How a movie, physics and my day-to-day nerdy life combine

Patrick and I went on a date tonight to see the movie about Stephen Hawking, The Theory of Everything.  I have been wanting to see it since I saw the preview a couple months ago and finally we had some time (read: I have a treatment planning exam this week and am on call next weekend, so I wanted to be “normal” and also simultaneously procrastinate).

I was impressed.

Not only did I get to nerd out a little bit (although science and/or medicine weren’t the main focus of the movie), but it was at times funny, and heartwarming and sad, much like life is.  It was quite a journey.

Seriously though… I would watch it again.  Happily.

Then, we went home and spent an inordinate amount of time nerding out in a different way by looking into how true to life the movie really was, how the actor learned to portray gradual motor neuron decline so well and all that good stuff.  Apparently, it is pretty close to life, although there were, of course the odd composite characters and embellishments or sugar coating.  And the actor studied a ton with dancers and videos and such to get the movements (or absence thereof).

All in all, a good movie.

And now I want to read the book (written by his ex-wife, Jane).  In fact, I saw it while we were out and about today and I almost told Patrick I couldn’t see the movie before I read the book (since that is my general life rule), but I decided against that.  And I need to read his book too, because I like to be well-read and because I love science and physics (and I do firmly believe that much of it does point to God).

Also, it reminded me that physicists are some of my favourite kinds of people.  Seriously… I work with a ton of them… Not cosmologists or theoretical physicists, but medical physicists who are equally nerdy and insanely intelligent.

This in turn reminds me that before I read these books I should probably study my physics and radiobiology so that I pass them this year (although that is improbable because as a rule that doesn’t happen and we repeat them in 4th year).  And that in turn makes me continue to put that stuff off because it is way too early.  And as I said, I have a treatment planning exam this week that I need to study more for because it is on prostate and I haven’t worked with a doc who treats prostate in almost 2 months, so I am way rusty (and realistically never got the hang of it particularly well).  There is, of course some physics in there, so I guess it all relates back.  Kind of.

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The last few weeks in a nutshell.

When it comes to regular blogging, I have been an epic fail lately. Sometimes life is just plain busy and my priorties have been such that sitting down to write has not been a priority.

So, for those of you who care… Some updates on my last couple weeks in a nutshell.

The treatment planning exam I wrote about went decently. It was challenging. I got through it and my score was not good, but was good for a first exam. Plus, that means I met the milestone of doing my first treatment planning exam.

The Child and I started going to Body Pump classes. Once a week. But every week. For those of you who are regular Pump attenders, this may not seem like much, but it is a huge stretch for us to commit to going every week and getting stronger (even if it would be better to go more than once a week, I’d rather set a realistic goal). As a result of attending these classes, we have turned into bigger gym rat-like people, not only discussing our run times at times, but now also plotting out how we could go up on our weights or do a certain move better.

I went wedding dress shopping in a real wedding dress store for the first time ever last week with my sister-in-law. True story. I am married, but I bought my dress online from Sears. I lived away, so I didn’t go dress shopping with any of the friends that I know who got married. It was an experience. I feel okay with never having to do it again.

I am very excited to go see Gone Girl later today. The book freaked the heck out of me (once I got past the first ¼).   I expect the movie could do the same.

Patrick and I went to a produce store yesterday that is known for its ridiculous deals. We have had friends from church recommending the place for ages, but had yet to go. We now understand the beauty that it truly is.

My program changed our academic half days to Friday afternoons. It is a form of torture to sit through 4 hours of lecture on a Friday afternoon. Especially when you have a busy review clinic all morning and no time to see your inpatients until after all the teaching. I discovered caffeine and cookies help, but don’t cure the Friday half-day blues.

I had a post-call day last week because I was stuck in hospital until 2am with a spinal cord compression who, after we treated, started having “new” chest pain (that in retrospect wasn’t new) and then was called several times overnight. I was so excited to have a post call day. And didn’t even feel that guilty for taking it because the night was that kind of ridiculous. Then I remembered, post call days suck when you were actually up most of the night because you need to sleep. Silly.

I love treating head and neck cancers. Even though they tend to get so sick from treatment. And even though some of the patients are tough drinkers/smokers who don’t want to do anything they should. I like a challenge. And I really want to help. And we can cure people with this type of cancer, which is always cool.

