Rants from the Crib

An Ob/Gyn gone mad

Archive for the tag “movies”

Losing The War On Our Minds

I have never watched so much TV in my life.  I think this is truly safe to say.  I’ve been trapped alone in a hotel room in North Dakota for two weeks now.  Yes, I have spent some time seeing patients in clinic, but I have been booked pretty lightly.  All my nights are free.  And I find it safe to say, in this town of 18,000, in the dead of winter, there is nothing else to do.  Well, there is a Walmart.  And some bars.  But I don’t drink anymore, although I am strongly considering it.

A little background on the TV thing.  You see, I grew up without one.  Yes, I was a freak.  I was a freak for a lot of reasons, mainly because I was brilliant, and because my parents were Wally and June Cleaver in a world where everyone else’s parents partied and screwed around and, well, watched TV.  I’m not saying I had a bad childhood.  In fact, the opposite is true.  I had a wonderful childhood.  I have no early traumas to draw on when I do my writing.  Trauma for me was coming in second in the spelling bee (which never happened, by the way).

But we had no TV.  My parents did not buy a television until I was grown and out of the house.  They thought TV was a waste of time, and money.  And although I hated them for it, in hindsight, they were definitely right.  I spent some of my childhood snatching moments of TV at my friends’ houses.  When I spent the night at my best friend’s house, we spent all Saturday morning watching cartoons.  I went to friends’ houses after school and we glued ourselves to The Brady Bunch and Gilligan’s Island.  I got every precious moment of TV I could get.

On occasion, my parents would rent a TV for big events.  When the Olympics came on, for example, I would keep that TV on every minute I possibly could.  The folks would pull me away after an hour or so, but I got to watch M*A*S*H, and I got to watch Nadia Comanici win her gold.  But I felt left out all through junior high, and high school, because the kids were talking about shows, and I had never seen any of them.  In junior high, I went to a class party that was held just to find out Who Shot JR.  I watched that show, and I had no idea what was going on.

Funny thing, though.  After I left home, TV lost all importance in my life.  We never had one at the apartment when I was in college.  I was so busy out meeting people, and partying, and studying, that it just didn’t seem relevant.  Once I was in medical school, I certainly didn’t have a TV.  I didn’t have the time, and I couldn’t afford it anyway.  Same thing for residency.

There was one brief period in my life when I did watch TV.  When I took my first job out of residency, I rented an apartment which included cable in the price of rent.   I felt it would be foolish to waste the cable, so I bought a TV.  Since it was my first job as a real doctor, I bought a BIG TV.  I still didn’t watch it much.  When I watched, the TV stayed on Comedy Central.  It cheered me up when I was feeling down, or when I was staying up late making jewelry.  I loved old episodes of Saturday Night Live, and I loved the Daily Show.  But my absolute favorite was What’s My Line Anyway.  The original one and the one with Drew Carey.  I watched that show for hours and hours.  It made me laugh hysterically.  And by this time in my life, that took a lot.

Once I got married, we never got cable again.  We love to watch movies, and we test shows that we hear are good on Netflix.  We’ve enjoyed Burn Notice, Bones, Buffy, Angel, Heroes, In Plain Sight, White Collar, Castle, and most recently and delightfully, Big Bang Theory.  We watch kid’s movies with our daughter.  I don’t think she even realizes that we don’t even watch “real” TV.  We are commercial free.

But this brings us back to where I am now:  a hotel in North Dakota with a winter storm on the way.  I have spent the weekend holed up in here, except for a brief period yesterday when the weather was so beautiful I had to go out.  There was nowhere to go, really.  I went to Walmart, and the little mall.  Not much going on there.  But I could go out without my coat.

Otherwise, I’ve been a shut-in.  Watching regular TV.  And thank goodness for movies.  And thank goodness for Law & Order.  You can find that on anywhere, any time.  But these ads.  Oh my God!  They’re giving me nightmares.  The asinine Sonic guys.  The Geico pig.  McDonalds Fishy McBites with the rapping wall fish.  That Geico thing where the African basketball player runs around slapping everything out of the air?  Trojan vibrators being sold on prime time TV?  Seriously?  Really?  When the hell did that happen?

