Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Return of the Thunder Cloud?

"Who is B.G?"...was just Gerry's sarcastic way of saying he had nothing for the paparazzi so they would leave him alone.  He always uses sarcasm to handle these types of things.

Does anyone remember the Cameron Diaz incident back in 2008?  He was being sarcastic then too, but didn't realize how it sounded and of course the rags had a field day with it.   I exploited it mercilessly and his accent was a little thicker then,  but some of you might remember this little incident.


Personally, I think he handles such things much better these days.

Hopefully he's prepping for a movie or reading some decent scripts in the desert.  He can't get away from "twitter" but at least the paparazzi are not as successful in tracking him down there.

Photo of the Muse in Beverly Hills courtesy of a "twittee."

Songs out of tune, the words always a little wrong...Canzoni Stonate

Saturday, January 28, 2012

He's not there.

Where are you, Gerry?

That was the thought when I saw these photographs this morning.  The muse dining out but very much in his head and probably still caught up in some script he's been reading....trying to picture himself in a role (or not) ...but very obviously elsewhere.

Getting good at seeing but "not" really seeing the paparazzi!
He had to have food, decided on sushi and hopped in his car and headed for one of the closer ones to his proximity and probably mulling over what he'd read that day or thinking about what he should do now or HAS to do now, no thought about whether he should change or not.   No...that would take him out of his head... Besides that particular restaurant has low lighting...or did the last time I was there...and even if it didn't, he wouldn't care.  I don't think he cares about trying to impress anyone...at least not  last night.

Songs out of tune, the words always a little wrong...Canzoni Stonate

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Coriolanus will be playing...

...at the independent Laemmle Theaters around the Los Angeles area in early February and early March.   Here is the schedule for those of you who still haven't seen it and live in the area.

FALLBROOK 7   -  02-03-12

PLAYHOUSE 7  -  02-03-12

NOHO 7 - 03-02-12

TOWN CENTER 5  - 03-02-12

Songs out of tune, the words always a little wrong...Canzoni Stonate

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Women on Women

Yeah, I know the title sounds like a porno lesbian thing... but with all the gossip swirling about the Muse and his brief tumble in the hay with a reality TV star and the resulting comments on several websites, I find myself having to comment on something that should be obvious to the most astute observer. We are talking about two single, consenting adults spending time with each other or sucking face or more...or whatever it was they did or didn't do....and one of them blabbing about it... and not someone committing homicide or worse.

I saw the infamous clip of the show and to me it sounded like a woman trying to curry favor with someone she might have dissed before (to her friends at least...if the gossip is to believed about the "circumference" and "curvature" of someone's anatomy) by rating their time together "off the charts!"    It was either a public "I'm sorry ...and I hope this helps" kind of thing, or "Sorry, but I'm trying to get your attention again and getting a little publicity along the way" kind of thing.  Either way...it's not really important in the scheme of things.  At least not to him.

This GB and BG thing is very simple... Man meets woman at party with minimum clothing and flowing liquor.  One comes on to the other...and nature takes over and they end up in the sack together.  True or false, it sounds probable, knowing the horny reputation of one  party.  The length of time they spent together may or may not be accurate, but that's show biz!

What really gets me riled up is not that it happened or didn't happen, nor what it means to either party, because I honestly don't think it means much in a world where  "reality TV" is the entertainment of the day for many, but it has to do with the little I was able to stomach reading from the people commenting on it.

You know what I sometimes detest about my gender?  How much we like to blame "piggish" men for our ills and yet how much power we hand over to them by  "allowing " them to define us.   And then to make matters worse,  we turn around and emulate them in the way we speak about women!  How utterly stupid is that?

Ever hear how "some" men sit around and talk about women?  Locker room talk, I mean?   Want some examples?   No?   Well reading some of the comments women have made about this "desperate housewife" (yes, housewife has become a demeaning word in some quarters and that's why the second word in all the titles of these shows are "housewife"), one hardly needs a male around to  denigrate her or us as females.  We do a dandy, fine job of it ourselves, don't we?

Why are we women so hard on others of our gender?   Is it that there are so few males to go around that we have to make ourselves look and sound better at someone else's expense?  Do we think so little of ourselves that we have an inbred need to do it?   Are we just living out our programming as the more deadly of the species, despite the fact that men go to physical war with each other and kill each other that way?  Do we mostly outlive men because our genetic make up is more complicated, or do we just end up either nagging them or boring them to death after we've either succeeded or not in changing them into the perfect model we always dreamed of but didn't get (mostly because the perfect one doesn't exist) or because we let some man mold us into something we're not and we secretly hate him for it?

