Wednesday, March 24, 2010

September Gurls and October Revolution: My Contribution to the NCAA Zeitgeist

You weren't imagining things. There really was a new post here on Friday, one that disappeared completely by the next day. When I wrote the post, I discussed a few of the college basketball games that day and I was in the middle of a completely understandable search for an appropriate photo of Murray from Flight of the Conchords and the next thing I know, it's 90 minutes later and my unexpected nap is over. Still, in my groggy fog, I felt it necessary to publish the post without finishing it and without checking for errors or lack of humor. On Saturday I chose to remove the entry. Don't worry - the good jokes will get recycled eventually.

Which brings us to:  There's no better way to revive a sleepy fading web presence than to predict some basketball games between teams I know little about. (If this entry goes on for too long, just skip to the Chilton song and the final game at the bottom and you'll be happy)

NCAA Basketball Tournament predictions, Round 3:


West Virginia vs. Washington
As I wrote in the disappeared post, I was recently trying to figure out how many states I've visited. I came up with 39. I included two states - Tennessee and Texas - even though my entire experience in each was limited to time in airports waiting for connecting flights. My justification: if you're on a giant flying machine and that machine makes a thunderous entrance onto state pavement, you deserve to claim that state.

So what does this have to with West Virginia vs. Washington? I've never been to the state of West Virginia. I've been to the state of Washington four times and those four trips are some of the most memorable ones of my life. This is enough for me to pick Washington to win this game and continue to be the lone Pac-10 rep in the tourney.

Kentucky vs. Cornell
I'd really like to pick Cornell to win this game. My nephew goes to school there. They could really use the happiness. They're not Kentucky. People say Duke is the most annoying basketball team with the most insufferable fans. I disagree. It's Kentucky. I have no reason for this belief. In fact, I'm bored expressing this belief. Back to the game. Kentucky is the best team in the nation. Cornell is the lowest seeded team left in the tournament. I have to listen to the voice of reason deep within me. But this is a blog. I have no accountability. I'm taking a chance. Cornell wins.

Syracuse vs. Butler
This one might seem like yet another upset. But I'm going with Butler. When I was running late for work a few weeks ago, I accidentally caught a radio interview with the Butler coach. He seemed like a nice guy, Yes, that's all I've got.

Xavier vs. Kansas State
Wow. I think you may be reading the dullest, most pointless thing I've ever written. It will either continue to devolve or it will become an exercise in meta-blogging, in which little pearls of quotable wisdom dot the landscape of your browser. Kansas State will win because... because... I don't know.


Michigan State vs. Northern Illinois
Michigan - what the hell are you? You've housed the car industry. You've launched many boring music careers. You've given us cereal. You sent us Rabe. You allowed Sufjan Stevens to reach his peak. Definitely a mixed bag. Rabe is a godsend and cereal is a blessing. Sufjan needs to get back to work. The auto industry has seen better days. But if you put it all together, Michigan and its secondary state university far surpasses Northern Illinois because really if you're north of, say, Des Plaines, you might as well be in Iowa. Or Wisconsin. Michigan State wins.

Tennessee vs. Ohio State
There's a lot I could write here about one of my musical heroes spending time in Columbus. Or I could write about my employer's head football coach quitting his position at Tennessee and setting off a level of anger there surpassed only by the level of bemusement here. Or I could write about hot middle-aged women. But I'm getting tired. Ohio State is a better team. I pick them to win even if Big Ten basketball is not fun to watch.

Postscript (the next day): I have changed my mind. I must pick Tennessee for not other reason than it contains Memphis, the hometown of Alex Chilton (1950-2010).  You'll be missed, you big big star:

 Duke vs. Purdue
What the hell is this? Another goddamn Big Ten team and no sign of my Gophers? Go away Purdue. You annoy me. Yes, you annoy me even more than Duke. Duke wins.

