Tag Archives: Jessica Lakis

You will talk The Force Awakens

 

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I got this funny way of showing gratitude. You’ll see.

“Who’s the more foolish? The fool or the fool who follows him?” I follow where you lead Star Wars. I bought the digital download of The Force Awakens with Bonus Features on April 1st, even though Amazon dropped off the Blu-Ray on the 5th as promised.  April Fools! You took my money, huh? Take! It’s Star Wars. I’ll give you anything.

So now I have seven viewings in, can we please talk about this movie some more? I’m “focusing” (not  “obsessing”) on it again. I need some help from fellow fans. A support group. Something? Oh yeah, it’s called the internet!

And thank The Force for that.

The Force Awakens on the interwebs just keeps giving. Want the ultimate gif expression of tech-rage? Here ya go.

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S T O O P I D STOOPID COMPUTERS!!!!!

Want to listen to the dinner-table fights at the Solo home? Yup:

Would you like to talk about fan-fic, Reylo, theories, art?

I love all of these wonderful, creative, passionate fans! The internet has finally succeeded in bringing the world together…through Star Wars. Pretty cool.

But there’s still so much I . . . WE need to talk about. Your favorite moment/character/theory?  I don’t know where to begin. I’m being torn apart. I want to be free of this pain. I know what I have to do, but I don’t know if I have the strength to do it. Will you help me?

*written while listening to Finn’s Playlist on Star Wars Spotify.

Edit: I didn’t even mention all the Star Wars YouTubers! Sorry HelloGreedo! Love ya man! Oh dear, and even Mr. Plinkett awakens…OH MY GAAAHD!


The Astronomer

 

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do not follow mine

 

An astronomer

tracing

distant bodies

in dark maths

where they fall

and never light

ellipses of brilliance

through obscure orbits

I perceive

and comprehend

 

 

 

 

 

 


Oh, But I Do

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people see no worth in you

 

I wanna stay in bed today. And if I must get up, I’m keeping on my pj’s.

I wanna drink coffee and flop around the couch until eleven.

I wanna watch videos called “The Philosophy Behind…”

I wanna take a shower at noon, and put my pj’s back on.

I’ll read a book from one until two-thirty. Then I’ll take a nap.

I wanna watch a movie I’ve seen before.

And then talk about it till late.

 

 


I Wanna Call Saul

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but I just ran outta nickels

I’m falling for Better Call Saul (AMC, Mon. 10/9 c). Which is weird because my hopes were not high for the show regardless of the opportunity to see Bob Odenkirk reprise his role as Walter (I am the danger!) White’s “criminal” attorney. But Black & White Cinnabon flash-presents aside, this show grabs me in its own right.

We follow, Jimmy McGill,  petty con-man cum attorney-at-law struggle, suffer his way towards his destiny to transform into Saul Goodman. Which is kinda fun. Because the show is an old tragedy we already know the end to. Apparently, seeing the process unfold is glorious. Because I adore it.

Odenkirk, Jimmy, endears himself. His sad, kicked puppy-dog look, his terrible shoes, his hair that’s clearly transitioning from once being “really cool”. This guy is a nice guy. But he sucks at straight life. He’s a con-man with a gift for gab. He’s desperately losing his battle with encountering his destiny.

He has three angels of his nature. Firstly there is Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn). Don’t groan! She’s awesome! She’s the anti-Skyler White! I love this chick. Kim strives honestly to move up in the law. But she can’t help but occasionally hooking up with Jimmy to con a mark out of $50 shots of tequila. Really, those two are great. Super chemistry. I don’t want to die when I see her on-screen like her counterpart on Breaking Bad.

Oppositely we get back our favorite dead-mackerel eyed tough guy, Mike Arhmentrout (Johnathan Banks). Dude, Mike is an older, tougher, more beat-up Humphrey Bogart. He’s a retired Philly cop taking work as muscle to support his widowed daughter-in-law and his grand-daughter. In his spare time, Mike maintains an on-going “misunderstanding” with a Mexican drug-cartel.

Then finally, there’s Chuck. Chuck the older brother, senior partner in a big law-firm, has some One Percent allergy to electro-magnetism. Chuck exists to remind Jimmy of what a screw-up he used to be, and may still be. Chuck is what Jimmy will never be: a “respected man”. He’s utterly resistant to Jimmy’s charms.

