For those interested in photography

especially alternative process photographs, I recommend this blog: www.billtravisart.tumblr.com

The photographs are beautiful, the text is inspired, and, well it’s also kind of hilarious (have you seen the ABOUT page?).

The owner of that blog publishes something once a week. I recommend following the blog for a weekly dose of art and humor.

Also, the owner of that blog is my dad, but that’s besides the point ;)

Follow it and share it please! billtravisart.tumblr.com

Love and kisses,
Me

Pretend it’s Saturday night, because that’s when I wrote this.

Here’s my Saturday night: I’m on my girlfriend’s bed, red as a tomato. I went tanning this morning— I wanted to surprise her because she loves olive-toned skin and my natural tone is more of a fresh marshmellow shade. Anyway, the level-1 tanning bed was taken and I was too impatient to wait so I took the level 2 bed, though this was my first time tanning. I stood in the machine roasting, my butt cheeks nearly on fire from the heat when I finally hopped out. I had been disappointed at the lack of color— 12 hours later I can’t even put a bra on because my skin is so red. It’s like I just spent the day at Six Flags. I swear I’m a human radiator right now, emanating heat from every orifice. But I digress.

"You’re not funny. You’re just trying to be Lena whatever-her-name-is [Dunham]. This is completely unnecessary you could be helping me throw out the garbage. You’re exploiting me."

Oh there’s my girlfriend. She’s throwing out the garbage as I lay here like a small sun in her Brooklyn apartment, her cat the planets in a restless orbit around me.

Now she’s folding the laundry. I like her style. There’s this turquoise shirt I think she looks really good in. I’m wearing her turquoise pyjama pants right now. Usually I sleep naked, but bizarrely, though my skin is scalding to the touch, I’m actually freezing. These pants are flannel too.

I don’t know why I’m writing this. She keeps asking me for an explanation but I don’t have one. Bored? Maybe. Inspired? Eh. We saw a great documentary today called OC 87 about a man trying to make a film who has obsessive compulsive disorder and Aspergers. I saw a little too much of myself in him; it was a good film, but discomforting.

I wish I could wear thongs they would probably look better on me than the underwear I opt for now, but I just don’t have the butt for those. I have a small, flat butt that embarrasses me. Sometimes when my girlfriend touches it, I try to puff it out. But it doesn’t really work and she tells me to stop squeezing.

Where are you tonight? Maybe out at a club, or at a bar.

Sometimes I get antsy to do something. This is the latest result.

Peeling a mango like having sex for the first time

I just bought my first mango. I know.

Of course I’ve eaten plenty of mangos in my life, but they’re not a fruit I buy at the grocery store. I rarely buy fruit at all, and when I do it’s more in the nature of a banana or an apple— something mundane, easy, non-threatening. Then a couple of days ago I bought my first cantaloupe, and the floodgates opened.

So I return home with my mango and figure you probably cut it like an apple. I slice it lengthwise but find I can’t pull the two halves apart. So I make a knick on the skin with my knife and start peeling back all the skin from there. It’s stringy and clumps of meat remain attached.

As I battle with my mango trying to salvage at least some of it to actually eat, I can’t help but recall the first time I had sex: I did what I thought was logical; was occasionally grossed out; was met with a few moments of delicious bliss; and at the end I had sticky fingers and wasn’t sure I would do it again.

I finally devour what I can of the mango and hope that future endeavors are less reminiscent of an awkward teenage mistake.

YOGA

This week I took my first yoga class. Fresh off the boat from a meditative and inspiring trip to Israel, I was eager to continue a trend of peace-of-mind and self-reflection I’d begun in Israel. What follows is my account of the experience.


[What I thought I would look like during my first yoga class. The reality was quite different.]

I’m the second student to arrive at the beginner class I enrolled in. The instructor, a handsome new-agey looking man with a goatee and .0002mph vocal progression told me to take a mat and sit facing the windows.

One man is already in the class so I decide to sit as far from him as possible. He looked like a yoga aficionado, sitting cross-legged with his eyes closed and breathing deeply. I didn’t want him to notice me and then proceed to notice how I had no idea what I was doing. I just wanted to melt into the class and draw as little attention to myself as possible because I have a knack for embarrassing myself. I unrolled my mat and tried to sit like the other man, but my ankle bone dug into the floor and it hurt. I tried to breathe as quietly as possible and focus my attention on something to distract from the ankle bone pain. That’s when I noticed the saran wrapped door in front of me.

As a result of sitting as far away from this first attendee as possible, instead of facing the windows, which were off to my left, I faced a door wrapped in saran wrap. It was probably just plastic, but the way it was stretched to completely prevent air flow from the door made it look like the way my grandmother saran wraps casserole.

I wondered what the man was thinking about. Other students began to file in and I felt it should look more like I was meditating, because this is what people seemed to do when they sat down. I studied the saran wrapped door. I thought about the ways in which my life was like that saran wrap. Parts of it were smooth and clear, other parts were stretched so thin that the wrap looked about to burst. I drew innumerable parallels with my life.

Once I realized I was comparing my life to saran wrap I stopped. I wondered if I was the biggest fraud to ever take yoga, or if I was actually getting into the meditative spirit. I settled embarrassingly enough for the former and trained my eyes on the instructor who finally walked into the room.

