski, director of "Pi".  I haven't read the book it was based on, but it seems the story is a good study on the paths that various addictions (not just drugs) take people, and just what it is that addicts are looking for.  Author of the book, Hubert Selby Jr., makes a cameo appearance.  Be sure to check out the Special Features where Ellen Burstyn interviews Selby.

    Star Trek (Movie 11/"The Future Begins") - Three and a half stars.  Fast-paced.  Gorgeous visuals.  Excellent characterizations of the original Star Trek crew.

    S.Darko - Two stars.  Now why did they re-make Donnie Darko?  I don't see any reason for it.  S.Darko, focusing on Donnie's little sister Samantha, rearranges and mixes up some of the story archetypes, but didn't come up with anything really new.  Just a tired uninspired story.

    Lakeview Terrace - Three stars.

    X-Men: the Origin of Wolverine - Three stars.

    King Kong - Three stars.

    Powder - Three and a half stars.

    Peace out.

    - Chris

    Current Mood: hungry
    Tuesday, May 12th, 2009
    6:24 pm
    Reviews from the Rainbow Reviewer

    And if you're still wondering, I'm the Rainbow Reviewer.  I'm not quoting someone else.  I'll watch and review across the spectrum, from the low frequencies to the high.

    Movies seen recently:

    Ratings out of possible five stars.

    One star - Bottom of the barrel.
    Two stars - Crap with some redeemable merit.
    Three stars - Solid.
    Four stars - Very good movie.  Oscar material.
    Five stars - Wow.  A mind-blowing life-changer.  (perhaps two movies approach this - Being John Malkovich, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.  What Dreams May Come I'd say is four and a half stars.  Fight Club is up there, too, as is The Matrix and Donnie Darko.  One of my most favorite movies, that I often give as my most favorite movie, is "Dances With Wolves", which I generally give four stars.)

    Stripper Academy - One star.  Horrible movie.  Bad plot, bad writing, bad sound engineering, bad acting.  Some nice skin and curves, but by this point in my life, I'm like, "Big deal" about what they showed.  The nudity was inconsistent.  Even the happy American ending felt shallow and meaningless.  Somehow, the movie won an award for best original score, but I have no idea why.

    Yes Man - Two and a half stars.  Solid fluff movie (as oxymoronic as that might be).  I don't think it was intended to be Oscar material, but just decent entertainment, and that it does well.  Sweet.  Funny.  Favorite humorous scene was the jumper save.  Zooey Daschanel is a bit mellow for such a free-spirited character, but she does pretty well.  Good story, good lessons there.

    Basketball Diaries - Two and a half stars.  Not bad for Leonardo Dicaprio's breakout role.  Good acting on his part, except for the overdone poetry voice-overs.  Good gritty depiction of the life of a drug addict.

    earth - Three stars.  Good stories.  Abrupt scene changes at times.  Hard sometimes to keep track of where things are happening.  Would have liked clearer geographic pinpointing of settings.  Great shots of the making-of in the credits.

    Seven Pounds - Three and a half stars.  Very good movie.  Solid.  Pretty powerful.  It's a bit mysterious at first, but I enjoyed trying to figure it out.  In some ways, it was predictable.  Will Smith does well, though I found "The Pursuit of Happyness" to be more powerful, partly because it's based on a real person.  I had new-found respect for Rosario Dawson as an actress.

    Milk - Four stars.  Very good.  I'm glad Harvey Milk's story got told.  Excellent job by Sean Penn.

    Zombie Strippers - Two stars.  Good schlock.  Better than I expected.  Outrageous effects and humor.  Surprisingly clever and philosophical.  Based loosely on Ionesco's "Rhinoceros".  Plus, it stars Robert Englund and Jenna Jameson.

    The Celestine Prophecy - Two and a half stars.  I haven't read the book, so I can't compare to that.  Movie was classified as "Action" in Blockbuster.  That's a first sign I should lower my expectations.  The spiritual side of the movie was glossed over, but was substantial enough to inspire me a bit in my life.  Good special effects.  Decent acting.

