Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Things That Make Me Sad

Thunder and rain this afternoon, some study-break venting.

Turmoil at End of Path From Bed-Stuy to Harvard
Chanequa Campbell is an honor student at Harvard, and unapologetically Bed-Stuy. Some black men are suspected in a fatal shooting in a Harvard dorm. Chanequa is black. Now Harvard won't grant her her degree. SWB? Studying While Black?

Abortion Doctor Shot to Death in Kansas Church

Everyone knows about this one, but I am so sad I had to make sure it got an historical tic mark in my blog. George Tiller had already been shot in 1993, yet he kept practicing. So brave. Our mandate to provide women with their basic human right to health care should not endanger our own lives.

Sitting at my desk, antsy and distractable, these two can remind me to keep working. There are others out there tackling much harder work. And there is much work to be done.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Three Reasons Why It's Awesome to Be Me Right Now and One Little One Why It's Not

1) I'm typing this while sitting in the sun in my family's backyard.

2) I stole, er, borrowed John's iPod while he's out of town. At first I was deleriously happy to dig into his collection, but I soon realized that with that much music, I had to have a strategy, the way a world championship hot dog eater approaches a stack of hot dogs. I've set a goal: I'm making my way through the S's.

3) I've asked the school for extra time to study for Step 1. This means that I will start rotations a month or two later, but it also means that I will preserve my mental health. And I will learn the information instead of just cramming into my short-term memory. And I can spend some time with the friends and family who have supported me for these crazy three years.

Just one little downer: I'm missing John, who's in New York with our friends for NYC Popfest. I'm sending energy his way to buy some irresistable DIY indie pop merchandise. Girls love that stuff, I'm no exception.

All of this daydreaming about a silkscreened owl tote bag made me miss an obvious developing sunburn.

Time for a siesta!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Day Nine

Experimenting with circadian rhythms. Got up at 6 am, having my most productive day so far. Forgave myself for not studying in the afternoon, which is a deep energy trough. Think, siesta. It exists for a reason. Still made it to Trader Joe's to stock up on brain food. (I'm eating my way through their granola selection, so I hope my brain likes granola and greek yogurt.) Daydreaming about dinner while I wait for my 6 pm second wind. Followed by my 8 pm reading in bed and my 9 pm bedtime. Yum.

I've just canceled my trip to New York, leaving John to travel by himself. I wanted the vacation and I wanted to support my friends, but studying just isn't going as smoothly as anticipated. Much bumpier, actually. I'm trying to help John rearrange his plans, and it's depressing. I'll miss him, and there's something sad about traveling while missing someone else.

(Photos: reading material and a new owl in the family.)

Friday, May 01, 2009

Ride safe, everyone

John and our friend Brian got doored on Wednesday morning.

For you non-cyclists, "dooring" is the act of opening your car door into the path of an oncoming bicycle, moped, pedestrian, emu. Getting "doored" is running into said door.

John escaped with some scrapes and bruises; Brian went to the UCLA emergency room with a broken thumb and a broken collarbone. After Brian got discharged, we all went to eat at Santa Monica Seafood and sat there, slurping on our clam chowder, feeling lucky.

I'll probably be complaining less about studying for a while. I hope.

This hour is colored pink on my daily schedule ... for relaxing. So I'm cooking some rice and waiting for John to come home for some late-night at-home sashimi.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Day Two

Day One sucked. Insomnia. QBank is buggy. Do I have swine flu? Flashcards take a really long time to make. John points out that the test is named after me: US - M - L - E. Ha ha get it? Okay, that didn't suck so much. That was maybe sort of kind of cute. Basil plant holding up well.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


It's Sunday and I'm home from a bike ride, stuffed fulled of Lebanese food and two scoops of Scoops ice cream. I've officially finished the second year of medical school, and tomorrow I start studying for Step 1.

