A favorite, inspirational video

So let us cut to the chase and view exactly what is going through my head and inspiring me to write.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, just going through the post-Christmas pre-New Year’s part of the year pondering the next.
Traditionally, we’re still going through the 12 days of Christmas.
Jesus’ birthday seemed even less spiritual this year despite repeated viewings of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and reading the nativity passage from the Gospel of Luke.
The holiday seems over and done with as the decorations come down and the gift wrap gets thrown out.
Trying to find ways to keep entertained, I’ve been watching classic movies I’ve missed such as “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” on my new Kindle Fire.
Also re-reading “Spellsinger” as noted in my last blog entry. I’m sure I’ll write more about that next year.
A big thank you to my thoughtful roommates for the Kindle Fire gift.
Haven’t figured out how to text or write effectively on the Kindle yet, though.
Any movie suggestions welcome.
Will probably watch “The Hustler” next as it is considered a classic.
I’ll go out with a new video that showed up in my Facebook newsfeed thanks to Zooey Deschanel.

Zooey, I’m free but would need a babysitter for my daughter if you’re thinking about Times Square.

Bedtime Kahani / Positive Movie

Very little to write this week other than my plans for the weekend shown by clicking on the “Bedtime Kahani” link in my blogroll.
In addition, I had to miss a movie premiere and I’m wondering how I got on the list of invites.
The movie was “The Mighty Macs.”
The producer’s “mission statement” seemed attractive but the invitation came at such short notice that after RSVP-ing the invite went to Smita Lal and her husband (see link above) who enjoyed the movie.
Here’s the mission statement from the producer:

The mission of the filmmakers is to make movies that move people in a positive way. We have all seen films that have impacted us and changed the way we think and live. Films like Hoosiers, Rudy, Schindler’s List and many others that have impacted us and even in some cases changed us for the better. It is our hope that when people leave the theater after seeing The Mighty Macs, they leave inspired and impacted in a positive way. If you would like to help us increase the reach and impact of this film, please click on the share button above and tell your friends and family about the opening on October 21st. Encourage them to tell everyone they know and even if they want to buy out the theater for their local sports team or high school. Thank you for your support.

Tim Chambers
Writer, Director and Producer of The Mighty Macs

Pondering the Positive of NPR’s Music Offerings

Where do they get their stuff?

At the moment, I’m going through my backlog of National Public Radio’s “Song of the Day.”

Enjoying Etana’s reggae “People Talk” and thinking of forcing my 9-year-old daughter to listen to it.

Such a lovely, positive, empowering anthem.

http://www.npr.org/2011/04/07/135209455/etana-reggae-positivity-classic-and-contemporary

There’s a key phrase in the lyrics, “live your life and be free” that sent me meandering over to Loggins and Messina’s “Be Free.”

It has nothing to do with gossip, but everything to do with the omnipresent yearning inside me to get out into the wilderness experienced in Texas and Idaho and away from D.C.

Here’s a version on youtube with photos from the John Muir Woods and Big Basin in California:

http://youtu.be/itDf4JIZni8

But back to NPR and the playlist.

I’d say Eisley offers a bit of positive cynicism in “The Valley” although NPR’s reviewer classifies it differently as seen in the link below.

http://www.npr.org/2011/04/04/135114995/eisley-a-daze-of-heartbroken-uncertainty

Marcia Ball’s “Everybody’s Looking for the Same Thing” took me back to my days in Austin where I once saw Lou Ann Barton perform.

Ball brings the boogie woogie on here:

http://www.npr.org/2011/03/31/135011047/marcia-ball-a-witty-way-with-an-old-cliche

Turning to positive pop, I wondered if one of NPR’s music critics – Ken Tucker from “Entertainment Weekly” wasn’t a bit harsh on Paul Simon’s “So Beautiful, So What?” when he said the whole album doesn’t provide as much spiritual nourishment as the classic “Bridge over Troubled Water” penned during Simon’s pairing with Art Garfunkel.

Tucker’s review may be heard here:

http://www.npr.org/2011/04/04/135112880/paul-simon-back-in-graceland-with-so-beautiful

The video to a live performance of Simon’s “Rewrite” off of the “So Beautiful” album can be seen here:

http://www.imdb.com/video/hulu/vi3118177561/

I can identify with the song and enjoy it.

