Thursday, December 21, 2006

Smell my finger.

Today Jagdish and I manually disimpacted Reflux.

Let that soak in for a moment. My older brother, a bona fide MD, and myself, 6 mo. away from my own degree, synergized our medical know-how to de-constipate my dog, in a dignified manner culminating in my inserting my pinky finger into my poor 7 lb. dog's anus.

Despite Reflux's blindness, deafness, senile dementia, and general ancient broke down-edness, that guy sure had a lot of fight in him. He fought so much that we had to recruit my mom to hold his thorax still, while Jagdish held his legs so I could lift up his tail for the impending activity in and around his ass. Of course, while my mom held him, he took a humongous anger-fueled piss that unfortunately dripped down her shirt sleeve and all the way down her waist. Actually, everyone needed a shower afterwards, because the minute I lifted up his tail to figure out exactly what was going on down there, Reflux emitted a barrage of defensive farts, extremely wet and stinky. After the pre-emptive strike, Jagdish and I, anticipating some explosive fecal matter headed our way, decided to move the operation out of the laundry room and into the garage.

What prompted me to practice medical maneuvers on my own dog? Well, to be frank, according to my mom, he hadn't taken a dump in 3 days, and I walked him myself 3 or 4 times today, and he would assume the hunchback pre-poopy posture and stand there and just strain and strain and strain until his poor little tail and hind legs were all trembly with effort, and nothing would come out. I, unable to keep my mouth shut, pointed out that he was "probably impacted with loads of dry hard stool in his rectal vault." My mom took this as me volunteering to manually disimpact said stool, a task which I unsuccessfully tried to pawn off on Jagdish, saying he was the only one with a medical degree to actually back the performance of such a procedure. In the end, it was a group effort. And now, Reflux is mad at all of us.

17 down, 1 to go!

Ya'll, I am SO happy to be almost done with interviews! As much as I constantly bitch about it, it's actually been really, really fun. I got to travel all over the country (to California no less than 4 times, which was, ok, a little pricey and exhausting) and see my friends, and meet all of my cool future colleagues. They were mostly cool. I'll be honest, there were some duds too. Anyway, my next one in Philly's not until the 2nd week of January so hopefully I'll be recharged by then. It's kind of a shame that UCSF was my 17th interview because I actually was really excited about it, but by the time I got to it, it was my 3rd interview in 4 days and I had no questions left. I couldn't even fake interest at that point. I always call the tour of the hospital "sorority rush" time, because you just put on a big smile, zone out, and keep nodding your head. Like really, do you think I care what the wards look like and how big the ORs are? It's not going to change my decision about whether I want to be at a program or not. It kills me when people ask about parking and shit like that. Really? I agree that shit is important but is knowing the parking situation going to change where you plan on ranking this program?

Also, and this kills me everytime I think about it, the software that the National Resident Match Program uses to match medical students to residency programs is the EXACT SAME software used by my undergrad institution to match sorority rushees into houses! In my mind, that is extremely dumb. This is my doggone career! I would hope there would be a somewhat more sophisticated system set up for this process, but no. It is very much like rushing a sorority again. My specialty in particular, because it is so female-dominated, has felt like rush many times. I've sat through several interviews where I feel I've been given "hard pref," which is what we call a portion of pref night (the night before bid day, where girls are actually given acceptance by one house -- where they "matched," per se) when one sister takes a rushee aside and tells her how great she is and how perfect she is for the house and how bad the house wants her and basically makes her feel very loved and welcome in the house while aggressively recruiting her to the house.

The problem is that this process, much like sorority rush, is just as dirty and deceiving. Many houses make girls feel like they are a top recruit because they love being listed high on bid lists, which the girls make of their top choices. It assures that the house will have its choice of which girls it wants and honestly, makes the house feel special and popular. In my head, residency programs are the same way. I can't trust any of them. I've already been told by one program that I'm at the "top of their rank list!" but I've heard many horror stories about med students falling for that and getting very hurt in the end when they match at another program, so I don't believe a word of it. Argh. Is all of life like sorority rush? It's exhausting. I've survived 21 flights, 4 manicures, 13 pairs of panty hose, and 3 pairs of pointy-toed stilettos in the last 6 weeks. My cheeks hurt from smiling so much, goldarn it!

Also, why do people even bother discussing how to wash pantyhose? I can't wear those darn things more than once -- MAYBE twice, if they're the super fancy DKNY microfibers that cost EIGHTEEN DOLLARS a pair -- without getting a run and having to throw them away. Women who garner efficient use out of their panty hose -- I salute you. It is a challenge.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

My dad's birthday!

Today is Papa Peg's 54th birthday! I rang this morning and wished him a happy birthday, and he said the same thing he says every year: "I hate my birthday. It means I'm one year closer to my death." Awesome! Where's the Hallmark card with THAT sentiment? (I understand though; I tend to get really moody and depressed around my birthday too because it reminds me of the AGING, and then my mom reminds me of the SINGLENESS and how my EGGS are LOSING VIABILITY AS WE SPEAK. Birthdays are festive in the Peg household.)

I'm interviewing at Iowa today and DQ picked me up from the airport and took me to lunch, which was just lovely, and now we're trying to study at Panera, with marginal success. I decided to take this opportunity to reflect on a few things. (We've kicked around the idea of blowing off this whole "study" thing and going out to the country so he can teach me how to drive a stick [insert dirty joke here] but I think DQ prefers driving his car in one piece rather than 8 so I'll stick to being chauffered around.)

1. Have ya'll seen this CNN article? Apparently 2 large-scale prospective studies in Uganda and Kenya were terminated prematurely because of the overwhelming finding that circumcising adult men cut in half their risk of HIV transmission through heterosexual intercourse. An important finding, I agree. I am concerned about its validity in America too, though, where the overwhelming majority of men are circumcised. It's not a free ticket to have unprotected sex, and practicing safe sex is the greatest safety measure against transmission.

2. I've been spending A LOT of time at airport bars lately. (This is sad. I know.) This morning at the O'Hare Bar & Grill as I worked my way through 2 Bloody Marys I saw two women get EXTREMELY shitfaced. Like, I've been drunk on an airplane many a time, but I've never tried to make out with a bar stool or been in danger of vomiting before the plane even got of the ground. As airport security escorted them out of the bar, the bartender said, "And that's why you have to be 21 to drink." To which I responded, "And even that's not old enough sometimes." And that got me thinking: we put legal age minimums on everything: Driving - 16, Voting/Serving/Smoking - 18, Drinking - 21, and Renting a Car (this one became painfully important to me this year) - 25. None of the real things in life have any sort of age limit. I really think dating should have an age limit (How's THAT for me turning into my mom?). And some people shouldn't be allowed into the dating pool at all. There is no age limit on how old you have to be to break someone's heart, or emotionally scar them for the rest of their life. In an unrelated thought, sex should also have an age limit. That is all.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

TCL called today wanting to go out for cocktails tonight but I begged off, saying I had to study for Boards and pack for tomorrow, when I'm leaving AGAIN for more effing interviews. And it's true, I wasn't just trying to blow him off, so I told him I'd call him when I got back on Tuesday night. Just now I got a text from him, "Can't wait til Tuesday!" Aw. TCL is sweet. Why can't I like the nice guys? Why must I only be interested in the assholes?
Last week I told TCL I'd call him whenever I was back in town and while I know this relationship isn't going anywhere I effin' HATE when people don't call me after they've said they will, so I gave him a call tonight. He was out having drinks with a friend so we'll talk tomorrow. The problem is, I like TCL and would like to keep him on board as a friend but there's really no graceful way to say that and mean it.

On the other hand, in a fit of boredom while studying today, I took the initiative to browse through my dating website and contacted 2 potential future life partners! Unfortch, I have the cheapo free subscription to my dating website, so I actually can't do anything beyond forward my profile to someone. And if they also have only the cheapo free subscription, all they can do is respond with yay or nay. I got a yay (yay!) from one of them and was also notified that he added me to his "favorites" collection (I am so special!), but now we can't contact each other unless one of signs up for the "Deluxe" membership. I did some investigating to determine how much this "Deluxe" business costs and it's apparently $29 for 3 months, which is $29 more than I would like to spend on this whole business. Call me old-fashioned, but I do believe that the male should be the one with the "Deluxe" subscription so he can contact me. Also, I'm cheap.

If I wait long enough, do you think he'll spring for the Deluxe package and contact me? Should I be pro-active and invest some dough in my quest for my life partner? What's most likely to happen is option 3: enough times goes by without either of us purchasing the Deluxe membership and we both lose interest and stop caring. I'll keep you all posted on Impasse 2006.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I'm going on 16 interviews for residency, which is a shitload for ob/gyn, a specialty of average competitiveness. My overzealousness in scheduling interviews is mostly (well, entirely) due to the fact that I have no effing clue what I want beyond a really strong university program in a fun city, and I have the time and energy so I decided to just go check 'em all out. There were many, many programs to go check out. For many medical students, residency is the time when they want to bring it back home; they've been away from home for undergrad, med school, and often longer, and where you do residency sometimes dictates where you end up for your career; particularly if you plan to stay academic, as I do.

