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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

27th May 2009

Posted with (minimal) comment

New York = fabulous.

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I conquered NYC. And managed to do it without meds, thank you very much. It helped that I saw and experienced most of it from a double-decker bus and ferry, but I still did it.

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I did not get to see any Broadway musicals (it didn’t fit in to plans very well, was horridly expensive, and I hated Times Square so much that the thought of lingering there to try to grub for cheap tickets made me want to cry. Perhaps once it’s closed to automotive traffic, it’ll be more manageable (ha!)), nor any of the museums, so that will have to wait until next time.

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I took 569 pictures. The majority of them are crap. Taking pictures from a bus means that I have lovely pictures of stoplights, and people’s heads as we were jolted around. The rest are exposed badly as I moved from shade to bright sunshine and didn’t always remember to correct.

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Sam’s baby is delicious. Seriously contemplated sticking her someplace in my luggage, but then realized that since it was all carry-on, I’d be discovered before I made it very far.

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All in all, a fantastic weekend. Too short as always.

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Select photos can be found here and here

**
This weekend, I am visiting Susan and her own delicious child, Alice, and we are finally, finally going to go country dancing. Susan has also arranged a date for me (!!) with a guy who is excited about the prospect of english dancing(!?!!!), which sounds too good to be true, but I am optimistic nonetheless. And on Sunday night/Monday morning, my parents arrive in town for a week’s vacation. Which means I should have spent tonight cleaning rather than fussing with my pictures, eh?

posted in All About Me, Cuteness Overload, Friends, Photography, Social Life, Susan, Those Rare Days Off | 3 Comments

21st May 2009

twenty-four hours

In twenty-four hours, I will be in Hoboken, New Jersey, settling in the “spare room” of Sam’s new apartment and cooing over Miss Megs. Her hair, I’ve been assured, is still delightfully long and poofy and she still adores her toes.

In twenty-four hours, we’ll finalize plans of what we will see over my seventy-two hour visit. We’re attempting to fit in a Broadway musical, a 2 hour boat tour around the island, a stroll through central park, a visit to Gray Papaya (I’ve been spoiled by the Milwaukee brats, I’m not sure that New York’s dogs can live up to it), a museum or two, seeing another friend (who’s husband is visiting for the weekend, so they may not be around), and lots and lots of baby time.

I’m still packing. Have another load or two of laundry to do. Just finished eating (I love corn). Trying to decide if I should bring my laptop (long trip without it, but want to be light on the luggage). Decisions, procrastinated decisions.

I’m on psychiatry consults this month. My coworkers have called this “great immersion therapy” for my phobia. We’ll see. Immersion or not, I decided I couldn’t do it without meds. I’m hoping that it’ll be better through a camera lens, but I’m not sure. Hence the back up, so I don’t have a melt down in the middle of the street. I’m still worried and on the verge of hyperventilation if I think about it too much.

New York, New York. Here we go!

posted in Friends, The Great USA, Those Rare Days Off | 7 Comments

22nd April 2009

everyone’s your friend in new york city

I’m not doing the English dancing weekend after all. I piddled around, delayed sending in the registration, debated eternally where or not I should go until it was too late. It would have been easier if there was somebody that I was going with… or if the price had been half as much; then I’d have done it without a second thought. In the end, I decided that I could not splurge on it, and I’ll have to find another place to wear my pretty dress. I’m planning on going down to Illinois in May for a English dance so it will be displayed then.

So instead of men in cravats, I’m going to New York to visit Sam and baby Meghan. This is such a huge deal for me and evidence of how much I want to see that wild baby hair. I’m already trembling and have a pit of fear in my stomach. I don’t do tall buildings. That’s the understatement of the year. I become paralyzed under their shadow, frightened to near death that they are going to fall on me (yeah, September 11th was virtually my worst nightmare come to life). And that’s just the comparatively scrawny buildings in SLC. Needless to say, a visit to the Empire State Building/Chrysler Building/Times Square/Ground zero and even the Statue of Liberty are not on the list. Right now, I’m liking the idea of a boat tour of the city: a chance to see the important sights and bridges, but from a distance, where I can practice taking pictures of reflections in the Hudson River. I’m also looking forward to central park and seeing the skyline there.

And if all else fails, I’ll get myself a prescription for some propanolol and/or alprazolam and medicate my way through. The benefit of being a doctor.

