Anyway, notable features of the past two weeks:
1st, there is a thing called "The Big E." I went there with Melissa. It was essentially the Massachusetts state fair but because all the states are small out here (and technically MA is a commonwealth), they instead have a Big East Exposition that features farm animals and rides and everything that I came to expect from Salem, Oregon around mid August but instead of just one state it has the five states of New England. With a name like "The Big E" I was surprised to find it was actually smaller than Oregon's state fair, but it sort of made sense as Oregon is larger than MA, NH, CT, ME, and VT combined (I'm guessing, someday I will look at a map to verify this but not today). We ate a lot of crazy fried things: cheese curds, oreos, some corn meat ball thing, and even potatoes (they called them french fries). The rides looked like they were the same rides as when I was a kid, literally, so that kind of made them scary to ride all over again (that and the risk of vomiting on a ride increases substantially when you eat fried food and drink beer for a couple hours before hand).
2nd, I did a lot of counseling patients at the clinics in Spanish. Most people didn't really care about where I learned to speak it but I did notice that if they were Puerto Rican that I shouldn't say that I learned it in the Dominican Republic (and if they were Dominican that I should emphasize that I have never been to Puerto Rico). It is funny to me how people with very similar customs and history can have such a disdain for one another, it reminded me of a guy that I used to work with in Oregon that hated people from Washington (or people in NH that hate Massachusetts for that matter, one professor once referred to MA as the "people's republic of New England"... or something like that, probably less clever).
3rd, took a second trip to Vermont. There is a pretty big organic/local movement going on there, very Portland, Oregon. There seemed to be a lot of hippies there but I am not sure if my perspective is just skewed from being in places that don't have hippies. The town we visited was Burlington, it is the home of UVT and so many of the people around us were college students. I felt old. Melissa said that that is how she feels every day at work (working at a university health center). I ate sheep cheese, it was ok. Cow cheese is better, but the bleu goat cheese was best.
4th, I went to the basketball hall of fame. I established that I have a 20 in verticle leap (in dress shoes, I could probably have dunked if I was in my Nike's... just saying). I learned that the Oregon Ducks won the first NCAA championship in 1936 but it was 4 years before the invention of the jump shot [Thank you to my uncle for catching this: the Ducks won in 1939, and the jump shot was likely invented in 1934. The man who invented it (Ken Sailors) was on a team that won the NCAA championship 4 years later... so my basketball facts were all screwed up]. Also, the Harlem Globetrotters were actually from Chicago and they beat the professional championship team in 1940... so they were kind of a big deal. They started out as a "barnstormer" team that would travel through rural america and play local teams throughout the country.
5th, just started a rotation at a hospital that is a 10 minute walk from my house. Walking to the rotation is unquestionably awesome.