Friday, February 27, 2009

Business Trip?

How many people in corporate America take a day off to play golf and then claim that they get good work done on the golf course, forge contacts, build teamword, etc. right? That is the excuse that thousands across the US use for their corporate expensed golf games, country club memborships etc. I just got back from using similar logic on the ski slope although I actually did attend a conference and even had to present some of my data and had two former mentors show some of my slides. I had lunch and skied Tuesday afternoon for awhile iwth my former boss and mentor and discussed plans for some future papers. So, really I was working, I swear.

That being said the Rockies are beautiful. I spent the weekend in Denver, truly working then 4 of us rented a car and drove up to Keystone in the midst of a major snow storm that dropped at least a foot of fresh powder on the hill. On Tuesday morning the sun was out, fresh powder was all around and as soon as I could escape the meeting, I suited up and hit the slopes. I demo'd an amazing pair of skis. Volkl's made for women. They were so great to ski on, too bad I could never afford to buy them. The conditions rocked and Wednesday was even better. On wednesday, I skied by myself and kicked my tail as I spent about 6 hours with nary a break charging down the slopes. Lefty held up although she was seriously sore after Wednesday. The mountains awesome. Sometimes I love my job.

A little of the Colorado Rockies

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


One of my friends has currently gone back to school to get a masters in medical ethics. Her most recent assignment was to write a paper on someone who had gone through a significant illness and how their background impacted their coping and adjustment to that illness. She chose to interview me. In preparing to for the interview, she sent me a list of questions and answered many of them with links to posts I have written over the last two years. I reread parts of this narrative that I haven't looked at in a long time, and I laughed and cried with myself again. I just read her paper. I know it's about me, but sometimes I forget.

This was her summary:

"In summation, Lisa’s illness narrative is an amazing one, and one that I wish I could tell more of. Her illness experience spans the range of human emotions, triumphs and defeats. Lisa shared her humanity, her strength and her fortitude to take on a frightening, painful and long illness and turn it into a life learning experience. She used her illness to emerge a stronger, more compassionate, more health conscious individual. She used her illness experience to emerge a more understanding physician of the demands that illness places on effected patients and their families. She has used her illness experience to grow in cherishing her family and friendships. She seems to have genuinely learned the value of herself, her self-worth and really used the experience to better herself and enrich her life. Her story is compelling and one that serves to only inspire anyone who has the fortune of hearing it. "

Aw, shucks, who knew I was inspiring- thanks BB

Thursday, February 5, 2009


I quick look around my house will reveal several collections, things that I have collected or kept over long periods of time. These collections tell little stories about my life, who I am, who I used to be, and what my hobbies are. They are a little like an archeological expedition into my life. There is the fact that I have 5 bookshelves all full to the brim with books I've read, want to read or am reading. The styles and genre vary, but there is no way you could spend more than 5 minutes in my house and not know that I read, a lot. There is my Lladro those beautiful porcelain figurines that are sweet reminders of my time in Spain. My shot glass collection that reflects my college years and life in my 20s. My Zaworski (sp) crystal collection, my collection of puzzles, etc. You get the idea.

Then there is my other collection that is not so visible, but apparent to most people who know me and was brought to my attention when I sent a simple email today. I was explaining to a friend that I had to change my plans for Friday because I had to go pick up my friend Lisa's car. I got back a two work email "Which Lisa." Valid question, you see, I collect friends who share my first name. How this started I'll never know, but by now it is rediculous. In college, I lived with two other girls named Lisa, they are still two of my closest friends. When I went to school in Boston, I immediately became friends with a Lisa. In residency, one of my closest friends- you guessed it Lisa (but then I had two other really good friends both named Kathy). Then I moved to Chicago and my lab had 5 women in it and 3 of us were name Lisa. Those two Lisa's are still friends, and one of them is another of my dearest friends and the person in question whose car I have to drive to Long Beach in the rain tomorrow to get. Does it say something about me that I have so many friends with my same name? Or does it just mean that Lisa was a seriously popular name round about the late 60s early 70s? and it wasn't a local phenomenon. No two of these assorted women were born in the same state as another (except two who are from Phili), and one was born abroad. Nope just random that I count upwards of 10 Lisas as friends. No idea if this says something about me, but it is curious.

Nonetheless I love my Lisa's. They rock

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Day at the Races

I grew up a few short miles from Santa Anita Race Track. I learned how to drive in the race track parking lot. i have been to mulitple random events at the Race Track, but I had never seen the horses race there until Saturday when some friends from work invited me to join them. I immediately accepted, because I had been wanting to go for awhile. We got comped tickets to a box on the clubhouse level. We were a little too high up to fully get to see the view, but the day was beautiful. A perfect setting for a fun Southern California day. We studied the program and in the first race was a horse who caught my attention "Devil Cat MD." That so was going to be my horse. My friend, Sandy explained the details of horse betting to us and I placed an expecta box bet on Devil Cat MD and horse #3(whose name currently escapes me). Essentially I was betting that these two horses would come in 1,2. We watched the race and Devil Cat MD won and horse #3 came in 2nd. My first bet on a horse race ever and I won an expect box. I was thrilled. Not so much success would follow, but alas it was still a great day at the Race Track.

I forgot my camera, so these were taken with my phone. They at least give an idea.

Leslie and Sandy in our box

The horses racing to a photo finish on the turf

Horses being lead out to race

Oh and if you go to the races, and are hungry- my advice, skip the regular concessions and go for the hand carved sandwiches. I had turkey on sourdough. I couldn't quite eat the bread, but the turkey was awesome. My friend got roast beef on rye which looked super good too.