Monday, November 27, 2006

Thanksgiving Week

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It's a bit late to talk about Thanksgiving at this point but I did want to share a few things about Thanksgiving week. I spent the first part of the week of Thanksgiving camping in the Big Sur and Santa Cruz areas. I had the whole week off and the weather was unusually warm for this time of year so I decided to go camping before I headed over to San Jose to spend Thanksgiving day with my mom and aunt. The camping part of my trip was great because I had the campgrounds pretty much to myself. It was very peaceful and quiet which was great as I spent some quality time reflecting and meditating on the past year. Each year since 2001 I spend some time prior to Thanksgiving day reflecting and journaling the past years events that I am thankful for and here are a few of things I wrote in my journal this year.

1. A greater sense of self awareness regarding my short and long term goals...and...a greater self awareness about the areas in my life that need attention and devotion of my time and energy.Self awareness is not an end into itself but it is difficult to pursue one's needs, passions, and desires without some self awareness.

2. The relationship with my two sons. I am very proud and grateful I have been able to maintain a strong and growing relationship with my two sons since my divorce over four years ago. It is not easy to keep close to one's children when one does not live with them but I am very grateful that we have what I believe to be a good and growing relationship.

3. I am grateful for my health. I am more physically fit at this time in my life than I have been for over ten years. I am eating better and exercising at least four days a week now. Not bad for someone pushing 50 and has sustained some of the bike and car accidents I have over the years.

4. Emotional stability. I feel like I am at a better place emotionally than I have been for a number of years. Emotionally stability is a fickle thing since we do not have control over many of the variables in our lives but I feel I have grown stronger in a number of areas over the years and feel more confident to pursue some things I was not able to in years past.

5. Am grateful for where I am in life. Being divorced, single, and pushing 50 is not easy at times but I feel content where I am in life and do not envy my friends or the more "normal" living circumstances of others. It has not been easy to get to this place where I am at but I do not regret the twists and turns my life has taken over the years.

There are many other things that I am grateful for this past year but they are more personal in nature and thus I'll leave it with these five things....During my week off I also got in some great hiking and mountain bike riding. I visited a new California State park on this trip and had a great ride through a beautiful Redwood forest near Santa Cruz. There aren't too many places I haven't been to in California but I was pleasantly surprised by the discovery of a new place I can now go riding and hiking.....Not much to report about Thanksgiving day. Spent a quiet meal with my mom and aunt.I don't get too many home cooked meals these days so I am always grateful for a hot meal with all the fixens. The meal was great and I took my mom for a walk around the block before we sat down to eat some Turkey. My mom is amazing. She is almost 92 and still is motivated to walk around the block once a week... I left the next morning and came back to Bakersfield where I spent Saturday putting up my Christmas decorations before I watched the USC Trojans stomp the Irish of Notre Dame and move one step closer to their fourth consecutive National Championship game. It was sweet....Yesterday I went to see the movie The Fountain after being intrigued by the comments of my friend Dave who saw the movie earlier in the week. What a trippy movie, the music, the images, and the storyline all blended together to form a unique mosiac of the past, present, and future. But, it is the kind of movie alot of folks probably won't appreciate, especially if one likes their movies linear, logical, and an ending that is neat and tidy. Personally, I found the film emotionally satisfying and intellectually stimulating. While the film probably provokes questions about death and dying for most people who saw the film this is not what I found particularly interesting or intriquing. Death is not something I give much thought to because I figure there is nothing I can do about it and what I believe or don't believe about death and what happens after one dies is not going to effect what "actually" happens when a person dies. Of course, I may be singing a different tune when the time approaches for the grim reaper to visit me....What intriqued me about the film is to what great lengths people will go to find a solution or formula to the problems and challenges we all face in this life....and....the film reminded me that there is so much in this life that is out of our control, ultimately, and no matter how intelligent, hard working, and passionate we are there are many things we will never control or master for one reason or another. I doubt this is the point the director was trying to make but this is what I got out of the film. If one goes into this film looking or searching for some kind of deep philosophical meaning I suspect one will be disappointed....but....if one just absorbs the sights, sounds, and emotional energy of the movie without thinking too much or trying to figure out some deep meaning than I think one will appreciate the film for what it is.....

