Monday, April 30, 2007

Biodata

Thoughtful reader gabbiana asked:
Hee. Your mom is totally my mom. And apparently also Chick Pea's mom. THEY TRUST US SO MUCH.

But what is biodata?
Why, thank you for asking! "Biodata" is a well-known term in the South Asian American community for what is essentially your dating resume. It includes not only important CV-type stuff, but also information about your siblings and parents, like where they went to school and what they do; basically it tries to give a sense of how well-established not only the individual but his/her family are. When the lucky son/daughter reaches marryin' age, those biodata are flung far and wide to every distant cousin or friend your mom can think of, in the hopes that someone has a child of the opposite sex in the same approximate age bracket whom they wish to pimp out as well.

In addition, the biodata includes descriptions of one's hobbies ("Square reads, dances, and cooks full north Indian dinner!"), interests ("She loves to wear sarees and play classical Indian instruments"), and MEASUREMENTS. (Yes! Height and weight are STANDARD on a traditional biodata!) It may also include an unflattering photograph or two. "Cringingly awkward" is the name of the game here.

These biodata are usually concocted not by the subject, but by the subject's mother, which is why my hobbies would lead a potential mate to believe that I am Captain Dork. My mom claims not to have created a biodata for me but the fact that she was so eager to see HOHOPIS's biodata leads me to believe that there is surely some terrible document saved somewhere on our home computer as "Square's biodata for future life partner."

(Also, as I'm typing this, I remember this one time I was at a bar and this very attractive Caucasian guy and I were having a humorous conversation about our parents' disastrous efforts to set us up on dates, and I made the mistake of using the term "potential mate." I forget sometimes that ONLY MY MOTHER says things like "life partner" and "potential mate" because we talk SO MUCH ABOUT IT that they have started to feel like terms that can be tossed about casually. He gave me the weirdest look and I had to try and explain myself, and it was hugely embarassing.)
Updates:

In response to questions I've been receiving about the photos of Reflux, it's not that my parents like to see him in awkward positions. He'll wander into an awkward position, attempt to extricate himself, find himself unable to move, bark for a while, then fall asleep.

A close friend who's getting married in June is having her bachelorette party this Saturday night so a few of us went down to the sex shops on Belmont to pick out party favors for her. I have never seen such a wide and dazzling assortment of dildos in my life.

Despite my hungoverness, I woke up at asscrack on Saturday and drove down to St. Louis to look at a few apartments. I need to just get over the fact that I lucked into a beautiful apartment in Chicago and I'll never live so nicely again. Much like I'm resigned to the fact that my social life will be nonexistent through intern year, I need to get used to the fact that I'll be living in a hovel.

And a good friend of mine in college who lives in NYC met a "really nice Indian guy" who's a friend of the guy she was dating at the time. He asked her if she had any Indian friends she could set him up with, so OF COURSE she sent him my picture and my phone number. She called me immediately after this encounter asking me to try and be open-minded and nice because "he owns his own place in Soho and is willing to have a long-distance relationship. Seriously, if he was Jewish I'd be all over it." (You know how I'm always complaining about how I'm turning into my mother? Turns out my friends are turning into my mother as well.)

I forgot all about it until he called on Saturday afternoon when I was with some friends in St. Louis and we actually had a nice (though somewhat awkward) conversation. He's from one of those big square states I've neve been to, which is a major plus -- I really gravitate towards people from the midwest because they're so down to earth. (Which is funny, because I myself am not usually described as "down to earth.") My conversation with HeOwnsHisOwnPlaceInSoho was cut short Saturday due to presence of others in the car and ensuing awkwardness, so I told him I'd call him back. Yesterday I left a voicemail for HOHOPIS and he called back 5 minutes later and we chatted for 45 minutes. It was actually rather pleasant - we talked about our childhoods in the rural midwest, listening to old, old Indian music on long car trips with the p-units, visiting India, how we'd both like to go on safari to Africa, and his love of guns and hunting.

Wait a minute. HIS LOVE OF GUNS AND HUNTING? I have done my fair share of shootin' rifles and handguns in a controlled environment at a shooting range, but this does not jive well with me. HOHOPIS is also 6 or 7 years older than me so he obviously has had way more life experiences, but our lives are very, very different. The world of finance is one that I just don't understand, and when he was talking about his job and his summershare in the Hamptons for the first time in my life I totally felt like a little country mouse. We ended the conversation with us talking about my impending move to St. Louis, him professing his love for "second tier American cities," me telling him that he might like St. Louis, and him saying that a good friend of his from business school recently moved to STL and "she and her husband love it so I should put you in touch with her and maybe come visit you all sometime."

Then he had to go because he was having some friends over for a barbecue and was all stoked to roll out some astroturf he had bought to lay out on the rooftop so they could simulate being on grass. I love dorky stuff like that, along with the fact that he's a self-proclaimed nerd, which I find really charming. I called Laura later to give her an update and she was very pleased with her matchmaking efforts. "Your mom is going to be so happy with me."