My computer at work was giving me the blue screen of death and shutting down intermittently. It got to the point that I couldn’t get any work done and had to use someone else’s computer. The helpdesk person had no real explaination as to why my computer blew up in my face like it did. He had to reload everything back on it from scratch (and I lost everything that was saved on the computer itself (not much)). In retrostpect, I like to rest my feet on the computer console thing under my desk and twice in the last few weeks I accidentally kicked it over. That might be related. Whoops.

I have been attempting to read The Maze Runner for two weeks. Much like my blogging, life has gotten in the way of my fun reading. Silly.

I have been obsessed with listening to Needtobreathe lately. Not sure why, but their mellow has been drawing me in. Like this song:

What is new with you? Anything exciting?

Top Ten Books If You Like X Movie or TV Show

Greetings from one of the four airports I will visit today.  I am en route to a conference (and getting delays and rescheduled up the whazoo), so the lovely Patrick has done this week’s Top Ten Tuesday to go with the Broke and Bookish’s theme “Top Ten Books If You Like X.”

1. Red Rising by Pierce Brown if you liked the TV show Smallville. Its set on Mars and Darrow may not be Clark Kent but he is super-human. He also struggles with pretending to be someone he’s not while keeping his real identity a secret. There is even a Lex Luthor- like character but I won’t spoil it for you!

2. The Guinea Pig Diaries by AJ Jacobs if you like the TV show Mythbusters. Jacobs basically makes himself a guinea pig in experiments such as outsourcing his entire life to India.

3. 11/22/63 by Stephen King if you like the TV show Continuum or anything involving Time Travel! The novel/show both have a unique take on time travel and the consequences of it.

4. Treasure of Khan by Clive Cussler if you like the TV show NCIS: LA. This book (by one of my favorite authors) is just one of many in a series of books revolving around Dirk Pitt, and sidekick Al Giordino’s adventures solving mysteries/crimes at sea. Not unlike G and Sam.

5. Dust by Joan Frances Turner if you like the movie Warm Bodies. Yes I know Warm bodies is also a novel but stay with me. Dust also makes you look at zombies as more humanistic with emotions, memories and dancing.

6. Not Wanted on the Voyage by Timothy Findley. if you liked the new movie Noah. Confession: I haven’t watched Noah but have heard the director took some liberties with the biblical story much like Findley. If you are okay or even like that sort of thing, this novel is for you. Warning the book has some seriously disturbing parts.

7. The Art of Racing in the Rain (Audio Book) by Garth Stein if you like the book/movie Marley & Me. Both focus on the special bond between a man and his dog. We listened it to it and I think that only made it better. Make sure you have the tissues handy for either of them though!

8. The Passage by Justin Cronin if you like the TV show Being Human (BBC or American version). The novel has good and bad supernatural creatures including to vampires but the real type not Twilight-version. Cronin takes you on an incredible journey to say the least!

9. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller if you like the TV show Mash. I recently read this classic and the way it found humor in war times reminded me of Mash. Interesting random fact, Heller coined the expression Catch-22!

10. I didn’t ask to be born (But I’m glad I was) by Bill Cosby if you like TV show The Cosby Show. I know it may be cheating because they both involve Cosby. But trust me he’s just as funny in book form!

Bonus:

11. Allegiant by Veronica Roth if you like How I met your Mother (particularly the series finale ending). That’s all I’ll say but many of you will know what I mean)

My new favourite morbid parody

It still isn’t Spring outside.

This week so far, the Respirology consult service I am covering has seen 11 new consults.  And, we’re following about 18 inpatients.

I have physics for the first time in weeks with the instructor who actually expects me to know stuff.  And the other resident is on vacation somewhere warm and is thus leaving me to fend for myself on my own.

To make me happy, I will share the song… The terribly morbid and kind of horrifying parody of a song I quite love.

The original song is “Do You Want To Build a Snowman?” from the movie Frozen.  

I know, there are a million parodies.  Yes, there are.  But I have only listened to a couple and  I feel like it will be tough to top this one… At least for me.

The parody is “Do You Want To Hide a Body?”  Yes.  True story.  What better to sing and laugh about on a crazy day?

I am a bit of a terrible person.

Listen to it to the very end to get the full effect of the morbid funny and epic creepy.

