Happy Star Wars Day!

Life has dealt us a moment to reset.
Therefore why don’t we start from the beginning.
It’s summer 1977, I’m just hitting puberty and arrived at a crowded 800 seat cinema scope AMC rocking chair theatre to find it packed to capacity and the only two seats left together for my neighbor and I are center front row. Needless to say it was a life changing summer.

May the force be with you.

Dia de Los Muertos

Fearsome believes that the dead never really die. We live in an energy field and energy is constant. Constant but ever changing moving into form, through form and out of form.

The potential energy stored in the atoms of a rock is the same energy stored in the atoms within the molecules of my body, as is the same energy of the atoms of the air we breathe and the water we consume and even the same energy of the sun and the stars.

We are just simply stardust. Just stardust into another form.

Therefore the dead are with us just as we will be here, or somewhere near, in a different form after we die as well.

The movie CoCo tells the story of Dia de Los Muertos. Living in a place where I can see Mexico from my bedroom window just some 15 miles to the south, Dia de Los Muertos is a holiday we cherish. I believe it is honorable to remember those who have given us the lives we have.

May those who have loved you, and you have loved, be with you on this day of celebration.

If they ever do find a cure,

I just want to be there.

 

1989 was the year the film Longtime Companion was released. 1989 was the height of the  AIDS crisis. My friends, and lovers, were being diagnosed left and right. My friends, and lovers, were dying left and right.

Needless to say this movie was a timely written timeline of the short decade that proceeded it. The short decade that was my coming of age as a gay man. I came out while in high school in 1980. Almost, not all, of my early friends and lovers in the gay community at the least became infected, or died. At the time this movie was released I was but one of very few I knew who remained HIV negative.

It wasn’t if I would succumb, it was when. Somehow I remain, thankfully, uninfected.

When this final scene came up on the big screen in front of me and my friends with which I sat, we began to cry. Sobbing with ugly tears. Tears of grief, loss and yet hope. Hope that one day our nightmare would end. Hope that one day we might once again see, hold, love and kiss those we once knew. Hope that at the least we wouldn’t loose any more loved ones to this horrible disease.

Time passed, infection rates dropped. We learned and eventually treatments improved.

Today there isn’t yet a cure but there is prevention. With science and research, particularly STEM CELL RESEARCH, a cure may one day become reality. Remember that your vote counts, your future vote may be needed to not only ensure the necessary research we now have but to restore it.

It’s pride month. Be proud of who you are. Respect others for being who they are. Understand those who are different. Love your sister and your brother. Vote for progress. Strive to be better.

(This Post is dedicated to Jerry Smoot who was my first friend, and occasional lover, I lost to AIDS. At a young 38 years, he was just coming into his prime. Jerry, when the scene came on the screen I envisioned you running onto that beach to hug me, kiss me and hold me.)

Mystery of love

As far as the movie goes, I wasn’t very familiar. We rented the movie on iTunes and watched it during the Academy Awards Show since it was a nominee. Wasn’t a flick I really had an interest in seeing.

Then again the universe works as it should and I watched it. Beautiful film of innocence, love and understanding.

But then there is this:

Wow.

I haven’t been moved by a piece of music like this in a long while. The movie awakened many a distant memory and revived many a treasured emotion. It’s theme song, this song, reminds me to be forever grateful for all the love that has ever touched my life. Love that lasted, love that was lost, love that maybe never came to be and even Love that hurt.

Mystery of Love – Sufjan Stevens (Call Me By Your Name)

Update:

I’ve decided to add the Academy Award performance of this beautiful tune that I missed while watching the film.

Rhythm of Life

There is a rhythm to life. A rhythm that moves, changes, comes, goes, returns and revolves. Whatever rhythm we are in, we must never forget that “This too shall pass”.

This too shall pass, whether it’s bad or good. That’s the rub. Good things pass as well.

We choose to which it is we focus our attention.

Sammy Davis Jr. in Sweet Charity. Bob Fosse is genius.

Gaslighting

Having survived an abuser in a physical,  mental, substance and emotionally abusing relationship I can relate to every point in the article below:

 

Psychology Today

Stephanie A. Sarkis Ph.D. Stephanie A. Sarkis Ph.D.

11 Warning Signs of Gaslighting in Relationships
Gaslighting is a manipulation tactic used to gain power. And it works too well.
Posted Jan 22, 2017  (original article at this LINK )

Gaslighting is a tactic in which a person or entity, in order to gain more power, makes a victim question their reality. It works much better than you may think. Anyone is susceptible to gaslighting, and it is a common technique of abusers, dictators, narcissists, and cult leaders. It is done slowly, so the victim doesn’t realize how much they’ve been brainwashed. For example, in the movie Gaslight (1944), a man manipulates his wife to the point where she thinks she is losing her mind.

People who gaslight typically use the following techniques:

1. They tell blatant lies.

You know it’s an outright lie. Yet they are telling you this lie with a straight face. Why are they so blatant? Because they’re setting up a precedent. Once they tell you a huge lie, you’re not sure if anything they say is true. Keeping you unsteady and off-kilter is the goal.

