Whatever happened to movies?

Whatever happened to watching movies?

And I don’t mean simply in the theatre. I mean watching them period.

It feels like everyone my age and younger doesn’t watch films. They put on a film – or sometimes attend one in a theatre – , and then spend a handful of seconds or minutes here and there, all throughout the film, checking their phones, or giving their attention elsewhere entirely.

Many of them talk during the film, too, and not just at the music or quiet parts – when actors are in active dialogue.

Half the time, that all then leads to their missing some vital piece of the story or a character, they end up asking questions and talking over even more of the film and dialogue, or they just miss it all completely and have no idea that they missed anything at all.

I no longer wonder at my being given so many recommendations for terrible films – none of these people are even paying enough attention to know if the film is terrible or not. They only see snippets, in the first place, and most good films will seem boring, because they are missing all the wonderful parts that make a great film great.

But does this really surprise me much? I think not. I have experienced consciously for years a lack of people’s being present in life. The same person will tell me the same thing multiple times, as though it is important and new… I pay attention and am present in those conversations, and therefore could tell the story myself, in his or her own words, I’ve heard it so many times.

I’m growing tired of this. Conversations on repeat is exhausting, especially when they carry so much emotion on the telling side.

I watch a film to be an immersed observer of an alternate world for a short time, to experience life from another’s perspective. I do not watch it to fill the time between my comments, to keep me company because I am uncomfortable being with myself. Sure, I have put on a movie to keep me company before, but it is always something I know well, and I don’t talk all over it, even then. Just like I don’t talk all over others, when they are talking to me.

But, even in the cinema, people have their phones out, and seem to have no idea of their disregard for the story that is telling itself on the big screen up front. That is someone’s hard-worked art – a lot of someone’s’, truly. If people aren’t here to experience and honor the set, why bother? They can look at their phones at home or anywhere else, talk with their friends (and over their friends) anywhere else. But either be here or be there – do not pretend you are in either place, if you will not be there fully. Pick a place, and be present there, fully. Period. It is a disservice to all creation to do any less.

Post-a-day 2021

I figured it out

I think I know what has been bothering me so much about all of this lately.

You see, the grammar of the whole ‘Let’s use “they” to reference a single person,’ idea has really, really bothered me. To be clear, English has a gender neutral, singular pronoun. That pronoun is “it”. No one needs to make up something else, but, oh, wait – someone already did. Years ago, people in the actual communities involved in addressing firsthand situations where male or female identification, for whatever reason, did not work, had already begun using a new word, “zi” (though it might be spelled differently – I have forgotten, and mostly only knew it as a spoken word). Why do I know this? Because I interacted with people who were dealing with this firsthand. I’ve been involved with such people for most of my life. Being respectful of people’s identities is not new to me. Commanding people on how to speak, however, is new to me. (And a touch too Newspeak for me, really…)

Growing up, people simply shared when they wanted to be referenced as something other than as the standard male or female. Sometimes, that meant the person was in transition from one gender to another. Sometimes, it meant the person experienced residence in both genders or neither gender. But that person, or someone sharing about the person, would communicate that clearly to any party, whenever that information was needed. It was usually a really wonderful conversation to have, sharing or learning such information from or about someone.

Now, however, things are not only different, but they feel absurd.

No longer are people merely communicating openly about when they have a request to be referenced differently from the standard. Instead, a very loud part of the population is demanding that, in order not to hurt the feelings of those people, everyone must give up gender identity – we must stop referring to anyone or anything as he/she.

(Because we have to be more careful with the minorities than with the majorities? Are they not strong, wonderful, powerful people? I’ve always experienced them to be so. And I grew up in a world of minorities.)

I do not support this approach. For one thing, I have worked very, very hard to be the woman I am today, to have the relationship I have with my own womanhood. I am not a non-gender. (I am also not plural, but let’s leave the grammar aside for the moment.) I am not gender-neutral. I am a woman. Period. Please, refer to me as such. And yes, it is 100% obvious that I am a woman. But, if someone accidentally called me a “Sir” or a “he” – oh, by the way, that happened plenty when I lived in Japan -, I would not be offended. It would be a mistake or a misunderstanding. It would not be a denial of my womanhood, in exchange for non-womanhood.

