Run and catch…run and catch…the lamb is caught in the blackberry patch…

So that sabbatical went all sabbatical-y. I shall blog more often. Honest engine. I had a tremendously tasty Thanksgiving – Tofurkey, mashed potatoes, broccoli and cheese casserole, stuffing. Plus there’s pumpkin cheesecake and pumpkin pie which I’ve not even eaten any of yet.

On the docket…

* Reviews of Synechdoche, New York, Jennifer Lynch’s Surveillance, Deadgirl, Revolutionary Road, and many more.

I’ve been very busy with work and whatnot. More to follow…I promise!

is home where the heart is? Or is it merely a state of mind?

Wow, look at me. Months travel by at the speed of light and there you go.

I am currently residing in the home of my father and stepmother. My job at Target is currently caught in the middle of a game of tag and runaround, respectively. I suspect I’ll have to seek other options, which I’ve begun to do. I applied for management at a local theater and have applications in at other places as well. There’ll be no laurel-resting for this one, though my father’s of another impression. I can understand where he’s coming from but I also suspect that my stepmother’s bending his ear a bit.

The past few days my friend James has been a great and loyal person, a true friend in every sense meaning of the word. Aside from me pounding the pavement, job-wise, we’ve hung out, gotten stopped by a cop for merely walking around the subdivision I live in at night, gone to see comedian Todd Barry at Savannah Smiles, went to a strip club (first time for myself, he goes every now and again) where I got my first lap dance – and a second – before a fight broke out and the place closed.

Hanging out with James has made me feel more alive, centered, and conscious of my own being than I have in quite some time. The monotony of this cabin fever was getting to me. And there, in and of itself, lies the heart of my issues with my father and stepmother. The only apt phrase here is that silence is deafening. When I ride in a car with him, it’s awkward silence that permeates the atmosphere, save for some idle chit-chat – most of it pertaining to the restaurant industry. As for my father’s new wife, I can’t get a handle on her. She rises early for her job so she goes to bed early (as does my father). They’re in bed by 8PM most nights. Some may see that as a reflection of their age. At first I thought they were slighting me but then I had to stop and realize that the dissolution of the nuclear family I once held dear, the one I grew up knowing, is dead and buried, along with any preconceived notions I had that I could insert myself favorably into the construct of marital bliss my father’s made for himself. I really am an alien, a stranger. When I’ve eaten dinner with them in the living room, that old, unwelcome familiarity, awkward silence descends upon the room like fog in the early morning in San Francisco.

I know from where this stems. I am seen in their eyes as an outcast, a pariah, a shiftless, good-for-nothing layabout that contributes nothing and is nothing. I wish my father could have seen how hard I busted my ass at Target and I have been trying like hell to get back there but as I stated earlier, it’s becoming increasingly frustrating. I emailed the HR lady today and will report back later. If that’s a no-go, so be it but I’m working like a hawk to find something, anything. He’s now talking about how I can’t stay here and not contribute and I totally understand that. But I can’t make shit happen with a snap of my fingers, try as I might. And I am fucking trying, despite his contrary thoughts.

I don’t believe in primal scream therapy but it’s looking mighty appetizing right about now. For all the fits and starts, the hems and haws, the bruised egos, bitter emotions, and then declarative statements of resolving the issues between us, I can now see full well that there is a canyon between my father and I. It’s hollow emptiness is not ever going to be filled. We may as well be strangers for all that’s worth. There’s no common ground there and you can’t fake it or craft one in a piece meal, scatter-shot fashion. He wants me to attend their Presbyterian church with them. So I guess I’m supposed to put on a plastic smile, swallow my pride, and walk into a place whose beliefs I don’t share or have any connection to? And on and on.

All of this as it’s played out has done one thing and one thing only. It’s made me miss my mom even more. My father asked me how much I paid my mother for rent. I told him and he said, “You were paying half your paycheck? No wonder you couldn’t save.” I told him, “There was nothing untoward going on. I looked over the finances. Every cent was accounted for, and I helped with bills.” I had to temper my remarks. I wanted to say, “Well, if you’d been on fucking time with the alimony check instead of waiting until the banks closed, which caused our power or water to be shut off on more than one occasion, maybe we’d have had our ducks closer to being in a row.” But a cooler head prevailed.

So as I was saying I’ve grown to miss my mother even more. Now that she’s gone, I don’t have that outlet, that close personal connection with whom I can share my feelings, my emotions, my thoughts, et cetera, and that fact’s been made all the more apparent by the cold, clinical detachment that permeates this household. It’s almost a tangible element and I don’t get it at all. It’s a fucking head-scratcher is what it is. And I don’t know how to stop the itch.

