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22nd November 2020

On Beings Friends

“A bosom friend–an intimate friend–a really kindred spirit to whom I can confide my inmost soul.” ~Anne of Green Gables

I know, I know, yet another banner proclaiming that “herein lie tantalizing secrets that you don’t know about.” I’ve been hesitant to “friend only” this journal, because I love wandering around the journals and reading about people’s interests and lives. It astonishes me how honest we can be in this forum – and with people that we have never met in real life. I love that, it’s probably why I am so addicted to lj.

However, I am also aware of how … perilous the internet can be; how that same honesty could have serious repercussions if I reveal too much about my personal life. And from the beginning, I’ve screened certain entries that I didn’t want the random stranger to see, or even the real life person who might take it in the wrong context. In the next (several weeks, probably), I’ll be going through and making more entries friends only.

So, please comment here, if we have shared interests and just tell me a little about yourself. I’m sure we are kindred spirits just waiting to discover each other!

posted in Uncategorized | 56 Comments

12th May 2009

what a different some post-production editing can do

I went to see Chris this weekend. He moves in just a little over a month. I have so little time off between now and then, that I’m not sure if I will get to see him before he leaves. So I’ve been grabbing whatever chances I have, even if its just a short Sunday afternoon visit. We had lunch with his surgery colleagues, watched a movie (Kramer vs Kramer, which I had never seen. I think the movie’s overall story means less now than it did 25 years ago), looked at pictures from their trip to India, went for a walk, ate decent Mexican food, and just had a quiet visit. My favorite visits with my friends are exactly like this, being immersed in the mundane, everyday moments. Gretchen asked questions about life in medical school, and once I stopped teasing Chris about his “player” reputation, I struggled to answer them. The junior high-like sagas seem so surreal and so long ago, that it’s difficult to find the right words to convey why those events meant so much, changed so much. Without the fallout from Candice, without the literal shunning from that group so that Chris was the only one who talked to me for months, we wouldn’t have been as good of friends and in all likelihood, he’d be decorating my Facebook friend hall of fame, and not much else. Strange how little, stupid things like that can alter an entire life…

Anyway, I attempted to take pictures of Chris and Gretchen, capture them in tender moments. Yeah, I don’t think I’ll be advertising my services any time soon as a professional photographer, as I completely forgot until after I had shot 5-6 pictures that I had adjusted the shutter speed to take pictures in the bright spring sunshine, which didn’t translate very well to florescent lighting. All of the pictures were crap. With the magic tools of photoshop, I did manage to salvage this:

and turn it into this:

Still grainy, but so much improved, I’m rather impressed with myself. πŸ™‚ The others are completely worthless though.

A few other (entirely unedited) pictures from this weekend can be found here.

And now that my headache has finally dissipated, I am returning to bed. I do love the (very, very rare) rotations where coming in just before nine is perfectly reasonable.

posted in Chris, Friends, Photography, Social Life, Those Rare Days Off | 0 Comments

20th April 2009

dreaming through the noise

dreaming through the noise

I had this awesome dream last night where I was working for President Obama. I was supposed to deliver something for him, but got caught up in this conspiracy and we were talking over this telephone that had a garden hose as the cord as it was supposed to be safer than our cell phones. As we were talking, he suddenly realized that it had been wiretapped and I was in trouble, so he stole a car from the secret service to come pick me up. We then escaped with other members of the team, who included a few people from my residency, on a ferry from Milwaukee down to Chicago. It was a pretty fancy ferry with a big chandelier and a garden with a pool. Barack (as I called him) and I discussed security policies (aka, who was after me) and how I could stay safe. As is the case with most of my dreams, the rest is rather vague. I think he left to confront of the men who was chasing me, as he had also ended on the ferry, and I was sleuthing and flirting with the pool boy (alas, Dream!Barack was as married as in real life).

I woke up this more in a rather good mood. πŸ˜‰

I wish it had lasted longer, that I could have pressed the snooze button just a few more times. Hard day. Fifteen patients that I had to see before noon. By far, the best part of the day involved taking a mid day break with one of my friends and getting hot chocolate and swooning over Franz Ferndinand, who is apparently coming to concert in a week. As a resident, there’s no such thing about having a lunch hour; if you manage to finish your work in time, you can look forward to a noon lecture. But today we played hooky, even though it put me behind and I was rushing to finishing seeing everybody.

