Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Heath Ledger RIP, Weekend Doings

There is so much going on. First thing this morning, after hearing the "RealFeel" temp is -5F (-20.555555 in Celsius) is that Heath Ledger was found dead. I didn't believe it at first. And then I heard it again (apparently there is no news from Iraq, Iran, Gaza, etc. to tell me about), so I had to believe it. I have a few issues with the way it's being reported. First off, who cares if he's naked? Lots of people sleep naked. Hell, if I were to die in bed and made the news reports (not likely, I know), would they be reporting that I was found in a ratty, threadbare T-shirt that was falling apart? And if so, who the bloody hell cares? It doesn’t mean anything, except that I slept better in that T-shirt.

I read in the newspaper that after portraying the Joker in the upcoming new Batman film that he had trouble sleeping because the character is so dark and depraved, and that two Ambien only got him an hour of sleep. All this from an interview he gave the NYT recently. Anyway, my point is that if you can't sleep, you're willing to try anything after a certain period of time and if two didn't help, you think why not try another two. I made the mistake of reading the first page of comments at the article at the Freep (you'd think I know better because the comments always piss me off) and was appalled at the lack of human decency. Just because someone is famous doesn't mean that their life was spiraling out of control and that they deserve to die. I'm hating people lately. Especially stupid, ignorant people who have no empathy for others. I hope the autopsy shows he dies of natural causes (still sad), but it would shut the losers.

I had so much I was going to tell you over the weekend, but I got caught up in my knitting. I'm working on this lace shawl but as a scarf since I didn't have enough yarn for the shawl. The second picture is closer to what mine is looking like right now, as in the first picture, it's been (or being) blocked). The YS bought this beautiful orange yarn for me at this yarn store in Maine that I never got to (closed both days I tried to go). She was there to buy Tofutsie sock yarn which is made from the shells of shrimp and crab and saw the orange yarn. She was debating about buying it for me, unsure if I'd like that particular shade of orange. It was past the end of tourist season, so the lady told her she could have both skeins for the price of one. SOLD! I love it, love it, love it, love it. If I ever get my computer organized (i.e., get my music off it so I can download pictures – yeah, I know it's been six months since I've been saying this), I'll take a picture and show you the finished product.

It's funny. Every year the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) aka the Detroit Auto Show always manages to be held during the coldest week of the year. This year they moved the show one week later than usual (so the foreign automakers weren't shipping vehicles over the holiday – we're very nice like that here in Detroit) and the coldest weather of the year followed. The traditional week for the auto show this year was damn near balmy (40s, at least). It's crazy. For the third year in a row, I didn't get to the auto show and I'm still bummed. I'm afraid that I got spoiled going during the preview week which has significantly fewer people (obviously). The reason going to the auto show sucks so badly when it's the coldest week of the year is that you can't get a decent parking spot, so you're walking for BLOCKS in negative windchill, so you have to be bundled up. Then you get to Cobo Hall and it's heated to the nth degree, so you're sweating. You don't want to check your coat, because there are jillions of people there and when you want to leave you're going to be waiting in line for a half hour just to get your coat. Instead you walk around carrying your big, bulky coat unable to get near any of the cars, even the not so interesting ones, because there are a jillion people there. You can forget getting anywhere near the concept cars.

The last time I went to the auto show as a non-preview spectator I was still dating the ex, so that was pre-1990. It was hotter than Hades in Cobo, as usual, and we not only looked at every friggin' car, we looked at every friggin' car's engine. And it wasn't just a glance or even a ten second look at the engine. It was a good five minutes at every car. I was going insane and swore I was never going to the auto show again. It's so much more fun when you go with someone with a similar mindset (i.e., let's just look at the cool cars).

