Saturday, March 29, 2008

“Letting Go of God” got into the Seattle Film Festival! I am so happy. I’m not sure of any more details, but this will be the public world premier. And in Seattle! What could be better? Also, I'm so happy the forum is up and running. I've been enjoying reading all the entries. What a relief to have that up.

Friday, March 28, 2008

The forum is back. Click on the link listed just to the right. All these great conversations should be happening there.

And for the record, even after I was so angry at Hillary over this whole running-from-sniper-fire comment and weird retraction, I STILL actually like her. And I would support her if she got the nomination.

I just left Jill Sobule’s house where we listened to the Earth Day special I did that’s going to play on some NPR stations on April 22. Jill did the music. It sounds okay! Jill of course, is fabulous. I feel I make some jokes I wish I hadn’t and I say “right” way too much during interviews with people, but overall I am deeply proud of it.

Not much more to report. A Jill and Julia website is in development. We are doing two shows next weekend here in L.A.

Oh! The big news for me was looking at a rough cut of the trailer for “Letting Go of God” and it looks really nice.

Well, I just wanted to make a post to say… let’s take this party into a bigger room, shall we? Please go sign into the forum. I’ll still be posting here – I was (when the old forum was up) posting blog entries in both places, but I will probably only do my blog entries on here. But I will comment and post as well on the forum.

See you.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Oh Lord. That whole thing with Hillary Clinton and being under fire in Bosnia is so embarrassing. And I hate her response to it, I hate the first part of her response and I hate the last part of her response. Even though, “I was mistaken” is normally something I like to hear someone say – it’s true, it’s to the point, and yes we are all mistaken about things, this was not a small thing. She was trying to portray herself as a hardened and seasoned international-relations person and even if she did blow the event up in her memory, it’s more than just being mistaken. She was speaking from prepared notes when she made those comments about Bosnia. I mean, come on!

She should have said, “I’m horribly embarrassed. I have lost confidence in my own memories!” Or, "I was trying to show how internationally seasoned I am diplomatically and how brave, but that was a terrible example of it." Simply saying she was mistaken is not enough.

THEN, the second part – “It proves I’m human, which, y’know, for some people, is a revelation.” That part of the response is even worse! What is that supposed to mean? That some people think she is super-human? That seems snotty and arrogant. But actually, I think she was trying to make the opposite point, that reporters are picking apart picayune references in her speech and they think she's... I guess... sub-human? Odd, it doesn't really make sense to me.

Normally I agree, the press pounces on the smallest inconsistency. This, though, is not small. God, how could she not have looked into that memory before parading it around like that - in a speech from notes? About something so easily checked into?

Obama is looking better and better compared with her and he’s not even doing anything, all he has to do is stand there and he looks great.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I keep listening to stories about the problems in Tibet. Every story I’ve heard frames the issues mostly on religious freedom, and that is partly true, I think. But I think it’s mostly about family and money.

I spent some time in Tibet about nine years ago. I vaguely supported the Tibetans and wanted them to have their religious freedom. (I still believe this but understand the issue is more complex, now.) When I got to Lhasa, I was surprised at how bad things were for the Tibetans.

The Han Chinese are distinctly different looking than the Tibetans, so it made the difference between their economic status starker and sadder. When I was there, Tibetans were generally not allowed to own a business at all. There was some wiggle room, but it was much more difficult for them to own a business. Contrast this with the Han Chinese, who not only came from a culture that had business ownership in their history in a major way, were given financial incentives to move to Tibet to open a business.

The Tibetans were, and probably still are a nomadic people mostly and they were cloistered together in Tibetan ghettos in the city or wandering around, wide eyed and looking lost.

The Han Chinese were openly disdainful of them. They were opening businesses everywhere and the Tibetans were in the way.

Then there was the kid thing. Tibetans are required to keep to the one-child policy (or at least this is what was true.) but the Han Chinese, if they moved to Tibet, were allowed to have as many children as they wanted. When I was in Kunming, in southern China, where I spent some time before I went to Tibet, there were signs that advertised moving to Tibet. They offered the chance to have more than one child and help with starting a business.

Where did the Chinese get inspiration from for this policy that was systematically marginalizing the Tibetans and over time, reducing their numbers? The U.S. policy towards Native Americans, that’s where.

When I was in Tibet, it was like getting a first hand look at what it must have been like in many areas of the U.S. a hundred and fifty or so years ago. Lost looking Native Americans wandering through industrial cities built by immigrant Europeans (for the most part.)

