Feet First

“It is much more important to know what sort of a patient has a disease than what sort of a disease a patient has.” - Sir William Osler

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    Wednesday, December 31, 2008
    Happy New Year

    Well. The office has been closed for a couple of hours, but I am still here, piddling, surfing the Net and taking phone calls. I'm on call tonight (I volunteered), which suits me fine - I've never been a big New Year's Eve fan. My favorite New Year's Eve memory is still from when I was seven or eight and went to a sleepover birthday party at the home of a classmate, whose birthday just happened to be December 31st. I remember their home clearly. My friend's parents were hip and young, or maybe they just seemed younger than my parents - they lived in one of the newer housing developments in my town, and their house had a wine cellar (a wine cellar! I'd never met anyone else who had one) and a sunken living room with a white shag rug. Every year they had an enormous tree, flocked white to match the rug, and it was the most glamorous thing I had ever seen. Bear in mind this was 1972 or so.

    At any rate, we brought our sleeping bags and bedded down in the glamorous living room next to that flocked tree. We stayed up all night, or close to it, and I was pretty grouchy the next day due to lack of sleep. My party favor, a scented candle shaped like a pine cone, graced our bathroom for years afterwards.

    It's odd to have such a clear memory of what was, after all, just a slumber party. None of my other New Year's Eves ever measured up to it, though; my second favorite Eve ever was several years ago and consisted of me at the computer with a bowl of M&M's while my parents went to the neighbors' boring party down the street. Tonight, I can tell, will not be a standout evening. I can hear the chants of Palestinian protesters from up the street while I fend off calls from neurotic patients (okay, they're not all neurotic, but I'm getting some real winners tonight). I didn't know the Israeli consulate was a block away from the office until this week, when the protesters started showing up.

    Still, things are not bad. My parents are healthy - in fact, my entire family is healthy - and this is a major blessing. I have a job; knock on wood, I will continue to have one. Tomorrow I will go to Pasadena with my parents and my aunt to see the Tournament of Roses Parade, and the forecast is for nice weather.

    Happy New Year to all the partyphobes out there, and remember, there's nothing like a bowl of M&Ms and the Internet on New Year's Eve. Unless you've been invited to a slumber party.




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