On Saturday I went to a Memorial Mass for my aunt's father. Although I wasn't technically related to "Granddad," I loved him as if I were. He was definitely one of the good people of the world. Most of my cousins aren't old enough to remember Grandpa, my mom's father, because he died in 1984. In fact, they're all around the ages my siblings and I were when Grandpa died, so I understand how they're feeling. Of course, Granddad was 81 and Grandpa was only in his 60s when he died. Grandpa's death is the reason the YS is virulently anti-chiropractor. Grandpa had a bad back and therefore went to the chiropractor. The chiropractor took X-rays, as is normal, but didn't tell Grandpa that he saw the tumor in his lungs that would eventually kill him, because the chiropractor thought he could cure Grandpa himself. By the time, he conceded that he couldn't cure the cancer and told Grandpa about it, it was too late and it had spread everywhere (bones, every organ, etc.). I know, in theory, it's supposed to be easier when a person dies from cancer, because there was time to say good-bye, and the person was no longer suffering, etc., but I've never fallen for that BS. I'd have preferred that my Grandpa hadn't gotten cancer at all.

I've never been one for showing my true feelings in front of my immediate family, at least, not the important emotions. I remember I was writing a paper the night Grandpa died (it was a Wednesday), and we got the phone call from Mom at the hospital. I went to campus the next day and attended my classes as usual, I had a 400-level Spanish (writing and translation) class that I could not miss. The funny thing was that I was completely stressed out that semester already. Along with my 400-level Spanish class, I had a 400-level Econ class (International Finance, I believe, or International Trade, but I think it was Finance). Anyway, Econ met MWFs with Spanish meeting TTHs. For both classes I had to write FOUR papers (long papers) and every single paper was due within a day of each other. Every Tuesday and Thursday I would leave my 9:00-10:30 a.m. Spanish class crying thinking of all the work I had to do, not just for that class, but all my classes, as well as work to pay for my classes. I told you I was stressed.

One of my friends, John, would meet me every TTH with a tissue and a hug. The Thursday after Grandpa died, I sat and cried all through class, so afterwards I went to Manuel's office to explain why I cried throughout his entire class. He said to me, "I was wondering what was wrong. You usually don't cry until the end of class." right when he would be handing out the assignment and I would be trying to figure out when I was going to have time to get it done. Oh yeah, not showing my emotions…I knew I was going somewhere with that story. Back then, it was traditional to have a viewing at the funeral home for two days, and during one of the times at the funeral home, my Mom said to me something about not knowing how I was doing because she hadn't seen me cry at all, but hearing that I was crying all over campus. Therein lies the problem of going to a commuter campus close to home where two of your siblings also go. I'm trying to cry privately (away from family eyes), but not succeeding. To this day I have no idea how they know I was crying all over campus, because neither the OS nor BAB were ever on campus. The OS literally drove to campus for class and then drove straight home. The BAB spent a little bit more time on campus than that, but he was usually in the Natural Area (and trust me, I wasn't there). There are spies everywhere.

Saturday night was a much more enjoyable experience. I went with a group of friends to see To Catch a Thief (don't read the entire synopsis, as I think it retells the entire movie in word form – the first couple paragraphs would be enough to give you an idea) at the old Redford Theater. Only GtG had seen it before, but it had been a long time. After it was over, everybody declared they loved it and acknowledged the fabulousness that is Cary Grant. I was happy.

Sunday I was supposed to go and see Man from Plains but it was my sister's birthday and my BIL invited Mom, Grandma and me to join them (and the niece and nephew) for dinner. The movie was at 4:00 & 7:00, dinner was at 6:00. *sigh* It turned out to be okay, though, because nobody else could go anyway, so we decided we'd rent it when it comes out and all watch it then. Dinner was quite nice, as I had to do a smackdown on the almost 20-year-old nephew (He.Knows.EVERYTHING), and that's actually enjoyable. Mom leaves today for Egypt and Jordan on a 2.5 week vacation, so it was good to spend time with her. I think she was a bit nervous about going, but I know she's going to have a great time. She might lose weight while she's there as she's just about the pickiest eater in the history of the world, although the YS and I have gotten her to eat Thai food and sushi, so she'll try things, on occasion. My aunt and I were discussing what the heck Mom was going to eat there. I'll find out when she gets back. I know they're going for Indian food at the Mena House which overlooks the Great Pyramids of Giza and Mom thinks she doesn't like Indian food. I told my aunt to get Mom Tandoori chicken, as that should be bland enough for Mom.

I guess that's it for now. I need to get a cup of tea.

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At Wednesday, 23 January, 2008, Blogger Heather said...