Ladies and gentlemen, President Barack Obama…

President Barack Obama takes the oath of office.

Though it’s now become a cliched political phrase, it’s quite a telling and true statement, and one I can hardly yet believe – after eight long, torturous years, our long national nightmare is over.

No more will we have to suffer at the whims of a no-nothing frat boy who prided himself on willful ignorance and an appetite for apathy toward all those who weren’t like him, who didn’t tow the corporatist line.

We now have a new president who values the worth of the written word, the wealth of our ideas, the shared wisdom of our collective experiences, and is ready to lead us forward into tomorrow, with a bold agenda of progressive ideas aimed squarely at getting our economy back on track, helping our burdened families and workers, making health care affordable and easily accessible, and restoring our standing in the world as a national power that trusts and values its allies and their opinions.

These are but a sampling of things the Obama administration has in store. Will they get to them all? Who knows? I certainly hope they do and will be attentively watching each and every day at every policy decision and administration idea.

For now, let us celebrate President Obama’s historic victory and enjoy that our nation has come so far and made a momentous leap forward, on a path forged by those that came before us and one we will follow again, in order to make our nation that great beacon of hope and possibility it once was and can be again.

Much like President Obama and his beyond amazing Internet team transformed the face of modern politics by growing their support base through the vast resources this technology provides (and did so like no other candidate and now President has ever done), President Obama has now brought that innovation to the official website of The White House (which was online precisely at noon Eastern Standard Time)…

Macon Phillips, the Director of New Media for the White House, explains…

Welcome to the new I’m Macon Phillips, the Director of New Media for the White House and one of the people who will be contributing to the blog.

A short time ago, Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States and his new administration officially came to life. One of the first changes is the White House’s new website, which will serve as a place for the President and his administration to connect with the rest of the nation and the world.

Millions of Americans have powered President Obama’s journey to the White House, many taking advantage of the internet to play a role in shaping our country’s future. is just the beginning of the new administration’s efforts to expand and deepen this online engagement.

Just like your new government, and the rest of the Administration’s online programs will put citizens first.

And just like the administration, the website echoes the same ideas of communication, transparency, and participation and ushers in a new era that values its citizens opinions and ideas.

As we all celebrate this historic day, a day I am overjoyed with, take some time to surf over, browse around, and enjoy the brand new and totally redesigned White House website. Let us all enjoy ourselves today.

A new year fraught with possibility, uncertainty, and hope…

It is now the year 2009.

My 2008 was nothing to write home about. It started like any other – it began with me mourning my dead dog and ended with me mourning my dead mother. To say my emotions ran like water out of a faucet is the most futile of understatements. I miss her every day, have had several dreams about her, and am keeping on keeping on the very best way I can, the way she would have wanted me to.

I am thoroughly enjoying my time in Honolulu. My friends/hosts have been truly wonderful and I am having a blast and a half.

As much as I’ve tried to maintain contact consistently with what’s left of my family (father and sister) and the few errant friends I have in Savannah, it’s quite an ordeal. First there’s the time difference – they’re five hours ahead of Honolulu. Second, I have a prepaid cell phone. I should be using one of my friend’s cell phones but recent events have cooled me off on the whole contact thing. The last time I spoke with my father, there was a tone that seemed to emanate from him, one of the whole “okay, gotta run” vibe. And my sister’s firmly ensconced in her own world, busy with work and school.

So the chips have fallen where I knew they would. Precisely the location. I knew in my heart of hearts that once Mom died, these two would retreat to the hallowed halls and walls of their own design, to the makeshift castles they reside in – drawbridge retracted, lights turned off. So with these actions, I have come to an altogether frightening yet slightly exhilarating decision.

My mother was my world. She was my best friend. No one else will ever fill that void. And since she’s no longer around, since everything in Savannah reminds me of her, and since my alleged “family” has not been one in recent months ( thanks for the Christmas card you said you’d send, Dad! Oh, that’s right, I only sent the address I’m currently at TWICE.), Savannah is dead to me. As dead as my mother. As dead as the futile hope that I could ever believe that I would be welcomed with open arms into the meager carrion that now purports to be my family. It’s all a myth, one the Greeks never could have dreamed of assembling.

