Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fan Films- Batman

I'll never see Batman again the same way since I met my best friend fifteen years ago. He is BATMAN. He's the God damned Batman! It's funny. I was always Superman. Bigger, stronger, smarter, and more alienated than my contemporaries growing up. He was smarter, more disciplined, more touched by tragedy.

This is for him. The best Batman fan film since Batman: Dead End (do a Google search, it's worth it).

And contribute to the charity the film is pimping. It's a pretty good cause. If you want to be a hero.

Uploaded by Batinthesun. - Full seasons and entire episodes online.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Music- Lessons

Ever since I was a small child I've wondered if everything in a world is just a projection to see how I would react to it. I'm sure I'm not alone in this. The only subjective reality is what you perceive and everything else is just your interpretation of it. It's Plato's metaphor of the cave.

On of the things that has kept me from dismissing this viewpoint is the wild coincidence that music I like sometimes comes back to slap me in the face with what it's saying years after I've forgotten about it. I couldn't have known it was going to teach me something when I fell in love with it but there it is, years later, reminding me that it said something I would need to hear years before I needed to hear it.

Let me tell you a little story. When I was in college I fell in love with a woman. Our relationship progressed and eventually I was ready to move in with her. At that point she suddenly became distant and I learned it was because she (without being honest enough to just tell me outright) had gotten back together with an old boyfriend.

I was heart-broken. I had never been jilted by a lover, let alone cuckolded! Yet, after much crying and soul-searching, I picked myself up and continued with my life. She disappeared and I finished school. One of my last clinical projects was to spend two weeks at a state mental hospital in McClenny, Fl. When I returned home and returned to work my charge nurse (who was also my roomate) took me outside during a break and told me that she had called while I was gone. Over the next few weeks she called several times.

But I began to piece together some things that didn't make sense. She said that she wasn't with the man she had left me for, yet she was living in his mother's house. She only called me from work and wouldn't give me her home phone number. She was vague about what she was doing and what was going on in her life. Eventually I came right out and asked her. "Are you still living with -----?" Yes, she was. I told her that I wasn't interested in playing the same role in her relationship with him that he had in ours and she was welcome never to call me again.

I thought that was the end of it.

Until three months later when she showed up on my doorstep.

Sure, I should have known better. God knows all my friends told me she was nothing but trouble (more unanimity than I had ever known them to show before). But, what can I say. I was young. I was a romantic. I thought that what we had was true love.

In short, I was stupid.

I was in love.

So, a year later, we got married.

Over the next twenty years I supported her and her three children. Paid for her to go to college (she flunked out). Set her up in her own Real Estate Business (she never sold a house). Begged her not to ruin her children through a combination of enablement and bad parenting (her daughter was arrested for the first time at 10 years old for shoplifting and spent the majority of her teen aged years in reform school). Bought her the first new car she had ever owned. Bought her the first house she ever owned. Tried to be the best husband and father to her children I could be.

And the whole while begged her to stop being emotionally unavailable and stop belittling me at all times.

Then one day while I was at work I got a phone call. "I just wanted to know that you were alright." "Yeah, sure. See you tonight."

Except when I got home that night what I found was that she had taken everything she wanted from the house, emptied out our bank accounts (including the profits from a house we had just sold in Colorado), and told me that she was leaving with a message on my voice mail.

Still, I let her go. Two months later I called my step-son and told him that I was filing for divorce, he ought to tell his mother. I hadn't heard from her. I didn't know where she was. I just didn't think it was right to divorce her without at least letting her know.

A week later she was naked on my living room rug.

Yeah. I know. I'm usually a very logical person. My only excuse is that I was deeply, passionately, head-over-heels in love with this woman the whole twenty years I was with her. In spite of being used and abused, cheated on, lied to, and stolen from, none of it changed the way I felt about her.

Over the next three years I tried to reconsile with her. Even when I found out that she was cheating on me again. Even when she lied to me about it. The bottom line was that I wasn't ready to quit making excuses for the way she acted.

Eventually she did one thing too many and I had to admit that I was just being stubborn. She wasn't ever worth what I invested in her and I had to finally admit that she was just what she was- not what I wanted her to be.

Since then things had gotten a lot better. I've fallen in love with a woman who is everything any man would want. She's beautiful, tall, willowy, caring, financially secure, and 16 years my junior. She's put up with a lot of shit that she doesn't deserve from the damage done by my last relationship and yet she seems to love me for who I am and not be afraid to show it.

But about music teaching you things you don't know you need to learn yet. Here's a song I liked long before I met my ex-wife that perfectly taught me a lesson I didn't know I needed to learn for a long time.

(BTW, the last nasty thing she did to me was just last week when I realized that my mortgage company had stopped sending me statements for the last few months. When I called them about it they informed me that she had changed the address on the account to her P.O. Box! I called her and asked why she would do such a thing and, in typical form, she told me the bald-faced lie that she had never done any such thing. Yeah. That's it. Now my bank is lying on her to make her look bad! It's completely conincidence that she used to work for that bank and knows their services inside out.

They say that one possible definition of a sociopath is that they don't see anything wrong with lying to you and can't figure out why you would see anything wrong with them lying to you either.)


