November 2023 – Dr. Plastic Picker

Month: November 2023

They called it “white coat energy.” Yep 100%. Harvard-trained white coat energy, home-grown.

November 17, 2023

by Dr. Plastic Picker

Its 6:01am. I’m somewhat better this morning. It’s been an exhilarating climate week but also an exhausting week. I’ve realized that I’m fundamentally a more emotionally even person, and I don’t like the highs and lows. But when I dived into climate work, honestly it comes with really trying to address decarbonization. I have to help try to get big climate wins, and when those wins happen and I truly realize the ramifications – then the emotional crash happens. So I crashed last night after devoting so much emotional energy to helping with the Sweetwater Union High School District Electrification District win and trying to help spread that nationally. I had spent also a good amount of time over the last 2 weeks preparing a talk for the UC San Diego School of Medicine students as well. I appreciate the speaking spot from my dear friend Dr. Luis Castellanos and we did good work yesterday at the medical school. The talk landed well, and it forced me to update my thinking process and my legislative plans for the year. We recruited a good number of medical students who are interested in advocating.

I won’t go into details, but I was able to incorporate one of our undergraduate premedical students and one of the local high school students in the presentation. I think many in the room found it inspiring. I am grateful to be in that role, to be able to inspire medical students. But it’s exhausting and I feel oftentimes I’m performing. Everything I say is heartfelt but being that open and passionate, takes it’s toll.

The amazing day on facebook and Instagram.

It was an amazing day. But I need to finish my charts which I did not finish yesterday. Our son is coming home this weekend early from UC Berkeley, and I honestly just want to hug him and look at him. I want to see my daughter try some new recipes, she wants to try making hand-made ravioli. I want to see if she wants to climb a bit, she’s taking it up as a new hobby since she finished with volleyball. And the fortunate thing is that this climate work is by choice. It’s all volunteer. So I’m going to try to turn it all off for a week while our son is home. Even deep in the weeds climate activists need a break.

So I hope all of you take a break as well. Take a break from me, and I’ll take a break from you. Even when you love something so much, sometimes it’s okay to step away.

The title slide.
Pretty and innocent picture.

November 11, 2023

by Dr. Plastic Picker

Okay. Okay. I’m off Instagram Reels or at least weaned from them. Definitely making so many reels for the last few months did something to my brain. I was living in my own alternate reality, essentially making music videos with the random pictures on my iPhone. It happens that I have a pretty 15-year -old daughter and subliminally I was trying to manifest a certain destiny and making a lot of reels of her, to the background of kpop music and some love songs.

But I’ve taken all her home-coming pictures off Instagram. Here is one, because the blog tends to have actual readers and not the netizens of the social media ilk. It was just weird, because some of the Instagram reels with her pretty pictures were getting thousands of plays suddenly and I got really scared. I put my account on private and took those pictures down.

The blog has always been a safe place for me, so I’m trying to live a quiet life and do some climate work. I have to work on a presentation for UC San Diego School of Medicine on my advocacy. I’m excited about going to UC San Diego again to lecture. But I just wanted to come on the blog and remember why I took the Instagram reels with my daughter down. And also that my brain is rewiring after making so many Instagram reels. I realize I don’t need to expose us as a family as much, as most of my climate work is about advocating and I know all the people I need to know already to push the next year of projects through.

So weird. Our daughter doesn’t look like that picture most of the time. She’s actually more lovely in real life, and that was just for the high school dance. She’s right now wearing a pony tail with semi-greasy hair and making cheese biscuits and pasta for the family. She’s innocent and 15, and she and our son are our big why of why we are climate advocates. Okay. Lots of climate work to do, but I don’t need to tell you everything nor am I able to – because there is just so much. But I need to rest my brain a bit this weekend, and just take one step at a time. Were you dear readers making a lot of Instagram reels as well? So weird.

We look happy and are happy.

November 5, 2023

by Dr. Plastic Picker

I think this picture represents us. We were so happy last night Mr. Plastic Picker and myself (Dr. Plastic Picker). Sometimes I think of things and just go forth and do it, and trust in the universe that it’s going to work out. And honestly, it did last night. I had this idea that we must sing Karaoke at a party and bring together the H3SD San Diego’s Heat and Human Health speakers and volunteers. It was an idea, and there was only one Saturday that my friend Dr. Luis Castellanos and his family could make it. So we sent out the evite and asked my dear younger brother permission, and we did the event. We invited a lot of people who spoke, mostly physicians, and administrative level type people. We invited the premedical students and the high school volunteers as well. The actual Climate Karaoke (which I’m totally taking credit for!!!!) ended up very different than I imagined. It actually ended up better, if you can believe it.

Just wanted to document that it was such a beautiful night, and this is the email I sent to the older folks who last minute could not come.

“Just wanted to thank you for supporting h3sd, and let you know that climate karaoke ended up so different and more fun than I imagined.  It was essentially Luis, 2 pediatricians, 1 pediatric psychiatrist, and Jack Shu and his wife (he is the one who presented us with the award from San Diego Air Pollution Control District) supervising UC San Diego premeds and high school students mostly from the southbay (with my nieces and nephews and their friends all mixed in) having a very innocent and supervised teeny bopper like party. The kids were belting out Hamilton and Little Mermaid on the karaoke machine which was surprisingly going all night. The high school students were excited to mingle with the UCSD premeds who were excited to have the two med students there. The premeds were making fun of Sed for being born in the 1990s since they are all firmly millenials and they were riding my parents elevators up and down. Everyone naturally wandered up to the 3rd floor roof deck and we watched the sunset together and a lot of selfies together.  I was mentioning to my younger brother who lives in my parents house for now how fortunate we all are, and our family forgets how amazing the sunsets are. It brought us back to the time our family and my parents first finished building their house. And honestly having a safe excuse to share this home with these wonderful young people, and feed them and allow them to mingle and get to know each other and sing karaoke was an evening I will never forget.  Mr. Plastic Picker is so bogged down in the nitty gritty of managing a bunch of sometimes fractious radiologists, and it brought us back to the time we were premedical advisors and tutors at Currier House at Harvard college, and those happy days when we mentored.  

So thank you for supporting these various students as their professors, advisors, and mostly supporting H3sd which was the reason we all know each other and met.  The joy and community and love was palpable again in the room. I have a gazillion pictures and snippets of the karaoke songs (some of them were really really good!) but the students asked about their professors and the other doctors and leaders who were part of the summit, and I told them that you were taking much needed time for your families or had last minute emergencies.  I was honestly so thankful to stand in proxy for the collective you, and made sure the kids were all taken care of and no one under 21 drank.  A few parents of the premeds actually drove down from OC  and stopped by, and it was such a beautiful moment as we welcomed them to meet the other students. We were so glad to open up our home to this event.

Much love to you all and wanted to share just a few pictures and know that we collectively moved the climate work forward with CLIMATE KARAOKE!  

So many smiles today, and my daughter got to hang out with these great kids too and for that I’m incredibly grateful. And I hadn’t sang in over 2 decades so started reusing some parts of my body I had forgotten work!

Big green hugs!!!”

And that’s the green truth. Thank you for following along on my climate journey. Last night was a night to remember, CLIMATE KARAOKE!!!