Today is not my weekend. It is one day off, but can’t be considered the end of my week when I’ll be working tomorrow and Monday. So today represents my “weekhalf”.

I find weekhalves are annoyingly not at all similar to half a weekend. For some reason, the interruption to the usual two-days-off does so much more damage than it ought to. I gather it has something to do with the mental component of ‘I have Saturday and Tuesday to achieve all on my To-Do list… but I am tired, I’m going to take my rest/enjoyment time now and I can leave it all for Tuesday’. Common problem excellent procrastination reasoning.

The other issue I have with weekhalves is they run together so easily. While a normal Saturday/Sunday weekend is easy to define as belonging to the one schedule, it seems almost impossible to group time off in a logical way when they are spread out. Saturday, Tuesday, Friday… Which two belong to the ‘weekend’?

The whole point of the weekend is to achieve what can’t be done during the week:
– House/Pool/Garden cleaning
– Time for the animals (playing with/walking dogs)
– Spending time with people (friends/family/Ben)
– Study or overdue work projects
– Relaxing/Hobbies (quilting/painting) (including the projects I’m doing for others)
– Bill paying/taxes/being a responsible adult
– Shopping/cooking/eating

Well at least this morning I’ve been relaxing, and eating, but it’s been junk food, so I feel like that doesn’t count. And relaxing has included a few plans for other times – looking at things I want to buy, recipes to try, exercises to do, and half written blog posts.

Unfortunately, it is time I went back to started this work project.

Theory #14: If a job is worth doing, it is worth doing well, and to do so requires the right frame of mind.

– Dr Okay, Let’s Do This.


The One Question.

I am approaching my last shift for the medical year, the end of my second year out of med school.

Some of my friends are leaving, or have already left. We are now getting to the time when careers take everyone in different directions. It’s like the end of high school, but so much worse because at least then I didn’t know so many of them, or their goals, or dreams, or anything in their lives. The group of people you go through medical school with, and the group you work with in medicine over the first few years, become something of a family. I’m just worried reunions with my Med-Family are going to be tough.

I am staying at the same hospital. Partly because other options haven’t formalised enough yet, but also partly because this is the easiest option. This hospital, however much flack it gets in the community, is a good hospital and it has also been good to me and I’ve been given some decent rotations for the year.

But I am already at the point where everyone asks the one question asked of all medical students and junior doctors:

“What are you going to do? What do you want to specialise in?”

Because medical school isn’t enough of an achievement.

Because you must surely have your entire career path mapped out before you even apply for medical school.

And because half-a-handful of hospital work is more than adequate for gaining enough experience in a wide variety of specialties to be able to predict what will suit you and your lifestyle until your retirement in 30 to 100 years.

Bee tee dubs, “No Freaking Idea” doesn’t really go down well I’ve learnt. (And I don’t swear that often, so it’s not like I say anything more colourful).

I admire those of my friends, and I try not to be jealous of the medical students I meet, who have already decided and can emphatically, enthusiastically answer with their dream specialty.

My journey through all of this has been a bit odd, with my top choice changing regularly:

Pre-med: ?maybe Cardiology, or Neurology. Because they look interesting, complicated, and I wanted the challenge.
First yr med school: It’s all interesting… Cardio and Neuro top choices though because (a) minimal time to consider the one question, and (b) nothing had jumped out at me yet.
Second yr: Maybe Obstetrics/Gynaecology. Something less challenging.
Third yr: NFI. Questioning whether career of ‘Doctor’ was even a good choice to begin with.
Fourth yr: GP; it’s a specialty too. People often ask it as “What are you going to specialise in, or are you going to be just a GP?”.
Internship / Post Graduate Year 1: “GP” But then I didn’t get on the training program.
Resident / PGY2: Initially “?GP” (Still didn’t get on program); Maybe ED (didn’t take long to realise I liked the team I worked with); Later in the year – NFI. I have enjoyed each rotation for different reasons, and I like the paperwork and ward work, but I can see the parts of each rotation I know I would not be able to remain enthusiastic about in the long haul.

And from Monday I begin ‘Resident / PGY3’ with, still, no solid idea.

