Back To The Theater

I returned to a movie theater today after what I think was a year and a half away.

First reaction: I MISS THE HELL OUT OF THIS!

I think there will always be moviegoers who want to see films on the big screen. Sure, we have a ton of home and mobile options but nothing is the same as seeing a movie unfold in a movie theater, complete with Dolby surround sound, stadium seating, and a screen the size of a two-story wall.

And the trailers!!!!!

I love this part, HOWEVER, studios, let’s rethink the whole 20 minute-long stretch of them. Too much of a good thing, and literally you’re begging the viewer to be bored BEFORE the film even starts. Hard no, imo.


Anywho…

I arrive at the theater on a Tuesday at 3:40. I have five minutes before showtime and still need to grab a Diet Coke and use the facilities. My job allows for me to do this, yet I feel like a kid playing hooky. That is until I actually see a kid driving by with their head sticking out a car window, and my heart thumps in danger as I realize, no. You are definitely an adult.

I choose to see “A Quiet Place – Part II” and right out of the gate, with filmmaker John Krasinski’s thoughtful intro, I’m thrust into being a fan of his again (after not being impressed when he sold the community-assisted “Some Good News”, but I digress…)


No spoilers but I loved how the gender roles that are often stereotypically assigned were thrown to the wayside and I adored this tale of perseverance, hope, family, and love.

And Los Angeles is so fun. I’m never the only one who stays for the credits. Today, it was half of the dozen of us who had seen the flick.

So, in sum of the experience, seeing a film in a post-pandemic world wasn’t terribly odd, except for having to activate the fountain soda machine WITH YOUR PHONE! When you try it, you’ll see what I mean.


It was a most enjoyable experience, one that I’ve missed tremendously.

And I walked out of theater #15, eyes adjusting from dark to daylight, feeling a natural high.


Oh, yeah. There will always be a reason to go to a movie theater. I don’t care how many streaming options come out.

11 Unintended Lessons learned from being home due to COVID

Unless you’re on the front lines of the pandemic, which includes all those deemed essential workers, then you’ve pretty much been in some form of isolation or alteration of your home lifestyle because of COVID. Some are in total isolation, and some are in quarantine, some are saying F U to the rules, and others are in a thousand other potential scenarios.

Point being, we are all dealing with COVID in some form, and it’s on a global scale – GLOBAL! Isn’t that fascinating, in-and-of-itself that it’s a global pandemic, and we are in a time period where global communication is instant?

But I digress…

While dealing with being furloughed from my restaurant job, I’ve had to change my entire lifestyle. And while doing so, I’ve noticed a few lessons learned that I thought I’d share…. please add any of your own in the comments!

11 Unintended Lessons Learned From Being Home Due to COVID

1. It’s important to rotate your couch cushions… or at the very least sit in different spots. Not only for firmness, but no one needs to see where your butt’s been spending a lot of its time.

2. You can actually forget to shower for days.

3. There is an INSANE amount of content to stream. And good shit too!

4. Days of the week can lose their meaning. I’m thinking of creating SunMon, a 48-hour period of easing out of one week and into the next.

5. I should not expect to get a callback when applying for a grocery store job.

6. There is an INSANE amount of content to stream. And good shit too!*

7. I have absolutely no desire to wear a bra. Ever again.

8. Working in pajamas is something we should seriously consider, if not only for the comfort but for the ease of having less laundry to do.

9. Children adapt WAY quicker than adults do. Like incredibly so. We should study it…

10. The absolute best thing about Zoom is that you only have to prepare from the waist up. But of course, connecting us all is cool too.

11. If money stacked up as quickly as dishes did, DAMN – we’d all be bajillionaires!

*(Yes, this was written twice, that’s how much good shit!)

Socialization is key

In this age of Corona, being around others is something more rare than it is plentiful.

For some, who work in jobs that still exist, they ARE still around others, socializing a ton, like those in food service, delivery, healthcare and ride sharing.

And then there are those you are around because you’ve been around them since day one of the Pandemic and what they have, you have.

And some who don’t give a shit and socialize like it was 1999.

Regardless of what group you fall into (and there are a lot more,) what I don’t see is an end in sight. Even with a vaccine, no one can be forced to take it. And even if it was tried to be implemented by force, a civil war would likely happen and then the virus would dominate.