And now off to bed again. I wonder who/what I’ll dream about tonight?

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8th April 2009

budding neurologist

Today, I woke up and thought to myself that for the first time in almost three years, I like neurology again. I’ve taken care of some really interesting patients with diverse diseases; I’ve come up with diagnostics and differentials that my attending agreed with; and I had a chance to read so I was starting to feel like I understood the difference between polyradiculopathy and polyradiculoneuropathy (don’t ask). It didn’t hurt that we had maybe 1 consult a day, so I could really sit and think about my patients care.

Of course, right after I thought that, my pager went off nonstop all morning with new consults and complicated questions (as well as stupid questions), making me feel like a freshly chopped chicken and the love faded. It’s still there, dimly trying to stay alive. Who knows, if I manage to survive tomorrow and clinic, it might take up permanent lodging; that would be nice.

Other thing going on in my life:

  • I have just about caught up with all of the little requirements that residency piles on me. I completed the last of my dictations (it was nine months old, but, as I discovered when I dictated it, I had never even taken care of the patient and it really wasn’t my responsibility. So I suppose that evens out). I finished all of my evaluations. I’ve stayed caught up on my clinic notes (that will probably change tomorrow). So I’ve finally been able to concentrate on something else: my house. It’s been a disaster since January when I got sick for a month and was working close to the 80 hours/week limit. But this week, I went through all of the papers that I’ve collected and recycled three entire boxes of junk mail and have collected another 3 boxes of patient information that I need to bring back to the hospital for shredding. No wonder I felt like I was drowning. I’m focusing on the progress and ignoring for now the pile of dishes, the laundry that needs to be washed and all of the sweeping. All in due time.
  • My beloved mommy finished my Regency dress this weekend and mailed it on Monday. I hope to get it tomorrow. There will be pictures. πŸ™‚
  • I had a fabulous weekend, visiting Chris and his friends. We went to the symphony (incredible pianist!) and out to eat and then made crepes the next morning as we watched Sicko. Three years ago, as a fresh idealistic medical student, the documentary might have inflamed me to action. Now, after experiencing the multiple complexities of the medical system, I am become more cynical about the likelihood of success with medical reform. Doesn’t mean that I don’t support efforts to do so, but I see much more of the pros and cons of all of the proposals. Surprisingly, Chris was as conservative about the movie’s premises as I; residency has changed him as well.
  • In any case, there is some pictorial documentation of the weekend at my Picasa site. It already hurts thinking how much I’m going to miss this.
  • I’m getting an elliptical machine and a bench press from my friend who is also moving away (*sniff*). I’m so excited to have my own little gym. Now, the bitter cold of Milwaukee won’t be an excuse to keep me from exercising AND I won’t have to endure endless ball games. As soon as my house is in order (I’m hoping this weekend) I’ll get to retrieve it.
  • It’s actually been really hard recently, thinking about all of the friends that are leaving this year. My medicine resident buddies are graduating and going on to fellowships and careers, leaving me behind for another two years.
  • I am trying to get the courage to buy tickets to visit Sam and her little one in New York over Memorial weekend. In New York. I start hyperventilating at the thought (serious phobia issues here!) but I think my love for baby Meghan’s poofy hair might win out over my fears. I may not see anything more than central park and in the inside of her apartment, and I may just be one quivering jellyfish the entire trip, but it’d be worth it. Right?

And that’s all folks. Tune in next time for another addition of Glimpses of Julia’s Oh So Boring Life.

posted in All About Me, Chris, Friends, Healthy Living, Resident Life, Social Life, Those Rare Days Off | 1 Comment

28th March 2009

-blows off dust-

Mom has a lists of blogs from family members that she follows on a regular basis. I don’t think she’s quite ready to tackle blogging herself (I can set you up if you are, Mom!) but she enjoys staying involved in the lives of family who live far away. Of course, that doesn’t work very well when the blogs don’t get updated. My sister updated her blog Feb 18 (even though she had plenty exciting news to tell), my cousins the early part of March, and me, well, I haven’t updated this since March 1. So much for my goals of writing about Tolkien.

Thanks to Mom’s persistent pestering, you now all get to hear about my very busy life.

