A MOVIE LOVER’S FAVORITES TO GET YOU THROUGH THE PANDEMIC #14: Smile

smile

A Movie Lover’s Favorites to get you through the pandemic #14: Smile (1975.) This early Michael Richie comedy contains a surprisingly serious and powerful performance by Bruce Dern. It also stars a very young Melanie Griffith. The film has a light sweetness that makes it a good choice for these challenging times.

EB19750101REVIEWS501010361AR

 

A MOVIE LOVER’S FAVORITES TO GET YOU THROUGH THE PANDEMIC #12: Annie Hall

lf

A Movie Lover’s Favorites to get you through the pandemic #12: Annie Hall (1977). Say what you will about Woody Allen, but Annie Hall remains a hilarious and touching film. It won four well deserved Academy Awards, and made Diane Keaton a super star. The film also inspired a major fashion trend. It’s hard to separate art from the artist, but Annie Hall was made over a decade prior to the accusations against Allen. If you disagree don’t watch this movie, but you’ll miss out on a wonderful experience.c80a1dbdc38bae7985a66f1011399175

A MOVIE LOVER’S FAVORITES TO GET YOU THROUGH THE PANDEMIC #9: Postcards from the Edge

2018_11_26_76e2bc53-f854-4c63-8915-bbb2ff5a5e29_png_1800x2700A Movie Lover’s Favorites to get you through the pandemic #9: Postcards From the Edge(1990.) This movie is based on Carrie Fisher’s book and is funny and touching. It has one of the most insightful mother/daughter relationships ever depicted on screen, and stars the incomparable Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine. They both sing in this film. Watch for the great closing number and don’t stop until the credits are over.

postcards-from-the-edge2

A MOVIE LOVER’S FAVORITES TO GET YOU THROUGH THE PANDEMIC #2: Jumping Jack Flash

A Movie Lover’s favorites to get you through the pandemic #2: Jump’in Jack Flash (1986.) This movie is an early directorial effort of the late great Penny Marshall and stars a very young Whoopi Goldberg. People love this film for its goofy sweetness. Whoopi imbues the film with a vulnerable humor that only a comic genius could pull off. It can be watched on Pay Per View.vFcnggrbnrrm4Yg6s7btwDfGu4r

The Two-Bite Rule

macaroons-3375255__480I’m a hardcore sugar addict. My addiction waxes and wanes, depending on the level of self-control I’m able to muster. When my addiction is under control, I’ll indulge in a sweet treat once every week or so, or not at all. But I don’t believe in deprivation. I have sugar in my morning coffee, and I employ what I call the two-bite rule. This rule allows me to eat two average-size bites of anything sweet. So if there’s a birthday cake at work, I’ll have two bites of it. Two bites don’t seem to trigger sugar cravings and I always feel as if I’ve indulged just a little. When I can implement the two-bite rule, it works well, and I don’t feel deprived. When I jettison the two-bite rule, I’m always striving to return to it.

MY FRENEMY – THE DISHWASHER

This article was published on YoursNews.in on July 25, 2019

My new dishwasher is not my friend. It cleans dishes adequately and dries them no better or worse than my old machine. But I swear the thing is possessed. If I so much as brush against the touch controls, the machine turns itself on. After the dishwasher was installed, I needed two days and several frantic phone calls to the store where I purchased it to master the controls when it mysteriously self-started. I have a narrow kitchen, and when the dishwasher door is open, it’s easy for me to accidentally make contact with the ultra-sensitive control panel. While it turns on with a mere brush of my calf, it’s challenging to turn it off. I have to press the Cancel feature numerous times before it will obey my wishes. I’m pining for my dishwasher from the 1980s even though it periodically flooded my kitchen. At least that machine had levers and knobs that were user friendly.

dishwasher-526358_1280

I forgot two basic truths when I purchased this dishwasher. The first, and most important one: I should never undertake projects, large or small, when I’m recovering from illness. Years ago, after a two-week sinus infection, as I was regaining my energy, I stood on a step stool and trimmed a hanging plant, accidentally killing it with my zeal. I have numerous stories like this. So fourteen days after undergoing a splenectomy, when my thirty-plus-year-old refrigerator suddenly and completely died, I should have replaced it and left the rest of my kitchen as is. Instead, just recently off painkillers, I thought, why don’t I replace my dishwasher too, since it’s clearly on its last legs, and rip out the old trash compactor and replace it with a cabinet while I’m at it? I knew I’d be putting in half days when I returned to work and wouldn’t need to take extra time off to let delivery people and my handyman into my condo. This thinking was delusional.

pills-384846_1280

The second basic truth I chose to ignore is that all home improvements are more complicated than expected. For example, three delivery dates were scheduled when I bought a new stove, and the deliveryman was going to bail on the third one except I cried when he tried to cancel. In order to install my stove he needed to bring his girlfriend with him, for reasons I don’t remember. While he worked on the stove, I sat at my dining room table making small talk with a stranger, yearning for the process to be over. I also have several stories like this one.

The men who delivered my new refrigerator and dishwasher were over an hour late and didn’t bother to give me a courtesy call to inform me of their tardiness. They were subcontractors of the big box store where I’d purchased my new appliances, and it required four phone calls to confirm they were on their way. Once they arrived, the new dishwasher needed a longer hose than the one that came with the machine, so one of the deliverymen left to get one, causing my installation to end four hours later than the delivery window. I accidentally pressed some buttons on the dishwasher after their departure and couldn’t figure out how to void the instructions. Neither could my neighbor, who came over to help. I called the big box store for assistance, but they wanted to schedule a tutorial for me on another day. Only after I begged did they put another person on the phone, one who could assist immediately. He figured out what I’d done wrong and instructed me on how to fix it. This guy was so nice, I wrote his boss a letter praising his customer service.

After this initial experience, I lived with the machine for a week before discovering that it sometimes flashes an error code that neither the big box store nor the manufacturer are familiar with. When that code flashes, the only way to reset the machine is to turn the breaker off and then back on. It’s a huge annoyance.

mug-4227275__480

Now I’m living with a machine I don’t like. Compared to having my spleen removed, this is hardly catastrophic. But I hate the hypervigilance needed in my kitchen whenever the dishwasher door is open. To maintain good mental health, I’ve decided to reframe the problem. I lived with a special-needs cat diagnosed with four medical conditions a couple of years after I adopted him. He required a great deal of care, none of which was invasive, but all of which annoyed me. I loved my cat and managed to keep him alive for two years with feline AIDS and heart, bladder, and anxiety conditions. I’ve begun to think of my new dishwasher as a special-needs appliance. It’s not the appliance’s fault that it has a terrible design I should have paid more attention to when I purchased it. It’s not responsible for the fact that I purchased a machine two weeks after losing an organ and shortly after tapering off painkillers. It can’t be blamed for my disregard of basic truths about my life. So I’m going to try to think of it with more kindness, the way I might an ailing animal. And unlike my pets, I don’t need to love it. It only needs to work.