Thursday, November 30, 2006

Email the trailer to your friends - new discussion group on YouTube

Hi guys. Since we've been home from the last three months we've been on tour, we've been getting our act together behind the scenes trying to spread the word about the movie at the grass roots and organic levels. Any time we screen, the response is always huge and very favorable. Now that the movie is FINALLY avaialble, we're trying to get the word out and let people know here in the holidays.

What better gift is there to give yourself and others than love, support, acceptance and understanding? That's what this movie's about. Help us out by spreading the trailer now available to email around on YouTube.com.

Also, there's a discussion group! Our December newsletter will be out soon, think of getting the DVD for your friends, family, your self, your co-workers who could use a helping hand from a non-threatening source this holiday season. Dismount the year in style!

Thanks for your help!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Kim & Luane's Christmas List

My family has always tossed around a Christmas wish list. Dad usually gets one or two things on the list for me, my sister will get one and my mom will deliberately get me something NOT listed. It's part of my mom's sense of humor. Actually, my favorite gifts from her are the ones she makes. She's made me afghans, a picture pillow, a pad for this storage big Luane built, stitch work, candles, and a quillow -- ever heard of those? It's a pillow and when you "unfold" it, it's a quilt. Then you fold it back up to a pillow. It's like skorts, or a spork. Well, the word is anyway.

Luane's family tree is currently a twig. Lists don't seem necessary. Her mom basically says "send me the link and I'll take care of it". Her mom is generous at Christmas and cares a great deal that she gets us exactly what we need. She's not very technically savvy (knowing this, I set up her new mac with our website as her homepage so she can see us every morning) but is very understanding of us needing certain tools to do our work effectively. She actually bought one of the three cameras we needed to shoot the documentary last year.

So, Luane isn't into lists and it's been like pulling teeth to get her to tell me what she wants. As a compromise, she tells me stuff here and there and then I'm to be creative beyond that. However, I'm the one in our couplehood that wants so badly to choose something personal and sweet that she will love and will bring a tear to her eye and end up getting like a bag of socks for her. I'm just not good at it. And yet, every year she blows me away with her thoughtfulness and dead-on choices of gifts for me. It's a talent.

I'm easy to buy for. I lay it out on the traditional christmas wish list. Just like the song about grown up christmas lists, mine now includes the charities I'd like my family to donate to, spread the cheer that way. I've mever been into "stuff", it just means it's more to take care of and clean. So, I'm choosy and it's almost always relating to our work. There's not much of a boundary between me and my work, especially with this documentary, it spawned from my story so I'm not only in it but all over it. So if there's something I desire for Christmas, you can bet it'll be something I'll use for the doc and our upcoming supporting services.

The list used to be posted on the fridge. Now it's posted on the web. My how times have changed. I hope you get what you desire and wish for. Consider adding your favorite charities to your wish list too. Here are just a few of our favorites:
- Heifer International (being vegetarian, we tend to sponsors the trees...)
- American Forests (make sure you see Inconvenient Truth with Al Gore)
- Habitat for Humanity
- Save the Dolphins foundations
- The Hunger Project
- PFLAG
- HRC (Human Rights Campaign)
- Soulforce

We usually support organizations that don't just band aid but get the community to help itself. There's no long term effect just giving someone a turkey once a year. I'll save that for another blog...Luane has an interesting story around that. Anyway, consider supporting folks who build people up and in turn their communities for long term improvement and prosperity. Have a great week.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Get new blogs sent to your email!

Howdy! We've partnered with FeedBlitz here on our blog so you can not have to try and constantly remember that we have a blog. Now, new postings will just automatically go to your email. I know this wallpaper on this site is so lovely and all, but we're making progress every day to get rich content accessible to you and the folks in your world, for free. So, sign up for the feed, won't cost you anything but a minute. Thanks for checking out the blog!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Lots to be thankful for

Happy Thanksgiving! Luane and I usually drive several hours house-hopping visiting family for Thanksgiving but since we've been gone from home so much lately, I think Luane's feet are nailed to the living room floor and our cats permanently attached to our laps. So, we decided to have the day of gratitude on our own. Then, we got invited to a friends for breakfast...it was only 10 mins away, can handle that. We ate a lot and managed to see the Parade for the first time in like 15 years and see Barry Manilow's 2 minute plug for his 1960s album. If you haven't seen his show in Vegas, I recommend it...and save up to get the stage tickets too.

