Tuesday, January 17, 2006

"Make Every Moment Count"

So, yes, I went to see the new Queen Latifah movie, "Last Holiday." This weekend will be the 25th anniversary of my mother's death (on RR's inauguration day) and I thought I ought to do something a little extra special to mark the date.

I will probably go out to the labyrinth at the Malibu United Methodist Church by Zuma Beach next Saturday, so I went to see the movie on during the MLK weekend.

Yes, it's formulaic; yes, it's so predictable a ten year old might be able to write out the script before seeing the film. Every review I've seen has panned it as trite and overly simplistic. So fucking what? It works. Yeah, that's right, the movie does what a movie is supposed to do. It moves you from wherever you are to a slightly better place. Tell me when we have too many movies with a strong African American woman lead, by the way. It won't be up for any awards, in all likelihood, other than perhaps an NAACP Image Award. There's no cursing, no car crashes. And (spoiler alert!) nobody dies. Give yourself a treat: see the movie. And take somebody you care about. Too many good people I know (spoiler alert!) never got a fax telling them that they were going to live after all. So we all have to live a little more for the folks who aren't with us --except in spirit. Maybe you'll laugh just a little more through life than you might have otherwise...

It is far too easy for folks in the program to see an encoded message related to see a recovery-related theme in just about anything, (Greg Garcia's "My Name is Earl" has got to be penned by program folk, for all the inside jokes it has) but the message is there. Not that folks in recovery have ever laid claim to any monopoly on spiritual teachings or messages. It's pretty damn universal.

It isn't too much to ask that our entertainment media do something to make us maybe just a wee bit more conscious of how precious life is, and the gift each of us has to offer the world around us. If that's too fucking corny for you well excuse me. Go drown a cat or something. I'd like to think I'm gonna leave this Earth at least an iota better off more me having been on it.

So go see the movie with somebody. Take the kids. Take a neighbor. You remember them: the people who live all around you? Take yourself for a pick-me-up. Unless you'd rather get a $17 martini at the Abbey to feel good.

A Love That Will Never Grow Old

Go to sleep, may your sweet dreams come true
Just lay back in my arms for one more night
I've this crazy old notion that calls me sometimes
Saying this one's the love of our lives.

'Cause I know
A love that will never grow old
And I know
A love that will never grow old.

When you wake up the world may have changed
But trust in me, I'll never falter or fail
Just the smile in your eyes, it can light up the night
And your laughter's like wind in my sails.


Lean on me, let our hearts beat in time,
Feel strength from the hands that have held you so long.
Who cares where we go on this rutted old road
In a world that may say we're wrong.


I'm glad that the song by Gustavo Santaolalla and Bernie Taupin from Brokeback Mountain won a Golden Globe last night. I could easily see where a piano or harp arrangement would make it a wedding favorite for years to come... and not just same-sex weddings, either.

(Two lost posts)

Jan. 7. A beautiful Saturday for a stroll up Santa Monica Blvd. passing "Daddy Starbucks" (or as I like to think of it, the "Westmount Beach"). More Texas A & M graffiti on the walls --were fans staying at the Ramada? Of course! What a hoot for them!--

Nothing like a lunch at the quintessential center of queerdom, Eat Well, to make one feel as though one's gay card had expired.

This is supposed to set the tone for the road trip; instead, I feel like I've already gone into exile.

It's impossible to tell that it's January, looking out the restaurant's plate glass windows at the green hills and cloudless blue sky.

At the Bagdad Cafe, I lamented the past lost; here, however, there never was a present for me.

Then, while walking to the French Market, twice people from the program call out to me to say hello from a passing car or a table at the coffee house.

Outside is breezier than it had seemed at the meeting this morning, when the magnified sun warmed the back of my neck through the window.

Jan. 8. All Over Coffee.

While looking for the stuff to pack for the jaunt up North, I found a couple of Paul Madonna cartoons.

If you've ever lived in San Francisco, wanted to, dreamed about, or wondered what it was that makes The City so special or the people so captivated by it, his 'enigmatic' depictions of San Francisco that appear a few times a week in the San Francisco Chronicle tell the tale.

As intriguing as his art is, the story of Paul Madonna's coming to San Francisco and becoming it's unofficial artist-poet laureate is a tale in and of itself worthy of the artist --and The City-- who so keenly and intuitively lays open the spirit of it's soul.

Who better, then, to illustrate the San Francisco Literary Map published by 826 Valencia?

To view the archive of Paul Madonna's work, go to http://www.sfgate.com and click on "comics" and "Paul Madonna" or go to his website at http://www.paulmadonna.com

San Francisco, where everyone leaves their heart, is a city with so many of them. The official geographical center of San Francisco is on the East side of Grandview, between 23rd and 24th (just below Upper Market). In 1980, I mapped every address then in my phone book. The center of my personal San Francisco at the time if I recall correctly was near Duboce Park. While that address book does not survive, the map does, somewhere. Given that over a quarter of a century has passed, since then, it would be interesting to do an updated version--maybe for both San Francisco and LA.

When most visitors think of San Francisco,, nearly every landmark except for Golden Gate Park, the Golden Gate bridge, the Legion of Honor, the Presidio and Haight-Ashbury are compressed into the northeast quarter of The City.

LA having so much more land mass begs the question, what is the center of my LA? The official geographical center of LA is somewhere in Franklin Canyon near the reservoir-- a place very few Angelenos have ever visited despite it's popularity with hikers and the horse set. It has been on my 'to do' list to visit as well for some time as well.

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