Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Xmas

Well, I went to Memphis for Christmas. Hubbie, my aunt Mary, her husband Scott and my mother all trekked around to various and sundry church services, dinners and shin digs all weekend long. Some of the times were good, and some not so much.

But mostly I lived in fear of my mother. Would she bust out with her hover-y, nacroleptic self or would her born-and-bred Southern woman instincts kick in and produce a charming, entertaining storyteller? Who knew? Who could predict? No one - not even the woman in question.

Mostly, the Southerner in Mom won out. Which was great - she approximates the woman she was when she's in company playing 'charming visiting relative.' Unfortunately, the times and spaces when Mom was just with me, or with her sister, the crazy person I don't really recognize came out to play. It was sad and I hated it - I swear she used to be something like normal. I swear she used to be smart.

But based on those between-the-company interludes, I wouldn't be able to produce any evidence to support my claim. Anyway, even when I hate the way she acts, I still love her. She's my mother, how could I not?

So with all my conflicted feelings, I was really happy when she left today for the airport. Finally, I could relax. Aunt Mary and I had a good, long-time-coming talk... and then she bought me boots. Really really fabulous boots. What could have been better? What could go wrong?

Oh honey, I really shouldn't ask questions like that.

Even though my husband and my new uncle took my mother to the security line, even though they cagoled a very nice traveler to ensure my mother got to the right concourse, even though my mother has flown umteen bigillion times, she missed her plane.

She. Missed. Her. Plane.

The burden was returning. The sigh of relief was completely premature. And because her world had been thrown out of wack, she would be totally nutty when she got back... or so we thought. Thank goodness - thank goodness - we had company over when my uncle hauled her back from the airport. And thank goodness - thank goodness - the Southern manners born and bred into her came raging to the forefront.

Rob, you saved the night. My husband and I are in your debt. Mary and Scott, you saved Mom's travel. Thank you for that. Hubbie, you helped spread the pain. If I had been alone, I would have been sunk. Thank you.

And Mom - wherever the real you is - I wish you well. I just kinda wish you away from here.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Two a day

Okay, I'm not about to disrespect midwives. But I do want to comment on the midwife trainee on the 3pm (CST) House of Babies episode on Discovery Health today. Why? She's going through 'hell week' in midwifery school. Bascially, 'hell week' is the same as residency (the paid trainee stage of a MD's life) for midwife students.

But it only lasts three weeks. Total.

One week the first time through and two weeks the next.

WTF? Residency is at least three years, and this woman, who will be taking care of newborns and moms, is complaining about three weeks? Suck it up when you're on national TV! I know doing anything nonstop for four weeks can be hard, but if all anyone has to do is three (not even four) weeks, just deal.

Sorry. I know I'll piss off a lot of midlevel providers with this post, but damn, perspective, people! I have a lot of appreciation for experienced midwives, but now I'm not so sure about new grads.

Unless, of course, they didn't complain. If that's the case - more power to ya.

Blah blah blah

We went to Fogo de Chao last night. And it was good. We only ate for 90 minutes, but we consumed gi-normous amounts of meat. Oddly enough, two of the cuts of meat were WAY better than the rest. The Fraldinha was the best. And the sirloin was great. But the lamb was a little dry, and the filet mignon (spelling? I can't spell, let alone in French) wasn't as juicy as it could have been. And the salt - holy crap, I thought my feet were gonna swell outta my very cute holiday heels.

I've aways thought that the whole idea of going to a restaurant was to eat things I couldn't cook myself. Unfortunately, Fogo didn't quite live up to that standard. We've decided that Fogo is great for a group of 6+, but we're never going there just as a couple. The reason Fogo works for a group is that no matter what ya get, the price per plate is fixed. And if everyone is drinking more or less on the same pace, splitting the bill just works our perfectly fairly. So the food + drink + easy math works out well for larger groups.

But for my husband and I? We could cook a huge, yummy filet with two bottles of good California wine for the cost of a meal at Fogo. So no go.

I guess I'm conflicted about Fogo, but that's okay. I never said I was decisive... hehe!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Okay, it's been a week

Today was supposed to mark my return to doing my job - the job I've trained for since I was in high school. But no - the Texas State Medical Board is punishing me. I can't even tell you, dear reader, how much this hurts.

I just want to crawl under a rock and... I dunno. I don't want to die. But I do want all of this to go away. I want to do my job again. I don't want to be a burden anymore.

Is that too much?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Productive!

Today I've managed to:

1) Finish my orientation to my new work, which means AS SOON AS my license comes through I can work.
2) Go to the dentist, get a cavity filled and get my teeth cleaned WITHOUT ANESTHESIA.
3) Cleaned my fishtank.

I have to say, the last of the three is the one that has required the most effort. Mostly 'cause I've been ignoring my tanks for the last four weeks or so. Why? 'Cause I was depressed as hell. But now? Now I should be golden. The glass is nearly spotletss, the plants and rocks are rearranged, and the fish are swimming around with all their fins out.

Life is good. And hopefully, I'll have my real job back by the end of next week.

Please please please - I want to be a doctor again.

Let is be so.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Ow!

Why do I get such vicious headaches these days? Is it 'cause I'm over 30?

Youch.

Anyone got morphine?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Yargh

The best thing about Thanksgiving is the gathering of family and friends without the pressure of religion or presents. Perfect holiday for a poor atheist, eh?

But the worst thing about Thanksgiving is the cleaning. At least, when the Thanksgiving is at my own house. Yesterday was fun - cooking, baking.... basically goofing off in the kitchen. One of my favorite passtimes. Today, however, has been mostly cleaning. I even ironed! (Gasp!) I decided to start at the east end of the townhouse and work my way westward. So far, the kitchen (except the sink) and dining area look pretty good. You can even see the top of the dining room table. Anyone who knows me knows that a clear dining room table is a feat of monumental proportions.

Now I'm on to the coffee table. EEK!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Theft! I like it!

Stealing a MEME. Again, from Karla, who stole it from someone else, who stole it from someone else, etc. etc...

Yourself: silly
Your partner: five feet away, also computing
Your hair: strawberry blonde slowly edging towards brown
Your Mother: progressively more senile
Your Father: dead, damn it!
Your Favorite Item: prolly my MacBook Pro
Your dream last night: don't remember, the night before last was about derranged kittens and 9/11. Yargh.
Your Favorite Drink: Grey Goose vodka martini with a twist
Your Dream Car: currently the Astin Martin DB S
Your Dream Home: the Dwell home or some other such modern design prefab architecture
The Room You Are In: what do you mean what room? The second floor of our townhouse only has one room!
Your Ex: was more than 12 years ago - who cares?
Your fear: falling, seriously
Where you Want to be in Ten Years? a pedi EM doc with a house and a kid
Who you hung out with last night: husband and two kitties - one who is usually not pukey but currently throwing up what looks to be a cockroach... ew!
What You're Not: licensed
Muffins: blueberry
One of Your Wish List Items: my license
The Last Thing You Did: lounge
What You Are Wearing: a sweater! In Texas!
Your favorite weather: winter - specifically snowy winter.
Your Favorite Book: Magic's Price by Mercedes Lackey
Last thing you ate: Bo Luc Lac
Your Life: not where it should be
Your mood: quitely furious
Your Best Friends: coming in tomorrow!
What are you thinking about right now: perhaps going to bed early
Your car: needs repair
What are you doing at the moment: uhh... typing?
Your summer: freaking HOT
Relationship status: loving
What is on your TV: DVR or the Discovery Channel
What is the weather like: cool, thank the fates
When is the last time you laughed: dinner

Yay! A MEME for me!

Turkey Day!

For the first time, we're having Thanksgiving at our house. (Okay, okay, we had a Thanksgiving in our apartment in Boston, but that was an apartment, not our HOME.) Which means, for the first time, I can actually do some prep work with my stuff in my space. How cool!

So today I kinda went apeshit with the prep. Here's the list:

2 pies (sweet potato, not pumpkin, alas)
one bread starter
four pints of veggie stock
four pints of chicken stock
and a huge ass grocery run

Not to mention tiling a half of the north bathroom wall. Oh yeah, and halfway through my pressure cooker broke so I had to go get a replacement. Yargh. But that wasn't all bad, 'cause my first pressure cooker was a lesson in why product research is good. Ya see, I bought a model of pressure cooker that can only create an internal pressure of 12 psi. The international standard for pressure cookers, and thus all pressure cooker recipes, is an internal pressure of 15 psi. That was a little factoid I had not grasped before making my purchase. Oops.

