Friday, February 24, 2006

What it takes to stop the rolling death train

This past week's hulabaloo in CA around execution reminds me to send a big old fuck you out to those of you who assume doctors don't actually hold to an ethical standard, and who use that mistaken lack to justify malpractice suits as a new national pastime. Medicine is one of the few professions left that defines and demands adherence to ethical and moral practice (okay, S & M, you guys have an ethical standard, but it just ain't moral).

Perhaps the death penalty will finally be ended through the deft application of...I don't know...maybe...ETHICS?

Monday, February 20, 2006


Also in the world of eating -

Almost every Sunday I make a big pot of what may be the best rice pudding in the world (email me if you want the recipe, for I will not share it outside la familia). It bubbles away for about 45 minutes, filling the house with a heady miasma of cinnamon-scented steam.

When it was done, I was still stirring and Alexis plunked down a bowl next to me, raised a finger for silence and said in a booming voice:
"Pile them high at Waterloo!"

She said her statement reflected multiple deep meanings, but I think she really just wanted pudding.


Sunday, February 19, 2006

24 ounces

Unbelievably enough, Alexis has no more required overnight call. This means she will never again be required to go in at 8am, work all day, take the call pager at 6pm, work all night, give up the call pager at 8am, and then work all day again. That's a good old 33 hour shift, that is, and we should all know that the neurosurgeon stopping that brain bleed in your uncle has pulled that shift twice this week already.

Overnight call started in third year of medical school, on Trauma Surgery AI (where she'd need to leave the house around 3:30am, and get home around 9:30pm, and call was Q3 - every three days)and has stretched through these seven years. Residency call has only meant, on average, Q12, and she mostly gets to come home and sleep the next day. Still, when's the last time you were responsible for people's lives over the course of a 24 hours shift?'s over. They stop overnight call around this time of year for the residents studying for oral boards...which is in June, and is basically a three-month cramming session.

To celebrate, you know who requested what she always does - Prime Rib. We've basically tried it everywhere that offers it, but we decided to go to the first place we ever ordered it - Damon's. The main dining room is full of bitter, large families working through plates of sticky ribs and fried whatever. I wanted Alex to have the largest size possible, and she has only nascent math skills, and when we ordered, the waitress actually paused before writing it down.

"Really?" she asked...
"Sure," we responded.

What arrived was way beyond what either of us had imagined - it was the area of a regular cut of prime rib, but was about two and a half inches thick. Alexis couldn't speak for a moment, what had been delivered was so outrageous, so filthy, bizarre and overwhelming. She grinned so big it was difficult to see how she'd eat at all. Conversation that had, until that point, been quite lively, stopped completely. Instead, she cooed softly to the meat, slicing it smartly and consuming one great gobbet after another.

To be honest, she only made it through two pounds at one sitting, but she thought about the final pound all the way home, all night, and ate it early the next morning, standing over the kitchen counter.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Advice to me:

1. Be careful of what you eat less than an hour before running, for you will be burping it up for four to six miles. Ask yourself honestly: do I want to taste cold Kentucky Fried Chicken while doing Fartlek sprints on an icy track in February? Do I?

2. Speaking of which, remember, ice is not about falling - it is about the fear of falling. Ya got two big feet which generally keep you upright, and all that terrified rigidity generally leads to some sort of muscle strain.

3. When you are sick, you hurt yourself. Something about your musculature tears more easily when you are fighting an illness. Yes, I know that you've been sick for two weeks, and you can't stay home forever. And, yes, I know that you generally feel okay except for that weird twitching in your right ear, but you are still sick. Keep running, but don't expect to feel good.

4. New running clothes make you happy.

5. Tuesday night group runs leave you neither a scintillating conversationalist nor a particularly good driver. Plan accordingly.

Monday, February 13, 2006


I was very clear with my mom and sister Jess when they visited for Thanksgiving: first the turkey, then we smash up the kitchen.

Alexis takes a blade to the ceiling. Caulk adheres all things.

Our house=short
My sister=tall
Thank goodness, though, somebody had to hold up the dropped ceiling. Had my mother not been occupied with rearranging our tiny extra kitchen to hold everything contained in our larger primary kitchen, she would have solved the problem through the deft application of eye-hooks.

We were all pulling/prying/pushing to get the lower half of the cabinets out...but it was stuck on something. You see, we've discovered that a lot of DIYing is just about pulling harder - so we did. What was it stuck on? A live outlet we didn't know existed. Bzzt!

A hard-won territory.

Three out of five ain't too bad...

Monday, February 06, 2006

Yinzer for a day

Last night may have been the first time we ever sat together for the purposes of watching even a part of the Superbowl. It's true - I have very little idea of how the game is played, but love the Steelers unabashedly nonetheless. And who can resist a stadium of Cope's terrible towels, as asinine as they are?

It was enticing, watching Bettis's belly bounce up the field and down the field, but we actually spent a surprising amount of time watching other bellies on TV. Animal Planet was showing the (Second Annual) Puppy Bowl. It is simply footage of about six puppies in a pen, playing with toys.

We laughed it off, at first, rejecting the shameless pull of the cute (I was offended for my demographic). But there's something about puppies rolling around and falling down that is absolutely *captivating*. We kept trying to get away, and they'd hit us again with the Waterbowl Cam (a camera at the bottom of the waterbowl) or a tussle that we couldn't stop watching. It was fine television, and we switched back just in time for the last few minutes and the Bus's last stop.