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a good, peaceful day.

March 6, 2011

wow! yeah.. i actually have those sometimes! not near often enough.. but still.. VERY good to have!

By the calendar.. I am talking about yesterday… Sat. the 5th.

I didn’t feel well when I woke up. Awakened too early, for no apparent reason. Lay in bed for quite awhile thinking.. stuff I thought about.. see the entry right below this one.

Too tired to do the usual morning exercises.. I do some stretching, 2 salutes to the sun and a few other yoga poses, a few qi gong moves, and some pressure point exercises I was taught in Tai Chi class back in ’06. This routine takes about a half hour. Good for pain reduction, improving the circulation somewhat.. allowing me to think a little better and feel a little better. But this morning just too tired.. could tell doing such exercises would hurt, so I didn’t bother.

Instead, sat down and wrote a blog entry – don’t often do that during the day… but some ideas I wanted to get out of my head and on to the screen.

After that, headed out with mom, aunt, and dad (the aunt who lives with us is my mom’s sister. She’s the only relative not part of our nuclear family that I’ve been close with. For several years she lived on the other side of our duplex, and moved up with us here to Idaho. We get along well. She never married. My grandparents had a rather unpleasant marriage. My mom told me that when my aunt was in 6th grade, she made a declaration that she would never get married. And she never did. The only guy she considered married died in Vietnam in either 1970 or 1971. We talked a little about that today.)

Where was I? Oh yes.. our family unit headed out to the nearest theater, called The Majestic, and finally saw “The King’s Speech.” My aunt and especially my mom are big fans of Colin Firth.. mostly because of his performance as Mr. Darcy in the A&E miniseries version of “Pride and Prejudice” -which was quite well done. I even liked it. I’ve also appreciated Firth’s performances in “Shakespeare in Love,” “Love Actually” ( a rather good film except for a short but surprisingly pornographic scene involving some other actors.. that seen should not have been in that film, which was otherwise a rather well done, sweet romantic film. Kiera Knightley was in that movie as well.. where has she been lately?) and “Bridget Jone’s Diary.” That was the only film I saw Renee Zellwiger in that I actually liked her.. and where has RZ been lately?) I didn’t see the sequel to that one.

Besides Firth, Geoffrey Rush (another excellent actor.. one an Oscar for his stellar performance in the film “Shine,” a truly brilliant movie.. please google it.. probably will be able to see parts of it on youtube), and Helena Bonham Carter.. who is becoming one of my favorite actresses. (Joining the ranks of Kate Winslet, Cate Blanchet, Rachel Weisz – I’m tired so am likely spelling names wrong.. Scarlett johanson.. Gwyneth Paltrow gets an honorable mention.. she’s great sometimes too) Usually she (Helena) plays demented, unhinged characters.. but in this one, she was beautiful, wonderful, classy.. I REALLY liked her. In this movie, she looked a bit like a woman I fell for back in ’92.. someone I still think about several times a month, even though I haven’t seen her since the early ’90’s.. a long and not all that interesting story.. the story of the woman I fell for, I mean.

Yes indeed, great acting.. Also in the film, Guy Pearce.. a reliable actor. I wish he had a bigger part in “The Hurt Locker.” He’s had small parts in the past two films which have won best picture. (By now you have already heard that “The King’s Speech” won best picture).

Two other actors who had small parts but are worth mentioning. Timothy Spall.. who is not very famous out here yet, but definitely likable. I first saw him in a wild, quite fun movie called “Rock Star,” which was set in the ’80’s during the heyday of the hair bands. Spall played the manager for the fictional band “Steel Dragon” – some of the guys in Steel Dragon were genuine rock star heavies – Jeff Pilson played in a very popular ’80’s band called Dokken, the drummer, Jason Bonham, is the son of the great John Bonham, who played drums for Led Zepplin – before dying rather young, and the lead guitarist was played by none other than Zack Wylde – who was Ozzy’s guitarist for many years. Ozzy finally got a new guitarist recently, because ZW made the stupid choice to work more with the band he fronts.. called Black Label Society, which, in my opinion, is not a good band.. at all.)

