"these days in eugene"
November ends and the rains come in
Novermber scuttles down the street on yellow and red feet made from the remnants of autmn leaves. I feel the winds of winter pushing down the rain wet roads. the comming season piles up against the clouds that autumn sets against the north to keep its hold before its time is up. Thier battle tatters at the fringe of frayed green and red plastic sillhoutes of pine trees and candy canes that hang from long steel lampposts. I am in Eugene under the trembling sky waiting for December and writing to you.
All has gone well in my old town, my new town. the life i left here laid waiting as i suspected. i had only to mend a seam or snip off an unwraveld string before pulling the fibers of my long ago back around my shoulders. it fits a little better than before, comfortable and stretched out in just the right places. sadly, like most well worn sweaters, once it is truly comfortable you know it is not going to last for long. i take my comfort now while i can and keep one eye open for a new sweater. This life is good for now.
I saw Being John Malkovitch (one of the perks of movie theater jobs, all the free movies you can watch.) and i thought is was very good. a bit of an emotional stress but good.
I am not too settled in my new digs yet because i went away to Tillamook over the weekend with some woman named Lynn that my thanksgiving hostes Monika knew. Lynn asked if i wanted to go to tillamook over the weekend when i had only known her for two hours of thanksgiving revelry and i said "sure, why not" Tillamook was nice if not a bit flooded in some places. We stayed with her friend from the Peace Corgs who had just come back from Thailand and Laos. Steve lives in a converted barn and rasies his own rabbits and guniea fowl while doing state work for the environment. these are very old skool hippies; not these smoked out vegan whiners that spange infront of the Circle K. Tillamook has much to offer if you like Cheese and cows and rain. I am ok with rain, not so into cows and the cheese was tasty.
then i came back into town and have just been working since more later when i have time
tue, 30 nov 1999
Winter comes to Eugene
December opens wide its arms and lets Winter flow in. Quilting the streets with foggy feet the New Season settles into Autumns leavings fingering what was gimmering with wet to glazed with frost. Winter curls its grey hand around houses like a magician bushing them into its dark hat and pulling them out one by one like gilded scarves. Street lamps glow and haze like promises, bright and far and undefined. I am on the long shadowed streets of eugene. the night has pushed its way inot the small number when eyelids decend to become the movie screens of dreams. I walk these waking moments of winter accompanied only by my breath that ghosts past my ears and leaves silver shadows on the wind. it is just me, my footsteps and the Moon. Like a Platinum apple it hangs ripe and full of far away knowledge. suspended above me it is wreathed in radiance that shame the stars into hiding, in all of winters black sleeves it, like i, floats alone. The Moon follows me past momentary houses drifting above dark and shaggy cedars. It follows me like a memory, a face from previous days, a face like yours, my special one. Illuminated with the fires of a time now past, a time yet to come, it sends a silvered visage like a photograph in the locket of the sky. I wonder if you see it also, this medallion on winters dark throat, a coin found not on pavement but in the fermerment, face up and ready for wishes. I wonder if you think of me in that silent fondness of singularity when all there are is you , the moon and memories.
I press my chilled fingers to my eyelids and drawn down the movie screens of dreams to remember you for a moment.
i hope all is well for you in this night that turns the tide.
big love from winters first steps in this last century.
Quicken / bryan
wed, 22 dec 1999
Bebruary is here on darkend feet and billows of wind. it is the night and i hear the gales push the warm wind through the ragged branches of winter. it is a moderate 50 degrees outside, quite a jump from the 30 ish weather that january was dishing out. The sky is not as voluptous with clumped grey clouds. it must be the wind moving them along to keep the sky clear.
and like the sky my life has been clear, so empty of roiling trouble or dark clouds. it has been nice. not much to tell but nice and restful in the calm.
I finished knitting a harf, a very long hat that can wrap around like a scarf. however i am already tired of it and have decided that i would rathter have one made out of a different material. i must save my pennies and buy some nice yarn next week.
the ladies at soft horizon fibre company told me the secret of kniiting a tube on just two needles, now i have more info in my kniitng arsenal. last week it was how to tack long threads to the back of pattern knits. eventually i will take over the world and it will be cozy.
i am looking at buying some astroturf for my carpet in my room, i had wanted to sod the floor but live grass is so troublesome. my big question now is do i buy those plastic daisies and staple them to the edges as trim? part of me says tacky tacky and part of me says ketchy cool.
i will investigate the matter further at fred meyers tomorrow.
there is a film festival at the bijou this weekend and i will get to help scott build and breakdown films wednesday and monday so that will be good for learnicating and monitary action. i am getting to know projection little by little. soon i will have another skill. then i will take over the world and it will be in 35 mm.
sometimes you just goatta have a burst of manical laughter.
the one thing i am lookng forward to in the comming weeks is the new dollar coin. i am hoarding my loot so that i can go to a bank and order me up a couple hundred coins and then spend them like a crazy mad fool everywhere. i dig odd cash. it is such a kick to spend. it usually gives the cashier a little perk in the day to see something a bit different than the pale puss of some dead and dishevled pre-industrial revolution president staring blankly from his newly elarged eyes. Money should be more fun. that is my thought on that.
