Third time’s a charm!

It’s been 8 years since my last round of treatment, and I’m kind of nervous.

My journey with Hepatitis C began many years ago during the Red Cross Blood Scandal, and now it could be coming to an end. Tonight I start my third round of treatment in 10 years. This time the combination therapy is much easier to manage – 1 pill a day! That is so much better than the last time. I am excited for this new treatment for a couple of other reasons as well. 1) The side effects are minimal compared to last time: fatigue, headaches, nausea (these are the common ones but only experienced by about 16% of patients). 2) The cure rate is between 93% – 96%. Now, by cure they mean that the drugs reduce the amount of the virus in my body to levels lower than current medical instruments can measure – essentially eliminating it.

I ask you my readers to keep me and my family in your thoughts and prayers during this time. We are all trying to keep a positive spirit and good, healthy thoughts. I will admit to you all that I am tired and desperately want this to work. My tiredness though is leaving me skeptical and pessimistic. I desperately don’t want to be in that 4%-7% of people that it doesn’t work for. I admit this to you because I know that I need your thoughts and prayers, that I covet them.

Thank you for your support during the next while. Feel free to write an e-mail checking in.

Thanks to you all!

harvoni pill
The little pill that could change my life

The Drop Box (2014)

The Drop Box

They’re not the unnecessary ones in the world. God sent them here for a purpose.
~ Pastor Lee Jong-rak ~

The Drop Box (2014) is an engaging documentary about a pastor in Korea who takes in abandoned children. Sadly, the situation in this movie is not uncommon, that of women and families abandoning children they don’t believe they can care for (or that they don’t want to care for). Fortunately, this man, along with many others around the world, are reaching out in a unique way to love and care for the abandoned children in their societies: the baby box. A warm box where the baby can be put, protected from the elements, that sounds an alarm for the people in charge letting them know a new child has been abandoned is waiting.

We are introduced to Pastor Lee Jong-rak, and we are taken on a tour of his life, of what has led him to embracing his community’s most vulnerable population. It’s a beautiful, tragic, hope-filled story that is very well told. There is much of what you might expect from a Focus-On-The-Family production: sentimentality, expressions of faith, etc….. This movie holds many surprises though. One such surprise, and possibly the movie’s greatest strength, is the non-judgemental way that both sides to this situation are given a voice. I was surprised to learn that not everyone thinks these baby boxes are good ideas. There is a sense that these violate a child’s right to be known and cared for by their mother/parent. This is an interesting argument, but one that leaves a rather unsettling taste in my mouth. However, this and other arguments against the baby boxes are presented alongside that of this pastor and others like him who believe in the value of human life, to the point that they will sacrifice themselves in many ways to provide whatever they can for these children.

If there is one thing that I didn’t care for about this documentary, it’s the several times that I was acutely aware of being manipulated by the director. Yes, this is a story that tugs at the heart strings naturally, as such, I felt there was no need to fabricate moments. This though, is simply my opinion. I do highly recommend this movie. If documentaries are you cup-of-tea, then take the time to visit Pastor Lee Jong-rak and his motley, lovely, enigmatic “family”.

Writing Challenge Update…

500 words a day
This year I am writing.

I was inspired to begin writing a couple years ago, but haven’t taken it at all seriously. I’m still not really, because, well, I’m not a writer. But I have decided that I like to write, and there are a couple projects that are trying to push themselves out of my brain. So this is my year to write. Then Debbie Ohi posted on her Inkygirl.com blog about a writing challenge – 250, 500 or 1000 words per day! A cool challenge and one that I have accepted!

It hasn’t been an easy month, so I’m posting the badge on this post more as a goal to reach for than as something accomplished. The post that she wrote is more about writing daily than it is about word counts altogether. That having been said, I just want to share with you all my stats for January because I think they’re neat (considering I’ve never really written ANYTHING before this).