My problem is different and somewhat dumber. I'm from rural southern Illinois by Kentucky which is a lovely place if I was 44 and married with 4 kids. Which I will be one day, hopefully, but that day is not today and probably not anytime in the next 6 years. Consequently, I do not have a burning desire to go home. On the other hand, the program in St. Louis is really strong and I really don't have a problem being 1 hour away from my parents (which, I'll admit, is a nice change from being 6 hours away).

Um, anyway, I don't know what I want and that's why I've interviewed everywhere. 14 down, 4 to go. So I've been gone a lot lately. Shanmugam astutely observed that lately I'm either MIA for days on end or passed out on the couch in my sweatpants with the TV blaring for 3 days straight. I got in yesterday evening, donned said sweatpants, assumed my position on the couch and was passed out when he came home from the library later that night. This morning he came from home class and was surprised, nay, STUNNED, to discover me in my dressy pants, recently showered, and merely sitting, rather than face down under a comforter drooling on the sofa cushions, on the couch. "Looks like someone's actually planning to leave the apartment today!!" This is true. I have to study for Step 2. Shanmugam and I are now in the student lounge studying. Well, he's studying, and I've been wasting time on the Internet for the last 90 minutes. All part of the creative process, friends.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Live from Raleigh-Durham

Hello Internet!! Thank ya'll so much for your concern about my love life! It's not easy being a wanton sex goddess. Hee, just kidding Mama Peg!! (Actually, people ask me sometimes if my parents read my blog, and the truth is I sent them the URL several months ago and I honestly don't think they ever checked it out. Ouch, parents. That hurt. Mostly because it carries the implication that my life is so ho-hum to EVEN MY PARENTS that they don't feel the need to check out my diary to make sure I don't believe in casual sex and hallucinogens.)

TCL and I went out for a late night dinner date last Wednesday night to La Scarole, a pretty well-established and very good Italian restaurant in River East. TCL is frickin' hilarious and let me pick out the wine so I was having a very nice time. Afterwards we split a pot of hot chocolate at Tempo, my favorite 24 hour diner, and I ended up staying out until 2 am, WAY later than I intended. I'm sort of weird with people when I first meet them. Yes. I am one of those "NO TOUCHIE" people; like for godssake let's wait 5 minutes before making full body contact shall we? I'm just not a quick hugger, and TCL is a quick hugger, and a quick kisser, and the end result was I attempted to duck and weave, and TCL got a mouthful of my hair at the end of the night.

Ya'll, this is sad, but although TCL is great and fun and seems to be into me, I just can't reciprocate. I don't know why. He is funny and successful and clearly a great guy but I'm just not feelin' it. There are no butterflies. I need butterflies! Is that so much to ask? Is that a dumb reason to stop seeing someone? I feel as though the longer this goes on with me always knowing in the back of my mind that I'm just not that interested, the more disastrous it'll be. A quick clean break is best, I think.

I also just interviewed at a school in North Carolina, which is a very good program but where I haven't been since I looked at colleges as a high school senior. We will call this program, "I can't believe I almost came here for college." On the plus side, the Raleigh-Durham airport has a cyber cafe that serves beer! (Guess where I've been for the last 4 hours.)

I really adored the program in New Haven, much more than I thought I would, and the Have actually isn't that bad. And now it's time for you all to hear the saddest love story in the history of the world:

Several months ago everyone who participated in my research program went to this big conference they had for us, and I met a med student from New Haven. We immediately hit it off and have since kept in touch regularly by phone. Cute Guy I Got Busted With in the Hotel Parking Lot (CGIGBWHPL, or CG for short. Long story.) is applying for a ridiculously competitive specialty and is committed to staying at his program for residency and was very excited that I was interviewing there despite the fact that he was off interviewing in Boston this weekend. Although I adored his school's program, I need to be able to separate the fact that he's there from everything else. The program is outstanding but I'm scared of being mediocre at such a strong program. I am EXTREMELY scared to leave the Midwest and my family. Northwestern has been my home since I left my parents' house. And I'm scared that if I match there, CG and I will get involved and I'm unsure if I want to deal with the drama and uncertainty of a new relationship during my intern year. CG definitely gives me the butterflies, and before I met him I was 99% sure I would go to St. Louis for residency, though New Haven is clearly the better program.

Well, I'm getting ahead of myself. I have a few more interviews, one is the program in Iowa I love, and a program in Atlanta I'm super excited about, another outstanding program in Philadelphia and of course, the pie in the sky in San Francisco. I will keep you all posted!!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Square Peg Gives Career Counseling

I also just helped Shanmugam update his CV today because he's meeting with some attending tomorrow to discuss his research project for the summer. It took all the powers of persuasion I possess to convince him that "Northwestern University College-wide Halo Champion 2004-2006" was not, in fact, an "Honor" he should list on his resume. [Although, he is doing radiology and they probably really respect that kind of stuff.]

Round 2

TCL and I are having our second date tomorrow night, at a great tapas restaurant in Chicago, Cafe Babareeba. (Nice choice, TCL! I've definitely been on a date to ESPNZone before, so pretty much anything in comparison will make you look like a rock star.) We'll see how this goes. I know I have a list of things in my head that are non-negotiable (read: I am a huge fucking snob about) but I'm trying to keep an open mind, just like Jagdish says.

Speaking of Jagdish, he is still truckin' along in Roanoke, VA. For his residency program they're required to do a year of internal medicine before starting training and I know he's miserable, but at least he has a sense of humor about it. He just called me from the VA where he's stuck dictating a bunch of discharge summaries, because the hospital has been sending him nasty little pages informing him that his hospital privileges will be suspended unless he gets his paperwork caught up. Heh. He has 22 more to go. Also, apparently he's supposed to be signing the medical student's notes, and he hasn't even read any of them, which I find hilarious, considering I spent most of M3 year bitching about how I had the suspicion that no one read my notes. And now I know it's true. And he has to go back over a shitload of charts and cosign the med students' notes. Education!

In other love news, the Drama Queen was visiting some friends of his in Chicago so he and I caught up on Sunday night for cocktails at the W. (I love living half a block away from the coolest bar in Chicago. Unfortunately it's made me incredibly lazy.) And...the DQ totally stunned me by saying he was sorry about everything between us in the past and that he was now ready for a serious committed relationship. And I totally surprised myself (and him too I think) by telling him that there had been a window of opportunity, but that window had been closed for a while now. Go me! I mean, uh, I'm sure it was terribly sad and whatnot for him but I am proud of myself. It's not easy to give up on people you care about even when you know it's for the best.
I have 2 more interviews under my belt! As ya'll probably know the Midwest is a huge effing mess right now, what with "winter" and whatnot. On Thursday I flew to Baltimore for an interview I had there on Friday. I LOVED their program. Unfortch, I did not love Baltimore. No. Baltimore is a big sack of ass. I'm sorry. But you and I both know it's true. I flew in a night early because a friend of mine was interviewing there as well and we went out on the town the night before our interviews. And...I was not impressed. I'm not even that swanky and I felt TOTALLY overdressed for where we were, which was supposedly the "happenin'" part of Baltimore. I'm a TA for an M1 small group and one of my M1s who went to undergrad there was telling me that her car got broken into 3 times during her senior year. "And that's not bad! It usually happens once or twice." Hmm. Well I would like for it to not happen at all, given how the whole anxiety associated with the driving, and the parking and all the whatnot associated with automobiles already gives me IBS.

On Friday after my interview we had to board a plane for LA for an interview we had there the very next day. Ok, American Airlines? Runs a scam. We were both starving on the plane so we sprung for the $4 "Snack Box." I was not impressed with my Snack Box. It was sort of funny though because we were being total assholes about the Snack Boxes and actually took pictures of each other proudly stroking our Snack Boxes, and a flight attendant walked by and told us we should send the photos in to the airlines and they'd probably make us part of a national campaign for Snack Boxes.

In addition to being a huge a-hole, I'm also mentally challenged. Evidently the Snack Box had a panel which enabled one to flip open the top and eat directly out of the Snack Box, but I totally missed this and ended up ripping off one of the sides and dumping out all the contents of my Snack Box onto my tray in a big unceremonious heap. As Rachel said, "You're such a lady, Square." Then she traded me her Goldfish crackers for my beef jerky so I was all loaded up on carbs and had no protein. Snack Box!

Anyway, I also adored the program in LA, but I just can't see myself living there. I've even tried saying it a few times and it just doesn't roll of my tongue naturally. "I'm moving to LA." "I live in LA." It makes me feel dirty. And everything's THE SCENE. We had reservations at the W on Saturday night and driving down the scene there was a line outside of every doggone club, which is total bullshit. Or maybe I've just been in the midwest too long.

Next up on the national tour: Gorgeous New Haven, CT! Their program is outstanding but the thought of living in the Have makes me throw up in my mouth a little.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I went on my first Internet site blind date last night! Tall Cute Lawyer (TCL) and I went to the bar at the W and it was actually painless! AND...you will all be so proud of me: I didn't get shitfaced, cry, do drugs, or behave in an otherwise inappropriate fashion! The weekday first date is BRILLIANT: you have a pre-established time constraint of work/study for Step 2/etc that keeps the night short and sweet. The night did lead to an odd line of questioning though, when he asked me what I got on my Boards and what kind of student I was. Even stranger still because he's an attorney. Maybe he was trying to screen for potential entrants into his gene pool. In the end though, TCL was a gentleman; he paid for the whole date despite my sincere and repeated efforts to split the bill and walked me home. Also: TCL can hold his liquor, which is one of my top 5 qualities in potential life-partner. Nothing's less attractive than going blotto on the first date. Internet, trust your Auntie Rupes. She's been there.

