Friday, September 21, 2018

What Residency Looks Look XXXXII: Showing (Off) Your Work

Sometimes residency looks like showing (off) your work with a friend and colleague at the local medical education conference. We're trying to bring medical education to social media and invite you to follow Teaching Rounds on Facebook or Tumblr and @MedEdPGH on Twitter.


Tuesday, September 18, 2018

What Residency Looks Like XXXXI: Study Time

Sometimes residency looks like participating in a women's health research study. This is the mobile in the exam room. I don't mind putting my body to the uses of the advancement of science, and the extra cash didn't hurt either.


Thursday, September 6, 2018

That's So Pittsburgh: Hipster Food Scene

That's so Pittsburgh: the up-and-coming hipster foodie scene. For the last two years I have been a Elite Yelper. After the first year, I discovered this meant I was invited to free tasting events. As it happens, these rarely work with my and Dear Husband's schedules, but Thursday night I made it out to a Yelper-only coffee/cocktail shop in the Strip District called De Fer. After a long day at work (I spent 3 hours with my last patient), alcohol and hors d'oeuvres sounded like a great idea. I met a few other foodie types in town and enjoyed getting to know a new establishment on a part of the city I do not visit often enough. Check out the Alphonse Mucha-inspired mural on the brick wall (above). The menu includes waffles, panini, and meat & cheese platters. I could totally see bringing DH here if we happen to be in the area. I will also bookmark it as a potential workspace, if I have time out of the hospital and want to sit on my laptop for a couple of hours and (pay to*) get some work done. Bonus: they have a lending library and small play area for children.

See also: my blog posts on Pittsburgh Bits and Bites tours in the Strip District and the Allentown neighborhood.

*I generally prefer free places to work, namely libraries, especially if they will let me eat/drink. Thank you, Hillman Library!

Monday, September 3, 2018

What Residency Looks Like XXXX: Laboring

Sometimes residency looks like holing up in the university library with a friend, updating your curriculum vitae on your day off. This Labor Day I am laboring, but on my own terms, which is so important to feeling fulfilled with one's work. Adding items to my CV reminds me how much I have in fact accomplished, although there are so many things yet to do. Not pictured: the excellent leafy green view over the plaza.


Sunday, September 2, 2018

The Art of the Brick: Pittsburgh Edition

This year I had a three-day weekend for Labor Day. On Saturday I picked up a hospital shift to help out some colleagues. Although I made a little "mad money," it meant that I was working a six-day week for the sixth week in a row (if you count Camp CAMP), and I was sorry I had given up the chance to lie on the couch all day. On Sunday old friend A.S. came to visit, so Dear Husband and I took him to church for Klondike Sunday (ice cream bars after the service!) and out to lunch with church peeps at a Peruvian cafe called La Feria. Then we piled into the car and headed for the Carnegie Science Center on the North Side.

Our goal: The Art of the Brick, a special exhibit DH and I had tried to see when we visited Tampa earlier in the year, but TAOB is a traveling exhibit, and the advertising campaign had reached Tampa well before the objects d'arte. In 2004, Nathan Sawaya (1973- ) quit corporate law to become a full-time brickartist. Wikipedia tells me, "He is the only person ever to be recognized as both a LEGO Master Builder and a LEGO Certified Professional." His first solo exhibit was in 2007, and now he has a slick website and two studios, one in Manhattan and the other in Los Angeles.


The first room of the exhibit consisted of replicas of two-dimensional artworks--mostly paintings, but also the Sistine Chapel ceiling, and a cathedral rose window made out of translucent Legos so that a spotlight shone the colored pattern on the floor. Sawaya makes a conscientious effort to sample from a variety of artistic traditions, so while DH pointed out the Gustav Klimt "The Kiss" (we saw the original on our second trip to Vienna), I gravitated toward "The Great Wave off Kanagawa" by Katsushika Hokusai (2,877 blocks).

My favorite hall was the next one, for three-dimension pieces. For instance, Degas' "Little Dancer." I chose to pose with that one, because Degas and I share a birthday (July 19).