But I am not! Watching Jimmy McGill is like if, without knowing it, you were staggering your way towards becoming Luke Skywalker. That’s how it feels. Uplifting! I mean, we all are stuttering, stammering fools, but here’s one fool who has the gift we lack. He speaks! It’s his super-power. And his destiny. (Just a Jimmy B.S. sample: a lie involving a client, and videos, and sitting in pies.)

Jimmy isn’t a mad-scientist psychopath like Walter White. He’s just a guy in bad suit, with a degree and a gift for gab. That’s really all he’s got. I want to believe that this schlub who keeps an apartment/office in the back-room of an Asian nail salon can unfurl like the glorious peacock we all know as Saul Goodman. He also doesn’t kill anybody. So, yeah, he’s just relatable.

Anyhow, I watch this show through the Amazon Prime Season Pass where you buy a season, get it the next day, then you have it forever. I usually only do that for The Walking Dead, and Breaking Bad before. But I know the first season is on Netflix now. I suggest giving it a shot. Because wouldn’t it be nice if we all had a destiny?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Miserable Lie

 

 

The Smits, Louder Than Bombs

 …love is just a…

Came across this: Morrisey’s 10 Best Lyrics on Twitter for #worldpoetryday. Just ten? Really. So I’m just going to type out the lyrics to Miserable Lie from the album sleeve here. Of course, I suggest listening to it as well, if you want to see why this song is great. Remember taking walks in your crappy town, dragging your feet, remember when people’s “rooms” were somewhere safe? All that’s gone but this still happens.

Miserable Lie, The Smiths, 1984

So, goodbye
Please stay with your own kind
and I'll stay with mine

There's something against us
it's not time
So, goodbye

I know I need hardly say
how much I love your casual way
but please put your tongue away
a little higher and we're well away
the dark nights are drawing in
and your humour is as black as them
I look at yours, you laugh at mine
and "love" is just a miserable lie
you have destroyed my flower-like life
not once -- but twice
you have corrupt my innocent mind
not once -- but twice
I know the wind-swept mystical air
it means: I'd like to see your underwear
I recognize that mystical air
it means: I'd like to seize your underwear
what do we get for our trouble and pain?
just a rented room in the Whalley Range
into the depth of the criminal world
I followed her. . .

I need advice, I need advice
because nobody ever looks at me twice

I'm just a country-mile behind 
the world

so take me when you go.

 


Nothing Personal

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A projection reflected 

“A monolith protected by a Sphinx at each cardinal direction…eternally reflecting projections, with a challenge to all who approach.” That’s what I found looking back through my journals from last year, about this time of year. It was actually more of an oath I took with myself. I would never reveal myself fully in earnest to anyone ever again…it ruins all the fun.

Did you know that Sphinx is from the Greek for “to strangle”? Makes sense, like “asphixiation.” But yeah that’s what I wrote. That was my pledge to myself. Why? For a lot of reasons that are nobody’s business but my own. But I thought of this because of some recent requests that I post “more about myself” or urges to “be more honest.”

I’m here. I’m all over this blog. I’m all in the writing I’ve posted here. I’m in every character I write. They’re all more me than anyone  or anything else, including anything I could tell you about myself. Why look for the petty details? I urge you to believe that the facts are as dull as a year’s worth of Facebook pics of lattes and lunches…OMG my whatever is so whatever today…cats…

Regardless, some people like a mystery. But, as Sherlock Holmes often lamented, revealing the mystery behind his solutions to mysteries, mainly met with “Oh well that’s so obvious now.” Surely, the appreciation that Watson still held for his process was the reason he was Holmes’ only friend.

So why not leave well enough alone? Going back to Sphinxes, Oedipus paid a high price for his search for the truth. And once he saw, he blinded himself. So why not just leave it be? I’m all there, for the intrepid and observant, but is it really worth the pain? Me, my writing, it may all be me, but what you see is whatever you like. An infinite reflection of infinite projections. Why not just enjoy the show?

 

 

 


Faking it with Fellini

“Could you leave everything behind and start life all over again? Choose one thing and be faithful to it? Make it the reason for your existence?” The character of Guido Anselmi asks of Claudia Cardinale. The glowingly young and beautiful Claudia answers by asking him if he could. He has no answer.

