Friday, February 26, 2010

Hat of the Week!

The infamous voodoo hat worn my the great Jimi Hendrix. It was all about the hat baby.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Advice From Mr. Hatter

Hatter,

My wife doesn't understand THE GAME. I know the seasons of the year by what sporting event is on the TV. Every weekend  I turn on the boob tube and open up a cold one. Then I get that look from her. "You are drinking now", or the old all time favorite, " Well I guess your day is over". It's THE GAME! I'm a guy! That is what we do! That is why they call it the WEEK-END! How do I get her to understand.


Signed,
Pissed Off Before Kickoff


Dear Mr. Pissed,

I don't watch many games because I play them all week. The ones involving the mind I find most interesting. Being a regular patron of the drink, however, is where I can relate to you. In my world, clocks never work so I have adapted the old philosophy that it must be 5:00 somewhere. Hehehehe! The only problem with that is if there is an open bar that is always at happy hour with no signs of closing time, then life and liver can totally become inoperable.

There must be a work to play time ratio that allows you the ying yang your life and wife need on the home front. Try this formula:

1) Wake up late on Saturday with a good spooning hold to the missus. Morning snuggles buys you points lat er on in the weekend. Add one hour for time to clean up and make yourself look presentable. You may be married, but you captured her interests once before, so keep throwing out the bait. Did you like the sporty fishing term? HAHAHA!

2) Add 30 minutes to dress the part. Need to work in the yard? Change the oil in the old moving carriage? A uniform makes the man look important. Every sport has a uniform. At least walk around the house with tools. Not only does it make you look busy, but it adds that mystery that women love. What is he doing now? Remember too that sweat becomes attractive when it is applied to fixing something, and YES, there is always something to fix.

3) For every child add one hour for good fatherly time. Don't forget to throw in the occasional "shit my father says" quotes. This is how your children will truly remember you and this is your legacy. Funny banter whether meant for a joke or lack of intelligence is always memorable and meaningful.

4) Add two hours and 30 minutes for housework. Make yourself look busy and try and break a sweat. If you can't break a sweat then throw some water on your forehead when the Missus isn't looking. But if you are really doing the housework, then sweating won't be a problem. Feel the pain.

5) If you have a yard then add two hours and 45 minutes. No yard, then home projects time or work on the old car. You can shoot for two hours here but don't forget to clean up. Yes, you have to be responsible for your messes now. Mama doesn't live with you anymore.

6) Add 1 hour to help with dinner. By this point it should be beer-thirty. Of course the minute you sit down on the couch you will fall asleep before you get that first cold one. The game is probably over by this point too. That is why the gods created TVO. But don't forget the dishes and getting those kids in bed. Add another two hours for this after you read to them. Think of speed reading as a sport and try and work on your time for fastest score. I warn you though, that after a while content will take over and you will start reading slower. Content has more difficulty and the judging is a lot higher at this point.

7) WAIT! don't relax yet. Did you walk the dog? Another 45 minutes. Don't forget the baggies or you will be catching crap from the neighbors.

Another option outside of this equation is to have the missus start drinking when you do. I have discovered many things in my world travels, but two lessons apply to this problem. The first is that people get bitchy when they are not included. The other is that people complain because they have a reason to. Don't be that reason. You're married now. If it were not for woman, man would still be scratching his ass staring at the cave wall. Woman was cold and wanted warmth. Man had to create fire. Woman wanted a home with a view. You moved out of the cave and now you live where you do. Welcome to forced productivity and get used to it. When you understand "THAT', then she will understand "THE GAME".

Sincerly,

Mr. Hatter


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Hat of the Week!




 





In honor of Mardi Gras there was a tie for  Hat of the week! Check out these great ideas and be inspired at http://www.artistrising.com/shop/tags/carnival_p5.htm 

Monday, February 15, 2010

OWOH Winner!

Thank you to everyone that checked out my blog. I hope you revisit sometime as I plan on making this my therapy sessions. Don't worry, even in my madness I keep a certain level of humor. The best medicine in the world.

