Monday, June 27, 2005

Twitching and unpacking

So, what's new... I have just recently moved into my new house, and I have made several weak, ineffectual stabs at unpacking and creating a lived-in look in the place; I have completely avoided any useful preparation for my internship, having wasted my free hours leading up to this Friday's start date by watching digital cable rather than reading about the neuro ICU (where I will begin); I have continued my trifling attempts to round myself into shape, running three miles each day (weight is now down to 195-ish -- that is, prior to a monumental ice cream binge this evening); I have submitted a short story to Glimmer Train, which will likely be rejected post-haste; and most pertinent to this space, I have once again uttlerly neglected my blog for days and days. Through it all my mood has remained about as warm as the waters of Lake Ontario. With that in mind, I would like to thank my girlfriend for her forbearance in dealing with my lack of patience and my multiple temper tantrums throughout recent days.

Is anyone out there still reading my blog? I certainly can't blame you if you've given up any hope of revitalization -- but rest assured that I have aspirations, if not realistic plans, to keep this thing up and running.

P.S. -- I almost forgot about the "twitching" part of my title. It seems that my right upper eyelid has developed a sense of humor: it chuckles to itself throughout the day, its broad hair-spiked belly contracting in glee at unheard jokes and inaudible witticisms. The medical term for this eyelid twitching that haunts my days and torments my attention is myokymia, with myo- meaning "muscle," and kymia- meaning "interminably harrassing poor Ian in retribution for some wrong committed in a prior life." I understand that the conventional wisdom is for a person with myokymia lasting longer than a week should seek medical attention, meaning that a male such as myself, with dreams of one day possessing a modicum of machismo, must wait for at least six weeks before even contemplating visiting a fellow physician. Two down, four to go.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

A reprieve

I learned yesterday that I will commence my internship by doing a neurology rotation, which entails beginning work one week later than anticipated. Now that I know I needn't worry about having patients' lives depending upon my judgment until July 1st, I have happily resumed a life of sloth. I've spent my day sitting around, watching the NCAA Track and Field Championships on CBS, and surfing the Web -- altogether a none-too-exciting day. However, I did happen upon one choice morsel from USA track and field history. I'm sure you all remember Carl Lewis -- the man who dominated the world sprinting and long jumping scene for years? Well, he has apparently made his mark on the world in more than just the stadium. I have procured for your listening and viewing enjoyment the following video link. However, please be forewarned that this mesmerizing footage will transport you to an alternate, bizarro dimension from which you may not return. View at your own risk.

P.S. No, don't worry, it's not porno.

Monday, June 13, 2005


Every once in a while, a news story will completely undermine my understanding of humanity, and leave me utterly incapable of producing any meaningful comments on the matter. Following this link led me to just such an earth-shattering, paradigm shifting story.

I'm not sure how long the content will remain in place, but hopefully those of you who are interested in abnormal psychology will have the opportunity to read this article.

Update: The link has apparently changed, and the story of a 50-something man who lives as a baby (an AB/DL -- short for Adult Baby/Diaper Lover) has passed along into the ether. The highlight of the story was that this individual actually trained himself no longer to be continent -- a task requiring much assiduousness and ingenuity, such as bolting his toilets shut -- so that he would be dependent upon diapers at all times. Wow.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Blogger's constipation

It seems I continue to have infrequent blog movements, and those movements that I have are slow and painful -- a real case of blogger's constipation. I'm not sure how long this problem will last.

Perhaps the blogger's constipation is due in part to the fact that nothing of note has transpired in my life for the past week. My final week of vacation before I enter the hospital for the rest of my life has passed rapidly and uneventfully, though I have encountered my share of beaurocratic obstacles. It took a full day and a half to obtain a Missouri driver's license, as apparently somebody else's driving record became appended to my social security number in the national DMV database; unfortunately, this other driver happened to have a suspended license. The aftermath took about four hours worth of haggling with various representatives of the illustrioius motor vehicle departments of MO and CO, but finally some gracious supervisor in MO did the just thing and granted me the freedom to obtain a new license. It was only my last week of freedom for seven years anyhow -- I didn't really want to spend it any other way than at the DMV.