I'm sure you can understand the problem.

But now that the under-researched pressure cooker has kicked it, I had an excuse to replace it with the real deal. Yay!

And tomorrow? Bread baking!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Almost thirty

I haven't been posting much 'cause I haven't much to write about. I'm still wicked underemployed, incredibly frustrated with TSMB and depressed as hell. And really, who wants to read me whining? Is not so good.

On the super upside, my best friend (AF) is flying in two days. And I saw the new Bond. (Side note - the Dossier option on the previous site is quite cool. Especially the psych profile. Hehe.) New Bond, new Bond - YAY! Ahhhh... How I love the Bond. I even like the new actor playing Bond - Daniel Craig - is so incredibly hot as 007. He gets this little quirky pout whenever something pleases or amuses him. I don't care that he's blond. His huge baby blues make up for it. (I have a thing for men with intense blue eyes, just like my wonderful Mr. Man.) Check out all the different Bond sites - each is very cool.

And AF is coming to town. We're gonna make a turkey and sweet potato pie and something veggie - our neighbor Lance is coming over, and he doesn't eat meat. I know, he's crazy - cow is GOOD. We'll have to find some movie to see after we stuff ourselves with tryptophan, 'cause it is the tradition in her family. Then again, we may just put in a DVD and pass out on the couch.

Oh yeah, and did I mention I turn 30 on Sunday. Yargh.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Camping!

I finally talked the husband into going camping. We went down to New Braunfels, TX for Wurstfest, stayed at a campground on the Guadelupe River, and drank copious amounts of beer.

All of which are good things. But the best thing was definitely our tent. Why, you might ask? 'Cause a) it was free, b) it was freaking huge c) we were actually able to put the damn thing up in the dark. It has these huge, nearly 1.5" diameter poles - they're heavy as all hell. And there weren't any drawings or directions or anything - just two drunk (and possibly high, knowing them) guys, my tired husband and myself. But we did it! The thing went up, didn't fall over, and kept us sheltered for the night.

Of course, the other fly in the ointment was the fact that the stupid thing doesn't have a rain fly. And, of course, the next day we all started feeling raindrops.

Oops.

Luckily for us, it was a false alarm and nothing more drenching than a drizzle. But we would have been in major trouble if the rain had actually come.

On another note, we pretty much had the campsite to ourselves. We reserved three spots - which amounted to the square footage of a freaking postal stamp - but ended up using seven. Hee! We pretty much had our own little tent city. Everyone else's tent was nicer than ours, but ours was the tallest, so that's something.

I also met the oddest human ever. I can't decide if Billdo (yes, that's a reference to dildos) is the greatest waste of carbon on the face of the planet or simply a marginally likable, no more intelligent than he needs to be guy... but not quite as much of a waste as I initially thought. The first night Billdo was the biggest cockbiter I had ever met, but the second night he slowed down into a mostly-normal human. I can't decide which Bill is the real one.

But anyway, hubbie and I are going to buy a tent (with a rainfly, thank-you-very-much) and try this camping thing again sometime soon. Yup.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Whee!

My husband says I'm better than pig - the magical animal, aka the source of BACON.

I know I'm loved.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Apples are sweet

Posting from the Apple Store in the Galleria. Why? 'Cause I can. And 'cause this keyboard has a very different feel from mine.

I think I like mine better. No buyers remorse for me!

Yay!

Second thoughts

I was going to use this post to talk about how much I HATE the fact that I don't have my medical license yet. About how I haven't worked since the end of July, I'm poor and I feel like my brains are slowly rotting away.

But I won't 'cause if I wrote my rants publicly about the Board the evil Intar-web police might get me.

They hide under the bed, ya know. In the closet too - once I turned sixteen they took over for the Boogy Man, who retired to Florida. I hear he's enjoying a nice spot on the beach oogling all the coeds.

Instead I'll write about cat poo. Yes, cat poo. My dear lovely feline has decided he's too good for the litter box. He has some favored spots - the stairwell, the closet, my suitcase, near the kitchen island. And sometimes, for extra special goodness, he'll excrete ooze of death along with his poop. This lovely slimey goodness is PURE mercaptan, also known as thiols. Basically, thiols be stinky stuff. Here, wiki can explain it much more clearly...

Many thiols are colorless liquids having an odor resembling that of garlic. The odor of thiols is often strong and repulsive, particularly for those of low molecular weight. Thiols bind strongly to skin proteins, and are responsible for the intolerable, persistent odor produced by feces, rotting flesh and the spraying of skunks. Natural gas distributors began adding various forms of pungent thiols, usually ethanethiol, to natural gas, which is naturally odorless, after the deadly 1937 New London School explosion in Texas, United States. Thiols are also responsible for a class of wine faults caused by an unintended reaction between sulfur and yeast. However, not all thiols have unpleasant odors. For example, grapefruit mercaptan, a monoterpenoid thiol, is responsible for the characteristic scent of grapefruit.


So yeah, when the ass juice of death appeared on my suitcase (that I had to use the next morning to go to a freaking interview!) I was a bit pissed off. Luckily, Lysol be some wicked strong mojo and saved the day.

That's my lief right now, people, interviews and cat poo. How did I get this lucky?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Salt Lake City, baby!

Traveling again. Once a week for the last three weeks I’ve been out of town. So far, all the trips have been great. Week #1 was Boston, #2 was Denver and #3 is Salt Lake City. Boston, of course, ruled the hiz-ouse. I will live there again – maybe nor for the next three years, but I will live there again.

Denver was also cooler than I thought it would be. Cheap movie matinee, nice downtown, people actually living downtown and good eats. What more does a gal want? Oh yeah… good public schools, too! (Although I only care for home resale value – not actual progeny. Remember – returning to Boston.)

Salt Lake I’m worried about. The pedi emergency medicine training is great. No question. I’ve met the faculty before at the conference they run out of Park City every winter. Good stuff – good learning and good skiing. What’s to complain about?

Oh yeah, 3.2% beer. And, possibly, overwhelming whiteness. Sickle cell crisis, anyone? No? No Black people… oh, okay then…

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Beantown!

Yeah for us! We're in Boston for an interview (for a fellowship position for me) and a little wee vacation (for the both of us). I've done the interview and I have the usual post-interview headache. Just as soon as I get back to where-ever I'm staying, something in my brain declares war on the rest of me.

I just raided my host's medicine cabinet and stole 800mg of ibuprofen. I hope it kicks in soon.

Meanwhile, I'll sit on the couch and watch VH1.

Then it's time for candlepin bowling, which is the shiz-nizzle. Okay, okay, okay, that web site is shyte, but at least it lays out the rules of this truly awesome sport.

Okay, okay, okay, calling it a sport and not a drinking game is a stretch, but let's keep that opinion to ourselves until I get back out of New England. Capiche?!?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Crossing fingers, toes and all other applicable extremities

I'm gonna say this really quietly, just so I don't temp fate.

The Astros might make the post season.

Don't repeat that.

I don't wanna jinx my boys.

Go Astros!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Why is Scrap Iron Phil Garner named Scrappy? All I could find on Wikipedia was [sic] "nicknamed Scrap Iron due to his gritty style of play."

But why, specifically, Scrap Iron? He's from Jeff City, MO - so it's not like he's from old miner stock, or anything.

Anyone got some answers for me? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?!?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

The Cat

Yargh.

My cat has been sick for the last two weeks, more or less. It started with his usual constipation/stool holding/inappropriate stooling nonsense that happens every time he gets a little stressed. We blamed the bathroom renovations. After all, how would you like it if someone dumped stinky adhesive in the middle of your dining room? Huh? I might just poop on the floor too!

Then his little butt go so miserable looking with stool bulging at the rectum, grass hanging from a stuck ball of shit, tail down shuffling gait... I just couldn't stand it. So being a docta I got out my lube and rubber gloves and went downtown, so to speak.

Oh boy, people, did I ever get that shit out. Grams and grams of the stuff.

Oberon usually sulks for a day, hiding and pooping on the stairs but then gets betta. Not this time. Well, I lie. He got better for a day or so, but then stopped eating.

Do you know what happens to cats when they stop eating? I did. This is what happens. To quote:
FHL is very dangerous for cats and can be life threatening if left untreated.

EEK! I like my cat. Actually, I love my cat. In the past I've ranted about how silly it is to dump tons and tons of cash into pets. My cat is not getting surgery for pancreatic cancer. My cat won't get daily insulin therapy. My cat will not get dialysis. Can you imagine giving my cat, who won't even tolerate pilling, peritoneal dialysis?