So, question to my wise friends out there who have been to NYC: Which are the must see sights, mostly in Manhattan and that won’t frighten me to death? And from those who live there, any hidden nooks that shouldn’t be missed but are often overlooked by the tourists?

posted in All About Me, Friends, Social Life | 4 Comments

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. 🙂
  • 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

7th February 2009

Photographic evidence

Thousand words right here.

From Visit with Susan

I’ve taken over 210 pictures in the last day. Mostly of the baby, who moves very fast and doesn’t trust me (I rather startled her this morning when she walked into the bedroom and found me instead of her mother), so there are a lot of blurred, blank stares. I promise that she does smile very becomingly at her parents who dote on her. There should be no question in this child’s mind of how loved she is. I’m going to try to experiment with family photos (and maybe repeat “engagement photos” with Suz and I. It’s been 7 years now, we’re due for another set) tomorrow. I can’t wait!

The day’s events included waking up to a breakfast of crepes, playing with the baby, going to eat at a Thai restaurant, where the mild green curry was definitely not mild, visiting every single Asian market in the area (4) looking for masaman curry paste (every store had a different fish odor), napping, eating homemade vindaloo curry and chocolate chip cookies, and going to the model airplane show, where I got even more blurry pictures (see the above masterpiece). Maybe I’ve a future in abstract art? There is a surprising number of middle-aged men who are into model airplanes, I was hoping for a slightly younger crowd. Had fantasies of meeting eyes across the controls and I’d become a airplane junkie, traveling the model airplane circuit in support of my special someone (kidding, just kidding).

Now, Suz and I are sitting next to each other on the couch, each blogging about our day. 🙂 For my part, it’s been just about perfect. Even the weather warmed up into the high 50s (luckily, since I accidentally left my winter coat at home) and has been gorgeous. Can I stay here forever, please?

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14th December 2008

Reason for the season

I’m spending Christmas here in Milwaukee this year. I’ve got Christmas day off, but have to work Christmas Eve and am on call the next day, so travel was out of the question and having family come out here is ridiculous. So I’m having my own celebrations. This weekend, I’m driving down to Illinois to see Susan and her family; Suz and I are not only going to see the Metropolitan Opera, we’re going to a English Country Christmas Ball, where we’re going to learn how to dance like a Jane Austen character. Susan states that there were a few cute, single gentleman at the previous dance, so I am very eagerly awaiting the festivities. *SQUEE* So much fun. I may have to break out the satin gloves.

On Christmas, another friend, who is also geographically family-less, is planning to come over for a mini Christmas celebration with present opening and a yummy breakfast. I haven’t decided what yet, but pumpkin pie is somehow going to be involved. The afternoon will either be spent at one of the nursing homes with people who haven’t family (I see so many of them in the hospital; they break my heart) or serving somewhere; I feel somewhat anxious in the need to be there for someone who is also lonely this Christmas. There is so much need in the world but I’m trying to do the pitifully little that I can. I’m listening to the Christmas devotional and have been so touched by Pres. Monson’s talk:

The message from Jesus has been the same. As we follow in His steps today, as we emulate his example, we will have opportunities to bless the lives of others. Jesus invites us to give of ourselves. “Behold the Lord requireth the heart and an open mind.” Our opportunities are indeed limitless, but they are perishable. There are hearts to gladden, there are kind words to say, there are gifts to be given, there are deeds to be done, there are souls to be saved. Is there someone for whom you should provide service this Christmas? Is there one who awaits your visit? … During this season, hearts that are confined reach out and long for a Christmas visit…

There is yet time this year to extend a helping hand, a loving heart, and a willing spirit. In other words, to follow the example set by our Savior and to serve as he would have us serve.

I think the anticipation of the coming weeks is going to be my saving grace. I’m beyond burnt out. I worked 11 hours today; I went to work early so that I could get done in time for church, because it was the Christmas program and ending up not leaving until after five p.m. I feel like I’m living the subtitle of Doctor Strangelove: “How I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb.” Hysteria is shortly to follow, I’m certain.

My holiday cards have been delayed until later this week, so if you’d like to get on the bandwagon, there’s still time. Email me with your address. 🙂

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9th December 2008

butterfly

I don’t hug my patients.