I did a random number generator and Debby of The Gathering Nest is the winner of my prize. Thanks again to all who stopped by and I appreciate all the wonderful comments.  For those that became fans or followers I will never let your intellect and need for an alternative outlook down.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Blue

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Gift

By Keith Lee             Copyright 2010



In my house we never throw away old roses. We tie them up by the stems with a piece of thread and hang them upside down so that when they dry out the leaves and petals hold on to some color and don't drop off. You can keep them for many years that way. I think it is an old Gypsy tradition. Little by little they lose a leaf or you find flakes of old decayed color on the counter, but for the most part they keep their shape. They just wither with time. The color loses its luster but what you get in return is the deepest maroons and aged whites from a flat appearance. Spots of black play the remaining color giving it depth. You can see the coarse wrinkles in each fold giving it unexpected texture. Not the youthful surprise package you received many moons ago, but I somehow find these fading illustrations of affection more meaningful over time. 

Affection [uh-fek-shuhn] - a gentle feeling of fondness or liking 

In my house we never throw away old roses. Valentine's Day is the big day for roses. It has become the perfect gift for the day. Giving a  rose is somehow the way we are supposed to show affection. Like a rose is going to sum it all up in one day out of 365. Remember when you were a kid and you went to the store to get those cheesy box of cards that say "BE MINE" or "FOREVER YOURS". I used to really be annoyed with this chocolate-infested holiday. Actually, I didn't hate the cards or the day. I just felt left out. It is easy now to look back and think about how the decisions I made back then triggered the results. But when you are living it, denial is a bitter and ineffective medicine. Anyway, I felt like the biggest loser on this particular day seeing all the flowers, candy, and cards being passed around. I participated, but it takes more than one day of the year to show that someone special how you really feel. How else are they supposed to feel back.

Longing [lawng-ing, long-] - a yearning desire

In my house we tie the roses up by the stems with a piece of thread and hang them upside down so that when they dry out the leaves and petals hold onto some color and don't drop off. I really knew how to save up all that introverted emotion. Somehow even though I didn't have a girlfriend, I became the go-to guy for all the hook, line, and sinkers that would make the modern day Romeos sound as good as they looked. Eventually, however, the boneheads would have to use their own brains. Lucky for them that love in youth is primarily based on the physical. But for some, not even this was enough.

That reminds me of a friend of mine in high school. He would be the last person I helped in the Love Department. We liked the same girl and he convinced me to help him win her over. He insisted that it was for her own good, being that she was too impressionable and would be soon taken over by the jock types. We had to make a stand. I have never been a team player but played along. I decided to treat it as if I were talking to her myself. Cyrano de Bergerac did it, so why couldn't I? Of course, I never read his full story so I didn't really know how Cyrano's ended. Still, I would give my friend advice on what to say and how to counter and interpret her sarcasm.

I even helped him pick out a gift for her. He was frantic and completely brain dead. It was so simple to me. A gift should say how you feel. I briefly thought about picking out a real piece of garbage that would send her to the jock side yelling "GO TEAM GO!", but  I didn't. I picked out the trinket of affection and handed it to him. Naturally he didn't get it. It had clock on it that didn't work. It didn't have to. Time here meant anytime, day or night. There was a key attached to it. What was it supposed to open? Your heart. It is funny because I haven't seen that image in a long time until about a month ago. It is funny what value we put into an object rather that just saying how we feel.

She told him she loved it, and like that it was over for me. I grew up 20 years that day. Crushes are nothing more than an infatuation kids get on the playground. I didn't know this girl and she didn't know me. I didn't know me. I just knew who I wanted to be. I stopped watching MTV and got a guitar. I dressed how I felt by wearing my name on my sleeve. From that time on, I never looked at a girl's face I found desirable without wanting to get to know what moved her world. There is more to a rose than her appearance. Smells, taste, and touch are amazing, but learning what kind rose she is and where she likes to grow is just as intoxicating.

Oh, Lover Boy didn't get the girl but that story has a happy ending. Juliet became a strong and independent woman that holds her own banner. Romeo learned to speak his mind with an ounce of heart, and Cyrano learned to use his own voice.