Saturday, November 25, 2006

All Hail to USC

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The Leprechauns of the Midwest were no match for the Men of Troy this evening. Too much offense,defense, and team speed. I honestly thought Notre Dame had a chance in this game because I thought they had an edge in the motivation department and I figured the Irish offense was good enough to perhaps outscore the USC offense which has been up and down this year, but, boy was I wrong. USC just has too many great athletes on both sides of the ball and they have one of the great college coaches in recent memory. Under Carroll's leadership USC has only lost one game by more than six points in his tenure at USC and they have now beaten something like 19 out of the last 20 ranked opponents which is one of the most incredible stats in college football history.....Before the season began I predicted USC would lose two games this season, and they still might, but I never dreamed they would be in position to play in the national championship game this year. I know they still have to get past UCLA, but I just don't see a letdown next week because of Carroll's leadership and the superior athletes who are now peaking at the right time of the year which has become USC's signature under the reign of Pete Carroll.....If USC does beat UCLA, as expected this week-end, than they will face Ohio State for the National Championship. Ohio State is a great team but I think USC will give them a run for their money. Ohio State has lived up to all their expectations this year but Ohio State has yet to meet a team with so many great athletes who play so agressively on both sides of the ball. As I have said elsewhere, USC never plays to not lose. They play an agressive brand of football which is unmatched, imo, anywhere else in the why I think they can not only play with Ohio State but I now think they have a chance to beat Ohio State.....Confession time....I confess I had lost my confidence in the greatness of the USC football team for much of the season but I have been humbled by the play of USC for the past three weeks but I am now proud to report that I am back on the USC, is the best team in the country, bandwagon feels great!!! Trojans!!!!...and... Do what you have to do against your crosstown rival UCLA next week than show the folks out in the midwest and the rest of the country how we play football out here in Hollywood land...where...the weather is always sunny...the days are warm...and we know how to play smashmouth football with anyone in the country

Preview of the Big Game

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Just got back from my week long camping trip and visit to my aunt's house on Thanksgiving. I'll have more to say about in a seperate blog entry Sunday night. I came back today because I wanted to see the Notre Dame/USC game. I am a big sports fan but at the present time there is only one sports team that I have a strong emotional connection with and that is the USC why I am currently in a state of anxiety regarding this game...and...if USC loses I will be bummed. There is a significant amount of anxiety regarding this game because I don't have a strong sense of who will win this game...and...I find myself going back and forth. Notre Dame has a great quarterback, coach, and revenge on their side but their powder puff schedule, imo, may be misleading regarding how really good are the Leprechans of the Midwest. USC, has great athletes, a vastly improved defense, and an underated offense to go along with a string of victories which includes winning 54 of their last 57...and...USC is 19-0, under Carroll during the month of November since he arrived on campus. Something has to break today. Either USC's, November streak, or Notre Dame's luck of the Irish, this year. They should of lost to both UCLA and Michigan State earlier this year. They better not hope on a miracle fourth quarter comeback in this game because USC does not play to not lose. Carroll's teams play aggressive and they will not allow Brady Quinn to sit back and drive down the field. Notre Dame better play as the frontrunner if they hope to win the game...I don't feel confident enough to go out on a limb and predict this year's winner which means that my only prediction is that the team that makes the most mistakes is the team that will lose...So, hold on to the ball, Booty, Washington, Gable, Jarrett, and Smith because, if you do, you might just find yourself playing for the national championship again.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Mother Nature is calling

