Residential Space A creative outlet during residency, turned ongoing virtual soap box

I saw a GREAT movie recently  0

Posted on April 22nd, 2008. About Entertainment.

It was a film by Stanley Kubrick called 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Okay, so it’s not a new movie exactly (1968) – as Evan pointed out to me in no uncertain terms, I’m completely behind in having just now seen it. “How have you NOT seen this already?” I think that was close to what he said, followed by, “How did you not see this in college?” Well, I wasn’t alive when it was released in 1968, was I? I would not have seen it in high school, because that preceded my understanding of great movies and many great books (as an example here, when I was in high school, I thought While You Were Sleeping was a great movie), so the soonest I could have really been exposed to it was 1997. With this in mind, I’m only 11 years behind.

Anyway, it was amazing. I loved it. I could not stop thinking about it or talking about it for days after seeing it. I went to work the following day raving about it, and faced a colleague who immediately claimed that it was “the most boring movie ever.” Not to have my enthusiasm muffled, I continued across the room to one of the neurosurgery residents on our team, who wholeheartedly agreed with my opinion. Ha – so I’ll just talk to him about it then. Our medical team assistant happily joined the discussion, encouraging me to see 2010. I emailed my sister-in-law, a movie buff, to ask her opinion about certain parts. After all, she’s seen every movie ever made (disclaimer: slight exaggeration for emphasis, known as a hyperbole). She replied with her opinion – it was awful and boring, and she stopped watching 45 minutes into it. I informed her she had to watch the whole thing, and she replied that it wasn’t worth it. I emailed several friends who I was sure had seen it, and received a reply to the effect of: “Oh yeah, I watched that in college. It was good – I don’t remember much of it though.”

WARNING: SPOILER ALERT!!!

I’m not getting something here – this was the greatest movie I have seen in at least a year, maybe longer. I experienced certain emotions during it that I don’t think I’ve felt previously – an entirely different sort of fear. During the few seconds when HAL was reading the lips of the astronauts, and it becomes evident that HAL has intent and has made a choice to deceive these men, I felt this weird sort of horror. Then, a few seconds later, it hit me that not only is HAL deceiving them, but he has absolute power over their lives, AND they are in the middle of this huge, vast space, millions of miles from earth, and nowhere to go to get away from him. The story, the dialogue (which was minimal – there were actually very few conversations in the film, which was appropriate), the camera shots at just the right moments, the rapid aging scene at the end – wow. I didn’t want to go to work the next day just so I could be left alone with my thoughts.

So it seems opinions are divided – some people think 2001: A Space Odyssey is “the most boring movie ever,” and I thought it was probably one of the ten best movies I’ve ever seen. What a dichotomy of thought, perhaps indicative of different personality types?

Misconceptions about Barack Obama  1

Posted on April 21st, 2008. About News and Politics.

Rather than celebrating the diversity that Barack Obama’s very existence embodies, his critics (or rather, his opponents), are playing to people’s fears in an attempt to bring him down. I’ve seen examples of this recently:

1. In order to test a neurologic patient’s mental status, I will often ask about his familiarity with current events. In particular, right now, I will ask about the presidential race and the names of the candidates. When asking this question recently, one patient answered right away with “Hillary,” “McCain,” and “the other guy – I can see him, but I can’t think of his name.” His mother immediately jumped in with: “You know he’s a Muslim.” Trying to avoid a political discussion, I just pointed out that he is not a Muslim. “Yes, he most certainly is,” she assured me.

2. A patient I saw last week for delirium was presented with the same question about current events and the presidential candidates. Again, it was: “McCain,” “Hillary,” and this time, “Obama.” My attending neurologist asked, “What is McCain’s first name?” “John,” he answered. “Okay, and what is Hillary’s last name?” “Clinton,” he answered. “Right, and what about Obama’s first name?” The guy thought, and thought, and then said, “I’m not sure. I know what his middle name is, though.”