Intimacy [in-tuh-muh-see] - an intense feeling of deep affection

Little by little the roses lose a leaf or you find flakes of old decayed color on the counter, but for the most part they keep their shape. It took me a long time to realize that the meaning of intimacy did not necessarily coincide with sex. I still challenge that theory from time to time, but real intimacy comes with an inner emotion that is complex to describe. It isn't that primal urge that drives us to the bars or the real meat markets (which for those keeping score, is of course the grocery store) looking for that physical connection. Intimacy is something that develops between two people over time. Chasing that feeling down led me to the high dollar trap of gift giving. But I found that trying to buy your way into someone's heart, through their pants, is shallow and keeps you wandering. You get what you pay for, but like Chinese food, an hour later you're still hungry and looking for more. I now know the art of intimacy by simply holding the woman I love and having a deep conversation. It is the best foreplay around.

Heart [hahrt] - (1) A hollow muscular organ that pumps the blood through the circulatory system by rhythmic constraction and dilation. (2) the heart regarded as the center of a person's thoughts and emotions. esp. love or compassion.

You can see the coarse wrinkles in each fold of a old rose giving it unexpected texture. I have been getting better and better about giving my heart. When I was younger the only chocolates I received on Valentine's Day were from my dad. It use to embarrass me because I got locked into the whole male/female role playing game. Plus I thought he just felt sorry for me. I thought that way until I had kids. Now I do the same thing and try to make the day special for my little ones. Still, up until a couple of years ago I had a hard time giving my son flowers or teddy bears. One year on this special day of flower-giving as we were picking out some roses to give to their mother, I decided to get each of my children one white rose. White in the rose world means love. I thought my daughter would be the one to flip out over it, but it was my son that became attached to this little sign of affection. He carried it around with him for a week.

After about three weeks I took them down to the river with their roses. I told them it was time to give their heart away by letting the rose petals float away and find someone else. We usually don't throw out roses but I decided it was time to show the kids how to give and let go. We pulled the petals off with the "he loves me, he loves me not" words of anticipation. My son had one petal left that he wouldn't let go of. He said it was for him. So I told him to put in his pocket. I followed them as we went back to the car. I saw the white petal leave his pocket and I choose not to say anything. I looked back at it as we walked along and it looked out of place but magical on the woodland floor. When we got back to the car he started looking for it. He got worried. I asked him what he had lost. He told me he lost the "he loves me". I laughed to ease his stress and told him that he didn't need a flower to know that I loved him. He said he knew that but it was pretty. Again, I am amazed at how much thought we put into a small object. Every year since that time I buy both my kids a rose. I'm still a man like my son will be one day, but we both think roses are pretty.

Love [luhv] - an intense felling of deep affection

An old rose is not the youthful surprise package you received many moons ago, but I somehow find these fading illustrations of affection more meaningful over time. 

It is easy to fall in love. It is hard to stay there. The fantasy is that love is this fairy tale ending that brings in only happiness. Let me burst that idealistic bubble for you. Love ain't always pretty boys and girls. I have cleaned up enough messes in my life between emotions, family disputes, diapers, sleepless nights, sicknesses, dust bunnies, and day old dishes to know that love isn't always appealing to look at. I have clothes that still have spit up stains on them from when I burped my babies.You do it because you care. But there are wonderful happy times that make it all worth doing. It is a constant struggle to push and pull forward together that makes love the institution that it is. Truth, honesty and trust are tested daily.

I remember the first year my wife and I started dating. Every night felt like a party. Probably because it was. My head still spins when I look back at all the the events we went to, all the bars we closed, all the sunsets we watched, and all the mini skirts. Yes, I loved to watch her walk across the room... both ways. I couldn't get enough of her. That was falling in love. 

Playing house is something else entirely. Falling in love can get in the way of what I like to call coexisting. You can only live your life but you have to take into constant consideration the thoughts and feelings of your your partner that you chose to spend your life with. Two minds never think alike.

