Friday, December 02, 2011

It's official, I don't know anything

Look, I try to be pretty honest with myself.

I like to think that, sure, I'm not cool.  But I'm not actively uncool.  Right?  And while I don't know what it is like to be a tweenager, I have some idea, some point of reference.

But this morning I was reminded that I just don't know anything.

Our oldest gets up early so she has time to practice her clarinet before leaving for school.  The plan is, up at 5:45, practice for 15 minutes (four times a week, to get the required 60 in), then come upstairs and get ready for school.

So this morning, she comes stumbling out of her room at about 5:51.  Heads downstairs.  I hear the clarinet doing some scales at about 5:57.  At 6:03 she is upstairs.  So I casually throw out a simple question.

"How long did you practice?"

"Fifteen minutes."

"But you weren't downstairs for 15 minutes."

"It was 15 minutes, I have a timer!"

"Um, you haven't even been out of your room for 15 minutes.  It is therefore impossible to have practiced for 15 minutes.  I have been awake the entire time and know exactly how long you have been up.  It isn't possible for you to have practiced for 15 minutes."


But no admission that I may have, just on the off chance, been right.  Gosh I love being a moron.

Monday, July 18, 2011

So close, and yet so far

This won't be the first time I have mentioned how crazy residency can be.  And it certainly isn't meant as a complaint about the residency process.  As it is, it isn't to terribly bad, and there is a good chance it is just going to get worse in the coming years, all in an effort to make it "better".  But that is an entirely different blog article.

One aspect of residency that can really be painful is the vacation aspect.  We get 15 days of vacation a year.  I mean, I'm glad I get any days at all, seriously.  However, when you only have three weeks, and your family lives 2000+ miles away, it is amazing how fast those days are gobbled up just trying to be part of the family.

Take last year, for instance.  We had one trip back to Utah planned in October to run the Layton Marathon with my father.  That was an awesome trip.  However, between two other trips for weddings, *poof* there went my three weeks.

This often translates into not doing much around here where we are.  In fact, in the past, we have only really had one family vacation where we went and did something up here in New England, and that was back in the summer of 2008 (and one other brief trip to Maine for our anniversary a couple of years ago, but that was just Lis and I).  So that means that, despite only being 6 1/2 hours away from Palmyra, we have never been to the Hill Cumorah Pageant.

Don't they revoke your temple recommend for that?

We knew this was our last summer here in New England.  We determined we simply had to go to New York before we left.  So finally this past week we made it.  We went to Palmyra, then over to Niagara Falls and home by way of Lake Champlain and Burlington.

All in all it was a great trip, and something I am very glad we were able to do.  It is just sad that some of these things can be so close geographically, yet so far away due to time constraints.  More articles will be forthcoming about the trip.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I'm that kid. . .

Disclaimer: This is not a pity post.  I'm not asking for, nor looking for your pity.  In fact, I don't want it.  I don't need it.  Please take it elsewhere.  This is simply an observation, some thoughts, and acceptance on my part.

I started running for real on Thanksgiving Day, 2009.  I had done some running before that.  My father used to get me up at 5 in the morning when I was in Junior High to go jogging with him.  I did some running in medical school.  But then I sort of stopped.  Something changed that November morning and I went and ran about 5 miles, a new record distance for me.

Since that time I have continued to run, though with varying degrees of success at different times.  Last year was great up until the marathon in October.  Then I sort of slipped, was really tired (ya know, residency will do that to you) and didn't do great.  But we signed up for a half-marathon and I had some motivation again.  It was great to remember again just how good it feels to go out and move across the earth.

Our half-marathon was this past Saturday.  My wife and her friend did really great.  They were faster than me by far (no surprise), and even faster than they thought they would be.  I was super excited she did so well.  But I honestly had some difficulty with her congratulating me and being proud for me as well.  I mean, she ran it well and fast.  I just ran it.  Then the metaphor hit me.  I realized what kind of runner I am.

I'm sure we all know that one kid on the sports team.  Pick your sport, it doesn't really matter.  Let's go with basketball for sake of this blog, since I like basketball the most.  But there is always that one kid on the team.  He enjoys playing, but is just not good.  He scores occasionally, but will never make the winning basket.  He has a few assists, but more often than not either gets picked off or just throws it away when trying to pass.  And he dribbles off his own foot as often as he does the floor.

His mommy and daddy are proud of him because he is "there".  He's playing his hardest, despite the fact that, frankly, he sucks.  In fact, the team would be better off if he wasn't there, but no one has the heart to tell him that.  He just doesn't realize how bad he is, and that he is never going to be good at basketball.  Everyone just cheers because they are decent people and sort of feel sorry for him.  Fortunately for him, he just hears the cheers, and doesn't care.

I'm that kid. 

I'll go out and run.  I'll do okay, but I will never win a race, never win my age division, and will just constantly "finish" whatever race I enter.  And as I cross that finish line, there will be people cheering for me.  The only problem is, unlike that kid on the basketball court, blissfully ignorant, I know I'm that kid.  I know that, without mincing words, I kind of suck.

But I have accepted that.  So I will just continue to run, even though I kind of suck at it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Would you like fries with that?

I love my job.  Really.  I promise I do. 

Some days, though, I just don't feel up to it.  Today is one of those days.  I'm not sure why I feel that way.  It could just be pre-call weekend depression setting in (it's a real thing, I swear!), maybe it is because I am feeling a bit overwhelmed by having to deal with our new EMR this weekend, having been gone since the "go live" date.  Maybe it is just because I don't feel that I performed as well as I would have liked in the OR today.

Whatever it is, there are some days when I just really wish the toughest thing I had to deal with at work was asking the tough question, "Would you like fries with that?"

Oh that it were only so simple.  But just some days.  Just days like today.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Why do we have. . .

Dinner can be a great time of the day.  As my parents taught me, and as we have tried to do in our own family, dinner is a specific time in which other things do not intrude.  Cell phones are kept put away, everybody sits down together, and we try to talk to each other.

I do feel it is an important time.

Sometimes, this also leads to some funny, funny moments.  Such as tonight.

We were sitting there, having dinner, when Alex asked a simple question.  We were having a finger food meal.  No utensils necessary.  But we had forks, just in case.  Suddenly Alex turned to us all and asked "We do we even have forks?"

Elissa's explanation was very thorough.  "Well, sometimes when we eat, we swallow some extra air down into our stomachs.  This builds up, then eventually needs to be released.  When it does, it comes out as a burp."

The look on Alex's face was priceless.  Confusion, mixed with amusement as he looked fixedly at the fork.

That was when I pointed out that he had asked why we had forks, not burps.  Awesome.

Dusting myself off

This last week I had to write something.

It wasn't something long.  It wasn't something creative.  I fact, it was just pretty dry regurgitation of some number crunching.  You know, a few p values, a little M&M (Materials and Methods).  Yeah, I had to write and abstract.

It was hard.  Really hard.  Fortunately, it turned out well and I was able to submit it.  But it was a moment of realization.

I realized that, just as with anything else in life, if you don't do something, if you get out of practice, it becomes tough when the heat is on.  Something which had previously been pretty easy for me, writing, was suddenly really tough.  Now, some of that was due to the nature of the project, the need to be technical, precise and concise (after all, I do tend to be verbose). 

But a lot was due to the simple fact I haven't been writing anything with regularity.  I hope to rectify that.