The closest pic I could find to my own beloved phone and case
Sung to the tune of the U2 song “With or Without You.”
In some of my recent goals posts, I’ve mentioned a goal to sleep without my phone. This has been an ongoing struggle for me ever since I got an iPhone (and I was just telling a friend that I got one the day they became available to Verizon people), and in different iterations even before then. I thought it would make sense to give some background on this habit that I’ve struggled to break.
Because the thing is, I know all the things. I know that you’re supposed to get off electronics before going to bed. I know taking the phone into the bed with me, scrolling endlessly, listening to podcasts, having the blue light in my face (and I hold the phone much closer to my face than the average person, thanks legal blindness) is all bad. I know when I fall asleep with the phone, my sleep is worse. I don’t sleep as deeply. I wake up more often to pee or just to wake up, most likely because I’m still in the lighter stages of sleep. I probably miss out on a lot of deep sleep and all the goodies that it provides. I even read somewhere, years ago, that screens in bed has been linked to weight gain.
I often get annoyed by the hyperbolic declarations on the show like “most dramatic season ever” but this news lives up to the hype. It was a jaw-dropping revelation.
Some may consider this a spoiler, so if you don’t want to know anything about the upcoming season of The Bachelorette, you’ll want to skip this post. Though, I think this news is big enough it’s going to be hard to avoid. It’s truly unprecedented.
In fact, I was trying to avoid it at first. I saw that Reality Steve had leaked some major spoiler, but thought it was just the usual seasonal spoiler and I like to watch unspoiled (sometimes) so I skipped those tweets. Even with his recent podcast, I skipped ahead through the part that was discussing the spoiler, again figuring it was just the usual spoilers about the season.
Then I saw an episode of the Bachelor Party podcast appear in my feed and thought that’s odd for so early on a Monday and BAM, there was the news, which is…
With these monthly posts, first introduced in this post, I’m in no way trying to be exhaustive or objective. I’m merely sharing some of the media I’ve consumed that month that I want to share, because I am such a big consumer of pop culture. I’m also going to put an ongoing 2020 book list at the end with what I’ve read this year and what I’m currently reading.
Health Media Literacy Episode of Sawbones
A med student friend of mine suggested the podcast Sawbones: A Marital Tour of Misguided Medicine podcast to me when we both realized what big podcast listeners we are when chatting across a big conference table in the same room where we all once interviewed, while waiting for our OSCEs to start (our end of block exams where we “play doctor” with standardized patient actors). I don’t listen to a ton of medical-themed podcasts so I subscribed.
The recent episode “Health Media Literacy” looks at how to evaluate some of the covid literature that’s coming out, and specifically looks at some studies claiming that immunity from covid wanes quickly. Worth listening to regardless of familiarity with science, as it gives some good tips for appraising these types of stories. Health and science literacy is such a huge passion of mine, only made moreso by this pandemic, and so this episode is one of my favorite things I listened to this month.
When I started posting again in April, as April, I thought I’d come back quickly to regular blogging. Yeeeeeah, about that. Clearly that wasn’t the case.
I’m going through some major life upheavals, and though I won’t go into it now, I plan on posting about it on here at a later time. Right now, a lot of it is still under wraps, kept off of here and off of my social media, but as things move forward that will start to shift.
There’s just a lot to work out and through and I’m really in the shit right now.
NOTE: This is not a new post. This post is from April 2018. I was looking to link to it and found I’d taken it down, reverted it to a draft (I also found a bunch more drafts of posts I thought were published in there, oooops). I guess I took it down once I decided to go to medical school, bury the evidence of my ambivalence.
So, yeah, spoiler alert: I went.
Here’s the post from April 2018:
There’s an episode in Season 7 of Gilmore Girls where Lorelai has to write a character reference to Luke. When she tells Rory that she can’t write the letter, they have this exchange:
Rory: Sounds like you’re overthinking this. Maybe if you just put pen to paper.
Lorelai: I tried that, I thought, “I’ll just sit down and write whatever comes – no judgment, no inner critic.” Boy was that a bad idea.
Lorelai: Because my brain is a wild jungle full of scary gibberish. “I’m writing a letter, I can’t write a letter, why can’t I write a letter? I’m wearing a green dress, I wish I was wearing my blue dress, my blue dress is at the cleaner’s. The Germans wore gray, you wore blue, ‘Casablanca’ is such a good movie. Casablanca, the White House, Bush. Why don’t I drive a hybrid car? I should really drive a hybrid car. I should really take my bicycle to work. Bicycle, unicycle, unitard. Hockey puck, rattlesnake, monkey, monkey, underpants!”
Rory: Hockey puck, rattlesnake, monkey, monkey, underpants?
Lately, like for the last month, my brain feels like hockey puck, rattlesnake, monkey monkey underpants.
Holy fucking roller coaster, Batman. And the ride isn’t over.
The last two weeks have been a completely new kind of writing experience for me. It feels a little weird to be able to say that at 33 years old, especially considering I was writing little stories since, like, first grade. But it’s true.
