Category Archives: Digressions

MORE FAMOUS THAN I THINK YOU ARE

Al DrumsOkay, listen…this is probably more of a former concert photographer’s confessional, but the title will make sense if you just hang in there with me. It’s late (or perhaps early) and I should be in bed, as per usual. I’ve been working on a number of fiction projects lately and just can’t seem to stay focused on one or the other at the moment and so tonight, inspired by music, I subject you to a random meandering–sort of.

I’m not entirely sure why, but tonight Psycho Stick infiltrated my mind. It could be the fact that I’m drinking a beer at the moment and their song “Beer” popped into my head. I’m not much of a beer person. I try. Apparently, I prefer the darker and more bitter beers—whodathunkit!

Anyway, that band popped into my head and I suddenly remembered a time when my husband and I went out to see a large show at the Myth in Maplewood, Minnesota. For some reason, I don’t remember what other bands played that night, but I was particularly interested in Lacuna Coil. They played well and on our way out some really drunk guy mistook my husband for the male singer and wouldn’t let him leave without autographing his shirt. After professing he is not, in fact, that guy, my husband gave in (because the dude persisted) and signed his own name. I’m sure that the dude woke up the next morning wondering who the hell signed his shirt. To this day we laugh about it.

Regardless, as we left, we noticed the band hanging out by their bus at the back of the venue and I actually got to meet the female singer. I was pretty stoked about it, mainly because, as a vocalist myself, I admire her range. Unfortunately, that band has become so popular and over-produced that they just don’t have the same sound anymore, but I digress.

Later I eventually took that band’s photos when they played live at Station 4. I knew them and how popular they were at the time and so it was a personal challenge to remain professional rather than “fan girl.” I think I managed alright. I got some decent photographs too.

Okay, so back to that night…after my husband and I had the little meet-n-greet with Lacuna Coil, we wandered over to The Rock, which was just a few blocks away. Earlier in the evening someone in the balcony at The Myth had tossed down some free tickets to see Psycho Stick at The Rock and so we decided to check it out just because my son, who was in his very early teens at the time, really liked that “Beer” song that played on the radio.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but we ended up having a really good time. I never thought the “Hokey Pokey” could ever be so cool and so heavy. About a year later, I ended up taking their pictures too. It was at a different venue but nonetheless, I was pretty stoked about taking photos for a band that was regularly played on the radio. And, of course, there was also the factor of the child with stars in his eyes because his mom was able to introduce him to the lead singer (clenches fist, blows on it and rubs it across chest). Proud moment.

That leads me to the main story. While I knew who those bands were when I took their live concert photographs, there were plenty whom I had no idea who they were. I often took concert photos at Station 4, which was typically known for the metal scene. Oddly, I was never all that into the type of metal they played. “Metal” had changed significantly since I was a teen. Once upon a time it was short for “heavy metal,” which is now referred to has “hair metal,” unfortunately. But now I have given away my age.

At any rate, I did not grow up in the Twin Cities and so did not experience the versatile music scene like many of my friends, acquaintances, and clients did. My husband did. And, so, when I was commissioned to photograph a show that DRI played I did not understand his excitement. He immediately turned into this boy with stars in his eyes. When I did not match his excitement, he asked me if I knew who that band is. Of course, my answer was a resounding “no.”

Oh lord! I never heard the end of it. I still don’t. It was “how can you not know who DRI is?” Of course, I’m probably exaggerating somewhat and only paraphrasing, but the sentiment is the same. I clearly did not know the caliber of the band I had photographed, which was often the case. My husband knew of many of the bands I had photographed and was geeked about it, especially DRI. My reaction was a shrug and “eh.”

In many cases, this aided in my ability to photograph them. Because I did not know who they were or that they were as famous as they were, I did not have stars in my eyes or the “fan” mentality while eyeing them through my lens, which gave me a unique perspective.

The only time this really backfired on me was when a band was fairly well-known, at least more well-known than I ever knew, and they expect me to know that they had some sort of clout. When I treated them like a regular human being but they expected to be handled like they were more famous than I thought they were…well, let’s just say they were severely disappointed. Sorry. No offense. I just didn’t know.

By the way, I know perfectly well who the guy is in the photograph I chose for this post. He is an amazing musician who has had a great distinction here in the Minneapolis music scene. He has since ventured on to greater pastures. But, I thank you, Al, for letting me attempt to play your kit, for teaching my kid, and putting up with my lens in your face.

Sleep tight for me. I’m gone.