It moves more concrete and with a beat than “Bridge” does to me and is as nourishing in it’s own way when pondering changing life for the better.

And finally, with a positive look at blues that may not exactly uplift yet will definitely unburden, comes the delightful “Threadbare” by Hoots and Hellmouth.

Though it came to me as the NPR “Song of the Day,” I enjoyed listening at the link here:

http://hootsandhellmouth.bandcamp.com/track/threadbare

Music gets me through my day as I frequently put on youtube while answering e-mails where I work.

NPR’s suggestions help me widen my musical knowledge and provide enjoyment as well.

O Death

During the weekend, my children’s maternal grandfather died.

I broke the news to my son Sunday morning as we drove to church.

The death came at a time my soon-to-be ex-wife Alana had been reconciling and growing closer to her father by telephone. She said he’d been pleased at his daughter’s life and the lives of her children.

There was to be an introduction to the children via telephone.

“Mom said I could talk to him next time he called,” my son, 11, said.

There will be no next time.

My son is sorting this out as his mother tries to make arrangements from a distance. She works in Washington D.C.  Her father died at his home in Deweyville, Texas.

Sunday, a church elder asked me if the newly-deceased was a believer, as in John 3:16 and “that whoever believes in him (Jesus) shall not perish but have eternal life.”

We don’t know. I’d never met Alana’s father and Alana can’t say.

This morning I played “Oh Death” sung by Ralph Stanley off the “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?” soundtrack and contemplated the two different eternal paths death opens the door to.

O, Death
O, Death
Won’t you spare me over ’til another year
Well what is this that I can’t see
With ice cold hands takin’ hold of me
Well I am death, none can excel
I’ll open the door to heaven or hell
Whoa, death someone would pray
Could you wait to call me another day
The children prayed, the preacher preached
Time and mercy is out of your reach
I’ll fix your feet ’til you can’t walk
I’ll lock your jaw ’til you can’t talk
I’ll close your eyes so you can’t see
This very air, come and go with me
I’m death I come to take the soul
Leave the body and leave it cold
To draw up the flesh off of the frame
Dirt and worm both have a claim
O, Death
O, Death
Won’t you spare me over ’til another year
My mother came to my bed
Placed a cold towel upon my head
My head is warm my feet are cold
Death is a-movin upon my soul
Oh, death how you’re treatin’ me
You’ve closed my eyes so I can’t see
Well you’re hurtin’ my body
You make me cold
You run my life right outta’ my soul
Oh death please consider my age
Please don’t take me at this stage
My wealth is all at your command
If you will move your icy hand
Oh the young, the rich or poor
Hunger like me you know
No wealth, no ruin, no silver no gold
Nothing satisfies me but your soul
O, death
O, death
Won’t you spare me over ’til another year
Won’t you spare me over ’til another year
Won’t you spare me over ’til another year

Writer’s Bloc – Children Set Out to Outwrite Dad

My children have decided to write their own stories.
Go figure.
Son, 11, is writing a mystery about a youth tracking down a hit-and-run killer and taking him on. He really doesn’t want me to give out any more details.
Daughter, 7, wants help publishing “The Last Happy Meal.” She’s secretive about the details except they involve a red-headed clown.
I’m still working on mine but haven’t had much of a chance to write fiction.
Been doing insulting work…
That is, consulting work.

Oh, and regarding the eagerly awaited random about me stuff – just read the about me part. Think that covers it fairly well.

The “unexamined life” may not be worth living but self-examination has bored me to tears.

I suggest a new tag with a smaller number – “Three positive traits I’ve observed about you” and then having those tagged write about two others, then tag two others.

I’ll start the process once I figure out how to do those tag-thing games.

Super Kung Fu Tiger Girl and Reality Boy Return

Reality Boy sighed and rebelled against his father, as boys do, telling him to shut up and stop calling him that stupid name.

“I don’t want to be a superhero anymore. I just want to be a normal kid,” Reality Boy said with a weight normal 11-year-old boys don’t carry – the weight of the world.

His breath escaped out into a white cloud in the crisp, cold winter air.

Father and son walked on through the neighborhood of McMansions and townhomes.

Down the hill, a strip mall was going up where lush trees had once stood. The mini-forest had housed a fort built by the Circle of Superheroes. Super Kung Fu Tiger Girl, 7, had recruited the young superheroes from townhomes around the cul-de-sac where they lived.

