Radio Silence

Sorry for the Radio Silence, Gang. What I thought was some sort of nutty nausea/vomiting thing became a really not fun case of arrhythmia.

I was in the ER Wednesday morning after 3 1/2 days of nausea/vomiting. So I get in there, get hooked up to a pulsox in the triage area, and find my pulse is over 200. Well. If you want people to move fast, that’s how you do it. 

After some anti-nausea and anti-pain meds, and some cardiac fun stuff were done, went into the CTICU (Cardio-Thoracic ICU) for another procedure and monitoring. This procedure worked—apparently they had to shock my heart back into rhythm. They knocked me out with the wonder of versed so I don’t remember a thing. 🙂 

I was in the CTICU until yesterday when I got sent back to “home” base—C5, the Heart Center/Post-Tx floor. Now we’re just doing regular telemetry monitoring and fun stuff like that as we try to figure out what caused the arrthymia and also work on some thyroid issues while I’m here. (Might as well get money’s worth, eh?) 

So—tomorrow morning—discharge and OUTER. BANKS. Yeah, I need some vacay, how about you? 🙂 My mind is still a bit fuzzy re: all that has occured so if this doesn’t make a LOT of sense, sorry, it’s for basic update purposes. 🙂 More info as it occurs.

Not sure how much internet access I’ll have in the OBX. It’s vacay, so I’ll probably be pretty disconnected, but pics, etc. to follow. 

Seven Quick Takes Friday XXIV

(and ‘ere we go…)

  1. I went to the gym THREE TIMES this week, as part of “Getting Life Back on Track” (AKA, “There’s a wedding in a month and I’m in it…”). I am so, so proud of myself.
  2. This was even though I had a summer cold, which is one of the devil’s little torments, I think. Really? Colds in the summer? And no, it’s not something big and huge (like, Oh, being admitted to the PICU randomly), but it’s annoying. And as Abbess Catherine says in In This House of Brede, “Martyrdom by pinpricks can be very painful.”
  3. So, back to the “Life back on track”—as in, gym, food journal, all those things that go by the wayside when I have a show. So now I am trying to GET BACK with them, especially since I will have my five years transplant eval the Monday I get back from vacay. I’d like to show them I am not a total slacker. (Or, at least, that I am trying not to be…)
  4. A WEEK until we leave for Duck! (Well, OK, a week and a few hours) I am so excited. I can’t wait to show this piece of work to my family…it’s such a beautiful part of the country. God gave a lot of beauty to this place. And the food! Seafood!
  5. The seafood and the activity (walking, body surfing, boogie-boarding) will also help with the “Get Life Back On Track” part…my sister and I are thinking yoga and tennis and horseback riding! Horseback riding on the beach, like in Casino Royale?  YES PLEASE!
  6. (Wait…throw in Daniel Craig, too. There we go. Perfect.)
  7. I’m driving my friend Phil down to Cincinnati on Sunday, when he will enter the Dominican novitiate. I am very happy for him—and very jealous. 🙂 Of course when I get back from Duck, the Summit countdown will begin….in earnest!

For more Quick Takes, visit Jen!

Egg in Olive Oil

I just made this and it was SO. GOOD. This is a perfect snack, breakfast, whatever.

1/4 c. EVOO

1 egg

sea salt

freshly ground pepper

Place EVOO in small saute pan and heat until HOT.

When hot, crack egg over pan and drop into hot oil. Let fry until egg white is solid and yolk is cooked to your liking, 1-3 minutes.

Slide egg with oil into a shallow bowl or dish. Top with salt and pepper. Eat with bread to soak up oil and egg yolk.

(from The Olive and the Caper, by Suzanne Hoffman)

This is for Andrea. Andrea loves frogs. LOVES them. Her lab coat even has Kermit the Frog on it.

So, I just had to take a picture of this frog statue for her.

May I have your attention….

At least, that’s what my body’s saying.

A summer cold/flu? What is up with that?!

And of course, for me, that means I have to be very, very nice to my body so that it stays just a summer cold and doesn’t turn into any thing eeeevilll that could jeopardize vacation (Which is in, um, 9 days).

So, body, here’s the deal: You have had two days of doing nothing, so you better be ready to rock and roll tomorrow and this weekend, when there are things that I have to do, and you must be compliant.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Popcorn: A Single Man

Note: “popcorn” is my tag for movie reviews. “Bookworm” is for books, and “Culture Cat” for all things performing arts or visual (like art galleries): CSO, BalletMet, Broadway Across America, etc.