However, my cat will get urgent treatment for acute issues. Note the choice of words: urgent treatment for acute issues. There will be no after hours visits to emergency centers (unless, of course, there is massive bleeding or trauma - if the injury looks survivable, he might get a visit then). There will be no long term, expensive chronic care. There will be office visits to my regular vet during regular hours for complaints that sound something like, "my cat's not eating and I don't want him to die of liver disease. Help, please?!?"

We walked out of the vet about $100 poorer armed with meds to help his little belly push food through his stomach.

Unfortunately, this plan did not work.

Back to the vet we go... $500 later, still no definitive diagnosis. The poor cat comes home leaking barium from his anus (courtesy of his normal barium swallow) along with enema fluid ('cause he didn't poop during his hospital stay) and immediately starts pooping EVERYWHERE. Leaving little kitty butt prints everywhere from the barium. But, while at the vet, he did eat.

So that was good.

One of the meds he came home with was Valium (diazepam). Why? Apparently the stuff acts as an appetite stimulant. Don't believe me, check this out. Or, if yer lazy, read the quote.
# Uses of Diazepam

# In animals, diazepam is given as a sedative, to treat convulsions, to manage excitement or as a muscle relaxant.
# Diazepam is often used with other drugs to ease an animal in and out of anesthesia.
# In some animals, particularly cats, diazepam in small doses has been used to increase appetite and treat behavior problems such as urine spraying or aggression.
So we gave Ober-kitty the recommended dose of Valium this morning. It was a struggle. Twenty minutes pass. I catch something odd in the corner of my vision... Oberon is staggering around the townhouse. He tries to turn... and lands on his ass. Jumps from the couch... and lands on his face. He was a mean drunk too. He took Puck down in the daily fight for dominance. (He'd sobered up some by then.)

It was damn funny.

Tomorrow he's only getting a half dose. But for $50 I could arrange a private showing...

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Doncha just hate it when...

I hate it when I brush my teeth in the morning before having anything to eat and I see in my sinkbowel a popcorn shell.

'Cause then I realize the last time I had popcorn was a week ago at the movies.

I hate that.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Cool new toy

So as I've been posting about previously, we're redoing the bathroom's shower surround. One of the steps required putting up a layer of #15 felt paper just under where all the backerboard is going. Now, in order to get this stuff stapled down to the corners, we had to use my hairdryer to soften it up. At the same time, asphalt mastic caulk was flying everywhere to seal the seams between sheets of felt paper... which is some nasty, stinky, sticky shit.

Nasty, stinky, sticky shit that got all over my hairdryer.

So off I went to Sally Beauty Supply and got a new hairdryer. Which is cool, but not the impetus for my post. I happened to pick a hairdryer that was part of a buy one get one free deal I hadn't even noticed. So I got a flatiron, and man does this thing rock.

I feel like I've finally discovered some kinda hair secret - suddenly I have shiny, not frizzy STRAIGHT hair on a day when I haven't been to the salon. How cool is that? I've never been able to make my hair look like this on my own.

See you guys in a bit, I gotta go back to the mirror to stare at myself some more...

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A day off... from my days off?

So I'm jobless right now. Completely unemployed.

So you would think my bathroom renovations would become central to my usefulness.

You'd be right.

But I still took a day away. I biked all the way down to the movie theater and saw the totally horrible film 'The Protector.'

Terrible terribleness. But hey, if butt-kicking is to your liking, go for a matinee. You'll have fun!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Way back in May

I made the year mark. I missed my blogoversery by nearly six months. Damn, I'm forgetful!

That's right, one plus year of blogging. I really didn't think I'd make it this far. I've tried journaling in the past and never wrote beyond the three week mark. So one year (and more!) is kinda big for me.

And, well, it'd be bigger if I was a more regular poster.

Eh, oh well. At least I post. And on a good day, two people actually read this shit!

Cool!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Bathroom renovation and nasty suprises

So we have to re-do the bathroom. Our pipes broke, requiring the plumber to bash the walls up a bit. I know, I know. There should be a panel behind the bathroom wall that gives you access to the pipes. We didn't have one. Ya see, our builder apparently ran out of money about 75% of the way through the project. So a lot of the little details (like wall panels and nice kitchen countertops) got skipped. And our tile was nasty anyway, so what the hell, right?

Last week I went to work taking out the old walls and tile. Drywall saw? Check. Sledgehammer? Check. Bugs crawling out of the walls scaring me half to death and giving me the heebie-jeebies? Check!

Ohmigod, we had cockroaches the size of Texas and carpenter ants. I could take the studs out with my bare hands they were so crumbly. I was so skeeved out that I had to call my husband at work and skeeve him out.

Fortunately, due to better living through chemistry, the bug man came and told me what to do. All them buggies be DEAD! Dead, I say. Dead like the relationship between Donovan McNabb and T.O. Dead like Elvis. Dead like the proverbial doornail. (That's right, bitches!)

Now we've replaced the studs and insulation, covered the lot with 15 lbs. felt paper and replaced the tub. Did mention that we had to remove the tub? No? Well, it's easier than it sounds... provided you have two strong men to do it for you! Thanks, Rob! We're almost ready to start the original project - the damn tiling. It's gonna seem so easy after all the other crap we've already done.

Yargh.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Birthday manners

I am very proud of myself. I was confronted with blatant rudeness, immaturity and poor manners and I didn't point them out.

Now those of you who know me understand how rate it is that I keep a handle on my tounge. I lack 'the filter.' You know, the one that catches all the crap that the ID really wants to say before it gets out of the mouth. Since I don't have said filter all sorts of detrious comes flying out of my mouth when I'm perterbed.

But for once, I reinforced that filter with titanium wire and the bitch held. Why, might you ask? Because I was at a birthday dinner. A birthday dinner for a woman that I really like, but don't know all that well.

And she doesn't know me all that well. She knows that I'm loud, that I can burp better than 90% of the college fraternity population, that occationally I'm a mean drunk and that I suck at karaoke. But she's never seen me truly mad.

Fortunately for her.

So I couldn't very well unleash a can of well deserved whoop-ass on her professed best friend. 'Cause after all, this was A's birthday freaking dinner.

But hot damn, the BFF so deserved it. (For those of you not versed in pre-adolescent girl lore, BFF stand for best friend forever, biatches.) My friend A had warned me that BFF was, "loud and opinionated." Um, no. She's a f*cking brat. Here's why:

1) She shows up to her best friend's dinner 55 minutes late.
2) She immediately starts texting at the table... the traditional Japanese tatami, butt firmly on the floor, special 'cause we planned it that way table.
3) She starts yelling about how bad the service at the restaurant is, despite the fact that prior to her arrival, the staff had been doing an admirable job handling a party of 15. After her arrival and loud disparaging comments, service mysteriously slowed. What a twist!
4) Because the service is 'slow', she declares that she is not buying any of her own drinks. Oh, and did I mention that this was A's twenty first birthday? Uh, exactly who should be getting the free booze?
5) She then complains about the long hours she puts in at architecture school. Now, architecture students do put in crazy hours. But please, BFF needs to remember to check her attitude at the door when she's talking to a bunch of people who, on average, are at least five years her senior. Why? 'Cause us old fogies have realized that, well, college only kinda matters. Don't get me wrong, be cool, stay in school! But until the quality of your work determines your income, the safety of a building or, um, life or death for some poor kiddo... just cool it. We've all been there, we'll sympathise some, but not if BFF is yelling about her woes at 10 million decibels and clearly believing that she is clearly working harder than anyone else at the table.

Just to remind you, all of this was at her best friend's birthday party.

Now, kind viewers, did I smack her down? No. For once in my life, I didn't. Only because I respect A. And I like her boyfriend.

But people, realize that I'm NOT going to keep a lid on my mouth next time. Screw it, the immature bitch needs a little smack around.

And I'm just the docta to do it.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I respect the housewife

As an under-employed wife, I could be called a housewife.

But I'm not. 'Cause a true housewife does house-y things.

And I don't.

I could... but I'm just not interested. Without that interst, I'm completely, totally, utterly bored. Staying at home is horrible. I wake up when my hubbie goes to work to make sure I get out of the damn house.

Don't get me wrong - I love our (relatively) newly purchased townhouse.

But I was never meant to stay here for most of my time.

I was meant to be doctor. I was meant to bust my (metaphorical) balls against the walls of pediatrics.

So to the women who keep house, do it well, and make it into an art form - mad props.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Not dead, I swear

But I am depressed 'cause I can't work right now. Well, I could work - flip burgers, file things, lay tile - but I can't work. The state of Texas is holding my license hostage.

