Barre

Just in case anybody's still out there.

Hi. Hope you're happy and well. On my end? The last few years have been kinda rough; but things are moving -- slowly -- in a pretty good direction. Life's definitely stabilized, and started even to get gradually better.

Let's see.

2011: went to Long Beach to see the Dalai Lama, but he flaked 'cause there was a tsunami and he got sick while in Japan.

2012: went back to Long Beach and took three days of teachings and initiation from Dalai Lama -- he said he'd make good on his promise after he had to cancel, and he certainly did, less than one year later!

2013: bad year. Effectively lost David, my life partner, along with my Aldo fursuit and a bunch of historic Tibetan antiques (long story for another time, perhaps). Moved 1494 miles from home to a frozen wasteland with a different culture I knew nothing about. Landed in jail for 38 days over something that I didn't even do, then wound up (briefly!) living on the streets. Filed federal civil rights lawsuit against Salvation Army while homeless ('cause I had LEGAL STANDING, baby!).

2014: got off the streets (though into living in a madhouse). Kinda retreated into playing forum games on a smartphone to get through it.

2015: moved outta the madhouse to group home that felt like a monastery, where i managed to make two friends. At the end of the year (Boxing Day) I finally moved into a tiny little apartment right downtown, in walking distance of everything. Started trying to re-establish all the little daily things that make sane living possible (and yes, I do still struggle with that).

2016: kinda made a hermit of myself. There ain't much to do in this town, and *something's* wrong with *everyone* who lives here. (You have to be crazy to live in Minnesota, the saying goes, and it's so true on so many different levels.) Fell in love once, that lasted just about two months. Got fallen in love with by someone else, that lasted a few more months. June 26th, I got a ferret, named him Meng. Got diagnosed with Hairy Cell Leukemia in September; got it treated promptly (chemotherapy); the prognosis is good. Been keeping a relatively low profile what with the confederate flags next door and all. (My poor Somali neighbours have it *really* hard.)

2017: so far, I've gone shopping two separate days, installed a new showerhead and sink aerator, have plenty of food in the house, and am more-or-less comfortably waiting for the latest snowstorm to blow over. It's fierce out there -- practically whiteout conditions -- blizzard -- and gonna get a lot more cold, tomorrow.

If you're reading this, now, thanks for doing your part making the best years of my life. :^) :^)

All the best!

Be well,

xeltifon (formerly Aldo)
  • Current Music
    Radiohead
Barre

COMING SOON: The Plaza Classic Film Festival.

The world's largest classic film festival will run from August 2nd through the 12th at the historic and very beautifully restored 1929 movie palace, the Paramount-Public Plaza Theatre, in downtown El Paso.  Tickets for most screenings run about five bucks.  If you're in the area, be sure to check it out -- I personally guarantee you *won't* be disappointed from the movie-going experience which is utterly unlike any you've *ever* had before -- unless, of course, you're roughly 89 years old.

My involvement with and interest in the Plaza Theatre dates back to 1986 or 7, when I was ether eleven or twelve years old.  It was slated to become a parking lot.  I wrote a letter to the Editor of the El Paso Times and volunteered at Rita Moreno's sold-out benefit concert which, combined with grassroots efforts and extraordinarily adept donor coordination through the El Paso Community Foundation, ultimately succeeded in raising the one million dollars required in a very tight timeframe to purchase the building.

When I was probably around twenty, as the building stood abandoned but partly exposed to the elements, I spent about a year independently researching an article which was ultimately published in "Password", the Journal of the El Paso Historical Society.  I also wound up getting my picture on the front page (though below the fold) of the El Paso Herald Post about a month before that afternoon newspaper folded, after I had basically overtaken, on my own initiative, guiding a tour through the abandoned building for the Mayor which had been arranged by Nestor Valencia, the guiding visionary behind the now realized "Arts Festival Plaza" district in beautiful downtown El Paso.

At twenty years of age, spending a year on a single project without yielding the *specific* results I'd had in mind going in to the project struck me as a tremendous waste of time.  Political crosscurrents were in play which at the time I very simply didn't understand, with the result that I effectively threw up my hands and turned my back and walked away, feeling "betrayed", in absolute dismay.  I had "burned out", and *very* badly, on the first of a whole string of seemingly hopeless "lost causes" which I believed in *very* strongly, and always pursued with singleminded focus, determination, and tenacity entirely regardless of assumed foregone conclusions involving tremendous personal detriment.

