Saturday, April 29, 2006
Reason #39 Why I'm Still Single
Nothing but class.
Monday, April 24, 2006
Monday, April 17, 2006
Less Than I Dreamed I'd Be, But More Than I'd Ever Imagined...
About one year ago, my cell phone rang in San Diego. I was still living in Little Italy in my oh-so-modern loft with my I-don’t-need-anyone lifestyle. “Hello.” “Stampy Durst? Dr. Stampy Durst?” “Yes?” “This is LH. I’m not sure if you remember me from high school…” “SHUT UP! (said in that “bring it on” sarcastic tone) Of course I remember you! What the hell?” It seems my high school classmates had realized at our 10th reunion that they’d lost track of a lot of people and made it their mission to track us all down. Not only that, but the coolest computer geek ever (yes, you Burke) had set up a website for all of us to catch up. For a brief time,, I e-mailed people I had thought of often but hadn’t spoken to for a decade or more. Then residency life caught up, and I lost touch again.
Since moving, I’ve been updating my magazines and bank accounts. I thought, “Oh, hell! I’ve lost touch with everyone again.” So I posted an update with my new address and number on the site. Today, I had two gifts. An e-mail from my old friend “The Ham” and an actual phone call from Jenny.
Jenny and I were friends since 6th grade. We had good times and great times, bad times and horrible times – the kind of times you can only have when you’ve known someone at their best and worst from a young age. She called me tonight, and it was phenomenal to talk to her – not awkward at all – as if we’d briefly lost touch and were just catching up.
The conversation was great, but she told me she’d e-mailed me prior to calling me. As much as the phone call meant, the e-mail made me cry. She had read this blog, and was concerned about my stories of depression. She said, if the meds weren’t working, maybe she could help.
Holy Shit! Jenny has had some hard times. She was a single mom for awhile. She put herself through school and is now a teacher (no more honorable profession). Now she’s happily married with two beautiful girls, a loving husband, and several rescued pets. But what struck me was when she said, “I always thought I’d do something more.”
MORE? I can barely take care of myself let alone my dog. The smallest setback sends me into an emotional tailspin. My work doesn’t suffer. Why? Because I have no other responsibilities except to work. I could not leave the hospital for days (hey, they have toothpaste and waterless shampoo and slippers) and, as long as Hooch was getting walked, I don’t know that anyone would even notice. Here was a woman who had gone through so much, achieved so much, and yet still doubted her path.
The ironic thing is that less than a week ago, I called my mom to talk about the lack of my accomplishments. I had been checking out several alumini newsletters, and was awed by what my friends had accomplished. Her reply? “Honey, you’re a surgeon. You cut people open and you make them better. You’ve busted your ass for years. Why would you question yourself?” Because this wasn’t exactly what I’d dreamed I’d be doing in high school. Well, life happens and circumstances change. Unfortunately, dreams don’t always go along for the ride. More on this later…
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Some Things That Make Me Smile
2. A good Bloody Mary made from scratch with chunky horseradish, tabasco, worcesteshire, crushed black pepper, and sea salt. I also think a stalk of celery is key (pickled green beans, asparagus, or olives just don't cut the proverbial mustard).
3. The song "Kung Fu Fighting". I love this song - it makes we want to dance like a spaz and sing along off key.
4. The story Small Blue Thingby Madison Smartt Bell. I first read it the Harpers 2000 Anniversary edition. Since then, I've said "Nevermore, I never said it," whenever I get the chance.
5. The following poem, "Eletelephony" by Laura E. Richards. It was the first poem I ever memorized and years of education hasn't led me to anything I appreciate more. It comes from a Romper Room poetry book in which I awkwardly wrote my name in black sharpie because my Nana once told me to write my name on all my belongings in waterproof marker. I think she meant toys, but she probably should have been a little clearer on that point. My parents and several pieces of furniture will attest to that. Anyway, enjoy the poem...
Saturday, April 15, 2006
On The Near Impossibility of Meditating With a Boxer In the House
This quote comes from my 365 Buddha book - a book of daily quotes to think ponder, dissect, and meditate on. Unless, of course, your resident Boxer puppy is completely unclear on the whole concept of meditation. It was approaching 11pm on the West Coast and the puppy was sleeping soundly (on the bed, no less - spoiled brat). I am on call, and always have trouble sleeping when i'm on call. Add to this the fact that I have felt completely uncentered and self-destructive, I've had no time to make it to yoga, and my mind was racing a mile a minute. Aha! I would try to meditate.