R: I know. She'll probably offer you Shanmugam's hand in marriage.

L: And I forgot to mention -- he dresses really nice too! Although, now that I've got you thinking he's all GQ when you meet him he'll probably be dressed like a dork. So it's probably best not to expect too much from him when it comes to clothes.

R: Giggling. Will do.

I have the distinct feeling that HOHOPIS wants to get serious fast; not necessarily with me, but that he is definitely looking for a long-term relationship to start, like, yesterday. I mentioned it to my mother and she became SUPEREXCITED.

R: Mom, Laura set me up with a friend of a friend and we've talked on the phone a few times. He's educated and seems nice and funny, but he lives in NYC.

M: Do you have his biodata?

R: Uh, no, I don't have his biodata.

Mom: He should come visit you in Chicago before you go. You know this city and could show him around!

R: I'm moving away in less than a month, mom. I think we should just talk and see what happens.

M: You should invite him here for graduation and then we can all meet him together!

R: Barely containing laughter. Mom, you know I love you but THAT IS APESHIT CRAZY.

M: You should really try and meet him before residency starts though.

R: I think so too, and he kept talking about meeting, so maybe we'll work something out. I don't want to force anything though. Just let me be myself, ok?!

M: I DO LET YOU BE YOURSELF AND THAT IS WHY YOU ARE STILL SINGLE.

Friday, April 27, 2007

"Square, please call me as soon as possible about your graduation requirements." is not an email you wish to see in your inbox 3 weeks before graduation.

Also: Reflux update! He's livin' it up with my parents. My mom takes more pictures of that dog than she has of any of her human children:

And, inspired by Dr. Pea and her inspirational words about her momma, I really, really miss my mom.
Last year our local high school called and asked her to give a mehndi demonstration to the art class, and the newspaper came out and took a picture (it doesn't take much to pass for "news" in Centralia). I love this picture not only because it's a candid of my mom but also because it really captures her personality. My mom and I are VERY different...she is very artsy-craftsy and very creative with her hands, where I like to order things out of catalogues and use that time I saved to watch TV. So early Happy Mother's Day mom! Again, uh, apologies for the excruciatingly long time I took exiting out of your womb. (Hey, have I ever been on time to anything?)

And last night (after a very ho-hum date with a guy who JUST GRADUATED FROM COLLEGE LAST YEAR -- Shanmugam said I was basically going out on a date with him or one of his friends, which was exactly what it felt like) I went with some friends to the opening of a new Middle Eastern restaurant, Alhambra. It was modeled after the Alhambra palace in Spain, and it was GORGEOUS - there were hookahs sitting on every tiled tabletop, and the walls and arched doorways were all ornately decorated. In the back was a band playing Arabic music along with an incredible belly dancer Suhaila. We scored a table so we could have appetizers and drinks to watch the show. She was such a good dancer that I couldn't take my eyes off of her. When she left the stage to dance on the dancefloor alone several men kept showering her with bills; they looked like $1s, $5s, and I thought I saw $20s too but I couldn't be sure. There was so much money on the ground someone had to come sweep it all up into a large sack with a broom. Also, the food was awesome - we stuck to the basics, hummus and falafel but everything just tasted really fresh and well-made. Lori (who is currently on ob/gyn and had to go into work at SIX AM today) wanted to stay late, but we were there til 1 am which is plenty late on a Thursday night for this grandma.

UPDATE: Turns out I signed up for an elective rotation which I never bothered to show up for. Responsibility! The registrar just asked me to go officially drop it so it would stop looking like I had failed the rotation.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Ok, back from the wedding with DQ! It was a beautiful disaster, which doesn't surprise me at all. I mean, it was a fun time, until our personalities got in the way. Needless to say, we probably didn't part on the best of terms, but I'm sure in the next 3-6 months one of us will call the other for another, similar event, and we'll repeat the whole thing again, because WE ARE MASOCHISTS.

Also, my parents sent me a picture of Reflux being his usual graceful, agile self:

Saturday, April 21, 2007

DQ: We do NOT treat you right

Three days ago DQ called and told me the wedding we're going to together is tomorrow, Sunday, and not, in fact, today, Saturday, as he had told me previously. THANKS FOR THE INFO, DQ. He came in town yesterday for the bachelor party and called to confirm the scheduling, which is also when he told me that he had accidentally left his suit and tie at home in Iowa. It's pretty funny. I don't really care what he wears but he called today and said another friend from Iowa who's attending the wedding will bring the suit.

