The World is Still Rich with Opportunity

A few years ago, I came across the quote below made by a reviewer of Richard Carlson’s book, Don’t Worry Make Money, that came out in 1997.         I don’t know the reviewer’s name and never found the review referenced again. But, this was and is an inspiration to me and I have always referred back to it over the years. I have a copy of it on my cubicle at work and on my bathroom wall so I can read it when necessary.

“Do you think that opportunity only knocks once? If you do, Richard Carlson, author of Don’t Worry Make Money, says you’re buying into one of the most perpetuated ‘myths’ in our culture.

Carlson argues that this kind of thing inspires people to do things they really do not want to do. That it is based on a ‘never enough to go around’ mindset that just isn’t true. Thinking that it’s now or never, often encourages bad decision making, for instance, he says. You might take a job you do not want or move to an area that doesn’t really sit well with you.

The world we live in is rich with ever-increasing opportunity, he says. The world is in need of creative people and everyone has their own gifts and talents to offer. You just have to figure out how it’s going to work for you. There are thousands of jobs out there that you can do. There are thousands of business opportunities.

But, Carlson says, first you have to overcome your fear: The fear of not having enough. The fear that you only get one shot and then it’s over.

It’s a big lie. Your life will be filled with great opportunities over and over again.”

On the other hand, you may be a person who has been blessed by some wonderful opportunities. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t more coming your way!

Submitted by Rosa L. Griffin

Lovemaking Preferred

Is love-making the same as sex?   It can be.   Does love-making require sexual intercourse?   Usually it occurs but it is not always required if lovemaking is done right.

Lovemaking means more than just a “wham-bam-thank you-mam or -sir” kind of interaction although that is acceptable on occasion.  WBTYMOS has its place but when you have the time, do it right.  Putting more time in makes it interesting.   Lovemaking could take hours.

I have known men who only performed “wham-bam” consistently without lovemaking or foreplay at all.   But I have also been driven into a frenzy by men who knew how to make love or preferred long sexual foreplay.   I prefer love-making the majority of the time.

It can start with a look, a smell, a touch, a laugh, a giggle, a taste, a voice, a written message, a dance, etc.—things that attract you to another person.  Get to know the person by phone calls, text messages, in person, etc.   Lovemaking should be employed specifically the way you and the person to whom you are attracted like it.  

Lovemaking is multi-faceted:  sucking, licking, touching, breathing in ear, fingering various openings on the body, body to body, toes inserted into interesting places, etc.  Any of these actions can be done separately or in combination.   Spooning (holding each other both in the same direction as spoons laid sideways, cuddling, etc.) “may have the surprising ability to reduce pain…helps in releasing feel-good hormones which in turn can reduce stress levels in both partners.”  (“Spooning—What is Spooning & Its Secret Benefits for Your Health”, https://www.nectarsleep.co.uk/blog, April 15, 2019.)

Men and women who probably have the best sex are those who have mastered lovemaking. Some people appreciate variety using edible things during sex like strawberries, whipped cream, edible lubricants, edible underwear, etc., as a change of pace or variety.  As in the past, people are still having sex in cars, on a bed, on the floor, on a billiard table, etc.   Let your imagination run wild, but safely.   For example, sex while paragliding or on a ski lift might be too dangerous for anyone except the fictional James Bond.

No Strings Attached (NSA) sex is another term for “having sex with nothing bonding the two parties together.  There is a culture of ‘hooking up’ that has become popular among college students and young adults”.  “No Stings Attached Sex (NSA): Can Women Really Do It”,   https://www.psychologytoday.com, November 20, 2011.  The movie that comes to mind is “No Strings Attached”, 2011, with Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher.  The woman had no trouble having no strings attached.

Friends with benefits (FWB) is “commonly defined as a sexual relationship between two people where the primary basis of the relationship is sex with no expectations of a romantic relationship or other commitment” like marriage or living together. “Friends With Benefits (FWB)—What Does It Really Mean”, https://www.justbewild.com, September 6, 2019.   The movie that comes to mind is “Friends with Benefits”, 2011, starring Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake.   Also, the movie “Mistrust” 2018 comes to mind, starring Jane Seymour, Parker Stevenson (great to see him), Patrick Bristow, etc.  However, it could have had a better title or it was given that title just to spark interest.

There are similarities between NSA and FWB, but I find that things can be added to the agreement such as treating each other to trips and vacations, being available to escort and pick each other up from doctor visits or hospital stays and visiting each other’s homes for sex which may or may not become long-term relationships.  One can have all the bells and whistles with or without marriage.  For example, Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell had been together without marriage since 1983.

