Sunday, April 30, 2006

After I posted about usashaadi.com I got all kinds of hit to my blog! I searched through sitemeter to see exactly how people were finding me and I found 2 google searches, for "who is going to usashaadi" and "how to write a biodata."

Dear Internet,

In answer to your questions, I'm not going, and I have entertained the notion of putting together a completely repulsive biodata for your entertainment but I half think that it may have been my own mum searching for biodata-writing tips on my behalf, and I don't think she'd appreciate me telling the Internet that my "Interests" include hallucinogens and casual sex.

Currently figuring out: the Sunday bus schedule for IC. I need to go back downtown and pick up my car that I was too drunk to drive home myself Friday night and too lazy to go get yesterday. Cheers!

Friday, April 28, 2006

That's just f'in' gross.

During micro we learned about a particular parasite called Enterobius vermicularis, the pinworm. The pinworm causes anal pruritus. I remember this really well because the powerpoint slide accompanying that tidbit of knowledge was a photo of a kid scratching his butt. [Biochemistry? All a hazy unpleasant blur. But if they would have thrown in a picture of someone scratching their butt I would have remembered the urea cycle forever!]

The female pinworm migrates to the anus and emerges at night to lay eggs. (I also seem to recall a really stupid mnemonic about how the female drives an entero-BUS to the anus at night.) There was also a picture of an anal prolapse covered in little white pinworms and someone made the comment that "it looks like coconut cake" and I just wanted to say THANKS ASSHOLE because I love shredded coconut on my sweets and now I can never eat it again.

My point is the New England Journal of Medicine has posted a colonoscopy video featuring a whole lot of pinworms in some dude's cecum. It's pretty cool but I wouldn't watch this during or in close proximity to a meal.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

This is old news by now but Britney Spears is procreating again. It would appear that K-Fed was the inseminator again.

Britney we've got a shit ton samples of The Patch laying around the office. I'd be happy to hook a sister up. I know it's too late this time, but, y'know. For the future. IT TAKES A VILLAGE.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Ooh I love the way you...love the way you love me Ooh to feel the way I feel

OK, sorry, the IVF nurses are apparently listening to Faith Hill's Greatest Hits in the room across the hall and that song is so friggin' annoying yet so catchy, I just know it's gonna be in my head all day. Don't you hate that? Like, I'll be trying to have a serious conversation with a research subject, maybe explain to her that we found calcification in her blood vessels and whatnot and then "WHOAOOHWHOAOOHWHOA the way you love me!" pops up in your head and completely derails your train of thought.

I got my M4 schedule back and it's almost exactly what I wanted, except my first rotation in July is ER instead of radiology which was my first choice. I think this is an improvement from my first M4 schedule which had me signed up for 3 sub-I's though.

I am really, really nervous about starting rotations again. Especially ER. I think ER in particular is one that will utilize many skills that I lost during research. Like thinking on your feet, quick decision-making, and withstanding verbal abuse. Oh the yelling. Always! With THE YELLING. And I understand that it's because they're ER docs and all YOU ARE ALL WAY TOO GODDAMN SLOW and FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WHY are you STILL with that patient and what is this TALK BEFORE TOUCH craziness WE ARE ER DOCS WE ARE SO BUSY AND IMPORTANT but I just can't stand the yelling. And (oh god this is so embarassing) I have been known to get teary a time or two when ALL THE YELLING starts. Besides just being completely embarassing this may also score you the title of "that emotional girl" and "I'd hate to see her pregnant." [--Maggie] But, there was one time when crying actually earned me an afternoon off.

Let me make a quick but relevant point here--if you're a medical student, I don't want to surprise or scare you with this information, but--get ready--YOU'RE UTTERLY USELESS. Your presence means nothing and despite what anyone says, you contribute nothing. In fact you're probably only getting in the way. This was a huge shock to me M3 year. I was all excited to "help people" and "save lives" and whatnot. This misconception quickly ended with my first rotation, which happened to be Surgery.

[whoaoohwhoaoohWHOA the way you love me!]

Few attendings understand the core of your meaninglessness better than the surgeons do, but the unfortunate flip side of this is that they will NEVER bother to keep you informed about where they are, what they're doing, what they expect from you etc. (Unless someone needs a digital rectal exam or a manual disimpaction or some other feces-intensive procedure. Then everyone's all "Where's the med student?")

Just to give a little background when you're on your surgery rotation, you are expected to stay with the patient the whole time. You wheel them back to the OR, you stay with them after the operation when they come up from anesthesia, you help with the bed transfers, and then you wheel them back to the PACU. Of course by then your resident and attending have already left to go do the post-op paperwork and it's up to you to hunt them down. (One day we had a hernia repair scheduled after a 7-hour long Whipple procedure and after I wheeled the patient out I sat in the PACU confusedly waiting for my resident (who had explicitly said "Don't page me. Just come find me in the PACU.") for an hour while unbeknownst to me they postponed the hernia til tomorrow, quickly rounded on the patients and then went home. Finally one of the PAs was nice enough to tell me that she saw my resident leaving a half hour ago. Education!)

So where was I? Ah yes. Crying in the OR. That's where we're going, people. Stay with me.