i have had a few thoughts in these past few days but they are mostly designs for knitwear. i though about an octopus poncho with an attached hood to be the head and the arms to radiate out to maintain the octagonal points of the poncho. i suppose i should get cracking on the design but that is a bit more yarn than a scarf or hat or even a harf so i have just pushed it to the back burner latly.
i have been to a few music shows here in town also. there was a Necro Sluts show just a week or two ago. it was dark and thrusting thunder sex and death rock as always. there was a fire eater and bondage show to go with the music this time. definatley worth 3 bucks. I stay up on all the Necro Sluts shows cause i work with the guitarist and i sometimes hang out with the bass player. then there is the house band, by that i mean the band that lives in the Asylum, Cephelapod. it is more ambient music but very cool to hear it emminating from the basement when i am knitting in the living room by the crackling fire in the newly swept fireplace and chimbly.
then there are the bands i keep meaning to go see but never make the shows, Mondale which is geek rock about teenage girls and computers. and the temporarily named Life Without a Flaregun which is also ambientish and has been playing infront of the film Koianisquasi. after all who is this Phillp Glass schmuck anyway. these college rock kids get into a much better groove with the film.
there are people in each band that i work with or have worked with so i will support them with my patronage when i can and beg to be let in free as a groupie most of the rest ofthe time.
but that is just what my life is like these days, and nights and blustry cold dark times inbetween. it is good and calm and stable. that is all anyone needs. anyone who is me.
big stupendus and laxidasical love from the great wet north with the hope i will get it together soon and write a better letter.
Quicken, bryan, that guy what keeps emailing you.
tue, 01 feb 2000
and february shakes its rainy head
February shakes its rainy head like some lake wet spaniel; grey, exaulting and flinging water everywhere. a laugh at february because it is frolicsome and cavorts with blustery glee against the tops of trees and the coat hems of people. it is like an eager dog or a sly uncle lifting up the tails of cloth to reveal the underlining. such a wicked revelation and yet so innocent in veiw. how rambunctious these days of february with such quick fingered winds and bright milk colored skies. a month of frost and open hearts and other short and fleeting things with only 28 days to live.
there is red and pink construction paper clips and bits skittering rampant on the wind. sticking wet and curled to tree bark and curbsides. it seems some schools recycling bin has become the plaything of idle hands and mirthful winds for all the scraps cut away from hearts and cupids and doves and roses have burst forth from unwanting and decorated the street. it is a tattered and twinkling litter that slaps crimson and fuscia against the damp dark wood and the spring green moss that cradles in the joints of larger trees. it is a cheerful last minute hello from halves of lopsided hearts and remnants of glue bent doily lace face up on the drab cement and under the bristle brown bushes. it is still a few more days before the sanctioned holiday of greeting cards and rose growers. the day of commerce clinking and clammoring with its tin cup and begging strained throat. but the bright and pressed and generically printed 10,001 pieces of repetitive orginalities are still waiting seald and dark in some closet or drawer for that perfect moment.
It is this suprise attack from the leftover honest joy that is the art of children that gussies up the mid winter streets. it is the cast away refusing to be ignored that brightens a different day and lays riot to the streets of eugene for every heart to revel in.
as for me i have just been knitting and hanging out at the Bijou where it is warm and full of people i like. i have not been writing much lately. perhaps it is because i have been a little depressed. it happens. i am used to it. but i keep buying stamps and stationary so someday i will be a letter writting fool! there are these great insect stamps at the post office. i bought three sheets. i like the post office in downtown. it was built in the 30's and has a three color terra-cotta facade. there are also two great murals in the lobby of the industry that made eugene the struggling timber town it is today.
i shaved today so my head feels all shiny and clean. i might just go out and sport this fresh look at the coffee corner mid-town (it is a very small local chain of 3) they are old school coffee style with a simple menu, good soup for cold days and big sheets of butcher paper and lots and lots of crayons. so i can draw and keep cozy and have good quiet times.
this week i have also decided that i am tired of being alone. i have put out a personal ad.
next week i will probably realize that i would rather be alone.
i'll keep you posted because it will probably be funny if nothing else.
as long as no one is "100% Italian"
it is an old joke only a few of you will get.
BIG LOVE from the far and away of Eugene in these days of February
tue, 08 feb 2000
it is 5:30 am and i just finished doing the stupidest thing and it is too late or early to call anyone and tell them about it. it is dark and cold and there is no confessor i can turn to and tell my foolishness and shame. so i will tell you. when you read this i will be asleep or perhaps working later in the afternoon. but now, now is the time for telling.