I have heard it said that you should never judge a book by its cover. Love has a pretty alluring hard cover that makes you want to take it home and rip into it. Every page when you start smells so fresh and new that you can tell what kind of paper the story was printed on. It starts off with an adventure that keeps you guessing and you can't wait to turn the next page. But Love is a hard read. The story takes so many twists and turns that you have a hard time believing your reading the same book. The main characters struggle and you wonder if they'll pull it together or go off and live in separate novels. But if you are a strong reader and you don't loose interest easily, you begin to really get into the sometimes spiraling roller-coaster. You start rooting for the characters and you learn that falling in love now becomes being in love. 

When I watch my wife glide across the room now her strut doesn't just have the seductive meaning it did so many years ago. It has much more purpose and confidence now that I know all about her. I know where it all comes from. She can still make heads turn as she walks through a room even though she is older now. I can see the lines in her face that she sometimes tries to hide. I know that they are there. I can see the gray hairs starting to emerge on the sides of her head just above the ears. The light red hair she has hides it most of the time but I know it is there. I can't help but think I am partly responsible for the wrinkles and whitening red flair I feel in love with. Her body has changed. She has had two kids. She has given birth to my kids, our children. Those stretch marks she has I know I am responsible for and I love them. There forever and she did it for us. You can't get a tattoo that says that.

Wanting has become knowing and beauty is in aging. We are still working on our happy ending. Maybe one day we will find it, but I don't consider an ending to be happy. So I'm pleased in the push and pull of everyday life together. She is the one that taught me how to preserve a rose. I'm just passing that knowledge on to you. Don't feel alone this Valentine's Day. I'm thinking about you and I didn't forget. I remember all my family and friends. In our house we never throw away old roses. They may wither with time but the meaning never loses its luster.




Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Bye Bye Balloon

By Keith Lee   Copyright 2009





I remember walking out of the grocery store one day and seeing this little girl with a big orange balloon in her hands. She just kept watching that colorful circle bounce around in the wind. It was really windy that day and I thought she would loose that precious bubble in a matter of seconds. I don’t always like being right. She didn’t cry when the wind took it to go dancing in the sky. It danced in the sky moving back and forth. She did look sad, but in a mature way. It was like she was letting something else go like a thought, an emotion, or just a part of herself. She just said bye bye balloon and watched fly away.

I have never had luck with balloons. My parents never bought things they felt were not practical. I never stopped my asking for the unpractical. My mom would say no balloons because they were done by the next day. She finally gave in and got me a small package. As she blew them up I waited for them to hit the ceiling.

“What are you doing?” she asked with a puzzled face.

“I’m waiting for them to hit the ceiling” I said without looking down.

“These aren’t those kind of balloons.” She started laughing. “You need helium for that.”

“Heliuummm? What do these do?”

“They stay on the ground. You can play with them on the floor.”

“But how?”

“Kick them!” My dad was getting annoyed with conversation. “ Through them or just kick’em like this.”

The next thing I saw was a flurry of color hitting me in the face. Red, yellow, orange, green, blue, and purple and the bouncing noise that followed each sure fired rapid shot. There was a moment of shock. It didn’t hurt, I didn’t cry, but yet it felt disturbing. I’m sure they were not intended to hit me but the ending result cured my interest in balloons for a long time.

My kids do not have luck with balloons either. My son always pops his before we get home. There is usually a loud pop followed by a moment of silence, then my son crying, my wife and daughter laughing, and me pulling into the driveway wondering if I hit something or have had a blow out. I remember one windy day when I just knew one of my kids were not going to make it back with their balloons. I took them from their hands and put them in our car for safe keeping. I opened one car door and my son opened up the other. I put the balloons in one car door and they flew out the other. As we watch the balloons fly away my wife enjoys a good hearty laugh as my children look at their flying balloons and ask me how and why did I do that. It was daddy, daddy go get them back.

I felt bad. I laughed but I still felt bad. A balloon means the world to a child. You can see it in their eyes. When do we stop liking balloons? When do they stop being so fascinating and important to us? When do the most simple of pleasures stop us from enjoying? When do we grow up? Some of us never grow up. I knew I never would. I think it is interesting that I live in a city that has a yearly hot air balloon festival. Coincidence?

I remember all this today because the hot water heater broke down last night. Times are hard and we didn’t need this expense. I was just trying to concentrate on keeping our house. The cars need some work. Yard work is piling up. The house needs cleaning. I have to go to my home town and deal with “FAMILY” issues. We are at a time of war. Do we eat or pay bills?

