Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas!

And Chappy Chanukah!

So we've already done our gift exchange, and my husband officially rocks.

As do I.

He gave me the Weekly World News, Zoggles Buddies #1 (two little clay statues with watercolor paints to make the statues less boring and more pretty), a Nutragous bar, stockings ('cause it wouldnt' be Christmas if someone didn't get a pair of socks!) and a wicked cool make up bag. Oh yeah, he also got me awesome earings from James Avery.

He got two cans of Planters Deluxe mixed nuts (two for one, baby!), the Dymo label buddy, martini shaped plates, Ice Breakers mints and gum (the combo pack) and a Leatherman... oh yeah, he got a Global santoku knife. He's been lusting after santoku knives for years, but we've never gotten around to buying one. Of course, as soon as I get one for his gift, he starts getting more proactive about buying one for himself. So then I have to start dreaming up diversions every time we go into a kitchen supply store.

Luckily, I'm a sneaky bitch. Christmas was saved.

Merry Christmas, ya'll. I hope yours is going as well as mine.

In other news, Karla's quote generator gave me this:

We are strongly urging parents to write their state's machete. If a child were to see this show's irresponsible scenes of almonds and how they walk away from themselves with envelopes, they may think that they too are able to advertise a hamper!

How cool is that?

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Small freakin world

Five plus years ago, my husband and I got married. We went on a marvelous honeymoon in Napa and had big fun with wine. Along the way, we also got interested in visiting distilleries.

Which is how we found Charbay.

You had to make an appointment to come up and see the facility, then brave a rather tortuous mountain road. At the end of the road lay a small, barnlike structure that, on initial viewing, was completely unimpressive.

Then we met Marko, and everything changed.

He told us of the twelve generations of distillers that came before him. He told us of his father who made a fabulous dessert wine using fortified Chardonnay - and how he was evolving as the thirteenth generation distiller.

At the time, Charbay was a small operation. He took fruit essence - Key Lime, Meyer Lemon, Blood Orange and Ruby Red Grapefruit - and infused small batch Midwestern vodka with the flavors.


After having the Charbay version of orange vodka, Stoli Orange tastes like Tang. Marko took the essence of each fruit and made it into an alcoholic treat that was out of this world.

Now you ask, how does this story have anything to do with the title of this post?

We met Marko's national sales rep tonight. (She says he's like an older brother to her - how cool!) At Specs (a local liquor and wine store). We saw that some woman was giving out free samples of our favorite vodka ever and wandered over. She started giving us the standard spiel, but we cut her off saying that we knew 'cause we'd already visited the distillery.

Suddenly, we're one of the cool people.

We stood around with Moxy shooting the shit for five minutes... and invited her to our upcoming Meat and Martini party (invites aren't out yet).

She said she'd come if she was in town. How cool is that?

Hopefully she'd bring samples.

Aww yeah...

PS Sorry for the run on sentence.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Back to the Dreaded Community Hospital

Actually I've been working here all December, but it didn't start to really irritate me until yesterday. I returned to Houston from visiting my cutie-patootie nephew in Dallas to work a 8p-8a overnight shift. Not a great way to start, but I got a nice snooze in the car.

The shift started fine. I like the people I was working with, and their medicine isn't crazy. But then the 21 years of constipation began for Ron, and Berkley and I got reminded why - generally speaking - humans are scum.

Between the two of us, we took care of two young women barely into their teens who had been raped by some pissant of a man. One of the girls attacked this asshole as he raped her friend and they both escaped.

And you know what? One of the girls' mothers didn't show up for three hours 'cause she was 'busy'. What the fuck? No wonder this girl was wandering around the streets of Houston - and not the best part of Houston at that - at 11pm.

But anyway, that kind of stuff is somewhat out of the ordinary, at least for the pediatric side of this hospital. The 21 years of constipation, however, aren't.

Question - if you have had abdominal pain (due to constipation that you already know about) for ten years, why come to my ER at 3am? On a Sunday night? What's, say, five more hours? You know, when you can visit your regular doctor? And if you had two children - one with seven years of constipation, one with four years of constipation - would you come to the ER at 5:30 am?

If it's my kid the answer is hell no! The best part was none of the patients wanted the one thing that would make their pain go away, at least until the next build-up of stool. So they all left in as much pain as when they showed up. Great use of resources.

Here's another one for you:

If my child has a temper tantrum, do I
a) slap him upside the head
b) take away his TV privledges
c) put him in time out (provided he is over three years old with one minute of time out per year of age)
d) call 911?

That's right - the answer is d! (A true story - someone really did call 911 for a temper tantrum. Sheesh.)

Well, I gotta go. I've got a 15 year old to see with... abdominal pain!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Gone amuck

First of all, how do you spell "a-muck"? Do you spell it phonetically or like the title or like in the first sentance?

Secondly, I LOVE cheesy movies. I love Underworld, Constantine, Sin City, Kill Bill.

I am a movie whore, and I'm proud of it.

I own a copy of Next of Kin.

Take that!

Today I bought three flicks - the Sin City special edition (new expanded scenes!), Underworld and Constantine. A huge three for one indulgence for our budget, but I just couldn't resist. And I bought my man a Leatherman.

A good gift day... even if most of the gifts were for ME!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Perils of pediatrics

Being a pediatrician is great. I love the kiddos, especially the healthy ones. Squealing and giggling and falling off of things - life is just good for (most) kids.

But then there's the fact that I get exposed to every damn infection every damn kid in Houston gets. Which means, right now, I have the gastro. Also known as gastroenteritis, also known as AGE, also known as a stomach bug.

So I'm stuck on the couch getting up every 5-15 minutes to "evacuate" and feeling sorry for myself.

At least Kids in the Hall in on the telly. Life could definitely be worse.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

To the man in the van...

Yes you. The jackass in the white van with handicap plates...

Please, get off the valium. The accelerator is on the right and the speed limit really is 35 MPH.

And what the fuck is up with your spare tire? You have a hubcap on your spare tire. Why? For the love of all that's good and holy, WHY? And why does it have to look like a spare prop from Krull?

Good gracious, man. Get a life.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Totally freaking confused

So one of our cats is bulemic. Give him a meal that's too large and he'll puke it up. Simple, right?

What am I to think when he pukes up a large fistful of undigested food hours after his last meal? I mean, I didn't leave the other cat's food open (the Tuperware lid is firmly closed and the thing is on the bathroom counter for Christ's sake!) and I haven't given his overweight ass any snacks!

I'm totally fucking confused.


Sunday, December 04, 2005

My gut

My gut is a thing of beauty and wonder. And, oh boy, is it on a rampage.

You see, I made beans from scratch the other night. Oh, beans beans good for your heart, the more you eat them... Now, the problem with beans from scratch is that occationally one or two black beauties don't quite get cooked all the way done.

And you know what that means!

Farts waiting to happen. And not just any fart - wicked cumin-soaked black bean farts.

Totally toxic.

But wait, there's more!

Last night we partied hardy at the white elephant party with a mini-keg of Spaten. So, so good that beer. Light, hoppy yet slightly sweet with none of the sharpness that so plagues Heinicken. But lo, that Spaten produces a uniquely foul brand of barley farts.

And if you don't know what barley farts are, count your blessings. But man, they are rank.

Now imagine beany goodness farts mixed with Spaten barley farts.

Yes, we have stunk ourselves out of our own house... and out of the house where we slept after the party. (Sorry Andy!)

So yeah, we'll keep the fans on around here a little longer. And avoid the beany leftovers in the fridge.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The joy of being almost 30

Now, most of my friends are older than I am, so I don't expect much in the way of sympathy.

But come on, turning 29 is fairly traumatic. I'm now only one year away from being 30! Ack! Presumably, actually turning 30 would be easier - 'cause at least then it would be over. I think that it is the anticipation of officially leaving my 20's that is getting to me. When I leave my 20's, that means I'm supposed to have things figured out and have a plan.



In other news, Dave over at blogography has finally lost his ever-loving mind. I expect he'll recover, but only after inventing a Mega-Super-Death-Ray and firing it at all McDonald's employees.

I don't ever want to be the subject of that man's ire. He's vicious... but in a good way.

(We love you Dave!)