So when I leave this place, I’m not returning to Savannah. There’s nothing there but memories, sadness, and nothing else. I may return sometime but for now I need a very extended break. I know not where I’ll land – I’m thinking Austin, Texas – – or what I’ll do. Maybe I’ll seek a transfer from Target. Maybe I’ll get a different job. Maybe I’ll get three jobs. Four jobs. Whatever it takes to make it, I’ll do it. If those that state that they love me truly love me, yet never make a concerted effort, a true show of force to make that emotion known, then they’d have done so frequently in these past few months. But no – the same old same old is their modus operandi. Since my time in Savannah and here I’ve been invisible to them. Now it’s time to truly make that a reality by starting over fresh in a new city, with a new outlook, in a new year.

Maybe then they’ll understand my frustration with them. But more than likely, they’ll merely go about their day, their own world swimming about them, like a haze. I’ve always been standing outside of that haze, looking in at them. Now it’s time for them to see a new haze –  the dust I leave behind, as they choke it down and eat it up.

27 years ago today, I was born…I’ve been away…and now I return…

Alright alot’s happened. My mother has passed away (September 29th) and I’m currently housesitting in Honolulu. It’s a long, long story.

As my mother’s health waned, this blog was the least of my concerns. Initially, I thought about how fruitless continuing this blog would be. What would be the point?, I often mused. The driving force in my life was no more. But those thoughts quickly melted away, as I know she’d want me to continue. Writing’s always been my strongest suit and to silence that would serve no purpose.

And yes, today, December 2nd, is my 27th birthday. In years past, I’d go to dinner and then a movie with my late mother. It was a ritual of sorts and it’s a bit hard, as it’s my first birthday/holiday without her. As I’m currently a shut-in housesitting in a city I know nothing of, I’m thousands of miles away from the family I have, and my funds are tighter than a dirty metaphor, I’ll be having a quiet evening at home with three DVDs from Netflix. And I’ll be gazing at my Amazon Wishlist.

I miss Mom terribly. But go on we must and so I will. I plan to make my own choices in life, all the while conducting myself in a manner with which she’d be proud of, if not completely approve, as she always wanted me to be my own man, make my own choices, and learn and live from them. And no, I’m not talking about drugs or copious amounts of alcohol, but to make choices and stand by them. To quote her “find some personal happiness”. Perhaps one day that will include companionship from someone of the opposite gender. That’s a lovely idea, a terrific concept but I’m not one to throw myself out there, all cavalier and scattershot. Plus I’d have to find a really cool, witty, articulate female who’s not a basket case. And that’s a long wait for a train that doesn’t come. Hell, it’s been years since I’ve actually…but that’s a topic for another day.

I hope that all’s gone well for anyone who might come across this missive in the vast wasteland known as the Internet. More blogging, lots more to follow.

I recently finished watching The Good Son on Chiller. Dinner earlier tonight was a Variety Big Box Meal from Kentucky Fried Chicken (a drumstick – Crispy -, a chicken strip, a box of popcorn chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy, coleslaw, and a 32 ounce Dr. Pepper). Good stuff, that.

I worked the past two days from 8AM-4:30PM. I am off tomorrow and (wait for the drum roll…ah, there it is) Saturday. Yes, you’ve read that correctly – I have a Saturday off. Stop the presses and all that jazz.

Tomorrow, my mother will have an operation on her right eye for a cataract. She will be awake but sedated during the procedure. If all goes well (and we all hope so), the left eye will be done in three weeks. What’s cool is that her doctor said that though this operation isn’t LASIK, she’ll be able to see without glasses. That’s pretty damn cool. While she got her pre-op last week, I received a free eye exam (I’ve not had one in almost four years) thanks to her super cool doctor. He wrote me a prescription in case I need it but he said that other than a slight variance, my eyesight is the same. And boy was that a thorough exam – the guy had a penlight in my eye and was really intensely examining my eyes.

As you can plainly see, I’ve procured Francis Ford Coppola’s widely reviled return to the director’s chair, Youth Without Youth, from Netflix. Though the conventional word from the critics was not all that kind, the man is a cinema legend and no matter if the film turns out to be exactly what they claim, it’s still worth investing the time to check it out.

Using my economic stimulus check, I purchased a Magnavox 19 inch LCD HDTV and an RCA upconverting DVD player. I’ve still got to wait until I get some more cash to upgrade our DIRECTV satellite dish and my bedroom receiver to an HDTV DVR receiver, as though they’ll replace the dish for free, there’s a lease fee (you have to sign a two year contract, no problem as we’ve been DIRECTV customers for three, bordering on four years) of $234. But the image and sound quality of the upconverted DVDs is truly breathtaking and I can’t wait to see that same display once all the bells and whistles are installed. As of now, though, it’s perfectly fine as it’s nice to have a fairly bigger TV in my bedroom – the last one was either a 10 or 13 inch.