The first part of March, I actually went on vacation. As a resident, I get 4 weeks of vacation a year (which I have to plan out a year in advance. I also have to plan out my 4-days-off-a-month 3 months in advance, which makes spontaneous outings nigh unto impossible) and I haven’t had any vacation since October. I was pretty ready for some time off, believe me.
cut to be nice to your bandwidth! Click to read and see more!

posted in All About Me, Family, Photography, Social Life, Those Rare Days Off | 3 Comments

11th February 2009

mentor

Mothers in Medicine, another blog that I read, occasionally has “theme days, where everybody writes on certain experiences. Today’s happened to be on “mentoring”, which I found to be apros, as I reconnected with one of the attendings that I most admire today. She was my attending back when I was an intern and I really loved her style of teaching and examining the patients efficiently. And then I found out that she had papered some of the articles that originally looked at resident work hours and had campaigned for reform, which is a favorite topic of mine as well.

She’s starting a new research project, one that I find intriguing and afer I had signed up to participate, I linged afterwards to talk to her. Long story short, she has some other research topics that I’m really interested in, including a pilot study that she wants to start this summer. I’ve needed to find a research project to get involved in, to boost up my resume if I decide that I want to do fellowship as well as be eligible for graduation, and I had been having problems finding a project that I was interested in. I’m very excited. I’ll be meeting with her later this month to work out details. It’ll mean that my life will be even busier, but if it gets my name in a journal, it should be worth it.

She’s also been my inspiration because she didn’t date at all in med school and residency and is now married (to a non-medicine guy, imagine that!) with two beautiful children and has been an example of how a balance life of career and motherhood can work.

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10th February 2009

my oh so interesting life

Pumpkin pie on a post-call day = excellent post-call day, even though nothing else exciting happened. I had some sleep last night, we only admitted 5 patients, but I still came home utterly exhausted and slept for hours. I had some interesting post-call dreams, where I dreamed that I was dreaming something that I had dreamed before. I woke up with a headache over trying to figure out what was real and what wasn’t.

Tomorrow entails doing dishes, folding laundry and introducing a friend to the loveliness that is Colin Firth in a cravat. It is my mission in life to bring Pride and Prejudice to the lives of all those around me. Forget medicine, this is my real calling!

Link of the day: The Happiness Project. I discovered this blog several weeks ago and really enjoy the practical advice. I’ve been using her resolution charts to creating some change in my life.

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8th February 2009

back to life

I am almost, almost ready to go back to real life. I could have done with another day or two (or week) off, but this was enough to recharge my batteries and dust some of the fatigue and bitterness off my shoulders.

I got semi-lost coming home, as I was on my cell-phone pretty much the entire way and thought I had missed a turn in a construction zone (I didn’t, it was just not marked), so I spent an extra hour driving through the moon-lit fields of rural Wisconsin. I was the only car on the road and at times it felt like I was the only human in existence. It was a lovely detour. I forget how much my soul craves the solitude sometimes.

I’m on call tomorrow… I suppose I should be getting some sleep now, eh?

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19th January 2009

just a little homesick

Flaming Gorge

There are times when I get really, really homesick. Usually it’s when I’m tired of dealing with the layers of responsibility and the daily rush, rush, rush. Today is one of those. I’m getting claustrophobic again, when I get need to get out of the city and breath fresh air and not be around anybody for a few hours. Growing up in a town of 250 people was in many ways difficult, but I do miss the slower pace of life and the solitude.

(Not my picture. Stolen from here which has some absolutely lovely pictures of Utah. This is not five miles from where I grew up.)

***

My talk went well, by the way. I didn’t get nearly enough time to prepare and had my usual pages of random quotes that I shuffled around (I’ve gotten quite good at reading out of the corner of my eye since I started teaching Sunday school), but I did have a good opening, I made people laugh and I didn’t lose my place too many times. I even used last week’s horribleness as a object lesson as how one ought not to be the foolish virgin. Hopefully the next time I speak in church (which I doubt, now that I’m back on the radar, will be another 7 years), I’ll remember this lesson.

And I’m done with all of my clinic notes. This week will still be busy as I have to finish the discharge summaries that I neglected last week, but it should definitely be better. I’m on call tomorrow; guess that probably means I should be getting to bed, eh?

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16th January 2009

what a week.

I am so glad it’s Friday. I’m on call tonight, which means that I can avoid the freezing cold weather for 30 hours. By the time I’m released, the weather forecasts that it’s going to be a balmy 20 degrees. I may not even need the extra layer of sweats over my pants tomorrow!

