Wednesday, June 4, 2008

what he said

America, this is our moment. This is our time. Our time to turn the page on the policies of the past. Our time to bring new energy and new ideas to the challenges we face. Our time to offer a new direction for this country that we love.

The journey will be difficult. The road will be long. I face this challenge with profound humility, and knowledge of my own limitations. But I also face it with limitless faith in the capacity of the American people. Because if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs for the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth. This was the moment — this was the time — when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves, and our highest ideals.

- Barack Obama's speech on June 4, 2008, St. Paul, MN (excerpted from transcript here, video available here.) If you're so moved, click to donate to Obama's campaign or to MoveOn.

I have nothing relevant to put here today

Belatedly, the answers to a meme that Sarah tagged me for (and then Ellen tagged me, too, with a slightly different variant, and so I really had to get my act together):

What were you doing ten years ago?

Finishing my freshman year of high school. So... getting ready to go to Girl Scout astronomy camp - correctly termed a Wider Opportunity (I kid you not) - for three weeks (the first time I flew on an airplane without my parents!) and reading unholy amounts of classic SF - that was pretty much The Summer of Asimov. Just starting to think about being an adult. Crushing on increasingly nerdy boys. Starting to question how much of the Nicene Creed I really believed. (And re-reading Contact over and over. These were not entirely unrelated activities.) Probably talking on the telephone a lot - which was maybe by that point cordless. No cell phones! I used my dad's email address! Uphill both ways!

What are five things on your to-do list for today (not in any particular order):

Um, the day is mostly over, so getting to bed at a reasonable hour is the only one on the list, really (and I'm here blogging, so.... that should tell you how well that's going). Things that were on the agenda today were attending my respirator training and fit-testing, which was about as exciting as it sounds. Spending some money at the Union Square Greenmarket because I like supporting these kinds of things - but the rhubarb lady from Monday was not there today, so I only bought a few apples. Registering (finally!) for Step 2 CS and CK, which I did. And, you know, getting up on time, which I did not accomplish, as my cell phone alarm entirely failed to go off. Luckily, Fran woke me up, but, man, I haven't moved that fast in the morning in a while: it was literally ten minutes from bed to subway, people. (I've been showering at night, so that helped.)

What are three of your bad habits?

Oh, my. Just three? Procrastination, although I like to think of it as relaxation time management. Talking before I think (mostly evidenced by me asking you over and over what you're doing this weekend, etc). And my perennial messiness, which I think may count as at least two bad habits - the making of piles (papers, clothes, whatever) and the real lack of attention I give tub, toilet, etc.

What are five places where you have lived?

Um. I totally fail this one. Ridgefield, Connecticut. Cleveland, Ohio. Aix-en-Provence, France. And I guess you could count Queens, New York, although I only lived there until I was two and the only thing I remember is the dog from next door. I've visited D.C. a lot? And, oh, I guess you can count Manhattan now, too, although I've only been here three days. But I'll be here for two months out of the next six, so that's something.

What are five jobs you have had?

Jobs I worked for monetary compensation, in temporal order: Cashier. Biophysics research assistant. College tour guide. Protein crystallography research assistant. Undergraduate admissions interviewer. And that's it, really, unless you count my med school research. Oh, and babysitting, I guess. (Let me tell you about the time I applied for a job at the mall and all I could put on my resume was biophysics research jobs, etc. No, really. I failed to land a job selling cheap jewelry to fourteen-year-olds - it was right around that point that I realized I had better stay in academia until I had enough letters after my name to be employable, because I had absolutely no real-life skills.)

Snacks I enjoy:

Cheese, oil-cured olives, apples, dried fruit and nuts, hummus, chocolate and coffee. And almost any baked good known to humankind.

Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

Probably I'd buy lots of yarn, let's be honest. When I got that out of my system: fund some research into women's and reproductive health issues, because Lord knows the government's not paying to study women's reproductive health choices. Set up one of those Millenium-type prizes for working out a practical method of clean energy production. Maybe fund development of private space travel, mostly because it would be awesome. In terms of philantropy, I'd probably do something like Kiva, to fund microloans (and maybe macroloans, I'm no economist) to entrepreneurs in the developing world, because I think it's really the best solution we've found yet for effectively getting money from the developed into the developing world. And I'd give Greg Mortenson a substantial budget to work with. (I think I'm imagining myself as a multibillionaire, here with this list.)


I have lots to say about NYC, but it's getting late so... suffice it to say that so far it's been great and I'm getting very excited about graduating.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

always getting curious and leaving town

So here I am, posting from New York City! (Thank you, ELWIN, whoever you are, for your unsecured wireless network.) The drive out from Cleveland yesterday was surprisingly enjoyable - I turned on an audiobook and settled in for eight glorious hours where no one's BP meds needed to be held, nobody needed a little something to help them sleep, and no one needed a gold form or a social work consult or a dressing change. I'm not sure what it says when driving aross the boring part of Pennsylvania is a pleasant change of pace, but there was no traffic, no bad weather, no speeding tickets and I got to listen to the entirety of a scifi novel plus a few mix albums of new-to-me music I had downloaded from somewhere or other, and it was really quite a lovely time.

Of course, the down side was that I had to leave town on Ben's birthday yesterday, which really couldn't have worked out worse in terms of timing. I did get to celebrate a little in the morning with some birthday French toast (which I completely forgot to garnish with the birthday candles I had bought and then hid so well I didn't see them, so Ben, imagine there were birthday candles. I'm sorry, hon).

So, now I'm here in New York and I've got orientation at Beth Israel tomorrow at 8:15. I'm going to try and post much more frequently this month, since I know I won't be able to keep up nearly the correspondance I'd like with everyone while I'm gone, so... I'll let you know how things go. Hope everyone had a good weekend!

title from "La Familia" by Mirah, which I've already used but whatever, a little more peppy pop music can never hurt