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I am about to head off for a solo adventure to the wilderness for the next four days before I hook up with my mom and aunt for the Thanksgiving week-end. I don't know when I will have access to a computer again since I will be camping out in the Big Sur area which is a rather remote area of the California Coast. I suspect I may run across one of the those internet cafe's along the way but I generally don't like to log in while I am in the wild. Bad wilderness etiquette. Over the next four days I am looking forward to some hiking, biking, and shopping. I'll be doing some shopping in the Carmel and Monterey area on Tuesday and a bit in Santa Cruz on Wednesday. I will be looking for Christmas gifts and things for my future new living arrangments. I enjoy shopping in places along the coast because of the unique items they carry and the ambiance and atmosphere provided of the small shop experience. It will be nice to get away from Wal-mart, Target, and the other big box bullies that now dominate the shopping landscape from coast to coast. I also plan to get out and do as much hiking and biking as my body will allow me to do over the next four days. I am in pretty good shape right now for this time of the year but I am a 48 year old man who does now have limits in what he can do....I also hope to get in some reflection/meditation/reading and journaling time this week and it will be interesting to see what transpires as I take the time to listen to the whispers of the spirit within. I haven't been away "alone" for any extended time in years and I am not sure how it will go. Being alone and away from our daily props is tricky. In the past, I have experienced moments of estasy and sadness while being alone. Estasy from the sights and sounds that mother nature provides for us and sadness from the darkest fears that haunt all our souls. Being alone and facing our the dark emotions is always challenging but I have gradually learned, over time, it can also be very rewarding because it provides opportunities for healing and personal growth....So, it is now time to say good-bye and heed the call of nature because when mother nature calls us to join us she generally has gifts and healing balm ready for our bruised and battered souls....

Saturday, November 18, 2006

The Mighty Men of Troy

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I haven't said anything about my beloved USC Trojans so far this year. Shame on me...Today USC took a step closer to another National Championship. Although this team hasn't been particularly impressive in most of their victories, nontheless, they continue to win except for their slip up at Oregon State. USC has been absolutely amazing over the past four and a half years. They have now won 54 of their last 57 games and the three losses include a triple overtime loss to Cal, last years loss to Texas in the waning seconds, and the loss to Oregon State when they had a chance to tie the game a the end. If this is not an example of a juggernaut than I don't know what is.....I'm not predicting a National Championship this year because I don't think they can beat Ohio State and they may lose next week to Notre Dame because the Irish have an excellent offense and a score to settle with the men of Troy....but beware....USC is now 19-0 in the month of November since Carrol arrived and they have always played their best football at the end of the season or when the stakes are high...and...Carroll projects a tremendous amount of positive energy and plays to win as opposed playing not to lose. If USC wins next week than it is going to be an interesting debate over which one loss team deserves to play in the National championship. I am assuming they are going to beat UCLA...and they will....sorry Julie...I don't see how you can leave them out of the National Championship game if they run the table considering their schedule and thier history over the past five years...But...I suspect and predict they won't get in...which is O.K....because....the last time they were given the shaft they terrorized the rest of college football for two years. Just ask Oklamhoma what it like to play a USC football team that has talent, depth, and an axe to grind with everyone...It's not a pretty sight....So, go ahead and continue to tell the Trojans they are not as good or deserving as Michigan and Florida and just see what happens...I dare you...

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Concluding Observations

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Originally I intended to only write two blog entries about sex because I know most folks don't feel comfortable about talking about sex publicly and I don't want to attract the wrong crowd if you know what I mean. But, I decided to add another entry after remembering the excellent book I read on the subject of sex last year called the Soul of Sex by Thomas Moore, the prolific author of such best sellers as Care of the Soul, Soul Mates, and The Re-enchantment of Everyday Life. While Moore's book on sex can get a little deep/esoteric, at times, he does have some interesting and thought provoking things to say about sex,marriage,relationships, and life in general. Following are some of the more interesting observations of Thomas Moore on the subject of sex.