Ultimately, I have come to a conclusion about something. I’ve decided that instead of responding with “NFI”, or the long-version, or the pessimistic I’ll never find it/please don’t ask me/I’d honestly be happy as a resident forever…

Theory #13: If you lack an answer, better be bold and ask instead the Questioner’s opinion.

…my new response to The One Question will be, with a smile,

“What specialty do you see me in?”

– Dr O.

Leaving it for history’s sake.

I’m going to award an extra +10 points to Peter* on the Tally for the life lesson he taught me.

*Don’t fret, he gets another -11 because I remembered one of the worst GTFO moments: his claim “I was raised differently” when I wouldn’t contemplate selling my house to pay his debts. Lucky person they’ll be who gets him next.


Theory #12: If it isn’t essential to the plot, leave the mistake for history’s sake.

Peter taught me that, though perhaps not quite so poetically.

He liked the weirdness of things. He wore odd socks deliberately. He went through phases of different brightly coloured hair.

And ruined my bathroom cupboard in the process.

But that’s another story, and perhaps another -11 points come to think of it.

Pete’s thinking was that something is more likely to be special or memorable or meaningful if it has a quirk, a mistake. He loved the two squares I stuffed up in the quilt I made him because it showed that the whole thing was handmade.

It makes me think of the Mona Lisa – is she actually unfinished, or is the intentional unfinished look why her smile lingers just so?

Rarities of collectible items are often worth much more than the original because of a slight error in the manufacturing process. Interesting that the slightly faulty can be more valuable merely because of its mistake.

I have deliberately left the painting in my lounge room as it is – because I know that it is imperfect, and I know where those imperfections lie, and that makes it special because it is mine.


Ultimately, I’m just trying to explain future actions for any lack of backtrack editing on this blog.

If correcting an error is not essential to the end goal, I will leave said error – for the sake of The Orist blog history.

– Dr O.


p.s. Never fear my little Sheep(pl), I still very much like Ben, and Peter and I are never, ever, ever getting back together. Easy fond memories do not mend feelings easily.

Pessimistic Sheep (?friends with Interrupting Cow)

My blog reached a milestone today: TheOrist has its first follower! (Technically second, but since my first follower, AVOT, is someone I know well I feel like it hardly counts. Same as when your mum writes you a Valentine’s Day card – sorry, love you, but it doesn’t count.)

I started this blog more for documenting my thrilling life and constant emotional turmoil in this more accessible form of journalling, and really wasn’t aiming for a readership specifically. I just hypothesised that there’s the potential my life experiences (mostly mistakes) may help someone, or at least provide some form of entertainment.

So, this evening I was introduced to Cristian Mihai with his almost-breeching-the-fourth-wall-type blog post on his 7 rules of blogging. And in the tradition of being humanly sheep-ish, he follows me, I follow him – but partly because I liked how his writing came across, and partly because it got me thinking about a few things.

For a start, I feel like I should apologise to my readers quickly for any mistreatment on my part, because I think I may have broken some of Cristian’s rules already:

1. Passion for subject matter. Tick. Maybe too many ticks… sorry.
2. Blogging frequency +/- deadline. Sorry about the over blogging yesterday. Deadline would be good.
3. Engage your audience. …Mightn’t even get to see this apology if you’re not engaged enough to keep reading this far down.
4. Use other social media platforms. Well, I’m okay about breaking this rule since it’d only be relevant if I want to/need to spread the word about TheOrist.
5. Prettier shorter posts are better. Definite apologies on that one.
6. Sharing is caring. Tick…sort of. so far.
7. Visual layout. Meh, tick as far as I’m concerned – comment if you hate it enough to want me to change it.

But the other thought provoking part of Mr Mihai’s post was at the end of his post where he hints that tomorrow’s post will cover “How much is a follower worth?”.

Perhaps it is my pessimism that has maybe predicted what one could consider to be a fairly dick move.