I was breaking down a film, not a big deal since i had built a film just a few days ago and what is breaking down a film but building it in reverse? i had to break down boys don't cry at 2 am because the late night screening let out at 1:30 and the film has to be in salem friday before noon so they can show it. so i open the cans and make sure my reels are in order 1-6 and i check my film to make sure it is the one i want and i check the platters to make sure they match the film table which is on rewind so the platters are on rewind also. then i see that the head of the film is wrapped around the reel and the foot is rolled up and tucked in. well the foot is supposed to be at the center of the reel and the head on the outside so i have to un wrap the head and place it aside then i have to attach the foot to the reel core and wind it up. i have my sound bar on the film facing up and all is well. i check my last frame and see that it matches the frame from the film i am taking up from the platter and i tape them together and turn the spin dial to speed and viola i am breaking down the film. now there is a mark in the film that i am looking for so i know when to slow down for the splice of reel 6 to reel 5 and i watch it and slow down a little early but it is ok.
reel 6 done i move to reel 5 and then from 5 i move to 4
now 4 is where i have a problem. it seems that the reel is wobbly on the take up spool. these are plastic reels and i think maybe that is the reason. reel 4 gets so wobbly that it pushes the top of the reel off and film explodes all over the table and floor.
so i stop the take up reel and the platter and try to stop the film from unwinding all over the floor more than it already has. i pick up the top of the reel and set it aside on a peg on the wall. then i try to get the film straighened out and back on the bottom half of the reel in a flat and tight fashion. then i pop the plastic pegs back into place inthe core of the reel and start winding up the film.
this is not as easy as that sentence makes it sound.
A) the film has been pressed against the top and has bent all along the sprocket holes on the soundtrack side of the film. i.e. Yikes.
B) the film has twisted itself alot in the unspooling process. it is not going to roll back up onto the reel smoothly.
C) I am working in a shunted corner behind the platter system with a makeup table and trash barrel wedging me into one square foot of work space and for those of you who have seen me i am not a tiny guy. thin yes but tiny no.
D) it is freakin 2:45 om the am.
so i start to wind up what i can while flinging out the twists and kinks as far in front of me as the space allows, this is not for very long. i get to the dreaded point where i will have to cut the film and finish turning out the twists. i find a section where the image changes abruptly and make my splice there. then i set the section still attached to the platter aside and untwist the reel conected film. when i have wound all that up i then tackle the kinks of the platter film. this section is longer and double looped with twists in some places. this takes a while. it is 3:15
now i must tape the two sections back together. i place them carfully in the splicing shoe and lay the clear tape over the cut. i press down the lid and lift up to flip it over and tape the back.
the blade has not cut the tape completly.
so i press the lid down again
and then i slam it
and then i just press on it with my thumnail until it breaks on the metal lip
i flip the film over and repeat the process.
all of it
Reel 4 has now made me concerned. why did it do that? is it the plastic reels? am i not threading the film correctly? is the film table finally going out because it is so old? i very carfully start to break down 3.
all is fine. wobbly but fine
and two is the same way. wobbly and all
this wobbliness is bothering me but it is 3:45 and i am not really sure i care, i am blaming it on the plastic reels.
in twenty minutes i will realize that i am wrong in that assumption.
i am now going to do reel one. i am almost finished. i make sure that my tape splice from the foot to the film is as even as possible and i start to wind the film onto the reel. i get about a quarter of the way into it and i realize that the film is pushing the reel up. i am not going to have a repeat of the reel 4 fiasco so i stop the film.
i rewind it all back onto the platter. maybe i am not running the film fast enough.
i run it faster, it rises up faster. i stop it faster
that was not it.
i recheck all my threading in the spools. it is fine. i try again
it rises again
FUCK FUCK FUCK
i am certain the winos in the street are wondering why someone is cursing in the coverted choir loft of some old church that is now a movie theater.
i try again slower. it rises slower, i stop it and swear some more.
this is getting old.
Maybe they do not need to see the first 20 odd minutes of the film. I hear a door open downstairs. i need a distraction maybe kicking some burgular ass would make me feel better. it is no burgular, it is Michael Lamont, owner of the Bijou and late night wanderer. He will have an answer, so i ask him "what is causing this problem?"
he reviews with me how i thread up and tape and wind. it all seems fine. then he checks the platters,
"commer, i want you to see something"
flashlight is highlighting a bent metal rod underthe platter on a motor box.
"do you know how a clutch works"
"well this is a very simple clutch and when you have it up like this it creates resistance on the platter"
(mentally, "OH SHIT")
"so you have been breaking down the film with the platter like this the whole time?"
"did you smell anything burning?"
"well then you might not have damaged the motor but in the future try to remeber to drop the wheel away from the platter"
I will never forget, ever.
and you know, reel one just flew onto the reel like a dream, no wobble no trouble,
now as for the other 5 reels.....
i only hope they are not damaged too much.
except for 4, i am pretty sure 4 is fucked up.