    The Tale of Despereaux - Two and a half stars.  Well-done.  Didn't feel it much.

    Bolt - Three stars.  Well-done.  Didn't feel it much.

    Knocked Up - Three stars.  Sweet.

    Zack and Miri Make a Porno - Two and a half stars.  Raunchy and sweet.

    Doubt - Four stars.  Well-done.  Moving at parts.  Held the mystery well.

    Gran Torino - Four stars.  Well-written.  This did for Dirty Harry what "Unforgiven" did for spaghetti westerns.  Clint Eastwood chooses a Christ-figure to be his swan-song role.

    The Wrestler - Four stars.  Emotionally powerful.  Inspiring.  Gritty.

    Slumdog Millionaire - Four stars.  Sweet.  Romantic.  Gritty.

    The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - Three stars.  Looked good, good integrity, but I didn't really feel it.

    Watchmen - Three stars.  Good effort in putting the awesome graphic novel to the screen.  Sometimes disappointing effects.  Some changes were made, even fundamental to the story, but they made sense for the transition to the screen, and the changes still made sense within the movie, as well.  I wished they'd put in the entirety of Dr. Manhatten's "thermodynamic miracles" speech, but they shortened it.

    Peace out.

    - Chris

    Thursday, April 30th, 2009
    3:30 pm
    Spotted
    Bumper sticker seen on the way to work.  Something like:

    "Rabid environmentalism - The privileged working out their narcissism."

    Interesting.  I can see that.  I'm not for rabid anything.  Yes, as the world as it's perceived can be seen as a reflection of the perceiver, those that are narcissistic see the world as a reflection of themselves, as a world needing saving, as a world whose salvation would be their glory if they saved it.

    Same thing can be said for rabid anything else.  Liberalism.  Conservatism.  Fundamentalism.

    "Be nice to America, or else we'll bring democracy to your country."

    Anyway.

    Peace.

    - Chris

    Current Mood: amused
    Monday, April 27th, 2009
    8:06 pm
    Abscess much?
    It occurred to me as I made the last post, that the word "abscessed" very closely resembles the word "obsessed".  I felt this was significant.  Certainly, the things I was focusing on, when my tooth was abscessed, were obsessions.

    Peace.

    - Chris

    Current Mood: hungry
    Friday, April 10th, 2009
    5:51 pm
    Where it's at


    This love that I speak of, especially in the song "Everything"... I've said how even Wanda's love fell short of the romanticized love of the song.  It occurs to me that in part, the image of me hugging a child that is straddling my lap is a representation of my love for myself.  Even my love for myself falls short of that song.  How many times have I crucified myself in my mind, to the point of depression and paralysis?  How many times have I been ashamed of my own "darkness"?  The only love worthy of such songs, I guess, would be God's love.  To some degree, in spite of myself, I am still alive, I am still finding joy and humor, I am still learning.  It's no big deal.  It's no big miracle.  Atoms and molecules and cells and bodies do go on, generally, if one doesn't actively seek their destruction.  If it's a miracle, it's an ordinary miracle.  I love to take naps.  I'd rather go to sleep than kill myself.  That principle has served me pretty well. :)  God's love, to echo Celine Dion and Titanic, does go on.

    And it is indeed the one thing that has no opposite, for it is all-encompassing.

    And the love I got from Wanda, from Stacey, from myself, from Chris (sassenach1970, who invited me here), from my family, from friends, from strangers, from the air, from my food, from animals, from water, from all my former (and the rare current) online friends I considered those that I met as Dorothy met her friends in Oz (Kat, Jenny/Sorceress, AK47, Enkidu, Kevin/K-Man, Sharyn/Eo, Cyberthug, BHG, Rynn/Wendy, Heather Strange, Anai, Essai, Child of Wonder, Heather, Jen, Papatrouter, Metapasahapa, Anne, Dave, Lenore, Yanie, Marisa, Hayley, AJ, Michael, Cloistered Blue, Naomi, Bran, Cat, Mary, KatieBug/BeatleBug, Margaret, Amber, Amber, Jenna, Sue, Dawn/Nytsiren)... they are each aspects of God's love.  Altogether, it is complete.  Altogether, I am sustained.  Wherever I go, God is, and all is well.  For I am part of God, and so are you.

