Friday, January 07, 2011

now, later, and much later

Hey all! It is I, the blog posting person! Just one quick word about the last: I thought that people would understand that I was kidding about "forgetting" Mack's birthday (obviously I can remember his birthday, I went to med school, at bare minimum I can remember many many numbers and facts, whether they are important or not). I just meant I didn't realize that it was THE DAY until I actually wrote the date down on my chart, which, it also must be pointed out, was at 7:00 in the morning, before the much-fêted birthday boy was even awake. But I'm already boring myself to death talking about it, and anyway, I'm not one to take things personally in what I view as a forum which is, by construct, largely impersonal and speculative, so let's just move on. Right? Right. Amigos? Para siempre! Thanks for the birthday wishes, everyone!

(Mack says thanks too.)

* * *

A couple of you have been asking how the blurb solicitation for the book was going, and I think (at least, in my perspective) it's going pretty well. Here's a list of the people who have submitted some advance word-of-mouth for the book so far (I had to call it "Advance Praise" on the website because that's commercial don't you know, but that sounds so self-congratulatory it makes me cringe). I am really floored and honored that so many of these authors took the time out from their very busy lives to read my book in its typo-filled galley stage and even more humbled that they had nice things to say about it. I view this whole book process as nothing much more than a dalliance into a different field, an interesting side hobby, but I have to say that I'm really looking forward to next Spring. It's going to be fun.

On the topic, we're set to present at the conference at the Iowa Writer's Workshop (I'm told) the morning of Saturday, April 23rd. I'm relieved that we secured a weekend date for the panel--aside from ease of travel, I really wanted to make sure that wouldn't have to miss any work to travel to Iowa (that is to say, that I would not have to arrange some elaborate series of trades for coverage) and now I'm trying to figure out some way to tack on some kind of meet-up after the conference. I realize that I can't exactly expect too many non-locals to travel out for an event in Iowa (even with the enticement of CME credits--come on y'all, gotta keep that licensure up to date!) and even if you were going to the conference, that you might have other plans and other cooler people to hang out with.

HOWEVER. For those people who have nothing else to do and who wish to relieve my crushing loneliness (remember, this will be the first trip I'm taking without my kids since...well, since I had kids) is there anywhere cool to meet up around the university? I notice that Prairie Lights seems to have a café (a café that serves booze), so that might be a nice place nearby, but I'm waiting to hear from them to see if I can schedule a reading there and that kind of thing. But in case that doesn't work out for one reason or another, is there anywhere else nearby with a laid-back, hangout, non-fratty vibe? E-mail me, I will try to see if I can try to set up something in advance.

* * *

Joe, Cal and I moved to Atlanta in 2008. Since then, we have lived in three rental homes. Yes, we have moved three times in the past three years. It seems like in New York, when you rent, you just keep living there forever or until the building goes co-op or is condemned. But in Atlanta, housing rentals are by and large one-year leases, and I'm getting pretty sick of feeling so temporary.

We've been delaying one of the great milestones of adulthood for some time now, largely for financial reasons, but the lease at our current home is running out in July, and I think it's time to stop living out of boxes. (In answer to the flurry of questions of why we are continuing to live in Atlanta despite being New York partisans, the answer, quite pragmatically, is this: Atlanta is where our jobs are, and we really like our jobs. Hey, I want to live in Paris too, but I don't have a good job there either. Look, I'm not going to lie to you, as a place to live, I prefer New York. But choices in adulthood are more complex than which city has the best take-out options, so...yeah.)

Anyway, we're starting to look at real estate. We're looking to become homeowners. About which, hopefully, more later.


  1. Congratulations, Dr. Au. Moving is a big milestone, and in medicine, it signifies something a little bit more than it does for the average person: you're finally done with training, and you can settle down.

    Congratulations on the book again. Can't wait to read it.

    Being a fellow metro-Atlantan, I can attest to the fact that living here is just weird unless you're a homeowner where the permanency is there. I was treated (and still am) a patient at Big Children's Hospital (not its real name) in downtown Atlanta my whole life but will age out this year because I'll be 21. The hospital climate here is wonderful. I'm so glad you love your job!

    I look forward to each and every blog post. Feel free to check me out, too! :)

  2. Wish I could go but kinda difficult, me living in China & all. But, by any remotest chance, if you ever do head out here to the Middle Kingdom as part of your book tour, count me in!

  3. Richard11:34 PM

    I was wondering what kind of stethoscope do you use? I didn't recognize the one you had in your new bag pic. Do you like the cardio master?

    I've actually been wondering that too. If both of you received nice jobs in NYC would you move back or are you content with ATL?