We took turns guessing how many Legos comprised the Moai "Easter Island head": A.S. and I were way over (by a factor of 5-10); DH nearly hit the nail on the head with 75,000 (actual answer: 75,450).

My next favorite pieces were his humanoid forms. This one is "Doorway": "Excuse me. I've just got to step outside of myself for a few minutes. But don't worry, I'll be back." (6,988 blocks) The person is executed so sensitively, and then there's the "back" with a working hinged door.

This is probably the apogee of his inspirational messages: "Step-ladder." "Sometimes when you're looking for a step up, you don't have to look any further than yourself. We're all capable of more than we think." (4,054 blocks)

This one is called "Please Do Not Touch." No wait, that's the instruction to parents when they realize their small children have grabbed handfuls of loose blue Legos from the display. Actually, it's a woman swimming. You can see there were light effects with this one. Altogether the exhibit was very nicely put together, except for the model of the globe that was rotating the wrong direction (east to west).

Ladies and gentlemen, a complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton, made out of Lego bricks. It took him an entire summer to build and requires 19 cables to steady it. After this was a shared gallery of digital photographs edited to include Lego objects in otherwise melancholy American landscapes made with an Australian artist.

All that standing and walking and snapping photos wore out your trusty blogger, so we stopped for a break on some benches. Upstairs A.S. and I scrabbled through shallow trays of Lego pieces to construct arched buildings before finally calling it a day. Originally DH and I had thought to use the excuse of accompanying some visiting kiddos to the exhibit, but honestly they probably would have wanted to speed through while we tried to revel in the mastery before indulging in a favorite (but not exclusively childhood) past time. I'm glad we took ourselves.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

That's So Pittsburgh: Music to my ears

Today is a rare day off in my residency schedule, so we had planned to meet up with friends of ours from out of town for lunch and a visit to the Carnegie Science Center. However, they had had an over full day the day before and were not ready to leave Hershey until after lunchime. Luckily, a friend of Dear Husband's texted at the last minute, inviting us to hang out with her and her wife at a local watering hole, Friendship Perk and Brews. From there we carpooled into downtown for the Piano Day Pittsburgh open-air music festival. Organizers had placed four pianos around the Cultural and Arts District. Local musicians volunteered to be scheduled to play at three of them, and one was reserved for the public to showcase their talents. We started there, at PPG Place, where Dear Husband accompanied while the friend sang a couple of pieces from their concert the previous night.

Next we bypassed the singer-songwriter set up in Market Square and headed to the classical music station at Heinz Hall, where we watched a succession of tykes play on a Steinway as if at a recital. We ended up at the jazz station, where we took up residence on a shady bench in front of a fountain to chat and enjoy the music. Along the way we bumped into some familiar faces, one of whom asked whether I had been working very much and whether we getting to spend any time together. "Yes," I answered, because despite my crazy schedule we have managed to find time for dinner, or walks. Or even just some silly texting during a slow moment.

Then we perambulated across the Roberto Clemente Bridge and along the River Front Walk, where I pointed out the trees we had planted a year ago, Gandalf, Galadriel, and Waldo. We had enough time for me to visit the Fred Rogers Memorial overlooking the river confluence across from the Point, where the fountain was gushing in its full glory. We sat in the shade to listen to the recording of Rogers singing songs and reading stories before finally heading to the Jerome Bettis Grille for a leisurely 2-hour dinner and conversation. As we walked back across the river to our car, we enjoyed the lights and a gentle breeze after the heat of the day.

Who still takes photographs with their fingers over the lense?!? Any way, this was me trying to set the scene through the Doomsday portal, with one of Pittsburgh yellow bridges, the Point Park fountain, and the Fred Rogers statue in the center.

Monday, August 20, 2018

What Residency Looks Like XXXIX: A Screw Loose

While working at the hospital over the weekend, my pager fell out of its holder onto the floor--again. The loose screw popped out, and the corner button got stuck in the "on" position (a compression fracture?). Despite performing emergency surgery on it with a suture removal kit and an eyeglasses repair kit, I had to declare its condition terminal. Today I made the long trek to the pager office and exchanged it for a new one--good thing we don't do that when our loved ones get sick!