Me wants Firefly back!

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Pride and Glory, Review

I have to rant a bit about the price of a movie ticket.  I paid $10 to see this movie.  Darn!  And I remember the 35 cent days when there were double features…

I didn’t see Edward Norton as the Hulk, but he has played many memorable roles.  He plays the John Voight’s son.  He is part of a police family, with dad, older brother (Noah Emmerich) and brother-in-law (Colin Firth).  The acting is very good and there is quite a bit of action and violence.  A group of policmen in older brother’s squad are killed in a narcotics raid.  Edward Norton, who has been on leave from his job on narcotics is asked to be on the task force formed to bring the evil doers to justice.  He does so reluctantly and has he gets deeper in to the case it looks more like a setup and corrupt police.  Unfortunately it leads to to Colin Firth and the case threatens to bring his whole family down.

The reason for Norton’s leave of absence had to do with him doing something against his conscience to protect the police force.  The dilemma of being put in to a similar situation again is cause for a lot of grief.

I will rate this one 3.5/5 acorns.  1/2 of a clive.

Life’s Little Dramas. Traitor, Kaibei and Dr. Who Reviews

Sunday I took my “trainer” dog Malu, the Blue Healer, for a walk in Waimanlo.  He was on a leash.  I saw a slight movement just a split second before he did and before I could react he pounced on a bird.  I know it was a bird because I saw it’s green tail sticking out of his mouth.  Malu did not pay any attention to my command to drop it, nor did he listen to his real pack leader.  Instead he took a gulp and swallowed it.   What a dog.  I still feel sorry for that little bird and very disappointed in my leadership skills.  I don’t think I’ll be getting a dog any time soon.

Back home, I’m attacking the weeds in the patio.  Occasionally I pull up an especially big clump and an earthworm gets disturbed.  I worry about them as those lizards come out of nowhere and eat them.  I cover them with dirt or a pot until they find safety.   And to think I used to dig those guys up and go bass fishing below the reservoir.  Ew.

So much for life’s little dramas.

I watched Kaibei because it had Tadanobu Asano in it.  He plays Yamazaki, a gangly, nerdy guy, who trips over his own feet and doesn’t know how to swim.

Kaibee is about a women’s mother. It is a tear jerker. Dad, Tobei, is imprisioned because of his politcal beliefs. This takes place prior to WW2 when Japan has invaded China. Kaibee makes many sacrifices for her children and bears the shame, the poverty and the loneliness to see her husband. Yamazaki (Asano) shows up one day and becomes a great support to the family until he his drafted In typical fashion, even without the samurai theme, everybody dies and no one gets the girl. Asano is great as the gangly klutz.

Season 1 on Dr. Who has ended on the Netflix queue. The new Dr. Who has been introduced. I’ll see how I like him. I hear he is very good.

Traitor,  stars Don Cheadle as and US asset in the Middle East. His father before him was killed in a car bombing in Sudan.  He was raised by his mom in Chicago.  His skill is building bombs and this comes in handy if one is infiltrating a terrorist organization.  Mr. Memento himself, Guy Pearce plays a FBI agent who gets on his trail as he seeks out the group.  Only one person in the USA knows Don is a good guy, and it is not Guy.   I don’t know how “real” this portrayal is.   There is a cool twist at the end which I will not say more about.   I will rate this movie 3/5 acorns.

Sex in the City and Dexter reviews, Totoro and Retirement

Sex in the City is basically a longer version of the TV series. The 30 somethings are now 40 something, and Samantha is on the verge of her 50th birthday. One of the knit ladies had seen this movie twice already, so I decided to chance it. It’s a chick flick, most definitely. Our ladies have moved on in the decade of the TV series. Samantha to the west coast, in a 5 year relationship, Miranda to Brooklyn-struggling a bit in her roles as mother, lawyer and wife, Charlotte elated in her role as adopted mother and wife, and Carrie still a successful writer and in a strong relationship with Mr. Big. The friendship is as strong as ever and they are gathering for Carrie’s upcoming marriage. So no cyborgs or CGI here. Just drama, lovely fashions, expensive leather goods, and a celebration of the the kind of friends women can have, the kind that last a lifetime, like sisters.

Dexter is Showtime TV series. I don’t get showtime but got the DVD of the first season as a gift. I was of the opinion prior to watching this that there was something fundamentally wrong with the premise of a serial killer being a good guy…a vigilante, an avenging angel. Dang, now I find there is season 2 and season 3. Dexter is a forensic blood spatter expert. He can read stories into the pattern of the blood spots found at crime scenes. He is also a serial killer himself. He was adopted at age 3 my a policeman who coaches him on how to appear normal as he does not experience feelings like a normal person and has urges to kill things, starting with bugs and animals. He develops a code to live by…kill only those that “deserve” to die. He has a collections of slides with a drop of blood he harvests from his victims and keeps as a trophy. He is in a relationship that works for him as Rita is “wounded” and has not made any demands on him in a physical way. He works closely with his sister, who wants to be a homicide detective. The whole first season bad guy has been dubbed the ice truck killer. He is playing games with Dexter. What can I say? I can’t argue with the IMDB people who rated this 9.1/10. It sucked me in.