I shake hands, hold hands, touch shoulders, caress knees, hand over kleenex. But I rarely hug, which is unusual for me, as I love to hug. I swear, I have “HUG ME” tattooed across my forehead, which is especially discerned by all the boys that I wish to date. One hug from me, and I’ve suddenly become the sister. But it is a level of intimacy that I just don’t cross with patients, just as I never call them by their first names either.

Today, there was a patient on my clinic schedule who I had been dreading to see. A few months ago, I gave her a diagnosis that is one of those nebulous, “is it really real” diseases, a diagnosis that requires more emotional and psychiatric rather than neurologic treatment. She was very unhappy at that time, but agreed to the treatment plan that my attending and I outlined. I hadn’t hear anything more from her since then. When I saw her on my schedule, I braced myself for a very long clinic with lots of counselling and tears.

You can imagine my surprise and delight when I walked in the room and met a transformation. She had followed up on the treatment plan, gotten the assistance and help that she needed and she had not had any further symptoms since she saw me. She was virtually a new woman, with a smile that lit her face and I could not keep the same from my face.

When she left, she asked if she could hug me. We hugged tightly before she left.

I felt healed by the encouner, a little pessimism washed away. It was a good day.

posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

4th December 2008

engage with grace

Being a resident and supervising interns is hard work. I don’t think I’ve ever worked with such a clingy intern before. Intern paged me every 15-20 minutes until around 1 in the morning and it was all that I could do not to get snippy on the phone. Because if I had done that, and something serious were to happen to one of her patients, then she would have hesitated calling me. It’s a difficult balance between too much autonomy and too much supervision. She was completely resistant to my efforts to give her more autonomy (and talking with my friend who is her resident every day, it wasn’t just last night), but it’s something that I need to work on.

I’m tired and have to be up early tomorrow. My snowblower is missing a bolt and the little spout that directs the snow now flops and I end upblow the same bit of snow over and over again. We’re interviewing candidates for next year and we take them out to dinner so I didn’t get a chance to go by home depot before so I’ll have to go bright and early so I can come back and clear the sidewalk before I go to work. Ugh.

In the meantime, I’m sharing this:

Since I’m in the critical care unit, I see many patients who are coming in with devastating injuries. These families, already dealing with the tragedy and pain of an injured loved one, are now having to make difficult medical decisions and so often, they are making these decisions without knowing what the wishes of their loved one are. Those with the most peace have had the discussion, they are comfortable in knowing that they are doing what their loved one who do if they could speak.

Engage with grace is a website that is trying to help with this problem. Here’s some of the statistics they provided:

  • 73% of Americans would prefer to die at home1, but anywhere between 20-50% of Americans die in hospital settings.2
  • More than 80% of Californians say their loved ones know exactly or have a good idea of what their wishes would be if they were in a persistent coma, but only 50% say they’ve talked to them about their preferences.3
  • Eight out of ten people say it is very or somewhat important to write down EOL wishes, but only 36% actually have written instructions.4

After my first months on the NICU, I completed the paperwork for a durable power of attorney (which actually needs to be redone, since I didn’t have it witnessed properly) and sat down with my parents to have the talk about my wishes. My friends who are also residents have said that they have “the talk” every couple of years, so that wishes are understood.

I encourage everybody, regardless of age, regardless of health to have a conversation with the person that you would want to make your medical decisions if you couldn’t.

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1st December 2008

death warmed over

I think I hate post-calls days more after each one. Busy day yesterday, I finished with all of my work around midnight and then had to wait to talk to a family about next plans of action and didn’t actually get to bed until around 2. I had a couple hours of fragmented sleep, but then was awoken at 4 for a consult and that was it: just enough to trigger a migraine, making me sick the remainder of the morning. I actually was so sick and so tired I went downstairs and slept in the call room for an hour before slogging home. There, thankfully, wasn’t much snow but it was enough that the snow plow has blocked me from entering my garage and the wind has picked up creating large snow drifts. So I’m parked out front and I’m going to bed. I’ll deal with the snow later.

BTW, I think all attendings should be flogged if they engage in petty pimping sessions when you’re post call. Exactly what is my tired, overworked brain supposed to be learning in that situation??

Goodnight all.

