Favorite Movies of the Aughts

Posted in Film on December 30th 2016 by Randy Reichardt

.: This is a copy-and-paste of a post from Facebook in September 2013:

I (finally) reviewed the lists of 677 (or so) films I saw from 2000-2009, and after careful consideration, here are my ten favorites, in alphabetical order. These are the movies that moved me the most, had the greatest impact on me in any number of ways, and that brought me the most joy and satisfaction from going to the movies:

  • Children of Men
  • Downfall
  • Good Night and Good Luck
  • In The Loop
  • Minority Report
  • Rabbit-Proof Fence
  • Syriana
  • Team America: World Police
  • Traffic
  • United 93

Honorable Mentions go to:

  • A.I. Artificial Intelligence
  • The Aristocrats
  • Babel
  • The Departed
  • District 9
  • Good Bye Lenin!
  • Heist
  • In America
  • In Bruges
  • In The Bedroom
  • Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back
  • Little Children
  • The Lookout
  • Man on Wire
  • A Mighty Wind
  • Mulholland Drive
  • No Country For Old Men
  • Ponette
  • Primer
  • Ripley’s Game
  • Series 7: The Contenders
  • Tigerland
  • Whale Rider

63

Posted in Miscellaneous on June 28th 2016 by Randy Reichardt

.: So it’s time for what amounts to my annual blog post. I started blogging in 2002, way before social media took off, and since the emergence of Facebook, Twitter, etc., my interest in maintaining a separate blog has certainly waned.

That said, today is Birthday 63 for me. At this point it’s just a number, really, yet at the same time, it’s a number that’s difficult to process. When I was young, 40, never mind 63, seemed like an ancient age to me. Now I’m close to qualifying for numerous senior discounts, but in no way, shape, or form do I ever *wish* to acknowledge that I’m almost a senior citizen. Sheesh. At the same time, reaching 63 years is an accomplishment, isn’t it?

I remain ever grateful for many things: the country, province, and city in which I live, my family, my great friends, relatives, and colleagues, and going to bed each night safe, sheltered, and not hungry.  I take none of these things for granted and feel extremely fortunate to be in my position in this life.

I have health issues: Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure,  hypothyroidism, osteoarthritis in various locations, general anxiety disorder, occasional arrhythmia, etc. Sucks to get old, to have your body start to unravel. Fortunately I live in Canada, where universal health care reigns, and I receive the best health care available.

An example of such health care was experience by my family recently. While visiting Calgary, my Mother fell down a short flight of stairs and cracked her skull. She required neurosurgery twice to evacuate blood and relieve pressure on her brain, which had shift 1.5 cm to the left. She had had a subdural and then epidural hematomas. Three days ago, she was flown from Calgary to Winnipeg in a private jet, with three EMTs on board, in addition to the pilot. My father followed the next day on a commercial flight. Cost for all of this so far: $0.00. I can’t fathom what this would have cost if we lived in the USA and had no insurance.

I’ve worked at the University of Alberta’s Science & Technology Library since Sept 1983, and could retire at any time. I’m still not sure when I will do that. Perhaps in 2017, I don’t know just yet. I’m very grateful for my career as an academic engineering librarian.

When I was 18, I imagined myself married by the time I was 26 (same age my Dad was when he married), living in Winnipeg somewhere, with a couple kids, a house, white picket fence, etc. It never materialized, for various reasons. I often lament having never married or having children, but there is no turning back the clock. Now in my 60s, I find myself sifting through memories of the 60s and 70s all too often, as if that period was an age of innocence. Funny that those memories seem more nostalgic to me than Edmonton memories, given that I lived in Winnipeg for 25 years and in Edmonton for almost 37 years.

Regrets? I’ve had a few.

I am extremely fortunate to have had amazing parents who are still rockin’ in the free world. Mom is 83.5 and Dad will be 90 in September.

Forgive my meanderings and musings. It’s a good day to be alive.

62.

Posted in Buffalo Tom on June 27th 2015 by Randy Reichardt

.: Another year, another birthday. I cannot process, let alone fathom, that I am 62 today. The number is virtually meaningless. That said, I can feel my body aching just a bit more than it usually does as time slowly takes its toll.

I am celebrating my birthday in Cambridge MA. Just returned from a second brilliant Buffalo Tom concert in two nights at The Sinclair, followed by Chinese cuisine with Dave Roe and Mike Haverty afterward. Thanks to both of you for the company, drinks, and very late dinner, guys.

They say as you get older, time seems to move faster. It’s the truth, my friends. I am grateful to have made it this far in life, grateful that my parents are still with us, as well as my brothers and their families. I blessed to be working at the University of Alberta Libraries, now for over 31.5 years, in the great city of Edmonton AB, in the amazing country of Canada.

Thank you to my family, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances for being an important part of my life to date.

Happy Birthday. To me.

You Can’t Take It With You

Posted in Miscellaneous on October 29th 2014 by Randy Reichardt

.: I am in the midst of my 27th trip to NYC. Ostensibly, the reason I came this time was to attend a Knovel Library Advisory Board meeting, which happened on Monday and Tuesday this week. Now it’s Wednesday morning, and I’m preparing to check out of the hotel and move to the Upper East Side (East 91st Street) for the next four days.