There are so many questions and never enough answers.  Historically women haven't faired well because we were once considered merely chattel or breeding material for men.  The lucky ones who were able to enthrall a man, were loved and treasured, but still only given the rights her husband would accord her.  This is still true in a lot of societies around the world and in some of these societies, women are struggling to get the barest of rights accorded them.  We, in the free world, are so lucky...and yet....

Let me get to the crux of what is sitting in my craw.  Is it or is it not true that we are born, we age, and we die?   All of us.  Not one of us escapes this....neither gender.   We are babies, preteens, teens, twenty-somethings (for a fleeting 9 years), thirty-somethings (for another fleeting 9 years) and so on....   I think you are getting the picture of where this is going now?  We are some of us bright, some of us "not so bright" and some of us "downright stupid!"   I am talking "mentally handicapped" people aside.   Our genetic make up we get from our parents and our ancestors, but however we are blessed or not, with brains and not looks, with brains and looks, with looks and little brains, etc... we all have choices with what we do with our blessings or a lack of them.   WE DO HAVE CHOICES to be better than our raw materials.

What gets me fighting mad is the choices some people make.  One of those choices I see so many women making is letting "men" define them...from cradle to grave...men define them and they go along with it and adopt it as a mantel they wear with pride.   They don't even realize they are doing it, but they do.  Ever watch a woman in a shoe store try to stuff her tender feet into a too tight, too high a heel, stylish shoe by the latest and greatest (male ) designer to be fashionable?   That's just one innocuous little example, but when these girls hit their old age, it's not funny when their feet are destroyed and ugly from trying to fit into a "sadist" version of what is beautiful.

Ever see how many people suffer from low self esteem in our society?  Men suffer from it, but not to the extent women do (or perhaps women are more verbal about it)...even very beautiful women (after all something MUST be wrong with them).   And that "low self esteem" makes us even harder on our own gender.  You can take that to the bank.   And hard we are.

Now there is something called "self reliance" and being responsible for ourselves by not letting ourselves be victims.  We can choose the way we see ourselves!   But the victimized sometimes love to prey on others in order to feel better.  And those that like to prey have a nifty little tool called the internet ...that allows them to victimize anonymously....and how we love to do it....hide behind computers and smugly trash others for every little misstep, whether they deserve it or not.   Now to the point...

I don't know this Hollywood Housewife.  I don't watch  reality TV shows.  It's a choice I make.   It may be fine for some...but it's not my thing.  I think most of these things are scripted and the only thing real about it is the courseness of some of the players.    All well and good if you like this kind of thing.  All I know about BG, as I'll call her, is that she supposedly was "kissing" the muse at a party in Malibu and from that...that she is the ex of someone I knew little about until he started going out with a country western star, who I also know little about, except for her name and only because my little niece likes country western music (which I don't).

After reading all the uproar over this whole silly affair and its resurrection by said BG about GB and their time together, I can't get over the stupid remarks being made by women regarding this person.   Not just about what she does, or who she is, but how she looks.  Their comments come straight out of the "men's locker room" some of them.  She is being called an old hag.  How can anyone be an old hag at 38 or 39?   Are these twenty something women saying this?   They are going to be 39 sooner then they think and will it be okay for others to call them "old hags" because of it?  How stupid and brainless an action is that?   Are they planning on dying young so they don't have to be that "dreaded" 39?  Do they hear the same kind of "shit" from their mothers?  God forbid!

I don't know or care how much help BG has had to keep up her appearance, but she doesn't look like any kind of a hag from her  photos.  Now I can't see her brain from her photographs, but perhaps if I were to make a study I might find she didn't have a big one or that she might but comes from a line of ninnies with no common sense.   Even smart people are sometimes afflicted with a "lack of common sense" gene in their make up.

The thing is that we use derogatory terms that are normally used by men against women to denigrate those of our own gender and every time WE do it, we are making it worse for ourselves and our daughters...   EVERY TIME we make a young woman feel that "her looks" or now even the way her "sexual organs look" can never be perfect enough or that those looks are the only thing that matter to the OTHER GENDER, we make her small and insignificant....(never mind that we make that OTHER gender pretty small too)!   We tell her that THAT is the only thing that counts and that her "brains" or her "good heart"  or her "sweet disposition" or her "beautiful eyes" or her "sense of humor" or  her "empathy for others" don't matter.  She is only going to be measured by her beauty AND as soon as she turns 30 or she has a baby...well baby... she's finished in that department!  Is it any wonder we live in a youth obsessed culture where looks are more important than wisdom and our young women lack self esteem because they can't live up to an impossible ideal of what is beautiful?   And that EVERY time we indulge in this kind of cattiness using some men's words against another foolish, silly woman, that we reinforce this unrealistic expectation and teach these young women that in order to get a pat on the head or a chance with a male we might fancy is by being "pretty" above all things.

