Friday, November 21, 2008
This is a picture of my dog, Arden. I am too swamped today to walk him, but at least I get to honor him with a picture on this blog. Somehow I don't think he thinks this is a good trade-off.
My DVD is finally finished and available. You can get it on Amazon.com or from Skeptic.com or at ffrf.org. Amazon doesn’t have it as a possible in-your-hands-date until Dec. 11th even though I shipped them the DVDs. I'm breathing a sigh of relief that the finishing of it all has been accomplished. It’s done, done, done. Also, if you’re interested, you can view the trailer, the audience q & a, and the audience interviews on YouTube. If you go to my website, and look under “Stuff I’m doing” and click on Letting Go of God – you’ll get the mini-web-page for the DVD and a pointer to the extras on YouTube.
I'm still in the after-glow of Obama winning the presidency. I'm ooing and ahing over each cabinet nomination. I have been convinced that Hillary Clinton is a good pick for Secretary of State, even though foreign affairs seems to have been the topic on which she and Barack most diverged. But I think Hillary was making herself out to be more of a hawk than she really is. She had to prove she could be tough and aggressive as a woman, and that is one way to flex your muscles. I’m hoping she does eventually become President, after eight years of Obama. I also hope that she can remake the Secretary of State job into something that she can use to promote herself as President even though history has not been kind to Secretary of State presidential bids. But we’re in a new era, and she can recreate that role.
There are numerous things regarding the Obama Presidency that I’m chewing on and mulling over, but one of the most inconsequential and picayune (and yet real) is this: , Barack Obama is younger than me. By two years. Two years younger! Seeing what he has done with his life has made me reassess all my own life choices. For example, when Barack was at Harvard Law school I was spending most of my energy on guys and parties and writing skits. How was he so smart to marry someone else so smart, so young???
Obviously, I didn’t choose politics, but I just marvel at Barack’s skill at sizing up the playing fields within various institutions and coming out a winner. I realize how much younger, emotionally, I was, how naïve I was, how lacking in ambition I was in my twenties and thirties. I don’t feel bad about myself, I’m glad for all I’ve done. But Barack’s ability to excel just takes my breath away. He does his homework. I kind of tried to fudge my homework an hour before class.
The other thing I am thinking is that… wow… I’m middle aged. Really middle aged. In the middle. I have spoken about this with many of my friends and most of them seem to be going through the same emotional readjustment – we are older than our President! It used to be that old white guys were president. Now it’s a younger half-white guy. We are thrilled, we are supportive and we all could care less about skin color – but age.? The age thing! Younger? How can this be?
The last time this happened to me was when I began to notice that soldiers were younger than me. It was just the same thing. Soldiers were older men who fought for us and defended us. Suddenly they weren’t. They were younger guys who even looked like teenagers. Then we realized that many of them were teenagers. It was a shock.
I am starting to go into overwhelm as I get ready to move. The books in the living room are packed, but not the hallway. I have drawers full of old mail, receipts, half-written letters. I’m having to face all of it. It’s like going through your own dirty laundry and having to smell each piece of clothing closely. YUCK.
Monday, November 10, 2008
The protesters to Prop 8 are surrounding Saddleback Church (Pastor Rick Warren – The Purpose Driven Life) and the Cathedral downtown and the Mormon Temple in Westwood – and I think this is just awesome. These religious organizations gave millions to support Prop 8 and I’m so glad it’s getting riotous now. I want their reputations damaged over this. The writing is really on the wall in terms of gay marriage – it’s going to be law sooner or later. We know from the election that people under 40 voted overwhelmingly against the Prop that banned gay marriage. Time will make their wishes law as the older people die off -- that sounds so callous, but it’s true. I’m so glad that these churches are reaping the social damage that they have inflicted. I even suspect they don’t even care that much about two people of the same sex getting married anyway. I think this issue is being used to galvanize people toward their churches. But I think instead, they're alienating their future parishioner, forcing their base into a shrinking corner.
I am writing all day today and then doing a benefit tonight at the Geffen Theater for Autism – see autismspeaks.org. I am reading a few pages from “Letting Go of God.”
The picture of the day is of the three pumpkins that Mulan, Michael and I each carved for Halloween, dressed up in wigs and a hat by me and Mulan.
