I went out into the mist to go to work. I paid the credit card I used for the autographed photo of The Partridge Family last month. I got through my shift and returned home for lunch. I went over to the library to scan all the homework I gave to my last class, hoping that it would be helpful for next semester. I read about the death of Joe Cocker at age 70. He had lung cancer. He turned in a pretty good set at Woodstock. I went over to the theatre to see “Wild.” You could say that this movie was a counterpart to “Into the Wild” from a few years ago. It seemed that it could be a turning point in Reese Witherspoon’s career. It was the story of a woman taking a 1000-mile hike in a sort of cleansing of the spirit. There are mistakes along the way, making me think of Robert Redford in the early scenes of “Jeremiah Johnson.” She packs her backpack with too much stuff. The whole effort is a risky one for a lone woman, and there are a couple of instances when she encounters apparent danger to her safety. You need the tent, the sleeping bag, the water, and the food. You can’t carry the heavy stuff on your back. I thought that the shoes would be a problem. The moment with the toenail was something I could relate to, and it made me think of “Blade Runner.” You’ve got to be careful about dropping things. When you’re alone with nobody around for many miles, you must be afraid of injury. I would have a fear of getting stranded with a serious injury, kind of like James Franco in “127 Hours.” I would not go on any hiking trip as some kind of a personal journey. Why would I take such risks? I feel that I walk a thousand miles in my hometown every three months, anyway. I don’t need to look at nature. Photos are good enough for me. In flashbacks, we see Laura Dern as the mother. In real life, she’s only nine years older than Reese. Mother and daughter were going to school at the same time, discussing topics like Erica Jong. I don’t think that I would read James Michener novels, either. The mother has escaped an abusive husband and keeps a positive outlook, trying to appreciate every moment of life. I think I would panic if I ran out of water. The scene where Reese uses the pump and filter to get some drinkable water made me shudder. I thought back on a movie I saw during the 1980s, called “China Run.” When you have packages waiting for you along the way, you have a better chance of success. I don’t think I needed to see the back story with the mother, the drug use, the marriage, and the emotional pain. If you’re able to do something difficult, the action can galvanize the spirit. I don’t think the case for this long hike doing something positive is completely convincing. This woman could have volunteered to help the sick or feed the poor. One positive thing is being away from television, which is garbage. All of this was taking place in the Pacific Northwest in 1995. What was funny was that one of the things I remember from that year was the death of Jerry Garcia, and that is an event that is mentioned in this movie. I’m not a Deadhead, though. The movie has funny moments, and has the convincing feeling of actual life. After all the artificial subject matter you encounter in the typical movies of 2014, this is a refreshing change. I’m getting tired of feminism in movies, though, going back to George Cukor films of yesteryear. I couldn’t stand the rationalization that mistakes in life were really part of the development process. Please, just admit your stupidity. Still, this is a better two hours than “Beasts of the Southern Wild” or “Frozen.” It’s going to be a classic, with a possible Oscar for Reese Witherspoon. This is a brave movie in a time when the film business is timid. The soundtrack has key Simon and Garfunkel songs like “El Condor Pasa” and “Homeward Bound.” I was surprised to see Nick Hornby’s name in the credits as the screenwriter. The one bit in the movie that reminded me of him was the quotation from Joni Mitchell, which seemed like it came from “About a Boy.” I think the audience response to the movie was good, although there weren’t many paying customers for this afternoon showing. The showtime for the movie was 4:15, and I left the theatre at 6:18. I went home and watched some television. I should not have watched The Big Bang Theory. I saw the highlights of the Warriors game. They won easily. Peyton Manning didn’t have a good game in the Denver Broncos’ loss. I didn’t see any news about Joe Cocker. I wanted to know that he wasn’t forgotten. You don’t hear songs like “You Are So Beautiful” these days. I saw a report on caramel apples that were making people sick. It’s a good thing that I don’t eat caramel apples. I watched the Letterman show because the guests were Steve Carell and Martha Stewart. Steve Carell talked about hip replacement surgery that cost $10,000, and his movie about wrestling. He said that Mark Ruffalo was one of our finest actors. One of the commercials I see these days uses the Get Smart theme song. Martha Stewart thought that wrestling was sleazy because of the greasy bodies. She had a drone that can go up to 600 feet up in the air. Dave said that a drone flew over his house, and he didn’t like it. Martha claimed that Dave had no common sense. They used some salt to create a Christmas decoration. I don’t have the Christmas spirit because I am not a Christian. The musical guest was OK Go. They did a catchy little tune, but it didn’t prove to me that I should purchase any of their music. They had a fancy string section with them. I thought that Seth Meyers had good guests, but I was getting too drowsy to watch the show. Some of the people who died on December 23 include Charles Atlas (1972), Jack Webb (1982), and Billy Barty (2000). Today is a birthday for Susan Lucci (68) and Harry Shearer (71).

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