About Me, Movies, News and Reaction, Politics, Testimonials

Mitt Romney Plays the Race Card

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2012/08/25/mitt-romneys-coded-racism/

As a white guy I can often get away without worrying about racism. But then I’ll get on the phone with my step mother. As a proud black woman, she takes the Obama hatred personally. “They wouldn’t be so vicious except he’s black.”

I know enough about my country to agree. This is a racist country. We have elected a black man, but we’re in that awkward transitional phase where we feel like we’re over the worst of it but we still have racism that gets diluted year after year. Not sure if that is true or not . . . but like I said, the white majority manages not to think too often about racism.

I get reminded again, today, catching up on blogs and Angela Tung has to speak up about this video:

She contrasts this to McCain in 2008 gently prying himself away from more blatant racism from some of his supporters:

The earlier video makes me squirm all the more … I wish McCain had said that Arabs are decent people too … but you can tell that his top priority is to back away from the crazy. McCain isn’t going to revel in the easy hatred of his opponent. “Obama is a decent man. You do not have to live in fear of Obama being president!”

And, I’m totally cool with a sense of humor, but us white guys, especially anyone running for public office, know there are things you just don’t joke about, especially not in front of the TV cameras. Of course nobody asks about our birth certificate. Nobody asks where we are from. That never happens. Its preposterous! Because white == American == white! Everyone knows this! The only reason an intelligent person like Mitt would crack a joke about his birth certificate to a crowd of supporters is as a nod to his “birther” supporters.

And you know why there’s a birther movement who absolutely can not believe that the president of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama, is a native-born citizen of the United States? I’ll give you a hint. Some coded, off-color humor:

Nobody asks for Romney’s birth certificate because he’s not a n*gger.

That’s the plain and simple truth, and when Romney deliberately brings it up he is race-baiting his audience.

Angela takes is more personally than I do … she is quicker to speak up. But even if the casual coded racism doesn’t bother you, what is all the more disappointing about Mitt Romney is that he is so desperate to pander to an audience that he will even pander to racism. John McCain had some character and integrity. The same has not been demonstrated by Mitt Romney.

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Letters to The Man, Movies, News and Reaction, Sundry, Technology, Testimonials

Dear Netflix . . .

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2011/09/19/gag-me-quickster/

Left a comment on the Official Netflix blog:

What I have always liked about Netflix is that it was a one-stop shop that knew what kind of movies I like to watch, and could make smart suggestions. Netflix had a huge selection and could send me just about any movie I could want. The streaming was a nice addition, but you lose a lot of control that you have on the DVDs like selecting aspect ratios or subtitles. Sometimes the instant gratification is nice but what was important wasn’t a red envelope versus a streaming video, it was that one way or another, Netflix would get me movies I wanted to see.

Then you decided that what I really wanted had little to do with movies or brand loyalty and everything to do with having a medium preference shoved down my throat.

If the streaming is such a fundamentally new business model start a new business and be done with it. Call it Streamstr. Partner with old-fogey Netflix and their stupid red envelopes so their retarded users can stream a few videos. Better yet, be the Netflix I knew and loved so many years: deliver movies I want to me. If I have to pay more for postage or more for some streaming movie that is really “hot” that is totally cool.

But what you are doing right now is some sort of bizarre unsettling brand seppuku. Why is such a great company working so hard to come up with new and innovative ways to scare away its loyal customers?

Netflix used to be about people watching movies. End of story. Movies. Movies. Movies. Its not about picking the winner between VHS and Beta, its about your customers and their love of movies and about your love of getting the movies to your customers. No nonsense, no bull, no false choices. And now? You’re tossing that advantage aside, and I am just as well served by your competitors.

Making the experience more complex for your customers is just plain dumb. =(

Good luck with your brave new spin-off model. It was a nice ride while it lasted.


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Movies, Quotes, Sundry

Japanese Eel-Related Quotes

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2010/06/28/japanese-eel-related-quotes/

Several years ago I watched a Japanese film titled “Unagi” which is the Japanese word for “eel.” The film was one of those 1960s-type free-form free-spirit no-plot-really affairs, where the protagonist one day comes home early to find a guy schtuffing his wife, murders his wife and her lover, then reports himself to the police. He serves his time as a model prisoner, and although prisoners are not allowed to have pets, he was allowed to feed the eel in the prison pond, and the warden gave him the eel to take home with him at the end of his sentence.