6:00 AM I pre-rounded on my patients as usual and ran into my resident, "Carlos" up on the floors. Carlos was all, get the notes written and I'll see you in the OR later. My attending's cases ALWAYS started at 7:30 so naturally I figured that's what time he meant. I finished my notes and was v. happy because I had time to go get some coffee and a muffin, then I got changed into my scrubs and went to the pre-op area at 7:10.

7:11 AM Odd. I don't see my attending anywhere.

7:12 AM I go look at the OR schedule at the nurses' desk. I don't even see his name anywhere on the schedule. Weird.

7:15 AM Well I'll just sit here and wait for Carlos.

7:25 AM I ask around and no one has seen Carlos or my attending.

7:28 AM The case should be starting soon. I'll just go peek around the different ORs and maybe I'll find them.

7:31 AM I am v. relieved to find Carlos scrubbing in outside of one of the ORs. He says the patient's already draped and prepped so go ahead and get scrubbed in. He quickly explains that my attending is out of town today so we're scrubbing in with a substitute, who, for the sake of conversation, let's call "Dr. Poop." And, upholding the longstanding surgical legacy of ignoring your medical student, no one had bothered to tell me that my attending was gone and I was to scrub in with Dr. Poop that day.

7:32 AM Carlos finishes scrubbing and goes in to the OR.

7:33 AM Scrub scrub scrub

7:34 AM Oh here comes Dr. Poop outside to scrub. Now I can introduce myself and explain why I'm a couple of minutes late.

R: Inhales and begins to form her lips around the "h" sound to say hello.

Dr. P: WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN!?

R: Man, I SO would not want to be the person he's mad at. Looks around for the poor bastard who's about to be the recipient of a brand new asshole.

Dr. P: YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO WHEEL THE PATIENT BACK TO THE OR YOU ARE THE MEDICAL STUDENT THAT IS YOUR JOB YOU WHEEL THE PATIENT AROUND.

R: Omigod. He's yelling at me? Lower lip starts to quiver.

Dr. P: AND IF YOU SHOW UP LATE TO ONE OF MY CASES AGAIN I'LL KICK YOU OUT OF MY OR.

R: yessiritwonthappenaganisiripromiseimreallysorry.

R and Dr. P: Walk awkwardly together back into the OR.

R: tearfully dons gown and gloves

Carlos: (whispering) Sorry dude, I totally forgot to tell you.

R: Afraid to say anything because her voice gets pitchy and weird when she cries.

Dr. P: Curses vehemently, violently rips things out of patient's thorax, throws instruments about at people's heads. Continues for entire procedure.

Dr. Poop finally leaves to go yell at someone else, leaving me and Carlos to close up.

C: Are you OK?

R: Still teary. Yea.

C: Hey, um, why don't you just go home after this case? I'll tell Dr. Poop you had lecture.

R: Ha ha!! Score! R: !, Dignity: 0

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

My mom has sent me no less than EIGHT emails directing me to this particular website called www.usashaadi.com. I refuse to visit this website not even to link to it but the gist is that it's a weekend-long Indian-American meatmarket at a hotel in New Jersey. She says she'll keep sending me emails and calling me two times a day until I sign up for it. [MUST. NOT. BREAK -- Think WWJBD? What Would Jack Bauer Do if being mercilessly pimped to Indian-American dating convention in New Jersey by my mom? I don't actually know if WWJBD is really an option here. I don't think I could break my mom's fingers.] (And hello? I have an older unmarried brother! Go bother him.)

[And also, I like how my mom was able to FIND this website on the internet and had the know-how to EMAIL THE LINK to me yet for some reason is incapable of independently operating the DVD remote. It's all a matter of incentive.]

Witness the latest phone conversation:

Mom: Have you signed up at the website that I sent you yet?

R: Nope. No, I think I'm busy. Actually R doesn't have the heart to tell her mom that she'd rather stay home by herself on Saturday night squeezing ingrown hairs out of her legs and manually disimpacting her dog then let her mother interfere in her dating life again.

M: You don't even know when it is!

R: Uh, I've got plans every weekend. Through August. Booked solid.

M: LIAR!

R: Seriously, why would I want to go to this thing? It sounds like one of Dante's layers of hell. Actually one of my friends was coerced by HER mother to one of these "events" 2 years ago and apparently had to send in her "biodata" before hand. A biodata is like a personal (as opposed to professional) CV. I think you're supposed to list your height and weight and talk abour your interests? She came home with a big fat book of a bunch of stapled together biodatas. (So you can earmark the "special" ones?) I immediately went looking for my friend's own biodata, which her mother had secretly put together and sent in for her. Under "Hobbies" it said, "Amy likes to read dance and cook!"

M: To MEET SINGLES! Sighs, like, DUH, I cannot believe this unreasonable pile of inaction sprang from my loins, why is my daughter not SIGNED UP and have her biodata all sent in ALREADY? Begins lecture on why it's important to "get the ball rolling now" because "these things take time" BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH.

R: Mmm hmmm. Opens up handbag clearance at bluefly and clicks through the purses.

M: ...BLAH BLAH "congenital deformities" [Was this in reference to my unborn children?] BLAH BLAH...

R: Mmm hmmm. Ooh...this bag is so impractical yet so irresistible.

M: ...BLAH BLAH BLAH ...

R: Unh hunh. Decides to pass on bag and enters Handbag a Day! giveaway contest instead.

