Click for Movie Reviews

April 30, 2012

I’m still writing movie reviews for Examiner.com. It’s been a while but I hit a stride this week thanks to the Independent Film Festival of Boston (and many thanks to Joe Vitaliano, Nigia Stepehns and Hafida Acuay Osuna for sponsoring my viewing the films. Much love to you all). Anyway I still get some money from each time someone clicks on the reviews I write and pages I have up, so feel free to do so–every bit counts. You can subscribe there and get emailed when I do have new content. A lot of the content is Boston based but still keeping people up to date (as best I can) on film happenings around town. Check out the link below and read as much as you like.  

Thanks again loyal readers. 😀

http://www.examiner.com/film-249-in-boston/david-concepcion

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Tweeting from IFFB

April 27, 2012

While I still have my Examiner page for movie reviews (here), I tend to tweet while I’m doing festivals for immediate results. You can follow me on Twitter @MAwriter212. My Twitter page is here. Hope to have you hash-tagging along!

Yesterday her mom was brushing Sophia’s hair. It’s curly like mine is/used to be and gets snarled. Of course her mom wants to brush it straight out, no curls. Every time she brushes her hair it’s a battle and a screamfest between the both of them. I spoke to Sophia after this and told her if you don’t want it to hurt so much, you should learn to do your hair yourself. She whined that she does know. In truth, she kind of does. I’ve seen her do it. She gets the brush 90% through then teases it out just before any of the snarly part to avoid any pain. It just makes the ends worse for the next time. I told her she can learn to do it so mom doesn’t have to. She then replied “I only know how to make scrambled eggs and sunrise toast. That’s it.” Honestly that broke my heart.

Part of my job as a dad is to make sure Sophia is independent enough to make it on her own later in life. I started to see that I’ve been remiss in that with all the shit that’s been going on with me and jobs and stuff, and Sophia’s been paying for it. When I was her age, I was cooking my own food, showering, could touch type, ride a two wheeler (though it took me forever to get rid of the training wheels), and other things on my own. Sophia can do things herself but she expects us to do everything else. I’m not sure it’s “expects” is the right word, but she does count on it. I know part of it is her mom being a little overbearing and doing everything for her, but whenever she gets to something she doesn’t want to do, she always screams “I can’t!” For a while I was angry because I knew she could. Now it seems more that she’s afraid to do it wrong or she really doesn’t know how it’s supposed to be done.

Last week I took a step in the right direction by spending Sunday afternoon teaching her how to cook eggs—scrambled eggs, two kinds of fried eggs, and sunrise toast (grilled toast with an egg cooked in the center). It was fun and she really enjoyed doing it, learning it and is expecting to do grilled cheese this weekend. But now I see I got to help her do more. She can do these things, but with all the problems her mom and I have been through the last year, her personal education is falling through the cracks. As much as her mom wants Sophia to learn to do things her way, I need to take a step in and show her how to do some things period. It might not be right the first time but at least she’ll learn that she can instead of always saying “I can’t.”

“What I have done
That might you nature, honor and exception
Roughly awake, I here proclaim was madness.
Was’t Hamlet wronged Laertes? Never Hamlet.
If Hamlet from himself be ta’en away
And when he is not himself does wrong Laertes
Then Hamlet does it not. Hamlet denies it.
Who does it then? His madness.
If’t be so, Hamlet is of the faction that is wronged.
His madness is poor Hamlet’s enemy.”
“Hamlet,” Act V, scene ii

I’ve been that lost over the last year or so. I’ve dealt with depression most of my life and all of my adult life. It never left me non-functional, but the economic recession seriously exacerbated it. There’s nothing in the world that can prepare you for the mental struggle you go through being unemployed and underemployed for a long length of time. The jobs you want always seem to go to someone else; the jobs you get aren’t close to doing what you want, the hours you need and/or the pay you need to survive, but it beats having nothing come in. Over a year and a half of this and it plays on your emotional health–your self esteem, your confidence, your sense of core abilities falter in the growing waves of  “we’ve decided to go with another candidate.”

For a while I thought it was about stamina or positivity: look on the bright side and things will be okay. But to ignore depression as the mental illness it is is dangerous. It’s not an attitude that can be thought or willed away, it’s an illness that gets worse if not treated properly or stays untreated.

I got help and a good core group of friends around to see me through. Still some of the scars are tender. I know I’ve lost a lot of friends because of how bad my situation got. You can see the people avoiding phone calls or the de-friendings on Facebook. As one friend told me, no one wants to be around the downer. This sucks when you are down and need help up. It’s also an illness that thrives in a vacuum. But as I needed people more, some people disappeared from my life. In retrospect it’s probably a good thing, but to abandon someone when they need you still hurts, especially if you’ve been through there for them. It also opens wounds if you’ve been abandoned for less before.

