Seven Quick Takes Friday

  1. Another weekend, another…tornado warning. This is getting to be a habit. And if it’s going to continue, my basement needs lamps and a couch, post-haste.
  2. Tonight I got to do something fun—I got to design my birthday cake!  I have NEVER done this. It was supposed to be a surprise, but since my mom is sick, I went with my dad. It’s a Wizard of Oz cake, of course, with red velvet and milk chocolate layers. The ruby slippers, Toto and the yellow brick road are all incorporated. It’s going to ROCK! (And cream cheese icing) I’m having it with my family on Easter Sunday since my birthday is a rehearsal night. I will, of course, post pics. 
  3. While doom and gloom is being predicted on my TV, I made crab quiche, from a Whole Foods recipe. It’s currently got about 30 minutes to go. I love quiche, but have never tried it, and this recipe sounded easy and perfect. Also this weekend, I’ll be making my basic tomato sauce for pasta puttanesca next week. 
  4. Rehab is going well—done on Wednesday! I can’t believe it. Today was hard but it’s supposed to be at this point. I definitely have more energy and feel a lot better. 
  5. I watched HOP this week: it’s really cute! If you have kids, or just like cute movies, I recommend this one. Neat animation, great voice work (Hugh Laurie!) and it’s just sweet and funny. I might even watch it again. 
  6. Reading: Finished Ahab’s Wife, and really liked it! 
  7. The Play: Going well. We’re off book Act I tomorrow so checking my lines tonight, but I think I Have them all. Acts II and III are harder for my character. 

Sometimes I think this is my dad’s motto…except, y’know, there’s more of us. 🙂 

loup-chan:

do it for her!!!!!!

Transplants: FYI (OR Transplants 102)

I’m calling this “102”, because if you read this blog even SORT of regularly, you know a bit about transplant (probably more than the average bear, for sure!) 

With former VP Cheney receiving a new heart over the weekend, people are, invariably, asking all sorts of questions that most journalists aren’t really answering, or, if they are, answering incorrectly. Here are a few. 

  1. Can you buy your way to the top of the list. 
  2. Is it because the VP is famous that he got a transplant? 
  3. He’s sort of old, isn’t he? 
  4. Will his personality change? 

1 and 2 can be answered with one word: NO. 

Or two: NO. WAY.

Or, three: NO. FREAKING. WAY. 

Transplant is probably the most even-handed medical practice there is, and this is partially due to the shortage of organs. Before you are even listed, you are put through rigorous physical and psychological tests. You must be both mentally and physically healthy enough to receive a new organ, be able to follow the medication/examination schedule, and, in general, follow directions. 

Once you are listed, you wait. You move up on the list by getting sicker, usually. The VP waited for 20 months, which is a heck of a long time—almost two years—and that’s longer than the average wait for a heart. Some criteria for list placement are: illness, time on waiting list, blood type, body size. Hearts, unlike lungs, cannot be trimmed, so body size is a bigger issue than with lungs (mine, for example, were trimmed because they were slightly too big). So the VP needed someone with his blood type and physical size to be a donor. 

He was the best available match for that particular heart. Allocation varies from organ to organ, but the person’s physical condition is primary. People are NOT even in transplant—someone is always a better match, someone always has a medical edge. 

As for 3: Yes, he’s in the upper limit for transplant. Some centers, in fact, won’t do them at this age. Centers set their own criteria for acceptance—for example, some lung centers won’t transplant CF people with b.cepacia, a type of bacteria. The fact that he received a transplant at all means that his heart was his only health problem. 

4: Um, maybe. Probably not. I noticed that my tastebuds had changed, slightly, after transplant: some things tasted awful to me. But my personality hasn’t really changed. 

The salient points are: 

  1. Money doesn’t affect your standing on the list
  2. Fame does not affect your standing on the list

Of course, be an organ donor, if you’re not already. Really, the only thing that will help the organ shortage is if more people are donors. 

Review: The Hunger Games

photo credit: mocking jay.net

So this is more of a “my impressions” review than  a straight review. Proceed with caution, because I’m assuming you’ve read the books.

  • I loved the settings, especially district 12 and the arena. They reminded me a lot of the area around Pickerington, OH, where I’ve grown up. You drive twenty, thirty minutes, and you’re in the foothills of the Appalachians (and Appalachia, if you’re going to SE Ohio). This is exactly as I pictured it when I was reading, since District I2 is, essentially, in Appalachian America. I felt like I was in my own backyard. 
  • I thought the Capitol was pretty neat. I liked how they took ideas like the National Mall and implemented it as part of Panem’s capitol. 
  • Loved how the POV was broadened to include the game makers, the citizens watching at home (ohhh, especially Gale watching Katniss and Peeta kiss!), and interactions with Haymitch and the sponsors, and seeing President Snow. 
  • I was REALLY happy with the ending. I was hoping they wouldn’t leave us with Katniss and Peeta being mad at each other, like they do in the books. (Well, OK, actually Peeta miffed at Katniss…) 
  • I cried. That makes only the their movie in my ENTIRE LIFE where I’ve cried watching it. I cried when Katniss and Prim said goodbye, and when Rue died. Oh, man. 
  • THe actress who plays Prim (Willow something)—fantastic. Pitch-perfect.
  • I thought all the casting was really well done. Josh H.—> adorable! Wow. I just wanted a lot more Peeta. 🙂 
  • The Mutts—I was angry when the game makers came up with those. And I even knew they were coming! The film does a great job of bringing home the savagery of the games. 
  • The crazy camera work annoyed me. I was glad for some steadicam! I know that the effect was probably supposed to be showing us Katniss’ POV, but wow, it was a little dizzying. Let’s have less of that next time, please. 
  • Katniss’ final interview dress was gorgeous! Loved that color on her. 
  • The orchestral soundtrack was excellent. I would love to have that. It really captured the moments of the film well. 
  • Did they ask Jennifer Lawrence if she could sing? I thought she did a nice job, but I remembered how her voice was what got Peeta when they were kids, and there is more singing in the next few books, so I just wondered. (This is my vocalist mindset coming out.) 
  • I especially liked how the filmmakers explained things without it being ridiculously “bashing over the head” in obviousness. For example, a film instead of the Treaty of Treason being read, and Caesar’s commentary during the games. Well done. 
  • Can’t wait to see it again. 🙂