Anyway, back to eating a lot...then various family members from all around the country began the calls and check ins. I was on the phone with folks as often as I was talking to people in person...lots of talking, lots of love going around. We went home, I talked on the phone, Luane and I ran through the 79 ideas of what we could and in what order for the rest of the day which included hot tubbing to frisbee throwing to meditating to starting the deviled eggs. None of that happened.

We got another call. A friend of ours said we had to go to her house as her non-vegetarian aunt brought two huge platters of mediterranean food and they could never eat it all. So, Luane got off the treadmill, wiped her pits and off we went. Our friend didn't give us any time to clean up so we got real cozy with her and her family!

All in all, we were really thankful to have met so many new people, we got to share the movie all day, everyone wanted to hear about the tour and we carried around our *one* copy we own (isn't that funny? We have ONE). It made us reflect and appreciate what an amazing year this has been for us. We're so grateful for the support you've given and we hope you feel the support and love through the movie, blog and website that we have for you and yours. Happy Holidays! Let the Christmas music take over!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Election Reflection Nov 2006

First of all, congratulations to Arizona for being the only state to not allow the ban on gay marriage amendment to go through. While we visited there in October, people weren’t sure how things were going to go but were optimistic and believed in the people of Arizona…and it paid off. Yes, it was close with a 51% to 49% result, but nevertheless, the ban is now not something else to prohibit equality in Arizona. The shifting in the Congress and Rumsfeld resigning is all very interesting and encouraging that Americans are tired of living in fear. It's exhausting, isn't it? Thank you to everyone who participated in our Evening on Equality. We felt the energy move and really appreciate your taking the time and heart space to participate. It made a huge difference! We'll host these virtual events from time to time, looking forward to our next one. We're looking at ways to webcam them so we can seem more in the same room.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Lewisburg & Cookies

We were just in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania which is in the middle of the state. We were told before arriving that “there’s Pittsburgh, there’s Philadelphia, and then there’s Alabama inbetween.” We checked that statement with the locals while we were there and they actually agreed.

We missed the beautiful leaves by two weeks but there was still some orange and bright yellow to be seen. One thing I really appreciate in the trees that are bare and transparent with all the leaves gone, is that I get to see the nests the birds were using. I get to see where they built them, how they constructed them, admire their engineering of renewable resources and marvel at the art in the architecture. When such natural amazement is revealed, I like to pause and just appreciate. I felt this way in the vulnerability that Lewisburg residents and Bucknell University students showed us during our brief visit.

One of the first things we did at Bucknell was speak at a freshman foundations Social Justice class taught by a Ph.D. in Psychology. It was a small in number class but a high IQ composition. All but two of the students were female. Where are the guys? It’s not Home Economics, it’s social justice, where are the males?
What does that class’ composition say at a macro level? Or is it a fluke?

Nevertheless, the professor was very trusting of us and we reassured her Luane and I had taught at the University level for eight years and we’d behave as guest speakers. We even put her through a little experiment along with the class and she participated fully. The students were engaged, they seemed challenged, and got a chance to talk and look at a subject matter that is at the surface but rarely discussed openly and in such a safe space. We love doing classes so it was a real thrill to be able to work with this “next generation”.

The screening took place at the Campus theatre in downtown Lewisburg, which is an independently owned non-profit, kept in tact with its original 1941 art deco d├ęcor and ambiance. I’m told by Mary the amazingly cool manager that it’s one of twelve single screen theatres still running. We were proud to have screened there. It was so beautiful, you have to see it for yourself…check out their website at http://www.campustheatre.org. We got a tour up in the projector room and saw all this original equipment, firedoors and just how many miles of film makes up a movie. We also got to hear from Chris the local comedian projectionist, several funny projectionist stories of films spliced together out of order and therefore run out of sequence…the character’s eating, now he’s not, oh! He’s eating again…or still? I love hearing the behind the firedoor stories.

The screening went flawlessly, looked beautiful on the huge screen in 16:9 and sounded awesome. We had a great crowd who asked lots of questions coming from all kinds of different perspectives and experiences, and all there to learn, appreciate and exercise compassion….on themselves and each other.

We met people who are starting to deal with the struggle and the hard times that may lie ahead. We met people who didn't grow up in a religious home and found the movie talking to them in a way that helped them see that they can have a relationship with God even if organized religion is not for them. We also met a mom who came because she has two pre-adolescents and attends a conservative Christian church, wanting to know how she can help make room for her kids to let them find out who they are attracted to without getting stuck on the assumption they are both heterosexual. There’s more to be said on this subject but I’ll keep that for another blog entry.