Yes! I said it! I am finished! I may be firing up the coffee pot in less than 12 hours and hitting the books again, but that doesn't make me any less ecstatic.

I mean it when I say I couldn't have done it without family, friends, and John (my rock). Taking them for granted is a terrible by-product of the tunnel vision of medical school, but they all had the infinite patience to stand by me. They are amazing human beings.

Time to put my feet up and read The New Yorker.

PS - Happy birthday, Kat!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Breathe in that desert air.

I went to Joshua Tree last weekend for a friend's wedding. I left the travel plans to someone else, and it was great to be able to pack a bag, hop into the car, and head out on a road trip. First stop, donuts.

We stayed at the Joshua Tree Inn, where rock star Gram Parsons died in Room 8 in 1973. We were in Room 4, and I sadly report no paranormal experiences, although my friends snarked that John's snoring was otherworldly.

Before we headed out to the national park, we stopped by the Integratron in Landers for a Sunday morning sound bath. The Integratron is an all-wood dome with excellent aucoustic properties. (The architect cited extraterrestrials as consultants on the building design.) The sound bath is a half-hour meditation with tones played on crystal bowls that reverberate throughout the building. The woman who played the bowls described the experience as feeling the sound "flossing your brain."

The rest of the trip we spent in the part making frequent stops for large rocks and freaky-looking plants. My favorite was the ocotillo. It blooms with orange flowers at its tips.

We wrapped up the trip with a visit to Zelo in Arcadia for corn, red onion, and balsamic vinegar pizza.

Thursday, April 02, 2009


So it turns out that all this sitting at my desk not blogging was slowly, mercilessly tightening my psoas muscles and curling my spine up like a Frito (food snobs, you know what those are.) My friend and massage therapist did some incredible work on me yesterday and now I'm about two inches taller and strangely thinner around the middle. It's so nice to stand up straight again and to not be in pain. I'm proud of myself for going and getting it checked out instead of my usual course of action - whining, taking pain meds, letting it generally deteriorate for another few months.

I'm going out tonight to show off my excellent posture and to see The Tartans play. They're my friends and neighbors, and I have been telling them forever that I will learn to play the trumpet for some of their songs. That may not ever happen, but we are going with them to NYC Popfest in May. Groupies!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Eww. Gross.

I am so relieved to see that the Word of the Day changed. (Yes, it's called RSS.) There is this cowboy phase in the beginning of medical school where it is cool to pretend that nothing is yucky or freaks you out. I have once again become comfortable with my squeamishness. Yesterday the WotD made my stomach feel funny. Like thinking about s-q-u-i-d.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Uh-oh. Moblog.

I just learned that you can update your blog from your phone. You could do this two years ago, according to the date on the Palm blog archive, but I still had things like a land line back then. Also, I'm doing this in my kitchen, when I could be on the computer in the next room over. I'm just curious if this will do anything to my inconsistent blogging problem.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Spring cleaning

I'm not even going to make excuses this time. I am an inconsistent blogger. I should actually change the title of my blog.

I. am. so. close. to being done with classes. I look both ways when I cross the street. Twice. In the crosswalk. Only when the little green person is on. I eat my steaks well-done. I use lots of hand sanitizer.

June 11th - USMLE Step 1, the boards, The Big Test.

July 6th - First day of surgery rotation.

I've reached a new equilibrium. I am accepting the ups and downs. I lost my phone and someone stole the registration tags off of my car. I discovered that you can get ultra-fine point Sharpies in 24 different colors.

Last week I cried in the parking garage. I could feel the weight of the building, the physical plant of the medical school that had taken a part of me over the last three years. The next day I was euphorically munching on a new recipe for rosemary french fries around a table with friends. (Wait a minute guys, was that really rosemary?)

My back hurts. John is loaning me his Aeron chair. It is yummy.

Lately I find myself surrounded by people having babies and raising kids. They are doing pretty much the most amazing job on earth. Period.

I am not going to kill this basil plant on my desk.