Tuesday, December 20, 2005


I present to you a couple of unabashed activist plugs.

This one lifted from rosie's blog:
“Jack Cafferty: Who cares if the Patriot Act get’s renewed. Want to abuse our civil liberties-Just do it! Who cares about the Geneva conventions? Want to torture prisoners-Just do it! Who cares about rules concerning the identity of CIA gents. Want to reveal the name of a covert operative? Just do it!

Who cares about whether the intelligence concerning WMD’s is accurate. You want to invade Iraq? Just do it. Who cares about qualifications to serve on the nation’s highest court. Want to nominate a personal friend with no qualifications? Just do it.

And the latest outrage, which I read about in “The New York Times” this morning, who cares about needing a court order to eavesdrop on American citizens. Want to wiretap their phones conversations? Just do it….
What a joke. A very cruel, very sad joke.”]

And another from a fellow Methodist's e-mail.


I write to you during this holiday season to ask you to sign on to a "statement of conscience" against the war in Iraq signed by 96 United Methodist bishops. More than 2800 people have joined the bishops in this statement. My hope is we can garner at least 10,000 signatures and carry this statement to the President and the Congress. Many of you have your own mailing lists. Please ask your friends and contacts to sign on to the statement. One need not be United Methodist to support the bishops' statement against the war! The link to the statement is www.umc-gbcs.org/nowar.
Thank you for your help.
Happy Holidays,

Jim Winkler
General Secretary
General Board of Church and Society
of the United Methodist Church
100 Maryland Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20002
(w:) 202-488-5620
(f:) 202-488-5699

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


I'm planning a trip for March to Disney World. That's right, the most magical place on earth. I have been wanting to take Erica there as long as I've known her. I think maybe we'll just go. Carpe.

Anyone know any Orlando area wedding planners???


My case file is expanding rapidly. How cool to know that I have digital images from my first year of residency that I can keep forever. They end up in my e-mail, on the computer, online at Yahoo photos, and on my new thumb drive. Now if I could just synchronize all of the above...

What does this coronal CT image of the abdomen show?
A. Appendicitis
B. Bowel ischemia
C. Bowel obstruction
D. This isn't a coronal image; it's sagittal

Three cheers for the first right answer.


My month on interventional (angio) is coming to an end. This is a very bad and very good thing. I am loving angio and will consider it as a career possibility - if I can get through the year-long fellowship of late days. It comes with all the fun, thrill, satisfaction of a surgical subspecialty. Only with fewer complications, shorter procedure times, and MUCH shorter incisions! Unfortunately, it also implies that some people will get sick because of you - and you have to be called to fix things. In addition to wearing lead aprons and standing on your own two feet for hours on end.

Sigh. Decisions. Maybe Erica was right all along - peds interventional is the way to go for me. I honestly can't imagine a more rewarding career. Awesome.

Minneapolis has been our most recent fantasy location. Midwest city, plenty big, not too big, lots of job opportunities, good reimburesment, good schools, culture, etc. Actually, this town has Everything with a capital E. What's the rub? Obvious - the weather. Four seasons sounds nice, but it's that stupid winter part. I've been asking Meredith about what's involved in plowing snow. At Sewanee, Erica Brooke used to show me up as a super-talented windshield scraper diva. I'm lost when it comes to real winters. Alas, all these have seemed inconsequential as I have become more and more excited about the impending move (3 1/2 yrs from now) to Minnesota.

No peds fellowship in that whole state. Can you believe it? If we end up there, it'll be after I get peds trained somewhere else. Not the end of the world, but I had it all planned..... I am so ADD when it comes to future plans. Hopefully this one will become less desirable with time, because I have REALLY been focused on Minneapolis.

What else has been going on... got the Christmas tree up, preliminary shopping done. I went to a Sierra Club meeting last week and made some good contacts. The usual call routine, church on the weekend, hanging out with friends Sunday night for cookie party.

We're planning on Beauty and the Beast at the Rep for the 30th and the Peabody New Year's Eve Party the 31st. I'll be on call the 1st, so must watch my champagne intake. Or not.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005


It was an awesome Thanksgiving. I had call last Tuesday night, which meant post-call Wednesday (day off)! Which also meant, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun off. I hate to gloat but it was AWESOME and much-needed and (I think) deserved.

Poor Erica is paying back all that time off in October. Working hard and long is an understatement. Two months in a row that end in ICU (NICU, then PICU). Yuck. Sick babies.

So we went to Conway to cousin Erin's house last Wednesday. It was so warm and inviting; I love my family time so much. They are all wonderful and lovable and fun. Thursday, all the events were at my mom's. E's cousin Clare spent the night then woke up while I was baking our famous old-family recipe for Tea Cakes. Gotta love the KitchenAid mixer (thanks, Margie). The new idea at my mom's was that the "next generation" will be taking over all cooking and prep. responsibilities for Thanksgiving in 5 years. I don't think that's enough time, but we're learning! We also planned NOT to give Christmas gifts - just one large donation. This year, it will be to the Heifer Project. Each year may be something different. I think that's a great idea and will be glad not to buy needless gifts - all while helping somebody else out. We also stopped by the Joheim's as they were about to eat. Then spent the late evening at my mom's with Erin.

Friday, E had to work (surprise). I took off for Heber Springs to spend the morning and early afternoon with Becky, Mimi, Robyn, and Forrest & Marianne(sp?). It was also much-appreciated family time. Without the kids there and the whole big family group, I got to spend even better QT with them. We went to Conway to shop a little afterwards. Then I got to see Erin AGAIN to drop off my iPod. How cool!

There is no way I could ever give enough thanks. Ever.

I'm not sure what we did the rest of the weekend. I'm sure it was important. Ha.

I have become vegetarian. This is sort of a shock to me as well as you! I just decided I don't want to put unnecessary meats into my body, so I'm not. It has been totally easy. Except for on call at stupid UAMS. Very few options. They don't even have a vegetarian soup. Whatever. I think I have always wanted to be meat-free but doubted that I could do it. As Erica and I establish an evermore earthy-crunchy lifestyle, it totally makes sense. There are very few items in the pantry and fridge that didn't come from the organic store. Heck, I even have soy milk in my fridge right now. What once would have been a total out-of-body experience is now the norm for me, and I FEEL BETTER!! At least from the clavicles up.

I have had fish several times in this two-week period, and some chicken soup that my mom made. But no turkey. That reminds me what we did Saturday - cook with the Joheims for Interfaith Hospitality Network. It's a nationwide program that now has a LR branch. Our church is responsible for a week at a time, hosting guests in the network. Then they go to another church. We provide meals and a place to stay - the program provides job training and searching. It was an interesting experience to say the least. Some of the people were awesome and grateful, others not so much. But I'm glad we helped out. I ate the meat sauce on the spaghetti because I thought it was socially required. Or at least obligatory. Erica wants me to be a "flexible vegetarian." I think that's what she means.

I'll include a few holiday pictures. I MUST stop now and tackle the pile on my desk. Ohh, and let me know if you read the Sewanee article in the NY Times today. I'm pissed off to tell you the truth. Another post for another day.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Forget everything you heard about the third time being the "charm." Our third attempt yielded a no-go on the pregnancy. We'll take a month off and take a prescription for Clomid, thank you very much. Another holiday season as a two-person family. And one dog.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


I have seen this word, "debacle," all over popular media lately. First, Jim used it on Martha's Apprentice. Then I used it (flagrant copyright violation) the next day. I have since read it on at least THREE blogs and in the Arkansas Times. And somewhere else that I'm forgetting. What is so popular about this word? Ever notice how you hear a word once, and then it's like an everyday occurence??