It was so sad to see this. It was heartbreaking. When I saw the picture of all the Chinese goods being trashed in the streets in Lhasa, that was on the cover of the New York Times yesterday, it made perfect sense to me.
In front of the big monastery in Lhasa, the one that the Dalai Lama fled from, there used to be a big reflecting pond. You were able to look at the majestic monastery than and you were able to see it’s reflection in the pond. It must have been beautiful. The Chinese had covered up the reflecting pond with tar, and made a big parking lot sized tarred area out of it. Then they parked a military plane on it. So you couldn’t see the monastery so well without also seeing an ominous symbol of Chinese control.

I’m not sure that Tibet becoming a religious monarchy again is such a good idea. The Dalai Lama doesn’t even think this is possible or good either. But the Tibetans do need the ability to open business and better ways of assimilating rather than being shut out. And it’s so sad, not only are the Tibetans not allowed to own business (except under extreme circumstances) they can’t even look at a picture of the symbol of their culture, a picture of the Dalai Lhama.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

It’s Easter. Mulan got a basket with candy and we went on an Easter egg hunt. Next year Mulan will be too old for it – many of her friends parents who have kids just a wee bit older than Mulan have given up on it, and I suspect that next year will be her last with this sort of thing. But it does feel like Spring! Eggs and hotter whether. Grills and outdoor heaters (Michael is putting one together as I type…)

Last night Michael and I watched all the trailers for “Expelled,” the anti-evolution, intelligent design movie that Ben Stein made, or appears to have made, that’s opening in movie theaters on April 18th. I am just speechless.

Well, sort of.

What it made me feel most of all wasn’t anger, it wasn’t defeat or fear either. It was just this overwhelming tiredness. I feel so weary. It made me want to sleep and just try to get away from people who want to debate this topic at all.

To be honest, this shouldn’t even be something that is even being debated. It only continues to be in the public discourse at all because of the lack of sophisticated science education amongst the general public, coupled with groups who have a vested interest in keeping people confused on these matters, mixed with a darker push from elected officials (and some judges and those in power, funded by the more conservative religious groups) who use issues like this to rile people up and make the more complicated, truer view of life’s nature and origins seem as though it’s a debate between those who are moral and good and those who are cruel and heartless. So that when people skim the issue it appears as though those people (on the side of God) are the moral and just ones. They’re nicer. Cause, y’know, they believe in God. They are “open” to a God implanting and guiding life to it’s crowning glory, human beings! ARGH.

And I just… oh jeez.

Ben Stein once did a Groundling show, an improv show, that I was a part of. I found him to be spectacularly ill-informed and narcissistic and weirdly devoted to his schtick and worst of all, hacky. He didn’t listen to his fellow performers and played everything outward to his friends in the audience who laughed (fake, forced) at every single thing he did. When he became known as a “thinker” – when his public persona became the “smart guy” I was astounded. So this type of film does not come as any surprise.

I can’t listen to his voice. I can’t stand how he draws out his vowels in that fake-professorial way. He’s a cartoon character, for God’s sake.

But to a lot of people he will appear to make sense. His style will have the stamp of truthfulness to it (because his voice sounds so… um… smart!) and it will also make people feel better about what they already believe and what has made them feel comfortable their whole lives. And yet, if his mission is realized, which is to change education practice so that evolution isn’t taught properly, it will only end up handicapping our kids in a world who is – generally – moving towards a greater understanding of science which can lead to advances in technology which can lead to – well, it can lead to prosperity among other things. So they want evolution out, and handicapping their kids science education in, and yet they want a better and brighter future for their kids.

I hope this movie dies a horrible and embarrassing death.

“What The Bleep Do We Know?” gave some people a cheap and temporary spiritual blast of hot air and now this movie will give some people a cheap reason to be self-righteous in the name of science when they are being anything BUT. ARGH.

Well, I guess I am a little angry.


Friday, March 21, 2008

I got up early and all I’ve been “ripping” (as-they-say) is Duke Ellington. I guess I didn’t have all my music organized in alphabetical order. It was at one point. Anyway, it’s a Duke Ellington morning. Who knew I had so much and why do I have so much? I mean, I feel a little Duke Ellington goes a long way. But then, I feel badly if I consider not putting it in my music library when I have it.