ETA: Some people write “drunk entries”, I write “post-call” entries. I think the misspellings are the same in both. Oi. 🙂

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24th November 2008

Catching the bouquet

Some friends of mine got married a month or so ago. Lindsay (the bride) is a romantic and planned the wedding to have a Jane Austen theme. All of the guests were seated at places named after Jane Austen locations: Bath, Mansfield Park, Lyme (which was actually where we were seated), Northanger Abbey, and of course, Pemberley, the table where the bridal party sat. There were horse-drawn carriage rides and silhouette portraits and of course, dancing (although not English line dancing to my disappointment). The gentlemen from my church in attendance were, as I should have expected, dolts and lacking any sort of a romantic sentiment:

Me, teasingly: How long do you presume to reside in Lyme, Mr. B? Are you here for the season? Will I have the opportunity to make the acquaintance of your sisters?

Mr B: What are you talking about, woman? I can’t understand anything you’re saying.

Excited about the prospect of dancing and a formal wedding reception, I had dressed up for the evening, wearing my bridesmaid’s dress from Sam’s wedding with the long flowing skirt that I love so much. Lindsay and Tracy (the groom) were good on their word, there was dancing. Live, big band dancing playing Glenn Miller and Louis Armstrong. And I couldn’t get anyone to dance with me. I finally did manage to drag out every one of the boys from my church out there to the dance floor, away from the food where they lingered and insisted that they escort me off the floor (I’ll save my appalled rant on the lack of common decency and manners later) and had a fabulous time anyway. I caught the bouquet, did I mention that? The pictures make it look like I had staked out the front row position, when in reality, I had just come in from the side. The bride threw the bouquet over the chandelier where it hit the ceiling, bounced off another girl’s chest and landed in my arms.

I thought I had recognized the photographer as the guy who had done the pictures for Liz’s wedding. What do you know, he was a friend of the bride’s sister. I started whistling “It’s a small world” and my friend Sarah remarked that she recognized the guy who followed him around with the flash as the photographer for her friend’s wedding once upon a time.

In any case, the wedding photos were posted online today. There weren’t any pictures of me dancing and I don’t like the pictures of me catching the bouquet (I look manic), but there is a sweet one of the groom and me.

Click for pictures

posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

15th November 2008

weekend fun

I just got home. I left my house at 10:30 this morning and just got home. Most of the time was spent chatting with my girl friends, eating yummy noodles and sampling chocolates. Just the way a Saturday should be spent.

Now that’s how a weekend should be. 🙂

I did almost contemplate going Christmas shopping today, to beat the rush, but since everything is going to have to be shipped this year any how, I wisely talked myself out that. I am thinking seriously about a Christmas tree, though, and can’t decide whether real or fake is the way to go. I love the smell of real ones, but I don’t have a stand, or a tree apron and I’m not sure that I’m the most reliable one in terms of watering the poor thing. I had a fake tree for a couple of years in SLC and enjoyed it, but left it behind when I moved.

I also really want holly around my house. I’ve never been able to find “boughs of holly” before but figured that it was because Utah was much too desert like to support its growth. Sadly, I’ve been unable to locate any here either.

And I think I just beat my midnight bell toll. This post won’t be turning into a pumpkin after all!

posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

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. 🙂

(I need more food icons)

posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

25th August 2008

It’s been a long time since I posted one of these!

Do you remember that year when a dark haired boy got off the bus in Stars Hollow and our lives weren’t quite the same after that? Because of that boy, because of his aloofness and intensity and, face it, smoking hot looks, we were drawn first to the television every week, and then to the internet, where we found each other. It was then, when I tentatively placed my pen to paper and first wrote for an audience. I lived to write, snatching moments in pharm lectures to plan out the next scene, to find just the right combination of words. I loved the reviews that encouraged me on.

It’s been a long time since I was enchanted with Gilmore Girls. Long before the series finale aired, I had stopped watching, disgusted by the changes in Rory’s character, the lack of warmth in the relationship between Lorelai and Rory, the cardboard caricatures that the townies had become. I’ve stopped reading GG fanfiction, my own story gathering figurative dust, two chapters short of finished.

And then I clicked on this story and was instantly transported back to the magical days of Season 2. “Truths Universally Acknowledged” is an absolute delight to read. Her characterization of Jess and Paris are spot on perfect, and Rory, while somewhat wooden in her dialogue is still the charming, bookish 16-year-old that we once loved. Did I mention that it’s all about Jane Austen and takes place after “There’s the Rub” and there’s delightful townies storylines that seem positively lifted from the show? It makes me want to dig out my DVDs, watch all of the old fan videos that Ali and Becka used to make, reread some of my favorite stories, and yes, even tackle my little neglected story again. It’s that good.