Mercifully Michael was very understanding and expressed his hope that the film was not damaged and that we should just send it and hope for the best and not tell anyone. you see films are expensive, in the terms of thousands of dollars of expensive. if you have to replace them it can be quite pricey.
think 20 grand.
now close your mouth.
i am telling you because who could you tell that would get me in trouble. none of you live in salem or work for the film industry, especially 20 Century Fox.
so that was my morning. and that is why i had to tell someone. and now it is 6:30 and i have to go to sleep because i am the consessionist at 4 this afternoon. atleast i cannot damage the popcorn.
big love and nervous laughter from above
fri, 11 feb 2000
the perspective of sleep
i have recived a few emails from concerned friends about my last letter, this is understandable but the perspective of sleep has given me two things,
A) a sense of humour about the whole thing, as i re-read the letter (for i sent myself a copy) i laugh.
B) a sense of reality, films cannot really be 20 grand each or then making 500 copies to send all across america would be 10,000,000 and that is just not right, it is probably more like 5 grand. still a lot but not so freakin insanely huge.
trust me, you will read the story again someday an laugh and laugh and laugh.
maybe you already did.
i am very glad michael was calm about the whole thing. i feel really bad about havin done wrong and i think he knows that.
now it is time for a new day in the rain soaked valley of the Mighty Willamette River.
Big love from above.
fri, 11 feb 2000
Spring has unwound
Spring has unwound the cold coils of winter sun from every branch and bough it stiffeled leaving pools of melted sunlight in the crocus pushed grass. the limbs and twigs now free explode in flurries of tiny white and pink flowers or the more sedate just ripple with unfurling pale green leaves. Spring has broken the constraints of winter and with each new forward foot it steps the fresh and unknown burst into being.
today i had my first lesson in gamelan music.
this is the web site http://www.efn.org/~qehn/index.html
i went because i live with artists and musicans and they said it would be fun. and while i am foolishly non coordinated and musically unskilled i thought it was the perfect adventure for this spontanious spring. so Myrrah, Dylan (who live in the same house) Josie (who i used to live with in portland and now manages where Myrrah and i work) and i all went downtown to a music store near the bus mall. all the instruments live upstairs on a balcony overlooking the sales floor. for an hour and a half we sat crosslegged and barefoot in front of bronze pannels and bars clonking and tamping and trying to learn the most basic plink, plonk, plink, plonk, plink, plonk, ping. and it is not in my immediate nature to make music so it was more plink, plonk, plink, ping, (oh shit) Plonk, plonk, (crap) plink, plonk, ping. the tricky part is to remember to tamp the last note you played as you clonk the next note. (tamping is a simple pinching motion, in theory.) the instructor was very upbeat and cheerful and we all did well for our first time. i cannot tell you the names of the instruments or the music we played but the web site should have info and next tuesday for $15 there is more lessons and a free booklet with plenty of information that i can crib so i do not sound completely baffled while telling of my tale in the Javanese music world.
other spring things this week are a screening on saturday that i will run all by my self. oh boy. and the big Oscars Event at the Bijou where people buy $10 tickets (donated to chairty) to watch the Acadamey Awards on the Big Screen in Cinema One (the old Chapel) and bid on posters and wine and other things during the commercials. ther is also snacks, wine and beer in the lobby (not free, not charity) and crazy wacky hilarity will ensue. it should be good times for all.
the other thing that takes up all my time now is Roller Coaster Tycoon which is a computer game that lets you design your own amusment park by placeing small rides like merry-go-rounds and building large rides like roller coasters. i am not so good with the building of roller coasters as it seems all my creations have low excitment and very high Nasuea factors. so i just name everything "Hurlicane" and "Vomitron"
Well Hippity hoppity Spring to all
tue, 21 mar 2000
April appears with pranks and glee
with the first robins of spring comes the sky in response with a shape and shell like there own egg. clear and blue with no clouds in the curve it bends and beckons the people from there drowsy winter houses. there are no Hot dog buns left in the Markets and the wind brings the faint char of cedar and coals occasionally an errant balloon is seen bright and errant in the sky drifting to a new destiny. i lay out under the yellow cold kiss of the sun and wait for the warmth to seep into my skin. i feel it heating my jeans and soaking into my shirt this quiet long beam of the sun. it is rolling over my skin and i can feel the hairs on my arms shifting one by one as the skin contracts micropore by micropore. April brings the first heralds of summer, that mythic season of plenty and suggestion. only a moment here, a twinkling there, the winking of what summer is to bring breaks across the springtime green. an overeager couple in shorts and tanktops laughing behind their sunglasses. a long blonde trio of college ladies out in there least to get the most sun for an early tan. scrambling groups of everyaged people tossing frisbees across street or park grass in many quarters of the city. with the winter rains run out and the spring rains held back a weekend Eugene leaps at the opportunity like a jaguar to a gazelle, excited, eager, desparate. who knows when they will eat again? well by july they will be able to eat everyday but that is so far away from now and now is all that matters. merry they make and dance they will and drink the sun they do for winter is dreary and drab and done and spring brings life anew.