Saturday, November 26, 2005

I stole this meme from Dave

1. Of all the bands/artists in your cd/record collection, which one do you own the most albums by? Nine Inch Nails. Up until very recently, I was completely compulsive about collecting each "halo" - Trent's cutesy term for anything musical he publishes.
2. What was the last song you listened to? My aunt singing various soul tunes.
3. What’s in your record/cd player right now? I don't use my cd player anymore... but my Shuffle has about 1 gig of random stuff - Franz Ferdinand, NIN, U2, Me First and the Gimmee Gimmees.
4. What song would you say sums you up? Liz Phair's Extraordinary - the line 'average everyday sane pyscho Supergoddess' seems to fit.
5. What’s your favorite local band? Molly and the Ringwalds, an awesome 80's cover band.
6. What was the last show you attended? Some random band on Beale Street in Memphis last night. No idea who they were, but they had pretty good Hendrix covers...
7. What was the greatest show you’ve ever been to? Nine Inch Nail's downward spiral tour in February 1995. Close seconds - Hometown Throwdown by the Bosstones in 2001 and U2 Elevation tour just last month.
8. What’s the worst band you’ve ever seen in concert? Collective Soul. So freaking bad I'm astonished they ever got signed.
9. What band do you love musically but hate the members of? Slim Shady. Such a prick, but so talented. Oh well.
10. What show are you looking forward to? Well, I don't have anything planned. We had our excellent concert month last month - U2 and NIN about 10 days apart! Yipee!
11. What is your favorite band shirt? An old NIN shirt from the 1995 tour. It is the only shirt I've ever actually patched. Usually I am so not into the sewing...
12. What musician would you like to hang out with for a day? Bono or Moby.
13. What musician would you like to be in love with for a day? Bono. Or Trent Reznor if I thought he wasn't probably infected with every STD known to man.
14. Metal question-Jeans and Leather vs. Cracker Jack clothes? Jeans.
15. Sabbath or solo Ozzy? Sabbath.
16. Commodores or solo Lionel Ritchie? If I have to answer this, Commadores. But I hate them both.
17. Punk rock, hip hop or heavy metal? Punk! Now fuck off!
18. Doesn’t Primus suck? Of course Primus Sucks; otherwise the end of days would come.
19. Name 4 flawless albums: NIN, downward spiral. NIN, broken (altho it is an EP, so only counts for half). Nirvana, Nevermind. Guns and Roses, Appetite for Destruction.
20. Did you know that filling out this survey makes you a music geek? Yes, I figured that.
21. What was the greatest decade for music? 1995 - 2005.
22. How many music-related videos/dvds do you own? Two.
23. Do you like Journey? Only when really really really really drunk.
24. Don’t try to pretend you don’t! Yeah, painful...
25. What is your favorite movie soundtrack? The Crow.
26. What was your last musical “phase” before you wisened up? Metal. Really, people screaming into a microphone only sounds new and invigorating while teen.
27. What’s the crappiest CD/record/etc. you’ve ever bought? Wham! Yes, I dug that cute George Michael. So sad that he's gay.
28. Do you prefer vinyl or CDs? CD's or iPod. I still like having the CD around 'cause I dig that info jacket. There's cool stuff in there, man!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Turkey Day!

I love Thanksgiving. It is definitely my favorite holiday - you get all of your people together, cook some fabulous food and you don't need to buy anyone a gift. All the good parts about getting together with relatives without the stress of shopping and wrapping etc. etc.

This year hubbie and I are in Memphis with my Cool Aunt. I have a theory that in every extended family there is always the just sorta 'okay' aunt or uncle and then the Cool Aunt/Uncle. Aunt M is definitely the cool one on my mother's side. And I swear to God, everyone else in Memphis thinks she's cool too. For example, she has three Thanksgiving dinners to attend today - one 'public' affair at a very wealthy friend's house, one 'private' affair with the same folks and then her own Turkey Day with family. Then, looking ahead at the coming weeks, she has at least one social event per day most days of the week.

Yikes! I think the social life of Memphis might grind to a halt if she ever left...

But we all love her. I can't wait until she gets back from her 'private' gathering and helps me start the turkey.

Mmm... turkey!

Be good, ya'll and have a Happy Turkey Day.

Monday, November 21, 2005


Okay, so I'm obviously OD'ing on the quiz thing, but hey, when you score as the 'perfect girlfriend' ya gotta brag!

You are a Perfect Girlfriend! Not too shy, but not
to forward! You are just the right amount! Any
guy would be lucky to find a girl like you to
wrap around their arm.
Quote: To love and be loved is to feel the sun from
both sides. David Viscott

What Kind of GIRLFRIEND are YOU? (with pics)
brought to you by Quizilla


I miss this comic something fierce. In loving memory...

You're Devi...very cool. You are probably the
sanest insane person out there. You are doomed
to never find another soul you can connect
with. Luckily enough, the only thing you really
care about is painting. If you don't go mad. GO YOU!

Famous quote: "I don't remember being

What "Johnny the Homicidal Maniac" Character Do You Most Resemble?
brought to you by Quizilla

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Awesome freakin' weekend

Or, how I learned to love crazy Cubans.

Anyway, Friday night was a gas. My hermit friend (referenced in an earlier post) threw another juggernaut of a party. This time, there weren't any homosexual singing surgery interns, but there were Jello shots. And it was good. Oh yes, it was good.

It was made even better because before the pah-tay we went to see Molly and the Ringwalds. They are an awesome 80's cover band - everything from Oh Micky to GnR to Black Sabbath to Depeche Mode. Aww yeah! So, so good.

Then there was Saturday. Saturday was filled with shopping for one of my favorite things ever. Kitchen supplies. We went to Ace Mart Restaurant supply, Sur la Table and Penzi's Spices. We got spatulas, spice containers, spices, roasting pans, wine glasses... so, so good.

And it wasn't over yet. Next was... billiards! And beer! And friends! Yippee!

Then, the coup de grace, Harry Potter! Again, so, so good. Right after the movie, there was a brief interruption in the goodness when our crazy Cuban friend lost his car keys, but because it was such a good damned weekend, we found them without too much panic.

Today was also super good - I got new fish! Yay fish! And the crazy Cuban kept me from buying some less than ideal Frontosa. Instead I got some beautiful haps and some mbosa. My 55 gallon aquarium is officially purdy now. And tonight I'm baking home-made bread. I'm not even cheating and using a bread machine - I'm doing it all on my own.

If the rest of my vacation goes like this, I'm in fat city.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Harry Potter

I was sitting in the theater the other day, watching previews, and that tinkling HP theme music started. Now, by this point I had seen the short teaser previews already. You know, the ones that just have faces appearing out of mist with ominous music. So I thought I would just be seeing that crap again.

Oh boy, was I wrong.

This was a long, dark, ominus teaser. Scary music, plot hints, awesome visuals. I was pretty much drooling by the end of the 2 minute spot. Now, I didn't much like Goblet of Fire when I first read it. I had gotten used to the short books - I liked the punchy, fast style. Then J.K. produces this book with digressions, side plots and (what I thought was) way too much angst.

Since then, I guess I've gotten used to the 'big' books. But I gotta say, I look forward to the edited version of the book. Expansion of character development is good... only to a point.

So I have tickets to the Saturday 8pm showing. Before the show, I'm gonna drink beer and play pool. I just can't freaking wait. Aww, yeah!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Fun with Quizzes!

This is a direct steal from karla. (Hi!) But I love this quiz, and I love the result. Why? 'Cause it's true - I'm a died in the wool aetheist. I have been for a while. After I do this, I gotta go see if I'm evil...

You scored as atheism.



















Which religion is the right one for you? (new version)
created with

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The power of the Palm

So I recently discovered eBooks.

They're freaking great. I no longer need to lug a clunky old paperback (or wrose yet, hardback) around with me. Now I can simply pull my Palm out of my pocket and start reading. So, so nice. No headaches. No eye sore. Nothing - just the fiction of my choice.

I gotta tell ya, people, if ya have a relatively new palm, download Adobe for the PalmOS and take it from there. And yes, I know I know, the actual authentication process for opening a book for the first time is a pain, but dude, it's worth it!