And I am still getting tons of emails from people on the website. Guys, seriously. It's an email. Take your time. Proofread that shit. You look like an asshole.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Square Peg Finds Love. I mean, Stupid People.

Ok, back in Chicago after 2 more interviews! On Saturday I went to Texas to interview at an ob program (the largest and reputably most fun in the country!) and I was NOT disappointed. Who knew Dallas was so fun? I LOVED it!! I could totally see myself in Dallas and I thought the residents were awesome. What can I say? I'm from the midwest, I like to drink beer and watch football. If there's great shopping around too, I'm a happy girl.

The only downside to the program was that I had some weird interviews. I asked about the lack of protected resident research time (very important for fellowships), and I got the sense my interviewer got sort of put on the defensive. The program does not have protected time but I wanted to get a sense for how much research residents were able to do, and I don't know how this happened but I felt like he was sort of yelling at me or accusing me of not wanting to practice medicine and do research instead. If I recall correctly, he said he didn't understand this new class of doctors who "want to work 40 hours a week and have their weekends off."

Ahem. If that's what I expected out of my career, I'd be in business school. I was seething on the inside. Had he even seen my application? Do you think a lazy person did all that? I didn't even want to dignify his comments; I thought my application spoke for itself, but what sucks is on the outside I was all happy happy smile smile laugh and nod. I know it's typical for one to fret about coming across badly during an interview but really, he should be more worried about the impression he left on me. He left such a bad impression on me that the program fell from #1 on my rank list to #8. If that's the faculty I'd have to work with (who 1. don't value research and 2. assume residents are lazy), I don't want to be there. I was furious when I left.

Unfortunately, my next interview was just as much of an odd interaction. I liked my interviewer until she asked me the following question. "Let's say you're getting ready to scrub in for a big gyn onc surgery. Your patient's on the table and you go out to scrub in. You run into the surgeon, who happens to be really old school. He takes one look at you and says, 'You cannot scrub in on my case until you wash off all that makeup and take off all that jewelry.' What do you say?" Well duh, the answer is do whatever the guy says; the patient's already on the table and this is neither the time nor place to be offended. I was just a little dumbfounded by the question. I didn't think my makeup or jewelry was excessive at all but she made me all self conscious about it. Also, that's not a question you'd ask a man. I wonder what she would have asked me had I been male. That's kind of unfair. I really wanted to talk about my research or the fact that I produced The Vagina Monologues, or am a rape crisis counselor, or was president of my school's pro-choice group, or just submitted my very first first-author paper, or do research on pregnant women in the ED, or organized an anti-sexual assault rally in downtown Chicago my first year of med school, but nooooooo I had to think about my makeup and jewelry. Hello glass ceiling! Why? If I was a man I'm SURE I would have been given the opportunity to talk up my accomplishments and prove how excited and dedicated I was. Instead, I was made to feel self conscious for wearing lipstick and having my nose pierced (with a very very tiny little stud, of which the decision to leave in I struggled long and hard with, finally deciding that if a program didn't want to rank me because I had my nose pierced, they could fuck themselves, because I understand how to dress and act for an interview and if 1/2mm of platinum and diamond really offends you, you're not a person I could work with.)

My next interview was at [Big Fancy University on West Coast] Hospital. I so wanted to love this program but I was really uninspired. I wasn't feeling the energy and excitement I felt in Dallas. It was just...."meh." Besides the town was kind of a snooze too. Also, there are 2 types of people who go into my specialty: Type 1 loves the babies and thinks the babies are so cute and omigod I luv baybees lol lol lol they r so kyute!!! lol!!! and Type 2 just gets off on adrenaline and intensity. I've started classifying my programs as Type 1 or Type 2.

***

Square Peg's Romantic Trials and Tribulations.

Ok Internet! Let's just get right down to it, shall we? I have been getting a shit-ton of replies back on my profile!

So one guy lives in my city. Seemed like he had some potential. UNTIL. The flood of text messages, each with "how r u" and "what r u up to" and other assorted lazy/bad grammar. NO. I give you my phone number, you call me up. You do not text me at 10:13pm on Friday asking me "wut i m up 2." Seriously. You're past puberty. Take the extra nanosecond and 1.3 kilocalories of effort it takes to type in "what" instead of "wut" and "you" instead of "u" to spare yourself from looking like a total idiot.

Also, maybe I'm a huge bitch, but here's a list of things that are my deal-breakers. As in, if someone contacts me and I look at their profile and find one of these things, I'm not writing back. No matter how handsome or accomplished or brilliant their mother thinks they are.

1. You're = YOU ARE. Your = YOUR. Learn it. Live it. Love it. You'll thank me later.

2. "Friends say I'm funny" yet in your post you haven't cracked a single joke though you did go on to describe yourself as being honest, intelligent, and hard-working. Maybe they think you're funny-looking.

3. If you posted a picture on your profile that you took of yourself in your bathroom mirror with a camera phone. Dude...that's just sad. Please get off the Internet and go make some real friends.

4. If your user name has "dawg" in it. And you're in your 30s. You're a loser.

5. If your user name has "doc" or "dr" in it. I think people who tend to aggrandize the fact that they're a doctor, or attorney, or any other highfallutin' career do it to cover up the absolute lack of personality underneath.

So, as you can see, after the above-mentioned exclusion criteria, I'm not left with much. It might sound hard-headed but I refuse to negotiate. If this is the final product of something they were allowed to work on in private at their own leisure and with the aid of books, friends, and dare I say the entire GLOBAL COMMUNITY OF DICTIONARIES AND THESAURUSES at their very fingertips, what would they be like in public? [Although, if anyone has a beautiful inspirational story about how they got past the "wut r u up 2 lololol" to discover their life partner, I would love to hear it!!]

So here's my idea: I can de-douchebagify your Internet dating profile. I'll do it for free. I want people to be happy and find love! Send me your profile and I'll spruce it up and I GUARANTEE greater returns on romance. What do ya'll think? That's my new small business idea.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

And...I'm pissed.

Most interview programs really try to wine and dine you before the interview. It works for 2 reasons: the residents get a chance to meet you in a relaxed setting and you get to see if the residents actually get along and have lives. Most of these dinner/happy hour things come with invitations beseeching you to bring along your significant other.

Ok, this pisses me off. I'm personally very thankful I get to go through the match single; I'm not envious of my friends who have to plan their futures around some dude. It's hard enough trying to find a place you think you'll fit in, learn a lot, and not just be used for your labor without worrying about where your boyfriend is matching, or can he find a job here, and honestly even if I did have someone to bring with me, my career is more important than whether or not he thinks the bars in New Haven are fun.

However, I have multiple friends who have sweat blood with me through college and medical school, waiting for our Boards scores to return, pulling all nighters before the surgery and medicine shelf, and being grossed out in anatomy lab together, and a million other not necessarily "fun" but very memorable moments, and where some of my girlfriends want to go will DEFINITELY play a role in how I rank programs. Why then is it more acceptable for me to bring along some casual fuck than one of my friends who could probably offer greater insight into the residents' dynamic and whether or not it was a place where I would be happy? SUCH DISCRIMINATION. I know if I get married I will value my girlfriend's opinions more than my own husbands, because they've know me longer! I think it SUCKS, and if other applicants get to bring their boyfriends along, I'm furious that I can't bring along one of my close friends. Man I'm full of rage today.

She's Back, Bitches!

Alright!! She dumped K-Fed and got hot! Our girl is back. **Watch out ladies. This now means the sperminator is on the loose.

In less important news, Democrats EASILY garnered control of the house, and a happy email from NARAL this morning announced that 20 new pro-choice faces were added. Also, the anti-abortion ban in South Dakota was knocked down! It is a good day :)

***

My mom is currently in India on a 10-day binge of prayer. Supposedly there's a huge field filled with 12,000 people all praying at once. My mom seems to be having the time of her life and while I'm semi-religious (....ok, that's a stretch. I'm slightly religious.) I can't imagine that ever being my idea of a good time. She called me yesterday FOUR TIMES (after not calling me for the last 8 days) because she was afraid she had run out of memory cards with which to take pictures!! I was stunned -- I sent her off with 2 huge ones...that's easily 5,000 pictures! What is she taking so many pictures of? I shouldn't ask. I'm sure I'll see for myself in just a few days.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Seeking a suitable boy

I did it! I posted a profile at indiandating.com. [Supposedly it's the "hip" one.] I browsed through several profiles and that helped me write mine. Like, I now know that most people talk WAAAAAAAY too much about themselves; like, if you're going to use that much text you're going to have to bulletpoint it. Because I just don't care enough to read it otherwise.

