It takes a village: Christmas time in the Basque country

What exactly is a pueblo remains a difficult concept to explain to those who don't see it for themselves.  A pueblo is a village, or a town, but rather than a strict geographical definition, it's more of a way to describe a community.  Also, it's a people or the people.  The word also carries with it a … Continue reading It takes a village: Christmas time in the Basque country

Why the Basques don’t need Santa Claus

December 25, 2007 As an outsider looking onto what is completely routine and normal in the town of Portugalete, of Bizkaia, País Vasco, España, I note things to myself that people here take for absolute granted. For example, I am constantly aware of the ethnic pride-slash-mild superiority complex that perfumes the air. I get it: … Continue reading Why the Basques don’t need Santa Claus

Teaching your kids to appreciate art: my trip to RISD museum with my daughter

It looks like I might finally have a cool story to tell about my daughter. I have looked at my daughter, and scratched my head because, like, whose child is she, really?  Can't be mine.  She so athletic and grippy, like I never was and never will be.  And she is all about the pink … Continue reading Teaching your kids to appreciate art: my trip to RISD museum with my daughter

My first Thanksgiving

Once in a while, I meet an innocent ignoramus who'll ask me with a straight face: "do they celebrate Thanksgiving in Russia?" I usually reply, "Well, it's a holiday that started because people wanted to celebrate the Pilgrims arriving in America, so... no.  No Native Americans in, you know, Russia." Russian immigrants like us celebrate … Continue reading My first Thanksgiving

My trip to Canyon Ranch in Lenox, MA: 14 expectations for your visit…but funny

I did something at least 50% out of character for me this weekend.  I went on a weekend getaway to the Canyon Ranch in Lenox, MA.  I'm going to call it "a retreat," because it sounds fun, even though it wasn't anything that official.  I had this vision of cabana boys feeding me grapes and … Continue reading My trip to Canyon Ranch in Lenox, MA: 14 expectations for your visit…but funny

I hate the limbic system

I was standing there doing procedures today...  By the way, I do procedures 3 times a week, and it's basically a half hour of intense visual concentration and hand-eye coordination times ten, but frequently, my thoughts are allowed to wander, so if it seems like half the posts here start with "I was standing there … Continue reading I hate the limbic system

How to save a life

A patient came into the office a few weeks ago, and tearfully thanked me for saving his life. I am not bragging. It's just that a patient thanking you happens really rarely; much more rarely than "you are doing nothing for me," and "I waited too long to see you," and other complaints.  So when … Continue reading How to save a life

What you need to know about the GI bug (and other stories)

Today, I feel like crap.  No pun intended - but I think I'm getting the GI bug. You know, the GI bug??  Otherwise known as hell on Earth?  Where I am known to descend every few years due to no fault of my own?  Last time I had this bitch, I puked up my grilled … Continue reading What you need to know about the GI bug (and other stories)

Mommy guilt: the struggle is real

One of the first things I did when I got a job that paid money was hire a cleaning lady.  It was a given that I would, since I hate housework, and am no good at it.  I actually suck pretty hard at it. As time went on, I outsourced more and more stuff.  Some … Continue reading Mommy guilt: the struggle is real

All these thoughts…

Well, so, just like anything in parenting, we have our ups and we have our downs, and often they come in rapid succession.  Just yesterday I was fawning over my son's genius, basking in the glow of his awesomeness...   And today, I was sent crashing down from Olympus with astonishing velocity. His teacher called. She … Continue reading All these thoughts…