My theory is (and, no, this doesn’t justify an important enough theory for any numerical value): he’s going to have ‘followed’ a number of blogs to see how many are going to ‘follow’ his blog in return, purely because people are sheep; and then he’ll have the opportunity to blog about x%  (or x number if he’s a less exciting/scientific blogger) of people are just monkey-doing as they’re monkey-seeing and therefore the worth of a follower is meaningless in this scenario; but it does make your blog look popular and helps to divert traffic to your rambling supposed awesomeness.

To justify my pessimism on this:
– gnawing sensation when I read his tomorrow’s topic
– the timing of it all too
– lack of increase in my blog’s views
– lack of similarities with our blog topics
– lack of communication – i.e. no comments
– I’m also quite naturally argumentative and it seemed like a fun preemptive strike
– could also make my deductive reasoning skills look killer awesome

I won’t know until tomorrow at the least if I’ve proven his point by being a sheepy-monkey, disproven it by potentially calling his bluff, or if his blog post is nothing of the kind and I’ve taken a preemptive but unnecessary strike – in which case I may have offended someone who was actually enjoying reading my precipitations, or I could have made a friend, who is likely to be extremely forgiving (and probably never pulls any dick moves). (Innuendo left intentionally).

Guess we’ll see with his post, or whether or not I’m still being followed.

*Knock, Knock.*

“Who’s there?”

“Interrupting Cow.”

“Interrupting co-”


Affectionately calling you all my Sheep now 🙂

(Also realised I might actually be the Interrupting Cow where the preemptive bitchiness is concerned…  😦 )

– Dr. “Interrupting Cow” Orist.

Feeling Sheep-ish

Well I know I have been truly testing your patience levels regarding love-related-bloggosphere-content over the last …several posts. My sincerest apologies.

If it helps, I get to use the Christmas gift plane tickets to visit Ben in a little over a week. With any luck this will stem the torrent of anxiety-ridden ‘boy’ topic posts for a little while. I’m counting on at least half an hour. That seems about an appropriate length of time for the reassurance of Ben’s presence to dissipate, wouldn’t you agree?

My theory #11: People are like sheep. And monkeys. We follow the crowd and do what others do, even if it is not necessarily the best course of action.

This isn’t even anything about peer pressure or attempts to fit in. It’s just What Humans Do.

If you get the opportunity next time you are in a long queue, you can test the sheep theory by taking a step forward that is not only slightly to one side, but one that also just changes your angle to the line compared to the person in front of you. More likely than not, the line will slide in obediently behind you, off at a little angle. You can even appreciate this as a bystander: observe how any line moves up each space over time, even if that means someone takes an insignificant step forward that, aside from in the extreme literal sense, does nothing to bring them closer to their goal. Rarely are these actions consciously decided upon.

Ultimately, the copy-cat gene is so ingrained into human instinct that it is almost not worth fighting. Anthropologists could probably claim there’s a link between these sorts of actions and, in an evolutionary sense, moving-with-the-herd survival technique.

The only thing I would recommend is to at least try to be aware of your actions. For example, if I am stuck standstill in horrendous traffic, I will wait for enough space to open up in front of me to make the move forward worthwhile. Truth be told, it’s less about proving an anthropologic point and more that I drive a manual car, so I’m mostly trying to save my leg muscles, but I do like to think that even for a small moment I help raise the hope that the traffic is clearing because “oh wow, we moved up quite a bit that time!”.

So, in the only way I know how, I want to make sure you are prepared if you are to jump on a band-wagon – I’m turing to medico-legal speak.

For informed consent: it must be given willingly or freely (i.e. not under any influence or coercion), it has to be specific to the situation at hand, and it has to be given by a competent person. To assess competency (or medically it’s called ‘capacity’), a person must be able to understand and retain the information, believe the information, and weigh up the information to be able to arrive a reasonable decision. It doesn’t matter how you would arrive at the decision, and the it doesn’t even have to make sense, as long as you have been provided with all of the information you (or a ‘reasonable person’) would require to be able to come to a reasonable decision.