    So in dedication to God's love, the love which Wanda tried so hard to emulate, of which you are a part, I post this other song by Alanis Morrissette, from the movie "Dogma", in which Alanis actually does play the part of God.  It's an interesting idea, to consider that the aspect of God within the walls is female, while the aspect of God outside the walls is male.

    Still - Alanis Morissette

    I am the harm which you inflict
    I am your brilliance and frustration
    I am the nuclear bombs if they're to hit
    I am your immaturity and your indignance
    I am your misfits and your praised
    I am doubt and your conviction
    I am your charity and your rape
    I am your grasping and expectation

    I see you averting your glances
    I see you cheering on war
    I see you ignoring your children
    And I love you still
    And I love you still

    I am your joy and your regret
    I am your fury and your elation
    I am your yearning and your sweat
    I am your faithless and your religion

    I see you altering history
    I see you abusing the land
    I see you and your selective amnesia
    and I love you still
    and I love you still

    I am your tragedy and your fortune
    I am your crisis and delight
    I am your prophets and your profits
    I am your art I am your bytes
    I am your death and your decisions
    I am your passion and your plights
    I am your sickness and convalescence
    I am your weapons and your light

    I see you holding your grudges
    I see you gunning them down
    I see you silencing your sisters
    And I love you still
    And I love you still
    I see you lie to your country
    I see you forcing them out
    I see you blaming each other
    And I love you still
    And I love you still

    Peace out.

    - Chris

    Current Mood: calm
    3:03 pm
    Dedication 3

    I once dedicated this to Stacey, for the way she accepted so much of me.  But I think Wanda accepted me even more, so I think this song applies to her even more.  There was just once that Wanda ended the friendship, at a time when I was trying to earn her trust in my own twisted way, and getting a lot of flak for it, and fighting and arguing with people about it.  When I even refused to take Wanda's advice, she said we were no longer friends.  But even when I paid for sex, Wanda still remained friends.  And I'm grateful for my friendship with Stacey.  She knows a lot about me, and says what's on her mind about it, and still remains a friend, and a very good one, at that.

    Some might think it strange that I speak from the perspective of a woman, as in the lyrics of the song.  But anyone who knows me well knows I do have a strong femine side (and, hey, on my birthday this year, at church, I sang, without shame, "Part of Your World" and "On My Own", without changing the lyrics).  And spiritually, whatever it is I see, I am, as well.

    To you, Wanda, and our broken-down tooths.  I think I'm having mine pulled soon (it has abscessed).  You had yours pulled long ago.  This is a goodbye of sorts.  And I think it might be a hello of sorts, too.

    Everything - Alanis Morissette

    I can be an asshole of the grandest kind
    I can withhold like it's going out of style
    I can be the moodiest baby
    And you've never met anyone
    As negative as I am sometimes

    I am the wisest woman you've ever met
    I am the kindest soul with whom you've connected
    I have the bravest heart that you've ever seen
    And you've never met anyone
    As positive as I am sometimes

    You see everything
    You see every part
    You see all my light
    And you love my dark
    You dig everything
    Of which I'm ashamed
    There's not anything to which you can't relate
    And you're still here

    I blame everyone else, not my own partaking
    My passive aggressiveness can be devastating
    I'm terrified and mistrusting
    And you've never met anyone who's closed down as I am sometimes

    You see everything
    You see every part
    You see all my light
    And you love my dark
    You dig everything
    Of which I'm ashamed
    There's not anything to which you can't relate
    And you're still here

    What I resist, persists, and speaks louder than I know
    What I resist, you love, no matter how low or high I go

    I'm the funniest woman that you've ever known
    I am the dullest woman that you've ever known
    I'm the most gorgeous woman that you've ever known
    And you've never met anyone as everything as I am sometimes

    You see everything
    You see every part
    You see all my light
    And you love my dark
    You dig everything
    Of which I'm ashamed
    There's not anything to which you can't relate
    And you're still here
    And you're still here
    And you're still here

    And of course, you're not here, physically, with me.  And I'm not in communication with you.  But you are all around me.  You are a part of me.  I grok you.  I'll always grok you.