One of the other rockers in the film “Rock Star” was Dominic West. If you’ve seen any episodes of the absolutely brilliant cop drama (the best one ever, really) “The Wire,” you’ve seen Dominic West. He played McNulty. He played a corny British guitarist in “Rock Star.” When I saw that film, I thought West was an American actor, doing a purposely bad British accent. Turns out West is actually British, and does an incredibly good Baltimore accent when he plays McNulty in the wire.

And what about Mr. Spall? He was just perfect for his character, the road manager, who was somewhat of a mentor for the main character, played by Mark Wahlberg. The movie was more serious than Spinal Tap, but had many light moments.. if you like, and especially if you remember, ’80’s hair bands… you’ll dig “Rock Star.”

I next saw Tim Spall in several of the Harry Potter films.. Those Harry Potter films.. first 3 were great, second set of three were really dull, mostly, and the most recent one.. surprisingly, kicked ass. I never thought I would say that about a Harry Potter film. Spall played the villain, whose name I forget.. but it was the guy who for several films was in the form of Ron Weasley’s rat. He turned into a human (sort of) in the third film.

And this past day I got to see Mr. Spall play.. Winston Churchill. Quite a variety of roles this guy gets!

Last person I wanted to mention who was in “The King’s Speech” is actor Michael Gambon. He played King George V. A small role, played rather well.

Helena Bonham Carter, Timothy Spall, and Michael Gambon have all been in Harry Potter films, I’m pretty sure. Carter has played Belatrix leStrantge (or some name like that) I already told you who Spall played, and Gambon portray Dumbledore, although he hasn’t always.. The man who played Dumbledore (was it Richard Harris? Not sure..) for the first few films died, and I think it was Gambon who took over the roll. Geez, I could be totally wrong about this..

Right then.. so.. good movie.. especially considering the historical context, and the absolute importance of the man Prince Albert (who took on another name – George the 6th, once he became king) to get over his horrible stammering and speak on the radio and in public to keep up the spirits of the people of England, and Australia, NZ, and Canada, and the world, for that matter.. the world on our side.. during WWII. Incredible historical significance this story had.. and was very well acted.

A rather intimate story, actually. It was rather like a play.. not that many settings, only a few main characters, lots of dialog. I’m sure some people will be bored by this film. No gory deaths, no nudity, no car chases or martial arts high kicking or exploding gas stations.

No, this is an excellent example of British cinema. Well done!

Yeah, you just might like it.

After the film, I and the rest of the family headed out to a good restaurant. It was the first restaurant we ate at upon our arrival in Idaho on December 8th. This was sort of our 3 month anniversary of living here, and the food, like last time we ate there, was rather good.

Then home.

I looked at a few houses online, especially a house my mom likes quite a bit,
but that I don’t care for much. I would FAR rather live in a much more woodsy area of Boise, and the neighborhood this house is in.. although fairly nice for a middle class neighborhood, is not woodsy.. I don’t feel especially close to nature in this neighborhood.

One area we went to to check out a house was much more spread out. I saw a Peregrine falcon land in a tree nearby while I was checking out the huge backyard of that house.. never seen a peregrine in the wild before, and only saw one once back in CA, even though I volunteered at a wildlife center for 2 years, and specialized in taking care of birds of prey. Peregrines were QUITE rare in that area.. so I only got to see one that was brought in injured. I think it recovered pretty well.

Another neighborhood in Boise which I rode through and liked VERY much was the Northern Highlands. We only rode through there a short time.. but I quite liked it.. more mountainous, more pine trees.. good feel.

An area near there called Piers park was nice too.. could see nearby foothills very close by that neighborhood.

Ah well.. we haven’t near made our final decision about the house we are thinking of. Haven’t even seen the inside of it except peering in through windows, and online pictures. The realtor selling that home won’t be back in town until Tues. or Wed.