I am not going to TAM this year. I love TAM too, I’m going to miss it. I have another thing planned then, and it was going to be too hard. And also, as Mulan gets older, she gets harder to leave rather than easier. Now she’s this person I am so entrenched with, in this never ending conversation with, and she has all her classes and so forth, and taking her with me (which I have done before) is difficult because she is not into the skeptic conventions yet and leaving her here is too expensive and I don’t like it. Anyway, I decided to take a break for a year, maybe two, from the skeptic conferences. I don’t want anyone holding me to that – I am going to introduce someone at the Atheists Alliance International in the fall, which is going to be near where I live, in Los Angeles. But that is it. I have gotten some great emails about TAM, and I wish in some ways I were going. But I am not.

I am learning to navigate myself around my new website, and I put up the song that Jill Sobule wrote for my movie, a song called “Letting Go of God.” I think it’s a great song. I helped write the lyrics and anyway, you can listen or download it now off my home page and that makes me so happy.

I’m working now on a trailer for the film – actually a couple of versions of the trailer and the website that will be devoted just to Letting Go of God – the movie. And the forum is going to be back soon, by the end of next week, maybe sooner.

I would still be happy to support Hillary if she gets the nomination. But I think we have an opportunity with Barack that is irresistible. Now I can’t remember if I put this in a blog entry before or not, but last Fall when I was going to vote in our primary – oh jeez, that wasn’t last Fall, that was in February! Lord. Anyway, I was driving to my voting place and Mulan asked me if I were voting for Barack or for Hillary, and I said “Barack” and she said, “Yeah, because a woman can’t be president, right?” OH! That just killed me! It almost made me change my vote right there. Of course all I do now is drill into her how it is possible for a woman to be president and wouldn’t that be wonderful if she were and blah blah blah. Then later, when I was listening to Barack give the speech this week on race, she was listening with me. Now, to Mulan, Barack is not of another race than well, anyone else. He is just a guy. For her the difference between people if mainly if are they are male or female or they are kids or adults and if they are easy or strict. Race is not on her radar in any way. It would be so awesome to have a woman be our president. But I just… It’s very hard for me to like Hillary. Just everything in me, just… well, it’s hard for me. And I hate her religiosity. And I hate that she voted for the war.

Okay, I’m rehashing everything again. BORING.

If anyone is watching “Make Me A Supermodel” on Bravo – and I confess, against all my better judgment, I am -- mostly because of Mulan (see how I blame her!?) – I think Perry will win. But I like Ronnie the best. And I like how Holly looks the best – even amongst all the models – I like her look. But jeez, she starts talking and she’s like a roaming baby deer wandering on the freeway. But then she does the catwalk and she’s all THAT. I don’t know, I like her. The former prison guard frightens me. He seems to be playing out that time old, homophobia, homoerotic dance that feels like it’s going to end up with someone getting killed, where he is the killer. That is probably not fair, just a feeling, y’know… I think Perry will win because he’s got the right personality for a TV competition win, big and grand, young and beautiful, outrageous and insecure, needing it and heterosexual, but willing to do anything with anyone, reckless and arrogant, he's got it all. But Ronnie! Ronnie! He deserves it, I swear, he really does.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Neil Young. Young Fresh Fellows. Violent Femmes. This is what I’m downloading tonight. I can see I am nearing the end of the alphabet. I think two more days and I’m done downloading all my music. This is very exciting.

The forum is going to return! It has taken a while, and I almost dispensed with it, but I am inspired to have it again. This time the company that hosts my website is going to build and host it, so it will not crash. I will have my same administrator as before. It should be up and running by the end of next week.

Tonight I had over two friends who live in Santa Fe who I haven’t seen in years. They bought their son, who is around Mulan’s age. It used to be that Mulan would play with boys and girls the same, I mean, she didn’t differentiate between the sexes that much. What meant the most to Mulan was that they were a kid. But now I can see it creeping in, the “he” is “other” kind of feeling. As in, “he’s not going to play American Girl dolls with me, so what is the point?” Ah, me.

I am a Obama supporter. I loved his speech, the one he gave yesterday. I read it first and it was so eloquent and it made me feel so patriotic – unexpectedly, deeply, actually tearing up and all that. Later I heard an excerpt on the radio, of Barack actually giving the speech and I thought it didn’t sound as good. But still. He’s awesome. I would support Hillary if she gets the nomination, but Barack has my unabashed enthusiasm.

