September 6, 2008
Oh dear, the med-student-run-around has resumed. Second year is filled with an organ by organ march through the body culminating in the first step of the medical boards. Presently the kidneys are taking over my life. And, to make things more difficult interesting, I’m applying for a Med Scholars grant in hopes that “Endosymbiont” will convince the academic powers that be that my short, medical SF qualifies as a legitimate research pursuit. Keep all possible appendages crossed for me. And, sadly, my blogging has begun to wane again.
In an effort to combat that, I’m going to try a new type of post: Ye Olde Redirect Post in which the Author Links to Various and Sundry Things that have been Distracting Him. Read the rest of this entry »
August 28, 2008
As always coming home from the back country had its shocks: warm showers, microwave ovens, and bills. The first few days back were again frenetic—the hardest was the back to school shopping: a new laptop, and a not-so-hip-but-practical single speed bicycle. I hate spending money. My grandmother always used to say it was because I had inherited a Scottish Heart from her. Grandma grew up during the Great Depression in a tiny Midwest town of Scottish immigrants. In her, to be called “thrifty” was a complement outdone only by the famed “Scotch Heart”. It caused her physical pain every time food was thrown away. Read the rest of this entry »
August 12, 2008
The last two days of Worldcon were almost completely opposites: the first filled with anticipation, excitement, frenetic activity; the second with lassitude and loss. Previously, I’ve attended cons as a fledgling writer looking to understand a new culture and to make connections. This time, I really enjoyed going as a fan—attending readings, wandering the dealers’ room, and (most importantly) catching up with old friends. That’s why for the first time, I felt a sense of loss as the con wound down. All the energy and the sense of community was fading. A bit like the end of summer camp. Back to real life. *Le sigh.* Read the rest of this entry »
August 10, 2008
The last two days of Worldcon have been wonderful, but I’m going to hold off on a recap because I need your help. Probably.
Last post I mused about the price one pays for an interdisciplinary life. In the spirit of embracing that sacrifice, I’ve spent the last days of Worldcon brooding over the difficult and painful calculus of timing three books and an MD. I’ve had wonderful conversations with authors I respect and with my editor. The results are a bit surprising. So rather than explain the dilemma to friends and family over and over, I’ve posted the situation below. If you have any advice, please *please* pass it along. Read the rest of this entry »
August 9, 2008
Saturday morning, toward the end of the con, I’m sitting in my hotel room drinking the stuff-that-is-almost-coffee, which one can make with the hotel room’s percolator. So far the week has been the culmination of a “literary summer” after my first “medical year”. The con is wonderful fun–I’ll describe the highlights below–but it often gives me a sharper sense of my internal division. Last autumn, a surgeon pulled me aside quoted something that has haunted me ever since: “Chase two hares and both will get away.”
There are a hundred reasons why this pearl of wisdom is cracked. Mostly, I’m convinced that blending disparate disciplines–bring art to science, science to art, emptying what’s full, filling what’s empty, scratching where it itches–is the only life to live. Read the rest of this entry »
August 6, 2008
The bags are all packed, and as usual I have this unshakeable feeling I’m forgetting something. Looks like a wild week ahead: catching up with friends, pursing the wonderful things they’ve been writing, touring NORAD(!), gabbing until all hours of the night about possible stories. Summer camp for SFF authors.
If you’re going to be in Denver, drop me a line!
July 5, 2008
Twenty odd Stanford medical students squeeze into a Cal Trans packed with other ‘peninsulares’ who are heading up to the city for the 4th. There’s a long train ride with card games and gossip. A subsequent adventure of muni and shuttles to get to the waterfront and then a safari through the crowds in the chilly late afternoon. A slice of grass is claimed by blankets, search parties are sent out and return with pizza and beer. More cards games as the fog rolls in from the west and forms a high ceiling that stretches out to Alcatraz.
February 3, 2008
There are so many things about America I passionately love: superbowl sunday is not one. This because I played football for most of my non-adult life. It’s a beautiful, brutal game that should be protected from beer commercials, Justin Timberlake, and other frivolities of capitalism. The game is lost in the noise.
That said, I do love the camaraderie the day inspires: it’s provided an excuse for me to spend time with Dad, which given the craziness of my schedule is hard to do. Read the rest of this entry »
December 30, 2007
A few days ago a good and extremely geeky fiend referred to 55566688833 during a conversation about relationships. I was too proud to ask what it meant. I figured the Internet would tell me. But, shockingly, the mighty Urban Dictionary and even the omniscient Wikipedia failed me. I did come across (what I see now to be) intensely witty song about 55566688833 (lyrics), but I never figured out what the digits meant. Read the rest of this entry »
November 8, 2007
Really, I’m not kidding. This is some serious geek stuff here. Though, I suppose, you could come at it from one of two angles: linguistics or computer science. Needless to say I’m on the linguistics side of things, and–equally needless to say–we’re all on the D&D side of things…right? Riiiiight?
Stolen from the brilliance that is xkcd.com