Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas '09

The holidays are a time of travel for millions. This year of was one of those millions. I left work early on 12/23 to pack and catch the train to my sister's house. Apparently there was a power outage at NJ Transit because none of the train times that I saw corresponded with my brother-in-law saw online. Eventually, I got on a train to Hamilton where they picked me up and we set off for Pennsylvania. I always love seeing them - I love telling them all my crazy stories.

Every time I get home, I am overwhelmed with this moment of intense anxiety and chaos. The dogs are barking and running around and we're trying to unpack things. But, my mom is always happy to see me and that makes me feel good. It was good to be home for those few days. I got some really great gifts - things that I need (socks and my white t-shirts) and wants (H&M gift cards and money). I always remember to appreciate my family when I go home. My mom is so amazing. She goes out of her way to cater to us. She cleans, which always baffles me because I lived there for years. It was cool to race slotcars with Sam and just talk. It means a lot that my family is still pretty close.

On Christmas Day, I went to my grandpop's to visit my dad and his side of the family. We started a new family tradition - going to Harrah's (next to the Chester prison) on Christmas Day. We had a great time. I lost the $25 that the casino gave me, put I made $5 on the $20 that I spent out of my pocket. $5 and a free soda sounds like winning to me. It was nice to see Grandpop and my aunts and uncles. But, it was best to see Aunt Honey. She was always one of my favorite relatives. She is such a sweet person and it breaks my heart to know that she's alone. I can imagine who lonely she must be, but then again she and I again are somewhat similiar.

After a brief 3 days home, it was time to come back to the city. I like visiting my hometown, but it's not my home anymore. I live in New Yorker and I like the city. The silence and space in PA is just weird to me now. The train back to the city was uber packed, which I don't really understand. How does Amtrak sell more tickets than it has seats? That's just silly.

But, I am home and enjoying the (city) peace and quiet, which is totally different from the country (peace and quiet). Now my plans include: relaxing, finishing 3 months worth of FlashForward, and hitting the gym hardcore.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Neurology Holiday Party

College students worry about finals. I don't have finals anymore, but I certainly had a huge test yesterday. One of the my responsibilities is to plan and execute our departmental holiday party. Throwing a party? I went to Radford - sounds like a piece of cake, right? No, it's crazy. Granted, one reason it was stressful was because I didn't start early enough.

Katherine and I went to Union Square (all the way from 100th to 14th) to get supplies and decorations and the store was SOLD OUT. Um...what? How can you be sold out of holiday decorations. Again, it was a few days before party. Carol got the supplies and she did a great job, aside from the Christmas trees. Side note: I don't think it's right that I was so worried that my Christmas tree center pieces would offend someone.

I order catering, kosher catering, wine and beer, ice, and coffee. There were so many things that could go wrong. But, luckily, nothing did. The food showed up right on time. The ice was a little late, but that wasn't a disaster. One minor crisis was that we didn't have a corkscrew. I jetted from 98th to 95th to the liquor store. I was so out of breath and still had my Sinai badge clipped to my shirt that the guy just gave it to me for free.

The best part of the night was when Sealfon put his hand on my shoulder and said that it was "tremendous". I don't need constant praise and attention, but it's nice every once in a while.

Cleaning up was a bitch, but isn't it always? At least I turned on the projector so we could have some Gaga in surround sound. Overall, it was nice, classy party. People were happy and my boss (most important) was happy. Next year, we'll get a DJ or use my iPod (wouldn't that be fabulous) and have dancing. We'll also have it in a bigger venue. But those are minor details.

If this holiday party were a final exam, then I would definitely say that I passed with flying colors (as cliche as it sounds).

Monday, December 21, 2009

'Tis The Season

I don't really get into the Christmas spirit much anymore. I feel like it's a child's holiday. I know that Santa isn't real. I don't get excited about opening presents. It's just not my thing.

But, if there is any city that can make even the most cynical Scrooge feel warm-hearted around the holidays, it's Manhattan. I went to BestBuy to get Renee's Christmas present. It was oddly fun. The crowds, the disorganization, the long lines. It was somewhat rewarding to know that I had people for whom I needed to buy gifts. Next I went to Barnes and Noble and picked up my NYC "holiday" cards. I figure this way I can't offend anyone. The woman at the counter was nice and I said, "have a nice holiday" before she did. She seemed genuinely happy and surprised. It's one of those moments where the holiday spirit takes over and you feel connected with other people.

Then I walk home, even though it was a little chilly out. I ended up passing 1st and kept walking until I reached York. I wasn't paying attention, oh well. But, I ended up passing the ASPCA and saw the cutest cat. I stopped and made tried to figure out how I could afford a cat. I, being a mature adult, realize that now is the not the time to get a cat. It will come, but not now.

It was nice to skip over slush puddles, walk past peoples selling Christmas trees and take in the smell of pine. Dr. Gendelman got me a bottle of wine for the holidays. People just seem to be nice and happy and more patient. I'm sure it won't last past Christmas Day, but it is nice.