Some thanks

Some gratitude…

Thanks to the friend of the patient I saw today who bumped into me at the cafeteria and told me that I am nice and make a good doctor.  It had been an emotionally draining day, but nothing like what you are probably experiencing.  You don’t know how much of a difference it made to me to hear that.  

Thanks to the cat who usually bites and paws at Patrick in the middle of the night instead of me.

Thanks to my parents who are letting us make use of one of their collection of white Christmas trees.  I like that they are weird.  Plus, they are all I have ever really known.

Thanks to the nice person who chased me down the hall last week when I dropped my hospital ID.

Thanks to my husband  who finally dropped of the maintenance request form for the drawer that Jeter broke almost a year ago.

Thanks to the staff doctor who came in to help me when the work was piling up on call without asking and without piling on the guilt.  I got out earlier than I would have, I had way more teaching than I usually get and it saved a lot of phone calls.  

Thanks to Cineplex for buying out Empire Theatres and introducing us to the awesomeness that are Cineplex points and  our first free movie after only going to one before that.

Thanks to the people who read this blog even though sometimes I must seem absolutely boring or bizarre.

Thanks to one of my favourite coffee shops starting a buy 9 drinks get one free card.  

Anyone you want to say thanks to recently?

Hooked on a YouTube series

One of me latest (and by latest, I really mean last two months or so) distractions instead of studying or working on my research has been watching the Lizzie Bennet Diaries on YouTube.

I had heard about them months ago because the Child (who is all knowing when it comes to the depths of YouTube) told me about the series.  I decided I wanted to check it out when I had time.

Ah, time… That mysterious thing I dream about at times…

Anyway, then, the series won an Emmy.

True story.

Finally, on research month, once Patrick one day suggested that I actually not do work during lunch, I checked the show out.

It is hilarious.

Modernized Pride and Prejudice vlog style.

I am somewhere around episode 80 and am sad that it will soon come to an end.

Probably one of the best book to “movie” adaptations ever.  Especially given that it was entirely modernized, which I think makes it more acceptable.

I can’t believe I am hooked on a YouTube series.

Check it out from the beginning (I’ll make it easy and include the first episode below).

I really need to study for the LMCC.  Really.

Top Ten Books I Would Like To See As A Movie or TV Show

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday with the folks at the Broke and the Bookish is the top ten books I’d like to see as a movie or TV show.

I am not a big book into movie person.  In fact, I have mixed feelings about the whole concept.  I always want to go see movies based on books I have read, but I almost always get aggravated at how they didn’t do it the way I would have wanted or pictures.  That being said, lots of books have potential to make good movies (potential is the key word here).

I did this list last May (check it out), but I will make another go of it and avoid repeats.  I tend to be oblivious to pop culture, so it is likely that half of these are already in the works to be made into movies, but I will at least try to avoid series that are on their way sooner rather than later like The Hunger Games.

  1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.  Yes, I am aware that this is being made into a movie and it looks fantastic, so I am including it.  I only stipulate that Death needs to narrate and keep the dark humor in it… Otherwise I will be crushed.
  2. Paper Towns by John Green.  The characters in this book cracked me up, plus it is full of action and randomness.  It would make a great movie, light with just the right amount of geekery and romance.
  3. 11/22/63 by Stephen King.  This could be a movie or a TV series if things were kept appropriate to the timeline and such.  Lots of characters, lots of drama.  It has potential to be an epic creation, just like the book.
  4. The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson.  Again, this could be an epic movie, kind of like Forest Gump, but it would need to be kept true to the timeline and eras and such.  Plus, casting of the crazy characters would be key, particularly in making sure the old mand is sufficiently aged.
  5. The Circle series by Ted Dekker.  I am not sure if I would watch it because the book was barely in my liking of genres, but it was a fascinating read and it is sufficiently long and full of characters and such that it would make a good TV series.  It could also do movie, but I feel like TV would do it more justice.
  6. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins.  Classic chick flick.  I am not a huge fan of such things, but yet I have a strange weakness for them at times.  I would totally see this.  I’d probably laugh and mock, but I would watch it.
  7. A Street Cat Named Bob by James Bowen.  Wonderful feel good story for a movie.  I have heard it is in the works, but I watched an interview with James Bowen a few weeks ago and it wasn’t mentioned, although he has another books out that I need to read (The World According To Bob).
  8. Wicked by Gregory Maguire.  I know it is a musical that I long to see (but may or may not have the soundtrack memorized), but I would love to see this (and possibly the other books from the series I have not yet read) crafted into a movie of sorts.  Even just the musical in movie form would do, although I would love it if it were a bit truer to the book.
  9. House Rules by Jodi Picoult.  I liked how this book presented how things are not always how they may appear and how life is impacted when there is a child with special needs in the family and how autism is seen in society.  Definitiely a movie, not TV show.
  10. The House of God by Samuel Shem.  Either a TV series (because medical TV shows are a dime a dozen these days) or a well put together movie.  The characters are crazy, it is more realistic than at least half the stuff on TV, but I think the key will be keeping it set in the era it was written.

