Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Dispatch from the frontlines

Yesterday, I picked Sam up from daycare and his wonderful caregiver handed me his diaper bag as we zoomed out the door, off to a meeting for which I was already late. Later, when I checked in the bag to clean it out and reload it, I found ... my own underwear. My skimpiest, sexiest pair. How those made it into the diaper bag, I'll never know.

That sums up my life these days. Deep and enduring disorganization and incompetance with a splash of mild embarrassment -- yet the whole mess is somehow funny.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Back in the saddle

I'm finished with my interviews and back at home -- what a relief! Our trip to Boston didn't pan out quite as expected. For starters, it was horribly cold while we were there, which meant that Brian and Sam spent the greater part of each day trapped in our hotel room. When we did venture out, we bundled Sam in layers and a fuzzy snowsuit, but we couldn't find a way to keep the chilly wind off his little face and his cheeks and nose turned bright red within minutes! (If you live in a cold climate, surely you don't keept your baby inside all winter! What do people do?) So that was a drag.

The other surprise of our trip was that I loved Brigham and Women's Hospital. Loved it. Loved it loved it loved it. So now we have a dilemma. On the one hand, residency is just about the worst time to move my little family thousands of miles from home to sub-freezing temperatures, leaving behind our hard-won support network, not to mention a fabulous job for Brian and a fantastic daycare for Sam. Leaving behind our parish. Our friends. (Our housekeeper!) On the other hand ... loved it loved it loved it. So I'm stuck. I have until the end of February to make my match list. In the meantime, Brian is scouting out Boston jobs and I'm scouring craigslist, trying to picture us living in the apartments for which pictures are posted. That could be Sam's bedroom, I think. Or, hmmm, does this kitchen have enough counter space for Brian?

What's been interesting to me about this to-move-or-not debate is how guilty I feel about the whole thing. If the situation were reversed, if Brian was the one contemplating a temporary cross-country move to take advantage of an amazing professional opportunity, I (like to) think I'd tell him go for it! Let's go! And he is certainly saying that to me. But I'm having a very hard time imagining myself letting him make that sacrifice for me. Almost as if I've internalized the notion -- much as I despise it -- that Brian's career is the "real" one and I'm just fooling around. I'm not sure what to make of this.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Christmas pictures

We spent Sam's first Christmas in Corvallis with his grandparents. We had a wonderful time! It was such a joy to watch his bond with his grandmothers and grandfathers deepen. And of course, it was so much stinkin' fun to watch him ogle the Christmas trees, fiddle with the wrapping paper on his gifts, and munch on the packaging from his new toys! Below are some shots from Christmas morning.


Even though we're well into the new year, I'm still formulating my resolutions. In the past, my strategy has been to undertake very small resolutions: one year, I resolved to stop losing my keys (success!) and another year, I resolved to start drinking V8 (failure). This year, I'm inclined to take the same approach and a number of potential resolutions present themselves. I could resolve to improve my skin care routine (eye cream! facials!), for example. Or organize my spices, once and for all (IKEA!). On the other hand, this year is ripe for a grandiose resolution. I'm flabbier and more deconditioned than ever before in my adult life. A modicum of financial self-control over the next year will help us pay off my medical school debt and save a down payment for a house. As I get busier, efficiency and organization in pretty much any aspect of my life will be a real help. And I'm very worried that I won't adequately nurture my husband and son, not to mention friends and family, as internship revs up.

I think I'm going with the facials.

PS. Tomorrow we three fly to Boston. Apparently, the high on Thursday is supposed to be 12 degrees. I'm fairly certain that's colder than I've ever experienced.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


The biblical deluge continues here in Washington. Amid rumors that the I-5 would close tomorrow, we left town today after my interview only to spent two hours going 40 miles in a blinding downpour. The rain is so severe that the 5 closed tonight, so we're holed up in a drab motel off the interstate. How I wish we had stayed in Seattle where we had a posh hotel and plans to see an old friend for dinner! Double blech.

On the upside, I enjoyed my interview day very much. The UW program is truly excellent and there were numerous advantages, mostly in terms of research opportunities, that I hadn't previously considered. It would be an honor to train here.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


I'm here in Seattle with my mother and my son and the night is looking up. We're tucked into bed, all three of us, post-room service. I'm nursing my glass of wine and plugged into the free Seattle wifi. The drive up from Corvallis is a dwindling memory, but it was pretty awful: torrential sheets of rain and appalling traffic. While stopped in a spontaneous parking lot overlooking the Space Needle, we listened as a radio announcer very helpfully alerted us to a flood warning "over the next seven minutes". Needless to say, we took all appropriate precautions for at least eight minutes. All told, it took six and half hours to make a trip that Google maps promised me could be dispatched in less than four and a half. So far, Seattle is not making a good impression. Despite this, I'm optimistic about tomorrow. I've got a hotel shuttle to the UW Medical Center lined up, and I've already scouted my morning cup of coffee. It's my first interview at a top program that isn't my home program, so I'm very curious to see how it all pans out. For now, though, time to sleep.