So I'm stuck.

Since I don't want to get up in here and write about how lame my unemployed life is every day, I haven't been posting.

Sorry.

Friday, August 04, 2006

LAMBO!

People who aren't Astros fans, or fans who can't get to Minute Maid Park won't have any freaking clue what I'm talking about. But just let me say, Mike Lamb just hit a homer in the top of the 9th, after the Astros have gained and lost the lead more times than really necessary, in a game that none of us thought we'd win, and that is COOL!

And now Willie Taveras just hit his first homer in SEVEN HUNDRED THIRTY NINE at bats. Last homer for Willie T. was June 10th 2005. Holy crap, where did these bats come from, and why can't they visit more often?

WHY?

Monday, July 31, 2006

Yeah, so it's been a while

But I've been busy, damn it! First off to Dallas to see my brudder in law and my cutie-pie nephew, then back to the ID elective (which kicks ass - both in the learning department and in the holy crap I worked a lot of hours department) and then on to marathon pesto making and music-viewing.

Meanwhile, I finished residency. Yay! Now I just need to make sure my license comes through so I can start working...

Yargh.

Friday, July 21, 2006

The Woot has Arrived!

We just got our new Roomba Sage in the post today. Stupid FedEx delivered it to our neighbor across the drive in 302 Unit D, so I'm glad he likes us. Otherwise we'd be out a vaccuum cleaner.

I hafta tell ya, even sitting on its charging station, the Roomba is sexy. It looks like the future. Small, blinking, round and arthropod-like, it crouches in the corner near the continuously pouring cat bubbler*, just waiting to assault all the cat hair. Eagerly anticipating all the yummy crumbs on the floor. Fervently contemplating sucking up the crap tracked in from the garden. The FUTURE is in our living room.

Whodda thunk it?

(* Those of you who don't know what I mean by bubbler - find the nearest former or current Northeasterner and ask. They'll know.)

Monday, July 17, 2006

My new obsession

I love the woot.

Woot is a crazy website that offers one goodie per day. And sometimes the goodie is lame... but sometimes it's awesome. Like the other day, when I bought my Nascar crazy friend a race-band scanner. For, like, a crazy small amount of money. And then today I bought my hubbie and I a Roomba - 'cause we got mad scary cat hair problems and shit.

If you have a Mac, get the Woot Widget. Why? Endless amusement and occational excellent wedding gifts (see the Nascar goodness above.)

Happy shopping!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Meme from Hell

Actually from Karla. She's stolen so many I figured I could steal one from her. I'm so bad like that.

Drinks in my hell:
  • Coors. Bad beer sold by folks who have political views vastly different from mine. Vastly.
  • Dirty martinis. I can't stand that much briney olive-ness. Salt = good. Niçoise olives = good. Salt + olives + gin = yuck.
  • Red Bull. Even with vodka, that shit tastes bad.
  • Boston-style 'regulah' coffee. For those of you not from the Northeast, that means Dunkin Donuts coffee + a oil drum of cream + two metric tons of sugar. I'm amazed that the cup has any room for the coffee at all... I always sort of expected to see some sort of viscous sludge approximating the texture of concrete in the bottom of every cup. Don't get me wrong, Dunkie's coffee is good. Just with that much cream... shudder.
  • Diet caffeine free anything. Just drink water.

Food in my hell:
  • Hakarl - rotten shark. Bascially, the shark meat is poisonous in its raw state. BUT - as some classy Icelander figured out - if you take the poisonous shark, bury it in the sand for several months, let it go rancid and then serve it with really strong liquor... it's still horrible. But it isn't poisonous anymore! Joy!
  • Chipotle. It tries to kill me. No really, it does.
  • Pumpernickel bread. I don't know why, but I can't stand the stuff. Bleh.
  • McDonald's chicken nuggets. Why eat those pieces of crap when Wendy's has a much much better alternative. Why?!?
Occupations in my hell:
  • Working in fast food. Yay! Getting paid minimum wage, smelling like grease and serving poisonously fatty food to toxically fat people!
  • Nurse. I have all kinds of mad respect for nurses. But damn, I couldn't do that job. Poop from patients (both metaphorical and literal), crap from doctors and crap from administration. Joy!
  • Cabbie. I'd be petrified that one of my fares was gonna rob/assault me. Yikes.
  • Day laborer.
  • Cleaner of cat cages.
  • Telemarketer.

Music mix in my hell:
  • Anything by Mariah Carey. She just makes me wanna puke.
  • Musak.
  • Toby Keith.
  • Most pop music aimed at tweens.

President in my hell: Oh, wait, you mean this isn't hell?

Authors in my hell: Most authors of classic literature. Why? 'Cause I read trash. Well, medical literature and trash. But trash nonetheless.

Husbands in my hell:
  • Tom Cruise. Holy crap, he's a freak.
  • John Travolta. Same reason.
  • Woody Harrelson. Raw food? Plueez!
  • Anthony Bourdain. I love the man, he would be great to drink with, but I'm not sure that I would want him for a husband. Unless he took me with him around the world. That might work.
  • George W. Bush. I'd definitely get arrested for spousal abuse.
  • Bill O'Reilly.
Next door neighbors in my hell.
  • Tom Cruise.
  • George W. Bush.
  • Osama Bin Laden.
  • Barbara Streisand.
  • Jeffery Dahmer.
Only activities allowed in my hell:
  • Taking call in the PICU - with the ICU fellow out on transport and the attending sleeping upstairs.
  • Repeating my intern year... over and over.
  • Putting cell phone numbers into my cell phone. Yargh.
  • Cleaning the litter box.
  • Listening to my mother.
  • Listening to my step-mother in-law.
  • P-chem problem sets. Without MathCad.
  • Watching Unbreakable over and over.
And my own addition to the Hell List: Internet Security and Firewalls from Hell
  • Not being able to access my mindspring email.
  • Having the firewall prevent me from even seeing yahoo.com.
  • Having five different passwords on four different renewal cycles.
  • Passwords that must have an exact number of characters.
  • Passwords that won't let me use special characters.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Rules for paging a doctor

Now, I like my job. I do. But sometimes I just gotta blow off a little steam. And since it's July and all of the new interns are hitting the floors, I thought I would publish a fun and interesting guide to the fine art of paging.

Once upon a time, pagers were more than just accessories to low-budget drug dealers. Pagers (and those oh-so-secure little chains back to the belt loop) adorned the waistband of many respectable professionals. MDs were one of the groups that I'm sure fell into the early adopter category when pagers came out. What better way to free the doc from having to pay attention to all those annoying overhead pages? Now we could focus exclusively on the phone conversation at hand and only listen for horid little chirps from the mysterious black box on our waists.

Now the evil cell phone has replaced the pager for everyday people, and the Blackberry takes pagers to the next level. But alas, doctors haven't kept with the program. Early fears of cellular interference with medical equipment kept cells out of the hospital... which is okay 'cause a lot of phones won't get reception in the bowels of the wards anyway. So we're still shackled to the pager.

The problem is those paging the doc on call still haven't freaking figured out the basics of proper paging. In order to solve this woefully neglected need, below you'll find some guidelines for the art of paging. As with my rules for baseball viewing (see October of 2005), the most important rule with be first, with less important rules following.

Without further ado...

Rules for paging of doctors, version 1.0

1) If you page me, stick the fuck around to answer the phone. Do not walk away. Do not start another conversation on another line. Do not leave the phone to go to the bathroom. If you do not answer, I won't call twice. You will have to page me again, and I will protest if you say, "But doctawife I paged twice and you never called me back!" Yeah, actually I did. Your ass just wasn't around to answer the phone and you might find my foot so far up said ass that you can taste the breakfast taco I spilled on my clog this morning. You have been warned.

2) Page me with a complete call back number. If you miss the first digit of the five number extension, I ain't calling back. My ass is rolling back over to sleep (if I'm in-house) or back to whatever I was doing before you paged.

3) Speak clearly. If you have an accent, use the simplest words you possibly can to get the message across. I'm not a racist, but at three a.m. I am a bitch. Unless you can make English words like 'shock' or 'sick' or 'hypotension' understood go back to the ESL classes, do not pass Go and do not collect $200 and do not come back to work until I can understand you. I may be getting paid to listen to you, but you're being paid enough to be comprehensible. Capiche?

4) If I don't answer after 5-10 minutes, page me again. I might not have gotten an understandable message the first time. Sometimes, even I understand that the system can break rule #2, not the person trying to reach me.