I overslept this morning, arrived to the hospital an hour late. I tend to be chronically on the “a little late” side, but it’s been a long time since I actually slept through my alarm clock and awoke in a panic. It didn’t help that it now takes an additional ten minutes in the morning to get ready with having to blow dry my hair and put on the three extra layers of clothing.

It’s been absolutely insane around here. On Tuesday, I received 4 different pages from my program director; I was post call and blissfully slept through them and didn’t get them until the next morning, where I found out that unless my clinic notes were completed ASAP, I was going to be put on suspension. I didn’t think I had that many open (I had had 31 last week, I worked on a bunch, was down to 27 and of those 10 of them I had finished and was just waiting for the attending to finish their part). But it was apparently too many and I was in trouble. So, I spent most of Wednesday night, any free time on Thursday and all morning getting all of the notes done and sent on to the attendings. They’re all done, but it was a massive devotion of time, and now I’m behind in discharge summaries and other stuff. It never ends.

Project number two on top of this was helping Chris out by massively editing/revising a personal statement. He found this absolutely amazing research fellowship to apply to, run by no other than Dr. Atul Gawande, my hero. It’s always a time-consuming project editing his papers. He tends to think and write in fragments, forgetting all of those lovely linking thoughts and words to keep everything running smoothly. I tend to be a much more verbous writer, which he doesn’t like, so edits often go back and forth several times before we’re satisfied. Unfortunately because we now are residents and have no free time, we didn’t have a lot of time to work on it. He sent it off yesterday and I still wasn’t entirely satisfied with the conclusion and felt that there were other areas that could have used polishing, but oh well. He’s promised me a great gift from India (he’s going in two weeks) as payment and if he gets it, I’m definitely using my vacation time to try to stalk meet Dr. Gawande.

Reason number three it’s been insane: I started my medicine clinics this week. It’s going to be a good change. I really like the attending that I’m working with; we’ve worked together on the wards last year and while he’s intense and sometimes difficult to read, he’s also a great teacher. He loves to do procedures and he believes in taking full ownership of the patients–no referrals out unless it’s absolutely important, which I love. He spent 15 years doing medicine in Nepal which probably explains some of his attitudes. Yesterday was a little bit frustrating; new department, new way of doing things, feeling a little bit like a medical student again, but I’m sure it’ll get better.

I’ve still got a lingering sore throat and my fellow has now developed a cold as well and I’m sure, infected me again. Sometimes I hate evidenced based medicine: I know very well that antibiotics are not going to help, but I’m just so tired of the dwindles.

I’m giving a talk in church on Sunday, on self-reliance. When he asked me, Bishop said that I was an “ideal” person to give it, that was before the above trouble, I guess. I’ve lived here two and half years and they finally managed to catch me with a Sunday that I was free and not post-call; actually I haven’t spoken in church since 2001, right after the terriorists attacks, eight years is a pretty good record! The VA blocks access to the LDS website, but I’ve managed to circumvent that; I just can’t print anything off which is great for the environment but not so good for my preparation. I’m more than a little nervous…

So to sum up: I’m hectically busy (I’ve just admitted another two patients so I have to rush away to finish their orders). Mom, I got your email, will look for the package, a few oranges sound nice but would probably freeze before I could eat them. Becks, here’s the update on my life. Barbara: I did get your Christmas card! Thanks! Still haven’t made it to the post office, but hopefully will next week, maybe a Christmas card for Easter. Ellie: I’m so glad you wrote! Please tell me more on how you’re doing. And to everybody else: hi! I’ll hopefully get to talk to you later.

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12th December 2008

thousand words

From flowers

To my anonymous friend, a thousand thanks! The box labeled the bouquet as “Winter Cheer” and it certainly did that. I don’t think this smile has left my face all evening. What a wonderful surprise! I think I was even more touched to realize that the gift was because somebody had read my entry from a couple of weeks ago and decided to help make a wish come true. You all are amazing and I am so grateful to have such loving, wonderful people in my life.

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2nd December 2008

100 Things

Felt like wasting time. I have to go to bed now, because I’m on call yet again tomorrow, and am still feeling sleep deprived and we’re rounding early. (As an aside, it is supposed to snow all day tomorrow, meaning I have to dig myself out again post-call before I can sleep. And more head traumas as people slide on slick roads which translates to more 4 am consults from neurosurgery when they decide that they don’t want to operate after all with means less sleep. Am somewhat bitter at Mother Nature who is not doing a great job of nurturing right now.)