Long Term Relationship (LTR) is the ultimate goal for some.  LTR implies that two people want only each other, a joint home, and possibly children.  “21 Bits of Relationship Advice from People in Long-Lasting Relationships”, Andy Golder, https://www.buzzfeed.com/,  January 6, 2019.   “What Makes a Relationship Last Long”, Andrew Ferebee, 3X Bestselling Dating Author/Men’s Relationship Coach/Founder of Knowledge for Men, Quora (Report), https://www.quora.com/, August 7, 2017.   

The comedic “Thin Man” detective movies (1934-1947) come to mind starring Myrna Loy and William Powell in a happy marriage that is always in physical and emotional danger.   Also, the animated Pixar film “Up” specifically shows how the elderly husband met his wife beginning in childhood and stayed with her until she died, even trying to get their house to the one spot they had been promising each other to move to for years—from happy marriage to dangerous adventure.

Final thought—If you are strangers to each other, remember communicable and sexually transmitted diseases existed before Coronavirus COVID-19, so social distance, wash hands, and wear a mask.   However, on the news recently, I saw a man in a bubble walking with a new girlfriend and another man who was wooing a woman from separate rooftops. This proves that new relationships can be started even in this stressful time.  “A Guide to Sex and Love in the Time of Covid-19”, https://www.healthline.com, Gabrielle Kassel, March 21, 2020.

Healthline.com is an excellent source for anything to do with health.   That website covers a variety of topics like “Are There Any Side Effects of Sexual Activity?”, Gabrielle Kassel, June 5, 2020; “Everything to Know about Male Genitalia”, Jill Seladi-Schulman, June 5, 2020; and “20 Reasons You Should Be Spooning, Variations to Consider and More”, Lauren Sharkey, November 22, 2019, to name a few.

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

Blog Review of Movie, It Comes at Night (2017)

Although the movie is basically seen through the eyes of a teenager, it is very relatable to today.   A family of four is isolated in a house in a wooded area.   The family has a radio, a water source, a food source, and weapons.   But there is very little national news to go on. 

The grandfather becomes sick with a mysterious disease with icky stuff dripping from his mouth. They don’t even realize that there is a contagion or I think they would have worn masks and gloves to take the grandfather outside the home and gotten rid of his belongings as well.  Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

Will, a stranger (Christopher Abbott) breaks into their house for food and water.    Once they are convinced that he is not trying to kill them, Paul the father (Joel Edgerton) and Sarah the mother (Carmen Ejogo) agree that the stranger and his wife Kim (Riley Keough) and toddler Andrew (Griffin Faulkner) can come and stay.   When Paul and Will go to bring Will’s family to Paul’s house, they are attacked along the route by armed men and survive the encounter.

Once Will’s family is brought back, strange things start happening and Paul thinks that one of the invited strangers is doing things like killing his dog or leaving the door unsecured at night.   Paul’s solution to trouble is to put the strangers out again to fend for themselves but kills them instead.   Also, we find out through a flashback that Paul had shot and buried the grandfather thinking this would get rid of the sickness.  However, he kept the bed that the grandfather had been sick in.

But it turns out that Paul and Sarah’s teenage son Travis (Kelvin Harrison, Jr.) would have dreams and do mysterious things at night, unknown even to himself.   And it is discovered that the son also has the contagion, which is the reason why he is doing strange things.

And, in the end, the husband and wife are left not knowing what they should do next.   Have they too been contaminated or are they ok?   Are the water source and the food supply uncontaminated?

This movie was as intense as A Quiet Place (2018) and it had not a dull moment.   It Comes by Night is fast-paced and the flash backs make sense.   This movie is labeled Horror/Mystery but borders on the supernatural in atmosphere.  

I saw Joel Edgerton in the movies Loving and Red Sparrow. 

I saw Carmen Ejogo in the movies Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, etc.

I saw Kelvin Harrison, Jr. in the movie Luce.   I understand that he is in the movie Mudbound.   I read the excellent book Mudbound, but I have not seen that movie yet.

You have got to hear Riley Keough’s scream toward the end of the movie.   It will break your heart.  Also, Riley is singers-songwriters Lisa Marie Pressley and Danny Keough’s daughter. The movie was directed by Trey Edward Shults.

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

More Tidbits

‘‘’Seismic’ Events and Loss Have Shaped US History: World Wars to 9/11— Catastrophe Has Long Driven Social Change”, by Marco della Cava, USA Today, Weekend, April 17-19, 2020, 1A.

“The virus is a modern-day terrorist attack on us all, so if I lost my father or friend to 9/11 or Oklahoma City or COVID-19, the loss is the same,” Watkins says.  “The sacrifice is the same.”