Baylor vs. St. Mary's

I'm assuming this is a typo in my bracket. Maybe I'm looking at the women's tournament. Apparently these are colleges in America. In Waco, TX and Moraga, CA. Further research into St. Mary's reveals that it is the alma mater of Tom Meschery, a mustachioed basketball player of the 60s and early 70s, a man whose image on basketball cards is still familiar to me now, more than 30 but fewer than 40 years after I saw it as a little boy card collector, a man whose Wikipedia page reveals a truly awesome life: 
  • born in China in 1938 to Russian parents, both of whom escaped the October Revolution in Russia in 1917 
  • is held in a Japanese-run internment camp (of confined Chinese and maybe Russians) near Tokyo during WWII
  • emigrates to America, ends up in San Francisco
  • becomes a star at St. Mary's, graduates in 1961
  • plays in the NBA for the Philadelphia Warriors alongside Wilt Chamberlain
  • plays in his hometown after the Warriors move to San Francisco
  • plays in Seattle, grows mustache
  • retires from basketball and makes the typical post-NBA move to....
  • ...
  • gets his MFA from the Univ. of Iowa Writers Workshop
  • studies poetry under a poet Laureate at the Univ. of Washington
  • teaches high school English in Reno
  • writes poetry, publishes book of poetry
  • gets inducted to the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame AND the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame
  • marries with an art professor
  • lives with the art professor in Sacramento
To review:
Russians in China / Chinese in Japan / Camp / San Francisco
Basketball / Wilt Chamberlain / Seattle / Reno / Poet / Art professor
Sure, living in Sacramento might sully the legacy but come on! Is Tom Meschery - born Tomislav Nicolayevich Meshcheryakov - the badassest badass of them all? His school - St. Mary's of Moraga, CA wins.



Thursday, March 18, 2010

Where is the amazing annual NCAA tournament prediction post?

As the longtime reader(s) of this blog surely know, there is nothing people look forward to reading here more than my prediction for the NCAA college basketball tournament (men's division). I mean - just look at the titles for these posts in past years:
2006: As you know, 2006 never happened.
2007: The effects of 2006 linger, as I divide the entries into four uncreatively named parts, each with names like "Basketball, Part 1" and "Hoops, Part 2" and 3 and 4... or something like that.
It is now 2010. The tournament has begun. Because of life's get-in-the-way-ness and its grant proposals and giant cockroach and loose engine belts, I have not had a chance to come up with 32 narratives about 32 games, most of the narratives Ali-centric. Instead, I will wait until Thursday's and Friday's the opening weekend's games are over and then write about the 16 8 second third round games that begin Saturday. Think of it as a Great Compromise. You should see something basketball-related in this space tomorrow by Wednesday.

Oh.... and this game happens tomorrow but: GO GOPHERS!

*The first truly great entry in this blog.
**Edited to account for recent Facebook friend additions.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Most Ironic Demonstration of Irony, Ever

I've asked this question before. I'm sure I will ask it again. Now that the executive and legislative branches are comfortably in the hand of Democratic party, can we please give Arianna Huffington back to the Republicans? This is not a joke. If it were a joke, then I would be the kind of person who repeatedly goes for the same punch line over and over again and of course I am not that kind of person.

Today, on KPCC's Airtalk show with Larry Mantle, Ms. Huffington was a guest during a segment in which she implored Americans to move their money to smaller banks and credit unions. Now I agree with her sentiment. I agree with part of her reasoning. But when another guest brought up the very cogent point that smaller banks are also failing and do not tend to give out loans to small businesses (an issue more important to the people on the radio than to me), Arianna Huffington turned into the familiar super-condescending version of herself that has made me cringe with horror.

Now, I have actively disliked Huffington since her stint as a very public and extremely shrill angry conservative back in the 1990s so maybe I am unfair in my description of her behavior. But when show host Larry Mantle - normally a calm, patient, exceedingly prepared, and skillful interviewer - is surprised and put off by a guest's ridiculous behavior, you know something is up. After Huffington condescended toward Larry Mantle (something you simply do not do) by suggesting that her new pet fake move-the-money movement (which I, again, agree with) would benefit if Mantle himself moved his own money to a smaller bank, Mantle mercifully but cheerfully shut the interview down. You could almost hear him thinking "maybe over in Santa Monica you can get away with that crap but not in Pasadena, not on my watch." 

After a news break, it was off to the next segment, titled - and I am being completely serious here - Condescending liberals and angry conservatives. Really, KPCC? You're going to have on your airwaves the one person on earth who has been the epitome of both of these things at various times in her life. And you're going to use her in a completely different segment of the same show? In the immediately preceding segment? This was either intentional or the most ironic demonstration of irony, ever. Or both. I can just see Mantle rubbing his hands together and giggling in his windowless studio lair while thinking "that was my greatest work of art, ever. Most will not have gotten the joke but the few who get it will work hard to make sure that the word gets out, via their web logging and pamphleteering. Ha ha ha ha ha ha."

