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!