5) If you page me, and I answer, then say I will be by to see the patient, don't page me 10 minutes later with the same question. I assure you, the answer hasn't changed unless the patient has changed. If the patient hasn't changed, then paging me just delays my arrival at the bedside. And that's counterproductive, ain't it?

6) Repeatedly paging an person who never ever answers probably means that the person isn't available to get pages. Try someone else or a supervisor. Example - increasingly ill patient worries nurse. Nurse pages resident. Resident went home post-call five hours ago and turned pager off (which is perfectly appropriate, by the way.) Nurse continues to page resident for three freaking hours with no response (duh) but nurse never tries to page any other doctor. Patient codes (ie gets really really really sick and tries to die - not good). Lesson - if paging a doc every 10 minutes isn't getting a response try someone else! 'Cause if the doc should be answering his pager and isn't the idiot deserves to be in trouble. If the page operator/nurse/clerk who made the call schedule has the doc's number wrong then at least someone will know what's going on. And usually that someone at least has some kinda clue who to call or what to do while waiting for the right person.

7) On a similar note, be nice... until it's time to not be nice. Non-urgent stuff shouldn't ever be flung at me at three am after paging me five million times for other equally non-urgent shit. But if someone is really Sick, feel free to kamikaze page me to your heart's content. Simple, really.

So there you go. Follow these seven rules and everyone's life will be better. Disobey them at your own risk.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Domestic productivity

Yes, I can occationally be bothered to do things around the house. This weekend we gardened - a lot. There is a little segment of land between our townhouse, the one across from us and the nightclub behind us that has been sad sad sad for many moons. We were seriously sick of looking at its weed infested yuckness. 'Cause Texas weeds are ugly.

Where I grew up, the weeds were pretty - ya know, dandelions and such. Here they are these horrible clingy vine like things. Horrible! And such a pain to dig out of the ground.

So anyway, the condo association has been bitching and moaning about this ugly parcel of land since we bought here. But nothing has happened. So we just dug the damn stuff up and planted vinca. Vinca is supposed to be an annual plant, but here in Tejas (where winter never happens) it has become a best bloomer. I swear, those vinca grow like rabbits procreate! Lovely, huge, and low-maintenance. Awesome.

And I got to mulch today. Mulching reminds me of all the good things about my childhood - my dad, romping around the yard, getting dirty. I love the smell of the stuff. Apparently everyone else thinks mulch smells like poo, but I think it smells like love.

I had a good day, playing in the dirt. I hope your Sunday was just as cool.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Okay, Karlababble's commenters rock!

And yes, I'm aware that my posts are using too many exclamation points recently. Sorry! (heh.)

But you must go to Karlababble, and you must read the comments. You must do this NOW or I will fry your brain with evil pediatric mind-rays! Mind-rays, I tell you!

Yes I can!

Yes I can read 300+ pages of Texas Medical Jurisprudence in three days! Yes I can pass the exam at 7:30am on Saturday. Whee! Even tho I've been out of college since 1999 I can sill cram! Go me!

And let me tell ya, Texas medical law is seriously fucked up. Not like that is much of a suprise to anyone who knows anything about Texas, but still. I guess I had had some sort of delusional state going on and hadn't realized how institutionalized our state of fuckitude actually had become.

(And yes, I know in the preceding paragraph I violated a whole bevy of grammatical rules, but I just can't bring myself to care.)

On another note, my grandma-in-law isn't as sick as we had feared. She still has lung cancer... and it's already metastisized, but we had originally thought that she was in intensive care and really really Sick. (The medical-slang use of the word Sick, not the I-have-a-cold use of the word sick.) Her cancer isn't the worst kinda malignancy, but since it has already metastized her prognosis is way worse than it would have been. Basically, she can do radiation and chemo but the chances of long term cure ain't hot. So she's still sick, but she's not gonna die right now, which is what we originally thought.

It's good and bad news at the same time. Good news, 'cause she still feels fine and eats and laughs and all that. Bad news 'cause the bad times will come.

Unless she gets hit by a bus coming home from her dream vacation. Which maybe wouldn't be a bad thing, ya know?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Sadness and Lung Cancer

A close relative of my husband's has been diagnosed with lung cancer, and apparently the cancer has already metastisized to the lymph nodes.

We don't know much, since the news is second hand. We'll go visitng tomorrow. But in the meantime PLEASE stop smoking, stop exposing your freaking kids to smoke and stop complaining that we - the former smokers and the non-smokers of the world - are infringing on smokers' right. Fuck that, smokers impinge on my right to live.

And while we're at it - fuck those jackasses who installed, used and exposed their workers to asbestos and then denied that that the shit was toxic.

Yeah, just like Agent Orange isn't toxic.

Cocksuckers.


P.S. - My days of social smoking have ended. I've been smoke free for a short while, but that 'drunk cig' shit ends now.

Monday, June 26, 2006

The French Laundry



Okay, I'm finally responding to one of my first not-from-friends (although those are completely lovely too) requests! Sorry about the delay, but I had some serious scanner issues to work out. So now that they are (sorta) conquered - above is the copy of the tasting menu from French Laundry!

First of all, the details at the Laundry are astounding. For example - the lighting fixtures have three little laundry-label symbols on them: machine wash, no tumble dry and iron if necessary. Very cool. [Hubby comment: other French Laundry pluses are lots of knowledgeable servers, a great sommelier, and presentations like performance art.] Now for the food!

First up, the panna cotta. The custardy cheesy goodness was very nice, but the caviar was the star. Fresh and succulent it just about melted on the tounge. I had a nice sparkling wine - actually a true champagne. Possibly the best bubbly I ever had. Next up... FOIE! Yes, the lovely product of force-fed duck smeared over nice brioche. And when each plate of brioche had sat on the table for 3 or more minutes, waiters came by with fresh hot bready goodness. I joked that the waitstaff must have a timer, and the server said, "Well, mostly, yeah." Totally deadpan.

Oh well, I have no future as a comedian.

Next I had 'boudin'. The sausage like thing, not the Foreign Legion thing. But mine was made of Walleye Pike. I would not have been able to tell you where, exactly the summer truffles were, but I could definitely taste them in there somewhere. And let me tell you, if all bacon was like that I would eat it every freaking day. To hell with cholesterol I would die happy.

Okay, and the Caesar salad? Didn't look like any freaking Ceasar I ever saw... but that's okay 'cause the lobster was smooth and succulent.

(Side note, John Stewart just said 'testicu-lar-dar' while talking to Lance Armstrong - no joke!)

Next was the only dish I didn't much care for (besides the sweet ones. Those who know me know that I don't much like desert. Now I know that possibly one of the best chefs of the world can't make me truly crave sweet stuff. I must be defective. But we already knew that!) which was this little ball of rabbit meat on a bone. Now I liked the bone - marrow yummy - but the little ball of meat was just a little dry and not quite... there. [Hubby liked the spice combination on Thumper quite a bit, though.]

The ribeye of lamb was great. Yummy yummy. Not a dish that pushed any culinary envelopes, but it was a superb example of classic French lamby goodness. I even like the mint tapenade, which never happened before. [Hubby sez: sure, hindsight is that the $150 extra for two servings of Wagyu (Kobe) beef seems desirable now.]

And that was the end of the realy good stuff for me. There was one more course and then sweet stuff. And I just don't like sweet food. But we had a scary good meal for a scarily huge amount of money.

But for my taste, in ten years when I can afford to to that again, I think I'm going back to Cyrus. Cyrus just pushes the food harder, tries for more and has more fun. But I wouldn't have known that if I hadn't had the chance to eat at both.

And if I could go for $200 a plate including wine I would do it again next year. Just not for $200 a head plus wine. Yikes!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

I got a request!

And I promise to respond. Just not this entry - I promise to describe my French Laundry experience in sickening detail... but after I've scanned my copy of the menu into my Mac. 'Cause they give you a copy of the day's tasting menu when you leave after your meal.

So cool.

But now I have to tell you about my new obsession - Hex. Yes, it's on BBC America, and yes that makes it more likely that it will suck, but trust me, it doesn't! The show is about a witch, who doesn't know she's a witch and an ancient curse. It's all good, baby! And I get to watch the commercials for Footballer's Wives, which I think are probably better than the actual show.

Aw yeah.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Vacation n stuff

Wow. We're having a foodie vacation to end all foodie vacations.

Really.