“Whenever we go through these national tragedies, people have to have a chance to rebuild their lives and move forward,” Watkins says. “So many are dying now, but we have to make the very best of the very worst.”

“We might take baby steps together, and maybe there will be mistakes on both sides of the political aisle.  But we should all be working together now for America.”

Kari Watkins, Executive Director, Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

“Keeping Calm in Turbulent Times” by Margaret Foster, The Beacon in Focus for People over 50, Vol. 17, No. 5, p.1, 7.

“We’re all having anxiety about the future,” said Dr. Sally Winston, co-founder of the Anxiety and Stress Disorders Institute of Maryland, located on the Sheppard Pratt campus.

“Acknowledge your emotions.  What you resist, persists (Carl Jung).  Turning on the radio to drown out your thoughts is distraction which doesn’t work for long.  The other way is to say, while one part of my mind is worrying, I might as well listen to music.  It helps to acknowledge fear, anger, or confusion.”

“Stay in touch with others.  Pick up the phone and call a friend.   Learn some video chat programs that you can use on your smartphone, tablet, or computer.   Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger and WeChat are free.   Many churches are live-streaming services.”  [Someone did a program on letter writing and journaling is also helpful.   I keep a daily diary as a mental activity.]

“Go on a news diet.   Restrict your news-gathering time” especially if it stresses you out.   [I look at one news cast a day and spend no more than an hour on Twitter every other day.]

“Try for mindfulness (staying in the present moment).   Pause for self-reflection.  When you are worrying, there’s a ‘what if’ mindset in which you are in the future.  Try to do something that is sensory or active.”   [I listen to an opera called the Flower Duet-Lakmè by Lèo Delibes which is two sopranos singing to each other.  It is beautiful and restful.]

“Move your body.  Exercise has therapeutic and physical benefits.  Follow a free exercise video on YouTube.”  [I have attended a Tai Chi for Better Balance class at a senior center for nearly four years.   It is slow movement and you’ll find great company and make friends when things get back to normal.   I also have an exercise video called Aging Backwards 3 Essentrics by Miranda Esmonde-White which is slow stretching.  It also includes chair exercises (beginner-beginner) for those who have a hard time moving at all.]

“How to get help.    Extreme anxiety or depression?   Reach out to a mental health professional at the Anxiety and Stress Disorders Institute of Maryland 410-938-8449.   Or read Winston’s Psychology Today column, “Living with a Sticky Mind”, at bit.ly/worrytips.   In Baltimore City, call the city’s free Crisis, Information, and Referral Line at 410-433-5175.”

Check out the Beacon for the details of the article from the news stand or online at www.thebeaconnewspapers.com.   “How are you faring?” p.2 “The undeniable loss of experiences.  Enjoyment is seriously lessened.”   [The Beacon newspaper itself can also have a calming effect with the variety of topics it covers each issue.]

“These 25 Photos Show Why Things Were Designed the Way They Were”, by John Poe, Fetch Sport, April 15, 2020, online.

For example—the fifth pocket on jeans; ridges on the edges of corners; lines on outside of Solo Cups; cap holes on pens; loops on the grocery cart; notebook margins; dimples on golf balls; the arrow next to the gas gauge; the secret message in the exit sign; free fabric in new clothes; and so much more.

“Quaran-Stream”, by Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly, May 2020, pp.50-51.

“People—or most of us, at least—need people.”

“…pop culture is often what’s keeping us sane, from one uncertain day to the next.”

“So, will these methods of consumption become the new normal?”

“Robert Thompson, a professor of pop culture at Syracuse University, says ‘There were all these other ways that [content] used to be delivered to us, and now it’s one single means of delivery, and that is online, to whatever device you feel like looking at it with…  And once you’ve learned to stream stuff—what you want to watch, when you want to watch it—it’s hard to go back.’”

[I still have magazines delivered to me.  Streaming to a phone can be hard on the eyes.  A few of Barbara Streisand’s songs come to mind: “The Way We Were”, “People” (Needing People) and “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?”.]

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

Did you know? Surgeon General of the United States

Did you know we have a current Surgeon General of the United States?   I have to admit that I did not.  Mainly because he just started talking on television and when I finally saw him behind President 45’s podium in the correspondents’ press room, he was not talking.   The Surgeon Generals of the past seemed to have no problem commenting on medical things without a podium.

Dr. Jerome Michael Adams is our 20th Surgeon General, Vice Admiral, MD, MPH-HHS.gov, since 2017.   He is an Associate Professor of Anesthesia.   He is considered our Nation’s Doctor.   His mission is to advance the health of the American people.  The motto is “better health through better partnerships”.   He is to ensure that we are given the best information available regarding medical circumstances.  Prior to becoming Surgeon General, he served as the Indiana State Health Commissioner, from 2014 to 2017.

