Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Quickies: Where, What, When, Who

1. Where Have You Been?
I apologize for the lengthy wait between posts. Lately, I have just felt more enjoyment from spending all day at the hospital learning and then going to Manhattan and exploring, versus sitting inside and reading or typing up a blog. When you have no idea what the next steps in your life will be, it somehow puts all the wonderful "here and now" moments into clearer focus and you try to embrace and enjoy every moment. In other words, when you have finally stopped thinking 5-10 years into the future, what's happening now - right now - finally can fill your brain. And quite frankly, it is amazing how much of our lives we miss when we are constantly filling up our heads with what we will do next. I imagine this is what happens to a person when they receive devastating news about their health. Granted, in my case the issue is nowhere near as serious or grave, but the benefits are tangible nonetheless.

2. Where Are You Going?
OK, I suppose answering this question is fair, at least for the very short-term. I return to Fresno on May 12, arriving at 945pm on American Airlines (of course!) I become somewhat of a recluse for 6-8 weeks, retaking my USMLE Step 2 exam sometime in late June. I emerge victorious, and finally claim the title of Doctor (MD) and go celebrate somewhere. Vegas? DisneyWorld? Rome? That can be decided later by the folks who will inevitably (hopefully?) join me in my celebration. You know who you are. And then, I either, 1) find a job doing research for a year and try to Match into a residency position again, or 2) find a job doing research for half a year and enter a residency position mid-year if anything opens up, or 3) I sleep in every day for a year, get a part time job with American Airlines and travel the world in my free time. Point is, I don't know what comes after passing the exam, so please don't ask. The Armenian phrase for I don't know is "chem keeder" - embrace the phrase "I don't know" because sometimes it is truly the best answer.

3. What Have You Been Doing?
NYC is an amazing place to explore. Here are some more great places I have seen (as much as I can remember, since it HAS been awhile since my last post!)
  • Broadway: Been to Jersey Boys (which I felt basically took a $20 CD of music by the Four Seasons and recast it into a $60 minimum ticket "show" - in other words, didn't like it). Also been to La Cage aux Foilles (like the movie The Birdcage, this show is hilarious. It involves the audience - if you get a orchestra seat - and keeps you laughing the whole way. A must see!)
  • Eats: NYC is up there with the gastronomic greats of the world. And I'm quite convinced it has no parallel when it comes to the diversity of eats available. We have had brunch at a restaurant run by Tom Collichio (the dude from Top Chef), Balthazar's for Brunch is also an amazing place that must be savored (and you should TRY to RSVP for weekend's otherwise you have at least a one hour wait). Some of my other favorites include Karam (a place NK's brother, AK, also loves) - the Lebanese owners of this place make Kebab and hummus and tabouleh as close to the way my family makes it as I have found. The irony is that I love treating myself to Tabouleh ($5) every now and again - but I joke that when I get home, the QUEEN of Tabouleh (my mom) will make it everyday and I will again grow tired of it :)
  • Parks: What NYC lacks throughout the city (trees, greenery, open space), it makes up for in some pretty amazing parks. The most well-known and possibly largest of these is Central Park. Every time I go there I discover something new! But when the weather is nice, there is a big green lawn that many New Yorkers love to go lay out on, play some soccer or frisbee or football, and rid themselves of the NYC "tan" (that amazing whiteness that Hanes does well in t-shirts, but should not be the color of human skin!) Indeed, there was a day a couple weeks ago when the temperature hit 87 degrees. Yes, I had the unfortunate case of gastroenteritis that day and couldn't go to work. The only problem was, I didn't plan on my newly acquired tan giving me away the next day.
  • Subways: A whole year's salary (when I finally earn one again) says that I will get into your car in California and within the first 5-10 minutes, make one of the new automated subway announcements that you hear on the trains here. "This is a Northeast Fresno bound 1 Express train. The next stop is, my house. Stand clear of the closing doors, please. Ding-dong." Embrace it, it is one of the quirks you all love about me. (And note, this is not a real bet - no I will not give anyone a whole year's salary. Ever.)
  • School: Even though this blog post makes it seem like I am gallivanting around the city all the time, the truth is that the majority of my time is spent in the hospital. Actually, this should be past tense. I just finished my Neurology rotation in Staten Island - it was up there as one of the rotations I enjoyed quite a bit because the Attendings were totally focused on education and helping us learn the nuances of Neurology. Now I have two weeks of Dermatology at Brooklyn Hospital. I finish on May 7 with rotations. In other words, the only hurdle left between me and my MD is passing Step 2. And that will happen very soon.
I'm sure there are things I have forgotten, but this post should keep you all happy for a little bit. And by you all, I imagine the 4 of you who check everyday, multiple times a day - thank you :)

See you all on May 12.