my regular writing has sufferd abit from winter as well for i have been trying to work on a play about a more stylized version of my relationship with shanon and that just sent me down the black stair in the back of my soul. bleah. i did get some stuff blocked out and a general idea of where i should go with the play but then i just did not feel like writing anymore. for a while
perhaps spring will bring my life a new light to work in and keep my shadows small and behind me. we shall see. but for now i am just working and giveing you the updates on the weather and hoping everyone is well or getting better in these new promised days of spring bright like a new penny and waiting for wishes.
today i will see Carmina Burania at the Eugene ballet and then maybe i will see the new Errol Morris Documentary at the Bijou.
more later as i love you all in my own twisted way
sat, 1 apr 2000
April races and rains
golden comes the sun in ivory chariots of clouds. blue and wide the sky lays out a raceway for its chasing. wild wind the hooveless horses that pull and bite and gait. April thunders down springs lane with flowered flags and rain blown banners, a triuph and a torrent on any random day. april blusters mightly but soon with leave us gentle may.
and these are the last last days of april and i write of weather and little else.
these are such tha last days of april as to now be May. the sky is wet and wide and white like an upturned bowl of milk. it drips a little on my freshly shaven head as i come back from the bank with cash in pocket to pay my rent. the house is quiet tonight. everyone is working except me. No show schedules at the Hult Center this week need my expertise Ushering and I do not work a the Bijou again until Friday. I did work yesterday, Sunday, but it was slow and the patrons were quiet and familiar. mostly a usual crowd that we see every week or so and say hello and the ritiual how are yous. the big news is that tonight i have a date. He works for a Seed Distribution company in Cottage Grove but lives in Eugene. i am wary juat a bit. he is pleasant to speak with and ready with a laugh or a smile but he has only been exploring this "interest in Men" for the last year. the positive side is that he does not act like any of my least favourite stereotypes, the negitive side is that he may not really be interested in men in the long run. i will get to know him and see where this goes. at the moment we have had a few short talks. i met him while haveing coffee in Cafe Paradesio after working at the Hult Center. he needed some one to play chess with, i told him i was terrible at chess. he said that was great cause he liked to win. charming, no?
anyway, more to report in the future on that. Tracy Chapman played at the Hult a week ago. she was very good. the audience was wild for her. they were very attentive when she was singing but inbetween songs they whistled and cheered and screamed her praises. it was a bit much.
i have paid my rent and set my roll of quarters aside for laundry tomorrow. i am settled for may and must work my days to the end of the month to see what june will do. I have also put in my application at kinko's finally. now i just have to call them tomorrow as well. more on that later also.
fresh green love from the thick spring leave and all the bright new flowers.
mon, 01 may 2000
May twirls out on pointed toes
may scissor steps in wrapped in cloudy skirts each leg a shaft of sun on point and hidden in the haze. may tips a turn it seems every day and leaps about once a week. each movemnt of its light lashed legs skins away some grey gown gloom leaving the ever lighter underskirt to flounce about and dip and divide to give a glance of springs titian haloed head. every exuberence of spings last dance makes sheer the crenolines and haze. every ribbon of birds that tear away into the trees, every lace of cumulous that is flattened and tatterd by the breath of change reveals more and more of the new bright body that is aging into summer. this strip tease of bumidity and migration that heralds the long golden naked days of summer is almost over.
it is memorial day weekend, i just saw the filth and the fury, a documentaryish movie about the sex pistols. it is worth seeing.
i also saw dinosaur and it is not worth seeing, my major complaint is that it's target audience is children and one of its main themes is Mating. while i understand the significance of reproduction in society i am not certain it is a topic that should have such prominence in a childrens film. it has many many many other raging flaws but this particular one just made me wonder what all the 3-8 year olds in the audience would take away with them as a new idea in their subconcious. as amazing as the animation is i cannot reccomend this movie and i hope it does not have the effect i fear it might.
the whole anti-survival of the fittest trip was also confusing since these are dinosaurs, a simple survival based creature. mixed messages. anthropomorphic or not.
Shanghi noon was fun and sort of predictable but charming and silly as a Jackie Chan movie is supposed to be. if you have 4 dollars and nothing to do in the early afternoon a matinee of this movie would not be a bad choice.
in other news i am sleepy so i am going to go to bed now. as always i promise to say more in the future, as the future is uncertian how much more is any bodys wild guess.
mon, 29 may 2000
July is bland
July stagnates like a pool of water left in a shady ditch from the last rains of spring. it is clear and still waiting waiting for a summer storm to fill it up and rush it down the rivulet to the banks of a creek them on to a water fall and into a river then out to the sea. the future is active but the present waits. it waits moslty because there has just been a lot of work these past few weeks. When i am not at the Bijou all night long i am at the Bach festival for noon talks and evening shows. it is splendid but i have little time for anything else. or perhaps i just have little inclination for anything else. not much has been worked on these days so there is no story to tell or rant to go off on. i have started thinking about the best way to reform the primary school system but it requires way too much money and probably effort with results unavailable until 20 years after implimentation. like all my ideas it is far to grandiose to be possible. oh well.
i tried having small ideas once, i found them boring.
