August, 2007 Archives

29
Aug

Embarrassing the Help

by Pj in Random

BY PAMELA JO BOWMAN – MESA, ARIZONA – Well, isn’t this embarrassing? While I was out of town, I had an (uninvited) guest blogger. Although I would like to, I am unable to remove that blog. She is a master at what she chooses to be a master of — so I will live with it. My apologies to all who read one person’s warped opinion of reality. She really does need professional help!

So, the news is out. The response has been overwhelming. Cyndi’s former students are rallying around. This only supports our arguments of what a great teacher she is. Every day at the hearing, there are always surprises that the opposition did not anticipate. Friday will no doubt produce some more. We are so “sick and tired” of this waste of time and energy that, well, it is time to stop the madness!

I fear that the district will use its “unlimited resources” to bleed Cyndi dry. (Heaven knows that won’t take much longer.) I can only hope that someone begins to realize that those “unlimited resources” come from the Maricopa county taxpayers who have been pretty adamant about there being more fiscal responsibility. Let’s see how they explain this inappropriate use of funds! Someone may want something to help them swallow their embarrassment? We always have some Diet Pepsi on hand!

27
Aug

The Rain on our Parade

by Pj in Random

BY PAMELA BOWMAN – MESA, ARIZONA – We drove Wistie to college this week. For part of the trip, Wistie and I sat in the back seat and watched one of my favorite movies, FUNNY GIRL. The first ten minutes the audience discovers the story is about a young girl going out to make her dreams come true. I couldn’t help smile at the irony. I love that movie! “Don’t tell me not to live, I simply got to! If someone takes a spill, it’s me and not YOU. Don’t rain on my parade!” Love it, love it, love it!

Of course the next day I woke up and found the Mesa Tribune has splashed the FilmZambia project all over the front page. Thank goodness for the internet and the ability to respond via email to their online paper!

So, even though I am enjoying the coolness of this college town, I am feeling a little hot under the collar. Someone is raining on my parade and now the world knows it. Thank goodness that there are so many friends offering us umbrellas! After all “People, who need people are the luckiest people in the world!”

27
Aug

Guest Post: Greening

by Pj in Random

BY CYNDI GREENING, ARIZONA, USA — Pamela Jo is out of town. They left Saturday morning to take their first born daughter (although third in the total pecking order) off to college. She won’t return until late Wednesday so I thought I’d do a guest post to keep her blog from being fallow. She’s a far better writer than I but I make up for it by being more verbose. She is far more reticent about herself so, while the cat’s away the mouse will blabber!

PJwithChild.jpgMany of you who read her blog know that she went to Zambia, Africa to shoot two films. What most of you don’t know is that the Zambia film probably would NOT have happened without her commitment and determination. Early in the process of trying to find funding to go (we had a small Innovative Project Grant from Mesa Community College but it was not nearly enough to get the whole crew there, get all of the supplies we needed and maintain us in Zambia), there were several times I almost gave up. It was too much pressure, too big a job. One weekend, I’d gone to LA to meet with a development exec and pitch the project. I was lying on the floor in the fetal position when Pamela called.

“Whatcha doing?” she said.

“Nothing.” (Boy, was that true!)

“I think you should write to Oprah. I think this is something she’d be interested in.” she says. I think this woman is out of her mind. I’m going to give the grant back and call the whole thing off. It’s too big. It’s too hard. I can’t do it. I started to argue with her about what a tiny little project we were and how Oprah would never talk to us. About twenty minutes later, I’m up off the floor, pacing in the hotel room trying to come up with who else we might call to ask for funding.

There were many moments like that before we left for Zambia. There were just as many once we got there. Three other wonderful faculty from Mesa Community College had come along but were only able to stay for a week or so because of the impending start of Fall Semester. pamInterviewing.jpgFortunately, I’d brought Pamela on as the other Producer. The last three weeks of the film shoot, we were responsible for the safety of the student crew and the success of the project. She was the “Rock of Gibralter.” I was so lucky.

I was surprised to discover that Pamela’s BA was in Journalism. While in Zambia, she loved interviewing the women and children about their lives. Some of our most poignant and powerful moments were captured as she talked with people. More accurately, listened to their stories.

