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Spirk (with a small dose of Pinto)

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The Death Wishes

Recently, as in since this all began, the pandemic to end all pandemics (I am using humor here, please don’t think I don’t take it seriously), I decided to watch the Death Wishes. Bruce Willis had done a remake of the movie Charles Bronson did. I could watch both for free on Amazon so I did. Here are my comparisons, which I have been meaning to do for a while.

Now I can take Bruce or leave him. He’s done a couple of movies I just loved. The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable. I don’t mind Die Hard. I like Red (Karl Urban is in that and great too). But lets face it, he’s not always the greatest actor. He’s okay. And I think I’ve heard as a person he can be…challenging.

There will be massive spoilers going forward so be warned should you desire to see them.

I saw Bruce’s version first. His character is named the same as Charles’ is. Paul Kersey. But Bruce’s Kersey is a trauma surgeon in Chicago. He saves lives of gang members and the like all day long, plus good guys too. In the city. He has a very nice suburban life with a beautiful wife and almost graduating high school senior. His slightly less successful brother is played by one of my absolute favorites, Vincent D’onofrio . In the beginning Vincent’s character asks Kersey for money, which he loans him. They go out of their way at first to show that Kersey is not a touch guy with several scenes. Then he goes out to dinner with his wife, daughter, and brother. They have a nice dinner and the daughter talks about where she will go to college. The valet guy overhears where they live while they are talking as he’s getting their car and he hears them say that the next night they won’t be home as they are going out for Paul’s birthday dinner.

Believing they won’t be home, this dude, who is a scumbag criminal, arranges for him and his band of thieves to rob their house. But as it turns out, Paul being a trauma surgeon, is called in to work at the hospital that night and the birthday dinner is to be postponed. The thieves don’t know this, however, and so break in and terrorize Paul’s wife and daughter. When the wife sees they are getting rough with her daughter, she tries to intervene and one of them shoots her. They then beat the teenaged daughter until she is in a coma.

Paul and his brother end up running to where they are taken at the hospital and they are told the wife died but the daughter is in this coma. They never say she is raped, which I am grateful for, since she’s supposed to be a teenager. It’s just implied here that they beat her. (more about the rape when I get to Bronson’s).

Now for much of the rest of the movie, his daughter remains in a coma. Kersey is treating a gang member one day in the hospital and the dude’s gun falls onto the floor. He kicks it under the table to collect it later. He has gone to the police and they are having trouble solving the crime.

Anyhow, one day he sees this couple getting mugged and he ends up using the gun to save them, and thereafter, he makes it his business to find the ones who were responsible to what happened to his wife and daughter.

And he does. He gets every one of the guys responsible. And in pretty brutal ways, not gonna lie.

Now the daughter wakes up toward the end and goes home with Kersey and his brother (who paid Kersey back) and is probably the most likeable character in the movie, and as they are leaving the hospital, Kersey sees the final guy responsible. The daughter doesn’t remember much but this thug thinks she might some day so he decides to go back to Kersey’s house to kill her. But this time Kersey is ready and has her hide and he kills the thug and the cops look the other way because they feel bad they couldn’t solve the case. But they tell him stop killing people and he’s like I got them. I’m done.

Now in some ways I expected Bronson’s movie to be less brutal than Bruce’s. Because movies can do much more now than they did then. But on the other hand I realized this was still Bronson and it was still going to be brutal. It was and a few scenes actually were worse for me.

First, the 70s porn music that played throughout was just horrible. That’s a side note.

In the 1970s one, Kersey is an architect rather than a doctor and they live in New York City not Chicago. Kersey and his wife (a famous actress of the time and I can’t recall who, it wasn’t Bronson’s wife Jill though, who he did do movies with) have been vacationing in Hawaii. When they return, they go out of their way to show that Kersey is a bleeding heart liberal and thinks criminals get a bad rap and are just down on their luck.

The Kerseys have an adult daughter in this one and she is married. In this one, Kersey’s wife and daughter are spending the day together and they are seen at a local high end grocery store that delivers to their high-rise apartment. A group of “freaks” sees them. That is even what they are called on IMDB. None of the freaks are recognizable save for one, and it’s Jeff Goldblum in his very first role. Anyway, these freaks follow Kersey’s wife and daughter back to their apartment building and somehow sneak through a side door even though it’s the kind of building with a doorman.

They ring the bell of the apartment and because they are waiting for groceries to be delivered, the daughter opens the door. The freaks come in and brutally beat both women. They try to rob them but they have very little cash. They then rape the daughter. I had read that she got raped and I was hoping it wasn’t especially graphic but it was graphic enough trust me. There is one thing they do that…I can’t even say. Anyway, it’s mercifully fast and over.

