Friday, December 9, 2011

Falling asleep happy

I've been attempting the mastery of falling asleep happy for a while and the past two nights I was successful. I usually try clearing my mind of everything except for one thing that makes me happy. This thing is usually a whale or a wolf, and come to think of it, that's probably why I have so many animal dreams.

Two nights ago, I drifted off imagining myself under a fortress of blankets in a bedroom loft with stacks of books all around me and a flying shark watching over me while I slept. I'm a kid at heart and generally easy to please, so the news that I was getting a flying remote control shark for Christmas sent me over the moon, even though I won't be able to play with it until my return to Portland in May. My mind spins imagining all the crazy flying shark shenanigans I am going to have.

Then last night, I fell asleep on my friend Nomthi's couch while watching Werner Herzog's "Cave of Forgotten Dreams." She let me soak in her tub before that. The blissful sensation of being submerged in warm water made me feel at peace with everything and everyone. My friend Nomthi is my emotional support and the kindest friend anyone could ask for. The sad part of making friends in Korea is that our contracts end at different times so people are always coming and going.

I wish I could give a review of the Werrner Herzog movie, but I was alseep for half of it. I walked home at 1 AM with snow flakes falling on me, imagining I was one of my European ancestors 30 thousand years ago, wearing reindeer fur and that all the drunk men stumbling from one bar to another were dueling rhinoceroses and woolly mammoths. When I crawled into my bed, I fell into a fairly deep sleep, only being woken up a few times by drunk people in my apartment building returning home and slamming their doors and someone sticking advertisements for take-out restaurants on everyone's door. I just imagined they were cave bears scratching on the walls and fell back asleep.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


My idea of a perfect documentary is Marwencol. This movie teaches us that pain and suffering can be useful. Marwencol is an imaginary town, created by Mark, a man recovering from trauma after being severely beaten. Mark was an alcoholic cross dresser and a gifted artist, who was beaten by thugs after revealing that he was a cross dresser. He had to relearn everything and find an artistic coping method after waking up from his coma. In the town he created good always triumphs over evil and Mark’s alter ego is always in the company of beautiful women and loyal friends. Mark’s memory loss purified him, erasing his alcoholism but preserving his true spirit. He remained an artist and a cross dresser, learned to express his true self without fear and received deserved praise and attention for his art.  Marwencol is the story of how a man overcame his obstacles through the power of creativity. I felt proud of Mark and indebted to the filmmakers for bringing to light this amazing story.

Here are some other documentaries I loved. If you think I should add to this list, please tell me what I’m missing.

Grey Gardens
Bill Cunningham New York
Shakespeare Behind Bars
The Queen and I
Exit through the Gift Shop
The Weeping Camel
Capturing the Friedmans
Encounter Point
Born into Brothels
Why We Fight
Grizzly Man
The Up Series
Genghis Blues
Man on Wire
The US vs. John Lennon
Jesus Camp