In essence, we loved the people and the place of Lewisburg. It's a town where you can leave your car unlocked and it's still there when you return - in tact. I even saw someone leave their laptop case with the laptop in the coat check area of the eating commons. It was refreshing to see trust still existing in a community. Finally, I try to eat a chocolate chip cookie locally made at every place we go to and I got to have two this time...so the trip was a great success.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Sunny San Bernardino

San Bernardino had the most perfect weather. It was warm and beautiful. The only downside was the smoke in the air dusting up the horizon from the wildfires set by arson that had killed firefighters. What can a person be thinking by setting a fire in dry brush on a hill near homes and a university? The loss of nature, lives, animals…it makes me shudder. Not to mention that those trees, those green leafy things I see too often being cut down and replaced by concrete is our source of oxygen. We’ll suffocate without them and they are burning down in these wildfires as well. I won’t dwell on this topic since we believe what we focus on expands so I’ll focus on lots and lots of trees…therefore lots and lots of oxygen. Inhale...

The screening at California State University San Bernardino was really fun. We had great questions as usual – which we don’t take for granted, we’re very appreciative of the level of quality questions and integrity in keeping the discussion at a safe space for everyone. We had a student say he’s considered a conservative Christian and just the fact that he came we really wanted him to know how appreciative we were that he was there. He broke stereotype by attending and asking a great question and was open to the answer we offered. We have a ton of respect for people who come to the movie who may already think they know what to believe about the topic but don’t get stuck and/or stop at the title: God & Gays. They still take the time to hear something new, something that’s not openly talked about in this way in their circle. They are stepping out of their comfort zone and that’s a sign of spiritual maturity and for that we are grateful!

I also got to experience a student’s dilemma of talking to a friend who pretends he’s not gay but when he thinks no one is looking, he’s with guys in secret. My heart was aching for this friend and for the student. It’s not easy bringing a deliberately avoided subject up in conversation. The student cared and wanted to tell the friend she was accepting and supportive of him and wanted him to basically stop lying through his behavior to her and others….that he didn’t have to and that the friends loved him no matter who he’s interested in. She was afraid he’d get mad and cut off the friendship if she brought it up. Yeah, that’s definitely a legitimate risk. So is him opening up and being so relieved to have someone to talk to about what he's going through. As Henry Ford said, whether you think you’re right, or you think you’re wrong, either way you’re right. So, again, focus on what you want to have happen, have that emit as frequency from you and do your best. If the friend freaks out and slams the door on her, it’s just where he is right now and he got exposed when he thought he had people fooled. But, I made her promise that no matter how he reacted, she needed to understand that it was his reaction and she didn’t “cause” anything; he must own his reaction. He can take the conversation as a blessing and opportunity for acceptance and love or he can run and hide some more, and therefore everyone loses. But, he’s entitled to his process and so is everyone else.

I hope she talks to him, sooner than later. At least he’ll know there’s one friend that cares about him, wholly, honestly and completely and she’ll keep the door open for him as he’ll need a support network while he goes through his process. I was grateful she told us her situation. It reminded me once again why we did made this movie.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Soooooooo Close!

Ah, the world of indy filmmaking. Restricted by time and money, we're having to make some interesting choices for the final DVD. Then, when we thought we were at final, we aren't as the menu needed some sprucing up. The DVD is available for pre-order now and will be shipping on Monday, Nov 6th. We are sooo excited. It's really odd to think so much of your life and energy ends up on a thin disc between plastic. At least I have a snapshot of my life and say hmm...I wonder what I did in 2005 and 2006, look at the back of a DVD cover and know the answer. I'll hold the answer in my hands. I've had to be more involved in the technical aspects of finalizing the DVD than we anticipated, which is another part of indy filmmaking, the more aspects of the process you're good at, you'll probably end up doing them at some point. Between Luane and I, I'm the more technical one. We're a good pair...she's the creative, head in the clouds, big vision person and I'm the feet on the ground, technical, detailed one with a secret sociological identity.

This has gone off in a tangent...anyway, we thought we'd have the final delivered today of the DVD but nay, the excitement continues.

We're currently in San Bernardino, CA at a screening. I'm in someone else's office and there's a Taco Bell attached to the other wall. Taco Bell is the last remaining fast food place I'll touch since it offers vegetarian options. I'll write more soon on what we've learned while in San Bernardino where wildfires have been set by arson and wiped out the beautiful green tree-y mountains at the foothills of the campus. They had a flash flood last week dousing 1st floors of buildings since there isn't any brush and trees on the mountains to contain the rain. More from So. Cal. soon.