This is one of many words that I was reading before I ever heard it pronounced. There have been lots of those over the years, because I was a nerdy kid who read my way through life. Well, not entirely, but you get the gist. When I think of more of these words, I'll post them. I pronounced "debacle" incorrectly in my head for a long time. I emphasized the first syllable rather than the second. Funny how you one day realize how things are supposed to sound.

This has been a long entry about words. I like words, I like etymology, and for some reaon I have a delusion that my faithful readers give a damn!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


I've taken some heat as of late for not blogging often enough. Well, well, well. I am flattered. Here I am on an easy rotation with time to do computer chores and stay up to date. And what did I do? Wait like 48 hours between posts, and the world comes to an end.

So the heat I'm feeling is NOT from the weather. This morning's low was near freezing. Yesterday's high was 72; today's is 52. Quite a difference. I thought all day yesterday about bundling up for the morning run, and what did I do? Stayed in bed for "one more minute" after the 5:14 second snooze went off. I ran yesterday after a two-week hiatus. What am I thinking? I have to remind myself that I ENJOY running. It is like such a chore lately that I've totally neglected my runs. Sometimes when you're a resident, life happens. Life just happens. Erica and I have been so overwhelmed. It's like everything is great one minute, yuck the next. And plenty to be done.

Happy birthday to my dad. Today is # 52. Don't tell him I posted that.

We went to the Sierra Club's screening of "Wal-Mart: The Hight Cost of Low Price" last night. Go to www.walmartwatch.com and www.walmartmovie.com (my link function is not working). If you haven't seen the film, you need to. I think it's a vital requirement in our society and state of AR. The blatant corruption, abuse, and irresponsibility of the mega-corporation had me unwittingly dropping my jaw intermittently for the entire 97-minute film. I am cutting up my Sam's card and never looking back. Forget bargain detergent and dog bones. We'll just have to get by without. And if Katy Bartlett reads my blog, I apologize in advance. I sure don't want to lose a best friend over her husband's job. I'm sure there's another side to the story (I hope).

Quapaw Quarter is hosting a showing of the film on Friday night. Unfortunately (not really), we'll be at the opening night of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Tickets already bought on-line. Hooray (my favorite written word for expression of excitement)! This weekend isn't getting here fast enough. Is it just me?

I have been a dutiful radiologic physics student as of late. I'm so proud of myself for taking (a very little) time to get started for the first set of boards next September. We radiologists apparently need to know every intricate detail of how these crazy images are produced. For some reason, this takes a year's preparation with afternoon lectures and study guides. Yuck. Do they think I really care about compton scatter, coulombs, and the modulation transfer function???

Only a few more days until our third two-week wait is over. Fingers crossed.

Friday, November 11, 2005



[What We Throw Away
In just one year, Americans generate 236 million tons of garbage. While about 30 percent of it gets recycled or composted, 164 million tons are tossed away, including:

26,800,000 tons of food
8,550,000 tons of furniture and furnishings
6,330,000 tons of clothing and footwear
5,190,000 tons of glass beer and soda bottles
4,200,000 tons of plastic wrap and bags
3,650,000 tons of junk mail
3,470,000 tons of diapers
3,160,000 tons of office paper
3,070,000 tons of tires
2,820,000 tons of carpets and rugs
2,230,000 tons of newspapers
2,060,000 tons of appliances
1,520,000 tons of magazines
1,170,000 tons of wine and liquor bottles
970,000 tons of paper plates and cups
840,000 tons of books
830,000 tons of beer and soda cans
780,000 tons of towels, sheets, and pillowcases
540,000 tons of telephone directories
450,000 tons of milk cartons
160,000 tons of lead-acid (car) batteries]

From the Sierra Club website: www.sierraclub.org

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Celeb Watch

Kenny Chesney: When are you going to come out of the closet? Is is just me?

Melissa: When are you going to come to Little Rock? I love your new iTunes Originals, likely because it gives us commoners a chance to get into your head. We love intimate details. Keep 'em coming.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Sometimes when you're a resident, you have french fries for dinner. With salt and ketchup. And sometimes your dog gets to eat one too.

Right idea

We'll take these points into consideration:
A) I'm not running for President.
B) I'm not saying I could do the job much better (that's why I'm a doctor).
C) Maybe I just enjoy bashing other people.

Regardless, he's pretty much useless. Worse than that - he's taken us backward 100 years and is malignant in the process. Would that he were "only" ineffective. If he would just stay in his room all day and shut up....

Sunday, November 06, 2005


I wish I were in New York today for the ING New York City Marathon. Can you imagine how awesome that would be: 37,000 participants and over 2 million spectators. That's a lot of energy for one island. Here's a photo from the 1972 race, in which the six women participants protested a separate women's starting line. They refused to take the 10-minute "advantage" and sat on the start line for the 10-minute stretch. How cool. Less applicable now, when the women love having a separate start - more publicity, more of their "own" race, more room to run like superstars. Also pics of last year's champ, Paula Radcliffe. Perfection.

Friday, November 04, 2005




I am sick, and my voice sounds like a Frog. A big ugly toad frog.

A few websites I have been led to recently:

I think Scientology is hilarious. I'm glad they came up with it, if only for the entertainment value sorely needed for the rest of us in the world. The more I read about it, the more I laugh out loud and think Tom Cruise is pathetic. Just like Rosie, my former crush on him has waned.

Last weekend was packed. We had that Halloween party at our house for the peds people. I did med school interviews on Saturday AM, then we spent most of the day at the Joheim's for Sydney's birthday party. It was of course a blast. Erica and I had to leave to go to a retirement fancy party on top of the Peabody Hotel for Dr. Kelsey Caplinger, one of her dad's partners. Dory became queen of the hill at the birthday party, as all the wimpy dogs shied away and ran home with their tails between their legs. Ha. Sunday morning, we had Sunday school and church, potluck, and naps. Erica and I used our season tickets for the Rep's last night production of Of Mice and Men. It was very powerful and well-acted. I'm glad we got to go.

This has been another boring nuclear (unclear) medicine week. I was post-call Tuesday and had a seminar Thursday, so at least I had some time off! I'm on call again tomorrow, which marks my fourth Saturday call. I think I only have 8 or 9 the whole year, so it's great to knock another one down. I've been reading and studying this week, which makes me feel better. I also had a ministries meeting at church, which was productive and gave me a feel for a lot of the planning and ideas for Advent and Christmas.

I have worn a sweater two days in a row. Hooray for our much-needed fall. Now that Erica is in the NICU and next month in the PICU, it was good timing to start our yearly seasonal affective disorder with the changing of the clocks. Yuck. Time marches on.

Thursday, October 27, 2005


More pics have been uploaded, including the fair. It was a really depressing day - there was only one little kid there to represent the whole state. Oh well, we took lots of pictures - exclusively of her. It was sad to see such a cute kid without parents or family there... strange. (Just making the point that no pictures included anyone other than sweet Sydney!)

New Hero

Martha rocks. I want to be Martha and have all her money. The truth hurts.

