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Juno reviewed (no spoilers added)

When I first saw the trailer for Juno, I thought it looked like it would be really funny, and that the actress playing Juno was pretty amazing, but I was concerned that this would be a film that would make teen pregnancy look cool (a little sensitized to that because of my job). Reviewers I trust indicated that that wasn’t a problem, so, yesterday, I went to see it.

And I was left disappointed. It’s a pretty good film in many ways, but, yet there were problems with the story. The characters were good — the acting was well done — so I cared about pretty much everybody there. That’s a big thing for me. But, yet, there were scenes that just didn’t make sense to me.

Like when Juno and her step-mom get into a fight that seems just kinda thrown in because we just hadn’t had any conflict. Juno talks about how people are bad-mouthing her behind her back, but we never see any. And Juno gets into a fight with her baby-daddy for no apparent reason other than to explain why they aren’t together until later in the film.

And then there was the Whedon-esque dialog that nobody is really witty enough to come up with on their own, but it’s really fun to watch actors deliver.

And then there’s the ending that’s not really an ending, because they put a “back to normal” scene after the story’s really done.

And then there’s the intended-to-be-iconic note that Juno writes on a Jiffy-lube receipt without really explaining why it was on a Jiffy-lube receipt as opposed to part of a brown paper bag, a napkin, or whatever.

I like the film. I do. It handles very important themes about life and adolescence and sex and pregnancy and abortion and love and family and all, and it does so in a sensitive and smart way — which is pretty hard to find. There were moments that I loved, and they made me want to love the movie, but I just couldn’t. And so I was left disappointed.

That felt dumb.

I came home and found updates for my system in Adept updater (not uncommon) and started them off, but Adept crashed twice. I was getting concerned about how I would get around this until I remembered “Oh, yeah. Apt-get. Duh.”

Still tired and kinda wobbly-headed. Might sleep some more soon.

I am not wanted. I am not wanted here. I am mean, and I am stupid.

Those things were screamed at/about me for about 40 minutes — post-op panic isn’t much fun. I think I was also an ass-hole and he was going to kill me and he hoped I would wreck my car and die. I haven’t yet been spoken to since he’s calmed down, so I don’t know if we’re going to pretend this was never said or what, but it’s not a fun way to start a 48 hour shift.

Probably, things will be fine — these spells don’t last forever, and then things tend to be good with us — but this was the most explicitly anti-me thing we’ve had to date. Well, when he was pre-op a week ago, he was screaming that I was trying to kill him, which was pretty anti-me, I guess. It’s not really about me.

I think I’m going to be “on shift” here in a minute (just had a bout of typoese of the quoted part of this sentence that didn’t have an “f” in it that I swear was accidental) so I’ll go.

Update: Things are fine now. He’s calm and has been just fine with me. He tends to have three modes: up, down and crazy. Right now, he’s kinda down, but okay. Before, that was crazy, and there’s no reasoning with crazy.


So, now it looks like I’m not only doing the Saturday-Sunday shift again next weekend (but we have a confirmed replacement after that for the duration) but I also have another job I agreed to do several weeks ago, before the crap hit the fan, to do tomorrow. It’s five hours of face time, plus 90 minutes of paid transport time and 90 minutes unpaid. It won’t be that hard to do, but it’s going to eat into my “catching up” time tomorrow, and will be one less full-day off at a time when those are getting pretty rare.

It will also be another six and a half hours of OT, which I’m suspecting I might get bitched at about sometime. I did the math on my hours since the first of the month last night, and I have more hours each of the last two weeks than I did in the previous two months combined. It’s going to be really nice on pay-day.

Almost (probably) done with the heavy rotation.

I can give a bit of information about what’s been going on with me. One of the kids from work has leukemia (AML), and I’m spending time with him in the hospital when his foster mom has to be home with her other foster children. I haven’t figured out all my hours here, but I’m well into overtime for last week and this week, and will be next week even if I only get the two-day week I’m scheduled to be here (plus my two ongoing jobs I had when I was in school).

The medical issues are in pretty good shape, and his survival prognosis is quite good as these things go. Prayers on behalf of “that kid Blain’s working with” are always welcome, but this isn’t something to get too weepy about. It’s just going to be a long and difficult process. We won’t know for a few more weeks if he’s going to need a bone marrow transplant.