Generally, the SGs salary is $379,590 a year or $182 per hour.   A Doctorate Degree is the highest education required to become a licensed physician, 4-year undergraduate degree, and 3 years of medical school and residency.

I would have thought that Dr. Adams would have been spearheading the efforts against the Coronavirus, not Vice President Mike Pence.  Dr. Adams should also be wearing a mask when he is at the podium no matter who else does not.   Sorry to hear that he was hospitalized recently.

Source: 

Wikipedia

Moira McCarthy, “Anesthesiologists Are Vital in the COVID-19 Fight:  The Toll It Takes”, Healthline.com, April 19, 2020.

@JeromeAdamsMD, medicine.iu.edu (Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor of Anesthesia)

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

Something Positive Found on Twitter shared by Lucifansgroup1

One of the most hopeful things I’ve seen lately on Twitter during the Coronavirus (COVID-19):

“The things that will not be cancelled:

+ Conversations

+ Relationships

+ Love

+ Songs

+ Reading

+ Self-care

+ Hope

May we lean into the good stuff that remains. 

From TWLOHA, To Write Love on Her Arms”

Update:

“Founder Opens Up About His Own Mental Health Journey”, founder Jamie Tworkowski of the organization To Write Love on Her Arms said that “it’s ok to ask for help” and discussed “the value of self care” among many other topics. https://www.healthline.com, written by Healthline Editorial Team, December 20, 2019.

[As any of us who have been on Twitter know, it contains good sources of information as well as hateful rhetoric.   Although I have only been on Twitter for a month, I commiserated with one of our front-line doctors who talked about the lack of protective supplies, etc. Then, some “nasty” person condemned the doctor and myself and others as whiners and we ended up being called slaves along with the doctor.   It was the first and last time I will comment to a negative person on Twitter.]

(I inserted the + sign above)

Submitted by Rosa L. Griffin

Review of X-Files tv show

1993-2018, 11 seasons, 208 episodes, longest running science fiction series in American network tv history, 23 various writers including David Duchovny. Network:  Fox Broadcasting Company.

Conspiracy theorist Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and medical doctor Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) are FBI Special Agents assigned to the X-Files unit, which handles cases that no one else wants because they do not fit into any usual category of crime.

You got your supernatural, science fiction including space aliens, mysterious snitches, Illuminati-type secret organizations like the Syndicate, government schemes, humor like Mulder country line-dancing under the influence (“Babylon”, seas. 10, ep. 5), Native American folklore and their terrible treatment (“Shapes”, seas. 1, ep. 19; “Anasazi”, seas. 2, ep. 25), and mostly human monsters like the Smoking Man.

My five favorite episodes have to do with eating gross things:

“Squeeze”, Season 1, episode 3, air date 9/24/93

This is our introduction to Eugene Victor Tooms (Doug Hutchison), a serial killer who has been alive for 90 years in which he hibernates every few years only to come back out to eat a few live peoples’ livers before hunkering down again. He is caught by Mulder and Scully and imprisoned in a mental facility, but it wasn’t long until he escaped because he could squeeze through vents and chimneys to get his prey.   His hole in the wall for sleeping was nasty and oozing.

Written by Glen Morgan and James Wong; directed by Harry Longstreet and Michael Katleman.

“Tooms”, Season 1, episode 21, air date 4/22/94 

Eugene Victor Tooms is back with a vengeance against Scully, squeezing through her bathroom vent.  He should have left well enough alone and moved to another state. Suffice it to say, he will not be bothering anyone else for their liver.

Written by Glen Morgan and James Wong; directed by David Nutter.

“Humbug”, Season 2, episode 20, air date 3/31/95

A drunken circus performer (Vincent Schiavelli) has a symbiotic brother inside of him as part of a circus act. I think you might drink too if you had to carry your brother inside you everywhere and always.    However, his drunken circus brother is dying so his symbiotic host brother is constantly escaping from his drunken brother trying to find a replacement host before it is too late. He ends up murdering other people with whom he is not compatible.   And, of course, Scully and Mulder are called in on the case. But, before they can solve the case, the symbiot finds the perfect host to get into but is eaten by Conundrum (the Enigma), the potential host, his fellow circus performer who is a flesh eater.  Not for the squeamish, especially the circus performer pulling needles through his body parts.

Written by Darin Morgan and directed by Kim Manners.

“Leonard Betts”, Season 4, Episode 12, air date 1/26/97.

