Monday, February 27, 2006

Fat, not.

I wonder if I already mentioned this in an earlier entry... I recently bought a battery for my bathroom scale, and weighed myself for the first time since last May. I found that I now weigh less than I ever did in my entire time in Boston. My BMI is sitting at 19.5. Not too shabby, but I don't understand how it happened. I haven't exercised much, my diet is pretty atrocious; I should be getting fat, not thin.

Anyways, in related medical trivia, it turns out that I'm a walking, talking, poster child for pneumothorax. I'm told that if I take up smoking, I'll quickly end up a great patient for my peers to examine.

In unrelated unimportant news, Rococo, Magic Pants, J, and I went to see 'Match Point' at the theatre after the exam on Friday. It was a pretty good movie; I left thoroughly satisfied. Afterwards, we hit Montana's for rib tips and dessert again; I think that just about does it for the Montana's routine, though. :(

I also recently made it through Rococo's entire DVD collection of romantic comedies, so it seems I should have more time to study in the future, unless I finally borrow seasons 1 through 6 of 'Friends'. Decisions, decisions.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Le Week-End

Had exams today, in resp. Survived another course: whew. What I need to do, is cancel my zip.ca membership. Anyways, it's time to go intense on renal.

This weekend, we have the first round of interviews for next year's class. It will be interesting to see the process from the other side of the battlements. It turns out that around 900 people apply from out-of-province, for the 15 spots available to them; I had no idea there were so many o-o-p applicants. Meanwhile, around 700 apply for the 85 in-province spots. Neither is great odds...

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Sounds

In the last while, I've discovered three enjoyable sounds.

1) When I open my freezer door, the bottle of J├Ągermeister bangs against the guard rail in the door, and sets off this interesting buzz, that resonates for about three seconds.

2) In the local cancer centre, the stairwells have these big tubular steel railings; when you rap them with your knuckle, they act like big tubular bells. Somehow, the way they are attached to the wall allows them to resonate perfectly.

3) The hillside I walk up and down every day is south-facing. The bright sun will sublimate the snow away, even on the coldest days. When just the right amount of snow falls, and the day has just the right amount of sunshine, the dried grass is left with an extremely thin layer of ice coating its surface. When you walk on it, it creates a sound like cellophane crackling. Thank you, Gaia!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Weathering the weather

My friend Bil just moved to LA, and now feels that gray skies constitute bad weather. Meanwhile, here the high was -24 ┬║C yesterday, and it was in the -30s last night. I went shopping, and couldn't feel my feet for a while...

So, am I complaining? No and yes. No, because I kinda enjoy that. Yes, because, I have to say, the weather in Calgary has been a bit too hot for my tastes the last month or so. Sure, we had some nice -20 weeks back in December, but since I got back after Christmas, it has hung around the freezing mark, with a few days in the high teens, if you can imagine that.

Anyways, yesterday's pleasure will quickly fade away again, as Monday's high is supposed to be above zero again. :( At least we have some snow on the ground.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Valentine's

It's Valentine's Day again. Long ago, Leonard told me something related to this subject, but now that I'm in medical school, I thought perhaps I'd look into the matter myself. I went through my textbooks, my guides, my atlases, and my high-yield notes, and it seems that he was right: there ain't no cure for love.

I walked into this empty church; I had no place else to go
When the sweetest voice I ever heard, whispered to my soul
I don't need to be forgiven for loving you so much
It's written in the scriptures, it's written there in blood
I even heard the angels declare it from above
There ain't no cure,
There ain't no cure,
There ain't no cure for love

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Le Hockey

Saturday morning, I went to see our class women's hockey team play against our second year's team. They lost, but it was fun to watch, anyways. I tried to remember the last time that I actually went to a hockey game. If memory serves me right, it was in Rockland, Ontario, back after Guy Lafleur retired for the first time (from the Canadiens). I forget why he was playing, and who he was playing against, but I was a huge fan of his, and to watch him play in a small arena like Rockland's (where he had played so often as a kid, too) was a real pleasure.

It's funny, I was such a big fan of Guy back in the beginning of the eighties, I watched every game that was on the tube, with my Canadiens sweater on, and my hockey stick in my hands. Last night, I watched 'Bend it Like Beckham', and was reminded of that worship. I still have a big Lafleur poster up on my bedroom wall, back in Ottawa!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Moon and a Tune

Back in Boston, I was heavily addicted to my mp3 player. I never went anywhere without my FL100, or my Koss earphones. After I got to Calgary, I stopped using it, mainly because my rechargable batteries disappeared in the move, as did my player for a while. Well, two weeks ago, I refound all the necessary components, and I've had the player surgically reattached to my body.

The result is nice. Recently I have taken up the habit at nighttime of always walking up the hill to the hospital backwards, for a better view into the sky. These days, Orion is always high at around the time I usually head up to school, between 10 p.m. and midnight. That is great on its own, but it's better with a bit of Leonard to accompany it:

Maybe there’s a God above
But all I have ever learned from love
Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew you...

Or some Nick:

Beneath the hanging cliffs and under the many stars where
He will move, all amongst your tangled hair
And deep into the sea...

Too bad the days are getting longer again.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

I can't shut up...

...about Degrassi:TNG. That is quite a surpise to me. Yesterday and today, I watched 2/3 of the second season. The writing is pretty powerful, with several very engaging characters/actors.

After watching the first season, I thought to myself, it sure would be better if it had more stories about the adult generation in it. Well, the second season gave me just that, with the Spike/Snake wedding, and heavy Joey involvement in the plot. Good work. Nice to see more Lucy and Caitlin as well.

