Friday, January 25, 2013

I Know, I Know, 2 Weeks Without a Post

1. So I skipped last Friday because Alex had been home with the flu from the previous Saturday - Wednesday and by Wednesday, I had it, too. It was a mild case, since I'd had the vaccine, but it was enough to slow me down. Alex, being allergic to eggs, gets to skip the flu shot, which does not make Miranda happy, but since she's the only one who's been well in the month of January, she should be grateful.

However, since I was feeling better last Friday, my father and I went to see Zero Dark Thirty and have lunch together, but then I woke up Saturday feeling yucky again, so I laid around, watching the Australian Open. Of course, I've been watching the Open for the past 2 weeks and will be very sad when it's all done on Sunday and I have to wait for the next big tournament. Maybe I need the Tennis Channel.

Now, you all are wondering, when on earth did Sarah become a tennis fan? During the Olympics last summer. I watched the medal rounds and got hooked. I am a HUGE Novak Djokovic fan (he's not only a great player, he seems like a really neat guy) and also love to watch Andy Murray and Roger Federer play. But I'm two days behind in my viewing so DON'T TELL ME THE SCORES YET! I'll get there this weekend.

2. So about the movie, Zero Dark Thirty is an excellent movie. Jessica Chastain and Jason Clarke give brilliant performances (I know, everybody loves Jessica but with Clarke, Kathryn Bigelow has found another performer, like Jeremy Renner who worked with her on The Hurt Locker, who is good in everything he does and regularly steals the show from everybody else) and all the supporting players are good, too. But this movie asks a lot of uncomfortable questions, which is why, if you've seen any entertainment news in the last month, it's quite controversial.

I don't think any of the creators of the film support torture; I think they showed occasions of it in a way that it is difficult to make excuses for. And it is difficult to maintain the fiction that we are good Americans and good Americans would never do that sort of thing, when we know things like this were done to people like this, even if these scenes are fictitious. You can believe that every resource available should have been used to hunt Osama bin Laden down and kill him, or you can disagree, and believe that almost 10 years after 9/11, it didn't matter anymore. You can decide that in times of desperation, any means necessary of obtaining actionable information is valid and acceptable. Or you can look at the water boarding and starving and physical beating of "detainees" as never worth whatever information it might bring you.

Because I believe humanity is inherently broken and that any good we are or do comes from the grace of God, I am not surprised by what lengths people will go to get what they want. I make no excuses for the evil done by one person to another; it is human nature. And as a parent with a son who's been particularly recalcitrant in recent weeks to any suggestions of school or home work, I know a taste of desperation. But I also know that a line must be drawn delineating what is acceptable behavior and what is not, in my life, in my children's lives, and, I hope, in the lives of those who fight for my country.

I wanted to do a whole blog post entitled "Friendly Persuasion" about the connection I see between the movie and my life as a parent and had all these great ideas that I discussed with my husband, but then the tennis tournament started and I got distracted. I am glad Bigelow made the movie and the scenes of Maya as the only female in a room full of people, where she's trying desperately to be heard, are especially poignant considering that this sort of thing must happen to Bigelow herself, all the time. And I actually enjoy watching the horror of politicians who, when seeing this movie, realize now that they may have some responsibility for those who were tortured under the auspices of Uncle Sam. I want them to feel uncomfortable, because torture is wrong. But, being politicians, I'm sure they'll forget about it soon enough.

3. Speaking (writing) of movies, I may see Les Miz tomorrow (finally!), Parker on Sunday and The Last Stand with my dad next Friday. Here's hoping.

4. I've been spending a lot of time at Strive Physical Therapy this week. Because of the flu, I cancelled all of my appointments last week. So I was back there on Monday afternoon and my therapist decided that what was causing the ankle pain was my back being out, so now I'm doing a whole bunch of exercises to strengthen the muscles in my back. It leaves me a rubbery mess, but it does seem to be helping.

5. On Tuesday morning, my mother and I went to the Mt. Laurel municipal complex to go to traffic court in hopes that the case stemming from the accident in December would be settled. And it was: the other driver pleaded guilty to whatever charges she was given so now the insurance companies can finish their wrangling. And I didn't have to do anything. But it was interesting to be there and listen to the judge for a while. He seemed to be a good man, stern but fair.

6. The ladies who clean my house came Wednesday, which was good because the dust bunnies were rolling down the hall again. I didn't get to all of the piles, but I never do.

7. The snow has started falling here. It's not supposed to be much, which is good because I have plans for the weekend. However, if we have to stay in, I have the rest of the Australian Open to watch. And lots of Valentines to write.

Here's Jen.

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