Sam Bauman: No photos on the slopes this birthday
For the Nevada Appeal
For the first time since I taught skiing at Heavenly, I’m not going to pose on the slopes for a photo to show friends (fewer of them now, I’m afraid) that I’m still alive and enjoying skiing.
Because I’m in a kind of quandary now: My therapist from Carson Tahoe Health has given up on treating my back pain. Just slumped down and said, “I can’t help you anymore. See your doctor for an X-ray.”
This was the fourth therapy session. So I trotted — well, hobbled, more accurately — over to Dr. Yamamoto, my longtime primary health adviser. He had a message from the therapist, explaining that he was out of tricks to help me: “Maybe an X-ray would explain things.” And I was to give up my daily exercise program.
The doc doubted it but approved the X-ray. A technician at Great Basin Imaging set me up.
But the X-ray showed nothing major amiss, so I am continuing my workout.
Without the exercise period the back pain is constant, so I don’t want to give it up.
So here I am, skiing for more than 50 years, looking to my bedroom window at Slide Mountain covered with snow. And I’ll hit the slopes (make that slope) on my birthday. I won’t ski very well at the Boulder lift, and I plan on having some friends along to pick me up.
And I’ll remember all those fine ski days at Arapahoe in Colorado, and those days when I roamed the hills and mountains of Europe and Japan.
I’ve gone through the generations of ski equipment from long wooden skis and GI boots to today’s shaped skis, which kept me on the snow successfully.
Skiing is why I moved to Nevada from Southern California, and now I have to watch TV for ski thrills.
But that’s old age for you. You gain some, you lose some.
I’ve gained age to the point where I can enjoy watching actors mature over time, like watching actress-comic Tina Fey (Elizabeth Stamatina Fey) on Saturday Night Live as a twin of politician Sarah Palin. The resemblance was uncanny and made for great humor. And her stint on Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update” was hilarious. I mostly missed her early efforts but caught up when she started hosting award shows like the Oscars, along with Amy Poehler.
I missed her “30 Rock” shows and I never knew when she was the chief writer for TV or movies. But once I caught some of her scenes I was a determined fan sure she would become better and better at what she performed.
I caught her film “Sisters” at the Fandango and was mildly disappointed. But then came this year’s “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.”
And finally, Tina is everything I expected.
She plays Kim Barker who, despite no previous overseas experience, became a war correspondent for the Chicago Tribune in 2004.
And Tina does the role with only touches of her skills at humor. Instead, she is all business as she pursues the war stories.
Barker agrees to take a short assignment as a war correspondent in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. She befriends many, including noted Australian correspondent Tanya Vanderpoel (Margot Robbie) and openly lecherous Scottish freelance photographer Iain MacKenzie (Martin Freeman). After a period of adjustment aided by her Afghan “fixer” Fahim Ahmadzai (Christopher Abbott), she begins enjoying the assignment, while putting herself in harm’s way to capture the war zone. American Marines commander General Hollanek (Billy Bob Thornton) takes a dim view of her, as an inexperienced nuisance.
She finds a partner and becomes involved in an affair with Iain MacKenzie.
Through the film Tina Fey holds tight to the character of Kim Baker, never using her comedy skills to make the role easier.
So with “Whiskey” Fey becomes a true serious (but funny at times) actress.
As seniors, we’ve lived with Tina for years, through her fun days and parent days (she has two daughters) and now her triumphant days. Don’t miss watching her grow up.
Incidentally, thanks to Josh Barham of DeBug who got my Chromecast up and working.
Sam Bauman writes about senior affairs, among other things, for the Nevada Appeal.