Once Bitten, Twice Shy: Short Film

Looking good! Don’t forget to check out indiegogo on this!

Films and Things

I know I know, you’re probably sick of updates on this short film but I had to post another one!
Everything has come together nicely, and as always it turns out I was stressing over nothing! Now, generally at least one thing has to go wrong before it can all go smoothly, but as yet nothing has gone wrong! The only two things left to sort out are; the location and the equipment. I’m awaiting an email back about the location, but it’s a friend of mine (well, the house is her parents’ but you know!) and she assures me it won’t be a problem, so fingers crossed. The equipment is the only thing I can see going wrong.
We have a camera already, which belongs to one of the crew, so all we need is an Edirol and boom mic to record the audio, a dolly, a tripod and…

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Healthy Heart: Rehab and Diet

Before you ask; no, no-one looked like that at my session.
Before you ask; no, no-one looked like that at my session.

Today was my first rehabilitation session with the Cardio group. I think that I was the youngest,  but there was one other chap (a foreigner like me) who may have been a year or two younger. Either way, he and I were the “youngsters” of the group.

Having to wait for over seven and a half months to do my rehab, I was a little excited and a bit worried. I got there way too early and felt awkward as hell sitting in the hallway while waiting for the Physiotherapist to call me and the other “heart” patients in.

When I first got there a chap with a goatee who was being wheeled into an operating theatre waved to me and said, “Oh, hi Mike.” I nodded back and then spent the next twenty minutes wondering, ‘Who in the hell was that?’ It is at times like these that my idiotic vanity about wearing my glasses frustrates me almost enough to start wearing them.

But not quite.

In the interim, more folks gathered in the hallway and we were all called in together. I and two other folks were the “noob’s” of the group and got special attention. I do not know about the other two (a chap and a woman) but I felt stupid and clumsy. Not to mention the fact that I had to slow myself down.

At first, I felt that all the exercises were too easy. I was annoyed that I’d had to spit out my nicotine gum and I was beginning to think that all this had been a complete waste of time.

Then we got to the “sitting” exercise. It’s simple. You sit on a small stool (bench) and stand up. You then repeat this process for two whole minutes. At the midway point the first time we did this exercise, I looked at the chap next to me and said, “This one is going to be the killer.”

He nodded and grinned. The second time we had to do the exercise, he looked at me and said, “Did you say this was going to be a killer?” It was my turn to grin and nod. “You’re right, ” he said, “It’s a killer.”

This will give you an idea of this "killer" exercise. Again, none of my session mates looked like this.
This will give you an idea of this “killer” exercise. Again, none of my session mates looked like this.

At the end of the session we had tea or coffee (lovely touch, that) and a fifteen minute “cool-down” period. We all chatted and asked the odd question of the three ladies who ran the rehab group. When our time was up, I grabbed my hat and jacket and  said to the group, “see you later ladies.”

My stool sitting chum grinned and said, “See you next week!”

A good start to my eight week program and one that I expect to benefit greatly from as well as enjoy as the ladies running it make this whole thing a fun experience.

My new diet is another matter entirely. My first session last week with the Cardio specialist was an exercise of a different sort. I sat there dumbfounded for most of it. The reason?

Well:

Tuna fish in a tin (can) has no Omega 3. Zero. Zip. It’s something to do with the canning process. If it isn’t fresh (and who can afford that on a regular basis, I ask you) it isn’t healthy.

Salmon, mackerel, sardines, pilchards and kippers all are chock-a-block (full) of the stuff; tinned or otherwise. Now the only thing wrong with this list is that I only really like sardines and pilchards. So it’s going to be the Omega 3 supplements for me I’m afraid. Everything else is too damned fishy and oily.

Salad for my main meal (tea in this country, dinner in the US) is okay, but, it needs to be full of peppers, onions, carrots, et al, for it to be of any real benefit. This new fad of “5 a day” that is being almost literally shoved down our throats dictates that even loaded with the maximum of goodies, salad does not even equal one of that five.

Okay! I heard you the first time!
Okay! I heard you the first time!

I did explain that after my heart attack and surgeries that I did not eat that much. It is pretty much impossible for me to have five of anything per day! I also pointed out that if I increased my food intake, my “measurements” for the healthy zone were going to be shot.

On the positive side, I was told that my occasional ingestion of eggs and low-salt, low-fat bacon was okay. That my move away from meat as my main staple, while not necessary, was nonetheless helpful. I was also told that low-salt was a misnomer because no matter how high the salt content is, it is still salt.

I was also told to stop eating the fancy (spelled expensive) margarine since to get it to actually lower my cholesterol I’d have to eat gallons of it. A good old olive oil based margarine was just as efficient and cheaper.

As I sit here feeling comfortably healthy and full from my mackerel and toast snack, I am looking forward to my next week’s session and my salad for tea.

Perhaps I can work up to this “5-a-day” requirement, but, I’m not holding my breath.

Photo on 26-04-2013 at 10.10

Repeaters (2010): Groundhog Day Hell

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What would you do if you had a chance to relive just one day over and over? Try to change your destiny? Change the world? Change your life? In a 24 hour rewind you wouldn’t think that there would be a huge opportunity to change very much. Three “twenty-somethings” find out just how life changing a repeated second chance is in this brilliant little film from Canada.

Written by Arne Olsen (Relic Hunter, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie)  and directed by Carl Bessai (Severed, Normal) Repeaters is the story of three inmates of a drug rehabilitation centre in Mission City. Kyle Halstead (Dustin Milligan), Sonia Logan (Amanda Crew) and Michael Weeks (Richard De Clerk) all hang out together and one event filled day they become caught in a time warp that results in them re-living that day repeatedly.

The combination of great story-line and great performances by the lead actors made this spontaneous purchase of an 8 pound DVD turn into a real gem of a film.

