Tuesday, March 14, 2006

UPDATE (03.14.06)--More PC headaches, Swati Khurana, Imelda

EVERYBODY TALKS about funk and blues a lot that the only "joyful" gig left is -- when you chill out over bourbon or vodka and puke laughing. And then when you wake up in the morning, you try to focus on abstract things that'll probably make you escape, really escape from something awry that keeps on nagging you (although you cant seem to pinpoint that "disease"). You'd imagine sauntering by the beach just like what that Corona ad suggests... if only, if only you could actually live far from your laptop and inbox for at least one whole week. It's really sad, it's synthetic. I miss the sea, the endless rain, and the open/wet market.
I miss those days--when back rents and ragged shoes dont matter. When all that matters is a Wednesday night hangin' out with my rowdy friends over vinegar-soaked deer meat and Cerveza, Sunday afternoons with my brothers sweating it out, backyard basketball games, goofing around, and Monday mornings at work is like a new day.
So what do we do these days?
How could we ever hope to be on that "Corona beach" when what you hear/watch/read are plane crashes--in Santa Monica Beach, in New Jersey. So you go to Blockbuster to "escape" via Hollywood pills. I just watched two "plane" movies -- "Red Eye" and "Flightplan," two movies that simply slap you in the face with the purpose of numbing your sense of logic (or common sense) and just enjoy. (How could a skinny, frail young lady overcome a professional assassin/terrorist? How come an entire crew of a posh airline missed out on one passenger? Hollywood is making us believe that it's that easy to let "security" slip and still so easy to overcome terrorists?) Ah! I enjoyed "40 Year Old Virgin" better (I instantly fell in love with Catherine Keener, forget that she has no hips at all).
So what can we do? But stare at the boob tube, try out the DVD player, read internet news, grab a New York Times and USA Today. Good news is always the bad news--Gaither had "good material" about student unrest in Paris. Weird, that instantly made me miss my militant student days in Manila.
Meantime, let me rant about my messed zip drive. As of this writing, no sure remedy yet about my zip drive problem. It costs around $113. (It's good that I already got Wander #3 done before this latest comp problem came.)
A zip drive is an external drive that is hooked up by USB cord to (usually) a PC computer. It holds huge memory--particularly pagemaker (magazine) files that I use for The Indie and Wander etc. Problem is, with the crazy surge of new techno baubles these days which Mac/Apple leads the way, not many people use zip drives these days.
With Mac, I can save files on CD disc but I will have to convert my pagemaker file to a Mac-readable version. I have Macs but I will have to relearn all these re-programs. I essentially work on PCs. Technology didnt actually speed up work -- it is very convenient to big business but not to ordinary people. All these new programs make us all confused, work more complicated, and business unfairly very competitive (but leaned towards those who can afford the hi-tech gizmo).
Computer gizmos--from palm pilots to zip drives to inkjet printers to laptops--is like they are actually programmed to conk out after a certain span of time. At which time, these computer companies have already sent out 15 new albeit more expensive programs and baubles to sell us. I was reading Kurt Vonnegut's 1997 book, "Timequake" to sort of find surreal solace from this insane hi-techno consumerism.
I actually need a bit of breathing space up in the wilderness soon. I start to burn out a bit--not because of physical workload--but because of frustrations from other things. I might go up Grok Mountain soon on invite from Jim Cox, or chill a bit in Chapel Hill... Can I bring my laptop? (Uhh, isnt it crazy? We cant leave our techno partners like we're married to them?)
Now, the Updates...

[ ] The Twin Rivers film festival happens on these following dates/venues--(1) April 29, Courtyard, (2) May 4, Fine Arts Theater, (3) May 5, UNCA Alumni Hall. The concert event that is set on April 29 at the Courtyard is not yet final FINAL. I mean, the concert event will definitely happen but the Traveling Bonfires may not participate, pending mutually-agreed decisions on some organizational/business matters. The Bonfires helped hook up both Fine Arts and UNCA filmshows but we may not participate in the event...

[ ] Also, the Traveling Bonfires isnt involved with the Thursday Open Mic at the Courtyard anymore. We figure, Jarrett Leone handles it pretty well... We are trying to minimize "collaborative/volunteer" work, and maximize "internal/organizational" work, that is why. Me and Marta The Nicer feels that we should concentrate more on our own spring and summer events--esp. the N a Sonje/Haiti show (UNCA, April 14) and the "Bonfires for Peace at Pritchard Park" events. And yes, we ought to find ads to the publications, asap--we havent had a paid ad in three months time now. We however are still involved with the Wed Twin Rivers judging and Friday "Classics from Around the World" Filmshows. (We also host Robert Kelley's Tuesday writers workshop, with the Courtyard Gallery...)

[ ] Walter Dinteman and Matthew Mulder join me in a poetry reading gig at Malaprops on April 19, 6:30 to 8:30pm. We are still inviting other poets to come join us...

[ ] The Traveling Bonfires and Courtyard Gallery host Swati Khurana (videographer, spoken word artists, print artist) of New York Univ on April 25, Saturday. She will show her videos and short films at the Courtyard on that night. She will also have a poetry reading gig at Malaprop's on April 27, Monday, on Glenis Redmond's booking initiative. For more info about her, go to http://bonfiresideprojects.blogspot.com/

[ ] I may have a special "donations-only" screening of "Imelda, The Documentary" at Lord Auditorium of downtown's Pack Library late this month or early April. "Imelda" is also scheduled at the Courtyard on March 31, as part of the Friday Classics event.

[ ] We welcome good friend Katie Kasben to table in all of the Traveling Bonfires' events this spring and summer, for free--as a mutual gesture of solidarity and support. She has been helping us out in the last few years. She is promoting her project, "48 Hour Film Project."

[ ] We might have a "Loud & Peaceful" rock concert at Joli Rouge on May 6. And another Third World Asheville/all-women's concert in April.

That's it, for now. I am about to watch "The Constant Gardener." I read John LeCarre's book... Oh by the way, we need book reviewers. The books that I have at this junctire are--local novelist Lewis W. Green's novels and books of fiction, and one by Victor M. Depta (c/o agency). I also would like to let agents and friends of bluesman Cyril Lance and singer-songwriter Madelyn Lavender that my review of their CDs are coming this next (April) issue of The Indie.

Thanks to Glenis Redmond for committing to donate money to the N a Sonje/Haiti project, Robert Kelley and Katie Kasben for helping me out with my zip drive problem, AKA Johnny R of Kinko's for being always so accommodating to our aftermidnight visits, to Karen Helman for agreeing to do the interview/story of Asheville Community Theater, to Laura Blackley for making us feel that she's a part of the Bonfires community, to Dashvara and Hippie Shitzu for being always there when we need them, to Jarrett Leone for being consistently nice and reliable, to Ty Hallock for the website work, to Chris Johnson for the Touch Samadhi blessings and the Bonfires April 15 poster--to Matt Mulder, Mike Hopping, Gaither Stewart, Jim Cox, Walter Dinteman, Laura Hope Gill, Debbie Metcalf, Onca O'Leary, Lady Passion/Diuvei (Dixie Deerman, Steve Rasmussen), Kelly Lee Phipps, Al Fazio, Carlos Steward--for the deadline adherence and respect. And, to Marta The Nicer for my chocolate muffins supply, and the other half of the energy...

Gracias to the Blue Sky God/dess!
--Pasckie

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