Monday, October 13, 2008

Yes Means No

I've had a wonderful afternoon doing something I LOVE; Interviewing a bunch of people while holding a video camera. The first was my potential documentary subject, (a.k.a. homework.) Afterward, I met up with David Land-o-Lakes to distribute yard signs for Proper 8. 1st street, one bumper sticker, 2nd street, one sign and 2 bumper stickers, and as we were shrouding the metal post with it's plastic sign cover, 2 neighbors began their ascent upon us. Here it comes Dave-o. They want to scrap. The first guy says,"I want one of your signs. How can I get one?" "Uh, I've got a trunk full. I'll give you one." The guy next to him says, "Give me one too. In fact give me three." Then his neighbor comes driving down the street. He stops him in the center of the road. "Hey! Yes means No! You voting Yes on 8?! Give him a sign too." Then this same guy calls to this lady whose just emerged from a 3rd house. "You want a Prop 8 sign for your yard?" he calls to her. She says yes! Are you keeping count with me, cause I'm not. :) The man who instigates this all, disappears into his garage, brings back a 20 ft. ladder and leans it against a towering tree in his front yard, shimmies up, and lassos two sign around the highest point of the trunk! Talk about the right place at the right time! And I caught a bunch of it on video!

The night closed with FHE dinner and Luau and an interview with Wayne, a guy I'd met with Johnathan last Saturday when we walked for Prop 8. Lets just say Wayne is absolutely hilarious! I hope to have his video posted on You Tube by Thursday.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Four Agreements

I have a screen writing class on Wednesday nights. My prof is a former lawyer turned Hollywood writer. He possesses the vernacular of a genius yet, thanks to 20 years in all boys schools and years in a profession where swearing is almost prerequisite, managed to pick up a sailor's tongue. The man wreaks of brilliance and I knew he could do so much better than the protruding prolificness of his four-letter-word vocabulary!

So it happened one night- towards the end of September. Class ended and I was gathering my belongings, seriously considering dropping the class. The thought came to my mind, if not now, when? If not you, who? (a reiteration from Sunday's meeting regarding Prop 8). How awkward to approach the professor about his word choices.

It was the first class meeting I had made a vocal presence, overcoming my shut-down defense mode. I had made an impression on the professor- he'd even asked my name. This helped me in initiating the conversation. He started with, "So how are you liking the course?" "Well, I like parts of it..." "Oh no just parts?" "Yah I can explain it to you once everyone has left." It's just the two of us now:

"This is really hard for me to say..." I trailed off.

"Did I do something wrong?" his voice was worried, sincerely. "Not intentionally or maliciously," I replied, trying to ease his mind. "It's just that it's hard for me to listen to swearing." He took a step back and raised his hand to his mouth.
"I am so sorry. I had no idea..." He continued, "I needed to hear this. I need to push the envelope of literacy. Do me a favor. If I slip, will you raise your hand? You don't have to say anything, just raise your hand and I'll know what you mean. We can even keep a tally going on the board. Should we involve the class?"
"If you want to..." "Let's see how we feel come next week."

His reaction was above and beyond anything I could have hoped for. I choked back tears of joy as I walked to my car that night.

The next Wednesday not only marked the start of October, but a renewal of all that is beautiful regarding this class. Not a single swear word left his lips! NOT ONE! It was wonderful. I was able to let down my guard and soak in the class content unconstrained. My trust, respect, and appreciation blossomed for this man.

Where's the Candy?

Breakfasting with pops:

I stayed home from work today, a climactic finish to the build-up of Monday's attack of evil-throat. Presently, to formulate any kind of audible speech is pure exasperation!

We laughed over runny eggs and and homemade wheat toast, Pops doing most of the talking and joking, as my voice is on hiatus. It went a little bit like this: "You know, McCain has seen the face of evil! I didn't know Cheney was at the Convention." (A Jay Leno joke.) My dad joked about Maureen (my Australian Mom) coming for a visit next year, accompanied for the first time by her husband Zeller. They were married in 2005. :) They'll pull up in the army jeep. Mo will emerge wearing camouflage, and call out, "Zeller! Front and center!" His scenario was too silly, considering Maureen is relatively soft spoken. Then he included me in his fun.

A bit of background:

My dad was born and raised in Washington Heights NYC. I've visited twice. The first time I went with my Aunt Wendy. We found and met Aunt Lucy, my father's mother's sister. She was living out the end of her days in a Bronx nursing home. She knew exactly who I was when I started talking about my father Richard. "You're the preemie!" she exclaimed.

My second trip to NYC was with Maureen (Mo). The two of us have done quite a bit of traveling together. During this trip, Mo supported me in a second endeavor to connect with Lucy. Just as we exited the subway in the Bronx it starting to rain. We jogged parallel to Van Cortlandt Park and sought respite under a drug store's awning. This is when my pops corrected me. "They're called candy stores in New York...We don't have drug stores. Although, most candy stores were simply fronts for drug dealers."

As Mo and I are standing under this awning, we're wondering why we're still getting wet. A man to our right, who is managing to stay dry, gives us the answer. "Hey lady. You're standing under a hole." We look up. So we are. Daddy loves to recall this, and other personal past chagrins.

He recalled a favorite childhood purchase, an emerald colored fountain drink, the Green Rickey. A sweet lime-ish concoction.

I love my green Rickey.