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

Eulogy for a Father-in-law known only by phone

The telephone rang and the male voice on the other end asked cheerfully “is my daughter Alana there?”

That left little doubt who was calling – her father Alan Keith Cook whose memory and military service we honor today.

There was also little doubt as to the pride and love Mr. Cook felt for his daughter. After more than 30 years they were working to re-knit a relationship unraveled by time, distance and struggles to survive.

On the telephone, you could hear in Mr. Cook’s voice an exuberance that their ties were renewed and his daughter had done well in life despite their separation.

We can only speculate that his life was improving as well with God’s peace and love touching his soul.

What makes great art is its reflection of life.

In that theme, Mr. Cook’s life had parallels with a musical titled “Carousel” where a man named Billy fathers a daughter days before dying. He is sent back to earth 15 years later and the plot unfolds as he helps a daughter struggling with unfair stereotypes and life.

At the musical’s end, Billy, whispers to his daughter, telling her to have confidence in herself as she and others sing the song “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

I can imagine Mr. Cook, in his way, echoing this song:

When you walk through a storm
Hold your head up high
And don’t be afraid of the dark.
At the end of a storm
Is a golden sky
And the sweet, silver song of a lark.

Walk on, through the wind,
Walk on, through the rain,
Though your dreams be tossed and blown.
Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart,
And you’ll never walk alone,
You’ll never walk alone.

(Play Johnny Cash version)

St. Patrick’s Day Keening

Oh why did you leave?

You celebrants,

Infants,

to America sailing,

Leaving dread in your wake

and my dead ancestors

resting in a County Tyrone churchyard.

Oh what did you find?

You Pattons found feast after famine,

food on the table,

rangeland and oil in

the Indian Territories.

You begat and begat,

Until along I came,

To wear a green derby,

Lift a green beer

and trivialize your travails,

at some pretentious pretend pub.

Oh were your children dutiful?

Lá Fhéile Pádraig

You arrived with no mention

of St. Patrick’s mission

Buried by some secular Celtic undertaker

Like my kin

Forbidden to keen.

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

Shore Hits Mark with “Mount” Speech Satire

Humorist John Shore takes commentators Charlie Gibson’s and George Stephanopoulos’ analysis of President Barack Obama’s speech and imagines how the pair would comment on Jesus Christ’s “Sermon on the Mount” here:

http://johnshore.com/2009/02/25/jesus-sermon-on-the-mount-quite-the-crowd-pleaser-charlie/ 

Great way to change up the morning “quiet time” laughing with God.

15th Randomly Boring Fact: I’m open, sort of… especially to a Pretenders song

This 15th random fact – my “Openness” – comes from numbers 14-19 that I ripped off eHarmony in the way of character traits. Whoever set up the testing and responses at eHarmony really doesn’t want to offend – just check out how affirming they are in talking about me. I’d like to date them, but of course I can’t because of my still-married-pending-divorce status.

Despite sharing another fact that sharing self-examination results with other has become a boring task for me and probably even more boring reading for any reader stickin with me, I’ll proceed while poking fun at myself.

2: Introduction to Openness

How firmly committed are you to the ideas and beliefs that govern your thinking and guide your behavior? Some people trust their current ideas and beliefs the way a climber trusts the mountain; whichever way they move, whether the climb is on a familiar trail or over new ground, there is something solid beneath them, something they count on.

This is not meant sarcastically, but anytime I see or hear the word “solid” the old gospel tune “On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand” goes through my head.

For others, new ideas, new solutions to old problems, new beliefs that replace tired convictions are like welcome wind in their sails. They can hardly wait to tack in a new direction and ride a new idea through uncharted waters. If it’s new, it’s interesting, and they’re ready to explore.

This is what drove me to become a journalist and write stories like one about a farmer who made goat’s milk soap. I enjoyed writing features and “News of the Weird” items more than anything.

The following paragraphs describe your responses to new ways of thinking and believing. How do you handle new information? Are you more like the climber on a familiar mountain or a sailor with a tiller in hand and a fresh breeze to propel you? How you integrate and process new information about the world and about others is a core aspect of your personality.

On the Openness Dimension you are:

SOMETIMES CURIOUS, SOMETIMES CONTENT

Sometimes straight, sometimes bent

Words that describe you:
Accepting
Flexible
Educated
Self-aware
Middle-of-the-road

What? They put me in the middle of the road because of my tendency to go to extremes. The mean. The average. Not me.

And we have to interrupt this blog to throw in the tune hugging my head’s insides…

“Middle of the Road” – Pretenders

THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD

IS TRYING TO FIND ME
I’M STANDING IN THE MIDDLE OF LIFE WITH MY PLANS BEHIND ME
WELL I GOT A SMILE

FOR EVERYONE I MEET
AS LONG AS YOU DON’T TRY DRAGGING MY BAY
OR DROPPING THE BOMB ON MY STREET

NOW COME ON BABY
GET IN THE ROAD
OH COME ON NOW
IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD, YEAH

IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD

YOU SEE THE DARNDEST THINGS
LIKE FAT GUYS DRIVING ‘ROUND IN JEEPS THROUGH THE CITY
WEARING BIG DIAMOND RINGS AND SILK SUITS
PAST CORRUGATED TIN SHACKS FULL UP WITH KIDS
OH MAN I DON’T MEAN A HAMPSTEAD NURSERY
WHEN YOU OWN A BIG CHUNK OF THE BLOODY THIRD WORLD
THE BABIES JUST COME WITH THE SCENERY

OH COME ON BABY
GET IN THE ROAD
OH COME ON NOW
IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD, YEAH

ONE…TWO…THREE…FOUR…

THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD

IS NO PRIVATE CUL-DE-SAC
I CAN’T GET FROM THE CAB TO THE CURB
WITHOUT SOME LITTLE JERK ON MY BACK
DON’T HARASS ME, CAN’T YOU TELL
I’M GOING HOME, I’M TIRED AS HELL
I’M NOT THE CAT I USED TO BE
I GOT A KID, I’M THIRTY-THREE

BABY, GET IN THE ROAD
COME ON NOW
IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD
YEAH
Proper
Distinctive
Indecisive
Adaptable
 
A General Description of How You Approach New Information and Experiences:

Like someone who can sleep comfortably on either side of the bed, you are equally at home with ideas and beliefs that you have held for a long time and with new ways of thinking and believing that grow out of your intellectual curiosity.

