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Dear Readers, this issue is the 8 Door issue. Each door has something behind it - may be art, news, an essay, or a bit of fiction. See what's behind door number....
Door 1. SIDE DOOR (cover art)
This is the side door of my dream house, and my new website! (See #4 Door below.)
Door 2. GOODBYE TO THE INWOOD
When I went to apply for job at the Inwood Theater, I thought it would be temporary work that could cover expenses while I worked on my music, paintings, and writings. That temporary job lasted from 1990 - 2014!
The Inwood is a beautiful Dallas theater that opened on May 16th 1947. It is now one of the oldest movie theaters left in town. In the lobby it has celebrated murals with a sea theme, by Perry Nichols, one of the Dallas Nine. When I first began as an usher, we had ash trays in the lobby, and one of our jobs was to imprint a fish in the sand with a plastic mold, after we cleaned it.
Back in 1947, The Inwood, was a single theater with a balcony. It grew to a main theater downstairs, and two smaller ones upstairs, where the balcony used to be. Owners also added, during occasional renovations, a stylish bar in the lobby.
After a few years I was down to a consistent 3-day schedule in the box office. Regular customers began to recognize me and I them. I outlasted about 10 managers, and 100 times that many employees.
I liked working the box office - though it could be too cold in the winter (we only had a space heater) and too hot in the summer (the AC seldom reached the glass booth.)
There were turning points and high moments. I met and talked with actress Morgan Fairchild - what a pleasant and charming beauty she was! I wasn't there, but when David Byrne visited, fellow employees said I looked like him, and they got his autograph for me. And, I was there when Robert Redford checked out the theater and bar to see if he wanted to buy the place and the Landmark Theater chain.
Personally, there were a couple of big beginnings for me that started at the Inwood.
The first was the beginning of this zine Musea. The early 90's may well have been the high point of the desktop publishing revolution and the golden age of the zine revolution. I saw what was going on from other writers and wanted to start my own zine. Mine would cover the arts with the object of supporting the best of indie arts and opposing the abuses of corporate arts. The first copies of issue #1 of Musea were first displayed in the lobby of the Inwood Theater. From 1992 - 2013 anyone could find the latest monthly issue of my zine at the Inwood.
The next big turning point came about because I was bored during my shifts. Before the movies we, ticket sellers, were busy, but while the movies were playing, very little was going on. In 1996 I asked the then manager David Kimball, if I could bring my standard guitar (Pet Dog Guitar) into the glass booth of the box office and play during the slow times during my shift. At that time the Inwood was pretty liberal business for Dallas, and they encouraged such innovations. He said yes, and the Box Office Concerts began.
Every Tuesday and Wednesday nights I would play two shows of about 30-45 minutes each. Over the years, I developed the 150+ song set list that turned into my ten year recording project, and tin box set (See next door.) AND it got a lot of local and national press for both me and the Inwood; plus, there were some exciting photo shoots of me playing in the box, from some fine photographers.
Sometimes during my shift, I would be asked to train new employees for the box office. I liked it - that broke the routine. I did it so much that I soon had three fun stories that I told each one. Here they are: (and really each one of these is true!)
1. Customer asks me "Is there a Starbucks nearby?" I say, "Yes. Go left about 3 stores to the Gap and you'll see it across the driveway." Customer asks, "Is there one closer?"
2. Two customers are in line. The woman in front asks what's playing for the midnight movie. I tell her. Then she asks, "When does it start?" I'm trying to keep a straight face, but the guy behind her, is doubled up laughing. He almost falls down.
3. Guy comes up and asks me, "What's the loo-gee?" I said, "I don't know." Then he points to the bar and the neon sign above the door, "LOUNGE".