I prepared a comfortable spot on the floor including a small bump to better align my spine. I assumed half-lotus (my knees were not quite ready for full lotus) and centered my posture. I placed my hands palms up on my knees, and began to breathe deeply. This, for some reason, provoked the dog to begin chewing on his paws and licking his gonads (or lack thereof). "Focus, Stampy, focus. Stay centered." Breath in, breath out. "Dear god, is he trying to eat his own crotch? And what is that god awful snuffling noise? Focus." Breath in, breath out. " Oh, my god!" At this point I opened my eyes calmly, and sharply said, "Hooch, knock it off." Then went back to my meditating.
"OH, cool!" Thought Hooch. "Whatever is she doing. I must go check it out." Suddenly, I felt hot dog breath on my chin. I opened my eyes and he was sitting mere inches away but leaning into my face. As I open my eyes, he bestows a big sloppy wet boxer kiss right on my nose. "Whatcha doin? Huh, Huh? Can I play?" He scooches closer and closer until he is against my legs. "Perhaps if I ignore him, he'll go back to sleep." I close my eyes again and begin to breathe deeply. It as this point that Hooch decides those upturned palms must be hiding treats and proceeds to dig his snout into each of them in turn.
I give up, for tonight at least. i might not get any closer to Nirvana tonight, but i can curl up with a very sweet puppy and hope to absorb some of the wisdom of his innocence.
Thursday, April 13, 2006
Same me from myself. And watch Pepper Dennis.
Cast of Characters
STAMPY - C'est moi! The frequently depressed, sometimes manic, always entertaining (at least to myself) authoress.
HOOCH - Boxer of stampy. Best canine pal. Champion farter. 65 pound lap dog who steals baguettes.
RUBY - Best martini drinking friend. Born in Texas. Raised in Georgia. Drinks Grey Goose, even in dive bars. Wife to "The Bobo" and mama of "Squirrel Nuts"
THE BOBO - Ruby's husband. Friend of mine since med school. Born and raised in Punxsatawney, PA. Yeah, that's right. The Groundhog was at their wedding. Known to drink too much whiskey and play acoustic guitar until the wee hours. Able to make the most annoying sounds known to man.
SQUIRREL NUTS - 2+ year-old daughter of Ruby and The Bobo. Too cute for words. Gives big sloppy wet kisses. Learned to say "I fahted" at too young an age.
THE BOYS - Two ginger long-haired domestic cats belonging to Ruby. Niles is getting fat (yes, Ruby, he is), and Frazier purrs like a motorboat.
AH-SWEEP-AY - Asshole ex-boyfriend now married to much younger girl who wants to have babies and move back to New Jersey. Fellow orthopedic surgeon.
FIVE - Bestest bitchin' buddy. Fellow surgeon (ENT). Named as such because 5 was the highest on the scale and she understood that.
MR. LAVENDER - Five's husband. I was friends with him independently and was sooo happy when they got together. The name is a partial homage to Reservoir Dogs and a partial piss-take on his love for the scent of lavender. Only truly funny when you realize he is a big, tough marine.
SMELLYELLY - Five and Lavender's fetus due in the next 6 weeks or so. Hey, a kid born with an embarassing nickname is a kid truly loved.
THE BITCHES - Five and Lavender's cats. Poopers is a Siamese with all the attendant attitude. Has hissed at me and hates Hooch. Crackers is a tiger tabby with a crooked tail which we like to say is her "mark of the devil".
WALTZING MATILDA - Friend from Tasmania. Barracks for (supports) the same Aussie Rules football team I do -
Collingwood. Funny as shit. Always the last person (with me) up drinking at an all-nighter. We have seen the paper delivered several times at Five's house.
THE SILVERBACK - Matilda's husband. Former roommate of Mr Lavender. Fellow Marine. Built like a fireplug. Rugby player who takes no prisoners and appears to have no pain receptors.
WALLY - The third roommate in the Lavender/Silverback/Wally house of beer. Likes dogs more than people. Currently far enough away that I may post his "18 Hours on a Plane With Diarrhea" story just for nostalgia.
AUNTIE M - My mom's sister who lives here in San Diego. She is my coolest relative. Doesn't recall the early 70's.
