Thursday, March 16, 2017


It was fun tonight, to see Phantom of the Opera. It was, if I understand correctly, the first time the Broadway production has come to Little Rock. I saw it over 20 years ago on Broadway. I still love some of the songs, but I had lost the context. I remember fidgeting and squirming through the second act when I was a teenager, but as an adult I got the psychological nuances parlayed through song that aided in character development. She wasn't just a victim of circumstance - Christine - she was a complex character that was searching for a father figure after the premature loss of her own. And the Phantom wasn't a monster but his circumstance created one - his disfigurement and confinement cut short a promising early bright start, warping his personality. I didn't get all that back then.

It's tough listening to a soundtrack without context. I struggled through Hamilton last summer, but after seeing it, and becoming surprised and enraptured in my daughter's enjoyment of it last week in San Francisco (tonight, it was my son - he loved Phantom), the music finally presented itself to be appreciated.

Warning: whining about to happen.

I lost my pager when I was on call Christmas week. I don't lose things, so I imagined it would turn up sooner or later, but it hasn't. I slowly started doling out my cell number to all the cytotechs and secretaries and gross assistants. I found it much easier to keep up with one thing instead of two, and much more efficient for everyone to just text when I had a frozen or needed to go to read a needle. So I told my business manager to cancel my pager service. I feel no longer stuck back in the 1980's. It's freeing.

10 years ago, when I joined my group, one of my partners approached me and asked if I would consider giving him some of my call for money. I was worried about what my other soon to be partners might think about my work ethic, so I told him I would be happy to pending approval by the board. They approved. I have given up half of my call - paring 10 or 12 weeks a year down to five or six, ever since. Refused to give up more, because I didn't want to lose my call skills. Our fiscal year starts in October. By January, I still had no takers. Seems my two partners who have been willing to take my AP call for the last few years are now in a position to value time over money. "I love going to the gym with my teenage son after work." "I don't really want to drive over from NLR more than I have to - it adds so much more work." Good for them, sucks for me. This is the first year I've had to take full call - I believe twelve or thirteen weeks. And this is the first time I've done a two week stretch in a row. Spring is the most concentrated time. Our chief graciously took my call tonight so I could go to Phantom. But I'm missing Spring Break with my kids, for the first time since I joined the group. Luckily with AP call the OR usually dies down at a certain hour, so I can enjoy some wine. I was a call teetotaler for many years of CP call. It's more common on that rotation to be bugged unexpectedly at 2am.

1.5 weeks to go. Doesn't seem nearly as daunting as it did a few years ago. I can do this. And the extra money in my paycheck will help pay for all the fun.

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