That is the beginning of the movie. First five minutes or so. After that, there’s not much plot. At least, not that I recall. The movie then lingers on a bunch of folks in his town who don’t have much going on. But the protagonist, Yamashita, did leave a quote I still adore:

“Nobody knows your father, but you’re still a fantastic eel.”

Just now, I saw a YouTube video about a Christmas tree that was lit by the power of an electric eel. When the eel swims, it discharges electricity, and the tree lights up. What could the commentator on the video possibly have to say about this wonder?

“If we could gather all the electric eels from around the world we would be able to light up an unimaginably large Christmas tree.”

Yes! Exactly what I was thinking. (Well, not really, but far more enchanting than my whimsical musing regarding the feasibility of electric eels as an alternative energy source.)

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Movies, Sundry

Week of 21 February, 2010

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2010/03/01/week-of-21-february-2010/

Sunday, February 21

Three laps around Prospect Park with a weaker headwind on the uphill, then I stopped for groceries and fit two gallons of milk into the bicycle basket, which made steering sluggish. Afterwards I watched “Letters from Iwo Jima” which was really neat because it tells a story from World War II in which the viewer’s empathy is given to the enemy.

2.75h Letters from Iwo Jima

Monday, February 22

Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule — Insight into why engineers dislike meetings, and the cultural difference between “makers” and managers regarding meetings.

Pushups: 40

Tuesday, February 23

I kept waking up through the night, which is unusual for me. There is a fair amount of tension at work and other open questions in my life, so I am thinking the subconscious is unusually bothered right now. I woke up dreaming that I was at a party gorging on a smorgasbord of delicious, sweet, and colorful home-made baked goods. I have had these sorts of dreams lately: on another occasion we were at some legendary restaurant and after the feast of dinner I was eager for dessert, but I woke up before dessert.

At any rate, flex hours are a blessing for productivity: if someone has a rough night they can sleep in a bit and just get a late start, rather than taking a sick day. But throughout the morning I felt hung over.

In the evening I made it to my fisrt NYC Yelp event: tacos at The Loading Dock. I made two new acquaintances while enjoying some tasty tacos and free beer. Unfortunately, Mei couldn’t make it.

Wednesday, February 24

I “shipped” a nice feature for our systems management software at work, which will make it easier to request server reboots and other services from our data centers. I then set about coordinating how to deploy the feature. In the evening I did laundry, and watched TV while folding.

Pushups: 35 + 40 + 25

1h Daily Show
1h Colbert Report

Friday, February 26

Due to the snow storm, we didn’t go out as we might have, ordering in some food instead.

Saturday, February 27

After brunch, we spent some time at the Library, but then hustled home so Mei could get in touch with her family as we watched the would-be tsunami roll into Hawaii. Later in the evening we went to see “Invictus” which is an uplifting retelling of how Nelson Mandela won the Rugby World Cup, with a little help from Matt Damon. Afterwards, we stumbled upon a French Bistro type place, where Mei had tartar, I had sausages and beers, we both had dessert, and together we enjoyed a badly needed night out.

2.25h Invictus

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Movies, Sundry

Week of 14 February, 2010

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2010/02/22/week-of-14-february-2010/

Sunday, February 14

I got up before Mei-Lin to, among other things, make her breakfast. She let me nap afterwards as she, among other things, baked me an apple pie. I dropped her off at work in the evening for what was otherwise a really nice romantic holiday together.

1.5h Daily Show
0.5h John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up

Monday, February 15

The orthodontist is keen to finish my oral infrastructure project before two years has elapsed. He mentioned a desire to change my lower band, but that for my comfort he would wait until next time. I said I could go for it. He babbled with glee, “okay, if you insist I torture you . . . but if it hurts you forget you know me,” and then rambled on about what material the band was made of and how that had a memory so it wasn’t so bad, and words like anterior and other stuff that means he’s a huge orthodontics geek. I can’t tell half the stuff he’s saying but he says it with a sort of joy that makes me trust him, because I too, know the joy of impassioned geekery.

