Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Zombies and Angels and Vampires, oh my

Overheard at Redbox

6 Year Old: Let's get this one.
Father: There's no way you can watch Halloween 2. (Pauses for a second.) Let's get Zombieland.

Father of the year.

On a somewhat related note, I went on a bad movie splurge this weekend.

Legion - not good. The spiritual warfare thing has been done way better, most recently in Constantine. I had no problem with it not making sense, I just had a problem with it being mostly boring.

Daybreakers - pretty good. I'm biased, because vampire movies are awesome, but this is a pretty good one. It just shows that you can take an old formula and put some new twists on it. This movie concocts a world where vampires are the majority and humans an endangered species. It's got some pleasant twists. Or unpleasant really, but creative and fun.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Viewer Voting

I don't really like to show my movie content before "the debut" but I'd like some input. And these mock television shows are just going to flash during the closing credits, so you're not exactly going to have the twist ending ruined.

Let me know which of these you think are funniest/look best. Some shows have more than one graphic that I'm choosing between, so helping me their is even more helpful.













Friday, March 26, 2010

Slightly topical, entirely unsolicited

My general policy is to ignore things that annoy me (I’m going to be such a good psychiatrist) so I haven’t been paying much attention to politics. However, it’s a bit hard to avoid the health care debate when you work in health care.

I’d find the debate more enticing if both sides cut their sensationalism. And I’m not really talking about the actual politicians, though they could certainly benefit from this as well. The following are paraphrases of actual things I’ve heard in the last week:
- This day is going to be remembered just like Pearl Harbor (when the health care bill passed)
- If they’re so opposed, every Republican should pledge not to use any healthcare
- People are just threatening the politicians like they threaten each other behind closed doors (referring to death threats)
- This is the first time we’ve ever taken steps to help the people of America instead of people in other countries

Really? I think this is a bad bill, but it’s not quite the same as a surprise attack on US soil. The fact the Republicans don’t like this bill doesn’t mean they don’t want reform; everyone wants reform, just not this one. I think that shady goings-on did go on behind closed doors to get the votes to pass this, but I’m guessing death threats weren’t involved. And I don’t even know how to respond to the last one. If you like the bill, like it, if you don’t, don’t, but stop being stupid. It changes your argument from a legitimate viewpoint to grating squawking in my ears.

If you like the bill, you’re probably not a doctor. It seems like doctors should be somewhat involved with a bill regarding the nation’s health, but they weren’t really. And no doctor I’ve spoken with has had any confidence that the bill will be efficacious. It’s going to be massively expensive (But Chris it’s going to save money in the long run! No, it’s not. I can’t predict the future and neither can you, but I think the odds of this bill saving any money, short or long term, are very very low) but have a limited impact on health. Sounds like a winner.
Obviously, people paid to argue have been arguing for years over this, so we could go on and on about the different facets of the problem. I’ll just point out one of the biggest problems not remotely addressed in the bill.

We have a doctor shortage. This results in people not being able to see doctors, or having to wait a long time. This also results in worse care when you do see a doctor, because they’re seeing too many patients to try to make up for the shortage. Doctor shortage = limited access, worse care. Sounds like the problem with the system, doesn’t it?

Health care bill comes along. Does it address doctor shortage? No. Does it add more patients trying to see doctors? Yes. So, the problem gets worse, not better. But, it does try to decrease the costs of healthcare by paying doctors 20% less for Medicare visits. (Of course, here’s where personal bias comes in. If I worked for the insurance companies, I’d complain about their cuts. But I’m a doctor so I’m going to say stick it to the insurance companies, but leave me out of it.) Doctors already make almost nothing from Medicare patients, and now will make 20% less. Guess who is going to see even fewer Medicare patients? Some states require you to see those patients. Guess which states are going to have an even worse doctor shortage?

