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!!!!


Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear that the movie didn't make the major film fests. I hope you're able to release it soon one way or another. I loved the audiobook version of "Letting Go..." and am looking forward to seeing the finished film. Maybe the best thing would be to release it online. Sometimes you do have to be entrepreneurial about these things.

Anyway, for whatever it's worth from a complete stranger, glad you're feeling better. Until later.

redbean said...

You're a Sinead fan? I love her music, but I always felt guilty after what she did on SNL. NOT that I don't love crazy people who aren't afraid to speak their mind (Penn!) but I always thought it hurt the show. I find her religious phases charmingly deluded (I love Jesus more than the Pope--I'm an Earth mother pagan--no wait, I'm a member of the Rastas, one of the most mysogynist religions on Earth). Her latest album veers way too far into crazytown though.

I'm sorry you had to go through a tough time, with with indie film rat race and being sick and all. Feel free to use your fans to write letters en masse to wherever it would help right now. I know I'd be glad to, and there is a huge atheist community here in DC who's very active.

Anonymous said...

We ARE the myths we should believe in.

MJ said...

I loved the show, and I love the audiobook, and however you release the movie, I will be happy to get it.

I have slowly, slowly been doing the same thing with my music, and your BoDeans reference totally made me smile. I saw them play a HOMECOMING DANCE at the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay back in the early 90's. And if that doesn't make me feel both old and like a hick, nothing will. ;)

Jim Russell said...

Glad you're feeling better. Flu sucks.

Great, now there's *two* movies that I want to see that are floating around unreleased. Yours, of course, is one. The other is "Who is Harry Nilsson (and Why Is Everybody Talkin' About Him)" (see http://www.authorizedpictures.com/wihn.htm for more info).

I should have known you'd be a Nilsson fan. Just make sure you don't play "Son of Schmilsson" for Mulan -- I still remember the first time I played "You're Breaking My Heart" and then realized my son was in earshot.

Phil said...

Glad you're feeling well enough to blog again... This afternoon I finished listening once more to "Letting Go" (the audible download version) and want to tell you that my admiration for it just keeps growing. There are so many marvelous moments that I've indexed them for ready reference. This comes in handy in the philosophy classes I teach here in the Bible Belt, where your gently-comedic style goes over better with students than Dawkins' acerbic style, Harris' seriousness, Hitchens' contempt, and Dennett's condescension. (I like them all a lot... but you're definitely more "teachable," to most - and more fun.)

So, thanks! Good luck with the film. Be well.

Anonymous said...

Flu. And flu. This season, so many people I know have been knocked out with one or the other of the 2 major strains. Glad you are feeling better.

So Julia, do you have Nilsson's album from around 1970, "Nilsson Sings Newman"? All Randy Newman songs, mostly with just Newman at the piano and Nilsson singing. I'm sure it's long out of print, and I've never seen it on CD. I cherish my LP copy, which I found in a cut-out bin in about 1978 when I was in law school.

-- Jeff D

Jim Russell said...

@Jeff D - "Nilsson Sings Newman" has been reissued on CD at least twice that I know of. You should look for the 2000 reissue on Buddha Records, since it has bonus tracks -- mostly alternate versions, but with one extraordinary addition of Harry singing Newman's "Snow".

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This won't have effect in fact, that's exactly what I believe.