I'm not as cool as Karla, so I don't have pictures of my food, but DAMN we've been eating well. The hubbie and I are in Sonoma, CA - one of the epicenters of good vino. And we're less than a hop, skip and/or jump away from THE epicenter of the American wine industry - Napa. Now, folks 'round here (i.e. Sonoma) say that Sonoma is for wine and Napa is for auto parts. I disagree... but Sonoma wines really really don't suck. And the wine tours / wine tastings don't suck either.

So here's a list of our favorite tours:

-Benziger
-Hess Collection

Okay. So I cheated. The Benziger winery is the only one I listed that's an actual winery tour - ya know, the vines, the land, the caves, etc. Hess is just a really kick ass modern art museum in the guise of a winery. Yeah - the wine's good, but really the flaming typewriter is the true draw.

And here's our list of favorite things to taste:

-Benziger (yeah - they're that good)
-Sinskey
-Bell

Okay, okay. The Sinskey experience this week wasn't all that it could be. (They're not in the Army this week - har har!) But based on prior tastings and bottles - damn, that's good wine! And even if this week's tasting wasn't perfect, the staff presented with wines with knowledge and humor. That definitely counts for something. For example - hubbie and I had great wine at Etude - I mean really really good. But for the first half of the tasting, the staff member leading the session seemed as enthusiastic as a stick in the mud. He warmed up... eventually. Or maybe we got drunker and cared less. Who knows, and who cares. He didn't really help his wine sell. The wine had to take up his slack. So that's why Etude, although outstanding, didn't make the list. But Benziger. Hmmmm... Benziger. Benziger just blew me out of the water with the goodness and the sustainable agricultural practices and the friendly people and the quality and the lusciously fabulous GOODNESS of the wine. (Did I mention the goodness?)

So yeah, we're now a member of their wine club. Go figure.

Now, before I get to Bell, Acacia deserves a honorable mention. There is a man there named Mike. And he is funny. No - really really funny. He works at the tasting desk and does other odd jobs part time. I know he has a wife and a dog and that he thinks the entire world revolves around his needs and wants. Fortunately for us, he needs and wants to be entertaining... and he is. So if you're in the area, hit Carneros and see Mike. If' he's not there, Acacia probably doesn't deserve an extra trip. But if he is, oh boy, life is good.

On to Bell. Bell winery is small - like only nine permanent staff members small. But they have these wines... and they are good. The staff is good too. We managed to score a tasting during the bottling and the director of hospitality and marketing was quite happy to show us around. How cool is that? Her winery had a major thing-a-ma-joober going on and she took the time to shuttle our ignorant butts around. But oh - the wine - it was so good. I'm currently sipping on the 2002 Sonnette... ya'll you WISH you were my taste buds right now.

Oh yeah, you SO do.

San Fran is up next, and hubbie and I have been fortunate enough to score reservations at the French Laundry. Exciting! A restaurant that literally EVERYONE raves about. I can't wait. Last night we ate at Cyrus - another restaurant with a killer rep. I had seared foie gras with rosti and a carmelized onion like thing. SO GOOD. The previous course was Japanese Pen Shell with sweetcorn and pickled ramp greens. Sounds horrible, doesn't it? But then, there's this article on the Pen Shell that makes it sound like a tolerable bivalve. But only tolerable, right?

You'd be wrong. So very, VERY wrong. 'Cause it was so good. Yum. Ramps! Chewy but not tough goodness! Sweet corn! Yay!

So the foodie vacation continues. I can't wait. French Laundry, here I come!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The bad day before the good day

So the bad day was today. As you might expect from the title 'cause I know ya'll are just such smart readers! I did most of my damn credentialing paperwork for my upcoming job. I measured the stack of paperwork - the stack was 4.5 inches fucking tall. I am SO not kidding. And when I went to turn it in - I found out that I hadn't needed to do half of it. The assistant would have been happy to do most of it for me! Yargh!

I was stressing so hard about getting all that shit done today I gave myself one of the worst headaches I've had this year.

BUT! All is not lost. 'Cause gtuess what...

Vacation starts Friday! Yeah, it's with my mother. But still! California here we come! We'll be gone for nine days, so I might be incommunicado. I may bring the spiffy new toy, but it weighs a ton and has (honestly) crap for battery life. So I may not. We'll see.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

I grad-u-muated!

Wow. Holy crap, I'm an adult. When the fuck did that happen? Most of my friends are adults too... and I have photographic proof.

See?


We all growed up and stuff. Graduation was a blast, even with the inevitable and lamentable speeches. But they didn't go on too long, and the skits and SNL-style news jokes were a hit. The food was the same as it always is - some sorta nut-crusted chicken thing with what tries to be pesto rice but is actually just green and bland with overcooked veggies.

So now I've gotta get on with being adult... scary. And to really nail down my status as a 'mature individual' my husband is, as we speak, applying for a promotion. Holy crap! I hope he gets it. It would be really nice to have everyone else acknowledge that he's a FREAKING GENIUS.

'Cause he is, really. He's way smarter than I am. And no one gives him the credit he deserves. Which sucks. So promotion good.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Okay, now I have tools!

But I don't have any idea how to use them. This awesome piece of computing equipment comes with software that should let me make this blog WAY way way mondo better...

The only problem is that I don't know how to get the stuff on this computer up to blogger. And until my husband gets www.becluelessfaster.com up and running, I'm kinda blogger dependent. Being that it's free and all. If I could buy a clue at Kmart, I'm sure that this wouldn't be a problem. Even though my hubbie has shown me how to write stuff in various web-creation programs (the one written by Macromedia, most notably) none of it ever sticks.

Hence, the need for a clue at Kmart. Altho I'm po' so I might have to go to the dollar store and get the discount version. I feel like I've gotten access to a supercomputer and I'm trying to get the answer to 2 + 2. Not that I could solve that anyway, but still. Afterall, those imaginary numbers are out to get me.

(They're after me! The ride behind me in large white vans carrying flyswatters. Flyswatters, I tell ya!)

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Happiness and Computing

So we sold my car. Very sad... but also quite good. I had a 2002 WRX. It looked something like this -



But mine had more dents and less miles. Her name was the Folley, 'cause I bought her when I really really really should have been conserving my cashflow.

Ripshit fast, and able to carry $800 of Ikea furniture home in one trip. How cool is that? Alas, she needed to go to a new home, so we listed her on Autotrader and she sold in less than a week.

She went to a good home... I think. He's a student in College Station, TX and his Dad's a cop. If I find out that he wraps her around a tree while drunk, I'm gonna find him and open up a can of whupass! Then again, I'll probably have to get in line behind Daddy dearest, but that's fine with me.

Anyway, with all of our new moolah, we'll actually be able to afford the final steps of making me a doctor. There are fees inside of fees, people! If I had known (I guess they told me about this cash hemorrhage... ONCE... when I was an INTERN and couldn't see past the next call night, let alone three YEARS into the future) I would have been saving pennies for a while now.

But I didn't. 'Cause I'm dumb. Hence, the selling of the car. But even the State of Texas and the American Academy of Pediatrics won't be able to spend the entire sale cost of the Scoob. Yippee!

So guess what I got. Just guess. You get three tries...

Okay, no, that's not it.
Hint: It weighs about 5.6 lbs and is Energy Star compliant.

No, but you're getting closer.
Hint: It comes in a sexy black box.

Almost!
Hint: It has a 2.16 GHz Intel Core Duo processor.

That's right, I scored a totally sweet MacBook Pro! And 'cause I live with a computer super-God, he insisted that I trick the sucker out. Maxed out the RAM, the good graphics card, the second largest hard drive, the three year protection plan... Super Duper Sweet! The damn thing even has a remote. WTF? Why does a computer need a remote? I don't know, and I don't care! It's just freaking cool.

Next on the list with our cash... garage door opener. Not nearly as sexy. But useful.

Meanwhile, I'm gonna keep playing with my new toy. Ciao!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Doh!

Here was the plan this morning:

- dress in the cute new *white* short skirt I bought yesterday
- get the hair cut and highlighted
- find a Windows computer (grr - Macs rule! And the USMLE does NOT because their practice CD isn't Mac compatible) and do my stupid practice questions.

What happened:

- changed into scrubs
- went to clinic (oops - I'd forgotten about that!)
- Aunt Flo came to town (wouldn't that have been freaking grand in a short white summer skirt, hmm?)
- found a Windows machine and did my stoopid test questions.

Hopefully the rest of the week will go more smoothly.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Dinner goodness

Those of you who know me, know that I'm a little bit of a gourmand. I like my food and wine - and I hate hate hate putting anything in my mouth that doesn't taste good. What's the point? So in defense of my wallet I've learned to cook. And I don't suck. Last night I made a lovely Boursin-stuffed chicken breast with garlic mashers and a side salad.

