Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Goose is Getting Fat

On Saturday, the high was supposed to be around 15 ºC, but instead, it rose above broke freezing. Wow, what a misprediction. So, as I was coming home from a party at about 1:30 this morning, there was a fine ice 'mist' in the air; I took it to be a positive omen. Lo and behold, when I woke up this morning, it was snowing heavily, and there was a good three inches of snow on the ground. It snowed all day. I love the twilight in wintertime; everything seems grey and dark, and for some reason, that gives me this intense feeling of contentment, like I'm 'at home'. I guess my love of extremes is why I enjoy the dark of a Canadian winter so much, as well as its antithesis, the wonderful heat of an İstanbul summer.

Speaking of İstanbul summers, for some unexplained reason, I went nuts over yogurt this weekend. I walked past the dairy isle on Friday, as I was shopping for baking ingredients, and saw that yogurt was on sale. I immediately bought 3.1 litres. Today, I went back and bought another 3.3 litres. Mmm, life should go smoothly for the next few days.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Tied Up

You know you're having fun when you spend Friday evening practicing tying one-handed knots. One hundred forwards, one hundred backwards. Repeat for the other hand, to attain ambidexterity. Do this every night, before going to bed. It reminds me of knitting.

Why did I begin this regime this week? I began my 40-hour pediatric surgery clinical 'encounter' this week. I also spent a couple of hours in obs/gyn surgery. I think I'm mostly over my fear of screwing up, and I'm ready to actually become helpful... anyways, I'm really excited about all this upcoming OR time.

Meanwhile, my apartment has turned into a pigsty lately. I rectified the problem today, and did some baking too, to top off the day.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

All is Well in the World

This week, we began our repro course. In concert with that, on Friday afternoon, it was well woman time for my well-person-partner Running Man and me. Well man had made me nervous, when we went through it last school year, but this time around, I didn't have the lead-up time to get nervous.

In the end, it was uneventful and went well. It was a lot more difficult that a good old DRE, but who doesn't like a challenge? Running Man maintains his cool in all situations, so that helped out.

Afterwards, I could really have used a beer. Instead, I had Harvey's twice, and was reminded of why I used to love them so much.

I really have gotten down to studying, btw. I've already put in more hours than I did in the first five weeks of neuro. Hurrah!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Another course has come and gone; we had our neuropathology peripatetic yesterday, and the final exam today. Neuro completely failed to grab my attention; I guess the problem was that I already had a rough idea about a lot of the diseases involved, before the course started, so the full seven weeks really wasn't necessary.

Luckily, the ophthalmology section was interesting, primarily because I now know how to spell 'ophthalmology'. What a great word.

Unfortunately, not so great, was that after the exam, we headed to the local pub for a couple of drinks. They have free peanuts, so I ate a lot of them. One tasted exactly like blue cheese, which is not how peanuts are supposed to taste. Now, I have this terrible feeling in my tummy.

It actually snowed most of the day yesterday, and into this morning. Still no accumulation, though, since the ground remains too warm.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Sweatin' with the Oldies

On Friday, I went camping with a few people from the medschool, about 45 minutes out of town; it was a native health pathways club thing. We set up, and slept in, a Blackfoot-style tipi, which was a fun, obviously. The only downside was that it was pretty darn cold overnight, quite a bit below zero. Happily, the sky was incredible; the best I'd seen since central Asia, all those years ago. As a few of us sat around the embers of a campfire with an elder, having her tell us the story of the wolf trail, I watched two shooting stars fly overhead.

In the morning, we got up at 6:30 to enter the sweat lodge. Sweat was a bit of an understatement; I can't remember being that hot in years. Perhaps the minibuses of İstanbul were a similar temperature? It was a great experience, and reminded me in many ways of a Mevlevi sema. Afterwards, we rinsed off in an ice-cold creek; my skin was all pruney for at least half the day.

