Thursday, December 16, 2004

secret santa

We had our Secret Santa (aka Hidden Harry Hanukka) gift exchange at the hospital today. My Secret Santa clearly must know me fairly well, because the gift she gave me (and I infer "she" from the handwriting) is a romance package for me and Joe, including a bottle of wine, a chocolate fondue kit, and a Blockbuster's gift card. Very sweet, and instantly guilt-inducing, because I clearly did not put that level of effort into selecting my Secret Santa's (Santee's?) gift. I don't even know who to thank, because the Secret Santa reveal won't happen for a couple of days yet, until all the gifts have been doled out. (There were some night-shifters and post-call residents that couldn't make it to the party today.) A thoughtful gift, and no direction for my gratitude: more guilt.

Do you know what's on TV right now? On the WB, no less? "Crossroads," aka "The Britney Spears Movie." She's not a girl, not yet a woman, dammit! I didn't realize Taryn Manning was in that movie. I'm sure she's a woman of many talents and everything, but why does she always look like she rolled out from under a trailer where she spent the night sleeping in a puddle of bong water and chlamydia juice?

Currently reading: Man, I didn't realize how much reading time I was cutting out of my day by not taking the subway last month. Finished "My Sister's Keeper" in just under 24 hours--but I did have several legs to my commute today, hopping back and forth between the hospital and my clinic, and I started the book before bed last night. Overall, it was a gripping story, and obviously a page-turner that raises some interesting ethical questions. I've certainly seen patients on the onc service who were stem cell donors for their siblings, and I even saw a patient who got a transplant from a sib's banked cord blood, the cord blood spookily and fortuitously banked years before the diagnosis was even made. However, there were elements of the story that were a little too Lifetime, Television for Women for my taste, and I thought the use of the different fonts for different characters points of view was a little hokey. I think I can remember who's sustaining the narrative for the next five pages even without the use of Comic Sans or whatever to remind me that ANNA or BRIAN or JESSE is talking, thanks. So yeah, a little cheesy, but sometimes cheese is good, like the time that Coleen lent me Erich Segal's "Doctors," which was by far one of the most cliched, overblown depiction of medical education and practice that I've ever read, full of melodrama and stereotypes--but I tore right through it just the same, not unlike those Sweet Valley High Super Editions. (To be clear, "My Sister's Keeper" is much better than "Doctors," and worth a read if you're interested in medical quasi-fiction.)

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