Also, people are SO FULL OF THEMSELVES. Everyone has certain things they're sticklers about [I myself have a few stupid things that I REFUSE to compromise on.] but when you're a 38 year old Fed Ex warehouse employee with a mole eating half your face you really shouldn't demand "fair bride who goes to the gym daily." Gross.

Anyway, I kept my bio very short (and I tried to be funny) and made it clear that I'm not looking to get married anytime soon. I also uploaded a few pictures, and the website informed me it will take a few days for the pictures and the bio to "be cleared."

But lo! When I checked my email this morning, I ALREADY HAD one contact. Keep in mind that no pictures or bio, other than how tall I am and what I do for a living were up yet. This is yucky. I want to reject him just for being a non-selective sieve. Why would someone be so desperate? In my head, this means there's some huge personality defect there. My brother keeps telling me to stop being such a snob and give people a chance, but remember what happened the last time I did that? God it feels good to be right all the time. Besides, if you can't bother to fuckin' spell check your profile, I'm not interested. Do you think you're so desirable that I would overlook the fact that you might be mildly retarded?

And yes, dear Internet, I shall keep you posted on all the wacky romantic comedy that will surely ensue from this endeavour! There should be some benefit to this, at least. Besides, I've found that when I actually do go on real dates, guys love hearing about this stuff.

Career Corner: I went on an interview at that *other* university here in Chicago. I actually really liked their program, and I was born at that hospital, so there was a really cute moment when I interviewed with the chair of the department and he pulled out my birth certificate, complete with my tiny footprints! I felt so loved, but also disturbed that my confidentiality as a patient was so blatantly violated. What if I was born with ocular chlamydia or laryngeal herpes? That is not exactly information I wish to be divulged when I'm trying to be my most fabulous.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Taking the Plunge.

Now that DQ and I mutually understand the lack of healthy future we share together, I have made a very important decision.

I will now do the Indian online dating.

Yeah, I'm scared too. But so many people have such good things to say about it! And I've seen how happy some of my Jewish friends are with jdate.com, and how much luck some of my other Indian friends have had with it, so I think I'll give it a go. At the very least, I can make fun of some of the profiles and meet some interesting characters.

Also, I just got the following email from my 15 year old cousin. Were we like this when we were teenagers?


tankuu...ill prolly see u in september at neilbhaiz weddingg...i dunt think
im gona be goin to bindibenz showerr...but tell her hiii.... ohhh and did u
knoee my bdayz lyk 2 dayz after labor day weekend enddzz...(on the
fifth)...i mite hav a sweet sixteenn lol fun fun and so very
convenient....okie ill ttull<333>


I got dizzy just reading it too.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

On Doctoring

Some medical students get really, really excited to wear their white coats and be called "doctor." Most of us though, feel like huge posers and hate it when people refer to us as doctors. I hate it, and unless it's a sweet demented old man who has problems recognizing people versus inanimate objects, I will always correct someone who refers to me as "doctor" rather than "medical student." Make that "incompetent useless medical student." Even as an intern faced with a tough question I know in the back of my head I'll be like Ignore that MD after my name go find the real doctors!

I have 14 interviews scheduled all over the country in the next 6 weeks, so I have the next 2 months off, presumably to study for the Boards (This is the second of 3 really fuckin' long and painful medical licensing exams we're all required to take on top of our specialty's own licensing exams.) and interview. I'm also working on my MPH thesis, and thought that since I have this time off, I should do my required senior medical student teaching elective. I chose to TA Problem Based Learning for the first years, which are small-group sessions where they go through a practice case and learn how to tie basic science to clinical knowledge.

Shanmugam and his friends are here studying, and they joined me to watch Lost on a study break. After the show they were talking about PBL and asked me if I knew the connection between anemia and hypothyroidism. I said it was probably one of many minor signs of hypothyroidism but I couldn't actually remember for sure. They looked at me like I was half-retarded then looked it up in Harrison's. So then I kind of freaked out because I'm TAing PBL tomorrow and I don't want to look half-retarded in front of my M1s! So now I'm studying for PBL. This is good, because I need to be studying for Boards anyway.

But anyway, I spent a few hours on the phone last night making flight and hotel reservations for my interviews, and the receptionist at the Special 8 Motel (classy!) in Palo Alto kept calling me "Dr. Peg." I kept trying to correct her mostly because she was doing it so often I thought she was making fun of me.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

OMG. We are turning into my parents.

Yesterday Shanmugam and I went grocery shopping, and I had the deeply disturbing revelation that I am my dad, and Shanmugam is my mom. I clandestinely used my phone to take pictures of Shanmugam in various action-grocery shots [examining nutritional content of econo-sized jug of Juicy Juice "Only 15% real juice. No good", figuring out which bottle of ketchup was the best deal "This one comes with a rebate!", thoughtfully perusing the multitude of different salsas "You see, Chichi's is the superior dipping salsa, while Pace goes better on a burrito." People are really funny to watch at the grocery store. We'll spend $12 on a drink at a bar at the drop of a hat but AGONIZE over whether the brand name chocolate syrup are worth 80 cents more than the generic.] but forgot how to operate my phone correctly evidently because I came home and found no pictures. I was buying big plastic cartons of iced tea [they were 2/$6] until Shanmugam asked me why I was buying 2 and not just 1. I insisted you had to get both to get the deal, until Shanmugam said [and I quote verbatim], "It's a little known secret of grocery shopping that you in fact don't have to buy both to get the deal." Walks away muttering and shaking head. "That's just embarassing."

And...Happy Halloween! At some point I'll get off my lazy ass and go scan in pictures of myself dressed as Gangsta Bitch Barbie from like 4 years ago. I used to be young and fun.

Currently: booking flights for my interviews. Ohmygod ya'll. Flights are expensive.

Celebrity Gossip Update: Ryan Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon are OVER. Oh my land! This is sort of sad actually -- I really liked them, what with the having of the babies, and him supporting her very successful career.

Monday, October 30, 2006

And...

I got my first rejection yesterday. Rejected on a SUNDAY. That's a little painful. Like, I suck so bad you couldn't even wait until a business day to tell me? Weird.

TATTOOS LAST FOREVER.

In order to commemorate my impending (Let's cross our fingers and knock on wood here. I can totally see them withholding my degree because I forgot to return a library book 3 years ago.) graduation from medical school, I have made a very important decision. PEOPLE: I am getting a tattoo! [I mean besides all those OTHER decisions like WHAT THE FUCK AM I GOING TO DO WITH MY LIFE and AM I REALLY SURE I WANT TO BE SOME UNIVERSITY'S BITCH FOR THE NEXT 7 YEARS and HOLY FUCKING SHIT I DID NOT REALIZE IT WAS EARTHLY POSSIBLE TO BE IN SO MUCH DEBT AT SUCH A YOUNG AGE (k, that's not so much a decision as a rage-filled sentiment) and whatnot. I mean, I guess those might be "important" too. But this one's more fun!]

Gaya has agreed to embark on this journey of self-mutilation with me, and it's a good thing we've started this early (graduation is May 18th) because it will take me that long to decide

1) What to get.
and
2) Where to put it.

I know I want something Indian and with some element of "female" in it, but I can't think of anything that's not either blatant exotification or just too openly sexual. Because that's kind of gross, and not really what I'm going for.

Examples:

Lotus flower. Anytime I see flower, I think sex. I don't know why. But it's gross and therefore not an option.

I guess something like this might be ok, it's a little less...flowery.
When we were growing up and learning about the Gods and Goddesses I was OBSESSED with Durga. [She rides a tiger and IT IS AWESOME.]

But this might be a bit much for 1-2in tattoo. [I could, as Gaya pointed, get a HUMONGOUS Durga on my entire back, but that doesn't really fit into my plan to continue my stable relationship with my mother.]

As far as location, I have a few options. I have already ruled out the lower back. It's totally cliche for a woman to have a tattoo there, and ever since I saw Wedding Crashers [""Tattoo on the lower back... might as well be a bullseye."] I am deathly against them. Also, Indian clothes bear a lot of back and belly and while I do plan to tell my parents [AFTER I have gotten the tattoo and successfully graduated from medical school. "Ha! I'm a doctor! And I got a tattoo! What now? WHAT NOW?!"] there's no need to freak out my other relatives, so I've got to be careful.

I'm left with
a) Shoulder. I'm not really excited about this because it looks kind of trashy when you're dolled up in a nice dress.
b) Front hip. I like this option a lot because it's pretty private but not gross. Only downside is it's right over the iliac crest so it'll hurt like hell going on.
c) Ankle. Meh. Too exposed.

So right now Front hip is in the lead. G and I are going to go to some tattoo shops on Belmont and look at their artwork and take a book of Indian artwork with us. Hopefully we'll be inspired by something! This thing is going to last forever, so I want something I won't feel stupid sporting as a 45year old mother of four.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Yesterday afternoon Gaya, Grace and I went up to Devon Street (Browntown!) for the Sepia Mutiny meet-up and also to fetch some movies and fixin's. Udupi Palace: I had a giant masala dosa and it was AWESOME. I also ate part of Gaya's utthapam and someone else's chaat masala. [I eat a lot in general but I have been particularly hyperphagic lately...I have a small fear that I may have a tapeworm.] I'm a lame-o and forgot to take pictures at the actual meet-up HOWEVER I did manage to commemorate other events!

