Thursday, May 31, 2007

Weird Jobs

What do YOU want to be when you grow up?

Apparently there's a whole group of youngsters who want to go into the field of forensics. My younger cousin included. It's known as the "CSI effect," which is also thought to be responsible for the increased visibility and weight given to forensic science in the courtroom. Must admit that I've not gotten into watching CSI, but the thought of morgues and autopsies and crime scenes gives me the willies... but I'm glad someone is interested in the field!


On a related note, would you want to become a cryptozoologist? Your field of study would be on cryptids, or "animals that are rumored to exist." (The span of intellectual interest NEVER fails to amaze.)

Here are some of the cryptids that you could be studying:

Bigfoot (aka Sasquatch):
Thought to be a hairy, ape-like creature living in the backwoods of the United States and Canada. So named after reports of huge feet (up to 20 inches). Suspected by some to be a Gigantopithecus (giant ape that is thought to have died out 100,000 years ago.)

Homo floresiensis (aka Ebu Gogo):
Race of little people who abduct children, speak in murmurs and are thought to reside on the Indonesian island of Flores. In 2003, the remains of a humanoid species called Homo floresiensis was discovered in caves on the island.

Loch Ness Monster:
Marine reptile thought to live in Scotland's Lake Ness. Suspected by some to be a plesiosaur.

Thylacine (aka Tasmanian tiger):
Large carnivorous marsupial that lived in Australia. Became extinct in 1936, but reported sightings of this creature still occasionally occur.

And lest you think that the field is full of fluff, cryptids of the past have been discovered. (Which I guess means that they lose their cryptid status and fall into the realm of just another real animal. Imagine that.) Here are some of the ex-cryptids:

For centuries, westerners were regaled with tales of a giant ape that lived in the remote jungles of Africa. Tales abounded about how the ape was larger and much stronger than the strongest man. Date of de-cryptidization: 1847.

Giant Squid
Myths about giant squids werer verified by Japanese researchers who baited and filmed a live giant squid. Date of de-cryptidization: 2005.

Animal with zebra-striped legs and a giraffe face. Lives in the Congo rain forest. Date of de-cryptidization: 1901.

Coelacanth (aka Gombassa or Mame)
An ancient fish thought to be extinct for millions of years. Previously known only through fossils. Date of de-cryptidization: 1938.

The only thing I'd like to add, is that while it is amazing to find new species and learn about the amazing biodiversity on Earth, we humans are quite barbaric in our quest for knowledge. For the sake of "learning," new species are caught and "studied," aka observed and then killed to study their innards. Or if they are not purposely killed, they are accidentally killed because we take them out of their environment, which happened to have life-sustaining properties for said species. Remember the hullabaloo back in April about the catching the "one of the oldest fish" ever? Maybe I'm in the minority, but I think it's far from a matter of national pride to be eating a fish that managed to survive longer than any of us will. Heck, if I were a yet unknown species and had any sense I'd stay away from us as long as possible.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Job Satisfaction


It's hard to get back to work after a nice weekend. It's even harder after a long weekend.

Had some time to catch up with old friends this weekend, and was surprised at how unhappy said friends were. (Note: they are not in medicine!!) Some are in law, some in business, engineering, biotech, banking. The consensus? Work is a highly overrated, time-consuming activity.

Seriously though, not one person I know works a 40 hour work week. Most people feel like they are stretched to the max. There's a sense of instability because the companies go through mergers ever few months, and the ax falls not too long after each merger. And jobs get lost from the merging but are never refilled. The excess work is just -- "absorbed."

Other common complaints: Managers that are incompetent. Office politics. Job instability. You're never really sure that you will have your job a year from now. Heck, a few months from now. No loyalty from employer to employee, and none the other way around.

Such, apparently, is the working world. From a big business perspective, I guess these changes have to take place to be competitive, but when's enough enough? At some point the employees are going to be stretched too thin, and then how will the next layoff be absorbed? How do companies keep employees? How will society function when a generation of young workers are already counting down the years until retirement?


There's quite a bit of a generation gap between our cohort and the one before. I'll work extremely hard while at work, but at the end of the day, work is work. Which happens to be part of a bigger picture called life. Which isn't supposed to be all about work. Ya catch the drift?

We've seen members of the previous generation throw themselves completely into their jobs. (not everyone in the previous generation, but you know who I'm talking about...) They lose their identity. Their families evolve without them. Life passes them by. And when they retire, they are at a loss as to who they have become. No hobbies. No relationships. Nothing to look forward too. We don't want to be like them. *stepping off soapbox*


Are we representative of the larger population?

TNS, a "market information company" performs a yearly study on U.S. job satisfaction. I don't know how they collected their data and how valid their calculations are. But they do the same survery every year for at least the past couple of decades, and the general trend is that there is an overall decrease in job satisfaction. They sample 5,000 U.S. households and got the following information:

% of people satisfied with their jobs: 50%
% of people satified with their >$50,000 job: 52%
% of people satisfied with their <$15,000 job: 45% % of people under 25 years of age satisfied with job: <39%
% of people satisfied with their pay: 33%

% of people who do not see themselves staying in the current job a year from now: 20%

% of people who feel disconnected from their employers: 40%

% of people that do not identify or feel motivated by employ'ers business goals and objectives: 60%

% of people content with workload, work/life balance, communication channels, potential for growth: 36%

Sombering results, my friends. What do you think? Agree? Disagree?


photo credit

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Empire waists


What a depressing series of posts these past few weeks.