M: ...BLAH BLAH OK?

R: OK.

M: So I'll just go ahead and sign you up, OK bye bye.

R: OK, b--no! Wait! What? Sneak attack! No fair!

Anyway, so that angsty conversation ended when my mom made me promise to ask Gaya if she wanted to go. "Then you two can go together and have SO MUCH FUN! Now go call her. Call her RIGHT NOW."

So, uh, she lives far away and all, but I'm still kind of scared of my mom. She can smell out a lie before you even had a chance to say it. Even over THE PHONE.

So I called Gaya.

G: Hey dude!

R: Hey dude! Blah blah chit chat about some upcoming social events.

R: So, um...mymomwantstoknowifyouwanttogotothisstupidindianmeatmarketthingin
newjerseyshewantstosignusbothuppleasesayno.

G: I am calling your mom RIGHT NOW and telling her that we'll be there.

R: NOOOOOO! Suddenly remembers a few months when Gaya's mom was coercing her to go to a similar Sri Lankan event in LA and made mistake of jestingly encouraging Gaya to go unfortunately in presence of Gaya's mother prompting full-on, WMD-like maternal coercion.

G: You knew you had it coming.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Neurosis of the Day

Smilies in the emails. I am a big fan of the email smilies. Like so -- :). I think typewritten word mistakenly tends to come across stern and a smiley will extend the casual breezy tone you actually meant.

Eg.

You're a ho and you have some tacky-ass acrylic nails.

You're a ho and you have some tacky-ass acrylic nails :)

See how the smiley makes the statement so lighthearted and fun? Like, I'm a ho with some tacky fake nails but WHO'S COUNTING?

You get into shaky territory with the winky face though. It can either come across as catty or coy, depending on who you're talking to.

Eg.

You're a ho and you have some tacky-ass acrylic nails. Ouch.

You're a ho and you have some tacky-ass acrylic nails ;) This one just doesn't have the same bite, and means a) You are workin' those see-through plastic stilettos! I can get away with calling you a ho because you're so OBVIOUSLY NOT you HO-BAG or b) I sort of want to get it on, I think? I know, I'll put a winky face in and let YOU figure it out.

Needless to say though, emoticons (is that what those things are called? did I just make up a word?) are UNprofessional. And if there's anything I learned from medical school, it was to BE PROFESSIONAL. We have a Dean of Professionalism and Seminars on Professionalism and everything. (And you'd think that if this was a matter they could create a whole Dean-ship for they'd have fleshed out the objective a little more. We had 8 separate lectures on professionalism M1 year, each one boiling down to, "Uh, BE PROFESSIONAL.")

I was thinking about it because I had to email a radiology attending who's one of the PIs for my research study today asking him to please get some of the scans read because we have an abstract deadline on Monday. Of course, my idea of a sternly worded serious email to an attending or anyone in a position of power over me is pretty much, "Um, so if you have some time and it's not, like, a HUGE inconvenience, do you maybe think you could get that last scan you've been sitting on for these past 3 weeks read whenever you have get a chance? At your leisure? Thank you so much in advance and also thanks for even wasting your precious important attending time reading emails from a lowly medical student." (Although much more earnestly.)

So anyway, I sent off this email and received a reply 10 minutes later. Apparently he's in Shanghai for some research conference and will get the scan read when he comes back on Wednesday. I shot back a quick email saying thanks a lot!! and have a safe trip back :). Yes, that's right. I said !! and :) to an attending.

I spent the next half hour wondering if that came across really unprofessional and maybe I should send a more stern follow up email? Just to show that I'm not a 14 year old girl who says "u" and "r" and "ttyl" and "btw" and OMG. (OR AM I? BWA HA HA HA!! Ahh..the beauty of the Internet.)

But then, if I hadn't included the smiley face or the double exclamation point, it all just seems really heavy-handed.

Thanks a lot and have a safe trip back. See, I'm not ORDERING him to have a safe trip back. Thus the smiley. And I don't want to seem like a smart ass, like "Thanks a lot [for NOTHING]," and hence the !!

Eh. I could go on and on forever.

Eh :) I could go on and on forever!!

See the difference?

Sunday, April 23, 2006

How I Met My Dog, Part 2

How I Met My Dog, Part 2 [or "I can understand why you might want to beat a child but who beats a dog?!" --Jagdish]

So last week where I left off I was preparing for my move to Iowa and trying to figure out how to get a dog.

I came here in May with Maria and Gaya to look for an apartment. I could only find one apartment that allowed dogs, and unfortunately it smelled like it. When the realtor took me to see the apartment there were cages of rabbits lined along the floor and no furniture but rather mattresses and dirty couch cushions everywhere. The realtor was grossed out too and just tried to hustle me out the door. Who knows what kind of bizarre Scientology rituals took place there. I decided to rent a gorgeous apartment I found that unfortunately didn't allow dogs.

So I finally did move here, and was very happy at first by myself in my big double apartment with a WASHER AND DRYER and a BALCONY and a DISHWASHER and a GARAGE. (Obviously still v. excited to have those things.) For the first time in my life I didn't have a roommate.

After about 3 days I realized I was slowly starting to go nuts left only in the company of myself. I'm kind of annoying! However my last roommate situation was so retardedly bad that I decided I'd rather live with a dog than take on another human being so I decided, "To hell with the rules!!" (I'm just a bad ass like that. Live fast die young.) and I decided to go look for a dog anyway.

