Monday, February 20, 2012

such a bittersweet symphony

Funny thing about internship is that I feel guilty, somehow, all the time. When I'm at work, I feel like I'm either letting my patients down or the senior resident down, or both. If I get out of work at a reasonable hour, I feel guilty about not reading medical literature or increasing my fund of knowledge. If I have a day off, I feel guilty that I didn't get enough laundry or cleaning done. Or if I have a day off, I feel guilty I am not doing more to enjoy myself. Yep, it is the true height of insanity or depression or some odd mixture of the two- when you come to find that you feel guilty that you are not having enough fun, given the chance.

But on the other hand, I am tired all the time. I just want to sleep. And when I come home, I just want to watch Downton Abbey and chortle at Maggie Smith's one-liners, and maybe if I'm feeling really adventurous, venture into the kitchen. I was inclined tonight, since I actually had a few hours between getting home and collapsing into bed, to make cupcakes.

Even then, I felt they weren't good enough, weren't adequate, and I feel guilty about bringing them to work tomorrow. I might as well own to it- I am firmly of the anti-chocolate cupcake stance. Don't get me wrong- chocolate frosting (especially ganache!), yes indeed. Chocolate chips, absolutely. But chocolate cake... firmly meh. Chocolate cake seems designed for people who don't really care for chocolate. I mean, unless you make flourless chocolate cake, which is basically like eating a chocolate bar, and frankly, that doesn't translate well to cupcake form, and I'm too lazy to figure out how to transport an entire cake into work, and my co-workers can't be bothered to cut into a cake to boot.

But I was tired, and chocolate cupcakes are simple enough to make. The novelty part was the coffee frosting. I've managed to get this far still abhorring coffee, still not drinking it regardless of my extent of sleep-deprivation (long live other forms of caffeination!). I know this makes me an outlier both in the medical field as well as a resident of the greater Northern California area. But there you have it. However, when it comes to baking, I think coffee is a good way to bring out the flavor of chocolate; something about the interplay between the bitter and the sweet seems synergistic. And I also know that interns and residents will ingest coffee in pretty much any form. So that was how I dealt with my daily helping of guilt for the day. We'll see how tomorrow fares.

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