Also, on the religion front (since that’s what I normally make comments about…) I feel Barack is more sincere about it than Hillary. (You know, I hate using his last name and her first name –that feels unfair somehow – but saying “Clinton” also feels wrong – “Clinton” to me is Bill Clinton. And Hillary is… Hillary.) Anyway, when Barack talks about his religiosity, I sense a genuine desire to be part of a religious tradition and he admits that he has deep doubt and that his faith has always included doubt, deep doubt. But Hillary – I don’t know. I feel she is pandering when she talks about religion. I mean I guess they are both doing that, but someone I don’t buy it with Hillary – or I feel that if it is truly sincere, it’s scary sincere.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

*** I wrote this blog entry this weekend in Spokane, and now I am back in L.A. I read the comments on my last entry and I'm so happy that here are other Bravo reality show junkies out there! I am into Make Me A Supermodel too - even though I really, really hate that show. Mulan is the one who makes me watch it. (See how I blame her?) Anyway, here's my entry today **

I am in Spokane, visiting my mother, who is recovering from a surgery to her foot, and she is in a wheelchair. My brother, who broke his back last summer after falling backwards off of a tool case while changing a light bulb, (hospital for months, five surgeries, walks slowly with a cane now and still recovering) is living with my mother and caring for her. My mother got MRSA while she was in the hospital – which is that horrible Superbug that is mostly anti-biotic resistant, and she has to be on this specialized super-specific-anti-biotic drip for an hour a day and my brother Bill is administering the drip. He’s gotten good at it. That’s because while he was in the hospital in Seattle, he also got MRSA (!) and had to be on a drip for several months. He also had to have many surgeries where they opened him up and put these anti-biotic beads right on the infection (in his back – ug!) Now he’s taking care of my mom. MRSA is really scary. For example, more people die from MRSA infections in the U.S. than from AIDS. (Now if I were online right now, I would go check if that were true, but my doctor told me that.) Not all hospitals test for it when patients arrive. I know Cedars does, in Los Angeles. According to my mother’s nurse who was here when we arrived in Spokane yesterday, it’s not contagious unless someone actually touches the open wound, or if the person has MRSA in their lungs, which means they could cough and someone else could get it that way. While I had the flu last month, I did a lot of reading about MRSA. I’m tell you, MRSA is so frightening.
So, we can’t do much, because my mom is in the wheelchair. But we did manage to go downtown to the movies last night. Mulan and I saw “Horton Hears A Who.” My mother saw “The Other Boleyn Girl” in the theater next door. We wheeled her in, and I am so appreciative of those wheel chair spaces now – for parking and for movies. Mulan and I absolutely loved “Horton.” She was laughing so hard – truly guffawing, big deep belly laughs. It’s really a great movie and adults will like it too. I would see it again. And it looks fabulous and it moves along and it’s really funny.
This is what I’m thinking about on the religion front lately, which is this: how it’s so useful and why it evolved. Well, I guess I’m always thinking about that, but I am turning over a certain aspect of it now. I think that’s because I have been marveling of late over the migration of humans. Michael, Mulan and I all had our DNA tested by this National Geographic migration of humans thing (you can find out about it on their website.) They test the mitochondria of your dna – which runs through the female line, mother to children – the father’s mitochondria doesn’t get inherited. This way they can follow a path of migration from Africa, through the world, through the mother’s line. (Men can get their Y chromosome tested, too, as well as their mitochondria.) Anyway, I found it to be really interesting and since we got our results back – all of ours were typical and no surprises for our race or heritage – I’ve been thinking about humans on the move.
As a species, we are so migrating-y. I’ve been musing about how many people, in the history of our species, picked up and left and never saw their parents again (or friends or loved ones) and how did they do it? Just think of how many generations of this – pre-phones and pre-mail, and pre-knowledge even of what was ahead. The terrifying decisions to setout, the millions of times this has happened, the slow and random and deliberate and desperate and determined journey. And they would never see their loved ones again. And likely die along the way because there was so little knowledge of what lied ahead. I mean, a lot of the time.
I have been thinking of more recent history too; and about my own genetic history, which is predominantly Irish. So many of my relatives left Ireland, never to see their country again, never to look in the face of their parents again. And how typical that really is – how traveling we (as a species) are, how daring and brave and probably stupid too. And anyway, I have just been thinking about that a lot.
And then that made me think about faith and belief and I imagine that if you believed you were going to see your loved ones again, somehow, someway, after death, in some enlightened place, well, the leaving would be much, much easier. If we didn’t believe in reunions after death and fate and destiny and all that – well, we might not have traveled all that far.
I have been reading a lot lately about those recent experiments – about the placebo effect in regards to the price of painkillers. They gave patients with pain two pills – both of which were sugar pills which did nothing at all – and one pill cost a low price and one pill cost a high price and the high priced pill gave significantly more relief than the lower priced pill. This kind of study – while its results are not surprising to me, are deeply unsettling. It makes me ask questions of myself – like about my own skepticism. I am still on the fence over whether it has really enhanced my life in some ways. In some ways it definitely has – on balance it is a great thing. But believing in something – which this study proves is real – can deliver real physiological effects. And, well, it all just makes me think about, well – all of that.