I know I’ve pushed some people away, but that was during dark times for me and not always when I was in control. I am sorry to those who didn’t deserve it and tried to make amends. Those who I haven’t tried to get back or who never came back, I know where I stand. To those who stuck around, nothing need be said but thanks.

What I have done I here proclaim as madness. No more, no less. The rest of the fallout I can live with.

It’s been a strange journey for me the last couple of years. The weight of burdens and situations to deal with left me battered and near worn out. In addition to all the financial hardships, dealing with Sophia’s mom proved to be a major anchor on me. Frome court appearnaces for money I didn’t have to general verbal abuse for being the only near target, I’ve been hit hard and repeatedly to the point of breaking. I never physically broke, but inside there are parts of me shattered that will never be whole again.

Last night I started looking on my backup drive for a photo for this blog, and wound up pulling upt a lot of my story archives. Strange. I know people change in tastes and styles, among other things, but looking back on my writing I have a hard time seeing how far I’ve gotten from myself, or at least the myself I used to know. Stories that I thought truly defined me, even partially written, seem so remote and distant from where I am now. Not sure if it’s better or worse but definitely changed.

It reminds me of another looking back. I have an audio tape of me at 6 years old telling stories that I made up kind of on the spot and I can barely listen to it. When I heard it, I was amazed at how fearless the child was as opposed to the coward I grew up to be. It still hurts to hear it knowing that I can’t recapture that energy. Reading some of the stories last night wasn’t as bad as that but it’s obvious things I was trying to do through storytelling then don’t hold water anymore. There are one or two stories that I want to complete; the rest seem destined for the circular file.

It’s not bad, but the changes I’ve been through altered what I’m doing now and I’m still not sure how to define what that is now. It’s taken a long time to recognize that too. Still not exactly sure which way this leads me in general. Guess that’s the next step….

Now Where was I…?

April 8, 2012

It’s been a long absence since writing anything about what’s going on in my life on a blog. Honestly there was so much shit going on that I couldn’t really talk about it unless I vague-blogged it in Sanskrit. That left no outlet to say what was going on. I tend to live my heart on my sleeve; unfortunately when you pick up in popularity (granted even marginally), the less direct you can be without getting in trouble–and one of the easiest ways to get in trouble is to blog about stuff on the internet. It’s not the most famous or exciting life, but it’s mine and it deserves some protection. Still a lot has been happening and I’ve been silent too long to the point of isolation, so I also deserve a voice.

In January, the temp job I had scheduled me to work for three days–not three days a week, three days for the entire month of January. Eventually the temp assignment ended but it meant further unemployment. I was almost evicted from my boarding house because I fell behind in my rent and security (oh yeah, I moved out of the place I was living at in Arlington to a boarding house in Everett because the roommates asked me to leave). Luckily some people at the place spoke up and said I was a good tenant down on my luck financially, which included a lien on my checking account because of arrears in child support got too high. I couldn’t afford my medications which really messed me up not taking enough of what I needed. I couldn’t afford my car insurance and just recently had to get rid of the car because it would cost too much money to pay all the stuff needed to pay off the insurance debt. And even though I had food stamps, stress eating threatened my health further. 

My mom and friends, even my therapist, were all worried that I was going to harm myself or worse. There was no plan for that I assure you, but it’s been hard to get by. I’ve been slogging through life the last few months and time moved too slowly. I’ve been reminded that there are a lot of people going through the same things I am and worse, but it didn’t help. Your own struggles are hard to deal with as it is; throw depression and anxiety in there and you feel like you’re the only one drowning in the ocean. 

With the combination of getting my medications in order (including high blood pressure), mediating the eviction, help and support from family, friends and church members, and a couple of hard decisions, my attitude shifted. I remember waking up one morning and thinking things are hard but not impossible, and being stunned that it came out of my head. I’m still pushing forward and looking for steady full time employment, but I’ve still got a roof over my head and food to eat. Not having the car meant taking the T from now on, which has saved some money and increased my exercise which has lowered my blood pressure and stress levels. I am still underemployed (a PT job helps), but have been getting interviews. A job needs to come soon but I am more hopeful than I have been in a long while. Not optimistic, but no longer so negative–which is a major shift in my thinking. 

Here’s hoping a bunch of things pan out as well. 

Hello world!

April 5, 2012

Okay, I’ve started over….

Seems to be a recurring theme fro me but yes this has happened. As of now, those who were following me at http://www.davesshblues.com can now follow me at this blog site. We’ve had some financial bumps (as has most of the country) and through a fluke I’m now on here. So might as well use it and migrate. Isn’t that how we all got to where we are now as a race?

Anyway I’m here and hopefully back for a little while. Hopefully will have more to say soon, as well as hope to find some of my archives and migrate them here too (I think). Plus you can also check out my blog of my internet radio show, “Theology in Action” which airs on Occupy Boston Radio (www.obr.fm).  Hopefully it’s something interesting for you too.

Anyway, enjoy!