Another negative

My life revolves in two-week increments now. The most recent: the waiting game, in which time stands still, Erica stays away from alcohol and heavy lifting, and the "maybe" and "what if" linger over everything we do. This is the more exciting of the two.

Now we've started another fourteen-day session: the preparing again game, in which we encourage and rationalize and plan and order another shipment.

We are famous! The Arkansas public radio did a spot about fertility at UAMS. Or the lack thereof, to be more precise. I ramble on in my fifteen seconds of fame. People are hearing it and mentioning it to me - I've had positive reactions for standing up for our fertility rights. It's not a fair policy.

The Braswell family has been busy! My dad got married last weekend (I'm sorry, but that is weird). Lots of family to see. Our house is redecorated and looks awesome. (Everyone is invited to come see at any time.) Dory and I are running in the cold weather mornings. Erica is loving her primary care month and wants to go into private practice (rock on). Church activities are filling our time, including the media team, Sunday School, and homeless outreach. I'm now on nuclear medicine and enjoying a little more laid-back atmosphere. Call is call.

Halloween is coming - party at our house tomorrow night if you want to decorate cookies.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


Notice how PACKED the stands are! Erica was somewhat disappointed by the football game. I was excited to see the sparse crowd - Sewanee is about studying and socializing - not a lot of extra time for gladiatorial pursuits.

This is my best college buddy, Erica Jensen, and her boyfriend Brendan. Just for those who didn't already know.

Monday, October 17, 2005


I've finally uploaded a lot of pictures from the camera - a LOT. There are still more to come from recent events, but Sewanee, some Sydney, some Japhy, and some Dory are all there. Kind of a clean-up night at our house. I like Monday nights when we regroup and get a lot done. Almost makes it worthwhile to have a Monday.

We went to the State Fair yesterday. I figured that it had been 12 years since I had been to that event. It was fun, though, because we got to experience it via the mind of a soon-to-be 3 y/o. Priceless. Pics to come (I promise).

Call on Saturday was awful, but I'm glad it is over. I had to rat out TWO of my colleagues today, which was extremely stressful. One for not answering pages, which I keep hearing about from other residents. The other for jacking around on call and not getting his work done. Neither of these was my initiative, but I answered the chief resident truthfully - and I didn't have very many pretty things to say.

Quiet night at home with the girls. Ahhh, heaven.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Class Pic

One when you start, one when you finish.



Well, we have arrived in Sewanee. It is soooo foggy. Perfectly damp, cold day. We are roughing it at my former crew coach's house. He and his wife live in Chattanooga but remain faithful to Sewanee by living here when they can and renting rooms when they can't. It's a sort of bed-and-breakfast, more bed than breakfast. Built in 1872, it has sloping wood floors and musty old rugs. The windows are open all the time, and ceiling fans were twirling when we got there. Door stays unlocked.

The "apartment" where we are staying is kind of attached to the back of the house. It has a mini-kitchen in which we have set up our camping out air mattress. And it has a separate bathroom. It's not high on amenities. Very Sewanee. Very where the sidewalk ends.

We spent > $200 at the bookstore yesterday. It was time to stock up on essentials.

Erica Jensen gets into the Nashville airport around 2pm. We're resting up for her arrival and the jam-packed schedule that is planned for the rest of the weekend. I'll need a vacation when we get back to LR! This is so exciting to me. I can't believe that it's been 5 1/2 years since this was my home!! Four years was gone in a flash. I miss it so much and am so grateful that I was allowed to dwell here for a short time. This place made me who I am. I love it for its bad weather, slow pace, non-air-conditioned dorms, and all-night study sessions.

Monday, October 03, 2005


Almost time for the big trip to Sewanee. I am so flippin' excited. Call tonight has been busy - a great kind of busy that flies by. And no more call until after the trip, so no worries.

There is a list on MSN of "Music to Tip Cows To." This soooo reminds me of visiting the cows and "cowlets" in Cowan, TN. So many awesome Sewanee memories!! This particular one involved Paprika Papaya the Probe. I'll probably never name a car again, but that one deserved it. Weird inside joke.

It was fun to run across cow tipping music just when I am flooded with Sewanee memories. My other most recent thoughts have involved: What events will we attend? Who will we see? Will we get any sleep? Has the food changed? Will the band(s) totally rock or totally suck? WHAT KINDS OF ALCOHOL WILL WE DRINK?? We always went all out at the Depot for Homecoming. Sara and I loved Jim Beam and Mr. Pibb for party weekends. I'm thinking lots of Southpaw will do the trick.

Ahhh, heaven.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Not this time.

Negative. Try again next month. Thanks for all your questions and anticipation!

Thursday, September 22, 2005


New softball league, folks. That's right, summer league in LR just wasn't enough for me. Some of the same girls are on a co-ed team at Burns Park and have graciously asked me to come along. After a win last week, we lost two tonight. There have been a few more than those, but because residency drains the life out of a life I've missed them.

I nailed the ball tonight. Only one came to me in right field and sailed over my head. Guys hit a LOT different than girls. Even the big girls we sometimes play.

I can't keep my head above water at work. There is always more to do. You're busy, then you have to be on call. Then you rest, then you're behind again. Repeat steps.

Oh well. Residency is not forever.

Erica and I have had a wonderful couple of months. We love to spend time together and connect. We've really done well considering the upheaval in schedules. She is everything I could wish for. We may be pregnant.... Only a few more days to find out. I am freaking out trying to wait patiently. And I'm not going to dwell on it, but I only wish her family would get a clue and get excited. Or at least nice. Oh well, it can't all be good.

We've had lots of good friend time lately. Big wedding last weekend, got to see the old school crowd. Lots of time recently with Jess and Mere and Sydney. Katy Bartlett in town yesterday, and we went to dinner.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


Maybe it is working. Hooray! (That's my favorite typed expression of excitement). That is a picture of E at Hot as Hell. I love it! And I love the ladders in the backgound.

Oh goody - I have lots of pictures to show from recent events.


Trying still to import pictures. It is just not working!!

Saturday, September 10, 2005


E broke her finger on Saturday night. Actually, I broke it throwing the football. I throw like a girl. A ball-player tomboy girl.

Then Sara broke her foot on Monday. Dory ran into her, she softened the blow by rolling on her ankle. Smash.

Both are recovering well, non-surgical, non-casted. Under the radar.

We have a broken city at the end of the Mississippi. And a broken emergency response system. I am such a conspiracy theorist that I go along with what Rosie says about this mess. What a cluster. And no, we can't blame it all on the magnitude of the storm. This is America. We can do better. Bottom line is that we must demand better and keep demanding.

Hanging in there until January 2009.

Saturday, September 03, 2005


We are sitting outside on Saturday night with Audra, Kelly, Tonya, and Tonya's friend Tim. What a freak of nature: at the same time that I am getting CHEWED up by mosquitos, we are sitting outside enjoying the weekend with wireless link to the world. I'm ITCHING! My feet are covered with bites. And the world is updated. The peds residents are going off about jeopardy call/backup call for when you're puking you're guts out and need someone to cover for you. There has been some abuse of the system.

I am just hanging out. We had an awesome morning and snuggled at home in bed. Then to my mom's for hanging out and eating a piece of pound cake. We had gift certificates at Best Buy and Pier One so succumbed to Saturday afternoon consumerism.