In other news, I'm still deeply depressed that the White Sox ran over the Astros like a train over a penny. But hey, there's always next year.

Monday, October 31, 2005

bad call days

When call is bad, it is just so freaking bad. Thankfully, it was my last call ever. That's right - EVER! But damn it, did it have to be as bad as it fucking was?!?

We got a 1800+ gram premature baby at about 11am. He was dead by 615pm. Babies that large (and as old as he was - 29 weeks by exam) - aren't supposed to do that badly. But this kiddo had a lot of things stacked against him - mother had no prenatal care, baby didn't get steroids prior to delivery, he was born to a mother who'd already lost several pregnancies. But still. I've never had to do chest compressions before - and God help me, I never want to do them again. It's terrifying! Am I compressing the chest enough? Am I in the right spot? Am I actually circulating any blood?

The first two times we coded the child, he came back. I did 5 minutes of chest compressions and suddenly the heart rate popped back up where it was supposed to be. Twice. Then the last time, he just... pooped out. No resurgence in heart rate, no nothing.

And of course, that time, my fellow wasn't there. I had no backup. It was freaking fantastic.

Eventually the fellow came back to the NICU, and we gave more medicine, but nothing helped. He died. It sucked.

It was my last call ever, and I never want another one like it. If I go crazy and change residencies and have to do this whole damn thing over again - I never want a call like that again.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

RFBBV - SRO Edition

For those of you who don't speak acronym:

Rules for baseball viewing - standing room only edition!

Ah, the joys of standing room only seats. Well known to fans in Boston and New York City, most fans in other parks don't routinely encounter these strange beasts. So, this is a special edition just for Houston fans bewildered at their 'seats' that aren't.

1) Don't be a bitch. Example of a bitch:
  • Lovely hubby and I arrive at the NCLS game early to grab a superlative standing room spot - in our case, in right field just behind the foul pole. We procede to stand in our spot for the next four hours waiting for the game. The game starts - GO ASTROS! - but eventually, nature calls. I vacate my spot and do my business. While I'm gone, a small boy shimmies into my standing space, looking like he's waiting to go down the ailse to a seat. No big, right? Wrong - not when his mother is a bitch and snottily tries to shove my husband aside and keep me from my hard-earned floorspace. Her excuse? "Standing room only means standing room only. Our tickets are all the same and we're standing." Huh? If you got here late, your ticket is not the same as mine. Standing room only means that the folks who arrive first get the best place to stand. It does not mean that if one of those early-comers goes to get a beer, take a leak or have a smoke some yahoo who showed up 15 minutes after the game started can grab the spot. Unsprisingly,a verbal tussle with this woman ensued and the usher sided with me. Now, ushers aren't, by nature, nice or forgiving creatures. Remember, these are the same folks who evict drunks. Thus, to display the level of bitch-dom this smelly fart of a woman displayed to incur the notice of an usher - well, it was just remarkable.
Well, there you have it - don't be a bitch. Be nice. Or at least be respectful.

2) Save your marital troubles for another time - a NLCS game or World Series game is not the time. We saw a couple start fighting during game four of the NLCS (you know, one of the games we won), and then they left the game! What the fuck?!? For Pete's sake, sell your tickets and get some marraige counseling! The money would be better spent for everyone concerned.

3) Make friends. It's easy in SROs - with each play, each hit, each crappy call by the ump, the people standing around you become your best friends from the night. You can't help but share space and bump hips/elbows/heads, which eventually leads to sharing emotion, triumph and (sometimes) pain. I will never forget the face of the Hispanic guy behind me, screaming (with me, in my bad Spanglish), "uno mas, uno mas" when Brad Lidge was one strike away from clinching the NLCS. I have no idea who he is, but he's my friend.

4) No cell phones - text messages only. First of all - how the fuck do you expect to hear anything? Everyone's screaming, jumping, jostling each other - the noise level is astounding. Second of all - everyone else is on his cell phone, so you can't get a connection anyway. Solution? Text messaging. They almost always go through and they don't make much noise. Very nice.

5) Have fun. Yeah, your feet are going to hurt, but damn it, you get to see NLCS or World Series baseball live and in person. You can see the field, hear the noise, high five your neighbors. It is one of the best baseball experiences ever. So enjoy.


Saturday, October 22, 2005

Rule for baseball viewing (continued) post-season edition

1) Sit in your seat. Poaching is just bad form in October. We all paid enough for our tickets, let us enjoy our reward.

2) Two words: logo gear. The only exception to this rule is for costumes. If you're dressed up as a bee, we know what side you're on. If you're in jeans and a Polo shirt, we don't know if we should boo at you or high five with you. These things are important, damn it!

3) Get to the park early, and for Christ's sake, don't be late. Let me repeat: DON'T BE LATE! Baseball parks should have stand-by lists - if you're not in your seat (or at least in the park) by the end of the first inning, the seat should be released to one of us who would give our left tit to see the game.

4) Don't drive. 'Cause, c'mon, you will be drinking. If your team is winning, you'll be celebrating. If your team is losing, you need something to cry in. And if you're drinking, don't drive. Simple.

5) If, perhaps, you're overweight and, perhaps, your ass is bigger than your seat - don't whine about it. How many times have I heard folks complain that the seats at Fenway are too narrow? Many. How many times have I thought that the problem wasn't the seat but the ass sitting in it? Every damn time. As an entire society, we need to get on a diet and move our asses over to the gym. Let's get a move on, people! The seats fit our asses just fine in 1918.

6) If you're more excited about the gimmicky shit on the Jumbo-tron than the pitch count, go home and watch the game on TV, douchebag. Get your ass out of the seat - a real fan needs it.

7) Let me repeat once again - SIT THE FUCK DOWN!

8) Signs are good. So are big foam fingers, painted faces, costumes and babies in logo gear.

9) Pick a damn side. It's the playoffs, and by now you only have two options. It's not hard, I promise - flip a damn coin if you need to.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Oddest baseball viewing experience ever

So my hubby and I went to the Nine Inch Nails concert on 10/19 - the day of game 6 in the Astros/Cards NLCS. Needless to say, we were quite torn. But hey, we bought the tickets and paid our money, so off we went to the Toyota Center.

After milling around and checking out the (not so stellar) opening band we decided to try to find a TV. And we did. We proceded to watch the Astros kick Redbird booty surrounded by fishnet clad goths - all of whom were screaming their heads off. And not just one kind of goth, but many flavors. We had catholic schoolgirl goths*, raver goths, old-school goths, punk-rock goths and industro- goths**. The ringleader of all the screaming was a classic - tall skinny dude with a plain black t-shirt over fishnet, black leather wrist cuffs, ringed collar, tight black bondage pants, black shit-kickers, heavy eye make-up and dyed, spiked black hair.

His favorite chant was, "Fuck the Redbirds!"

I have never seen a group of goths that animated about anything. Including front row seats at a NIN concert (which I had the privledge of obtaining twice in my life). Pretty freaking amazing.

But don't worry, hubby and I left the bar in time to see Trent. Mmmmm... Trent.

*Bible toting goths? What the fuck?!?
** Yah gotta wait for the second and third picture to come up on the slideshow to see the examples of indstro-goths. Sorry about that.


I know I haven't posted. But, damn it, there was post-season baseball.

I do have things to say:
1) rules for post season baseball
2) the oddest baseball viewing ever
3) more rules for post-season baseball - standing room only edition
4) rules for sports bar NLCS viewing - e.i. why screaming at the TV isn't stupid
5) why simply doing your job is a good thing.

Extra peace and chicken grease, peeps!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Mushroom risotto for dummies

I like to cook quite a bit. One of my favorite things is to cook for other people - especially really involved time-consuming multi-step recipes. Informal dinner parties at my condo are my favorite kind of entertainment. I can baste the chef all I want (since I don't have to drive), I can make sure that I like everything on the menu (even the veg. items), and if I do all the cooking I don't have to do much cleaning ('cause whoever cooks does not clean - thems the rules of the hiz-ouse.)

So I thought I would share some of my favorite recipes - not that you can't find most of these on other sites. Almost everything I do is a close variation of a published reciple. I'm no chef - I can't create new food, but I sure as hell can take a recipe and make it yummy!

