Monthly Archives: February 2004

why i haven’t written all week…

Actually, that’s a lie. I haven’t been slothful at all this week. Very busy. Michael found this picture to use as the basis for his Slug Man and Sloth Girl comic book. Wish he would get off his butt and actually do it, but I think he’s too sluggish. Or is it slothful? Maybe he’s Sloth Man and I’m Slug Girl. But I don’t think I can deal with the slime.

So, did anyone else read the article on “Cinema Therapy” in the East Bay Express? You can find the article here:  I guess I’ve been having my own private Cinema Therapy ever since I signed up for Netflix. And this month, with Oscars coming up in 2 days, has been particularly intense. Depression. Addiction. Violence. Loss. And as I mentioned last Friday, watching my own reactions to these things has been interesting. Wondering why all this violence leaves me cold.

Which brings me to the movies for this week. The antidote to the cold heart. Kmeelyon’s comment last Friday was, “you want tears? get yourself to see “in america,” already!” Kmeelyon was right!!! I went to see In America on Monday night after meditation. Okay, I know that having come from meditation group might have affected the way I received the movie. But leaving the theater, I swear, colors were brighter; downtown sparkled! I could have skipped down the sidewalk(and probably did!) Such heart! Such warmth! I cried and was happy! I’d see it again if anyone wants to go with me!

And another movie I’d see again is The Triplets of Belleville, which I just saw tonight with Susan. Fantastically weird, amazing animation! A great story. Now, I loved Finding Nemo, but I was thinking tonight about what makes a movie like Triplets so much more satisfying. And I think it’s that it doesn’t take anything for granted, like Disney movies do. So many weird, delicious details make the characters not just fun but actually interesting.

It’s just occuring to me right now how similar those 2 stories are: in both cases the son gets captured and the parent figure has to go find and rescue him. And in both cases, at least one parent is dead: Nemo’s mother and both of Champion’s parents. But in the Nemo story, the setup is short and cliched, as I recall. Father and mother find a home, lay some eggs, eggs and mother get eaten except for Nemo and Dad. Right? (Trying to remember.) Sad sad sad. But where are the details? Disney takes for granted the whole family values thing. They don’t bother trying to make you care for the characters. It’s prepackaged emotion. Like Bambi. Kill Mom = Instant Sadness. Whereas, in Triplets, we don’t know what happened to the parents. But what we see are all the details of the grandmother and grandson together in their weird little house and all the things she does to try and make him happy. It’s the expressiveness and quirkiness of the characters that make us care. The dog going upstairs every 15 minutes to bark at the train. The grandmother’s whiskers. Her whistle. Her vacuuming Champion’s calf muscles. Okay, now I’m giving too much away. Just GO SEE THIS MOVIE! Or call me, and I’ll go with you!

blasny blasny…

“In my country, stupid people are valued! If not sure what to do, ask a stupid

person!… Then do opposite!” — The Foreigner

For some reason I just can’t bring myself to describe our day in complete sentences. 3pm: Snacks at Mark Peters’ house. Drawings of Kaui. Phone conversation with Will. 4:30pm: Drive to Pacifica with Sharon. 5:30pm: Dinner at Nona’s Kitchen with Sharon, Mark, Michael, Jon Bernie, Teresa, Kenneth, Katherine, & Joe. Butternut squash soup. Salmon and spinach. Strawberries and cream. Ravenswood merlot. Eating Michael’s sausage. Oh my. Eating Michael’s nuts. Oh my oh my. Eating Michael’s muscles… I mean mussels. Sheesh! 7pm: Watching Jon Bernie knit a hat. 8:00pm: Watching Paul Wells as Owen Musser in “The Foreigner.” Pacifica Spindrift Players. Laughter and general hilarity. Much fun. 11pm: Rainy drive home.

A genuinely nice day. So why does it feel so strange to report these things?

City of Violent Children of God…

Saw City of God today with Tomi. What a difference in the Oscar movies from last year to this. Last year — so much color and richness: Chicago, The Hours, Far From Heaven, even The Pianist had a certain warmth. This year, by contrast, the films are stark, cold. What can you expect with titles like Cold Mountain, The Cooler. Even in the violent films like City of God and 21 Grams… there’s a kind of chilling numbness that sets in. Nothing has brought tears. Maybe the difference is in me this year? How is it that one watches little 6-year olds shoot one another without being moved? The tone of these films is different somehow. More like reading the newspaper than a novel. There’s a grainy, frenetic quality that engages the intellect without reaching the heart. My heart anyway. Where did all this barbed wire come from?


“Cross over children. All are welcome. All welcome. Go into the Light. There is peace and serenity in the Light.”

2 more idol contenders get to go through that door. Scary. How do you tell yourself it’s not real when every nerve in your body is buzzing? The vicarious thrill of millions watching. Such raw energy. Juice. And then, when it’s suddenly sucked back out again… who or what is left standing after that? Who’s going to remind these kids to breathe?


Another movie tonight: Cold Mountain. Thoughts: Major melodrama. But at least Nicole Kidman and Jude Law get to do it before he dies. (Oops, that was a spoiler. So sorry!)


Dad called today. He’s taking Mom and David to Hawaii tomorrow for a month. He says she’s cold, and all she wants to do these days is sit by the fire and eat chocolate. Mmmmmm… Me too. Come home through the wind and rain, light my candles, and watch American Idol with a mug of sugar-free cocoa. Try not to set off the smoke alarm again tonight. How to find meaning in any of this? And what do I mean by “meaning?”

Service. Usefulness. Washing dishes feels good. Being nice to Michael. Is that all there is? Nights like this, the emptiness is so vast… but not in a profound sense. Or maybe it is profound, but this depression keeps me from feeling it. Or maybe I’m just distracted by too many car commercials and ads for text messaging. Such power all through this house. We are WIRED. And for what? For what use?

Weather. Storms. Electricity. Data packets. The world becoming one great big branded mind. Communication, right? But what are we saying? What are we hearing? Sound bytes. Not too many words but power concentrated into an empty few. And I buy and I buy… Wow, look at that coat. Those buttons. These earrings. Candles. More movies. Books. Feed me more more more more more… substance… because I’m sooooo afraid of the void. As soon as I finish this book, I’ll meditate. Okay, this is the last one. Then I’ll be quiet. Okay? I just have to check my weight once more. My hair. Teeth.

I know what I know. And still I run. Okay, so tonight I’m running. I’m sitting at the computer typing these words, but in my mind, I’m sitting in a papasan chair with my legs crossed and eyes closed, breathing. Who ever heard of anything so absurd?

what to do on a gray day…

Finally! Here are the photos from the housewarming party in January. The third page contains beautiful black and white photos taken by Teresa.

Now, what else can I accomplish today… ? Flyer for retreat… scan photos for Dad… start online Javascript class… put together housewarming scrapbook and finally clear off the card table… so many EXTREMELY IMPORTANT things to do!! Maybe I’ll teach myself to crochet.


At 11:06 this morning at SF’s City Hall, Phyllis Lyon, 79, left, and Del Martin, 83, made history by becoming the first same-sex couple to be officially married in the U.S.. The ceremonies, sanctioned by Mayor Newsom in direct defiance of state law, continued throughout the day with at least 15 same-sex weddings performed at City Hall.