Drama. Good time last night. An idea, maybe the key to Act 2.

So on the way to school, there was a flood. I figure hey, big Ford truck, just scoot right through there.

And I guess my truck didn’t like that. Sputtering, popping, almost no power. I babied it to work, babied it home…getting it towed to the mechanic later.

I really don’t want to buy a new car right now, it wasn’t part of my plan. Shit. Still, we save money to use it for events like this and my TSA has money, I can get a loan for the rest. Dammit, though, it was a good truck. I hope Joe can fix it.

Last night, the kid and I went to see ‘The Godfather’ at the Million Dollar Theater. He’d never seen it before! Pretty cool to see it with him. The daughter of the singer in the movie, played Johnny Fontane, spoke before the show. She brought her father’s copy of the script and told some great stories. After that, to Two Boots Pizza. The parking guy was so nice, I told him, we’re just here for pizza; he saw Rey next to me and said ‘go ahed, my friend’. Rey’s my lucky charm. Love spending time with him.

Idea while I watched the movie:

The boys see Kaufman’s projection system

they realize that this is a game-changer

they set up a theater just outside L.A. and offer a free show, stringing together all the short reels they have. The crowd comes in, doesn’t know what to expect..and they are AMAZED. They yell for an encore.

They can’t go to Garcia…or they do go to Garcia and he says the idea should be his and he can offer them a bit of money, just as Edison would? And does Garcia sell them out to Edison later when he feels slighted?

Where can they get the money they need to set up a theater? Kaufman knows a guy, but he warns Carlo: he’s a bad guy, if there’s any other way to get the money, they should try that first. The guy’s Italian, Kaufman says.

Carlo sits down with N’Draga, head of the local Black Hand. Carlo starts to make his pitch, but Draga wants to talk about the old country and how things were. You’re Calabresi. Hmm. That’s at the tip of the boot. I’m Sicilian. All of us (he points to the henchmen around the room), all of us are from Sicily. That’s the island that the boot is kicking. You know that joke? How the boot kicks us like a ball? That’s us. We got hard, we got smart, we figured out a way to kick back- and the people in the boot, they didn’t like that, so they shoot us, they try to put us in jail, they chase us away. So we all came to America, looking for a new way to live. And here we are: you on one side of the table, me on the other. One of us has power and money and the will to do what needs to be done- and you’re on the other side of the table, asking for money. Now, I don’t care what it’s for. It’s one of those ideas a man has. But I want you to know- I’m going to want my money when I want my money, and if you don’t have it, there’s no priest you can run to like a girl so he can go and tell the cops. The cops here? They hate all of us. No, if you don’t pay me, I’m not going to the law. I’m going to take whatever you care about the most. I’m going to cut it to pieces in front of you. Then I’m going to ask for my money again. You still don’t have it? On to the next thing you love, pulling it apart like a chicken. I’m not going to hurt you- if I hurt you, how do I get my money? No, I’m just going to crush your heart and watch you die, a little bit at a time. So, my Calabresi friend, I’ll warn you once. If you can’t pay me back with my interest in one month, for the people you love, get up and walk out now.

He waves his hand. Carlo stays, nods just once.

It takes a lot to make me feel slighted, but when I do? I email someone a polite but pointed note.

Donna’s Christmas party tonight; bland food and an odd place. WHY WOULDN’T YOU HAVE SALT AND PEPPER SHAKERS? OUT ON THE TABLES? It’s kind of standard operating procedure. It’s America. Salt and pepper. Shame is, it was so good when we went in for dinner.

Other than that, things are okay. I have two weeks until winter break. I’m taking my kids into a vocab test Monday and then sailing along on homework-free test prep stuff until the holiday. My seniors, though! I am working them hard on a project about their own lives and the next ten years. Some of them have never worked this hard before. Ever. But, I mean- it’s your life, your future. Shit, make a chart. Why not? No one expects you to stick to it.

But…

What if it’s an honest chart? What if the paper reveals your true desires for the next ten years? Wouldn’t you WANT to have such a chart, stashed away in your sock drawer to look at once in a while? Two years down the road, you find it and think; ‘oh, shit…this wasn’t part of my plan, what I am doing now…’

It’s like an old high school year book, only it’s more emphatic, and personal. ‘You said you’d be a nurse. You said you’d get to be a nurse by finding money and going to CSULA. You said you’d be living in Belize’. And hey- I am the King of Changing Direction. Seriously. Indonesia? That wasn’t out of left field. That was a completely different sport.

Grouchy, but it’s late, I didn’t sleep well and I had a boring seminar today

and of course, ideas came during the seminar…

The boys go off to shoot Bible story 1 with Kaufman. While they’re out of town, wanted posters for the boys show up, they see them at the post office

After some time together, Primo shows Kaufman his invention, the loop. Kaufman likes it, starts fiddling with his new design. he asks Primo: you remember, Edison got angry because the invention he stole didn’t work? He flips the switch.

Well, this one works, he says as he flips on a bulb-

AND THE WALL FILLS WITH LIGHT, HE’S INVENTED PROJECTION.

The boys disagree about the screen. Carlo sees it as a revolution- with the loop, it changes the entire idea of movies. They could sell the idea, they could go off on their own with Kaufman and make some money.

Primo sees that as too dangerous. It’ll bring attention and who knows what Edison will do when he hears about it? He says to wait.

The Pinkertons come to town. They ask around at first, they post more wanted posters.

That night, they come back dressed as the Klan. They break windows, they beat Italians and they say it’s going to continue until someone gives them the murdering dago thieves.

They decide to go back out of town. They tell Garcia they’ll be back when the Pinkertons leave. They take Kate with them, she’ll think of a Bible story to shoot while they’re out there.

Eventually they’ll need money. Kaufman borrows from ?, Carlo borrows from Giotto, a Black hand member, a real gangster Pietro knows (he tells them- don’t borrow money from this man!). Giotto was the one bothering Kate.