8 1/2 AKA Otto e Mezzo, dir. Federico Fellini, 1963 is a film about a filmmaker without a film and without answers. Guido spends most of the film at a spa under the pretense of working on a new film, as he attempts to make sense of his life, while besieged by the questions and demands his producer, crew, actresses, critics, his mistress and his wife. Haunted by memories and dreams of his childhood, blending his fantasy and escapism with reality,  Guido must confront the fact that he has, in fact, no answers at all, while discovering that he still has something to give.

I recently watched the wonderful Criterion Collection Blu-ray of this old, personal favorite. Certainly I had never seen such a beautiful copy in my life, which was a revelation in itself. But more importantly, somehow, this man’s tale resonated with me more now than it ever has.

8 1/2 is a film that anticipates every criticism you may have of it. Through Guido’s own expressions of self-doubt, the words of the ensemble cast, but most especially through the character of The Critic that Guido has hired to help him with his new film — 8 1/2 knows it is a selfish film, a sentimental, romanticized version of a man’s life. The film, and Guido himself, are well aware that Guido objectifies human beings — especially women — that he expects to be able to hide behind fantastic imagery, a beautiful soundtrack (by Nino Rota, also of The Godfather), and a cool suit and pair of shades. Guido lies, cheats and literally dances his way through the throngs of his troubles and the very real human beings that his selfishness and self-doubt affects. But in the end, as Guido comes to face the truth of his situation and own up to his lies and deceits (his affairs, his lack of a film, his inner-doubts and demons) we as the viewer find pity for him and our own imperfect selves.

The film is full of images of cleanliness, new beginnings and escape, personified by Guido’s fantasies of the young Claudia. While set at a spa (from Latin sanum per aqua – health through water) Guido pursues his dreams of escaping the messy reality of his life. Meanwhile, his crew and producer fret over the cost of the gigantic space-ship they are constructing for the non-existent film, in which Guido imagines the human race will escape a post-atomic Earth in search of a new Eden.

When Guido’s producer forces him to attend a press-conference to announce the film before the hulking and unfinished rocket-ship, he must confront the truth. His panic causes him to seek refuge under a table and fantasize, or not, that he’s put a bullet through his head. But as he gets in his car afterwards, it is clear that he has come clean last. The film is cancelled.  And finally — having accepted his role in the human drama and as director again — the entire film’s cast gathers as he directs them in a dance, holding hands, in a circle.

He confesses to his lovely, yet embittered wife (Anouk Amiee), “Luisa, I feel I’ve been freed…Everything is confused again, as it was before. But this confusion is me.” And he is able to join with her and the rest in the dance again. There may be no answers, but he’s begun again in honesty.

Behind these sunglasses, this confusion is me.

 

 

 


Conquering the Useless

Fitzcarraldo

“If I abandon this project, I would be a man without dreams, and I don’t want to live like that.” -Werner Herzog

I use the phrase “Conqueror of the Useless” in my bios and descriptions. If you’ve never heard of Werner Herzog, I’m terribly sorry. But please, do yourself a favor and listen to the German filmmaker’s musings on the harmony of nature’s “overwhelming and collective murder.” Then we’ll have a starting point.

Herzog referred to himself, and the protagonist of his film Fitzcarraldo, as a “conquistador of the useless” in the documentary film Burden of Dreams (1982, Les Blank) that records the excruciating making-off process of the film. If you have ever wanted to watch a filmmaker dragging a steamship over mountains in the Amazon to make a film about a ne’er do well Irishman and opera-lover (played with manic genius by Klaus Kinksi) who must drag a steamship over a mountain to harvest the rubber he intends to use to finance an opera house in the jungle, here’s your shot.

Over the course of the shooting of the film, Herzog dealt with some unfriendly indigenous people, and some who offered to murder his infamously insane star Kinski for him. He was forced to recast the film after both DiNero and Mick Jagger had to abandon the project due to delays in production and funding difficulties. And, of course, Herzog faced the very real challenge of actually dragging the steamship over a mountain in the Amazon in a fashion that he could film to look as though it were being done with native labor in the 19th century.

