Sunday, June 27, 2010

A crazy hodgepodge post of my opinions

After Heath came home on Friday we went to see Toy Story 3.  The kids had been looking forward to it all week.  I wasn’t sure.  Toy Story was amazing.  I could smell the plastic just watching the movie, the animation was so good.  Toy Story 2 was fine.  The story is a little intense for me.  Ha ha!  I can’t handle a children’s story!  As a rule though, I don’t like sequels.  Toy Story 2 was a good sequel but Toy Story 3?  Come on.  Let the story end already.  A good storyteller knows when to end it. 

It was actually a good movie.  I liked it and can support us buying it when it comes out.  I was thrilled to be able to watch a movie in the theater without ever having to open my bag of tricks to distract kids.  Gwen was fixated by the toys she has grown to love.  Jessie of course is her favorite.  The boys sat with eyes and mouths wide open the entire time.  Gwen got bored for a little bit and was playing with her seat but she wasn’t bugging anyone.  Then she got back into it.  Yay.  We made it!  Our kids are finally becoming more of a joy to take into public than a chore. 

I wonder if this is it for Toy Story.  Honestly, I hope so.  Realistically, they left it open.  The story could continue.  In which case I’m going to have to be very annoyed.  I saw Toy Story on a date for heaven’s sake!  The story has been going long enough.  Andy’s grown up.  Let’s move on.  That’s my two cents.  I’m such a kill joy. 

Yesterday we went to the Chabot Space and Science Center again.  Man, I love that place.  We have officially gotten our money’s worth and then some for the year’s passes we bought.  Every time we drive there I think of the zoo.  The Oakland Zoo is on the way for one thing.  But I think of all the people I know who have family passes to the zoo.  Good for them but I just have to ask, how many times can one go to the zoo in a year?  I mean, is it really a different experience every time?  How often can kids look at the same animals doing the same thing during one year?  Once every few years works for me. 

But the Space and Science Center . . . yeah, that’s fun.  Even though we see the same exhibits every time we learn something new.  Yesterday, the kids were waiting for their turn to sit in this space capsule.

dancing-and-Science-Center-014

A volunteer came over and started talking about the space capsule.  First of all, I didn’t know that’s what it was called!  But he was saying that this was the beginning of space travel.  The kids were sitting in a Gemini space capsule.  The next generation of space craft was the Apollo.  And that’s what took Neal Armstrong to the moon. 

In the 60’s we learned how to go to space, what to expect, how to keep someone alive, etc, by putting astronauts in these space capsules.  They were sent up with rocket power.  He explained this process by saying that the rocket was like throwing a rock into the air.  In the beginning your hand is pushing on the rock but as soon as you let go of the rock, it is soaring on its own power.  Gravity takes over and it eventually falls down.  Well, the space capsules were the same.  The flame pushes it up for the first few minutes then it operates on its own power eventually falling into the ocean. 

Eight years later man landed on the moon.  How incredible is that?  I was fascinated.  A dog was the first live thing sent into space.  Then a monkey.  Then man.  Then man landed on the moon.  So amazing. 

We watched a star show which was really cool.  Parker was expecting a movie so he was unimpressed with the show.  A man talked us through the experience as if we were really in space.  The theaters there are all dome theaters.  The entire dome was covered in projected stars and skyline. 

At one point we watched ourselves go up into space while Earth got smaller and smaller.  That was interesting.  I have a gift where I can watch something and separate myself from reality enough to feel like what I’m watching is real. 

For a brief moment I forgot about the fact that I was sitting in a theater seat in Oakland, CA.  It truly felt like we shot up and away from Earth.  My heart felt strange.  I felt a fear of heights, I felt like we were suddenly suspended in the middle of nowhere.  My fear of wide open spaces took over as I felt so alone.  I wasn’t necessarily homesick but it was definitely a strange moment watching Earth quickly get smaller and smaller. 

It reminded me of Gattaca.  At the end he is finally going up to space.  He says something along the lines of not ever belonging in the world because he wasn’t genetically engineered but for all that he was having a hard time leaving Earth.  He said that every atom of our beings was once part of a star so maybe he wasn’t leaving.  Maybe he was just going home. 

I love that movie.  It is so thought provoking.  It raises some very interesting questions.  Genetic engineering could be a moral dilemma society can face in the near future.  I watched all the bonus material before I started the movie the other day.  The bonus material was fascinating. 

They talked about how we learned about DNA and what we now know about it.  The things we are doing with our knowledge.  The controversy of the next step.  As a diabetic I want to support stem cell research.  The idea that stem cells can cure my incompetent pancreas is beyond my wildest dreams.  What I don’t like about stem cell research is they seem to want to use embryos.  I have heard that stem cells can be found in other ways though.  I am waiting for the day when I can have a hole cut out of my arm skin and have my own cells cure me.  Wild.  It can happen.  Soon.  The time frame that things have already been happening with genetic research is mind boggling. 

I loved how they called that segment of the bonus material DNA for “Do Not Alter?”  How far are we supposed to go with medicine?  There is a quote in the opening credits of Gattaca that says something like “Man will not only tamper with Mother Nature, I think Mother Nature wants us to.” 

