Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Deep Blue Sea



I watched The Deep Blue Sea online this morning.  It is a love story, or more the story of a woman searching for love, based upon the Terence Rattigan play from the 1950s.  The film stars Rachel Weisz, Simon Russell Beale and, wait for it………………...……...………. . TOM HIDDLESTON.  

I recently saw a comment, on one of the Tumblr blogs (dedicated, of course, to Tom) that I follow, by someone who hated the film.  I have no idea how old she is, but I’m certain she’s much younger than me.  Having been born in 1950 and growing up in that time period, I felt the film captured the old-fashioned mindset and morals of that time.  I actually really enjoyed the film, if for no other reason than it was from a woman’s point of view.  How often does that happen, even now, about 60 years later?  The film is about the Rachel Weisz character, who felt out of step with convention and her father’s, a vicar, opinion of the role of women.  The two men in her life didn’t or couldn’t or wouldn’t try to understand her.  Although, personally I think Tom’s character did a much better job than did Simon, as Rachel’s husband.

I had already watched the youtube video of Tom’s interview for this film and was intrigued by his description of the characters and the film itself.  Here’s the link.   I think what intrigues me most about Tom is how much thought he gives to his character, whomever he is portraying.  He is a serious actor, even in the Marvel movies he has made.  He climbs into the skin of his character and brings that character to life.  He brings a humanity to each of them, even when he is at his most villainous in The Avengers.  All too often, for me at least, characters in films or television shows are, at best, two dimensional.  I want to understand the characters myself.  What makes them behave a certain way or why they respond the way they do.  I give this film, The Deep Blue Sea, 5 stars.  If you have Netflix, Hulu Plus or some other online movie subscription, have a look and let me know what YOU think of the film.
 



 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Just a Short Hello

Quick update:

Physical therapy will be over this week.  Hey, only 7 months in recovery.

Lost another cat:  Culpepper.  He's been sick for nearly a year.  He was feral from kittenhood, so wasn't a candidate to go to the vet.  I'm pretty certain it was renal failure, which is difficult to deal with for a tame cat.  There's no way I could medicate him or give him fluids.

Four new cats:  My 92 year old neighbor passed away a week ago Tuesday.  Three of us split up her cats between us.  Laurel took 2, Barb took 3 & I took 3.  Unfortunately some c**k-sucking SOB dumped a kitty in a carrier on the neighbor's lawn the night of her funeral.  She left the carrier door open and left chicken bones inside for her to eat!!!  A bludgeoning death for this asshole would be too good for her.  I've named this sweet kitty Chelsea.  She's adjusting in my teeny tiny bathroom.  She loves to be held.

Finally, I haven't been in the mood to write anything.  The main reason?  I've been sucked into the Tom Hiddleston Vortex.  Can we say obsession?  That's where I am.  If you haven't any idea just who Hiddleston is, just Google him.  He is, without a doubt, the most popular topic on the internet.  Or here's a link to a good jumping off spot: Hiddleston-daily  I even joined Tumblr & Twitter (jossisgod is my screen name) so I could more easily follow the latest photos, gifs, videos, etc.  Yes, I am a nearly 64 year old fangirl.  Short list of his films:

War Horse
The Deep Blue Sea
Thor
Thor - The Dark World
The Avengers (my fave)
The Hollow Crown (PBS- Shakespeare's Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2 plus Henry V)

I also went to see the National Theater Live worldwide live broadcast of his play, Coriolanus, on January 30th.  Unf***ingbelievable!!!!!!!  It's one of Shakespeare's last histories.  The play was at the Donmar Warehouse in London and ran for about 3 months.  Mark Gatiss, of PBS' Sherlock fame. was in the play as well.  There are rebroadcasts around the country.  Check it out, if you're interested, by going to NTLive at here.






and an obligatory Loki, the god of mischief, from Thor, The Avengers and Thor - The Dark World:



His next film is Only Lovers Left Alive, where he plays a 500 year old vampire.  What's not to love?  The film premiers in the US in early April, probably to a limited run since it's an indie film by Jim Jarmusch.  His co-star is Tilda Swinton, playing his 500 year old vampire love interest.






Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thankful for:




Although I’m not a fan of Thanksgiving (see last year’s post), I think that our world would be a better place if we more frequently focused on that for which we are thankful instead of nearly constantly complaining about the irksome, hateful and horrid things in our lives.  Granted when there are things in our life that are bad, we should do our best to change them.  The occasional grief and/or sadness in our life cannot always be “fixed”.  Only time and new priorities can help lessen the grief and sadness.  
 
So to avoid another day of complaints on my part, here’s a list of those things for which I am thankful.

  1. I am so very grateful that I am a woman. 
  2.  No turkey has been killed for my taste buds in over 23 years. 
  3.  I have today and tomorrow off…….with pay. 
  4.  My cats and dog. 
  5.  A relatively pain free day, even though I’ve taken 2 prescription pain pills and 2 over the counter pain pills since 4 AM. 
  6.  I have 4 clean litter boxes, with just 5 more to go. 
  7.  I have decided not to cook today and, instead, doing that on Saturday. 
  8.  I am thankful to have shared my life with numerous cats and dogs over the years.  I still miss those who have died, most especially the greatest cat ever born, my one and only soulmate, Casey Anansi.  The love and understanding I received from Casey forever changed my life for the better.  RIP my darling – gone, but never forgotten.  He has been gone since January 10, 1990. 
  9.  Each day brings me closer to retirement.  I just hope I can hang on for another 2 years and 3 months.
  10. My diabetes is under control. 
  11.  I am able to take care of myself.
  12. Although I broke a nail, I didn’t fall today when Tessa came running across the living room and nearly knocked me down.   
  13. Joss Whedon and all of his work, especially Buffy the Vampire Slayer, followed closely by Firefly.
  14. Aaron Sorkin and especially The West Wing. 







I’m going to leave it there.  I don’t want to push my luck.  So, what are you thankful for today?



 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Surgery & After

First off - I feel like CRAP!

Surgery was at 10AM on Wednesday 09/11/13.  Below is the email I sent to the staff at work on 09/12/13, typos & all:



1st let me apologize 4 writing the following in caps.  I am typing with 1 hand & caps are easier.

09/11/13 – 7:15 AM & NO CALL FROM MY DRIVER.  CALLED THE TRANSPORT OFFICE – NOT OPEN.  CALLED SEVERAL MORE TIMES – SAME OUTCOME.  BARB IS HOME & AGREES TO DROP ME OFF.

                8:25 – REACHED CAR SERVICE & DRIVER IS MIA.  ARRANGE 4 PICKUP @ 2:30.  CALL BARB 2 TELL HER SHE DOESN’T NEED TO PICK ME UP.
9:15 – TAKEN TO THE BACK, PREPPED 4 SURGERY. WIRED 4 TAKE-OFF, ANSWERED A MILLION QUESTIONS.  SURGEON IS CUTE & VERY YOUNG.  ANESTHESIOLOGIST IS FUNNY & NICE.  HIS ASST IS CUTE & VERY YOUNG TOO.  GET A NERVE BLOCK 4 MY SHOULDER & ARM.  WILL TAKE 8-10 HOURS 2 WEAR OFF.  MOTE ABOUT THAT LATER.
10ISH – WHEELED TO OPERATING ROOM.  SCOOT ON TO OPERATING TABLE.  LIGHTS OUT IN ABOUT 5-10 MINUTES.
??????- BEGIN WAKING UP.  JUST WANTED TO SLEEP – SOME TROUBLE BREATHING.  IN & OUT OF CONSCIOUSNESS.
A BIE LATER – PEOPLE START TALKING 2 ME, BRING ME WATER, ASK ME QUESTIONS.  NOTICE I’M WEARING SLING, WHICH IS THE SIZE OF A SMALL DOG.  MY NOSE WON’T STOP ITCHING & I CAN’T FIND MY RIGHT ARM, LET ALONE MOVE IT.  1ST INKLING THAT RECOVERY AIN’T GONNA BE A BOWL OF CHERRIES.  PROGRESSING FROM FRYING PAN TO FIRE. GIVEN PLAIN, STALE GRAHAM CRACKERS TO EAT – HAD NOTHING TO EAT SINCE 10PM THE NIGHT BEFORE.  NIBBLES TURN CRACKER INTO DRY SPITBALL THAT CAN’T BE SWALLOWED.  GAVE UP ON FOOD.  MOVED TO WAITING RECOVERING ROOM WITH RECLINERS & TV.  SHORTLY AFTER, PUT IN WHEELCHAIT & TAKEN DOWNSTAIRS TO WAITING DRIVER.  STILL OUT OF IT.
3PM –HOME!!!!!
3:30 – CALL BARB IN TEARS.  SHE CAN’T UNDERSTAND ME .  SHE WILL BE OVER IN AN HOUR TO FEED THE CRITTERS.  FRUSTRATED AT MY INABILITY TO DO ANYTHING 4 MYSELF, I CALL SANDRA TO COME NOW!!!!!!