January

Total Words Written: 20,714
Average Words Per Day: 668
Total Writing Days: 23
Most Words Written On A Day: 2,034

The Scarf

© 2014 Lyf Stolte

CAROL

I don’t know why you did that. It wasn’t like I was in any danger George.

GEORGE

Well, you see, uh, I, uh, know that, my, uh, love, but, well, you see, I couldn’t very well let you, uh, you know, just continue on like that.

CAROL

OH, I see. So, I was carrying on too much for you was I?!

GEORGE

It’s not, well, uh, it’s not like that —

CAROL

Oh, sure it’s not. You just can’t stand that I wear it better than you do.
Continue reading

Potassium

© 2014 Lyf Stolte

JIM

Wow. Babe, this grilled cheese is amazing!

HONEY

I’m so glad you like it. I wasn’t sure if you would or not.

JIM

Why wouldn’t I? You know I love this stuff!

HONEY

Well, I used some unique ingredients this time.

JIM

Well, whatever they are, please use them again! This is delicious.

HONEY

I am SO glad. When I added —

JIM

Oh, don’t tell me love. I don’t wanna know what you put in, I’m just gonna enjoy this.

HONEY

But, why don’t you wanna know? I mean, I only substituted —

JIM

Seriously babe, just stop right there. I love you. I love the love we make, I love the partnership we have, I love so many MANY things about you. But when I tell you I don’t wanna know, you gotta trust me love.

HONEY

But I like to share with you.

Continue reading

15 Kumquats

© 2014 Lyf Stolte

HENRY

Are you sure Jill love?

JILL

Of course I am! Who took the Wolfgang Puck Introduction To Kumquats 101? Huh? Me. That’s who. So you can just do what I tell you to do. Ok? Ok? Ok.

HENRY

Ok sweety.

JILL

Now, please pass me the almond milk.

HENRY

Did you know —

JILL

Not now Henry dear. This part is delicate. This is a delicate part of the procedure.
Continue reading

The Book 2

© 2014 Lyf Stolte

! WARNING: language !

The room is dark except for the nearly dead light emanating from the lamp on the side table in the corner. There’s a glass of water, an ashtray, a spoon which has recently been used in the processing of reality altering substances, and a little red book. The sound of light rain and a gentle, brash breeze are heard. SLAM! a door opens and closes and there is a stomping of feet off stage.

JILL (o.s.)

Woah. Where did that come from?

BOB (o.s.)

Lucky for us we were only a block away eh?!

JILL (o.s.)

Yeah. I hope nothing has changed.
Continue reading

A light bulb

I wrote this back in November of last year when I decided to begin on this journey.

[(c) Lyf Stolte 2013]

A lone light bulb hangs, naked and vulnerable, from an exposed wire. It’s not on. A door creaks open and two men appear in the darkness. They look around, and then break out in peals of laughter.

MAN 1

I can’t believe he didn’t see us.

MAN 2

That was a bloody miracle that was.

MAN 1

You think it’s safe yet though?

MAN 2

It could be. I dunno though. We should just chill for a moment to be sure.

The men stand there not quite sure what to do with themselves. They notice the light bulb.

MAN 1

Huh.

MAN 2

Whaddya make of that?

MAN 1

Well, it’s a light innit.

Continue reading

I’m not a writer, however…

Down With Leaf
So, I’m experimenting with something new to me this year: writing.

I’ve told many people this before and I’ll tell all 6 of you who read this blog: I’m not a writer. It’s no secret that I often ask people to write stuff for me, or at least to heavily edit what I have written: thank you letters, newsletters, introductions, etc…. Well, something has been brewing inside of me and I’ve decided to write.