With a nod to Alton Brown, here goes - Mushroom Risotto ala doctawife.

deep, heavy bottomed skillet
measuring cup
small pot
cutting board
chef's knife
deep pasta pot
cheese grater

1 cup aborrio or carnaroli rice
4 x 2cm diameter leeks - white part only, cut across the grain into 1 inch disks then washed by soaking in the deep pasta pot
1lbs. mushrooms - shiitake, white, baby bella, dried morel all work, caps only, quatered
4 tablespoons butter, divided evenly
4 tablespoons olive oil
about 32 ounces (two boxes) of chicken stock - I like the organic free range kind. If vegetarian, use imitation chicken stock or mushroom stock.
1/4 cup sherry, brandy or white wine - sherry is the best, so use it if ya got it.
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon - substitute 1 teaspoon dry tarragon if that is all you have
Kosher salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • Heat the chicken stock in the small pot over low heat. Do not boil.
  • Heat olive oil and half of the butter over medium heat. Once the oil is heated, add the leeks. Saute for three minutes until just starting to soften. Keep the leeks moving enough and the heat just barely low enough that they don't brown.
  • Add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt and cook until soft, about 7 more minutes.
  • Stir in the rice and keep it moving in the pan. Watch for the rice kernal to change from fully opaque to translucent with an opaque center. Without this step, the risotto won't become creamy as it should.
  • Deglaze your pan with a hit of sherry. I tend to be generous with the sherry, but you just need enough to coat the bottom of the pan.
  • Once the sherry (or whatever) has almost fully evaporated, add 1/4 - 1/3 cup of the hot chicken broth and stir to mix. Warm chicken broth is necessary to let the rice release its carbs out into the pan, creating that creamy texture we all know and love. Risotto with cold or room temperature stock just doesn't work. Once the first batch of stock is almost fully absorbed, add the second 1/3 cup. Keep repeating the cycle until the rice is firm to the tooth, but pleasantly soft and creamy (about 20 minutes). The amount of stock used will vary, just keep a good supply nice and hot in the small pot.
  • Once the rice is done, add the remaining butter, taragon, parmesan, salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Bon Apetit!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Simple rules for baseball viewing, part II

This will be the second in a series of rules for the viewing and enjoyment of live baseball. Eventually, these guidelines will expand to include home or sports bar fandom as well, but for now let's keep the focus narrow.

First, let's just review the most important rule from part I - SIT THE FUCK DOWN! Once in the stands, find your seat and park your ass. DO NOT stand up and discuss your beer choices, hug your neighbor, talk about the latest gossip or in any way, shape or form obscure my view of the playing field, or else I will hurl peanuts and insults at your head.

Now that we've got that straight, we'll move on to the next installment.

Part II

1) If you are going to be at the game, be at the game. Don't go to Fenway or Minute Maid to socialize with your friends and dick around with your new camera phone. Go to the park to watch baseball. Some socializing is great - provided it pertains to some aspect of baseball or something else going on in the stadium. But if you're ignoring the game - why the fuck are you there? Cheaper places to giggle over boys exist, and then you won't be annoying me with your annyong adolescent chicanery.

2) Get your beer before the middle of the seventh, 'cause once the first pitch of the eighth inning is thrown, you're shit outta luck. No mas Corona! And if you miss your window for purchasing beer, don't whine. It just makes you look like a douche.

3) Support your team, whether they are playing at home or away. Clap spontaneously when your pitcher has two out, a full count and two guys on base. Holler out his name to let him know you care. Yell insults at the umpire (commonly known as 'blue') when the call goes the wrong way. Don't wait for the stupid organist or the jumbotron to urge you to 'get loud' - do it yourself. If your team is the home team, don't let those cocksucking Cubbie/Yankee/Tribe/BoSox fans be louder than the home fans! Get riled! Drown those idiots out, damn it! If your team is the visiting team, you know that your boys are clearly better and you are a better, more dedicated fan than those losers! Drown out the home crowd - the visitor's fans can and will start a longer, louder chant than the home team's yahoos.

4) Buy logo gear and wear it. The saddest thing I've ever seen is an Abercrombie and Fitch baseball cap turned inside out as a rally cap. What the fuck? If you are dedicated enough to wear the rally cap, you should be dedicated enough to buy a $20 cap. Besides, a cotton MLB cap is probably less expensive than the damn A&F hat anyway. Looks cooler, too.

5) Don't leave. There are nine innings in baseball, and your ticket won't be pro-rated if you only watch seven. Furthermore, great things can happen in the late innings. So what your team is down three runs in the bottom of the ninth! Morgan Ensberg or Trot Nixon or A-rod might just hit a walk off grand slam - and if you leave you won't get to see it. And what is the fun in that? Besides, I will ridicule you to no end if I see you leaving. Freaking fair weather fan!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

What happened?

Okay - what the heck happened to my Red Sox? I know, I know we won last year, which should make me feel good. And I did - I do. But we were on top of the AL East for so stinking long. Why did we have to blow it at the end of the season?

Now the whole shebang might well rest on the final three game series against the Yankees. I hope they (the Yanks) all stub their toes and break their hands in the next several days!

But the good news is that I'm discharging one of my babies - and he's mostly normal! He's a former extreme preemie with multiple complications who has somehow hung on to the greater part of his brain and neurologic function. He's so freaking cute, too. He has little black curls and a big 'ole grin.

So nice.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

NICU goodness

The NICU is depressing. For every baby that leaves mostly healthy and mostly normal, there seems to be five babies that either die or leave with serious neurological devistation. Which is just freaking fabulous, if you know what I mean.

I just had to go tell a mother that the Pseudomonas ventriculitis is most likely gonna kill her kid. He's not hemodynamically unstable - he looks just like he did this morning prior to his ventriculotomy. But when the neurosurgeons went in to look around, all they saw was puss. Clearly, our antibiotics aren't worth crap for this kid.

So he's gonna die. The only questions remaining are when and how.

Remind me why I like my job?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Aftermath... duh duh duuuuuuhhhh

First off, to all of my readers who are relatives or out of state friends: We're fine. No windows broke, no flooding, power is back on, the hubby and cats are fine.

Nothing much happened in my part of the world. Some branches were down, lots of us lost power, some yahoo got shot while trying to loot and nearly everyone ran out or nearly ran out of gas. Other than that, Rita was almost a non-event.

Which is very very cool.

I feel horrible that our neighbors to the east got hit so hard, but I have to say that I couldn't be happier that Houston was spared. Now, of course, many of those people who got stuck in traffic trying to evacuate are saying that they'll never leave town for a hurricane again. The doctor part of me is horrified - these people will put themselves at such huge risk. The bitchy Darwinian part of me thinks that these folks will just have to learn the hard way; furthermore, if they aren't fleeing like sensible people then there will be more room on the highway for my loved ones.

But life is pretty much back to normal. I've switched rotations, so now I'm in the community hospital NICU. Hmmmmmmmmmm... babies. Life is good, 'cause right now there aren't any fetuses. Just plenty of ventilator depended chronic lung babies, some feeders and growers and a couple of former fetus train wrecks. The really really super cool thing is that due to a scheduling fluke, I don't have to take call until this Sunday.

Rock on!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Another day, another dollar

Well, so far so good. I have no idea how the house is doing, but we're fine here in the community hospital. Apparently we picked the right community hospital to hang out in - its twin a little ways up north has lost power and is transfering all of the patients here. Whoo-hoo!

We'll be awright.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Much ado about nothing...

That is, if a category 3 hurricaine counts as nothing. So the whole trajectory of the storm changed this afternoon and that bitch is veering away from Houston to the east. Part of me is happy happy happy. (That would be the vastly larger part, by the way.) The other part of me is a little mad. We - and by we I mean my husband, my friends, my colleages, my colleages' spouses - did so much prep work. Everyone is exhausted. Most of us came into the community hospital packed for a 5-7 day stay. I know I did. I also brought enough food for myself for about four days and enough water for two. If it all turns out to be unneeded, a small part of me feels a little jilted.

I kinda wanted a 'I lived through Rita' t-shirt. Stupid, huh?