BY THIS TIME IT WAS OBVIOUS THE SLING WASN’Y “INSTALLED” PROPERLY.  AS INSTRUCTED, I HAD BROUGHT BOTH THE SLING & THE SHOULDER PAD THAT CONNECTS TO COLD MACHINE THAT CIRCULATES COLD WATER TO MY SHOULDER.  NURSES’ AIDES SHOWED ME – STILL RECOVERING FROM THE ANESTHETIC – HOW TO PUT ON THE PAD, WHICH SHOULD HAVE BEEN PUT ON WITH THE SLING.  I CALLED THE DOCTOR’S OFFICE TO GO IN TOMORROW TO INSTALL THIS CONTRAPTION PROPERLY.  STACY SUGGESTED A HOME HEALTH CARE AIDE AS WELL, TO COME TO MY HOME 4 HOURS A DAY.  THAT’S PROBABLY BECAUSE I COULDN’T TALK WITHOUT CRYING.  ON A SCALE OF 1 TO 10, MY FRSTRATION LEVEL HAD REACHED 1000.  I GO TO THE DOCTOR’S OFFICE AT 9 TOMORROW.  I ARRANGED FOR THE CAR SERVICE TO TAKE ME IN & BRING ME HOME.  I FELL ASLEEP SITTING IN MY CHAIR AT THE COMPUTER.  SANDRA ARRIVED & I IMMEDIATELY FELT MY FRUSTRATION LEVEL PLUMMET.  SHE IMMEDIATELY GOT ME A GLASS OF COKE & MADE ME TOAST.  UNFORTUNATELY, LIKE THE GRAHAM CRACKERS, THE TOAST TURNED INTO DRY SPITBALLS THAT I COULDN’T SWALLOW.

BARB CAME OVER TOO & THE 2 OF THEM WASHED DISHES & FED THE CRITTER HOARD.  OH WHAT A RELIEF THAT WAS.  WATER & DRY FOOD BOWLS WERE FILLED AS WELL.  ALL THAT TAKEN CARE OF, SANDRA WENT OUT & GOT ME A MEDIUM CHOCOLATE SHAKE, WHICH I MANAGED TO DRINK HALF OF.  BOTH BARB & SANDRA LEFT SHORTLY AFTER.  I WAS DOWN FOR THE COUNT AROUND 6:30.  I WOKE UP AROUND 8:30 & BARB ARRIVED ABOUT THE SAME TIME.  I WENT BACK TO SLEEP & BARB & MAGGIE SNUGGLED ON THE COUCH.  I WAS BACK UP AT 11:30 & GREW INCREASINGLY CONCERNED THAT MY ARM/SHOULDER WAS MASSIVELY SWOLLEN.  I WAS AFRAID BARB WOULD NEED TO TAKE ME TO THE ER.  WITH BARB’S HELP WE DETERMINED THAT THE SLING HAD BEEN DISPLACED, TURNED HALF WAY AROUND MY BODY.  IT HAS SO MUCH PADDING IT MADE IT SEEM AS IF MY ARM, IN PARTICULAR, HAD DOUBLED IN SIZE.  BY THIS TIME – 14 & A HALF HOURS LATER – THE NERVE BLOCK HAD MOSTLY WORN OFF.  MY FOREARM & UPPER BACK OF MY SHOULDER IS STILL COMPLETELY NUMB.  LITTLE TO NO PAIN, PROBABLY DUE TO THE PAIN MEDS I’VE TAKEN, BUT I’M ITCHING LIKE CRAZY.  I’LL NEED TO GET APPROVAL TO TAKE ANTIHISTAMINES WITH THE OTHER MEDS.  THE ITCHING COULD BE DUE TO THE 15 ROLES OF TAPER THEY HAVE COVERING MY SHOULDER.  THE ADHESIVE USED ON STERILE TAPE RESULTS IN SEVERE REDNESS & OCCASIONAL BRUISING, WHICH THE DOCTORS & NURSES ARE AWARE OF.