I suspect a lot of the people who indulge in this kind of internet assassination by words, are even older then BG and mothers to boot.  Do they feel better about themselves by attacking her in this manner?    I don't know, but it's clear to me that most of them who do it are lacking in self esteem themselves.  Ever notice how much envy there is in this world?

Oh well.  I can swallow a little better now, having spit out my opinion.

As for BG, I don't personally know her.  That she's on this kind of show and talks about things better kept personal only tells me she's a bit of a twit and maybe an ambitious twit!

As for GB, my guess is that he is probably a little annoyed someone is bringing up a past he's already filed away under "do not disturb"  and perhaps a bit of a twit himself if he doesn't realize she was just trying to minimize the damage from her previous comment to friends, if those are even true.   Whatever he thinks about the matter,  the gossip blogs will have fun re-wording the less then five minute clip fifty different ways...even to make other men think that King Leonidas is an 11 in the sack, despite a crooked penis! After all, for all those "crooked penis" guys out there.."it's what you do with the thing" not how straight it is, right?  A win situation for them, at least!

I'm grinning right now, but I guess that's the only thing left to do after reading over this post!

Songs out of tune, the words always a little wrong...Canzoni Stonate

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Hollywood Animal

I'm supplementing my education a little  courtesy of Joe Eszterhas' book "Hollywood Animal."  I wonder if the Muse has ever read it?

It's a great eye opener as to how business is sometimes conducted in this town, and some of the past and present players involved.

Good education for the naive wanting to play in the sandbox.

Very interesting and hard to put down.

Songs out of tune, the words always a little wrong...Canzoni Stonate

Friday, January 20, 2012

Coriolanus Review (Spoilers)

I wrote this review back in November and thought I should post it as the movie opens today.

Coriolanus Review 11/8/11

While having dinner after watching Coriolanus at the AFI Film Fest last night, I started thinking about what I would write in a review of the movie.  I have to say that I enjoyed it.  It was a very intense, well acted debut for Ralph Fiennes directorial talents.  Of course the festival viewers, more serious movie goers than your average audience, was very appreciative and you could hear a pin drop during the presentation, so engrossed was the audience.  With Fiennes and several of the producers present, the movie got a great deal of applause at its conclusion.

As I sat over dinner, cradling my glass of wine, as it sometimes does, my mind was going in all different directions, but it kept coming back to one thought about this particular Shakespeare classic and that was that Coriolanus was a very dour, unlikeable fellow.  The message that political intrigue and the mob mentality, aided by questionable rhetoric, is still alive and well in the present day makes it very relevant, and although the Shakespearean did not detract from either the understanding or the ongoing narrative of the whole movie for me, I found the first half of the movie a little overcrowded with words.  I guess that is part and parcel of loving Shakespeare and the fact there was so much to get out there to tell the story.

First of all... I love words and language, particularly if it is literate and even when it is not, descriptive and addressing the point.  But even more than I love words, I am in love with the messages that flow from one human to the other, sometimes with little or no words.  I am in love with the language of the eyes, the words that are unspoken, but just as surely the delivery of the message from the soul, aided by the body language of the speaker and acknowledged by the recipient.  It is like an electrical current that flows between two points.   And there it is, the crux of the matter as to why I found the first part of the movie so full and tried to say so much with so many words.

Fiennes is in love with words, yet he conveys so much without them sometimes and the message is so much more eloquent in those instances.   While watching him in the beginning of the movie, I kept thinking his face would break from so much anger and disdain.  The curl of the lip (really a lifting of the left side) was almost enough to signal the contempt he felt for the people and how separate from them all he was, the only language that he understood was the language of the warrior...understanding his weapons, his almost blind, foolish courage to press on when lesser (or maybe wiser) men would not.  Such is the stuff that heroes are made, their glories there for us to see in history.  But this was a man who understood not subtlety nor compromise....not of principles, but of the necessities of governing or even consolidating power.  He had his mother to thank for it, yet she was allowed the weapon that he was not, that which men are taught to suppress...their tears, especially the ones that cleanse the soul of their burdens.  Volumnia was the master at being all things, yet every bit as proud as her son, her hubris softened by her femininity and her tears, but no less lethal in dealing with an enemy.

