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Marilee J. Layman

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March 16th, 2007

04:20 pm: Stormy Errands
Yesterday at 1pm it was 76F. By 4pm it was 41F. Today it's rained, sleeted, and very briefly, snowed. I had the air conditioning on Wednesday & yesterday, and last night it was so cold I turned the heat back on.

I had three things planned for today and was prepared to stop after each one if the sleet and snow prevailed. I went to the Post Office and dropped off a DVD and mailed a package to Sarah, then went to Kaiser and did labs, and then to TGI Friday's for lunch. They're advertising "Right Size" meals and I thought I'd see just how right size they are. Many of them looked just right, plus had salad or veggies with the meat, but I saw the half-rack baby back ribs and even though they came with onion strings and french fries, I ordered them, plus a side salad. I ate the ribs, onion strings, and salad and used the french fries to hold the bones. I think I'll be eating there more often than usual because I won't have to bring meat home.

There's enough sleet in with the rain that my ramp is frozen (you know -- bridges (and ramps) freeze before highways) so I'm a little nervous about Luke going out and coming back in. He got down the ramp safely, and I'm watching for him to come back. Ah, he's in safely.

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04:37 pm: Vera Drake
This was a difficult but good movie.

Vera Drake (played extremely well by Imelda Staunton) is the mother of a working-class family in 1950's England. She cleans other people's houses and checks on sick people, as well as her own elderly mother, and looks for a husband for her daughter. She also performs abortions illegally without her family knowing.

While she's doing the abortions (syringe with soapy disinfectant water) she never uses that word. She "helps girls manage." She tells them "everything will come out okay." She gets most of her references for the girls from a childhood friend named Lily. What she doesn't know is that Lily is charging money and not passing it on. Vera does the abortions to help girls.

We're shown that the daughter of one of her employers is raped and gets pregnant, but has the money to have a legal abortion. The cost of her abortion is 50 times what Lily charges.

Inevitably, one of her girls gets an infection and almost dies. Her mother is forced to reveal Lily and Vera. Lily is not arrested, but Vera is -- at a celebratory party for her daughter's engagement. Vera's face through this and the questioning and the trial is unbelieving, she never really thought she'd get caught. Her family reacts over a broad spectrum of emotions. She's done so much for them, but some are more concerned about how the crime will reflect on them.

This movie is very timely for the US, as conservatives try to make abortions harder to get. The more difficult it is to have a safe abortion, the more likely poor girls will have unsafe abortions.

This movie is highly recommended, but be prepared to have your heart wrenched.

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