Having no idea what to write a list about today...I am just going to start typing.
1. I watched a very different movie last night called The Family Stone. The premise seemed light and entertaining but within minutes, the personalities of the characters started to grab hold of me and play out like a mystery story. It is a comedy, and a family drama and was surprisingly good. Awesome ensemble cast including the very hot Dermot Mulrooney, Sarah Jessica Parker, Clare Danes, Diane Keaton, Craig Nelson and Luke Wilson.
2. I also watched the movie Domino, starring Keira Knightley. A couple years ago, Keira Knightley just rubbed me the wrong way. I loved Pirates of the Carribean movie, but she bothered me. This past summer, with the sequel to the Pirate movie, I utterly got into her acting and comedy and persona. I am now a fan of the Keira! In fact, I didn't want to watch the latest version of Pride and Prejudice, because I am a huge fan, like so many others, of the BBC six hour mini-series from the 80's. But I watched it after seeing and enjoying the Pirates sequel...and really really loved it. Flicking through the movie networks I noticed a Keira Knightley movie called Domino...and it is directed by Tony Scott, whose movies I always enjoy and learn something from his camera work, action and hardboiled tone. Stagg and I were riveted to the movie the entire time. It also stars Mickey Rourke, who I love, and Christopher Walken. It is a fast choppy compelling movie and based on a true story. Of course as soon as the movie ended I had to find out...WHO WAS this DOMINO!!!?? She was the daughter of Lawrence Harvey, yes, the actor in The Manchurian Candidate! (The film Domino even had a character watching this movie ) She was a priviledged Hollywood child who modeled and then became, a BOUNTY HUNTER! Who could make that up? The real Domino Harvey died last year and I was sorry to read about her death due to "artistic differences" and I am glad to have seen this movie and see such a different kind of person in a movie. Complex. And Tony Scott ROCKS!
3. I'd like to say something really wise and deep because it's almost New Years Eve. I kinda hate New Years Eve. The evening can go either way...you go out, dance, meet superfreaks, get bored or luck into a fun time with a good band or a good party. I've spent many different kinds of New Years Eve...often going to a friends band, sometimes warehouse parties, sometimes asleep by 10 p.m. Although I am a massively "goal-oriented A-Type personality" I almost never make New Years resolutions. I simply can't think of anything profound or deep about New Years Eve...I could take it or leave it. I make resolutions throughout the year.
4. Okay, here is a resolution. THIS year I WILL read Bleak House by Dickens. When I started this blog, I had no idea of what I might post about...and I started by going to write about books I read. I hardly EVER post about books...but I thought I would post about Bleak House...never even read it last year.
5. Um, last year...at some early point in the year, Stagg and I wrote a list of what we wanted to do in the coming months. We did everything on that list. So, I think we should up the ante this year if we make another list! We both seem to be people who like a list and accomplishing it...which suddenly seems to make the list have a lot more potential and responsibility...doesn't it?
6. Some of my favourite artists who have inspired me over the years, especially when I was very young, include Van Gogh, Andy Warhol,Francis Bacon, Turner(the opening image of this post), um Philip Guston(the last image posted in here at the end of the post). I think I should stop listing artists it would take all day. Perhaps I'll save these thoughts for a future post...next week?
7.Have I "learned anything" this year. In some ways it doesn't feel like I have, but I must dig deep...I must have learned something? I learned that having a difference of opinion with ones Love isn't the end of the world...heh heh...it's okay to have different opinions. It makes for some great conversations. I have also re-learned somethings. Like about compassion, love and forgiveness. Compassion and forgiveness are personal things...you can aplogize and forgive and it only makes a difference inside your own heart. Say, the person you "forgive" is really an act of an illusion...they might not even notice or understand, but your own heart knows. Same with compassion....it looks like an act set out for others, in altruism...but the benefits are really mostly felt inside your self. Atonement works the same way...in some ways, it is our ego that wants redemption and atonement( remember I am a Buddhist and desire is always an act of the ego according to a strict dogma...which of course, being a good Buddhist I rejected long ago ha ha)...but we want peace too with others. Yet, making such peace is private ultimately. I'm sure someone else could articulate what I'm scratching to describe right now, I don't seem to have the words.
8. Being in love and acting on it this past year has been a mirror for how much peace of mind I have...and I feel very lucky to have such a sense of peace in my life. Being in love makes it stand out strong and obvious. I felt peace of mind and happiness before...but it is all so practically played out when in love. And...there are lots of slapstick ironic feelings too...
9. What else am I thinking about today? I got to see a lot more about Stagg's family this past week. Very interesting and insightful stuff. He is the most unique his life choices seem so extreme and brave...that he chose to be an artist yet his family isn't really an artsy family. He and I have this in common, that we made a strange choice to be artists when we were both very young, little children. Most families aren't exactly thrilled when their kids want to grow up to be artists. I have found it quite fantastic to get a whole insight into his past and history as an artist this past year, in a new way. I think of Stagg and I as fairly average folks who love their world of imaginations...but it is hilarious when we look at our pasts and environment to see and wonder...how did we get so "edgy or extreme" ? I've got a whole new respect for the power and magic of the imagination.
10. I think William Burroughs is the greatest American writer whose only close peers are Melville, Faulkner and Hemingway. I've always loved Burroughs, but this year I have found myself thinking about him, how he wrote and compiled such intense stories and characters and reached such a large audience whie writing about dark and dirty things yet making the novels full of great action and beauty...mixed with a sort of spiritual squalor. Even Cormac McCarthy doesn't even come close Burroughs acheivement, after all, Burroughs wrote all his life and published so many more works.
11. I love this web site
12. I love this song and video! It speaks so beautifully about love. I find it is brilliant because there are many kinds of love it can mean. Of course casting Robert Dwoney Jr. is incredible because it alludes to a self love the kind that gives us stength to take care of ourselves. Also, the love being "a different kind" can mean a gay love, a fobidden love...a Romeo and Juliet kind of love. The lyrics are so simple and brilliant and they make a huge leap and connection between sexual adventurism and bravery and the spirtual: a connection that a lot of people don't immediately see. The desire for extreme passion or feeling is "a rougher stuff" and actually a craving for a deeper and alternative love, outside our materialistic definitions of romance and love. And...most valuable, at least for me, it has always meant a spiritual love, in this song. Romantic love is easy...a spiritual love is much more work and "rougher" indeed. We are taught barely enough how to find or cultivate and share, the kind of love that pens us up to compassion and to contest the societies and environments that may or may not, frighteningly allow us to feel love or loved...but with a "different kind of love" we can learn and reject all the negative forces challenging us every day. I almost always cry or at least, get onion-eyed listening to this magnificent song.
13. This is post 404. I have been blogging for 10 months. My technorati rank is 6,141. I still have a long ways to go to beat Guy Kawasaki to Technorati Top # 10...but I started at over 2 million rank...so I'm not giving up yet. I have had 15,000 visitors so far. This is Week # 21 of my participation in Thursday Thirteen. Time flies when you're having fun!!!!
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