Richard De Clert, Amanda Crew and
Richard De Clert, Amanda Crew and Dustin Milligan.

The publicity/marketing for the film states that the film is like Taken meets Groundhog Day. Now that sounds good, but in my humble opinion the film is more like Groundhog Day meets Flatliners.

My only real problem with the film was the lead actors resemblance’s to other actors and (in one case) to one of my first cousins. The most obvious one was Amanda Crew who looked so much like Jennifer Love Hewitt that I kept wondering how she’d managed to look so young. Obviously the film makers saw this resemblance as they never lost an opportunity to put a knit hat on her head that enhanced the likeness.

Still, resemblances aside, the actors did a magnificent job in the film. The three of them interacted with each other and other characters in the film, brilliantly.

The best thing about the film, was their evolving feelings about the repetitious day. Denial, acceptance, enjoyment, disillusionment. and realisation. Unfortunately, the two male characters had more of a story arch than the female lead, but despite the slight annoyance of this fact the film still delivered a pretty impressive punch.

There is not a whole lot of information available on this 2010 Canadian independent film, but they do still have a website: Repeaters.

If you get a chance, check this film out. This is the third Canadian film to completely blow me away and it’s left me with a growing admiration for my “first cousins” and their creative ability.

A real 5 star film about a supernatural event that will blow you away.

Watch this film.

Director Carl Bessai.
Director Carl Bessai.

Tree Homes for Gnomes

I love the look of this…

Featured E - Magazine

I’ve always been fascinated with gnomes. My yard is filled with them. I also have little doors fashioned by the trees. If you listen carefully, you may hear the door open and close.

Recently, artist Daniel Barreto fashioned a set of miniature homes set in a nearby forrest. He is an artist of 21 years who lives and studies in Boston, Massachusetts. What makes the photo imagery fascinating is he has set the photo manipulation in a moveable GIF image.

In making these images, Daniel reveals these are a “series of photo-manipulation . . . combining parts of houses on trees.”

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Life After Almost Dying…

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I wanted a nice “eye-catching” title for my post today. After battling with myself for all of two minutes, I decided not to use the Life after Death title I wanted. Because, although I was technically “dead” while they operation on me for hours, I wasn’t really dead.

At least, I don’t think so.

I mean,  I did not see a white light; get visited by old dear dead relatives; receive any messages from beyond and I did not have any earth shattering visions. I was a little disappointed.

But then, I felt the same three years ago when they pumped me full of radioactive gunk and ran tests on me. I sort of hoped that I’d get some sort of super power, like Spiderman or even Dr Doom. (I know he’s a bad guy, okay?)

I have mentioned that before I was checked out of the hospital early (the staff and the doctors/surgeons were amazed that I’d “recovered” in 4 days) the cardiologist gave me a “pep” talk.

Said talk consisted of me suddenly realising one day that I’d almost died and that I would react, most probably, badly to it.

Hasn’t happened.

Yet.

But I have changed. No doubt about it. I’m different.

I could not have told you why either. Not until the other day at least.

I’ve finally been allowed to attend cardiology rehabilitation. I won’t go into the reasons why I’ve had to wait for over six months after the heart attack and two surgeries to attend. I’ve written about it all before. At my first “rehab” appointment I was given a questionnaire to fill in. Very much like the one I’d filled in on my first visit to my local GP after I got home from the hospital.

It asks lots of questions about how you feel.

Do you worry? Are you stressed? And so on.

One question towards the end  jumped off the page at me.

http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&docid=j5v0icf_wah8RM&tbnid=z6Ic8jgYKePDqM:&ved=0CAQQjB0&url=http%3A%2F%2Fkatarzyna24.wordpress.com%2F2008%2F02%2F25%2Ftempus-fugit%2F&ei=T8J-UZmJAsnO0QWG54GoAQ&bvm=bv.45645796,d.d2k&psig=AFQjCNHb5ni8pL-zIGKHpnKS5wOA_ognkA&ust=1367348112581422
katarzyna24.wordpress.com

Do you feel like you are in a hurry or like there is not enough time?

Bingo!

That is exactly how I feel.

I’ve been rushing around trying to do so many things; mainly because I’m afraid if I don’t, I’ll never get anything accomplished.

It  has dawned on me that I’ve spent the vast majority of my life not doing the things I was passionate about or even enjoyed doing.

My “too close for comfort” brush against the big guy with the scythe and hood made me realise it was time to stop futzing around. I then jumped back into the writing of my blog with almost manic energy (after  I’d started feeling like I really was alive after all) and then took stock.

At the end of that stock take, I’d made up my mind. Try everything that you’ve wanted to do for years; things that, damn it, you were good at. Writing and acting leapt to the front of the queue.

I am writing (a bit more sedately as I’m having to share my output) my blog, of course, but I’m also writing for Rogue Cinema. I’ve gotten my first freelance job, I’ve applied to The New Yorker Times, I’ve been accepted by What Culture and I’ll be acting for the first time in years around June/July this year. I am also, starting on May 16th, a host for Tomorrow Comes Media.

Some of my research.
Some of my research.

I am also up to chapter 7 of my book and I’m still sorting out ideas for more short stories for my collection.

I’m also researching, reading and discovering new authors and films. All these are just on the creative side of my life.

I’ve found that I can also take care of my house, garden, exercise, cook and try to get on top of my financial crisis.

Life is, at the moment, pretty damned sweet.

It is also busy.

So life after almost dying is good and, it has to be said, much better than the alternative.

Writing something!
Writing something!

 

Remember the Sophia Stewart Story? Well…

Remember the Sophia Stewart Story? Well…

Rather sadly, the story that I linked yesterday is not true. Read on…

The AfricanGlobe has printed a “clarifying” article retracting its early information.