Monday, March 28, 2011

Notes from the Cave

I don't really have much in me tonight, but I feel like I need to put something out there on the airwaves to appease my multitudinous reading audience.

It's hard to believe it's been nearly 6 months since I last wrote a legitimate essay on religious scholarship.  What the heck has happened to me?  I started a book on Paul about 2 months ago and I don't even remember where I was.  I've only read about 15 pages, and haven't touched it in probably 6 weeks.  Obviously I've burned myself out; the question is, will I ever get interested again?  And what about the 4 or 5 unread books I still have on my shelf?  Will they ever be read?

Guess it's a good thing I never went to graduate school in this field - there was a time when I seriously considered it.

I suppose if this apathy keeps up, I'll have to redesign my blog, since it's hardly a "resource for fellow travelers on the Way" anymore.

In sporting news, unless you are a UK basketball fan, or maybe possibly a Green Bay Packers fan (because they're the only other sports fans I can think of that are like UK fans), you can't possibly understand the pleasure I have derived from UK's success this past weekend in the NCAA tournament.  As I wrote in my last post, I didn't have high hopes of UK beating Ohio State, but I said they could do it if they brought their A-game.  And bring it they did, particularly on defense.  It was without question their best defensive outing of the year.  And it was really, really exciting to see them put down the tournament favorite and the team that was basically on top of the standings all year.  

And then to have UK turn around and beat the old blueblood nemesis UNC on Sunday was just a huge cherry on top.  I was so emotionally spent from Friday's game against Ohio State that I only DVR'd the UNC game on Sunday, and watched it only after finding out the score.  I know that may sound like poor fan behavior, but it's an indication of how emotionally connected I get to big games like this.  I simply couldn't take doing it again 36 hours after the heart attack I had over the OSU game.

You may recall this post I made prior to the start of the post-season.  In it, I listed five reasons not to discount UK in the NCAA tournament.  Even though I was arguing for UK being poised to make a deep run, I even admitted that I didn't hold out much hope for a championship.  That, of course, has all changed now, and now I feel like they have a very legitimate shot.  I pretty much regard the upcoming Final Four game against UCONN as I did the games against OSU and UNC - with guarded optimism.  They can let Kemba Walker get his points; it is the rest of the team they need to shut down.  If they do that, I think they will succeed.  If not, then UCONN probably moves on.

Win or lose, a Final Four year is always a successful year, and it is nice to have that monkey off our collective backs.  Prior to this, UK was on it's longest streak ever without a Final Four appearance - 12 seasons.  It's even more special this year because it was somewhat unexpected - certainly by the mainstream media - and particularly after last year's team should have made it and did not.  

And let me do a little shameless bragging: ESPN offers a huge NCAA Tournament bracket challenge each year.  It's all free and all you win is bragging rights - so I'm bragging.  I did 5 brackets, and one of them is in the 99.2 percentile - meaning it's better than 99.2% of the entries.  That's out of about 6 million.  Naturally I didn't pick Butler and VCU in the Final Four, but I did get Kentucky and Connecticut.  Unfortunately I picked Pittsburgh to win it all.

On the medical front, I am still having off and on stomach problems.  I can't remember if I mentioned it before, but I have found, oddly enough, that Advil eases the pain.  This came as quite a surprise to me, because who would think to take Advil for a stomach ache?  The only reason I even tried it is because I was desperate in the middle of the night one night and was willing to try anything to ease the discomfort.  I've been wondering about this, of course, and today a patient said something to me that clicked: she was telling me about her medical history, and mentioned that ibuprofen (which is what Advil is made of) helps her "stomach issue," which she went on to say was a hiatal hernia.  A hiatal hernia is when the top of your stomach protrudes through your diaphragm - the muscle that separates your chest from your abdomen.  The hole there is for the esophagus to connect to the stomach, but sometimes the stomach will push through it.

I've wondered all along if this issue of mine could be a hiatal hernia, but I kind of forgot about it after the doctor didn't act like she thought that sounded likely.  Now I'm wondering again if that's what it is after all.

In any case, I haven't been able to get back to see the doctor because I've been so busy.  The stress of work and everything else in my life certainly doesn't help stomach problems.

This post has gone on way too long, particularly considering I said at the outset that I didn't have much in me tonight.  Guess I was wrong about that.

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