If we are displaying sex with unseemly exaggeration and preoccupation, then we have not found the heart of sex and made it a fully integrated part of the individual and social life. Given our obsession with sex, we need to get more of it, not in quanity but in quality. It's like a person addicted to junk food. He eats as much as he can because there is nothing there. If he eats real food--unprocessed, close to it's earth origins, wonderfully prepared--he might leave the addiction behind. We need more sex, not less, but we need sex with soul.

Lovemaking is a ritual that, like all religious rites of the world, tries to make present the spirit that will make the human activity magically effective. Like all ritual, too, sex requires art, attention to details, and a devoted imagination.

Sex is a kind of gnosis or holy knowing. In sex we get to know a person in a way that is more than special. Sex reveals much that is unconscious to both people, and so the unveiling that goes on at the physical level is mirrored as the soul sheds its protective covering.

At the very heart of sex lies a profound affirmation of life, giving us a reason for living, optimism, and energy. At every step, this process can be wounded and weakened by a fear of vitality and a failure to trust life, in others and in oneself. Everywhere we are told to set limits on eros, to be careful that we are not lost in its' passion. But if we listen to these worried cautions, we may end up with only a modicum of self possession purchased at the cost of life's passion. Eros may go underground as seething, dark desire, and the surface of life turn mechanical and controlled, cheerless and humorless.

Why not extend the idea...that sex can be healing? The display of each other's bodies and especially the private parts, the organs usually veiled, may help heal a marriage or keep each person lively and vibrant as the Greeks would say, in touch with immortality.

It might help many people to allow themselves their sexual shyness, not discounting it as a personal inadequacy but recognizing that indulgence and abandon are not the only kind of sexual liberation.

The rush of vitality we find in sex can make us feel in our bodies that life is meaningful--one reason why sex has such powerful attraction and why, when sex is lacking or unsatisfactory, life seems dull and empty...Sexual vitality also helps keep couples together, because sex can give daily lives the optimism they need to carry on.

Sex eases us away from the intellectualized life and places us in a different position where intuition, emotion, and physical sensation take on special importance.

A married couple may not feel terribly affectionate at times when they make love, but as they make love they may bring each other loyalty to their marriage, to their home, and to their children.

Lovers who are also friends will have something to say to each other before, after, adn during sex. They will be aware of their deeper ties as they make love, and their lovemaking will be tightly woven into other dimensions of their intimacy. Their friendship will give sex a loving context that is more stable than romantic love or physical attraction.

Modern society's combined moralism against and obsession with sex indicates that we have yet discovered the deeper meaning of sexuality...But, like all powerful elements in the soul, sex needs to be manifested. Otherwise we suffer not only from the sudden return of the repressed--sex breaking our repression in negative and uncontrollable ways--but also from diminishment of life and vitality. Sex gives life color and vivacity. When we hide it out of fear, our personal lives and our social life become flat.

If we see the physical world as one of lifeless objects and mechanical functions, a great portion of our time love lives will be lost. We are willing to spend much of our time in a loveless, sexless environment, but if the working hours of our days are not enlivened by the nymphs of sex and spirits of eros, now can we suddenly and without context fall into lovemaking? How can we divorce sex from life and expect it to season our lives?

Your sexual imagination will never grow weak or stop working, no matter how old you are and no matter what the circumstances of life...Sexual desire still goes on when there is little or no chance of contrete satisfaction.

In marriage good sex goes along with a full life, because sex gives to the emotions and to the sense of coupling a sensation of fullness....It's difficult to have good sex on an empty heart or in impoverished home. By impoverished I don't mean a home without money, but rather a home without the spirit of abundant life, a spirit that can be evoked in a poor home as well as in a rich house

Sex can become routine in marriage, especially if all the acouterments remain plain and familiar, but if sex is seen as an art rather than mere self-expression or duty ,then the whole of one's life can prepare for it and at the same time be carried on in the afterglow of sex.

