Sunday, March 28, 2010

Landmines: My misadventures in the land of parental divorce and computers...

The same week my mother is unceremoniously served less than courteous divorce papers from my father -  on St. Patty's Day no less! Totally ruined my favorite drinking holiday. However, Easter is coming up so I'll just make up for it then.
                "He is risen!"
                                        "He is risen indeed!"

Now, if he could only make everyone SANE again, that would be great.

Anyway, in that same week of extreme emotional turmoil my horrid HP laptop dies. We've never really gotten along very well, and in it's final moments it spites me one last time by taking all the contents I never should have trusted it with along for the final boat ride. Grrrr... when it rains, it shit storms.

Isn't that how the saying goes? Well, if it isn't then perhaps it should. I will take the initiative in starting the trend.

I was then told by a professional "geek" that the cost for retrieving all lost files would begin at $250.00. Begin. Meaning, it will actually end up costing me a lot more to retrieve files from the dead hard drive.

Here's the Lilac part of all this. I'm a stickler when it comes to backing things up. Well, important things anyway. Some very funny party photos are going to be sacrificed to the hard drive graveyard. But all my buisness files and creative writings are safe.

Also, three years ago I abandoned my dying Toshiba during it's time of need and bought the lying cantankerous HP. Apparently three years of down time was all it needed to heal, and for me to come crawling back for forgiveness. I'm quite happy to be reunited with my Toshiba. I was very sad when it stopped working. I have so much fun writing on it, something in the way the keys click ... it's musical ...

Anyway, for now the computer situation has worked itself out, as these things often do. And I'm sure the parental situation will work out in the end. However, the casualties sacfrificed to someone's midlife crisis may be more significant than what was left behind on a silly hard drive.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lilacs: A glorious day for short films and grilling…

Sunday March 14 was a beautiful day filled with sunshine, art, and good food. Let’s start with a short recap of the Walker Institute of Art’s Women With Vision: Short Film Showcase. (

Some of the films were entertaining, some illuminating, and others left me scratching my head wondering “huh?” I’ll only reminisce on a few choice films that really stuck with me.

Abandon ME; written and directed by Sayer Frey, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
This one is one of my favorites (and not just because I have a personal investment or because my name is in the credits (my 2.3 seconds of fame!)). It truly is a wonderful film. Potent with symbolism and metaphor, it really dives into the heart of its subject matter without giving it away. I’ve seen it many times at multiple stages of its development and the ending still gives me goose bumps! Look for it on the circuit, it’s going places.

Ana’s Playground; Jillian Nodland, Minnesota.
If you haven’t heard of this short film, you will. It’s an amazing film shot right here in downtown Minneapolis at the famous Riverside Apartments. Ana’s Playground begins with quote by Plato; “The most effective kind of education is that a child should play amongst lovely things.” Then shows you a war torn city in some far off foreign land, and the children are playing soccer in a garbage filled alley as gunshots and bombs sound all around them. The film is designed to show the audience how children are affected by war. An especially important message for Americans, because war always seems to be in some far off land; Ana’s Playground really brings it home. If you have an opportunity to see this film you should jump on it.

Abbie Cancelled; Jessica Burstein, Brooklyn, New York
I still don’t know how I feel about this one as “art”, but it was certainly entertaining. It has already run most of the short film circuit and has won a few competitions. You know you are in for a ride when the first piece of dialogue you hear is, “Fuck! Abbie cancelled.”

There were nine films total, and all were good in their own way, and had a few choice lines that will serve as great inside jokes for those of us that were there. As for the rest of you… well, you’re out of luck, because I’m done writing about this.

Have I mentioned that the temperature reached 65 degrees on Sunday? It was sunny and warm all day long and after the film festival, my brother, his girlfriend, Neal and I were feeling very alive, and perhaps a little appreciative of where we where and what we have. So, we popped over to the grocery store, bought a few grill-able items, dug our grill out of storage, and set up on the soggy ground of Como Park and had a picnic. This is the earliest I’ve ever gilled: March 14, 2010. One for the record books people, enjoy it!

p.s. You can become a “Fan” of all the above films on Facebook, which will help you get the inside scoop of when and where they will be showing next!