For twenty years the Plaza was the bitter and defining failure of my entire life.  No matter what I happened to survive, nothing *ever* stung near as bad as or wiped me out as completely as my involvement with the Plaza Theatre had.  As such, it served as a baseline for my abiding sense of personal ineffectiveness and utterly atrocious lack of self-esteem in ever having failed to obtain any specific goal upon which I'd happened to set my sights -- always in what hindsight would later reveal to be "the very short term".

Or at least, so it did, until my "perfect" life in Albuquerque came flying apart like a very slightly off-balance centrifuge for enriching uranium.  But, to make an extremely long series of stories *quite* short, when *that* occurred, I landed right back in El Paso, within walking distance of -- not an abandoned building, but THE WORLD'S LARGEST CLASSIC FILM FESTIVAL held in the magnificently restored movie palace (now expanded to a full-scale Broadway venue) to which I'd devoted a mere single year of my existence on this planet some two decades beforehand, despite its very clearly having appeared to be on all counts the most obvious "wrong" thing to do at the time I was doing it.

Everything I have *ever* done -- however clearly ill-advised -- has been and continues to be FOR A REASON.  The methods which I unapologetically employ are ultimately premised on no more than simple logic combined with a set and finite assortment of valid modes of cognition: only, almost *never* in such strictly delimited combinations as are typically exhibited and/or perceived only within very strictly "closed" systems (e.g., "cleanroom" laboratory settings).  My life's work -- however "bizarre", "off the wall", "out there", "controversial", and/or even downright "dangerous" it may appear to be when viewed from within narrowly-constructed social frameworks established (in the end) through nothing more than interlocking systems of arbitrary linguistic conventions -- is *never* without purpose or aim; nor is any activity which I ever undertake in its service, however straightforwardly incongrous with actual "reality" it may appear to be, even capable of being anything other than supportive of those very reasons, purposes, and aims.

The website for the Plaza Classic Film Festival -- THE WORLD'S LARGEST CLASSIC FILM FESTIVAL -- now complete with schedules for the various events and screenings coming up this August 2nd through the 12th in downtown El Paso, Texas may be viewed at http://plazaclassic.com/ .
  • Current Mood
    chipper chipper
Barre

Chernobyl Diaries.

Just saw it.  Loved it.  sabotlours and I talked about guerilla fursuiting (coinage: albear) the place -- but until that happens, well -- it's worth seeing just for the footage of Pripyat (sp?) and my oh my that reactor control room.  The soviets had some good ideas in regard to things like natural lighting, but obviously the meat-and-potatoes end of things did have some minor technical difficulties.  If you have a choice be sure and see it in digital -- it's very dark, to the point that I don't think you could even make out quite a bit of the action if they even did make film prints of it.  Seriously, though -- were there people in this film?  I was just on the edge of my seat watching all the locations.  Actually, I think that may have been sabot in that one scene.  Although how he could possibly run so fast in a quad suit is just beyond me.  Be well, xrltifon
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    energetic energetic
Aldo Religion

Hooray! My LJ account remains.

Barely get around to going online at all these days, but nice to know this thing's still here.

Heading back to Long Beach in a couple of weeks here.  Very much looking forward to it.  Nothing more to report.  ;^) ;^)
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    relaxed relaxed
Barre

Good karma day.

Whatever I'm doing, I'm doing *something* right. Just as surely as I had a string of "bad" karma days a few weeks back, today has been exceptional.

First, the gas got turned on. Yay! This was a long, drawn-out rigamarole, with Texas Gas Services being a royal pain in the ass, illegally insisting on irrelevant personal documentation to the point where I threatened to file a complaint with the Railway Commission. But today, they came out, turned it on, so not only will we have heat come winter, WE HAVE HOT RUNNING WATER RIGHT NOW. (Thank you, roommate, or whatever it is we're calling eachother.) I can finally clean myself (not to mention things like dishes) *properly*.

Then the AT&T guy came and set up our DSL. This has been an ongoing nightmare for David -- beginning in April -- and for me since I moved in with him a few weeks back. There was a misunderstanding about registration which proved a shameful waste of time, as AT&T repeatedly proved either unwilling or incompetent to tell us *one* simple bit of information -- "you enter *this* ten digit number there, not *that* one, silly goose" -- without bouncing us around between "departments" including technical support, Macintosh technical support, regional technical support (which closes at 5PM sharp!), and then back again, each time requiring a fresh call with the need to freshly enter all the numbers again and again and again, totalling over *four* hours spent in calls on my watch alone. And then the more of the same with their online chat support things. Ugh. Fucking bullshit. Finally said "if it's not up and running by 5 PM today I will cancel service". Then I spoke with Stephanie -- who RULES -- she spent 45 minutes with us patiently while we got all set up. Yes, I'm going to give her a *stellar* review when the relevant surveys come 'round. She saved not one but two *very* pissed-off customers, and should be promoted to managing "retention" if she's not already there. Best of all, I'm now online on my own network. Woot!