Regular people, even in “liberal” Washington state (although I will point out that neither lives in Seattle), commenting on Barack Obama’s rumored Islamic faith and more aware of his middle name (Hussein) than his first name. I can’t help but wonder – do his opponents even care that he has been a member of the United Church of Christ for decades? Perhaps when the footage of his pastor, Jeremiah Wright, were aired, he should have responded with: “But wait a minute – that can’t be my pastor. I’m supposed to be a Muslim, right?”

It just doesn’t even make sense.

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival – Third Annual! (for us)  4

Posted on April 13th, 2008. About Baby Dodds, Ramblings.

The festival has definitely occurred more than three times, but this was the third time that Evan and I made the trip to Mount Vernon, WA to celebrate the local tulips (and the coming of spring!). This was the best one to date – not only because it was a gorgeous 70-plus degrees and clear, but this year we had the chance to relish Gabriel’s delight at seeing flowers and sitting in lush green grass. He smiled, laughed, and babbled the whole day! It was such a wonderful day for our family.

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Some thoughts after my least relaxing vacation to date – part II  0

Posted on April 5th, 2008. About Baby Dodds, Health Care, Ramblings.

I recently posted this entry describing the least relaxing vacation/week-and-a-half I have experienced – ever, perhaps. My original bulleted list of events looked like this:

  • Friday, March 21st – a trip to the emergency room with Little G after he manages to eat a clear plastic wrapper and chokes on it; got home at 11PM, packed until 1:30AM Saturday
  • Saturday, March 22nd – got up at 3:30AM to get ready and get all of our stuff to the airport for our 6AM flight; flew from Seattle to Chicago O’Hare with a layover, then from Chicago to Pittsburgh
  • Sunday, March 23rd – Gabriel met his great-grandparents for the first time! Happy Easter to us.
  • Monday, March 24th and Tuesday, March 25th – time with the family in Cranberry Twp, PA and Beaver Falls, PA
  • Wednesday, March 26th – flew from Pittsburgh to Dallas, layover, then Dallas to Austin for my cousin Kelli’s wedding
  • Thursday, March 27th – Gabriel met eight first-cousins-once-removed (all nine years old and younger) and many of my first cousins
  • Friday, March 28th – wedding preparation stuff, rehearsal dinner
  • Saturday, March 29th – wedding! It was beautiful.
  • Sunday, March 30th – flew from Austin to San Jose, CA, lay-over, then San Jose to Seattle, arriving into the Sea-Tac airport at 9PM, and getting home by 11PM
  • Monday, March 31st – Gabriel takes a long nap in the morning, eats lunch at 10AM, and at 11AM starts vomiting. He proceeds to either vomit or dry heave around 12 or 13 times between 11AM and 8PM, when it finally stopped. Thank you to our pediatrician, Dr. Spector, for seeing him yesterday afternoon, reassuring us that this was just “the crud” and not something more serious, and also a special thanks to PediaLyte.
  • Here is an addendum:

    Tuesday, April 1st – I was home from work with Gabriel, and he was looking much better. He was able to tolerate rice cereal, bananas, and larger amounts of PediaLyte.
    Wednesday April 2nd – I returned to work, but Evan woke up sick that morning with the flu. He was at home from work that day with – let’s say an array of symptoms very convincing for flu (I won’t go into details, since he should have at least some modicum of privacy!). When I got home from work in the early evening, Gabriel had just thrown up again, and his diet regressed back to PediaLyte sips.
    Thursday, April 3rd – I woke up at 3AM with nausea, night sweats, and chills. By 8AM the severe muscle aches had set in. Evan was feeling better, but not great – but he went to work while I stayed home, recovering.
    Friday, April 4th – I wasn’t well, but needed to go to work because my sick days are limited after being out on maternity leave last year. I spent the day mostly doing work at my desk, or if I had to interact with a patient, wearing a mask and gloves with lots of hand-washing. The nausea and muscle aches were better, but I was wiped out and had only had sips of Gatorade for 36 hours. I was also on call that night. However, it wasn’t the hospital that kept me up during the night, but Gabriel’s constant coughing over the baby monitor. I must have checked on him five or six times during the night, and rocked him back to sleep once. The nausea is gone, but all three of us are still quite congested with nasty coughs.