    Love,
    Chris

    Current Mood: sad
    Thursday, April 9th, 2009
    1:04 pm
    Dedication 2

    It wasn't until yesterday that I realized that "Sweet Child o' Mine" reminds me of Wanda.  Here's another song that has reminded me of her for a while.  I think of the child that was at the heart and soul of who Wanda was.
     
    She's Always a Woman to Me

    She can kill with a smile, she can wound with her eyes
    She can ruin your faith with her casual lies
    And she only reveals what she wants you to see
    She hides like a child, but she's always a woman to me

    She can lead you to love, she can take you or leave you
    She can ask for the truth, but she'll never believe you
    And she'll take what you give her as long it's free
    Yeah, She steals like a thief, but she's always a woman to me

    CHORUS
    Ohhh... she takes care of herself
    She can wait if she wants, she's ahead of her time
    Ohhh... and she never gives out
    And she never gives in, she just changes her mind

    And she'll promise you more than the garden of Eden
    Then she'll carelessly cut you and laugh while you're bleeding
    But she’ll bring out the best and the worst you can be
    Blame it all on yourself 'cause she's always a woman to me

    CHORUS

    She's frequently kind and she's suddenly cruel
    She can do as she pleases, she's nobody's fool
    And she can't be convicted, she's earned her degree
    And the most she will do is throw shadows at you,
    But she's always a woman to me

    CHORUS

    Peace out.

    - Chris

    Current Mood: anxious
    Wednesday, April 8th, 2009
    9:40 am
    Dedication

    There is something that just gets me where it hurts in my soul, that fills a deep longing, to imagine a little child sitting in my lap, straddling me, facing me, embracing me... and I embrace him back, tightly, as if my life depended on it, so I'd never lose him again... until tears were squeezed out of both of us.  A connection never to sever.

    My sweet child o' mine.

    I dedicate the following lyrics to Wanda, and her blue eyes, which I've never seen face to face, which I've only seen pixels of in pictures.  I think also of the blue eyes that John Ferguson described as belonging to Jesus in his book Touch.  There aren't many Jews with blue eyes, but they're out there, I've heard (maybe Jesus was actually half Roman).  And I have seen Wanda as the most Jesus-like person I've ever known, in the way she loved and in the way she sacrificed, and in the way her spirit triumphed through adversity to find an attitude of wisdom and joy.  To you, Wanda, and the Christ in you, and the Christ in me, and the Christ all around.  To the blue-eyed spirit of sensitivity and passion for truth, love, and beauty.  To the spirit of the little girl who dances to her own tune, even if it sometimes sounds discordant to everyone else.  To all in my life who reminded me at one time or another of Wanda.  Maybe one of these days, I'll see your blue eyes face to face.  If not in this life, maybe in the next.

    She's got a smile that it seems to me
    Reminds me of childhood memories
    Where everything
    Was as fresh as the bright blue sky
    Now and then when I see her face
    She takes me away to that special place
    And if I'd stare too long
    I'd probably break down and cry

    Whoa... sweet child o' mine...
    Whoa... sweet love of mine...


    She's got eyes of the bluest skies
    As if they thought of rain
    I hate to look into those eyes
    And see an ounce of pain
    Her hair reminds me of a warm safe place
    Where as a child I'd hide
    And pray for the thunder and the rain
    To quietly pass me by

    Whoa... sweet child o' mine...
    Whoa... sweet love of mine.

    - "Sweet Child O' Mine", Guns 'n' Roses
     

    I love you always forever
    Near or far, closer together
    Everywhere I will be with you
    Everything I will do for you
    You've got the most unbelievable blue eyes that I've ever seen
    You've got me almost melting away

    -
    "I Love You Always Forever", Donna Lewis

    Peace out.

    - Chris



    Current Mood: peaceful
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