You can find links to all 8 chapters of the story here: Truths Universally Acknowledged by 12cubed. Go on, now. Go read and then come back and we can gush together. 🙂

posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments

7th August 2008

cooking adventures

(Notice the date… written last week and accidentally posted now.)

Chicken spagetti made with spinach and yogurt is an interesting combination. Not bad, really, but it took a couple of bites.

This started out as an attempt to make chicken tikka masala. But I’m missing ingredients for this new recipe I found (there is an appalling lack of ginger in my house), and I couldn’t let the chicken go to waste and I’m rather infatuated with cooking with yogurt recently (I think I perfected my salmon recipe), so… the above was the result.

I’m not sure that I’ll be repeating it soon.

So, my mother noted that I haven’t been updating my LJ and called in a panic on Sunday to make sure that I was alive. To alleviate those other worries about my safe-being, yes, I’m alive. I’m just bored and have little to talk about. Okay, I do have things to say: I’ve got a post brewing about the Vienna Teng concert that I went to on Tuesday which may have even been better than her first concert two years ago (her music makes me want to write in purple prose. I love it!). I’m still not a clinic person and I’m really glad that I didn’t go into orthopedic surgery (sample of the conversation today: “Is [he/she] on pills? [He/She] sounds like someone who would be on pills” – referring to antidepressant medications. And this gem to a young, but overweight patient coming in for referral “So, is this you? I mean, when we do the operation is this what I have to deal with?” UGH. Please note that this is not an attack or rant against orthopedics or surgeons in general. My favorite, most inspiring doctor in the entire world is an orthopedic doc. Because of my bone disease, I have to see them periodically as a patient, and the number of muscles and ligaments that they have to know thwarted me in med school and hasn’t gotten much better. That said, this particular orthopod was a jerk.)

My new blog s almost, almost ready for its unveiling. I’m trying to figure out the heading, and once that’s done, I need to transfer all of LJ entries over (which I keep putting off in the hopes that somebody will figure out how to import moods and current music fields. Tags would be nice too), and then it’ll be ready. I think. I can’t tell you how much effort this has been. I started working on it back in March, messed something up, deleted it, started again in May, deleted, repeated about 3 times in June and finally got the current version partially running in July… just in time for the upgrade of wordpress to 2.6. *sigh* I’ve devoted much of my spare time over the last two weeks to figuring it out. Most of my problems have been related to the fact that I know next to little about webdesign… the little I taught myself for my little website was all HTML (and sloppy HTML at that) and that has been long since forgotten. WordPress does make it easier in that most everything is run through plugins, but if something goes wrong (and it always does), then I had to dig through the code to figure out what was up. The only thing I haven’t figured out is how to expand out the default size of the comments once they’ve been posted and how to get the UserPhoto working so that it actually shows up inside the comments, rather than haphazardly across the page as it currently is wont to do. I’ve given up on that for the moment (unless of course some computer programming brainiac out there might know the answer!) and have accepted that my blog won’t look quite the way that I want it to. At least at this point.

But, Julia, why the switch, I hear some of your asking (I’m psychic, did I tell you?). There’s a variety of reasons (I like lists):

– One, I’ve got a lot of friends and family who read this journal and don’t have a LJ themselves, and I don’t think any of them enjoy replying as an “anonymous.”

– Two, I have been rather disgruntled by the change in management styles and the addition of advertisement across all of the pages, and while I completely and totally understand that this is a for-profit business and they can do whatever they want, that doesn’t mean that I have to support it with my money.

– Three, I’ve been paying for my own web domain for over 4 years now. I probably won’t ever finish my LOTR Inklings project, but the thought of giving it up breaks my heart. So this is a little bit of a compromise and allows me some relief of the guilt of money wasted.

– Four, WordPress has some nifty, nifty functions, like a picture gallery plugin that’s even prettier than Flickr and customizable sidebar widgets.