Just wait, next year I'll be wearing an ugly Christmas sweater - I can see it now.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

On Guard

How do you know when you can trust someone? How do you test someone's trustworthiness? If you don't trust someone, can you still be nice to them?

I've got so many questions and situations to ponder. Someone new started at work. I've found out that this person talks about the rest of the office behind our backs. Some days this person is so nice and some days this person is a complete bitch. It's confusing. The collective office has pretty much rendered the verdict that this person is crazy. It's so frightening how sweet they can be when they try. I am under that impression that it's fake, but they pull it off well. I keep my guard and don't get close to this person. I have gotten close to Katherine, Swann and Susan, but I would have to say that Katherine is the only person that I really trust.

I've been working with the medicals student for about two months now. It's going fairly well. I proctored the end of clerkship exam for my students (Neurology), Family Medicine, and Psychiatry. It went pretty well, until I got back to the office and realized that the person who handed out my exams (I was reading the prompts, while she passed out my exams) didn't hand them out in sequence. All the exams are numbered and they should be handed out 1,2,3,4 and so on. This time, she handed them out 1,2,4,7,8 and exams 5 and 6 weren't used. It wasn't a huge deal, but it's just frustrating. I'm trying to do everything perfectly so Dr. Goldstein will respect me and, more importantly, trust me to get the job done. I don't think the person handed them out in the wrong order, but I can't be sure.

I guess the situation with the exams taught me an important lesson. If you want something done correctly, you have to do it yourself. For the situation with the new person in the office, I'm not sure what I am supposed to learn. Is it good for me to be nice to their face when everyone in the office is constantly talking about their bad attitude? How do you know who you can up to? It's so tiring having to constantly be on guard.

Oh well, I've got 3 more days and the a few days off for Christmas.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sprinting at 7:45

A good run early on a crisp winter morning is one of life's little pleasures. However, it's best when it's planned on done while wearing running gear. It doesn't work so well when you're wearing a tie and a peacoat. Oh well. Today had such a crazy start. I knew we had resident interviews, but for some reason I completely got the time mixed up. I thought I was early as I strolled to work. Around 7:40, Katherine called with panic in her voice. She wanted to know what I wasn't there. Then I realized breakfast had to be there by 8:00. Shit! I had to sprint from 3rd Avenue all the way to Madison. It was a nice workout, but I could have done without it. In the end, Katherine met the delivery guy and I don't really think Sealfon knew anything was wrong.

But wow! What a start to the week. Is it Friday yet?

Crisp Walk Through NYC

So, I was walking back to my apartment after having to walk all the way to 117th and Lenox to deposit $20 into my checking so my rent check wouldn't end up being charged to my credit card. But that's another story.

I was walking...alone...and I passed this couple walking arm in arm. OMG. Must we? I mean I'm sure it's nice to be happy and in love with someone, but is it necessary to flaunt it? Needless to say, I'm single and lonely.

I keep walking. Next are a mother and son. Really? Is this God's idea of a joke? A mother and son laughing and enjoying the crisp night air. A family to go home to would be so nice. I can only imagine them decorating their Christmas tree and opening presents on Christmas morning while mom and dad enjoy coffee and their kids' smiles.

The only redeeming part of the day was that Spencer totally got it. He and I are so alike. We both just want to meet someone nice (a guy for me and a girl for him). We just want families. It's nice to have someone who's not a NYC native who can understand how I feel.

I'm starting to understand Scrooge. He was single and in desperate need of some Zoloft.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I Am Sarah Palin

I've been thinking about this for a really long time. Personally, I can't think about Palin without thinking of all the parodies and jokes. I had the opinion that she was an idiot and a joke. I still think she is, but I have a new understanding and respect for her.

I DVRd her interview with Oprah. I didn't know much about her personal life during the campaign, except that her teenage daughter was pregnant. I didn't really care; shit happens and you deal with it. They didn't talk directly about her politics, which made sense. The election's in the past. They talked about her and her life.

I was impressed with how she handled her daughter's pregnancy. She wasn't happy with it, but she supported her daughter. I think that is incredibly commendable. She also talked about finding out that her own child was going to be born with Down Syndrome. She talked about telling her husband and how they knew they would be okay. Again, this says to me that she's a decent person with a loving partner.

But how am I Sarah Palin? I thought and still think she's pretty dumb when it comes to politics. Throughout the entire campaign, she seems ill prepared and stupid. She couldn't answer questions. She couldn't name books and magazines she reads. She obfuscated lots of issues and questions. That being said. That is exactly what I would have done. I couldn't answer any of the questions that interviewers asked of her. I don't know how to fix the economy. I don't know how to end the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. She and I are the same. We're likeable and good with people, but don't really know much about politics.

I think she was chosen because people could relate to her. I think conservative voters could see themselves in her. It's a shame that she didn't do an interview like she did with Oprah before the campaign. I think if she could be seen as a real woman with a family and a life that people would have respected her more. I don't think she would be a good Vice President and I know I wouldn't vote for her. But I now see her as a strong woman who supports her children, loves her husband and does represent Americans.