Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas photo follies

As some of you should know by now, we decided to just use a picture of our little ones for our Christmas card this year. It was fast, easy and we thought they turned out well. But getting one photo that was decent enough to use, well, that was not fast or easy.

Alex would only smile for a split second, Jessica wasn't feeling well, and tried her hardest to muster a smile, but it just didn't work. And Aubrey, well, she is just Aubrey. You never quite know what you are going to get with her.

In the end, we managed to salvage one that was decent enough. Jessica still has a bit of a grimace, but she is trying.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Chuck: Our new favorite show

Years ago, I started watching Alias. My wife sat down and we were both immediately engrossed. It became our weekly show, the one we would set time aside to watch together. And if one of us couldn't be there we either taped it (in the old days), or (confession here) downloaded the episode. It was a lot of fun. We knew that, every week, we had that time set aside for a little escapism. Our enjoyment of this activity waned a bit during the third season (our least favorite), but we stuck through. After Alias went off the air, we were sort of in a void. There just wasn't anything that we both wanted to watch. My wife fell in love with Gilmore Girls, and is still enjoying catching up on past seasons on DVD. I would see the occasional episode, and while I found much of the dialog witty, it didn't really draw me. We sort of started watching Lost at the beginning of the second season. But, to be honest, it started to get a bit too weird for us. For the most part, we have not really watched too much TV together since that time. Not a huge loss, as there are better things we can do with our time. Still, we missed having a show that we sat down to watch together every week. We tried with Heroes last season, and while I enjoyed it, it was too dark for my wife's taste (and this season is too directionless and, well, just bad). Enter Chuck. I happened to catch the pilot episode and found it quite enjoyable. It managed to straddle numerous different styles. On the one hand you have an action/spy show. Similar to Alias, the main character has to hide his spy life from his friends and family. Yet the show also mixes in well the geekiness (or nerdiness) of the main character and his friends. It manages to balance humor with action nicely. To be honest, it is a very pleasant breath of fresh air. The cast is great. Each one is likable and believable (relatively) in his/her role. The interplay between the characters is handled well, not too heavy handed, but again with just enough tongue-in-cheek to keep you smiling. We have been catching up on some past episodes we missed, and are, unashamedly, big fans of this new show. The news that it was picked up for a full season (and possibly a second-it is hard to tell for sure due to the writer's strike) came as welcome news. At least thus far, they have managed to make it work well. And for the other nerds that may be watching, there are ample nerd and geek references (subtle for the most part) that keep me on my toes, watching for them. It is a lot of fun to have something that my wife and I both look forward to watching again.

Um, my brother wants to be. . .

Whew, dusting off the old keyboard here. Been a while. But I had to share, this was too ridiculous. 4:30 this morning. I was on call for General Surgery (and Pedi Surgery and Vascular Surgery and Trauma and ENT). Other than a vascular patient who decided she wanted to try to die and hemorrhage on us (she's as okay as she can be, at least not bleeding like a stuck pig anymore) it was a pretty quiet nite. One of the joys of being the junior Surgery resident on call is that you have the glory and honor of having all outside phone calls that want to talk to a Surgeon directed to you. You get a page that starts with 333** with two other numbers (the **), and when you call back, you are connected to the caller. This is usually either MDs from other hospitals calling to transfer someone to us (because they are too complicated, the patient that is, or because they are too lazy, the MD that is), or previous surgery patients who have a question about something. These calls can be a real pain. So, the pager goes off. 333**. Outside call. My guess is, at this time, a sick person has shown up at another hospital and they want to send them our way. I dial the number, hear the beep that tells me we are connected. "Hello, this is PJ with Surgery." "Um, yeah, my brother, well, he wants to be a woman." Silence. "Do you do that surgery?" "No. No, we don't do that surgery. General Surgery isn't even the right person to call for gender reassignment surgery." "Well, can I talk to the person who does it?" "No, no one here does it." "Um, can you give me the number of someone who does?" "No." Click. This has to be a prank. No one in their right mind, lest anyone who actually is considering gender reassignment, is going to have their drunk sounding brother call at 4:30 in the morning. My money is on one of the other Surgery residents who are on research this year and have the time to pull a lame prank like this. Needless to say, it made a fun story to tell the other residents this morning. What a classic line. "Um, my brother wants to be a woman." Priceless.