Magic 8 ball, meet iPod

New Year’s fortune time! Since I can’t read the fortune cookies here (they’re in JAPANESE!!!), I will play a game with my iPod on shuffle mode. I didn’t like Round 1 completely, so I gave it another go with Round 2. You can read it straight-through or after round 1, proceed back to the top, flowchart style! The questions are from another globe-trotter’s blog, someone whom I’ve never met. Embarrassing? Slightly. But not as much as some of the songs that come up…read on!
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How does the world see me?
“You’re Crazy” Guns and Roses
– Um, well, at least listening to the lyrics makes this seem slightly better. Kind of?

Round 2: “Bye Bye” Jo Dee Messina
– Well, I am off to exciting West Coast adventures!

Will I have a happy life?
“For You” Bruce Springsteen
-Hmmm, this may end poorly.

Round 2: “Out Ta Get Me” Guns N Roses
– This category may need to be striked

What do my friends think of me?

“Me and Mr. Jones” Amy Winehouse

– Hey, I’m downright old lady in my partying ways by this point!

Round 2: “Almost Home” Mary Chapin Carpenter
– Cute

How can I make myself happy?

“Sexy Back” Justin Timberlake
-Well! I would tell my parents to shut their eyes except that if you actually listen to the lyrics of this song, they make no sense.

Round 2: “Brilliant Disguise” Bruce Springsteen
– Yes, more Bruce! I agree!

What should I do with my life?

“Escape” Enrique Iglesias
-Argh, this only came up to show the guilty pleasures I have on my Ipod. Why can’t this list be super cool like the majority of my library, I swear!

Round 2: “ I Hope” Dixie Chicks
– Hope! Yes, indeed!

Will I ever have children?

Bobby James N*E*R*D
– I guess that’s a yes. But considering “Young and passed out” is part of the chorus, I better read some parenting books before I endeavor on this one!

Round 2: “ Give a Little Bit” Supertramp
– Magic 8ball says, “Highly Likely”

What is some good advice for me?

“Dance of the Snowflakes” Tchaikovsky
– I am going to take this one to be a reminder to stay current with other interests during the insane next few years of residency.

Round 2: “Bubble Pop Electric “ Gwen Stefani
– Akihabra, electric town!

How will I be remembered?
“Today” Joshua Radin
– Well, this is a nice one.

Round 2: “Carolina on my Mind” James Taylor

What’s my current theme song?
“When You Were Sweet Sixteen” Perry Cuomo
– A song I have because of my grandparents. It expresses a truly lovely sentiment.

Round 2: “Ring the Alarm” Beyonce
– Fiesty!

What do others think my current theme song is?

“Boys Don’t Cry” The Cure
– I have limited, but verifiable, evidence to the contrary

Round 2: “Time to Move On” Tom Petty
– I have definitely made this a theme song at both college and med school graduations. I am leaving Japan soon and my adventures in primary care shipboard medicine…

What shall they play at my funeral?

“ Suspicious Minds” Elvis Presley
– I did sing this one night at a bar in San Diego with Christy and Liz. Please note, that Liz and Christy were NOT joining in the fun. Which may have been better in terms of looking awesome since the song has limited words so there is a lot of repetition. Add to that some Sangria to produce amazing mind melt and you MAY only remember the chorus and a bit of lyrics. I still had a beer bought for me though!

Round 2: “Amy’s Song” Joshua Radin
– I listened to this song for the first time in its entirety. Theme? Ambivalence. The love/hate type, not the completely incorrect connotation of wishy-washiness that’s made it into modern lexicon (Whew, snob alert! Over here!)

Where should I look for inspiration next?
“ Anything Goes” Guns N’ Roses
– Axl Rose, get out of my head!

Round 2: “Caring is Creepy” The Shins
– “This band will change your life” Blaugh! Did anyone hate Garden State as much as I did? Although the Shins are better than that movie, by far.


Now it’s tomorrow!