Following my post about Michael Hedges, I want to introduce you to another dead poet and songwriter. I fell in love with Jim Croce when I was just a child, not nearly old enough to know how profound his lyrics were.

Here's one song that proves my point...

And any man who has given everything for a woman and hung on the cross to pay for every sin of her old lovers knows what this song is about.

But my fave has to be this story-song about a man on the road who still pines for a lost love who threw him over for his best friend.

But Croche wasn't all about unrequited love or broken romances. He wrote some of the most sublime love songs ever penned. Such as this...

And there were things that were just for fun...


Sunday, August 15, 2010


I did a search of the blog this AM while in church (church for me is a sedate Sunday morning where I can contemplate the universe and lie in bed with a beautiful woman- I dare you to say your services are more spiritual or enlightening) and found that, in spite of his music being a real part of my spirituality, Michael Hedges had not been featured.

If an extraterrestrial came to earth and found a guitar, he might play it like Micheal Hedges did. I use the past tense because this genius (and he was exactly that, in spite of the term being sullied by calling every pop-culture flavor-of-the-month a genius when they obviously don't have enough brain to wet a napkin) died almost thirteen years ago at a tragically young age. Anyway, you've probably never heard a guitar played as well, or in this way. You've probably never heard lyrics more poetic or pointed. And you've positively never seen a more original performer or musician. In a world where the latest 13 year old girl gets to be another pop sensation because she's going through puberty a little early and can almost carry a tune, listen to this and weep for all the REAL artists crushed by the people who tell you what to like.

(You may recognize Micheal's style from the scene in AUGUST RUSH where August finds a guitar and starts playing it without ever having seen one played.)

The first track is one of his most mainstream. Yet sublime...


The second is the title track off his album AERIAL BOUNDRIES, which is considered one of the greatest acoustical albums of all time.

The third is just... well, you haven't heard anything like it. It's an instrument that's unfamiliar and a way of playing that you've never heard. It's a true Martian guitar piece.

This is a song he wrote for a movie soundtrack about a mountain climber named Naiomi on something called the Symphony Harp Guitar. Close your eyes and be thrilled that it's only one man and one guitar that makes this music.

Enjoy (something beautiful and unique)...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

TELEVISION- Daily Show of Facial Hair

The only daily television show that I watch is The Daily Show. I don't TIVO (yes, DirecTV, it's as generic as Kleenex) any stripped sit-coms. I don't watch any daily news (on television- I have this internet thing on my computer). I don't follow any soap-operas (a lower form of entertainment than the Grand Guignol, IMHO). But I do watch the Daily Show.

And since the last hiatus (not counting the 08092010 repeat that I watched a little while ago) Jon Stewart has sported a goatee for the last two weeks. Now, a lot of men his age have decided that particular type of facial hair is a fashion statement. It hides a lack of chin (not his problem) without being as silly as drawing a jawline on your face with a full, but carefully cropped, beard might. It has kind of a Robin Hood swashbuckling connotation to it. And it allows men a chance to change their looks in a major way.

(I remember the Star Trek- The Next Generation episode in which Beverly Crusher, sitting at a poker table with Worf and Riker states that she things beards are an "affectation" on men. There were a few sublime moments in ST-TNG, and this one rates right up there with the one where, after losing the love of Ashley Judd, Wesley Crusher says to Guinan, "I'll never feel this way about anyone else." And Guinan replies "No, you won't. But you will love other people as much, just differently." For Beverly Crusher to say men affect beards (which they grow naturally) while she was wearing enough eye-shadow and rouge to choke all her pores to death is the essence of why men can't take women seriously.)

So, I'm instituting the "Jon Stewart's Beard Death Watch." Personally, I think he looks like an anorexic, Jewish, Colonal Sanders. But I hope he continues this particular "affectation" long enough to bring it back into style.

*Obligatory note- I've worn a goatee since I was able to grow one because I was influenced by DC Comics Green Arrow character as a little boy. The fact that the only man I work with, a new graduate from college in his forties- and who just came to work with us, also sports one is some kind of synchronicity.

I'm finding out that he's also Hella smart and has a bodacious wife.

What are the chances?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

TECHNOLOGY- Smart Phones that are really smart

So I’ve finally pulled the trigger on a new phone. Usually I hate getting a new phone. After my parents divorced we didn’t have a phone and I never developed the habit of chatting. At best I see a phone as a necessary appliance and frequently I don’t even take my cell phone with me when I go out- a horrifying idea to many of the people I work with. I don’t text (duh, I have a phone in my hand) and if I want to take a picture I’ll use a real camera, not the shitty one in my phone.
But I do like computers. And the internet. For an information junkie like me the internet is the greatest creation in history. An endless supply of reading material on any subject that might kindle my curiosity. Carrying a small computer with internet access with me everywhere- now that excites me. But I’ve been waiting to see what was going to happen with smart phones and debating whether to get an iPad (lack of FLASH and your overbearing attempts to control how I use the devices I would buy from you ruined that, Mr. Jobs). But hearing that ATT was going to a tiered system for charging for data and rumors that Verizon might do the same forced my hand.
So I’m waiting for my phone to be delivered and I’m rumbling around looking at the kind of apps that are available for the Droid and I find one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.

Google Goggles!

(The video is too big for my space so just double-click to open it in a new window (tab).)