Let's talk about something lighter. Went shopping this weekend, for the first time in a long time. Have had little need for non-work clothes since starting med school. For work, you got the scrubs (much loved for their comfort/you get used to the ugliness), you got the professional attire, you got the Danskos, and that's about all you need. For play (what's that?) you got the lounge at home comfy clothes. For a lot of med school and internship, I was asleep when not at work, so REALLY didn't need much.

Well, the schedule's gotten better in the last year, so am facing a dearth of leisure clothes. Hence, the shopping trip.

Most of you are probably already up to date on what's in this season. (Sorry, am a little slow with these things!!) Babydolls and empire waists are everywhere. I must say, from a frontal view, they are rather cute.

But from the side, every girl looks like they're expecting!

Nothing wrong with maternity clothes. Heck, these would be cute maternity clothes, so you COULD shop with this in mind. But if a print model looks like she has an extra twenty pounds hidden underneath the clothes - yikes!

Now, not sure how this empire waist craziness got started. But every store has rip offs of the same style. Which is fine, except when they try to push the envelope and decide to start their own style:This "waist" now starts midway across the breasts. Sexy... not!

So, what came of this trip? Ladies, there's cute clothes out there, but not everything out there is worth paying for. As for me, here's the damage:

Bring on the summer!

all pictures taken from banana republic and j crew websites

Friday, May 25, 2007

First Love

I once loved a boy named Matt.

There was something there from the moment we met.

But we were different. I was afraid. Circumstances weren’t right. People got in the way.

Our paths diverged. Thought I was over him, but mannerisms and people and places would remind, and I would wonder how things might have been. No other guy has really been as interesting. As charming. As engaging. But how could they? Who can compare to an idealized version of the past? Was it even real? I’ve been so silly.

Watched The Notebook tonight. Poor Allie. Poor Noah. All the misery in their lives stemmed from their not being able to let go.

I once loved a boy named Matt. Or did I? Did I just fall in love with the idea of love? With the idea of a perfect man? I don't know. It doesn't matter. Am glad to have seen this movie. It’s shown that I still haven’t been able to let go of the past. I cried a lot tonight, but I’m finally ready. I’m finally ready.

Goodbye, Matt. I wish you and your loved ones the very best. May you be happy and find all that you wish for.

Goodbye, silly memories. You kept me company for many years. Thank you, but I shan’t be revisiting you anymore.

How many more kinds of these silly memories do I carry? How many other people are out there are stuck revisiting useless, idealized thoughts? My poor wandering friends. Just let go – they are not who you are. Join me – cast away the extra weight that you don’t need.

My fellow wanderers, may we always find a way to see these self-imposed bonds, and when this happens, may we find the courage and wisdom to choose to let them go.


photo credit

Thursday, May 10, 2007

I'm Back.

They broke my rose colored glasses.

For weeks I wandered, lost, confused, trying to understand a world that seemed to have lost its delicate pink glow. I couldn't understand these people and their funny ways. Attendings who gossiped about residents. Residents who gossiped about each other. Gifted people who seem to see no further than their nose, who calculate the value of others only by how these 'pawns' could advance their goals. And most frightening, attendings and residents who hid a terrible face behind their fake outer facade.

Tough as this time has been, it has taught me invaluable lessons about life and our world. About how there truly are all kinds of people in every profession. That education, intelligence, and training in no way guarantees the production of a kind soul. That people often lose sight of what is important in the self-created struggle for what is not. That though they hurt us, we should have compassion for them, for in being near-sightedly hurtful to others, they ultimately hurt themselves. That they are not "bad" or beyond hope - they too have the potential to become great human beings. They just have "extra baggage" that hides that innate goodness.

I still don't understand them, and I hope to never become like them. The range of human potential never fails to astound, and coming face to face with these non-understandables reminds us of the beauty of diversity, and serves to remind us to constantly work towards the more admirable end of human potential. And even though good people sometimes seem fewer and far between, we're reminded that these people, too, are all around us, and will, if we let them, continue to inspire us.

They broke my rose colored glasses. What they don't know is that I got a new pair - besides, it was time for an update in frames anyways. I also got a backup pair of rose-colored contact lenses, just in case someone sneaky tries to break the new glasses...

It's nice to see the world in a better light again.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Are your ears tingling?

Anyone who has kids, or who, for that matter, has ever been a kid knows that kids are mean. They're mean after a certain age (is it preschool?) and can be mean until quite a later date (high school or college). Usually they grow out of it. They enter the conscientious phase of their lives (some psychologist in the past has a name for this, and I can't remember it - help me out, psych majors!) and learn to live and let live.

Some people never outgrow it. At the gym this morning, overheard three overweight middle aged women gossiping about how one friend was "chunky," and how it was difficult to believe that another friend taught aerobics class and was still overweight.
Sigh. Is it just that many women are just incredibly judgemental of other women, or do people do this to bond with each other, or are they just so bored that they feel the need to comment on something that has nothing to do with their lives whatsoever?!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Wizened old chap

Check this guy out:

brought to you by one of the cutest websites.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


Here are some words of wisdom from Ellie's blog:

To listen is to continually give up all expectation and to give our attention, completely and freshly, to what is before us, not really knowing what we will hear or what that will mean.

In the practice of our days, to listen is to lean in, softly, with a willingness to be changed by what we hear. ( Mark Nepo )


The dandelion is there by the sidewalk,
smiling its wondrous smile,
singing the song of eternity.
You have ears that can hear it. (Thich Nhat Hanh)


May we not forget to listen.