i suppose there is one thing i could mention from just last night. it seems that the ghost was a little cranky last night and decided to cause problems with with 7 o clock shows. about 8:15 someone came out of the Chapel that is cinema one and said that the sound had gone out. i radioed the projectionist and he said he would be right on it. just as the customer went back to his movie someone came out of cinema two and said the film had gone black, so i radioed the projectionist and said there was no film in two. Baumer said he would be right there. a minute or two later the projectionist came down into the lobby and sarah and i were curious as to what had happened. it seems that the sound swiches in cinema one had been flipped from the projector to the music for intermission and in cinema two the damper that covers the projection lamp had been closed. both of these films had been running for several showings over the weekend so if there had been any sensing tape on the film that would have triggered such things it would have happend before sunday. also in the case of cinema one, the cd player that is used for the intermission music is turned off when the film is showing so the player had to be turned on and the switches activated. the cd player is not attached in any way to the projector. to close the dowser in cinema two you have to push up on the lever. we all agreed it seemed that the ghost was in a mood last night, why, no one knows. hopfully it will go back to being its quiet self on tuesday when i am the projectionist.
maybe next week something interesting will happen and i can whip up an email for you all
big summer of love to you all
mon, 10 jul 2000
X-Men the Dreck they called a movie
the state of american movies is almost perfectly exemplified in the X-men movie. Take an idea that once was indepentant and thought provoking, cast several major celebrities regardless of talent or pysical kinship to the role and then weave together a plot so blugeningly self apparent that you do not have to think about the movie once it is over. this is not movie making. it is a perversion of reaganomics where by spending gross quantities of money on nothing you keep people employed and stimulate the economy. people may get food in there stomachs this way but their minds remain empty.
what little i know of the X-men the comic series has been gleaned off of people i have met who shared a few issues several years ago and some viewings of the cartoon series. it may not have been profound french philosophy but it made you think, besides what does a rene decartes action figure do but sit on a shelf and exist. it was a comic that tackled social issues and emotional politics that did make people think. maybe it was a bit broad and thinly vieled but it was stirring and garnered a strong following. this was the great american thought crying out in the night. strangely enough one of the things humans keep forgetting to learn from most other animals is that when you cry out in the night predators can find you faster and tear you into small easy to digest portions.
while the portions that are served up in the X-men movie may not be tasty they are easy to digest because the morsels are not only small they are practially pre-chewed for you. nothing is more annoying than a movie that keeps telling you what is going to happen next and then trys to pretend it has a plot twist. it is much akin to going to a suprise party where you invited all the guest and there is nothing for them to hide behind while all the lights are on. when the monolouges are not sucinct yet tedious rants about a charaters view on mutant v. human issues there are short dialouges which serve witty banter often found only in the rarified air of academia since first grade is something you now graduate into from Kindergarten. often there is no dialouge at all because most of the actors are there for reasons i cannot see beyond the fact that they are famous to some degree. the two talented actors do recive most of the spoken lines but it is usually in monoluge or in dialouge with eachother. old, english and talented as they may be thier polish does not rub off on the movie but remains in a tight halo around them giving them the dim glow of betrayed saints. the acadamy award winnig actress was given quite a few lines and probably could have done something with real words instead of the whisps of breath someone laser printed onto partailly recycled woodpulp and called a script. as the celebrity status decreses from this point so does the opportunity for speaking and it seems that even the most famous of the opposing X-men is given the same amount of lines as the reat of them, none. it seems that a trend is starting for bad guys to have no dialouge, Darth Maul in Phantom Menace, the Carnivorous dinosaurs in Dinosaur and now the, for lack of a better term, henchmen in X-men. they might have 8 lines between the three of them. mercifully the actress playing storm is also limited so we do not have to endure too much of her unfortunate charaterization. the downside is that in the comic book storm is one kick ass charater and should not be margnalized so. had this movie been made in the early 80's there is only one actress who would have been perfect for this role and i think even now after having seen this movie she could have still done a better job.
it becomes painfully obvious why this movie was made. it was made to give camera men and sound technichans and computer graphics developers something to do. yes the script writers and director and actors also recived payment but it is the key grip and the craft services people who are the real reason this kind of dreck is made. have you ever stayed to read the credits at the end of a film? there are quite a few people involved in makeing the movie and they have rent to pay and food to buy and bills in collection so they need the work and work they do. the content of the film is marginally relevant at best. no one will blame the electrician if the script is poor or the acting stiff. the money is already spent by the time the movie hits the theater and as long as there is enough hype on the special effects there will be a big opening rush to see the "cool" scenes and the movie will make back most of its expenses and fold quietly into video where it will make back the rest of its money. if it fails to break even on those two points the overseas market may help to push it into the black. no one is worried about losing money. they just want to stay employed and will sell anything to make it happen. they do not have to make better movies to make a living. they do not have to challenge the enfeebled minds of america. they do not have to care beacuase no one will challenge them in the only arena they understand, MONEY.
you can do this if you are willing to stand up against the insiped crap machine and make them realize you are not compliant cash cows to be milked whenever they are hungry. and baby they are always hungry.
