Saturday, September 11, 2010

Boxing, Chi's Sweet home, Vampires and 4 other DVD reviews

Ow! I went to the gym, it took over a week of planning but I made it to the start of boxing. I ain’t dead yet! I focused on sweating by overloading my heartbeat and blood pressure. The best way to do this is to do things a ‘speed’ which means getting some trance/techno music on and doing for example, 2 sit ups per second for a minute. The idea is to go to the maximum heart rate, 202 beats with the highest blood pressure possible, caused by forcing my body to do extreme actions at extreme speed, and after about 25 minutes, the sweat started on the forehead, then the torso and then everywhere. It only took: 50+ push-ups, over 200 sit ups and about 800 punches on the focus mitts and 3000 on the heavy bag. I ended with 160 punches with focus mitts in two minutes with Ian, hooks, upper cuts, jabs and crosses.

Now I am sore. Oh how sore. OW!

I am trying to do blogs that have lots of pictures but the problem is that I have the pictures done the text half done but don’t get the energy or time to get them done. I want to blog EVERY DAY. But I also have blog posts like the graveyard in Oregon I want to blog about.

This is the difference in the reality of a progressed disease, I do not make a ‘final lecture’ about how great my life was and disappear behind the curtain. That is why I like the book Harmony: he kept editing it from the hospital bed he would soon die in. I will NOT say how great my life was and disappear, because THIS is my life too. But right now I have to FIGHT for anything I want to do.

Chi’s Sweet home, which I reviewed earlier (get your copy now, full colour!). This week I talked to Ed Chavez, Managing Editor at Vertical, and Chi just hit the New York Times best seller list. It is the #1 series of the eight different Japanese magazine on stories or serials about animals (they really like that there), and now on the Best Seller list.

I got Linda to sit down from her caregiving, doing errands, applying for jobs, applying for medical aid (we have 8 days of medicine left – Whee!), applying for a sling, and the whole rest and spent two hours going through romances with her. That is her ‘relax’ when she has time, or is waiting, and she had run out of ones on the wish list, so now there are more, most are $.01 plus shipping. Seeing Me Naked, about Elisabeth who comes from a famous family and ending up with a career and partner which her family, which does love her, totally disapproves. The ‘Naked’ is her self and desires, to accept that she does deserve what makes HER happy, is a book that I think a lot of people would like (since these romances have 120 to 65 five star reviews it seems to be true). Also Losing It, about a woman without girlfriends who is overweight, unhappy in her career and no romance in the future, just an elderly neighbor to talk to. As she decides to change her self, not to some ‘thin and successful dream’ but realistic expectations things happens, like her one and last sex experience comes back to town, no longer the shallow manipulative jerk (or is he). For those who feel they are still forging their new self, fighting with their own expectations and looking for the ‘more’ – those are two.

I have to rest, so the doctor’s and Linda says (until Thursday and boxing?). I will be watching TV, or since we don’t have one, DVD’s of TV shows. In order to make the most, I need to watch and resell the DVD set as close to release as possible, that is why most are bought in advance with the gift certificates. Because Vampire Diaries cost $37 and I sold used for $34.50 minus amazon commission (the first week there is a large demand, which decreases them more people who watch it and sell it on). No one really buys DVD sets from the wish list, but they are good value and I recommend them if you want to give a gift to me, as I am able to resell them once watched, plus they provide pain relief (this is actually a medical fact, the ‘distraction factor’) and help me when I can’t move about – plus, what I sell for, I put back into DVD’s (or manga sometimes, as that is bathroom reading – all 14+ hours a week in there). So I recommend Human Target ($27), Medium Season six, Bones, or Supernatural (see, new is $37, used is $36 - get used as you don't have to pay the tax, but you do have to pay $3 shipping) or the Mentalist season 2. They are releasing in the next few weeks. I am watching Criminal Minds Season 5 (Cheryl brings it in the morning) and I have used credits to get season 2 of Fringe for the following week. Then I am OUT OF DVD’s. – Fringe ships tomorrow to get here Thursday, Cheryl brings it Saturday. So that means I have to lock in what I will watch for the next two week in the next couple days as advance orders also ship ahead of time.

So, for the readers, here is a review of the hottest and best TV in recent DVD release, in five sentences each (um...not!).

Vampire Diaries: The first four episodes IS Twilight, the producer admits in extras being told that casting wasn’t important as they ‘already had an audience regardless’, basically it is a) girl who is innocent and has NO power at all, except to make people fall in love with her, b) broody vegan vampire, who doesn’t feed on human blood (or kill animals to get the blood) who falls for girl on day 1 of seeing her, c) bad boy brother who is also a vampire and who 150 years fell in love with a girl who looked like today’s girl, which got them both turned to vampires – the ‘Salvatore Brothers’ and then d) everyone around girl gets powers, like brother, best girlfriend (powerful witch), parents, uncles, etc. It is a huge soap opera where the brooding of who is in love with whom or who wants to kill whom that day is the topic. Things like SCHOOL are forgotten. Main irritation: The ‘biting an apple sound’ when they bite a human – I AM a biter and as a child used to bite the neck and I can assure you it NEVER sounds like an apple.