Finally this story. Customer comes to the box and wants a refund, smells gas. I give him his money back and call for a manager. I tell him, "a Customer smells gas in #1" (big theater downstairs). He goes to check it out. Smells something. Calls gas company. They tell him to stop the movie and get all the people out. He does. Then, when everyone is gone, he opens the two exit doors to air it out. Parked in the alley next to one of the doors is a truck idling with a couple making out, with their smoking exhaust pipe, pointed right at one of the back doors, and pouring gas through the cracks! They got a big lecture. Luckily no one was hurt, and it all turned out ok.
Door 3. MUSIC STREAMING AND BOXED IN TIN
January 2015 is the official release of my 10 year, 9 cd, 150 song, outside the box, - whew that's a lot to get in there - music project! You can either listen for free, or purchase any specific song, or cd, on line at all the main music sites. OR you can buy the special HUNKASUARUS AND HIS PET DOG GUITAR, 'OUTSIDE THE BOX' , set.
It has all 9 cd's, all the story on how it was made, AND more. I even made a video about how the tin set looks, what happens when you open it up, and what you'll find inside. The video, about the tin, that holds all the music; is one of 73 videos at my YouTube channel. Just search:
"Tom Hendricks + Hunkasaurus"
Give the videos a thumbs up and a nice comment too! That would help a lot.
Don't forget the original hunkasaurus.com. That has all the music too.
I expect one of two responses from the general public in the months to come,
1. This is a world's first in music, Wow! This is a big deal and some good music! OR
2. Who cares? Yawn!... Time will tell.
Door 4. HOME SCHEMATICS
Right now I have 3 sites on the web plus a youtube channel = 4 total. That is too many with too much, too scattered. I want to consolidate all that into one grand site. What I hope to do is set up a single website that houses them all.
And speaking of houses, some Musea readers may remember issue #140, The Dream House issue, where I had the zine equivalent of open house on an imaginary, 9 story house that was also an /office/theater/museum/ gallery/workshop/cafe/etc.. That issue takes the reader through a schematic of every floor, and all the rooms from basement up through the master bedroom and beyond to the lookout room at the top of the tower.
I hope to reproduce these 9 floor schematics for the main content pages for the new site. There will even be elevator buttons on the side to give you a digital lift, and take you to the floor you want. Then the site visitor can click on the room that he wants.This in turn will lead him to the content he wants; music, writings, art, film, etc..
Summary: click on the room you want, and see the contents connected with that room.
Readers will then be able to get all their Musea-ness from this one big house in the cloud(s)!
Right now I have:
A. MUSEA.US, my site for all issues of this zine, Musea (about 200) plus Musea guides to the arts (see the 100 year, year-by-year coverage of best films for example).
B. HUNKASAURUS.COM, my site for all the music (9cds, 150 songs, and info)
C. MUSEA.WORDPRESS.COM, my blog with thousands of weekly updates to it all.
D. (Youtube.com) TOMHENDRICKSMUSEA, 73 short videos on all the arts, etc...
Door 5. SCI-FI NOVELLA / (booklet?)
Look for my first streaming novel being posted soon. Title:LIBRARY PLANET, Download it and read it at most all major book sites such as iBooks, Amazon, Nook, Kobo, Copia, Bookbaby, etc.
Library Planet is a sci-fi adventure, a gothic tale of suspense, a mystery, a quest, a romance, and a thousand libraries to house them in - a story so vast it requires a LIBRARY PLANET!
Though it is a complete short novel in itself, Library Planet is also an excerpt from a longer work in progress titled 'Writings In Science.'
The premise of 'Writings in Science' is this:
Millions of years from now the Earth is dying and in the rush to flee the planet, 1 man collects his favorite 'writings in science' to preserve Earth's legacy.
"Imagine, like I did, a time in the future/ close to the end of a dying sun/ when we are now preparing to leave/ this our home for other worlds./ What will we take when we leave? - signed "I".
For us the reader, he has assembled a 'history of the future'.