The biggest part of this all for me, though, is how it feels like everyone seems to be stepping on eggshells not to upset a very small percentage of the population, simply because another small percentage of the population has been and continues to be horrible to that minority.

It has been the same feeling for me regarding the race equality issues that have been so vocalized this past year+. I grew up in a very diverse county and city, and I have lived in multiple cultures. I’ve been the absolute minority in a culture, even considered to be less-than-human. None of that has mattered much to me, nor has it been under much consideration throughout my life. We are people first. And I grew up honoring and respecting and loving people for who they are. And, before they are homosexual, Asian, trans-gender, or allergic to nuts, they are people. And I honor and love them simply for that. Everything else just adds to the opportunities to love.

And yet, from these loud social voices, I have felt a barrage of demands for me to stop being racist, etc. Yes, there are people who act unkindly to people based on race. Let’s help those people work on that – let’s educate those people on the wonders of humanity and the different races within it. Why is everyone attacking right now? Fighting fire with fire never works, anyway, let alone when the real fire is nowhere near where the fighting is happening.

There are also people who are horrible toward children. There are people who are horrible towards different religions. There are people who are horrible to others, period. There are people who are horrible toward themselves.

I think, rather than attacking the world at large, demanding and commanding them to be anti-something, it would prove most valuable to teach people how to love, how to see value in things they have not come to know yet, how to get to know what they likely fear (the fear being why they have treated it horribly thus far).

The most powerful thing in this world is love. So, why does it feel like the vast majority of these loud voices are not using it? They are missing out on an amazing opportunity by pushing aside love.

Post-a-day 2021

Lieutenant Michael Murphy

Today has been Memorial Day, a day for remembering, honoring, and extending gratitude to those who have served in the military, whatever branch they may have been, and who died during that service. In their honor and memory, I now always honor specifically Navy SEAL Lieutenant Michael Patrick Murphy and the 18 others who died for Operation Red Wings on 28 June, 2005, through my practice of the workout now called “Murph”. While it is a thing worldwide, today was a bit extra special for me.

One of my cousins used to live in San Diego and work among the SEALs. He was not technically a SEAL, as he was brought in in a non-traditional way, but he worked and trained alongside them for many years. One of his best friends from that work was on the first helicopter that had aimed to rescue the original four SEALs from the reconnaissance mission that had gone so terribly sour. That helicopter was shot down before any aid could be given, and all those in it died.

Below are all of their names, both those from the original four and those who died while aiming to rescue those four. I list them here, that those who read this might offer up a prayer, a positive intention, some light, some love, and/or some gratitude for the efforts of these men to make the world a better place by giving their all, both physically and mentally, as well as for those efforts continuing all the way to the end of their lives. Being in the military is more than about guns and fighting – it is about being one’s best self, such that the country itself has the opportunity and ability to do that same. Therefore, I am always grateful to those who serve in the military, and I give my love to each of these men listed here, that their souls may be at peace, and their families, too.

Navy SEALs

LT Michael P. Murphy

SO2 Matthew Axelson

SO2 Danny Dietz

SOC Jacques J. Fontan

SOC Daniel R. Healy

LCDR Erik S. Kristensen

SO1 Jeffery A. Lucas

LT Michael M. McGreevy Jr.

