March 1st, 2011

New Tilley Hat

200 Perfect Jumps

My father died of Parkinson's disease, which he had for a long time and finally succumbed in 1999 at age 73. So when I was invited to World Premiere: The 200 Perfect Jumps for Parkinson's Disease Independent Movie, I checked with Carole and signed us up. As it turns out, my father died just a few months after Kevin Burkart's father Gary was diagnosed with Parkinson's.

I wasn't entirely sure what the event entailed, so I didn't bring a camera to the movie theater. In retrospect, a mistake. Really, my dictum "when in doubt, bring the camera" should be deeper ingrained. Anyway.

The first hour was schmoozing. Appetizers, pamphlets, meeting people (including the guy who jumped and most of the people who helped with the movie) and milling about. I'd never seen the movie theaters in the Mall with a cash bar, set up for private parties. We were initially supposed to be in the VIP suite, 31 seats that move and make you part of the experience, plus waiters to take your food and drink order. Apparently (I'm guessing), too many people signed up so we were in one of the standard theaters; still nice, but no waitstaff.

The movie itself was interesting. Trailer for The 200 Perfect Jumps for Parkinson's Disease I've done a zillion of these kinds of event/interview montages, and these are exceptionally well done. I wish they had spend the four or five minutes tracking one jump from shute packing to landing in real time. The cuts and aerial photography gave me a good sense of sky diving, but not a full feel for how difficult it was to attempt 200 in a single day.

The interviews with people living with Parkinson's and their loved ones are revealing and poignant. The photography is sharp, the editing moves the action along and the music works. The little animations early on, explaining Parkinson's are very well done. (I had a chance to talk to the animator after the film.) Kevin Burkart is a loquacious spokesman for the cause, and a fearless skydiver.

A panel discussion afterward was okay, but didn't work as well. The main thrust was taking questions from the audience, and we were mostly silent. I had a question forming, which was eventually answered anyway. We don't really have cures for Parkinson's, but some treatments for some of the symptoms are promising. Raising awareness for the disease has helped get sufferers into treatments and specific caregiving conditions. It would have been better, imrho, to have all the panelists give a five minute talk before taking questions, and maybe getting some interaction. Indeed, one of the best moments of the panel was Alex Christensen, the son of one of the Parkinson's people featured in 200 Perfect Jumps, admitting that this was the first time he really faced the possibility of Parkinson's having a heredity component.

An interesting evening, and I'm glad we went. I gave my card to a number of people, in case there's an event I can get to for the type of Guerilla Journalism I practice at the moment. I took a Jump Memorial Form in case I want my father's story read during THE 300 PERFECT JUMPS attempt on June 19, 2012.
New Tilley Hat

Power Walk: For The Jack LaLanne Memorial CD Exchange

Okay, I've been messing with this for weeks, and had 92 songs in the preliminary playlist. Winnowed it down to 20 songs, 1:17 of pure get-your-body-moving music. I hope. At first, my goal was to make walking music for me, hitting the beats at my standard walking speed. Then I did a test run (so to speak) and listened as I walked around outside. Almost slipped on the ice. So I changed tack. A song or two at the beat to establish pace, but basically I just went with foot-stomping rock. The goal is to make you (or at least me) want to keep going. Further goal: Use songs I've never used in a mix before. With exceptions; especially the first song, which I use all the time.

Anyway, unless I tinker with it in the next day or so before Marscon, herein is:

Power Walk

Directions: Warm up. Then set a pace. Then just feel the beat, and move your bod even if it's not a harmonic with the music.

Happy Wanderer – Bill Staines 4:04
Beer Barrel Polka – Andrews Sisters 2:51 [my walking speed]
The Loco-Motion – Little Eva 2:27
At The Hop – California Raisins 2:28
Crossfire – Tim Russ 3:46 [Tuvak on Voyager]
God Tonight – Real Life 3:40
Rock and Roll Is King – Electric Light Orchestra 3:18
Long Live Rock – The Who 3:55
When The Lights Go Out – Oingo Boingo 4:12
Sultan of Swing – Dire Straits 5:08
Raumpatrouille Orion – GSO 4:47
Addicted To Love – Robert Palmer 4:25
Living After Midnight – Judas Priest 3:25
The Power Of Love – Huey Lewis & The News 3:55
Fisher's Hornpipe – Boiled In Lead 3:08
Cotton-Eyed Joe – Rednex 4:16
Nipples To The Wind – Kacey Jones 4:13
Living On A Prayer – Bon Jovi 3:56
Pump Up The Volume – M/A/R/R/S 4:02
The Mary Ellen Carter – Stan Rogers 5:07