Matt on Not-WordPress

Tim Berners-Lee was originally in the office on the right (with the below sign on it) and then moved to the one on the left with the world’s first web server, at CERN in Switzerland / France (technically on the French side).

There’s no marking or anything on the doors, and they’re just used as normal offices by CERN. The people inside looked confused we were so excited to be there and taking pictures. 🙂

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I Don’t Have a Drink

IMG_1117I don’t have that ‘order me a-‘ type drink. I love wine, like beer. Not a big fan of liquor. I had a friend who told me that I haven’t had a good drink yet. Listen, I am well into my thirties. I know I’ve had a good drink, but I do not necessarily ‘have a drink’ nor do I favor liquor. These aren’t the brat pack years or repressed housewife decades. I do enjoy taking a sip of another’s drink for taste but that’s my limit.

It just begs to ask why such importance is placed on alcohol? I enjoy a nice drink here and there however it does not make or break an experience. It comes down to good conversation and good company.

So, if I lack any interest in a classic manhattan or any updated collection of mixologists, then its more a matter of my own palate and not a lack of being served a good drink. However, if you have to get me one then order me a dirty martini, extra dirty, Ketel One.

Picture of Barrels of Scotch. Map not included.

Number 29

Wyoming has become the 29th state I have visited in my life. Mind you, my criteria is that I’ve either stayed there twenty-four hours or have done something significant. Significant for me would be, for example, visiting the Bill Clinton Library, Heifer International and eating ribs in Little Rock, Arkansas.  That was a brilliant day.

So, how am I to get to those upper middle states? With subzero temperatures, I went to see the Elk Refuge, snowboard, snowmobile and roam around the wonderful city of Jackson Hole.  I’ve been obsessed with Jackson Hole. If you have not been, it will surprise you. Many of the locals told us to come back in summer as well.  Every time I visit somewhere, I return re-energized and feeling I have opened myself up to the world again.  I am almost a different person. I am happier, friendlier, more easygoing. Travel challenges you in such ways to let go of all those ‘rules’ we set in our everyday lives.

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Each evening, I made sure to jot the names of places and persons in my journal. This little journal is my writing bible.  It is disheveled enough so that it makes no sense to another but logical enough for a writer. This journal may as well be made of gold and little did I know it would become so as I started filling it in….scribbling ideas, lists,.  The small booklet with its malleable green leaflet cover now holds more value to me than the cashmere gloves I lost in my travel to Jackson Hole. So yes if I have to chose, I chose my journal.

So what are some of your traveling desires? Or what little book do you keep your writing secrets in?

Hearts Run Over by Trucks

Food truck

I was happy to attend the Food Truck Festival this past weekend and not only found out that lobster grilled cheese sandwiches with caramelized onions are worth the fifteen minute wait and that I can put down a whole funnel cake on my own, but I found out that I was walking among a festival of broken hearts. I was excited to graze all afternoon on an assortment of truck vendor foods this past Sunday. Along the way, my friend and I met two other people in the VIP tent, which was not all that fancy as it may seem. However, the four of us were simpatico for the day.  Others came throughout the sunny, abnormally chill day in this geographic region to keep our company.  Nice strong drinks were dispensed generously by the VIP bartender. The live band unfortunately was best to be ignored due to the angry heavy metal teenage angst screaming.  I was not sure who the target audience was.  As the sun rolled west and cast shadows upon the straw covered dirt field, I realized that many broken hearts were clucking along.  Marissa had a story yet to be sought however self-admitted judgmental Andrew clearly knew that blondes were the error of his ways.  Sheila was getting back into the dating scene and her first date in months landed on crazy street.  She was nervous and in slow mode, yet the gem of a date wanted to paste the girlfriend sticker on her back.  As I tried to maneuver my own heart to stay clear of being laid on the ground and grazed upon, Annie’s voice squeals with happiness at my company. I am a fan of Annie. I call her short pint. She is short but with an immense amount of spunk that needs contained. I do not blame her. Her love must of been thrashed. All the fun loving is pierced with a intent to slay and put men in their place. I know nothing of the details. On the other hand, my transgressor is neatly gift wrapped and kicked into oblivion where it does not deserve to be acknowledged.  So is any of this healthy? I am sure it’s not. And neither was the food.  I just thought that as free as the day was, all of us had our hearts chained, buried, or guarded deep down.  At least we had a pretty bartender that made a good, stiff drink. 