Cookout for "all our friends" turned out to just be a small group. The turkey burgers were good, and spinach dip was even better. Audra likes the Mojitos. I like the rum and Cokes. Erica likes the plain old Coke since she's on backup.

Will update more soon. Call will suck tomorrow, but I'll get through.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Rainy Monday

I slept through the runner's alarm today. What a nice feeling. Dory was glad, too. There was just enough rain noise to fall asleep with - not too loud, not too soft. Hopefully, it will rain again tomorrow morning because I'll be post-call and can sleep for hours in my warm bed.

Hot as Hell rocked this weekend. We worked and then worked some more. My favorite job is going to the ice factory and buying 37 20-lb bags. Next year I'll remember to get 40-lb bags. The church made a lot of money. My dad and aunt both had pieces of art, and they sold well. Erica did a ton of preparation work on committees. Our house is glad it's over. We bought in the live auction a tour for 2 of the Clinton Library with Skip Rutherford. It includes lunch at the restaurant, Cafe 42. Not a bad deal - and that auction item was Erica's idea.

Church was good yesterday. Our Sunday School class has renamed itself the "Activisionaries." I have no idea who came up with that one - I wasn't there that week. Anyway, it is actually a good description. I have learned SO MUCH about how to be a socially, politically, and ecologically friendly person. We trade books and ideas all the time. We are VERY liberally minded in a social sense, and it is like sitting in a group of very well-educated, worldy, and fun granola hippies.

Got the yard mowed last night before the showers. The grass was jungle-like in stature. DEEP. I think it was the first time I mowed with my iPod clipped on and plugged in. I had a blast. My neighbors probably thought I was on cocaine. I was singing and probably looked like a fool. Those little headphones can handle a lot of guitar...

Thursday, August 25, 2005


So what I was going to say when MLS called: Two articles from NYT that got my attention yesterday. One was about "farm-to-cafeteria" programs that use local farmers to supply our schools. HOORAY! This is exactly what needs to be happening in the world and is good for ALL parties involved. Except for the huge distributors and their filthy 18-wheeler refrigerated trucks. No we'll have fresher foods, healthier kids, and profits and proceeds in the local economy and farmers' pockets. AND less CO2 in our air.

This reminded me of Sewanee:
["It's so important for this college to be part of the place," Dr. Nugent said over dinner on the eve of the second annual National Farm to Cafeteria Conference, which took place at Kenyon this summer. "We are perceived as an elite institution on the hill, surrounded by a rural community. We needed to come down off the hill and be good neighbors. We wanted to make a tangible commitment to the local economy."]

Another good quote:
["This is what we should be doing," he said. "The globalization of food, the hidden costs, the loss of nutrition: it's not healthy for the planet or for the human body."]

The other article (op-ed Maureen Dowd) was less uplifting, but I just have to harp on it a little.

First - the president's workaholic style:

[As The Financial Times noted, Mr. Bush is acting positively French in his love of le loafing, with 339 days at his ranch since he took office - nearly a year out of his five. Most Americans, on the other hand, take fewer vacations than anyone else in the developed world (even the Japanese), averaging only 13 to 16 days off a year.]

Later, she AGAIN proves to us why the war is a hoax:

[What twisted logic: with no W.M.D., no link to 9/11 and no democracy, now we have to keep killing people and have our kids killed because so many of our kids have been killed already? Talk about a vicious circle: the killing keeps justifying itself.]

And I just can't help myself with this one:

[Just because the final reason the president came up with for invading Iraq - to create a democracy with freedom of religion and minority rights - has been dashed, why stop relaxing? W. is determined to stay the course on bike trails all over the West.

This president has never had to pull all-nighters or work very hard, because Daddy's friends always gave him a boost when he flamed out. When was the last time Mr. Bush saw the clock strike midnight? At these prices, though, I guess he can't afford to burn the midnight oil.]

That hit close to home as I read it yesterday post-call.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Got a new lease on life today - the haircut. Chris Wright at High Maintenance is awesome. I just got back from there and am already singing his praises. I was stuck in a rut with former person. Never there when I needed her....

I am post-call. Spent the morning dictating head CT's and then sleeping at my dad's apt. [They've bought a house, so it won't be his for long.] Anyway, I was moonlighting for the first time. Premier MRI is downtown and needs a doc "on call" to cover contrast reactions. I didn't actually have to go today and earned $130. Not bad for sleeping. I guess that's a little perk for working 20 years in school, surviving intern year, and staying up all night every sixth night. I'll make more money at it if I actually have to go in.

On the phone with Melissa Shannon - I'll let you know a few hours from now.

Monday, August 22, 2005

The after-school line

Erica and I are carpooling. We have to make amends to Mother Earth for the decision to contribute to Urban Sprawl. So we share and get up early and wait on each other after work. I love it. It doesn't happen every day due to our ever-fluid schedules, but it is a real pleasure to be picked up at the front door of a hospital after a day of work, conferences, and studying.

I used to love when my mom would pick me up from school. A lot of days we would go to Claude's, which was England's local dairy bar. Imagine a low brown building, cinder-blocks up to about waist high, glass from there to the top. Lots of asphalt. We also called it Spradlin's because the whole clan worked there; Mr. Claude was the granddad. I've never in my life spent a dime there. We just charged it. Remember, I have been going to this same little place for over 20 years. My dad and aunt have been going there since they were in school. The waitress sometimes doesn't recognize me if it's been a few years. At noon, there are about 30 trucks there, some pulled under the orange and brown metal awning and some scattered about the parking lot, ditches, or adjacent side street.

If you haven't had a cheeseburger deluxe with "new" fries and a medium Dr. Pepper from Claude's, you haven't lived. I'm serious. They started calling seasoned fries "new" when I was in about the fourth grade, and they still know what you're talking about if you order them. I don't ever eat the chili dogs, but they continue to rotate in the little machine. And don't get me started about the milkshakes.

Some places are just magnetic centers for a social structure. In England, my world was either at school; across the street from there at the ball fields; at my grandparents' house; in the Methodist Church; across the street from there at my dad's office; or in the yards and trees of my neighborhood. I can't imagine a better childhood. I know this is totally sappy, but it's what I am thinking about while I wait on my ride. I wish mom would come pick me up and take me to Claude's. I guess I'll always wish for that.

Hmmm... News. Pretty average weekend, actually. We shopped and played on Saturday. I did the media presentation at church yesterday. There's a guy at church who is from Detroit originally. He is recently returned from the Peace Corps and just got a drivers' license Friday for the first time. I didn't realize how inexperienced he is but let him drive my car. He needed a ride home and to a hardware store to get a key made. I was amazingly calm, given the circumstances. I found out afterwards that he had only driven THREE times! What was I thinking - we went all over LR looking for a store that was open. I was helping him merge onto the interstate and telling him where to exit. I can't believe I agreed to it! No harm done.

Dory got to play with four other dogs at Betsy and Vic's house yesterday. We swam while they played. She slept like a rock last night, and I had to wake her up to go run this AM. She is the best dog EVER.

I've lost your attention for sure by now....

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


We got new phones today!! It is so sad that a material possession can make me this happy, but it does. Well, not really that sad. I LOVE getting a new phone. Especially since my old one was totally driving me crazy and I yelled obscenities at it on a DAILY basis. No exaggeration. It has a camera, so I'll be blogging pics from it.