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MASTER OF FEAR AND SUSPENSE

simonandschuster.ca

simonandschuster.ca

I had to do a little research for a class that explores what it is to be a master in some particular craft or discipline. That craft for me is creative writing, but most importantly, storytelling.

That research had to be about someone who has reached success, in the classical sense of it (i.e. recognition, financial reward, reputation (the good, the bad and the ugly), access and options, etc.). I chose M. Night Shyamalan. Love him or hate him, click on the link below to find out why.

Master of Fear & Suspense

Sleep tight for me! I’m gone.

Don’t forget to “like” my Facebook page.


ODE TO BLOG

Oh, blog. I have been neglecting you. Sigh. You have not been my priority lately. You see, time has not been my friend. I have been focused on daydreams, a brainstorm of ideas, drama in the workplace I am slave to, intrigued by riveting plot lines and deep, mysterious characters mesmerizing me over the flat screen, and an entrance essay for graduate school. I wouldn’t say that I have been cheating on you, just…distracted. Yeah, that’s it–distracted.

In the midst of life and everything else, I have been hard-pressed to find something I was compelled to put on these pages. While I have had ideas for other projects, at a profound and exponential rate that even baffles me, I have failed to pay you your proper respects.

Sleep tight! I’m gone…but not for long.


SCARLETT FEVER

Most of the time I can’t be bothered with being tied down to the commitment of a “favorite” for anything. There are certain songs, albums or bands that I like or love given a certain period of time. Sometimes it’s in line with its popularity—most of the time it’s not. Books are the same. I’ve read a lot of them, but certain ones will resonate with me for very different reasons. My taste in certain foods or clothes also change with time and….ahem…age. It’s the same with movies.

However, I can and do lay claim to Gone with the Wind as being my all-time favorite movie and book. I own the book, the DVD and previously owned the VHS. It all began when I ran across it by accident on television when I was a kid. I watched it on AMC every year around Christmas time (which is probably why I dig out the DVD around the same time each year—I probably ought to invest in the Blue-ray at this point).

At any rate, while that story has fascinated me over the years and my opinion of it has changed as I have gotten older, one thing holds true as far as why Gone with the Wind has remained a favorite of mine—Katie Scarlett O’Hara. The love affair she has with Rhett Butler may have something to do with it too. After all, despite the cynic in me there is a true romantic at heart (don’t forget–a cynic is just a broken hearted idealist). And, I have always had a natural affinity for period pieces (yes, I love Downton Abbey too).

While a central premise of the story is about change (political, lifestyle, ideas, power, etc.), what spoke to me was something utterly different. That being a strong, dominant female who was ahead of her time. So far ahead of her time, in fact, that she was ostracized, shamed and nearly completely shunned for it amongst her peers.

While many could, and rightfully so, on the surface analyze Scarlett O’Hara as a charmingly manipulative, cunning, uncaring woman who lied and/or betrayed her family and friends, there was far deeper meaning behind her behavior and in decisions she made. Regardless of great fear in her, she had a courage within to do the deeds needed to be done knowing all along that others would disapprove of her completely.

Yet, despite many of her faux pas, and knowing her reputation would be damaged, she squared her shoulders and carried on, doing what she needed to–what others wouldn’t dare dream of doing because it was socially unacceptable for a “lady.” Those who held steadfast to those ideals lost their homes, everything they owned and/or starved–unless they knew Scarlett. And, all while they condemned Scarlett for her seemingly despicable behavior they had little qualm with accepting the bounty she harvested. She kept many fed and clothed when they couldn’t or didn’t know how to help themselves. She had to figure it out all on her own.

Only three people truly understood Scarlett: Mammy, Melanie and Rhett. They may not have approved of her decisions or behavior at the same time or for the same reasons, but they all loved her and admired her for her bravery and strength and saw her well enough to know where her weaknesses of the heart truly rested–even if, in the end, Rhett gave up. But, that too is a deeper story that I shall not delve into right now.

Sleep tight for me. I’m gone.


WHEN I’M OLD

A few years ago IExplicit saw a meme float around Facebook with a picture of an old woman that said “the only thing golden about my golden years is my urine.” I damn near rolled on the floor laughing, figuratively speaking of course.