Iron Man – ***1/2 out of four – Robert Downey Jr. IS this movie and it’s one of the best films, superhero or otherwise. But if we’re talking the genre, this is in close contention with Spider-Man 2 as the second best comic book film of all time (as we all know Batman Begins is the best comic book film ever made).

Speed Racer – *** out of four – The Wachowski Brothers turn in a film that looks like it was filmed in a psychedelic candy factory but it works and is a charming and fun film that unfortunately was ignored at the box office. Once again, the theory proves true – despite massive marketing dollars, you CANNOT present something to kids and attempt to tell them it’s cool. It just doesn’t work. Despite the intensely underwhelming box office performance, it’s an entertaining, enjoyable film with great acting and inventive visual effects.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull – *** out of four – A truly rewarding and exciting film that does well in evoking the flavors and feel of the ’50s era it’s set in. Some have been carping about the entrance of sci-fi elements into the franchise, but wasn’t that the big cinematic theme of the era, along with Russia and the Red Scare? The entire damn cast is exceptional – there isn’t a false note or phoned-in or workmanlike performance here. Indy is back in fine form, surrounded by an intriguing plot and well-defined characters. A great, great film.

I may be seeing Kung Fu Panda with two friends this weekend. I’ll let you know. I’m fairly ambivalent about the movie, but then again I made a solemn vow to myself to actually see all of the summer films this year (aside from Adam Sandler’s latest waste of celluloid, as he and his films (aside from Punch-Drunk Love) should be put on trial in The Hague). I am extremely eager to see The Strangers ASAP. I’ve heard great things about it and it’ll be nice to see original horror for once. I was immensely elated to see it do so well this weekend at the box office. It brought in $21 million (on a budget of $9 million), averaged $8,515 per theater), and is the highest-grossing horror film of the year. So kudos to Rogue Pictures. It’s nice to see original horror being rewarded with a great box office return, and my ass will be in the theater to see this as soon as I can.

I am REALLY, REALLY, REALLY hoping that tomorrow Hillary Clinton concedes. If she goes scorched earth, that will further proof just how morally bankrupt her campaign is. It’s time that we embrace Barack Obama as the Democratic nominee so that he can start tearing down the idiotic policies of George W. Bush John McCain and laying out the very apparent case that Barack Obama represents the change and transparency in government that we’ve needed for so very long.

I’ll spend most of the day being supportive of my mother while also soaking in as much MSNBC as humanly possible; as it is, I wind up spending most of my casual surf-the-Internet-with-the-TV-on time with MSNBC on in the background but I always wind up paying close attention anyway. I’m such an unapologetic political news and regular news junkie. In fact, it helped at work the other day.

A middle-age couple had two of the $40 DTV vouchers to redeem for a DTV converter. We have two models for sale – a no-frills version for $37 and a $47 model made by GE that has added features like an onscreen TV guide and Dolby Digital sound. The man then befan to rail against GE for providing technology components to Iran. I informed him that, as within the next month or so, GE will no longer be doing that. He then segued into an anti-Jane Fonda rant. I began to mention that I despise FOX News but that doesn’t mean I avoid seeing films released by 20th Century Fox or TV series I like that air on FOX. I also told him that when I worked at a video store and a lady told me that she was not going to watch The Interpreter because she hates Sean Penn’s political views, I explained that just because I hate Bruce Willis’ political views (die hard – no pun intended – Republican) doesn’t mean I’ll avoid his films. I said to the male guest that if one does that, they limit themselves to a narrow, confined box and deny themselves potentially great entertainment. He then wholeheartedly agreed – and decided to purchase the GE converter. Sometimes, just sometimes, sound logic wins the day.

Next week one of the most gifted and talented singer-songwriters will release their new album. Alanis Morissette’s 7th studio album, Flavors of Entanglement, will be released on June 10th. While her 1996 debut album, Jagged Little Pill, is an undisputed masterpiece, her sophomore album Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie, is transcendent, poetic, and an immense force of nature. Although I only purchased her first two albums when they came out, I’ll definitely be picking this one up. She is a genius wordsmith, through and through. Here is the first single from Flavors of Entanglement, “Underneath”.