Also, I turned in the final draft of my thesis. (I could not wait to get that sucker off my hands.) Rather than attending the rehearsal dinner tonight with DQ (he's not in the wedding party but he is a close friend) I'm at home writing up my research from last year. I would complain, but after medical school it feels like a huge privilege to be able to stay home in my sweat pants with the TV (Hellooooooo Lifetime:Television for Women!) on doing work on my own schedule. Also, I'm supposed to call DQ tomorrow morning to make sure he stirs from whatever puddle of beer he fell asleep in to come pick me up.

And I bought a dress to wear to graduation! See:

Grace was over and we were discussing more about the partial birth abortion ban. It's such an infrequently done medical procedure (it comprises like 0.17% of all terminations as of 2000, according to the Guttmacher Institute) and yet, the ENTIRE ABORTION DEBATE has come to surround it. It is SO MOTHERFUCKING DUMB. It's a rare procedure done under extreme circumstances, yet we've spent so much time, money, energy, and emotion in the sturm and drang over this issue that I don't even think the average person understands that WE NEVER DO IT. In all the graphic "partial birth abortion" descriptions I've heard, NOT ONCE has anyone bothered to distinguish it from a plain ol' run of the mill 1st trimester termination, which are a dime a dozen, and in the end people who opposed choice opposed partial birth abortions as a knee jerk reaction. I am so afraid that now no one will be able to distinguish between the two and it's just a matter of time before ALL terminations are outlawed.

I just want to make sure that everyone understands that:
1) There are no maternal health exceptions to this rule.
2) Physicians who perform this procedure now will face criminal charges and up to 2 years in prison even if they are acting to preserve maternal life.
3) Many rights that were guaranteed by Roe v. Wade have been repealed.

Why was this such long, drawn-out, expensive disaster that garnered so much media attention happening in the first place? Why can't we focus our energy on things that ACTUALLY FUCKING MATTER like maybe trying to extract ourselves from Iraq because our troops don't want to be there anymore???? Or trying to figure out a way to ensure that the 40 million uninsured people in this country can receive consistent healthcare?? Or maybe stress preventive medicine and education straight from the getgo so everyone will stop getting obese and having coronary artery disease and we stop pouring billions of dollars down the drain treating illnesses that may have been preventable in the first place??

Or HERE'S a novel concept: instead of "abstinence only" education, which this country has spent almost a billion dollars on in the last 10 years and HAD NO IMPACT AT ALL ON NUMBER OF SEXUAL PARTNERS, SAFE SEX PRACTICES, OR NUMBER OF THOSE PRACTICING ABSTINENCE, how about we try to prevent women (who, *gasp!* are going to have sex whether you tell them it's ok or not) from feeling like abortion is their only option AND TEACH SAFE SEX? (PS: Hey President Bush! Where was the big press conference when that study was complete? Why was it released quietly on the internet without so much as a peep anywhere else? Is it because it was DEAD MOTHERFUCKING WRONG AND PROBABLY THE DUMBEST IDEA ANYONE'S EVER HAD? No way! Surely the NEXT attempt at legislating morals will be the first successful one in the history of mankind!)

Why do people who have ABSOLUTELY NO UNDERSTANDING of medicine get to legislate it?? Women and their physicians should not have to make difficult, personal medical decisions based on radical politics!!!!! WHY DID PARTIAL-BIRTH ABORTION BECOME THE CIRCUS HOOPLA THAT IT DID IN THE GODDAMN FIRST PLACE?? WHY?? I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!! STUPID ADMINISTRATION!!!! AAAAARGHHHHHHH!!!!

*Whew* Sorry, just, uh, had to get that out of my system. Carry on now.

(And in other news, my cousin delivered a little baby girl today!!! I generally do like people and babies. I am happy and excited for her.)

Friday, April 20, 2007

Multifunctional VaJayJay

Has everyone seen this:
Doctors in New York have removed a woman’s gallbladder with instruments passed through her vagina, a technique they hope will cause less pain and scarring than the usual operation, and allow a quicker recovery. The technique can eliminate the need to cut through abdominal muscles, a major source of pain after surgery.
My most recent career aspiration is to do a laparoscopic fellowship after residency and become a minimally invasive gyne surgeon but this is just plain weird. I have many, many questions about this procedure and would love to see the tape. It says here that they cut through the wall of the vagina to access the peritoneal cavity. Do they use ports like we do for laparoscopy? How do they prevent post-op peritonitis? Do they just sew up the vaginal wall externally?

I also see in the article that the inspiration for this surgery, the first of its kind, came from a 2004 tape of a surgery in India where a woman's appendix was removed with a scope through her mouth. I guess I'm...uh, proud of the medical innovations happending in "the motherland?" Seeing any part of the intestine being fetched through the mouth makes me feel a little nauseated though. It also reminds me of that South Park episode where Cartman discovers he can poop out of his mouth.

That is all. Discuss amongst yourselves.

