Sunday, January 01, 2006


I wanted, this posting, to first write about Crash, the movie. Last week when I was too sick with the flu, the virus, or whatever, to go to work for two days, I decided to watch Oprah in the afternoon. I think it was on the Wednesday after Christmas that she had the cast of Crash on her show to discuss the movie. She told her audience to go out and get the movie on DVD and watch it. So, I did. Last night, both of us too sick to go out on New Years' Eve, Julie and I watched Crash.

Talk about a thought provoking movie. It has to to with race relations in America - how they are right now. The inter- and intra- relations between whites, blacks, latinos, asians, and middle-easterners. The movie is set in Los Angeles and was written and directed by a white guy who got the inspiration for the movie after having been the victim of a carjacking.

The movie explores and examines the fear, anger, prejudice, and stereotyping that "we all" do regarding people who are not just like us. At first I couldn't understand why Oprah said to go get (rent or buy) the DVD since it was a new movie. After watching it, I can understand why it wasn't shown on movie theaters across the country - too provocative.

To say it is a thought provoking movie is almost an understatement. Julie and I talked about it for over an hour after we finished watching it; discussing attitudes and prejudices but, at the same time, the compassion and redemption that there is in us all. It is a movie that shows how and why it is so important to follow Jesus' one basic teaching that sums up all his teachings - Love your neighbor as you love yourself.

Go see it, but preferably not by yourself. Talk about it, recommend it to others, and pass the word around that we're all in this crazy world together and we need to find a way to live in peace and harmony.

With that now said -

I haven't posted since just after Thanksgiving and now here it is January 1, 2006. How the time has flown.

Christmas was nice up here, sort of. I mean, I got and gave nice presents to those close to me and the anxiety of the season was controllable. Unfortunately, the Thursday before Christmas I developed a sore throat that turned into a head cold that moved down into my chest and, as the Dr. said - "will have an elevator effect for a few weeks." Now, on New Year's day, I seem to be on one of the middle floors; not too sick but not all too well, either.

During the month between Turkey day and Santa's sleigh ride I exercised regularly and even put two kata back into my repertoire. Two more to go and I'll have the basic 15 back. Unfortunately, the place we go to exercise, Planet Fitness, may put the cabash on my being able to work the kata in the stretching area. It seems that a couple or few others who study martial arts also used the area to practice. One guy wanted to or did bring swords in and another person wanted to practice his fan form. Evidently, this didn't sit well with the owner, words were exchanged and the guys decided they wanted to cancel their membership and get their money back.

The owner decided to ban all types of martial arts; the manager, a former martial arts student, seems to be sympathetic and has turned his head when I'm in there. We'll see how long and what happens as we move into the new year. I told him I wouldn't cancel my membership and hoped that the way I do the kata, which is as a stretching-out set of exercises after using the equipment, wasn't hard core.

Yesterday during the day Julie and I went into town to see the ice sculptures. We took Dixie and walked around Copley Square, over to the Common and through the Public Garden and into the theatre district. The ice sculptures were amazing. What incredible work can be done with ice using a chain saw and chisels. We saw, carved out of ice, fish three feet long, a life sized statue of a child sitting on a chair reading a book, a fifteen foot by twelve foot obelisk commemorating the 30th anniversary of the ice scupture and some other works of art in ice. I took a bunch of pictures (until my battery ran down) while we walked around.

Later on in the day we went over to Harvard Square and had lunch at Phatt Boy's. It was good food. I mentioned to the server that the coffee wasn't hot (she made us a fresh pot) and that the soup was lukewarm (so we got a free desset). We then walked around the Square some, until it started snowing. At about that time we were all worn down anyway, so we chalked the day up as a productive one and went and did some serious resting.

Work is still going well, although I've had a change in my assignment. I'm now functioning as a deployment manager. It is a program the service providers who provide day or residential service will use, among a few other things, to report any and all incidents that occur involving their consumers.

Instead of faxing the info, the providers will submit the information electronically. My assignment is to create a database of all the providers (300 +), identify their key folks, send them the legal agreements, track to ensure the forms are submitted, and also, to serve as an interface regarding questions, concerns, etc. about the process.

Aside from what's been written above, I otherwise seem to be doing well. I got two new tires for the car, so I'm ready for the winter. Last night it snowed about three to four inches but the streets are already clear.

I'm reading a Barbara Hambly book, Dragonsbane, and also am reading Living Buddha, Living Christ, by Thich Nhat Hanh. Not too long ago I finished up the last of the Berrybender series by Larry McMurtry. I think that next I'm going to get the book 1776. I got a $25 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble and so will buy that for myself.

Among other nice things, I also got 4 CD's for Christmas - Rubber Soul and Help by the Beatles, the soundtrack from Good Night and Good Luck, and the latest Bonnie Raitt album. So, between reading and listening to music, I'm all set. Julie gave me her old Sony Discman so I can now play CD's in my car.

Dixie is doing fairly well. I took her to the vet a couple weeks ago. She's gained some weight and her thyroid levels are ok. Unfortunately, her heart murmur has gotten worse. I've noticed that when we go out for walks she is tiring more quickly. The spirit is still strong but the body is not willing.

I did give her a bath this morning and so she smells good. A little less than a month ago I gave her a haircut so she looks good. What more can you ask for than to look and smell clean and fresh?

Hey, nobody lives forever, but it's nice to look good while living.

She's a good dog and I enjoy having her every day, taking it a day at a time.