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Film Notes

Time for some fabulous fil-ums, y’all. Starting with House of Tomorrow – a fine coming of age tale about an orphan boy living with his grandmother in a Buckminster Fuller House. Grandma has big plans for Sebastian, but he’s not so sure. When he meets a young rascal on a tour of the house, he’s exposed to junk food, the joys of the opposite sex, and punk rock. Teenage trickery and adventure ensues.

Notes on Blindness is pure MAGIC. Audio recordings from John Hull put seamlessly to film, with actors lip syncing to the dialog. A gorgeous meditation on the full body experience of going blind.

Dear Dictator – a mischievous teen becomes pen pals with a dictator after admiring his fashion sense. Things get crazy when he shows up on her doorstep, and they both learn a few lessons about kindness, loyalty, and power.

Thoroughbreds – I’ve typed and retyped my thoughts on this, as every bit has felt trite in comparison to this jaw dropper. An unsettling train wreck with a grab your heart sound track.

Tully – An exhausted mom hires an unbelievably kind, generous, and efficient nanny, gaining her life back yet losing something very dear.

Remembrance is based on the true story of a couple who escaped a Polish Prison Camp in 1944. They are separated and do not find each other until a chance hearing of his voice on a television program in 1976.

Shoplifters follows a “family” of misfits and small time thieves as they struggle to make it. A stunner on the exquisite bonds of love.

Under the Silver Lake – follows an aimless man recovering from a break-up. Rather that get a job or pay his rent, he watches television and roams the city. After the sudden disappearance of his neighbor, he is energized and determined to uncover the truth. Dark and funny.

Digging for Fire – A couple in a marital rut house sit for an actress on location. They find a bone and a gun in the yard, which sends the husband on an obsessive hunt while his wife flirts with a stranger on a night on the town.

Gringo – a whiz bang comedic thriller that follows a nice guy in charge of a marijuana pill deal in Mexico. He’s kidnapped by a drug cartel, and all goes bonkers.

Puzzle – A sheltered housewife’s life is transformed after receiving a jigsaw puzzle for her birthday. A sweet tale of a woman realizing she has agency over her life. Plus, Irrfan Khan – the eyes, that voice!!

Leave No Trace – A veteran with PTSD and his daughter live in Forest Park in Portland (!). Once discovered, each struggles to reconcile their desires with those of the other. A heartbreaker with a fabulous view of my favorite bridge in the world, the Saint John’s.


The soul has no skin; the soul only has insides that want to sing, finally, can’t you hear it, brothers? Softly, can’t you hear it, brothers? A hot piece of ass and a new Cadillac ain’t going to solve a god-damned thing.

Charles Bukowski


The ears!!

Hello gentle reader!

Look at that angelic face. Dogs really do bring a body closer to heaven, all infinite love and silliness. Our girl Juniper Beulah has been with us for nearly three years now (alrighty! already!), and boy howdy, does she melt our hearts on a daily basis. She’s wicked smart, adorable in her cozy clothes, wildy affectionate (give Pops a kiss!), a champion wiggle-butt, and all around cutie. One evening a week in winter, we leave her crate door open (have I ever told you that she puts herself to bed?) and she trot, trot, trots down the hall for stellar all night cuddles. There are some swift kicks (ouch!) and barky-yippy dreams, too, but, like everything good in life, it’s worth it in the end.

She is still a little fearful of the outside world, yet infinitely loyal, mostly to us, but also to her best pals Cody and Charlie, giving sweet whinny-sniffs every time we walk past their house. And oh, when we cross paths on walks, it’s a right glee fest.

Here’s to many more joy-filled years…

Lacing my sneakers while sitting on the bed. That light and the view! I bought the bust probably twenty years ago, at Three Monkeys on 23rd in Portland (I did a little search, and it’s still there. Huzzah!). People are always asking who she (he? gender fluid?) is, but I really couldn’t say. A secret to be revealed at a later date, maybe. The sea urchin candle holder, so fine in daytime, is over the top lovely when lit. My favorite photo of us on our wedding day, taken by my Uncle Ronnie. It makes me smile and revel in our Everlasting Gobstopper happiness. Indeed.

Our January gluten light reset (going all out is SO hard!) is progressing swimmingly. Curried cauliflower soup and smoked chicken thighs with a harissa honey glaze and mussels and mushrooms in a creamy white wine sauce our most recent dazzlers. Worth every bit of effort!

Letting Go

My cousin Alli holding her dad’s hand. After he lost consciousness, three days before he died. Their last photo together, of a sort.

I stayed with my aunt last week, joyfully helping, with medicine and cooking and comfort and company. I spoon fed and soothed the night terrors of a man who once terrified child me with his mad driving of an impossibly cool Fastback Mustang. How strange the tides of time.

I brought enough books and magazines and craft supplies for ages of reading and fiddling and doing. We made cute felted wool pixie dolls (no photo, drat). We watched hour after hour of Brad’s cool car shows and my aunt’s favorite dramas. We talked.

Of the past – the sweetest memories of me watching my aunt carefully applying makeup while listening to Bread on the hi-fi. How she still has the album in her collection. Of the first time she made Ro-Tel dip and I, as a cheese loving maniac, devoured it and have since eaten just about every spicy melted cheese I can get my hands on. Her, too. We enjoyed this while I was there. It was gone lickety-split quick.

Of the future and letting go. The first time she’d be on her own, after forty-six (!) years of marriage. The hush of a home occupied by one. A life entirely of her choosing, what to do, how to be. The fearful thrill of the unknown. My love for her, then and now.

In conversation with her daughters, my cousins, I was confronted with my own letting go. It was assumed that there was bitterness on my part, my lack of relationship with certain relatives was somehow eating at me. Quite the contrary, being in a relationship with my abusers was a great source of anxiety and pain.

I once read about a psychological study that involved a subject sometimes receiving food after pressing a button and other times receiving a shock. The subject basically went crazy because they never knew what they would get. That was me. When I interacted with my tormentors, sometimes they’d be friendly, shower me with kindness, gifts even. The next time, they’d be cruel, insult me, or blame me for something entirely out of my control. Oh, the wild anxiety, fretfully anticipating what each interaction would bring. Nausea. Headaches. Physical pain.

When I finally ceased all contact, it melted away. I found myself happier and peaceful, able to sleep through the night, at ease in my own skin. The only source of anxiety or bitterness I have felt since is at the hands of the so-called “helpful” who think my lack of interaction is somehow sad or harmful or foolish or whatever. That my life is their business and I ought to behave differently.

Sad is when I disregard my own sanity and safety to forge a relationship for the benefit of others. I’m glad I know better now.

It was only a sunny smile, and little it cost in the giving, but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Happy Birthday, Daddy!


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