Monday, April 05, 2010

Easter blues

I don't know why Easter is such a depressing holiday for me, but it is. It might be anxiety about the change of seasons—knowing that the hated heat of summer is coming soon, and having to switch to summer clothes instead of hiding behind sweaters. It might be that the priests say that Easter is a time to rejoice, making you feel doubly anxious that you don't feel particularly joyous. It might be the unhealthy feel of eating too much chocolate. It might be that everyone around you is saying, "Hurray, it's spring!" when, in your case, spring is the season of anxiety, since it is the herald of summer, which you detest. Or maybe it's just everybody saying "Hoppy Easter" and thinking they're being clever. I used to think this attitude was freakish, on my part, until I read a short story by Julie Hecht in which she mentions the despair one feels when the stores put out their Easter decorations, and I realized I'm not alone, although I'm probably not in the majority either. At any rate, it's 6:20pm on Sunday and there is just Easter dinner to get through (leg of lamb, potatoes, asparagus, tiramisu and the last thing I want right now is a heavy dinner) and then I won't have to worry about Easter again for another year.

I'm having trouble thinking of other things to write about. We could discuss how House is the dumbest show on television, but surely you can see that without my telling you, right? Right? For one thing, these doctors work in a hospital that apparently has no nurses and they singlehandedly do the work of doctors, nurses, radiology techs and patient care techs. And while six months of working as a nurse doesn't make me an expert, the scenes of medical ridiculousness always have me shouting at the TV. The other night, for example, the patient is lying on a table, being watched by two doctors through a glass door. Suddenly alarm bells start ringing and the one doctor says, "Her heart rate is normal, but her blood pressure is dropping!" They rush to the patient, where one doctor starts CPR (Hello? What about her "normal" heart rate?) and the other says, "She's bleeding around her heart!"—making this diagnosis without any assessment whatsoever and immediately plunges a needle through the patient's sternum. Later in the same episode, two of the doctors show up at the apartment of some guy—the patient's mysterious illness is somehow connected to the fact that she stalked this man for a night—and tell him, "We MUST search your apartment" and try to force their way inside. The man, sensibly, and well within his rights, slams the door in their faces. In what world do doctors function as police detectives? Another scene that stands out, from a different episode is where a patient becomes ill from an overdose of Coumadin because two different doctors ordered it for the patient and dispensed the medication. In a real hospital, it's the nurse who would give the Coumadin and who would see two orders and would clarify the dosage and prevent the whole problem. I suppose if I were a "forensic anthropologist," if there even is such a thing, I'd be shouting at the TV every time I watched "Bones" but I am comfortably ignorant about that particular field, so I can allow that Bones is entertaining, but House is moronic.

We could discuss what I'm reading right now, Cod by Mark Kurlansky. Kurlansky seems to be making a tidy living for himself writing books about things that nobody else ever thinks about: cod, salt, the Basque people, etc. Cod is certainly interesting and easy to read and includes old fashioned recipes that are fun to read, but would be very difficult to attempt in the modern kitchen. I'm also reading Reservations Recommended by Eric Kraft. It's about a toy company executive who also secretly writes restaurant reviews under a pseudonym. Like Cod, it's readable and adequately entertaining. Anyone reading or watching anything good lately?


  1. I don't even work in a hospital, and I've always complained about the lack of auxiliary medical professionals on House. I doubt even a radiologist could actual run a CAT scan or MRI machine, much less the internist on that show.

  2. have I told you lately how much I appreciate your blog? Thank you! I find Easter difficult, not sure why, I dont even want to explore it. Perhaps I detest the durn plastic eggs- I mean how many of those does a household need?
    also- I love that you said it was perfectly within said man's right to deny entrance to his apt to the doctors.
    I havent watched House all season, I like to catch up in the summer. I have not watched a law show since beginning law school- so I get it.

  3. Easter is super-strange for me, too. We didn't even bother with a dinner. (That must be totally weird to most.)

    I second your House feelings.

    I'm reading The Fountain Overflows by Rebecca West and a book you recommended a while back - I'm Not Complaining.

  4. I LOVE Easter!! I think it is because a) it's not xmas, and carries none of the family drama or gift-buying pressure of xmas, and b) I live in a season-less place, so I don't dread summer nor am I trying to escape winter, so spring really has no meaning. As a lover of bunnies (or at least one bunny), I figured you of all people would be in the Easter spirit ;)

    I liked watching House for awhile, but it got very predictable. I also wondered if there are doctor-detectives who go into people's houses without search warrants -ha!

  5. I think there should be reality show or evening drama about writers. Not screen writers or investigative journalist, just regular writers who, you know, write encyclopedia entries and history textbooks, that sort of thing. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

  6. Here in my house, we're not medical professionals in any way and even we can see all the problems with the script.

    In one of the early seasons, they showed a pediatric patient who ultimately was diagnosed with Kawasaki, except that the symptoms were totally wrong. Even we knew that.

    The first season, it seems as though every patient had a possible diagnosis of lupus, which means that now, at some point in every single episode, one of us looks at the other and says gravely, "You know, it could be lupus."

    I'm with Jennifer, I prefer to watch "House" after it comes out on DVD.

  7. I shall look for Cod. Right now I'm reading The Monsters of Templeton and like it very much.
    House is never on when I'm around to watch TV, so I guess I'm not missing much. But next week: GLEE! is back!

  8. I just finished reading About a Boy by Nick Hornby. I loved it.

    The thing that bothers me about House is that he's supposed to be the best diagnostician (or however the hell you say/spell that) in the fracking universe yet he almost kills every single one of his patients before he gets it right.

    Easter came and went almost completely unnoticed this year. We just got back from vacation after midnight the night before, so it ended up being quite an untraditional celebration for us. It was nice actually.

  9. My friends keep telling me I need to read some book called The Red Tent, about womanly things. Have you ever read it?
    Easter was so odd this year that we didn't even go to church. My children didn't even realize we missed mass until today. I must be a really good Catholic and mom. Oh well. Maybe next year.
    I used to like House, too much formula to it. BORING. I never got that break in to their houses thing either.

  10. Sarah, I thought I was the only woman in America who hasn't read The Red Tent yet. I guess it is about womanly things and I have a feeling it would garner about three eye-rolls per page. But what do I know? Maybe it's fabulous.

  11. Totally missed Easter this year. They don't celebrate it in the Japan.