I’m thinking we have to figure out how to just deal with this new reality before our economy tanks even further.

And while, I’m a believer things will change after the election (like kids back in school, flight routes reopening and the like,) it’s not going to happen overnight.

And I fear for the ones lonely in this process.

I fear for the kids who no longer know where their friends are. Or if they even still have any.

I fear for the communities that need others, like AA, churches and the like.

But what I fear most is that we are becoming a society who fails to understand socialization is part of what makes us human.

After having lunch with a couple girlfriends today, whom I haven’t seen since this whole thing began, I was left thinking 1) how much I need to socialize with others and 2) how humanity is cherry-picking what is okay and what is not.

What say you?

A Beginning

I know I’ve been writing a lot about children lately… Perhaps it’s because they’re the only ones leaving a good impression on me in recent times…

The world has been shook, that’s for sure. And how the pieces fall in that wake will leave many consequences to come.

Philosophically speaking, we must ask ourselves “What world are we leaving future generations? And more specifically, speaking of where I live, what is the America to come?”

Pandemics disrupt. It’s what they do. But rather than bring people together, it has created an even greater chasm between those of differing opinions and since everyone thinks they are right, how will any meaningful change occur that isn’t politicized to death?

So, I want to pose a BIG beginning solution…

What if, instead of caring about what side of the political team you’re on, consider being on team humanity? And from that premise, perhaps then, we can begin to discuss how to deal with this pandemic and move forward toward individual prosperity rather than our standard of government/big business crony capitalism political BS.

With movements such as #blacklivesmatter and #metoo, people who have been disenfranchised are finding their voice and starting to be heard. There is tremendous power in understanding each other… and that’s where I think we need to begin because differences will always exist, and that’s a fact.

And children. Oh, let us learn from them!

The other day, I was hanging with my 8 & 10 year old nephews. We decided to do movie day but both of them wanted to watch something differently. As Aunt, I said, okay, I’ll write the name of both movies on slips of paper and we’ll randomly select. Knowing I was playing with fire since one of them would not get the movie they wanted, I hoped they would see that both options could work but a decision had to be made fairly.

Well, I was in for a surprise.

The 8 year old won. His choice was “Godzilla” while his brother wanted to watch “StarDog & TurboCat.” I watched the “one who got his choice” eye his older sibling, noticing the disappointment in his brother’s face. A moment later, the 8 year old  suddenly said, “No, it’s okay, Aunt Tina. Let’s watch StarDog.”

Both myself and the 10 year old snapped our heads toward him and said, “Really?” “Are you serious?” To which this beautiful child said, “Yeah, it’s okay. It will be a fun movie too.”

Moral of the story… Even if you get your way, it’s not always the best choice to make.

 

 

 

 

We, Adults, Have A Lot To Learn

Anyone else about to deactivate all their social media platforms because of the amount of vitriol, ignorance, sanctimonious crap that people keep projecting?

I am 42 and I have never seen America more divisive and nasty.

Here’s the thing, we can research and make informed opinions, but unless you’re an expert in the field you are discussing, should you really be speaking from a place of 100% knowledge? And then, to build on that, why pick on those who disagree with you? Do you really think THAT is the way to bring change?

I think what’s happening here, if I may, is there is an abundance of misdirected anger, wrath, unhappiness within oneself, and it has found its outlet.

THE CORONAVIRUS.

Yes, this virus is very real. But why is the pandemic bringing us apart rather than bringing us together?

If I may pose a theory,  expanding on what I wrote above, is that people are unhappy but rather than seek comfort in humanity, they shun it. They pick the worst and highlight that. They seek the ones who disagree to pick fights, so they can feel “better”, and rather than learn and grow, regression is at an all time high.

It’s not cause I’m saying so… just look around you.

Clearly, it’s much more difficult to understand people who are different than us than it is to seek comfort in those who agree with you, so the latter is the favorite. But no population will ever think the same and while that is a great thing, it also causes chaos.

Welcome to humanity.