And the shows.  Holy cow.  The world has gone to hell in a handbasket, for sure.  Duck Dynasty?  The Virgin Bachelor?  Honey Boo-Boo?  Almost Naked Animals?  Amish Mafia?  Swamp Pawn?  Teen Mom 2?  These names sound like they should be satires of real shows.  No wonder my patients are so darn dim.  It’s not their fault.  Their brains are being poisoned.  It’s not even insidious at this point.  It’s overt.  War has been declared on the minds of the world, and we are just letting it happen.  And I think I know why.  I can’t turn this thing off, because I’m so damn bored.  I think we’re all giving up.  Because we’re just damn bored.

The Great Escape

The older I become, the more aware I am that movie and TV watching for me are a key way for me to “get out of myself.”  Netflix is my best friend.  My husband and I spend good time enjoying shows together.  Currently we’re catching up on back episodes of Burn Notice, Lie to Me (finished), The Mentalist, Castle, Bones, In Plain Sight and most recently, The Big Bang Theory.  By myself I am watching back episodes of Nip/Tuck, which my husband cannot believe, because I usually hate medical shows (being in the medical field I both feel like I am still at work when I watch them, and I also criticize every little bit of them:  “They would NEVER do it that way!”)  Nip/Tuck is medically not believable but the characters are so well developed that I can actually overlook that.  Tonight we went and saw Taken 2, which was EXCELLENT, I must say.  I love all the physics of the guy triangulating his position with the help of his daughter, and I just love the way he kicks ASS!  No spoilers here.  

I just find that when I watch TV shows and movies, I can really get out of my own life and forget who I am for a while.  And depending on the show, I will either finish relieved that my life is not that bad or at least have just forgotten about the things that are bugging me for a while.  This is a little addictive.  Only my sense of honor (I don’t watch our together shows without my husband) prevents me from spending every waking hour escaping with the TV (oh, and the fact that my DH would kill me if I wasted all my time on the couch).  My current favorites are In Plain Sight and The Big Bang Theory.  I love Mary’s character on In Plain Sight, and it doesn’t hurt that her partner, Marshall, is a total hottie.  And I am just geeky enough (with my physicist husband) to love the “science humor” in Big Bang.  I think those of us with degrees in the sciences have all known those characters on Big Bang in real life.  I love Sheldon to pieces; as my husband put it, “He has both Aspberger’s and OCD!”  As do we all, as do we all.

We have just received the latest available season of Castle, which my husband really really loves.  I think he can see himself as Castle, a bright quirky rich guy dabbling in crimesolving and chasing around a hot police officer.  The show really is pretty damn good.  I’m just waiting to see:  do they ever get together?  No spoilers please; we’re just a few seasons behind but we’re catching up.  The Mentalist is coming soon and I do love Patrick Jane’s winsome smile (not to mention the overly creepy back story, which is always just in the back of my mind).  And Bones is coming, and Tempe has just gotten pregnant, oh my!

I’m afraid if they enrolled me in a study like those rats that pushed the pleasure button until they died, I would push the TV button until I forgot my life entirely.  Let’s face it, my job stresses me out so bad I can hardly see straight.  Just to get away from it for a little while by crawling into someone else’s life is so great!  I know my husband worries about me finding escapist things, and I’m sure he’s noticing, this blog is one of them too.  I hope it’s a little more redeeming than staring at the boob tube all the time. 

I do prefer to watch things at home.  The movie theater is a big experience, and it is my husband’s favorite, but I like to be at home, away from the sticky floors and the teens texting each other in the front row.  I like having a big ole pause button so I can run pee real quick and go get food.  And I am a bit of a home body so I guess that figures in too.  Oddly, when I was pregnant, I was convinced that if I went to a movie theater, that we would be involved in a drive-by and the baby and I would be shot.  Weird, the crap your brain comes up with when you’re pregnant.  I guess that’s a little bit on my mind still, just another silly (but not so completely unrealistic) worry that I have managed to come up with. 

