We watched the Oscar Nominated documentary shorts yesterday, and 3 of the 5 films were about Syria. In one of the films, the Greek coast guard is helping rescue the boatload of Syrian refugees risking their lives to cross the Aegean Sea towards Europe. In the second, we see a family whose father is killed and migrates to Turkey then Germany. In the third, we see the volunteers who rescue people whose buildings are blown to bits by the airstrikes.
This compelled me to read about what is happening in Syria. From what I see, in 2011 Syrians rose against their restrictive government. Soon, a full blow Civil War materialized. There are government loyalists, Free Syrians who want a free Syria, ISIS, and other groups all fighting. And, of course, other countries such as Russian and the US are contributing. Syrians are getting killed, buildings are getting blown to bits and it looks like an absolute war zone, with the people of Syria caught in the middle.
What I saw from the movies and what I sense from my reading is that the Syrians are not diabolical terrorists but people fleeing a worn torn country much as people fled Europe in the 1940s. Why the heck aren’t we the US not allowing them in? We took in countless Vietnamese in the 1970s, which is great – why won’t we take in the Syrians now? Might there be a terrorist or two in them? Sure, maybe a bad apple or two. But we have domestic terrorists, too (Boston Marathon bombers, the many school shooters, etc.). For god sake, let the people in. Show some compassion like I’d love to have compassion if Trump Supporters and Hilary Supporters were blowing up my neighborhood.
I loved those three films. They showed the humans behind the news headlines. And if we want to make America great again, instead of blowing the heck out of neighborhoods how about we show a little compassion.
The past week and a half I’ve been exhausted. I hate getting out of bed in the morning, and dread looking for work during the day. Why? I don’t know. I just am. It might be a cycle in my chronic health issues and fatigue, or it might not be – I just have to continue to fight through it, althought it is exhausting fighting through exhaustion 🙂
P was a kid from another neighborhood but who’d we bump into from time to time in sports. THere were a million such kids who were long ago forgotten but P was memorable because he was a plus-sized kid (had metabolic issues) who was a fantastic athlete. He scored every point on his basketball team because of a deadly shot and hit long home runs in little-league baseball. When we were adults we played softball with him; he was still plus-sized and still a great athlete – he was a great infielder and hit long towering home runs once or twice every game. Later, he helped lead another team to a state softball championship… He wasn’t a happy-go-lucky guy, but *was* easy going and pleasant to be around, and I never remember him being angry or frustrated, not once… Just learned he is battling cancer that is likely terminal. Bleh. And double bleh.
I’ve gotten hooked on the show Ballers. I like the storylines, the characters, the performances and the idea of living in the Miami Fast Lane; I also love the opening song and highlights. I watched a few episodes months ago and liked it, but not enough to stay with it, but picked it up again last weekend and ended up watching through Season 2 so am caught up. Am looking forward to season 3.
I really truly enjoy watching football and love the strategy behind football, but do wish they’d find a way to eliminate head injuries (e.g. take away helmets, even playing flag football, which seems sacrilegious but then again if it’s causing head injuries then the sport needs to change. I no longer watch boxing – which I also love — for that very reason).
Occasionally I get the yearning to coach basketball. I have this dream of starting at high school JV and working my way up the coaching ranks to community college, but the reality is I don’t have the time, aptitude or health to do this. If nothing else, the stress alone would kill me, since my lung disease can be re-activated by stress. But none-the-less I get the yearning and I dream. 🙂
On Friday evening, Wife M and I watched Hacksaw Ridge with sister K. It has been highly touted and nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, with some calling it a modern Saving Private Ryan. To that, I say: seriously? The thing about Saving Private Ryan is that it took an entire new look at World War 2 using advances in cinematography; I saw SPR twice in theaters and both times the audience was stunned into silence; everyone stayed until the credits were over and the lights went on, and you could’ve heard a pin drop as people filed out. I couldn’t sleep that first night I saw it in 1997, I was so disturbed by what I’d seen. But Hacksaw Ridge adds nothing really new, and changed some of the facts of the real story that the real Dodd so desperately wanted unchanged for Hollywood that he refused to sell the movie rights for many years. Other than the Dodd family, I didn’t feel attached to the characters, and sometimes I suppressed an eye roll (like when the dad broke in at the perfectly correct time, or when Dodd pulled Vince Vaughn at full speed on his rain slicker while Vaughn machined gunned down an entire Japanese platoon behind him). Flags of our Fathers, Saving Private Ryan, the Deer Hunter, A Thin Red Line, Paths of Glory, etc. etc. etc. were far more creative movies – I give this one a C for telling a decent story decently, but in no way was it a Movie of the Year candidate. On the plus side, I loved the performance of Dodd’s dad, who was the “villain” in The Matrix and the Elf king in Lord of the Rings.