I APOLOGIZE FOR THE LENGTHINESS OF THIS.  I’VE DONE THIS TO NOT ONLY GET YA’LL UP TO SPEED BUT FOR MY OWN DOCUMENTATION.  WHO KNOWS HOW MUCH OF THIS I WILL REMEMBER BY NEXT WEEK.  NO DOUBT THE ADVENTURE WILL CONTINUE & THOSE FUN TIMES WILL SUPPLANT THESE.

AN EXTRA, EXTRA SPECIAL THANKS TO SANDRA & BARB FOR PREVENTING ME FROM GOING OVER THE EDGE…..SO FAR!

Connie

***********************

Later that day:

  • Driver arrives & we're off to the doctor's office.  As I suspected, whoever strapped me into the sling did it wrong.  The shoulder pad that connects to the cold therapy unit should have been put on 1st, under the sling.  So much for training & quality control.
  • My home health aide arrives around 10:45, after having gotten lost  & driving in circles for 30 minutes or more.
09/21/13

Wow, what a difference 10 days make.  I had already forgotten most of what I had written the day after surgery.  Plus I can't believe it has already been that long.  Between "then & now", I've had both good and bad days.  The home health aide was here for just a week.  She helped me bathe and dress.  She washed the critters' bowls and dishes and even vacuumed the living room one day.  Mostly she hooked up the shoulder pad to the cold therapy machine.  Just setting that up is a job for a fully functional person, not a one-armed patient.  Due to the amount of ice necessary she had to pick up a couple of bags of ice.  Her last day was 09/18, the day before I saw the doctor post-op.

So the doctor's visit went fine.  The good news was that he said Workers' Comp would cover a driver to take me to work and pick me up.  My stitches were removed - there were actually 5 incisions.  Not only had I completely torn the tendons of the rotator cuff apart, but I had ripped them from the bone.  Since the pain level had diminished considerably, he prescribed Ibuprofen 800mg.  No more narcotics.

I emailed my case nurse with Workers' Comp and the doctor was wrong.  They won't provide transport to and from work.  I either have to find or pay for a ride, or drive myself - with one hand - 14 miles each way if I want to go to work.  That thought petrifies me.  My boss' solution?  Buy a knob for the steering wheel.  Problem solved!  Yeah, right.

So, I'm doing laundry, washing dishes and cooking a bit.  Honestly, I haven't felt much like eating.  I just haven't been hungry enough to cook or clean up.  My pantry is well stocked and I had done a pretty good job of shopping in advance of the surgery, but I have to go to the grocery store today to pick up a few things.  I'm going to try driving myself.  My support system, I think, is getting over helping (it's been over 2 months now) and would like to get back to their lives.  I want the same thing.  Being incapable of fully taking care of myself is really weighing me down.

Then there is work.  Even though I'm "laid up", work still has to be done.  And things at work have been topsy turvy throughout this period of my life.  Our mailroom manager quit, leaving on August 30th.  Our Administrative Assistant left shortly afterwards.  She had trained her replacement for 9 days before leaving. This was pre-surgery, so I was in the office.  Both of us had concerns about the new employee.  She was struggling with some of the simplest components of the job.  Other staffers stepped in with both Carlene and myself gone.  It didn't help and the new Admin Assistant quit on Monday or Tuesday - I can't remember which.  And our IT person is leaving at the end of the month.