After driving Mei to work in the evening I took some Aleve. This is the second time this guy has adjusted my teeth and I feel it afterward where I didn’t feel it with the prior orthodontist. Since he’s a geeky man I just assume he is pushing my comfort zone to yield results, whereas the nice lady in San Francisco wanted to help me avoid discomfort.

0.25h Aqua Teen Hunger Force
1.75h Inch’Allah Dimanche
1h Colbert Report

Tuesday, February 16

Mei gave me a toy train set today. It is a juvenile thrill even if I can’t figure out a good home for it.

Pushups: 35 + 35
Situps: 100

1.75h Reprise
1h Dirty Jobs
1h Star Trek: The Next Generation

Wednesday, February 17

I have a modest pile of unused credit cards stashed away in case I ever develop a coke habit. And since I doubt coke dealers take plastic, when I say “develop a coke habit” I mean “fund my own Internet startup-up.”

0.5h Colbert Report
1.75h Sophie Scholl: The Final Days
0.25h Aqua Teen Hunger Force

Thursday, February 18

So, LIVE Squirrelcam is occasionally entertaining but I may try to make it better. Right now one would have to tune in while I am broadcasting, and while the squirrels are doing their thing. There’s maybe ten minutes a day, really, of footage, and its in low res.

If I am silly enough to run a computer with some decent horsepower . . . not 24/7 but say during daylight hours, I’m thinking I could have the computer take a series of 30 second clips, over and over, and then we analyse those clips for squirrel activity. The analysis is the part I don’t know how to do, but I figure I can extract, say, a series of frames, and I’m pretty sure mogrify can give me the “diff” of two images, and if I can evaluate the quantity of that diff, then I know something is going on.

Splice together contiguous 30-second clips of “squirrel detected” footage and upload in hi def to YouTube.

The sup has also been talking about installing these giant, prison-like bars on the windows, “but you can open them.” Anyway, a more permanent fixture outdoors where the squirrels can look cute for the Internet without worrying about the guy inside typing away menacingly at the keyboard might be where I end up.

If I don’t just lose interest first.

After an unusually rough day at work, I watched “Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress” which was a nice enough film set during the Cultural Revolution, but in the last 40 minutes they skipped to the modern day and revealed the village was to be flooded for the Three Gorges project. Sappy sentimentality over unrequited love backed by plaintive violin music, this soft-skinned bourgeois intellectual found himself teary-eyed. It also reminded me of another movie I recently watched about the Three Gorges, “Up The Yangtze” so the idea of an ambitious young girl making her way in the world, in that case, literally up the Yangtze, was fresh in my mind.

1.75h Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress

Pushups: 30

Friday, February 19

Peddling a bike down a city street is much like paddling a canoe down a river: Watch out for the current if you don’t want to flip or crash!

Rode my bicycle over to the Post Office, then stopped by the bike store to put air in the tires. (They have a hose out front.)

Pushups: 32 + 40

Saturday, February 20

Slept in, rode down to the Tea Lounge for breakfast, then two laps around Prospect Park. The weather was nice but there was a vicious head wind on the uphill part. Took Mei-Lin out for dinner but it was late and she was too exhausted to really appreciate it.

1h Mega Movers: Locomotives

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Featured, Movies, Sundry

Week of 27 December, 2009

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2010/01/03/week-of-27-december-2009/

Sunday, December 27

The Lakeshore Limited stops at 6:54AM in Erie, PA. I heard a voice behind me ask a passenger “are you a US citizen?” And a moment later a warning that they have to carry their I-20 at all times or it is a $100 fine. I had been through a few checkpoints in Europe, and it seemed wrong to me that we were now at a “border crossing” within the US. I figured when they asked for my ID I would first ask for their ID. They asked the guy next to me.

“He’s sleeping,” I offered. He took the coat off his head and rummaged through his papers. He was born in New York, but he is a Mexican citizen, and he immigrated through one point, no, another. The conversation switched to Spanish. They wanted his permicion, and the agent flashed him a sample consular ID that in the dark looked to me like a Hawaii driver’s license.

“You came in as a tourist?”

