My last substantive blog post was published on June 6th. I’ve fallen behind after two demanding months (albeit, intriguing and important months, but demanding). There are many topics about which I would like to write, so I will try to hit on highlights:
- Gabriel turned one year old in mid-July! People always manage to sound a bit cheesy when they use that hackneyed expression: “It seems like only yesterday that…” It is so appropriate when thinking about how quickly time is passing in your child’s life, though – or rather, your time with your child. I honestly have a tough time believing the labor, the delivery, the first days home from the hospital – that all of that was now over a year ago. Gabriel has grown from a helpless (adorable!) neonate to a crawling, climbing, laughing, mischievous (yes, he’s already figuring some things out), and loving little boy. It’s been a terrific year.
- My two chief resident months at Harborview in May and June brought me back into the acute neurological care setting, and reminded me of how exciting and rewarding it can be. I had the chance to be a part of early intervention in several potentially very bad stroke cases with very happy endings, and these persuaded me to apply for a fellowship in vascular neurology (ie, stroke). I was accepted for it several weeks ago – so I will be the stroke fellow at Harborview for 2009-2010. I look forward to my career as a stroke neurologist.
- I’m trying to keep a long-term perspective about the economy. Surely it will improve, right? It has not been that bad for that long. Still, I know there is a problem when my best-performing investment is my money market savings account. Hopefully it’s all about dollar-cost averaging.
- I will blog more about this soon (it warrants its own post), but I’m reading a book right now entitled The Smartest Guys in the Room. It’s about the rise and fall of Enron, and how Enron was able to become as large as it became while operating with fake numbers. I find the California energy “crisis” part of the Enron tale the most intriguing. Remember those rolling blackouts in California years ago? Enron apparently had power grids brought down to create a sense of panic about a presumed electricity shortage, thus driving up the prices. George Bush and others in Washington, D.C. publicly commented that California got itself into this mess, so it has to work it out for itself. Yet, California didn’t get itself into this mess – Enron was manipulating the price. Which brings me to our current oil situation. I’m not a big fan of oil for environmental reasons – but come on. I don’t care how quickly China and India are growing; I just refuse to believe that they have grown so fast in three or four years that the price of a barrel of oil suddenly needs to be greater than $140/barrel. I smell Enron. Oil companies have been posting record profits. After learning about the ins and outs of Enron, I’m thinking, “This game has been played before.” There is potentially an artificial shortage being created to cause a panic, thus pushing people to pay $4.50/gallon of gasoline and persuading people to allow off-shore drilling. What has George Bush pushed for his entire time as president? Drilling in Anwar. This seems awfully suspicious. But more of this later, once I’ve finished reading the book. Disclaimer: I’m not an economist. Just a citizen.
- Learning French, while very difficult as an adult, must be so much easier now than it was even ten years ago. Evan gave me a Zune last December, and it has changed my life. Now, thanks to Coffee Break French and Learn French By Podcast, while my French is still very poor (I never took a class in it in high school or college), it is leaps and bounds ahead of where I was before I got my Zune. It’s fascinating. Because it’s so portable, I can learn on the bus, at lunch in the cafeteria, or on an airplane (although not recently because I always seem to be at the mercy of a certain little boy traveling with me). Anyway – it’s worth pointing out that with the Zune, unlike the iPod, I can listen to NPR while walking from my car into work if I don’t want to leave a segment unfinished. It’s a delightful little device!
I’ll stop here for now, but these are some of my recent activities/contemplations/celebrations/concerns! A la prochaine.