Last night I saw this play, and really enjoyed it. I especially loved Annaleigh Ashford‘s performance. Annaleigh plays Betty on Masters of Sex. She plays Rose Byrne’s sister, and her character dreams of being a dancer, so most of her moves on stage are that of a ballerina. Clearly she had taken ballet lessons, because she moved easily and fluidly back and forth, to extremes that had the audience roaring with laughter.

I’ve also seen two movies: Gone Girl and Birdman (Or: The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance.) One of the fascinating aspects of Birdman is that the movie is made to appear as one continuous shot.

Tonight it’s dinner at Strip House with my friend, Barbara.

Upcoming on Friday, I’ll be spending most of the day with my friend, Nisa. We will go to Roosevelt Island, have dinner, watch the Village Halloween Parade, and then we’re going on the Haunted Halloween Walk, which is probably one of these. Saturday night it’s the Justin Hayward concert, then home on Sunday morning.

LaGuardia Side Bar

Posted in Miscellaneous on September 28th 2013 by Randy Reichardt

I want to tell you this story, not because I was the Good Samaritan here, but because it’s an example of how we must treat someone we meet who is in distress. I think I’m writing it more for me so I can remember exactly what happened.

I arrived at LaGuardia on a flight from Edmonton via Minneapolis around 17:00 this afternoon. While waiting for my luggage, I hit the restroom for a moment, and when I returned, I noticed a fellow passenger fussing about with her luggage, which was a large hiker’s-type backpack and a couple of other smaller bags, likely made of linen and string, to hold clothing. As I got closer, I noticed that her backpack was in really bad shape, parts of it torn badly, and she was unfolding what appeared to be (and was) a sleeping bag that was damaged beyond repair. Other clothing and a towel were on the ground, soaking wet.

I started to talk to her, and she showed me all the damage done to her belongings – a section of her backpack had been shredded, severing a pocket and losing its contents, and busting the buckles that connect it together. Her bath towel was soaked and filthy, her sleeping bag destroyed, and the backpack in really rough shape, probably damaged beyond repair as well. The cuffs of a nice sweater had also been shredded. She started crying as she explained that this was basically her entire belongings – she was coming to NYC to work on a tall ship for six weeks before returning to the west coast, and everything here was what she needed to live on the boat for the duration. She told me her name was Alea, and that she didn’t know what to do now.

I asked her where she was headed, and she said Yonkers by way of Grand Central Station. She wasn’t sure how she’d get to GCS – I told her I’d help with that. Then I said I’d check with Delta Baggage to ask for assistance. I found the desk, but they were busy, so I went back and motioned her over. When she started talking with the Delta customer rep, she broke down crying again. The Delta rep listened closely, treated her with respect and dignity, and was brilliant and caring – she took all her information, asked her for estimates of the worth of the damaged goods, and her contact information. The Delta rep confirmed that she would be fully reimbursed for her losses.

I told Alea that I would take care of getting her to Grand Central Station. I had booked a car to take me to my destination on E91 Street when I arrived, so I called Carmel Car Service and told them that I had another passenger who needed to be driven to GCS, and that I would pay for her ride. (It was a pittance of an additional amount.)

After she settled with Delta, the rep came around the desk and gave her a big hug! We went out to the centre island and while waiting for the car, chatted quite a bit. She told me about how excited she was to come here to work on this tall ship, where she would be teaching children about environmental stewardship, sailing, and many other things. Finally the car arrived, we continued sharing stories, and eventually dropped me off at my destination. We hugged each other and I told her everything would be ok. She couldn’t stop thanking me, and I told her I was obligated by Canadian law to help people in situations like hers.

Pay it forward, my friends. It feels SO good when do can help someone else through a miserable moment in their lives, even if you don’t know them.

30 Something

Posted in University-of-Alberta on September 19th 2013 by Randy Reichardt

Today is the “official” 30th Anniversary of the first day of my employment at the University of Alberta Libraries. I remember the sequence well: I was interviewed on Friday, 09 September 1983, for a contract position in the Science & Technology Library. The job was basic reference, and I would be working from 13:00-21:30 M-Th, and during the day on Friday.

On Monday, 12 Sept 1983, Margo Young, the head of the SciTech Library, called me to offer me the job. I remember the date because it is also my Dad’s birthday, which is why it remains a vivid memory for me. I was literally sitting at home on my chesterfield, the phone right next to me, waiting patiently until it rang. I was thrilled when she told me I had the job.

Margo asked if I could start the following Monday, the 19th, but I told her I’d be away that day in Idaho, so she suggested I come to work on the 14th for a couple days to make up for not starting on my actual first day. So in reality, I started my career at the U of A on 14 Sept 1983, but officially, for the purposes of my employment record, pension plan, etc., it was 19 Sept 1983.

Needless to say, it’s been a good run. Thanks to everyone who’s been a part of my 30-year career at the U of Alberta. And for those interested, I did not opt to take the Voluntary Severance Package for Continuing Academic Staff, so I’ll be around for a little while longer.

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