“Tourist Visa’s only good for a year. Or six months.”

“Vamos con nosotros.”

The man gathered up his belongings. After a rough night sleeping on the train, he was off to a detention center, and then probably to Mexico. I told my neighbor, “I’m sorry.”

“I only asked him for the truth,” the agent replied.

“This is America?” asked the passenger behind me.

Having caught someone, they stopped checking IDs, and didn’t ask anything of me. On my way to the dining car the conductor announced that due to this last stop we were now running ten minutes behind, and would not make it up for some hours, but thanks to good weather and light traffic we would probably be in New York on time.

Monday, December 28

It is our week off together, and we decided to be tourists in New York City. Today we went to the New York Botanic Gardens in the Bronx, which is not all that interesting in the cold of winter, but I was keen on seeing their train show. This was neat: trains running through the conservatory on trestles built from wood and fashioned to resemble New York’s famous bridges, passing houses and architectural landmarks like the old Penn Station, built from plant materials.

Worth seeing once. The gardens are probably a better trip on a Summer day.

Afterwards we caught Avatar, which is definately a mind blowingly wonderful science fiction movie that will be remembered for its innovative effects. I really enjoyed it and if anyone is asking I say go ahead and spend the few bucks extra to see it in 3D and yes get there early because the first theater was sold out and we got a good place in line at the second theater because we showed up 40 minutes early.

On a Monday.

Tuesday, December 29

We got dressed up and went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I enjoyed the European realist paintings, then Mei was agog at the Samurai stuff which seemed to me like an awful lot of impressive blades that didn’t quite captivate me. Mei was enchanted that bunny ears are part of the Samurai style, since rabbits symbolize longevity and cunning.

After that we wandered through the Chinese calligraphy, the writer’s garden which got me thinking that some ferns and hanging plants could really spruce up the home office, then on through the American stuff, which was mostly colonial furniture and some excellent Tiffany mosaics. It seemed interesting to me that the Samurai exhibition had a lot of Japanese tourists, the Chinese calligraphy attracted Chinese people, and there was a group of Indians checking out the Jain temple.

And America is represented by Tiffany mosaics.

Afterwards Mei treated me to a meal at Dean and Delucca, where she grabbed some cupcakes to bring home.

Wednesday, December 30

In the morning we hit up Ikea for a bed frame, and once that was wedged into the car, we took the long way around Brooklyn to the Bed Bath and Beyond so Mei could purchase a food processor. We stopped along the way at a place that Google thought was called VCS Hobbies but turned out to be a storefront for Restaurant Point-of-Sale computer systems. They buzzed me in to their office and I asked if this was supposed to be a hobby shop. Another lady came forward and asked which scale, and then explained that they were pretty much sold out of anything except N, due to the holidays, but they could take my information.

Not much for browsing, I guess. It seemed like a nimble, family run enterprise keen to make money any way they could, and really, there’d probably a lot more money in restaurant POS systems. Still, it is weird for a hobby shop to be on the down-low.

Thursday, December 31

New Years Eve! We watched the ball drop in Times Square from our sofa in Brooklyn. Instead of standing like cattle for hours in the cold without access to restrooms, I made Mei some hot chocolate.

Friday, January 1

We brunched at a French place over on That Street Where I Bought the Bike. Pain Perdu, oh la la!

We bought food, and Mei made a double batch of chicken chili.

Saturday, January 2

Mei baked cookies, and I helped get the place together, trekking out for veggies to go with the cheese plate and alcohol. In the evening, some neighbors and friends who braved the really cold outside came by and there was much noshing on chicken chili, hot apple cider, chocolate chip cookies, ginger snaps, cheese and veggies. It was a smallish gathering but our very first Brooklyn party worked out well.

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Amtrak, Biography, Featured, Movies, Road Trips, Sundry, Travels, USA

Week of 22 November, 2009

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2009/11/29/week-of-22-november-2009/

I don’t narrate my life any more, whether for good or for ill. Well, maybe . . . I should try a weekly update. This has been working well at work, anyway.