DATAMAN - My uncle, husband of Auntie M. Heinously methodical. Reads Consumer Reports cover to cover. Techno-geek.
TAMMI FAYE - Wonderful friend of Stampy and other stray animals everywhere. Committed vegetarian. Mom to four-legged pals Buddy, Gunnar, and Sheba (Hungarian Circus Dog). Engineer extraordinaire. Used to party at Studio 54.
BOBBY - Tammi Faye's husband. Fighter pilot. Unrepentant cusser who is still offended when women cuss gratuitously. Avid mountainbiker. My Buddha.
More updates as posts warrant.
Monday, April 10, 2006
Ruby, ain't you proud?
Sunday, April 09, 2006
Grand Theft Curry: San Marcos
Anyway, yesterday started off painfully as I sat through several hours of lectures on orthopedic spine surgery. I was all set to spend the next several hours breathing in cadaver fumes and practicing surgical procedures when fortune struck in the guise of scut work - I was asked to drive one of the visiting professors to the airport. After he was safely dropped off, I grabbed Hooch and headed to North County to partake in the best form of birth control there is - spending the afternoon with friends with small children. I hung out with my friend Brooke, her two boys, and her boxer Lucy. Several hours later, we had decided that Hooch and Lucy were cute together, I was lucky not to have children, and that I needed a boob job. You see, I have the tiniest of chests. This would be fine if I was a waif who also had the tiniest of thighs. But god has a cruel sense of humor. I said I wanted something subtle, just a solid B, but Brooke said someone my height should go with a C or why even bother. So I left with the name of a plastic surgeon and an offer for free anesthesia (Brooke's husband is an anesthesiologist).
I then drove to San Marcos to see Waltzing Matilda's new house. I arrived with three bottles of pinot noir and Hooch in tow. She made a lovely chicken curry and we decided the Four Graces pinot was our favorite. Now, there is a pool in her backyard that has a waterfall/slide which she thinks is an eyesore so wasn't turned on. Hooch was being his usual nosy self and checking every corner of the yard and kept cutting across the top of the waterfall. She warned me it was very slippery, and I assured her it was only a matter of time before the dog was going in the pool. After dinner and another bottle of wine, it happened. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Hooch lose his footing, go down the slide backward, and SPLASH! I spit pinot noir out my nose and Matilda was kind enough to help him out of the pool. He sulked for quite a while.
In order to keep him company while we dried, we decided to sit in the hottub. Now, if any of you are looking to do a short comedic film, two drunk blondes trying to fire up a hot tub with the assistance of a flashlight might be a good topic. Matilda can now turn the lights to the pool on, scald me, freeze me...just about everything but actually get the jets going. You see, after we realized it wasn't quite working right, I volunteered to sit in the hottub and holler when something changed. Not one of my brighter ideas. We never did get the jets working but we soaked for several hours and chatted. The final decision of the evening - no boob job. Bigger boobs means I would have to start wearing a bra on a regular basis.
I ultimately passed out on the couch, and Hooch (little traitor) slept in bed with Mathilda. When they came down this morning, she asked if I'd done the dishes. Uh, no. Why? Oh, because all the left-over chicken curry was missing, the pan was licked clean, and there was one guilty looking boxer skulking out the door. We were puzzled. It was a pretty heavy pan, and neither of us heard it hit the floor. There was not a scrap of evidence, and I'm pretty sure Hooch doesn't eat green beans. The only other possibility was that i was binge eating and then housecleaning in my sleep. But no, I didn't take Ambien last night. Well, let me lay any questions about the case to rest. Upon returning to Coronado, Hooch and I went for a walk. Let me enlighten you (in case you were losing sleep). Dogs don't digest green beans.
Sunday, April 02, 2006
Stupid People Tricks
The next time I look over, the dad is holding a pinata up - BY HAND - while 14 little girls lined up to take a swing at it with a HUGE stick. After the first swing narrowly missed the dad's nuts, you could tell he was realizing this was not the brightest idea ever. But he kept holding it up and angry little girls with big sticks kept coming at him. Our group was completely hypnotized and without a cameraphone between us. (Un)Fortunately, he was not injured. But after a couple of close calls, he pulled a fast one and broke the pinata himself. Then he stood back and watched the little sugar junkies scramble on the ground. The next time I looked over, they were using the big stick as a limbo bar and the dad was in line. Some people never learn.