Throughout all of the above our office network is screwed up.  The two main programs, Donor Perfect and Peachtree, are running so slowly that they are nearly inaccessible.  It's next to impossible to get the work done under these circumstances.  Folks have been working on discerning the problem(s), but to no avail.  I've been trying to work from home, remotely, but have made little progress due to how long it takes.  I had to run a process on 09/13/13, a process that normally takes nearly all day.  This time, it took me 5 days to complete.  As if dealing with my current health problems isn't frustrating and stressful enough, the work situation has amped up both of those.  Yesterday morning when I took my blood sugar level, it was nearly 300!  This morning it was back to normal for me, just 102. 



So, for now my world is almost totally focused on me.  I can't seem to care that the rest of the world is spinning out of control.  Whether it's Syria, the economy, the unraveling of our government which is seemingly run by folks living in an alternate reality, I can't get worked up about any of it.  Whatever I have to do, no matter how simple it is normally, is a struggle and/or a major undertaking.  I have to settle for getting by instead of staying ahead of whatever should be done.  I just wish I could sleep through it all and then wake up and realize it's all been a very bad dream.

I hope your lives aren't troubled and full of obstacles.  Wishing all a smooth path as you move through life. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Checking In





I am not the most graceful person on the planet.  Since my mid-20s I have slipped, tripped and fallen more times than I want to remember.  From my little toes, to my ankles, to my left leg and knee and on to my back, I have fractured, broken and otherwise permanently damaged myself.  On July 16th I lost my balance as I was bending over to pick up a piece of paper I had dropped on the floor.  I twisted and turned trying to prevent another fall.  Although I didn't hit the ground, I slammed the full force of my considerable weight into my desk, landing on my right shoulder.  I heard crunching and crackling sounds, leaving me to believe I had done some serious damage to the shoulder.   Of course, due to the other, older injuries having weakened other parts and pieces of my body, I realized my forthcoming pain would not be limited to my shoulder.  Today, a month and a half later, my shoulder, neck, back and left ankle are limiting my ability to do much of anything. 

After numerous visits to the local Urgent Care facility, I was finally approved for an MRI.  A few days later I finally had a diagnosis - small fracture in my upper humerus and a completely torn rotator cuff.  Since this is a workers' compensation claim, the treatment cycle plodded along.  I saw an orthopedic surgeon who set a date for surgery to re-attach the rotator cuff.  Originally it was scheduled for August 30th, but has since been moved to September 11th.  I had been relying on ibuprofen to control the pain and allow me to function.  Unfortunately, that medication had to be stopped two weeks before the surgery.  I am now relying on the last remaining Vicodin I have remaining.  I'm rationing them, taking only half a pill at a time. 

Frankly, I haven't been interested in either reading or writing much.  I have focused on working from home until this past week, when I went back into the office.  Driving for the first couple of weeks terrified me, plus it was painful.  I started the car with my left arm and changed gears that way as well.  I just didn't have the strength in my right arm to do either.  It was even difficult for the first few weeks fastening my seat belt. 

As in the past, when I was laid up, friends have trekked long distances to come to my home to scoop my litter boxes, help with laundry and drive me on my shopping errands.  I am so grateful for their kindness and feel that I can never repay them for both the moral and physical support they have provided to me. 

I apologize for "going dark" and not keeping you, my regular visitors, in the loop.  As in true cat fashion, I've sought a dark place in which to lick my wounds and give myself time to heal.  Most of the time I have been miserable, which tends to make one prefer isolation to sharing.  Additionally, I didn't think talking about this "phase" was an interesting topic for a blog post.  I can't even muster the desire nor strength for a righteous rant about the state of the world.  Focusing on myself has me bored.  I am so ready for all of this to be over with so that I can get back to the semblance of a normal life. 

I will do my best to provide something worth reading in the near future.  No promises with surgery, recovery and physical therapy in my future.  Hopefully progress will elevate my mood , moving me into a better space.


