slipped away for a while

We decided to take a break and catch a matinee today. Oh good, it starts at 4:30, we can catch that one easily because it’s at the theater about a mile away. Quick save of the stuff we’re working on, take the dog out for a pee, turn on Animal Planet for her to watch as she mopes, fill the cat’s food bowl, and we’re off. (Things are never completely simple.)

I forget how or why it came up, but Stanley mentioned that he wants to go see Dr. Lomnitz, his cardiologist, soon. Oh god oh god now what? And why is he telling me this now, when it’s too late to call the office and schedule an appointment?

Stanley said this week he’s started having this weird missed heartbeat, one that he can feel, when he’s not exerting himself. Like a thunk, he said. Which is one of the things we were told to watch out for after his surgery. “Call your doctor,” boldface, underlined. Ok, we’ll put in a call to his regular doctor when we get home—even if Dr. Horn isn’t around, there will be someone on call who can tell us if this is urgent or not-so-urgent.

imageMeanwhile, we made it in time to see A History of Violence. I didn’t know what to expect—some of Cronenberg’s stuff I really like (Spider), some of it doesn’t work at all (eXistenZ). History of Violence, I think, is superb. I’d heard a bit about the plot, saw that it is getting decent reviews. (Cronenberg kept a video blog—for what’s it’s worth.)

I didn’t care much about either Viggo Mortensen or Maria Bello being in the movie since I’ve never been particularly inspired by their acting (I’ve watched every episode of ER since it began, and don’t remember Bello’s character, and I’m not one of the Lord of the Rings droolers, so ... ) But I was surprised at how good they are in this movie—it was like an added unexpected pleasure.

Ed Harris was very good (that I expected), and I was blown away by William Hurt’s too-brief performance. Even the sheriff and the kids were good in this movie.

HOV is, well, a quiet movie. Not for the ADHD among us, for which I was very glad. It starts out with bad guys doing bad things in a terribly banal setting, then moves on to small-town America, focusing on a family where they actually love eachother. Husband and wife are still in love, the sibs are decent to eachother. Dad, Tom Stall, owns a diner in a small town (allegedly in Indiana, but it didn’t look like Indiana to me, but no matter), Mom is a lawyer, brother in high school, sister is maybe five? Sweet silly sex scene at the beginning, establishing that all is well in their world.

Enter the bad guys from the opening scenes. They need dinero, so decide to rob the diner and in the process it looks like they’re going to blow everyone away. Tom prevents this by taking out the bad guys. The deaths are not painless, pretty movie shooting deaths—bad guy one is still awake and aware and twitching with his lower face blown off. Tom emerges a hero, though he’s like a deer blinded in the headlights by all the attention.

Soon, a new set of bad guys show up, looking for Tom, only calling him Joey Cusack and claiming they remember him from Philadelphia. A case of mistaken identity. Things go bad rapidly, veneers get ripped away when pushed too far or pushed into a corner. Tom’s wife, Edie, has her world ripped from under her, has 20 years of what she thought she knew just dissolve into confusion and mistrust. Son Jack gets pushed too far and pushed into a corner and discovers what he’s capable of.

Assumptions change, new limits of living with new knowledge have to be established. A sex scene where the sex is the fierce kind a couple has when their world is collapsing. At first, I didn’t like the ending, it wasn’t enough, but after thinking about it, I realize that the ending is just as it should be.

It was a good movie—glad I saw it. It is worth paying full price.

Oh, and we did put a call in to Stanley’s doctor. Or rather, the doctor on call. Who did call back and talk to him for a while and pretty much told him that he probably needs to get an ECG, get it checked out, by his cardiologist. So tomorrow morning we start dealing with trying to get through the cardiologist’s incompetent staff and in to see the doc before it involves a trip to the ER. Let’s hope that six months makes a difference. The missed heartbeats can be caused by a number of things ranging from too much caffeine to meds to stress to we’ll - never - know. I just want it checked.

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