Tuesday, August 30, 2011

30 minutes..... and I should have walked out.

I must confess that I am a fan of comedies.  I enjoy laughing and I have a thing for the absurd.  It's just how I am.  However, I decided to take my wife to see The Help today, but we arrived a little too late and (to my delight) decided to watch 30 Minutes or Less... Now, I wish we would have just watched The Help.  I don't know much about that movie, and it sounds like a chick flick, but after watching the other I feel like it probably would have been a better choice. 

I'm sure you know the synopsis of the movie, but let's recap.  Jesse Eisenberg is strapped with a bomb and has to rob a bank to avoid being blown up.  He recruits Aziz Ansari to help him do so, while Danny McBride and Nick Swardson follow behind (because they are the one's that strapped him with a bomb).  There are a few twists and turns that make the movie interesting, but it is the blatant use of crude humor that really makes the movie fail (in my eyes that is).  Not to mention the fact that this really happened, and the real guy actually died from the bomb exploding.

I am a fan of Danny McBride and liked what Nick Swardson did on Reno 911 as Terry (or Teh-rr-yyy-iiee), but their act is getting old to me. How many times can Nick Swardson play an awkward guy that tries to fit in, while being homoerotic, and making annoying faces?  Also, how many times can Danny McBride play a over-confident lackey that says something very funny just to explain why its funny until its not funny?

It's actually spelled out this way in the movie.  He is on the phone with a girl, and uses a euphemism to describe what he is talking about.  Now, in the right mood, what he was talking about could be funny, but   he ruins it by explaining what it means in a "that's just a euphemism for this literal, inappropriate thing", which he so often does, and it takes all of the humor away. 

Why can't we enjoy subtle humor?  Even if it is sexual in nature, why do these film-makers and actors feel it is necessary to put EVERYTHING so bluntly?  There is more humor in subtlety and in the scenario than there is when someone explains that a fart joke is funny because its about farts.  It's ridiculous.  I think that these two actors have really hit a time in their career where they need to try something different, and film-makers everywhere need to try to make movies that are less raunchy.  Why is it ok to be so disgusting today?

Michael Peña does a great job with his role as a hitman in the movie.  He is very funny with his delivery, and breaks away from the traditional Latino criminal by adding very humorous characteristics.  He is serious and funny without losing the seriousness (unlike McBride).  Aziz Ansari is pretty funny, but he is himself, which is still pretty funny.  Jesse Eisenberg does a really good job, and was a great choice as the lead character.  If it weren't for these three characters, I would count the movie a complete loss (although the supporting roles did pretty well). 

Anyway, let's just say symbolism and dry humor are a thing of the past with comedies today.  So if you want to go see something that will not stimulate your brain, or something vulgar that will probably offend some,  go see this movie.

P.S. I know this doesn't have anything to do with pharmacy, but I get tired of whining about my profession.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Medical Missions

I once asked a pharmacist that goes on medical missions if there was a job for her when she goes.  She said,

                     "Yeah, the most important job..... handling the meds." 

Now, I am so confused by that.  Countries that need medical missions don't have boards of pharmacy, and  they don't care which team member handles the meds, they just appreciate receiving the help. The one mission trip that I had the pleasure of being a part of had a medical branch and a church branch doing Bible School and giving supplies.  I don't remember a pharmacist on the medical branch (I was in school and was with the church), and I know they handed out meds. 

What I was asking her was, do they use her medical knowledge, or at least her drug knowledge.  I'm sure they would refer to her to see which Sulfonylurea was in stock or which ACE-inhibitor they had, but I wanted to know if we could be of use - medically (as I know God can use anyone for any purpose).  With Hurricane Irene hitting the Northeast, and Tropical Storm Jose brewing, I would like to think that pharmacists can do something other than supply system management, not that I think we are better than Doctors, but I think we are a valuable asset.  Our training and the overall desire of pharmacists to make a difference drive me to ask these questions. 

Can our profession develop into a pharmacist practitioner of sorts?  I know that some states allow pharmacists to prescribe certain medications, and most states allow collaborations between doctors an pharmacists to have standing orders (e.g. flu shots), but how far can we go?  I am trying to pose these questions in a positive light rather than in a whiny "woe is me" tone.  I have to admit that when I started pharmacy school, I just wanted to help my family and those close to me with the fruits that this profession bears.  Not that I didn't think of the little white haired ladies or the weather talking old men that we interact with so often, but my family was my primary concern.  Now I feel like I have a calling to do more.

Should I go to Seminary?  Should I go to medical school?  Should I stay where I am and see what kind of positive things God can do with a profession that has already given me such grief?  I'm not sure yet, but I will be praying and taking steps find out.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The State Board

I have decided that the State Board only acts as a good reference when I have a decision to make, but not the final say.  For instance, I am thinking about starting a pharmacy, but I'm thinking about obtaining my stock from Canada and India.  I also think that I will hire a lot of clerks and let them do the technicians work, but not paying them accordingly.  I think that with the extra money I will make all of my counters marble, and only reconstitute with the most expensive bottled water I can find. 

Obviously I won't be able to get away with this, but what if I could?  Would I make such decisions knowing that these are unethical things to do?  I'm gonna say no. 

The funny thing is, I think I have been doing that in other aspects of my life.  I think that I used to make decisions based on what I felt was right, then I would pray, and say "please let this be right."  Pharmacy school was one such decision, but I think most of my prayers were: "please help me get in" or "please help me pass this test."

Now, I think that God enjoys the fact that we include him in our lives, however, I think that there is more to choosing Him and obeying Him than just asking for help.  I don't want sit here and try to sound like I got "my way" with God.  Actually, I think that His will is served no matter where we are in our walk with Him. As long as we choose to believe in His Son (and our Lord) Jesus Christ, we will begin to be molded into a character that resembles His. 

There is, though, the next step.  This is not a statement saying, "Now it's up to us to earn our salvation,"  because we can't.  The Lord calls us and, when we choose to believe and have faith in Him, we are part of the Kingdom of Heaven.  What this is, though, is a statement about obedience.  The Bible says that if you love the Lord, you will keep his commandments.  Choosing to obey God is showing your love for Him.

So what does this have to do with the State Board?  Well it's just an illustration.  Once we are licensed, we are part of this profession of pharmacy.  We are involved in it's dealings.  When we use the law books and the governing bodies as suggestions rather than our guides (in the business of course) then we start moving further away from the common goal - Advancing the profession.  If I were to do the things above, I would be disrespecting those who care about the profession and removing myself from the right path. 

The same goes with our walk with Christ.  Without daily prayer to obtain guidance, and without feeding on the Bread of Life (the Word of God), we won't be on the path to be obedient.  Just as we can rest assured that we are pharmacists when we are licensed, we can rest assured that we are part of the Kindgom of Heaven when we accept Jesus as our Savior and call upon his name, believe in Him as the resurrected Son of God, and believe in Him as the atonement for the sins of the world.  Understanding the rules that govern our profession will help us to advance pharmacy in a positive way, just as seeking to understand the Word of God and praying daily to seek guidance, will help us to advance the kingdom as we love God and Obey. 

I plan to try praying and consuming the Word of God daily, so that I can entrust my whole life in Him, and understand how I should obey. So that Jesus' Holy Spirit can work through my life.  Watch Soul Surfer, the movie, then watch the documentary afterwards, the testimony in that girls life is truly a blessing.  What does it say to you?  Where are you in your walk with Christ?