Lacking these subtleties that is where Coriolanus could really only understand his enemy Tullus Aufidius, another powerful warrior, no less fierce, but who represented a more temperate disposition and carried the love/admiration of his people and his men and perhaps understood some of the subtleties.

The second part of the movie, where Fiennes and his actors rely more on what appears on their faces and the words imparted by the silences of others, the movie "sang" for me.  With such a nice face and lovely eyes, Fiennes almost makes Coriolanus likeable here and in the end, if even more scary by his "lack" of emotion once he has decided to surrender to Aufidius.   Yet it is the very dedication into which he throws himself that he becomes the admiration of Aufidius' own men, some who seek to emmulate him and, he, them, an exchange that makes him appear even more the animal that he can be.

The homoerotic essence of the scene where the male (Coriolanus) who surrenders is, in essence, surrendered to... in an exchange of words and embraces that signal both of them understand the act and what it means...that each recognizes a strength that equals their own, is one I've always been fascinated by and explored in one of my writings.   I find it curious that Fiennes gave wings to the thoughts as Shakespeare probably intended them.  The recognition, by both, of what the symbolic act represented... was electrifying...and that current I spoke of was flowing here (as it was in the knife fight) between the two actors, the words aiding them in the scene.

The performances in the movie were excellent all around.  While I found Coriolanus character too verbose in the beginning, he was as Shakespeare created him, so I can't fault Fiennes for what I felt was an over the top delivery.  As he mellows down in the second part of the movie, I found him superb.

Vanessa Redgrave's Volumnia was every bit her son's equal in her ferociousness, except her delivery was softened by her gender.   Her performance was also superb, though I felt she was matched by the very excellent and oh so natural, Brian Cox.   If I had to pick a favorite performance here, it would be Cox's Menenius.  Funny that so many reviews don't even mention him.  I suppose I always find the most manly of men so poignant when they are vulnerable or find themselves defeated and for me Cox falls on his sword with great panache.

Jessica Chastain and James Nesbitt in their respective roles, turn in very credible performances that add to the whole of this production.

As for the Gerard Butler, who many considered to be the weakest link going in, he turned in a damned good performance.   I have to say that he was a natural for Aufidius and I think he surprised many people by how easy he fit into this casting.  As a matter of fact, I think for many, his name and face on the poster will bring in an audience for this movie that may not have given it second look.   I also think that his scenes with Ralph Fiennes are among the most intriguing.  If Fiennes scenes with Volumnia were electric because of the dynamic between mother and son created by the playwright and performed with great skill by the actors,  his scenes with Aufidius provided the audience with a "meat and potatoes" kind of satisfaction needed to make this production interesting.   The testosterone that emanates from the two is so thick you could cut it with a knife, and yet it contrasts with the kind of "almost gentle" way in which they pay homage to one another and that is what makes the ending and the way Fiennes (and perhaps Shakespeare) intended it to be taken, all the more powerful.

Coriolanus is not the kind of movie you watch over and over again, but for those scenes that feature the tension and exchanges between Butler and Fiennes, I would watch it again.  The choreography and the direction by Fiennes worked magic and the audiences recognize it.

For the terrific cast of actors and for a fine directorial debut by Ralph Fiennes, I recommend this movie.

Songs out of tune, the words always a little wrong...Canzoni Stonate

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Playing the Field doing reshoots?

Multiple "test showings" of Playing the Field must have shown the filmmakers that their film still needed some work and reshoots are currently being done in Shreveport.

Hopefully the finished product will be all the better for it.

The Muse is getting good reviews for his work in Coriolanus and he doesn't want to follow that and his good performance in Machine Gun Preacher with a dud.  It looks like Mavericks will be released before Playing the Field. Wonder if this is due to an "underwhelming response" for the movie during the screenings or because they feel, with some reshoots, that it is strong enough to go head to head with the strong competition being released during the holidays 2012?

Optimist that I am, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it is the latter and not the former.  If Christmas 2011's sluggish box office is any  indication, the move is not a good one.

Perhaps they feel Mavericks is strong enough to garner more interest for a Butler movie by releasing it first?

Songs out of tune, the words always a little wrong...Canzoni Stonate

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Golden Globes

Well, caught a few glimpses of the Muse on the Golden Globes last night.   He looked very handsome in his three piece Ferragamo tux.   He was accompanied last night by  his right arm and left brain, Alan Siegel.