How would I save money in a health care bill? Tort reform. Again, I’m heavily biased. But if you look at why US healthcare costs so much, it’s because of fear of litigation. Doctors order every test under the sun, because they risk getting sued if they don’t. Those tests are extremely expensive, and many don’t add any diagnostic information. But the doctor has to choose between risking a law suit and charging the patient/insurance company/government for tests that didn’t actually help anything. They are going to run the extra tests. If it were harder to sue them, or there were caps on malpractice, they would run fewer tests. This would save a lot of money. And if you look at evidence based medicine and international health statistics, we would be equally as healthy. But no one wants to touch tort reform. Because lawyers make a lot of money from malpractice cases. And lawyers/law firms are the number one contributors to the Democratic Party.

There are a thousand and one problems with insurance companies. The only people that hate insurance companies more than patients are their doctors who have to deal with them day in and day out. But only attacking the problem from that end is going to make the doctor shortage worse, which is going to make health care worse, which is going to make the health care system worse. Yes it will.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Why yes, I am addicted to Wendy's new Apple Pecan salad. Thanks for asking.

Who could have foreseen this turn of events? I'm far far far from a rabbit food fanatic (any musicians out there should write a song Far Far Far From a Rabbit Food Fanatic) but on a whim/decision to kill myself a little more slowly at the drive-thru I got one of these salads. And then returned for 2 more of them within the next 7 days.

On an unrelated note, both of the Wendy's which I most frequently frequent (in the hospital and by my house) now have plasma screen menus. It's like living in the future. If they still have Wendy's in the future.

On a related note, if you're in the market to become addicted to other fast food, Burger King's Tendercrisp sandwich is delicious, and Taco Bell's new shrimp taco isn't. Shocker.

I'm sad that my last 2 posts have at least mentioned Wendy's. I promise my next one won't. Not even if I see the ghost of Dave Thomas.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Reader Mail

Tyler D. from Los Angeles writes:

"Chris, I watch less than the 4 hours of television per day recommended for Americans. Also, I love brunettes. What shows can you recommend I watch to both fill my quota and see some tremendous brunettes?"

Ah Tyler, a man after my own heart. And quoting Mike Doughty no less! I too have an affinity for the less fair of the fairer sex. So for all you bruns seeking some tremendous brunettes, here are some I've noticed lately.

1. Annie on Community. Also known as Alison Brie to her friends. She's working her straight-laced hyper-nerdiness, and working it well.

2. Erin on The Office. Again, she has a real name, Ellie Kemper. She's a welcome addition to the Dunder Mifflin family.
(She's not too bright, but she can sing)

3. Embeth Davidtz pops up periodically, but most recently I've seen her on In Treatment and Californication. She's not a spring filly, but does have brown hair.

4. On Caprica, the best brunette to spot would be Alessandra Torresani, who plays Zoe, and looks a bit like Zooey Deschanel.

Luckily, TV is chock full of them. Which is great, because Arizona might not be.

My 4 year plan

In case you hadn’t heard, Match Day was Thursday.

In June I’ll be a Mesan (ie my new job is in Mesa.) Thinking of it as another 4 years of school is kind of depressing, so I’m thinking of it as a job. I do receive a meager paycheck after all.

Me, living in Arizona. This is not how I imagined my life. But how I imagined my life included being married at 23, having a big screen and a flying car; so things were never going to turn out as planned. Don’t get me wrong, Mesa was my number one choice. I carefully weighed my options, and it won.

Pros – Hipster girls, frequent entertainment of all types, excellent psychoanalysis programs, being the center of the world
Cons – Public transportation, high cost of living, snooty programs, winter

Pros – Great/familiar psych program, good friends, lots of Wendys
Cons – Let’s not be negative

Pros - 8 months of nice weather, great psych program, relaxed vibe, mini-Provo, large but not too large city, good cost of living, I have a sunglasses fetish, Diet Dr Pepper at every drive-through
Cons – 4 months of living on the sun, Arizona girls?