Today my wife researches the world of water heaters and I go to work. The day is spent with my wife and I talking on our cell phones trying to figure out the best deal. If we go to SEARS right away and purchase before noon we can get one installed the same day. I can’t afford to take off, but I can’t afford to go the weekend without hot water.

We get there and my wife has it all figured out as to which one we need. That is a good thing because there sure isn’t anything interesting to look at on a water heater. I mean they all look the same. They even have them in the very back of the store. Not a show room item in the least. My wife begins the negotiations and my mind begins to wander.

What is that over there. It looks like balloons. Pretty balloons just floating so free.

I walk over to them. They are so colorful. I want to take one home. I know, I’ll take them all home.

“Sir.... can I help you?” asks a voice from behind me.

“No thanks. I’ll just help myself!” I say as I take the balloons that were tied to the riding lawn mower.

“Sir, You can’t take those.”

“Who is going to stop me tool guy. YOU!?!”

“Hey, can I get so help over here?” the salesman says motioning over at the other counter.

Two other guys come to assist. I make a bee line through gardening knocking over shovels as run by with “MY” balloons. As I jump out into the dishwasher area I knock over a little old lady. I felt bad but she was in the wrong lane and she needs to watch where I’m going. The three guys chasing me trip over the old lady. I got a straight shot through the big screen TV department. there is the door. I look back for my wife and she is still arguing. She is on her own. This is about me and my balloons.

I’m about to hit the door when I see the lady from the vacuum cleaner department jump in front of the doors. She is holding the new Kenmore M6E330 XL Champ. It can suck up anything. It could suck your face off the bone but that isn’t what she is going to suck up. She is looking at my balloons! She is going to suck up my Balloons! I see her switching the vacuum nasal to the head with extra sucking capability.

“YOU can’t stop me Vacuum Lady!” I say out loud. “No one can stop me! I’m busting out of this mall, and the balloons are coming with me! DID YOU HEAR THAT?!!! THE BALLOONS ARE COMING WITH ME!!!!!!!” AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!”


“Keith. Keith! KEITH!!!! I said they can’t deliver today. Are you paying any attention? What do you want to do?” My wife says to me in that all too familiar voice.

“What?” I say back as if I just woke up from a dream. I even check my mouth to make sure I’m not drooling. “Oh yeah, sure.”

“Sure what?”

“Uh.... what was the question?” I say realizing only after the fact that that answer is going to get me into a lot of trouble.

It takes a little review but after I have been told all the facts I seemed to have missed, we make our decision and head out.

“Do you want to something to eat?” my wife asks me.

“No I can’t. I got get back to work.”

“I can bring you something? What do you want.”

“A balloon.” I answer.

“What? No really what do you want?”

“This whole thing has made my stomach upset. I’ll just go to work. Thanks!” I say good bye and drive off.

As I’m driving off I can’t help but think about money. I think about all the pressures involved with money. When did any of this become so important? When did play time stop? When did ..... what is that over there. It looks like..... balloons.

“Welcome to T-Mobile” says an overly excited salesperson. “Can we open up an account for you?”

“I want one of those.”

“You mean the balloons. Oh you have a little one in the car?” he says with a chuckle.

“No, I just want one of those balloons.”

“I can’t give you one. There for paying customers or kids.” his tone changes.

“Do you know who I am? I know Karate” I jolt back with a blank stare.

“Security!”

As I’m escorted back to my car I realize I’m having a nervous break down. I’m trying to latch onto my childhood. When and where did I loose it? Where is that playful energy? When I look into the mirror I see my dad. When the hell did that happen? Where did I get all those lines in my face? Everyone else I’m around never grew up so why did I?

I grew up because it was time. I have a family that depends on me. Because I love them, I can’t let them down. Because I love them I keep the outside world at bay so that the can enjoy life without the worry or the weight of the world. I grew up because I needed to for myself.

I guess I miss the passing of the torch. African tribes as well as Native American tribes have ceremonies when a child passes over into adulthood. It is a right of passage. This “Old Dawg” needs a party. It is time to recognize the child in me and be able to let him go so that I can become a man. I know just how I am going to do it.