But really, I'm so fucking greatful that this thing has decided to chill out and calm down. I was convinced that Rita was going to blow our windows out. See, we have these tall single pane windows on both the west and east walls of our condo. To make matters worse our condo is supposed to resemble a loft, which means the entire place is just one huge oblong room. So if the window(s) shattered, our entire place would get drenched and we'd have a large, $200,000 wind tunnel. And we couldn't board up the windows 'cause the outside is stucco - there would be no place to attach the plywood to the wall.

But thankfully all of that looks less likely now. 60 MPH winds = possible damage. 150 MPH winds = total destruction. Therefore, 60 MPH winds = good.

When this is all over I'm taking a very long nap.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

One Rita I wouldn't want to drink

So here we sit in the path of a category 5 hurricaine. I have to say, this is one of those experiences I had hoped to avoid while living down here on the Gulf.

I think my people will be fine. My husband, thank the powers that be, is leaving town. Last time we communicated, my husband agreed to go away to Dallas (Hi Lizard!) with the cats to stay with his brother. I'm wholeheartedly in favor of this plan, 'cause then I won't have to worry about him. I don't want him here if this sucker is going to be bad.

I have to stay. The pedi residents will be manning the floor at the Community Hospital and at the MSDQCH through the storm. All of us plan to stay for quite a long period - up to 96 hours if need be. The Chiefs currently plan to have my team on call tonight, so home tomorrow post call, work Friday for as long as needed, have a "day off" on Saturday (expected landfall that morning) and then come in to relieve the other MDs on Sunday. We've been explicitly asked to not show up on Saturday so that someone minimally fresh will be available to take on patient care Sunday.

I'm not sure how the current plan is going to work out. I mean, will I even be able to get back to work? I would rather not be home on Saturday. I really don't want to be home on Saturday, actually. I'll probably just come in on Saturday and not work.

Or something like that.

But anyway, I'll get a up-close and personal view of a wicked strong hurricaine. Oh, joy. Hear the excitement in my voice... NOT.

But Chris will get out, I'll be safe in the hospital and that is what is important.

So, the plan is for my team to be "off" on Saturday. However, the hospital is kindly giving us space to ride out the storm overnight Friday. My team and I figure that folks should get the hell out of Houston, but barring that, the safest place to be is inside one of the hospitals.

I can't say that I'm excited about 48+ hours in the hospital. But it could be fun in a twisted sort of way - kinda like a big pajama party.

We'll just have to see!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Things that don't suck

I haven't been having the greatest three months, so I've decided that tonight I'm going to create a list of things that don't suck. Just to make me feel better.

My husband
Our cats
Sam Summer
Live baseball - Major League or triple A
The resident crew - the uber-bachelor, the soon-to-be-married, the (mostly) happily single
The boyz (which, oddly enough, includes more than one girl!)
The Proletariat
My aunt
Ice hockey
Blue Man Group

James Bond
Central Market

Grey Goose Vodka
Family Guy
The Internet
Action Flicks

Enough for now. If any of my three readers want to, start your own list!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Q4 Kicks My Ass

Or, A Lesson on Terminology.

In medicine, every drug or intervention order must include a frequency. Furthermore, doctors are lazy writers. Abbreviations? Hell yes! Acronyms are good too. So instead of writing "every 4 hours" or "every day" we write "q4h" or "qday". That's a reduction of nearly 73% or 57% respectively.

As a group, residents expand this system to quantify our call nights. Call runs on a repeating schedule - every third, fourth or fifth night. Hence, q3, q4 or q5. As an intern, I had a lot of q4 months. And I did okay.

I must be old, but now q4 really kicks my ass. I feel like I'm on call or post call all the time. I'm tired, I'm cranky and my undereye circles are expanding at an exponential rate. And let's not even talk about the party my acne is having on my chin. Yuck.

But repeat after me, I'm not an intern any more! This remains cause for celebration. I only have have two months of call this year. Sooooooooooo much better than ten months, and it is soooooooooo good to NOT be on the bottom of the totem pole.

So really, life ain't bad.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Goddamn it all to hell

JJ (the kiddo who died) not only herniated (ie pushed his brain out of his skull), not only had eye findings consistent with abuse but also had relatives who had fucking reported abuse to CPS days prior to the injuries leading to his death. Apparently, these relatives had seen him covered in bruises.


Not only did he die, his death was preventable.

Not that it helps any, but the step-Dad has been arrested for homicide. I hope he roasts.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Tagged again

Seven Things Meme

Seven things I plan to do before I die...
1. See Mt. Fuji
2. Start a clinic or foundation for under-insured children.
3. Get my MPH (masters in public health)
4. Have kids.
5. Retire in the mountains and ski all the time.
6. Go to cooking school.
7. Biuld a modern design, eco-friendly house with my husband.

Seven things I can do...

1. Belch louder than any other female I know.
2. Belch louder than most men I know.
3. Take care of asthma
4. Ski
5. Cook well.
6. Make my husband smile.
7. Keep aquarium fish alive.

Seven things I cannot do...
1. Sing
2. Understand why anyone would hit or shake a child.
3. Tolerate dogs.
4. Fake interest when I just don't care.
5. Waterski
6. Skydive - I'm very scared of heights.
7. Do much of anything with my left hand.

Seven things that I find really attractive about the opposite sex...
1. Penises
2. Laughter
3. Kisses with lots of tounge
4. Open-mindedness
5. Bums. Especially bums in a really nice pair of black pants or jeans.
6. Intellegence.
7. Blue eyes.

Seven things I say the most...
1. I love you. (To hubby)
2. My name is Dr. Doctawife, welcome to the hospital, sorry you're here. What brings you in today?
3. Thanks.
4. Did you remember to check on the ... (to my interns)
5. Whatever.
6. This is Dr. Doctawife, returning a page.
7. What do you mean, the patient is here (in the ICU)! No-one called to give me check out!

Seven Books I love...
1. Anything by Mercedes Lackey.
2. Most Nora Roberts books.
3. Alll of the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling
4. The Harriet Lane Handbook for general pediatric reference.
5. Most books by Christine Feehan.
6. Anything by Sherilynn Kenyon.
7. The Texas Childrens Hospital Formulary. I can't do my job without it.


So the kid I talked about in my last entery died. His pupils became fixed and dilated yesterday at about 8:30 pm.

To fight child abuse, you can donate money here. If you suspect child abuse, you can call 1-800-252-5400 in the state of Texas. For more information on Texas Child Protective Services, you can check out their website.

Remember, some folks shouldn't have kids. It is up to the rest of us to make sure those kids eventually have someplace better to go.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Post call

This is an experiment. Life always seems skewed after a night on call, and I've talked about it a lot with my hubby. But I've never written about it. He says that I'm grumpy, impatient and somewhat moody post-call. I have no idea what I am. Other than damn tired, of course.

So I thought I'd write a post-call entry today and then read it tomorrow. Just to see how the 'normal' me views the post-call me.

First let me talk about call. "Being on call" does NOT mean that I'm at home, maybe answering one or two pages from anxious mothers, sleeping peacefully in my own bed. While a resident, being on call means getting to the hospital at about 7am on day one and leaving at about 1pm on day two. Yes - that's more than 24 hours straight in the hospital.

And no, one does not sleep in a nice dark room in a quiet portion of the hospital all night while maybe one or two nurses page you about anxious mothers. As an intern it meant dealing with 2/3rds bullshit, 1/6th social chaos and 1/6th true medical problems. ALL night. As a senior resident, it means dealing with 1/4rth bullshit, 1/2 intern problems (eg how to deal with social chaos) and 1/4rth real Sickness. Of course, as an upper level the Sick patients might, at any time, stage a coup and storm the other three quarters of my time. Don't shoot til you see the whites of her eyes! Needless to say, everyone is up all night long.

So last night was a gem. Three intubated kiddos, two of which were Sick, and three regular admits. The Sickest child is likely the victim of abuse. And guess what! He's most likely gonna die. At one point last night, his intracranial pressure hit 80 mmHg.

That's bad. The goal is less than 20. Intracranial pressures of 80 = intracranial badness/impending doom.

Motherfucker. Some people just shouldn't be allowed to procreate.

On a more positive note, leftovers are good. Mmmmmmmmmm... meatloaf.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Lines, tubes and protocols

On call again.