There has been a lot of anger in the diabetic community in the last couple of weeks.  Apparently some man wrote a book peddling the idea that God can cure diabetics.  Well, yes, technically He can.  But I don’t think He ever will.  Not because we are not faithful enough but because there are lessons to learn by waiting for a cure and figuring it out on our own.  I am grateful for all the medical advances we already have.  My life is so blessed because of pump therapy and test strips.  Things that have not always been available to diabetics. 

I remember a day in my English class in junior high.  The teacher had everyone raise their hands.  Then she started eliminating hands by naming illnesses.  She never said diabetes.  I was eliminated earlier with some other condition that I don’t remember.  But I do remember how grateful I felt that day for all I have.  I have always known how blessed I am to be a diabetic now.  The point of that lesson in English class was to show us how many people didn’t make it when things went wrong.  My two friends, a brother and sister, had to lower their hands because most twins didn’t survive the time period we were discussing.  It was eye opening to see how many of my classmates would not have made it without the benefits of modern medicine. 

At the end of the Do Not Alter? segment they showed famous historical figures and said what would have kept them from being born if we could genetically order our children.  I can’t help but think of how hard I was pushed to get an amniocentesis done when it was discovered that Gwen may have something genetically wrong with her.  My answer was a firm no.  I would never abort the baby regardless of ability or disability.  My only fear was she may have Trisomy 18 which would mean she would not live past her first year.  Imagine our relief when she was born healthy and completely normal despite the abnormal umbilical cord and other red flags.  We were told there was a chance nothing was wrong with her and I went with that rather than risk miscarriage by doing an amniocentesis so early in pregnancy. 

The Gattaca movie makers wanted to put the imperfect historical figures at the end of the movie but felt they had already made their point.  It reminds me of all the amazing people in the world who have been adopted.  If their mothers had chosen to abort their unwanted babies we wouldn’t have had Lance Armstrong, Dave Thomas, Steve Jobs, and countless other people.  It really makes you stop and think.  God is in charge and He should be.  He is also giving us the opportunity to grow from our own adversity.  Make our own decisions and appreciate the consequences. 

I meant to do a whole post about Gattaca the day I watched it but I couldn’t get the words to come out right.  So now you get it at the end of a rambling post about some of the family fun we have had this weekend.  Lucky you. 

I love learning.  Don’t you? 

The other completely random thought I had on the way home from the Science Center was that I kind of wish I had allowed myself to be hypnotized when I had the chance.  Heath’s company had a Christmas party in 2006 at some ritzy Salt Lake City hotel with a hypnotist as entertainment.  Because of my vivid imagination I would be a great candidate for hypnosis but I was too self conscious to let go.  I had to pee like nobody’s business and didn’t want to find the bathroom alone.  I know.  I’m weird.  I hate public!  So I sat there with an uncomfortably full bladder not allowing myself to let go and be hypnotized.  The hypnotist never made the people do anything inappropriate or anything they would regret later.  It was in SLC.  The Mormon culture probably had a lot to do with the tame show.  I could have done it.  Oh well. 

I also thought that if I had a million dollars I would get a Psychology degree for the fun of it.  Psychology is interesting to me and always has been.  I secretly am afraid that people see right through me but reality is most people don’t know enough about Psychology to have me all figured out.  I think we worry that others are judging us for the things we judge in other people.  So we shouldn’t judge.  Just saying. 

Was that a random enough hodgepodge of an opinionated post for you? 

5 thoughts:

Dawn said...

I am with you on sequels. Of course, I see so few movies I don’t usually have to worry. Is Gattaca one I need to rent?
I too love to learn and it does sometimes cost serious bucks. I am going to a computer training in Portland next month. I got a scholarship for the class but I have to pay about $500 for the hotel.
I love star shows and I can just see Parker being disappointed in not seeing a movie. That kid LOVES to watch movies doesn’t he? I am thinking his kindergarten teacher will be able to teach him anything if she just pops in a movie.
I seriously doubt that even with a psychology degree anyone could really understand how someone’s mind works. Though someone might be able to detect where some of your phobias come from. I am impressed that you keep doing so many things you really hate to do.

Tristan said...

Yes, Dawn, you should rent Gattaca. It's a good movie that makes you think. Not sure what happened to my original comment but the gist was that you should rent Gattaca.

Fulkerson Clan said...

we own gattaca and LOVE it too. it's one of our favorite movies. i've never watched the bonus material, i'll have to do that now that you've talked it up. and that's interesting about regretting not being hypnotized. so maybe if you had a chance to do it again in the future you'd take it? if, say, you could be hypnotized and told to do something or change something what would it be? not to be afraid of open spaces anymore? :D just curious!

Tamara said...

I'm a member of the staff at Chabot, and I found your blog through a Google blog search. It was such a treat to read about your family's visit to Chabot and your reflections on and excitement about what you learned. Thanks for sharing and supporting the Science Center! --Tamara

The Piquant Storyteller said...

Hi Tamara,

Thanks for your comment. We love the Chabot Space and Science Center! We're so glad we decided to get memberships. It was this visit that you read about when my husband told me that the people working there are all volunteers. I had no idea and I am grateful for all of your time and effort in making each of our visits special.