When I was waiting for the girls by that church at Superior and State I noticed a wedding going on, and I annoyingly tried to take several pictures until one of the church security dudes gave me a mean look and shut the door.


We walked by Sher-e-Punjaab twice afterwards, as we did some grocery shopping and picked up movies. I am ashamed to say that YES I have been known to indulge in the Sher many a time. S-e-P, allow me to give you some free advertising!
What a deal!


Because that Yoy, I hear he eats a SHITLOAD.

We went by the World's Grocery Mart to pick up fruits and vegetables and Ennis came with us. I should have warned him that my friends and I have ADHD when it comes to shopping especially when it's for food, and we often get sidetracked talking about how bananas are Proof of God [Trust me. Go watch it. You will not be disappointed.] or how symmetric these parsimmons are or how the smell of guavas reminds me of the time that my younger brother tried to flush all my clothes down the toilet, and what this amounts to is that it takes us 20 minutes to pick out 3 tomatoes.

We also went to Videovision so I could rent me some movies and there I saw advertised the first Bollywood action-hero movie, Krrish. Gaya and Grace REALLY wanted me to get this one, and I so wanted to make their dreams come true, until I saw the poster.I know.

And also, it's apparently a sequel to this movie, which, if you’re unfamiliar with it, allow me to summarize for you!

"An Indian scientist creates a computer that can communicate with aliens from outer space, but he is killed in a car accident. His pregnant wife survives but their son is born developmentally disabled.

His mother raises him with tender care and he grows up to be a young man of limited intellect, strange physical tics, and childish personality, yet with a loving heart. He befriends a young woman named Nisha, after a few misunderstandings about his behavior (some of which included accidental spilling of food over Nisha and chewing gum on one of the seats of her vehicle). Nisha feels sympathy for him and humors him as one would humor a child. Because of his limited intellect, he is often ridiculed by other children for his behavior, but has a group of young friends.

They find Rohit's father's alien-contact computer and summon the aliens by accident. The visiting aliens leave quickly and one alien is left behind. Rohit, Nisha, and Rohit's group of young friends find him, befriend him, name him Jadoo (meaning "Magic" in Hindi), and hide him from the authorities, who would like to imprison and investigate him. Jadoo senses that there is something wrong with Rohit and uses his uncanny powers to fix Rohit. Rohit not only becomes normal, he becomes superhuman. He is super-intelligent and super-strong. He and Nisha fall in love.

However, the government has not given up. Police capture Jadoo, who is rescued by Rohit. Jadoo flees in his spaceship and apparently takes Rohit's new powers with him. Rohit is again mentally retarded—which saves him from prosecution by the government. But this is not the end. Jadoo restores Rohit's special abilities—permanently. Nisha and Rohit can now lead a happy life together."

Yeah! Because the only shot MRs have at being loved or happy is by being “fixed” by an alien, DUH! I ended up picking up some other ones, and am now struggling to decide between watching movies and studying for the boards, which I am supposed to take in 3 weeks. Also, my next interview is this Friday here in Chicago! I have 14 interviews so far, including all 5 in my personal top 5, so in my head I am over and done with all of this, which is a little dangerous.

Last night after some lengthy discussion, we ended up going to Quartino's for some Bellini and snacks. We were NOT feelin' the Halloween spirit, as this would have involved extensive participation in some sort of costume effort, so we didn't even bother to dress up, though we did see some cool costumes on the street. I think a lot of people were feelin' our grandma vibe though, because the vast majority of people out last night were definitely not dressed up. I think it also has to do with the weather -- when it gets super cold and windy, I don't get that excited about going out. Because then you have to take a cab because it's too cold to walk, and take your coat, and pay $3 to coatcheck it or stuff it in some nasty wet corner somewhere and keep paranoidly checking on it, or be that sketchy person at the bar wearing their coat, or not take a coat and then be miserable and freezing, and basically, I would just rather be at home in my sweat pants watching TV. There. I said it.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Holy. Effing. Shit. I've just returned home from my conference in New Orleans, and feel a real need for some detox time. I delivered my talk, ya'll! And all without throwing up, crying, or otherwise having a bad reaction to public speaking! Though there was a scary moment of nausea about 5 minutes before I took the podium where I leaned over to Chris sitting next to me and confessed that I had a strong feeling I might vomit. He instructed me not to do that.

But it was fun! I went to New Orleans my freshman year of college for spring break and then once for a weekend with my parents my senior year of college, but not since Katrina. We were in the French Quarter and the Arts District, and those places looked sparkling and gorgeous. Bourbon Street .... is Bourbon Street, but it's always looked a little gross and chlamydia-infested, hurricane or not. Fun for the whole family!

On Tuesday night we stayed out until 6am, and I had time for a 45 minute nap before the cab came and got me to go the airport. I had crawled into bed without changing or brushing my teeth and I was totally on auto-pilot when I left because I didn't bother to change or brush my teeth on my way out either. What this amounts to is that I went through security at the airport smelling like an arm pit. New Orleans, everybody! And now I think I could probably sleep for about 3 days straight. I LOVE being an M4. Had I known how spectacularly awesome 4th year is, maybe I wouldn't have bitched so much 3rd year.

Also, I believe I will be staying here this weekend for Halloween, not because I have any fun plans, but because I am still really hungover and the thought of enduring the drive to Iowa makes me a little nauseous. BUT this means I will be able to attend the Sepia Mutiny meet up on Saturday at Udupi!! Yay :)

For your education: I couldn't make this talk because it happened during the same time mine was happening, but some preliminary presented at the conference indicates that sperm production correlates inversely with cell phone usage. Plan accordingly!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Happy Diwali!

Gotta celebrate....by doing Mann-Whitney U tests in preparation for my talk on Tuesday. Yay!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

My problems are so effin' dumb.

Over the weekend my mom made some chai and I got really excited to drink it before letting it cool down:

Mom: Have some hot chai!

R: Yay! Lifts cup to lips and pours.

M: Wait!! I just took it off the stove.

R: Experiencing unbelievable pain as chai, at approximate temperature of 917 degrees F bubbles on mucosal membranes of mouth. Seriously, there was probably steam coming out of my ears. HOT!!!! HOT! HOT! Owowowowowowow. Can't think straight with a mouthful of lava and just swallows. Chai sears esophageal mucosa on the way down. Oh my Gaw! Ih ith ho, ho, hoh! Falls out of chair and rolls around in agony.

M: This is why you should always listen to me.

I've diagnosed myself with 2nd degree burns of the oral mucosa of my gums. It hurts to eat, talk, laugh, and generally open my mouth in any way. I'm also having referred pain to my right ear. When I eat I have to make sure to only use the left side of my mouth so I find myself doing this odd bovine-like head-tilted cud-chewing activity. When I brushed my teeth yesterday morning all this blood poured out. This is really, really gross. And really stupid. Also, my swallow function has been severely impaired and I find myself salivating uncontrollably. I sort of want to go the dentist but mommy I'm scared. Instead I'm self medicating with some xylocaine viscous, which basically just numbs up the afflicted area. According to the Internet, mucosal burns take about 2 weeks to heal. That's great! In one week I'm giving a talk at a national conference. I have enough trouble with public speaking without worrying about drooling all over myself.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

P-p-p-p-p-p-P-UNITS!

The p-units visited on Friday night and left yesterday, but not before some Mandatory Family Fun Time (MFFT):
There's some Mandatory Couch Time for Shanmugam and Mama Peg. I really love when my parents visit because we always make these grandiose plans to visit different museums and go to different events, but we inevitably end up ordering pizza and hanging out.

Also, see my palm tree back there? It got crushed when I moved back from Iowa, so my mom and I performed an emergency closed reduction on it:



My dad spotted my guitar and really just wanted to hold it and play with it. He's never played guitar before but he really seemed to be enjoying himself just picking at the strings. He also said something about how this weekend reminded him of during his residency, when he would come home on a Saturday post-call and my mom would be home with us little babies, and we would all lounge around and nap all day and it was like, something he always looked forward to. My parents are classic 1st-generation parents; they love you and they're proud of you and vice versa, but sometimes you feel like you'll all never exactly understand each other. They rarely talk about their past so I like it when my dad shares stuff like that.

After they took off yesterday Shanmugam and I sat around watching Game 3 of the Cardinals/Mets series. The Cardinals have a player named Albert Pujols (pronounced Poo-holes), and everytime he comes up to bat, I have the great satisfaction of saying his name over and over again.

R: Poo-holes!!! POO-HOLES!!!!

S: Silence.

R: POO-HOLES!!!!!

S: You must stop that. Right now.

R: POO-HOLES.

S: Speaking of poo-holes, I just saw Jackass 2, and there was this scene where--

R: Ok, Ok, I'll stop!!! Just please don't tell me about it.

Later that night Maria, Jeannie, and Gaya came over and we watched the Project Runway marathon and ate a whole bag of Hint-of-Lime tortilla chips. Ahh..salty, limey, crispy corn perfection. After that Maria and I were feeling particularly motivated so we walked down the block to try out a new club, DeLaCosta. I have a feeling I'll be going there a lot, just because it's so closeby. It seemed like a fun place that kept its kitchen open late, which I love. Afterwards we were still hungry so we went by White Hen and got a pizza, which we then prepared and ate. Shanmugam and his friends got home just as we were making our pizza and said he needed "Buffalo wings. Stat." Hee. Also, DQ and I are back on good terms with each other again and had an excellent, if not completely intoxicated, late night conversation last night.