I went to the Humane Society in IC and asked about a dog that weighed less than 15 lb. I wanted a big dog but I thought a small one would be easier to hide. (Besides, as Maria said, "Big dogs take big shits" and I wasn't too keen on handling all that poo, despite my poo-lovin' facade.)

They didn't have any dogs that small so the director pointed me in the direction of this awesome website called Petfinder. I searched the website and I found Pasker Small Dog Rescue, which is basically this fantastic and dedicated woman named Kim Pasker in Solon, IA who takes care of the small dogs dumped off at shelters at her own home because they have a hard time fending for themselves with the other dogs.

So Kim had 2 little male dogs I thought I might like to meet and she said she could bring them over for a home visit, but first they had to background check me and have me hand in 3 letters of recommendation. (Also, I made the mistake of telling them I did research at the U so they might have been extra suspicious because apparently there's a big problem here with people "adopting" homeless pets and then just using them as research subjects. I should have specified that I was doing gynecological research. On the womanly parts. That a male dog wouldn't have.)

The first dog was a 6yo Shih Tzu named Mr. Nicky Nickers, or "Mr. Nickers" for short. (Insert your own snarky comment here.) Mr. Nickers' previous owner was a woman who had him for his whole life, then had to give him up because she decided to go be on the road with her trucker boyfriend. He came with a whole boatload of toys, 2 dog beds, and was already suited for living with a single female. He knew 20 different tricks and was perfectly housetrained. He also had 3 more home visits lined up for later that week, and Kim wasn't too worried about adopting him out.

The other dog was Luscious. Luscious was a 14yo Lhasa Poo who was blind, deaf, suffered urinary incontinence, and had a long history of abuse so he was scared of everything. And when he got scared he would just pee more. I wish I could say it was "love at first sight!" or that sad story just made me want to whisk Luscious away to a cloud of dreams where he could pee on the carpet without worrying about being beaten, but the truth is in my first meeting with Luscious I was really turned off because he spent the whole time at my apartment chasing Mr. Nickers around and trying to hump him. Because oh yeah, his stupid owners had forgotten to ever have him neutered too. (There's probably a whole army of little Lusciouses out there peeing on carpets.) He was so socially stunted and maladjusted that Kim thought he must have come from a puppy mill, which are still legal in Iowa. He concluded our magical first date by getting trapped between the side table and the sofa and peeing on my carpet.

As I was helping Awesome Kim pack the dogs back up in her car, she said to take my time and think about what I wanted, it was totally up to me. She also casually mentioned that no one had expressed any interest in Luscious, and they were planning to have him put to sleep because they couldn't offer him a permanent home, and then I called after him.

I'm a heartless bastard so that didn't really sway me in any direction, but the truth is I was just psyched about the challenge of housebreaking a geriatric dog suffering PTSD. KIDDING. This seems trite but I couldn't even sleep that night because I was so torn. I think I called everyone I knew to discuss this situation. The general consensus was that Luscious had a hard life and might be better off being put to sleep, and also that he probably didn't have much time left, so it didn't make a difference anyway. But then Grace said if I could make the last few months of his life nice, that might be a good thing to do.

I thought long and hard and decided that such clear cut opportunities to generate good karma are few and far between so I emailed Kim and told her I'd take Luscious! And then, to salvage any last shred of masculine dignity this poor pooch might have left, I promptly changed his name to Hero, but I think the stress of the move from the pound, to Kim's, and then finally to my home gave him some bad acid reflux because when I first got him he would throw up every 5 minutes. (His charm was neverending, let me tell you.) And thus, Reflux was born.

Somebody is VERY SURPRISED to see you!

In conclusion, Don't Shop, Adopt a Pet and Save a Life!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

OH. MY. GOD. YA'LL.

Scientology spawn has landed.

Now we need to find that poor woman who's neonate was ripped out of her womb by Cru-azy.

Monday, April 17, 2006

I took Reflux to the groomers today. When I picked him up I had the sudden revelation that maybe I should have spent less time mocking his disabledness and more time brushing his hair out.

Before


After

I KNOW. It's like he shriveled up. It appears that 95% of his body weight was in his shaggy hair and when you take that away you're left with anorexia of the elderly.

But doesn't he look dapper in his butterfly hair clip and Bedazzled scarf?

He thinks I'm denying him some raisins. Reflux loves him some raisins. Unfortunately they cause nephrosis in dogs so I'll do my civic duty and eat all the raisins myself.

From the back he sort of looks like Gollum.

He smells the Grillin' Bite.

He's located the Grillin' Bite.

Conquer the Grillin' Bite!
And then he chews.

And chews.

He continues chewing for another 3 minutes. He chewed so vigorously that the butterfly clip went flying off at some point. Pretty impressive for a dog with no teeth.

********

This is totally hilarious, especially if you watch The Apprentice. And even if you don't, Tarek is FOYNE. And what does "Step up!" even mean? It sounds like one of those corporate terms that's basically a load of hoo-ha. Like the way in medicine we say "Axis Two Psychopathology" instead of "big fat jerk who always tries to look down my blouse when I listen to his heart."

There's also this is which is from last season's Apprentice when the guys' team won and their reward was that they got to put together a rap song with Wyclef. It's just as painfully dorky and awkward as you might expect but at the same time but you can't turn away. Markus stands in front of a microphone screaming "YOU KNOW WHO THIS IS!" and it's seriously the best part of the song and I'm not even being sarcastic. I remember this episode really well because I watched it with my older brother and then for the next 7 months anytime I called him he would pick up the phone screaming "YOU KNOW WHO THIS IS!"

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter!

In light of the holiday, I'd like to direct you to this website examining post-op results on Peeps.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

So yay, the weather's gorgeous again.

We really lucked out in my neighborhood. The first tornado entered Iowa City at the intersection of Hwy 1 and 218 (100 yards from my house!) and instead of going south went west, along Hwy 1, ripping up buildings along the way. My apartment faces south so I didn't have any idea how bad it was, but my neighbors facing north said their windows were all rattling like crazy. In fact, motorists on the way highway pulled over and ran to the little BP station a half block over to take cover. The BP people said they housed 100 people and 3 dogs as the twister went by.

I didn't realize this was happening, but I was driving home from Best Buy and I knew we were in trouble so I parked my car in the garage and ran inside as fast as I could. It seriously came out of nowhere -- like, the sky was clear and beautiful when I left to go shopping, it started drizzling when I was in the parking lot, which became a full blown thunderstorm by the time I picked up my computer and left, it started hailing on the way home and that's when news came of all the tornado sightings. As I was coming into my apartment to get Reflux and go downstairs, the trapdoor to my attic flew open by itself and my doors and windowframes were all rattling. I honestly thought the roof was being ripped off. When things calmed down I took a picture:



I also went outside to look at the bed of hail. I picked up one, um, hailstone (?) and brought it inside to document how big it was. So, keeping in mind that this was 10-15 minutes after it fell, then another 5 minutes in my sweaty palm coming inside, and then another 2 minutes as I ran around my apartment trying to find something to put it next to to accurately document its GIGANTIC ENORMITY.

Um...ok, so it doesn't look particularly impressive here. But it was YOOGE.


I drove around Iowa City yesterday and I wanted to take pictures but I felt really bad. First, there were so many people out already taking picture, and I felt like we were all just getting in the way of people trying to put things back together again. Secondly, so many people lost their businesses and homes and I felt really skeezy taking pictures of that.

Obviously, things have quieted down a lot since then but I just want to point out one thing. Aren't animals supposed to have sixth sense and know when these things are coming, and lead us to safety etc? Reflux had remained calmly passed out through the entire storm (ON A BED OF WIRES, no less) and actually growled at me when I picked him up to go downstairs. ["Natural selection," -- Christine]

Friday, April 14, 2006

You (loyal readers of my blog -- all both of you!) can relax now -- I'm ok! Shout out to Cheryl and Sarah for giving me some IC history to help write this!

As you might have heard a few tornadoes tore through Iowa City last night. There was peach-sized hail (GYNORMOUS and SCARY) coming down and lightning and thunder everywhere. Then we were hearing on the radio that a few tornadoes were sighted in the vicinity and moving east toward IC. The tornado siren was going for like 4 hours straight last night.

University of Iowa got hit pretty bad -- downtown sustained a ton of damage and it's absolutely insane over there. There's huge piles of debris everywhere. They cancelled classes today for the first time in 15 years. (The last time, incidentally, was in 1991 when a physics student went on a rampage and shot 5 people. Science!)

A lot of the traffic lights got ripped out, and I saw several buildings lost their roofs, walls, and windows. The National Guard was sent in to help clean up and control traffic. A lot of students were walking around asking if they could help but I heard on the radio that tangled up with the downed tree branches are power cords which might be live, so it's best to just stay out of the way right now. We've seen a lot of natural disasters over the past year or so but it's really unnerving to find it--literally--so close to home.

Thankfully the worst damage in my neighborhood was just some tree branches got thrown around, some of the cars outside got a little beaten up, and I saw a couple of bent over street signs and one uprooted stop sign. There was so much destruction just up Highway 1 which is like 2 seconds away. A co-worker who lives about a half-mile over apparently had an uprooted tree driven straight into her house.

The Press-Citizen has posted some pics here.

Here's a picture of one of the funnel clouds from the Daily Iowan site.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

How I Met My Dog, Part 1

I talk about my dog all the time, and sometimes I've mentioned the more traumatic aspects of his past, but today I would like to share the story of How Reflux and I First Met, or How I Became Immune to the Odor of Bacterial Vaginosis. (You're welcome.)

When I found out I'd be spending this year in Iowa I envisioned this Iowan lifestyle of Spartan self-disciple where I would rise with the sun, go work out at the gym before work, spend my day earnestly researching my heart out then come home and go running in the evenings and maybe train for the '06 Chicago Marathon. (Ok those of you that know me can all STOP LAUGHING NOW. Because I was serious about it at first. For like 2 seconds. But still. It's the thought that counts.)

But in all the dreams of those long-distance runs through the beautiful Iowan countryside, there was something unusual: I couldn't get the image of a big gorgeous dog at my side out of my head. So I got the idea that I really, really wanted a dog, and I would adopt one when I got to Iowa. I wanted a nice big dog that I could exercise with, and of course a big dog is always good for protection, and it would be my best friend and I would love her forever.

