This weekend I’ve been attempting to become more structured about the way I run my life. I’m not very good at keeping my home clean, and as a result I find myself feeling scattered much of the time. I’ve always known that my brain state mirrors my environment state, and one look around my place and you can pretty much get where my brain has been at for a few years. So I’ve been re-examining ways of being, thinking about how to get better organized and to do it in a maintainable way.
During the process of doing that I got caught up on a bunch of stuff on the Tivo. 🙂 And there were two really good movies I watched.
“Pretty Things”, by Liz Goldwyn, is a documentary analysis of burlesque. Liz is fascinated by the artform of burlesque, and tracks down about a dozen of the biggest names in burlesque from way back when. She interviews them, and they share their techniques and clothes with her. The movie charts her progress in learning to move like a burlesque dancer, as it also charts her growing relationships with these former dancers. In the process, she learns how the art of burlesque, which she had very romantic empowering notions about, wasn’t seen that way by the women doing it. As she grows as a dancer and knocks down her inhibitions, her illusions about burlesque are also knocked down one by one, until she’s left with the dance as art – and nothing more. The movie ends with her performing her own burlesque piece, made up of segments honoring each of the dancers. The movie is pretty entertaining and educational and hey – you get to watch a lot of burlesque dancers, which is really not so awful.
“Baghdad Blogger”, by Salam Pax – the, um, Baghdad Blogger – is a movie chronicling the war in Iraq. You may be familiar with Salam’s blog, Where is Raed?, which was a must-read during the initial shock-and-awe in Baghdad. Raed and Salam posted to the blog about their day-to-day lives in Baghdad, and it was a much more enlightening place to find out about the lives of citizens in Baghdad than anything you could get from the media at that time. The movie “Baghdad Blogger” is a series of video segments of Salam’s experiences in Iraq over about an 18 month period. You see Salam in Najaf before, and after. Salam with militia. Salam with his parents during Ramadan. Etc. Great movie. I caught it on LinkTV, and I’m sure they’ll show it again.
Other things I got caught up on included episodes of “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations” and “Simply Wine with Andrew Immer”.
So it was a relaxing yet productive weekend. I dropped in a new AthlonXP processor thanks to my friend Dave, which resulted in a 15-20% performance boost. Then I hopefully fixed the audio driver problems I was having (we’ll see if my computer blue-screens again…) I also tested out scanning some 35mm negatives, which worked well. And went through a few more Filemaker tutorials, getting ready to set up a decent contacts database system.
All in all a nice weekend here in the city by the bay.