Call on Sunday was pretty good for a call. It was steady the entire 24 hours, but much more manageable than the last time. It made me realize how badly we got SLAMMED the Saturday before.

I switched to fluoroscopy today and will be there 2 weeks. Basically, it's barium enemas, upper GI/swallow studies, and small bowel follow-throughs. With an occasional IVP or arthrogram. Much more laid back. Today I was through by lunch! Erica is off today, so we went to Burge's for sandwiches. I had conference at one, then out to Cingular for the big purchase. Now I'm headed to journal club - woohoo.

Does it seem to anyone else that mostly I am talking about WORK? Because it seems that way to me. Not much else happens anymore! No, actually, life is good. I've gotten to see several friends lately and have had good social time. The house is clean, yard mowed, laundry done, bills paid. All of which I was concerned would fall by the wayside once my residency kicked into gear.

I'm really leaning toward doing a fellowship in peds radiology. Did I already mention that? A peds advisor was chosen for me (Dr. James), and I hope to be working on some research soon. Erica and I want to move somewhere to do our fellowships, so that's exciting. Only 4 short years!

We are planning our Hot as Hell Fiesta for church. If you're in the area, you should come. It is a ton of fun, and the silent auction is full of stuff you NEED to buy!

Well, the cat's about to be out of the bag: we're in the midst of picking out donors. Hopefully someday soon, we'll be parents-to-be. Thanks to all of you who have been so supportive and wonderful and excited with us. It's officially the beginning of our journey! I wonder if I'll qualify for paternity leave...

Saturday, August 13, 2005


It's been a while yet again. I'm assuming you're getting used to the delays. So it's Saturday and I am home alone. I slept until 10. What a relief! Dory and I are hanging out, slowly crossing things off the list, and enjoying the coffee. I had an e-mail from my friend Melissa Mann that has sat in my inbox (unread) for a couple of weeks. It is by Katha Pollitt, published in the Nation. The premise is that some prochoicers think it would be okay to "let Roe go" in an effort to bring it to the states and energize the people. Whatever! Here's the last paragraph:

"Legislative control might be more "democratic"--if you believe that a state senator balancing women's health against a highway for his district represents democracy. But would it be fair? The whole point about constitutional protection for rights is to guarantee them when they are unpopular--to shield them from majority prejudice, opportunistic politicians, the passions and pressures of the moment. Freedom of speech, assembly, worship and so on belong to us as individuals; our neighbors, our families and our legislators don't get to vote on how we use these rights or whether we should have them in the first place. Alabamans may be largely antichoice, but what about the ones who aren't? Or the ones who are but even so don't want to die in childbirth, bear a hopelessly damaged baby or drop out of school at 15--or 25? If Roe goes, whoever has political power will determine the most basic, intimate, life-changing and life-threatening decision women--and only women--confront. We will have a country in which the same legislature that can't prevent some clod from burning a flag will be able to force a woman to bear a child under whatever circumstances it sees fit. It is hard to imagine how that woman would be a free or equal citizen of our constitutional republic."

I agree - I don't want some Reverend Governor or Southern-Baptist-Dad-of-Twelve-(Home-Schooled)-Who-Happens-To-Be-A-State-Senator/Rep to decide what I can or can't do. Or my patients.

Enough of that.

Our friends, Tara and Becca, are getting married at the Historic Woman's City Club. How apropos! Check it out. I'm so proud!

We have season tickets to the Rep. If you ever want to go, let us know and we'll make it a night.

Off to the errands and chores.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Movin' On Up

I am really starting to enjoy my residency adventure. This week is my second week on CT, and Dr. Shah is out of town. This means that I can learn and progress in a much more laid-back environment (i.e. wear scrubs). I am dictating a lot more, too. It is so nice to feel comfortable dictating.

My first call was the hardest I have ever worked. We did not stop for 24 hours. I actually had a pretty good time, and I know I'm learning soooo much. Call is a really good time to learn and to be a team with the other residents. It is a study in efficiency. You have so much to do, and it never stops. The hospital got four traumas in a row at about midnight. The ER was packed. Everything was full steam ahead. I carry a cell phone (direct line from the ER) and a pager. I would love to know how many phone conversations I had in that one 24-hour period. My upper level, Amna, kept telling me that it's not usually so busy. That is definitely good news. I can't imagine all calls being that bad. So now I'm over the fear of my first call. I am not dreading the calls any more! Hooray.

Not much else is happening. We hung out with Keller Friday night, then I had call Saturday. Erica had call Sunday - I went to Keller's for dinner that night after I lounged most of the day (recovery mode). Last night, we fixed dinner and enjoyed hanging out together.

Erica is blasting through the 6th Harry Potter book. I read through about a third of it but quit a few weeks ago when I started studying and crashing early. I'm ready to start it again.

I'm thinking about getting a new computer. I love Erica's PowerBook so much that I might get one of my own. I'll use it for PowerPoint at church and at work (radiologists love images and presentations!). It'll be nice to have my iTunes on my computer, too.

Not much else... Life is just clicking along. Can't complain about that! Dory says hi to all you blog buddies. Come visit!

Saturday, July 30, 2005

St. Louis!

Greers Ferry

Dad and Preston at the lake


Back by popular demand.... My blog link to the world! It has been twenty-something days. Ridiculous. This real residency thing is for the birds. It's like you have to go to work EVERY weekday. Fifty hour weeks.

Call hasn't even started. The lower levels (my mates and I) start Monday. I'm the 6th of 6 this time and start call Saturday. A week from today.

So I've had two mini-rotations (four left to go). Ultrasound was first and I don't remember anything about it. What a blur! Then "reading room," which is essentially all the plain films (Xrays) from the ER, family clinic, and entire hospital. This was a huge volume of work, and the days flew by. I'm no longer afraid to sit down and dictate a stack of chest films and elbows. And whatever other body part might come my way. I load them on the computer, glance at them, take notes, and then review with an attending. He/she produces a litany of what I should say, and we blow through a stack quickly. I scribble intently! Then I sit there with a Dictaphone and whisper quickly. At this point, I'm trying to add some of my own comments that are in line with the attending but not just a regurgitation. I'm trying to develop my own style and vocabulary. Maybe a little ambitious for the mini-rotation, but I've got to learn this stuff and be a radiologist someday. I hope that I quit whispering as I gain confidence! The final step is that I have to review the dictations on the computer and correct my and the transcriptionist's mistake. One attending has already e-mailed me some suggestions about my dictations, so that will help.

NOthing in med school prepares you for reading and dictating radiologic studies. That's just how it works. So it's okay not to know anything. It's a steep learning curve.

I'm starting to enjoy it. We now have 7am and 1pm lectures - soon we'll have 4pm physics. These conferences are for the most part really good, and it's a chance for me to remember why I liked this stuff in the first place. It's a really intellectual field. Every study is a challenge. I love it.

I took a week off of running, but usually I'm getting up at 5:14 (5AM with two snoozes - alarm clock located in my closet) and running 3.3 miles three times a week. This has helped my sanity for sure. The week off was nice, too. Extra snuggle time.

Dory has discovered my pillow. Most mornings, she has worked her way up to the bed from floor and from foot of bed to right next to me. I'm now in the middle. It's wonderful.

