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.