G. got there early for a change and seemed to linger at the starting point to catch a glimpse of and greet some of the other actors coming in.

Watching Access Hollywood tonight as I cleaned up my desk, there he was pantomiming struggling to swim to the surface to illustrate his recent encounter with the waves at Maverick and had the ladies oooohing and ahhhing to his satisfaction.

I also noticed his salute to fans on the Red Carpet by doing the Dear Frankie pose.   I think this has become a habit.   The little kid in the grown up tux does like to clown around and perform for the crowd.  He just can't seem to help himself.   This is the perfect example of the man that can appear so handsome and urbane one moment  and then the irrepressible kid who lives within HAS to come out to play.

Besides his stint as a presenter,  the Muse was caught on camera rubbing an itchy nose and almost jumped (but caught himself) when he realized he WAS on camera.  These are the Gerry type moments that make me grin.  Some things never change.

Some of the photographs posted today show him holding up his name plate. All I could think when I saw them was that maybe Alan put him up to it and he looked like he was posing for a mug shot or maybe one of those "lost kitten" posters people put up saying  "Have you see this cat?"   

Mug Shot or Lost Kitten?
We know who you are, dear.

Sent D a photo of the Muse conversing with Rob Lowe.   Lowe has been a favorite of hers since he was very young and on her recent visit over the holidays she was reading his book "Stories I Only Tell My Friends."   Her comment on the photo of the two was that the Muse had a lot of hair and Rob Lowe still looked great.

The photo is not the best of Lowe but that's only because G's size almost dwarfs the 5'11" Lowe. 

As for the show,  I thought there were some great dresses this year and the men looked very handsome too.
Angelina Jolie and Brazilian Morina Baccarin from Homeland were stunning.  Other favorites were Jessica Alba, Charlize Theron,  Kate Beckinsale and Sofia Vergara.

Favorite moments:  The lovely Mr. Sidney Poitier.  Still a class act and handsome as ever, the moments with Poitier,  grand "broad" Helen Mirren and Morgan Freemen were golden.

Loved George Clooney mentioning Michael Fassbender's talents (all of them).   Little did I know when I wrote Dating Gorgo that I was quite accurate in writing about "Stelios always bragging about the size of his sword."  Nice to see Mr. Clooney agreed with my assessment of his gifts as mention when I reviewed "Shame" on the other blog.

Hard pressed to choose between Streep and Viola Davis for the best actress award.  Love them both.

Glad to see both Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain nominated.  I also mentioned them as the best (along with Davis) in The Help.

Was also glad to see so many good roles for women this year.

Still have a lot of movies to catch up with and will hopefully be hitting the theaters this week to catch The Artist and  a few others.  

Now on to the Academy Awards.

Songs out of tune, the words always a little wrong...Canzoni Stonate

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Muse on Leno and looking fine.

The Swan makes me forget he acts for a living.
I had written a whole other post about Gerry's recent London photos and wondering how he would talk about his recent "near death" experience on Leno.  For some reason I was reluctant to post it and now am glad I didn't. 

Gerry  looked wonderful on Leno tonight.  As a matter of fact, to me,  his looks are improving with age.  There is something softer about him...but softer in a good way.  He is growing up and becoming more of a real person and less of a character...although there is still plenty of that to satisfy.   He is still wicked but I see more introspection and some restraint.  

I liked the way he talked about his experience with the waves at Mavericks.  He wasn't flippant and you could tell, if you watched closely enough, that he was affected by it in a lingering way...and who knows what will be born out of that experience....but I sense something will.   Something good, I hope.

I spent too much time commenting on those other photos though...and then he transforms into "the swan" and I am left remembering that the man is a chameleon and he acts for a living.  

I don't know what else to say anymore, except my desire to know more just makes me intrusive into his life and what  the hell gives me the right to do that?  A paparazzi took those other pictures, catching him at a vulnerable time and I am walking in and speculating on them...trying to be clairvoyant about what he was thinking or feeling.  Perhaps he was just tired.  Perhaps I am too.

Perhaps silence is golden in this case.

He does look lovely here though...and I am left feeling a little wistful...and thinking that my signature fits both of us very well tonight.

Songs out of tune, the words always a little wrong...Canzoni Stonate

Friday, January 6, 2012

I wonder if...

...Gerry is as sad as I am about the closing of the Bohdi Tree bookstore?   Walking into the store one last time on December 29th I felt such a sense of loss, almost as if I was taking final leave of an old and treasured friend.