Look, I don’t have the answer to give to end this all, but I will offer this true story as a beginning to finding the answer:

I was reading a book at a hotel pool. There were two children playing in the water – maybe ages 10 (girl) and 7 (boy) – along with their grandmother. When a family entered the pool area, the girl saw there were two boys coming in – one in their age group, one a bit younger. And so, she turned to her brother and said, “Look, we can make friends!”

 

Thankful

With the craziness of a pandemic and justice for #georgefloyd protests, life has been turned in all directions. And with good reason. Police are being called out for the horribleness that their force has become, and slowly we are seeing a desire for true serving and protecting citizens (despite the color of one’s skin) in a way that has never happened before.

For that, I am grateful.

Those in the police force are being held accountable for their actions. And no, you are not God, despite what you think.

For that, I am grateful.

Religion – which is a choice, despite those who believe their way is the only way – is slowly being understood as a personal choice rather than a forced way of living.

For that, I am grateful.

It is no small measure to have mass amounts of people supporting black individuals for justice. It is long overdue. And we are changing for the better.

For that, I am grateful.

A revolution has been brewing and is coming to change the destructive ways the US has grown. Lobbyists be gone. Wall Street preference be gone. It’s starting… (sadly, I think the FED is delaying consequences as long as possible.)

But… for the former, I am grateful.

Differences between gender, race, sexual preference – that is the beauty of life – and should be celebrated, not admonished. And finally, we are figuring that out.

For that, I am grateful.

#blacklivesmatter #metoo #schittscreek

“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.” – Buddha

 

 

Music as Memory

Sunday funday… wait, what day is it? Oh yeah, it’s Sunday… phew

Here in Los Angeles, we’re on this permanent lockdown of sorts, so pardon me…

But yes, let’s return to Sunday Funday even though days of the week don’t matter that much to me right now…

Anywho, my husband and I are preparing to BBQ so randomly, I decided to listen to some music I used to listen to ALL THE TIME, and when I say all the time, I mean it. My iPod was permanently attached to my ears from ages 25-28, which would explain my hearing loss but I digress.

Music was everything to me then. I was single, living alone and working my ass off in post production and filmmaking. I had little time for anything else but music was my constant. And listening now to some of those songs that comforted me then, ones I listened to on repeat like Death Cab For Cutie’s “Transatlanticism” or “Fool on the Hill” by the Beatles or “Goodbye to Romance” by Ozzy or any LCD Soundsystem album, is like a blast to the past.

Music is a time capsule unlike any other.

I flashed to the walks I would take to the bank and having an answering/fax machine or printing directions when I was going far… it all came crashing back and it was a wave of love… love of another time, another way of living, a younger me who I think would be proud of the 42 year-old-me, though if I told her about this pandemic and Donald Trump was president, she would have laughed like I was crazy…

And speaking of crazy, music is a God send, no? Pardon me as I go listen to Flaming Lips “Do you realize??” and remember Silver Lake days of indie rock music, Barefoot wine and MNRC – Monday Night Record Club.

 

The Good Part #coronavirus

Damn. These days, going on social media, reading the news, checking reddit… it’s easy to see the world is on fire right on and I don’t just mean from the Covid spread. I mean the amount of information being disseminated in favor of one’s POV and agenda and the vitriol that comes along with it.

People are speaking as though they are God. Individuals are battling each other over moral beliefs – where there is never a winner – and I’m reading comments like “If you like Trump, you can go drown in a sea of shark infested waters” and “If you don’t wear a mask, I hope you get the coronavirus and die a horrible death” – what the hell is happening to people???

Well, I’ve decided to focus on some good things to come from this world pandemic and I’d like to share them with you, if like myself, you’re over the moralistic agendas of ill-informed individuals trying desperately to get you to agree they are right. I’d like the facts and nothing but, thank you. So here are some facts:

In my apartment building of twelve units, a three year-old girl was celebrating her birthday without her friends and family. Her mother let us know and one by one, all us neighbors began to put cards, gifts, notes, well-wishes on her door and windows, and we came to find out the sweet child had one of her best days ever!

As I bike along the part of the road that is allowed for doing so by the Pacific Ocean (I live three blocks from it) I see signs in the windows of homes that promote positive messages to their community: “Stay Strong” “We’re In This Together” “Love” “Honk And We’ll Drink” :) One window had a teddy bear in it, near a child’s drawing of a rainbow and heart. 

