All posts by Matias Masucci

Clear Skies

Sooner or later everyone misses the rain. It just happens. You wake up one day alone in a strange town you’ve been living in for the past twenty years and are certain you don’t belong. The problem with the sun is that it makes it difficult to hide from others and yourself. I checked to see if the bag was still under the bed. It was. It wasn’t a dream. I pulled it out and stared at all that cash. It represented the dreams and aspirations of decent people I no longer cared for.

Clear skies. Waiting for darkness was not an option. I threw a few things on top of the money and headed out of town. Once the parking meters were no longer lining the sidewalk I knew I’d be in the clear, at least for a few hours. Rural America came up on me quick. I felt remorse for the smiles I had shared with the good people of the Clarkson Farmers Savings & Loans. It was only a matter of time before they would discover their colleague was a crook.

Continue reading Clear Skies

Amazon Storywriter: Free Cloud-based Screenplay Writing “Software”

I took my first steps in the world of screenwriting back in 2001 using Movie Magic Screenwriter 2000. Later I switched to Final Draft and remained a happy camper until 2013…

Enter the amazing Google Chromebook!

It didn’t take me long after getting my Chromebook from Amazon for around $300 to fall in love with it.  In many ways, it felt like it represented the future of computing. A world where everything is in the clouds and hardware is only used to interpret information.

Continue reading Amazon Storywriter: Free Cloud-based Screenplay Writing “Software”

The Zen ‘everyday mind’

The Zen ‘everyday mind’ described as ‘sleeping when tired, eating when hungry’, or, in other words, knowing what one’s real needs are. Like a bamboo leaf, it bends lower and lower under the weight of the snow. Suddenly the snow slips to the ground without the leaf having stirred. The distinction between action and result disappears. The hands and feet are the brushes and the whole universe is the canvas on which the Zen mind depicts his life. The constant present moment.

(Extrapolated and rearranged from the works of Eugen Herrigel, Michael J. Gelb and Ryōkan Taigu.)

Purchase the book Zen in the Art of Archery by clicking here.

Purchase the book Body Learning by clicking here.

The Sushi of Japan: Narita’s Edokkozushi

Perhaps you’ve heard the name before, Narita is Tokyo’s largest airport and if you’ve been to Japan, chances are you’ve landed there. To most, the little town of Narita is nothing but a blur flashing by the windows of the bullet train to Tokyo. Those brave enough to take a chance on this magical little place are in for a pleasant surprise.

Edokkozushi is a one-of-a-kind dining experience. This hole-in-the-wall is touted by the locals as “one of the best Sushi restaurants in Japan”. Finding this restaurant isn’t easy but well worth the effort. The best place to start is the Narita JR train station. Walk away from the station past the taxi loading zone and downhill toward the red wooden bridge. Take a sharp left onto an alleyway before you get to the bridge. Edokkozushi is half a block down on the right.

Continue reading The Sushi of Japan: Narita’s Edokkozushi

The Great Society

In May of 1964, President Johnson delivered a speech to the University of Michigan graduating class. I came across it while watching the PBS series American Experience.

Undoubtedly the Vietnam War casts a long shadow over President Johnson’s tenure in the White House. Political opinions aside, he cannot be faulted for lacking vision.

Hearing the speech, I was reminded that pragmatism can sometime give way to the idealist that dwells within.

I will share some excerpts with you.

The Great Society rests on abundance and liberty for all. It demands an end to poverty and racial injustice, to which we are totally committed in our time. But that is just the beginning.

The Great Society is a place where every child can find knowledge to enrich his mind and to enlarge his talents. It is a place where leisure is a welcome chance to build and reflect, not a feared cause of boredom and restlessness. It is a place where the city of man serves not only the needs of the body and the demands of commerce but the desire for beauty and the hunger for community.

It is a place where man can renew contact with nature. It is a place which honors creation for its own sake and for what it adds to the understanding of the race. It is a place where men are more concerned with the quality of their goals than the quantity of their goods.

But most of all, the Great Society is not a safe harbor, a resting place, a final objective, a finished work. It is a challenge constantly renewed, beckoning us toward a destiny where the meaning of our lives matches the marvelous products of our labor.

…expansion is eroding the precious and time honored values of community with neighbors and communion with nature. The loss of these values breeds loneliness and boredom and indifference.

…once man can no longer walk with beauty or wonder at nature his spirit will wither and his sustenance be wasted.

Our society will not be great until every young mind is set free to scan the farthest reaches of thought and imagination.

…we must give every child a place to sit and a teacher to learn from. Poverty must not be a bar to learning, and learning must offer an escape from poverty.

We must seek an educational system which grows in excellence as it grows in size. And this means better training for our teachers. It means preparing youth to enjoy their hours of leisure, as well as their hours of labor. It means exploring new techniques of teaching, to find new ways to stimulate the love of learning and the capacity for creation.

You have the chance never before afforded to any people in any age. You can help build a society where the demands of morality, and the needs of the spirit, can be realized in the life of the Nation.

…our material progress is only the foundation on which we will build a richer life of mind and spirit…

We have the power to shape the civilization that we want.

So let us from this moment begin our work so that in the future men will look back and say, “It was then, after a long and weary way, that man turned the exploits of his genius to the full enrichment of his life.”

It is as true today as it was when it was first spoken in 1964. Reading The Great Society speech, afforded me a chance to reflect on the current state of affairs. I hope it creates a similar effect on other readers.

Death of A Writer

One last paragraph.

“Elaborate prose has failed me.
Dishonestly I used it to appease the audience inside my head.
I wrote to impress and little for myself.
This pen, I lay down for the last time,
has been the sward that has kept the monsters away.
Unarmed I greet my fate with a smile.”

His eyes closed. The pen rolled along the table onto the floor.