9000 Needles

I saw a screening of 9000 Needles last night in Hollywood at the Oasis Theatre. It's a documentary directed by Doug Dearth and follows his brother, Devin Dearth, as he goes on a journey to China for medical care after he suffers a debilitating stroke and is denied the care and rehabilitation he needs by his medical insurance.

The film is remarkably neutral when depicting the role of health care in the story. During the Q&A after the film with Director Doug Dearth and DP/Co-Producer Douglas Busby, Mr. Dearth comments on how he wanted his brother's story to speak for itself. The situation Devin Dearth was put in is clearly an effect of the joke that is America's health care and didn't really require any further political comment from anyone in the film.

It was truly awe inspiring to see the leaps and bounds Devin made under the care of the staff at the rehabilitation facility he went to in China. After the first day of treatment he was able to lift a leg inches off the bed that he had previously not been able to move at all.

It was heartbreaking to see this man who was a former pro body builder, father of three and husband with a great job be reduced to needing constant care from his wife and family, with no hope at getting the help he needed to recover here in America. In the midst of his struggle, Devin demonstrated a clear determination and courage that you would not expect a man in his situation to have, all the while keeping a sense of humor and trying harder than most would.

Go to the website for information on future screenings, and if you can't make it to Hollywood, consider contacting the makers of the film to set up a screening in your town.



Warm Asian Bean Salad

Tonight was "use everything I have left in the fridge" night. I'm going to call this conglomeration Warm Asian Bean Salad. I wanted to use the eggplant that I bought last week, but I apparently waited too long because it was all brown and mushy inside. Not exactly appetizing. What I did end up using was a red bell pepper, red onion, garlic, scallions, grape tomatoes (that were a little mushy, but I figured I was cooking them, so some mush couldn’t hurt), and a can of white beans. I added a bunch of random condiments that I had around and I wasn’t sure if it was going to turn out so great, but it actually was very tasty! I was heavy handed with the pepper (accidentally, woops!), so it was a little spicy, but the spice worked well with the soy sauce I added, especially since I didn’t have any ginger. Ginger would have made this dish. I would make this again and it would be a full meal if I paired it with marinated and grilled ginger soy chicken…and perhaps some wilted spinach? Yes!


1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
½ A Red Onion, diced
1-3 cloves of garlic, diced (I love garlic so I used 3, but I admit that’s a lot)
1 can of White Beans, rinsed
A hand full of grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
3 stems of scallions, cut however you like
A few splashes each Rice Wine Vinegar, Balsamic Vinegar, and Soy Sauce
S&P to taste

Warm a couple table spoons of olive oil in a pan and sauté onion, bell pepper and garlic until onions are soft and translucent. Salt and pepper to taste. Add white beans, scallions and tomatoes and 3-4 splashes each of Rice Wine Vinegar, Balsamic Vinegar, and Soy Sauce. There should not be a “sauce” but there should be some moisture for it took cook in now. Stir together and cook over medium heat until everything is warmed through and the tomatoes look wilted, about five minutes. It was so quick and easy. Enjoy!