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Available on Video Movie Review: “The Call”

Available on Video Movie Review: “The Call”

Nov 18, 2014

WARNING: This column contains major spoilers “9-1-1, what’s your emergency?” These words are spoken over and over, every second of every day. The calls coming in to a 9-1-1 center range from the absurd: A Florida woman who called because McDonald’s was out of Chicken McNuggets and they would not give her, her money back and were trying to talk her into taking McDouble sandwiches instead, to the mild: A raccoon has gotten in the house through the dog door, to the serious: Someone is breaking into my house and I am all alone. There are a special breed of people out there known as 9-1-1 operators and they have one of the highest stress jobs of all time. That is the subject for this movie. Halle Berry stars as 9-1-1 operator Jordan Turner and the movie chronicles 2 days at her job that occur 6 months apart. The movie is “The Call” and it is a white knuckle nail-biting thriller. This is Movie Bad Girl of the Week.   9-1-1 operator Jordan Turner is working the night shift when a call comes in from a teenage girl who is at home alone. There is an intruder breaking into her house. Jordan assists the girl telling her to open a bedroom window like an escape route and then to hide. The girl does as instructed. The man cannot find her and is in the process of leaving the house when the call is disconnected. Jordan redials the number and the man who is in exiting the house hears the phone ring and finds the young lady. The man takes the phone and Jordan tries to talk him out of hurting the young woman. He tells Jordan “It’s already done” and hangs up. A day later the girl’s body is found in a shallow grave. Jordan is filled with guilt feeling responsible for the death of the teenager. Six months later Jordan, still haunted by the death of the girl, has become a trainer for new 9-1-1 operators. She cannot bring herself to be on the phones since the incident half a year earlier. She takes the new employees into the main work area so they...

Now and Then Part 1

Now and Then Part 1

Nov 17, 2014

I was sitting here watching “Needful Things” with my husband. That made me think of a store I was once in. It was full of retro items which made me get lost in a world of nostalgia thinking of my childhood. I was in the store  for about 3 1/2 hours enjoying looking at all the items and taking pleasure in my memories of simpler times. When I was young I was so easy to please. We didn’t have all the high-tech gadgets and games kids are privy to now and we didn’t need them. We used our imaginations and simple things could bring so much pleasure to one’s life. I want to make some comparisons between my life as a child vs. my life now as an adult. I am still pleased by simple things, but those seem to be far and few between nowadays. Take my hand as we take another journey down memory lane. Groceries When I was a child my family went to the grocery store and if an item was desired it was purchased, period. Now I find myself walking through the grocery store thinking of exactly how much I can afford to spend on food. What’s on sale? What’s two for one? Which items need to be the store brand so I can save some money? We need toilet paper this week so no breakfast cereal. When did food get so expensive? For that matter when did everything get so expensive? As a child there wasn’t too much I would request from the grocery store. I liked most foods. I did make my special requests for breakfast cereal (usually something advertised on television that was sweet) like Capt. Crunch or Count Chocula. I also made requests for Kool-Aid drink mix or it’s competing brand Funny Face. The thought of food was more exciting if I got to go on the trip to the store and could choose the items myself! I would look at the monster wall of cereal with so many brands and flavors that I didn’t know if I was coming or going. My family would get annoyed because I took so long choosing the desired breakfast food (hold on,...

Swimming Is My Passion. What’s Yours?

Swimming Is My Passion. What’s Yours?

