Friday, June 13, 2008

Wildlife enters my parking lot and Into the Wild

If you are lucky enough to live in Los Alamos you see lots of coyote, deer, elk, and interesting types of rodents. And you don't see roaches .Yesterday I was pulling into my parking space and saw a coyote. I grabbed my camera and tried to take a picture, but he ran away. This was the best shot I got:

Then he ran across the street to go to the library. I once saw several coyotes crossing the street to the library in the winter.

I watched Into the Wild last night, directed by Sean Penn. I saw Sean Penn interviewed on the Charlie Rose show, along with Eddie Vedder, when the movie was released. Sean Penn was smoking. I don't like smoking, but I hadn't seen anyone smoke on tv for so long that it was delightful to see him exhale, the smoke rising in front of Charlie and Eddie's faces. I enjoyed the movie and sympathized with the character's desire to chuck it all and relocate into the wild. I am not sure what state he was in at the movie's end though, and if it was completely impossible for him to leave the magic bus and try to walk to a road in his weakened condition. I don't know how much time passed between him falling ill and dying.

I rather envied the freedom of roaming around the US. I have been hiking more and would like to backpack. I thought the film was well-done, particularly the stark contrast between Alex's (Christopher's) experience in the wilderness and the LA scenes, when he peers through a fancy cocktail bar and sees himself, clean-cut and well-dressed, mingling and social networking. It validates his choice. I like that at the end he reconciles his two selves. It was sad that he never did contact his family.

I love living in Northern NM. I had considered moving away, but lately I can't imagine living outside of NM for more than a few months. In UNM's medical school, during July and August of the first year, students are required to live and work in a rural clinic to experience rural medicine. I'm very excited about this. I'm happy to move to Albuquerque, my hometown, but after living in Los Alamos for the past two years I will definitely miss the mountains and wildlife, although I have seen coyotes in Albuquerque and even San Diego.

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