I shouldn’t worry about living there.. I am concerned though.. just don’t like the place much, and also there is a dog with a very deep bark that lives next door.. great.. would be really stupid to move next door to a dog with a basso profundo bark!

Well.. my mom thinks, maybe if we move there, and the dog gets to know us, he won’t bark. She wants to ask the other neighbors in the area if the dog is a problem.

The house itself, pretty nice in some ways, lots of amenities.. pretty much all we want is there.. kitchen appliances included, good kitchen sink, granite kitchen countertops, lots of storage in kitchen, some hard wood floors, tri level floor plan, new paint, relatively new heater and roof, covered patio, water softener (important for me because of my skin).. if that dog doesn’t cause problems, well, life could be a lot worse than living in that house.

And the neighborhood is likely a hundred times better than the one we moved from in California.. that neighborhood … not good! It was becoming a center for drug trafficking. People would buy drugs and then just pull down the street a little bit from one of the two (hopefully only 2!) drug houses, and do lines right in their car. We saw some arrests made before we left, but that didn’t stop the drug sales for long.. really shitty neighbors.. not all of them were bad.. most weren’t, but enough were really quite bad. Not an environment worth living in. SO glad we moved. Some days when I am feeling down, I remind myself that I am living in Idaho, and feel much better.

Let’s see.. also had some good email contact.. letters from one woman who is going to be in charge of a new drop in center for people with mental health problems, and another woman who is part of the Buddhist sangha. The singing bowl used in ritual is also used for communication. People are encouraged to write questions on little note cards and leave them in the bell. I asked to learn about vegetarianism.. and this woman wrote me. We’ll probably talk on the phone later.

Hmm.. another good thing.. getting more hits on the blog. I don’t quite understand how this website breaks down the numbers – confusing – but the numbers are higher.. I don’t know why.. but if you are reading this blog for the first time.. welcome!

Tonight, I spent about an hour and a half in the garage, sorting through books, DVD’s, CD’s.. figuring out stuff to donate. It was kinda cold in there but not too bad.. probably about 40 degrees or so.

While I was in there, I was listening to some excellent music! I have a fantastic old boombox that has an input spot for a cheap microphone. I have had it for many years. Just this past year figured out I could plug my ipod into it. Would have been nice had I figured that out years earlier. Nevertheless, I am glad I did eventually realize I could plug my ipod into it. This saved me lots of money.. I was considering several ipod docks.. each one costing at least 80 bucks. I wasn’t sure which one to pick, didn’t want to spend the money, then had the idea to try plugging it into the boombox. I can also plug the ipod into any amplifier designed for guitar, bass, keyboards, etc. But I like running it through the old Magnavox.. still sounds great!

I was listening to a band called Solar Powered People. The guitarist from that band lived next door to us back in CA for awhile (he was not one of the drug people) I didn’t always get along with him, but certainly respected his musical talents. He had a home studio set up and made some amazing music on his own.. wish I’d gotten him to burn me some tunes.

I saw SPP live 3 times. The first time, I didn’t like them all that much. They play a type of indie rock I’ve heard referred to as “shoegaze.” Sort of dreamy downtempo alternative stuff. I don’t normally listen to bands considered shoegaze .. only heard a few others. One band from Seattle came down to do some gigs in CA. They were good. One dude, and two hot chicks! Band was called Blue Light Curtain. The drummer from that group also fronted a band called Levator. She quit BLC to dedicate her time to her own band. They were good live as well.. saw them twice.. but don’t like their recorded music much mostly.. too.. shoegazy.. for me… too atmospheric and dark. Solar Powered People are far better and rock more.

I’ve been playing SPP lately, and have found their t-shirts and such on the cafe press website. I think on that website, people can make their own designs and have them put on t-shirts.. I’ve had this thought for years that I should do some wild art work and have it put on shirts.. make some money, and get my work out there.. maybe someday….

