Another year coming to an end. And you survived it, which is pretty awesome. Close your eyes for a minute. Okay, wait, open them. It’s hard to read with your eyes closed.
Close your psycho-spiritual eyes for a minute and just listen to the inside of your mind.
What is that sound? Is it the sound of music flowing through the internet to your ears (Cornelius – Fantasma, for me right now)? Or it is the sound of the air purification system cleaning the dust out of the air so your nose doesn’t have to do its job? Or perhaps you are hearing the copy machine playing its mad raver house beat as hundreds of critical pieces of paper are processed into their natural destiny. Is it the rattle of files in your head seeking a cabinet? Can you drag those files to the recycle bin?
No? No paper? No purifier? No tunes? Maybe you are not at work (you lucky devil!). Maybe you are taking this week off and filling out an application to your mind for some of that rest and relaxation you’ve been promising yourself all year. Approved!
Yeah? Well, you definitely deserve it. Considering what you’ve been through this year! What a year, right? One of those years it is tempting to want to forget. 2009 is coming to a close, and many people are not so sad to see it go. Understandably, I guess. It has been probably one of the toughest years financially that our country has seen in a long while. Many small businesses suffered this year; countless people lost their homes; lifestyles were altered dramatically up and down the economic spectrum. Unemployment rose, home prices dropped, rentals climbed, credit rates increased and stress followed right along. What a year! Fears that began in the fall of 2008 were realized throughout 2009, and panic was difficult to abate (at least for me!). I certainly worked harder than I like to this year.
But…but…I don’t know. It was also kind of an awesome year, right?
To begin with, this whole financial crisis has really provided some amazing insight to us about frugality, and community and so many other things. Remember first learning about stone soup when you were a kid? How many people had stone soup this year? I’m not sure I dropped a rock in a pot of boiling water, but the meals I had with a can of refried and some rice and chopped cabbage were pretty awesome. And my sense of purpose with my cash (for the most part) has been pretty remarkable as well. Back at the beginning of the year, I pondered (in this very blog) which businesses might not survive 2009 in Bernal Heights, and off the top of my head I can only think of one that didn’t (Ladita) and look how many new things are starting! Succulence, Sandbox, the Bernal Marketplace, fit Bernal Fit, the new State Farm office (it’s an owner-run office, not a franchise), Reinvintage, perhaps a new photo supplies shop on our very block, whatever is gonna go in at floor level of the behemoth that is being built next door to Bernal Marketplace – are there more? Probably. That is a pretty big list for a small neighborhood in financial crisis, isn’t it?
I think I learned this year that unemployment was around 25% during the Great Depression, which somewhat soothed me thinking of the 75% that were employed. That’s a pretty big number.
For those of you out there who are in the midst of financial hardship, I sympathize with you, and I am hopeful for you. I hope for all of us the ability to stay positive, to remain compassionate, to rise above ourselves for the clearest vision (thanks, Amy!) and for the ability to keep our humor, our sense of balance, humility, poetry and awareness. I hope for dignity, preparation, thoughtfulness, open-heartedness, and inner peace. I hope as we contemplate our own fears, we do not become blind to those around us with less, those around us whose resources are dwindling, those around us whose safety net is frayed, or gone completely. I beg the universe to let everyone who works hard for a dream to attain it. I wish for all of us a warm bed, thick blankets, socks without holes, clean underwear and fresh vegetables.
If you are looking for an escape, I hope you can continue to let Four Star Video provide you with one. And if you are looking for a nice little plant to be your friend, then you’ve also come to the right place.
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! Here’s looking forward to 2010 and the mystery’s that it will reveal.
Alrighty then, see you down at the store.
Love and Kisses,
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GRITOS EN LA NOCHE (SCREAMS IN THE NIGHT).
Vanina Balena/Alejandro Genes.
Directed by Carlos Silva Nigri.
* The story of a son in town for his father’s funeral, and the local news reporter who knows more than she should about the death.
Margo Harshman/Michael Wiseman.
Directed by Dan Chinander.
* Two women, with seemingly little in common, discover that commonality can be found if one looks hard enough. Victoria, a tough young adult, needs to find a job or go to jail. She finds one taking care of a 77-year old woman, Althea. Together they find solace in their secrets.
JENNIFER’S BODY.****ALSO ON BD****
Megan Fox/Amanda Seyfried/Johnny Simmons.
Directed by Karyn Kusama.
Written by Diablo Cody (JUNO).
* The JUNE production team is at it again, this time tackling the politically sensitive issue of satanic ritualistic killings among rock bands, and homicidal high school cheerleaders. Seriously! Jennifer’s body is coveted by many young men, and, after a somewhat chance meeting with a rock band who has turned to the occult to achieve success, she becomes demonically opposed to giving it to them. In fact, it is the bodies of these young men that Jennifer covets – to dismantle and eat! Ah, but Jennifer has a nice young friend named Needy (Seyfried, from BIG LOVE and MAMMA MIA fame) who is sweet and good and tender and doesn’t like all the senseless killing and decides to put a stop to all the madness. Will Needy escape unharmed? Will any of us?
9 .****ALSO ON BD****
Christopher Plummer/Martin Landau/Jennifer Connelly/John C. Reilly/Crispin Glover.
Directed by Marty Callner.
* This post-apocalyptic fantasy is about a bunch of raggedy dolls awakening in a world where most everything has been destroyed and machines are hunting for any forms of life in order to destroy them.
PARANORMAL ACTIVITY .****ALSO ON BD****
Katie Featherston/Micah Sloat.
Directed by Oren Peli.
* This film somehow got super-hyped on the internet, and has become a bit of a phenomenon. It is about a young couple who is being bothered by a demon in the night that they decide to try to videotape in order to discover what is REALLY going on. I think the lesson is, don’t videotape what you don’t want to see.
A PERFECT GETAWAY.****ALSO ON BD****
Steve Zahn/Milla Jovovich/Kiele Sanchez/Timothy Olyphant.
Directed by David Twohy.
* Two couples hiking in beautiful Hawaii become aware of some psychopathic killing that is going on near them and this makes them frightened, distrusting, unfriendly, and inevitably puts their newfound friendship at risk.
Tricia O’Kelley/Patrick J. Adams/Mark Harmon.
Directed by Blayne Weaver.
* Stormy weather ahead! Could be thunderclouds! Eminent chance of rain! Probably darkened skies! Take cover, cuz Seattle’s favorite Weather Girl is freaking out over her boyfriend’s cheating ways. And he’s the anchor of the news program. And I think it’s gonna rain!!!
Directed by Aaron Rose and Joshua Leonard
* This art doc follows a loosely connected group of artists in the early 90’s, influenced by Reagan, skateboards, graffiti, and the attitude known as D.I.Y. (do-it-yourself) who created styles and affectations that became well-known (such as the Andre the Giant image) even if they themselves did not.
UNITED STATES OF TARA: THE FIRST SEASON.
Created by Diabo Cody.
* More from Diablo Cody! Ah, Tara, she has problems, and mainly they are related to herself. Actually, to different parts of herself. You see, she has dissociative identity disorder, and has at least four completely developed personalities competing for screen time. Yet somehow, she manages being a mom, and raising a family. A truly challenged family, yet what family isn’t?