August 2nd, 2009

20111112, Marilee

Not Copying ER Records

I'm really unhappy with Kaiser today. They insisted that I get the ER records and send the records to them so they would pay for the helicopter ambulance. It cost me $60 to get the records, and after the rain stopped yesterday and I got the mail, it turned out that they've paid their share of the helicopter. I owe $10 copay, which I'll pay when the ambulance bills me. At least I don't have the additional $100 for copying and I'm back to having Thursday free, but I'm not happy. I'll save the records, of course.

We continued to have rain, lightning, and thunder at least through 3am when I turned out the light and went to sleep, but I was awake 5-7am. I read, had something to eat, watched some TV, but nothing worked. When I finally got sleepy, I turned the alarm off and slept until 2pm.

I'm changing and washing sheets, as usual on Sunday. When I went out to get the paper, it was really humid. This is one of the reasons Congress (and many restaurants, etc.) recess during August. I wish my car could still have air conditioning!
20111112, Marilee

Nobody Knows

I cried a couple times during this movie, which is unusual for me. It's based on a true story from Japan. A young mother and her son meet their new landlords and give them a gift. The landlords make it clear there should be no younger children. The mother and boy carry, yes, four heavy suitcases up stairs and release three more children from three of them. It's a tiny apartment, they lie side-by-side and have heads and feet to the side walls. The three younger children can't leave the apartment because they would all be kicked out -- it's clear this has happened before.

The mother goes away and the oldest boy, Akira, takes care of the younger kids until she comes back. Then the mother goes away and doesn't come back, but just sends money. Less and less money and less and less often. Akira finds their father, who not only refuses money, but refuses that he's their father. The older girl clearly knows what's happening and is also trying to make things feel "normal" for the two younger kids.

Akira starts entering puberty and meets an outside girl whom he trusts enough to bring to the apartment. She clearly cares for them and helps when she can. Akira would like to work, but he's 12 now and you have to be 16 to work part-time. Things become rougher -- the power is turned off, the water, and the landlady shows up and asks for the rent (the kids say they're just cousins visiting) -- and the only good part is that an employee of a market gives Akira the out-dated food at the end of the day, out the backdoor and without the owner's knowledge, so they have some small amounts to eat.

One day Akira comes home from scavenging and finds that the younger girl has fallen from a chair and is cold. He has a strong emotional reaction -- he's taken so much care and now she's dead -- and then he and the outside girl put her in a suitcase (a bigger suitcase than the one she came in, she's grown) and take and bury the suitcase at the airport grounds.

The last time Akira talks to his mother about staying and more money for them, she says "Don't I get to have fun, too?" (subtitle) This is a heart-wrenching movie, but worth watching.