Nov 13, 2014

By Mo Breden Life with Mo took a pretty amazing turn this month. I have written previously about my swim life. On the 5th of November, I celebrated two years as a Master Swimmer. On the 7th of November, I achieved a personal swim goal for 2014 of swimming 500 miles. And finally, on the 9th of November I completed my first marathon swim, of 8 miles. Swimming from Clearwater to Tampa, Florida along the Courtney Campbell Causeway, becoming the oldest female to do this. Some of these accomplishments I shared with others, and some were between me and myself until this moment. The significance of reaching these goals is something I’d like to talk to you about today. First, nobody accomplishes anything worthwhile without the help of others. For the entire summer, I swam at least twice a week in open water, with someone I consider to be a world-class athlete. My training partner pushed me to my absolute limits every time we swam. We swam in some crazy conditions with waves lifting us way up and crashing us way down, we had a few “moments” of disagreement, but the thing I remember most is her laughing through the worst of what the open water threw at us. She made it fun. My training partner has a tough exterior, but she was the first to meet me at the waters edge at the completion of the 8 miles. She was choking back tears as we hugged, knowing we had done it, together. My lane mates, all of you that have ever shared the pool with me, you all gave me something. Watching you improve helped me to improve. Your support and encouragement over the past two years has been priceless. We all have had our ups and our downs, but in the end, we showed up to practice, and we pushed hard every night. Some of you were also there waiting for my 8 mile finish, and I will carry your warm hugs and congratulations with me always. This year I had two coaches. My YMCA Masters Coach took me from not being able to swim with my face in the water, to...

The Salon: Give Yourself Time To Bloom

The Salon: Give Yourself Time To Bloom

Nov 12, 2014

And you — what of your rushed and useful life? Imagine setting it all down — papers, plans, appointments, everything — leaving only a note: “Gone to the fields to be lovely. Be back when I’m through with blooming.” -Lynn Unger I had an emotional night with a dear friend. Thankfully, my friend allowed me to cry and get angry and work through my frustration–and didn’t allow me to walk away before it was all settled. The question of the evening was whether or not I should accept more work. For the last six months I have been setting things in motion, plans that are now manifesting themselves. The trouble is, other forces are at work and I am no longer in the same position I was in six months ago! Do I continue working on these “plans” or do I let them go? My friend asked me, “What kind of person do you want to be during all this?” He clarified and said, “Of course you can do it. You are capable of doing it all at the same time. But what kind of person will you be if you do? Do you want to be that person?” Whoa. In my rush to do all.the.things. In my haste to keep all the balls in the air JUST BECAUSE I had put them there in the first place, I forgot to think about the value of personality. My attitude and the face that I present to the world is important to me. I want to be remembered for the positive influence I bring to the table, not for being a raving lunatic B@$%*. If I say yes to all of the opportunities I worked for, I am endangering my ability to calm with my children. I endanger my ability to be present for my spouse who needs my support right now. Perhaps you can identify with #FOMO, or the fear of missing out. For me it looks like this, “If I don’t take this opportunity, even though I have no room for it and it is really bad timing, I will NEVER GET ANOTHER CHANCE LIKE THIS AGAIN! It is the “never” part that grips...

What I Look For In A Movie Bad Girl

What I Look For In A Movie Bad Girl

Nov 11, 2014

Sometimes when I am looking for a character for this column I don’t do myself any favors. Writing this column requires constant movie watching and last week I overdid it. I watched too many films and found some ladies that really impressed me. The problem was choosing just one. I took too long trying to come to a decision. The reason I say it is a problem is the fact that 16 different ladies impressed me and in order to write the column I would have to go back and watch the particular film over so I didn’t mix any details up on a particular story or character. I didn’t leave myself enough time to go back a re-watch a single film so at the end of my column I am going to give you some homework. I will give you a title and I would love it if you would watch the movie sometime this week. I will re-watch it so I can write next week’s column. I would love to hear your thoughts on the movie and character as well. So in the meantime I figured that I would explain some of what I look for when I am deciding on which characters to write about.  I have always said that a Movie Bad Girl is a female character who is self-empowered in some way. That is a general statement. I will go a bit deeper here and explain some of the details I watch for. I hope you enjoy this look into how my mind works for this column. This is Movie Bad Girl of the Week! One of my favorite types of Movie Bad Girl are mothers. We watch movies and go on amazing journeys with the characters on the screen. On occasion we get lucky and meet a mom who goes above and beyond. It usually will be a story where her family (the kids in particular) end up in a deadly or dangerous situation. I love seeing a mom who will stop at nothing to protect her loved ones. Some great examples are Kathy Bates as Dolores Claiborne (also the title of the movie), Meryl Streep as Gail Hartman...

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