On my next birthday (which is June 18th for those keeping score) I’m going to celebrate in style. Instead of presents I want balloons. From now until then, every week I’m going to buy a package of balloons. On my big day I’m going to air them up with helium and let them hit the ceiling. I’m going to write on them with a fat marker all the thoughts, worries, concerns, memories (good and bad), and just random things about me now and as a child. Then I want my family and who ever else is there to lie on the floor and watch my thoughts travel in and out of the room. You are all invited of course. Then before sunset, we will gather them all up and take them out side. We will let them go as the sun goes down and I will say good bye to my thoughts.

What goes up must come down, and as they come down I hope they inspire the people that find them to think about themselves and their thoughts. By letting go I hope I can begin to Red

                                                             Yellow
                                            Blue

                                                                            grow and feel my age with


                                    Orange


                                                                                                                          Blue
                         Pink

                                        grace and intelligence.
                                                       
                                                                  White

                        Be the father my children need me to be.

               Green


                                                  Red


                                Be the husband my wife needs me to be.



                                                                                                             White
                                                                Blue



                   Remember and cherish the child I was.


                                                   Purple

                                                                                            Yellow



                                                                  Maybe,


                                                                             just maybe,


                                       Red

                                                                                                                Blue

                                              I’ll be ready to be an man.




                                                              Orange


                                                                     Yeah, right!



"Avatar" movie reveiw by Keith "The Space Geek" Lee

 
What James Cameron’s “Avatar” succeeds in creating is a world that illuminates with passion and strength. The landscapes are so lush and full of organic life that you can smell and taste the air. What he fails to do is create personalities and a story line you WANT to care about.

I didn’t even know this movie existed until about two months ago. Being a sci-fi fan, I was “GEEKED” when I saw the trailer. It looked smoother than anything I had seen in the past 10 or so years. CGI animation has taken over for plot in the past decade leaving little to be remembered. I was hopeful when I saw this preview, but I didn’t hold my breath.

First thing I’d like to say is that I don’t blame Mr. Cameron. He is just trying to make a buck like the rest of us. Apparently this is a project he has been thinking about since he was 12 years old. The 12 year old in me thanks you very much. But the adult in me says, “What the Hell! Dig deeper than that!” After all these years and with your social and environmental causes, the only answer to violence is… VIOLENCE! James, James… way too easy. Show us real conflict. Show us humanity. The moral I left with is that no matter how vast our universe and how advanced we become there is only the will of destruction at our finger tips. In a way James is telling us that Geronimo should have been angrier and killed more people in order to drive away the white man and preserve his land for his people. Genocide my not have happened in Rwanda if the people persecuted were more fearless and courageous fighters. Courage in my book is not at the end of a laser gun. I like to attach my laser beams to sharks… but that is another story.

At least there are no silly time travel scenarios to gum up the plot. The CGI world still needs work though. It is jerky and not as seamless as reviews would lead you to believe. It is like going deep sea diving and needing to give your body time to acclimate. It takes a good 45 minutes to lose yourself and forget you are just watching a high tech movie. But when you do, it comes alive! I think I have been enchanted by sci-fi for so many years because I always wanted to find a world like this. There is a lot that is dealt with regarding tribal heritage and right of passage that is missed in today’s culture. I still think there could have been more. The determination it takes to prove yourself to your peers and (most importantly) to yourself is something that gets the blood pumping. It’s a plot that is plain and simple and comes down to win or lose. We have lost that ambition in our own society but we are willing to pay $10.00 a ticket (or $15.00 in 3-D) to see it on the big screen.

The imagery is the real winner here. The character designs for the indigenous people, plant vegetation, and the vast creatures that inhabit this world are breathtaking. Is it really something we have not seen before? No, but somehow this new world feels fresh and exciting.