Currently thinking about: Product Red. I guess the idea with this campaign is that consumers are going to spend their money on unnecessary crap and corporations are going to keep raking in billions no matter what, so if celebrities put their publicity to a brilliant use for this campaign, maybe we can exploit this consumerism to raise some funds and awareness for people needing anti-retroviral therapy in Africa.

I completely understand this and think Bono is awesome for using his celebrity and talent for good, not evil, [ahem, Paris Hilton, I am so looking at you] but I feel so jaded on the idea of a multinational corporation being motivated by anything other than its own greed. They've got Gap, Motorola, Apple, and Armani, among others. I guess it's supposed to be a win-win: they'll continue to make money [even more money] and some of it will go to benefit someone in need. I personally am really turned off by all of it, and can't help but feel like in the end, consumers are just being scammed, and will Product Red really significantly alter the mortality rate from AIDS in Africa? Honestly, I'd rather donate my money to the NIH than buy some stupid overpriced t-shirt from the Gap made by some Maldivan sweatshop worker who got paid 11 cents to sew it together. How much actually goes into buying the drugs? Will there be an infrastructure set up to educate people on appropriate usage and monitor adverse drug reactions? Is this going to be like what happened back in 2004 when Dubya vetoed a deal agreed to by 143 WTO members to export generic HAART drugs from India in favor of far more expensive patented US versions? Are we totally playing into the hands of the pharmaceutical industry (Dubya's #1 campaign contributor) if Product Red money is used to buy their expensive drugs? Sometimes I hate being such a fuckin' cynic. Why can't I applaud this as an excellent cause and just be happy that it's getting attention? Probably because it feels so damn good to be right all the time.

Besides, these are some butt-ass ugly jeans.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Early-onset Alzheimers. And other things I have to look forward to.

Today Shanmugam and I undertook a massive cleaning effort in preparation for the parental units visit this weekend. Mainly though, I discovered his collection of DVDs and plopped down on the couch for a marathon movie session, while he vaccuumed and put stuff away. It was all mostly his anyway. There was one big mess I took full responsibility for, though, and that was the rice cooker. A while ago Grace came over one afternoon and we made a delish veggie stir fry and had some rice with it. I usually make rice frequently enough [Seriously. Other kids took microwaves and hot pots to college with them. I took a rice cooker and one of those 10lb bags of Basmati that come in the big burlap sack from the desi grocery store. I likes my rice.] that I just leave it in the rice cooker and finish it over the course of the next few days.

I guess I forgot all about it and hadn't made any rice since then [and that was back in August, friends] and so I very innocently decided to give the rice cooker a wipedown as part of our kitchen cleaning and WHOA HOLY SHIT there was a thriving ecosystem in my rice cooker. Ok, I'm being dramatic. But there was some serious fermentation happening. Shanmugam walked in as I was dumping out the "Make Your Own Alcohol in Prison" experiment and thought I had opened a bottle of wine. I've never had rice go THAT bad on me. Like, it's gotten hard and crusty before, but this was to the point of unrecognizable. When I dumped it out it was all mushy and beige and I couldn't even distinguish between the individual rice kernels. Gross.

Also, later I was eatin' some Sour Patch Kids and readin' my magazines and went looking through the cupboards for this bag of honey-roasted peanuts [Along with beverages and condiments, the residents of Casa Peg like their snacky foods. There must always be snacks.] I bought a few weeks ago so I could have sweet, sour, and salty altogether in one harmonious tasty treat. I found the peanuts and brought them into my bedroom, then left to go answer the phone. When I returned from my phone call [My mom wanted me to talk to Reflux. She would hold the phone up to him all "Bark! Bark! C'mon, bark for mommy!" and Reflux, being blind and deaf, would just wander off and walk into a wall or something. Not a very productive conversation. Our conversations usually end up in a similar, hilarious place.] I was still having my honey-roasted peanut craving so I went through the cupboards again looking for them, completely forgetting that I had already taken them out and put them in my room. I was getting so agitated looking for the peanuts that I actually called Shanmugam, who was diligently studying in the library like a good student, asking if he had polished off the entire bag of honey-roasted peanuts and HOW DARE HE. He had no idea what I was talking about but promised to stop studying and return home immediately to help search for the fugitive peanuts. I got excited and hung up before realizing that was total BS. A little while later I finally re-discovered the peanuts, right on my desk where I had left them 2 hours prior. It was a strong moment for my neurons. Should I be concerned about this? I feel like this happens to me a lot; I just go on auto pilot and can't remember anything later. Whatever, I'm not too worried about it. I have my peanuts and I'm placated.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

It's getting better, better all the time.

Back in Chicago and feeling v. happy and normal again! I'm happy to be away from "the guy" [or "the drama queen"] and really v. excited to see Shanmugam again! I got back around 10pm right as he was getting home from his friend's apartment, and we were both starving so we poked around our cabinet to make something to eat. We found an old can of black beans, a frozen bag of corn tortillas, and an economy-sized jug of salsa from Cosco. [Here at Casa Peg we like our condiments. And our beverages. Shanmugam and I both like having a wide selection of beverages available at all times in our fridge. It's fun being related to your roommate because then you can pretty much eat/drink all the food they buy too without any consequences.] After brief discussion and some collaborative effort we whipped up some rather tasty black bean enchiladas, which we then summarily consumed. I do so cherish the time we spend together.

You may be wondering what happened with the shoes the drama queen [DQ, not to be confused with Dairy Queen, drama queen's distant and far more enjoyable and tasty cousin. You may also refer to DQ as "stupid-pants" or "assface."] was holding hostage. Fear not! The shoes have been returned to my care safely and without incident. After I summoned my inner bitch and demanded my shoes back from DQ, he wrote back saying he was stuck in the lab all day so couldn't get them back to me before I left for Chicago but he'd make sure my friend got them to give to me. I just stopped by his house and picked the damn shoes up myself. I did sort of want to see him and say goodbye [ya'll, we ended on a REALLY ugly note. I don't think I've ever ended a relationship with anyone so painfully. Honestly, I do value him as a person and didn't want that to be my lasting memory of him.] but he wasn't around.

Given the rather dramatic way DQ and I ended our relationship, I decided to send him an email asking him to put this behind us and let's just try to be friends again and leave the rest out of it. DAMN GMAIL AGAIN. Does Gmail read my emails? Because I sent off that email and then the following ads popped up on my sidebar:

Not Into You? Here's Why

Learn "Secret Reason" Why You're Attracted To Jerks & Players
TakeBackYourHeart.com

Hee. I really like this one. Take Back Your Heart!

Think Like A Guy

Learn How to Understand Men - Tips Get Your Instant Download Here!
www.DatingWithoutDrama.com

I guess we're done with the jerks and players. Now you've met your soulmate, and you've got to understand him! And finally...

2006 CuteKid of The Year

Easily Submit Your Baby Photos Win One Year College Tuition & More
www.TheCuteKid.com

Alright! In case it works out and you get knocked up! Swell!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I heart gmail but unlike most other email programs, when you're replying to a message or continuing a long email thread, you can't readily see or edit the subject line without finding the "Edit Subject" button and clicking on it.

Normally, not such a big deal, except in the case of a relationship that quickly soured from one of lighthearded good-naturedness to angry, angry bitterness. Uh...yeah. This would also explain my premature departure from Iowa City back to Chicago. Anyway, in that case, when you're sending that party a bitchy email ordering him to bring your shoes that you forgot on his porch over to your friend's house where you're now staying and leaving them on the porch at a time when you won't be around, it sort of defeats the purpose of the caustic email content when the subject line is a very chirpy, "can't wait to see you again!" Damn. [Although, even in my current pissed-off mood I recognize and appreciate the profound humor of it.]

Monday, October 09, 2006

Interview invitations are slowly trickling in, and while I'm really excited, I'm also a little annoyed because one of my darling programs INSISTS on referring to me as Mr. Peg, and I'm unsure of how to remedy this. Through the Document Tracker on ERAS I see that they have indeed downloaded my photo. I'm not particularly photogenic ya'll, but I don't look like a man. My confusing ethnic androgynous name has enough testosterone to overrule the photo, apparently. I'm wondering if there's a subtle way to slip the fact that I'm female into one of my email correspondences without looking like a total a-hole.

Update: I ran into CNG again on campus! This time we managed to have a very nice, only mildly awkward conversation about some upcoming research conferences and CokeWorld in Atlanta. Conversation with CNG where I managed to avoid being completely intoxicated, pathetic, or crying: check! FINALLY.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Greetings from Iowa!

I'm currently sitting at Panera getting really hyper on free refills of iced tea. I'm supposed to be "working on my MPH thesis" but this has so far entailed googling myself and everyone I know and shopping for shoes on Bluefly. And now I can't find an outlet to plug my laptop into so I'll just keep typing until my laptop dies. Hi!