Finally, let me get one thing out of the way. At least two of my male friends find Arriana Huffington hot. This is their word - "hot." Now I consider their line of thinking absurd and perhaps sociopathic. In my list of the five most unattractive things in the universe, Huffington's website* and Huffington's accent, make the list at #4 and #1, respectively. (For the record, #5 is the smell of cold eggs in a salad, #3 is the sight of more than one Peter Gabriel album on anyone's shelf (we all get one Gabriel free pass but more than one is inexcusable), and #2 is the way intestines really look inside a living person.) 

Now, my dislike of her sickening accent (not to mention her reptilian physical appearance) might mean that I objectify Huffington in a way that is unfair to her and this objectification may be informed by the fact that she is a woman and, especially, by the fact that she is a very visible woman with a very public forum. Yes, I will admit that if she looked like Catherine Keener and spoke like Frances Anderton, I might have less of a problem with her. I don't think her status as a successful female media figure informs my dislike all that much, though. She was my enemy as far back as '93 when I first heard her voice curdling through my radio speakers. But hey at least I don't objectify her in the other direction. Hot?? Really J and M? You honestly believe that?

*I understand that the Huffington Post's web designer may actually be to blame but she puts her name on it and she likely profits from it and plays a role in how it looks. That is one ugly website. It's almost as if she were a secret operative sent by the right to infiltrate the left. Wait a second.... Oh I get it now!

Monday, March 08, 2010

The Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh of March

That was a strange weekend. Each of its three days (and I'm counting Friday because I work at a university) contained large slab-like portions that were stunningly sunny, morosely cloudy, and Memorial-Day-1987-like-rainy. If I were a higher-level combination meteorologist/climatologist (you know, the kind that receives generous research grants co-sponsored by non-profit foundations, governmental agencies, and for-profit corporations), and I could have planned the local weather for my annual Los Angeles-based strategic planning retreat, then 3/5-7/10 would have been perfect.

Other things I learned this weekend:

 -Strange car noises don't magically go away. In fact, they can mutate into something scarier when left untreated.

 -I didn't disagree with any of the Oscar winners. In fact, anytime a James Cameron film goes, for the most part, un-awarded, is cause for great celebration. And I say this despite the fact that he seems like a completely genuine, thoroughly humble, and all-around nice guy (based on his recent interview on Fresh Air). I also say this despite never having seen a James Cameron film. Yes, I'm aware of his involvement with Terminator and Titanic. Besides, I may have wanted Quentin/Basterds to win and I may not have seen The Hurt Locker but Kathryn Bigelow deserves the Oscar for her direction of the awesome Strange Days back in 1995.

 -Though it works just fine as a play, someone still needs to make a film version of Lanford Wilson's Fifth of July. And no the 1982 made-for-TV movie doesn't count. And yes of course Parker Posey should be involved somehow. And yes my sentence construction in this blog post has been rather unwieldy.

 -It's difficult not to laugh when the waitress says "Sorry. We can't serve alcohol until we pay our taxes." 

 -I need a louder alarm.

 -In researching the accuracy of my never-seen-a-James Cameron-film statement above, I came across an interesting fact. Cameron wrote Strange Days. And I, as a screenwriter, consider screenwriting to be as important as, if not more important than, "directing." So I need to revise my statement to read: ..."never having seen a James Cameron-directed film."

 -Oh wait. I might have seen most of Aliens in a Baltimore hotel room in 1995. Or was that Alien? Does it make a difference? I'm told that it does make a difference. Okay: change it to: "never having seen a James Cameron-directed film on the big screen."

 - I also said that Cameron seemed "humble" and "all-around nice." According to my Wiki-research, he's also been described as "dictatorial" and liable "to use a nail gun to nail the film crew's cell phones to a wall above an exit door in retaliation to unwanted ringing during film production." Huh? Asshole. Just delete the entire Cameron-related entry. It's easier that way.

Monday, March 01, 2010

No Regrets, Coyote: 2,717 Words on Joni Mitchell's Hejira

For yours truly, 2010 has been a year of candor. In this very blog, I've admitted to you my one flirtation with chicken gluttony. I owned up to wearing two right shoes and having a third right shoe close by as well. But today I'm dropping a big one. Get ready for this. This is something you didn't know about me. This is something you've never suspected. You'll never look at me in the same way again. Let's put this thing in bold all-caps blood-red: I AM A JONI MITCHELL FAN.