Leonard Betts/Albert Tanner (Paul McCrane) was a paramedic who was decapitated in an accident. His head was put into a vat of waste and his body grew a new head at home.  This is when he became Albert Tanner working at a hospital and started killing people to eat their cancerous organs. I felt sorry for him because it seemed to me that he could have subsisted on the cancerous organs that hospitals were throwing away anyway, but no, I guess he liked his organs fresh.

Written by Vince Gilligan, John Shiban, and Frank Spotnitz; directed by Kim Manners.

“The Gift”, Season 8, Episode 11, air date 2/4/01

Skinner and FBI Special Agent John Doggett (Robert Patrick) get to investigate the disappearance of Mulder. Another sickness eater (soul eater played by Jordan Marder) was required by his town to eat their diseases. And this guy was forced at gunpoint to perform this free labor which affected his body adversely for decades.    Not for the squeamish either because his body displayed the sickness he absorbed. He was the victim in this episode who saved Mulder’s life.

Written by Frank Spotnitz and directed by Kim Manners.

Sure, there were a few flaws in the plots, but I was never disappointed. Fox believed that his sister was abducted by aliens, and Scully depended on her medical skill and her faith. I would holler at the screen especially when they would split up inside a dark dangerous building or go somewhere by themselves without a partner. Both were thrown together by their FBI Assistant Director Walter Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) who was skeptical at first, but eventually had their backs.

“Fresh Bones”, Season 2, episode 4, 1995 was an episode that I could relate to today.

Haitian people were being held longer than necessary to be sent back to their native country because the commander secretly wanted to learn the secret of voodoo at any cost. He had begun studying voodoo when he was stationed in Haiti many years before. These are adults in cages, and the only child is a ghost. There is no press and no third-party monitoring. This story really relates to today’s situation of immigrant children in cages in the U.S. today where even the guards say, “they were never made to handle this type of prisoner”.

Written by Chris Carter (Creator) and Howard Gordon; directed by Rob Bowman. Chris Carter also had a horror series, “Millenium”, (one of the executive producers) which I intend to look up.

Main characters

Special Agent Fox Mulder (David Duchovny also in Return to Me, Zoolander, Chaplin, Red Shoe Diaries, The Craft, etc.)

Special Agent Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson also in American Gods, Bleak House, Great Expectations, etc.)

FBI Assistant Director Walter Skinner (Mitch Pileggi also in Supernatural, Shocker, Sons of Anarchy, Basic Instinct, Flash of Genius, Knight Rider, Transformers: the last knight, Vampire in Brooklyn, etc.)

Special Agent John Doggett (Robert Patrick also in Terminator 2, Walk the Line, Trueblood, Bridge to Terabithia, Spy Kids, Die Hard 2, Endless Love, The Faculty, Last Action Hero, etc.)

Special Agent Monica Reyes (Annabeth Gish also in Wyatt Earp, Bag of Bones, etc.)

Victims

The drunken brother in Humbug (Vincent Schiavelli also in Ghost, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Batman Returns, Amadeus, The People vs. Larry Flynt, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai, Night Shift, Escape to Witch Mountain, The Beautician and the Beast, etc.)

Leonard Betts/Albert Tanner (Paul McCrane, also in Rocky II, Fame, Robo Cop, The Shawshank Redemption, ER, 24, Ugly Betty, CSI, etc.)

Soul eater in The Gift (Jordan Marder also in American History X, Virtuosity, L.A. Confidential, etc.)

Snitches/Villains

Eugene Victor Tooms (Doug Hutchison, also in the Green Mile, The Lawnmower Man, A Time to Kill, Con Air, Batman and Robin, Shaft, etc.)

The Smoking Man (William B. Davis, also in The Messengers, The Dead Zone, etc.).

Deep Throat (Jerry Hardin, also in Cujo, The Firm, Big Trouble in Little China, Roots: The Gift, Are We There Yet? etc.)

X (Steven Williams, also in Cooley High, Route 666, 21 Jump Street, The Equalizer, Blues Brothers, Supernatural, etc.),

Well-Manicured Man (John Neville, also in Fifth Element, Billy Budd, etc.)

Alex Krycek (Nicholas Lea)

[TV shows and movies mentioned are ones that I have seen the actors in.]

Thank you to all the stunt people, the special effects makeup people, and the CGI computer people who helped make this series successful. I thoroughly enjoyed the series so much over the years that I recently borrowed the whole series from the public library—one season at a time.

Other sources:

Wikipedia

Devon Maloney, “The 10 Most Embarrassing X-File Episodes”, Vulture, Vulture Lists, January 18, 2016.