I have 2 projects on the go, however I am also writing from prompts as well, as an exercise. I will be posting some stuff here from my prompt writing for you all to read and comment on. If anything strikes your fancy and you want me to revisit those characters or that story, please say so in the comments, I’d love some feedback 🙂 If you want to avoid the regular site and just head to the category where all my writing will be, you can click and bookmark this link here which will take you to all the posts that have stories –> http://bit.ly/lyfwriting

Let me just say this about that: I am writing for myself. My lovely reader, you may or may not like these stories. You are welcome to tell me that in the comments, but please at the very least be constructive. Also, all of the work here is copyrighted by me. If you want to share a story on your own website, then please leave a request in the comments below and I will reply to you. I hope you are entertained at least once in the reading of these bizarre stories. Oh, also, because I am an actor, most (I would dare say at least 90%) of these stories will be in the play/screenwriting format.

Ok. Enough preamble. Here’s one of my 5 sentence stories to tide you over until later today 🙂

Once upon a time I had an idea. It didn’t like me. It spit in my face and went to live with a man named Alec. It’s been a while since that incident and I miss the idea desperately. Why couldn’t it have stayed with me?

Movies/TV Show of 2014

The Lego Movie

Interstellar

Big Hero 6

Happy

Edge of Tomorrow

Snowpiercer

Alan Partridge

Noah

Short Term 12

Rhymes for Young Ghouls

I am a HUGE movie and TV fan. I watch way too much of both each year and I enjoy it thoroughly. This year I have watched over 100 movies/tv shows (check out the full list here –> my list!). That’s quite a few to pick from. However, this year I will say it is quite easy for me to pick out what I consider the BEST movie I watched, and the most IMPORTANT movie I watched. What’s the difference you say? Well, the best movie is simply that, what I think is the hands-down best movie I watched all year (excluding movies I have watched in previous years). The most important movie is about the movie that impacted me the most and one that, regardless of the technical quality (which this years’ is actually technically quite amazing), is one I think everyone should see.

So, without further ado, here’s my pick for

The Best Movie I Watched in 2014 (IMO)

Short Term 12
Short Term 12

This is hands down the best movie I watched this year. Technically it is amazing: the construction of the story, the script, the acting, the direction…I mean really, just everything! And, one thing that I appreciate most about this movie is that it gives you a hopeful and uplifting ending rooted in truth and reality, not hallmark-shmalziness. That is one difficult thing to do that this movie makes look easy. You all must watch this movie.

The Most Important Movie I Watched in 2014

Rhymes for Young Ghouls
Rhymes for Young Ghouls
This is probably one of the most difficult movies I have ever watched. The story is so close to home for many people that I know, and the reality depicted is not at all a stretch, in fact it is so rooted in reality it is saddening. It’s straight forward enough:

Red Crow Mi’g Maq reservation, 1976: By government decree, every Indian child under the age of 16 must attend residential school. In the kingdom of the Crow, that meansimprisonment at St. Dymphna’s. That means being at the mercy of “Popper”, the sadistic Indian agent who runs the school.

The challenging part for me is the first 5 minutes of the film, which are very much necessary, are also heart wrenchingly devastating to watch. I asked the filmmaker on twitter how the whole process was for him. This was his reply:

I want to recommend this movie, but I have to with a huge warning: the first 5 minutes are not for the faint of heart and, I believe, they must be watched for the whole movie to make sense!

Well, there you go. My best & most important movies I watched in 2014.

And here’s the list of my top 10 movies/tv shows!

My Top 10 Movies & TV Shows I Watched in 2014 (in no particular order)

  1. The Lego Movie
  2. Interstellar
  3. Big Hero 6
  4. Happy
  5. Edge of Tomorrow
  6. Snowpiercer
  7. Alan Partridge
  8. Noah
  9. Short Term 12
  10. Rhymes for Young Ghouls
Runners Up…

Guardians Of The Galaxy, How To Train Your Dragon 2, Gravity, Happy Valley, Orange Is The New Black, John Wick, Inequality For All, Furious 6, Moonrise Kingdom

A special section for these two spectacularly awful movies…

Worst Movies I Watched in 2014

[these don’t get hyperlinks]

  1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)
  2. Boondock Saints II