pWdumaNjA-6CEEBhRoD5euxNETs When All This Actual Life Played Out: Changes

18 January 2016


El Nino
Orange County, California
6 January 2016

The son and I had just finished watching I Origins a week ago Sunday night when we learned about David Bowie. Music writer Jim Fusilli, I think it was, summed up my disbelief best: Bowie was there, always. We wouldn't hear anything from him for a bit, but then up would pop a new album, or he'd put in an appearance in a film. Then he'd go quiet, and then something new. He was a master of innovation and reinvention, and I don't think anyone, myself included, ever considered the idea that he would just suddenly not be.

Then last week, as I was about to get my first cup of coffee, the son texted me with the news about Alan Rickman. Another gut punch. He was such fun to watch, and I loved the sound of his voice.

Now Glenn Frey. I get it. People die. The Baby Boom generation has been around a long time; there are a lot of them; and they are hitting the mortality years. But my god.

The Eagles were the first band I ever saw live. I've written about that elsewhere, and I never felt the need to see them a second time, but it was a pretty rich experience (I was about 12. First rock concert. And The Eagles were riding high at that point [literally].)


The year didn't start auspiciously. At 1 am, New Year's Day, my kitchen sink backed up and it cost me $400 to get it unplugged 12 hours later. I'd have been better off moving everyone to a hotel for the day.

It did finally rain. And rain. And rain some more. It has since stopped, but I'd be fine if it rained again. Though after January 20 (tree guy is due. I'm late with that this year because all the tree guys are booked six weeks out and I've fired two in the last two years). I also fired the gardener (long overdue), and I really need to get another one because I can't keep up with the gardening on my own anymore (why I got the last one and why I kept him as long as I did despite the fact that he broke 4 landscape lights and garden furniture and decimated my drip system).


Asterisks. Again.


Only I could sit down at my computer to hunt down a soup recipe and end up booking the family on a spring vacation. But that's what I did yesterday.

Because, that is what I do. When I'm not doing other things.


"Starlight" showed at the Irvine film festival over the weekend. The people involved were very nice, and the actors were able to attend this one. The daughter and I take these screenings very seriously. We don't actually watch the film; we listen to the audience. We listen to them whisper ("Is this one of the college films?"), we listen to them cry. I don't mean that in a snide or mean way. It is so very gratifying to know that we told a story that crosses generations and touches people's hearts.

During the Q&A, an older gentleman asked if my father-in-law had a chance to see the finished product, and the daughter had to tell him no. At that point a flood of emotion washed over me, remembering how we had to steel ourselves to start principal photography two weeks after we buried him. I don't know how we did it. But it informed the production in ways I can't even think about.

You can talk about artistic endeavors in so many ways: self-expression, self-realization, community connection. For me, at least at this stage in my life, the latter is what is most important: creating a connection that is accessible to any other human out there.

And in typical circular fashion, we round back to David Bowie, Alan Rickman, and Glenn Frey, who all did just that.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6.
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