It's not that it's shocking that I'd like Joni Mitchell. She is, after all, a talented well-respected singer-songwriter with a history of writing and performing good songs. It's just that none of you have ever heard me mention her. It's not like I went on some anti-JM crusade, similar to what will befall another beloved Canadian in the next paragraph. No, I just never talked about her. Until now, Joni Mitchell, to me, seemed too daunting - her career too vast and varied, her Canadian-ness too authentic.

Robbie Robertson of The Band once said in a VH1 interview that Joni Mitchell is unchallenged as a songwriter. He then repeated the key word for effect. It went something like this: "Joni Mitchell is unchallenged as a songwriter. UN. CHALLENGED." *(yes - this asterisk refers to a footnote below. I'm bringing the footnotes back!)

Setting aside the debate about whether Robbie Robertson is a pompous blowhard OR a bombastic windbag, let's appreciate his enthusiasm and his good eye toward recognizing greatness.** (yep - another gratuitous footnote, one that allows me to continue my bizarre unrelated crusade against a beloved institution)

Instead of taking on Mitchell's long and impressive career (the daunting one I still kind of fear), I want to focus here on Hejira, her 1976 collection of sweeping epics set against a backdrop of a car trip she took by herself across America. Joni herself says Hejira is about "the sweet loneliness of solitary travel."

The loneliness may be sweet but she's not alone in her songs. She's singing to the important people in her life - the childhood friends from Western Canada who continue to live and love in the prairie. She's singing to the Laurel Canyon hippies who tried to break her heart but never got close. She's singing to her own future self, asking whether she'll die happy and alone in Malibu or Western Canada, blissfully unaware that her career sales will be high enough that she can have a home in both places! (And that's a stone cold miracle since she spent 17 years or so dabbling in something called jazz.)

(Before I continue, many many thanks to Eva for playing this album for me. Yes, it has had its effect on me.)

The Hejira trip must have been a doozy. If her lyrics are to be taken literally (and why wouldn't they?), Joni accomplished the following:

Song 1. COYOTE
1. Had a badass conversation with a coyote:
"No regrets, coyote, we just come from such different sets of circumstance."
YOU try saying that to a coyote.
Note: I get that the coyote is a man, that men are feral instinctual creatures, especially those Saskatchewanian lumber jacks, with their unruly uneven unrepentant sideburns and those Hollywood Hills hippie hangers-on, with their lack of watches and their scent of musk. In much of the song, the coyote is metaphor for "absent man / dead man." Now that I'm not coming back, who is there left to wait for?
Also, you wouldn't expect a real coyote (as in the animal) to be watching the waitress's legs while picking up Joni's scent on his fingers (another scene from the same song). Or maybe that's exactly what you'd expect of a coyote. Anyway, what I think happened is this: on a pine-scented hike through a rough hewn mountain glen in the American middle, Joni turns a corner by a bluff and comes to face to face with a real coyote. Real coyote's reaction reminds Joni of how a man would act - eyes fixed, ready to punce, wary of his rivals... when he should be wary of the blonde and her notebook and her proclivity toward flames.

Song 2. AMELIA
Stayed in a motel with an awesome name:
"I pulled into the Cactus Tree Motel to shower off the dust
And I slept on the strange pillows of my wanderlust."

Holy crap - did she just effortlessly invoke and intertwine imagery of sleep AND movement into one line (the one that ends with wanderlust)? To my knowledge, there has not been a better description of the constant push-pull mental conflict that's the essential component of physical life.


Dressed down an old Memphis bluesman and simultaneously called middle class America for blindly adoring the blues while baldly living outside of it

"Cheap guitars, eye shades, and guns aimed at the hot blood of being no one."

Had sex with a skater boy, plying him with alcohol and jewelry:
"We were newly lovers then.
We were fire in the stiff-blue-haired-house-rules."

Song 5. HEJIRA
Admitted to herself and to us that she wasn't above falling in love or being loved but things just weren't working out, explaining her table for one=

"I'm traveling in some vehicle.
I'm sitting in some cafe.
A defector from the petty wars.
That shell-shock love away."

34 years later, she's still single. Those must have been some wars. That shell shock must be deep and forever echoing.