Ira Madison III, “Every Episode of the X-Files, Ranked from Worst to Best”, Vulture, January 22, 2016. (For some of these he did not explain what the episode was about but just gave it a pass or fail.)

Kimberly Roots, “The X-Files: A Deep Dive into Mulder and Scully’s Love Story (Which Began Waaaay Before You Thought It Did)”, TVLine.com, April 24, 2020

Meg Downey, “49 Actors You Forgot Were on X-Files”, Gamespot.com/amp-ga…, April 30, 2020.

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

TIDBITS

Drug Recalls

Check FDA’s online list of recalled drugs at https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drugsafety/drugrecalls or FDA Consumer line at 888-INFO-FDA and sign up for alerts.   888-463-6332 for updates.fda.gov/subscription management.

Sleep

Elle Hunt, (Sleep) “Shuteye and Sleep Hygiene: The Truth About Why You Keep Waking up at 3 a.m.”, The Guardian, February 17, 2020.

Rosa’s Opinion–What Makes a Good President

A good president cares about the world and all its people.

A president is only as good as the people she or he can rely on and the structure she or he has under them.    Otherwise, it’s just a matter of time before he or she will crumble.

That’s where allies come in because a president of one country can’t do it all.

A president is known by the company he keeps—good or bad.   It’s been proven time and time again.

“What’s Eating America”

Andrew Zimmern, American chef, is a man of heartfelt convictions.   He came up with a 5-part series recently on MSNBC entitled “What’s Eating America” on Sunday nights at 9 p.m.   The series includes the topics of Immigration, Climate Change, Addiction, Voting Rights, and Healthcare.    I watched the episodes on Immigration (in which he was accompanied by José Andrés, a fellow award-winning chef and humanitarian) and Voting Rights, and I hope to watch the fifth one on Healthcare on March 15.

If they repeat the series (and I hope they do), I will watch the ones that I missed—Climate Change and Addiction.   I know I could have DVR’d them, but my skills at that need improvement.  

This is the same man who starred on the series, “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern”.   Because I had seen some of that series, I wasn’t going to watch “What’s Eating America” because I figured it would be more of the same.

I appreciate that the results of the episodes I’ve seen which were well-reported and stuffed with pertinent information and locales across America.   I am so proud of his efforts.

Zawn Villines, “What is a Fecal Transplant?  Everything You Need to Know”, medicalnewstoday.com, May 8, 2019.

Here’s something I had never heard of.    And, don’t soon want to hear of it again.

“A doctor transplants feces from a healthy donor into another person to restore the balance of bacteria in their gut.  It may help treat gastrointestinal infection, etc.   Antibiotics destroy good as well as bad bacteria.  Other names the procedure goes under:  bacteriotherapy, fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), etc.”

There’s something I’d like to implant fecally, but “won’t touch that”!

Review of movie, Little Woods (2018)

The movie is about what poor people have to do to make it in an impoverished rural area.     It was filmed in North Dakota and Canada.   Farming is North Dakota’s state industry.  The movie is set in a rural area inspired by Williston, North Dakota.   It is a documentary on poverty and drug abuse.

Ollie’s (played by Tessa Thompson) downhill spiral started when she had to cross into Canada at North Dakota’s border to get discounted prescription medicine for her dying mother, which got her caught up in the drug trade.   After some jail time and eventual parole, she makes herself content with providing laundry services and selling home-made sandwiches and coffee to workers who constantly ask her for pain pills.   She turns them all down because she is trying to get enough money to keep the home that she and her mother lived in before she gets evicted.  No one was making house payments for months.  I wonder why her homeless sister Deb didn’t move back in with Ollie to help with expenses.  Perhaps there was a past troubling relationship with her mother or Ollie.

Her sister Deb (played by Lily James) already has a child by her husband Ian (played by James Badge Dale) who appears to be living in some kind of group home himself, and she gets pregnant a second time.    Deb was already living in an abandoned RV in a superstore parking lot, thinking that the notices repeatedly posted on the RV didn’t mean that she had to move any time soon.    So, Deb decides that she needs an abortion because her first child’s father already is not taking care of that child—the reason she was living in an abandoned RV in the first place I assume.  But she is told that an abortion would cost $8,000 without health insurance.  Deb doesn’t have health insurance. 

Tessa’s character Ollie gets back into the drug trade to help her sister and keep her mother’s house so she herself will have a place to live.   Drug dealing is something she promised herself she would never do again because she’s on parole after doing it for her mother.   But now she has to do it again to get her unlucky sister out of trouble.   Talk about being between a rock and a hard place.