I say GO SEE X-MEN the movie. pay your 7 dollars and sit though the first 10 minutes or so. then realize that it is feeble crap and go to the manager and DEMAND your money back. do not accept passes. do not accept vouchers or popcorn, DEMAND your money back, they will only understand that you will not be pandered to if the financial report shows that money came in and then went away. if you do not feel you can do this alone go with a group of friends. an angry mob is always good publicity but please do not break anything and elect one speaker to be clear and unshakeable in resolve so that cofusion and conflict are kept to a minimum.
if you are going to do this then read on because i will reveal the plot in all its misery so you do not feel you have missed anyting.
warning, this is how the movie progresses and ends.
there are few special effects in the begining, obviously they save that until the movie is far enough along that you cannot get a refund. the effects are mediocre at best and you can see them on video without missing anything. rouge and wolverine make a little alliance and then are attacked by sabertooth in the snowy woods of canada, if you are still watching the movie at this point you are not going to get that refund without some major whining. storm and cyclops appear out of nowhere and save them. big whop. a boring scene with wolverine trying to escape from the stainless steel corridors of X-men central. meet professor x again, he explains that he runs a special school blah blah blah. boring crap with school montages and a boy who makes ice flirts with rouge. obnoxious senator is kidnapped by mystique and toad. magneto uses a big device to force a mutation to happen, it allows the senator to escape but then when he finds the X-men central he dies. oh dear the device does not work. magneto kidnaps rouge and wants to use her to power his machine because it is very draining on him. cleverly he hides it in the statue of liberty because there is a big international delegation being held on ellis island to discuss many world events including what to do about mutants in the world. Ofcourse ellis island is the perfect place for such things. some lame fight scenes that are not realy enhanced much by special effects with the very obvious good x men getting beat down and then coming back with a winning vengance as though that was not done to death. there is a not so tense moment where the device is activated and you have to wonder how much longer will they bother us with this scene before they rescue rogue. she is rescued by wolverine and then there is some open ended plot crap to lead to a sequel or two and the movie is over. there might be more but it is essentally useless and forgetable.
so it is spoken, so it is written, so it shall be done.
if you have made it this far i thank you for your time and hope that your actions if you take any will help change the way movies are made and better things will come of this.
Big love from eugene.
fri, 14 jul 2000
July lays down dark and dreaming with warm night skin pressed against the trees. Cuthbert ampitheater outstreached its arms tonight drawing one thousand people to its bermed grassy belly and lighting up its copper bonnet to show the face of Los Lobos. Most of the year Cuthbert lays silent by the river with the trees leaf whispering to keep it company. In the summer the ampitheater rises from the flowered confetti of spring and stakes its claim on the soundwaves giving music a sun golden stage to shine on for crowds that can reach up to 4 thousand joyful people. there is plenty of room for dancing and socializing and haveing great summer times, and this was one of those laid-back music filled nights. my favourite part about working at the ampitheater is that the audience is so mellow and happy to be there that the job is very easy for everyone. Plus we get food vouchers for working so there are free snacks from any of the local food vendors you wish to select. Also there are people who come and just sit outside the gates and listen to the music having there own picnics and family or friend gatherings. some people even take sandwiches and sodas in there canoes and float along the river behind the ampitheater drifting along on the calm water and the lively music. it is one of those great summer things that gives eugene its quirky goodness.
Los Lobos also was very friendly to the crowd, they allowed recording (but not from the board) and photography. they played their own music and some other types of music that appealed to a eugene crowd, some bob marely and neil young. everyone seemed to be having a good time. is that not what everyone wants?
so that was my night in eugene on this last thursday in august, no big stories, no small tales, just a nice day outside with easy going people listening to music.
on the quirky side note, a section of Alton-Baker park and about 10 parking spaces in the parking lot that is used by the ampitheater when it is open are reserved for special permit use. the special permit is issued to homeless people so they can camp in there rigged up camper shells and old vans. the parking lot is directly across from Autzen staidum, the University of Oregon's multi million dollar footbal facility. it is just one of those odd eugene things.
more later, august approaches.
fri, 28 jul 2000
sunday slumbers in the valley
august is clinging to its last long rays of sun knowing that september comes to cut them in half and let winter shorten the suns cozy arms from the wraparound july embrace to brisk jaunuary finger touch. Sunday wakes up with this knowledge and reclines again to enjoy the last of these midas touched days. i however must go to work today for the movies will not show themselves and clamoring are the throngs on sunday for the three dollar afternoon matinee. the morning is cool and the sun is high so it should be a nice day at the theater.
the next four days however have the dangerous potential of being dull dull dull. i switched saturday for tuesday with someone at work and now i have monday through thursday with no plans and very little cash. if only this fluke had happend right after a payday i could be spontainous and leave town. i could still try to hitchhike to seattle and back but i think i will leave that to someone else. if anyone is really really really bored you could come and see lovely eugene. somewhere in this house there is a sofa to sleep on. if nothing else it is four days i can work uninterupted on writing or craft projects.