I envisioned something like this:


Or this:


And....instead, somehow, I ended up with this:


And Ok, I admit, I did purposely pick out a photo of Reflux that made him look like a total weenie, but that's pretty much what he looks like all the time.

To be continued...

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Stupidity must be mocked publicly.

Mmkay.

Gwyneth Paltrow had her baby yesterday. Katie Holmes -- STILL "PREGNANT." The woman is, like, half elephant.

So, apart from not being allowed to use drugs (what happens if the "baby" (I use this term loosely, who knows what's in there) goes into fetal distress and needs a C-section? HUH TOM? Do YOU know any Scientologists who can deliver a baby as well as an obstetrician can? Although I'm sure he's "read ALL the research papers" and can figure it out.), Katie Holmes is also not allowed to speak to her child for a whole week following the birth, because the newborn might associate the mom's voice with the trauma of childbirth.

The real trauma is the fact that her anti-helpful baby daddy thinks that a BINKY can replace epidural anesthesia during delivery. Hey Tom, why don't you just break one of her fingers? That'll take her mind off the pain.

Also, have you heard that Tom is stuffing Katie full of spicy food to help induce her labor? Like, I understand that carrying the spawn of Cru-azy around for the last 3 years is something she'd like to bring an end to, but I would be in NO HURRY for that pain. (But I do like that Fire sauce from Taco Bell. Good stuff, yo. You can bring me some chalupas smothered in Fire sauce even when I'm not gestating.)

Katie and Tom on their way to 7-11 for some Flamin' Hot Fritos.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Back in IC after spending last night in Chicago! The main purpose of this trip was my uncle's surprise 60th birthday party, which my parents came up for also. I used this event as another reason to go see my friends afterward.

If I could add a sound clip to this picture it would be my mom yelling at me for being 2 hours late to the party and missing the surprise altogether while my dad yells at my brother for wearing "pajamas" to the party, followed by my aunt telling us all to shut up and look happy for 2 seconds. I like my dad's expression. To me it says "DOES THIS LOOK LIKE A MOMENT I WANT TO REMEMBER?"

These are my cousins Jayson and Justin. Jayson has this new trick where he knows all of the state capitals and he wanted me to quiz him.

R: Uh...South Dakota?

J: Pierre!

R: Wouldn't even know if this was right or not. Good job! North Dakota?

J: Bismarck!

Game continues in this fashion for several more states until R can't remember any more state names.

R: That's all of them, yep, you got 'em all!

J: NUH UNHHH You forgot VERMONT, and RHODE ISLAND, and WYOMING, and NEW HAMPSHIRE and lists several more.

R's brother: Sounds like you could play this game all by yourself.

Before that we had tea at the Hotel Intercontinental. I had Darjeeling.



Mmmm...INDIA!

After that I met up with Maria and Gaya and we went to Motel Bar for someone's birthday. We moved to Sonotheque after that, a place I haven't been to since an extremely inebriated night M2 year following an exam. It was Drum and Bass night meaning they were playing Jungle Music, which is really fast mix of electronic and hip-hop or reggae. (And how lame did I feel when I had to look it up in an encyclopedia later because I had no idea what it was but I liked it. Kinda like in Office Space when the software progammers are trying to launder the money but aren't exactly sure what that means so they have to look up money laundering in the dictionary.)

After that we were all starving so we went to the 24 hour Clarke's on Belmont.


Jin passed out waiting for the food to come.

And then I came home!
Reflux and I celebrated this gorgeous spring day by taking extra-long naps.


'Sup shorty. You got a man?

Friday, April 07, 2006

I'm trying to decide if I want to do a rotation at [Big Fancy University on West Coast] Hospital (BFUWCH) next year. I have some good friends from California who seem to have an umbilical attachment to the state and NEED to match there next year so the pressure's sort of on them. I don't really have any geographical requirements when it comes to the match, I guess I'm sort of lucky that I'm from Podunk, Southern Illinois because I feel absolutely no attachment of any sort much less a yearning burning desire to go back there for residency.

I do however love the Midwest and really want to match somewhere here. I love how friendly even the people in the big cities of the Midwest are. I love how the leaves change color in the fall and they're the prettiest reds and oranges you've ever seen in your life. I love that first day of spring when you don't need your winter coat anymore and everyone is smiling. I love the way the earth smells after the first good rain in April. I bitch constantly about the weather but the truth is I love how much it snows in the winter and then how hot and sticky the summers are.

I'm not sure what's prompting this current orgy of love between myself and the Midwest. Maybe the sleep apnea guy downstairs is cooking crystal meth and I'm getting the residue.

But then a part of me thinks I should apply along the east and west coasts anyway, just to see what the programs are like. I'm not serious about leaving the midwest -- unless it was to go to BFUWCH. I would sell my soul to match at BFUWCH. SELL. MY. SOUL. (Satan? Hello? That was your entrance.)

Anyway, I was sort of half-assedly getting the paperwork together to do the rotation at BFUWCH, and then I was thinking how sad it would be if I did a rotation there and then the BFUWCHes didn't even give me an interview. I'm a good student but I'm not going to be the, uh, class valedictorian or anything. Okay...more like a goodish student. I'm still enrolled and I haven't pissed off the administration yet, let's just put it that way.

