Friday, February 23, 2018

So Damn Tired

Today marks my 19th straight day of work, and I am worn out. Admittedly, four of those days were "just" rounding in the hospital, but on all of those occasions I had at least three patients (two days of five) including a couple with critical illnesses. AND four of the weekdays had me as the only doc in the office.

Oh! And here's my wonderful page-a-day calendar from yesterday:

The theme is small, beautiful moments in life. I was like, "That's nice to think about, but not a reality for me. Thanks for reminding me. :P"

So, yeah. I'm tired. I'd say that I'm deconditioned because these types of work strings would happen a lot in residency and they just haven't since then. But really, I was dead tired after a similar string then (granted, the days were usually at least twelve hours long).

You could also say I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. It might have had to do with me looking up the Sherlock news on twitter. But my last news segment will be recorded and posted by Sunday, so at least I will be free there.

And tonight should be fun! Bill is off on an owl prowl, so I'm going to see Black Panther with the office manager. I'm very excited :)

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Not Everything [Should Be] About White Men

Bill and I were channel-hopping the other night and happened to catch the last two minutes of the X-Files episode "Never Again." This was one of the early Scully-driven episodes. After her cancer was revealed as a plot twist in the previous episode and, in the beginning of this one, Mulder (once again) reduces her to a sidekick, Scully goes out on her own, gets a badass tattoo

and has a one night stand. Unfortunately, her chosen sexual partner has a tattoo (voiced by Jodie Foster) that has been brainwashing him into murdering women. It's some cool ink, though.

Yeah, it's weird. The show often was. Weird and wonderful. But we didn't see all that. What we did see was a quiet scene exploring the emotional impact on the usually logical Scully and her relationship with the fanciful (and a bit self-obsessed, if we're being truthful) Mulder.

The last line of consequence comes from Scully, and hangs in the air for a full twenty seconds as the episode closes:

"Not everything's about you, Mulder."

Jesus, that's a beautiful sentiment. And the archetypal Watson figure just said it to her Holmes. It's a sentence that I think needs to be said to a lot of men (as well as a lot of white women). And it's a statement that sums up a lot of my problem with BBC Sherlock.

In this internet-driven, device-bound world, large and complex opinions get turned into soundbites, which does no one any good. But if pushed, my tweet-sized take on what happened to BBC's Sherlock to make it lose its appeal for me would be:

"Moffat and Gatiss write like teen aged boys."

So many explosions and plot twists, so few consequences. Repeated emotional and physical sacrifice of female and supporting male characters to ensure the (white male) lead knows it's all about him.

On a related note, check out this cool discussion comparing the complexity of female characters on Doctor Who under the banners of Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat. ETA: And here's the ever-insightful fan champion Aja Romano saying pretty similar things as I just did.

I just can't move past this until I digest it, God help me.

And the sad thing is that fandom shut down critical discussion about the show so entirely that I couldn't even come to that trite conclusion, let alone the hours of nuanced discussion I feel lurking beyond it, while I was actively engaging with the show and fans. (And maybe once I complete my final two fandom tasks, I can let go for good.)

I think there's growing recognition in media writ large that complex and sensitive depictions of characters besides white men are needed. Even more, they're a valuable creative and financial investment. Give other stories a chance and odds are you'll be rewarded.

On a smaller scale: Today in #gaymedicaloffice, my office manager stopped by to tell me how much he personally and the office in general have changed since I started six months ago. It seems a strong feminist perspective enriched things for all. Who'da thunk?

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

My Life in the Sherlock Fandom: A Timeline

Gah, I keep saying I'm not going to talk about Sherlock or fandom, but then things keep presenting themselves!

Anyway, after finding the instagram post the other day, I went in search of dates, both exact and approximate, and made a timeline.

I color-coded: green is watching the show, purples are entering and enjoying the fandom (and there could be many more in there, like each monthly TPP ep, each new fic, getting to know people on twitter), red is negative fandom experiences, and the sort-of cream boxes show the progression of me falling out of love with the show and the fandom.

Looking at this timeline, it's clear that I went through the same mental gymnastics around the show that many people did, and I stopped making excuses for it and the people making it pretty early on. I tried harder to understand other fans, to given them the benefit of the doubt.

I stayed for the companionship, and just grinned and bore it, being more of a champion of fandom than of the TV series.

And here we are. I left the fandom on Feb 6, 2018. So I was in it for less than two years. I think I did pretty good in terms of leaving my mark on fandom and fandom in leaving its mark on me.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Role Model Couples

This is a thing nowadays, right? Talking about how a seemingly well-adjusted Hollywood couple is #couplegoals and despairing that "love is dead" when your favorite couple breaks up?

To be clear, I think it's important to have couples in mind who model healthy relationship behavior. But I think getting emotionally invested in the sanctity of any given relationship can be dangerous, because relationships grow, change, and even end. And that's okay.

I think Bill and I (or me for us is probably more accurate) have couples we admire for their both their affection for each other and for their creative energy and how they channel that into both solo and combined projects.

I'm going to talk about two couples that come readily to mind this morning: Julia and Paul Child and Robin (Goldie) Goldwasser and John Flansburgh.

(Please appreciate that this entry isn't heavily researched and is largely culled from my own mental stores. I'm trying to avoid errors, but I can't make any guarantees.)

Julia and Paul

Of course we all know Julia Child. And of course I draw inspiration from Julia personally. What woman wouldn't? She found her creative passion later in life and always lived authentically.

But did you know that she was married to a true Renaissance Man who supported her emotionally and creatively through much of her career? Paul was significantly older, and lived a lot before he met Julia. He was a painter, photographer, and graphic designer, and when he met Julia, he was smitten. They were both honest-to-god secret service employees at first, but when he continued with government work (taking them to Paris) and she didn't, she found a hobby-- French cooking.