And apparently, my formerly stable white cloud, which served me well through two years of residency, has turned black. Every freaking time I'm on call I either get really high volume or really sick kids.

Even the chief resident noticed. As a matter of fact - he made it official. He looked at me tonight and said, "Well, you have a second PICU admission on the way. I should have known - it's your call night, after all."

But first I have to explain what a white or black cloud is. A resident with a 'white cloud' is someone who has easy call nights. Few admissions, no one too sick, no social disasters, no transfers from the PICU. A resident with a 'black cloud' (which would now be me) gets multiple admissions, Sick patients, folks on other people's teams going from sick to Sick, social nightmares and issues with miscommunication between consulting services.

Oh, the joy.

It didn't used to be this way. I sailed through most nights on call, at least here at the community hospital. I never cared for more than, oh, five patients. Luscious. Apparently, that is not to be my fate this time around.

I know I sound whiny. I'm sorry, I'll stop soon. I just needed to follow in Ween's footsteps and take a moment to bitch.

On a brighter note, friends will be coming over to dinner Sunday night. Yay!

Thursday, September 08, 2005


Dealing with nursing at the community hospital (CH) can be very interesting. I feel like I'm trapped in a bizzare roll playing simulation, where the moderator is asking the students to act out various ways to motivate the un-motivatable employee.

For example, the second and third nursing shifts weren't recording the 'ins and outs' (aka I's/Os) for AH, a 21 day old patient with poor weight gain. Tracking how much a patient takes in and how much the patient puts out (in both stool and urine) can be critical when diagnosing the etiology of failure to thrive in a baby. Basically, without the I's/Os, we can't figure out what the hell is going on. And guess what, nursing has the primary responsibility for measuring the intake and weighing diapers for the output. It is kinda sorta part of the job description. And it isn't all that hard.

So why wan't it happening?

This was my question.

But if I said or did anything at all slightly accusatory, condescending or reproving, I would earn a bad rap with the RN's. Which would be a problem. If nursing don't like ya, and you ever want to get anything done ever again - you were screwed.

Needless to say, much ass-kissing ensued. Because, of course the nurse working today would never have made such an error, and could she please educate her co-workers about the correct and proper way to do things? And was there anything I could do to make her life easier?

So you see, when you see me and my nose is brown, you'll know why.

Monday, September 05, 2005


Right now I'm the senior resident on the children's ward at the Community Hospital (CH) affiliated with my program. I run the ICU when the staff (ie attendings) aren't around. So if someone is intubated and ventilator dependent, it's all me. Furthermore, CH has been designated as the destination for any sick kids from the Astrodome - which means I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. So far, so good.

But man, I can't believe that there aren't sick kids out there, just waiting to be brought to light. Scary scary. Can't you picture it? A kiddo in status asthmaticus (a very long bad asthma attack) on the verge of ventilatory failure lingering on the floor of the Astrodome until (on my call night, of course) he's found by some astute volunteer or wandering MD - then brought to me in the PICU. I just hope I can take care of whatever rolls in.

I'm not without support. I can always call the Chief Resident to get advice, who can then call a Critical Care attending over at the MSDQCH if things get too sticky, who could then call me back. But that's a lot of calling, and sometimes kids don't have a lot of time. Granted, I spent one five week long hellish month over in the MSDQCH intensive care unit trying to learn what I needed to give the kiddos what support they need until help arrives, but damn, that was only five weeks and it was last November for Pete's sake!

So far I've done okay, let's just hope tonight goes as well.

Sunday, September 04, 2005


This is my chance to write something truly insightful about a horrible tragedy.

Not gonna happen. I haven't wrapped my brain around what happened last week. I can't wrap my brain around what is happening this week.

The scope of the disaster is really more than I fathom. My home is in Houston, I've treated patients from New Orleans and I've seen the Dome. None of that matters. I just can't picture it.

Which is weird.

When the Twin Towers fell, I could connect the images on TV to images in my reality. I can't pull the pictures from New Orleans or the pictures of thousands arriving at the Dome together with my worldview. Somehow, in my head, Lafite's is still underlit, leaning sideways and open for a beer. The Bourbon Orleans still presides with majestic splendor over Bourbon St. while offering some of the finest accomidations in the Crescent City. The trolley still trundles towards Tulane and drunken collegiates.

But my head is wrong. My intellect fully understands that thousands are displaced and an entire culture has been devastated.

My heart just won't believe.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

NOT quiet on the Western Front

Sorry about the lack of posts, but the MSDQCH Emergency Room is kicking my 'sorry black ass'. (Ten points for whoever can pinpont the movie reference.) For some reason, the ER is channeling the big bad Spirit of Winter - I've seen more wheezers in the last night than I want to think about. Our wait time is climbing towards six hours, and I haven't peed (or drank) in ten hours.

Not good, my friends, not good.

On another note, here's a shout out to the Ween. Happy birthday, Chica.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Bad, bad me!

So it has been eight days since posted an update. My only excuse is that I've yet again begun night riding - but unfortunately, this time I'm riding the night at the Mega-Super-Duper-Quaternary Care Hospital (MSDQCH). Night riding at the community hospital I've posted about before is like surfing a sort of calm sea. Mostly, things are quiet and predictable. Only occationally do squalls or unexpected reefs appear. Riding the night at the MSDQCH is more like gripping a lifejacket after being tumped off of the Titanic during the world's worst storm - especially in the dreaded Respiratory Bay, also known as "Up Front". The folks who come "Up Front" are much more likely to be truly Sick. Notice the capitalization. When used among doctors, "Sick" is vastly different from "sick." When one of us normal adults has a cold, we are "sick." When one is dying of massive infeciton, has been intubated (had a breathing tube placed) and requires drugs to keep the good 'ole ticker pumping, one is "Sick." To make things worse, Respiratory Bay has fifteen freaking beds! Which means at night there is only one resident to cover fifteen Sick children.


But there are good things about working "Up Front". The proportion of bullshit dips down. And the bullshit that eeks into Respiratory Bay is funny - for example, penile problems are frequently found Up Front. Why? The triage nurse is male, and honey, does he take the weewee seriously! An otherwise routine, minor infection of the foreskin? Respiratory Bay, damnit! That thing could fall off!

So bear with me folks, and think of me as I founder in the stormy sea of the MSDQCH.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

My husband lusts after my blog

Seriously. He needs the content management software or something. There was talk of a news release?

I dunno - computers are strange and mysterious things. When he talks about work, I basically just smile and nod. He speaks of codes and screens and accessibility (websites for the blind - whah?) and layers and tables. I cannot, for the life of me, form a mental picture of what he does with his time during the day. This leads to problems - I definitely don't seem to mind interrupting his work day with totally inane phone calls. Maybe if I could understand how he spent his time I wouldn't be so prone to interrupting his day.

It isn't like I haven't tried. I've asked him to explain knowledge management software, why Cold Fusion and dynamic web content are better (which I sorta kinda maybe get) and why he absolutely needs more than one monitor at work. I've asked multiple times.

And I just can't compute. (Heh. Get it?)

Then again, he's told me that he does the same thing with my work. But hey, people have reality TV shows with doctors in action to watch. How hard can it be? I mean really. I talk to patients and parents, do my exam (deep breath, where is your heart, which ear should I look in first, say ah, follow my finger with just your eyeballs), write orders and do paperwork. And then some do some more paper work. Repeat as necessary, with occational breaks for nagging nurses, placating parents and double-checking patients. You can envision that, right?

But what happens when you stare at a screen all day? It must be work, and it seems to be creative, but I just cannot imagine doing that all day.

But then, he can't imagine doing my job all day. I guess we each found a good fit.

Saturday, July 30, 2005


So I'm far enough along in my residency that I actually have weekends - you know, two days off in a row.

Now, unless you are a medical resident, you don't know why this is a big deal. And even then, perhaps not. Everyone has about four days off per month. But it isn't straightforward. Some residency programs structure the schedule such that the slave - oh, sorry - I mean resident, gets a fabled Golden Weekend once a month. Notice the capital letters. The Golden Weekend is a proper noun because consecutive days off are more precious than gold. Get it? However, the joy of two consecutive days off is weighed against the pain of the occational extended string of days. And those strings are oh so freaking painful. My program frowns upon such excess torture. My program simply gives one day off per week. Which sounds okay, right?

