Wednesday, April 25, 2018

I only watch like two movies a year and Marvel's already got me maxed out

Generally, I really do only watch one or two new releases a year. I usually claim that it's partly because of never having the cash when a movie I want to see drops (because I end up spending on other things, like books), but in all honesty, it's because I'm lazy and a master procrastinator. The local theater in town is a small one and typically only shows a movie for about two weeks before swapping it for another new release (Black Panther was an exception and rightly so) and I drag my feet long enough that I tend to miss the ones that I might have wanted to watch.

Fortunately, I did manage to see Black Panther. A side note here, but there were only about six other people there that day and most of them were old and white. That movie really did cross generational and racial barriers.

So that was the first movie and the second is going to be...Infinity War. Not on the opening weekend and maybe not even on the first week, but I will be seeing it, come hell or high water.

But of course the problem there is after that, I'm "maxed out" so to speak. I don't pay attention to release schedules, so, for the most part, I don't know what's coming out for the rest of the year. I know that Han Solo movie is hitting theaters next month, but I lost any interest I had in it last year after the kerfluffle with Lucasfilm firing the directors and whatnot.

So will Infinity War be the last movie I see for the rest of 2018? Unless the sequels to Wonder Woman and Black Panther are released this year, then probably maybe yeah.

Finished: Ross Poldark by Winston Graham

I actually finished Ross Poldark a few weeks ago, but with everything suddenly going on in life, I haven't gotten around to doing a write-up about it until now. The book and series take place in late 18th century Cornwall, just after the War of Independence in America has ended. Poldark is a former officer in the British Army who returns to Cornwall and discovers his father is dead and his girlfriend is engaged to his cousin due to rumors of his demise in the Colonies. From there, the book follows Ross as he attempts to move on with this life and build his fortune by reopening derelict mines. The book also shifts to cover the happenings of some of the supporting characters, but typically in a way that ties to Ross.

He meets Demelza Carne, a young girl who he rescues from a fight and hires on as a kitchenmaid. During the course of the story, she plays an important role in helping him move on from Elizabeth, the woman he thought he loved.

I'm going to keep it brief and say that I enjoyed Ross Poldark a lot. A lot more than I expected, really. To the best of my knowledge, this was the first work of historical fiction I've ever read from start to finish and I can't think of a better entry point into the genre (at least for me) than this book. The characters were generally good but some of the supporting cast felt a teensy bit flat. Seeing as how the focus was on the eponymous Ross Poldark and a select few, that's understandable. In any case, it didn't interfere with my enjoyment of the novel, so I wouldn't even begin to hold that against it.

My favorite characters had to be Demelza Carne, Verity Poldark, and Jud Paynter.

I'm not sure if I'll read any of the other books in the series because I have an ever-increasing TBR pile and I can only read whatever I happen to get hooked on. I certainly wouldn't mind revisiting Cornwall and seeing how Ross and the gang are doing.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Another year older

Ugh, I'm getting old. Reagan was still in his first term as President when I was born, the American video game industry had yet to crash, and the original Doctor Who was still on the air. I was born around the same time as Return of the Jedi and I think one of the Indiana Jones movies.


Friday, April 13, 2018

Life Status Update

So I thought I'd give everybody who still reads this blog (all three of you) a head's up on things and why I haven't been posting here or on any of my blogs lately. To put it simply, life took a nosedive. First, my mother had a stroke near the end of February. Thankfully she was close to a hospital (literally right across the parking lot) when it happened, so they were able to give her some kind of anti-stroke medicine. Because of that, excellent medical care, and just plain luck she didn't suffer anything permanent damage and after a stay at a rehab center, she's recovered.

And then things just got worse. In March, my father was diagnosed with cancer in one lung and a lymph node near that lung. He has COPD, so he has to have a CT scan done of his chest every year and this time around, they found something. A PET scan eventually identified the something. As you can examine, the diagnosis was devastating for everybody, but again, we had some luck. A scan of his brain and bones showed that cancer hadn't spread and it was in just that lung and lymph node. The doctors also caught it early enough that it can probably be beaten. He's facing about five weeks of daily radiation treatments and chemotherapy once a week. Obviously, that's fantastic and likely the best we could have hoped for in this situation.

As a result of this, I've been going back and forth to the doctors and the hospital's cancer center since then, so I haven't had much time for blogging.

Near the end of March, I had my own health problem, though not anywhere near as bad as the above cases. I woke up one Thursday with incredible lower back pain, soreness in my legs, and just generally feeling like I had swapped places with a 70-year-old. How bad was it? Well, that Friday it took me about ten minutes just to stand up out of bed and twenty more to get dressed. It wasn't until the following day that I finally gave in and went to the hospital.

It's worth noting that this was the first time I had gone to one in about seventeen or eighteen years. I'm not joking or exaggerating, I really was that healthy and mule-stubborn. There, I was diagnosed with back sprain (or strain), given prescriptions for a muscle relaxer and anti-inflammatory. I turned down the prescription for painkillers because I've never taken any opioid-based, don't know how I'll react to them and would really rather not contribute to the opioid crisis in this country.

My back's mostly fine now. I haven't really been working it or my legs that much since then and so I'm not 100% yet.

I do plan on getting back in the blogging saddle. It's going to be a not slow but not fast process since my attention is focused on helping my dad through his cancer situation, but I'll get there eventually.