Friday, January 22, 2016

When Bad People Leave Prison

One of the worst things about reading old true crime books is that sometimes you learn that the person you’re reading about has already served his time. That means he’s out on the street. Some of them are murderers and extremely dangerous people, which makes me like this:

Some are just (allegedly) fraudsters. Like Anthony Pignataro.

Anthony is a narcissistic medical doctor who was convicted for killing one patient and not convicted for injuring many others. When his medical license was taken away, he poisoned his wife until she almost died. 

The reason? He said he wanted to show that even the best doctors can’t save some patients. 

Had she died, as planned, his warped ego had him thinking that nobody would detect the arsenic in her body and the world would suddenly see him as a victim, rather than a villain. 

Yeah…that plan didn’t work out so well for him. He served 13 or so years in jail and was let out in December 2013. It didn't make national news that this nutball is now on the streets. 

For 13 years, the government has had to keep attorneys assigned to his case because he's filed six appeals. He was released on parole and continues to appeal. I assume he wants his good name back, since he can't ascend to "greatness" once again while being known as the former doctor who killed one woman on the operating table, injured many more, and then poisoned his wife.

By now the world has forgotten this doctor...and I assume he won't be able to practice medicine in America due to his past. But he could head off to another country and start operating on people there. He may even marry again. Seems former murderers have no trouble finding people who will marry them, as you'll find on any crime show.

Do you know of any murderers who served their time and are now free to roam the country?

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Older I Get...

When I was a kid, doctors always seemed "old." I asked my mom recently about a doctor I had when I was 18 who is still practicing medicine in my town. "Wasn't he old back then?" I asked her.

She looked confused. "No...I'd say he was in his 30s."

As I got older, I started noticing something. Doctors, dentists, and hair stylists all suddenly were younger than I was. I'd go to the dentist and see this:

I always wanted to ask, "Are you old enough to have been through dental school?" But that would be rude. So I just trusted that these kid-medical professionals knew what was going on.

Then it hit me...they aren't old. I am.

Recently, while looking for a hair stylist, I spent a while researching local places. I even tried one out with an eyebrow wax appointment. This is about the age of the women who work in those places now:

The girl took me back to the eyebrow-waxing area and proceeded to talk like 20-year-olds talk. Lots of "likes" and "totes" and "awesomes." It was like listening to one of these talk:

An hour or so every six weeks in the chair, listening to that? I don't think so. Call me crazy, but I just want someone I can have a normal human conversation with. Although listening to vocal fry and this post-Millennial version of Valley Girl speak is good for my career. I just don't feel like I can have that stylist-customer bond with one of those girls. Plus...this:

So my search continues. But is it too much to want a stylist with some post-30s brains? And as we get older, isn't it a normal fact of life that our medical and beauty providers will be the same age as our children? Then grandchildren? After all, this could eventually be worse than Valley Girl speak from your doctor...

How do you find good doctors, dentists, and hair stylists? Does age or gender matter?

Monday, January 18, 2016

5 Things I Learned from the Showtime Free Weekend

When I was younger, premium movie channels would occasionally have a free weekend. It was so exciting, you wanted to cancel all your plans and watch every movie they showed before the free weekend was gone forever. It was the 1990s version of binge watching!

This weekend Hulu Plus brought back those old memories with a weekend of free Showtime. Which seemed like it would be a weekend of this:

Only one look at the Showtime lineup and I knew it would be a weekend of this:

The last thing I wanted was to get caught up in a "Showtime-only" TV series I'd never be able to watch again, so I headed straight for the movies section. Which is when I learned a few essential things about Hulu's Free Showtime Weekend.

1. Showtime's movies suck.

No offense to Showtime. We have HBO, though, and the selection of recent movies that I've actually heard of is much greater. Showtime was a selection of, "What's that?" and "Why have I never heard of any of these movies?"

2. I trust actors' judgment.

Meryl Streep would never choose a bad movie. Neither would Julia Roberts. So a Meryl Streep-Julia Roberts movie has to be a win. Only August: Osage County was not only depressing, but it was pointless and blah.

3. Sometimes it pays to stay with a movie until the end.

Okay, I was going to give up on this one at several points...but the ending made it worth it. The ending of a movie (or a book) can make a so-so movie phenomenal. Interesting how that works.

4. Sometimes it doesn't.

Just as I'll toss a book aside if it isn't catching my interest, I'll exit out of a movie if it's headed for nowheresville. How do I know it's headed that way? Wikipedia will give you a summary of most plots. If you're thinking about parachuting out of a movie, you can just read ahead a little and see if anything interesting starts happening soon.

5. TV shows are better than movies.

Okay, I know this is a blanket statement...but unless you're into dark independent films or films based on comic books, often TV shows are better. They have better writing and they're attracting some of the most talented actors. The only problem is--if you want to watch a Showtime/HBO/Netflix original, you have to pay an individual subscription. And none of those outlets specializes in one type of series. My only request would be that each network pick a demographic. Showtime could have the middle-aged women while HBO could take the young guys who like all that superhero-actiony stuff. I'm not going to pay $8-10 to 15 different networks to access two TV series I like on each.

Are you a binge watcher?