Archive for October, 2013

24
Oct
13

i ran, but i couldn’t hide

Yesterday, as usual, I stayed home while the college I work at held their annual “Pink Out”. As you can probably guess, this involves everyone’s wearing pink to support breast cancer awareness. I don’t work on this day because I cannot handle this; it gives me panic attacks. So, I stay home and do things I would do if I were on vacation.

This year however, I had panic attacks anyway. This stemmed from an innocent conversation with a co-worker. Let me say up front that I know this person meant well and is just concerned for me. When I said that I would not be in on Wednesday, s/he asked why. I explained that it was too painful for me and that it caused panic attacks. S/he asked, “Have you sought professional help for this?”. I felt as if someone had slapped me across the face. The “correct” way of dealing with breast cancer has so worked itself into the collective consciousness that my reaction to it is seen as a “problem”. If I had announced that I could not attend a meeting about SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) because I had lost a child in that manner (I did not, but I feel great sorrow for those who have), no one would have said a word. But, because I don’t want to be pink and cheerful over having my quality of life permanently damaged; I need help.

I do NOT need help. I need people to get that there is something wrong with this entire process. In the 1960’s, when I was born, the main treatment for this cancer was removal of breasts. It is completely ridiculous that, almost 50 years later, that is still the standard! Seriously!? FIX THIS! We are not impressed.

If I were to start a charity, I would call it FixThisNow. There would be no t-shirts, mugs or other merchandise. Every penny not needed to keep things running would go straight to independent research not funded by anything but those monies. No corporations, no hospitals, no drug companies. Then, maybe we could get somewhere because no one would have a stake in keeping this disease around.

Women who have had breast cancer are not the problem, regardless of how they chose to cope. Cancer IS the problem and we need unbiased people trying to solve it.–TSG

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16
Oct
13

‘escape plan’ review

Last night, FMP and I attended an advanced showing of the new Sylvester Stallone/Arnold Schwarzenegger film, “Escape Plan”. Predictably, Stallone started a fight, blew something up and escaped from a prison all in the first ten minutes.

Ray Breslin (Stallone) is the co-owner of a firm that specializes in testing prisons to see where the weaknesses in security will allow a prisoner to break out. Shortly after the opening scene, Breslin is back in his office with the rest of his team to discuss a new job offer. A young lady from the CIA offers twice the usual fee if Breslin will help test a new type of prison for people so bad that they need to be “disappeared”. At first, Ray is reluctant to take on the assignment, but his business partner, Lester Clark (Vincent D’Onofrio) talks him into it. The only catch is that no one else on the team can know where Ray is being taken.

Ray is “apprehended” in the street and finds himself in a huge room filled with clear box-like cells guarded by men wearing identical black uniforms and masks. He is introduced to the warden, Willard Hobbs (Jim Caviezel). If you have seen Caviezel in ‘Person of Interest”, you will appreciate his versatility in playing Hobbs, who is eeriely creepy. After being processed, Ray is taken to a cell.

Emil Rottmayer (Schwarzenegger) soon befriends Breslin and the two begin to plan their escape. At one point, Arnie gives an inspired impersonation of a man driven mad by the torture of solitary confinement. All doubts about his skill as an actor should be laid to rest based on this performance alone.

As expected, Breslin and Rottmayer succeed in the end. On the way, though, there are numerous surprise twists that you do not even suspect are coming.

The only reason this film has an R rating appears to be copious use of the F-word, but no more than you would expect from the type of criminal kept here. The violence and gore level are about equal to what can be seen in some prime-time television shows. A mature 13-year-old would probably be okay with this film.

On a five-star scale, I would give this a 5. There was plenty of action for FMP and enough of a plot to keep me happy.–TSG

07
Oct
13

note to self:

People who take two days off from work for “goofing-off purposes” should first make sure the college-aged children have transport.