Saturday, July 03, 2004

eye guy, and "before sunrise"

Now that Joe finished his prelim year at [Upper East Side Hospital] and has joined me at [Upper West Side University Hospital], it actually helps out with my commute a lot. That's because unlike his ADL-delayed wife, Joe can drive. He drives to work every day, and if our schedules are in sync, I hop in the car with him. Since we live all the way downtown and on the East Side (I maintain that the trip between our apartment and our hospital is the most inconvenient inter-Manhattan commute you could possible make, public transportation-wise), getting a ride into work cuts my commute time from an hour or more to a mere fifteen-minute jaunt. And this is all good by me. Shorter commute time equals longer sleep time.

The car is also important because now that he's an ophtho resident, Joe takes home call. Which means that his call is what the layman thinks of when he hears about a doctor being "on call"--namely that Joe is at home with his pager on, and if they need him for some kind of eyeball emergency, they call him and he comes in. Ophtho residents don't spend the night in the hospital, and once they finish their first year, they only have to be on call once every three weeks (as a second year) or even less frequently than that (as a third year). This is awesome, and I am psyched for him. Since he's a first year, he (like me) is still on call every fourth night, but at least he gets to spend at least part of the night in his own bed.

Last night was Joe's first ophtho call, and he got called in around 11:30pm or so for some kind of trauma case. So he was gone, and there I was. Unlike when he took overnight call, I didn't really make any definite plans for a night by myself because I wasn't 100% sure that I would be by myself--but when he called in, I decided to go see a movie. So I headed on down to the Angelika and caught the midnight showing of "Before Sunrise."

I know probably no one has seen this movie yet, since it just opened yesterday (and only in very few cities at that), but here are some thoughts anyway.

1.) Ethan Hawke is one haggard looking guy now. I don't mind him not being so pretty anymore, because it gives his face character, but he just looks really thin and drawn these days. He lives in my neighborhood, so maybe the next time I see him walking his dog, I'll give him an Entenmann's All Butter Loaf.

2.) I love movies where the plot is just driven on dialogue, so this movie indulged me. But hot damn, these two can talk. I think some people in the theater were getting annoyed (one couple actually walked out grumbling halfway through), but I think that the frantic dialogue just fueled the sense of urgency in the story. How to catch up on the past nine years, say everything that you need to say in the span of 70 minutes? There's definitely an acute sense in the movie of time ticking by, time running out, and I think all the dialogue that danced around but was afraid to touch upon the central issue only heightened that feeling. Could I have done without all the yakking about the environment and politics? Sure. But the really true, important things are hard to say, and they need some sort of a cushion, some kind of a prelude. That's how it is in real life too.

3.) The ending. I can't quite tell if I'm annoyed with it, or if it was just as enigmatic and ambiguous as it needed to be. I hate movies where everything is spelled out for you, but after all that talking and tension, it might have been nice to see a little more acted out. I read an article that the original script was one in which the two characters spent a madcap weekend traipsing around Europe and end up getting married in the end. That would have been bad. But a little less restraint than the final version would have been OK.

4.) I need to travel more. Damn.

We have friends staying over with us tonight, so we're going out to dinner with them later. Then, tomorrow, we'll probably have a little cookout for the fourth and watch the fireworks from the balcony. Wait, are the fireworks on the Hudson this year, or the East River? If they're on the Hudson, we may have to watch them on TV. Or maybe not at all. What's the fun in watching fireworks on TV?

Currently reading: "1984." Also trying to start "House of Leaves," which my sister gave me for my birthday. She says it's supposed to be creepy, in that "Griffin and Sabine" kind of way.

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