Last weekend we went to St. Louis for a Cards game in the heat in the bleachers in the sun. They lost to the Cubs in the bottom of the ninth. Two men on base, down by one run, one out, and Pujols at the plate. The stars were aligned. But he drove out to short, and they caught the guy at second off his bag. Hit the showers, game over, fat lady.

We've also been trying to go to the lake most weekends. I think we'll go tomorrow afternoon.

I'm still reading Harry Potter VI.

Glancing at my calendar, we've had the following events lately: end of softball season with a WIN, my first time to work the PowerPoint/projector at church, Erica's B-day, baby shower for Sharon Strong (high school buddy), radiology pool party, fight night party, St. Louis, Mom's B-day, and party with the ball team.

I'll upload some pics. There are some new folders - St. Louis and Softball - on my Yahoo! photos.

Friday, July 08, 2005


This is cousin Lydia and her son, Ben, who is almost 12 months old. They live in Kentucky now, but are moving to Kansas City later this summer. She teaches junior high history, and is awesome at it! Husband John is the philosophical type and just finished seminary in KY. Just thought I would share some of my family members. More to come.


This is my cousin Robyn - she called last night, and it was a ton of fun to catch up with her. She is a graphic designer in Greenwood, MS, and she travels all over the world with her job! Robyn has recently remodeled an older house in Greenwood that I have yet to see. Her boyfriend, Jon, is an engineer at Viking (the kitchen place).


Today was better at work. It'll grow on me.

Last night, we lost our softball game. We were either tied or leading throughout the game, then they got ahead 10-6 in a late inning. Before time ran out, we only regained a couple of runs. It was so sad. It was our best-played game of the year, and I think we all had fun.

I've uploaded some pics from the Firecracker last Saturday. It was a great race. I had a lot of fun, and ran with friends I hadn't seen in a while. Plus, the T-shirt is cool this year.

There are also pictures from our trip to the lake on Sunday. Folder=Greers Ferry. For the fourth, practically my whole "dad's side of the family" was there. I don't have pictures of everyone, but it was fun to spend time with the kids. Dory loves the boat - not so much the water.

On Mon. night, Erica invited the peds residents over for a cook-out. The burgers were great, and people brought all kinds of stuff for potluck. There are a couple of pictures of everyone under "Peds.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

The Orient

I can't believe how stressful this week has been. Thank God I never have to start a whole new phase of my career with so much drama ever again. Our orientation was basically a scare tactic. In summary: "You don't know anything. You will feel stupid for a couple of YEARS. You will have to study 2 hours a night to keep your head above water." I could go on, but my dinner is already refluxing.

I'm taking it one step at a time. It'll get better. I'll even someday enjoy it. I hope.

Yesterday (Wed) was the first day. It was a blur. Today, I dictated all of the ultrasounds at the VA (twelve). My very first dictations!! This was a huge accomplishment, in my estimation. So at least that made me feel better. I go to work at seven and get off around five; we stop for about a half-hour lunch. I am mentally EXHAUSTED. And, yes, I do realize these aren't awful hours.

It will get better. Back to the books. I'm so lost, it's hard to know what to read - and no one is much help as far as advice!

It will get better.

Friday, July 01, 2005


I've got my wish list posted in my profile. I guess this is like registering without the baby or wedding. It's just for no reason in particular! Well, that's if you don't include our all-American "need" for consumption and having more stuff...


I can't believe our intern year is really finished. It seems like it flew by. Sometimes I wonder if I've learned anything at all, and other times I marvel at how far I've come. I guess the answer lies somewhere in between. I know I'm a little more confident; I also have a healthier, more robust sense of fear of (and appreciation for) taking care of sick folks.

I don't know what I'm supposed to wear next Tuesday for radiology orientation. A white coat seems excessive. And what do I do with my stethoscope? I keep trying to remember if radiology residents just ditch the steth in favor of little pocket books full of anatomical secrets.

My dad gave me my stethoscope before I started medical school. When I worked with Toni Darville, she told us to bring one to ID clinic. The one I carry now is the same one dad brought home for me to use for that summer job - an extra, a hand-me-down, used. I adore it. It's not a Cardiology III, it is totally basic and boring, and it has worked exceptionally well.

After that summer job, I hoarded it. It sat on my desk in the dorm room in Cleveland Hall for a year. It's amazing how this one instrument is so invocative of a career, a life, a moment in medicine.

I think I'll be the only radiologist with an ever-present stethoscope. It'll remind me just who I'm in this for - those people taking in a deep breath for their chest Xrays.

Stethoscope Posted by Picasa

Sunday, June 26, 2005


I'm still trying to get my picture updated. There are all these limitations on it - url has to be less than some number of characters, it has to be less than some number of kilobytes, blah, blah BLAH. So now it's updated on the profile but not on the page - and I hate that first picture I used. I'll continue to work on this. Bear/bare with me.

My favorite blog is Rosie. I try to look at it every day. She posts pictures of her family, too. The website sent about 15,000 mousepads to people who had signed into the blog. Apparently, most of them were mislabeled. Well, an envelope came to our house for some lady named Diane (not the former owner). I was going to mail it back, but Dory made it a part of her routine desktop lunch. Voila - a mousepad was revealed, and I (the intentional recipient) kept it! Hooray.

We're going to a Cards game on July 23rd.
We want to go camping another time this summer/fall.
My call schedule for the entire next year is posted.
Life is plannable again.
I haven't seen my dad's boat yet.
Stuff to do...

I'm on my last intern call. It's E's last intern ER night. Tomorrow, we will sleep off our night together. Then a nice celebratory dinner. With dessert for a job well done. Did I already use the word "Hooray"?

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Keep trying Posted by Hello


I uploaded some pics of some more recent reads. The beach is a great place to devour books. Mom's recommendation was the Bees; all three of us loved it. The short stories have also been a joy. I love reading one before falling asleep, or one after a nap, or one on call, etc. Very digestible.

I'm also reading Karen Armstrong's Battle for God, which was given to me about a year ago. Couldn't download the pic, though. It is a history of fundamentalism, and is actually a good religious history primer for Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. I only took one religion class at Sewanee (in addition to my exposure in the Humanities series), but I'm loving reading books about it more and more.

I've been through several New Yorker magazines lately, and they are always rewarding. The thing is: I'm about to be consumed by radiology texts and journals. I have to cram all this fun stuff in while I can. So I will continue to do just that. And when it comes down to it, I'll probably schedule blocks into my weeks just to read for pleasure. It is my dearest source of sanity.

Signed Book Posted by Hello

Beach Book Posted by Hello

Beach Book Posted by Hello


We still haven't won a softball game. But Tueday was close. After a trip to the batting cage, I'm back to normal and hitting well. Two games this week. I love playing ball! And I have all new socks. I got rid of all my old white ones, and bought 2 packs of new ones at Target. I know, this is not a deal to anyone else. But my OCD absolutely adores looking into a drawer and having 16 pairs of perfectly uniform, clean, fresh socks. And there's NO cotton in them, so I can run and not get blisters. They look so good in my running shoes...


My dream this morning: Erica goes into labor. I am supposed to be working in the ER within the next few hours, so we head to the hospital. I go to the ER, where her program director is waiting for me. He acts like he doesn't know who I am, who Erica is, and why I need time off to go be with her. He's laughing and I can tell he's doing it just to be mean. So I tell him I'm leaving and he can't stop me. And that's what happens. So I get back upstairs, reunited with Erica, where the fetal heart rate monitor AND the uterine monitor look like EKG strips. This is ridiculous. If that weren't enough, they start going into V-tach and all these OB residents are running around trying to push drugs in E's IV. I cause a major scene and tell them that no uterus could ever be in V-tach. I was to my boiling point with frustration, E was getting woozy, and I wouldn't let them touch her. Then I woke up.

