Happy Birthday, Mouse!

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Micah and Cillian 2016I am so proud of the thoughtful artist you've become and the lovely relationship you have built with Cillian. He's lucky to have you for a dad and I am lucky to be your mom. 🙂 Happy Birthday, Mouse.

 

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The Dog Bob’s No Good Very Bad Day

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Jules Vilmur with The Dog BobThe news from Bob's vet is bad. It reminds me of that scene in St. Elmo's fire where Mare Winningham takes Rob Lowe to her parent's house for dinner and her mother whispers the words she finds too terrible to say aloud.

Cancer.

Agressive.

Untreatable.

And so we're losing him – the tiniest thing I ever saw – my bestest puppy ever and an emissary for his breed. And I know, he's just a dog, but he's my dog and so this fucked up world has found another way to break my heart.

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Heritage Oak Winery Stress Therapy

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Heritage Oak Winery Stress TherapyEspecially in light of the anxiety I mentioned yesterday, I'm the kind of person who finds it hard to relax. So when I do, outside of my normal routine (on the couch with Bob, Ollie and a glass of something anesthetizing) it is a small miracle. Friday evening found us in the garden at Heritage Oak Winery, with friends, food, music and of course, wine. The winery is on the outskirts of Acampo in what has become the valley's "wine country".It's an hour north of MoTown and was definitely worth the trip.

Heritage Oak Winery is one of those ridiculously charming vineyards, with the family farm house, ancient trees and bird-watching tours. Their summer Stress Therapy sessions are an invitation to enjoy the sunset and sample their wines. We brought our own picnic and paired the wines with Manchego, Soppressatta and a hunk of roasted garlic bread that our friend Kimmie brought along.

If you're in the area, pick up a bottle of their Zinfidelity, a happy mistake of Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon.

And if sunset is impending, give me a holler. I'll scare up some fancy Spanish cheese and share a bottle with you.

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My Grief Should Be Treated for Anxiety

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anxietyI’ve been trying for weeks to string a few sentences together, but I can’t. The focus isn’t there. The words are a jumble in my head, and then on the page and erased moments later. Yet again, I'm trying to write about the anxiety, not the social bitch I grew up with but the one that results in visions of calamity on a daily basis.

Like the Australian public service announcement that became the game Dumb Ways to Die, I envision thoughtless mishaps with devastating results. Stepping on wet tile in the bathroom, I see myself falling backward, smashing my head on the tub. Reaching for the switch on the garbage disposal, I cringe, imagining fingers and hands mutilated by its blades. On the road, an infinite number of scenarios present themselves. And it’s not like the I-might-drive-into-this-wall days. No, this is more like I'm the man in the street, about to be blindsided by the bus.

I get what the root of the problem is. The links between anxiety and bereavement have been well-documented, but knowing where it comes from and fixing it are vastly different things.

In the phobic realm, the excessive fear of accidents is called Dystychiphobia. For me though, it doesn't feel excessive. It mostly just feels like knowing, we are never as safe as we think we are. 

 

 

 

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Patterson’s Wager; The Indie Flick You Sadly Missed

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pattersons wagerAges ago, I asked Susanne The Scot's husband if he thought that she believed in the Loch Ness Monster. 

"Deep down she's a romantic, so yes, I expect she does," he answered.

This conversation came back to me after seeing Patterson's Wager that first time.

Not because it's about the Nessie (it's not), but because deep down, I too am a romantic and this little movie got past the cynical wall I built to keep out schlocky romantic comedies and lovelorn sagas. It surprised and charmed me. That, my friends, is rare.

I haven't been officially employed as a film writer in nearly a decade, but I still watch a lot of movies and every once in a while, I get the urge to write about one. O. Corbin Saleken's 2015 film Patterson's Wager is is one of those movies.

This Canadian indie has been making the festival circuit and racking up awards along the way. Jeremy and I discovered it through Fred Ewanuick, who is cast as Charles, an ordinary guy in an extrordinary situation. Without explanation or warning, Charles begins to have visions of events just moments in the future. 

As a subject and storytelling device precognition is nothing new, but Saleken has used it deftly, in service to the real challenge his character faces.

I'd say more, but I'd hate to ruin this lovely little film for you, so go find it at iTunes, Vimeo or on Amazon VOD and come back to check out the Geekishcast interview with O'Corbin Saleken below.

 

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