It's all about choices...
I'm a little ambiguous about that first one. There are mistakes I've made that I deeply regret - but on the other hand, the way they bent my life's path led me here and I'm pretty happy with that. If I hadn't screwed up the way I did at a few critical points in my life, I might have had success earlier in my life and not taken off for odd parts of the world and then I'd have never met my wife and had children with her.
Most of my regrets involve phone numbers I was given and never called, or realizing too late that certain women were waiting to be kissed. Heavy sigh.
Anyhow, I've got a bud who did everything differently from the way I did. I drifted into college after high school and pursued more formal education whenever I was at loose ends. I took off for Eastern Europe and found my voice as a writer abroad. Now I'm back in education collecting more degrees.
John got himself a job at the post office and secured himself financially, investing in some houses etc. With that taken care of, he pursued ventures in writing, publishing and lately film making - entirely self-taught.
Check here http://possibilityx.com/ved/about.htm for one of his projects Vino e Donne ("Wine and Women").
"In vino, veritas.
That's Latin, and it means "In wine, there is truth."
Talking with my Italian friend Mara one day, I was struck with how open and honest she is. When I mentioned this, she said: "You should hear me after I've had a couple of glasses of wine."
Huh. This gave me an idea---
---a series of conversations with different women, each drinking a bottle of their favorite wine. To make it really interesting, you could ask each woman the same questions, to see how the answers vary.
So, my pal George The Greek and I did exactly that, and for maybe the first time in human history, men plied women with wine in hopes it would encourage them to....TALK MORE.
And now, we have the results on videotape.
"Vino e Donne" is Italian for "Wine and Women," and it's the title of this experimental documentary video project. We bought 14 of our best women friends a bottle of wine and sat down with them---one at a time and one on one---and asked each woman The Twenty Questions.
Nobody knew the questions in advance---we wanted things to unfold organically, naturally, as a conversation---NOT as an interview with prepared answers.
For balance, we made sure to converse with women of different ages. We ended up talking with three women in their 20's, three in their 30's, three in their 40's, three in their 50's, and two in their 60's.
Vino e Donne is being edited now, for a March 2007 release."
Folks, IMHO this is pretty good stuff. At least as good as some of the stuff I've seen at "art house" theaters in various parts of the world. Which is good. As Norman Podhoretz said (in "Ex Friends") it's probably not possible to remain friends with an artist whose work you don't like.
What impresses me is, 1) that John had the juevos to pursue this kind of thing, and 2) that technology and good old capitalism produced the equipment to produce professional-quality video, and brought the cost within the reach of common folks like us.
John and I have talked up a project to produce a video on Indian Club exercises together that we may even get around to now.