Today we are going to go to a tux shop to rent a tux for my brother for the wedding and we are going to the carousel downtown and probably to Auntie’s Bookstore where Mulan wants to get a book about dinosaurs. And it’s the St. Patrick’s Day parade today here too.

Okay, I wrote that this morning. Now my mother and my brother and I are in a big discussion about generic drugs. My mother says she believes the name brand drugs do work better. She really believes they do. She thinks that the name brand drugs come from companies that are more reliable and care more about their products having the accurate, quality ingredients. And so naturally she feels they work better. Hmmm… I don’t know if that is an elaborate excuse or a good reason to get name brand and not generic.

I can say this, believing is useful. So, the question becomes, how far do you want to look into something that is working for you if you believe it? It’s not just about religion, it pervades everything.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

OMG I am so blogging all the time now. Thank you so much for the great comments!!!! Oh! I loved the one about believing in the myth of ourselves. That was such an awesome post and so true and so chilling and I can’t stop thinking about that. And the Nilsson fans! I absolutely must get that Randy Newman Harry Nilsson CD, I must I must. I just have one song with that combination of people, and that is Randy Newman singing “Remember” which Nilsson wrote. I watched everything on YouTube that you could watch of Nilsson. I want to see that movie about him too.

Today I loaded on so much Bruce Springsteen. Someone came to one of my shows, a long time ago, and they brought with them all the major Springsteen Cds which had been reissued with bonus Cds and enhanced liner notes and gave them to me! So I finally got all that music on my computer. Then a lot of Nina Simone and Frank Sinatra and Syd Straw. That was my day, music wise today.

Largo, this club that I occasionally perform at – lately mostly with Jill Sobule -- is moving it's location to the Coronet Theater – on La Cienega, where I did "God Said Ha!" for many months. I love that theater. Flanagan and I were talking about it yesterday before Jill did her show last night – we may do the Jill & Julia show there in the little theater (there will be two theaters…) Randy Newman even may be doing something there – stay tuned. I am really excited for Flanney to get into this space, this is going to be great, I think.

Today I worked on my book for only two hours. I am trying to turn off the Internet connection, along with the phone and even the stereo and write for three hours a day. That may seem like a short amount of time, but let me tell you, this is so hard to accomplish. But so far, I am really into it. And I’ve had a good week. Then, I rewarded myself and I spoke to a friend who owns a bakery about a wedding cake. That was basically my day. Then, for dinner, I grilled salmon outside on the bbq and asparagus and red pepper. A good eating day.

I am so all over this Spitzer stuff. I can’t stop reading about it. The girl was – is – only 22. God, his daughters are probably near that age – it’s so awful. I didn’t like his resignation speech or his “yes, I did it” speech. So disappointing. I flip flop on how I feel about prostitution. Basically I think it should be legalized, but I just read Kristof’s op-ed in the New York Times about how it’s worked – legalizing prostitution – in other countries and I guess, well, not so clearly a good thing. In any case, it’s so compelling. What is his wife feeling, thinking – is she on automatic? She might not be able to really process much if this was a big shock (and how could it not have been?) – but Lordy, Lordy.

I am confessing this: I watched “The Housewives of New York City.” I watched the first episode last week and the second one last night. That show is also deeply disturbing. There is a scene with one of the mothers, one of the… housewives… talking her overweight daughter into going to a “de-tox” on Martha’s Vineyard. She suggests to her daughter that she should “want” to go – coaches her into saying she wants to go to lose weight, and in one second, gets self righteous and asks her daughter to thank her for sending her. I watched that scene twice. I thought, “I could write a whole screenplay based on that one scene.”

My gateway drug with the reality shows is/was Project Runway, which I think is one of the best shows on TV. I love that show, I have no guilt over that show, that is a great show. I have never seen creative people compete in such a realistic and unpredictable and compelling way as it is on that show. But then – but then, I watched previews for other Bravo shows and I got into “The Millionaire’s Matchmaker” and then, now, this, the lowest of the low – the Housewives of New York City. As my future mother-in-law said, because she also watched an episode, also because she watched Project Runway – which I got her into – she said, “Shows like that just show you… well, it’s time for revolution.”