Sex doesn't have to be perfect or done in any particular way. As long as it lies at the heart of marriage, it does the soul task of mediating between worlds, between the daily concerns of living and the eternal concerns of meaning and the heart. Even when people sense a contradiction in their marriage between good sex and bad communication, they can be certain that sexual passion is not meaningless.

Let's talk about sex: Part II

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

As I said before in my earlier blog entry on sex, "I confess that I may not have anything profound to add or contribute to this all important conversation" but I do have a few questions and observations. In my last blog entry I raised a number of questions, now I would like to add a few observations...


1. At this particular time in our country's history a significant number of people
seem particularly threatened by homosexuality, yet, from my current vantage point
heterosexual promiscuity seems much more of a threat to marriages and families. I
personally know three women who were molested by their fathers who were deacons
in their respected churches.

2. Sexual addiction is generally not just about sex, but rather, it is most often a
coping strategy people use to deal with emotional pain.

3. I suspect alot of people fear sexual passion because maybe they fear they will
lose control.

4. I suspect a significant number of people do not see themselves as sexually
attractive and thus do not feel comfortable with their bodies.

5. I suspect a vast majority of families, ever talk much about sex.

6. Alot of people's tone of voice changes when they talk about sex.

7. Most adult conservations seem to be short and to the point.

8. The schools specialize in talking about the mechanics of sex while the church
specializes in the morality of sex...and...the sex industry fills in the gaps.

9. People who have been sexually abused need healing and alot of support.

10. If sexual abuse is swept under the rug the consequences may be passed down
to future generations.

11. Sexual repression is like keeping King Kong chained. It may work for awhile but
eventually Kong is going to get out of his cage.

12. Sex and good food go hand in hand.

Global Warming in My Neck of the Woods

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Al Gore's movie "An Inconvient Truth" is loaded with scientific evidence that supports his assertion, and others, that the earth is getting warmer. I don't have any "scientific" evidence to pass along but I do have a boat load of anitdotal evidence from my neck of the woods.

1. Tonight I rode home after dark with my window rolled down.

2. I am still hiking and riding my bike at dusk in my shorts and a tee shirt.

3. I have yet to turn on my heater.

4. I have yet to wear a coat or even a light jacket in the morning or after dark.

5. It's the warmest November I ever remember.

6. Only a small handful of trees are turning color. Usually, by this time of the year all of the trees have turned color and some have even lost most of their leaves.

7. I am sleeping with only one lightweight polar fleece blanket on my bed.

8. I still sleep with the window open at night.

9. I'm going camping next week even though it is the middle of November because
the evening temperatures are still in the mid forties along the coast.

9. It was the hottest summer I ever remember. Thank God I was gone for three weeks
when it was between a 110-115 degrees for about two weeks.

10. It was the warmest January and February on record in Bakersfield last year
which means the heat wave has extended for four season's running now which is
something I never remember in the past...usually, in the past, if one season was
above or below normal the next season would be cooler or warmer than than

It's beginning to feel like winter is never going to arrive.
Southern California is known for their mild winters, but it is generally much
colder in the Central Valley where I live because the surrounding mountains trap
the cold air and fog for much of the winter...but...not this year...yet... just seems so strange going to a high school football game at night in
November and not needing a coat. If the weather doesn't begin to cooperate soon
than I expect Santa to arrive in Bermuda shorts and a surf board this year...
and...the beard will definitely have to go....

