Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Return of "Mystic"

Long ago, when I was a much younger man, I lived in Burbank California. I lived with three other guys in an apartment that was really just a converted garage. Really! If you opened my closet you could still see the garage doors. So, on warm days, the place would heat up and it smelled like… well… like a garage. Not so pleasant, fortunately, I wasn’t home very often. Really, I only ever came home to sleep.
One day we found out that there was going to be a community carnival type of thing at the park, and so we went and while walking around we found this booth where they were selling incense. Homemade incense. Scents I didn’t know you could make into a stick of incense. They had a “desert rain” stick that smelled just like the desert in Utah after a hard rain. It had the exact sage and grass smell I had missed so very much. So we bought a bunch of different scents and took them back to the pad, and well, it did the trick. Suddenly the old garage didn’t smell so much like a garage. It was kinda... "mossy." So the next day I ran out to the park and bought up enough of that guy’s incense to last the rest of the year I had left to be in California.
I burned that stuff all the time because it was so relaxing to sit and watch the smoke curl into the air. Just mellowed me out.
No… it wasn’t THAT kind of smoke… I’m sure that there was none of THAT ingredient in it. Geez! Where’s your mind?
So any way. One day it was just to rainy to go out so I was stuck in the apartment and decided to burn some of the incense… so there I was, sitting cross legged on the floor holding this stick of smoldering incense and in walks a couple of my room mates. One of ‘em, we called him “Carp,” he drops to his knees and in a mocking prayer type of thing starts calling me “Mystic.” Turns out that I carried that name for the rest of the time I was in southern California.
Eventually, I came home to Utah and started into life again, but I always remembered that incense. Over the years I’ve tried to find good incense, but have always ended up with some kind of, overly perfumed junk that all smells the same, despite what it said on the package. But then I found Anna’s. Anna is some hippie chick from Canada who sells incense through the Internet. I just got my order from her about a week ago, and I gotta tell ya… it’s not quite as good as the stuff I found in Burbank… but it’s darn close. I got "Desert Sage" and "Campfire" and a Bottle burner. I'll tell you what... nothing in the world is more relaxing that sitting in my office, as i am right now, with the lights dimed, just watching the smoke rise in curls toward the ceiling. Brings back the days in that smelly old garage in Burbank.
So… check her out… grab some incense for your place, ‘cause I’ll tell you what… I may go by “Murph” now… but every so often… “Mystic” returns.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Sundance Film Festival... *Groan*

A-list Hollywood is in full invasion mode of the great state of Utah.
Yep, for a couple of weeks each year, Utah’s silvery gleam is tarnished by the tinsel and fakery of A-list Hollywood, otherwise known as the Sundance Film Festival.
But isn’t the Film festival for independent filmmakers to show their stuff and try to get to that coveted A-list status? Well… ya, to a point. But mostly, I think it’s for independent filmmakers to make and show crappy films, and for A-listers to come to Utah, complain about the Mormons, about liquor laws, the cold, the altitude, or whatever. Then for them to watch a couple of crappy films, talk to the press about how pure and expressive film can be when not hampered down by a good musical score, or budgets, or plot, or special effects, or good writing, or Hollywood politics, and then go home.
The one good thing I see about this film festival is that a bunch of rich folk come into my state and drop lots ‘o cash. I like that… I’d like it even more if they would just mail it to us.

Now, don’t get me wrong… I love movies. I do. There is nothing I like more than seeing talented people doing their best to make believable characters from the scripts of talented writers who have created an original story that can take me away, play with my emotions, thrill me, and make me walk away from the theater going “wow, what a ride.” A-list Hollywood rarely, if ever, does that for me. How many time do I need to see Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise, Lindsay Lohan, or Sandra Bullock play the same stupid character, in some stupid movie that looks just like the last 20 stupid movies they did? So, I should like Sundance then… right?
No… Not so much.
Here’s how I look at Sundance… You gotta wade through a lot of pig crap to find the single pearl. That, to me, is Sundance in a nutshell. Here’s what I mean…
I don’t mind profanity in the dialog IF it serves a purpose in building the characterization and in making the characters more believable. I don’t expect a drug dealer in a film to say something like, “Well, heck you flippin’, doodle-bird. Where’s my frackin’ money?” That, probably, wouldn’t be in character. But, I’ve seen independent films so strewn with the F-word that the characters become not so much believable as cartoonish. Literally, every other word is some form of profanity. There’s so much profanity, in fact, that the dialogue no longer makes sense. And you’re left to just sit there dumfounded, wondering what just happened.
That’s what they call fresh and innovative filmmaking? No, it’s crap.

Sundance brings a lot of prestige and a lot of money to my state, and don’t really have a problem with that, but in my opinion, The Sundance folk could do themselves a favor and be a bit more picky about the films they choose for the festival. Find the best of the best; those true pearls… because they are out there.
And to the Hollywood A-listers… Remember folks, you’re in my state now, founded and settled by good, sturdy, god fearing people… so shut up, watch your crappy little films, leave your money and get the frack out!

Friday, January 12, 2007

If you had a super power...

Since this is a geeky topic, I really should put this on my "Dingo" site... What the heck, this site gets more traffic... so...

My Sister and her boyfriend asked me this question and it made me go... "Hu..."

If you could have a super power would you rather have:

1. The power to strangle someone using only the power of your mind.


2. Lazer beam eyes

Now I had to give this one a little thought. At first I thought... Lazer beam eyes. Not only could I destroy cars on the freeway when their drivers cut me off, but I could do prctical things like cut those stupid punch ties that attach the tags to my new pairs of pants.
But, after thinking some more, I realized that my mind tends to wander and so, it would be very possible that I would burn a hole through the head of anyone I happen to be talking to, for no real reason. And were I to do that, someone may see the beam and then I would be in trouble...
So, strangling with the power of my mind looks better and better, not that the body count on the freeway would be any different, but that it would be harder to pin the deaths on me.

I know... lame topic...
But at least it's not another video.

Friday, January 05, 2007

My Immortal

My Immortal

I love this group and I love this song.
I'm still trying to figure out it's meaning (just the English Major in me) but I think that the song is just really beautiful.
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