You're Really Starting to Look Desperate

I'm at the library working on thesis revisions and I just received my third email from a residency program asking me why I did not choose to come to their residency program. I think the Match kinda sucks and while a part of me hates that we all have to buy into this intricate game of sorority rush (which, let's face it, that's what the Match is) when we're all grown-ass adults and THIS IS MY DOGGONE CAREER we're talking about and not just some sorority, I guess a good part about the Match is that you never have to write a break-up letter. You make a list, they make a list, hopefully you and the program meet up high on those lists, and voila! You've entered indentured servitude at the program of your choice. So it's weird when some programs email you wondering what made you rank another program's list over their's. I know they do it to improve their interview day to ensure they'll get their top picks next year, but it's one of those awkward-yet-flattering things none the same. I'm actually happy to answer their questions though, because I had certain criteria I looked for in a program, interviewed at all the programs fulfilling those criteria (and who offered me interviews), then made my ultimate decision based on proximity to my family. And that's a nice, non-personal, "it's not you it's me" way of dealing with it.

On the other hand, 2 days before the match I received an email from a program I had already been rejected from rejecting me yet again. I KNOW, assholes. I'm sure it was some technical error, but STILL. There is no need to reject me twice. I got the message the first time.

SWEEEEEET DUUUUUDE

The other big news that happened while I was on my carefree journey through America was the Supreme Court upholding the partial birth abortion ban. I AM PISSED. I'm going to let Ruth tell it like it is:

In an alarming decision, the Court today reverses the judgments other federal courts have uniformly made. Today’s decision refuses to take Casey and Stenberg seriously. The Court’s opinion tolerates, indeed applauds, federal intervention to ban nationwide a procedure found necessary and proper in certain cases by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. For the first time since Roe, the Court blesses a prohibition with no exception protecting a woman’s health.

The Court asserts that its ruling furthers the Government’s interest in “promoting fetal life.” But the Act scarcely furthers that interest, for it targets only a method of abortion. The woman may abort the fetus, so long as her doctor uses another method, one her doctor judges less safe for her. The Court further pretends that its decision protects women. Women might come to regret their physician-counseled choice of an intact D&E and suffer from “[s]evere depression and loss of esteem,” the Court worries. Notably, the solution the Court approves is not to require doctors to inform women adequately of the different procedures they might choose, and the risks each entails. Instead, the Court shields women by denying them any choice in the matter. This way of protecting women recalls ancient notions about women’s place in society and under the Constitution — ideas that have long since been discredited.
Her entire dissent can be found here.

I am shocked. I honestly think this has less to do with personal opinion and more to do with bipartisan politics; Dems vs Republicans; liberals vs conservatives. When will people let go of this black and white notion and realize that allowing D&Es is just GOOD HEALTHCARE? Why does it have to be about politics? Why must people be pigeonholed into "radicals" or "liberals" when this is about a MEDICAL PROCEDURE THAT IS STANDARD OF CARE. Why can't it simply be about providing the best possible treatment for women? AAARRRRRGHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Also, I'm looking out my bedroom window and I can see all the flags in the city are at half-mast. It's late, but I have to say it: my thoughts and prayers go out to anyone whose family or friends were hurt on Monday. It's so heartbreaking. Jagdish isn't even a college student but he lives close enough to Virginia Tech that my first instinct was to call and make sure he and everyone he knew were ok; I can't even imagine the fear and anxiety the students' families were experiencing on Monday.
I'm back from my cross-country bonanza! And now the number of states I've visited is:



create your own personalized map of the USA


So you may have noticed that I'm actually missing some states here; that is because I realized that the Ozark Mountains, site of many a traumatic family vacation, is actually in Missouri, a mere 1.5 hrs from home; not Mississippi as I previously believed. Probably because that car ride sandwiched in between my brothers having a farting contest probably felt like it was 8 hours long. Also, I realized that while Jagdish actually lives in Virginia, I have never visited him there, and I really thought I had. I think I was confused by the fact that I live with Shanmugam fulltime, and that's enough sibling exposure to me for the both of them.

So there will be pictures to follow, and they will be spectacular, and you and I will both wonder why I thought these stupid rock formations were worth taking 200 pictures of yet there are no pictures of any humans, and then all will be well.

Also, the longest leg of our trip, from Denver to Iowa City through BEAUTIFUL AND EXCITING NEBRASKA was so beautiful and exciting that I actually made Gaya read outloud from Cosmo to me. Did you know that the speed of semen during ejaculation is 28 mph? How do you suppose they measured that? (I'm not trying to rag on Nebraska. It was as beautiful and exciting as southern Illinois, where I'm from; that is to say, it's as flat as a pancake and the highway is one straight line. You could turn on cruise control and take a nap.)

In the meantime, I'm working on thesis revisions and hopefully writing up another scientific article this weekend.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

I am so with Calvin on this one.