I was home in Centralia for a night a few days ago and got to visit with Reflux. Apparently my parents noticed him walking around in circles and hiding under the table and barking at a table leg nonstop, so they decided to take him to the vet. Reflux is now the proud owner of the diagnosis of senile dementia and, on top of Detrol for urinary incontinence, Tylenol Arthritis, and baby aspirin to prevent heart disease, he now also gets Benadryl PRN for uncontrollable barking. I do believe this is more for my parents' benefit than anything else, because once he gets his 1/8 tablet of Benadryl, he passes right out. [As a side note, this is much like what meth addicts do when they come down off a high -- they give their kids Benadryl so everyone passes out together. It's about the FAMILY, ya'll.]

Also, last weekend at a bar in Iowa, somebody called me "a dirty Mexican" right after I turned down his proposition to teach me "how to dance American." [This prompted a huge reaction of disgust from me; like first of all at least use a race-appropriate slur on me, and I am an American and probably contribute more to American society and the economy than you ever will YOU IGNORANT RACIST FUCKING ASSHOLE. Anyway, I'm over it. Let's move on.] I was relating this lighthearted story to Nikki on the phone this morning at my friend's house in Iowa City when somebody knocked on the door. I was the only person in the house so I answered the door thinking it was one of my hosts who forgot his keys or something. It was actually a young rough-lookin' white dude.

R: Uh...can I help you?

Rough lookin' white dude: Supreme look of confusion on his face. Are you American?

R: Oh. No. He. DI'ENT. Bitch, you came knocking on my door! I don't speak retard. [Ok, I totally stole that from A N N A and intend to find a way to incorporate it into every one of my conversations from now on.] Well, no. That is what I would have like to say, but instead I was sort of caught off-guard.

N: Who is it? What's going on?

R: Ew! This a-hole at the door just asked me if I was American!

RLWD: Uh, I just wanted to know if you had seen this big black dude named Darnell?

N: What is he talking about?

R: I have no idea. To RLWD: Uh, no I don't. Thanks for stopping by. Buh-bye now. To Nikki: I swear it's not usually like this.

N: Laughing riotously. Well what else do you expect from Iowa?

Ok, and that is completely, 100% not true. I have had nothing but very good experiences and met lots of lovely people in Iowa, and the truth is I'm more sort of confused and astonished at these two completely isolated experiences. After careful thought, I have come to some conclusions. 1) The incident at the bar was some frustrated drunk asshole who wanted some booty to rub up on, and if I wasn't brown-skinned, he would have come up with some other way to humiliate me after I said no. 2) The dude at the door wasn't hateful, just really fucking ignorant. 3) I am tired of having to prove to people that I am American! I am Indian-American, that is what I identify myself as first and foremost. I am fully Indian by blood and fully American by my environment. Must they be so mutually exclusive?

I remember after 9.11 I mounted a small American flag on my dashboard, but my parents insisted that I also affix a patriotic bumper sticker to my bumper and display another American flag in my back window. My mom also bought several American flags to hang on the inside of every window of our house in Centralia. I totally understood why we did it, but it made me feel really, really hollow and kind of cheap inside that I had to blatantly advertise a feeling that already existed so strongly inside of me, lest I not be ostensibly "patriotic" enough, because that would clearly mean I was one of "them." It killed me. Did white people assume that just because I was brown, seeing those planes crash into those towers on TV that morning wasn't as devastating, as heartbreaking as it was to them? My family's history in America dates back to 1979. Does that mean the roots of flesh and blood we have here are any less genuine?

I grew up in Southern Illinois and have lived my whole life in the heartland. I love the midwest and I am as fiercely loyal to and proud of where I'm from as I am of what my heritage and ancestry are. I just hate having to explain it all the time, as if to justify my existence here or make my presence here more tolerable. Whew. Sorry to emote all over you, Internet.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Did ya'll see this on PostSecret this week? Poor girl.
I am at home visiting my parents in Centralia today. I spent the weekend in Iowa visiting my lovely Iowa friends, then I drove to St. Louis to catch a flight to California, where I had my first residency interview yesterday. There are many ways to prepare for a residency interview, and you really have to find the way that works the best for you. Going on a 4-day bender beforehand is probably sub-optimal for most, I would say, having tried it myself. Last week I received interview invites from 2 of my top 5 programs and I celebrated by getting really hammered on Wednesday and Thursday nights. [Which: Yay! But the downside is -- now in my head I'm over and done with this whole thing, which is dangerous, ya'll.] Then on Friday I dragged myself to Iowa and we went out on both Friday and Saturday nights. On Saturday we went to the Iowa/OSU game, which was sad because we lost, but mostly because it was a night game, and we had spent all day tailgating, and then over the 3-hour long course of the game, which we were losing from the beginning, we were getting tired. And sober. And losing. Everyone was lookin' pretty rough by the end of it.

But it was exciting! Here's a picture I took with my phone:By the end my feet really hurt and I was trying to find ways to occupy myself. I think Liz wanted to kill me because I couldn't shut up about how adorable the Ohio State mascot was.
[See? His head is a buckeye seed! So cute!]

Anyway, the only remedy after that was to go drink some more, which we did. Sunday was extremely painful. My flight got in around 10pm, and I had to go to my hotel. First order of business was to wash my hair and iron my suit. Then I started trippin' about how this was my first interview and maybe I should be taking it more seriously, so I binged on a bag of Double Stuf Oreos and then passed out. All circumstances considered, I think it went well! Er...as well as could be expected. We'll see.

Addendum: I forgot to mention this! I ran into CNG tailgating on Saturday! I was feeling extremely friendly and generous [and probably drunk] so I helped him pay for his ticket into the game! At the bar afterwards he bought me some drinks and we had a v. nice time. I'm happy to report that we are still awkward but I now feel I've sufficiently made it up to him.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

And oh yeah. Some crap about my future or whatever.

I have 2 interviews, ya'll! Now I have places to rank. And now I can go buy shoes!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Shaadi in the City

Hello!! This is the post in which I discuss the brilliant time I had searching for my soulmate at Indian speed-dating, but first everyone's going to hear about my weekend.

Liberated from rotations (all that "learning" nonsense) and once again with plenty of time to kill! I drove home to Centralia last night for the weekend to see Reflux and my parents. While I was somewhere in the big flat no-cell-phone-reception-only-Jesus-and-country-on-the-radio central Illinois area, my parents left a voicemail saying they were at a party at the country club, but just let myself in with my key and they'd be home later. I got to my house and realized that not only did I not have a key, my parents had replaced all the garage doors and my garage door opener no longer worked. I got all stressed, like Are they trying to tell me something? Is this like that time they got all pissed off at my older brother for violating his curfew and wouldn't answer the door and made him sleep in his car all night? While I sat outside pondering this, my parents came home and let me in, but not before I got bonked on the head a couple of times by golf-ball sized hail.

Also, I went to a studio in Centralia to have my resume portrait done for my residency applications. There is truly only one way to describe how that turned out: THERE'S A WINNER. I hate fake smiling. My teeth look all horsey.

Ok...so...let's all get up to date on my search for a life partner!

A few weeks ago Natasha and I, under full coercion from our parents, signed up for a desi speed-dating bonanza. A few days prior we were all emailed a welcome pamphlet to the "Singles Dinner Reception" wherein we were prepared to be dazzled by a "truly spectacular" and "memorable" event. The event was to go from 2 pm - 11 pm [Hang on one second here -- look, I know we're all serious about finding future mates, but NINE HOURS?! That is like a FULL WORK DAY of meeting singles.] and included a talent show (by the singles!), a magic show, and "evening disco dancing." There was also Entertainment I and Entertainment II portions in there [do I smell local high school girls talent show? I think I do!] as well as a "Giveaways" portion, which I personally was the most excited by. If I could just win that one way ticket to anywhere in the continental US or a $50 gift certificate to the outlet mall my dreams would come true! Ladies were instructed to wear "Traditional Indian/South Asian dress; appropriate for a reception or a dinner at a nice restaurant. No Casual dress please." Well all right, bitches.

I would also like to point out that, despite the fact that this whole stupid thing cost OVER $100 and the food was pretty crappy, [and I'm not even that picky. Seriously. I'll eat anything.] there was nary an alcoholic beverage to be had at this whole event. [I knew I should have brought my flask. I was prevented from doing so, however, by a stern warning in the pamphlet that "the integrity and professionalism during the event shall be duly maintained." You are here to find and meet potential mates, dammit! This is NOT THE TIME to be having fun.]

Anyway, it was at some stupid hotel out in the suburbs somewhere, so I decided to drive. Natasha was post-call and needed to get some sleep before we went, so we didn't end up getting there until 4, a full 2 hours after it started. In true desi fashion, though, they were just getting started. There were 2 emcees...who were comedic...um..talent? Basically the guy kept yelling at us and the girl kept trying to organize everyone into straight lines and whatnot.

So, the first activity on the agenda was "Express 1" where they lined up the guys and girls in 2 big concentric circles facing each other. The guys were all on the inside circle and were supposed to talk for 30 seconds to a girl, then rotate clockwise. PAINFUL, ya'll. I was IN PAIN. First of all, imagine who comes to these things: girls like us whose parents threaten, cajole, and eventually bribe us to get us to these damn things, and 100% SOCIALLY RETARDED GUYS. And everyone I talked to was an effing software engineer, and yet...the concept of "rotate to your right." It's a challenge.