I crossed the International Date Line for the first time today/yesterday. I am still a little hazy on how it works, but I can definitely that if you look out of your window you will not see a dashed line streaking across the sky demarcating the different dates.

But I did see the line on the overhead TVs where the entire trip is played out on a nicely cycled sequence of 5 screens that give the current altitude and temperature in metric and conventional in addition to the time left in the trip and the time at the place of origin and destination. I think my favorite screen is the comically large airplane with a “Family Circus” style line showing the projected travel path.

So, now I’m in Guam waiting for the Carrier Onboard Delivery (COD) plane to take me to the Kitty Hawk. I’ll write when I’m actually on the carrier although it might be a few days. Although I’ve already been told that today is drill day and it just so happens to be a mass casualty. Welcome aboard indeed!

Graduation!

Boat school is over! Today was graduation with a certificate attesting that I earned 66 CME credits. Yay! This is something that I didn’t care about at all until very recently, when I learned that CME is how you keep your state license. Prior to that, I thought it was something I would only have to worry about when I became board-certified. BTW, that will be in about a hundred billion years.

Tomorrow, I am going to the hospital to attend morning education lectures and to talk/interview with the program director for the SD residency. It’s more for information so that I can make a more informed choice when applying for GME-2. Also, Bethesda will definitely undergo some big changes with the BRAC and combining of the hospitals. Although people say it will be the biggest and greatest, I definitely have some doubts as to how high a priority a little ol’ 2012 ENT chiefie will be in the grand scheme of things. And although I’m used to being somewhat low on the totem pole (HELLO internship year!), I think it would stink to have procedure numbers affected while bigger battles are being fought.

Hello!

Sitting in my BOQ room, I realize that if I lived here for an extended period, I could comment extensively on weddings. Right behind the BOQ (ambience!) there’s actually a beautiful water view and a lot of couples take advantage of it. Even on Wednesdays! The topic I have the strongest feelings about is the toast. Unfortunately the AC outside my window kicks in when I’m most interested in eavesdropping on whatever train wreck is being broadcast through the microphone. Tonight’s winner was definitely the uncle toasting his “favorite niece.” His theatrical vocal inflection begged for laughter at certain lines. Unfortunately, no one did. And this was a crowd that laughed uproariously at other toasts. I guess a fourth-hand recounting of the engagement story didn’t tickle anyone’s funny bone.

What am I doing in my BOQ room? Typing (← that’s about as funny as the uncle). After going out the past few weeks with visitors and hanging out with friends, this is the weekend that I am all alone! Which is totally manageable, but no cool Saturday night things popped up so I decided to organize my things. *Yawn* The main motivation for this is to make 110 pounds of essential things somehow magically consolidate into 50 pounds, give or take. But I can’t help the fact that I’m taking tons of uniforms with accompanying shoes. And important! documents! that could not simply be packed for the identity thieves to steal. Plus, I do have some normal people clothes, make-up, shoes, and other things that turn into lead once I zipper the bag shut.

I am in a state of disgusting over-packedness because I am soon headed to the Western Pacific to meet up with the ship I will be a GMO (general medical officer). There I will take all my mad inpatient skills of pain control, crazy potent antibiotics, fever work-ups, and the occasional surgery and toss them overboard in favor of a potpourri of outpatient clinic visits with lots of ortho and GYN complaints. Nice. I’ve definitely changed the focus of my nightly reading and it’ll be a challenge but I’m really excited.

After about 2 months afloat, I’ll be in Japan. I can’t wait. It is something so totally new that I want to preserve the feeling of complete and total disorientation. Hopefully, I’ll adapt and make a life of my own among the newness. At the same time, I definitely want to avoid glamorizing, idealizing, or exoticizing the unfamiliar. I want to minimize the observation by the artist Vik Muniz, “So much of what we see is based on what we already know.” I want to remove the distorting lens and filters of my previous experience. Which is completely and totally impossible. Oh, the tension! It warms my religion major’s soul. A little liberal arts trained thinking during my most operational experience yet? Sweet!