Saturday, November 22, 2008


It's December again. Summer is long over; short days, long nights, and a reminder that we're all dying, and not that slowly. Haruki wrote:

The bloom of summer came home to me after all these years. The tidewater smell, the cry of distant steam whistles, the touch of girls' skin, the lemon scent of hair rinse, the evening breeze, fond hopes, summer dreams...
Even so, everything was ever so slightly off, as if little by little the tracing paper had slipped irretrievably from the lines of summers past.

Anyways, 10 p.m., and I'm off to work, trying to put the tracing paper back in place for one more night.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


It's back, and I'm actually happy about it. My schedule for November looks great.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

My luck is turning

I stopped for a post-call café con leche on Queen West. Not bad, but not Seville. Reaching the bottom of the cup, I felt something odd in my mouth, mixed in with the coffee grounds: a shard of glass. Great.

Returning to the car, I was greeted with a $30 parking ticket.

Friday, October 03, 2008


Another 14-hour day, and I was walking home. My feet hurt, the tie around my neck a constant irritation. I was preoccupied, thinking about what it means to exist.

Two white guys stumbled out of a bar and into my path. They're in their early twenties, dressed as b-ballers, and drunk or high or both. "Can you spare some change?" one asked me. "Sorry, no." I tried to be nice.

"You FAKER! You and your... BLUE SHIRT!"

Seriously? Is this my life?

I walked into a street sign.

"HA HA! That's the funniest thing I've ever seen! Hey look! Look!" His friend was now vomiting into the flowers in front of Just Desserts.

"FAKER!" I heard in the distance, as I disappeared into the darkness.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Good Life

She asked, "Did you move back into your old apartment?"

My friend answered for me. "Yeah, he moved right back into the same rut he was in when he left."

I've told people before that I sometimes feel like I'm living in stasis. Now I find that it is true. I'm walking the same streets as before, going to the same restaurants as before. Often it's the same employees as before. Eight years have passed.

The only difference is that now my hair is a bit longer, my beard scragglier, and there are lines at the corners of my eyes. And I had a future back then. Now there's just the present. Is that the improvement?

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Oh Happy Day

Medical school finished on Friday.

Yunus said:

I haven't come here to settle down;
I've come here to depart.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

De Omnibus Dubitandum

The dream was beautiful. He was helping the poor, the repressed, the innocent. Justice: it was happening, he was working hard, he'd do it, he'd change the world. And, the million dollars, oh the million dollars every day, just out of reach, but he'd get it.

Now, cracks started to appear. He had trouble remembering his plans, his ideas, and the people he had told them to had not written them down. His own notes didn't make sense, he had so many ideas. If only they'd written them down, if only he'd had a secretary writing down everything he had said.

A profound sadness was settling into his soul. Now, how could he achieve his goals? He knew who to blame: that medical student. The student had stabbed him in the back, said that he was not thinking straight, that he was sick. He had told the committee not about his wonderful dream, but about his mistakes. He wasn't sick! Now, the student was experimenting on him with his drugs, just to play doctor. His dream, his dream was dying.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

I'm Only Looking for My Hand in the Snow

I started my psych rotation last week, and in celebration I put Yoko Ono on repeat in my iTunes. There's a song of hers I love, because it's somewhat strange: Walking on Thin Ice. I've never met another person who liked it; generally, people think you're nuts if you like Ono, and maybe they're right. Anyways, I came across it recently in a listing of remixes, which was a surprise to say the least.

Yesterday, I looked it up in wikipedia. Apparently, the guitar in Walking on Thin Ice is the last musical recording of John Lennon, and when he was shot, he had the final mix of the song in his hands. Hmm. It also appears that a remix of Walking on Thin Ice hit number one on the US dance charts in 2003. Who knew?

Anyways, I'm tired of winter.

Monday, January 21, 2008


The CaRMs process has more or less sucked for me. I applied to internal without having done any electives in it; when I did renal during my core rotations, I realized that internal was my future. Big mistake. A large percentage of the graduating medschool population applies to internal as a backup, and I disappeared in the flood of applications, just another student with 'Pass' as his grade.

Man, I wish we were ranked by grades in class...

Leonard had this to say, slightly edited to fit my situation:

I came so far for medschool
I left so much behind
My patience and my family
My masterpiece unsigned

I thought I'd be rewarded
For such a lonely choice
And surely she would answer
To such a hopeless voice

I practiced on my sainthood
I gave to one and all
But the rumours of my virtue
They moved her not at all

I got a grand total of one interview. Wednesday is the big day.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


The person who picked my name passed away just before Christmas. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in October, while I was out in Drumheller. When I got back to Calgary for internal, the question was, would I take a few days off to see her while she was still healthy enough? Well, the choice was made to delay going until Christmas. I knew, of course, that that was risky.

She passed away 36 hours before I got there. She was looking forward to seeing me, but I didn't take a couple of days off to give her something to be happy about in her last hours.

I spent Christmas cleaning up her apartment. All the things that meant so much to her, now they were being sold off or given away. I found her old photos, back from when she was a medical student and then a resident. Life seemed full of promise back then; not everything worked out. I realized that a generation later, I live a life remarkably like hers.

I left the apartment for the last time. As a kid, that place felt like home to me. Now, there's no going back. Funny, eating at restaurants where my great grandfather liked to go 100 years ago, I wondered, will I one day say, "Your great-great grandfather liked to eat the lüngerl here"?

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

First Class!

I ended up getting upgraded to first class for the last part of my flight from London! Sounds great, eh? That was after first being moved up to business with those crazy bed-seat pods!

My secret to getting great upgrades? Fainting, endless vomiting, and plenty of diarrhea. Not pleasant, but very effective. Oh, unfortunately the first-class upgrade was only to the washroom...

I kept thinking that I'd love to be the medical student taking this history. Living it was not so good.