I was so bummed when I heard about Heath Ledger. I read that same interview you did about how he couldn't sleep - I'm sure at the time no one gave it a second thought. I'm willing to bet it was an accidental od of sleeping pills.

At Wednesday, 23 January, 2008, Blogger Kathleen said...

Heather - That's my thought, too. And he doesn't deserve scorn for it.

At Wednesday, 23 January, 2008, Anonymous Ursula said...

Oh dear, don't EVER read the Freep comments - they are written by nothing but a bunch of angry, white, suburban men that can manage to link any story to race, Kwame, the downfall of Detroit or *gasp* "the liberals." I absolutely loathe Freep comments!

At Wednesday, 23 January, 2008, Blogger Kathleen said...

Urs - Yeah, I know, but I keep holding out hope that someone will say something pertinent, thought-provoking, etc.

At Wednesday, 23 January, 2008, Blogger LL said...

Finally finished the knitting eh? On to the gun cozies now I suppose... ;P

At Wednesday, 23 January, 2008, Blogger fermicat said...

How was that tea?

That RealFeel temp is harsh. I don't envy you.

People should probably lay off the high and mighty opinions about stuff like how someone died until they actually know some facts, else they risk making asses of themselves. It was shocking news, though, and sad.

At Thursday, 24 January, 2008, Blogger Kathleen said...

LL - I'm never done knitting! There's always another project awaiting me.

Fermi - Exactly. "Do not judge, lest ye be judged."

At Thursday, 24 January, 2008, Blogger Jorge said...

I don't have any ill will toward Ledger, but I am angry with him. Here's why.

First, I don't buy any of the tortured artist thing. Playing pretend is such hard work. I guess I can buy that seeing as how all the kiddies in day care take a nap every day.

Yes, sleep deprivation sucks. Yes, sometimes stress makes it worse. I've been there. It's not an excuse.

Second, I agree that it's likely that he accidentally overdosed on Ambien. While he wasn't trying to get high or end his life the only word for that is stupid. Who doesn't know that you shouldn't take perscription medication any other way than as directed? Who isn't aware that any sleep aid is dangerous?

And a guy with his money can certainly afford to see a doctor or go to a sleep clinic for help.

Last, he has a 2 year old girl. How do you rationalize taking a risk like that when you have a kid? I really feel bad for his little girl.

I'm not glad he's dead at all, but if I had the oppotunity to speak to him now I'd tell him he was a dumbass.

Grief is a funny thing. My mother passed away about 6 years ago, also from lung cancer. I don't think her death would have been any easier or any worse had there been another cause.

After she died I did some really odd things, mostly because I just couldn't focus. I was a traveling sales rep. I had it in my head that I was supposed to be working in Buffalo one day. I was in the middle of Ontario when I realized I should be heading toward South Bend, Indiana. I called the guy I was supposed to meet, rescheduled, and went home.

Ursuala, the downfall of Detroit is actually the fault of Coleman Young and the liberals. Kwame is just a carion bird feasting on the carcas.

Alright, time to do some work.

At Thursday, 24 January, 2008, Blogger MW (Just 'Cuz) said...

Kathleen: First off, who cares if he's naked? Lots of people sleep naked.

I totally agree. In at least the last decade I've noticed the media's obsession with providing us with completely gratuitous, irrelevant information. They use lots of unnecessarily provocative adjectives in all of their hit pieces on certain politicians and their trashy stories about entertainers.

At Thursday, 24 January, 2008, Blogger Sal said...

I'm too jaded to be shocked that someone died, that's sad. They have made Heath sound like Marilyn Monroe, nude and on sleeping pills, you think maybe Caroline Kennedy did it? Who doubts the fabulousness that is Cary Grant?

At Thursday, 24 January, 2008, Anonymous Suzy said...

I thought the same things about Heath Ledger. I was truly shocked and saddened by his death. May he rest in peace.

On a brighter note, I adore To Catch a Thief - Cary at his best and Grace at her most beautiful.


PS I wore one of the scarves you made me today! I, uh, thought it was chilly at 45 degrees. ~ducks~

At Friday, 25 January, 2008, Blogger dr sardonicus said...

I thought about writing a bit on Heath Ledger, but then figured everybody else was going to. I'm not all that much of a movie buff.