2. They deny they ever said something, even though you have proof.

You know they said they would do something; you know you heard it. But they out and out deny it. It makes you start questioning your reality—maybe they never said that thing. And the more they do this, the more you question your reality and start accepting theirs.

3. They use what is near and dear to you as ammunition.

They know how important your kids are to you, and they know how important your identity is to you. So those may be one of the first things they attack. If you have kids, they tell you that you should not have had those children. They will tell you’d be a worthy person if only you didn’t have a long list of negative traits. They attack the foundation of your being.

4. They wear you down over time.

This is one of the insidious things about gaslighting—it is done gradually, over time. A lie here, a lie there, a snide comment every so often…and then it starts ramping up. Even the brightest, most self-aware people can be sucked into gaslighting—it is that effective. It’s the “frog in the frying pan” analogy: The heat is turned up slowly, so the frog never realizes what’s happening to it.

5. Their actions do not match their words.

When dealing with a person or entity that gaslights, look at what they are doing rather than what they are saying. What they are saying means nothing; it is just talk. What they are doing is the issue.

6. They throw in positive reinforcement to confuse you.

This person or entity that is cutting you down, telling you that you don’t have value, is now praising you for something you did. This adds an additional sense of uneasiness. You think, “Well maybe they aren’t so bad.” Yes, they are. This is a calculated attempt to keep you off-kilter—and again, to question your reality. Also look at what you were praised for; it is probably something that served the gaslighter.

7. They know confusion weakens people.

Gaslighters know that people like having a sense of stability and normalcy. Their goal is to uproot this and make you constantly question everything. And humans’ natural tendency is to look to the person or entity that will help you feel more stable—and that happens to be the gaslighter.

8. They project.

They are a drug user or a cheater, yet they are constantly accusing you of that. This is done so often that you start trying to defend yourself, and are distracted from the gaslighter’s own behavior.

9. They try to align people against you.

Gaslighters are masters at manipulating and finding the people they know will stand by them no matter what—and they use these people against you. They will make comments such as, “This person knows that you’re not right,” or “This person knows you’re useless too.” Keep in mind it does not mean that these people actually said these things. A gaslighter is a constant liar. When the gaslighter uses this tactic it makes you feel like you don’t know who to trust or turn to—and that leads you right back to the gaslighter. And that’s exactly what they want: Isolation gives them more control.

10. They tell you or others that you are crazy.

This is one of the most effective tools of the gaslighter, because it’s dismissive. The gaslighter knows if they question your sanity, people will not believe you when you tell them the gaslighter is abusive or out-of-control. It’s a master technique.

11. They tell you everyone else is a liar.

By telling you that everyone else (your family, the media) is a liar, it again makes you question your reality. You’ve never known someone with the audacity to do this, so they must be telling the truth, right? No. It’s a manipulation technique. It makes people turn to the gaslighter for the “correct” information—which isn’t correct information at all.

Could a country, a people, a society be gaslighted? 

Movie Beard / Patti Cake$

Yesterday we flew from San Diego to Ft Lauderdale. We being Fearsome and myself.

The Better Half had recommended a movie called Patti Cake$. His reccomendation was a good one.

Diversity, acceptance, love, inspiration and adversity in a refreshing reality. Well filmed, acted, directed and edited.

The above Video is a blend of movie clips assembled into a music video of an original tune this flick gives us.

Highly reccomended film. Two mustache tips up on this one!

When you find yourself stuck in traffic…

…get out and dance!

It’s no secret that La La Land was our Fearsome pick for best picture of 2017. We’ve written about it HERE and THERE.

To me the opening scene was one of Hollywood histories best ever openings and one of  the best ever musical numbers. Why yes I think it is right there with both Gene Kelly’s Singin’ in the Rain and American in Paris Ballet. It is simple, diverse and mesmerizing.

Today I found this:

Turns out it is no accident that I appreciate this scene.

I’ll  start with my childhood dreams…

This is something that I have never shared publicly and actually only to a couple very close friends. I always wanted to be a dancer. Not just any dancer. A chorus line dancer.

As a child I fantasizes about being in the line up, as you will, behind the star. I wanted to be part of a great team of dancers that functioned as a fine tuned, well choreographed group. We would be great and famous the world over as a troupe. I didn’t want to be a lone star out there by myself hogging the spotlight but sharing it with an incredible team.

I can still remember the day when I overheard my parents arguing and my dream was crushed. I had asked my mother for dance lessons. She and dad were having a horrible argument and the part that stands t was my father yelling back at my mother that he wasn’t having it. He wasn’t having it because dance lessons would make his son turn into a goddamned faggot. The words burned into my brain as my dream died. I secretly had news for him, I already was a faggot. I never had a dance lesson.

Life took me elsewhere. Although I never had the dance lessons and my dream of being  in a chorus line never materialized, my life has been and still is absolutely amazing.