So I came up with several scenarios:

1. Do rotation at BFUWCH. Impress them with outstanding obstetrical prowess, willingness to take q2 call and ass-kissing skill. Get interview. This is the least likely, I know.

2. Do rotation at BFUWCH. Do reasonably well. Get interview.

3. Do rotation at BFUWCH. Get lost on way from parking garage to hospital and show up 4 hours late on first day. Receive nickname of "Magellan" behind back. Oversleep through rounds 3-4x a week. Answer every single pimp question wrong including "Where do the babies come out of" and drop a few babies on their heads. Botch a circumcision or two. Just crash and burn in manner of every med student's v. worst nightmare. Obviously, no interview granted. Rather, a several lawsuits filed. You're laughing now but you will be SO SORRY when this actually happens.

4. Do rotation at BFUWCH. Do reasonably well. No interview granted. BECAUSE YOU ARE THE ULTIMATE SUCK. DID YOU REALLY EVEN THINK YOU HAD A CHANCE? BWA HA HA. GO BACK TO YOUR CORNFIELDS. This is the one I'm most afraid of.

4. Don't do rotation at BFUWCH. Get interview anyway! Actually, this might be the least likely one.

5. Don't do rotation at BFUWCH. Don't get interview. I like this one the best. Nothing lost, nothing gained.

6. Drop out of medical school. Go to cosmetology school and fulfill lifelong dream of becoming hair and makeup artist to the stars. Meet George Clooney on the job and get married after series of charming and hilarious lighthearted misadventures. Maybe I like this one the best.

Eh. I'll think about it.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

I won't let go of this.

Tom Cruise bought Katie Holmes an "adult-sized binky" to help take her mind off the intense pain of having her perineum ripped apart by a gynormous Scientologist baby head.

GYNORMOUS.

Did ya'll see this picture?

That baby's gonna weigh 13 lb and be all head. It's going to have the pointiest baby cone head the world has ever seen from being so enormous and then being squeezed out the vaginal canal. Katie honey...it hurts me just thinking about it. Let me go out on a limb here and say that I don't know if a Binky's gonna do the trick. IT'S NOT TOO LATE FOR THE HAPPY DRUGS.

He also bought her an iPod to listen to as she delivers. What a stand-up guy!

Butts and Guts

Yesterday at Butts and Guts class I was having an underwear crisis. Namely, because it was so beautiful and sunny in IC I decided to let my pale and pasty legs have a go at the sunlight.

As it probably is for most females from the Hair Belt, wearing shorts isn't just a simple matter of putting them on. There's the whole process of de-yeti-fying oneself beforehand. Which, not to be too gross here, but I had sort of let matters slide there for the past several weeks. (Hey, it is COLD HERE. My version of "sexy underwear" is a pair of thermal leggings with Playboy bunnies all over them.) So I actually spent so long shaving my legs that my building RAN OUT OF HOT WATER. The bad part was that I was doing some shower synergizing and still had conditioner glopping all in my hair. I had to rinse my head off in the bathroom sink.

Anyway, I swapped my usual sweatpants for a pair of shorts to go to the gym today. (That's kind of a fun thing about the Midwest -- the winter is so long and crappy that when it finally hits .. oh, say 48 F everyone is like, IT IS TIME FOR SHORTS AND FLIP-FLOPS, I don't care if there's still snow on the ground.)

My shorts were those synthetic-y nylon running shorts, a detail I failed to note the significance of beforehand. So for the abs portion of the class we usually start on the exercise ball. The shorts proceeded to take on a mind of their own, and, as though covered in bacon fat, slid all the way up. I have a pretty crappy sense of balance to begin with and the fact that my shorts were giving me the most horrible wedgie of my life made me keep falling of the ball. I had to keep stopping after every crunch to de-wedge. Everytime I did this my ball would roll backwards a little bit. At the beginning of class I was close to the front by the mirrors but by the end I had rolled so far back I almost smashed into the rear wall.

S for Special Needs! That's all.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Keep your bedroomslippers at home.

I would just like to bring your attention to an email the hospital administration sent to all of us yesterday:

I saw my first pair of flip flops in the hall last week so it must be spring. As we begin the third spring with our Professional Appearance Policy, I want to remind you that anyone wearing a UI Hospitals and Clinics ID badge is required to comply with the policy. As a manager you are responsible for assuring that your staff members comply with all workplace policies.

The Professional Appearance Policy includes a provision for some flexibility for supervisors. However, as noted in the second sentence, supervisors do not have the latitude to allow staff to wear items addressed in Sections III, IV, and V of the Professional Appearance Policy. This means at no time may staff wear items such as blue denim jeans, flip flops, bedroom slippers, sweatpants, tank tops, halter tops, or clothing that leaves the midriff or back exposed or exposes undergarments. For example, even as a fund-raiser for a worthy cause, a supervisor cannot allow staff to wear swimsuits to work.

Ok. The other things I can SORT of understand that you might accidentally wear; like, you might have a nice camisole under your cardigan on a hot day, or a top that scoops low in the back or something, but under what circumstances would ANYONE think it's ok to wear bedroom slippers and sweatpants to work? If they HAD TO TELL US it's not ok, it probably means someone's done it before. I bet it was a med student who overslept.