This past year, we have continued to work on the Zambian film projects as well as other short and not so short (thank you very much Ms. Gingher) film projects. When the whole copyright claim surfaced, Pamela never wavered in her support or commitment. Even though we were having to keep it all quiet because of the impending hearing and it was cutting into our creative production time, she kept going.

During the grueling administrative hearing, I was allowed to have one person at the table with me. Guess who I chose? Of course. It was supposed to last one day and, so far, it has gone three days. I hope it will finish next Friday. If it doesn’t, I know Pamela will be there because that’s just the sort of human she is.

As loyal, supportive and kind as she is, it is nothing compared to her skill as a writer and filmmaker. I am so anxious to get this hearing behind us so the world can discover what I have come to know in the last two years, Pamela Bowman is a gifted visual storyteller with the commitment and determination to do anything she puts her mind to. See. I shouldn’t have ended the sentence that way. She’d have done it better.

21
Aug

Find the Smile

by Pj in Random

BY PAMELA JO BOWMAN – MESA, ARIZONA – Today on KEZ 99.9FM, they announced that Cyndi Greening has been chosen as one of the Finalists for the Woman of the Year. She will be among 12 others who will be honored later in the year when Beth McDonald makes the announcment as to who is the official Woman of the Year.

As we listened to the radio and heard the announcement we were both speechless. Just hearing the FilmZambia projects being described was, in itself, a monumental moment! The radio announcement wasn’t even over yet when our phones were ringing off the hook and we found our voices again. We were jumping up and down like two toddlers! It felt good to see Cyndi receive some well deserved recognition. The most amusing part was finding out that she is to receive a spa treatment! Those of you who know Cyndi …. well, a spa treatment? “Homey don’t do that,” she said.

Goes to show you, every day there is always something to smile about if you choose to see (or hear) it.

19
Aug

Rain Dance

by Pj in Random

BY PAMELA JO BOWMAN – MESA ARIZONA – Sometimes, life gets so serious that just trying to get through it becomes ridiculously funny. Everyone looking at my life, HurricaneHaze.thumbnail.jpgright now, who knows about the drama swirling around my work and my family are wondering how I am holding it all together. I feel like I am in the eye of the storm. Where I stand, I feel calm and quiet. I can look out and see the dust and haze swirling toward me. I can see trailers and cows flying in the distance, but I am still. I know the calm will not last long, but it strengthens me for the moments when I weaken.

cows.jpgYesterday I tried to turn away from what is real. I understand denial so much better now. It creates a storm within. I could feel the pull of my life drawing me out toward the chaos. There was constant struggle of self. Finally I succumbed to what is real and then I became very weepy. I found comfort in the arms of those that love me but I still felt so weak and frail and …I don’t know which is the “right” word … helpless or hopeless. Maybe a little bit of both while I was trying to decide who was to blame for all of this. In the end, trying to find fault does not diminish the pain or change what is. To be certain, there are those at fault, but all of us are responsible for our role in what is occurring. Maybe that is the problem. No one can admit responsibility. For me I have to admit it. I will own what is mine. It quickens the healing and releases me to me.

Today, I am better. Perhaps I have resorted to my old coping habits. If I ignore whatever is happening then it will go away. It works for a while. Then I looked in the mirror and was surprised at what stared back at me. I swear I have aged 10 years in 10 days. It is okay. I feel wiser. Looking good just isn’t important anymore. Getting through the day is. Finding the ridiculous helps diminish the storm so I can still dance in the rainfall.

15
Aug

Our FilmZambia Experience — One Year Later

by Pj in Africa

FZCrewKraal.jpg

BY THE FILMZAMBIA CREW, ALL OVER THE U.S. — A year ago at this time, we were in Zambia, in the middle of our first week of production on BAD T!MING. It was exactly one year ago today that we had our first day on set and we discovered that our lights were toooooo powerful for the Zambian circuitry. Even with our adapters firmly in place, it was hopeless. The bulbs flickered and the filaments fizzled. The transformer in the building smoked. It was just sad.