The hospital’s not a bad place to be. Next week, my two scheduled days will be contiguous, which is nicer than doing them alternating, like I did this week, which, with my needing to do the third day today, and some Murphy’s scheduling, had me driving home last night and turning around to drive back down early this morning. But I got a nap this afternoon while he was playing games with a volunteer, and that’s helping a lot. We’re trying to arrange so that I only have two days, with someone else taking this Saturday-Sunday shift so I can go to Church. However, there aren’t many staff that will do overnight shifts, and the one who we’ve wanted to take that shift, who is willing to do it, is difficult to replace in the things she’s already doing (she’s really good, and does a lot). We can try some of the new hires, but it’s hard to say if they’ll be up for this. I might have to settle for someone coming down for six hours on Saturday so I can do the visit I do every other Saturday. I should know what’s going on with that by Wednesday.

The nurses are, for the most part, great (a couple of them I think I remember from when Emily was down here a decade ago, and one of the two I rather like). Our current nurse is the appearance trifecta — short, blonde and cute. And she’s a nurse, which all together makes her stupid-pretty (pretty enough that thinking gets impaired and one begins to fear saying or doing something as stupid as one feels like doing). I’m not doing anything all that stupid, and I won’t, but it’s troublesome.

I’m going to go change into my sweats and get ready for bed (which folds out of the chair I’m sitting in in a way that’s not nearly as comfortable as that might sound). I need to figure out how to call the food people to line up a donut and some string cheese for the kid’s breakfast tomorrow, and I’m going to need to pay extortionate prices for some soy milk for my breakfast as well. I’m also going to try to figure out if I can get him a chili-dog (they have really good beef hot dogs, but I can’t find chili anywhere on the menu that he can eat, and I can’t figure out what about chili would be a problem with a suppressed immune system). At the very least, I know he likes the hot dogs, and anything we can do to get protein into him is worth an effort.

So that’s what’s been going on.

Reader support works.

This is today’s Day by Day cartoon. It’s a thoughtful, witty, and irreverent strip that broaches current day problems in a very timely manner. Some of the lead characters are liberal, and others are conservative, some are younger and others are older, and the things they say will make you laugh and will also make you think.

But that’s not what this entry is about.

This entry is about the concept of reader supported media. The creator of Day by Day is Chris Muir. Sunday, he started a donation drive, asking the people who read the strip daily to consider donating $10 or more to support the cost of delivering the strip, with a goal of raising $10,000 by the end of the month. He closed the drive yesterday, having raised $20,000, which surprised him a great deal. This has covered the costs of delivering the strip for more than two years.

Michael Yon, one of the independent journalists that imbeds in Iraq that I’ve spoken of before many times is also reader supported. He has stubbornly stuck with his position as an independent journalist because he wants to avoid those who would dismiss his points due to financial connections to those who might support one position over another in the things he writes about (primarily the Mideast, and Iraq in particular). He has put together a book titled Moment of Truth in Iraq which will be published in April, describing the events of 2007 in Iraq, some of which he talked about in his releases, and some of which provide additional background and understanding that he wasn’t able to include. He has arranged a special deal with his publisher to pre-sell special signed editions of the book that will sell for the same $29.95 the regular editions will list at, and which will produce income that will help defray his expenses in returning to Iraq (he’s leaving today and should be there by the end of the month).

So the idea of reader supported media works. This doesn’t mean that any hack can just start writing something and make a living. It means that, if you have something worth saying, and can say it well, you have the opportunity to find an audience that can support your efforts without going through traditional media channels. That’s a good thing. It also means that you have a chance to find media outlets that are not beholden to any outside interest that you can support yourself. You have power if you will use it.

Another thread (for my own reference)

This is in response to this column by the opinion page editor of the Bellingham Herald in which he invites more local folks to write guest columns. I’m interested in how he defines the word “expertise” due to an experience of writing a guest column and having it rejected because I was not seen as an expert in the subject of the column (I’ve had two guest columns published there prior to the rejection).


88% John McCain
79% Mitt Romney
75% Mike Huckabee
71% Fred Thompson
70% Rudy Giuliani
68% Tom Tancredo
59% Bill Richardson
57% Ron Paul
51% Hillary Clinton
48% Barack Obama
48% Chris Dodd
47% John Edwards
37% Joe Biden
30% Mike Gravel
26% Dennis Kucinich

2008 Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz

Interesting because it’s not a bad estimate of where I’m leaning at the top — with the exception that McCain has never been a candidate I would consider voting for. Remove him from the list and that’s probably a good estimate of who I would pick based on their positions. I don’t pick candidates based solely on their positions, however. I’m also not considering Huckabee for a variety of reasons. I’ve been trying to find a viable alternative to Romney, but I’ve also known, deep down, that I probably won’t have one — Thompson was the closest, but I would only have picked him if I thought he was viable, and I don’t think he is.

This is not quite an endorsement of Romney. It’s an acknowledgment that he’s probably the closest thing I will get to a presidential primary candidate that I will like. I won’t have any greater enthusiasm for anybody else.