Right now I am at home on the computer, writing a blog piece I can release tomorrow because as crazy as my day may be, I may not have time to come up with one then.  I am trying hard to write a piece a day at least on week days, when I have time between patients.  The best part of right now is:  when my hubby gets home from taking back the babysitter, we’re gonna watch a show!

The Princess Bride

We have just passed the twenty-fifth anniversary of the release of the movie Princess Bride. I was nineteen when it was released. My husband was twenty-two. He declared his geekdom by writing a final exam paper on the movie. I declared my geekdom as most people do, by loving the movie and memorizing all the funny lines. My husband and I have been awaiting the day that our daughter will be old enough to watch the movie with us.

Well, that time came last night. Our daughter is seven, and she seemed mature enough to deal with some of the scarier issues in the movie. We all watched it together and she did great. She really enjoyed it and kept talking over and over again about what a great movie it was.

She laughed at the little kid complaining about the kissing in the movie. She covered her face when the Shrieking Eels were approaching Buttercup in the water. The little asides to the kid and his grandfather were good at breaking up the scary and mushy parts of the movie. She was “going for the guy in black” during the sword fight with Inego and was concerned that he would be killed. She was extremely nervous during the iocaine poison scene and was relieved when the “good guy” survived. She didn’t quite understand how both cups could be poisoned though. She was appropriately nervous in the scenes in the fire swamp, but she seemed unmoved by the ROUS. (She had been warned in advance). She immediately caught on to the significance of the six-fingered man, although she wanted to know how anyone could be born with six fingers. I told her it actually happens. She booed Prince Humperdink and was very anxious when Wesley had the life sucked out of him by The Machine. She loved Miracle Max and his wife. She was very relieved when Wesley came back to life after being “only mostly dead.” She became very agitated at the swordfight between Inego and the six-fingered man; it was the only scene where someone was violently killed and she may have been a little young for that. She got over it pretty quickly though (although she became alarmed at the prospect of a duel between Wesley and Prince Humperdink – I did reassure her that the swordfighting was over). She was thrilled at the romantiic ending. I think overall that we were correct in judging her to be grown up enough to enjoy the movie – she actually understood some things that I had not thought that she would get. So she has been chattering happily about watching a “big girl movie” and we had a great time geeking out and watching The Princess Bride with her last night.

Day One

I was wondering this morning, why does everyone gush over what a wonderful movie Dirty Dancing was?  It wasn’t.  People gushed even before Patrick Swayze died.  This is alarming proof that they actually do think that this was a wonderful movie, since they babbled about it even before they felt they had to do it for the sainted Mr. Swayze.  I have nothing against Patrick Swayze.  I never found him particularly attractive, nor a particularly talented actor, and I would never wish pancreatic cancer on anyone.  His movies were just remarkably bad. I think I was a kid,, or a tween when Dirty Dancing came out, and even then I knew it was crap.  Basic premise:  hunky near adult dating gorgeous talented dancing slut – going for dance competition.  Dancing slut gets knocked up.  Somehow, unattractive brace-faced tween child who, for God’s sake, is at a camp with her parents, is selected as the replacement for said knocked up slut, and she miraculously becomes mystically talented at this nasty dancing which she certainly never has done before, and somehow becomes the new love interest for the hunky near-adult guy.  She’s “out of his league”.  Not.  No hunky dance guy would ever choose crooked-nose brace-face kid over dancing slut hottie, even knocked up one.  Brace-face’s dad would have chained her to the bed in the cabin or yanked them all home before any of this ever would have happened.  Hunky dance guy would have spent his time freaking out about possible child support and trying to talk hottie into an abortion, not trying to win some hokey dance contest.  Am I the only person who has noticed the intrinsic stupidity of this story?  Apparently so.  Am I a cranky old grouch?  Yes.  Does this excuse the crap factor of this movie?  No.

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