1. Started your own blog (I have several right now. Most are just mirrors of my original livejournal, but I do have my own that will be revealed officially to the public as soon as WP 2.7 is released and working properly).
2. Slept under the stars (Several times)
3. Played in a band (I jammed with my 8th grade guitar class but I don’t think we ever made a band)
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
Read more

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28th November 2008

Gray Friday

*grumble grumble*

My chief resident sent out the holiday schedule earlier this week, so we would know who was covering each service and could plan our time better. I noticed that I wasn’t listed to work at all until Sunday, which I knew wasn’t right. We have 4 days off a month, and my four days are later. Because I know from personal experience how overwhelming the neuro ICU can be on the weekend (splitting 12-16 patients between 2 people is hard enough; when they’re sick enough to be in the NICU, it can take you a half hour to just gather information on each one, much less actually see them) and since that’s the service that I now belong to, I decided to do the morally right thing. Instead of sleeping in and going out to shop* for Christmas presents and a Christmas tree, I went to work. We were promised that even though it wasn’t an official holiday per the hospital, the neurology department was still treating it as such and therefore only needed to be there until approximately 12-1pm. Half days are so deliciously refreshing (sun! air! couch!) that they almost feel like a full day off.

I was done with everything by 1:30. I had admitted a new patient, talked the plan over with the fellow, written orders, confirmed results from the consult services, rechecked labs, finished notes and updated the signout sheet. And my fellow wouldn’t let me go. First, it was making sure the radiology would do the study we needed. Then it was signing out to the resident who was on call that day. Then it was waiting for the fellow who was going to start on the service starting that day; he was supposed to show up at 3, he didn’t arrive until almost 4. Then it was the back and forth decision of whether or not to place a central line in our new patient (patient left for the above study, removing that decision). Finally, both of the fellows left, leaving me to go around and write all of the orders that they had decided were suddenly needed.

I finished at 5:30 pm. Happy holiday to me.

(Did anybody understand the above paragraphs? I swear I really wasn’t trying to be cryptic.)

This is an important month for me. I love neuro critical care. I love the complexities of patients broken down into easily managed systems. I like the procedures (even though it’s been over a year since I did a central line or an art line. At one time I liked them). I like that it’s evidenced based. I just don’t know if I like it enough to do another 2 years of fellowship. More years of training, with long hours and which would require starting to do research now so I have a resume that looks impressive. And I don’t like research. All for a career that will always be demanding and time-consuming and I don’t know if I have the physical or emotional endurance for a lifetime of being an intensivist. I’ve been trying to make up my mind about this for months, mulling over both sides and never quite getting to a decision that felt right. So I’ve given myself this month to figure it out.

*Actually, after the news of the worker getting trampled to death at the Wal-Mart in Long Island, I’ve decided to continue my tradition of avoiding shopping on Black Friday, permanently. Because, that’s insane.

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27th November 2008

Thanksgiving

I went to a friend’s house for Thanksgiving dinner. When I called her yesterday to confirm, she mentioned that there was not going to be any pumpkin pie served. No pie! I almost took back my RSVP. Luckily, another friend invited me over this morning for pumpkin custard (aka pie without the crust) with lots of whipped topping and things are okay with the world again.

It was certainly a different Thanksgiving this year. I hadn’t met my friend’s parents at all and the little I knew, I wasn’t sure if I’d get along with them (particularly her father). Which, thankfully, wasn’t the case. They were very warm and friendly and engaging and even my friend, who is usually very quiet even when it’s just the two of us was much more open and talkative. I ate too much of course, but I think I managed to keep it at 2000 calories, rather than the usual 4000 calories that we Americans reportedly consume on this day of feasting.