Oh! This is why I love the Internet age. Darden Smith! Darden Smith! I love(d) Darden Smith – I have two albums of his, I went to one of his concerts a long, long time ago. And I get to look him up and read about him! He has a blog. Sure, he hasn’t written in about a year, but still, you get the gist. I also loaded on a lot of NRBQ today too – oh, I forgot to mention that. Oh NRBQ. How I love that band. Big Al.

I was so glad to read the post from the philosophy professor too. Thank you so much. I have to finish my book and at least get it out there. If the movie isn’t going to be prominent – well, at least the book can be counted amongst the books about this topic. Anyway, your comment will keep me writing tomorrow too.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I got the flu. I was so sick. I am only now getting back to somewhat of a normal state. Tomorrow I’m working out at the gym for the first time in a month. This is noteworthy, I never go that long unless I’m traveling. It’s weird to be sick. It makes you sad. That seems like a no-brainer, but I’m telling you I was seriously sad.

I am still not sure what’s happening with the movie. We didn’t get into any of the major film festivals and we are waiting to find out about some smaller ones. I am hankering to just release the thing – get it out there myself. I liked doing it with the CD and there is something very tactile about releasing something yourself on the Internet, it is very empowering. Even though I hate that word, “empowering.”

While I was sick, I began to load my Cds onto my iTunes on my computer. I had, or rather have, a very large collection of music. Well, anyway, I think it’s big. I only had loaded maybe 10% of my music. Now I’ve been trying to load 40 to 50 Cds a day. While I load the CD, I have been looking up the band or musician online and reading about the person. I read their bio on Wikipedia and then maybe go to their website. Some people are completely out of the business (for example, Jim Ruiz) but most people are doing something. It’s a very nice thing to do. It’s like I’m getting to know all these old friends again. God, everyone has a website. I know, duh. But still, I can look at David Byrne’s website if I want to – like I just did. Or Sinead O’Connor, or the Bodeans – god, I went once to see the Bodeans at the Roxy by myself – those were the days! I listened to all my Nirvana and read about everyone after Kurt Cobain died. I really like Dave Grohl and have followed him and the Foo Fighters. In fact I ran into him at a restaurant a couple of years ago. When they were on SNL, Dave Grohl and his mother and I rode around in a limo after one show and laughed and laughed. Then when I ran into him at this restaurant, his mother happened to be in town and he said, “You probably think I never go anywhere without her!” They were funny and nice. When the band – Nirvana, was on the show the first time – god they were so young, so green, so talented, so on the edge. I remember hanging out and talking about Seattle like we were all from the same hometown. Anyway, I listened to “Nevermind” and “In Utero” and then I got into a big Cranberries jag and a bunch of Dinah Washington, David Newman (I told Michael I had a crush on a man, born in 1930, and his name is David Newman – according to Wikipedia he just joined the band on Letterman – like in the last year - just for a day, filling in - he's that kind of guy...) and then onto Harry Nilsson – god! He was so good. I love his song, “1941” – that is just the most chilling song, EVER. I played “Gotta Get Up” for Mulan and we’ve been dancing around the kitchen to that. She loved it so much she wanted to sing along, and I found the lyrics online and printed them out. I didn’t realize there is one lyric that is about a sailor who comes and “pounds” a girl for a couple of days before he goes off again to sea. Mulan asked, “What does that mean, ‘pounds’ her for a couple of days?” I was so thrown – I feel like an old bitty. I said, “It means he pounded on her door – like, ‘Are you there?” LORD.

Speaking of The Lord, and therefore our cultural mythology, I am reading Joseph Campbell’s “Myths to Live By.” It’s so extraordinary. I am loving it so much, it's exactly the right thing for me to be reading right now. It’s a collection of essays written between the late sixties through the mid-seventies. My thinking is that we must have some myths that we indulge in to get us through the precariousness of life. Some illusion is necessary. But what is your illusion going to be? And once you know it is an illusion, can you keep using it? Does it work? My mother has no problem with this – acknowledging that something isn’t true, but continuing to believe in it. Not just religion, lots of things. For me, it does get tainted, I can’t keep up the fantasy once the curtain is lifted. I used to think this was a good trait in myself, but now I’m not so sure. But I think it’s cause I’m just getting back to normal from this damn flu.

Oh. Oh, oh. I am listening to David Byrne sing “A Soft Seduction” from his Feelings album. IT”S SO GREAT!!!!