And a legend was born. Through her culinary training, the writing and publishing of the first and second volumes of Mastering the Art, through the first PBS series, Paul was there. He made sure she looked her best in photos and on TV, and he often told her how remarkable she was.

To see pictures of them looking in love and devoted, and to read accounts of him sitting back and letting her's humbling and inspiring.

Goldie and Flans

These two. First of all, there's a startling amount of visual similarity to Bill and myself. Check out this photo of Goldie singing with TMBG. Tell me I wouldn't wear her outfit. You can't. And I've long thought Flans is Bill's doppelganger.

But anyway. These two have been married for years, they each make a living as artists (Goldie has been in several bands, voiced Sarah Silverman's vagina in Jesus is Magic, and founded a puppet theatre), they pop in on each other's creative projects (she made the oh-so-famous Avatars of They, pictured below), and they've even done some really intense joint work, like Flans producing (and appearing in) a play Goldie co-wrote--People Are Wrong! (also pictured below)

If it's not clear, I admire Goldie a great deal as well. She's the person I see me becoming as I continue to grow creatively and live my authentically weird and colorful life, and it's awesome that she's married to a creative and clearly devoted man.


Oh, because I've been feeling like I need a space to put witty one-liners and small bits of positivity out into the world, I'm back on twitter as @tassynicole. I have the same handle on instagram.

Keep in touch!

Friday, February 16, 2018

Like Lot's Wife, I Look Back at Sodom(y)

I was going back through my instagram posts last night and came across evidence of when, exactly, I started reading fanfic in the Sherlock fandom. Here it is:

So now I'm going back and seeing if I can piece together a timeline. This should be interesting.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Poetry Workshop

Oh god, I'm nervous.

I did a challenge in the month of November where I wrote a poem a day. I've been letting them sit for a while before starting revision, and just a few days ago, I submitted one of the poems to a local organization that holds a monthly poetry workshop.

I just got an email that mine will be one of the poems workshopped this Sunday (it's not selective, they do everyone's), and I'm freaking out. I haven't listened to criticism of a poem I've written since my senior year in college. I'm just hoping I get something good out of it, and get inspired to revise more. I'd really love to publish a small collection of poetry this year.

*bites nails*

Tuesday, February 13, 2018


Something Bill and I have in common (besides our love of mixed drinks, quirky music, Wes Anderson movies, giving voices to our cats...) is that we each failed at attending a college in Ohio.

Bill graduated from high school in the mid-90's and, without giving it much thought, went out to the University of Dayton to study graphic design. The way he tells it, he was simply too caught up in living his exciting and artistic high school life to think much about where he was applying to college or what he was going to do there. And Dayton is a Jesuit college (Bill went to Jesuit high school), so...

He went, was miserable so far away from home and friends, stuck it out for a semester, then transferred back home. I think he might have some shame associated with the episode, but he seems to not attribute much of who he is to the experience.

I graduated as valedictorian from a high school in the Ozarks of Missouri in 2002. My senior year, I approached college applications like I was going into battle. I think the final count was 12 or 13, ranging from WashU to Yale to Reed to Grinnell to Mizzou. I just wanted to have THE college experience. I wanted to sit among smart, academically motivated people like me, to form strong relationships and learn new things every day. I was sooooo excited. I even started dating a college boy in early '02.

In the process of applying, I came across a little school called Kenyon College in the middle of Ohio. It was adorable-- the college basically made up 3/4 of the small, woods-surrounded town, there were no graduate programs so undergrads were the big focus...and they wanted to give me a full ride science scholarship. Perfect, right?

Although my depression had reared its ugly head once so far, and pretty much decimated any enjoyment of my Junior year. I'd come back around for my last year in high school, more seasoned. Totally an adult. And now I was in love with a mature college guy, so I could totally handle the distance and being away from my family. I needed no one. I needed to learn.

I don't know if I can really describe what happened to me. My mother, my boyfriend, and I drove out to Ohio with all my supplies including a ridiculous desktop computer and a minifridge in my grandparents' Town and Country. We unpacked in the 60's-era dorms and I milled about with the women with whom I'd be living.

Looking back, I can see that everything was pretty standard for college. Not entirely what I'd imagined in all my INFJ daydreaming and scheming, but not bad. I went to sit for placement exams, matching into advanced chem and second year French. I went to my first advising meeting, of students with an interest in biology. We were in the professor's house, talking about poetry, and I freaked.

I walked out of there and called my boyfriend on my brand new Nokia cell phone, crying. I hadn't met a single other student who wanted to be pre-med, and I wasn't convinced it was possible or advisable to complete that course of study at this college. What I didn't say was that I was lonely and incredibly scared being away from my parents and my home for the first time. I couched it in professional and academic concern because I'd learned that those were acceptable things to be worried about.

My boyfriend grabbed his car when Mom dropped him off and made an about-face to come get me. It was a dramatic, heady time and I'm sure my high-emotion teenage self enjoyed it, in some ways. We packed me up and drove back home...I lasted less than three days.

It all worked out, in the end. I reapplied early decision to WashU, which has a wonderful reputation and a well-trod course laid out to medical school admission. And now I'm a doctor. And by staying in St Louis, I met Bill and probably got to know my parents better than I would have if I'd stayed in Ohio. Plus I had their support only two hours away. That was a trip made frequently my first and second years as my mental health continued to wax and wane.

But if I'd stayed...what would have happened? I have visions of me exploring my more creative impulses, experimenting with art, music, drugs, sexuality...getting to know myself in a way I feel like I still don't. It's the big Sliding Doors moment in my life, and sometimes...I just wonder.

So Damn Tired

Today marks my 19th straight day of work, and I am worn out. Admittedly, four of those days were "just" rounding in the hospital, ...