Saturday, January 19, 2008

Warning: Cloverfield May Induce Vomiting

So.... I went to see the movie Cloverfield tonight. It totally made me want to throw up - I mean literally. Not because of the neat concept, not because of the likeable characters, not because of the sweet little love story wrapped up in a monster movie, not because the monster was hideous - No! I was nauseous because of the 84 minutes of HAND-HELD CAMERA WORK. It was supposed to be shaky because it depicted what someone might have done with their camcorder if they were in that type of situation, but, PLEASE, try a tripod every now and then. The best parts were when they set the camera down to move rubble or pick someone up - only because the frame was still. Every time they dropped the camera, I hoped that they would die so that the movie would be over. My friends and I literally had to sit in the car a few minutes to let the nausea subside before driving home.

Here is an example of the camera work that is used throughout the film:

That's just an example; at least the monster in my movie is way cuter and only half as destructive as Cloverfield's monster.

I actually did like the concept, and the way the film cut back to a previously recorded "day at Coney Island" to carry the love story was very neat, but I couldn't get past the cinematography.They did some neat things with the CG animation and effects, and the mixing of those elements into the "video recording" was excellent, but barf city. I spent probably more than 20 minutes with my eyes closed or my hands partially covering the screen.

Why didn't I leave? Well, I was with friends, and I didn't know if they were loving the film or not, and crazily enough, I kept thinking maybe they'll cut to a normal camera. Well, at the end, I booed the movie - have you ever done that?It's very empowering! My friends said that they were glad I booed because they didn't want to hurt my feelings by saying how sick the film made them.

Again, I liked the concept and the idea of the love story, but to paraphrase Nina Garcia (fashion director of Elle Magazine and judge on Project Runway), "It failed in the execution."

Friday, January 11, 2008

When you're hot, you're hot!

So.... most of you know that about once a month I pack my doctor's bag and load up on the Baptist Bus and set up a mobile clinic in a couple of surrounding, more rural communities (see blog entry 7/3/07). Actually, I hate this - it just is not my thing. Just yesterday, I negotiated my way out of the bus rotation, and by negotiate, I mean:
Aaron: "Hey, colleagues, I absolutely hate the bus - I mean, like, totally hate it."
Colleagues: "Oh, okay, Aaron, we can take you out of the rotation."
Aaron: "OKAY!" (then I said I hated call too, but they wouldn't go for that)
Well, today was my last day on the bus. After the initial "rush" in Gurdon, my nurse Lorie, bus driver Ricky (aka Cornbread), and I were sitting leisurely on the bus, talking about goats (see blog entry 12/22/07) - Cornbread bought Barbie Pearl, Lorie's daughter Haley's showgoat. One of Cornbread's other goats delivered twins last night - all very exciting conversation. Just then, Lorie saw a car drive slowly past the bus, she stood up and looked out of the window to see if they parked (which meant they would want some unnecessary medical attention). Peering out the window Lorie said, "I'm just seeing if they pulled in - something's on fire! We're on fire!" She then pointed to the back of the bus where faint wafts of smoke were drifting in the exam area. We all bolted off the bus (actually, first, I ran to the back and got my coat and bag out of the exam area - I had some magazines in there that I hadn't read yet).

Cornbread called the firetruck; Lorie ran to the Baptist ambulance station, right around the corner, to get their help; I took pictures with my cell phone. The generator or heater or something underneath the back of the bus had overheated or sparked. Flames were visible through the grill of the back compartment (where smoke is escaping in the above picture). Darrin, one of the ambulance drivers (he occasionally drives the bus for us) ran from the station and sprayed the fire extinguisher, dousing the flames. As the situation calmed, I called the office and said I would not be traveling on the Blazing Inferno of a Death Trap that is the Baptist Bus to the next community that afternoon.

After the blaze was mitigated, Lorie and I bravely entered the ruined carcass of the vehicle to retrieve the meds and equipment (all the while taking cell phone pix of each other).

This is a picture taken on the ground looking through the back of the vehicle into the exam area. Darrin is holding the hatch open. Cornbread is telling his wife what kind of baby goat food to purchase. Some fire damage really is (sort of) visible on the left side of the photo in the foreground where a plastic casing melted.

I tried to do what I could to help assess the situation, but I was unable to accurately diagnose the origin of the fire.

I'm glad my partners said I could come out of the bus rotation; otherwise, I 'm sure they would have thought that I set the bus on fire to get out of going. Oh, I treated all of us to Route 44's from Sonic (right across the street) - they gave me a discount because my bus caught on fire.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Happy Twelfth Day of Christmas!

So.... today is the Twelfth Day of Christmas, or Epiphany. Well, move over Epiphany, 'cause the Mardi Gras Season starts tomorrow. Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) will be observed on February 5th, 2008. Have you started your shopping and party planning? Me neither. In the areas of the country and the world that "really" celebrate Mardi Gras, parties, parades, and eating of King Cake commence right about now. So, go ahead, you've got about a month to get your "Pardi" on.

Hope you're having a wonderful new year so far! How many resolutions have you already broken? I've not broken a one (easy to do if one refrains from resolving).