But yesterday wife M and I watched Tony Erdman at the Uptown. The film was nominated for Best Foreign Film. It was wonderful! Three hours long but didn’t feel like it, with a quirky prankster father who is able to finally reach his career-driven and unhappy daughter. The theater laughed out loud for much of the movie at the quirky dad, and I thought the scene where the daughter struggles in her dress, then out of her dress, then in then out then finally just steps into the party naked was wonderful and brilliant. I loved the performances, and really liked the daughter’s performance since I thought she did a good job of looking uncomfortable while trying to seem composed.
Wife M went out with girlfriends a few nights ago and they made a plan for a group Academy Award night where we’ll watch the Oscars together. Fun!!!
I’ve always thought that once you showed you can do something, that it is obvious that you can do something. For example, if I am a basketball player who leads the league in scoring, I can obviously score. But for whatever reason, this is not true when interviewing for sales positions.
What I mean is this… 12 years ago I was looking for software sales jobs, but two strikes against me were in my previous role I had not had a quota* and I had not needed to cold call since my company worked with most customers. By some miracle, I talked a company into taking a chance on me, and I not only became the #1 sales person for exceeding my quota but cold called successfully. In other words, I showed I can do it! Never again would I have a problem getting a software sales job!
(An aside… A year later, I was interviewing for a job where the primary customer was Microsoft. I’d never worked with Microsoft before, so although I had a good track record the hiring manager went with another candidate. Again, by some miracle, the next company I worked for gave me Microsoft as an account and I exceeded everyone’s wildest expectations and made quota at Microsoft every year for over 5 years. Once again, I proved I can do it.)
The past few years, I’ve sold services instead of software. But not now that I am trying to get into software again, companies are afraid to hire me – my background recently has shown me to be a services person. Does it matter that 10 years ago I passed everyone’s wildest expectations selling software? No. Once again I have to re-prove myself and try to find someone who will “take a chance” on me.
It’s never easy. 🙂
I continue to think on how much I disliked the movie Lion and the character in it. Why? Because I like people who perservere, and don’t like being around mopey people.
Take Casablanca. Here we have a heartbroken character who continues to suffer, but he suffers in silence while still running a bar. Elsa also is heartbroken, but tries her best to move forward. The prince, held in a prison camp before escaping and loses his home (and realizes his wife shacked up with another dude when she thought he was dead) but continues to press on. Resilience!
Or in Manchester by the Sea. A brother is given 5-10 years to live and is a single dad, but continues on. Lee suffers a horrible tragedy, but still presses on. Everyone presses on the best they can.
But in Lion, the main character wallows. He quits his job, and drops his girlfriend and spends his days wallowing in a dark room clicking at a laptop. Depressing! I hate that.
I also have found that I don’t like watching the character Jesse in Breaking Bad. I like that he is nonviolent and actually a pretty good kid, but there are many scenes where he just sits and wallows. Again, I hate that. I find myself fast forwarding through his scenes when I rewatch an episode.
So I am realizing I love grim movies where people press on. I think that comes from my childhood, where I had a mom whose family suffered from debilitating depression, which was difficult to see, but also a dad who refuses to ever look at the dark side, which was a powerful example for me. I don’t blame depressed people for being depressed or even suffering so much they can’t function – depression is an awful disease that can’t be helped. But that doesn’t mean I want to watch it on the big screen.
I reached out to a Director to ask if he was looking for sales, and he pointed me to the recruiter. It took multiple attempts to hear from the recruiter then when I met with her via phone she obsessed about my recent job changes (out of my control) and focused on W2s and Quota; honestly she sounded exhausted/fatigued. SHe said she’d run my candidacy by the hiring manager. I sent her a thank you note and, it took three more emails over two weeks to she and the manager before she said they had moved forward with another candidate. Not even an interview with the manager? Seriously? Was not impressed with their process and their recent GD reviews are not good. Need to remember for next time.
Superbowl Sunday ended with mixed snow and rain falling outside. We’d watched the game at mom and dads with the rest of the family, and like most of the nation were shocked how the Pats came back to win (BTW there are several “anatomy of the comeback” stories that recounts the play by play, but I would be more interested in what tweaks the brilliant Billichek made, and also knowing if he suspected that he could wear down the Falcons at the end. Reading about him, I truly think he is a genius). The forecast had been updated in the morning for snow overnight, so I was not surprised by the mixed snow. The snow didn’t really start to stick until late, and Monday morning there was an inch in Ballard (and more than a foot in some of the suburbs), although it was pretty wet (but pretty, and was stuck to all the trees). School has been canceled for the past two days, and although the snow is virtually gone in the city it still is pretty treacherous in the greater area. There is a slight chance of snow tomorrow morning, but it sounds like it will warm up quite quickly with an inch or two of rain, which is a lot for Seattle over a day or two.
We are in the most challenging part of Seattle’s weather year – where it has been wet for months and the rain mostly goes away but it stays gray for up to another four months. Rain isn’t the depressing part of Seattle, since it really doesn’t rain all that much in terms of inches per year — what is depressing are the strings of gray days this time of year.