Friday, February 25, 2011

The Rainbow

"Strange, what a void separated him and her. She liked him now, as she liked a memory, some bygone self. He was something of the past, finite. He was that which is known. She felt a poignant affection for him, as for that which is past. But, when she looked with her face forward, he was not. Nay, when she looked ahead, into the undiscovered land before her, what was there she could recognize but a fresh glow of light and inscrutable trees going up from the earth like smoke. It was the unknown, the unexplored, the undiscovered upon whose shore she had landed, alone, after crossing the void, the darkness which washed the New World and the Old."

The Rainbow - D.H. Lawrence, page 476 of 478.

I read this passage eating breakfast on my last day in Hawaii, after a brutal, all night, uncharacteristic thunderstorm on the South Kohala Coast. There was a rainbow. I didn't have my camera - stole this pic off of the web. The one I saw was, if you can imagine, more amazing. It made my spinach and Swiss omelet with smoked salmon, onions, and capers seem trite.

I'll be blogging more about Hawaii in the weeks to come. It was too much to cover in one blog. From spelunking through undiscovered lava tubes to being caught in a vicious snowstorm at an altitude of 13,796 feet above sea level (over 33,000 from the ocean floor) - I experienced at least 13 of the 15 micro climates that the Big Island boasts. I only spent a total of three hours of my six days on the beach - most of which I was swimming in the ocean. I'm trying desperately to put back on a surprising amount of weight I lost from endless activity - which is fun, but shouldn't take long. I can't wait to go back.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Thinking Outside of the Box

Read it, if you want, over at MiM.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

I love Valentine's Day. I was going to try to google around and find a cool pic to post, but I opened up my friend DC's blog in my reader, and she so beat the hell out of what I could hope to do that I'll just post you a link - click below:

She has the most artfully decorated blog I know, and she changes it seasonally.

Today I was sitting in my partner's office jealously listening to her stories of her meeting in Vegas last week. A female barbershop quartet was in the transcription area crooning something barbershop quartet-ish, "Let me Call You Sweetheart," I think. Or something similar that worked OK with the gender transposition, those songs all blur together for me. I could see another pathologist - not the sender's husband - he happened to be working in Conway and I guess the wife forgot or didn't know - smiling encouragingly at the four singers, but obviously a little embarrassed to be the unwitting recipient of the misguided song-gram. Flowers decorated most of the transcriptionist's desks. I asked Michelle,

"She does this for him every year?"

"Yes. This is the same song as last year, I think."

"I've never heard it, I guess because I'm out in the hall."

"Every year. Since I've been here anyway."

I think she's been here seven years. That's quite a tradition. Suddenly she looked me in the eye. "Is it hard for you?"

I was completely confused. "Is what hard?" Vegas? The case I brought to show her? What was she talking about? Suddenly it clicked. "Oh! Do you mean Valentine's Day? No! Not at all." I smiled. Being single? Finally feeling independent after struggling in a doomed marriage for years? Happy, well adjusted kids despite everything we've been through lately? Wonderful civility in dealings with my ex, which seems to be improving as he and I both move on in our own lives? Nothing to be sad about on this Valentine's Day.

She laughed. "Well, obviously not!"

Hope everyone is having a blissfully Happy V-day.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


That seems to be the hot topic, around Arkansas today. Around the country, I know, but we don't get much here, so we are reveling in whiteness.

Driving to work wasn't such a big deal - it had just started and was gorgeous - the swirls of snow on the interstate looked like ghostly veins that alternately appeared then dissolved in swirls of smoke. Driving home was a little dicier - full blown blizzard with only a handful of cars on the road - there was even less traffic than last Friday at rush hour, which was like navigating through a ghost town. My adrenaline rush from snow driving is dissipating this year, but I don't want to jinx myself - I've got to get to work again in the morning. I've learned something interesting about driving in a snowstorm - the lack of landmarks is strangely disorienting. The roads blur into the background landscape and until you see a road sign leading you to your exit, a tiny bit of anxiety creeps in and saturates your mind (at least mine), making me wonder if I am in the right state. On the right planet. Oh, there's my exit. Thank goodness.