On the retirement scene, I’ve given myself until my flowers die to not get serious about anything. I still don’t have a real dog. My house is still a mess. I still am playing games with Hewitt the retirement company who keep putting me off on my retirement benefit, I still don’t have an exercise routine. I still have not found an electrician or gotten drapes for the upstairs. I’m still shopping. And, I still have thank you cards to write. So what have I accomplished?

1. TV 2. movies 3. read 4. Knit a Totoro toilet roll cover 5. some exercise 6. got the mp3 on the new shuffle 7. started the SAM portion of my recertification 8. cleaned out a couple boxes and rescued my diplomas and certificates 9. killed one plant and 10. have not gained or lost any weight.

It’s still surreal not having to go to work or even get up.  Heh, I kind of like it.  Sloth is habit forming.  But it’s only two weeks and a I have to remind myself that I gave myself 3-6 months leave of absence.

It’s a whine

28 days and counting.  I’m tryng to be good.  The last word from my retirement coaches is to keep my cool.  I just have to yell this out!

I can’t know things I was not informed about.  Don’t get mad at me!  I still don’t read minds and I’m not Borg, so no collective consciousness.

My support staff was cut to build up the new support system, but hey after 6 months my work load has increased with no real solution in sight.  Nada has been taken off my plate!  And yes, I know, things are tough all over.  But the chaos is impeding my ability to do my work the way I want to.

I hate cleaning up after people and having their work dumped on m.  I hate situations where no one is accountable.  I hate being put in the position of trying to explain why things went wrong or didn’t get done, when I was not involved in the process at all.  If I was in private practice I’d fire those slackers.

I’m trying not to gloat, but I’m so very grateful it’s only 28 more days.   And really, I do actually work with some very nice people who actually focus on work, but I’m taking a break to get uncrabby.   I just have to keep it together 28 more days.

and one week I get to stay at the Hapuna Beach Prince.  I have so much to be grateful for.  Really!  I do:)

The problem is I do.  I’ll just have to get over it.

Five Centimeters per Second, Hustle and Flow, Review

5 cm/sec is the speed a cherry blossom falls at. There are 3 parts to this movie by the the same director/write of Voices from a Distant Star and The Place Promised in Our Early Days, Makoto Shinkai. The story portrays two lives that were bound by love in grade school. They journey apart but are in each others thoughts forever. At some point they each have to let go to move forward. The animation is beautiful. The story is a bit morose.

Hustle and Flow is a story about a small time pimp and drug dealer who tries to reach his dream of becoming a famous hip hop artist when he runs into an old friend who has risen out of the old life. The soundtrack made my windows rattle.

I have difficulty committing to rating the movies these days. I’ll blame it on the whole “retirement is looming around the corner” thing. Somedays I’m very happy about it and just know it’s right for me, but there are little naggy voices (Yikes, no income, you fool), lots of people to leave behind(I thank them for saying nice things to me) and what are you going to do? Well train for the marathon for one. Hang out in my jammies for another. Declutter? Read few books. I’m giving myself at least 6 months off! But no deadlines. No commitments, heh.

More movies

Reign Over Me

I watched this again and it was still engaging and sad/funny.

(lyrics of the theme song by The Who excerpted from lyricsdownload.com)

Only love can bring the rain that makes you yearn to the sky
Only love can bring the rain that falls like tears from all high

Love, Reign o’er me,Rain on me,Rain on me

On the dry and dusty road the nights we spent apart alone I need to get back home to cool cool rain

I can’t sleep and I lay and I think the night is hot and black as ink
…God I need a drink of cool cool rain

Love, Reign o’er me, Rain over me

Isolation
I found this one in a used DVD bin somewhere and bought it as it has John Lynch in it. It’s an average bug movie that takes place on a lonely Irish farm where creepy experiments are going on. I got a crush on John Lynch after watching him in stuff like Moll Flanders, Cal, Some Mother’s Sons and The Secret Garden.

The Lost Prince refers to John, 5th and youngest child of King George V and Queen Mary of England. He suffered from epilepsy and was hidden away from the world. According toWikipedia, King George had 5 children, but on one, Edward is portrayed besides John in this BBC TV presentation. Edward later gained notoriety by marrying an American divorcee and abdicating his throne. Another brother became King George VI, and had a long reign. His daughter became Elizabeth II. But I digress.

The historical backdrop is WWI. I showed glimpses of the royal connections, such as the ill-fated cousin, Russian Tsar and Anastasia, and the German royalty, related through Queen Mary, John’s mother and the origin of the House of Windsor. The Tzar’s family was initially going to have asylum in Britain, but later for political reasons asylum was refused.

