Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Four years later...


When my niece started high school four years ago, I told her that for her graduation gift, I would take her to London. She then asked if we could also visit Paris. Without blinking an eye, I said yes. Four years later, we are two days away from heading to my favorite city in the world, London, and the fantastic city of Paris. This will be my 12th or 13th trip (I need to count my passport stamps) to London, and my second to Paris. We're all packed and just waiting for the countdown clock to chime. I will make a pitstop in Toronto to have lunch with my dearest Canadian friend Glenn, and then fly to London from Toronto, where on Friday evening we'll have dinner with my dearest English friend Lucinda, and then on Saturday, meet up with a dear Fassinator friend, Anna - she will join us on the Jack the Ripper tour!

However financially straining this trip planning has been, it's been worth it because it's something that is a once in a lifetime trip for my niece, my mother, and me. I'll be the tour guide this time and watching them ooh and ahh over how brilliant both these beautiful and fun cities are.

Follow my Instagram account for holiday photo adventure updates between June 23 through July 2!


Friday, June 10, 2016

A Commentary from Socrates at the NYTimes

This is the second time this week I wanted to share an opinion posted online at the New York Times. The comment below was written by a poster appropriately named Socrates in response to Jack Klugman's editorial on Hillary Clinton's Democratic Party nomination, Hillary and the Horizontals.

What Socrates wrote was so informative, educational, and sensible, that I have to share it with my readers:

Socrates

 is a trusted commenter Downtown Verona, NJ 1 hour ago
The Republican Party platform has not changed since 1964 when Democratic President Lyndon Johnson perfectly articulated it to his aide Bill Moyers:

"I'll tell you what's at the bottom of it. If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you."

Make The 0.1% Richer By Duping The White Supremacists Again

As for those interested in good government, sensible regulation, alternative energy, civil rights, a living wage, the separation of church and state, justice, voting rights, women's rights, democracy, diplomacy and the common good, those people vote Democratic...be they white, black, Hispanic or purple.

This election, as usual, is about right-wing 'free-dumb' for 0.1% profit vs. actual freedom from right-wing tyranny.

This election, as usual, is about putting the Confederate States of America in their proper place and back in a permanent state of Reconstruction from their moral, intellectual and fiscal bankruptcy.

The Civil War never ends in America.

The Confederates simply need to be continuously reminded that they lost the Civil War.

Monday, June 6, 2016

My response to NYTimes Charles Blow commentary - The Madness of America

I have an electronic subscription to the New York Times, the one newspaper that I feel is a mandatory read for national and worldwide news. So when I read their editorials online, I often write an intelligent, compassionate, and professional response. One of my opinions was even printed in the paper edition a few days later back in April.

However today, a very interesting and well thought out editorial, written by Charles Blow, titled, The Madness of America, demanded me to respond in support of what he wrote. Basically he is calling out the anti-Trump demonstrators who interlope at Trump supporter rallies. These anti-Trump people, while their hearts are in the right place - not supporting such an unqualified and uncouth person to be POTUS, they have lost their minds in aiding in causing extremely violent eruptions at an otherwise legal rally of foolish Trump supporters.

Apparently I took too much time in reading the article between eating my lunch, and just as I pressed 'submit' to share my thoughts below, the comment section froze and up popped 'Comments Closed' at 689 comments. Gee, were comments getting too hot for NYTimes to handle? I have witnessed comments going well over 2000 for some articles. If you're going to write about Trump ad nauseum, then be prepared for heated comments from supporters and those who don't like Trump. My comment wasn't mean spirited, but I really wanted to get out there in cyberland, my opinion, so, I want to use my blog to publish my one time opinion on this pathetic Republican nominee (is this the best y'all can do?).

Trump cannot be elected!
I think both sides of the Trump debate, the supporters and the misguided protestors, are making matters worse. Just like how the KKK relies on the protestors to get valuable media coverage, so do the Trump gatherings attract the loudest and sadly, the craziest of the anti-Trump protestors, like a moth to a flame. Both sides are irrational, and the rest of us are looking at them while shaking our heads in disgust. 
 
I cannot stand Trump and I question anyone's rationality who would vote for him, but I would never, ever invade their space with violence while they gather to support him. Vote on election day inside the privacy of the voting booth, and that's the best way to protest against someone who would do irreparable harm to this country. Vote against Trump, don't waste your time inciting violence in attacking the very people are are prone to reacting to said violence. Don't fight fire with fire, it just gets hotter and out of control.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Working at Cinetopia Int'l Film Festival 2016


Although this is the 5th year of the Ann Arbor/Detroit Cinetopia International Film Festival, this is my third and sadly, final year in being a theater supervisor at the event. Due to my move to Los Angeles later this year, I went into this year's volunteer stint with great enthusiasm and interest. I worked four shifts this Saturday and Sunday (Day 2 and 3 of the festival) at the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit. I had a great crew of volunteers, all the equipment worked, there were no projector fiascoes, and there were good crowds at the venue. There were some nice improvements this year, and I know that as each year develops, there will be newer upgrades to make things even more efficient, and more perks for volunteers and patrons.

Because I work an 11-12 hour day, M-F, I cannot participate in any additional Cinetopia festivities until next Saturday, June 11. On that day, I plan to watch four movies. Of the films I was able to watch during my work shift, Parched is an Indian film about three sisters on three different life paths, but all doomed under the archaic patriarchal society of rural India. And the second film I saw was Trapped, a new documentary about the current HB2 laws in the Southern states, especially in Texas, that is trying to make abortion providers and those seeking abortions, to constantly jump over the newest obstacles designed to restrict abortion. Both films were very good. Next weekend, I plan to watch, Sonita, This Changes Everything, Hunky Dory, and Lo and Behold - Reveries of the Connected World.

Here are some images I took during my shifts at Cinetopia this weekend:



People having their tickets and passes scanned for the Parched screening

Me and Cinetopia Director Russ Collins


A line of people going to see the Maya Angelou film

Everyone one in red are the volunteers working with me


Two views of the audience for the popular Maya Angelou screening


I'm grateful for being able to volunteer my time to such a great and steadily growing film festival. This opportunity gives me valuable experience to work at other film festivals in the future in California.