(..A little off topic here.. but while writing that I had the strong urge to end that paragraph with how you cannot meet the requirements for informed consent if you are wanting to drunk text. Perhaps it’s a little too wordy to try to explain if you’re talking someone out of drunk texting…)

If you are a Twitter fan, now is your opportunity to give me enough information to be able to arrive at an informed decision about whether I should be joining this band wagon or not. I attempted to just see what it was like but hit the speed bump of “find five friends to follow!” when I’m trying to keep this largely anonymous and I haven’t quite decided where this blog is going. I also have no idea if it will stay fairly PG-13, ..actually it’s pretty likely I’ll talk about sex or swear or share a bit too much shortly anyway.

My point is help: Twitter or not to Twitter??

– Dr O.

Selective Honesty.

Honesty is the best policy.

Though I think most people follow the other theory:

Theory #10: Keep your mouth shut about shit they don’t need to hear, so you stay on their good side.

Y’all know I’m a bit on the crazy side. And because I’m fairly impatient – though I think you know this too because I’ve gone on about it just a little bit – I’ve been wanting to breach the divide and give Ben the everything on my honest list.

But my Theory #10 is holding me back: I’m terrified it’ll push him away, and quickly too.

On the other hand my Theory #9 makes a good argument: better that you get it over with, be yourself, and if they’re going to run for the hills, why delay the inevitable?

Though, can there be such a thing as revealing your crazy too early that makes them run when you could give them the chance to get to know you and so they might’ve stayed?

Ben did try to get me to consider that “all’s fair in love and war”, which is a saying I haven’t overly agreed with before – mainly because it’s an absolute statement and they bother me a little. But my thinking is, that if he’s broached the “all’s fair” topic already, I may have a shot with the “Here’s me being 100% honest and now you know my full extent of crazy” and hope it doesn’t make him flee.

Truth is, I don’t have the answer yet. Honestly.

– Dr O.

Top 10.

No theory on this one. Just still trying to live in the now and not stress too much about the future and where things are going.

That’s not really my style though…

So instead, I’ve typed the questions I want to ask Ben but am refusing to let myself ask him just yet since I’m just trying to focus (thanks NYR). Here are my Top 10 anxiety ridden questions of the first fortnight of 2014:

1. What are the plans for the Aussie Day weekend – can I lock in some sort of meal for you to meet my bestie and her fiancé?  (I wrote this as a draft yesterday and clearly I forgot that this was Q#1 since I essentially asked this today. Oops. Told you I was bad at this NYR thing.)
2. What are we? I’m sort of hoping this is more than just booty calls. Otherwise they’re fairly expensive booty calls… Also I feel like this could be something special. I’m trying not to read into it – I’ve seen “He’s Just Not That Into You”, remember?
3. Are you free on specific-weekend in April? Can you be free? I would love to take you as my date to a friend’s wedding.
4. Or is that a bit too much, too soon? See Q#2, I’d like to know where this is going and what it means, even if the definition is “I don’t quite know yet, just seeing where it takes us” – that’d help me not fantasise about potential things you might propose or props you might need in such a situation…
5. Do you really want to move in together? It’s also not too soon? We’re both probably likely to jump the gun on things, and I’m keen, just nervous; but don’t know if we’ve just been joking about it or if this is actually something we’ve both considered enough and still both want?
6. What would happen if I fell pregnant? How would you react? You missed out on the first pregnancy scare of 2014 because I didn’t have the answer to this question yet. (For the record, I was feeling a bit weird at work and one comment from me about feeling dumb lead to coworkers implying I had a bun in the oven. Fast forward a few weeks later (with the joke still ongoing about me being pregnant) and I’m five days late. Pregnancy test was negative bee-tee-dubs.)
7. What is your middle name? I feel like I should know this already.
8. Are you happy with the current plan of only seeing each other every month? Or would every 2-3 weeks be better for our sanity and we just ignore the impact on wallets?
9. How long do you think you can stand the long distance? I’m willing to give this a few more months but I might go insane. There’s just a lot of things to consider between now and then, and remember, I’m not supposed to think too much too far ahead.
10. Even though it’s not usually the done thing, I want to know about your past relationships and how they fell apart. (Technically not a question, I know, but I feel like it’d be rude to demand that in question form). Also so I can judge things a bit and see if: (a) there’s something wrong with you like I suspect because you’re a bit too perfect not to have been snapped up yet. Seriously. or (b) there’s a chance you might drop me quick-as-look-at-you if one of your exes was to offer themselves to you throw themselves at you.