The Plus: um, if you really don’t want to think, and love Twilight, this is Twilight Plus, with added brooding! Also, hang your irony hat before watching ‘MYSTIC FALLS’ –ack! And 350 year old vampires can only seem to last a day or two here, apparently the most dangerous place on earth. Gay rating: -4 (no one is gay, black individuals killed off, Asian characters killed off, so I am sure gays would be too, homophobic remarks) - also another penalty for NO LESBIAN vampires, BOO!

Flash Forward: A single stand alone series where everyone sees the future but 20 million die as planes crash, cars crash, etc. Many interwoven stories about what people saw in the flash forward, some embracing what they see as fate, some trying to change what they see coming in six months. The first half felt like LOST – because it was designed to replace lost and go for five seasons, so important clues show up, but they meander around like the people in LOST who it seems take a lot of pot every day. Suddenly, show is cancelled for second season the it is pedal to the metal action, and evil organizations, genius’ who did programs in hospitals, all revealed leading to a thrilling cliff hanging conclusion (almost a cliff hanger) – overall, a good watch but not worth the hype. 3.5 out of 5 stars (check ALL over the bonus screen for easter eggs on ‘My vision’ with about 10 people giving their vision of what they saw, touching, funny, strange…). Gay friendly rating: 2 (one the one hand, only ONE gay character, some anti-gay comments and the ‘evil lesbian’)

NCIS season 7 – Apparently this became the number 1 show on regular TV in the seventh season, weird. The first episode is genius, but the rest are very spotty as we delve into side characters, and people’s pasts. Lots of guest stars but the logic of the death to be solved is often illogical (a 5’4” woman hauls a dead 250 lb Marine through a field and hoists him up as a scarecrow as just ONE of her kills?), sometimes catching the killer is forgotten completely and in one episode there is just a random shooting, no law much like the horrific walk in and shoot in the head transgender shooting of season 2 I think (the ‘some people just deserve to be killed, American Idea). Still maintains the ‘girls can only hit or kill girls’ attitude along with the patronizing of females in general. Humorously ALL contacts in the middle east are…..white, and the Muslim we find is WHITE with interviews with a Muslim Cleric who is African American. Okay, are there NO actors left in the US who are Arabic? However accepted gay banter is up and one ‘don’t ask, don’t tell moment puts this at the highest gay rating yet: 2

Two medical TV shows just out on DVD:

Trauma: Excellent show about EMT’s and Paramedics in the field and how they interact with hospitals. Informative if you have taken trips in ambulances many times like I have (Medics can give drugs, EMT 2 can do some tasks, EMT 1 can do others – some types of in-tubation is allowed, some is not – the old ‘maintain fluids until a REAL doctor arrives). Shows the limitations of both the medical and paramedic system, also one episode when the 911 system is down and calls go to 30 minutes, we get a very close hand look at what call centers for 911 do. As one Paramedic is an M.D. but doesn’t want the crap politics of doing rotations and because doctors don’t go in the field, she is torn between doing something that will save a life and getting written up or suspended, or letting someone die. There are also three characters with PTSD, one with a drinking problem, and two who are adrenaline junkies, including one who bottoms out, and needs therapy (very good therapy by the way) before coming back. Highly recommend, 4.5 stars out of 5 and hope this shows up again.

Mercy: this show covers what hospital shows DON’T, the ICU, and the admitted patients. So we get to see chronic illnesses as well as people who have to go in and out of hospital often and the choices they make. This is shown from the people who are there all the time, the nurses, who will see the patients 8-12 hours each day they are there. An openly gay character, a woman with battle PTSD displayed in excellent detail, and a newbie in her Hello Kitty smock round out the RN characters (including the time she has blood all over her smock after a horrific experience and throws it away with ‘no more flowers for a while’). There is a minimum of sleeping around, and exposure to a series of cases, also showing that RN’s are often the patients’ defense, even against the doctors who just come once a day. An episode of an intersex condition (not really one that is common), and portrayed pretty much EXACTLY like what happens, including a traumatized young teen with 6-8 doctors forcing them to spread their legs so they can comment and prod. When that happens in the world, it is sexual abuse, but in a hospital it is……science? Yeah. RN to the rescue, thank goodness. Some patients know they are going to die, some try not to, it is life. I would definitely pick up a copy (about $20 now I think). 5 out of 5 stars – directed and written by a female and you can tell the difference in tone, about life, not that ‘critical moment of adrenaline’. LGBT rating: 8 for 3 appearances of LGBTI individuals including one regular actor.

So have a good weekend, remember Linda’s romances please, and me as I ‘ow, ow, ow’ all the way through the weekend. Off to see the markets before they close tomorrow, don’t know how much sleep I will have though (5 hours, then three later?)


wendryn said...

