On the water, without water.

tiny orphans

It occurred to me the other day that I’ve hit my optimal lifestyle wavelength when the only emergency communications I get concerns where I bought some recent cream puffs. I’ve been wallowing in gratitude for a while now. I know cosmic wind and seasonal frenzies won’t stay chill forever, but for now I feel like I won.

I have returned from my first vacation since my trip to Manhattan during NYE in 2002. I’m a new fan of “vacation.” I’ve spent every spare PTO day and dollar in the last 8 years working on films. The pressure of that sort of sysiphean work ethic has forged my high-strung nature into a perma-state of always being on full speed. [If you know me, you know exactly what I mean.] Or maybe it’s the other way around. Chicken or egg – who knows.

Altho I loll about now bragging about low drama levels – I’m seriously over due for new work. So that’s next. For sure before snow flies.

Instead of moving pictures I goof off with portraits in the mean time...

Instead of moving pictures I goof off with portraits in the mean time…

Deerborn, MI. Pre-lame fireworks with Desire Forget, jewelry wizard from Owl and Lark.

Deerborn, MI. Pre-lame fireworks with Desiree Forget, jewelry wizard from Owl and Lark.

Trying to prove that I'm not a total nancy - by wandering off alone while urban exploring. Fact is, I'm a chickenshit.

Trying to prove that I’m not a total nancy – by wandering off alone while urban exploring. Fact is, I’m a chickenshit.

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The next month all my spare funds will be filtered to festival submissions for “Lake Lutesfisk” which is the culmination of “Icehouse”, “Blood Terror” and the newest and unseen “Forewarn.”

The expensive and heavy lifting will be to sniff out new festivals that haven’t seen any of these films. Many of my regular festival runs don’t want to program redundant work – and rightfully so.

Let’s see how many weird little mountain villages or dessert oasis’s will program these little monster ditties!

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Detroit! City of public art.

Detroit! City of public art.

Like I mentioned, I did infact take a trip to Detroit. At the risk of sounding coy, there really isn’t any way to describe the city. I’ve never been anywhere like it.

What’s left – is essentially just a husk of what was a major city. It’s the setting for a post apocalyptic film. Everyone is gone. Giant buildings have been bombed out. Graffiti everywhere. And yet – it’s completely modern and American. What the hell?

A crowded beach on Belle Isle...

A crowded beach on Belle Isle…

It’s an incredible place but it’s incredible for the blight of it all. Which is really unlike any place I’ve visited. And there are people there. But only kinda. Certainly not downtown.

Back entrance to the Fisher Body plant

Back entrance to the Fisher Body plant

There are some efforts to save it – but – from my few experiences there, it’s so far gone – it’d be more of a lurid Frankenstein effort than a medic resuscitating a car crash victim. I know that’s sensational – but for example – they’ve turned off the water to most of the residence in Detroit. People haven’t had WATER in 2 months. The United Nations even says Detroit “risks violating the human right to water by shutting off access to those who can’t afford it.” [Washington Post]

No one was downtown on the 4th of July and there were no organized parades or fireworks. We barely saw police anywhere. It was eery. In a country rightfully caricatured┬áby our special flavor of patriotism – seeing zero celebration on the 4th of July was in fact like being in a foreign country.

What’s weirder is that this empty city is in the Midwest. It’s the oldest city in our part of the country. And I ask myself – What’s more American than “American Made”? Nothing. And if Detroit is the city of “American Made” is this foreshadowing? What can we learn from this to safe guard the rest of our urban areas? [Side note: according to the 2010 census – over 80% of American’s live in urbanized areas]

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I have no answers. I’m just really grateful I got to visit Detroit while it’s still there. I’m also grateful I live in Minneapolis. It’s a great city. I there’s a lot of sweet features like Bitesquad to deliver my pad thai to my porch perch and fire departments and running water.

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Graffiti behind the train station.

Graffiti behind the train station.

Michigan Theatre Parking Ramp. Gutting an old theatre to park >100 cars.

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