29 November 2007

Rainy Day Pirates

I was telling a friend of mine recently that one of the reasons why I've tried so many different things and had so many adventures is because I never want to utter the words "I regret never having _____".
Admittedly, playing miniature golf was not one of the "always-wanted-to's" on that list, but now it's one more thing I can cross off. Still, being a Leo, I even had to do that with my own flair for the dramatic. No ordinary putt-putt golf for me and my friends, no. It had to be day-glow and pirate-themed.

I discovered it on a drizzly Portland afternoon, over the holiday weekend, when I was walking around downtown with a fellow humbug---no fancy dinner or media-fueled shopping frenzy for us. Just walk and talk and the ubiquitous Northwest cup-o-coffee. Somewhere by the nearly deserted bus mall we spotted an odd and oddly colored figure...in a pirate hat?
Not what you'd normally expect to see at the Hilton.

It had to be explored! But only in the most genial company...and preferably pirate-friendly.
So, yesterday, on yet another drizzly Portland afternoon, the Wifey, the 8 year-old guru, Uncle Cupcake, Snow White and I huddled under umbrellas and puddle-jumped our way to the basement of the Hilton Executive Tower to: Glowing Greens.
For about the price of a movie you can experience a garish black-lit mini-golf wonderland. And, for an extra dollar you can purchase nifty 3D glasses, that'll either enhance your overall experience or make you nauseated within seconds.

Snow White treated, though he was a bit put off when the boy behind the counter cheekily offered him the Senior Discount. I don't think he ever quite recovered from that embarrassing blow because, for all their manly boasting, both he and Uncle Cupcake trailed behind, while we girls took the three top spots. I, with the help of beginner's luck, won the match.

I think everyone should experience day-glow pirate mini-golf at least once. With the weather so cold and dreary, it is a fun way to while away the time, especially in good company. Before we even knew it, 2 hours had passed!
I'm definitely going back.
Who's with me?
Say "Aye, Matey!"

All Content Copyright 2007, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

25 November 2007

Elementary Lessons

Sometime in my mid-twenties I arrived at probably the most brilliant and wisest realization I or anybody else can ever reach.

I, like many people, thought I knew everything in my late teens and early twenties. Though there is no legal drinking age in Colombia, and I had been going to bars there since I was 13, I still celebrated what in the U.S. passes for a rite of passage: my 21st birthday.
I went out with friends, had way too many sickeningly sweet drinks, went skinny dipping in the pool at my apartment complex, vomited...
Armed with my new status as an "official" alcohol-guzzling adult, my idealism and all my wisdom, I was ready to face the world---just as soon as the room stopped spinning.

It was a couple of years later that the realization hit me:
I know nothing.
I will spend the rest of my life in a constant quest for knowledge, understanding and wisdom of self and of the world around me.

That first time was a bit traumatic, but it changed the way I approach the world. I now approach every person or experience I encounter as a potential lesson. I try to keep my eyes and ears open (with varying degrees of success) and absorb everything, trying not to repeat my mistakes (again, success varies).
My new approach has served me well, though by no means do I avoid moments where I am utterly humbled.
One such instance happened a few weeks ago. I was talking with my favorite 8 year old and her mom. This kid is bright and sensitive, insightful beyond her years. She and her peers are reaching that age where differences begin to be felt. No longer do they all play as one big group, but rather they have begun to splinter into cliques. The newly formed "popular girls" clique has begun to pick on my sensitive young friend for being different.
Listening to her tales of woe, I was reminded of my own school experiences, of the pennies flicked at me as I walked down the halls, of the racist comments, the mean pranks. It hurt me to think of this beautiful young soul having to experience the degree of cruelty which only one's young peers are capable of inflicting.
"Bitches!" I muttered.
She gave an inscrutable look with those big brown eyes. She turned to her mom and told us how she deals with it.
The three of us--- she, her mom, and I --- often do yoga together to a particular series of DVD's, and at the end of each one, there is a meditation. Part of the meditation includes sending a healing prayer to somebody you know who needs it.
She told us she sends her healing prayer to this girl, the meanest of the mean girls who pick on her.

I am an asshole, I thought, as I looked at my wise little teacher with awe.

All Content Copyright 2007, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

03 November 2007


One of the projects that has been keeping me busy over the last two weeks was a short film called Berlin (or Burlin' as dubbed by the Art Department). The shooting schedule was a little exhausting but well worth it. We shot over two weekends, in a couple of locations in Washington and at Huber's in Portland.
It's a period piece, set in Nazi Germany. It was a little surreal, particularly on the nights that we shot at Huber's. The Art Department transformed the place and the actors were impeccably costumed and made up.
Here are some shots from the film and behind-the-scenes.

All Content Copyright 2007, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

01 November 2007

The Seven Stages of Rejection

Classic literature is littered with tragic unrequited loves and spurned affections. Often the stories end with the scorned lover making one final dramatic gesture.
Ovid's Sappho leaps to her death from the Leucadian Cliffs when Phaeton chooses a younger woman. Other heroines abjure the company of men and enter the cloister, or die of the consumption. The gents fight duels or go off to die in wars...

But this is real life and these are modern times.

In this technologically driven age, the ultimate in dramatic gestures is (cue dramatic music now): Deletion!.

People hook up, break up, and make up via text and email. AIM, Gmail and myspace often supercede the tête-à-tête. I admit, I am not immune this particular phenomenon. I recently found myself in the role of the rejector and watching the drama unfold. I found it to be rather anticlimactic.
One interesting drawback (or advantage, depending on who you ask) to all of this technology is that it leaves a record. One can track the whole process, the whole emotional roller coaster and, sometimes even the advancing level of intoxication. Quite fascinating really (or maybe I was bored and needed a break from photo editing).

The 7 Stages of Rejection

1. Denial and Bargaining:

Well we already covered those (here, if you're curious), so we move right along to...

2. Realization of The Loss sinks in:

Said realization elicits a myriad of conflicting emotions. The confusion which ensues may prompt the first dramatic gesture...

3. The Redistribution of Assets:

This is usually an irrational demand to return borrowed items or reclaim items left behind right now, regardless of time of day or night. This stage is also characterized by a complete disregard for what the other party may be doing (i.e. going to bed).
The rejecting party is usually grumpy at this point and the dismissal is quick, prompting further confusion for the rejected party.

4. Sorrow:

Soon after the brief face to face, comes the regretful sentiment, via text of course. "Hate that it had to be this way."

5. Anger:

This stage follows a few hours later---usually around bar-close. Presumably prompted by liquid gumption and spurred by sympathetic friends, comes the snarky verbal attack. The degree of inebriation will determine the format, whether text or phone call.

6. The Last Word:

Also what I like to call "And another thing...". The final point, jab, comment, and just so there's no chance for rebuttal...the final stage:

7. Deletion:

Ah yes, the final gesture, the ultimate repudiation of the rejecting party, the closing of that final door---deletion from the "friends' list". With the click of a mouse you can erase a person from your life and make a statement.

Call me an old-fashioned romantic, but I think the options in dramatic gestures for the rejected suitor of today are rather limited and lack a certain...panache.

All Content Copyright 2007, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved