Saturday, May 11, 2013

Scatter My Ashes At Starbucks

Smack dab in the middle of the weekend as I string these letters together to dance before you. And Part Two of my wife's birthday-related activities is in the can.

For Part One, on May first, we went on one of those Harbor Cruises where they serve you dinner and you eat and check out the downtown lights from the water for a couple hours...

Ah, the happy couple... 

Our view from the table, looking out at the bay at dusk. 

It was much cooler while it was still light outside. Once it became night, all you saw was black and a scattering of lights... if we do this again, we'll do a brunch cruise, or some such, so we can look at the water the whole time.

There weren't many on the cruise the night we went. Most of the tables were empty - there might have been a dozen diners total, all couples, of course. So it was like having the boat to ourselves. See that champagne bottle there? I ended up downing that bottle by myself, lol. Wifey said it made her head hurt, and I didn't want to waste it! Besides, it's just champagne, right? Wrong. I was feeling it, for sure.

All things considered, I had a terrific evening, and Wifey enjoyed it as well.

Part Two of Wifey's birthday celebration we did today, as I said. There was a documentary that came out today, the trailer for which I watched a few weeks back. I immediately knew Wifey would enjoy it greatly, so I kept it a secret from her and waited for the release date (May 10) to see if it would be opening somewhere in San Diego or not. It's called "Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's", and it's about the history of the ultra-high-end NYC retail store Bergdorff-Goodmans, on 5th Avenue in New York. Here's the trailer...

Well, it wasn't playing in San Diego, but there were four theaters in LA that were showing, the closest one being in Irvine, about 1.25 hours drive away. Bought tickets, and we drove up today. Great movie, I enjoyed it greatly, but more importantly, so did Wifey. It was another good call on my part! We ate pizza afterwards at a little pizza place called Blaze Pizza, which was terrific as well. Then we drove back, happy.

So both events I was able to keep secret, remarkably, and she enjoyed both as well. So score one for me this year.

I'll probably still have to buy her some shoes at some point, lol...

OK, what else?

I've decided to stop making newsletters for my graphic's clients. I've been making them for over a decade now, and though the steady money is nice, the weight of having to make them is constant, and I think I'm ready to stop. I wrote an email to my main client, explaining my situation, thanking him profusely for the chance to be involved for so long, and saying I will gladly help him transition into a new newsletter creator (help training, etc) if needed. Looks like it will be smooth. Now to contact the other clients and see how it goes with them!

Still limping my way through Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay.

Acting classes are getting good again - I think my mindset and expectations are evolving so rapidly, it's hard to keep up. I trust that's a sign that I'm making speedy progress or something. This past class we performed scenes from the George Clooney film called Michael Clayton (which I've never seen before), and it was a good, solid time.

Hey, a funny anecdote about the class - trust me, this is good, and it has a cool point. Anyway, in one of the Michael Clayton scenes being performed by two fellow classmates, the instructor said (after the first run-through) that when they performed it again, one of the characters was going to slap the other one. He pulled the "slapper" into the other room, and together they decided when he would slap his co-actor. So none of us watching knew when the slap would occur, and neither did the one getting slapped. When it happened, it was a real slap, not faked. It was quite a shocker, really... and it did something amazing. It unlocked something in the dude that got slapped, and his performance that run through was much, much better than before... he was on edge the whole time, trying to act the scene, and not knowing when the slap would happen... and when it did, his reactions were so genuine, the scene just sailed...

It was really something. But now the punchline. The instructor, Steve, didn't do it for comic relief, or to pick on the guy getting slapped. He said, "All of you... you need to act every scene you're in as though you may get slapped at any moment." The idea being, it keeps you so rooted in the action of the moment, you don't have time to settle into the comfort zone of 'knowing everything that is going to happen ahead of time,' and playing 5 moves ahead in your mind, like chess, etc. It forces you to play to "right now", and to give/receive fresh, genuine responses, as though the whole scene is really happening for the very first time, right now, before us.

Don't know how that strikes you (no pun intended) but it was a real eye-opener. That was worth the price of admission right there.

I don't know if any of you read My Utmost for His Highest (Oswald Chambers) as a devotional, but the May 10th entry (called Take the Initiative) just about blew me over, it was so strong. I normally don't like to copy text into here, since it's hard to resist the urge to skim over it... I mean, I'm supposed to be writing the blog post myself, not foisting someone else's words upon you, right? But I'm going to post a portion of it here, in case someone would like to discuss it in the comments sections...

Take the Initiative
"...add to your faith virtue..." (2 Peter 1:5)
Add means that we have to do something. We are in danger of forgetting that we cannot do what God does, and that God will not do what we can do. We cannot save nor sanctify ourselves— God does that. But God will not give us good habits or character, and He will not force us to walk correctly before Him. We have to do all that ourselves. We must “work out” our “own salvation” which God has worked in us (Philippians 2:12). Add means that we must get into the habit of doing things, and in the initial stages that is difficult. To take the initiative is to make a beginning— to instruct yourself in the way you must go.... Beware of the tendency to ask the way when you know it perfectly well.


Man, there's so much here in these few sentences, it's hard to know where to start. Or even if I should start! Heck, it may be enough for you just to read it like I did, mouth slightly open, feeling like someone is slapping you during your scene, lol. I especially thought that final line was a tooth-loosener... asking the way when you already know it perfectly well... ouch.

I think I'll just leave this topic here for now, lest I weaken it by cluttering it up with my own words.

All that to say, these be interesting days for me. I'm looking forward to seeing the Spring segue into Summer, and what that brings with it...

Adios for now,

Dave, on a roll...


David Wagner said...

No one commented! What the heck!? Look, just cuz I don't always respond to the comments you leave doesn't mean I don't read them, or I don't love you anymore! In fact, [cue Whitney Houston music} and Iiiiii will always looooove yoooooouuuu!

There, see? I serenaded you and everything. That MUST be a sure sign of my commitment to you! What do I have to do, send you flowers or something!? Sheesh!

OK, now that I've bared my soul to you, you MUST leave a comment. It's good blog protocol or something...

Anonymous said...

thanks for the slap in the mind Dave..Iiiiii alsoooo looooooove yoouuu!

Anonymous said...

Great pic of you and your wifey! What a great surprise.