    Now, today is finally Saturday – a weekend day, where no one expects anything from any of us. I had hoped, a week ago, to have a play date between Gabriel and one of his baby friends, but this is the wrong weekend for that. I really hope we are all back to normal by Monday. What a crazy two weeks it has been.

    I apologize – I realize this is not interesting for anyone except for me, but having lived through it, I felt it was worth documenting. I really wonder what diseases I will end up catching from Gabriel – he’s not in daycare, but he will be around other children, and will start pre-school eventually. I have a friend whose son started daycare two months ago, and he’s already given her diarrhea twice and now a bad case of hand-foot-and-mouth disease (Coxsackie virus). Not too fun!

    My tribute to Kelli and Joe  1

    Posted on April 5th, 2008. About Entertainment, Ramblings.

    My cousin, Kelli, married my new cousin-in-law, Joe, in Texas last weekend, which warranted a trip down there from Evan, Little G, and me in celebration. It was a beautiful event! Kelli looked stunning in a gorgeous wedding gown. I was touched when she asked me to do a reading during the ceremony. Initially, I thought this was going to involve reading a Bible verse or a prayer, but she called me two weeks before the event and said something to the effect of: “Remember how much we always loved ’80s music? I was thinking the reading could be something about love, but with ’80s lyrics strung together – but read seriously.” I knew what she meant. When I arrived in Texas, nothing had been written, but the suggestion was made to read the Apache Prayer, which I think is very appropriate (it was read at my wedding), but I couldn’t help but feel Kelli wanted something unique. So I composed an ’80s tribute for them (remember – to be read in front of 200 people, in a serious tone):

    “My 1980’s tribute to Kelli and Joe”
    © Jodi Dodds, 2008

    Some say love – it is a river.
    Love – lifts us up where we belong.
    Love – is a battlefield.

    Kelli was just a Houston girl, living in a lonely world;
    Joe was just an East Texas boy, an artist, in search of joy.
    Now, here they are, lost in love,
    and they’re getting married, because they can’t fight this feeling any longer.
    The search is over.

    Kelli recently finished physical therapy school in Houston while Joe was working in Austin,
    And while being apart wasn’t easy on this love affair, they knew that
    Every rose has its thorn,
    and Joe was right here waiting for her.

    Kelli – When Joe sees you smile, he can face the world.
    He gets lost in your eyes.
    You’re every woman in the world to him.
    Now, here he is, the one that you love, asking for another day (or fifty years).
    I hope you cherish the thought, of always having him here by your side.

    Joe – She never thought that she could love, someone as much as she loves you. I know it’s crazy, but it’s true!
    She would stop the world and melt with you.
    She’s your venus, she’s your fire – she’s your desire.
    You are her love, her love, her love, her endless love.

    Some advice for the couple as they go forth in their marriage:

    1. When trouble comes along, you must whip it.
    2. Speak of your love often – say it loud, say it clear; you can listen as well as you hear. It’s too late when we die.
    3. You’ve gotta have faith.
    4. Enjoy your time together – right now, hey, it’s your tomorrow. Right now, come on, it’s every thing. Catch that magic moment and do it right here and now. It means everything.

    Now, let’s celebrate good times with Kelli and Joe, come on!
    They’ll have the time of their lives;
    No, they’ve never felt like this before.
    Oh, what a feeling!
    I love you both, and oh – what a nice day for a white wedding.

    Anyway – it was a hit. I think her guests really enjoyed it, and I know I enjoyed delivering it. Thanks, Kelli, for allowing me the podium on your very special day!

    My experience at the San Jose, CA airport  0

    Posted on April 1st, 2008. About Ramblings.

    We flew into the San Jose, CA airport on March 30th, and as our American Airlines flight arrived at Terminal A, we got off of the plane, and walked around in search of information about our next flight, an Alaska Airlines segment. Unfortunately, getting out of our current area to pursue another flight required leaving the secured area, which I did not want to do because we did not want to go through security again. However, we could not find our next flight on any of the TV screens, and there was no indication that Alaska Airlines even used this airport. After wandering around, we asked a security guard, who informed us that we would have to leave the secured area for the bus stop, get on a bus to Terminal C, and then go through security again to get to our next flight.

