Weekend Coffee Share: A Good Time Was Had By All

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I’m fairly exhausted because I spent Friday night and all day yesterday helping my brother move back to Mississippi from Louisiana. It was nothing like my own moving fiasco in June. It went smoothly but it still required me to spend a night away from home and a whole day doing physical labor.

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My brother, our dad, and I hit the road around 6 on Friday evening for one of the southernmost points in Louisiana. Since we had to go through NOLA to get there, we picked up the Little Jedi on the way. He spend the night with us and helped us load the truck yesterday. I don’t get to hang out with LJ as much as I’d like to, so it was good to have a few hours with him. He’s quite a good Spanish-speaker and I am not, so we got up to some linguistic antics Friday night.

Packing and unloading the truck wasn’t bad, as I judge these things. It took three hours to load and an hour-and-a-half to unload. The drive was pretty scary, though. My brother reserved the smallest panel truck U-Haul rents for the move, but when he went to pick it up, the only trucks they had available were the 1500-cubic-foot behemoths, so we had to come home in one of those.

I’m talking about truck that’s rated for 20,000 pounds and has a 30-foot-long cargo bay. Just to give you a frame of reference, the usable space on an 18-wheel flatbed is only 42 feet long. Needless to say, bringing that thing through the middle of New Orleans with its six lane traffic and curvy bridges was interesting, but we made it without incident.

And I’d tell you I am looking forward to October. I’m hoping I finally get to have a good month where everything runs smoothly and I have the time to get my blogging back on track. This last summer was the most difficult one I’ve had in years, and September was a little better, but still not great — that’s one reason I’ve been off the blogs so much lately. But maybe things are settling down. I certainly hope so.

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Then I’d have to finish my coffee and run, because one of my grandson’s goldfish died this weekend, and I have to get ready for the funeral. And if the weather holds tonight, we might just get to see a lunar eclipse with a full moon at perigee. That hasn’t happened in almost 30 years, and won’t happen again until 2033, I am told. So as much as we need the rain that’s moving in tonight, I hope it holds off long enough for us to see this eclipse. Either way, we’re busting out the telescope at moonrise and looking at some craters.

Happy Sunday! Don’t forget to add your coffee post to the linkup at Part Time Monster and share it with #WeekendCoffeeShare on Twitter.

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Early 20th Century Smokestack

 

A turn-of-the-20th-Century smokestack, preserved as a monument.  © Gene'O, 2014.

A turn-of-the-20th-Century coal smokestack, preserved as a monument. © Gene’O, 2014.

At about the same time we were figuring out large-scale electric power in the U.S., we were also building universities. So we ended up with a lot of universities that needed electricity before we had a real power grid. The solution: coal plants. That was the original reason for the building of this particular stack, c. 1913 or so. Once it was  no longer needed to generate the electricity, the power plant, which you can’t see because I’ve cleverly foregrounded the wall with the greenery to make it a better photo, became the book depository.

There was a long period of time between the power grid coming online and the discovery of recycling, and for many of those years, the former coal furnace was the book incinerator.

Nowadays, the power plant you can’t see is a restaurant (the building sat vacant for 15 years, but finally we got wise and turned it into a revenue-generating monument). Which is awesome, really. The smokestack makes a fabulous Internet antenna for the university’s wireless network, and includes a water feature (also obscured by the wall) which produces nice sounds and makes the summers easier to endure.

A colony of chimney-sweeps takes up habitation in the stack during the fall of the year. I am not sure where they go for the spring and summer, but during the fall, they stream out of the top of this stack at sunset and they look like smoke. I’m pretty sure they communicate with sonar. They are bat-like creatures of dusk who eat bugs, and they have the ability to all turn at once in flight like a school of fish.

I will photograph them streaming out of this stack, or circling around it, sometime in October or November. At least, I plan to do that.  It will require a little luck and my equipment will need to be up to the task. If I manage to actually capture that image, I will post it when you least expect it. Perhaps in December, perhaps in February. If that’s not a reason to stick with me, I don’t know what else to say.

Here’s another photo of the same stack, taken with a different camera and earlier in the year. This is such an  unusual piece of architecture, and there are so many different perspectives to view it from, I’ve decided to study it.

I have no idea how accurate the  history is. I haven’t done the research and am just telling you what I’ve heard about it, so your mileage may vary, but I am happy to be corrected.

A Mississippi Love Story now available on demand

Last week I wrote about the premiere of  A Mississippi Love Story, a new short documentary about the lives of Eddie Outlaw and Justin McPherson Outlaw in Jackson, Mississippi, during the months surrounding the U.S. Supreme Court rulings in the DOMA and Prop 8 cases. It’s now available at Vimeo for on-demand rental and for sale. I received the notice on Friday, but saved it until this morning because I want as many people as possible to see this.

Mississippi-based film producer Robbie Fisher and Fisher Productions, LLC announced the release last week. The film introduces the viewer to Eddie and Justin, together living what might otherwise be considered an ordinary life during an extraordinary time in history. It provides a glimpse into the relationships the two have with one another, and with family, friends and their Deep South hometown. Against the backdrop of legal battles about same-sex marriage, Eddie and Justin share their personal take on what love really means.

“It was important to us, as Mississippians, to tell the story of this loving and devoted couple who are productive business people and well-liked members of the community, and who want their legal union to be recognized in their home state,” said Fisher.

The 13-minute film is available for a $1 rental fee or for purchase for $2.50. Cinematographer Lauren Cioffi spent months, beginning in March 2013, documenting the day-to-day lives of Eddie Outlaw and his partner Justin McPherson Outlaw. A second unit team captured footage in Washington, D.C. as the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on California’s Proposition 8 and on the Defense of Marriage Act.

Editor Azod Abedikichi employed an upbeat and whimsical style, which included animating original illustrations by Joy Abedikichi, to capture the essence and spirit of the subjects. Composer Chris Gibbons’ simple and beautiful Red Tango reflects the energetic and optimistic disposition of Eddie and Justin.

I have contact info if you’d like to get in touch; you can also tweet to @MSlovestoryfilm or @TheEddieOutlaw

Here’s the trailer in case you missed it last week.

A Mississippi Love Story

I can’t tell you how happy I was last Thursday to find this in my Twitter feed. I hope it reaches a wide audience.

Here’s the trailer:

The description: A short documentary that takes a poignant glimpse into the lives, relationships and politics of life-partners Eddie Outlaw and Justin McPherson, at a time when citizens in Mississippi and across the nation were watching and waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Defense of Marriage Act case. The time to leave Mississippi has passed for Eddie and Justin. They are committed to staying and making Jackson a thriving place for the gay community to live and, hopefully, in which to marry. @MSlovestoryfilm

If you are close enough to Jackson, MS, and interested enough to drive there and see it for free this weekend, you can find the address of the Mississippi Museum of Art here.

Here are a few more details, which I hope it is ok to share:

Cinematographer Lauren Cioffi spent months, beginning in March 2013, documenting the day-to-day lives of Eddie Outlaw and his partner Justin McPherson Outlaw.

A second unit team captured footage in Washington, D.C. as the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on California’s Proposition 8 and on the Defense of Marriage Act.  Editor Azod Abedikichi employed an upbeat and whimsical style, which included animating original illustrations by Joy Abedikichi, to capture the essence and spirit of the subjects. Composer Chris Gibbons’ simple and beautiful Red Tango reflects the energetic and optimistic disposition of Eddie and Justin.

Sounds cool, doesn’t it? You don’t want to miss it!

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Film Credits:

Director/ Cinematographer: Lauren Cioffi
Producer: Robbie Fisher
Editor: Azod Abedikichi