SO2 James E. Suh

SO1 Jeffrey S. Taylor

SO2 Shane E. Patton

Army 160th SOAR

SSG Shamus O. Goare

CWO3 Corey J. Goodnature

SGT Kip A. Jacoby

SFC Marcus V. Muralles

MSG James W. Ponder III

MAJ Stephen C. Reich

SFC Michael L. Russell

CWO4 Chris J. Scherkenbach

Post-a-day 2021

Value in being valued

On a walk the other day with my mom, we met these nice old people who live on her street, just after we picked up some ujukitsu off the ground in their backyard/the abandoned small golf course. Turns out that they met one another while teaching for a year in Japan on a military base (that is no longer in existence) near Tokyo. I am familiar with the train line that led to it, according to them. Before Japan, they each had taught a year or two in Hawai (he) and the Philippines (she), and then they met and married and moved to teach on a base in Germany together. They were part of the foreign service teaching for 14 years altogether, I believe they had said. Then they moved to Houston and taught in elementary schools here until they retired. It was adorable to hear.

Considering my frustrations in this part-time job I am now working, I have wondered if something in school teaching is still calling to me. I miss having classes of kids, and teaching something – and something valuable – each and every day I go to work, and being loved and trusted and valued by those around me, in immediate interaction with me every day. Though, perhaps it is less about the classroom and more about the respect and valuing and love that comes to me in a classroom, but that has seemed nearly nonexistent in this position. I have even felt disrespected and incredibly undervalued and unappreciated here.

I wonder what there is for me to do about that.

I know one thing for sure: I’m tired of relying on the way I am told things work. Word-of-mouth information is faulty, and it has proven itself to be so over and over again in this job. I am tired of it. I will do my research for all of my questions, and clock the hours and expect no pay for them, and I will be prepared for all the stuff at this job that will pop up at some time or other – the crazy situations all seem to be inevitable, and I prefer to be prepared and to know what on Earth is going on. So, I will prepare myself, and I will not rely any longer on anyone else to teach me what I need to know or what they all think I need to know – that has been terrible so far, and I am done with it.

In doing that, I will be prepared as I want to be prepared, and as I always prepare myself when I care about something. The system is faulty, and I do not have to follow it – I can do better than it, and I shall, especially in this part of it.

Separately, I am doing more photos tomorrow morning, and I am nervous. I have been doubting and stressed since that bad photo shoot where I didn’t trust myself the other week. I know I need to take photos to move past this, but that doesn’t make it less scary for me. Someone will be relying on me, and I will be relying on a camera… and myself. Now, I just need to trust myself, and do what is needed to be done. Even if that seems like a ridiculous something. You can do this, Banana. Trust yourself and have faith in yourself – Jishin to Kokoro.

Post-a-day 2020

Fitness vs Fatness

Am I at the focus, or is something else the A-liner? Fitness or Fatness? Lately, I have not been at the center – my health and well-being, this body that carries my soul, my spirit, in this lifetime. Lately, my tongue’s and memory’s desires have been the center of my food. It is no wonder I have had much more fatness than fitness in my life lately.

I have been wanting it more and more, but have yet to turn the tides fully over the past several months… I wonder what has been missing for me to do that… is it a question of self-worth in the midst of having to create self-motivation to create the time and the energy and effort for fitness all on my own? I think I have always reached out somehow when I have gotten to a point in fitness/fatness at which I do not want to be any longer. But turning to the groups is not exactly an option right now where I live, and also how I live (aka I can’t afford to spend the money on the one place where I could do the group fitness right now). But I also do not genuinely want to reach out this time. I want to resolve whatever this has been within me that I continue to have stop me from fitting myself (as I like to say in my head… or, also, fitnessing myself). And so, I will not join that gym. Right now, I’m a bit too tired to function effectively enough to work through all of this, but I intend to continue this conversation with myself tomorrow, and to search for and find those uncomfortable parts that I have allowed to run me for these past several years.

At that, goodnight! 😉

Post-a-day 2020

Surprise, again

It still takes me by surprise when people display extreme appreciation or love for me (outside of my family, anyway).

I’m working on that.

But I am grateful that I am now at the point of noticing this reaction, such that I can begin to accept the appreciation and love without restraint, thereby helping myself believe that the whole reason that person loves and appreciates me so is because he or she experienced who I truly am…, and it is no wonder that person loves and appreciates me…, because that person really is amazing. 🙂

Post-a-day 2020