Before you speak, ask yourself, is it kind, is it necessary, is it true, does it improve on the silence? -Sathya Sai Baba

Monday, May 23, 2005

Great Weekend

Saw Kung Fu Hustle yesterday. What an amazing movie! Seriously, all those people lining up to see Episode III need to get it together and see this instead. It was beautiful, funny, action-packed, emotional, silly – everything I look for in a movie. Plus, KUNG FU! and, ASS-KICKING! Go see it and ignore the Sith. George Lucas is a big boy, now. He doesn’t need any more of your money to support him. Sometimes you have to push the bird out of the nest. George, seriously, think about trade school.

Actually, the whole weekend was pretty much a party of one sort or another. Friday there was a thing at Raj’s place, which involved a lot of music and a lot of alcohol. Steph finally managed to make it out, which was lovely, and she proceeded to get a little pixilated. I myself was at the perfect level – three beers, relaxed but feeling sober as a judge. I attribute that mostly to the maté. If you don’t know maté, it’s a tea from South America that is not made from your traditional black or green or even white tea. It is an entirely different genus and species (specifically Ilex, which is related peripherally to the holly), and you drink it from a hollowed out gourd (also called the maté) through a metal straw with a filter on the tip (called a bombilla). It is usually drunk hot, but not boiling, and the effects are like tea, only much stronger and much longer lasting, without the usual shakes and comedown normally associated with coffee or tea. It also has a great effect on my ability to process alcohol, so that I barely feel the more depressant effects of it, and can stay up later and enjoy myself more. Also the effects of the maté last well into the next day, including clear headedness, much less need for sleep, and a generally cheerful attitude. So I drank several gourd-fulls of maté and went to the party, played a few songs with Ray and Raj spinning, and then enjoyed myself the rest of the night, until the cops came and told us to shut the music down. Feh.

I noticed people weren’t all that interested in dancing when Ray and I were up there. I’m not sure if that is because the tradition of performing dance music is all but lost in these days, or what. I guess we’ve got people trained to “listen” to performing musicians, and dance music is confined to recorded music. It’s a function of the whole celebrity thing, I suppose. Or it could be that we just didn’t quite get the crowd moving, hard to tell.

Saturday was “Give love to Maria” day. Ended up in Brooklyn with some of the loveliest people I know, celebrating our friend Maria’s new job. How awesome is this – she gets a new job as a chef, and so she celebrates by cooking for us! This is why I am blessed beyond belief. A wonderful night, marred not even a little by the incredible storm that raged through the city right as I was arriving in Brooklyn. The sky went green and bruised, and it poured like I haven’t seen in several months. Thunder and lightning and streets running like rivers - it was a joy. I love weather, if for no other reason than that it reminds New Yorkers that we are not Masters of Creation. There is almost nothing in New York that is not placed by the hands of man; not a tree grows, not a rock hunkers by a river but that it is there either in response to or as a direct result of a decision by a human being. We tend to think that the world is malleable to our wills and responsive to our whims. One good storm comes along, though, and we are immediately reminded that we are not completely in control. We are very small animals on the face of a vast globe floating in the definition of vastness. When a small weather system comes along and slaps us upside the head, we become aware of true proportions, and that is always a good thing.

Went to church Sunday, thence home for a nap, out to the movies, and home to memorize poems for Wednesday (see previous post for details). Altogether a wonderful weekend. Hope yours was great, too.

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