After Solar Powered People, I played another of my favorite groups, a band from Belgium called Hooverphonic.. some of the best music I’ve ever heard.. they use both electronic and acoustic instruments. I can’t really describe their sound other than original, haunting, creative, brilliant, inspiring.. not all their songs, or even all their albums are like this, but enough of their songs are.. wow… words don’t really express.

On the same playlist as Hooverphonic, I had a few Portishead tunes. Portishead is in sort of the same electronica genre, but much much darker and depressing. I only have a few of their tunes on my ipod, but they are worth listening to sometimes.. nobody sounds like them.. Porthishead is from England. The name comes from a town in that country, so I was told by the SPP guitarist who lived next door. He was a big time Portishead fan.

Great great atmospheric music.. made me feel a lot better than I would have otherwise while working in the garage.

After I got some work done in there, went upstairs, rubbed in some unrefined shea butter I’d bought off amazon.. not sure about this stinky stuff.. if it’s helping much. Certainly NOT something I would choose to rub into my skin before going on a date.. or being anywhere near women. Seems to work a little..

Got my pajamas on.. felt kind of tired.. read the introduction to the Thich Naht Hanh book I mentioned in the previous blog.. don’t want to read much Buddhist stuff at any one time..

Then, got something to east.. some leftovers of oatmeal I made a few days ago.. rather..creative oatmeal.. and some graham crackers with almond butter and honey and flaxseeds on top..

And watched a few episodes of “The Larry Sanders Show” on DVD. I only became aware of this program sometime within the past year.. and it was made back in 1992! I must have read about it at some time back then..

Not sure why I thought of it this past week.. read something in Spin magazine perhaps? Some other publication?

Anyway.. not even close to being as funny as “Community,” but I watched the first two episodes on the disk, and both were pretty good.

The show is about a fictional talk show host, played by Gary Shandling. It’s cool because it is supposedly rather true to live, and shows things back stage, and what his homelife is like.. I like that.. seeing behind the scenes of a Leno/Conan/Letterman kind of program.. and the supporting cast is good.. Rip Torn, Jeffery Tambor (from a show I’ve never really watched, called “Arrested Development,” and also in such movies as both Hellboy films – I love those, and “The Hangover.) Jeremy Piven is also on the show. I’m used to seeing him in films with John Cusack. I think those two guys are buds in real life. Piven can be funny, but it depends on the role.

What makes this show more believable is real guest stars. Carol Burnnet was on the second episode. She is one of the funniest, smartest people to ever walk the planet.

Yeah, I’ll watch the rest of the DVD.. good enough to watch. It’s made by HBO – even in ’92, they were edgy compared to network TV .. characters dropping f-bombs here and there, some other harsh language. So far though, the show is very very tame compared to more recent HBO programs like “The Wire,” which has some graphic sex scenes, incredibly strong language, lots of gore and violence..

But anyway.. well. I guess that wraps up the day… best one I’ve had in awhile.. head tons better, no mouth pain, only minor neck and shoulder pain.. mostly didn’t feel it at all.. didn’t obsess much at all about stuff after I got out of bed and wrote an entry.. got to see a movie, eat some excellent food, got some work done in the garage.. listened to some great music, read the beginning of what is probably a rather good and helpful (I hope) book, watched some funny tv episodes on DVD.

Ok.. not quite tired enough to go to sleep.. but it’s almost 2 am. Watching another episode of “Community” will get me laughing pretty hard again, and laughter can make people feel (happily) awake… maybe I can still wind down after watching..

Not sure what I will do with the next hour or so… maybe just climb into bed (which turns out to have been a good purchase, by the way.. traded in the previous one for this one.. and I’m MUCH happier with this one) and try to get some sleep.. or read in bed.. some more of “The Truth” by Terry Prattchet..more of THN’s book “Happiness,” or maybe not..


Yeah, as I mentioned in an earlier entry.. good days need to be recorded too!


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