Saturday, 21 November

On Friday I took Mei out to dinner, since we were going to not see each other for most of a week. We went to an Indian place up near the Kips Bay theater, where we then saw “Where the Wild Things Are”. I think the first time I saw that book I was impressed with its style, and so my Mom thought I liked the story and read it to me a bunch, but I always thought Max was kind of a spoiled brat. At the end of the movie I mumbled to Mei, “if my son pulls that crap he is not getting any chocolate cake.” When asked if he’d get any dinner, I responded that I wasn’t so sure. I wonder if the kid might have some blood sugar issues such that missing dinner may be a bad move.

Saturday morning, Mei was up early to go to work. I slept in a bit, and treated myself to brunch at Teddy’s, which served me two eggs, fried potatoes, Canadian bacon, rye toast, fruit salad, orange juice and coffee for $8.25. Now, Cheryl’s has some tastier food, so I’ll take Mei over there, but if it is just me, I stick with the cheaper, hearty meal.

I went home, washed the dishes and relaxed a bit, until around 1400 when I rode up to Penn Station to catch the 3:45 to Chicago. Now, a plane would have been faster and cheaper, but now that I live in New York, I can “afford” the relative luxury of a train ride home. The train was pretty full, and a guy named Don sat next to me. I got the modem working on my laptop and caught up somewhat on Internet reading. At Albany they took our engine off the train and shunted a series of cars from Boston onto the front. This was exciting to me, so I shot some dark, blurry video from the passenger area.

I treated myself to dinner in the dining car. Lamb shank, half a bottle of wine, dessert, coffee, and conversation with a cute college couple who were switching to the California Zephyr in Chicago, arriving in Emeryville on Tuesday to enjoy Thanksgiving in Santa Cruz. Robin the Film major and Miru the Art History major. They’re both minoring in Making a Living.

Despite ample legroom and a glass of Scotch from the Cafe car, I tossed and turned a great deal. (more…)

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Red Vic Goes Solar!

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2008/10/08/red-vic-goes-solar/

The Red Vic is possibly my favorite funky little movie house in San Francisco. And in their recent e-mail they just pour it on:

The Red Vic Has Gone Solar: OK, so you know about our organic popcorn served in wooden popcorn bowls and that we serve our (fair trade) coffee in mugs instead of disposable paper cups. In fact, we have done so ever since opening in 1980 – we were “green-minded” before the term even existed! (Not to mention the fact that we have washed a zillion dishes since then). We also use eco-friendly cleaning products and this calendar is printed on recycled paper with soy-based ink. Well, thanks to our fabulous landlord we have now gone solar with the assistance of Sunlight Electric (http://sunlightelectric.com/). There is an impressive array of solar panels on our roof and our electric meter is now running backward. Our solar panels are the equivalent of 21,962 pounds of CO2 not emitted per year, or equal to planting 3 acres of trees. We fortunately share our building with like-minded businesses; the Alembic is all about the local, sustainable slow-food scene and Escape From New York Pizza has a robust composting program. So, on your next visit to the Red Vic, as you munch away on popcorn in your wooden bowl and take a sip from a ceramic mug of coffee, you can also give a thought to the power of the sun and to communities working together – if you are not too engrossed in the movie that is!

I just like that little bit enough to share. Now when I sit in one of their cozy chairs, I can watch the movie using solar power. (I guess they run the meter forward at night, though, so probably it’ll be utility coal power for the movie but you know, its the overall impact that counts.)

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Movies, Sundry

The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2007/08/20/the-glamorous-life-of-sachiko-hanai/

From a missive I am writing:

Today I took myself out to a movie. I couldn’t find anyone else who was interested in “The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai” at the Red Vic. But now I know the answer to the question of what might happen if a Tokyo call girl gets shot in the forehead, giving her super intellectual powers, and then finds in her possession the cloned trigger finger of George W Bush, and is thus chased by North Korean agents looking to control a Russo-Uzbek doomsday device. I’m not sure if it is a porno or a porn parody, but especially the early part of the movie involves excessive quantities of semen. For that reason I am glad that I was shy about asking friends to go see it. This movie is wrong in so many ways that I see why it has become a cult classic.

If you live in San Francisco and possess a sufficiently perverse sense of humor and politics, its run at the Red Vic concludes tomorrow Monday August 20, with showings at 7:15pm and 9:15pm.