I know it's "ow!" but I'm really glad you got out and went boxing!

Thanks for the reviews - they look interesting. :)


SharonMV said...

Hi Beth,kudos to you on the boxing! I hope the owies are not too bad. Congrats on the seating too.

I like the show Fringe. Season 2 was pretty good. Good characters and acting. I didn't watch Flash forward. I usually give sci-fi shows a chance, but the premise of this one didn't appeal to me. I'll try it ,if you think it is good.

Dennis did errands today. I didn't get out as I'm down with another sinus/bronchial infection.


Raccoon said...

OK, that's more energy than I expand at my gym!

Vampire Diaries: I couldn't get past the first few episodes. The little bit too much Dawson's Creek, I guess. The whole pretentious high school vampire thing.

Flash Forward: another series that I couldn't get into. I liked the premise, but something about the execution failed me.

NCIS: I don't watch the series very often, although it's good. Quirky. The goth girl in the lab is funny.

Mercy: I've heard about the show. It looks kind of interesting. Hey, it's got Dawn from "BTVS," so it can't be all bad.

I think I'm going to try for adrenaline sometime this week. Resident Evil IV came out this weekend.

Linda McClung said...

I'm glad you were able to go boxing this week Beth. I just wish you didn't have to be in pain for so long afterward. Ian sure was happy to see you.

Thanks for the book and DVD reviews. I like that you put an LGBT rating on it. Mercy sounds like the one I'd be most likely to watch and the Vampire Diaries the least. I think I'm one of a very small group of people who just can't get into the whole vampire thing.

Thanks for putting some romances on the wishlist for me. Every once in a while I love sitting down with a cheesy romance and chilling out. Sunday nights are great for that - we've usually been going steady all weekend working on postcards. The only escapism I think I like even more is a nap. Hmmm... maybe it's a toss up now that I think about it. I LOVE naps!

rachelcreative said...

Hope the resting goes to plan ;)

I am watching the DVD set of season 2 of Battlestar Galactica with my husband. I've never been big into sci-fi but am realising a lot of modern sci-fi is more to do with the story and characters than being solely occupied with the futuristic stuff.

I'm also (slowly) watching Rescue Me season 1 and the complete box set of Paddington Bear :) And we have a couple of comedy series we can stick on from time to time.

My father-in-law has lent us Mad Men season 1 but haven't watched any yet.

And season 1 of the Mentalist just recently re-started on TV so I've been watching that along with endless episodes of The Guardian which is rolling along every day on daytime TV. I think I am in mid season 3 - hoping it will roll over to start again at episode 1 season 1 and I can see what I missed!

DVD distraction is good.

Elizabeth McClung said...

Wendryn: I went out, improved circulation, did one act of deliberate intent for the week.

Reviews will differ, I know many people rave about Vampire Diaries, and they plan to go on....and on....and on, season after season - these days, if it doesn't go for 5 seasons, they aren't interested.

SharonMV: THanks ergo boxing, any time I don't have a stroke is a plus.

Seating: eh, is this some form of extreme sarcasm, do you mean the time I will be lying helpless and in agony? Um, yeah, glad to accomplish that.

Flash Forward: um, yeah, I am hoping to do a review about it so you can decide if you want to watch it or not, particularly if you are lesbian. (?????)

Ah, I had my heart beat grow fainter and stop, along with my breathing. This eliminated any pain involved with my infections. It also DID produce a ring of light.

Raccoon: But you go twice a week and I go once, but I do recommend cod liver oil to stop the nose and eye bleeds (odd reaction, the oozing from the eyes at boxing - why I don't wear contacts to boxing).

I like the resident Evil movies - are you talking the movie or the game, as some game are just to creepy to survive. I think Silent Hill was like that - who makes the 'triangle head' as monsters?

Linda: Me too, as much pain as I am in, people think I must like it - I don't, I like being alive.

We can watch mercy in a while, soon, as I won't remember any of it soon.

I wish we could watch things together - I really need better pain meds to be able to lie there for two hours or 60 minutes or 45 for a show, it just HURTS. I want to watch a film, I just have to find time and pain relief. Until then, romances are easier for you to carry around. Sleep in all you want now.

RachelCreative: TV? what is TV? The Guardian has three seasons? I know season 1 is very different to the others as it is all about representing only children's wishes, sometimes against siblings, guardians, the system, parents, etc. It is an unique perspective but I think they branched out to make it go on to further seasons.

I haven't seen mad men is about a bunch of guys - which is like, oh, wow, I wonder if there are any shows I can think of about a bunch of guys? yeah. Now if they kill people or stuff, count me in.

Raccoon said...

Resident Evil IV, the movie, in 3-D. Apparently they used the same 3-D system that Avatar used last year, co-invented by James Cameron.

I didn't see Silent Hill, although I heard that it was based off a video game.

There is an action comedy romance out right now, too, that looks like fun. Scott Pilgrim. He has to fight The League of Evil Ex's to win his girl's heart... It is based off of a series of graphic novels.