I arrived home to my sitter and her mom - invited them to spend the night but they declined and thankfully made it home OK. Cecelia and I put in another hour on her dinosaur project - she is studying the Allosaurus. I have learned more about the Allosaurus in the last week than I have snow driving in the last two months. The Allosaurus is a carnivorous dinosaur that held the place of the most fierce dinosaur until it was usurped by the T. Rex in the early 20th century. It was the star of the first motion picture to feature dinosaurs - an adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World. It shed its teeth continually, so there are lots - you can get one yourself online for only around a hundred bucks. There are many theories about the hunting patterns of the Allosaurus. Most say it managed to bring down prey much larger than it's own average 28 foot long self - such as Stegosaurus and Brontosaurus, by ambushing them and using its mouth like a hatchet. My favorite theory is about Allosaurus as "flesh grazer" - taking bites out of living sauropods sufficient to sustain its own well-being and leaving the live, injured dinosaur to heal and be prey for another Allosaurus. Over and over, until the giant sauropod succumbed to repeated injury and bacterial contamination. Thus saving the energy required to outright kill the large beast. Cecelia thought that theory was kind of gross. I have been glad to have the dinosaur project to balance out the efforts of the Valentine's projects. I was talking to a friend the other night - we came to the conclusion that there is a lot more hands-on, at home work than there was when we were growing up. Whether this is good or bad, I'm not sure. For me, probably good.

After that we headed to the large hill/entrance to the neighborhood with the toboggans their dad dropped off last night. So many kids, families, and dogs around - our combined hand signal efforts drove away a snowplow/sander that threatened to spoil our fun. Fearless Jack joined a band of teenagers and was going so fast he "caught air" a couple of times - I cringed a little when a mom remarked judgmentally, not knowing he was my son, that he was going to bite his tongue off or hit a car if someone didn't slow him down. I checked in. He was happy, not scared. That's a good thing in my book, so I gave him the green light to be as adventurous as he liked. No broken bones.

I love my new neighborhood! I joined a progressive party, with the aid of an old friend who has many acquaintances. Missed the hot chocolate hour, but who cares? I got invited to the happy hour, where they were serving snow margaritas (yum!), warm chex mix, salsa and chips, kettle corn, and wine. All the kids shed their outerwear in the garage and there was an interesting game of boys against girls developing amongst the children while the adults chatted. I met a girl who looks exactly like Indina Menzel. I kept expecting her to turn green and belt out songs from Wicked. She laughed when I told her so, and said, "It is probably the braids. I never wear them. My boys were flabbergasted. They said I looked like a girl. I told them I was a girl, and they said no, I was a mom." It wasn't just the braids, it was the high cheekbones and the green eyes as well. But the braids helped.

We walked home. After dinner, bath, and bedtime stories the kids crashed hard. I peeked in on them just now and smiled. I have been so happy, despite all this crazy weather stress. Life is pretty wonderful right now. Looking forward to escaping the cold in Hawaii, but I'm glad I'm not missing their experience of this. And mine.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Cave

This is one of my favorite running songs, right now.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


I saw this when I walked into the GI office restroom this morning. My mind raced through possible scenarios.

- Do some people actually find it easier if they put their feet up?

- If a guy stands on a chair, is it more challenging? Like a solitary sport event?

- Comfortable puking? It would beat kneeling around the bowl.

- Is there something that happens after a colonoscopy that I need to know about for the future? Something requiring a coach/partner?

It kind of reminded me of potty training my daughter - she got number 1 easy but number 2 required much hand holding - there was definitely a fear factor going on. Thank goodness when she finally conquered the fear there was no going back. But this is an adult GI clinic, not a pediatric behavior clinic.

I guess I'll never know. Maybe it's better if I don't.