It’s Sunday afternoon and I’m procrastinating. I need to work on the magazine and getting it ready for the printer, but I don’t feel much like doing that. It’s gotten to the point where there’s just so much to do that I’m paralyzed. Working on the magazine would mean not working on the website we’ve promised our friends and family about our trip to Italy. It would also mean not cleaning the house and not working on the new Monkey Power Trio record. Choosing to do one thing means choosing not to do about ten others. It’s easier to just watch TV.

when the going gets tough, i watch tv

Today, as it happens, is our favorite TV night, so I won’t have any problem keeping away from work. The only problem is deciding what to watch and what to tape. I just need to preoccupy myself these next five hours or so. That’s when the good TV starts.

Here, if you’re interested, is what we’ll be watching: Angel, Alias, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and The Sopranos.

If I ever get the time, I’d like to write a little something about each one of these shows. Actually, better yet, I could just link to articles about them in Entertainment Weekly. All of these shows also seem to be favorites of Ken Tucker and the EW review crew.

So, that’s what I suggest you watch on Sundays, if you have either a couple VCRs or TiVo. (Angel, Alias and The Sopranos are all on at the same time.)

this is how i spent my weekend up till now

Our friend Jen spent the weekend with us. Actually, Linette and I just got back from the airport, where we put her on an airplane back to Colorado. It was good to see her. Having company is good for us in general. It makes us speak, leave the house and otherwise be social. It also, as I mention above, allows us to further avoid the work of following through on some of these commitments of ours, and that’s good.

Friday night we went into the Mexican Town part of Detroit to see our friend Monica’s art show. It was very nice. Monica, I don’t think would have considered herself an artist until she was asked to do this show, but she took to it like a pro and created some very nice pieces. The show was built around the Mexican Day of the Dead celebration, and, in keeping with that, Monica created several ofrendas, or small alters, to certain people in her life who have, over the course of her lifetime, passed on. Given all of the death Linette and I have had to deal with lately, it was nice to see such a positive and healthy exhibition. Whereas we often fixate on the loss and the sadness that comes with death, this was more focused on the positive lessons learned from those who have left us and the way that they continue to live on in our hearts and our actions.

I was really struck by the fact that there was a holiday in Mexican culture that remembered these people and who they had been. While we, in the US, have a memorial day, I don’t get the sense that it’s the same thing. Some older people clean the cemetery plots of their loved ones, and they cry, but I don’t think they really celebrate the way that these people live on.

At any rate, it was a great show and it really made me think about some of the losses I’ve experienced lately in my own life, and perhaps reflect on them in a more positive, “Hey, this glass is half full!” way. I’m not programmed to think that way, so it’ll take some work, but I’d like to get to a place where I think, “I’m really happy that I had a chance to know my uncle Thom,” and not, “I should have known him better. I shouldn’t have wasted the time we had together.”

So, for that, I thank you, Monica.

Linette and I took pictures of Monica and the show too. I’ll try to put them up here over the course of this week.

The show was held at a place by the name of Casa de Unidad. In addition to seeing Monica’s show, we got a tour of the facility as well. It’s cool. They do good art and education programs for kids in the community, especially those kids who are only here in Detroit part of the year, with their parents who are migrant workers. It was as cool and inspiring as the exhibit. I like knowing that there are people out there in the world who care so passionately about kids and their education.

After seeing the show, we went out to eat at a restaurant called Mexican Village. It’s not the best Mexican restaurant in the area, but it’s the first. According to some of the folks we were with, it could be as many as 50 years old. It sits in the shadow of Detroit’s abandoned and crumbling, old train station. Monica remembers a time when this was the only Mexican restaurant in Detroit. Her father used to bring their family there when she was little.

Then we went out to see “Frida,” the Frida Kahlo bio pic. It was good for the most part. There was a guy behind us who I think must have come because he couldn’t get into “8 Mile.” He kept talking back to the screen. I can’t remember all of his comments, but at one point in the film a character says that you can’t trust a crippled dog. I remember hearing from behind me, loudly, the guy saying, “Nope. You got that right. You sure can’t trust a cripple dog.” For those of you who aren’t aware of Frida Kahlo’s work, it’s not really the kind of stuff to elicit such comments. She was an early 20th century Mexican artist and vocal Communist who lived her life in a tremendous amount of pain after a near fatal trolley accident in her youth. And this guy’s hooting like he’s watching Spike Lee’s “The Original Kings of Comedy.” At one point in the film, Frida has sex with an elderly Leon Trotsky. I was expecting to hear the man hooting, “You go, Trotsky. Hit that ass.”

Another unexpected highlight was getting to see Ashley Judd play a fashionable Mexican revolutionary who shares a sexy dance and kiss with the bisexual Frida. Hearing Ms. Judd, who is from my neck of the woods in Kentucky, deliver lines in as a Latino woman is quite something. It’s like that movie where John Wayne played Ghengis Khan.

OK, I want to write about babysitting from Dawn and David’s new baby, Nicholas, on Saturday and about the Eminem film “8 Mile,” but I’m out of time. Linette’s up from her nap and she needs to get on the computer.


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