To top it off, Bill, the local drug dealer (played by Luke Kirby) fronts her the money for the drugs so she can give him a cut of her business and, basically, she ends up working for him.   After arriving in Canada, her sister was nearly raped trying to get an illegal ID so she can get a free abortion in Canada.   And, she and her sister were nearly arrested by a Canadian policeman for loitering.  To top it off, Deb brought her child with them on the trip.   He was sleeping in a cold car.   Then, Ollie’s connection in Canada kept Deb’s child while Ollie took her sister to enroll in a program that would allow her to get the abortion. Opioids are the kind of drugs she purchases for average working people who need to work while in pain in jobs with no benefits or health insurance.   Ollie makes her former drug connection and gets the opioids that the American workers need. 

Tessa’s character Ollie can’t keep the money in her mother’s house because her parole officer makes regular searches of her home as part of her parole, so her sister volunteers to keep the money in the trailer.    I’m sure you can guess that the inevitable happened with the trailer.

The only bright spot (thank God there is one) is when Tessa’s character gets interviewed for a job through the efforts of her parole officer (played by Lance Reddick).   I found myself cussing out the characters trying to get them to avoid the obvious mire into which they were sinking, much like a horror movie.   I was glad when the horror of the movie ended.  I hoped that things would turn around for them.   At the end of the movie, it was still questionable whether they would survive.

Although the movie was intense—wrong step after wrong step—Tessa Thompson and Lily James gave award-winning performances.   Tessa Thompson I have seen in many things (Men in Black International, Furlough, Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Endgame, etc.), but she really displays the hopelessness of the situation she continues to get into just to help her family.   The half-sister played by Lily James is stuck in a bad lifestyle of her own making although we aren’t told why she’s not with her husband.   Lily James I know from the Downton Abbey television show, where I saw her for the first time.   Then I saw her in Cinderella and Mama Mia 2. 

The songs in the movie are so solemn because there is not much happiness in this movie.   Nia DaCosta is the writer and director.    Although watching this movie was like watching an inevitable accident that you can’t turn your eyes away from, I enjoyed the movie.   Official site:  https://www.littlewoodsmovie.com.

Other sources:

Melissa Healy, “How Factory Closings May Have Fed Opioid Crisis:  Study Finds More Overdoses in Areas Hit by Loss of Auto Jobs”, Baltimore Sun, SunPlus, Thursday, February 6, 2020.   The auto industry closing of factories have influenced drug use.  

Peter Debruge, “’Little Woods’ Review:  Nia DaCosta’s Tough, North Dakota-Set Debut”, https://variety.com/film/reviews, April 19, 2019.   I quote from this Variety review: “So much of the recent political debate has focused on the United States’ southern border, and the threat of illegal drugs and criminals filtering up through Mexico.  But what of the north, where Americans traffic opiates and prescription pills from Canada across a border that runs nearly three times as long?” 

Deborah Rudacille, “Photos:  What Bethlehem Steel Meant to Baltimore; In Baltimore, Visions of Life After Steel”, May 15, 2019, Citylab.com.    I would also say the loss of manufacturing jobs period influenced drug use, including the closing of Sparrows Point’s Bethlehem Steel in 2012 in Maryland.

Written by Rosa L. Griffin 

Review of book, Sula, by Toni Morrison

I have finally read a book by Toni Morrison.    It was not hard to read, and she has a multitude of interesting characters to dig into.   The way she tells the story will have you hypnotized and entertained.   Her book is realistic about an isolated black town in Ohio which could still exist today.   The town was built upon a literally rocky hill called the Bottom that could not guarantee any crops—not like the fertile valley below in which white people lived.

Her book, Sula, begins with a black veteran of World War I who is released from a military hospital.  The doctors fixed his physical wounds, but not his mental wounds from seeing a fellow soldier’s face be blown off in front of him.   We used to call that condition shell-shocked when I was growing up, but now it’s called PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and is treatable.   His character, Shadrack, plays a role throughout the book, especially in establishing an annual National Suicide Day which people’s lives revolve around like it’s an official holiday.

There are various people with various issues in this small segregated town uphill from wealthier white Medallion City below.   As in all groups, there are good and bad people and others who are a little of both.   It is the story of two families:   Eva’s family that gave birth to Nel and Cecile Sabat’s family that gave birth to Sula.

Eva married an unfaithful philandering man who left her to feed 3 children in the dead of winter.  And, since there was no aid to help her, she had to depend on her neighbors’ help to keep her children alive until she could find some income.    She ended up leaving her children with a neighbor temporarily (10 months) until she found income as a result of a loss of one leg.    Eva was able to secure her family’s future by having a house built in which she could have paying boarders while restricting herself to the fourth floor.  