Until you work six days a week, 80 hours a week for a year. Then you get to your second year (Yahoo! Internship is over!) and do it for six out of twelve months.

And now I've reached the haven of my final year of residency. And I have my weekends back.


But damn, I'm having fun with this. I went dancing last night. And I'm going to go to a movie tonight. I even got stuff done today!

I keep on waiting to wake up.

Nobody pinch me - I'll use my one day off next week to find you and kick your sorry ass.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Days off

Okay, any interns stop reading, the following is going to piss you off.

Residency is hard - time consuming, frustrating, sleep-depriving. But you get used to it. Working 80 hours becomes routine and days off are treated like precious gems. After all, you only get one a week.

Then, suddenly, late in residency rotations appear that are, well, different. Five day weeks. Multiple days off. 30 - 40 hours of actual work a week. And ya know what? It gets old. I'd rather be working a little more and goofing off a little less.

Sure, I could do stuff around the house. There's plenty to do - painting, unpacking, bug-spraying, cleaning... Not to mention catching up on the latest pediatric literature. The list doesn't end.


There it is then: I'd rather work than actually do anything listed in the above paragraph. Who knew that I'd grow up and like my job?

Monday, July 25, 2005

Simple Rules for Baseball Viewing - First in a Series

As a dedicated baseball fan, I go to a reasonable number of games. I don't have season tickets, but that is mostly a function of fundage, not desire. I've noticed a deplorable lack of sense at all of the games I've been to this season. Folks just don't seem to know the basics of watching a baseball game without pissing people (okay, me) off.

So the following is my attempt to codify viewing etiquette. The list won't be complete and further installments will appear in time. The rules will apply to in-stadium baseball experiences only - anything in a sports bar or the comfort of your own home is not my concern.

1) Don't obstruct the view of someone above or next to you once the game has started. Really. Especially when in the good seats. For example, I was sitting about 15 rows back from home plate at Fenway when a gaggle of women started meandering through a row in front of us, then stopped, had a discussion, and stood in our view. Being Boston fans, after 30 seconds, we started yelling "Down in front." Affronted, the women replied that they were related to Kevin Millar, currently playing first. We basically didn't give a fuck, 'cause we were at a sold out game, in expensive seats, and we couldn't see.

Moral - don't get between the fans and the game. Don't stand up and then ask your buddy what he wants from the concession stand. Don't hug your friends goodbye for ten minutes while standing at your seats. Heck, don't even stand in one spot in the aisle for ten minutes - cause you're undoubtably blocking someone's line of sight.


2) Don't spill things. And if you do spill them (hey, it happens), for Christ's sake, apologize! Spending the second half of the game covered in beer blows. But it blows even more when the party at fault doesn't acknowledge his mistake.

3) Stand when someone wants out of the row - and then sit down rapidly. Get that beer seeking lush up and out so the rest of us can get back to watching the game.

4) Beware the evil cell phone. "Look, it's me! I'm on TV." Yeah, right. The rest of America doesn't give a shit, and any true baseball fans will ridicule the waste of a good seat on a total douchebag.

5) Akin to #2 - if you hit/kick/bump/molest someone, freaking apologize. For example, my husband was kicked in the head by a wanker making his way out of the row above us. Totally ruined the inning for him. Come on, people, this ain't hard!

These five rules should get you started, and if you don't count so good, just remember #1. All of our lives will be better.

PS - Go 'Stros! Go BoSox!

Sunday, July 24, 2005


Check it out.

I am 56% gay. Apparently, this means I'm well adjusted.

Go figure.


Expectations are a bitch. I'm currently a 'float' resident, which means I can get called in at any time. I've been told this... but of course as soon as I get called to work I start to bitch and moan. I don't wanna work. Especially not today.

I mean, I know that today wasn't a guarenteed day off. I know I know! But I had plans. Rock and roll, baby - isn't that more important than stoopid patient care?

(Um, yeah, I guess not.)

In other news, I'm making my first foray into furniture restoration. A minor foray. We just got a nice buffet from my mother in-law (thanks Sarah!) that, well, suffered from a little benign neglect. So I found this stuff to help. Although the packaging claims that it "eliminates white heat rings and water marks, scratches" the product doesn't quite live up to the hype. Yes, the piece looks better. No, not all of the water marks are gone.

But hey, beggars can't be choosers. And now we have a place to put the china. Cool!

Monday, July 18, 2005


How much do applications suck? I just hate the inevitable soul searching that accompanies the process. Why do I want to be a doctor, after all? And now that I'm a doctor, why do I give a flying fart about underinsured patients? I mean, it isn't like they can actually pay me! Why do I want to submit myself to more traning? Shouldn't I just go out and make more money? Heh?

Why why why! My internal monolog starts to sound like a 4 year old child. One that I want to bitch-slap.

But we all have moments like this - cover letters, applications, resumes, curriculum vitaes. And I don't think anyone likes applying for anything. Not anything work related, anyway. I do want to be a doctor, I do care about the underinsured (some of them are friends of mine!) and I do want more training.

Maybe I'll actually get it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Top of the pile

For one brief, shining year, my compadres and I will be... third year residents. The top of the pile, the cream of the crop, the ruler of the roost. Remember when you were a freshman in high school, back when the seniors were way old and had way more experience than you? As interns we kinda felt the same way about third years. They knew things and could find things and talked about real jobs. Now suddenly I'm one of these mythical creatures and it is a bit weird.

And I certainly don't know more than I did last month as a second year. But the idea of being a senior resident is kinda cool.

Don't get me wrong - plenty of people can still shove us around. Actually, most of the hospital can boss us around. You know: nurses, parents, hospital administration, the Chief Residents, attendings, fellows. Basically anyone who isn't a first or second year resident, or a medical student. And really, having been a medical student, intern and junior resident kinda recently, it is kinda bad form to boss them around... unless they need it. Then suddenly "bossing around" becomes "teaching". Heh.

For example, acceptable 'bossing' would be something like, "Hey, don't stick that IV in his eye! Intra-ocular absorption of ampicillin sucks!" Unacceptable might sound something like, "Get me new pager batteries! And while you are at it, get my dinner, my dry cleaning and my mail order bride! Now, get a move on, wenches!"

Saturday, July 09, 2005


So I've been off in the land of vacation - or rather I had been until Tuesday. After that, my only excuse for not posting was that I was recovering from vacation.

We went to Dallas to see the Red Sox. Yes, theoretically we also had family to see and a wedding to attend, but let us be serious - the Red Sox were the main attraction.

I love the Red Sox. I loved them before they won last year's Series and I have the t-shirt to prove it. It's an old faded #34 shirt with "El Guapo" across the back. Some years ago, we had a pitcher. Ah, yes, a pitcher. A 300+ pound pitcher. Rich Garces. Hmmm... 300+ pounds of Latin lovin'. He lumbered, he threw and oh boy did he get us in some jams. Granted, he got us out of some jams too, but there was always some kind of drama.

Of course, now #34 is David "Big Papi" Ortiz. Who is also huge and occationally lumbers, but I never ever want to see the man pitch. Are we clear? Just checking.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005


So tonight is my last nightriding shift for the month at the local community hospital. Of course, that means things had to get eventful. As you might have guessed from previous posts, the night is usually pretty quiet. Most patients have problems that really coulda waited until the light of day, but somehow fever and earaches just MUST been seen EMERGENTLY 'cause it is an EMERGENCY.

Not so with this patient. This one came in fighting to breathe - respiratory distress with grunting and decreasing mental status, to be medical about it. So the baby is sick as snot, and is getting all of the attention. Which is fine, nay, appropriate.

Unfortunately, this pisses off some of the other patients. Actually, not the patients, but the patients' parents. "Why isn't my child being seen - isn't s/he an emergency as well? Why does that patient get all of the attention? Huh? My baby is CLEARLY more important BLAH BLAH BLAH." All of this while the child is sitting comfortably eating Cheetos.

Right about now is when I want to scream, "Be fucking happy that your kid isn't dying. 'Cause guess what, that other one IS! Not metaphorically, not in a symbolic sorta way, but in a right-now-lets-intubate-and-maybe-start-pressors-and-give-blood-products kinda way. You know, the stuff you do right before starting fuckin' CPR."