Both the movie and the documentary explore the muddy, dirty, up-hill battle facing the brave human soul who searches for beauty and art in a jungle of murderous intention towards human aspiration.  That is “conquering the useless.”  Beauty and art may not feed the belly or pay the bills, but I wouldn’t call this living without those things.

At the very least, he had Claudia Cardinale co-starring. That’s beauty I’m certain lightened his load. And both films do end happily. Herzog pulled off an “unfilmable” film, and well, I’ll let you see how Fitzcarraldo fares for yourself. But you’ll smile.

What mud will you crawl through to find one thing of beauty to hold to in your life? What burdens do your dreams bring?  How do you face the daily, up-hill slog? Good luck. It’s a jungle out there, and it wants you dead. Vae victus!

Both Fitzcarraldo and Burden of Dreams are available streaming on Amazon (well of course!). For a $2.99 rental, you could do a lot worse. 

 

 


Let’s Pretend

I lived.

I lived.

Let’s play pretend. OK. Let’s say this is who you are: You’re male. Mother died at say age seven, father soon after, perhaps ten. You were shipped off to a boy’s school with all the neglect, abuse and buggery that entails. You got on other boys’ good-side by doing their work for them. They all got A’s, but you neglected your own work. You attached yourself to a more forward boy. First in class, with your help. He’s a dick, but he protects you. Or at least he leaves you enough space to exist without the need to assert yourself too much. You can tolerate him, let’s say.

You graduate, you’re a professional. You and your school “friend” go off to finish your studies together. You pick up a strong habit of general laziness, debauchery and letting your buddy direct your life. He starts a business, you follow him into it. You’re his grunt, and his secret. He’s got the ego to push himself forward, you’ve got the brain to work out his professional problems for him. And you don’t care about credit. You get to continue your anonymous life, drifting. He gets to use you. You let yourself be used. You have no sense of deserving anything else. Anything better.

You stay up all night. You drink. You keep bad company. By your late twenties, you’re a person of wasted talent with no idea of how to turn the life that repulses your soul around. And if you did know how, you don’t even know if it’s worth the effort. You’re life is already a waste, to you, a “might have been.”

So let’s say something turns you around. Of course, it’s a girl. A perfect girl. A female so far above you, so ideal in your mind that you’ve turned her into a “goddess” that you worship, but of whom you’d never be worthy. So you hang out in her presence, around her among others. You don’t speak to her too much. But you’re there.

So, obviously, a woman so perfect would get a lot of attention right? And there HE is. And fuck him, but he’s so perfect. He’s just got to be for her. Not you, right? So why not make sure? You finally go to her and speak to her. You tell her you love her. All the words rush out in a torrent. But she doesn’t stop you. She’s even encouraging. And then, you do what you have to, you spell every microscopic, disgusting detail of yourself. You lay a perfect picture before her eyes of the ruin you would make of her life if she chose to be with you. Surprise! She agrees. But she’ll never betray your trust in opening up to her, and wants to save you (you of all people!).  So you simply promise that she will save, just by letting you do anything for her or the people she loves.

So, having spent a few minutes with this guy, what do you think? How do you feel about him? What sort of person is he? What sort of future does a man like this have? What sort of future does he see himself as having?

Most importantly, what if he actually got his chance. What if he (you) did have the opportunity to save her and her loved ones by making one great sacrifice — this life you hate. And what if that sacrifice not only completely failed, she died in the process. Everyone died but you. You lived — were, in fact, saved…what would you do? How would you feel?

Thoughts? Feelings? Please play with me?


Nobody Told Me

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“Time wounds all Heals.” JL

 

There’d be days like these. Also, nobody told me that adults could get mono. I’ve slept for a week straight. A sleep of oblivion. I am the sleeping dead.

This is that Lenten time of year when we are forced to reflect upon ourselves, but how does one reflect through fever-sweat dreams? My Time is my most precious commodity. But what can I do with Time when I’ve lost why that is so precious? My mental capacity. I cannot think. If I cannot think, I am not…I am not myself at any rate.

All of this upsets me more because of the momentum I had built up in my writing. Gone. I have flashes of thoughts that disappear into a drugged fog. People talk at me, I can’t form a response. I can’t even watch movies.

All I can do is sit here with the soundtrack to Barry Lyndon, watch the snow and rain. There’s a cat on my lap. My dog sleeps. And but for a flute, all is silent.


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