Day 177. The Boomers

Have you noticed?  There seems to be a proliferation of movies about growing old, lately.  I’m not exactly sure why.  Could be, because so many of the screen writers, boomersproducers and directors are, themselves, in their fifties and sixties, and beyond.  Could also be, because so many of the great actors are, as well.  And they need roles they can play.

Robert De Niro.  Al Pacino.  Meryl Streep.  Tommy Lee Jones.  Judi Dench.  Maggie Smith.  Jack Nicholson.  Denzel Washington.  Susan Sarandin.  Jeff Bridges.  Samuel L. Jackson.  Helen Mirren.  Bill Murray.  Christopher Walken.  Bill Nighy.  Ben Kingsley.  Malcolm McDowell.  Diane Keaton.  Steve Martin.  Glenn Close.  Kathy Bates.  Sigourney Weaver.  Geoffrey Rush.  Liam Neesen.  And the list goes on.  And on.

Yeah, they’re boomers.  Hard to believe, isn’t it?

God knows they don’t want to be forced into retirement.  And we don’t want them to retire, either.  They’re way too Continue reading

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Day 176. Handling Anxiety

Yesterday I watched part of a Charlie Rose interview with Dustin Hoffman.  Just a month or so ago he (Hoffman) became a Kennedy Center Honoree.  Plus anxietythe movie he directed, Quartet, was recently released, so they had a lot to talk about.

When the discussion turned to Hoffman, the actor, he said something that struck a chord with me.  That actors are observers.  Of course they are.  And so are writers.  We have to be.  Otherwise we would never be able to create characters and story lines our readers could identify with.

Today is a volunteer day for me.  On Tuesdays I volunteer at a hospital here, in Toronto.  There are three areas where I help out.  An elective surgery recovery room, palliative care and a surgical waiting room.  All areas where patients and their families are under a lot of stress.  Emotions run high and everyone is anxious and scared.

I’ve been doing it for four years now, always in the same areas, and I’ve had a chance to observe a lot of different people; and how they handle their anxiety.  They’re all different.  Because of how long they can take, I spend the most time, in the surgical waiting room, with those who have friends or family members having surgery.

For the most part, these are complicated, serious operations.  They can last anywhere from a couple of hours, to more than eight or ten.  Sometimes even longer.  It’s here these ‘loved ones’ wait for news.  It’s here the doctors Continue reading