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Movies, Politics

“No End In Sight”

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2007/08/06/no-end-in-sight/

I read about this movie in “The Week” and then saw an ad for the trailer on my very own website. I am totally looking forward to this movie:

Last year I read Imperial Life in the Emerald City after seeing Rajiv Chandrasekaran on “The Daily Show” . . . someone saw me reading it on the train and inquired. “It reads like a Vonnegut novel,” I replied.

What I read in “The Week” is that this film is less Michael Moore-style polemic and more along the lines of people involved telling their stories as to how we managed to screw things up, over and over, in the worst ways possible. This is exactly how Chandrasekaran’s novel goes, but with a sort of wry feel, which yes, reminds me of Kurt Vonnegut.


About Me, Featured, Movies

Colorado Road Trip

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2007/05/14/colorado-road-trip/

So, I am catching up with all sorts of things these days, and there is the constant threat that I may return to full-time work at any moment. Those with an appetite for autobiographical detail may like to know that I have just posted several back-dated entries from last month, covering my road trip out to Pueblo, CO, where I visited Dad and his family. URLs for the voyeuristic:


That’s what I have written up so far . . . as a spoiler: I made it to Pueblo just fine, replaced the starter myself, I bought a new camera, we celebrated Gwen’s birthday, had some quality time, and then since I couldn’t spend enough time in Pueblo, I took Dad back to San Francisco with me, where he spent a week that we both enjoyed a great deal. I dropped him off in Emeryville and he took the train home. Last Wednesday I went with a friend to see the awesome movie “The Valet” and on the way to the movie I got a call from Dad that he had driven the car to Wal*Mart, which had been a scary ride for Gwen, but proof that he could help drive on their own road trip to Chicago later this month.

At any rate, I hope to write a bit more about these things, but I make no promises. Along the way, I am still uploading pictures, so keep an eye on Flickr, and if the remainder of the trip interests you, you can skim over the “Colorado Road Trip April, 2007” collection.

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California, Movies, Road Trips, Travels, USA

Long Beach, CA

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2007/04/12/long-beach-ca/

I woke up early to move the car for street cleaning, then I joined my friend for breakfast at a local favorite restaurant of hers. I had no particular agenda for sight-seeing in Long Beach, though Lorah had said nice things about the Queen Mary. It just so happened that my friend has a shop on board the Queen Mary, so we spent the morning poking around the ship, and I discovered that my old-camera-that-had-been-lent-back-to-me-after-I-lost-my-newer-camera was just about completely dead. (Oh darn.)


Next, we visited the Korean Friendship Bell, a bronze bell in a beautifully-painted pagoda overlooking the Pacific, which Korea gave us for the Bicentennial. There is a youth hostel next door, which I would check out next time I may decide to visit Long Beach, if I did not already have accommodation. We drove further along the coast, visiting the Wayfarer’s Chapel, which is a beautiful glass church on the coast, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. We arrived during a wedding, as this is a very popular venue for weddings, so we couldn’t enter the chapel, and the lady at the visitor’s center advised that visits are best planned for odd hours–11am, 1pm, 3pm–since weddings are scheduled on even hours.

My original plan had been to take off in the evening and drive about four hours to Las Vegas, and crash at either of two youth hostels I had found online, or perhaps a hotel room, since accommodations are cheaper in Vegas during the week. But I changed my plans to join my friend for a late night of clubbing in Hollywood. Having no particular agenda and an evening to kill, we moseyed further along the coast, and my friend decided to give Santa Monica a shot. We found a parking spot near the beach, and noticed a movie theater. We were just in time to catch “The Namesake” which is a movie we had both wanted to see, and which we both enjoyed.

Afterwards we strolled along the beach, catching the sunset. We then embarked upon several hours of groovy carousing in the Southern California style.

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Movies, Relationship Advice, Testimonials, Travels

A World Tour by Epic Films

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2007/01/17/world-tour-epic-films/

I received three movies today. I purchased each one because I enjoyed them each a great deal. They are epic films–two are over three hours long–and they’re all movies I watched alone in Walnut Creek after Yayoi left last year. So, they have an extra layer of special to me. Looking back, I would say that long, dramatic historical epics are great “breakup movies” to watch alone while contemplating life. Or, well, they worked for me.