There are so many things for which I am thankful. I try to be grateful and thankful on a regular basis, but in the spirit of recording it for remembrance, here’s the short list:

  1. Family. I am so thankful for my supportive, loving family who have been there even in the long distances. I have the greatest parents in the world, who take the time to drive out every year so that we can fix all of the little things around my house that I can’t always get to. I have sisters who are so much fun to talk to; even though we are drastically different in temperament and personalities, we have always gotten along well. I have grandparents who I love to spend time with and I don’t see them nearly often enough.
  2. Friends. I don’t think there enough words in the English vocabulary (or the Eskimo either) to express my eternal gratitude for the friendships that I have made through the years. They mean everything to me.
  3. Safety. My heart is with those in Mumbai and their families. It is a scary world that we live in, but I am so thankful that I have been cocooned somewhat away from it.
  4. My house. I love love love my house and its little nooks and raspberry bushes and many, many leaves. I love that it keeps me warm, that I have a comfortable bed to sleep in and a fabulous couch to sit on.
  5. My computer. Not only is it gorgeous, but it keeps me connected with the world around me.
  6. My faith. My membership in the LDS church has been one of the most sustaining influences in my life. I appreciate the daily comfort from the belief that there is a loving, understanding Heavenly Father who wants what’s best for me. I appreciate the bonds of fellowship that are formed in the church, for the guidance of my leaders, and for my relationship with my Savior.
  7. My job. As much as I grip about it, I am grateful for the continual learning and the challenges that being a resident provides, that it stretches my mind on a daily basis. I am thankful for my patients who allow me to be a part of their lives. I am grateful for the nurses with whom I have collegial relationships of respect. I am especially thankful for Maryann, my nurse who answers all of the calls from my clinic patients (as well as the rest of the residents in my program). She is a saint (and yes, I tell her this often).
  8. My health. So far, i’ve managed to go 2.6 years without surgery. I’ve had some close calls (I have a feeling that I’m going to have to have both wrists worked on), but I’m grateful that I’ve been able to complete so much of residency without too much interference. I’m not thankful for the weight gain that has accompanied the lack of surgery, but there’s hope for changes in that department as well.
  9. Prepositions. Don’t know how I would have constructed the above list without them.

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25th November 2008

I went over to a friend’s house tonight to have some hot cocoa and catch up. She’s a medical student, which I know exactly how overwhelming and consuming and exaperating that can be. Talking to her reminding me of all of the drama that med school can entail (I’m so glad I’ve left that behind!!) She’s been in much the situation that I was in those many years ago with Chris and Candice, only she’s in Candice’s position and another mutual friend is right where I was 5 years ago–stuck in the middle and not sure how to get out. Their friendship has been strained to say the least and it’s been bothering me. I do really regret how things turned out between Candice and I, this failed friendship. Years have gone by, she has barely acknowledged my existence since that day (although, she’s friends with Chris on Facebook and contacts him occasionally there. Kinda burns me up a little. He’s the one who broke your heart, honey!) and my experience in med school was radically changed after that. Her friends were no longer my friends, I was excluded from a lot of activities and Chris became the inseparable chum.

In any case, I kinda made it my mission to intervene here because I could see the direction it was going. Don’t know if I did any good (I felt a little like a matchmaker); we’ll see. I’m not sure if an intervention would have helped our friendship then either–I did try on multiple occasions to reach out and explain and was met with deaf ears.

Med school: junior high all over again.

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16th November 2008

:)

I could have just made an empty post with this icon and it would have summed up my day. πŸ™‚

I took off after early morning church to Madison and spent the day with Chris and his friends. We hung out at his new apartment (which so reminds me of Suz’s apartment that she shared with her sister in SLC), fixing his water faucets that, of course, sprayed rusty water across the room, ate bagels for lunch, wandered around a little bit downtown (it’s definitely starting to get chilly!), went to the movies (Quantum of Solace), ate fried cheese curds (it’s a really good thing that I didn’t know that those existed before) and played trivial pursuit while eating dinner. My friends started falling asleep around 9 (they tend to wake up at atrocious hours like 4:30 to get to work), when I graciously took my leave then.

I don’t get to see Chris much these days. Granted, it’s much more frequently than if he had done residency anywhere else (I haven’t seen any of my classmates since graduation), but considering that we only live an hour and change away from each other and we practically spent every day together for 2 years, it’s pretty paltry. I love how we can get together and nothing has changed. I think I also get the benefit of really seeing him become a surgeon; every time I see him he is more assured and comfortable in his role. He’s planning on applying to this research program that exactly fits his plans for life and I’m so stinkin’ proud of him that I almost don’t mind that it’d be 2 years completely across the country, starting this summer. Oi.

