A Movie Lover’s Favorites to get you through the pandemic #10: Shaft (1971). I saw it with my family when I was eleven. What was Dad thinking? (We all had a great time.) The movie has one of the best opening sequences ever filmed and was wildly innovation its day. Theme from Shaft won Isaac Hays a well deserved Oscar. The movie is a standout of the Blaxploitation movement. It’s a little dated, but who cares? “Who is the man who would risk his life for his brother man” still resonates. Watch it on Pay-per-view and feel the groove.
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Early this year I realized I’d let my natural frugality go too far, and I needed to replace more than a dozen items in my house. I replaced a pocket calculator that had numbers I could barely see, a light bulb that was too dim, all of the old pillows on my couch, and numerous other old or worn items. None of the new items were expensive. I doubt I spent $200.00 total. But the numerous small home improvements made my life easier by removing small irritants. I’m not sure why I waited so long, but I now feel more relaxed at home. Sometimes it’s good to take stock of our daily habits and environment and assess room for improvement. Small changes can have a big impact.
My hearing is fine, but the way my brain processes sound is not. I have an auditory processing disorder. I clearly hear things that I shouldn’t, like the small beeping noise in the far corner of a room. Except I hear the beeping as if I’m wearing headphones with the volume on high. I call this my supersonic dog hearing.
Under certain other circumstances, I don’t hear things other people can hear well. I can’t hear anything but cacophony, for example, if two people are talking at once. When I don’t understand what’s being said, I try to figure out what the sounds I’m hearing are like. It’s as if I’m in a perpetual game of charades, but with indistinguishable vocals. Sometime this method works, and I can figure out what someone said. Other times I have to admit that because of the background noise or multiple speakers, I can’t hear, and I have to ask people to repeat themselves. I feel bad about doing this, but in order to live in the world, sometimes I have to request tolerance and kindness from others. This is simply life. I don’t like it, but I’ve accepted it.
I have a special fondness for the meanest dog in my apartment building. She’s a little gray thing and looks like a shaved Shih Tzu. However, she growls if I get near her. If I find myself on the elevator with this dog and her owners, I make a point to stand far away from them. At first her owners seemed embarrassed by her behavior. They assured me they were trying to socialize her. I’ve learned over time that this dog was found wandering alone in a canyon, starving. I’ve told her owners how much I admire them for adopting her. Dogs that snarl and growl are often euthanized in shelters because they’re considered unadoptable. I feel sad about the Growler’s previous life, but happy that two loving people took her in. It’s not her fault she was neglected and learned to fear people. I know, despite her growling, that she’s still a good dog.
I’ve had the same employer for almost eleven years, and I like my job. But occasionally I hit a rough patch and need to work through it. I had one recently and wasn’t looking forward to returning to work after a week off. I felt disempowered, but I hoped I’d be able to work through the problem. On my first day back, as I walked from my car towards my office building, I imagined myself with a golden, vibrating force field protecting me. I felt silly doing this, but it was the only thing I could think of to bolster my spirits. It gave me a small feeling of power. Imagining myself as social worker/super hero didn’t solve my issue, but it made me feel proactive instead of helpless. Sometimes we have to stretch to find solutions to our problems, and even then, the solutions aren’t perfect. But they are better than remaining stuck in negativity.