Your sense of who you are and what your place is in the world around you rests on values and principles that are the solid ground you walk upon. You’ve tested them, they work for you, and much of the time you are content to trust them, that is, until some provocative new idea slips in from a conversation, book or some flight of your active imagination. “Hmmmm. What’s this. Never thought of it before.” And off you go, exploring.

Since you love to learn, you’ve always been teachable; you absorb new information, which means you are well-educated in things that matter to you. Sometimes your intellectual exploring will lead you back to where you started; the “next new thing” proves too shallow or impractical to you. But once in a while a new idea or belief will dislodge you from the ground you’ve stood upon; it is so compelling and persuasive that you step away from the tried-and-true and embrace this notion that is brand new to you.

Because you hold both solid beliefs and are open to new ideas, you are accepting of other people and other ways of thinking and believing. You are flexible enough to listen to something new and different, or something outside of your comfort zone; if it works for you, you’ll take it in, and if not, you’ll let it go. In this sense, you know who you are: you are neither closed-minded nor wildly open-minded, but walk somewhere near the middle of the intellectual road.
Negative Reactions Others May Have Toward Your Style of Thinking :

Not everyone will be thrilled by your flexible, middle-of-the-road ways of thinking and believing. A few people are so taken with flights of imagination into whatever is new that they might find your commitment to long-standing values and beliefs too confining, if not too boring. Oh well; so be it. They’ll just have to be in free-flight without you.

Others are content with the ideas that have served them and their culture well; they’re not excited by the prospect of moving on. And some people are afraid of new ways of thinking because they are somewhat fragile; they have trouble maintaining their current worlds and don’t want someone like you, for instance pushing out the edges of their intellectual cosmos. So don’t be surprised if your solid values sometimes make people distrust you as an explorer, or if your flexible and open mind sometimes gets you criticized by people who walk away from the very same explorations that you find refreshing.

Positive Responses Others May Have Toward You:

Many others will find you trustworthy and therefore an attractive companion on the intellectual journey. They will appreciate the combination in you of open-mindedness and a commitment to the tried-and-true. In an intellectual climate sometimes dominated by the extremes of either wild innovation or dug-in traditionalism, your moderate views and your proper acceptance of a wide range of possibilities will be a distinctive and refreshing quality. Because you join your curiosity to strong foundational ideas and beliefs and practical solutions to problems, people will trust your occasional explorations into new territories to be reliable, and not “something new for newness sake”.

You are accepting of others, flexible in your own intellectual commitments, well-informed in areas that matter to you, and comfortably aware of who you are and where you stand. This combination will make you a desirable companion on the intellectual journey for many, many people.

So I should cruise libraries if I want to find a date.

Number 11 on the 26 things about me list

Sometimes I get so excited about a project I overlook a hugely important detail, like the tag for these blog entries was supposed to be “25” random things.

This is why I like editing. You get a second and third chance to look things over and spot errors that need correcting.

But I’m sticking to the 26 as it’ll give me more items to write about.

To continue on the theme of number 11 – overlooking a hugely important detail due to excitement – some examples include driving off to California during 1986 to surprise a friend of mine. We’d met at Bergstrom Air Force Base near Austin, Texas, that has since become Austin’s airport.

I didn’t take enough money to complete the California trip and especially enough cash to get through Las Vegas, although I only had about $50 when I got there.

Dad wired money.

More recently, without a grocery list I’ll buy plenty of grapes and fruit but forget milk and bread.

The fire alarm here has gone off as a test and I’m not sure if I’m supposed to leave the building at 6:26 a.m. EST or not.

This is a noisy present to dwell in, so I crank U2’s “Zooropa” title track that fits in with the alarm. More sound layers to bathe in as I crank up with coffee.

“What do you want?”

“What do you want?”

…and the alarm reads my mind and shuts down as the music escalates…

“And I have no compass
And I have no map
And I have no reasons
No reasons to get back

And I have no religion
And I don’t know what’s what
And I don’t know the limit
The limit of what we’ve got

Don’t worry baby, it’ll be alright
You got the right shoes
To get you through the night
It’s cold outside, but brightly lit
Skip the subway
Let’s go to the overground
Get your head out of the mud baby
Put flowers in the mud baby”

-U2, “Zooropa” title track from the album of the same name.

“She’s gonna dream out loud… She’s gonna dream out loud…”

With just 15 minutes before another person shows up and the nicely-appointed stereo packaged with this horribly slow and overburdened work PC must be shut down (Harman/Kardon speakers with a call center PC?) I enjoy U2’s “Numb.”

In 25 minutes, I’ll answer the phone at least 40 times during my eight-hour shift with “Thank you for calling ___  ____ . My name is Sam, may I have your employee ID number please?”

…and there’s another totally random blog entry, number 11 on the 26 random things about me list.