As the evening set in, we were back at the hospital, and found that the clerkship schedules were out. I have to start setting the elective wheels in motion after this week's exams...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Well, if I can't go to Thanksgiving, then Thanksgiving will come to me. As I mentioned in my last post, I backed out of Big Poppa's dinner to freak out over neuro. Well, Big Poppa brought a complete meal of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatos, mashed yam, beans, a bun, and cranberry sauce to school today, which I enjoyed for dinner. I broke open a bottle of 2003 Mouton Cadet Bordeaux to enjoy along with it. Wow, a great meal, which reminded me of warm memories of Thanksgivings past. Thus, today's title.

To top it off, I've had a couple of good days musically as well. Yesterday brought me a shipment that included a couple of Faye Wong disks that I had been missing, along with the special edition of 'Smile Again'. This evening I picked up a package from the post office, that completed my original-release Pizzicato Five collection. I had been missing 'Ça et là de Tokyo' up until now (okay, it's a rerelease, but what can a guy do?). Also, I've recently been thinking of submersing into Québécois rock, and lo and behold, today Fluorescent Boy introduced me to a couple of tracks from Anik Jean and Les Cowboys Fringants. It reminded me that I've been meaning to invest in a Beau Dommage album, to rekindle my youth. If that wasn't enough, this aft, Ché slipped me some rips of Cuban and latin tunes he picked up over the summer.

Anyways, to finish off this post, I've been tagged by Med Neophyte, and am supposed to list twenty random things about me. Twenty is a lot of random facts, so I will cut it down to ten useless factoids; otherwise, I'll run out of mysteries.

1) Okay, where do I start? I believe that life is way, way too short. I was just thinking, I often think of my Glory Days (à la Bruce), and yet here I am currently living another complete set of them, as we type. Lucky!

2) One of my favourite pastimes is shovelling snow.

3) I liked yellow as a kid, then moved on to green. That change of heart may or may not have been related to snow.

4) I enjoy glycobiology more than any other form of biochemistry.

5) I am an Apple maniac, as if you couldn't tell. I spend my days waiting for the perfect Mac to be released.

6) I like cars and planes that have plenty of leg room, and houses with high ceilings.

7) I'm a foreign film addict; if only my textbooks were subtitled. :(

8) I lack drive. I am where I am today, only through the efforts and inspiration of others. Without certain people in my past, I'd be a computer-game-playing comic-book-reading bum (oh wait, that describes me quite well).

9) Sadly (or happily, depending on your feelings about evolution), nobody wants to see me in short shorts.

10) Next week will be rough.

I could pass on the tag to Marysienka, but Anna's already tagged her!

Sunday, October 08, 2006


It's been another quiet week. Just studying or wasting time, these days. It's actually Thanksgiving today, and I was invited for dinner by Big Poppa, but backed out for an evening of study instead. Happily, I really have gotten down to it.

The only event of note is that I have suddenly become engrossed in the Trashcan Sinatras. A fellow former Endersian supplied me with an mp3 from them about five years ago, and the song finally got through to my limbic system this weekend.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


My life has become rather boring recently. The high point of the weekend was that I came down with a throat infection. It sucked, of course, being feverous and sore, with a general malaise about me. I noted a drop in my cognitive ability. 'Obtund' was the best word to describe me on Sunday.

Monday was worse, as I started the day by wacking the back of my head so badly on the bottom of the door of my medicine cabinet that it still hurts. My deficits now focused on attention and concentration. 'Confused' would describe my behaviour for the rest of the day.

In this state of mind, I'm still trying to figure out my future. A week ago, I was set on general surgery. Now, I'm having second thoughts, and trying to organize my clerkship to allow internal as a backup. How about paediatrics? I can slip that in too. The next year and a half will not be easy.

On the plus side, it kind-of snowed again on Monday morning, although it was still too warm for it to settle on the ground. Oh, and I've pretty much defeated whatever virus it was that had the nerve to infect me.