10 September 2006

Name Dropping

It's not often that a regular person has friends on television. So, I'm taking this opportunity to name drop.

If you get the chance, watch "Trick My Truck" on CMT. The new shows are on Friday nights, but you can find it on many times during the week. It's a show for over-the-road truck drivers, kind of like Extreme Makeover.
It features our friends Rod & Kevin Pickett, who own Pickett Custom Trucks. (www.pickettcustomtrucks.com)

It is surreal to watch friends on television but we're enjoying it. After two seasons, we're finally seeing the boys relax on camera, thus showing their true personalities. (:-D This is a good thing.

The Pickett boys are the epitome of COOL. Instinctively, they know and can create cool. Before this show, they were known for having the baddest race cars & trucks. These guys are artists in cool. And they're good guys.

Even if you don't like makeover shows or big trucks, watch this show. Not only are the Pickett boys creative geniuses, so are their co-workers. (The Chrome Shop Mafia) The painter - I'm horrible with names, apologies - is such a remarkable painter. He is AMAZING.

So, tune in and watch Rod & Kevin. Trust me, you'll be impressed.

01 September 2006

American History 101

Spike Lee's newest documentary: Requiem - When the Levees Broke is required viewing for every American citizen. I didn't say "should," I said "IS".

I began watching it with trepidation. I had kept an eye on the news throughout this whole disaster and I am bitter about the failures, all of them. I had reservations that Lee was going to take a "White Man's trying to hold us down" approach. And in some respects, he did. Rather, the people that he chose to include did. Nevertheless, with that, it was filmed with an open mind that represented basic humanity.

Requiem is four hours long. It is A LOT to take in, especially in one viewing. He edited it in a way that literally immerses you in the crisis then brings you out just in time. The music is appropriate, it is cultural, and it is mournful. The footage is all real footage. It shows the bodies, which makes a person wince but you have to see the bodies in order to get it. In order to understand, it has to be shown. It is not gratuitous, it is necessary.

He made sure that all parties were represented: African Americans, Whites, poor, wealthy, middle class, educated & uneducated, powerful and powerless. He offers all of the Big Players their perspectives in person or in the news clips and interviews that they gave at the time.

I think everyone should have to watch this for a few reasons:
We need to understand how badly our government failed an entire region of the United States.
We need to remember these people when it comes to vote in November 2006 and November 2008. There has to be wide sweeping changes. Has to be.

One last reason: because, as it is mentioned in the documentary, this could have just as easily been any of the major US cities. It just happened to be in Louisiana. We have to ensure that it never happens again.

It's not about Love

Recently a fairly new friend asked the Mad Genius how we have stayed happily married all this time. Not just married, but *happily* married.

The Mad Genius thought about it and said "Just to love her and for her to love me isn't enough. Love isn't enough." This is so powerful. He continued: "It's not like we have a plan that we follow. Yes, we love each other but we're also Compatible. She's my best friend, and I hope that I am hers. We're friends. Love isn't enough."

He's right. Love isn't enough. Love wouldn't have gotten us through a lot of sh*t. I think that's where many people make a mistake: just loving one another isn't going to fix everything.

Oprah had Lance Armstrong's ex-wife on the other day. As Oprah doesn't usually do the lusty tell-all kind of shows, I was curious. Indeed, it turned out to be a deep conversation about how relationships work. (Note: I said Relationships, not marriages. This isn't specific to marriages but to all relationships)

His ex-wife (apologies for forgetting her name) told how she lost herself. She became what she thought she should be as "the perfect wife". She was baffled - at the time - as to why she was unhappy. She had changed many characteristic things about herself in order to be the perfect wife. In trying to do so, she lost who she really was. As a result, they failed. She wasn't real with him. As much as they probably loved each other, it wasn't enough. I think people make this mistake often as well. They mold themselves into what they think people want.

I have always hated the bar scene. It always irritated me when I watched the guys (my friends especially) ogling the "hot girls". Now, it is not a jealousy thing. Stay with me. It was because I knew that they were going home with an image: dyed hair, styled hair, colored contacts, sexy clothes, make-up. Once she showers in the morning and puts on her sweats, she looks completely different. She looks normal.
Then the girls would be broken-hearted when the guy didn't call again and the guys would be irritated because the hot girl ended up just being "normal".
Attraction wasn't enough.

In "Must Love Dogs", the character Jake summed it well:
"You have to be totally honest, because you've got nothing to lose…we're never going to see each other as clearly, this nakedly as we do right here, right now."
He also says "You can't say 'Happy anniversary honey, here's the real me.' It doesn't work that way."
Pretty wise words for a romantic comedy.

You have to make the effort to be compatible. Sometimesi t comes easily and sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes you have to compromise. It can be as simple as the Mad Genius will watch "So you think you can dance" and I will tolerate "UFC". He makes an effort to ask about what I'm reading and I make an effort to listen about what he reads. Thankfully, for us, most of the time our likes and dislikes are similar. So, not just compatibility but flexibility too.

I'm not saying that our marriage is perfect. It's perfect for us. Sure, we have some fights and frustrations. It's normal. But we're friends, we're compatible, we love each other and we're real. It doesn't make us bullet-proof, but we've at least got our protective vests on.

It's not about Love.

Allo Poppets!

It's me, I've returned. Just as promised. Just where the hell have I been, you ask?
Around is the answer.
I've been enjoying one of the nicest summers ever, which makes me grateful to be gainfully unemployed.
I've been hanging with my mom and the Mad Genius.
I've been making progress, finally, on the book. I know! Shocking!

I've also, upon on of my BFF's advice, watching trashy daytime television.

It's been great!!

However, now it's a new month. The summer is waning and it's time to attempt adulthood once again.

I'll let you know how it goes. (:-D