I do actually intend to ask him these questions eventually, it’s just a little difficult while I don’t have the answer to Q#2.

Fretfully yours,

– Dr O.


Proactivity – I’ll come to that later.

I concede – I too think Kiki is awesome.

I think/hope I can see what Ben meant about her – she’s awesome, they’re friends, he can only love her in the best-friend way, and couldn’t ever see himself with her in a relationship.

And now I can’t remember if she’s the one he’s got the backup plan with… You know the backup: “if we’re both 40 and single and haven’t found anyone yet, let’s just get married”.

Ok, so I can’t completely get rid of all of the jealous anxiety just yet.

Ultimately, I’m waiting (however impatiently) for the moment where I’m that comfortable with him, and comfortable with how he feels about me, to not be jealous at all.

Imma be waiting a while, aren’t I?

I blame the newness (surely there’s a better word than that), the distance and the lack of official commitment yet.

NYR reminder – focus on the present – try to be patient, the future will come and it will sort itself out one way or another.

Theory #9: Engineering situations to ensure a specific future is not necessarily a bad thing – in fact I’m hoping it’s a way of getting what you want sooner, rather than having to wait for it.

I’ll expand on this thought later.

– Dr O.

Ex Files: The Tally.

Ok, so Kiki’s vlog has me a bit hooked.

I know. Hopefully not a massive potential for trouble, right?

(I thought about linking to Kiki’s vlog, but I figure that’s one step from Ben reading this, and really, while I’m happy for the world to hear my crazy thoughts, I’d like to keep Ben a little ignorant of that side of me for a little bit longer.)

Kiki tallies up the points of her exes to try to find the best ex (in the context of being able to be friends with your ex):
+10 points for practical knowledge imparted by them
+20 points for emotional lesson learned
-11 points for GTFO moments

My theory on it all? #8: Experience the bad and you can better appreciate the good. (+20 specifically to Peter for that one).

I know I haven’t told all of the stories yet, but they’ll come with time. For now you can get the summaries. If there’s actually someone reading these and you’re interested to hear one of the Ex Files stories specifically, you’re going to have to comment!

(Note: pseudonyms for Exes 1 through 3 are not set in stone, but I’m pretty happy with them 🙂 Wish I could share them with you since I’m pretty proud of how I came to them all)

Ex #1: Mitchell
+10 for all of the help with debating/mooting/study/other school activities
+10 releasing sexual energy can help with better sleep
+20 just because a guy seems perfect to everyone else, doesn’t mean you should settle for them if you’re feelings aren’t 100% in it
+20 long distance, even for a short period is difficult – you have to put in the effort
-11 (because I need a negative here for him) for the guilt I felt because of the guilt he felt about how it ended (?because I didn’t know how to break up with someone at that point)
Total: 49

Ex #2: Scott
+10 attempting to improve my computer/video games skills
+10 improving my cool-factor by getting me to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer
+20 my first. (should count for something)
+20 standing up for oneself is important
-11 should have stood up for me when his dad was being a bully
-11 grabbing my boobs in public. constantly
Total: 38

Ex #3: Alex
+10 learning to be confident enough to wear a naughty nurses outfit (and to show just a little of the sexy lingerie too)
+20 mutual fun flirtatiousness
+20 essentially a one night stand + walk of shame (bucket list achievement?)
-11 essentially a one night stand
Total: 39

Ex #4: Peter
+10 how to check the air in my car tyres
+10 (Because I’m sure I learnt more practical things in 5 years, I just can’t remember)
+20 excitement in the danger
+20 ultimate trust associated with being with someone you know inside out
+20 importance of knowing what’s bad to be able to appreciate what’s good
-11 artificial-mj smoking (even with the where and when I’d asked him not to)
-11 let 2x juice boxes explode over walls/furniture (in the bedroom), and didn’t clean them up
-11 vomiting on me while I slept
-11 allowing me to do everything for him and not being able to do anything for me
Total: 37

Ex #5: Arnold
+10 squats = sexy butt
+20 sometimes sex is just about getting some and not about the emotional connection
-11 photos of his muscles. still getting these btw. oh and the pictures of his penis.
-11 implying I need to work out to get a better “booty”
Total: 8

Ok fine, so Ex #1 was probably always going to be the winner – still wouldn’t ever go back there though, he’s good in the outer edge of the friend zone. Weird that Scott and Alex both ended up with more points than Peter – relationship with Peter means more to me overall, even though the last year was pretty awful.