Another interesting character is Arthur Bigge, 1st Baron of Samfordham, personal secretary of George V. He held the same position to Queen Victoria, and although his barony became “extinct” (I didn’t know baron went extinct) his grandson held the same position for Queen Elizabeth II. (all this from Wikipedia, so hopefully true:)

Karen, my retirement mentor says I’m allowed to whine, that I should continue to attend meetings but to thank people, wish them well and be grateful that I don’t have to be around for the solutions to the problems. Time to meditate on words like grace, gratitude and acknowledgment. Dang acknowledgment is a long word for me to carve in silver. I wonder if I’m allowed to knit during meetings? Will it seem insincere? Heh, I know that answer to that one!

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3 months, 14 days, 18 hours and 22 minutes

I got over the part about planning my life after I retire.  I will do what every I want.  I’m not stressing over where my life will go.  There are many resources out there dedicated to the “after” I retire.

But what about now?  So many thoughts and feeling.  Somethings are easy to let go.  Somethings are hard.

What do I tell my patients knowing that no one has been hired to replace me?

How do I resist interjecting my cynicism and burned out opinions? Shall I just stop going to meetings?

How do I resist lashing out with dealing with the process changes that affect everything I do on a daily basis, on top of a workload that has grown unmanageable for me and project a sense of grace I do not feel?

I feel some “lists” coming on.

Who do I care about?  (other the me if course)  My patients, my team partners.  What do I want and how to I get it?  I want the transition to be smooth.  I want my partners to be buffered as I know their stress/work level is already high.  Can I do anything about it?   I have no control over recruitment.  So far no fish have bitten.  If no one is hired what do I tell my patients?  I would like them to know who is accountable so I have to find out who that is.  Is that reasonable? Until my last day, I want to maintain my work standards as best I can given I have to say goodbye and I know there will be unfinished business.

I am a lame duck.  “Ultimately, the origin comes from the idea that a lame duck is unable to move or accomplish anything at all; all the senses, viewed very broadly, mean ‘ineffectual’.”  or just simply “one whose position or term of office will soon end”  I want to leave an image a happy duck.

Prime Suspect, the Final Act

Jan. 12 article from Science News, written by Patrick Barry states that roundworms need protons to poop…protons released by roundworms’ intestines trigger surrounding muscles to contract, causing the worm to defecate. I don’t know how Mr Barry found this out, but now I know there is a whole world out there to explore when I retire.

I know I won’t have any more episodes of Prime Suspect to watch, sigh, cuz I watched the last one. Jane Tennison is on the verge of retiring. Her father dies, she battles alcoholism and loneliness, and, she loses friends and family left and right. Her whole life has been dedicated to being a detective. She started at age 17 as a bobby and admits to a 14 year girl that it was the power she loved. Well she’s very good at what she does and even the embittered father of the murder victim, who calls her a cold, hard bitch, thanks her in the end. There is no way she can lose her last case even as she hits pretty close to bottom.

The acting in this episode is wonderful. Of course there is Helen Mirren. She is so convincing as the cold, hard bitch, but boy, is she good! Laura Greenwood is very good as the 14 year old best friend of the murder victim. She fools the drunken Mirren into revealing some of her weaknesses. Garry Lewis is the grieving father.

Now I’m at a loss. What next? DCI Tennison’s friends and family kept asking her the same thing. She walks out on her own retirement party leaving not a clue.

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As I start my goodbyes (4 months, 32 days, 55 minutes) I get asked that a lot, too. I don’t have the answer. I’m still not sure what I want to accomplish before I leave. There are big happenings coming up at work. Do I give my opinion or just shut up? I decided not to shut up until the retirement clock reads 3 months.

The Bucket List, more Dilbert and Prime Suspect

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It’s really a bit sad how real Dilbert seems to me.  I’m hoping it’s just me lame ducking it to the end, but I hear the frustration around me even in the new hires and that saddens me.  How does one get out of a death spiral?  I tried just putting my foot down already but in face of blatant politicking, I’m just a little pile of poo.  So.  I might as well be Happy Poo!

The Bucket List stars Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson.  Morgan Freeman has such a peaceful voice.  It has the tone of a man who is sure of who he is.  Jack Nicholson plays Jack Nicholson just like he always does.  These two guys meet on the Oncology ward where they are being treated by Rob Morrow (that’s Dr. Rob Morrow, Last Starfighter) for cancer that is in terminal stages.  They decide to fulfill some dreams before they die and make a list.  Since Jack is a kazillionaire (that’s more then a Brazilian, Mr. Bush) they fly to the ends of the earth on his private jet.  There were some slow moments, but all in all it was quite entertaining.  Jack was almost lovable…heh…NOT! But I will rate it 3/5 acorns.  No clives.

I got smart and had both episdoes of Prime Suspect 2 come at the same time.  This case involves a body found buried in the garden of an apartment.  The first suspect confesses on his death bed, but DCI Tennison suspects he is covering up for some one else.  Her boss is trying for a promotion and she wants to be promoted also.  She also has to work with Oswalde, a man she had had a fling with in the past.  I was not disappointed in the second story.  Very intriguing, so I’ve queued up all the rest.

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