Went shopping for a mandolin and knew right away that the girls in New York, like the girls in Maidstone (Saskatchewan, Canada), like child Joni herself, had dreams of a wedding day

"I went to Staten Island to buy myself a mandolin.
And I saw the long white dress of love on a storefront mannequin......
Some girl's going to see that dress and crave that day like crazy."

"Long white dress of love" just kills me - in five words, Joni Mitchell captures the trivial commodity of the wedding day (because surely no white dress - no matter how long - can capture love) AND the sometimes-honoured hope for a love-filled life contained by the dress.***

Saw herself in the mirror. Wasn't happy with what she saw. Turned her gaze from mirror to window. And outside that window, she saw a black crow doing what she needed to do:.

"I looked at my haggard face in the bathroom light.
I looked out the window and I saw that ragged soul take flight."

Earlier, she schooled the coyote. Now, she learns from the crow. Fly, Mitchell, Fly! Yes, it's on to the next town, the next album, the next tour for Joni. Also, haggard AND ragged - impressive... not as easy as it looks.

Remembered - while in rainy Savannah - that she eventually will be going back home to Los Angeles:

"Will you still love me when I call you up when I get back to town?
I know that you've got all those pretty girls coming on
Hanging on to your boom-boom-pachyderm."

I don't know what she's talking about here but whatever it is, it's pretty filthy and "boom-boom-pachyderm" is the clearly the best descriptor for it. And Boom-Boom-Pachyderm is totally going to be my next band name (with both hyphens, the way Joni wants it),

Summed her journey up with a light-and-lovely turned dark-and-desolate centerpiece of a song (the centerpiece appearing at the very end of the album ofcourse):
"I fell in with some drifters cast upon a beach town ......
There was spring along the ditches.
There were good times in the cities
A thunderhead of judgment was gathering in my gaze.
And it made most people nervous.
They just didn't want to know."

So she may have had some good times, made some revelations, and written some songs that'll soon sound perfect in the studio with Jaco and Larry and the guys. But it hasn't been easy. This was not a hedonistic romp across America. This was self-discovery, with some corrupting sex along the way.

And in the album's final final words, Joni Mitchell becomes the first person to ever use the carrying-baggage-as-carrying-emotion metaphor and though that particular device is currently on Language Death Row, scheduled to be executed by seven dead poets and a sexy librarian, it must have sounded revelatory and fresh when she, in 1976, worked said metaphor in at the end, right after singing of the earth as it looked from the moon this way:
"And you couldn't see a city on that marbled bowling ball.
Or a forest or a highway or me here least of all.
You couldn't see these cold water restrooms.
Or this baggage overload, westbound and rolling
Taking refuge in the roads."

Let's see: she's taken on a coyote, a ragged crow, an old cranky bluesman, the institution of marriage, drifters, her own regrets, her real longings, her distant past, her near future (b.b. pachyderm).... she's watched a boy on a skateboard and remembered a girl (herself) on roller skates.... she's addressed the moon and New York City.... she's gone walking in Memphis and has her sights on doing the same in L.A. though it's been said no one does this.

She's written 9 songs, each of them with at least one - and, in most cases, several - awe-generating moments... 9 songs - 6 of them brilliant, 2 of them good, and Furry Sings the Blues. I've focused on the stories and the lyrics but don't forget the undulating melodies, curved basslines, and plucky starbursts of guitars. Ms. Mitchell and her band of crackerjack ace session men set a standard here that none of her jaded, faded peers could touch. I've never heard a set of songs that sounded anything like Hejira. Okay I tried to avoid it but in the end I could no longer hold in my desire to use sinewy and sinuous in the same sentence as I described Hejira. Get ready. Joni Mitchell's sinuous melodies wind their way around her personal planets of primal urging men whose muscled thrust gets postponed by the singer's sinewy forces of resistance. Thank you.

And in 1976, while I was getting acclimated to the seventh and last family move of my childhood/adolescence I was not yet ready for Ms. Mitchell. Sure I was a precocious kid who understood what Steely Dan really were singing about and knew that Bruce Springsteen was way more wild than innocent. But I was not yet ready for Hejira, for Joni, for one of the greatest batches of insightful, tough, tender, and honest songs ever recorded.

In fact, given that I had never listened to more than one or two Joni Mitchell songs at a time prior to the autumn of 2009 and never wrote about her until this afternoon, you could say I spent a long time not being ready. Maybe I was afraid. She confronted a coyote!