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Disasters – Another Perspective






Whether it is war, fires, tornadoes, tsunamis, hurricanes, floods or chemical plant explosions, it seems that the numbers of disasters are increasing.  And the scope of these disasters seem to greater than they have been in the past.  Sometimes there is advance warning, allowing people to escape, other times there isn’t time.  The news reports are generally the same:  how many buildings or homes were destroyed, how many people were injured or killed.  Reports on the complete toll documented.  I’m talking about the non-human animals who are injured, lost or killed.  Even when there is some warning for the animals (smoke in the air), the animals can’t outrun the fire nor can they find shelter from the storm.  Floods, tornadoes and hurricanes don’t provide any warnings in advance for the dogs, cats, cattle, sheep, horses or wildlife.  Then there are those in captivity, at rescue facilities, zoos and aquaria.  

tiger in Bagdad Zoo

Some of you will find fault with my concern for the non-human animals.  I will admit that I have a heightened concern for them.  For some, they didn’t choose where they live – they are in that location because of humans.  For native wildlife, this is their home.  This is where their food supply is, where their dens and nests are.  They can’t hop in a car and drive to the nearest evacuation shelter or hotel/motel.  More often than not, animals of any kind aren’t welcome in evacuation shelters or hotels/motels.
  

How many of you even give a thought to the turtles, lizards, flightless birds and insects in the path of these monstrous disasters?  What about the caged animals, trapped in those cages who can’t escape.  Evacuating captive animals – rescued dogs and cats or those wild animals on display for our entertainment in zoos and aquaria?  What about the dogs, cats, birds, fish, hamsters, gerbils and other so-called pets left behind when their human families flee?  Sometimes their stories are told, after the disaster has passed, but more often than not their fear, panic, pain and deaths go unreported, unnoticed.  I still remember my horror and outrage at the time of the great Yellowstone fires when the reports said “there were no fatalities.”  Wildlife managers even said that the wildlife fled the fires.  No one with an ounce of intelligence could possibly believe that every or even most animals could escape.  All we have to think about is the natural behavior of animals when danger is sensed.  Bear cubs react to a threat by climbing the nearest tree.  Baby birds, not yet fledged, are trapped in their nests.  Just how fast can a turtle or a lizard run?  Can they outrun a raging forest fire?  I think not.  Others will retreat to their underground dens, which during a flood, serves as a death trap.  I realize that it isn’t possible to save wildlife in advance of an approaching disaster, but I rail against the insensitivity of reports of “no deaths” in the aftermath.  It isn’t simply human life that has value.  



Adding to my anger is that we humans have left little wild habitat for wildlife. We continue to encroach upon what little remains.  We give little or no thought when more wild lands are gobbled up to build more and more homes.  We further insure the demise of native species by fragmenting their native habitat, limiting the number who can find enough food, sufficient territory and mates.  The fewer the individuals of a species, the more limited is the gene pool.  The Florida panther is a perfect example of a species in decline because of how all of the above have guaranteed the doom of this species found only in Florida.  The male panthers have damaged hearts and usually only one descended testicle, limiting their ability to breed.  These were regressive genes, but due to limited access to mates has made these genetic abnormalities dominant instead of regressive and therefore of rare occurrence.  

While I sympathize with those families who have lost their homes, their possessions and family members and friends they, at least, have options.  Picking up the pieces and starting over are traumatic and difficult.  However, they had access to insurance, federal and state aid, along with support from many non-profits to help them get their lives back together.  While there are more and more non-profits and individuals who respond to help the lost and displaced non-human animals (mostly domesticated animals), what about the wild animals who survived?  They have no shelters or food sources since all of these have been destroyed in the disaster.  If they survive many, if not most, will either starve or end up as food for predators.  There is no place for them to go – they don’t have the option of moving in with family – their habitat, the only home they have ever known is utterly destroyed.  


I hope as you follow the news about the latest disaster you will include in your concern the non-human animals whose lives have been impacted as well.   Expand your sphere of compassion to include all of the lives damaged or ended, all too often due to human greed, stupidity or selfishness.  There are always innocent lives not counted in the death toll.

For further reading about non-human animals and disasters, check out these links:

The Bagdad Zoo and the death of Lawrence Anthony, who helped save the remaining animals following the American invasion of Iraq.  And the NPR interview.

And The Eco Cat Lady Speaks asks on her blog - What Would You Save?

And some animal rescue sites:




After Japan's tsunami, the rescue continues:





Black Forest fire links here: