Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009 in Review

Now for the traditional Year in Review Post!
2009 was really a year of changes for me.

Click here for last year's entry, if you are feeling extra nostalgic.

Most photos are from my recent trip to Detroit for Christmas.

January: Rotation was Night Float and Geriatrics, emphasis on the Night Float. Uppers: The fabulous inauguration of the new President Obama. Marching in his parade. The world-wide sigh of relief at the end the "W" years. Downer: The start of the Dental Saga of 2009. Inauguration and a wedding not included, I had all of 2 days actually off the entire month, yet somehow managed to cram in 4 dentist appointments and a two-part root canal.

February: Night float and geriatrics continue. Upper: Vegas, baby! Downer: That night float crap was getting really old, the dentist crap even older. My only weekend off was spent at an all-TFM retreat. I was so dizzy and sleep deprived I think I may have hallucinated once or twice.

March: My "Away" Rotation with Puyallup Tribal Health. Uppers: Shilo turned 20, Sive turned 10. I ran a 5K, started in on Honk Fest excitement and spent a ton of time on horseback. I got back in shape, I took care of myself, and finally wrapped up the Dental Insanity. I also completed my USMLE Board Exams. Downer: My friend's wife died. My community, Rainbow City Band filled an entire section of the funeral home. So, the silver lining: It made me realize how lucky I am to be a part of a community like RCB.

April: Ah April, the best and worst of times. Rotation: Inpatient Pediatrics. Downer: Peds just about killed me. The hours were insane, the patients sick as hell, and the attendings, ruthless. But the uppers! The Uppers! I played at HonkFest West which magically fell on my one weekend off that month! And, most amazingly (include all superlatives here), I fell in love. And while residency tried its damnedest to crush me with my peds rotation, I was like one of those trick candles and sparkled despite it all!

May: More blasted Peds and the start of clinical GYN. Upper: Swing Fever with RCB. Vacation in Boston (the only thing I managed to blog about). Downer: Yeah, peds was still killer, and just when I thought it was over I was back rounding on the service my first weekend after vacation, covering for another resident. But despite the peds interjections, GYN heralded my last rotation of R2 year. And any free time I had was spent with my girlfriend, Shilo, and my band. In that order.

June: GYN continued. Upper: Realized I was almost done with R2 year! Woo! Started my Countdown Calendar. I played some awesome gigs including ones for the Majestics, Solstice Parade and Pride. It was a very RCB-heavy month for me. Downer: Getting the swine flu sucked.

July: Internal Medicine. Uppers: Played for the Rat City Rollergirls, Mom came to visit, got to see my friends Suhani and Rachel even if it was just for a few hours. Downers (this wasn't my best month): q4 call, new interns, and most insane month for the hospital ever. My one weekend off that month spent over-caffeineated, sleep-deprived at a board meeting in Chicago. Missing playing in the Seafair parade. And did I mention getting totally and mercilessly spanked by Tacoma General Hospital. How much left on that countdown? I was so brutalized that month by work I didn't even have time for one little blog entry! I did highlight a bit of the month in my first of two August entries under the subtitle: Red, white, blue and burned out.

: First two weeks the flogging continued as Night Float. But, at least this time I didn't have a dozen dentist appointments keeping me up during the day while I should have been sleeping. Instead I had elevator construction and a record-breaking heat wave! Uppers: Dad and Julie visit from Michigan. Mount Rainier! Downers: Said goodbye to Shilo, the horse that kept me sane and human. One of the hardest things I've ever done. Here it is almost 5 months later and I still feel heartbroken. And to add to it all, my dear, sweet dog, Kiki, passed on. It was indeed a month of loss.

September: Rotation? Keep reading. Summed some of the month here. Upper: LGBA in New Orleans - very, very awesome. GLMA in DC, also pretty fabulous. Lullaby Moon - surreal. A good month for recovery from the losses of the month prior. Downer: I spent so much time working in the hospital as back-up I completely have forgotten was rotation I was on. Had to look it up. It was ophthalmology, urology and ENT (OUE). Go figure.

October: Away rotation on the East Coast, LGBT Medicine. Adventures aplenty. Uppers: I completed my GLMA conference. My talks were huge hits. I loved, loved Mazzoni Center. My RCB "TV Land" Concert was sold out and fantabulous. I only wish I had video of our awesomeness to share! Our pep band played at Macy's in a mall which was a really fun experience. I celebrated Karin's birthday for about 2 weeks straight! I dressed up as Daddy Warbucks this Halloween and had tons of fun with my friends in Seattle. Downers: The month had to end. And I missed the long-time coming, awesome, big, gay Connecticut wedding of my old friends Stevie and Jill.

November: Rotation was HIV Medicine. Uppers: A low key Thanksgiving on the Oregon Coast. The rotation rocked. Educating my program about transgender health and making TFM officially a trans-friendly place for patients! Downer: My 99 year old grandpa died. Half my program was struck down with the flu and, as above, I had to struggle for my balance.

December: And here we are. Rotation: Pediatric ER and sports medicine. Upper: my first week vacation since R2 year! Christmas with family and Karin and Lucy. Christmas caroling with Renegayde. Adventures in Detroit. Another sold out concert with RCB (left). Downer: Good-bye weekends, I'll see you in March.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

For a Cheeto

Wrote this ditty in my head in the elevator today. Proof I might be going mad.

Little Cheeto in the hall,
What careless eater let you fall?
The cleaning lady was just here,
And left you sitting in the clear.
Your orangey self, posed on the rug
Staring at me, oh so smug.
I had some carrots and snap peas,
A little taste of low fat cheese.
The Holidays loom so near,
My waist is getting big, I fear.
And there you are right by my toe,
Cheesy, salty, just below.
The elevator! Ding! I'm saved!
Just in time before I caved!
Little Cheeto on the floor
I win, you lose, next time it's war.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Oh, the weather outside is frightful

Get this straight. I'm not complaining. I love it here. It's far preferable to being in the Midwest right now. Or the blustering, snow-covered Northeast. Really. But, for this week, it's bitterly, bitingly, abnormally cold. My friends are taking pictures of their temperature gauges because single digits awe them. I imagine them craning their heads, looking for the preceding "3" before the "8" sitting solo like a headless snowman on their digital dashboard reading.

But, like I said, I'm not complaining. See, we also are having blazingly beautiful, bright, sunny days with the mountains all snow-capped and glistening, and the usual slate blue of the Puget Sound looking brighter and more cerulean than it has a right to be this time of year.

It's the interview season for residencies. Which is interesting because it helps me look at TFM from a fresh angle. Last year I got to interview people I hoped to work with! None of who ended up here, as far as I can remember. Now, at the time I write this, I have 202 days left of residency. So, interviewing is more like interviewing my replacement. I'm hoping to get a queer-friendly, pro-choice extrovert to come here. Wish me luck!

This weekend I am caroling with my band in downtown Seattle. I did this last year and it was great fun! Next week we get to have a fun Holiday Concert. I say "holiday" instead of Christmas because interjected into all the X-mas classics is a little klezmer medley ending with a dizzying rendition of the hava nagila. Jews even got a little cookie parity at rehearsal last week (see left)! My favorite song we perform this year, however, is not the usual Sleigh Ride (because I'm a sucker for the horse whinny) but a kazoo rendition of Jingle Bells, to be performed concert night with local school children. See video below for a short preview from rehearsal!

Now, I hate to kill the mood, but I have to wrap up with a bit more somber news. Tacoma has been rife with tragedy and crime lately. The economy has hit everyone hard but for some reason gun-related crimes seem abnormally high. Most have already heard about the four police officers who were gunned down the day after Thanksgiving. Their memorial was this week. Also, my neighborhood bank was robbed and my favorite breakfast place was held up at gunpoint and the elderly owner assaulted by one of the robbers. My bank was robbed! Two blocks from my house. Seriously?

In hard times people are supposed to band together. It seems some haven't been getting the message. For Christmas this year I want a Kevlar vest and all the weapons in Tacoma and Seattle to turn into gumdrops.

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