May 2006

VANCOUVER, B.C. - Over my 35 years as a physician (of course I was a mere teenager, 17 to be exact, when I started medical school), I can’t begin to count the number of times people have said to me “I always wanted to be a doctor but…” and then would follow one of several common excuses: “All that studying, it’s too hard” or” six more years in school is way too long” (actually counting 2 residencies it was 14 years) or my favorite, “but I can’t stand the sight of blood”. Actually I don’t much like the sight of blood either – rather ironic for a laboratory physician. But that’s another issue, so what’s my point?

VANCOUVER, B.C. - Many years ago in Cape Town, as a profoundly overworked pediatric house officer and an equally exhausted new mother, I was too idealistic and naive to know that Superwoman and Perfection were mythological entities, rather than states to which one should aspire.

I’m sitting in my car, belting out the lyrics in my customary in-the shower smooth torch-singer style. Mercifully for the people in the car next to me at the light I have my windows closed. Or maybe not.  Perhaps if they heard me they might have come to the cabaret as well.  Or maybe not.

VANCOUVER, B.C. - Lofty heights and creepy crawlies don’t bother me at all yet the mere thought of being enclosed in a small dark space sends me off in urgent need of a glass of Gewurztraminer, with creamy Cambozola, almonds and grapes. That’s comfort food for a Yaletown MUPPY.

VANCOUVER, B.C. - Since I have already revealed my penchant for Gewarztraminer accompanied by Cambozola, almonds and grapes in times of stress (Rants, Raves and Reviews: Small dark spaces) I may as well confess to a further addiction, namely word puzzles or games of almost any kind.

VANCOUVER, B.C. -  Musing about how David Young adapted MacLeod’s No Great Mischief from novel format to a play, got me thinking again about John Alleyne and Ballet BC’s production of A Streetcar Named Desire. I wondered at the time how the verbal nuances and symbols of a dramatic script could be translated into a ballet.

Sweet vanilla ice cream does not do it for me but instead I am guiltlessly and ironically savouring a man–sized handful of almonds, cashews, pecans and walnuts, as I write. Thank you, Eve Ensler, for this sliver of liberation from the tyranny of the scale and the mirror.