And—THERE. ARE. SPOILERS.

Before we start, you need to know:

I. love. Colin. Firth.

Like so many girls, it began with the 1995 BBC Pride and Prejudice. And this also started my enduring love affair with Jane. Colin was the perfect Mr. Darcy and no one—no one—in my mind could be better. (I consider the Keira Knightley version blasphemous to the Austen canon and prefer to think it does not exist.)

So, with my love for Colin, I knew I simply must see his award-winning and Oscar nominated turn in A Single Man, directed by fashioner designer-turned-director Tom Ford.

A Single Man is the story of George, a lit professor (Firth) that is mourning the loss of his 16 year partner, Jim (Matthew Goode, in a wonderful supporting role). For months he has painfully gone through his life, but, on this November day, he has decided to do something about it. He is going to end his life, and commit suicide that evening.

We see snippets of George and Jim’s life together in LA, interspersed with scenes from the present  day—Jim and George buying their house, George teaching a class (very distractedly), Jim and George on a beach, talking about how George met Charlie. The flashbacks are well done and not at all jarring to the storyline; in fact, they provide needed back ground and give Goode something to do in what could’ve been a very small part. (Which would have been a shame, because Goode is a fine, very genuine actor who works very well with Firth.)

The day progresses—Kenny, a student in George’s class seems unusually taken with him. George goes to buy gin for Charlie’s dinner party, and meets another man, with whom he shares cigarettes and a fleeting attraction. Before going to Charlie’s, he prepares his house, with his life insurance, money, and notes spread out on his desk.

At Charlie’s, the two have dinner, and Charlie insinuates that George wasn’t truly in love with Jim—he was afraid of being in love with her. George shouts that 16 years aren’t nothing—he truly did love Jim, no matter what anyone thinks.The chemistry between the two is obvious, and Charlie definitely still has feelings for George.

Charlie is supposed to be British—the two met in London—but Moore’s accent goes in and out, which leads to a lack of believablity and draws the viewer out of the scene, making it very obvious she is acting. Moore is, in most other films, a brilliant actress, but her problems here with the accent undermine her usually solid performance.

George returns home, and tries to commit suicide, but cannot do it. Frustrated, he goes to the bar where he met Jim (here we have a nice flashback to that Post WWII night—Jim was in the Navy) and orders Lucky Strikes and scotch to go. He is about to leave when Kenny appears at the door. The two share some scotch and, in a reenactment of the night he met Jim, go swimming in the moonlight Pacific.

Back at George’s, Kenny falls asleep in the couch and George goes to bed—without trying to commit suicide. He places the gun back in the drawer on top of his pocket squares (needless to say, the costumes and set design are fabulous.). As he falls asleep, he has a heart attack.

Overall, the film is very good. Firth is a revelation. For someone who has made a career out of being every woman’s sensitive-yet-manly perfect man, this is a real change of direction for him, and he does it well. He brings his knack for vulnerable sensitivity to the role so well that George’s pain is truly palpable in the early scenes. The scenes between him and Goode are warm and believable. But I felt the best scene was when George is informed—via a phone call from Jim’s cousin—about Jim’s death in a car accident. George, already shocked and shattered, is told that the funeral is for ‘family only.’ After the call ends, the camera focuses on George’s face, where silent tears stream down his cheeks. It’s a visceral moment for both actor and audience.

Ford does a good job adapting Christopher Isherwood’s novel, but some might find the storytelling jarring. The viewer isn’t precisely sure where the film is set: in the beginning, the only person we see—or hear—is Firth, so one could assume it’s Britain. There is a mention of snow—Jim’s car crash occurred on snowy and icy roads—so the assumption of Britain may be off. It isn’t until further in the movie that we are told the characters live in LA, and that Charlie and George are British ex-pats. It might have been easier if the setting had been established more immediately; it definitely would have made the storytelling more effortless.

The music is minimal and appropriate, usually strings, without much sturm un drang. The effects are minimal (although the opening scene of the car accident, and the underwater shots, are quite nice), and the costumes, scenery and props are just fantastic. Everything is done with great attention to detail, from George’s car to Moore’s outlandish 60s eye make-up.

The movie was only in limited release, but I hope it finds a wider audience on DVD. Firth’s acting is often overlooked, but for this role he received much deserved critical acclaim, and his first Oscar nomination. I hope those that are unfamiliar with his work will find new reasons to watch him, and that those who have been long time fans will enjoy this new dramatic turn in his career.