(Courtesty gocomics.com)

Friday, April 13, 2007

IT SUCKS

Hi everyone! I'm still working on this damn thing. Hopefully I'll get it done tonight. I have one major obstacle to overcome before I can just start freestyle writing -- I have to master this software system for one simple data analysis I have to do. Ya'll, it is PAINFUL. A major reason I went into medicine was specifically because it's one of the few fields where it's acceptable to be compu-tarded. I am scared of computers and programming. Scared of and bored by. Mostly bored. (Seriously though, it took me a year and half to figure out how to add links to this page.)

Also, there's nothing like being the ONLY ONE left working on something when everyone else is free and clear. It's like being the only sober one when everyone else is obnoxiously drunk, like say for instance if one of your patients infected you with tuberculosis and you had to be on prophylactic isoniazid all through your 4th year of medical school, your match, and your own graduation from medical school and you couldn't drink a drop of alcohol. (It happened to my older brother. I've seen him in better moods.)

I have a friend who's finished all his medical school requirements and is basically drinking until he gets his degree. He KNOWS I'm slaving and still saw fit to mock me last night with a phone call at 1am:

My Drunk Friend: Square!! How goes the thesis?

R: Eeeeeeiiiiuuuughhhhh...it sucks but I'm getting there.

MDF: Keep crackin', what you have to say is important.

R: Flattered. Aw, man, that is SO NICE! Thanks!That is exactly what I needed to hear.

MDF: SO IMPORTANT. So are you publishing in JAMA or the Journal?

R: Uh, well, no plans to publish yet.

MDF: Because your thesis is going TO CHANGE THE WORLD.

R: Smart ass.

MDF: Sounds like it's time for someone to get back to winning the Nobel Prize.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I'm done with my thesis!

Ha ha, I'm just playin', ya'll. No one's done with anything over here. Instead of doing work, I thought it might be more fun to track where all I've been in the US!




Hm. There seems to be a distinct pattern of "big, rectangular-shaped states out west" that are missing. In any case, I intend to further culture myself when, beginning this Sunday, Gaya and I roadtrip from LA to Chicago! We decided to stay on Rte 66 for part of it, then switch over to the faster, multiple-laned highways for the rest of it, because I will die if I'm late to the wedding I'm going to with DQ. I'm a loser.
See my little weather pixie over on the left? It is indeed the middle of April and snowing in downtown Chicago. I refuse to walk all the way to the library in such injustice.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Team SPWAT (Square Peg Writes a Thesis) hit another snafu today: we woke up with the snuffles and spent all day lying in bed surrounded by used Kleenex and ibuprofen. I blame my younger brother. He was on spring break a few weeks ago and roadtripped with his friends to South Dakota, where he spent the last night sitting in a sweat lodge COLLECTING WATER AND AIRBORNE BACTERIA TO BRING HOME AND INFECT ME WITH. Anyway, he came home and felt sicky all week until I finally scrounged up a tongue depressor and looked down his throat and saw something to this effect:

And it sucks that he has strep throat, but check out my education paying for itself!

There was also a span of several minutes where he really scared me into thinking he might have meningitis. As part of my physical exam I also tested him for nuchal rigidity (neck stiffness) just for the heck of it and he yelped in pain when I flexed his head forward:

R: Seriously alarmed. OMIGOD. Does that really hurt?

S: Yes...? What does that mean?

R: We are going to the ER RIGHT NOW. Rushes off to get coat. Have your headaches been bad? Are you experiencing photosensitivity? You didn't even have a fever! YOU'RE GETTING A SPINAL TAP THEN WE HAVE TO TRACK DOWN EVERYONE WHO WAS IN THAT SWEAT LODGE WITH YOU.

S: Oh wait, I forgot! Last night I fell asleep on the couch and my neck has been stiff all day. Bobs head forward a few times. Yeah, it actually hurts less the more I keep doing it. Keeps bobbing head. Actually, this feels pretty good.

R: Eiiiuuughhh, next time you exhibit symptoms of a life-threatening disease can you make sure it's not a false alarm? I almost changed out of my sweatpants for this.

Anyway, I had a doctor friend call in a script for antibiotics for his strep and now he's feeling better, but I'm starting to feel my own ears throb with otitis media. Luckily, my dog had otitis media a couple of months ago and I still have a bottle of his ear drops lying around, so I've just been using those. My medical "knowledge" at work!

I'm hanging out in my room now trying to get some more work done and I've got the soundtrack to Wicked playing. It's very inspirational! All

It's time to TRYYYYYYYY deFYYYYYYing GRAVityyyyyyyyy, just You and AYYYYYYYEEEE deFYYYYYYYing GRAVityyyyyyyy

and occasionally in between my show tunes I'll hear Lil' Jon and the Eastside Boyz:

I'M FROM DA A SO WE LEANIN' AND ROCKIN' SNAPPIN' MY FINGAZ
THEN REACHIN' FOR MY GLOCK BITCH! REPPIN' MY BLOCK BITCH!

I think my upstairs neighbors might be having a party. It's a little unnerving. Crunk music is SO SO FUN when you're drunk and so straight-up dumb when you're sober.

I also called DQ a couple of days ago. In times of stress I tend to go reaching for support from the worst possible sources. I accidentally blurted out that I missed him and then foolishly asked if he missed me too.

DQ: Silence.

R: Hm. Guess that's a no, huh?

DQ: Well...I mean, we still talk twice a week. It's hard to miss someone you're so connected to. Also, we're going to see each other in like two weeks.

As much as DQ drives me up the wall with what I perceive as mixed messages, he is actually always brutally honest. I look at my previous frustrations with him and I'm starting to realize that I was unhappy with what he was saying; not what he wasn't saying. Could I have possibly been in denial all along? Yikes. Ok, I must get back to work before I delve into the black hole of Why Square Peg Fails at Relationships.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Progress Update. Or, PU.

Ok everyone. Team "Square Peg Writes a Thesis" suffered a minor setback last night. We may have gone out and been coerced into doing shots. And then slept until noon today. Fear not! We are presently back at the hospital collecting the rest of our data which we will then spend all night intoxicated by, doing all sorts of fun activities like "Mann-Whitney U tests" and "Wilcoxon Rank Sum tests"! Oh, THE GLAMOUR.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Happy Friday, everyone! I'm emailing half my manuscript to my PI as soon as I've given it the once-over then attacking my MPH research tomorrow. It is NON-STOP FUN over here! NON. STOP.

Also, I would like to direct your attention to an article I turned up doing some preliminary research for the Discussions section of my MPH research paper:

17: Dudish SA, Hatsukami DK. Related Articles, Links
Abstract Gender differences in crack users who are research volunteers.
Drug Alcohol Depend. 1996 Sep;42(1):55-63.
PMID: 8889404 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

You put the word "crack" in a scientific setting and it will always brighten my day. Like herpes! Oh...STDs and crack. How you bring me so much levity and joy. I am so going to the right city for the right line of work!


Henderson DJ, Boyd C, Mieczkowski T. Related Articles, Links
Abstract Gender, relationships, and crack cocaine: a content analysis.
Res Nurs Health. 1994 Aug;17(4):265-72.
PMID: 8036274 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

I smell short fiction all over this article. Seriously, I would read this kind of stuff just for fun.

: Andersen MK, Field RA, Riley ML, Crouse JD, Bailey DG. Related Articles, Links
Free Full Text Factors influencing difficulty of removing pelts from lamb carcasses.
J Anim Sci. 1991 Dec;69(12):4690-5.
PMID: 1808165 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

I don't know what this is or why it would come up in a literature search for "pregnant" and "emergency department."

20: Booth RE. Related Articles, Links
Abstract Gender differences in high-risk sex behaviours among heterosexual drug injectors and crack smokers.
Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 1995 Nov;21(4):419-32.
PMID: 8561095 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
I don't know why but "crack smokers" in a scientific journal is even funnier.

Also, my mom took Reflux for a grooming today. I am a BIG FAN of hairbows and if that dog is anywhere near my sight, he is gettin' some hairbows. My mom refusees to let the groomers affix hairbows to his head because she thinks hairbows might "make him confused" but I say HE IS ALREADY DEMENTED. Put the hairbows on, say I! Because they make me happy and he won't know the difference anyhow.
(My dad hates dogs and the first time I brought Reflux home he made me keep the poor little guy in a laundry basket anytime he was around. Anyway, they're BFF now so everyone's cool.)

Thursday, April 05, 2007

This was really the best you could come up with?

Last night as part of my procrastination routine I set about beautifying my blog which involved posting all the links I've been meaning to get up there for months now, as well as setting up a technorati profile. I wanted to see what other blogs linked here and I was surprised to see that one of them was a Myspace blog of someone I don't think I know. The blog was set to private so I couldn't look at it but on technorati you can look at their last 5 posts. I was half shocked and half amused to see that this hooker had copied my posts, sometimes word for word, onto her blog. Then I thought maybe she had just copied certain posts of mine into hers, because she had linked to me, right? (I'm a bit of a megalomaniac.) But then I looked closer (clearly I WAS TRYIN' TO KILL SOME TIME) and realized she had changed key elements of my posts to fit onto her blog.

Exhibit A (I tried to bold some of the changes she made):
  1. HOT! HOT! HOT!

    145 days ago

    So two weekends ago, my mom made some chai tea and I got really excited to drink it before letting it cool down: Mom: Have some hot chai! S: Yay! Lifts cup to lips and pours. M: Wait!! I just took it off the stove. S: Experiencing unbelievable pain as chai, at approximate temperature of 917 degrees F bubbles on mucose 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 ...

My post:

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.