Bottom line is that I can’t tell you how to think. You should go to see “Avatar” and judge for yourself. James Cameron’s vision is not mine but then maybe my ideals are equally as foolish. Doubtful, but I’ll leave that open for debate. I enjoyed the film on many levels but I’m still looking for that “Gone with the Wind” in outer space. This is not it and quite frankly I still give a damn. My intellect left wanting more but the kid in me had a great ride. I would love to tell Mr. Cameron what to do with his thoughts on social justice, but the fact that this movie will end up in my DVD collection says more about me and less about his lack of depth than I’d like to admit.
You know (come to think about it) It’s a good thing for George Lucas that I didn’t see “Star Wars” for the first time in my late 30s because I would have chewed his ass out too.

“The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” movie review by Keith Lee

 


As an artist, I can understand the desire and need to create your autobiography in a single body of work. Terry Gilliam’s new work is full of inner insight and career triumphs. But I left not knowing the man anymore than I already did and didn’t. You have to be a die hard fan to possibly catch everything that goes on in his latest illusion. I think of Terry Gilliam as more of a weaver than a film maker. His story telling is meshed with all types of references that you need to take a class on how to analyze the events you have just witnessed. But does he achieve inner perspective?

As far as a movie about story telling, the story isn’t all there and it is not the point of the film at all. Story telling is a distraction and this becomes a series of riddles for the characters as well as for the viewers to have to answer. It involves a holy man that meets the Devil who has a wager that is hard for a betting man to refuse. It is the ultimate card game of “Collecting Souls”. The two spend centuries battling wits while having the deepest admiration for each other. Why else would the game be played in the first place? In order to find those missing direction in life, Dr. Parnassus takes his tiny makeshift portable carnival down back alleys and untraveled streets in hopes of finding souls willing to participate in a world of imagination and one's own personal desires. All dreams of trial, jury, and execution are realized through the Doctor’s mind of magic. Mirror included of course.

Terry, like Tim Burton, is the master of illusion both figuratively and artistically. This alone is worth the price of admission. With a cast including Heath Ledger, Johnny Deep, Jude Law, and Colin Farell tag teaming on the lead character there is enough eye candy for the ladies as well as the ultimate “How to Build the Perfect Man” for the imagination. Men have something to gain in the art of charisma not just from the actors already listed, but more from Christopher Plummer and Tom Waits. These two giants hold this fairy tale balloon ride in place so that it doesn’t get full of itself and fly away. Both actors are amazing and the camaraderie between the two is the ultimate chess game. This movie would have been just as much of a pleasure to watch without the special effects and if it had been a film about a series of conversations between the two characters.

Lily Cole is not your typical big screen charm which makes her that much more appealing as the only leading lady. With her round doll face, huge child-like eyes, and long slender frame she looks more like a live action anime character come to life. I would like to see this narrative continue on as her character carries on where her dumbfounded alcoholic father left off.

Hidden in all the woven layers are the true talents of the supporting actors Andrew Garfield and Verne Troyer, who add an element of dimension to what some may consider to be a pretentious and convoluted story about right or wrong.

“The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” is clearly an art film and aimed more at cult classic than main stream efforts. That is what I love about Gilliam’s work. It is that private joke between an insane few and myself. I appreciate the walk on the edge of surrealism and look forward to the next chapter. Dali would be proud. This is clearly not a film for everyone but rather the select few that can find beauty in dirt, love in deception, and faith in a pair of dice.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

One World One Heart

One World One Heart (OWOH) is an international blogging event that was begun three years ago by Lisa Swifka of A Whimsical Bohemian.

 
It's about meeting other bloggers and exploring their work, whether they are an artist, a writer, or have other interests. And as you visit each blog, you may leave a comment to be entered in a drawing for a "giveaway" item from each blogger.  I'm running a bit late (the event started on January 25), and at this point there are over 1060 bloggers participating.
 
For this giveaway, I'm offering a high quality print of this original work of art by me. The image is a self portrait of my twisted little reality. There is a poem I wrote for my children that goes with this image. Pictures always speak louder than words so they really dig the photo. They make their own conclusions of what is going on which makes the story I wrote that much more interesting because I never know how it is going to end. I'm still playing with the image as every day it takes on a life of its own. Thank you for your visit (a.k.a. Mr. Hatter). 