Two recent issues of this zine, previewed and summarized some of those 'Writings in Science. - The history of the future
Part 1. PART ROBOT, ALL HUMAN (Musea #187)
Part 2: AT EVERY LEVEL OF COMPLEXITY, NEW PROPERTIES EMERGE (#188)
PS, Library Planet was first published as a Musea extra in the summer of 2004. Readers, if you have a copy - that is somewhat rare - hold on to it!
Door 6. WORKERS NATIONAL UNION / THEATER WORKERS
The gulf between the rich and poor seems to be growing faster than the economy. Workers have never had less leverage than now. That's why I have suggested the idea of a NATIONAL WORKERS UNION for workers, based on the AARP model for seniors. The organization would advocate for all workers.
Getting a union started for a specific industry, or keeping it going once it is started is tough. It takes courage to join, and there is always the chance of losing your job. That's really hard on those with families to support or living from paycheck to paycheck.
So for what it is worth: Workers, all workers, maybe it's time to act together, in a way that protects all. Maybe it's time for a National Worker's Union. Here's how it would work. No matter what your job is, all workers in the country, could join by sending in $1 or donation, for annual dues. For that money the workers would set up a group of lobbyists to lobby congress for worker's rights in all industries. And if the worker/member requested it, he/she would get updates on progress through the net or mail. This national workers union, can be set up quickly and it bypasses all the struggle and outright danger that most unions have to face. Overall it would be a lot like AARP (that has 37 million members) but it would advocate for workers instead of seniors. Here's my blog link for more info.
Next let's talk about some specific workers, theater workers. This is a job that I have decades of experience in.
For some reason no media will talk about theater workers; yet they are one of the 8 lowest paid workers in the country, and have all the problems that workers at Walmart, or McDonalds have. Plus theater workers work every night, weekend, and holiday!
Hollywood producers, directors, stars (and theater owners) are all well paid.
When people used to come up to the box office at the Inwood Ticket Booth, and complain to me about the high ticket prices, I would reply, "Thank goodness all that money is going to me and none to the Hollywood Stars!" They would laugh. Well it's funny because it's just the opposite, and everyone knows it. That is one reason for the high movie ticket prices - film companies get most of the ticket sales, so theaters have to depend on concessions sales - and everything they sell becomes sky high expensive for you.
But Hollywood doesn't own the theaters right? Blame theater owners, right?
Hollywood used to own both the films and the theaters, but they were forced to give it up - U.S. trustbusting in 1948! But only a lawyer would argue that they don't control theaters today. Hollywood says all theaters have to be digital or no new films - and they can do it. That's direct control over every theater.
Then too why would anyone in Hollywood or the film industry, condone the lowest wages allowed by law, for workers in their own backyard, for any reason? These same actors often go out of their way to support good causes, but then they make many of their millions off the low wages of theater workers!
They walk the red carpet, but sweep us under it!
If actors spoke out, it would change, if directors spoke out it would change. If theater owners spoke out for a more equitable share of ticket sells, they would be blocked by Hollywood film companies that have all the clout, and it would NOT change. Could the theater owners pay better? Probably - billionaire Mark Cuban, who owns the Inwood and the Landmark national chain of theaters, is one for example. But there won't be any industry wide change until Hollywood gets involved too. Where is one actor that will support theater workers?
Door 7.SCIENCE: Four-Finger Tree / Sleep / More Z's / The Origin Of Life
I love to walk. One route I like to go on, goes by a giant oak that I call the Four Finger Tree. The trunk rises up about 7 feet, then divides to four major branches that continue up another 30 feet or so. When I walked by this tree, I also noticed that at eye level there is a small, cut out, square piece of bark, about 3/4" square and a quarter of an inch deep in the trunk. The gash stands out from the other gray bark with a more yellow tan wood color - the color of a tree freshly stripped of its bark.
I don't know how it got there, but it must be man made because it is an exact square shape - the shape that someone would have carved in the tree using a knife.
Being somewhat superstitious, I always touch this button on the tree for good luck when I pass it. So it went for years.