But sometimes, the fancy-schmancy food needs to take a seat. 'Cause we all need some good ole American-style grease. So tonight -

hot dogs
Kraft mac 'n' sleeze (the kind with the gooey Velveeta packet instead of the powder)
salad with ranch dressing

Awww yeah.

Friday, May 19, 2006

USMLE step 3 and buffet food

Let's tackle the second part of my title first. I discovered something new today... I don't like Dimassi's Mediterranean Grill. Not one little bit. I shouldn't have been suprised since I generally don't like buffets/cafeterias/appetizer bar thingies anywhoo. Just read the article connected to the link. How many places actually have their employees "[k]eep all surface areas clean. Employees should quickly clean up any spills. Staffers should be made aware of the dangers of spreading germs through wiping cloths. Studies have shown that wiping cloths can contain enough foodborne microorganisms to make people sick. To prevent this from happening, store wiping cloths in sanitizing solution at the proper concentration at all times." Have you ever seen a cafeteria employee hit the sanitation bucket between every wipe? I'm sure that reputable chains try to teach that to their people, but come on! It just never happens. I didn't see anything wrong at Dimassi's, but I just don't trust the whole idea of a public buffet in general. And then there was the food.

It was passable. I could eat it.

But not much more.

I won't be going back - at least not for the food. I won't protest too much if someone I like drags me back (hi Keith!)... but otherwise hell no. For the same amount of money there is MUCH better food to be had. Oh well.

Now on to the step. It is the third of three United States Medical Licensing Examinations and holy crap will I be glad when its over. It has all of this (shudder) adult medicine on it.

YUCK! Smelly adults (nevermind that I'm a smelly adult.) All this icky stuff I haven't had to think about. Dementia. Diabetic foot ulcers. Schizophrenia. Freaking colon cancer!

This is the last time I ever have to study the adult pathophys... or is it? Oh yeah, I want to do pedi ER. That means one month of adult ER. Oh powers that be, if you exist, please help me through that month... and help my patients while you're at it!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Stolen from Dave!

1) What's in the glove box of your car?

Owner's manual, spare brush. That's about it.

2) Favorite classes in college (or high school):

Anything taught by Anita Tien or David Haines.

3) Shampoo brand:

Pantene for red heads. I really like Aveda, but it's too much money.

4) Favorite piece of furniture you own:

A stainless steel table from Ace Mart Restaurant Supply Company. I really really love that table!

5) Idea of a really good first date:

Uhhh... one with my husband?

6) Favorite fruit:

Blackberries.

7) Pick a passage from a favorite book:

"Why should i give two tugs of a dead dogs cock?" - Spider Jeruselem, Transmetropolitain.

8) What would you eat for dinner if it were your last night on earth?

Local: benjy's - what would depend on the special. I like their crawdad flapjack appetizer. US: Blue Room, Boston, MA. One of their lamb shanks. For sure. International: rissotto in Italy. Oh, oh yeaaaaaah.

9) Free Will or Destiny?

Free will.

10) What would you sing at karaoke?

Apparently, I sing Vanilla Ice. Don't ask.

11) Sweater or Sweatshirt?

Sweater. Preferably cashmere. But not likely.

12) Paris, NYC, Tokyo, or Rio de Janeiro?

Paris. Lovely town, great food, people who appreciate wine. My kinda place.

13) What do you wear to bed usually?

Nothin' Clothes are evil when sleeping.

14) If you dyed your hair, what colour would you dye it?

Purple.

15) If you went back to school, what would you study?

Less freaking chemistry. More history and possibly Spanish.

16) Gum or mints?

Gum - it's all about the water brash. Water brash is the saliva that you make and then swallow by chewing gum. The great freaking thing about water brash is that it is alkaline... which helps with my heartburn. Yay!

17) Recurring nightmares?

None. At least not any more. Which is nice.

18) Age & location of first kiss?

Sixth grade in Nancy's back yard. Yes, truth or dare was involved.

19) Describe your favourite pair of shoes:

A pair of Steve Madden black cowboy boots that I bought in Boston for fifty bucks. Aww yeah. They have these great pointed toes.

20) What movie/tv character do you feel like you relate to most?

Sometimes I feel like Meg from Family Guy, and sometimes I feel like that bitchy ER chief (the one with the red hair and the cane) from the show, eh, ER.

21) First CD purchase:

Bon Jovi, Slippery When Wet. 80's hairband goodness. So yummy.

22) First concert:

Huey Lewis and the News. No idea what year, but I know that my dad had to drive me.

23) Do you like camping?

Yes, but I haven't been in years. Who knows if I would like it now that I'm all adult and stuff.

24) If you were doomed to be mauled to death by an animal, what animal would you prefer that to be?

Dolphins. As long as they were singing, "So long and thanks for all the fish" from the Hitchhiker's Guide.

25) Do you/would you own a gun?

Hell no. Especially not a handgun. Maybe if I lived in Maine and knew how to shoot, dress and cook deer meat I would get a shotgun. But handguns are only used to kill people, which I just can't agree with.

26) What religion would you like to know more about:

None of them, really. At least not in the 'I think I want to join this religion' kinda way. I'm curious about other people's beliefs... but I'm not looking to change my personal belief system.

27) Favourite food as a kid:

Filet mignon. Seriously.

28) How many languages do you speak?

One sorta well - that would be English. I used to be fluent in German, but that's gone. I can do a reasonable history and physical exam in Spanish, but let me tell ya, my grammer isn't so great.

29) If you were a natural disaster, would you be a tornado, hurricane, or earthquake?

Earthquake.

30) If you could make one state in the US just go away, which state would that be?

Possibly South Dakota, but maybe my current state... Texas.

31) How many prescriptions do you take?

I'm supposed to be taking three, but I'm currently only on two. Oh well.

32) Lake or Ocean?

Ocean. For sure. I like them boats on that there ocean... but I'm not a beach. I'm a snow person. Oh well, my love for the ocean will go unfulfilled.

33) What is the worst lie you've ever told to get out of work, (and don't say you've never lied to get out of work, because that my friend is a lie and you know it)?

Food poisoning. Yeah, right.

34) Do you carry a backpack, a satchel or "man bag", tote bag, brief case, or a backpack on wheels?

Backpack. And no, I don't have a man bag 'cause I'm not a man. At least last time I checked.

35) Have you ever been arrested/cited for anything other than traffic violations?

Yes.

36) Would you ever move for/with a significant other?

Yes - it might happen in the next two years as a matter of fact. Well, I won't be moving to find my man, but 'cause he kinda wants to go back east. Yup.

37) What was the weirdest thing you had to dissect for biology?

Well, I dissected a human in med school. Does that count?

38) Would you ever consider spending some time at a nudist colony?

Probably not. I'm waaaaaaaaaay too pale.

39) Best thing you can cook?

Either my mushroom risotto, or my lasagne. My husband says risotto or lasagne or my shepherd's pie.

40) If you were going to donate 1000 dollars to a charity, what would that be?

Red Cross or Hope and Healing in Memphis. The folks there do really good work.

I tag Eileen!

Love/Hate

I love my mother, but I also hate hate hate her. She gets confused. Really confused. Yesterday was a good day, and everything seemed to be crusing along just fine for our upcoming trip to Cali. Today she had everything backwards. And she hadn't done the one thing I had asked her to do in order to make sure I could get our reservations today.

So now I have hotel reservations for the four days in the middle of our trip, no plane tickets, no hotel reservations in San Francisco and a mother who is convinced that I asked her to spend $1000 per room per night for four nights.

Which I hadn't done. The first thing she wanted me to do today was cancel the four night reservation that I had. I said no.

Nicely.

But it took a damn long while until I figured out why she had wanted me to cancel the reservations. She doesn't seem to remember how much she liked really nice accomidations on trips with my Dad, and she certainly has NO IDEA how much those rooms cost per night. Not that I knock budget travel - I don't. Shit, you all should see the hotel rooms I used in Guatemala - and I was happy about it! But I know what my mother likes, even when she won't admit it. Her favorite hotel in the world is in freaking Hong Kong - overlooking the harbor, rooftop pool, and we had a two room suite. Her favorite hotel in Boston is the Elliot Hotel (which starts at $315 a night!) and her favorite in NYC is the Parker Meridian, which starts at $295!