I also felt that one of the strengths of Degrassi JH/H was the size of the cast. D:TNG suffered by focusing on a small group of people. Well, they introduced a bunch of new characters in season 2, bringing up the cast size to something more Degrassi-like, allowing exploration of more diverse subject matter.

Finally, it was interesting to see that Bruce McDonald directed a few more episodes, and again did a great job with them.

So, why isn't this series all over the tube in the US? Subject matter too controversial, perhaps? Maybe they can't sell a series set in a foreign city? Funny, in Degrassi Junior High, they always hid the identity of the city; they actually went so far as to show US money in one episode of DJH...

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Voodoo

I got back from Banff this evening. Wow, what a great weekend. Friday night, we got to the 'wellness' conference at about 6 p.m., had dinner, then headed into town to go clubbing, a bit after 10. We ended up at Hoodoo Lounge. The DJing was a bit weak, but the girlz dragged me onto the dance floor, which I typically hate, and I started to get into it. Once Run DMC came up, I went trance and wouldn't stop dancing until I got dragged back off of the floor at 1:30, to catch a bus up the hill to the hotel. I would not stop, though, not even when we got outside. I have never been in the groove like that, ever before. What happened? Strange.

Next day, it was seminars about various Wellness topics. Meditation was my favourite. We did this kind of stuff back in high school, at athletic camps, and I have used the techniques once in a while to help with insomnia, but this weekend reminded me of what I like about it: it modifies focus, awareness, perception. Mebbe I should spend more time pursuing it. Anyways, since meditation was in the morning, I had already achieved oneness with the universe by noon! That gave me all afternoon to ponder the ten dimensions of string theory.

Well, Saturday night, the remaining quadrangle of nerdz decided not to go clubbing, and hung out at the hotel. This morning, we headed back into town for some shopping, then went to the Banff Springs Hotel for afternoon tea, checked out the actual hoodoos on the edge of town, and headed back to Calgary. Nice day! I love being outside in a hint of snowfall, which was the case for most of the time we were there, and Banff is a gorgeous place. The view from Banff Springs is certainly incredible, and we discovered that it is the ideal study location, with all of these big halls overlooking the valley and mountains, and virtually no through-traffic of people. Hopefully, I'll be heading up there again soon, to get some quality studying in.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Plates

Tonight, I took my old Massachusetts plates off of my car and bike, and replaced them with Alberta ones. So, I'm finally completely legal. I'm sorta sad about it, I guess. I'm not sure why.

Tomorrow, I'm heading up to Banff, until Sunday. That was my motivation for getting my car registered: I didn't want to get hauled off to jail, while I was driving people up to the park. Anyways, there's some meds conference on. Banff has hot springs, and that is what I'll be up to on Sunday morning. How's that for relaxation? Truly, meds is like a long vacation.

Survival

If there's anything that I've become good at in the last year, it's pushing myself beyond any reasonable physical limits. Yesterday, I got intensely sick while at school (I am guessing I ate something bad, but who knows). Still, I refused to go home, and made it through the whole day's schedule. After resting a bit (more on that below), I ended up staying up until 1 a.m. to bake cookies (dark chocolate oatmeal) for the 'Well Physician' class today. In the morning, I got up at 6:30 to bake another batch of cookies (this time my speciality, cranberry and white chocolate), and then went off to class. The presentation went well, and the cookies went over even better... starting with the random people in the elevator, who enquired after the contents of my pot, and who I rewarded with a few, the people I ran into in the hallways, in the coffee queue... lucky I had baked up so many. Anyways, I ended up not getting to eat lunch, developed some intense stomach pain, and finally got home just before 6. What did I do? I went running, of course. When I finally got home from that, I ate. Two cans of chili. Great.

Anyways, enough of that. So, I mentioned 'resting a bit' up there. Okay, what I really did, was watch the last DVD of Friends season 10, with the final episode. I was never the biggest Friends fan, but I am a sucker for that kind of stuff. I was relieved to finally know the end of the whole Ross-Rachel thing, although frankly, I have to say that the writing on the last episode was lacking in imagination. I mean, Rachel has to give up all her dreams of Paris, career, etc, for a wishy-washy guy whose big gesture is going to the airport. Sheesh. Absolutely, he should have had to quit NYC, abandon everything, and head to Paris, or something like that, to show some emotional desperation and commitment. Nope, let Rachel do the sacrificing, so that they can have a final shot with all of them leaving the old apartment together. Better would have been to have the whole crowd self-destruct and fade away one-by-one, or two-by-two: Rachel gone, Ross dropping everything and taking off, Phoebe not bothering to help move because she's all married and stuff, and the other two taking off to some distant suburb, leaving Joey all depressed and alone with that penguin of his. Now that would have been a nice, gut-wrenching finale.

By the way, the hospital that Rachel's dad is in, after his MI a few episodes before the end, is actually Robarts, the humanities library at the University of Toronto, the largest library in Canada (according to wikipedia, it's currently the largest book repository in the world). 'The Turkey' is its obvious nickname. Somewhere in that building lies a copy of my thesis. I spent so many hours sitting in front of that building, waiting for the chinese truck to cook me lunch: either beef rice noodle (best in Toronto), or beef eggplant, oh so special.

Oh great, now I'm depressed. The truck people sold their business a few years back, I'm told, and the quality of the new people just wasn't the same. The rice noodle went downhill. The truck lady, with her incredible memory for the favourite dishes of hundreds of devoted students, will never be forgotten.

Just before 11 p.m. tonight, I finished reading my resp textbook, under two weeks into the course. Yes, I started a textbook-reading competition against a few classmates last week, and tonight was the end of it. Only one other student was serious competion: 'Magic Pants'. It appeared that he would also finish tonight. Who won? To be continued...