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!