Why in the world would I have some stressful dream? I would love to just enjoy a dream for once. But my theory has always been: dreams, at least for me, are just a subconscious opportunity to purge all the fears, doubts, stresses, and (frankly) perversions that I'm not even aware of having. My dreams are so primal. I know that's what mine are about - because I always feel so cleansed and refreshed after a worry dream. We've been so excited about having a baby someday, and I guess there are always some fears and worries when you go on any adventure like that.

Anyway.... I just mowed my yard in 100-degree heat. Actually I did the front yard last night after dinner and the back today. I am drenched. My yard is like a dried up dust field. Then I took the recycling and got gas. At the gas station, I got a Gatorade, M&M's, and Chewy Sprees. Awesome. I just consumed about 70 grams of carbs, and I enjoyed EVERY SINGLE ONE of them.

We had Satellite for breakfast with Alex and Landon. We always go there with them. It was really good, too. But not as good as my candy. Ran into the whole Joheim clan there, and we had just been over to their house last night! What a treat.

Erica only has 2 more nights in the ER. I only have one more intern call. HOORAY for that. I am so tired of sitting up there at St. Vincent watching TV and pronouncing dead people. What a trashy way to live. I am bitter.

You know what, though? I am the luckiest, most blessed person in the world. My life makes me happy every day. Wow. And, really, I've never NOT felt that way.

Monday, June 20, 2005


No one ever told me I have a birthmark on the back of my head. Erica calls it a "storkbite" or something like that. They wait until I'm miles from home and my defenses are down (beer). And they spring it on me like it's no big deal at all. What if you had some totally unsuspected 26-yr-old lesion on your body?? Huh? I'm still not over it.

Conspiracy!  Posted by Hello


I've uploaded pics to my Yahoo! photos page (link to the right). The two folders are "Beach" and "McGehee." We didn't take very many beach pictures because we were too busy being lazy and swimming. In McGehee, we drove by the house where my mom grew up. It's 610 N. 2nd Street, and it was really fun to drive by and listen to her tell us stories. I'll never forget it.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Who knows

It has been a LONG time since I posted, as many of you have pointed out. Who knows why. Well, there was a week-long vacation in there. And now all of my routines are pretty shot. I just needed some time off. Okay, a lot of time.

So what's the update? Not a whole lot. The trip was perfect. Good weather until the last day. Did you know there is a Hard Rock Cafe in Destin? Wow, quite different from the sleepy "Shark Tournament" town of my childhood.

We've just been working since we got back. I'm still loving my May/June rotation with Dr. Beck, but I am definitely tired of all the calls. Erica has 13 ER 12-hr shifts in 14 days, so that explains her life. I ran 3 times last week and am on a new mission to make it a better routine in life. I'm aiming for 3/week and once on the weekend.

Softball continues, but we're short on players. We had to forfeit one game and then had just enough for the next. Any takers?

My mom's uncle is in the hospital, so I've gotten to see my mom, grandmother, and greata-aunt quit a bit lately. The latter two are twin sisters. He had a lung resection for Aspergillus, but apparently they found a malignancy (unexpected). I wish him the best. He always calls me "Frazzle" and is more worried about me than himself when I go see him.

Dad is in Seattle and Canada this week. I had a good Father's Day conversation with him this morning.

I got to spend a lot of time with Katy on Friday, which was soooo much fun. She is a hoot. And she loves the word "hoot." Thanks for being my sister and eating bread for my head! Oh, and for being my future office manager.

I can't wait to see the Arkansas Extreme Makeover. My aunt got to get yelled at by Ty (through the megaphone). I hope she makes the cut!

Radiology graduation dinner was last night. Four years seems like a lifetime. I wish I were at least a year into it. Someday I'll be finished! Wow.

After today, only two more intern calls. Maybe no one will die - that's the thought I have running through my head.

I had a dream this morning that I was taking an English literature essay test from a hard Sewanee professor. Every time I turned the page, it got more difficult and the references more obscure. Arggh, I hate panic dreams! I think I was dreading call.

I only have a few Floriday pics, but will post them when I get to the house tomorrow.

Friday, June 03, 2005


I know you are all on the edge of your seats, anxiously awaiting my trip to Destin. It will be fun for me - and a vicarious dose of fun for all of you. I am on call tonight, so I said goodbye to my dog for an 8-night separation. I gave her many words of wisdom and comfort to help sustain her for the duration. I'm sure it will help her - I'll probably need hospitalization.

Sorry for the lack of photos lately. I can assure you that many will be taken and posted within the next week. Erica and I went to Florida 3 years ago and haven't been on a week-long vacation since. There have been many weekend excursions, but this is a huge deal for us. I know I keep saying that.

Went to the state Medical Board meeting yesterday. It was a huge privilege to get to attend with Dr. Beck. It was very eye-opening. That is NOT a group of people with whom you would like to have a formal meeting. I was amazed at the volume of cases they covered, and I was amazed at some of the transgressions on the part of the physicians. Wow. I will definitely be dotting i's and crossing t's. It also made me remember why it is we all forge on in this profession - to take care of people. We are doctors first; when taking care of patients, every other classification and description is secondary.

Well, the yard is mowed, the bike rack is assembled and in place, the sheets are clean, baby-sitters planned. Just got to remember to get gas in the car. Check ya later.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005


Nix the Busch. Erica said, "Do you hear yourself saying that"? She's right, that would be sacreligious to have a Republican-named dog!

Status quo

Why does it seem like I'm always on call? And why is that the best time in my life to blog? Who knows. But call is my status quo.

We lost that game to the worst team. Erica ended up playing with us which was totally fun. Dory was dugout dog. The final score was 11-10. I hit like an old washer woman (with apologies to Larry Ward).

We were off Friday but I can't remember what we did. Quiet night at home; dinner and a movie (Hotel Rwanda). I know we were really busy on Saturday, but I have the brain of af 65-yr-old in the early phases of memory loss right now. Oh yeah, lunch with Jack and Elaine (friends of my dad's) at Sesame. It was awesome! What a treat. Another quiet night at home. E was on call Sunday; I went to Sunday School and got stuff done around the house all day. Time with the Tullos family who are nursing a sick granddad. Dinner with Dad in Conway on his way back from the lake.

I have been contemplating the Chicago marathon on October 9th. Jack really wants me to run it with him. It is the weekend before Sewanee homecoming, and I'm not making ANY committments. It seemed like a great idea for a while, but the effect is fading. Either way, I have made running a more regular part of my life again, and it is enjoyable. I seem to always be in flux rather than on a set long-term schedule. My four-miler yesterday was great! Dory was pooped.

Now reading the Collected Stories of Flannery O'Connor. It brings back a lot of memories, because I read a lot of them in high school. But Dr. Beck is constantly quoting O'Connor, so it's part of my education to be conversant! I have been a reading machine lately and will sooooo miss that when radiology starts!!