As memory serves, the first movie that I saw was “Lawrence of Arabia” in which an eccentric, talented, idealistic, and iconoclastic young man with blond hair and dreamy blue eyes gets mixed up in the Arab revolt against British colonial rule. When you meet him as a young man in an office in the middle of the desert somewhere, he is explaining to his companion, in the third person, how boring his current job is . . . he extinguishes a match against his hand, just because, and when his friend hurts himself copying the move, and wants to know the trick, Lawrence explains “the trick is not to be bothered by the pain.” The movie is about three and a half hours long, which is insane, but then so is the subject matter, and three and a half hours is not so long to find yourself lost in the mystery of Arabia. I believe I watched this movie twice, and my description doesn’t do it justice.

The next is “Doctor Zhivago”, that movie we’ve all heard about but none of us has ever watched. Well, I watched it. I don’t remember it as well as Lawrence, but I do remember that this was another epic 1960’s film in which you could get lost in the lead actor’s face, his eyes. You again have the impression of a remarkable man in remarkable times, and the three and a half hours is spent guiding the protagonist through the vagaries of the Russian Revolution and World War II, ending up in this enchantingly weird “ice palace” toward the end. I look forward to an occasion to re-watch this . . .

. . . the third film–and there’s a good chance that you have never heard of it–is Zhang Yimou’s “To Live” . . . at a modest two hours and thirteen minutes, you witness the story of a guy whose wife leaves him because he won’t stop gambling, and he gambles everything away, and then he’s drafted into the war to fight the Japanese, then he finds himself fighting the Communists, then he finds the Communists have pretty much won, he makes his way home, is rejoined by his wife, and it turns out that having lost his material wealth is a good start for Communism . . . the film just barely starts there, and you travel through another decade or two of their life together under the various kinks of Chinese rule. In that it is an epic that brings you through WWII and a Communist revolution, this movie is a lot like Zhivago, but more focused on action and narrative than on the character of the protagonist. I think it is more approachable.

And, more precious. It is out of print and the DVD was over $50 on the Amazon.com Marketplace!

I am thinking I will have to have friends over some nights for epic movie watchin’. If you happen to be interested in getting in on a viewing, let me know, right?


About Me, Excerpts, Movies, Relationship Advice

Love After Love: Romancing Myself

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2006/09/10/romancing-myself/

At Church, this morning, was read the following poem, which resonated with current life activity:

Love After Love
Derek Walcott

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

On Labor Day I took myself out on a date: we went to Peet’s, then had some pizza, and then popcorn and soda while watching the new Woody Allen movie at the local theater. “I was born in the Hebrew faith, but when I got older I converted to Narcissism,” said Woody. (more…)

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Free Style, Movies

Notes on The Weekend

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2006/06/13/weekend-notes/

Friday night, volunteer at a “single professionals” party. Dig that I am the youngest person there. Some of the old ladies are looking fine, but I’m in for people-watching. Their hopes inspire.

IMG_3041Saturday night, first date. A woman I like, more than I should just now, but hey. We take it easy.

Sunday morning, setting up for church, sermon, farewell, lunch, strawberry shortcake.

Home to chat with a friend on the phone.

Out to San Francisco for the Haight St Fair. Crowded bus, cheek to cheek with a beautiful stranger. Disembark, greeted by an aged Chinese flowergirl, lemonade fried mushrooms and high with old friends. Dancing to raggae on a crowded sidewalk.

Floating to the mission, sangria, calamari, and salad.
Switch dates.
Potatoes, chicken, and more sangria. A walk with a pretty philipino and a furry lhaso apso.

Ride home with a doggy in my lap, crash, and wake up restless but groggy at 4am, determined to keep on.

Oh, hell yeah. It is midnight Monday now, I am completely exhausted but still a bit euphoric. I will add that “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” is a freaking bad-ass, hard-core, balls-to-the-wall awesome movie. Watch it! Ah yes, and I squeezed in a thoroughly platonic date with a second lady this evening. We had a good time, touching only with our eyes. Works for me! Good week, everyone!

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