What are some books you would like to see be made into movies or TV series (and not butchered)?

Top Ten Best/Worst Book to Movie Adaptations

I am a big proponent of the book is just about always better than the movie concept, but I also can’t resist a movie based on a book I enjoyed (refer to this post for more on that).  

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday with the Broke and the Bookish is the top ten best and worst book to movie adaptations.  I am going with 5 of each, just to balance things out.

Best:

  1. The Hunger GamesI am excited for Catching Fire to come out.  I feel like they stayed true to the concept of the books and to the plot.  Sure, a few characters were a bit different than I pictured, but overall, it wasn’t too glammed up or altered.
  2. Marley & MeI confess, I saw the movie before I read the book, but I still argue that it was actually true to the book and equally as hilarious and heartwrenching.
  3. Matilda.  I love all of his books, but this was a fabulous and fun movie adaptation.  Sure, it wasn’t perfect, but I feel like the movie captured the spirit of the book well.
  4. The Life of Pi.  Again, it wasn’t completely true to the book, but I liked how it was approached and how they kept the overarching plot, characters and sequence of events correct.
  5. To Kill a Mockingbird.  This is an all-around classic!  The book and the movie were pretty similar.  It wasn’t a perfect cross-over, but the movie elicits the same emotions and life lessons as the book and was so well put together, especially for its time.

Worst:

  1. Twilight series.  They deviated from the plot, made things even more glitzy than the book and some of the acting was, well, interesting.
  2. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (the new one).  The 1970-something classic is one of my favourite movies of all times!  I don’t think it was an amazing adaptation, but it was pretty darn good.  However, the 2000-something one was horrible.  They made Willy Wonka uber creepy and the whole thing just seemed bizarre.  Nowhere near the delight that was the children’s novel!
  3. My Sister’s Keeper.  Way to change the ending completely.
  4. Anne of Green Gables.  I love this book.  For some reason, the movie aggravates me.  It follows the plot reasonably well, but there is something about it that makes it exaggerated and hokey to me.
  5. The Harry Potter series.  I know some people will judge me on this one, but I couldn’t get into them.  They just didn’t seem to work for me, even though the books were lovely.  I actually skipped watching the middle few because they just seemed pointless to me.

What are some of your favourite or least favourite movie adaptation from books? 

The Fault In Our Stars movie and other mixed feelings topics

The lovely folks from the movie world have decided to convert what I would probably consider one of my newer all-time favourite books into  a movie.  The Fault In Our Stars is being made in to a movie reports my husband and the internet.  Apparently, the producer says he is going to make it a pure and true interpretation.  

I don’t believe it.

I don’t think you can make this book into a good movie.  There is too much deep stuff.  Too much subtext.

But this is the opinion of someone who thinks that almost all movie adaptations are suboptimal.

Nonetheless, I will excitedly go see it because I loved the book that much.  I anticipate disappointment.

Thus, mixed feelings.

I also have mixed feelings about almost all cover songs.  I love a good song.  And I love a good cover.  But, often one is better than the other.  Generally the original is better, but every once in awhile something surprises you and it is better.  Patrick had discovered that CBC radio has a cover segment where they play an original song and then a cover sequentially.

The segment played one of my favourite songs, “Close To Me” by The Cure, a few weeks ago.   

I was not a huge fan of the cover, but still excited to hear another variation.  Unfortunately, despite avid searching, Patrick and I could not track down the artist, nor the YouTube video for the cover we remembered… There was a lot of creepy breathing happening though.  I don’t know why.  But, while hunting for a cover, I did discover that many bands have attempted (but in my opinion, not quite perfected the song).  Here is a Of Monsters and Men cover of the song… I love Of Monsters and Men.  I love the song.  I don’t love them singing it.  