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Let's Talk about Sex: Part I

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O.K., I suspect you are wondering what's up with this particular blog entry. To be honest, and I want to be honest on this all important topic, I currently feel the need to let off a bit of steam on the topic of sex...because...over the years I have become increasingly frustrated about both the lack of quality discussions on sex and the never ending negative context in which sex is discussed in public. I can count the number of satisfying/fruitful sexual discussions on one finger. Homosexuality,abstinence,pornography,rape, and sexual promiscuity seem to be the only aspects of sex discussed in the public square these days. Doesn't anybody have anything else to say or contribute to the discussion of sex?...Is there anybody out there who has something to add to this most sacred of human experiences?...or... are we only left to talk to ourselves or a shrink about our sexual desires, questions, passions or interest in sex?...and...I find it telling that we can create some interesting and provactive discussions about politics, religion, and a host of other human related topics but when it comes to sex we, more often than not, come up with a big fat zero, which is ironic considering the interest and passions the vast majority of us have about the topic...getting off my soapbox for a minute...I concede that sex is an extremely personal matter that we have all been socialized to approach with great care...and...I concede there is much wisdom in being cautious about the personal details of this aspect of our lives...and...I confess that I may not have anything profound to add or contribute to this all important conversation...but... I have actually spent a sigificant amount of time thinking about sex and following are some questions and observations I have regarding sex. I would like to begin with some questions in part I. These are questions I, most often, do not have answers for, but these are some questions that have passed through my brain at one time or another over the years....and....I hope these questions do contribute, in some small way, to a fruitful discussion about sex, if not here, at least somewhere, sometime, in the future....


1. Why do we prefer to use scientific terms like penis and vagina when we talk about sex, both in public and in private...and...why is the vernacular sexual vocabularly considered dirty or obscene? least with a significant number of people in the middle class?

2. What are the sexual options, if any, for the reported 77 million adults who are not currently not married?

3. Why is masturbation such a hush, hush topic,especially, especially when one considers that everyone does it or has done it?

4. What do we make of a husband or wife who continues to masturbate even though they are married?

5. What is erotic sex and why do so few married couples experience erotic passionate sex?

6. If sex is such a private matter to discuss than in what context is it appropiate to talk about sex?

7. Why is it so hard for so many couples to talk about sex?

8. Why is it so hard for so many couples to express their sexual preferences/passions and desires, with each other?

9. Why does the average married couple only have sex about one and a half times a week...especially, when one considers it is one of the most pleasurable of all human experiences....and it's free!...

10. Why do so many churches, generally, give lip service, to the beauty of sex...and spend so much time mentioning the negative aspects of sex....

11. Why does the Catholic church continue to "insist" that their priests be celibate and expect abstinence?

12. Why doesn't repressing our sexual desires work, for most people?

13. Is sex between consenting non-married adults always wrong? matter what the age and circumstances?

14. Why are a significant number of hereterosexual adults more offended and repulsed by homosexual behavior between two men than two women?

15. How realistic is it to expect engaged couples, in our day and age, to remain abstinent until the day they get married?

16. What does God "really" think and feel about people who struggle with their sexual identity or sexuality in general?

17. Why do so many Christian women seem repressed regarding their sexuality?...this question is based on my antidotal evidence taken from various discussions with many of my Christian friends over the years...

18. And finally....Why is so much shame and guilt associated with something so pleasurable?

Monday, November 13, 2006

Sunday, November 12, 2006

It's been almost six years since I attended and belonged to a church on a regular basis. I stopped going to church almost six years ago because "I felt" betrayed and abandoned by my pastor and the congregation while I was going through my divorce. I never intended to stay away as long as I have but, to be blunt, I haven't missed going to church, which surprised me, because I was a active member of the Evangelical subculture for over twenty five years. Over the past couple of years, I have attended Catholic mass on a number of different occasions but have been unable to get passed the "exclusive nature" of the Catholic tradition. I have tried on several occasions to discuss/engage some of my Catholic friends regarding the exclusivity of the Catholic tradition but everyone seems content to just keep the status quo. I can understand the desire or psychological need to maintain personal peace, at almost any cost, but "I" am presently not in the mood to join or participate, on a regular basis, any organization that does not reflect the values that are critically important to me. I know we, and the church at large, are all imperfect but I frankly don't see the point in supporting institutions that have institutionalized ideas and practices that contradict the core values I support. I'm all for working within the system to try to bring about change, but, I have been there and done that, and now feel it is time to move on and see if I can find a church that better suits what "I" am passionate about these days.

