Tuesday, April 05, 2005

the london eye, and the big two-four

I got home this morning at about 7:30am, and slept from 8:00am until 1:00pm, at which time some damn fool upstairs started drilling something in his apartment and woke me up. Which, ordinarily post-call, would be no big thing because I'd just get up with the intent of getting more sleep later that night, but this kind of planning doesn't work out so well when you're working the night shift every single day this week. Damn you, drill-happy neighbors!

Anyway. So then after Paris, we took the train to London.

The obligatory telephone booth shot. Their telephone booths are different from our telephone booths! However, similar to the telephone booths we have in New York, there were a lot of fliers for porno theaters all taped up inside.

Our first full day there, we went up in The London Eye, which is basically this very slow-moving giant ferris wheel that you get up in for scenic arial views of London.

Like this, you see.

In so many ways, London is exactly like New York. Everywhere we went in London, I kept drawing analogies, like, "This must be the Times Square of London" (of Piccadilly Circus), or "This must be the Greenwich Village of London" (of Kensington). The only thing for which I could come up with no analogy was Buckingham Palace. Because we don't have a palace in New York. That's my sister, by the way.

Here's a shot of the atrium of the British Museum (which, in case you're wondering, is the Metropolitan Museum of London).

Here I am inspecting some Mayan artifact very closely, for some reason.

The only really London-y thing that we ate was fish and chips. I was tempted to try the bangers and mash, but I couldn't stomach the idea of eating all those sausages.

I have no idea what that sign means, "weak subway." London had an awesome subway. They even had padded seats, which I'm pretty sure would get destroyed in short order in New York. Also note that I am eating my favorite dessert of the whole trip--a Cadbury Creme Egg McFlurry from McDonald's. They take crumbled up bits of Cadbury chocolate, squirt in some yellow goo to simulate the yolk (only it's better, because it's not all dessicated, and there's more of it), and then stir it all up. So good. Can we get that over here, please?

Joe in front of the Tower of London. We walked up to it, but didn't go in, because you had to pay the rough equivalent of $30 (USD) to get through the gates, and unless they were planning on giving us some of those crown jewels at the end of the tour, I was not biting.

Joe in front of the Tower Bridge, which looked strangely like a Disneyland site, what with all the gold and blue paint accents.

We walked across the bridge to the Tate Modern, which was kind of a scary modern art museum that didn't have the most extensive collection in the world, but had a little something from most of the major modern artists. Here's a shot from the lobby of the museum. See, scary, right? And you can't even see the part where there's a loudspeaker overhead blaring some guy's voice screaming, "THINK! THINK! THINK!" along with some strange electronic buzzing in the background. I was like, "Don't hurt me, haunted museum."

Walking across the Millennium Bridge away from the Tate, on one of the few sunny days of the trip. Of note, both London and Paris are contestant cities for the 2012 Olympic Games, but Paris seemed to want it more badly. London just had a few halfhearted posters up in the subway, from what I could see, but Paris had giant neon light-up displays over every major monument in the city. I hope one of them wins the competition. As I've mentioned before, New York is also a candidate city for the Games, but I really, really hope it ends up somewhere else.

And finally, a shot of my vast waistline at 24 weeks. Now that I'm actually showing, I have people asking me how far along I am pretty much every day, and when I tell my fellow Peds peoples that I'm at 24 weeks, everyone gives me the big high five. Yay, extrauterine viability. Congratulations, Cletus. But stay up in there.

Speaking of pregnancy stuff, I just heard the news yesterday that someone that someone I kind of knew (more like "knew of") who was pregnant just lost her baby very, very close to term. I don't really know the details, but just in general, that really freaks me out. I mean, obviously, right? You really can never stop worrying. It's strange--in the NICU, we're surrounded by stories like that every day. Full term kids with anoxic injury, traumatic births, cord accidents, what have you. And it's sad, of course, and scary when you're going to have a kid of your own, but there's nothing like hearing that it actually happened to someone you know. In medicine, you start to think that you're immune to the bad stuff (except in the hypothetical), but it still gives me the shivers when the bad stuff grazes dangerously close to home.

Anyway. Breathe in, breathe out. Serenity now. Tomorrow, I'll tell you the real name that we picked out for Cletus.

Currently reading: About the news that Peter Jennings has lung cancer. So sad. Aside from my first thoughts, which tended towards the grim and sympathetic, I couldn't help but think that the guy does not look 66 years old. Early 50s, maybe. Actually, none of the big three anchors look as old as they really are. They are gifted with Bob Costas syndrome, in which they age in slow motion compared to the rest of us.

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