One day I was passing the tree, and the tree cut out square was gone.
Wait a minute, I say to myself. Trees don't heal. I looked and looked but it was gone - all the tree bark was the same mottled gray blotches of bark sticking out on a slightly darker gray background bark - the usual oak trunk....
No really, trees don't heal, I say to myself until I'm convinced. I can't let this go, I can't go on. I've got to figure this out. What is going on?
I look and look and it's all bark. This goes on for about a full minute or two. Remember this is eye level, and my eyes are no more than 6" from where the cut out should be....
After minutes, the only - and I mean only - thing that stands out in any way, is a black dash about this size --
Taking it as the only clue I got, I investigate further...
Finally I see it!
The black "--" is a leg, The leg is attached to a moth. The moth has wings that so exactly match the bark, that it took about 3 total minutes of looking straight at it before I could see it.
This is one extraordinary moth! It was about 2-3 inches long and 3/4" wide. And it had decided to land exactly in the cut out square. The indention helped the illusion, and what an illusion it was.
I've read of creatures adapting well to their environments to avoid predators - but this was beyond basic bio. This was extraordinary. This was to the Nth degree.
Once I saw it, I studied it. The color was the same assortment of shades of gray. The pattern was the same as the oak, and had he tucked his black foot under his wing, I would never have seen him. Nature you are amazing - descriptions in books can't match or even come close to what you do out there! We have much to learn from you!
"Hypotheses may often be of service to science, when they involve a certain portion of incompleteness, and even of error.-William Whewell.
For many years I have been working on science ideas about - among other things -why we sleep, and the origin of life. These very speculative, biological ideas are my own as far as I know. Time will tell which if any will be proven correct.
Why do we sleep? My latest suggestion is that NREM is glymph cleaning for mostly the cerebrum, our top brain. And during this sleep time, most cerebrum activities are reduced. And REM is glymph cleaning for mostly the brain stem, limbic system, and perhaps the cerebellum - the other parts of the brain. And during these sleep periods most of the activities connected to those parts of the brain are reduced or altered. Many facts seem to fit, and it can be tested to see if it is valid.
Zzzzzz (Z contest)
Solve the code and decipher the message on this page. I do have one clue for you and here it is: Look at the code on this page. It's been years and no one has even submitted an answer! (I've also raised the prize to $100)
OOL, Origin of Life, is surely one of our greatest science puzzles. Perhaps this quote of mine may help to break the impasse:
Life, the origin of life, is more likely to start if it had a 99% chance of starting; then if it had a 1% of starting. So most likely the OOL was 99% likely, not 1%.
For me the turning point to the study of the OOL, is that life is not a fluke, but the most stable chemical reaction to the environment. Though this proves nothing, it may adjust the mindset in OOL investigation that now seems stuck in a rut!
Door 8 (Back Door). COMMENCEMENT SPEECH
I think, if I gave a commencement speech, I would point at the students and start laughing in a cackling sort of way; cause I know life is not always dreams come true, rainbows after a storm, and good cheers for all.
My speech would say in one-point-and-laugh, "We'll you're in for it now!"
Your parents don't go easy, your children have ideas of their own that you'll never understand, you'll be stuck with others you can't stand, and somehow loose the ones you love.
You'll wonder why that boss is a boss, things will cost more and still break, and you'll be betrayed and they won't be sorry.
A few dreams may indeed come true, but you'll most likely be busy and miss them,
you'll grow to hate being alone, then get used to it, and you'll make mistakes that will haunt you like ghosts.
And, should you somehow survive all that, you'll preach to others how good life was, with a straight face, and not be truly sure if you are right or just tired.
Musea is: Tom Hendricks 4000 Hawthorne #5 Dallas Texas 75219
Musea.us (zine)// hunkasaurus.com (music)// musea.wordpress.com (blog)
The 8 DOORS Issue Musea #195 Feb/Mar/Apr (c) Tom Hendricks 2015
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