I agree that there's no need for all the speculation and sensationalism surrounding the private lives of so many celebrities. Yet this entire industry has sprung up because so many people ant to know all the juicy details. So many people say they don't like to gossip, yet they're the first ones whispering at the back fence.

At Friday, 25 January, 2008, Blogger Kathleen said...

Jorge - But can you judge him before you know the full details of what happened? According to the news last night, although the police found five different prescriptions in the house, all of them were almost full. Besides that, how do you know what he was going through? I don't know if it's true, but I always heard a saying attributed to Native Americans (completely paraphrased - and badly paraphrased at that) "Do not judge someone until you've walked a mile in his shoes."

MW - Been meaning to e-mail clue where the box to my computer is... is that a problem? ;-)

Sal - I guess I'm glad I'm not that jaded yet. Only silly people do not comprehend the fabulousness that is Cary Grant. ;-)

Suzy - LOL! I'm looking forward to the weekend because it's supposed to be 30 tomorrow, 34 by Sunday and 40 by Monday! Woohoo!!! A freaking heat wave! Glad the scarves are getting some use out there in balmy CA!

Doc - Too true.

At Friday, 25 January, 2008, Blogger Jorge said...

I think I can make a judgment in this case. It really boils down to one of 3 options:

A. Accidental overdose, non-recreational

B. Accidental overdose, recreational

C. Suicide

I think we can rule out suicide. There was no note (as far as we know) and there are certain commonalities to most suicides that don't seem present.

I think we can rule out a recreational overdose. There were no signs of illegal drugs and all the other drugs present were either over the counter or prescribed to him.

So we have an accidental overdose. Which means that poor choices were made that resulted in his untimely death. How is that any different than him rolling a car at 120 MPH or being electrocuted when his stereo fell into the bathtub with him?

He made a stupid mistake and it killed him.

One thing I intend to impress upon The Peanut is "You can be anything you want to be as long you’re not Stupid"

Yes, I've done dumb things. I've even come damn close to having some of those things kill me. I would expect anyone who contemplated my death from those things to regard me with at least some degree of scorn.

I've always thought stupid should hurt, and I've always accepted the pain I cause myself as my just desserts.

Yes, it's a somewhat harsh outlook, but I feel I'm consistent.

As far as making judgments without “Walking a mile” goes, take a look at this article:

"Trying Out One's New Sword"

The short version is this: You can and should make judgments about other cultures, even if you are not of that culture. The author takes an example from feudal Japan but here’s one I suggest you substitute the example of female circumcision. I don’t live in a culture that values it, and as a man I can’t relate either, but I am fully comfortable in saying that it’s wrong and should be stopped.

I tend to be a bit of an objectivist and an absolutist in my thinking, as I’m sure you can tell by now.

Have a good weekend.

At Friday, 25 January, 2008, Blogger Kathleen said...

Jorge - Your female circumcision example is a tad extreme when compared to someone who might have accidentally overdosed. I've also heard he had pneumonia, so that might have contributed to his death. I just think it's best to wait until we know for sure.

At Monday, 28 January, 2008, Blogger MW (Just 'Cuz) said...

Can't find something the size of a bread box? Do you live in the Clampett mansion or something?

At Wednesday, 30 January, 2008, Blogger Beth said...

Jorge, now they're saying heart attack. Is THAT Heath's fault? You sound very odd to me. Blaming a man for death, accidental or not, just makes you a very bitter person who will probably be very bitter and lonely on your own deathbed. Let's hope you don't trip on ice and crack your skull open cause damn, then you'd be a dead dumbass!

At Thursday, 31 January, 2008, Blogger Kathleen said...

MW - Smart aleck. It's either thrown away or in my storage unit downstairs. I haven't really looked, I confess. ;-)

Beth - Really? Heart attack? I hadn't heard that!

At Thursday, 31 January, 2008, Blogger MW (Just 'Cuz) said...

You threw it away? Even though I specifically warned you that it is very necessary to keep those boxes?

Sigh... ;-p

At Friday, 01 February, 2008, Blogger Kathleen said...

MW - Okay, I probably didn't throw it away...actually, I doubt if I did. I have a tendency to save boxes...I just don't know where it is.


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