My daughter was home for the Holidays and she and I joined the other mourners (for that's what they were) saying one last goodbye to this warm, fragrant with incense, space where you could escape from the nagging troubles of the world, the traffic on Melrose, or even a quiet, temporary haven from the heat of summer or the chill of winter.

Once through its doors The Bohdi Tree welcomed you to browse its wooden bookcases for treasures on health, diet, mysticism, religion and other spiritual morsels or to quench a thirst for further wisdom that might send you on a quest through its many rooms to sate your curiosity.

I heard the Bohdi Tree was closing almost 9 months ago.  I didn't really believe it though.  Surely someone would reconsider and save it!  The store, which has been in business for 40 years, was a "mecca for seekers of all persuasions" (to quote the L.A. Times) and saw the likes of governors, rock stars, tons of celebrities and normal, everyday armchair philosophers searching for some comfort, better health, a healthier mental approach to their problems, wisdom from the old sages, religious or spiritual guidance or even just to feel the wonderful vibes coming off its walls and share the energy flowing from its patrons, some comfortably ensconced in a corner, sipping herbal tea and engrossed in some meditative passage.

What really got to me in my farewell visit, was seeing all the bare shelves, as people wanted some lasting souvenirs from the hollowed space, lovinglyy touching the books that were left....and reaching for bargains that made you eager to buy, yet sad that this is what it had come to.

If one wanted to look for reasons for the demise of this lovely place, there are many.   In  a conversation with one of the nearby merchants many months ago, I was told that a lot of the land on that particular block had either been bought out by some wealthy investors or was being developed by them and that the leases were either not being renewed or renewed at much higher rents.  One could see establishments closing.   It started back with the loss of Mr. Teas (the former Elixir), that great space with the lighted garden and the tables among the gravel with the fountain in the middle, where you could have a healthy lunch or simply sip tea and have some quiet conversations.   It was a good place for stars and agents to meet and I observed many such meetings on my visits there.  It was the favorite haunt of a screenwriter I met at nearby Urth Caffe and when he would want to meet,  he'd always suggest meeting there.

Funnily enough, back then all the places were having trouble with the parking, thanks to the opening of the club, Villa, one the Muse used to frequent in the past.  Their valet service competed for the few parking spaces in the area and I think that started to take it's toll on some of the merchants.

As for the Bohdi Tree, I think that, as well as the changing nature of the purchasing public and the online outlets such as Amazon, caused their traffic to drop considerably, as a lot of tourists from out of the area who had previously seen this as an attraction they needed to visit, started finding a lot of the same wares online from multiple sources.

A third consideration was the fact that the owners were getting on in years and I think they got tired of fighting the inevitable.   They cited the  the bad economy and need to change the nature of the business by perhaps  adding  some non-book items such as yoga clothing or to set up "live streaming" capacity to feature guest speakers.   But they said they weren't interested in "evolving" and I feel they were right not do so.  If they had succumbed to the lure of modernizing to become more commercially competitive they would have ruined the feel of the space and it might have lost its uniqueness, that feeling that the walls were alive with the energy of all those spiritual seekers from the passing decades that had walked through its door.  We could go somewhere else if we wanted "live streaming" or yoga clothing.   To quote the L.A. Times article, "the Bodhi Tree was like a church for many," but to me its feel was more in keeping with an old world Cathedral rather than a modern, perhaps more austere, house of worship.

So it was that the closing of the Bohdi Tree added a little more to the bittersweet feeling the approaching New Year was giving me.   It was almost as if I was witnessing the passing of an era to make way for something new....and not quite sure if the "new" was going to be better or just "more" of something else there is already too much of.

There are times when less is more beautiful then more.  To me the Bohdi Tree was a little oasis of civilization and, like a lovely old building with its history etched on its walls,  it had a soul.  Yes, buildings, like humans, have souls that speak to us of past grandeurs.  Perhaps that is the reason some cities are more appealing than others and we must seek them out as visitors...because they have proudly preserved their history and made it part of its present charm. Unlike San Francisco,  Los Angeles has been very bad about preservation.  As the wild west and the last frontier, we seem to always grab for the shiny new bauble and discard the jewels with worth.  It's really a pity.

Now if they start messing with *City Lights in North Beach, San Francisco...then I will really cry a bucket of tears.

Songs out of tune, the words always a little wrong...Canzoni Stonate


City Lights original owner, poet Lawrence Furlinghetti is 92 and still very much alive, as the link above will show.   He celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the store by reading poetry...he was in his late 80's then.