Exhibit B:
  1. Tonight at the Gym

    146 days ago

    Tonight at the gym the girl on the next treadmill started clapping when she finished her run. It was a little strange but she looked so proud of herself that I clapped too. Like, Good for you, treadmill gal! We should all support each other! We are sisters! And I thought we were totally sharing this moment til I realized that she was watching a game on the t.v. and was clapping because the team had just won. (!!) Well I'll clap to that too -- Yay (for whoever won)!! lol ...

My post:

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

I Can Play the Guitar Like a Motherfuckin' Riot


Tonight at the gym the girl on the next treadmill started clapping when she finished her run. It was a little strange but she looked so proud of herself that I clapped too. Like, Good for you, treadmill gal! We should all support each other! We are sisters! And I thought we were totally sharing this moment til I realized that she was watching the World Series and was clapping because the White Sox had just won. (!!) Well I'll clap to that too -- Yay Chicago!!

Exhibit C:
  1. Big Truck Balls

    146 days ago

    I have a confession. I have really bad road rage. (This probably isn't surprising to those of you that know me.) Like, REALLY bad. This past weekend I was driving on I-95 and by the time I reached my destination my voice was hoarse from all the screaming I was doing sitting by myself in my car. (Guns don't cause violence. BAD DRIVING cause violence...there actually is a point to this: I recently watched a very compelling documentary entitled "The Science of Traffic Jams" on the Discovery Channel, ...

My post:

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Big Truck Balls

I have a confession. I have really bad road rage. (This probably isn't surprising to those of you that know me.) Like, REALLY bad.

This past weekend I drove to Chicago and by the time I reached the Quad Cities my voice was hoarse from all the screaming I was doing sitting by myself in my car. (Guns don't cause violence. BAD DRIVING cause violence...there actually is a point to this: I recently watched a very compelling documentary entitled "The Science of Traffic Jams" on the Discovery Channel, and discovered scientific evidence backing up what I had already known --


Like...who does this?! I'm not shocked that one would plagiarize another's work, but I am surprise Shauna-licious would take MINE. Shauna - my stories suck. I really like my life but it isn't glamorous or enthralling and I write a lot about my family, my friends, my dog and work. I like documenting things in excruciating detail and I really like being able to keep those who are far away from me up to speed on what's happening in my neck of the woods. The point is that those stories are my own. They are specific to an Indian-American woman from a small town in the southern midwest who's now getting ready to graduate from medical school. My point is -- WRITE YOUR OWN SHIT. (Also, did you read that chai post? I SUFFER FOR MY ART. Don't trivialize MY SUFFERING by passing it off as your own.)

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The Creative Process: Prepare to Be Dazzled

As some of you may know I currently have two big projects keeping me in Chicago right now: the first is my MPH thesis, and the second is a manuscript I'm writing up of more research I did last year. I want to get the first half of the manuscript done and sent back to my PI, before I finish up the data analysis for my thesis. I've written a 22-page paper before entirely overnight so I'm not too worried about my thesis. My rough draft is due in a week and I've got 5 pages done. Not to fear! A lot of people say they do their best work under pressure; I take it one step further and say I only work under pressure.

My writing process is a little different from most though. It involves A LOT of internet surfing, stalking my elementary schoolmates on Google, staring at my teeth in the mirror, calling all my friends to see what they're up to, scrutizining everyone's picture albums on Facebook, baking a chocolate cake (I did that last night!), checkin' out the sales on Bluefly, and finally, polishing off the cake, lying facedown on the floor moaning for 3 hours wondering how I got myself into this mess and FOR THE LOVE OF GOD I WILL NEVER PROCRASTINATE AGAIN BECAUSE IT SUCKS SO SO HARD before finally rising, phoenix-like from my toxic nadir of unproductive slothful uncleanliness and embarking on a Spartan-esque regime of research, typing, and efficient thoughtfulness before reaching a point of THIS STUPID THING IS 30 PAGES LONG PLEASE JUST TAKE IT I AM SO SICK OF LOOKING AT IT AND THINKING ABOUT IT AND EVEN BEING IN ITS PRESENCE MAKES ME NAUSEATED.

When I lived in my sorority house the procrastination REALLY got bad. I remember participating in a Sunday night movie marathon with the other girls when I had a 15-page paper due for my Asian-American History class the next day. The funny thing was one of the girls in the house was actually in the class, and I remember her coming downstairs to the living room where we were all being couch potatoes and proofreading her paper while she watched Centerstage with us. I was still in my pre-writing/paper-planning phase which usually involved me trying to think of a paper topic that could be adequately researched between the books owned by myself and my roommate and thus would not necessitate me leaving the house to go the library for sources. I marvelled at this wonder. I have never proofread a paper. (Unless spellcheck counts.) Generally I have to muster such concentrated effort to finish the paper in the short amount of time I give myself that I never even want to look at it again.