The little girl lay at home in bed in mourning for the displaced deer. She also missed the toys – and the good memories – the fort held before its sudden bulldozing.

“All superheroes get to that point in life,” the boy’s pedantic parent intoned in a bass meant to convey wisdom while he struggled with the vision of his daughter crying. He knew his focus should be on the boy.

 Daddy’s girl would not be consoled by Daddy. That job fell to the boy now walking up into the higher-class neighborhood above their humble cul-de-sac.

The dad’s feeble brain struggled as it drowned in a sea of responsibility he wasn’t sure how to swim in.

“You must understand that with great…”

“Great power comes great responsibility. You stole that from Spider-man’s Uncle Ben,” Reality Boy broke in.

“Have you ever had an original thought in your life, Dad?” the boy asked.

“Well, there was that time…” Dad started to say, but the boy snorted in disgust, cut him off and started to jog past another McMansion on the neat little jogging track running through the subdivision.

……………………………………………………………………..

Super Kung Fu Tiger Girl put on her costume and lay in wait with gloved hands poised to puncture using talons extending outward from her fingers.

“If I had a rocket launcher. If I had a rocket launcher…” played loudly from her CD player.

She hurled herself into the air, did a snap kick and slash in front of the mirror and thought happily of dismembering bulldozers while Reality Boy came behind dropping his extreme gravity – the weight of the world – onto the destructive machines and their drivers.

Reality Boy refused to join in the plan, saying it was always too messy once gravity smashed machines into atoms.

There’s a lake where once Reality Boy unleashed his anger. The lake formed in the precise concave depression left when his anger-formed gravity well touched the earth.

Reality Boy’s father fondly told how the unimaginable weight had only been used once out there in the wilderness. The uneducated thought a meteor had struck long ago. Geologists opined it was a sinkhole that filled with debris and became a lake.

Once, and only once did Reality Boy lose his anger so totally as to destroy. The boy did not want to hurt anyone, ever again, since knocking out a tooth from a rival during a brief fistfight just next to the playground.

Super Kung Fu Tiger Girl struck a coy pose before her mirror and wondered what it would take to change his mind.

(to be continued…)

The Big Boo (Who?)

The big boo approaches with my children growing more excited by the day.

Meanwhile, the big boo-hoo also approaches its end.

Let’s deal with the fun part of my update first and, no, the big boo is another term for Halloween – not the election.

My children bought their costumes 10 days ago – my daughter’s a clone trooper and my son’s the grim reaper – and eagerly anticipate yet more candy than they currently have stockpiled.

On the whole we had a good time Oct. 26 at a Springfield Mall event though the stampede when trick-or-treating kicked off unnerved us (see my critique here http://supernovamom.wordpress.com/2008/10/27/countdown-to-halloween-4-days/ ).

A trip to Wal-Mart and a few bags of candy later the whole jeepload was happy.

Monday, the big meeting with the bankruptcy trustee went well after a trip to Alexandria. The trustee asked a few questions about what showed up in the bankruptcy account such as the $1 in money market funds through Sharebuilder.

“Good luck” the trustee said, when he finished with the questions.

I didn’t know how to take that as it seemed ironic to me.

I almost started laughing.

I managed to keep a wry grin on my face while making my way out of the hearing room.

During December, once again all my debts will be discharged – the first time of course being when I trusted Jesus as my savior.

Last night while running errands my daughter told me “you need a better job, dad.”

There followed an explanation that despite looking none had been found (this foreshadowed Tueday’s news that I wasn’t hired after my latest job interview for “document associate” – in part writing scripts for call centers answering inquiries about U.S. Department of Labor regulations).

Monday night I explained that my current position at least allows me flexibility and the happy opportunity to take care of her after my 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. shift.

My daughter can live with this.

She seemed happy enough with the explanation.

Had I not been able to shift my work schedule there would be no days like Monday when I strapped on her new knee and elbow pads and then her helmet as she prepared to skateboard.

With difficulty putting her helmet on her and adjusting the strap, I half-jokingly told her to look up at the sky where Jesus will appear.

She looked, eyes wide in wonder as I firmly put her helmet on and adjusted the strap.

Beautiful, she looked.

My word’s impact, her innocence and the realization what Jesus’ return for me and mine means all hit at once.

Joyfully, I watched as she enjoyed skateboarding about the street – protected.