To say that I lean toward Pollyanna isn’t an understatement. Don’t mistake me for perfect though, I have my down moments. Wow do I. The key is moving beyond the valleys in life and looking for the joy no matter where one is.  Be thankful, share, love, appreciate, laugh and dance. No …maybe we won’t all get out in the middle of a packed freeway and dance, but we can find a good song and sing it behind the wheel. We can smile at the person in the car beside us. We can let someone in front of us who maybe needs to get to their child’s school as they have a little one waiting.

I still have another 40 and maybe even fifty years ahead of me. I can take a dance lesson. I can encourage a child to follow their dreams. I can donate time or money to help someone realize a dream that would otherwise be lost. I can create beauty and share joy.

There is way to much adventure to be had and beauty in this world that I have yet to experience. Thus when I find myself stuck, be it stuck literally or figuratively, I can get out and dance. Life is just another day of sun!

Now for that complete dance scene one more time…

Tears of joy still flow each and every time I see it.

 

Airline Double Feature Picture Show

Quiet Beard Fearsome is of recent. I’ve been busy (no excuse) and haven’t allowed Fearsome any time to think. He’s a bit miffed at me.

Tuesday we flew to the east coast in order to attend one of my Real Estate seminars in Richmond Virginia. Friday we rented a Hyudia Elantra and drove ourselves through blinding rain to the old home stomping grounds of Roanoke.

Aboard the friendly skies of United to Richmond via Newark the handy dandy iPad Pro entertainment system treated us to two notable flicks. The first feature is a classic that I had missed along the way. Pedro Almodovar’s Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown …

What took me so long to see this film? Needless to say Fearsome loved it! I’m going to follow up by purchasing it. Entertaining, campy, hilarious, fast paced, twisted, visually gratifying and memorable are just a few of the adjectives that pop into my head. It is highly recommended by both of us and therefore gets two mustache tips up.

Tip: if renting from iTunes it will default to the dubbed version. The dubbing is terrible. It at least allows one to hear the priceless lines in ones own native English… if English is ones native tongue. After which both of us highly reccomend re-watching with its original Spanish soundtrack which one can choose in the iTunes menu and also choose the subtitles in several convenient languages.  Fabulous! Period.

Feature number two? You ask? A heartwarming documentary by the name of Chicken People.

Quirky, funny, interesting, endearing and enlightening come to mind. The human experience is an facinating adventure. Learning about interests other than my own through such an entertaining film as this little gem is a treasure. I simply adore being eccentric and therefore love other’s eccentricities.

You guessed it right if you predicted another two mustache tips up on this highly reccomended flick.

Movie Beard…Double Feature!

Hollywood makes many films of many genres, storylines, subjects and styles because all of us have different taste, likes and attractions.

Why? Why do they? Why do I make this statement? Because not all films that you like, will I like and vice versa.

First up:

A lot of people seem to like a film by the name of Manchester by the Sea.

Fearsome and I? We didn’t.

After watching this film the word that first comes to our mind is ‘Tedious’.

Manchester by the Sea is a tedious film that moves slowly, relies heavily on camera angles/lighting, has flat characters, and left us feeling like “What’s the point?” We kept waiting for an epiphany, change or something to happen but it doesn’t. Just doesn’t.

We understand that apparently The Academy and possibly many of you reading this may have a different opinion. That’s ok. We all have different taste and this flick simply wasn’t  our cup of tea. Thus we give Manchester by the Sea two mustache tips down.

Up next:

Other than it starring Meryl Streep, we hadn’t heard much about a flick named Florence Foster Jenkins.

We adored this little diddy. Both Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant seem to thoroughly enjoy their roles. We thouroughly enjoyed watching them. The story is fun and quirky. The film well done. The pace is fast and enjoyable. The characters grow and mature. Overall just good entertainment.

Love, courage, laughter, care, hope, warmth and a true story of eccentricity all rolled together into a couple hours of fun. We give this film two mustache tips up. It truly is our cup of tea.

Which one is your cup of tea? Inquiring beards are always interested to know.

 

Homesick

I love travel.

I love my home.

I met a dear old friend at The Gateway theatre in Ft. Lauderdale to see a certain musical that takes place in a certain SoCal location.

Unfortunately the opening scene is yet to be found in the clips. Just the song will have to do. And it does fine. From the moment this song started until the very end of the credits a warm feeling filled my heart as Fearsome absorbed the joyful tears and covered the smile beaneath his oversized mustache.

This movie is beautiful. This movie is Los Angeles. This movie helped me to realize that Southern California is my beloved home. I may not have been born here, but this is home. Seeing this flick while sitting in a comfortable and familiar theatre in my home away from home only cemented that I am a Californian to the bone.

We cried, we laughed, we smiled, we loved, we dreamed, we hoped, we accepted, we enjoyed.

We reccomend.

The movie made me us homesick. Now we are home. We are home in San Diego just south of LA. A place who just lost their football team to LA, but we don’t care. Our home is Southern California. Realizing we love San Diego so much makes us realize we love Los Angeles as well. We love where we live. Homesick is actually good. A movie that can evoke such deep intimate feelings is good.

I love to travel. I love to come home.

I am home.

Another day of sun. Just dream.