Get Glowing

Bask in the Glow

Feel the Glow, Saturday October 3rd

It’s no surprise that Mississippi isn’t exactly known as a cultural hotspot, so when an event of the significance of the Afterglow Film Festival in Grenada hits the scene, I would be remiss not to highlight it as one of the more prominent activities worth attending.  In short:

At the Grenada Afterglow Film Festival, you’ll see 7 hours worth of feel-good, short, family friendly, independent films. Our spotlight category is for “Feel-Good” films – We want viewers to be moved to feel the “Afterglow” of the festival and of the small town atmosphere in Grenada.

Check their website for all the other family friendly activities!  Of course there’ll be music and food galore!  There’s no way you’ll want to miss the Sturgis movie after seeing this promo picture!
Sturgis BabyThe event is organized and run by a couple of independent young women who have gained broad support in the community.  Here is a promotional picture taken at a local television station.

The Brains of the Operation

Of course you can follow them on TwitterInstagram and Facebook!

Afterflow Bulb

I’m hoping I can score one of these awesome glow in the dark festival t-shirts!

Afterflow T-shirt

See you there!

Enjoy.

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Jimmy the Bull Terrier

Jimmy

On the Road Again

A Place in the Sun

My stay at the corner of Chelsea and Hyde Park in Memphis was bracketed by gang violence.  The day before I arrived a guy had been gunned down just up the block from the auto shop where me and Bandit were staying.  His T-shirt was one of two planted in a makeshift memorial, in an untended lot just across the street from where Bandit and I were holed up (see header pic).  A daily reminder of the senseless randomness of street thuggery in the US today, a good deal of which is fueled by the ongoing refusal of some states to come to terms with legalizing marijuana.  As was the case with alcohol prohibition, this inevitably leads to black market activity and violence is the only ‘legal’ recourse for solving “market” disputes.  There’s a “Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre” happening almost every day somewhere in the poorer parts of the American landscape, but since the dead are mostly poor Blacks and not upscale Italian mobsters, it doesn’t make the ‘news’.  I knew moving in here that the area was a sketchy, but this was underscored in a seriously dramatic fashion Sunday evening. 

Why We Left

IMG_1165

“Nelly Belle” loaded up with Bandit taking one last look at the ‘hood.

There was an honest to goodness running gun battle that took place right at this spot early Sunday evening.  

Bandit and I hunkered in for the night and when daylight appeared Monday morning, I decided not to continue to remain in an area that appears, for all intents and purposes, to be one of the primary gang “drug dealerships” in Memphis.  

To be fair, I had never before felt personally threatened by the gang activity.  I was living in their neighborhood and they treated me with kindness, dignity and respect. There was no hint of racial animosity whatsoever.  This in no way abated the fact that the internecine gang skirmishes were a fact of life or that the general deprivations of the area played heavily on my ability to retain my exuberant upbeat attitude.  None of the businesses seen in the pics below are open and even the church shown in this slideshow was ‘out of business”.  You know things are bad when both the pool hall and the church give up on the area!

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Though the deprivations in our living arrangements were harsh. I was thankful to have a place for me and Bandit to bivouac while attending to the issues of the van that my friend Drew Pittman had so graciously gifted me.  I consider Drew one of my secular guardian angels.  The van he gave us is truly a life saver and game changer for me and Bandit as we continue the daily struggle to rebuild our lives back here in the US.

What’s Next?

Bandit and I have moved to a safe location outside Memphis and are in a holding pattern awaiting paperwork on the van which has been promised to be forthcoming.  I will be meeting with Drew over the fourth of July weekend to finalize all that before heading on to Pike’s Peak as has been my intention since arriving back in the US last November.  In the meantime we are both doing fine and expect to have a wonderful Fourth of July weekend just like the rest of America.  Memphis wasn’t all bad by any means and I do not wish to leave that impression.  We loved the parks and the general vibrancy of the city.  Memphis is definitely moving in the right direction and there is a lot of opportunity awaiting those with the gumption to grab it.

The circumstances of my poverty greatly exacerbated the situation and though I actually started working within a week of my arrival, getting both the van in shape and trying to acquire the basic items necessary for life made it difficult to accumulate any real wealth.  It’ll be touch and go for sure until we’re actually in Colorado and settled in but that challenge is more appealing to me at this point than gambling with my safety in Memphis.

Enjoy.

Survivor-Candy Island

SnickeringNot Even a Hint of Irony

We’re halfway through another season of Survivor – the “reality” show where contestants are abandoned and forced to make do with nothing but their outsized egos, sense of entitlement, and enough rice and beans to stave off any actual threat of starvation.

More often than not, there isn’t even a decent fire-starter in the whole mix of contestants and if hunger pangs get too dire (because Bubba eats up all the beans), you can count on Jeff Probst tossing in a reward challenge full of Snickers or short ribs.. Am I the only one who wonders how far up the beach they’d have to walk to find the luxury resort where the camera crew resides?

The Good Old Days are Gone

Nowadays, Survivor is all fun and games, with no real threat of not actually surviving.  It wasn’t always a beach vacation because in the early years there were contestants that nearly died from the harshness of the challenges and environment.  CBS has effectively turned Survivor into Beach Blanket Bingo and any of the drama from the actual survival element of the game is long gone.  Nowadays, it’s an odd occurrence if somebody doesn’t voluntarily leave the game due to being butt-hurt that they aren’t as popular in a group setting as they hoped they’d be.

“I’m so bummed out I can’t take it anymore” is reason number one most exit the game on their own accord.

It’s almost like none of them actually need or care about winning a big pile of money.  The halcyon days of seeing a dude’s face melt off while trying to maintain the fire are long gone.  Being forced to collect water downstream of a pissing rhino?  Gone.  The sweet taste of toasted rat?  Pffft.

‘”Survivor” has morphed into a (sad) metaphor for the molly-coddled upbringing most of the younger contestants bring to the game.  If they could actually catch a shark they wouldn’t eat it, they’d jump over it.

I don’t want to be accused of pointing out problems for which I don’t offer a viable solution, so those who are inclined to accuse me of that need only hang around long enough for part two in this mini-series to find an equitable solution to the problem of finding an honest version of Survivor to satiate their reality TV addiction now that the Survivor we all fell in love with has gone soft.  Stay tuned for an example of what real-life survival actually entails these days.

Enjoy.

Baby Back Ribs are Back!

Religion Poisons Everything

The application of this new Indiana religious “freedom” law has inspired every religious lunatic in the nation.

Free Bird Indiana

Outside the happy coincidence that the marijuana activists are claiming the religious freedom to go Tommy Chong all over the state, there is a darker side to the story.

Dominionists and Christian Reconstructionists are about to find out that the law of unintended consequences might well despoil their jubilant gay bashing. God may or may not hate “teh gay”, but Satanists, (and Scientologists (?)  are known to love roasted babies.

Hell on Earth

Now that we’ve all seen the turmoil unleashed by those crazy Indiana politicians so addicted to tongue kissing Jeebus (at least on my Facebook feed),  it’s probably time to take note of the upcoming Baby Back Barbecue party being arranged for the 4th of July Celebration in Indianapolis by the Satanist Church of the Devil.

Satanist Barbecue

It’s being billed as a “Bring Your Own Barbecue Sauce” event and is expected to draw hungry Satanists from all over the nation.  Godless heathens are to be advised that the event could sell out very quickly so if you crave the succulent taste of burnt baby flesh your best bet is to book the event now.  Children’s tickets heavily discounted.

Enjoy.