So...yeah, that's all kind of what I'm up to right now. If anyone is interested in being my life coach I make a GREAT chocolate cake.
Gaya was over a few days ago and I was lamenting the whole DQ situation to her all over again. (Ya'll, I am TRIPPIN' and I know it) when he happened to call. He was likely calling in response to some really drunk text messages I probably kept sending him all weekend. Drunk texting always feels like such a good idea when your brain is all nocturnal; it certainly feels smarter than leaving some slurry voicemail telling someone how much you miss them and asking what they're wearing at 3 in the morning but in reality it might be worse. The text is actually saved to your outbox leaving you wondering what sort of message exactly you were trying to convey with "HEA i! WUSH DRYHK WUT u DIUG?>" when you go through all of your texts the next morning. (And, oh yeah, brain? WTF? You won the 8TH GRADE SPELLING BEE (I still proudly display my blue ribbon. I'm a winner!). Shouldn't there at least be SOME residual spelling skillz even when your neuron synapses are a little smothered by ethanol?)

At least with the voicemail you never actually have to listen to yourself (THANK GOD). On the other hand, the lucky guy on the receiving end of that phone call now has a priceless gem he can replay for himself and his friends until the next time you see them and all they can think about is how they can get you drunk enough to call one of them and sing "Goodbye Horses" on the message. (WHATEVER, I had like, JUST SEEN Silence of the Lambs that very day.)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Also, today is Mama Peg's birthday!! I called her promptly at midnight, lest I forget AGAIN this year, which woke her up and probably pissed her off, but woo hoo now I'm not the bad kid that forgot!! So last year, I just totally, completely forgot about my mom's birthday, and in fact had no idea that I'd even forgotten it until a week later when I called home and my mom refused to talk to me and I had no idea why until my dad reminded me. Yeah...she was not too happy. Anyway, this year I got a nasty little email from Jagdish yesterday reminding me "not to forget mom's birthday again this year, especially because I know you're doing nothing, so if you forget again...you just suck." Oh, the family harmony!

And I was thinking about the opposite; like, how would I feel if my parents forgot my birthday? To be totally truthful, it probably wouldn't happen because I'm just such a frickin' loudmouth about everything that everyone would be fully aware of the birthday countdown and my mom would of course take this opportunity to remind me that she had really hoped I "would be engaged" by the time I was 25 (LIKE WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO IMPRESS YOU PEOPLE AND EVEN IF I SOMEHOW DID SCROUNGE UP SOME DUDE WOULDN'T YOU PROBABLY HATE HIM ANYWAY??? Erm...sorry, a little stream of consciousness there) and I would have anxiety about turning a quarter of a century old, and I pretty much hate birthdays anyway because some extremely pessimistic part of my dad's personality was unfortunately passed on to me so when it comes to birthdays I'm all "meh, you're just one year closer to dying," along with a heavy dose of "THINGS ARE CHANGING AND I CANNOT DEAL I must go lock myself in my room for a few days" especially because the only really monumental birthdays have been 16 (DRIVING = A BIG DEAL) and 21 and maybe 18 if I'm really feeling socially conscious, and those are all over and done with so now I'm just getting old. And so are my ovaries, according to my mom.

So, no, people don't forget my birthday mostly because I'm obnoxious and can't shut up about "all my birthday ANXIETY and EMOTIONAL UPHEAVAL and DISTRESS." And I really can't imagine my own mother forgetting my birthday because when I was younger anytime I got into big trouble (most notably the time she had a friend over who left her keys in the ignition of the car and my 4 year old self crawled in and backed that car down the driveway and into a tree) all she could talk about was how she LABORED FOR THIRTY HOURS TO BRING ME INTO THIS WORLD and this is how I repay her?? (An unusual parenting method, yes, but it did scare me out of ever wanting to have children, so I guess they did something right) and it sounds so horrible that I can't imagine ever forgetting an event so awful. Happy Birthday mom! Sorry my delivery was so traumatic. You're the best :)
Over the weekend I finally saw Wicked! The book was a really dark, dismal complicated affair so I wondered how it would be adapted for theater. The playwriters did an excellent job condensing the story line down to a bite-size, understandable chunk though many of the relationships were totally different. I did like it, though, and the soundtrack was amazing, so I was really happy when Gaya bought me the CD yesterday. Probably because she was tired of me trying to keep singing the songs when I couldn't really remember the tune or the words, and the sound of my singing sounds like a wounded moose.

I would like to say, though, that much as there are height minimums to riding roller coasters, there should really be a head circumference restriction to theater-goers. The man sitting in front of me had THE WORLD'S LARGEST HEAD, both in height and width. We had pretty good seats in the Orchestra section but I had to keep twisting my neck around to see around this guy's head. I didn't figure there was any point in informing him he had a large head, because what crunches can you do to reduce your head, anyway?

Also, I was walking down Michigan Ave yesterday and some people were handing out free bottles of Bawls. Heh. Yep. I got some Bawls.