But they leave the women for dead. The daughter manages to call her husband and they are taken to the hospital where the wife dies. The daughter lives but is never the same and just stares into space and is eventually committed to a mental hospital.

Kersey has the son-in-law in this one and he is whiny and annoying. The brother character in the later version is much better.

Anyway similar to the remake, Kersey begins to go after criminals and he ends up killing a lot of them and gets a reputation as a vigilante killer in the city and many people like him because of it.

Unlike the remake, the cops never figure out who the “freaks” were and neither does Kersey. So he never gets those directly responsible for what happened to his wife and daughter.

But I found Bronson’s Kersey to be surprisingly much more sympathetic. When he first starts killing muggers and the like he gets sick and hates himself for it. Feels terrible. Bruce never does. And anyway he just seemed like he had been a nicer guy.

In the end, just like in Bruce’s the cops tell him to stop killing and he says he will. But he then moves to Chicago and starts to look at criminals like he’s not done.

Now, like I said, I thought Bronson was more sympathetic, but I liked how in Bruce’s he went after the guys who actually attacked his wife and daughter rather than random thugs. The son-in-law in Bronson’s was horrible and whiny and the brother in Bruce’s was one of the best parts. I liked how the daughter recovered in Bruce’s and also because she was a teen, they didn’t go the rape route. The music in the 70s version was just awful.

I didn’t come away with hating either movie but I can’t say I loved either movie or even liked them. They weren’t the worst movies I’d ever seen, but they were, like, meh.

Rambles, May 09, 2020

Don’t really have any May pictures yet. So you get one of theirs. Nice, huh?

Photo by Mike on Pexels.com

Today I heard that a place out here called the Soup Plantation was going out of permanent business. If you don’t have those out there, it’s basically a buffet restaurant, think Hometown Buffet or Golden Corral, is you have those. Basically they don’t think the health agencies will ever let them operate again under this modern day life with the pandemic, so they closed down. I’m not much of a buffet person, but that place was okay, when I went there, and it’s more sad to me that 4,400 people are permanently out of jobs.

This time, this year, is just…there are no words really.

My company seems to be indicating now that we won’t be getting back into the office for months. They are even temporarily closing entire offices so they don’t have to pay for space/electricity we are not using. I definitely don’t anticipate going back at least through the summer. This really is stunning and unprecedented to say the least. I don’t think they want to rush anything only to have us all sent back out again. But it has made for a significant adjustment.

And I feel like I am whining a bit because I have a job still, at least for now, unlike so many many others. And I am not sick, at least for now, and they are continuing to take steps to ensure not too many of us do get sick.

The media and government on all sides these days makes me a little nuts so I have cut back on my amount of news intake. I recommend you all do the same if you haven’t already.

A few good things with working from home is absolutely no commute. I get to sleep in about an hour later. When I turn off my computer in the afternoon I don’t have to get in a car and drive anywhere. I just move to the couch! I can change the sheets on the bed while at work and I can throw a load of laundry. I can also serve myself good coffee as often as I’d like. I get to see my cat all day, every day. So yeah good things. And I think we have to think of good things in this life when we can.

I still have four more flashes left to write for May, so if anyone has a suggestion, and by that, I mean a SIMPLE one. PLEASE. Not some long involved multi-chapter thing. I have enough of those now! Anyway, let me know.

Pictures of April 2020

Well, it’s the last day of April 2020. What will May bring? No one really knows at this point. So you get the last scenery pictures for April I took. These are just around my condo complex. WordPress has a new feature where you can make the photos square or rounded so trying out the round.

Farewell April

Rambles for the end of March 2020

A message from a child at my condo complex

I sure would like to think and believe in this positive message.

Tomorrow, when I go into the office, it may well be the last time in quite a few weeks. My job has lost patience with waiting for laptops that seem as scarce as toilet paper and hand sanitizer and has decided that we must all bring our desktops home and work from home. So with a bit of stuff I must do in the office to make the transition smoother, I will be also disconnecting my equipment and bringing it home, all the while crossing my fingers that it all works like it’s supposed to once I get it all hooked up at home.

M’s working from home has been extended to May 31st. I have no idea how long it will be for me.

I have mixed feelings. I really don’t like the work at home thing. But on the other hand I won’t have to drive every day, which I hate, and can get up later and get home sooner. It’s better for my asthma to stay home. Don’t have to worry about what I look like etc.