List of people I talked to today:
Melissa Mann - doing well, heard from Dr. Croom who is also doing well
Erica Jensen - another friend dilemma, I told her he has insecurity issues and is either in love with her or totally gay
Beth Best - having a going-away party soon
Billynda Booth - wanted to switch call
Melissa Shannon - not looking forward to a month at the VA, played catch-up
Linda Tullos - Tom's dad is stable and should leave hospital soon
Hunter, Lauren Frances, and Lindsey Wood - came to visit me! Hunter gave me two handfuls of change to take into the chapel for "the old people and the kids who need money," quite a character move for him
Erica - worn out taking care of three kids - perfect as always!

The bike rack is bought, and I'm starting packing tomorrow. HOORAY!

Thursday, May 26, 2005


The next series of dog names that I will have is baseball stadiums. I want a dog named Busch and a dog named Fenway. It used to be baseball players, but (alas) that only lasted 2 cats: Cal and Mattie.

This probably seems totally off the wall, but I have been up all night and had bad fitful nightmare sleep from 2-3 AM. So I just got up and have been thinking about dog names. Well, and cardiac intensive care, T waves, magnesium, lidocaine, and ventricular fibrillation for about 30 minutes in there. Mostly about dogs.

I ran into Drew Kumpuris and he had finished rounding at 5:30. He's headed to the airport to go fishing (lucky). He said, "Wow, you look like an intern who's been up all night." We chatted, then his brother came to pick him up. Drew said, "Doesn't she look lovely?" with no hint of irony.

Sigh. One more week until vacation.

And Katy - I tried to call you back but probably just woke you up accidentally instead. Then I text messaged you. I play left and left center. Gotta make those catches.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Guess what

Surprise, surprise, we got killed again. It was an 8:30 game, and it started raining in Maumelle around 7:30. Erica and I were home having a heated discussion, and then I realized maybe the game would be stormed out. At 8:00 it was really lightning outside (that's a verb, right?), but they called to tell me to head on out to Interstate Park. It poured.

We huddled in the dugout while it poured. We looked to the umpires in the tower while it poured. Lightning flashed while it poured. And then it seemed to the powers that be that it stabilized a little. We took the field without complaint. Yeah, right.

You should have seen me after a long first half-inning in that mess! My hair was plastered across my forehead, and I kept shaking it out like I was in some shampoo commercial. The scoreboard read about 12-0. Or maybe it was worse than that.

Anyway, I made good contact with the ball finally. Too bad my line drive was caught in left center. But I really didn't care because it seemed obvious to me that the slump is over. We got hammered for a while, but in predictable fashion evened out and put together some respectable innings. Tomorrow night is at 9:30, and that's the one that's actually the worst team. And now my cleats have a respectable layer of mud/dirt. Priceless.

I'm on call at St. Vincent today, and it has been good so far. I'm reading George Pelecanos' Drama City because I skipped it to read the newest Signed First. It is great so far; it's the crime novel I mentioned a while back. That's the best thing about call days here - lots of reading time.

The heated discussion ended well. E -- I love you.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

A Separate Peace Posted by Hello


Well, several events have transpired, as they are wont to do.

On call last Friday, then got up Sat. morning and ran the Paws on the Pavement 5K down at Murray Park. This is a special race to me; it was the first race I ran 2 years ago. Back then, I had just started thinking about running and training for long distances. I ran it in 33:30, give or take. I remember getting that first T-shirt and thinking I was really going to become a runner. My parents came to the start of the race (I know...) and left early to go on a trip to Seattle (their last). So Saturday, it was hot but I ran a 29:30. That's great for me because it's under 10 min/mile. I'm thinking about working on my short distances (like the 5K) and improving there until it's time to train for the marathon again. CARE put on a good race, but they forgot about the portable facilities this year.

Then I stopped by my mom's house for some breakfast. Later worked on some things around the house, and dad came by to remove the lawnmower blade for sharpening. I love when he comes to the house to help do stuff. Then I saw Monster-in-Law with my mom; it was LOW quality. That made us laugh even more, so the time wasn't wasted after all. Erica was on call that day, so I ran some errands, quick nap, and then went to Jess and Meredith's house for a post-graduation party for Jess. It was a lot of fun, and it made me appreciate friends and get-togethers and deli trays and families.

We slept LATE Sunday for a much-needed rest. I've been re-reading A Separate Peace by John Knowles, which is one of my 10th-grade favorites. Mrs. B, of course. Even better this time around. Last night on our walk, Erica surprised me by running! We ran most of the way, and it was so awesome to have my whole little family out there running together. I am so proud of her. We had been to Hunter's baseball game and to a Body Shop selling party. It was a really good evening.

Softball game tonight. We still don't have a win, but this is supposedly the easiest team. I've got my fingers crossed.

Thursday, May 19, 2005


Got the latest Signed Firsts book from Square Books yesterday - they're coming frequently due to scheduling signing dates. This one is gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson. Her debut novel. I read the first few pages yesterday and already love it. Keep in mind that I could be preparing (i.e. reading) for my forthcoming radiology residency and career. Nah... rather read the good stuff.

Just got the yard finished. Dr. Beck has a half-day on Thursday, so I came home and mowed. It looks good, but I've got to get the blades sharpened soon. Dory chased me in the back yard, which was hilarious. She is now crashed out on the office floor as I play with iTunes and blog.

On call AGAIN tomorrow. I've had a hard time getting them switched this month, which means I'll miss honors convocation for the graduating med students tomorrow night. I can't believe it's been a year. We were just babies. Intern year grows you up. Big time.

Just arrived Posted by Hello

Monday, May 16, 2005

Home Sweet Home Posted by Hello


What a wake-up call. We Americans are killing ourselves with our obsession to have more. The more we have, the emptier we are. We have no time. I keep trying to put this one down, but it hasn't worked so far. I'll be up late tonight reading; call tomorrow will hopefully be slow.

Library Journal
[De Graaf, producer of the PBS documentaries Affluenza (1996) and Escape from Affluenza (1998); David Wann, a former EPA staffer and expert on sustainable lifestyles; and Thomas H. Naylor, professor emeritus in economics at Duke, have assembled an updated and more in-depth look at the epidemic of overconsumption sweeping the United States and the rest of the world, based on de Graaf's documentaries. They define "affluenza" as "a painful, contagious, socially-transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety, and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more" and examine the spiraling cycle of overconsumption, spending, stress, and broken relationships caused by America's obsession with uncontrolled economic growth at any cost. This witty yet hard-hitting book provides evidence of the social problems caused by the American obsession with acquiring "stuff" and proposes solutions for living more sustainably. Highly recommended for academic and public libraries. Mark Bay, Indiana Univ.-Purdue Univ. Lib., Indianapolis Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.]

The Current Changing-my-Life Book Posted by Hello


This is where all your questions are answered. Well, at least the ones you've posted as comments....

My Square Books usually runs about $25. It depends on the book, and they just charge me the sticker price and no shipping. They're all hardbacks; some are $20, some $30. The nice thing is they come with that clear book jacket and are the best things to put on display. I love a house full of books.

I have 2 different Katys. I was referring to Katy Bartlett when I was talking about softball shorts and khakis. She thinks that's hilarious. Which I guess it is. SO... Katy Baker, that's why that probably sounded weird to you - you thought I meant you. And YES I was at my own party. Just don't have any pics to prove it.

Friday, May 13, 2005

All Smiles Posted by Hello

Eating it! Posted by Hello