on a completely unrelated note, another bat flew into the house a couple days ago. it came in the bathroom window and flew around the up stairs landing for a bit. at first i thought it was a swift because it was 2 o'clock in the afternoon. when it clung to the bathroom drape it was evident it was a bat. it could not figure out how to get back out the window so i found a hat and a book (there are plenty of both just lyihg around the house) and tried to persuade it into the temporary lockdown so that i could transport it outside. bats are very vocal when they are unhappy. i decended the stairs with bat in hat and hat in hand and left the hat on the front porch. a second passed while the bat reoriented itself and then with a wisk and away it was gone.
perhaps we should just open a bat sanctuary in the attic.
well. i have to get up and get my pretty on cause worktime is inching ever closer. work, however, is still 2 miles away as always. that mountain is not coming to this mohammed so i have to go to it.
if i do not see you this week then i will see you all in the future.
sun, 27 aug 2000
december is half over
december weeps upon eugene's unlighted streets. there are no boughs of holly or ornamented spruce trees in garish garlanded grandour here in the vanilla valley. the city manager has decreed that christmas trees are "religous" and have been banned from city controlled public spaces. not a fire or police station has a tree, not the lobby of the city hall or the hult center. this is for the good of all you see because we should not force one groups relgious belifes upon other people. go team drab. i think the city manager is just trying to save money and is hiding behind the liberal "non-religous equality" stance as a way to cause controversy to distract people from the fact he is saving thousands of dollars by not decorating anything. i wonder what he plans to do with this budget surplus at the end of the fiscal quarter? give himself a raise? it is possible. this and several other things have led me to belive that eugene is the nicaragua of the northwest. (just for alliteration it could be the honduras of the northwest really or any central american country) recently in eugene we had an "election" for mayor, the ONLY person on the ballot was the incumbent mayor, jim torrey. so your choices were a) generalissimo torrey, or b) commrade torrey. ah democracy, so many people are free to persue public office so they can make a difference. the difference is to generalissimo torreys pocketbook. this is the same mayor who promised to fix eugene's economic outlook by bringing in bussiness so he sold his own land to a disc manufacturing company using his position as mayor to get the company a tax break for 5 years so they would want to build here. guess what? those 5 years are up and the company is thinking of moving. the mayor and the city council are not thinking of how to build a more stable, centralized city, they are thinking of how they can build more stable bank balances for themselves by allowing contractors to build more single family plaster and cardboard houses on the outskirts of the city and allowing the city center to collapse upon itself from indifference. another serious economic indiactor i have noticed is that a gourmet food company from out of town sets up a call center every holiday season to handle the extra volume of calls here in eugene. this is 6 weeks of work answering the phone and typing in orders. it pays 8 dollars an hour. in the past there has been an employee hemorrage of about 20 to 25 percent before the first week of december. to accomodate this they hire about 1400 people. this year in the first week of december they were asking people to take a day off or to leave early because they were not seeing the attrition rate they had in previous years. in fact people were begging for overtime and wanted to work extra days. 1400 people did not just want a little extra christmas money, 1400 people were DESPARATE for money. in a town of 250,000 that is a serious sign. perhaps it is because the average wage is not much higher than the minimum standard and the average apartment is around 550 a month. this may seem inexpensive but when you only make 1000 a month and you have collage loans to pay and groceries to buy and car payments and gasoline and electric and water and sanatation you are living at poverty level. eugene has its own brand of hillside rebels. they have the anarchists. there are really not that many and they are not very organized (well they are anarchists) and they are joined by well meaning but poorly informed student protesters. this group desires to bring down the oppressive government regime that they feel is destroying the quality of life for all people. where have i heard rebels say that before? if only they would recive a shippment of arms from a much more civilized nation to the north, such as british columbia, they could finally achive their goals for a free society. or just cause a lot of chaos and mayhem and make things worse. thank goodness the militaristic police force bought more riot gear and pepper spray to help keep the conflict under control.
ah charming and quaint college town eugene, a sparkling jewel of liberal idealism nestled in the willamete valley.
do not mind me, i just get cranky when i notice something and cannot fix it. that is why i want to move to a big city, things will still be wrong but i can distract myself so i will not care.
i am also a bit tired cause i do have 4 jobs so i work every day from 6 am to 3pm then i have an hour to travel to my next job from 4 pm to 2 am and then back the next day to the same schedule. yeah team sleep depravation. i think i will quit the gourmet food job in the mornings just so i can stay sane. besides i would hate to let them down and have the 20 percent they were expecting to quit not quit. i would like the money so i can move out of eugune with a bit of a cushion but i will have plenty to move on if i just keep working my other 3 jobs until the end of december. then it is so long vanilla valley and hello world.
i am thinking of staying in san francsico for a month with my sister and either moving there if i can get a job that pays well enough to justify living in the most expensive city in america or moving back to portland where i know some people and can look for a decent job.
i know i should write more but i have been busy.
more later my little ones.
sun, 17 dec 2000
loop back to mike watt's hoot page