But yeah. Not happy. But it is what it is. And I have a job for now so can’t complain.

I got all the Monday flashes done and scheduled for April.

I updated Our So-Called Life. Have not written a single word on the Bang story since I turned in my rough draft to prove I had written 6,000 words a week ago. And all I can say is meh. So we will see. Later this week I hope to update The Carrier if I can kick myself into doing it.

And so today is the last day of March, which turned out to be an absolutely miserable month. I once had such high hopes for it.

Good Riddance March 2020



Rambles 01/21/2020

Not a whole lot to report that you don’t already know. It’s back to work today after my long weekend. Bummer.

I’m still trying to decide what to write for the T’hy’la Bang. I’d like to start it sooner rather than later. I have an issue here at work with Word now. I can send files back to myself at home that open just fine, but if I work at something at home and try to send it here, they won’t open. This is going to be challenging on a longer fic like I have to write here.

They have a new chat room set up with this group of participants and I did get a nice comment from someone on there saying they were a fan. From the introductions so far everyone will be working on TOS, sigh. I’d like to see mylochkatee sign up as an artist because I am sure she would be amazing but I haven’t seen her on tumblr in sometime, so bummer.

Next up for updating when I get to it is The Vulcan Who Fell to the Earth. I did get my Friday flash done but it’s pretty short. I need to get my February stuff done too so other updates might take a backseat to that while I get those done. I have one Valentine flash done and scheduled but I need one more. Since I am restarting Wednesday flashes in February I think I have seven still to write.

I may revisit the two times a week flashes in the future if it starts interfering with my writing for the T’hy’la thing, but we shall see.

October Walk With Me, October 05, 2019

I decided to do the first October Walk With Me from my new work location.

I ordered this tray myself from Amazon as I needed a place to put files and they didn’t give me one at the new location. So I bought it myself.
One of trees along the waling paths at work (nope don’t know the kind)
A path next to another building at the complex, another beautiful day
An explosion of Purple Flowers!
Look at that perfect sky with the palm trees swaying, gorgeous
My new co-worker, Bucky LOL

September 20, 2019 Walk With Me

Decided my walk with me for the later part of September is going to be a bit different. All but one of these pictures was from yesterday

FYI, a friend’s coming over today so I decided to make the cheesecake next Saturday instead. It will be 20 degrees cooler then anyway so it’s just a better day.

On to the walk. These are the places I see on my walk at work. Since this is my last week at this location, which is rather sad after all these years, I thought I would show you the landscape I’ve seen over these many years as I go for daily walks to get in my steps. The first pictures is from this past Tuesday when it was cloudy and cool. It hasn’t been the rest of the week!

Tuesday, September 17th
Some years ago this was a pond with water and fountains and ducks. Much nicer than before they decided they didn’t want to have it there anymore and turned it into a planter.

Anyway, that’s it. My last week seeing all this is coming up. Friday, September 27th we will leave this place, early, forever. It’s sad. But life marches on and with it changes we must face.

Memorial Day Flash

It felt good to have Spock beside him, even though Jim hadn’t even known before he stepped foot inside the Memorial that he would feel that way. That he would need his first officer there. Or just how deep his feelings had become for Spock that he wanted the Vulcan with him at all times. Something he hadn’t altogether analyzed. Not yet.

For probably longer than he should, he stood in front of Pike’s memorial. The pain of Pike’s death was one he still felt sharp and fresh though a few years had passed now. It didn’t feel that way. Not at all.

His gaze scanned the few short paragraphs that were meant to describe the existence of a single man, but didn’t really come close. Not for Jim. For an all too brief time, Jim’d had a father, as his own didn’t get the chance to be, and his stepfather, Frank, had never wanted to be. And maybe Jim had put more significance on Pike then he should have. Maybe it was too much pressure, ultimately, on the man. But Jim couldn’t take it back. Couldn’t pretend Pike hadn’t meant so much.

Jim glanced at Spock, saw him looking at the memorial with a sadness he rarely showed and Jim was reminded, all too well, that Spock would be grieving for Pike also.

After a moment, it seemed as though Spock felt his gaze and he met Jim’s eyes. For a few breaths, their gazes locked, then with a shared nod, they both looked away.

They moved on then, stopping at a few others, though more briefly, until Jim reached the aisle that would lead them to the one he didn’t want to see, but would anyway. He stopped.

“Captain?” Spock turned toward him, an eyebrow raised in question.

“Your mom should be here, you know,” he said softly, then regretted it. He frowned. “I’m sorry.”