I may update these if I remember more things, but I feel pretty good about the tally as it stands.

Thanks goes to Kiki 🙂 Highly recommend everyone does this – really helps to put things into perspective.

– Dr O.

Monkeys aren’t zebras or leopards.

Ok, so I have a few confessions.

I know it is only two weeks into the year, but I’ve been finding it hard to stick to the NYR and focus more on the present.

By this, I mean that I wanted to become this cool, relaxed, laid-back person who can let the world rush over them and fear nothing, worry over nothing, and ultimately live a happier, more peaceful life.

Yep. Well. That’s not really me at all.

Theory #7: Monkeys don’t have stripes, but that doesn’t mean you should go looking for the spots that probably aren’t there either.

So you already know that I think my new guy, Ben, is amazing, but I have a small issue gnawing at me. Because of our frustratingly long distance relationship and his insane number of hot single female friends whom he catches up with regularly … it makes me fairly jealous.

And I’m the jealous type.

But I try not to show it. I’m trying to be a cool, calm, collected breeze of relaxed indifference, with a lack of self-esteem issues and complete confidence in my ability to hold onto a catch like Ben.

Outwardly, and mainly out in the direction of Ben, I am able to hold together a shady version of this goddess. In reality, I am a phone-checking, self-conscious, giant ball of nerdy anxiety.

But here’s the kicker. One of his many hot single female friends, who caught up with Ben most recently, has a vlog. A proper one. With followers and all.

(Let’s call her Kiki.)

.. I’m trying to convince myself that having found and watched some of the videos isn’t stalking because links to said vlog are all over fb and it is on the internet after all…

Depressingly, I actually kind of like Kiki’s vlog. I want to tell her to stop pushing her boobs out and try not to gesture so much, but it’s her vlog, and the whole point is to be able to say and do as you please.

I did ask Ben last time I was at his place whether he had dated or ever wanted to date this particular outstanding looking girl. His answer was no, that she’s not really his type as she’s outgoing and exciting and an actress and all; he’s always gone for more the girl next door type.

So here I am, scrolling through her vlog, searching for signs of a reference to Ben – in case she’s secretly pining for him which would put her higher up on my jealousy-watch list (and she’s already gorgeous enough for me to have a little worry there to have her on the list).   (…The list doesn’t exist, I promise. I’m not that bad.)

Instead, after going through her vlog, all I’ve found is the dating advice she’s posting out to the internet void and now I’m back to square one NYR-wise.

One of her posts was about dealing with long distance relationships. She lists the things she feels are important:
– you should know the person really well because you need to know their insecurities to be know how much time/energy you’ll need to give them from the distance;
– you should be able to trust each other completely – if you’re going to be jealous from afar, you’ll probably be jealous even if you were there;
– there needs to be light at the end of the tunnel;
– and if one if you is going to move – make sure you’re moving for other reasons as well, not just for the person.

… Ah dammit. Good advice. And it’s relevant.

So while the jealousy trouble is calmed by Ben’s reassurance (and that I really don’t see him as the cheating type), Kiki’s tips have brought up some of my major points of stress with my relationship with Ben:
– do we know each other well enough yet;
– we still haven’t defined things yet;
– are we both really okay with the distance;
– where (and when) is this going;
– is moving to his state really a good idea;
– and how soon is too soon for moving in together anyway?

Awesome. So much for trying not to worry about the future. See my point? NYR fail.

See a monkey without stripes? Don’t go looking for spots. Take a deep breath, let every worrying thought slide, and hand the poor monkey a banana.

Dr O.


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