Then ran into an old friend who I haven't seen since Community Foundation days. You know -- back when my whole life was all about the Paramount-Publix Plaza Theatre. Oh, wait -- no one here remembers me in those days, since *that* was the project that finally drove me online in the first place. (Theatre restoration leading to pipe organ mailing lists leading to the South Park Palace leading to Spumco leading to Furries leading me to LJ -- or something like that.) ;^) ;^) Anyhow, it was great seeing her, all the more since the little reunion provides yet another layer of backchannel communication that I need right now to someone who -- but nevermind. I think I *will* have a few secrets now, thanks very much. ;^) ;^)

Then off to the acid test for whether I'm having a good karma day -- the thrift store! (I *refuse* to say which one online. Every time I do, they wind up jacking up their prices, getting people from out of town, and wind up going *straight* to the dogs.)

If you ever want to know your standing with the universal energies of pure cause and effect, you can't hardly do better than hop on over to a thrift store. It's a good little "canary in the coal mine" type of thing, along the lines oh I dunno of pendulums and tarot cards. (Or maybe it only works for furfag ferrets with alleged tweakish tendencies. Who knows?) But if you're not right with the world, I tell you -- they can be horrifying denizens of screaming babies, fat people arguing in public about everything inconsequential, the odours of clothing and bedding that should have been burned long ago (free smallpox with every queen-sized set!), parasitic bottom-feeding bargain-hunters, and all manner of nightmares far too terrible to commit to writing.

*shudders*

On the other hand, though: if you're *good* with the world, you'll find valuable antiques, vintage collectibles you can resell and turn a modest profit on, beautiful and useful things you really ought to own, and (maybe if you're very, *very* lucky) what you went looking for in the first place! In my case, today, I got three very fashionable pairs of pants that FIT for pennies on the dollar. I also got an AIrPort Extreme Base Station (model A1034) that I'm really not sure what exactly to do with -- but heck -- the universe drops a Macintosh wireless router in your lap, you sure as hell don't say no! And finally, I got (from one of the $1.99 bags) a matching camouflage dog leash and collar set that fits me. ;p It also just happens to be perfectly coordinated with the army fatigues I'm wearing which Remo gave me when I didn't have clothes. Also matches the stunning malachite mala from the 17th Karmapa. I don't think I'm ever gonna take it off. (The collar, that is -- the leash is just a *little* much for going out in public -- gotta leave *something* for the bedroom's supposed privacy, correct?)

Got home a little after ten, made quesadillas for David and me, ate 'em, came in here to write and blah de blah blah: there I am.

Tomorrow I plan on making a point to go somewhere in the morning hours where I'll connect with another friend I haven't had any dealings with since I was seventeen. Another big influence in my life. Then I need to pop over the state line to get my driver's record for the job I start on Friday. And believe it or not, I've got cash in my pocket for that.


Life is good. Here's hoping it's the same for anyone and everyone who reads these words.

Be well,

John
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    cheerful camouflaged
heh

(no subject)

I got the job. I start on Friday.

It's more a weekend gig but it is *the* place to work. Hard to get into -- hardly anyone ever quits, even though you're basically working for tips. It'll leave me plenty of spare time for my *real* work, *and* solve the cashflow problem.

A short trip up to Albuquerque might just happen before New Year.

Muhah. I win again.
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    excited excited
paper

Nice weekend.

Quiet, though. Think I missed the boat on that job offer, but I know they'll keep me in mind for a while later on, too. I've known these people all my life, and they run a damn *good* organization. Believe what you will. It's worth waiting a while to get in. Until then, well, I'll just have to keep being resourceful! Ah well -- it keeps me on my toes. Only things I really need money for anyway is gasoline and tobacco. I finally have all the time I need to do precisely what I need to do. These needs include sleeping, reading, and writing. Nobody bothers me, and if it *is* sometimes a tad monastic, what the hell -- it is a welcome change after the way I have been living. Might as well enjoy the peace and quiet while I can, 'cause nothing lasts. Nothing.

Not much else of excitement to report. No, wait -- there was that ten year-old girl being held for $10,000 ransom. No one I know personally, just a friend of a friend kind of deal. Maybe somebody's cousin. Terrible story, but word on the street is it ended without further violence, at least after the gang rape. Talk about facepaws -- If you're gonna run guns, guys, you don't need to breed! And, duh, if you *must* breed then you shouldn't run guns. Get it? Good. No need to inscribe it over the Santa Fe bridge.
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    calm calm