I love his friends. His co-surgery resident (Aaron) is an absolute hoot and in many ways a mirror image of Chris; its not hard to see why they get along. His girlfriend (Gretchen) is someone that I heartily approve of and I’ve almost forgiven him for not telling me that they were dating. She’s smart, athletic, funny, and sensible (a trait that I found somewhat … lacking in his other girlfriends). Plus, she belts out musicals in the middle of a restaurant too–definitely a kindred spirit. I hope she’s around for a long time.

Man, it’s really hard going back after weekends like this.

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12th November 2008

raspberries and potatoes

It is November 12, and I ate my last raspberry off my bush two days ago. Yesterday morning, I awoke to frost, and the poor raspberries were all frozen to the branches in various states of ripeness, perfectly preserved in their last moments of life. *sniff* If it had just stayed warm for 2 more days, I’d had enough to add to my breakfast. Tomorrow it’s up in the 50s again (but raining). I hope there will be enough of a peak in the clouds that I’ll get to clean out my gutters when I get home.

In another food related news, I had the most awesome dinner. When my friends were here last month, Laura insisted on making a Sweet Potato Curry. But it had to be the right kind of sweet potato, the “pale variety” she told me, more like a potato than a yam. Fine, fine. Sam and I scoured the grocery store, finally finding something that was labeled as a sweet potato and brought it home, where we were flatly informed that it was a yam and would not do. Sam later returned and with the help of 2 grocers who couldn’t resist helping the cute pregnant woman, found the spud, which at least here in Wisconsin is known as a “Golden Yam” (it really is a SweetPotato. So dinner was salvaged and I instantly became converted to the yummy yumminess that is the yellow pale-skinned SweetPotato. Its texture is much closer to a potato, it just has a hint of sweetness to it.

So I was digging through my cupboards this evening and stumbled on a golden sweet potato and I knew I had to make it my dinner. I heated up some minced garlic, whisked in some fat free evaporated milk with curry power, paprika and a touch of cinnamon, poured in on the griddle and then added thin slices of the yummy spud and cooked it until all of the liquid was gone and the potatoes were soft and flaky. Perfect. You all should try it some time. πŸ™‚

(I need more food icons)

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6th November 2008

The Last Lecture

This evening (in between patient calls which have been infrequent and staffing patients with my intern, also blissfully infrequent) I read Randy Pausch’s book, “The Last Lecture.” It made me cry. It made me think. It may be the catalyst to get me over this lingering funk and figure out what I want out of my life. Everybody should go out and buy it, and as a big believer in supporting libraries, that’s saying something.

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17th October 2008

For mom

Who couldn’t be here this week: a taste of Milwaukee in the fall.

More pictures can be seen here

Have I mentioned recently how much I love this city? And having a camera again? And autumn? And time off work? Bliss, I tell you, life is bliss.

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5th October 2008

once

Once, I danced. Mondays and Wednesday mornings. Thursdays at the Naval Science building. Saturdays at the Murray Arts Center. Beginning ballroom. Latin. Swing. My favorite was the Tango, the sultry dance where the movements came from the hips, the directions from the heart. I never was very good, my moves were too clunky and I never had enough trust in my partners to ever let go of control completely, but during the tango, I could close my eyes and pretend, for just a few minutes that I was a sexy, graceful dancer in the smoky streets of Argentina.

Yesterday, listening to the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra perform the BandoneΓ³n Concerto, I felt transported back to those days. The hum of the bandoneon (a modified accordion) blended with the violin and cello and occasional oboe and infused in my veins. My heart beat the time.

Today, I drove my friend to our bishop’s house for conference. He lamented that medical school had drained him from being an interesting person, that once he could socialize, converse on a variety of topics, entertain those around him, and now, he was an introvert, a shell of his former self. It’s true, I sympathized, running through the conversations that I had had with the various other medical students and residents that day. “Hi, how are you, what rotation are you on? Who are you working with? Getting any sleep? Had the day off today?” We ran through the conversations like robots, only venturing out on occasions to talk about something else. We had become absorbed into the culture of medicine that we have lost our personalities. I’ve managed to retain a little of my previous life, a play, a concert, a party here and there and thought until last night that I hadn’t done so poorly.

But, once, I danced.

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    • the common denominator November 3, 2021
      When I was cleaning up the cross-post yesterday, because the wordpress plug-in I use always leaves all of these spaces between each paragraph, I accidentally clicked on one of the tag links on the side bar. Liz. My old college friend and roommate. Two posts down, I noticed that I had said something about how […]