He sat cross legged and welcomed me to the class. My face turned a deep shade of purple. He went on to announce that not only was this my first time in this class, but it was my first yoga class ever. At that point I assumed everyone must have known I had spent the last 10 minutes contemplating a piece of plastic.

Then the instructor told us to cross our legs, place our palms on our knees, straighten our backs, and close our eyes. I can never close my eyes when told to do so. I tried closing them but my eyelids refused. I furrowed my brow and forced them shut. I realized if anyone looked at me at that moment they would probably think I was constipated. Then the instructor began to chant. It sounded something like “ommmm nommmmm nommmm ommmm nommmm nommmmm ommmm.” My eyes snapped back open. Chanting? I didn’t know that was part of yoga. I stared unabashedly at the chanting new-agey instructor then shot sidelong glances at the yoga students around me. I felt like a five year old in a retirement home; I didn’t understand anything going on and everyone seemed the same except for me.

Eventually the movements began, and this is where I discovered how inappropriate my wardrobe was. I had chosen leggings because that’s what I saw people who do yoga on TV wear, but they were from the children’s department at Target; I had worn them once years ago when I dressed up as a bar code for Halloween. They barely fit and when I bent my legs I was afraid the middle would crack. On top I wore a new baggy shirt I’d gotten with my group in Israel that had a star of David on the front and “Reminds me of my first time” on the back with an image of a camel drinking tea. During Downward Dog, when we had our palms and feet on the ground with our butts high in the air, I realized that everyone behind me could see all the way up into my shirt. During Modified Crescent Lunge my leggings nearly slipped down over my butt exposing everything.

At the end of the yoga class the instructor turned off the lights and gave us 15 minutes to lie down in silence. Still jet-lagged from Israel, about a minute after I closed my eyes I was sound asleep. As some people know, I sleep with my mouth wide open, and tend to drool and snore. …I awoke to the instructor telling us to fold up our mats. Thank God I hadn’t slept through everyone filing out of the class, but I worried that my snoring had pierced through the “peaceful rest,” and that if anyone had looked over they would have seen drool spilling out of my open mouth.

So I was not exactly a vision of grace during my first yoga class. But I did feel better afterwards, and I’ll probably return. After shopping for better yoga clothes and getting a full night of sleep beforehand.

Well it’s been a long time

since I’ve written anything here. I got busy with my own movie (TheAptFilm.com) and then the holidays and then etc etc excuses excuses.

Now I’m working on my next screenplay, but am encountering an insurmountable road block (more on that later), so I’ve decided to take a break and revisit Express Amazement.

Keeping in the spirit that I’d begun to deviate from in the last posts, I’ll express various forms of amazement, or lack thereof, for recent films I’ve seen. These include A Dangerous Method with Michael Fassbinder and Keira Knightly; Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy with John Hurt and Colin Firth among many others; The Descendants with George Clooney; and The Artist with french actors no one’s heard of.


Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy


A Dangerous Method


The Descendants


The Artist


Without hesitation Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, a cold-war era spy thriller of which I make no attempt to summarize in one sentence, is the best of the bunch. My critique would be that this film is a bit long (over 2 hours), except I had to use the restroom during the first few minutes of the film so this might bias my opinion on the length.

A Dangerous Method was pretty eh. It’s about Jung and a psychotic lady that he “cures,” then begins an affair with. Some strong sexual scenes so I wouldn’t recommend seeing this with a parent. I did. (The other option we debated was Shame, so all things considered I think we chose the more appropriate film).

The Descendants was so superficial. Much of it is voiceover, and it’s very heavy on Clooney close-ups, so unless you have a particular affinity for his face, the film is skipable. It’s about a messed up family and the mother dies in a freak boat accident and the father has to raise his teenage daughters and doesn’t know how. It’s very bubblegum pop. The family next to me at the theater were bawling. But they were also sharing a giant tub of popcorn so……

The Artist was another disappointment. I mean I guess it’s brave of the director to make a “silent” black and white film today, but the story was lacking and the movie was too long, even though it’s barely an hour and a half. There are a few smart moments, but they’re too few and far between. Wait until it’s on Netflix. Oh and it’s roughly about the transition from silent films to talkies in the 20s/30s and a pseudo-romantic relationship between silent star and a talkie star.

Alright so there are my in depth reviews of some of the latest films. I hope this helps in the tremendously difficult task of choosing what to see on this Friday night.

Five minutes of pure happiness, indeed

From Gizmodo

Advocate News: Possibly the Most Beautiful Ad for Marriage Equality We've Seen

advocatenews:

GET UP COMMERCIAL MARRIAGE AUSTRALIA 390x (SCREEN) ADVOCATE.COM

GetUp! in Australia released a commercial on Thursday from the perspective of one half of a gay couple in love. It builds to the big moment that they want legalized — a proposal to get married.

Polls in Australia show support for marriage equality has…

Infuriating

http://blogs.indiewire.com/womenandhollywood/sexism-watch-the-hollywood-reporter-directors-roundtable

This is really maddening. The picture makes me sad and angry. The interview makes me storm back and forth across my room.

THANK YOU to those who helped fund my next film. :)

My dog can’t tell she’s under a glass table…