Someone should write a screenplay about that cross-country trip from the middle-70s. Eleanor Friedberger could dye her hair (again) and play Joni Mitchell. I'll play a composite of the love interests. Call the composite Leonard Pachyderm Crosby Taylor Nash Young Skater.  

Hejira - named for Muhammed's journey (which is ballsy in itself) - would work well as a film. Her original Atlantic to Pacific route - from Maine to Los Angeles via Madison easily works as a framing device, the American west opening its vistas and warming our heroine as she leaves behind the beautiful lakes and strange one-night-lovers of the east and middle. Still, there's conflict as the California looms ever closer and 3/4 of CSNY fights for her love and she just smirks at their foolhardiness. She's way past the rock musicians... she likes the jazz cats.

Okay I'm losing my thesis here. Back to Hejira - such  an ambitious and timeless album, rich with moody songs about traveling on the road - not as a touring musician but as a musical tourist, searching for poetic adventure and studiously avoiding romantic love (and being steeped in both).

In particular, her troika of one-word six-letter songs - Coyote, Amelia, and Hejira - add up to  as 17+ perfect minutes of music, with lyrics and a voice that show a brave honest woman revealing sad/funny/momentous tenderness. The baring of her soul is set to some truly weird melodies unlike those of anyone I've ever heard. It's a rare document of a particular time and place (the American road and its motels and busted cities... the mid-70s) and a particularly ambitious personal mission (to look love right in its coyote eyes, to receive the consequences, and to emerge on the other side scarred, stronger, truer). These are great heights to reach and Hejira reached them. And I can't think of anything else from that era that comes close. Could it be that Joni was unchallenged? UN  CHALLENGED?
Indented Aside to Jason:
Hey Jason - I don't know if you know this but the lake that Joni is standing in front of on the album cover,**** that's Lake Mendota in Madison! Which of course is the last place I saw you and the rest of the Butlers. And the second song is called Amelia. Wait a second... are you and M closet Mitchell fans? I knew you guyes were hippies!
Indented Aside to everyone other than Jason:
Jason is being rewarded with a personal aside because Jason regularly leaves COMMENTS at this very blog.
Oh so you want to listen to the album? For free? No, you'll just get a taste here. Go to lala for one free listen to each song

Song 6: Song for Sharon (2 more songs can be found way down below):

*Technically, Robbie is wrong. Joni has been challenged; it's just that her challenders can't come close to what she's putting out there. This includes YOU, Robertson. I bought your solo album in '87 and over-listened to it, hoping it would inspire me. It inspired me inspired me to perform excited impressions of Sammy Llanas, the BoDean you employed as background singer on the Crazy River song. God, I love making fun of that song. "Somewhere down tha crazy riv-ah." Damn, Sammy could (can) sing. Wait, where was I? Do I have a fishing rod around here? Found one. (I'm reeeeling it in...)

**I'm also setting aside the fact that The Band is an absurdly overrated "band" oddly worshiped by critics mostly because of the house one of them lived in, once.

***Honoured is spelled the Canadian way. Both for Joni and for Canada winning the gold medal hockey game yesterday. You guys earned it. Just don't get too cocky. You've had a good run - Cohen, Mitchell, Young, Gretzky, S. Crosby, Crash Test Dummies, M.J. Fox. But that doesn't mean I'll ever listen to more than 10 seconds of As It Happens. And, in my description, the dress contains the hope, not the life.

****You know - the album cover with its photo of Joni and the vagina highway and the cloud-boobs:

And for making it this far, here are great live versions of Coyote (from The Last Waltz, with The Band featuring Robbie Rob... okay they're a pretty badass band) and Amelia. The Coyote video is from 1978. The Amelia is from late 1998 in Los Angeles. Joni is older here but still has a presence - a jarringly different yet lovely presence.)

The latter video - Amelia - is ostensibly about Amelia Earhart but really the disappeared pilot acts as J.M.'s invisible travel companion for now... before Joni gets used to - and relishes - the idea of traveling alone. Note: Mitchell is stunning in the photos of her between shown between the 4:55 and 5:00 mark of Amelia.

And If you've ever wondered if you can tell the difference between a youtube video of a film made by a genius of the visual arts and a youtube video made by a "regular person," here's the perfect opportunity for a systematic comparison: Coyote (directed by Martin
Scorsese) vs.