So, Arizona certainly seemed to win. I like air conditioning, so hopefully that mitigates the burning temperatures. Eastcoast girls seem to have a negative opinion of Arizona girls, but I don’t have a clear idea of what that stereotype entails. But regardless, there seem to be girls hanging from the rafters out there, so I suspect I can find a handful I find palatable. So while I had never imagined myself moving to Arizona, by my very thorough and scientific rubric, it seems like it will be a good fit.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Mostly Dead

Somehow, my blog died. I’m not sure how. The fact that I watched the entirety of Modern Family last week probably contributed. And the fact that I kind of dread getting on the computer because that means I have to sort Africa pictures. And also, I have friends again, instead of being stranded in the middle of the dark continent.
But I’ll at least post a little something so we can pretend that my blog is still alive and well.
Things I Learned Today
- I owe the government $160,000. I’ve been intentionally not figuring out that number, but I decided today to figure it out. I don’t know whether that makes it better or worse.
- There are 3 main ways to cook methamphetamine. The most popular, and most colorfully named, is the Nazi Method.
- Marvel vs Capcom 2 is as awesome as I remembered.
- You can be convicted of a first degree felony for putting exlax in your teacher’s drink.
- I matched somewhere.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I've made a huge mistake

I like each of my movies to be different. Whether in structure or content, actors or scripting. It’s not that I think I’ve mastered the previous form, I just like to change things up. But this time, I’ve made a huge mistake.

The movie parodies various television shows. The three main shows are How I Met Your Mother, The Office and Arrested Development. I chose these shows quite intentionally. Mostly I chose them because they have distinct styles and colorful characters that I’d be able to successfully reproduce. I also chose them because they’re shows I generally respect; why would I spend a month reproducing Two Guys and Girl and a Pizza Place. But I didn’t really take into account that Barney Stinson, Michael Scott and Tobias Funke don’t mix well with conservative religious audiences.

Oh well. I’m leaving in a couple months anyway.

If you’d like to critique the script (especially if you’re familiar with the above shows) let me know and I’d be grateful for your aid.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010


A month abroad, a month jumping between NY, AZ and IL. I have no new music. It's March 9th and I really only have 2 new songs for this year. But I like them.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Thousands and thousands of words

Some day I'm going to have to start posting about my time in America. But that time has not yet arrived.

When I got back to the US a friend asked me how my trip was. I hate these kinds of questions, because I don't have a good answer summarizing 5 weeks. So frequently I tell people, go to my blog and you can read all about it. Her response was "I read it a little bit, but there were just so many words."


Here are some non-words. If I were less lazy I'd post pictures on my blog in addition to facebook, but I am lazy. You'll have to click on the links to see them. This is about the first 1/3 of my pictures. More to follow, so I can keep not writing about America.

The first of dozens of African Albums
Up High and Down Low
Good Hope
Sharks, gay seahorses and the Wilderness

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Oscar Druthers

I don't actually watch award shows. I can't really conceive of an award show that I'd watch. I think even if I were nominated I'd have a hard time watching one.

But, I've included who I'd like to win below. I'm guessing my choices will have a very low success rate.

Picture – Up in the Air (really great. maybe because I've spent 60 or so hours on planes the last couple months)

Director – Jason Reitman, but props to Kathryn Bigelow

Actor – No one. Sorry guys.

Actress – Carey Mulligan

Supporting Actor – Woody Harrelson/Christoph Waltz
- Note- Woody Harrelson wins for Zombieland, not The Messenger.

Supporting Actress – Penelope Cruz (though I suspect Mo’Nique did better. I just didn’t see that one)

Screenplay – Hurt Locker

Adapted screenplay – In the Loop

Animated – Fantastic Mr. Fox (and also Coraline)

Animated short – A Matter of Loaf and Death

Original Score – Avatar

Sound Editing – Hurt Locker

Art Direction – Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus

Editing - District 9

Friday, March 05, 2010

Except for this one

And I thought that a capella groups didn't have to practice. You learn something every day.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Final Flight of the Conchords

Another year, another song for our album. In another decade we'll have it all ready to go.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Bad News

I've been back in the US for 3 days and everything has changed.

My grocery store rearranged all their shelving.
My bank has a new ATM layout.
That Wendy's by Children's Hospital has been demolished.
My patients have alcoholism instead of AIDS now.
Everything has changed.

Further bad news, I've been cheating on you blog. I started a new blog. It's called This Mormon Life. Now this blog won't replace you. I only write once a month, so hopefully you won't feel neglected.

Everything has changed.