Thursday, February 28, 2008

Baby Food Allergies

After violently puking after eating fish recently, my wife took our baby to the allergist to see if he was in fact allergic to fish. While he was at it, the doc also tested for milk allergies, since he had trouble with that in the past as well.

The results are positive, which is a bad thing. I think that Michael Scott on The Office is right on about how the medical positive/negative verbiage is counterintuitive. My little boy got pricked on the back multiple times see if a bump appeared, which it did for all different fish types and dairy. So, he will be off the moo juice and Nemos until at least age three, when we can test again.

My wife took him to the doctor and I didn't see where he was injected until I gave him a bath that night and saw eight little scabs on his back. They were aligned so symmetrically that it looked like he was recently removed from The Matrix.

We also have to carry an EpiPen to inject if he experiences any type of allergies. He is still the same happy little boy and we'll just have to be a bit more cautious. We are counting our blessings.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Movies Without Endings

I really miss the days when movies had endings. The movie starts and then stuff starts to happen. Something questionable happens and you become unsure of how the movie is going to end. Then, BAM! The guy gets the girl, the bad guy gets killed, and you leave the theater with a sense of satisfaction.

Directors and screenwriters now believe that they are edgy because they have an open ending for their movie. There is no semblance of completion. For Example, my wife and I got a baby sitter to go see Daniel Day Lewis in There Will Be Blood. The final scene involves two individuals who had been in conflict the whole film. There is an altercation and then credits. I don't get the satisfaction of knowing if the guy gets incarcerated, killed, attacked by a cackle of crows. It just seems like they could have put an extra 10 minutes in there to tidy up the ending but just said "Screw It".

The same is true for No Country For Old Men. Javier Bardem kills a crap load of people and Tommy Lee Jones has no clue. He just rambles some parable about a dream he had and then hit the credits. Other recent films that have this same phenomenon are Once and Half Nelson.

If you are going to cut a movie short without an ending, do what was done in Animal House or the Van Halen Hot For Teacher video. At the conclusion of these timeless classics you get to see who goes on to be a senator/rock star/beach bum/etc. At the end of Hot For Teacher, we learn that:
  • Alex went on to become Dr. Van Halen, Gynecologist, Los Angeles, CA.
  • Anthony is currently a champion sum wrestler in Tokyo, Japan
  • Edward Van Halen is temporarily 'relaxing' in Bellevue mental ware and making progress
  • David Lee Roth went to Hollywood and became America's Favorite TV game show
This is the level of follow through I would expect from Paul Thomas Anderson and the Coen brothers.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

"Life of Pi" or "Life of Lie"

Whether you recently read the book Life of Pi or you have a book club meeting to discuss the book and need to cheat, here is the expert words of wisdom that you put a lot of stock. Who better to seek counsel than some random bloke you found on the internet. Well here are my thoughts.

The first 80-100 pages, I kept thinking "get on with it already". I didn't really care about this kid with the weird name who kept on adopting religions like Angelina adopts third world kids. When are you going to get on the boat with the tiger like the cover shows. Very interesting about the hippo and the goat and the three toed sloth, but why are you a best seller.

Then the good stuff starts to happen. I found Pi to be very sympathetic. His innocence and good nature draw the reader in and become invested that he does reach land. Of course, we know that he does because there is foreshadowing to tell us of his successful rescue. The whole story about Richard Parker, the orangutan, the hyena, all become real and we as readers have little do doubt about Pi's story.

I found the third section to be the most thought provoking and Martell does a great job of bringing everything together. The business men question his story, which also forces me to second guess what I had come to believe. What it all comes down to is Pascal's Wager, which states that it is a better "bet" to believe that God exists than not to believe, because the expected value of believing is always greater than the expected value of not believing.

We are better off believe Pi's story, since the expected value of overcoming significant obstacles, remaining optimistic, and befriending that which is a known enemy is much greater than believing he wandered the Pacific with some ruffians for seven months.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Dying too Soon

There is a guy at my work who I know lost his child last year. I just look at him and it breaks my heart. I saw him in a meeting one day and on his wrist he had a cross with the date of February 2006 RIP inscribed. When I walked past his cube a few days after, I saw pictures of his daughter who no doubt is the little one that he lost. She couldn't have been more than 18 months old. I didn't ask what happened and probably never will but I do go out of my way to be extra nice to the guy since I know I would be torn apart if that sort of thing happened.

I am good about not intruding into what happened and do my best to stay strong when I see him. I don't tend to be the mushy type but cracked yesterday driving into work. Stupid Kenny Chesney has to come on the air with "Who'd You Be Today". The song comes on the air and by the chorus, I am done with water swelling in my eyes. The lyrics go:

It ain't fair: you died too young,
Like the story that had just begun,
But death tore the pages all away.
God knows how I miss you,
All the hell that I've been through,
Just knowin' no-one could take your place.
An' sometimes I wonder,
Who you'd be today?

So, you win this round Kenny. And to those who have lost someone too soon, beware that I may give you a hug now that I am a dad and couldn't imagine a worse thing happening.