Okay - here's what you have been waiting for.  Just leave a comment below in the comments section for this blog entry to be entered into a drawing for her, along with a way to get in touch if you're the winner - your blog link, or an email if you're not a blogger. One comment per person, please!

I'll use a random number generator at the end to pick the winner. The event HAS BEGUN and ends at midnight on February 14, 2010. I'll pick the winner on February 15. 

I have just started blogging and I am currently putting together an artist fan page on Facebook - please join my page for updates!

 

Cool Video by Paperhand Lincoln

Love's Lost Glance

 

The snail told me the story
Of love that left in a hurry.

"Did you see that?"
asked the bowl of pudding to the rat.
The Rat sneered 
as he drank his beer.

"I can't stand the feline beast,
I can't stand her in the least."
He dropped his glance
as his stare became a trance.
He did fancy the fur
that covered her.

"Still, she is quite divine
As she sips her wine.
If it were day
and I had my way,
I think I would propose
and make a friend of a foe."

Pudding, always eager to please
said with the most comfort and ease,
"But it is night,
and the mood is just right.
Why not ask her to dance?
Go on, take this chance."

The sneer came back to the rat.
"My dear friend, I could do that.
But if my belly is as empty as the cat
she might reject in order to get fat."

Pudding puzzled as she said,
"It is possible you would be left dead,
but isn't love worth the fall,
Than to have never loved at all?"

"I have a better idea in mind,"
as the rat left curiosity behind.
"Lost love may be willing
but food in the belly is more filling.
Now dear, it's time to dine
On your behalf, friend of mine."

"Oh dear," was all she said.
The pudding was soon fed
to the red beady eyes
that lurk behind the devilish disguise.
He gobbeled her up, that dirty rat.
Now his belly was full and fat.

And what became of the cat?
She simply vanished, just like that.
Night will eventually turn into day
and youth will pass away.
Maybe love will get a second chance
to look upon with first glance.

Lead with the heart and not the gut.
Keep friends and lovers close, but
I doubt the vain can do that.
That foolish rat!

Then the snail slithered away,
probably to love another day.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Advice From Mr. Hatter

Dear Hatter,

I just met the girl of my dreams and it has been a wonderful few weeks together. Her Birthday is coming up and I don’t know what to get her. What do you give a woman that has everything a person could possibly want? Isn’t giving her my heart enough?

Signed,

Hopelessly In Love


Dear Mr. Hopeless,

Excuse me for a minute. BARF! You are new at this couples thing, aren’t you? The only thing your heart is going to buy you is the good intension of spending the day with her and a long history of dating other women because you dropped the ball on this one. So you are telling me a couple of things here. You are telling me that you are too lame to find that really unique gift that makes her want to open up to you like a blooming rose. It doesn’t sound like you are ready for that anyway Romeo. You are also saying that the fantasy woman of interest has a lot of stuff lying around. I’ll help you with the second notion. Come a little closer because I don’t want you to miss it. Storage bins. Yeah that’s right. Storage bins. What you are saying is that you think she has really cool junk and you want to help her organize it so that she knows where everything is. If you are handy, make her a display cabinet so she can put up her crap all nice and neat so that her palace ends up looking like an Art Gallery. You would be showing the domestic nesting side of yourself which would throw her off because you’re not asking for sex from a tacky piece of lingerie that is REALLY for you, and that you really care about her interests enough to really want to get to know her. Remove the idea of sex (especially around her Birthday) from her head and yours and you will see how fast that blooming rose theory works.

If you want her for ever, then make her a fancy shoe rack so that she can display all those toe holders she has in the closet. All women (and I mean ALL women) be they short, tall, big, small, timid, wild, straight, or gay LOVE shoes. Is that sexist to say? Yes. Is it true? You try and prove me wrong. In fact they love other people’s shoes as much as their own. You know what… don’t get her anything. Save up your money and buy yourself a nice gleaming pair of shoes. Make them look good so that she wants to parade you around. Women want to be with a man that has great taste. I guess the real reason they look at shoes so much is because to them they are the key to the soul. They what to know that the person they are with isn’t constantly stepping in shit, especially their future boyfriends.

Sincerely,

Mr. Hatter