Mr. Plastic Picker’s mother turned 80 this weekend and we had a small family party. Our small family party included buying a pumpkin pie from Sprouts (we had all been wanting to eat one for a while and there was very little plastic), singing Happy Birthday while our tween daughter played on the piano, and shooting the requisite pictures to send to family members. We then ended by eating said pumpkin pie before dinner which is pure luxuriousness. It was a standard 9 inch pumpkin pie so just enough for everyone in our 6 person family (excluding pets who can’t eat pie) to have one piece and an extra bite.
The brute force cyber attacks from a French IP have stopped, for now. I’m being more careful with the security of this site, because this blog and my work is important. Greta Thunberg posted on her Instagram Account a picture in Berlin with the following hashtag illuminated with candles, #fightfor1point5 . That reminded me that ultimately that is the goal. We are fighting to keep global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees. We certainly have hope with the Biden/Harris administration, but there is still much to be done. Cyber attacks from France. All Non-Vegetarian and Non-Vegan lunches yesterday from Panera at our clinic meeting (I need to talk to RN Plastic Picker). At least here were no plastic water bottles. Two steps forward and one step back.
Mr. Plastic Picker took our son to a long awaited specialty appointment for a minor private issue. I had made the diagnoses for my son already (I am a pediatrician) but he wanted to see the pediatric surgical specialist, who happens to be a boy I grew up with in the South Bay and know from high school days. Mr. Plastic Picker was effusive about said former boy I knew from high school now pediatric surgical subspecialist, and my son told me when I got home, “It was good to have a professional examine me.” This is all parts hilarious for various reasons, and especially that Mr. Plastic Picker was effusive in his praise for said specialist. I’ll keep the backstory to myself, but let’s just say its one of those innocent highschool moments and memories that I hope my children have as well. I hugged my very handsome Mr. Plastic Picker yesterday and I love the two men in my life dearly. I live in my own internal world at times and find humor in the running storylines that I see everywhere. My family knows that about me now.
So for now Dr. Plastic Picker has eluded further cyber attacks, and a high school friend was able to reassure my son about his good health because said high school friend is “a professional” unlike Dr. Plastic Picker, who is Assistant Boss of Pediatrics. But we will leave it at that. It felt very nice to have my teen son reassured. At the end of the visit with Mr. Plastic Picker and Pediatric Surgical Subspecialist, my teen son did say to them both because Pediatric Surgical Subspecialist asked my son what his favorite subject was. He said to those two upstanding men, “Oh Dad. I forgot to tell you I also got the English Pin last year.” Our son had been awarded several academic distinctions but his favorite subject is English like his father. And with that the two men in my life left that office, and I felt good knowing a kind boy I grew up with cared for my son. And that same boy has a beautiful wife and family that he is going home to as well.
I’m definitely going to the beach this morning to get a big bag of trash! Its 526am and it’s pitch dark outside, so I just have to wait until there is enough light.
Mr. Plastic Picker was sitting at the dinner table last night. He had worked another 12 hour overtime shift on the weekend. He was able to work from his home-office and the shift was not bad. I did not work other than catching up on a few messages and results. I’m really good about turning things off on the weekend now. Between Friday night at 530pm and Sunday at 4pm, really as an outpatient pediatrician I should not have to check my inbox. So I haven’t and it’s been fine. When I do check it, my brain is more efficient and I’m able to close charts and deal with clinical matters more efficiently. A good and focused brain is a really helpful thing. Plogging, eating a plant-rich diet mostly home-cooked, making trash art and sleeping better has really healed my brain. I was part of a UC Berkeley Premed Honor Society Career Panel yesterday, and I knew I was almost as smart as their undergraduates doing MCB (their acronym for Molecular and Cellular Biology). Super nice kids.
Can I tell you a Dr. Plastic Picker secret? It’s not that our two children go to private school. Most of my patient families know that as I’m open about that when they ask me questions. I myself went to a stellar suburban public school, and had mixed feelings about sending them to private school. From my suburban public school I was probably better equipped then most of my prep school classmates at Crimson University. Dr. Plastic Picker’s secret is that I don’t really like many of the other parents who have also send their kids to our same private school. About a quarter I really like, but three-quarters I can’t stand. When I have to interact with those parents as a fellow parent, I sometimes question our choice. But it’s the price I pay to send my kids to private school. But now that I think about it, I’m sure every parent at any type of school probably feels the same way about our fellow parents. So maybe Dr. Plastic Picker’s secret isn’t much of a secret?
My mother-in-law just scared the jezeebers out of me. If you are a colleague or a patient family in real life, you know I talk about her a lot. How one single person can affect another person’s life without being your spouse or your child is shocking. This almost 80-year-old Korean woman (I am Asian but not Korean) has altered the course of my life in more ways than I can describe. I mean I’ve been alternatively praising and complaining about her almost every day at work for 12 years. This should be an entirely separate blog, book, motivational speaking tour for sure. If Dr. Plastic Picker is able to avert climatic disaster in the next 9 or 14 years, I’ll get back to that one. “How To Live With Your Mother-In-Law: A True Story.” Let’s just leave it that her life is intertwined with mine, and we now happily co-exist after 15-years together. I’ve almost lived with her longer than my own mother, who lives just a few miles away.
When I was a freshman at Crimson College, we were required to be part of the meal plan where our parents had to pay a set amount yearly for unlimited meals at the residential dining hall. The reasoning from Crimson University is that unrestricted communal eating in the classic House Dining Hall setting promoted a shared university experience. For over a decade, Mr. Plastic Picker and I ate countless meals at Hufflepuff Dining Hall and much of our university experience as undergraduates, medical students and later as advisors centered around those late hours in the dining hall chatting with friends and students.
I have had a slight headache since yesterday and even this morning. I’m sitting at the kitchen table a bit earlier than usual at 503AM. I made myself some coffee and took 1000mg tylenol. Headaches always worry me. Neither Mr. Plastic Picker and I are prone to getting headaches, and when either of us gets a headache – I know something is off. I even wrote two posts about headaches for both of us. Here is the one about Mr. Plastic Picker https://drplasticpicker.com/mr-plastic-picker-had-a-headache/ and here is reflection on my previous tension headaches https://drplasticpicker.com/tension-headaches-drplasticpicker-cures-myself/. Blogging helps with the headaches as does walking along the beach.
I’m not sure how you have been dealing with the COVID-19 quarantine, but I have been watching Star Trek. I mean A LOT of Star Trek. I grew up watching reruns of the original Star Trek. Spock, the Vulcan Science Officer, spoke to me. Even then, the action scenes were corny and the alien world settings unrealistic – but the storylines and the pseudophilosophical delvings into space and time and logic, touched something in my teenage heart. Then Star Trek the Next Generation ran 1987-1994, right during my middle school and high school years, I watched that too. I became a big fan of Captain Jean Luc Picard and his Shakepearan take on a Starship Captain. But there was not a great Vulcan on the show, so I have always been more of an Original Star Trek fan and of course Spock.
Mr. Plastic Picker, as I have mentioned before, is also an MD. He is a specialist specialist in a speciality department. But this is my blog and I am Dr. Plastic Picker in this virtual realm and he is Mr. Plastic Picker.
The current COVID-19 news has affected us both at work, since we work for the same large HMO. I have to worry about more pressing clinical concerns and workflows since I see patients, but Mr. Plastic Picker is not as affected since he can work without actually touching or being in physical contact with patients in his specialty department.
This is Mr. Plastic Picker’s response to seeing some of the destruction that tourism causes on the mountains and the Aspen trees. Also after the perilous drive from Snow Bird to Park City in one of the worst snowstorms he has ever driven through.