– Five, I don’t know if you all are aware, but there’s been some backlash and criticism to physician blogging, thanks to a couple of articles in the LA Times, the NY times, and JAMA. I’m such a lurker and rarely update my other medical blog, so I’m not showing up on anybody’s radar, but I like the idea of being able to more closely control who is seeing what I write. And while LJ has this great feature of being able to friendslock an entry, that doesn’t change problem #1. WP allows me to register readers.

– Six. I can’t recall what the sixth reason is. It probably doesn’t matter.

I’m not leaving LJ, no worries. All of my entries will be cross-posted to both, the entries here will just be much more censored and locked down. And I’ll still be active in reading my friends’ LJ, although comments are still expected to be sparse.

The problem with wordpress is that it is a blog. LJ is great because it’s a journal, my journal. I can write down everything, regardless if it has a purpose. But a blog conveys that posts have themes and reasons, and I’m not sure that I like that. I’ve tried writing a couple of pure medical blogs and failed miserably. We’ll see.

I might go camping tomorrow. Yay! That is, if I manage not to get called in for back-up call and I get out of clinic on time.

And I don’t want to go to clinic in the morning.

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16th July 2008

that was a first

Within a half hour, I was asked to dinner and threatened with a lawsuit ….by the same patient.

I talked him out of both.

*****
I haven’t received any of my mail since I got back from vacation and was getting really, really perturbed at the Post Office for stealing my mail.

Until I checked the hold notice, and noted the delivery date is July 21st. It’s not as fun getting pissed off at yourself. *sigh*

*****
I have the morning off tomorrow (this clinic life is so sweet. Well, except yesterday when I was there until aft 7:30 doing notes. Then it was not so sweet). I’m planning on celebrating by sleeping in and making myself breakfast.

*****
And, finally, PSA:

Do yourself a favor, click on the picture and enjoy the awesomeness that is Dr. Horrible, Joss Whedon’s mad scientist creation. I finally got to see it (the site has been overloaded for days) and it’s amazing and the most entertaining half hour that I’ve had in a long time. The last episode will be posted on Saturday, and then it’ll come down on Sunday, so you’d better act quickly!

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1st January 2007

Year end, year begins… reflections

The year of 2006 is now dead, settled into his grave, as the New Year now takes over reign. But, as is my nature, I could hardly let him go without a eulogy.

Highlights, month by month (with pictures! Lots and lots and lots of pictures)

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20th September 2006

loverly life

I think only doing one post a month like my last would be a good idea. That was hard work! But I am trying to get more into the creative writing again, and one of the books that I was reading suggested making your journal entries into stories. And I’m always amazed at the bloggers who manage to do just that (check out Barbados Butterfly, a surgical registrar from Australia as she tells the story of her early days in the residency. I wish I could write like that.)

My vacation has been wonderful so far. Alas, I am already halfway through my 9 days off, and I hate seeing the moments of time creep away. My best friend, Susan and her husband came and visited me over the weekend and we had so much fun. I showed off my little city, which they liked far more than Chicago (score for me!), and promised to come back and visit soon. We visited a bakery, which promised an elaborate tour and consisted of standing outside of a window, while a woman described what went on inside. It lasted 5 minutes. We also visited the Jelly Belly factory, which turned out to not so much be a factory, but a warehouse. The tour consisted of riding a train around the perimeter of the warehouse and watching a video. Even the promised giant jelly belly beans and the animated dancing jelly belly were less than advertised, and by that point, I was willing to accept mediocrity. But I did walk out with pounds of Jelly Flops, which made it all worth it.

It was wonderful being around Susan again. Since she moved to Illinois, our visits have been much more infrequent, and I have feared that the distance and time would have weakened our friendship (I keep meaning to do a longer post about me and my history to illuminate some of the reasons for my insecurities. Maybe that will become my next journal entry essay), but that hasn’t been the case. We manage to pick up right where we left off. We’ve both changed in the years–I’ve known her for nine years now, but we’re still as close. And it’s taken a few years, but her husband and I are pretty good friends now, too. 🙂

I’ve missed her a lot today.

Today, I just lounged. I need to do laundry and dishes now and actually pack. Bah.

Tomorrow, I’m headed to Pennsylvania for the wedding of another best friend, Sam. I actually get to play bridesmaid–all of my other friends have married sans bridesmaids. *pout* I’m so excited. (The dress, btw, came back from the tailor. While it still isn’t perfect, it at least fits (mostly). Now to get the shawl to behave!) Quite a few of my wonderful friends will be there, Brooke, Liz, Laura, and it promises to be just like old times, before the boyfriends and husbands and children. I can’t wait!