Some guys seemed cool and normal. Most were huge, massive dorks. One guy had a bandaid on his face. And not one of those clear ones either. Now, if I gave myself some kind of facial flesh wound shaving (something men do EFFING EVERYDAY, no?), I would not cover it up with an effing SpongeBob Squarepants bandaid. Or if I did, I would make a up a cool story about a knife fight.

Ok..one round of meeting singles...check.

On to round two of meeting singles. Now Natasha and I sat down at a table, and guys would rotate through each table. This was when I was starting to crave a fifth of Jack Daniels. I'm in medicine. I meet new people everyday. I am good at communicating with people. I just rotated through SICU where I would talk to patients who were fucking sedated and intubated. I can make conversation with inanimate objects. And yet...I could not talk to these people.

Silence.

R: So...what do you like to do for fun?

Another boring dude: I play online pokers. And I watch Indian movies.

R: Do you read books?

Abd: No. I hate it when authors, y'know, try to give their OPINION. I hate it when people try and tell me how to think. So I don't read books.

R: So you just don't think?

Abd: Yes.

R: Well I actually just finished this really cool book, and it was pr-

Abd: I only like mythology.

R: Oh you mean like The Hobbit? Gets excited. I read all those books in high school! What did you think of the movies?

Abd: No, like the Ramayana. I think the Ramayana exemplifies how I want to live.

R: No offense, but thinks the Ramayana is total misogynistic BS. Oh. Well I think we've only got about a minute left now.

R & Abd: Sit in silence until the buzzer sounds.

So when you're meeting someone new, how do you talk to them? Where are you from? What do you do? What's your family like? What do you like to do for fun? We've all been doing this since we were 8. You'd think you have the hang of it by now. But NOOOOOOO...these people SUCKED. Towards the middle I just stopped asking questions, because I realized I totally, absolutely, fully did not give a shit. And that was when I decided to start making stuff up.

Natasha (speaking to some dude; another variant of ABD): This is R, we came here together.

ABD#2: Well maybe I can get you guys some drinks? (Hey buddy don't tease me like that! You and I both know there are no drinks.)

R: Actually, I'm a recovering alcoholic, so I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't even mention alcohol, or alcoholic beverages in my presence, please.

N: Blurts out. Don't forget about your DUI!

R: All both of them! But you're the one that hit the pedestrian!

ABD#2: Looks extremely confused. But...I thought you were a medical student. And you're a doctor!

R: Crap. Totally forgot that everyone got packets containing everyone's name, age, and profession. Uh, I know. It was tough, drinking a handle a day while I was on the wards. But I'm a professional.

I think I also managed to tell someone that I had a 9-year old son ("My family is extremely supportive"), that I had a gambling problem ("After I took out that third mortgage on my condo, my parents staged an intervention. Have you ever been to that casino in Gary, Indiana? They caught it all on tape"), but my favorite was when Natasha asked someone if he would have a problem with a woman who did drugs.

ABD#3: Just once in a while, right?

N: No...it's pretty much everyday.

ABD#3: Well...I guess it's not a problem. But you'd stop after marriage, right?

N: No. Absolutely not. I don't think so.

ABD#3: Well..I guess that'd be ok.

I love it! And one of the losers actually emailed me! Yes. The alcoholic single mother with a gambling problem can get a date. Take heart. The thing is, we didn't make stuff up to be mean, or to make fun of these guys. We were just fucking bored. That whole day was a total drain, and if I didn't find some way to entertain myself, I was going to fall asleep. Later on as I was recounting the whole event to my mom, she was laughing so hard she was crying. She said, "At least now you have this funny story to tell! So it was worth it." Yes, but what about MY TIME?? That is nine hours (ok, we did leave a little early...more like 4 hours) that I will never get back! My youth! She is wasting away! And I lost an earring, so I was all pissed off about that. And that was my day. I'll leave you all with this inspirational picture.


Thursday, September 21, 2006

Last day of SICU!!! Last day of SICU! Woo hoo!!!! Now I've got to study for some stupid tests tomorrow. This rotation really gave me time to ponder: what did medical students do before computerized medical records? Without those computers all over the hospital, I wouldn't be able to surf the Internet for 5 hours a day before sign out. I think the reason I hated this rotation so much was because I just felt like a 3rd year medical student all the time. Meaning, I felt like my presence at the hospital was totally pointless.

For those of you unfamiliar with clinical rotations, here's how it works. Basically, as a medical student, you are assigned to the care of 3-4 patients. It is your duty to know as much as you can about a) your patients and b) what's happened to them in their time at the hospital. This is important because in the morning when the attending comes to take the team for rounds on all the patients, you are expected to present your patient, each and every day. Sounds so simple, right? NOOOOOO.

The sad irony of this is that, despite the fact you have to know the most because you're presenting to the attending, you're the last to know anything. You are COMPLETELY out of the loop. The nurses don't page you when things happen with your patients, for obvious reasons: you're a med student and no matter how smart you are, you just don't have the authority to make decisions. Residents from different services will page each other to update stuff, and unless you happen to overhear them, no one really cares enough about your education to tell you the progress the "team" is making in the care of the patient. Their job isn't to make sure that the med student doesn't look stupid on rounds when a bunch of orders for steroid enemas and rectal contrast have popped up and you're not sure why. Their job is to take care of the patient. Unfortunately, this means you look really stupid on rounds.

Whatever, it's done now. And I am done with the short white coat (short whitey) for the next 3 months!! Yay!!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

I just submitted my ERAS application! Woo hoo! Now, instead of compulsively proofreading my CV and personal statement, I'll compulsively check to see if programs are downloading my application. Awesome!

I'll write up that speed-dating thing this weekend, I promise. Right now I have an ICU midterm to study for. This involves much web-surfing and phone-chatting, followed by a frenzy of study-type activity at 3 am.
In the words of one of my friends, "My personal statement makes me feel like a total douchebag." It's a complex emotion, similar in morphology to my feeling that my personal statement makes me feel like an effing tool.

The ironic part is I've spent so much time slaving over the stupid thing and making minute changes that it probably reached its peak of awesomeness about a week ago and has since just been getting dumber because of all the changes I've been making to it. I need to just submit my residency application already, but the OCD part of my brain kicks in and makes me go over my CV and the rest of my application 30 million times for grammatical errors before just pressing Enter. TOMORROW. No more changes to the personal statement. People have already started getting interviews, and I'm stuck on whether or not to use "of" or "and" to tie two thoughts together. Eeeeeeeuiiiigh.

Monday, September 04, 2006

OK!! Internet, I have so much to tell ya'll about the horrible nine-hour Indian-American speed-dating marathon I went to on Saturday.

But first -- a moment of silence. Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter, was killed today. By an EFFING STING RAY. I am genuinely sad. That sting ray can rot in hell.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Last night at a gay bar, one of the gays told me he thought I was a lipstick lesbian. I was SO FLATTERED -- this is by far the best compliment I've ever received. The gays won't just claim anyone, you know.

Monday, August 28, 2006

In Which I Discuss My New Room Partner

Last week Shanmugam (my younger brother) moved in. Yep. I live with a boy. The only saving grace is that we each have our own bathrooms.

But seriously, it's great. And he's vegetarian so that makes it easy to sin less. He's not bad about cleaning up after himself and helping out with the cooking, etc. However, he is VERY protective of his things, bordering on obsessive and retarded. He has a big oversized beer stein he got when he studied abroad in Prague last year (he's very proud of it -- it has his effin' NAME engraved on it...when he first moved in he was missing a box of possessions -- he was like, college diploma, whatever...WHERE IS THE OVERSIZED CZECHOSLOVAKIAN BEER STEIN WITH MY NAME ON IT.) and it's apparently not dishwasher safe. Unfortch he drinks from it all the time (like every day) and then lets it sit on the side of the sink, so I'll just stick it in the dishwasher, which I've done about 3 times now, and he sort of got upset and yelled at me today about it...which, he has warned me not to machine-wash the czechoslovakian beer stein about 20 million times but I always forget. So now we have a deal where he'll either wash it immediately upon use or hide it under the sink if it's dirty so he can lovingly handwash it to his heart's desire himself.

Also, hilariously, last night, he was getting all irritated because we have a lot of channels but no TV guide and so we spend much of our TV watching time just flipping around all 100 channels so he got a pen and pad of paper and went through and wrote down every channel number and then what network it was. He then typed it all up on a spreadsheet, shrunk it down, and taped it to the remote control. Hee! This is my family's idea of productivity.

Also, I'm filling out my residency application but for some reason the system is not recognizing my AAMC ID #. Maybe...I'm not really enrolled here? And big shout out to Grace who stayed up with me last night until EFFIN' THREE AM helping me edit my personal statement. If it sucks it's her fault.

And...today I started my ICU rotation. The first 2 weeks are the lecture portion...so after an hour and a half long orientation, I got to go back home and crawl back into bed. Yep, I've got my pajamas on and everything. HA! Take that! I don't know who I'm yelling at.