Yesterday I attended a local Congregational church and in the weeks to come I intend to visit the local Methodist and Presbyterian churches. I have attended all these mainline churches before but I want to give them another look. Mainline churches in my neck of the woods are a dying breed but I just don't see myself going back to mainstream evangelicalism anytime soon. The Congregational Church is the current front runner because I enjoy the pastor and the spirit of the services. The pastor is a woman who generally encourages the congregation to get involved in community service without heaping on guilt or shame and she has yet to bad mouth or bash other Christians or the culture at large. Over the years I grew tired of the constant barrage against the culture and left leaning politicians and theologians...and...later grew increasingly disturbed by what I feel was an unfair characterization of those folks who didn't see the world from a conservative Christian perspective. I came to this conclusion after reading for "myself" what the various non evangelicals had to say for themselves and felt there was a significant amount of distortion being distributed on a regular basis....All of the mainline congregations in Bakersfield are smaller than I generally like but maybe I can get to know some of the folks more on a personal basis....My recent decision to explore some of the local churches is based on a personal need. At the present time I don't have much of a social network outside of work and family therefore I feel the need to build some relationships with adults who are like minded. I don't know where this is going to lead, if anywhere, but I will give it a whirl. It's not easy trying to establish adult relationships when you are divorced and pushing 50 but I figure it is better than just sitting around and doing nothing....

Monday, November 06, 2006

For Julie

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My blogger friend Julie Bogart has been up to her eyeballs lately keeping up with her grad work and keeping fellow cyberspace junkies like myself inspired by her ongoing excellent articles which can be found at Julie Unplugged. a result Julie has apparently failed to keep up with some very important recent news regarding her favorite band U-2. So Julie, I am passing along this article for you.

U2's Vertigo Tour may soon create a real sense of vertigo among moviegoers as the band is planning to release its first 3-D concert film next year. The untitled feature is being directed by Catherine Owens and Mark Pellington. In conjunction with the film's anticipated mid- to late-2007 debut, U2 also might take part in the first live 3-D performance projected in theaters nationwide.

For the film, Owens and Pellington shot more than 700 hours of footage with the band in seven South American cities during February and March. Trekking across Argentina, Mexico, Chile and Brazil, the film's 3-D director of photography Peter Anderson ("T2 3-D: Battle Across Time") used nine pairs of Sony Cinealta 950 cameras to capture the band with swooping camera angles and kaleidoscopic imagery. The director of cinematography for the film's 2-D footage is Tom Krueger.

3ality Digital Entertainment, the project's producer, put together of the largest assemblages of 3-D camera technology ever used for a single project. A representative for the band called it "the first-ever 3-D multicamera live shoot."

The feature is being edited in New York by Olivier Wiki and readied for a summer or fall release. Discussions are underway with several major studio distributors. It is expected that the film screen nationwide using the Real D technology in place by theaters screening the digital 3-D release of "Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas."

Real D unveiled the first theatrically projected live 3-D event last week at ShowEast in Orlando. It is planning a live 3-D concert presentation next fall, and sources said it might be a U2 concert.

Owens has been the creative director of screen visuals for U2 on several of the band's world tours. Feature director Pellington ("Arlington Road," "The Mothman Prophecies") began his career by directing U2's "One" video.

The soundtrack is produced by Carl Glanville, who also produced the concert DVD "Vertigo 2005/U2 Live From Chicago." Wiki edited the U2 video "Original of the Species," which was nominated for two MTV Video Music Awards.

Thanks Dave!