    Let me explain what going through security means to my family. It means unpacking Evan’s laptop, unpacking our family camcorder, getting Gabriel out of his stroller, taking Gabriel’s jacket off, taking shoes off while holding a baby, getting all of his baby food out in a plastic bag, and standing in line with a baby who just wants to roll around after being cooped up. We had mentally prepared ourselves to do this once in Austin, but after being on flight nearly four hours in duration, much of which was spent taking turns walking the aisles with Gabriel to keep him quiet and distracted from shrieking, when I realized I had to go through security again, it was like a blow to my determination.

    One of the flight attendants told us that there was a lot of money allocated for improving the San Jose airport. Evan asked if there were plans to connect the terminals. She looked at us as if she was somewhat surprised by this comment. Duh.

    So just a warning to those of you out there traveling with children or who may have tight connections – the San Jose, CA airport is to be avoided. I had better success in the other San Jose airport -the one in Costa Rica.

    Some thoughts after my least relaxing vacation to date  1

    Posted on April 1st, 2008. About Ramblings.

    Evan, Gabriel, and I just completed what was, indeed, the least relaxing vacation I have ever embarked upon. I will be brief in my summary, but it went something like this:

    • Friday, March 21st – a trip to the emergency room with Little G after he manages to eat a clear plastic wrapper and chokes on it; got home at 11PM, packed until 1:30AM Saturday
    • Saturday, March 22nd – got up at 3:30AM to get ready and get all of our stuff to the airport for our 6AM flight; flew from Seattle to Chicago O’Hare with a layover, then from Chicago to Pittsburgh
    • Sunday, March 23rd – Gabriel met his great-grandparents for the first time! Happy Easter to us.
    • Monday, March 24th and Tuesday, March 25th – time with the family in Cranberry Twp, PA and Beaver Falls, PA
    • Wednesday, March 26th – flew from Pittsburgh to Dallas, layover, then Dallas to Austin for my cousin Kelli’s wedding
    • Thursday, March 27th – Gabriel met eight first-cousins-once-removed (all nine years old and younger) and many of my first cousins
    • Friday, March 28th – wedding preparation stuff, rehearsal dinner
    • Saturday, March 29th – wedding! It was beautiful.
    • Sunday, March 30th – flew from Austin to San Jose, CA, lay-over, then San Jose to Seattle, arriving into the Sea-Tac airport at 9PM, and getting home by 11PM
    • Monday, March 31st – Gabriel takes a long nap in the morning, eats lunch at 10AM, and at 11AM starts vomiting. He proceeds to either vomit or dry heave around 12 or 13 times between 11AM and 8PM, when it finally stopped. Thank you to our pediatrician, Dr. Spector, for seeing him yesterday afternoon, reassuring us that this was just “the crud” and not something more serious, and also a special thanks to PediaLyte.

    The trip itself was a challenge with all of the traveling, but starting it with a trip to the ER and ending it with a trip to the pediatrician’s office made it that much more of a memory. Fortunately, this morning Little G is looking better – he’s chugging PediaLyte, but we’re waiting until lunchtime to try real food again.

    Little G was an incredible trooper through our trip – he hung in there, withstood six separate airplane rides within a week, and kept a pretty good attitude about it. I love my boy.

    As always, traveling has provided me with blog fodder, upon which I will elaborate in future posts:

    • The San Jose airport is awful and I will pay extra in the future not to have to fly through there.
    • American Airlines is cheap.
    • Some people will continue to lie to your face, even when you call them out. This happened to us in Dallas.
    • I got to give my tribute to Kelli and her new husband (and my new cousin-in-law), Joe, at their wedding and celebrate Kelli’s and my appreciation for ’80s music simultaneously.
    • Pittsburgh Steelers fans are pretty hard core.
    • Did you know that a baby’s soft rattle is now a threat to national security? Apparently so. Also, did you know that, even though the TSA website does not call for specific instructions for packing baby food in carry-on bags, the security agents still expect it to be treated a certain way? Apparently so on this too.
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