Other than that, I have an Advanced Cardiopulmonary Life Support training class this coming week, so I've already had to begin studying for that. I can get no rest, it seems.

I did, however, manage to see a few movies, including Crash. I highly recommend it to anyone who lives on earth.

Well, I have no other thoughts to express and even fewer words in my mind with which to express them. I think I'll go swill a big glass of gritty Blogamucil and hope for the best.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Of dreams and yo-yo diets

I've been trying to work myself back into shape recently. I know, I know, I should just accept that at 28 the best years of my life are behind me, and acquiesce to the inexorable decline of my athletic capacity. But alas, I find myself assualted on all sides by reminders of the glory days of my past sports career, and frankly, I want them back. You see, despite being now over 200 lbs, I was once a svelte collegiate distance runner pounding out 90 mile weeks on the roads and trails near Boulder, Colorado. Running was more than just an extracurricular pursuit for me, as I structured my days -- and my entire life, really -- around it. I dreamt of running, I daydreamed in class about running, and while I was out there running, I thought about all the running I would soon do. Such an obsession seems absurd to the non-runner, but many who have succumbed to running’s whiles will understand what I mean. Err… they would, rather, if I actually had a readership of greater than 10 people. Anyways…I managed at one point to become a pretty good collegiate runner, though injuries always plagued my training and confounded any attempts to place well in big races or secure admirable times. Ultimately injuries would cut my entire career short, relegating me to the weight room in a futile attempt to keep from becoming a complete and total morass of fatty flesh. As it turns out I became a morass of partly muscular, partly fatty flesh. But I proceeded to medical school and kept myself largely busy enough not to waste wistful hours dreaming of what might have been.

As I mentioned before, though, the reminders have haunted me of late. At first, I brought it upon myself by reading a book called Running With the Buffaloes, which details the glorious 1998 cross country season of my team – during my first year as a non-runner. What a surreal experience that was, to read a book about people with whom I had toiled for hours and hours, doing precisely the things I had done and feeling remarkably similarly about them as I had. At the turn of every page I thought that my name should materialize, and that I should come running into the tale in a blaze of the glory I never had. But the book ended, and I found myself dreaming the self-flagellating dream of What I Would Do Differently If I Could Go Back, Knowing What I Know Now. With that backdrop I have found myself constantly bombarded by images of running. Suddenly my little city in the heart of Missouri has become a running mecca, and everywhere I turn I see scantily clad people striding their way down sidewalks and through parks. To make matters worse, Nike just released a new commercial to molest my memory. It is a take-off on the famous beach running scene in Chariots of Fire, only instead of a bunch of British actors, the guys running by the surf are a bunch of the top distance runners in the country. Lo and behold, after recognizing Alan Webb and realizing that, indeed, Nike populated its running group with real life running superstars, I managed to discern the visage of Adam Goucher, on whose team I had once run. How strange, to see the same face bobbing along on a commercial that I used to see every day in practice!

Anyways, to cut to the chase (yeah right, in the midst of this ridiculously prolix post) I have lately begun trying to ramp up my own running. I keep thinking to myself that the injury that ended my collegiate running has surely healed, and indeed it seems not to bother me at all. In fact, my legs have felt pretty darn good on my mediocre diet of 2-3 miles of running a day (one must build up gradually in these sorts of things). However, a large problem remains: I am one HUGE man. My body has decided, for better or worse, that I weigh 208 lbs. First, I lost about 10 lbs without difficulty over the course of a month. Then, in about two weeks, all that weight slathered itself back upon my frame as I found myself utterly incapable of controlling my food intake. Then, I regained focus and plunged once more below 200lbs. But all of a sudden…WHAM, I’m eating everything in sight and once more attaining my 208 lb set point. Why is this so difficult?

Perhaps this whole running thing was not meant to be after all, and I should just stick to trying to learn brain surgery exclusively. Ahh, the best laid plans of mice and men.