And also, University of Iowa has the most relaxed dress code I've ever seen in my life. They give everyone a copy when you start working here, and there's a special addendum that says blue jeans are not allowed, but denim of other colors are acceptable as dress pants. This struck me as hilariously funny. Does anyone even wear colored jeans anymore? They do in Iowa. (And probably a lot of other places.) I've seen many a pair of black or pastel-colored jeans running around these hallways.

And also, wearing a swimsuit to work sounds like my idea of my worst nightmare. I don't care how good the cause is.

Monday, April 03, 2006

I was lucky enough to hop aboard this ship when one of the Gyn attendings happened to be leaving, so I got my own office complete with windows and a gorgeous view of campus.

I'm sitting here in my office killing time before a 2 pm meeting, and a few minutes ago the window washers scared the hell out of me. They're currently washing the windows of my office. All my blinds are up, and I wonder if it would be rude to close them while they're right there.

This is so awkward. I don't think they're looking at me but I hate feeling like people are looking at me. Mostly it means I can't spend my requisite 40% of the time staring off into space.

Never mind. They just left.
In light of the fact that I have a deadline today, I spent the evening scouring youtube for Arrested Development clips.

This is the one in particular I was looking for. I've watched it about 17 times and it still hasn't gotten old. I seem to have the maturity level of a 12-year old boy.

Also, I'm glad to see the George-Callie storyline progressing on Grey's Anatomy. She might be a little too much woman for him though. And I'm glad they made her an orthopedist! Orthopedics is such a boys club, it's nice to see some estrogen in there once in a while. Too bad she had to be a weirdo that lives in the hospital basement though.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

I hate computers.

At the risk of sounding like that stupid teen talk Barbie doll Mattel was trying to sell little girls several years ago, I really hate computers. I'm working on an abstract and decided to put in a healthy round of procrastination by attempting to upgrade my blog.

I tried again to add links, and look at them! There they are over on the right hand side. (Left hand side? In medicine we use right and left to refer to the patient's left and right so it's the complete opposite of how you've used right and left to describe location throughout your whole life and it's invaded the rest of my life too. I really do know my right from my left.) So shiny and pretty.

Then I went through and tediously added every link exactly as the html prescribes, saved my changes, republished my blog, and ... nothing happened. Even the google news link is still there, even though I definitely deleted that one. Several more minutes of this and I almost wanted to get back to (real) work. Wasting time and screwing around is supposed to feel LIBERATING and NON-FRUSTRATING, concarn it!

On top of that, not only did my links not add, but the size of the day and time font became super enormous for some reason. ?? Whatever. I am so over you, BLOGGER.

Easy like Sunday morning

I came back to IC last night around 9. Garani, Suchi and I crashed at Gaya and Grace's apartment on Friday night around 4 after a mildly thrilling evening at the Hunt Club. Garani's flight back to DC was at noon and I had these grandiose plans of waking up early, taking her to the airport, then driving back to Iowa so I could work on this abstract that's due Monday at midnight. Well, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and I didn't wake up until around 1:30 pm. I was soo tempted to stay on for another night so I could see Lori too but after a very late brunch at the Original Pancake House I decided to just drive back to Iowa. But mmm.. eggs sunny side up. I'm so catching Staph one of these days from raw egg yolk but it's a price I'm willing to pay.

When I got in last night I realized I had nothing in my fridge so I went to the grocery store to pick up some food. I went straight for the frozen food section to load up on Lean Cuisine, but the grocers are bastard people. They've strategically placed the frozen dinners right by the ice cream section, so I COULDN'T HELP but notice that the Ben and Jerry's were 2/$5. I realize it somewhat defeats the purpose to eat both Lean Cuisines and Ben and Jerry's but I CAN'T RESIST THE DEAL. I would buy anything as long as I felt like I was getting a bargain.

I also went buy the dog food aisle because we're all out. In fact I had to drop Reflux off early at the vet's on Wednesday because I didn't have anything to feed him. The 18lb bags of Beneful were on sale, and the price was 3.7 cents an ounce. The bag expires in November and it would take Reflux about 3 years to eat 18lb of chow, so I looked for the 9lb bags but this grocery store doesn't carry those. The next smaller size was 3lb, and the price was 6.8 cents an ounce. Again, NOT BEING ABLE TO RESIST A DEAL I bought the larger bag. (Good thing the 30lb-er wasn't on sale.) It's ok if Reflux gets fat, in fact I buy the puppy formula for him because I think he has anorexia of the elderly. The puppy formula is filled with gluten and whatnot so he can eat less and weigh more.

The grocery store is a sad and scary place on a late weekend night. There was only one checkout line open and the dude in front of me was buying EIGHT boxes of those patriotic rocket popsicles, along with a fifth of 5 o'clock vodka, the cheapest of them all. Seriously, I would use that stuff as nail polish remover because it's probably cheaper. It's so generic I can't even find it online to link to it. I wondered what sort of evening he had planned for himself. Course, I probably looked like a sad, strange, lonely girl with my basket of lean cuisines, ben and jerry's, and econo-sized bag of dog food.

I'm starting to put myself to sleep with this post. *yawn*

Just watched: North Country. I really wanted to go find someone to smack around for a while after I saw this movie. That's an emotion I haven't felt since I watched Dogville.