I’ve decided to adopt that motto when I am her age. That statement fits my personality so well. I have also decided that I will say “fuck” a lot. I like that word. So many things can be expressed by just one little word. George Carlin gloriously explains:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZkb4TPI-Lo&oref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DxZkb4TPI-Lo&has_verified=1

Or, perhaps I need to adopt “fuck off” more often. The comedian Billy Connolly expresses the appreciation for that statement and/or sentiment so much better than I ever could.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJMqdTr7IQM

And, what amazes me even more is the very fact that for nearly a week I have struggled with writer’s block. I have an article for a career-based newsletter I must write and I’m stuck. I have had a million random thoughts cross my mind for this blog, even, but nothing has seemed to inspire me—until it is passed my bedtime and I decided to make a random blurb about what I aspire to be when I’m old.

IDEAS!!!!

More to come, I guess. Sleep tight!

 


INFATUATED

Daniel Day LewisI think I’m in love with Daniel Day Lewis. In love with the idea of him, that is. He is an attractive sexy, older-to-me kind of man (by birth, he’s nearly old enough to be my father), and yet, when I watch his movies, I don’t see Daniel Day Lewis. I see whatever character he portrays. That is the epitome of being a character actor—at least by my definition!here is something deep and penetrating about each portrayal. His eyes give subtle hints of certain intricate humanities without betraying his character. And, each time I watch one of his movies, it’s like watching it for the very first time. While I may know the story well, there is always something new I notice about his character—some underlying projection I missed before. Perhaps it is just the psyche filling in gaps, but, the power of persuasion is great and he certainly has me convinced!

It seems to me that there is something he understands about the development of a character that I do not as each one invokes various emotions from me—emotions that are often hard to come by on a normal day. Some conjure righteousness (is that even an actual emotion?), empathy or sadness and others…well, you just love to hate him.

Daniel Day Lewis is a man I would consider on my list of people I would love to have a dinner conversation with. If ever given that chance, these are the questions I would ask?

  1. What pieces of each character you choose resonate with you the most?
  1. Is there a purpose behind how you choose a character to portray?
  1. What is the method behind the “madness” of staying in character as long as is rumored?
  1. Despite your overwhelming sex appeal and celebrity status how do you stay so humble?
  1. What do you see when you look in the mirror?
  1. Was acting your dream job? If not, what was?
  1. What is your favorite wine, beer or cocktail, and why?
  1. What type of character to you find the most challenging? The most layered?
  1. How do you develop the depth and intensity of each of your characters?
  1. Would you describe what you do as art? How so and why or why not?

Obviously, over a dinner conversation the point is to have a “conversation” and not just an ask-and-answer session, but I think the above is where I would start and hopefully it would open the door to pick his brain even further. End dream. Sleep tight.


THAT SMARTS

If you know me, and/Poltergeist TVor as you get to know me better, chances are you will find that something intriguing said to me is not often forgotten. It could be weeks, months or even years, but that one thing will sit in my brain and tumble around until one day it randomly pops back to the forefront with a new understanding, perspective or retort.

That being said, a few months ago, while working on one of his class assignments, my husband posed a question that suggested people were getting smarter from watching television because its programing has become more intelligent over the years. I disagreed by stating (a) there are still mindless and dumb shows out there that couldn’t possibly be making us any smarter (Sponge Bob Square Pants is a fine specimen) and (b) that perhaps, in consideration of shows that are actually better and “smarter,” people are just wittier in general than in the past and the writers are now writing more intelligent pieces for their more intellectual audiences (regardless of complexity).

After considerable contemplation (unconscious or subconscious—whatever floats your boat), I now wonder if perhaps he should have asked a different question: does life, in fact, imitate art? I’ve pondered that question a lot more just lately because it seems as though society follows similar patterns and trends in thinking and behavior. There have been studies (of which I, unfortunately, do not know specifically or enough about in order to point you to them) that have shown various pieces of advertising or propaganda to have influenced this type of change in humans. Those particular pieces are all different forms of art—think Rosie the Riveter (just one example).

So, perhaps, in a roundabout way, maybe his idea was on the correct path in that if life does actually imitate art and that art is in the form of an intelligent television show, it stands to reason that it could influence others to go out and get an education to be like or do what they had seen portrayed in a show or shows that intellectually inspired them (my artist aunt has always said that art wouldn’t be art if it didn’t evoke some sort of emotion or reaction). By doing so they become smarter and in an indirect way television made them smarter—or at the very least, challenged them to think more often, differently, or more analytically about other complex ideas, which potentially could be argued as a possible gain in intellectual capacity. Maybe.

Or, better yet, maybe he should ask: is pop culture proof that life imitates art? Unfortunately, there are still more variables to pick out and evaluate far beyond what I’m capable of or willing to contemplate tonight in order to determine the truth in the answer—if there is one. With that, I bid you adieu. Sleep tight!

Image credit: Google Images