“She was not a member of Starfleet, so it wouldn’t be appropriate.”

Jim nodded, biting his lip, then looking away. “Yeah. Yeah.”

“There is no memorial for her. Or any of them individually. Just a…plaque in front of the Federation Headquarters.”

Spock’s voice was so quiet that Jim strained to hear it. He took a step closer, uninvited or maybe unwanted, he didn’t know.

“There should be.”

Spock tilted his head. “Remembrances, I suppose, are something most Vulcans find…pointless.”

“Spock.” But that was all Jim seemed to be able to say. Any other words got stuck in his throat and seemed entirely not enough.

Eventually, he touched Spock’s arm, drawing Spock’s gaze to his for several silent moments. He couldn’t think of a damn thing to say that would make any of it all right.

Then Spock broke the spell by flicking his head in the direction they needed to go. “Shall we?”

Jim nodded, lump lodged in his throat, and turned to go down the long aisle that contained the memorials for the Kelvin. Like Spock’s mom, and the billions of Vulcans murdered, there’d been no remains of many of the Kelvin who lost their lives that day, his father included. 

When they stopped before his father’s plaque, Jim was surprised, though grateful, to feel Spock’s hand on the small of his back. He placed his own hand against the shiny plaque that listed George Kirk.

“Last time I came here, I was just a kid,” Jim said, softly. “I came with my mom. Sam, too.” He shook his head. “This was all before Frank. When I got older, I didn’t come.”

“Too painful?”

“I wish that I could say that. More…too self-involved.” Jim turned a little to look at Spock’s face, but not enough that he would dislodge the comfort of that hand on his back. Spock, of course, held no look of judgment. No censure. In fact, there was a gentle affection in those dark eyes that threatened to steal Jim’s breath. Jim swallowed. “Spock, I…”

His first officer nodded. “This is not the time or place, I am aware.”

“No, but—”

Jim?”

Jim turned, startled at the sound of his mother’s voice, to see her running toward him. He made a little whooshing noise as he caught her against him as she threw herself into his arms.

“You came!”

Jim met Spock’s eyes over her head and then he squeezed her. “Hi, Mom.”

She pulled back, but only to put her hand on his cheek. “God, it’s incredible to see you. I didn’t even know you were going to be in San Francisco.”

“I know. We’re waiting on repairs and I wasn’t sure myself. I thought you’d be in Riverside.”

“I’m spending the summer here.” She pulled entirely away from Jim then, her gaze going to Spock. They’d met once, during the time of Jim’s recovery after Khan. “Mister Spock. It’s good to see you again.”

“And you as well. Though not the best of circumstances.”

“Whatever they are, I’m just so happy to see you, Jim, and here with Spock.” Her eyes glistened with tears. “Give me a moment, will you?”

Jim stepped back, with Spock, as she stood before his dad’s memorial. He looked away, respecting his mom’s privacy. After all, his dad meant everything to her, and though he’d been Jim’s dad, he’d never even known him.

And Spock, well, he meant everything to Jim, so he definitely got it.

He turned to face Spock.

“I love you. I do. And I don’t want to waste even one more minute not telling you. Because it’s just…I could end up here, or you could, or both of us, I guess, and I just—”

“Jim.”

“It’s okay, if you don’t feel that way, I just had to tell you before I burst, I guess.”

“I feel the same way,” Spock whispered. “Your affections are returned.”

Jim swallowed the lump, nodding, holding the sight of Spock in his heart, for that moment, to remember.

“All right.” His mother came over and linked her arms with Jim’s and Spock’s. “Lunch?”

Jim smiled. “Yes. Sounds good.”

“And dinner?” She teased, but, Jim also saw, there was hope there in those familiar blue eyes of her.

“Yes, dinner, too.”

“How long are you here?” she asked, as she drew them away from his dad’s memorial, her gaze sweeping over it once more, before her eyes went to the front of them.

“A week,” Jim said.

“That’s wonderful. I’ve missed you so much.”

“I missed you, too, Mom.”   

Rambles, 02/06/2019

It was 28 degrees at my house this morning. That’s way too cold for me. It’s warmed up to 34 at work. Brrr. No clue who this kid is in this picture, it just seemed cold! ha

Photo by Sebastian Voortman on Pexels.com

At least the rain seems to have stopped for now. It rained so much my wood garage door was finding itself too heavy to operate as it was too bogged down by water.

No idea what I will update next, so we will see. But I have updated When I Loved You and Didn’t We Have it All, which is what I said I would do. Anything else is extra!

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