    I remember that you mentioned that you wanted to do a regional anesthesia fellowship, are you still considering that (maybe at Emory)?

  4. Anonymous12:38 AM

    This was a really interesting article that I thought you might also find interesting:

  5. Laura M1:11 AM

    I don't know anything about Iowa, but I've been reading (albeit in a rather quiet, non-commenting manner) since... 2004? and live in Minneapolis, so I would be game to come to a meet-up in Iowa.

  6. twinkienic2:28 AM

    I'm glad Anonymous (12:38am) pointed out the wsj article on Chinese mothers because I wondered about what you might say too when I read it!

    Also - the Book Depository lists your book as being published in August 2011 instead of May. How come?

  7. Anonymous12:27 PM

    I echo twinkienic's suggestion about that article. I actually came here to post the link myself too. It's a somewhat polarizing article but looks like your fans would love to hear what you think about it :)

  8. islandgirl2:37 PM

    Can't wait to get my hands on your book! I love all the advanced praise. I just wonder if you know or maybe it hasn't happen if there is someone who doesn't like your writing and will make a comment? I'm just curious how this all works because I don't think I've ever seen negative comments printed for a book in a book cover. Anyways, you have a lovely family and it's always fun to read about your life. Your kids are cute, well except for my own two boys ;) Hope it doesn't snow too much in ATL tomorrow!

  9. Shaundra6:51 PM

    Wow, just read the WSJ article--was that a joke? Also, I wonder what her Yale law students will think of her after that article....

  10. Outre6:51 PM

    Good thing about ATL, the only really good thing according to my folks who live there now after living on Long Island/tri-state since they immigrated to the US is the low hosing prices. (they tell me nothing else is really cheaper and they miss access to fresh seafood and other ethnic foods)

    Good luck with house hunting! My folks live in a relatively new sub-division an hour west of ATL and majority of the owners in the sub-div are out-of-staters, many from the Northeast.

    You guys can always sell down the road if life leads you back to NYC and have some chunk o change to add to the downpayment needs of the northeast. At least.. that’s the reason I own a house in GA even though I live in the town Dr. Virginia Apgar was born in.

  11. I think the wsj was pretty on point, as a daughter of Chinese immigrant parents.

    would love to see New Orleans on your book tour route! Assuming it occurs before I graduate med school this spring :) but maybe I'll end up staying and buying a house here. Really can't wait to settle down more, too.

  12. Anonymous11:17 AM

    Iowa City is now full of several cafe style places in suburbia. When I go back I rarely get further than the ronald mcdonald house or the hospital! However--I do like the good old haunts in the downtown/campustown area. Probably my FAVORITE is Micky's Irish Pub. It is on the ped mall--easy to find and a nice place to hang out. I don't know much about the cafes but if you want to have beer or wine I suggest Mickey's!! There is also Joe's which is an OLDIE and kindof a dive (a loveable dive). But if you go to Mickey's you can also stop at Joe's to get the mister a t-shirt. I am not sure if I can get away or not, but I live only 2 hours away!! I am also a librarian so if this morphs into something more meeting like I can probably get a conf room in a library for you!! personally, I'd vote for casual with alcohol!!
    michelle t

  13. Anonymous10:26 PM

    I'm living in Iowa City now (new resident) and am not on call the 23rd (woo!). I also vote for casual with alcohol. And I'd vote for downtown - much more character than the stuff in the strip. Prairie Lights is nice, but it is a bookstore while the town is overrun with writers . . . depending on the final group size, I'd recommend the Sanctuary Pub which has some food and nice drinks and is just a nice space for adults to hang out for a while.

  14. Anonymous10:02 AM

    I defer to Janel since she is in Iowa City now and because Mickey's is likely to be overrun by students on a Saturday night!!

  15. Anonymous11:17 AM

    Hi Michelle,

    I hear you on living where the jobs are. (You and I were HP's together back in the day. Veronica is one of my BFF's). My husband and I moved back east after grad school in California due to academic jobs, which are very hard to come by. Now we have two boys, academic jobs, and we live in a terrific town in (huge gulp) New Jersey. I always imagined the end of that sentence would say something else but it's pretty minor in the scheme of things.

    Class of '99

  16. Anonymous5:08 PM

    OMG, on your Twitter pictures...does that geriatric mannequin really come with interchangeable genitalia?! That's so creepy... Who knew mannequins had the potential to be so anatomically correct?!

  17. Jennifer Lee3:39 AM

    Hi, I'm a medical student in Iowa planning on attending your talk, and I agree with Janel. Sanctuary is generally free of undergrads. It might be hard to secure a lot of space since it's kindof small, but maybe they will reserve space for this once-in-a-lifetime event?