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I became a Pearl Jam fan years ago after seeing their video Jeremy on MTV. It's one of my favorite videos and I have used it in my classes for years. Although I own a number of their C.D's and two of their concert videos I never felt like a "true believer" because I have never attended their concert nor do I own one of their famous bootleg C.D.'s which is apparently a must for any true blue follower of Pearl Jam. While I probably never will attend a Pearl Jam concert since Bakersfield is not and never will be on their tour schedule in this life time or the only hope for becoming one of the faithful is to some how get my hands on one of their bootleg C.D.'s. But, where does one get a bootleg copy of anything?...I have no idea??? Really....Check the internet?...Call up the local "pirate" underground radio station?...See if Eddie Veddar is listed in the Seattle phone book somewhere?....Lord help me....Earlier today my prayers were answered when I received three Pearl Jam bootlegs from my fellow Pearl Jam fellow traveler,cyberspace bud, and blogger extraodinaire Dave.....Thanks Dave. Although I am not in a particular Pearl Jam mood at this particular time of the year I did listen to the songs from the Van Andel Arena concert while mountain bike riding earlier this afternoon. I normally don't just sit and listen to Pearl Jam while I am at home but I do really like listening to thier music while hiking and riding my bike. It really gets the blood flowing while I am trying to push this near 50 year old body up a hiking or mountain bike trail.... The quality of the recordings is quite good for a live concert and I am just amazed how incredible technology is getting these days.....Again, thanks for remembering your promise and helping me get over the hump to become a faithful true blue fan of Pearl Jam...

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Weighing in on the recent scandal

After reading and following the recent scandal/fall of Pastor Ted Haggard I confess I have alot of mixed emotions on numerous fronts. I first came across Ted Haggard while watching a PBS program on materialism called Affluenza years ago. During the program Pastor Haggard spoke eloquently about the need for people to spend more time with their families and less time chasing the almighty dollar but he did so without sounding pious or judgmental,imo. Personally I am saddened to hear that apparently pastor Haggard has been "thrown under the bus" for his failing to live up to his ideals and the expectations of others. As someone, who is not above reproach in such matters as these, and has felt thrown under the bus at one time in my own past, it is a dark place to must be incredibly painful for his family and those close to him. Personally, I am not particularly interested in the details regarding what "exactly" happened because I suspect,at this time, Pastor Haggard has neither the ability or the motivation to come clean. Why throw gasoline on yourself when you are already on fire? There will come a time when Haggard will need to come clean, for the sake of himself and his family, but I don't think the time is now and I don't think he owes anything to the media at this am content to conclude that Haggard screwed up, big time, he knows it...and.... will probably pay for his failings, in one form or another, for the rest of his life.

As I listen to this story from a variety of different angles ranging from bloggers to the national media I can't help thinking about the circumstances that contribute to such tragic situations. I don't mean to imply that Haggard doesn't bear personal responsibility for his actions but I also personally believe that behavior does not happen in a vacuum. Why do people who seem to have everything together and such prestige take such great risks?...and...what role if any, does society play in creating an environment where people risk everything that is important to them for momentary pleasure?...and...what role, if any, does the Christian sub-culture play?...I have felt, for some time now, that the Christian sub-culture makes it very, very difficult for people who struggle with sexual identity issues, and sexuality in general, to get the proper help and perspective on sex that they need which is why most Christians within the sub-culture generally go "underground" with their struggles....I make no assertions about what may have caused Haggard to risk it all but I suspect there may be many layers that need to be peeled back in the days,weeks, or years to come before Haggard experiences the healing and peace that he apparently needs and is probably seeking...Postscript...I know that much of what I have said may sound too empathetic for a man who was leading the charge for a law that was opposed by the homosexual community which makes him a hypocrite...and...that of course, cannot nor shouldn't be swept under the rug...but as I said at the beginning, I have such mixed emotions about this story because "it is" a tragic story on a number of different fronts and I can't help thinking about the paradox between mercy, forgiveness, judgement, and taking personal responsibilitity for our own we all will at one time, to one degree or another, find ourselves in a situation where we will "hope" for mercy, rather than paying the price for what we probably deserve....