Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The film Jackie got me in my gut.

I was too young in 1963 to fully understand or appreciate the events surrounding the Kennedy assassination. When Oswald was shot by Ruby on national television, I knew I wasn't watching a TV drama but it didn't affect me the way it did the adults in my family. When the funeral was televised, I dutifully watched every minute because my parents did and families did things together.  

These memories always come to mind every year on November 23 when we are reminded that a president was assassinated. What doesn't surface very often is the fact that this killing happened to a family; real people lost a husband, father, son, brother.

Most people assume that Jackie grieved. Of course she did. But we had no way of knowing how the shooting affected her because we only saw the public face she stoically wore. Thanks to Noah Oppenheim's script, we get a glimpse of those tortuous four days and I was forced to think about Jackie as a real person. My breath caught in my throat when I thought about how it would feel to have your husband's blood spatter your face and his mangled head lay in your lap. That stained pink suit took on new meaning. Jackie suffered from an unbelievably traumatic event long before any of us had heard of PTSD. 

The movie addresses but doesn't dwell on the politics that surrounded her. It looks at but doesn't focus on the relationship between Jack and Jackie. Instead, it follows her, an individual and separate from her husband. With her, we walk through the dark days after the shooting and begin to see a reason person who laughed, cried, and got seriously angry.  

Granted this is fiction but it is fiction based on fact. Oppenheim did extensive research and used letters Jackie wrote in the year following the assassination as a basis for the story. This is a must-see movie because it provides us with a view of history from a different angle and that is always a good thing. We must never assume we know all there is to know about any watching Jackie proved.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

I haven't posted in quite some time - primarily because family matters have kept me occupied.  On Thanksgiving Day, we have a tradition of listing 10 things for which we are grateful in the current year, not including family or friends.  I decided to share mine and hope you have no trouble compiling your own list.

Mindful that I must be thankful for ALL things, I guess I am thankful for the ugliness exposed by this election.  We need to remember that these differences have existed since the time of the founding fathers. This nation was built on compromise (otherwise the nation's capital would be in New York City, not Washington DC) and it is compromise that has kept us going - in spite of those differences and our constantly changing population. Neither side is completely right or completely wrong. My prayer is that our elected representatives keep that in mind as they do their work - locally and nationally.

I am able to consider retirement options. Many don’t have that luxury.  I won't be able to afford a trip to Europe or buy a vacation home in Florida but I won't be eating dog food either.  

My boss may make me crazy sometimes but I have a job, I don't have a long commute, I generally like the work, and I am paid for what I do.  Very few can say the same.

It may seem like an odd destination but I had a good time in Cincinnati this summer. The city is beautiful and there is plenty to do. It was easy to see why people like it.

We had a very successful garage sale. I was happy to be able to help a friend get rid of so much of her clutter while also getting rid of some of mine.

Three cheers for skilled trades people - the HVAC guy, the electrician, the painter, the plumber & all the others who make our life easier.  Thank goodness not everyone wants to be an accountant or an attorney.

I’ve read some good books this year, including Chernow's biography of Hamilton (which led to the next point on my list). I already have several titles on my to-read list for next year.  And I love movies.  I can’t wait for 2017, which I believe will be better than 2016. The only film of real note this year - Zootopia.

Specifically for 2016 - the soundtrack from Hamilton. The quality and scope of the music was a total surprise.  We can't afford tickets but we borrowed the CDs from a friend.  Otherwise, music in general. I love most genres. There is always something to listen to that matches my mood…or improves it if that’s what I need. 

About 35 years ago, my brother told us 2-inch thick televisions would hang on the wall and we would be able to access any programming we wanted to see.  It took longer than he anticipated but here we are with skinny TVs and video streaming.  I am particularly thankful for Acorn TV. Thanks to its wealth of programming, we didn’t have to suffer through any political commercials or shows.  We always had worthwhile alternatives.

I am so grateful that most people living in the western world, including me, generally live in peace.   While no place is completely safe or strife-free, I cannot image how horrid it would be to live or work in one of the many places in this world where war rages continually.  I am also thankful for those who serve their communities and their nations in an effort to aid and protect.

So that's my list.  Happy Thanksgiving to all my fans and friends in the US and belatedly to those in Canada.  To everyone else - I hope you are able to create a list for yourself, no matter what day it is.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Windows10 Broke My Computer

Did Windows10 take over your computer recently?  Are you one of the millions of victims?   Were you able to escape it successfully or did you end up paying hundreds of dollars to an IT specialist to solve whatever problems that software created?  It seems this affected everyone we know in some way.  And yet, there's been next to no media coverage about it outside the technical world.  Why?  This should be headline news.

Somewhere in the fine print of the user agreement there must be a paragraph that gives Microsoft the right to push unwanted and poorly constructed software on its customers. However, just because it has the right, doesn't mean it should.  Can't Microsoft see that people would be happy to upgrade if the software was worth upgrading to?  So much was written about poor performance and countless difficulties, it's no wonder folks kept saying "no" whenever the pop-up surfaced offering the free upgrade.  Gee Microsoft - didn't that tell you something.

One of the reasons Microsoft gives for forcing Win10 down our throats is privacy concerns. Bull-oney. It just invaded our privacy by downloading Win10 when we repeatedly said we didn’t want it.

We wouldn't bother getting our PC repaired except that the household network was resident on the PC and that is totally screwed up - thanks to Windows10. So we will spend a ton of money, which is not in our budget, getting our PC back to Win7 and then moving the network to the Mac.  We never want to go through this again because there was absolutely nothing "free" about the free upgrade to Win10.

I rarely feel the animosity toward a corporation that I currently feel toward Microsoft. If I had any choice, I would never use one of its products again. If anyone out there decides to file a class action lawsuit to recover the cost of repairs, count me in.