But I don't. Why? 'Cause we're all better doctors, and better people, than that. People get frustrated. People get tired and I'm sure that a child who has been screaming for 72 hours grates on the last nerve like a monkey on crack. So I can understand being irate.

And just as an aside, who the fuck calls 911 for a crying 12 month old? No fever, not sick looking, got better with Motrin, totally consolable. By the time EMS arrived, Mom reported that the child was back to normal. Isn't that about the time that you call EMS back and tell 'em to forget about coming?

Oh well.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

drunk dial

so hard to resist...

what a good thing when tempation is averted!


Sunday, June 26, 2005


I'm sorry, there are just some things I can't fix in the pediatric ER.

If your family is wicked dysfunctional... DON'T GO TO THE EC AT 3AM! Are you suicidal? Are you homicidal? Psychotic? No? I can't do anything for you! Actually, I lie - I can help you get an appointment with the friendly neighborhood psychiatric clinic. And yes, if I help you make the appointment, you will get seen sooner than your average schmoe. But really, that's it.

But damn, don't expect me to fix 16-fuckin-years of dysfunction in one 2 hour ER visit.

It might seem like I dislike psychiatry. Not true. I like my psyche-delving friends. However, I hate ER psychiatry - 'cause I can only do two things. Number one - send you to the local mental hospital. Number two - send you home with nothing. Very few people meet criteria for door number one, so most people leave more upset than when they got here.

Lovely, no?

I'd much rather see (yet another) kid with gastro. Puke - generally fixable. Family dysfunction - generally not.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Been a while...

Sorry about that. Life got in the way of blogging, and hey, just 'cause I vowed to use this forum to write more, doesn't mean I'm gonna. ;)

Last night I tried to be a good doctor and generally ended up pissing everybody, including myself, off. This community hospital EC always seems to work that way. Resources are limited, patients want more than I can give, staff members don't like doing anything at all out of the ordinary and everything takes way way way too long. I sorted things out. I made a plan. Who knows if anyone gives a shit. The patient (and her parents) certainly didn't seem to care. The fact that it was fuckin' four in the morning didn't help any, either.

On a lighter note - go Red Sox! They have been winning and, wouldn't ya know, the Orioles have been losing. We're now on top of the AL East. I know we haven't even gotten to the All-Star break, but hey! I believe. I think we could perhaps make like the Patriots and get two in a row...

And please, can we take a second and revel in the badness of the New York Yankees? Doesn't it just warm the very cockles of your heart? Jeter is frustrated. Steinbrenner is blowing a gasket. Heaven on earth, I tell ya. Now if only the Pedro would start to slump, my baseball life would be nearly perfecto.

Monday, June 20, 2005


I'm convinced that the gut has a 'second brain'. Oodles and oodles of neurons live in and around the gut for the sole purpose to ensuring that our sustenance gets where it is supposed to go. However, they also cause trouble. People can get 'abdominal migraines.'

I get nausea. Whenever something bad happens, or I get super worried about something my stomach goes crazy. Those of you who know me, know that I can knock down small buildings when I belch, but this is worse. I don't get belchy, I just get queasy.

I've been nauseous for two weeks now, and I'm not having fun. So everyone think soothing thoughts toward my belly.

The husband will thank you!

Friday, June 17, 2005

Ouch! I'm it!

Have you ever?

1. Snuck out of the house........ yes - I was 16 and my 70+ year old deaf grandmother was 'watching' me while my parents were on vacation. Needless to say, he wasn't worth the effort.

2.Gotten lost in your city......... Not lost like I can't get home, lost. Lost like I can't find where I'm going? Yes.

3. Seen a shooting star.......... It's hard not to in Iceland, where I went on vacation.

4. Been to any other countries besides Canada.... Yes. (though why Canada?) I have been to Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Germany, Denmark, Iceland, France, Switzerland, Italy, Mexico, England, Ireland, Scotland, Iceland, Norway, Spain.

5. Had a serious surgery........ Nope, but I've seen quite a few.

6) Gone out in public in your pajamas....... Wasn't that one of the whole points of college?

7) Kissed a stranger........... Nah, but I have hope.

8) Hugged a stranger......... Do patients count?

9) Been in a fist fight........ A fight? Not so much. Kicked someone in the nuts? Sure.

10)Been arrested.......... Does getting harrassed for suspected shoplifting count?

11) Laughed and had milk/coke come out of your nose...... Often. Beer, too.

12)Pushed all the buttons on an elevator........ Only people under three are allowed to do this, and then only once.

13) Swore at your parents......... Yup, and they swore back. And then we kissed and made up, so it is all good.

14)Been in love....... Yes

15)Been close to love....... Yes - isn't this automatic given that I've been in love? Doncha have to get close to love before you can get to love?

16) Been to a casino......... Yes

17) Been skydiving.......... Hell NO. Never, never, never, never, never.

18)Skinny dipped........... Yeah. So has my hubby. He was the hero of the lake, saving gorgeous lesbians left and right. (More on that in another post...)

19)Skipped school........... Yes. Again, wasn't that one of the major points of college?

20) Seen a therapist........ Heck yeah. Therapy is good.

21) Done the splits........... Briefly, I was a gymnast. The splits stuck with me longer than most of the other gymnastic type skills.

22) Played spin the bottle........... Again, the college thing.

23) Gotten stitches.......... In my lip. Very freaky to watch the needle go into and out of my face without feeling it. Gotta love lidocaine.

24) Drank a whole gallon of milk in one hour.......... Yuck, no.

25) Bitten someone........... Heck yeah! Must mark mate...

26) Been to Niagara Falls........ No, sadly.

27) Gotten the chicken pox....... Nope, thank God. I love them vaccines!!

28) Kissed a member of the same sex....... Yah, well, when spin the bottle is played with a mixed croud, same sex kissing is fairly guaranteed.

29) Crashed into a friend's car........ Nope. Not even my husband's.

30) Been to Japan......... I really want to see Mt. Fuji, but I haven'y gotten there yet.

31) Ridden in a taxi............ Yes - who hasn't?

32) Been dumped........... Yes, but not since I was 18, when I started dating my husband.

33) Shoplifted............Um, yes. I was being harassed on suspicion of shoplifting, and um, well, I was. Oops...

34) Been fired............. Nope.

35) Had a crush on someone of the same sex......... Yes. Again, a college right of passage.

36) Had feelings for someone who didn't have them back........... Yup. He was dreamy and moody.

37) Gone on a blind date............. No.

38) Lied to a friend............... Nothing more than a white lie. If someone calls and wakes you up from sleep and you really don't want to be up, but you know that s/he is calling from a million time zones away, are you really gonna say "yes" when s/he asks if they woke you up from sleep?

39) Had a crush on a teacher............ No.

40) Celebrated Mardi-Gras in New Orleans........... No.

41) Slept with a co-worker............ No

42) Seen someone die............ Yes. it sucked.

43)Had a close friend die........... No

44) Been to Africa............ No

45) Driven over 400 miles in one day........... Yes. Who wrote these questions? New Yorkers?

46)Been to Mexico.......... Yes.

47) Been to India............. No

48) Been on a plane............ Yeah - I hate take off and landing, but I get over it.

49) Seen the Rocky Horror Picture Show............. Sweet transvestite....

50) Thrown up in a bar.......... In the restroom, yes. Actually while at the bar, no.

51) Purposely set a part of myself on fire............ Hair, yes. Anything fleshy? No.

52) Eaten sushi.......... As often as possible.

53) Been skiing/snowboarding............. Skiing since I was 3.5 years old. I snowboarded for a couple years and just decided to stick with skiing. I don't have enough time to split my snowsports.

54) Lost a child............. On the job, well, yes. Kids die at work. My own child? Don't have any yet.

55) Gone to college/university............ Yes

56) Graduated college/university............. Yes.

57) Fired a gun.................Yes and I am a very poor shot.

58) Purposely hurt yourself................. I've going skiing on an injured knee, so you could say I kept on hurting myself. But damn, I was having too much fun.

59) Taken painkillers............... Oh yeah.

60) Been intimate with someone of the same gender............... No.

I tag Eileenie-weenie.