I did prefer this cover of the Jackson 5 song “I Want You Back” by The Civil Wars.

For more mixed feelings, let’s discuss new shoes.

New shoes are awesome.  Because they are clean.  And new.  And not falling apart.  I need new dress shoes.  They are rancid and the inside is peeling off the sole and all that awfulness.  But, as great as new shoes are, they need to be broken in.  And paid for.

I don’t have Toms, but I have fake ones… And my old ones versus new ones have a similar disparity. My dress shoes are getting lucky like this now, though. Must go shoe shopping… Image from heckyeahtoms.tumblr.com.

Mixed feelings.

Bed time and wake up time.  Both are mixed feeling times.  At one, you are tired and sleep is a good idea, but you want to stay up and do/see more.  At the other, you want to stay cozy and asleep, but have a whole day ahead to do things.  

Okay, sometimes, bed time or wake up time is not met with mixed feelings.  This is true.

How about big meals… Good food, full bellies, nice company.  Maybe some fun cooking.  But, that is followed by lots of dishes to wash.  Boo.

What things do you have mixed feelings about?  Or what are your thoughts on my mixed feelings topics?

Breakfast club

I am watching The Breakfast Club today.  I was motivated to watch it after going to see Pitch Perfect with the Child and our friend, M.  You see, it is referenced repeatedly in Pitch Perfect and I wanted to know what the fuss was about.  Plus, it is on Netflix and I am on vacation.

The Breakfast Club is about a group of teens in Saturday detention.  They are required to write an essay about who they are before the day is over.

The kids are the stereotypical high school stereotypes, they list themselves in the beginning of the movie as the athlete, princess, basket-case, brain and criminal.  They all know one another, but really know nothing of one another beyond the stereotypes.

The movie follows the teens as they fight, break rules and eventually get to know each other’s dark secrets and learn that they all want to avoid making some of the same mistakes as some of the adults around them.

In the end, they write a collective essay about how they do not fit the stereotypes suspected by the principal.  They are changed in knowing the truth about one another.  But, it they still go back to the lives they once had because such is life with cliques in high school (or any time, for that matter).

I have heard this movie described as one of the best high school movies of all times.  Although I have never seen it to this point, I might agree.  It is well put together and it does take a good look at stereotypes and the background behind those stereotypes.

I was watching another show this week (clearly, while on vacation, I have been watching a lot of television) called Emily Owens, MD.  Yes, it is yet another medical show.  The jury is still out as to whether or not I want to gouge my eyes out or watch it.   But, in the first episode, she describes the hospital as being like high school.  You still have the crazy kids, the geeks, the jocks and the divas.    I thought the description was a little over the top.  A bit extreme.

Despite that, it is kind of true.  We grow into adults but sometimes things don’t change that much from high school.  I mean, we change, we grow, but we still are insecure, we still do foolish things and make bad choices.

The stereotypes in this movie and present in real life.  We all know a crazy one and a bad one and a princess.  But that is really just a piece of a person.  An outward façade.

Some people say surgeons are all cold and don’t like people.  Yet, I have met surgeons who love clinic as much as cutting and call patients from home to check in.  Others think all oncologists are warm and fuzzy people.  I have met some fairly nasty people who work as oncologists.  Then there are people who assume pathologists have to be anti-social to work down in the lab all day, but it took one day on a pathology rotation to see that they are just as chatty as everyone else, just they have different interests.

In high school, I was most definitely a nerd.  In university, I was most definitely a nerd (well, in first year, there was a phase where I was thought to be a stoner hippie based on my friends and overall attitude). In med school, I was a nerd.  But, a lot of that has to do with people you associate with, activities and decisions you make.  Not necessarily your personality in full.  There a cliques everywhere in life.  They don’t stop in high school.  They still exist where I am now.

I am going to a career fair tonight to talk to people about my field.  It will be a good time.  I love this kind of stuff.  The thing is… Like often attracts like.  There are stereotypes for a reason, even if people are individuals beneath the labels.

The Breakfast Club is an interesting look at high school and stereotypes.  The whole thing really goes on into adulthood where we try to pretend to not have stereotypes and wish we were more secure. And we do kind of turn into our parents whether or not we want to.  All in all, a good movie.  Plus, it has a very good closing song.  Quite appropriate to the movie.