Gaffer Shawn, Grip Jacob, Alec, Heath and Cyndi went all over town trying to find more bulbs. When they discovered there were no bulbs on the entire continent, they got all MacGuyver. They went to an electrical store and bought halogen yard lights. The guys fashioned our own 500W and 1000W lights with reostats and switches. Thank heaven Mike Montesa brought his photographic umbrellas and stands along to Africa. Thank goodness for the equipment we all brought along!

Crew member Jeniece Toranzo edited together a wonderful mini-doc on the FilmZambia Crew. You can see how we dealt with the challenges with the lights and many of the other difficulties faced during that shoot.

13
Aug

Say No To Crack

by Pj in Random

BY PAMELA JO BOWMAN MESA ARIZONA – boys.jpgI love my boys! MOONING.jpgThey are funny and cute and sensitive and musical, and smart and can cook and clean. I could go on and on. I think you can see they are cute comin and goin! Remember boys! Say No to crack!

11
Aug

Last Day of Summer

by Pj in Family

BY PAMELA JO BOWMAN – MESA ARIZONA – This summer started with so much promise! We went to LA and then to NY. My son came home after being overseas for two years. Then life shifted. Issues arose and all of a sudden I can’t seem to find sense or reason for so many things. At night I lay in bed and I try to understand and put things right, but I can’t. I can’t fix things or people. It is what it is. All I know is that I felt like a pressure cooker without a release valve. I knew I was going to explode soon. Everywhere I looked I saw a problem I was unable to solve.

cjswing.jpgWe decided to go spend the night up in the white mountains where it was cooler. To tell you the truth I didn’t want to go. I thought I would still be too close to all these unresolved issues. We ended up going. We arrived safely, unpacked and I sat down and fell fast asleep. When I awoke this morning I could see outside the window. I could see the pines. My son said he saw a bunny running across the meadow. I ate hotcakes on the back porch and watched Ciera swing happily. I breathed the air and wanted to just stop time and treasure the moment. pjwet.jpgChris got a bee in his bonnet to take a drive down to some springs. Again, relunctenly we all piled into the vehicles and off we went.

kids.jpgWe weren’t prepared to swim, but we swam anyway. We splashed and rode the current and remembered how it felt to feel. A magical two hours of playing with my kids. Jumping rocks and sliding down the rapids and feeling the murky ground between our toes. Latter we ate pizza at an enchanting little italian restaurant. We were famished, but happy, even giddy. It felt good to be alive again.

famwet.jpgI needed this day to remind me why I am willing to fight the fight against the goliaths of this world. They are worth it and so am I. This summer started with so much promise. It has ended with renewed hope and restored energy. I am back. Ready to fight the good fight…and even the bad ones.

9
Aug

Protecting the Power …

by Pj in Random

… the 20th century has been characterized by three developments of great political importance: The growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power, and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy. — Alex Carey, Australian Social Scientist

6
Aug

Let Them Live It

by Pj in Family

PAMELA JO BOWMAN MESA ARIZONA – You gave them life. Now, let them live it. A friend told me that the other day. I do spend a great deal of time thinking about those I care for. When they are struggling, I ache. When their eyes well up, my tears fall. When they are happy, my heart soars.

dock.jpgI admit I am grandiose. I believe that I really can solve their problems or fix their issues. If they would just listen to me! My children try to humor me, but they need that energy for themselves. They need to know I have confidence in them to solve their own problems. I need to release … me. It is hard to be fired when it is you who is doing the firing. Maybe retiring is a kinder word, but then there is also the possibility of coming out of retirement or being underfoot.

It isn’t that I don’t trust them. It’s just that it has been my job for 25 years to pick them up and brush them off, bandage the seen and unseen wounds, hold them tight until they are ready to break away and feel whole again.

Love is a verb. I like to DO things for those I love. Now, my children are older and can do for themselves. People say, “just love them.” What does that look like? Someone tell me how to love someone quietly and less intrusively? I am such a doer, I think that would require me to stop being me.

I am grateful I do have other interests like editing and writing and filmmaking. These interests are things that I love, things that occupy my time and energy. I can only imagine how intrusive I would be if all I had were the lives of my children to occupy my time and thoughts.

You gave them life. Now let them live it. Living my life is helping me do just that.

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