Saturday, September 2, 2017

Wind River

is a beautiful, largely understated film that builds slowly and ultimately erupts in a way you're unlikely to see coming.  It's also visually and emotionally bleak, which makes sense when you know that its writer/director, Taylor Sheridan, is the writer of the screenplays for Sicario and Hell or High Water.

The setup is both simple and dark:  a barefoot young woman runs miles in the snow and ultimately dies there.  A local hunter and Fish and Wildlife staffer, played by Jeremy Renner, finds her.  An FBI agent, Elizabeth Olsen, comes to investigate.  The story unfolds slowly and shows the rough lives of the people on the reservation where this happened and the others who live in the area.

I don't want to go into more, because much of the film's beauty comes from its characters and their interactions.  If you're in the mood for a beautiful but bleak film, definitely check out Wind River.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Holden turns to needles

Acupuncture needles, to be precise.  The poor old dog's rear legs are so weak he has trouble getting up and even difficulty walking straight, so in addition to pain pills and lots of other stuff, we're trying, on the advice of our vet, acupuncture.

Click the image to see a larger version and look for the bits of green on his back.

Wish Holden and us luck.  It's rough to watch him face these challenges--and almost certainly rougher for him to deal with them.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Meat Loaf and Bat Out of Hell

I wrote an entry a while ago, while I was in London, about seeing Bat Out of Hell: The Musical. On my return trip through London, late one night I was flipping through the channels on the hotel's TV and I ran across this video.

A weird blast from the past, but the song is as amazing--in all its overwrought ways--as ever. This original video for the song is a suitable companion to it.


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The many post-nap faces of Holden

He awakens.

Click an image to see a larger version.

He sits up, still unsure whether to greet the moment or fall back over.

Yawning!  That's the ticket.

Oh, yes, a full-on yawn feels so good.

And then it's time for another nap.

Thus is the life of the fourteen-year-old Holden.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Want to come see me yak on September 10?

If you do, you're in luck, because I'll be joining two other local writers, Erin Knightley and Sarah Shaber, at the Cameron Village Regional Library on that Sunday at 2:00 p.m.

Click the image to see a larger version.

Our appearance is, as you can see in the copy of the Wake County Public Library poster above, part of a Local Author Tea program.  I'll be bringing Coke Zero, but the poster promises tea and cookies, so you can listen to us talk and eat and drink, too.

I'm not sure exactly what we'll be discussing, but it'll probably include can't-miss tips for getting wealthy, as all writers are, ways to fend off the inevitable hordes of writer groupies, and where to buy bespoke clothing for all of the dressy events we writers attend.  Or maybe some other stuff.

If you ask me questions, I will answer them, so there's that.

If you have nothing else to do the afternoon of September 10, consider coming by the Local Author Tea at the Cameron Village library.

Monday, August 28, 2017

My first colonoscopy

proved to be an interesting experience on several fronts.  I did it today, quite a few years later than the medical establishment recommends but for the reason they suggest it:  to make sure I have no problems in that part of my body.

I don't.  I won't go into the medical details, because they're not interesting, but all is well.

What surprised me the most was how easy it all was.  I was able to take pills, rather than the sickly sweet liquid, for the emptying part of the program, and it went easily.  I've had worse reactions to really rich meals--or donuts, which I like but which don't like me.  Similarly, going 36 hours on almost no calories--I had some jello and a little bit of warm broth--was no problem, but I'm fortunate there because I used to fast frequently and am still good at it.

The only part that sucked was not getting much sleep, but I'm also familiar with doing that, so, again, it was no challenge.

The most interesting part of the day was my conversation with the nurse who was putting in the IV for the anesthesia to come.  When I mentioned that I'd left the waiting room before my ride arrived, she said that, yes, they'd tell my ride, because "we don't want them to think you've been Raptured."

Now, I am fine with religious beliefs of all sort, but that struck me as an odd comment for a workspace.

I don't want to mock anyone's faith, so please take what follows as being more about the setting than about the underlying beliefs.

We had been discussing SF and fantasy books, and she then said that she liked the Game of Thrones books but, "That George R.R. Martin is a liberal, and I hate 'em all.  Just hate 'em."

At this point, on the bed in the little robe, her hands probing my left arm for the best vein to use, I tried to figure out how to look like a conservative.  This, of course, is a losing proposition, so I opted instead to stay still and say nothing.

She then continued.  "What he does get right in those books is that we are all despicable, dirty, awful, out-for-ourselves people, every single one of us.  Yep, we are all despicable--and that's why we need Jesus to save us."  I get the concept that we are flawed sinners, because everyone I know is flawed, but the anger and venom with which she made this comment was a little scary.  I'd like to think that whether you have turned your life to Christ or not, you're going to work on being better--not perfect, because no one is, but better.  I don't like the idea of accepting that we're all just despicable.

On the other hand, she was working the IV into my arm right about then, so I decided to be weak and not argue at all.  I stayed quiet, she put in the IV, and all was fine.

When it's time to do this procedure again, I can hope that the whole affair will both go as well as this time and provide such colorful prep-room dialog.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

My spam turns ambitious

Recently, my spam took a step upward in variety and ambition.  In a single hour on a Sunday, my spam offered to

Tell me the secrets only my DNA could reveal—and at a discount.  Oh, yeah, I’m in a hurry to send a DNA sample to a lab I’ve never heard of.  What could possibly go wrong?

Provide me the device I need to decide if my dog has bad breath.  Uh, he’s a dog; of course he has bad breath!

Put a new roof on my house.  Just did that.

When putting on socks becomes just too hard, help me with that onerous task with the magical sock slider.  I’m fine on this front, thanks, but when I’m not, I’ll be turning to my house’s sock elves.  What—you don’t have sock elves?

Check whether I have diabetes.  Also fine here, but thanks for giving me another chance to support crackpot science.

Back up all of my photos onto the capacious photo stick.  I’m sure the photo stick is lovelier than any of my other many backup systems, but I’m good.

Illuminate the night with a tactical flashlight.  Better than my Surefires?  I doubt it.

Fix my diet with a Nutrisystem program.  Oh, my diet has much bigger problems than that.

The real lesson here is clear:  I need better spam.


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