Hannah, her oldest daughter, a free spirit who kept Eva’s house in the form of cooking and cleaning and taking care of her own daughter, Sula, was known for having sex with every man in town—married and unmarried, but she never took ownership of the men which pleased their spouses.   Eva’s young son, Plum, went away and came back a cocaine addict.

Cecile Sabat had a daughter, Rochelle, who became a prostitute in a house of ill repute, and had one daughter, Helene, who her grandmother Cecile got as far away from Helene’s mother as she could.   Helene ended up marrying an older man, Henry, who she seldom saw because he was a merchant marine.   Henry treated Helene well and gave her what he could.   She was content to have one child, Nel.

Nel ended up being friends with Sula as a child.  Sula caused a little boy to drown while she and Nel watched.  They got away with that crime.    When Sula left town, Nel was despondent, but eventually got married.

However, when Sula returned to town, she had the same reputation as her mother Hannah except Sula, instead of tossing the men back, she possessed them so much that they didn’t want to go back to their wives after she ditched them.   The townswomen hated her for it because they lost their husbands when Sula didn’t want them anymore.   This was Sula’s attempt to feel love.

Sula was a sociopath and psychopath to me, but today it’s called antisocial personality disorder.   According to WebMD, she had a “poor inner sense of right and wrong” nor could she “seem to understand or share another person’s feelings”.   Sula had no conscience much like a psychopath would and a weak conscience like a sociopath.   Both lack empathy to know how another person feels.

Sula used her beautiful façade to attract men just as a flower attracts bees.   She was even found by her friend Nel having sex with Nel’s husband in Nel’s house which was the death of their friendship, and her husband left Nel just as the other husbands left their wives because of Sula’s rejections.   She told Nel that she didn’t think Nel would mind if Sula had sex with Nel’s husband.   I rest my case.

However, when Sula finally found a man she could love, I believe she thought she had a lot in common with him.   But, as soon as he found out she was in love with him, he fled the town just as she would have.   I really enjoyed the book.   There was never a dull moment in the Bottom.

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

“56 Ending or Canceled TV Shows for 2019-20 season”, www.tvseriesfinale.com

Review of movie, Moms’ Night Out (2014)

I saw this movie on DVD from the public library.

This movie is about moms who are stressed to the point of violent acts or suicide, but it’s a comedy.   I was nearly stressed out in watching the movie myself because I thought it was going to turn into a horror movie, but I had to continue to watch to see how it came out.   All of the moms have issues, not unlike mothers today, and the issues revolved around their husbands and children.

The main mom Allyson (Sarah Drew) swears she can’t do anything right in trying to raise three small children with her husband Dr. Sean (Sean Astin), who can’t understand why there is such a problem.  Even with his wife in hysterics almost daily, he can’t understand why.   She only came up for air once when her little girl had made crayon drawings on the wall and she decided to put frames around them.   I thought she would continue to calm down then, but, no, she fussed out someone at a restaurant, etc., on her night out.  I thought she should go to counseling along with her husband and then maybe her husband would really be able to see her side.

Mom Sondra (Patricia Heaton) thinks she has to be perfect at all times in her role as a pastor’s wife (husband Ray played by Alex Kendrick), and be the correctional officer over their one daughter at the rebellious teenage age.    I felt most sorry for the pastor’s wife who had to be “on” all the time no matter where she went.   Everyone in her husband’s flock, the other moms, her neighborhood, and the world at large used her for their confessor, therapist, etc., and she had no one to confide in, even her busy husband.

Mom Izzy (Andrea Logan White) is actually the calmest of the group of moms but is stressed thinking that she may be pregnant with a third child with her usually hysterical husband (Robert Amaya).   Here’s where the roles are reversed.  The husband is like Allyson in that he feels he can’t do anything right with his children.

Although the husbands don’t have a clue about the plight of their wives, the voices of reason are the men in the movie, except for Izzy’s husband.   Even a male single friend, Kevin (Kevin Downes) was also the voice of reason in his calmness in any situation to which he applied his own solutions.

That tall drink of water, Bones (Trace Atkins), biker/tattoo shop owner, gave Allyson some good advice when the other two mothers were arrested.    She finally had a chance to calm down while waiting for the police to release the other two moms.   Bones spoke things God must have put on his heart to tell her about not trying to be perfect in her life, but to calm down, etc.   The thing is he couldn’t remember what he had told her after the other moms were released.

In spite of the hysterics, the movie is very well made.    I enjoyed it once I got de-stressed.   It was directed by the Erwin Brothers (Andrew and John), young guys with a lot of energy.   Half the actors were producers.

Written by Rosa L. Griffin