John Krasinski’s “Some Good News” – did you see the cast of the Office dance?? There’s a little something for everyone here and it’s all positive.

On a walk, I see multiple sidewalk murals created from chalk, offering complimentary art to all who walk by. 

More to come…

But in the meantime, I’d love to know what positive things you’ve seen come from the strange times we now find ourselves in?

 

A Yes In a Sea of No’s

Any writer can tell you part of the process of being a writer is seeing and hearing the words “thanks but no thanks” over and over and over again.

And damn, it can be painful. Over time, I’ve become rather numb to it, instead focusing on and believing in the work that I do, though also assessing feedback – compliments and constructive critique – and acting accordingly. Notes from generous editors have at times made my work all the better. The hard part is figuring out which notes to take… but I digress.

While splashing around in this sea of no’s, when a YES comes your way and a piece of your writing – in this case, my flash fiction – gets published, it can be one of the most meaningful experiences, especially when the publisher gets what you’re trying to do.

My YES came from a fellow WordPress site – 100wordsofsolitude.

100 Words of Solitude is a project started by writers and professors in an effort to capture individual perspectives on what the world is currently experiencing. They’re selecting 100 pieces of 100 words each from writers all over the world and they have generously accepted one of mine and published it yesterday.

It’s a micro piece of fiction where I attempt to explore the disconnect in the age of Coronavirus. I would love to hear your thoughts!

And a big thank you to the curators at 100 Words of Solitude for finding meaning in my work and sharing it with others.

My Little Buddy In The Age Of The Coronavirus

Having been laid off from my job while the world pauses, I’ve found some extra time on my hands. And in an effort to help my family, I’ve begun to aid in the homeschooling of my eight-year-old nephew.

Now, my nephew and I were already close. I’ve been watching him since practically the day he was born and over the years, we’ve developed a special bond. When I enter my brother’s home, my nephew is the first to great me with a huge smile and a loud, “Hi Aunt Tina! Come play!” or “Hi Aunt Tina! Come look at this!”

And while I am 42 years old, there is a young 10-year-old girl in me who loves to play and have fun. Seriously. I’m a champ at Nerf gun battles, hide ‘n find (a take off from the original hide ‘n seek, which my nephews and I made up,) coloring, board games (especially Battleship!) and soon, if my nephews have it their way, video games.

But back to the beginning. I’ve been helping homeschool. And I must say, TEACHERS, YOU ARE GODS. Thank you soooooooooooooooo much for what you do. You help the future way more than any Congressman/woman and should be paid accordingly. And they patience you must have! I am in awe.

So, yeah. I’ve been helping with homeschool and also babysitting more than normal and because of this, an 8 year old has become my new little buddy.

When I told him he could call me whenever he wanted, I began to wake up to text and phone messages asking if I wanted to play Roblox remotely – me on my phone, him at his home while we chat over FaceTime. He made sure to install it on my phone on a visit  and then proceeded to give me a tutorial. When I struggled, he said, “Aunt Tina, do you know what patience is?” I smiled and said, “Yes, I do” to which he replied, “Well, then you just have to have it.”

Words of wisdom right there.

When we finish our school lessons, he asks how much time I can stay to hang out. We are currently watching the first season of Clone Wars, which is very well done btw, and also love to go outside and plant flowers in the backyard and fill our bird house with birdseed and more. His smile brightens my day.

And the last time I was with him, I was doing laundry and he opted to stop playing and join me, just to chat. He told me about his best friend at school and how they get in trouble and the big spider he saw the other day in the backyard, that had hair!

I will miss these days when all goes back to “normal” but I’m happy to know enough to cherish them as they are happening.

To see a big smile on an eight year old’s face is to witness real happiness.

To receive a hug from a child without asking for one is to know real affection.

To make a child happy and comfortable by embracing who they are is to teach real confidence.

To have a child call upon you because they consider you important is to understand the essential.

And to wake up to a phone message from your nephew asking where you are and if you want to come over and you alter your day to do so is to experience real love.

Thank you Fair Bear (my nickname for him,) for all you are and all you teach.