I packed three boxes of books last night, my first step towards moving day (which will be mid-December.) It felt good. I don't know why I don't have sad feelings leaving this house. I mean, I think I SHOULD feel sad. But I don't, not one bit. I just want to move. I'll be back here eventually - I'm renting the house while we're gone, which may be years. So maybe knowing that I will return makes it easier. On the other hand, when I think of even selling this place now - I don't think I would feel bad about that either! I have so much junk in my house that I'm exhilarated to be getting rid of, it's hard to work in my office when I really want to be filling boxes with things for Good Will. Everyone should move every ten years just to force themselves to confront their shit. Why do I keep so much junk? I want to be free of all of it!
My brother-in-law is visiting and yesterday afternoon we went to Baby Blues Barbecue in Santa Monica - simply the best BBQ anywhere. I ran into my business manager who was there with a friend who is a Baby Blues Barbecue fanatic. I have left-over ribs in the fridge. They are calling out to me, even now.
Tomorrow if Veteran's Day and Mulan is out of school. WHAT THE HELL!?!?!? Now that I am a parent, I am against all random one-day holidays.
Letting Go of God, the DVD, is available on Amazon and they've already ordered over a hundred copies - even though the DVD won't be shipped until Friday to Amazon and isn't officially available until Nov. 21st. This is great. Clips and interviews and some behind the scenes stuff is going up on UTube later this week.
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Like everyone else, I am breathing again. I am exhilarated. I am giddy, I am relieved, and I am a little concerned about my new internet-news habit. I went from, only a few months ago, being a person who read the articles on Salon.com few-times-a-day to an impulsive online checker of the Huffington Post, Politico, The Daily Beast and others. I thought that once Barack won, I would calm down, but no, I have not. I am becoming obsessed with a whole new cast of characters. I knew who they were, like Rahm Emanuel, Valerie Jarrett, David Axelrod. But now I am oh-so-much-more interested. I am reading their Wikipedia entries, mulling over their life choices as I shop at the grocery store. It’s like West Wing is now Real Life!
I can’t write much, but I wanted to post something. I was so overwhelmed election night I got up and watched Obama’s speech again online and then read the text again in the morning. Brilliant, simple, eloquent, moving, perfect. I only wished for one thing that wasn’t there. When he said America was a country of black, white, asian, gay, straight– and then disabled, etc… I wished he had added religious and not religious. But I don’t want to criticize. I am so happy he is our new President. What a relief.
I am surprised at how much the weight of President Bush being our embarrassing and terrible president had on me. It’s all lifted now. I know, Obama hasn’t started yet and he will surely have an uphill battle and will make some false moves and all that – but what a RELIEF! I am over the moon. I am asking myself things like, “What would Obama do?” when it comes to personal and professional matters in my own life!!! I admit this is over the top. But I think that what impressed me the very most over these last few months was Obama’s temperament. As a person who works in Hollywood, when every script or character choice is all about maximizing emotion and pizzazz (most of the time) it’s nice to be reminded that being quiet, determined and forceful is a great way to win. I began to see McCain’s temperament (minus the backstabbing dirty politics) as me at my worst – emotional, impulsive, without researching enough, and Obama’s temperament more like the one I aspire to have: methodical, un-ruffable, plodding, thoughtful.
And how satisfying is Palin’s fall from grace? Is that bad to be giddy over it? I love that Obama didn’t have to do anything at all, she just revealed her true self and it was terrible and I was so glad! I know that doesn’t reveal my most charitable side, but GOD THAT WOMAN. I admit to relishing in her lack of knowledge about Africa being a continent and not knowing the countries in NAFTA. I admit that it’s petty! I love that she hanged herself. She did it all to herself. Oh, lord, it is true after all Character Is Fate.
I could not be more satisfied. Well – I hope Al Franken gets in, but all in all, I am really happy. Well, prop 8 won, that was terrible. Really bad. But it is all a matter of time for that one, I think.
p.s. my brother told me yesterday that Sarah Palin named her son Trig, Trig Van Palin because she is a Van Halen fan and... I guess rhyming Van Halen with her name is some sort of tribute. That gave me many good laughs yesterday. My friend Chris said if she was a true fan she would have done that with her eldest child and not waited so long.
p.p.s. The picture I posted (blogs always seem so much better with a picture) is of an American Girl doll bed that my friend Julia made for my daughter Mulan for her birthday. Mulan is best friends with her daughter Coco and there is much sadness about the fact that we are moving at the end of the year. The adults involved are all gaga over the bed, more so than the kids. We change the arrangement of the pillows, we turn the bed from winter time to summer time spreads, it's all very fun.