June 25th, 2008

Whale fluke

Alicia and I

Alicia (who I just saw) and I have an interesting relationship. We dated from January 1996 to July 1997, broke up that month, had little contact with each other until early 1999, and then rebuilt things on a friendship level. We've been significant to each other for a good long time.

When we were dating, she was undiagnosed bipolar -- her various other medical issues were masking that big underlying problem -- and that complicated things. I was mostly clueless about it, unfortunately, and my cluelessness likely contributed to our not working as a couple. I didn't treat her badly, but I didn't treat her nearly as well as I could've, and part of me was too wrapped up in myself and my reactions to her issues so that I wasn't helping her through her issues.

Then "Better living through chemistry" happened. Alicia got properly diagnosed -- which made a lot of things suddenly make much more sense (so that's why she was having those problems) -- and got the proper medical treatment to smooth out the peaks and valleys. Or at least make the lows not as low. She has a more manageable life now, and that's a relief.

I realized recently that when we visit, Alicia tends to be "up." Sometimes REALLY "up." She gets more manic, and sometimes a little scattered, to the point where she can have trouble having a coherent conversation. (To her credit, one time when this was especially bad she realized it was bad, and kept apologizing for all of her jumping-in and her tire-screeching changes of subject.) When that happens, at some level I'm flashing back on that bad last month of our dating time, and part of me's worrying oh shit! I'm losing her! And another part of me is getting annoyed: please let me finish a single thought. I make so much more sense if I can get a complete sentence out! And a third part of me gets annoyed with my annoyance: Dude, Alicia's dealing with something "off" in her brain. She's not doing it on purpose. But the effort to communicate, plus my conflicting reactions to it, are sometimes tiring and trying.

I realized something further this time. Through everything, all of the bad kind of drama (most of which I won't tell you about), Alicia and I have remained very fond of each other. We're scarily on the same wavelength about many things; she's smart, well-read and hilarious; and it certainly doesn't hurt that she's very cute (the best comparison I've thought of so far is that she looks a little like Faye from Questionable Content). It's that fondness for each other that's kept us together, if not as a couple then as friends. And as I was leaving Eugene last night with a smile on my face, I told myself she gets "up" like that because she really likes seeing you. Would you rather have her be depressed by the sight of you?

Fondness is a powerful thing.
  • Current Mood
    contemplative contemplative
Good Omens

The latest phone scam

The urgent automated voice says urgently “This is an important personal business call.” The urgent automated voice adds urgently to call this toll-free number (urgently, I presume) and says that “again, this is an important personal business call.”

I think If it were that f’in’ urgent, someone would call me directly, and hang up.
Blow My Mind

Help D.K. Holm by seeing cool films

What ’tis this “Help D.K. Holm” film series of which I’ve spoken? It’s something that’s going to happen again tonight (with either Dogma or Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure – or maybe even both – because they star the late, great George Carlin) and it’s something that happened last Wednesday night, too. And it’s going to keep happening!

Nutshell: Lance Kramer, a friend of in-treatment Holm, asked him to put together a list of films. A different Holm-chosen flick runs every other week, alternating with an audience-chosen flick (like tonight). This is happening in the backyard of a house near Hawthorne Blvd. (1804 SE 38th), and Kramer accepts donations that will go to Holm’s living expenses. It’s low-key and chummy, and finally we have decent weather for it.

Wednesday the 18th was the first night. The Holm-chosen piece of cinema was 1968’s Dark of the Sun, where the embattled president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo hires mercenaries Rod Taylor and Jim Brown to retrieve diamonds from one part of the country and get those diamonds the hell back over to the president. This requires a train, men, weapons, cunning, the ability to dodge a chainsaw-wielding turncoat and more. And it turns out to be a real kick-ass action film, one I’d only barely heard about (because Film Score Monthly released a CD of Jacques Loussier’s emotional score) and that I hadn’t seen until that night.

Kramer started the film at dusk after the arrival of about 12 people (a few more trickled in later), who’d gathered on his lawn and around chairs that had been set up. Several of those chairs were prop chairs used in the film version of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, which was just shot in Oregon; a friend of his had been on that film’s crew, and had salvaged the seats from a set as it was being dismantled. (I’d like to start the rumor now that Charlize Theron and/or Viggo Mortensen, depending on who you find more attractive, sat in one of those seats, but STARTING A FALSE RUMOR WOULD BE WRONG.) He projected the film onto the conveniently-sized back of a whitewashed garage abutting his backyard, with speakers sticking out of the grass giving a Surround-Sound sort of sensation. People broke out beer (it’s a BYOB event), settled in and viewed. (That should be stretched out: vieeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwed. Sounds more loungin’-around-and-gettin’-comfortable-like.)

After the film, Mike Russell and I visited, and geeked out over the film. We speculated that Dark of the Sun might be one of the movies Quentin Tarantino is using as inspiration for his Dirty Dozen-style World War II flick he wants to direct. If it isn’t, IT SHOULD BE. And walking-movie-encyclopedia Tarantino almost certainly knows of the film; it’s exactly up his alley.

Mike and I also danced to David Shire’s opening credits theme for The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3, because we’re geeks like that. He played it from his iPhone.

Continued filmage will happen later with Night Two of the D.K. Holm film festival. *chugs the rest of the bottled Starbucks Frappuccino he bought when leaving Eugene last night, ’cause he’ll need the caffeine for tonight*

I’ll close with one piece of Out-Of-Context Theater!: I listened to the man who’d worked on The Road and the made-in-Oregon film adaptation Twilight (Stephanie Meyer’s novel about vampires trying to be good, non-kill-y vampires) tell a behind-the-scenes story about Twilight which I won’t repeat. I replied “Well, at least he’s getting laid.”

Most non-bogus.

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure still entertains most entertainingly, dude.

Now I want to see Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey again!

Tonight also featured grilling and badminton (and much use of the word "shuttlecock"), plus George Carlin comedy from YouTube, leading up to the film. I watched on a blanket. (Note to self: the blanket's in the car, for next week's use.)

I'll be back next week. Excellent!