And Monday, bright and early, I’ll return to work. I’m excited to be back to the NICU for one last week, but I can’t say that I’ve missed it at all this week. Maybe if the vacation had been longer…

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13th May 2006

problems

Is anybody else having problems with their journal layout? I’ve lost all of my customizations and styles, and have for some reason reverted back to the plain blue generator style. If I have to go back and figure all of that junk out again, I will not be happy.

Bah, it looks so blah.

I really need to get to bed. My paper? Did not get done. Between the extra long therapy session, waiting 45 minutes to get photocopies of pictures for my graduation announcements, waiting another 45 minutes at the doctor’s office to get my PPD read (which of course, I could tell it was negative, but until I get those little initials behind my name in one week, I can’t actually CERTIFY that it was negative–which also means, btw, that I did NOT catch TB in Africa so yay for me!), and the last med school party ever, well… it didn’t get done. *sigh* Which means, I’m going to have an extremely busy day tomorrow.

The party was a good time. Every year, we do a spring BBQ (the meat is well done, so I don’t think it qualifies as a brai) in the park. Every year, there are more and more children running around, being passed around. Our class has been very prolific. It was smaller in attendance this year though, which saddened me a little. I did get a chance to look at the $100 yearbook, which looked very nice with its fuzzy red cover. My parents bought a little ad for me, saying how proud they were of me, which I had not expected. I was a cute kid. 🙂 There weren’t any group pictures of me. At all. I hadn’t realized that I was so asocial during med school. Or so left out.

We’re stopping with that line of thought. It’s just depressing me.

One nice story… one of my classmates was asking about my surgery and mentioned that she almost came in on the case… and then continued to say that she had worked with my surgeon on some orthopedic cases and he had talked about me and “thought the world of [me]”. As I think the same of him, and have strived very hard to impress him and as he was half of the motivation of why I decided to become a physician, it was definitely one of the best compliments I’ve ever received. *hugs my doc*

And I’m out.

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18th August 2005

Flip the coin

Heads you lose. Tails they win.

I had a mini-breakdown today.

Not a major one–there were only a few tears and just a little bit of alkalosis lightheadedness from hyperventilating–nothing that a bowl of ice cream and a evening spent with my favorite doctor, Hawkeye Pierce, couldn’t fix, but it’s the sign of “things to come.”

And all because I have no idea what I’m doing with my life–and this feeling of dread that I’m messing everything up.

I went to the school today–to change my schedule so that I’m doing my Sub-intership in Internal medicine in October, instead of January like I had originally planned, and to talk to the neurology coordinator so that I could figure out what exactly I’m doing for my rotation in 10 days.

I got my schedule fixed–but to change it like I did meant that I’d be doing my rotation at a different hospital than where I had hoped–which means the letters of recommendation that I could get won’t be as good because they don’t have the necessary “prestige” and name recognition.

The neurology person wasn’t there, so before heading out, I went to our student lounge to check mail and email. A notice in my inbox informed that my registration had been processed and I was now $100 cheaper and able to complete the Neurology match.

I’m not even sure if I want to Neurology anymore. And I don’t know why. I don’t know if it is fears that are choking me, because four months ago, I couldn’t see myself doing anything else. It could be the acrid “great enthusiasm, worked on weekends, interested in the field” evaluation that I got from my attending professor–the same attending that I am to meekly beg for a letter of recommendation. Or the fact that while everybody I worked with in internal medicine are turning circles around me, trying to convince me that that is the field I want to be in, I’ve just received indifference from the neuro folks. “Oh you like neurology. Oh, that’s interesting.” Or have I just forgotten how much neuro fit me–how much it excited me, because it’s been almost a year since I did the rotation.

I liked my internal med rotations a lot. At first, I blamed that on my extremely cute doctor (who is still very cute and apparently still single. So why do I feel like a junior high student with a crush on her teacher??), but the second time around that was not the case, and I still liked it. But do I like it as a career? Or am I considering it because getting letters of recommendation won’t be quite as painful from them.

I hate waffling. I hate this sick feeling in my gut that tells me that time is running out and the decision needs to be made. If I just flipped the coin, would I feel better?

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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 […]