Tuesday, November 09, 2004

post-travel, pre-travel

Cooper has been a little under the weather since we got back from Hawaii. I don't really don't what's wrong, only that her tail is down, she has a runny nose, and is sleeping somewhat more than usual. So she probably picked up some kind of a cold at the Dog Spa. It's like kids in daycare or something. She's fully immunized against everything including kennel cough (Bordatella, though not pertussis species--who knew?), so I'm not too freaked out. But I did do a crazy dog-lady thing yesterday: I fed her some soup. Really the soup was for me--I was having chicken soup with rice for lunch--but the formerly dormant Jewish grandmother in me decided that the curative properties of chicken soup were equally applicable to canines. Anyway, Coop seemed to enjoy it, especially the chicken part, so I guess she's can't be that bad off.

We only just got back from our latest vacation (albeit the first one together in a year and a half), and already, I'm trying to plan our next big trip. It's a bummer that Joe only gets one week off at a time (he gets 4 one-week vacations, I get 2 two-week vacations), because it really puts a crimp in our style as far as planning trips for far far away. If I'm flying 30 hours to get to Bali, I want to stay in Bali for more than three days, you know? Especially since the plane tickets cost five hundred million gajillion dollars. There's a strong possibility that we may go on a trip with my family, which would be very fun--the last time we all went somewhere together was in 2002, to Japan--but in case those plans fall through for whatever reason, I'm researching some contingency travel itineraries.

But anyway, the two possibilities I've been investigating are the Two European Capitals trip, and the Thailand Sex Tours trip, minus the sex tours part. The European Capitals trip would be easy enough, it would simply entail flying into London for a few days, taking the Chunnel into Paris for a few days, and flying back. New York to London is practically a commuter flight, only 6-7 hours of flight time each way, and we'll end up in big navigable cities with excellent subway systems, and lots of sights to see. I've been to both London and Paris several times in the past before, but haven't been since high school or thereabouts, so I would love to go back. Joe hasn't been to either, so I think he would like to see what all the fuss is about. And I'm just such a sucker for cities with a good subway system.

The second trip possibility was inspired by this New York Times article that I read this weekend about traveling on a budget in Bangkok. I think the biggest hit we would take in traveling to Thailand would obviously be the price of the airline tickets. Well that, and the torture of sitting on a plane for anywhere between 24 and 30 hours. I shudder to think. But anyway, once you get there, I think the living is relatively easy. The hotel recommended by the article sounds decent and goes for only $22 a night. Food is cheap, the region seems safe and pedestrian friendly. Oh yeah, and the article mentions that you can get a two hour Thai massage for $6. (Of the last bit, Joe accuses, "That's the only reason you want to go!") Well, kinda, yeah.

Anyway, coming back from vacation means coming back to reality, and there are a number of meetings and errands that I have to tend to this week. First, I had to print off another run of "Scutmonkey," since the first print run sold out. Already the second print run is taking off, so I might need to start looking at getting more supplies for a third printing. (Speaking of which, is there something going on in Texas that I don't know about? A lot of orders have been coming from Texas lately. Just wondering.)

Today I had a meeting with respect to some GME funding problems for my switch. The fact that there were funding problems at all was fairly traumatic news to me, delivered just before I went on vacation, and leading me to think that I might be jobless next year and forced to sell those Miracle Vegetable Peelers at Bed Bath and Beyond or some such in order to make money. I mean, I joke about quitting residency to go work at the Gap, but I don't actually want to sort the Relaxed Fit from the Boot Cuts. Anyway, the upshot of the meeting is that I do have a position with Anesthesia for next year, but the GME office has nixed all mid-year switches, and insists that I start July 1st or not at all. I've eventually come to terms with this, but mostly because I have no choice, and I was thinking about the situation while in Hawaii, which made all work-related issues seem cosmically insignificant. So as long as they don't go changing the rules on me again, I'll be fine with finishing out my year in Peds. This development, of course, makes me the biggest sucker on the planet, becasue instead of taking the position to start last July 1st as it was offered, I insisted on staying on for an extra few months to help out with Peds coverage, so now I shot myself in the foot by trying to be Little Miss Helpful. But I'm trying not to think too much about the fact that I'm doing an extra year of residency for no reason, and trying more to think more about the fact that I'm learning and getting all this extra experience and sharpening my clinical acumen. The mind games we play with ourselves.

Tomorrow I have an interview with Wellesley Magazine, because they're doing some sort of an article about "Blogging and Wellesley" for the next issue and somehow found me through their research. I've never been interviewed about the site before (someone from Medscape actually e-mailed me about an interview for an article once, but I was kinda busy at the time so I never wrote her back--didn't seem to matter, since she included me in the article anyway despite the fact that we'd never spoken). I feel like I have more questions for her than she'll have for me, though. Like: how did they find the site? Who else are they interviewing? Is this going to be all embarassing like that time they interviewed me for the admissions viewbook and when I read over what they printed, I was like, "God, I sound like a total moron." You know, those kinds of questions.

Friday I have an orientation meeting with the Chiefs for the wards. Next block will be my first block as Ward Senior. It's all exciting and scary and a little bit surreal to think about being the Ward Senior. There was something comforting about being an intern, to feel that there was always someone above you to call, even at 3am. In deep shit? Call the Ward Senior! But who does the Ward Senior call when drowning in doody? The PICU, I guess. Just the thought of it makes me want to cram frantically and glue my PALS card to my left hand.

Currently reading: The special election issue of Newsweek. It's like a car crash, I just can't look away. I am really riveted by all this inside stuff on the campaign trail, though. Makes me want to go out and rent "The War Room." Speaking of Newsweek, I really have to say that I don't understand how this guy that writes "The Borowitz Report" is supposed to be funny. Because he's just not. He won the National Press Club's humor award? What? The judges must have been high. I guess he does have that Jay Leno brand of humor. The unfunny kind.

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