It was so intense. It felt kinda like how I imagine being manic might feel. It felt like being in love. It felt like being on reeeeeeeally good drugs. It was all rushing and inspiration and not being able to sleep and waking up early with ideas and thoughts of how to work parts of it together. And it was a lot, lot, lot of writing.
Here’s what happened. For my university, there is a requirement called a senior capstone. I’ve resisted it as long as I could, putting it off term after term, imagining the anonymous diatribes I wanted to write against the requirement in the school paper as if that could somehow exempt me from having to take a capstone class. But this winter, I had to sign up, so I picked Research Experience for Science Majors, hoping to, you know, get some research experience.
Veronica Mars was a TV show from 2004-2007. Kristen Bell played the title character, who was a sassy high school girl who also did junior PI work for her father. Each season had a main mystery (or two) that she spent the whole season solving, and each episode had it’s own caper or crime to solve. And there was love drama. And class drama (as in classroom drama but also socioeconomic class). And family drama. The tone, the writing, and the cinematography are all pretty noir. It was all set in the fictional town of Neptune, CA. There were twists, deceptions, affairs, a best friend’s murder, a murderous bus crash, and a whole lot of witty remarks. If you haven’t seen the TV show, you can watch it for free on Amazon Prime Instant Video. It’s addicting and dramatic and so, so sassy.
I’ve tried to stay away from reading too much about the movie because I don’t want any spoilers, but from what I know, the story takes off when Veronica’s ex-boyfriend Logan calls her for help after being accused of murder. Oh yeah, Veronica did clear a lot of false accusations in her days as a teen detective. And so she goes back to Neptune to help out. It also coincides with her ten-year high school reunion, so all the old characters should be back. So psyched!
It was fun to be Walter White for a day. I even got to go to my workplace where I tutor chemistry in costume for a little bit. In fact the next day, someone who had seen me in costume the day before, said, “Oh, you’re the crystal meth girl!”
So here are some fun pictures:
Taking a break while cooking that sweet baby blue:
Back to work cooking that good shit:
The final product:
By the way, this is totally misleading. We did not actually cook the blue stuff. We tried. To make rock candy, I mean, not meth, but two chemists had a pretty epic chemistry fail and didn’t realize how f’ing long sugar takes to crystallize and tried to cook the stuff at the last minute using the principles of basic recrystallization that we’d learned in organic chem lab. We ended up with blue syrup. But luckily I had ordered some rock candy as a backup.
When we were carrying the little baggies around we got some great comments. One person said, “They have blue rocks! That makes me so happy!”
Oh and here is another attempt at that iconic Walt and Jesse shot with beer and popcorn, with our suits halfway unzipped but this one doesn’t work quite so well. Mostly my fault.
“Just get me home. Just get me home. I’ll do the rest.”
So much to say that it’s hard to know where to start. I’m so full of different emotions. I loved the finale. It was so bittersweet and surprisingly hopeful, and full of sad goodbyes that were heartbreaking but understated and not sentimental. And then there are all the feelings I’m having as a fan. It was actually hard to watch the finale a second time in order to write this post because all the goodbyes hit harder the second time around. It wasn’t just Walt saying goodbye in different ways to the people in his life, but us saying goodbye to all these characters we’ve lived with since we started watching the show, characters who were written and acted so vividly that they seemed almost alive and breathing in the real world.
It’s a big loss. No more predicting what Walt or anyone else will do. No more suspense, or shocking surprises. No more crazy, off-the-wall scenarios tossed out during the weeks or years between episodes. No more time with these wonderful awful people who are all so flawed and human. But even this loss puts some sweetness in the bittersweet of it all. The show did go out on top. There are shows I love that have just gone on too long and shown a drop in quality, and it’s usually around the fifth of sixth season, sometimes sooner, so that by the end, no one really cares anymore, and just watches out of habit if at all. And there are shows that ended too soon (The Killing, anyone? Don’t get me started) with stories unfinished, left on cliffhangers that will never resolve because the writers didn’t know the last episode was the last episode.
Vince Gilligan and his brilliant team of writers did know, for a long time, and so they could craft an ending, build up to it. And craft they did.
As mentioned in this post, there will now be a “live chat” post for each new episode. Feel free to post thoughts before, during and after the episode here. This will be a place for all the discussion on the new episode before the review post goes up.
I’m actually watching the first showing this week–everyone’s coming to the early one–so less than two more hours to go. I don’t feel all that excited today, though. I’m dreading what could happen to all these characters we’ve invested so much in over the last several years, and I’m just so sad that it’ll soon be over. I already feel the emptiness that is sure to set in big-time later tonight and tomorrow.
Live chat in the comments section! Have at it!
P.S. Some final thoughts:
Still expecting Marie’s poisoning fantasy to play in SOMEHOW.
I may be the only person who doesn’t think that “woodworking” has anything to do with Lydia and her “woodchipper.” I think it’ll be something random that we can’t yet guess.
I think Walt dies in the episode or will be dying by the end.
Think Walt may turn himself in and take the ricin so he doesn’t have to keep living in jail.
Jesse’s a wild card but I hope he ends up okay. Live, Jesse, live!
It’s going to be fucking EPIC!