168 Minus 40 is Not Work Life Balance

So, today I have a rant. Sadly, I am home with a terrible virus which, I dare say, is not the flu as I received the flu shot. I believe in the flu shot and viruses and bacteria are smarter than us, hands down. However, my self promised weekly blog was calling. That was not the rant. However, I will rehash the new motto of our millennium.

I find that society, usually corporations preach the work-life balance, yet how is it that the number of hours we are actually at work are more than our time off? Technically, we work more than 40 hours a work if you include driving to work, lunch hour and any after work hours one adds.  I ring up to 50 plus hours a week and I am still running around trying to sustain my life after work and fitting in leisure time.

I know what hard work is as I’ve gone through college, medical school and residency. My problem is the underlying annoyance that is generated if you are sick. Mind you, I am exposed to an exponentially higher amount of germs and I should have a Hercules type immune system, which I do. However, when I am sick as I am now, it takes me out hard.  Yet, work still texts wondering when I will return. I get it. I have a schedule, therefore, all these people need to be rescheduled. However, I would like to think they don’t want a sick doctor to come to work. It exposes them and my patients.  So, considering the field I am in, it is weirdly expected of my illness to subside in one day. Many people may have one day of illness. I do not. By the time my mind listens to my body, my body has lost its patience, pins me down and tells my mind who is boss.  And many a day, I tell people how long illnesses will run its course, yet our jobs, our employers do not allow for it. I suppose you may think this is whining.  I clearly think its an imbalance.

I do not count illnesses as a work life balance. It’s not part of the equation. It’s not the part of life we have to do, enjoy to do or gets a reward but it gets lumped in with life. Additionally, life also carries the burden of our primitive needs being met. Sleeping, eating, exercising are constantly discounted. Life gets shortchanged as it carries sickness on its back and work is clear and still calls us out.

Or is it my guilt?  I have been trained to go to work sick and this is, especially, true in residency.  And, if you do happen to call the backup resident to take your call, you sure better be on your deathbed. I believe in a respected work ethic, however, not at the expense of my health.  Either way, I hope to retrain my mind to listen to my body. I hope our work life balance truly becomes even. The bottom dollar is not worth its sacrifice.  Once I get back onto the train, I most likely will fall into the traps again. However, I will respect my body more than work.  I will listen to my body’s voice.  Work should be a chapter in life and not on the cover with it.

For without our health, we have nothing.

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Color Me Scary

13

I love this number. Its my birth date. It’s part of our New Year today.  I am connected to it. This number and the number 3 has followed me indirectly. How can I look upon 13 badly, even though, it is skipped in elevators, exalted in horror movies, and feigned unfortunate on Fridays?   Does any other number have so many associations? The number 7 is a competitor, however, it elicits some kind of reverence, usually in theological terms. The holiday numbers, such as, 25, 14, 1, 4 and others have their own designation. The number 12 has its biblical use and provides a calender year. 2 gives company. 6 is a productive number for organic chemists and anything that wants to exist tangibly.  And number 1 is 1 and who doesn’t want to be number 1?

Thirteen polarizes people.  It’s misused and misunderstood.  Anyone with a sweet tooth will not argue against the baker’s dozen. Steve Nash didn’t have a problem with it prior to leaving for the Lakers. It gives guidance to parents about movies for their children and trusted enough to be named after an Apollo. Thirteen keeps in line like all the others, but is condemned when it plays. Thirteen hangs elite in the prime numbers club, yet still feels banished. Research shows that 13 has a historical and mystical background.  It lurks in nature which is intertwined with math and science.  And with all its earned degrees, it still cannot rid its infamy.

Ironically, media did not tout any hokum with 13 being the part of the New Year. I imagine this was the case as hope towards a New Year overrides any hyperbole of 13. It’s a number that seems to encompass contradictions, means no harm, stands by with polite strength and wants to give you a little something extra.

Thirteen is the other side of the coin, the better friend, the wiser choice. It is doubtful, temperamental and surprising.  Thirteen is numerically hidden within us because people can empathize with its misconceptions and misread reputations. This empathy is exactly what makes us human and not numbers.

It is a simple expression of us.

So with all of its bruised flaws and cloaked power, I will stand by 13 as it bolsters me into the next 365(364) days, hopefully, becoming a better friend than enemy to it.

Happy New Year!