Saturday, October 23, 2004


It's a chilly Saturday afternoon, the sun has broken the cloudy tarp for the first time in days, and I'm stuck at home, cloistered like a nun, trying to make myself study for next week's series of uninteresting (but no less difficult) examinations. When one longs to return to academics, days like these are the ones that are casually ignored, romanticized away, because we all know that higher education is all about ornate libraries, wise professors, paradigm shifts, and the platonic improvement of self... riiight.

I think my crucial downfall is that I have a window beside my bed. Every time a little breeze or odd sound happens by, I can so easily crane my neck and be instantaneously distracted by the clouds, the moon, the cats.

Young Vincent is in town from Arkansas this week, and tonight I'm supposed to take him out to, ahem, "show him some culture." I can't drink much, though, because tomorrow brings an early alarm call for more studiousness, followed by an afternoon study group to kill what remains of the weekend's open time.

In my mind, this time last year I was dozing in the backyard on the yellow reclining chair, listening to the leaves beginning to rustle loose while petting my purring cat, both of us with closed eyes, while my dog sat and chewed at some old bone.

Bedroom view


Friday, October 22, 2004

Becky = master, etc. 

Firstly, let me congratulate dear Miss Becky for successfully defending her master's dissertation yesterday, officially earning her the title Master of Immunology. Kudos from all of us who lag behind you (which is, um, all of us).

Also, tonight I mark with sadness because not only did I miss the Ratatat/Junior Boys/Mouse on Mars show last night (due to lack of funds and the general malaise that trails on seemingly forever after an illness), but I will be missing the official release party for Runaway Planet tomorrow at Whitewater in Little Rock. I do think, though, that my sister is interested enough in them now to drive in to see the show (and I know Megan will be stridently representing our bottomless pitcher/crotchless panty theme even in my absence). She's hornier than me, anyway, so it seems appropriate.

This evening I picked up my half-term class on health information systems and promptly spent an hour and a half discussing what is meant by a "table." Not just that, but also a "database." I feel very second-generation deconstructionist when courses, as they are wont to do these days, emphasize the transliteral meaning of methods as much as they emphasize the methods themselves. It's very fun, but only to me--the other people in my class are all physicians and specialists who don't know anything outside their own addiction to diagnosticism, so anything faintly resembling analysis (or anything else that could be faintly termed 'liberal arts') simply makes them sigh repeatedly as if to publicly proclaim the uselessness of speculation. Dicks. If you're going to be bored, and you're paying blood money for that boredom, oughtn't you make your money's worth out of the fiasco? Seriously, folks, get a grip--medicine is still barbarism, so learn to do something other than diagnose, like converse, that you can apply to your existence outside the glamour of the ER.


Thursday, October 21, 2004

Looks at blinking activity light, sighs in relief 

I finally have internet access at "home," after almost ten weeks of living in Washington and, let me just say this for the record, I missed my sweet baby. My brother-in-law once criticized the internet as a crutch for human activity, but the past several weeks have proven otherwise--the internet is now the crux of Western civil existence, and, indeed, nothing is easy in the States without a reliable connection (every one of my courses has a mandatory online component, something that I no longer have to Metro all the was to campus to satisfy).

My folks and sister (and niece) were in town for the past several days, which gave me a long-desired pause from all of this alien-ness and a return to sanity among the similar. The two unfortunate sides to this visit are that my niece brought along a pesky stomach illness that I've quickly picked up, and my mom had no kitchen to use on this trip to make me comfort food (I would have let her use mine, but there's no way that we could have all crowded into such a small space in the grand manner that we Southerners are known to do while the gifted prepare our kibble).

I also went out to Blowoff last Saturday to, ah, mixed results. The party was great, mind you (thanks to a couple of cool cats), but there's something unpleasant about being drugged in the middle of an otherwise entertaining evening (more specifically, the part where one tries to hurridly leave the premises before the arrival of unconsciousness and ends up remembering only flashes of the next confusing few hours, sleeping beside some alleyway garbage cans, hallucinating after standing up too quickly, and having a homeless man kindly shepard one home at about 5:45 in the morning). Side effects that I would ordinarily consider fun and disarming in a controlled, familiar setting become terrifying when unexpected and in a very large, very dark, and very dangerous city.

Not one to end on an overtly dramatic note, I have to add that my new IKEA mattress is the greatest thing since sliced bread; not having a soft sleeping surface for a couple of months completely eliminated my mattress choosiness, so I only tested the cheapest mattress I could find, which my parents kindly bought.

The morals of this story are that the internet, sound sleeping, and keeping a guarded eye on one's drink at the bar are all good things.


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