Yargh. The hotel Dad, Mom and I stayed in while we 'did Rome' was $474 a night. She even admits she really liked that place, especially the breakfast brunch! Why why why won't she spend the money to have that kind of quality experience? I KNOW she likes it. I know she can afford it. I could totally plan a Cali vacation much more cheaply than I plan to make this one. But it wouldn't make her happy. She wouldn't like the kinds of compromises I would make. Hell, she probably wouldn't like the activities I would plan. She's used to the best on vacation - and a trip on my budget wouldn't give her that.

Yargh. Damn it! I'll get this bad boy squared away if it kills me. 'Cause I love her.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Yay - I got tagged

I AM: a wife, a doctor, a daughter, an avid reader and a big time procrastinator.

I WANT: whirled peas. Actually, I want my dad back. Barring that, a plasma screen or LCD flatpanel TV would be nice.

I WISH: my mother didn't have short term memory issues / episodes of delirium.

I HATE: stupid people. Example - there was a case of rabies diagnosed in our PICU recently. Now, when exposed to droplets from a rabies patient, you need to get the rabies vaccine. 'Cause rabies is 100% fatal. We don't got no meds to treat that sumbitch! So getting the vaccine is important, right? So when the doc who needed the vaccine was told that he couldn't get it that Friday (and the employee health office wasn't open on Saturday) 'cause the tech had to go to freaking LensCrafters (!) I was a little upset on his behalf. That is just blatant negligent supidity. And carelessness. Oh - and incompetence too!

I MISS: Boston. I wish it wasn't so darn expensive up there.

I FEAR: that I'll disappoint my husband or fail a patient. I fear I won't pass the pedi boards.

I HEAR: Alton Brown on Iron Chef America. It's battle goat cheese. Bobby Flay just screwed something up and is starting a dish over. Bad omen.

I WONDER: if I can find a copy of the Element 'I pinch' commercial somewhere on the internet. I LOVE that ad.

I REGRET: not voting in the last primary. I can't complain if I didn't vote.

I AM NOT: daintly or tactful. This is sometimes a problem.

I DANCE: like a goth.

I SING: poorly, but very enthusiastically.

I CRY: at commercials. Sad, but true. (Just ask the husband - he's seen it!)

I AM NOT ALWAYS: nice. But that isn't news to anyone.

I MADE: chicken stock today. I love my pressure cooker.

I WRITE: admission notes, progress notes, ER notes, pediatric mock codes and this blog. I used to write well, but now what I write usually resembles alphabet soup.

I CONFUSE: TTP with ITP - it's a medical thing. I also confuse Francis with Keith. Oops.

I NEED: money. But who doesn't?

I SHOULD: study more.

I START: a new job in August. Yikes.

I FINISH: fiction (particularly romance novels) very very quickly.

I TAG: Nobody - 'cause everyone I know who blogs has either done this or doesn't do these lists. (Hi Dave!) I would tag my husband, but he doesn't blog. Yet (he says).

Friday, May 05, 2006

Apparently, I'm a bad girl.

So I stole a Dante's Inferno quiz from Eileen's blog... she landed in the 2nd level of hell. I didn't do quite as well -

The Dante's Inferno Test has banished you to the Seventh Level of Hell!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
LevelScore
Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Very Low
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Very Low
Level 2 (Lustful)Very High
Level 3 (Gluttonous)High
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Low
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)High
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Very High
Level 7 (Violent)Extreme
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)Very High
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Moderate

Take the Dante's Divine Comedy Inferno Test

Monday, May 01, 2006

Post 100! How about that?

Wow. I started this thing nearly a year ago, and I'm somewhat amazed that I'm still going strong. I like my blog, I like writing and I want to keep on going.

Cool.

So - without much futher ado - more Guatemala!

Welcome to Livingston! I've posted about this before, but now I have pictures. Nifty. The kiddo in front is a little Garifuna boy paddling in the water, blowing bubbles, and taunting his friends in his native dialect. Some things are universal.

There wasn't much interesting in Livingston to photograph, although I tried. The best I could come up with is a picture of what I think are drying racks between two waterfront houses. I didn't catch the chickens in this shot, but trust me, they were there!

Some of the more interesting stuff was on the boatride between Rio Dulce and Livingston. The canyon of graffiti was one such site. I managed to snag a picture of the oldest graffiti on the wall. Go me!

And finally, Rio Dulce itself. A squat, run down and typically Guatemalan port of call popular with the yatching set. I don't think that these were the multimillionaire yatchers... I don't think those guys every leave the 'proper' part of the Carribean, or perhaps the Med. These guys were the college drop-out, I-started-my-own-business-and-got-lucky kinda guys. But nice nonetheless.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Copan, Hounduras

The locals like to say that if the Mayan city of Tikal was like New York City - the population and busines capital of the nation - then Copan was like San Francisco. Lots of art and culture, and a whole lot fewer skyscapers. Tikal (apparently, I didn't get there) has some of the tallest pyramids in the Mayan world. Copan's pyramids aren't as high, but are very well preserved and the carvings are fantastic.

But before I get to the ruins, I had to go through a little more modern detritus.

Pyramid 1 at Copan has these incredibly tall, steep steps to the top. The priests who used to trek up thos bad boys would wear 40-50 lbs of jade! Talk about buns of steel!

In the main plaza around Pyramid 1, the king 17 Monkeys erected 17 statues of himself. As silly as this sounds, he was the most powerful and successful of the rulers of Copan... so I guess he deserved it. He's in his medatation pose and his headdress is made of macau feathers. The Mayans were VERY into the macau. Then again, according to my guide, pretty much any animal that showed up in any of the carvings was 'sacred'. Could - just maybe - one or two of the carvings have just been for the hell of it? Nah...

Also in the main plaza - human sacrifice. They would lay the poor fool out on this huge hunk of rock, slice him open and then collect his blood in the grooves. The person chosen for sacrifice was the team captain of the losing side in the Mayan equivalent of soccer. Just goes to show that there is a deep and organic tendency to take goal based sports VERY seriously in Central and South America.

The playing field for sacrifice ball. I know there is a proper name for the game, and calling it 'sacrifice ball' is probably disrespectful... But oh well. The game was played by trying to knock the softball-sized ball into the goal using only the trunk (ya know - the chest and shoulders, silly!).

The Maya didn't invent true arches - notice no capstone. They also didn't invent the wheel. Go figure.

Okay, maybe the Mayans do some sculptures just for fun.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Meeting the demand for pictures!

So I've finally figured out how to get pictures up here... and I've finally gotten Firefox to agree with me. Yargh.

Anyway, this was my office. I had a table, four scales, one bed and a bathroom with a shower. All the medical necessities. Hah!


And all of the reference books were brought on my back from the US.

Heavy.

But everything else was in Spanish or 20 years old. Not useful. The desk got more and more crowded as I learned more Spanish... suddenly I had everything in both English and Spanish. One copy for me and one copy for the patients.

It's good to know enough to be dangerous.


Next is the exam table and the sheets that were NEVER changed. Ever. Not once in four weeks. Very freaking scary.


And then there was Chiquimula - a teeming, busy, transit-oriented and downright scary collection of mid-sized town. I hadn't seen such a collection of poor people, bad smells, fresh produce and chickens since Hong Kong. Only Hong Kong smelled better.

Most of Guatemala looks like this... except the rich areas of Antigua and Guatemala City. Which would be really really small areas.



So even relatively ugly commercial and transport centers like Chiquimula have pretty bits. I really liked this frond tree. Until the old man beggar went for my camera. Can't win it all, can ya?


Up next, Mayan ruins!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Theft!

Something else I stole from Karla... I plan on being her vice chair in the campaign for world domination. I'm bringing the punch and pie!



create your own visited country map
or check our Venice travel guide

Monday, April 24, 2006

Plane ride home

Four weeks done and I’m finally going home. Part of me is sad, ‘cause this was probably my last great adventure before children and responsibility tie me down. Not that I’m not looking forward to having kids, I am. But the final death of ‘young adulthood’ is sad.

To me, the period between 18 and 30 should be when someone goes out to experience the world and everything in it. Education is a huge part of that – I’m not advocating skipping college or trade school or whatever other kind of training needed to be productive after 30. So I think those folks who just fuck off to ‘see the world’ are missing something huge – context for the experience. I think you have to know what you have (learning, experience, the privilege of US citizenship) in order to know what other people don’t.

But still, I think everyone needs some adventure. A semester (or year) abroad. Fluency in at least one foreign language. At least a visit to somewhere without all of the opportunities of the US and Canada. (An aside on Canadians – they seem to be much better at gaining perspective on the rest of the world. I think being a part of the British Commonwealth helps – those Canucks can work in places that US citizens have a hard time. And their public education doesn’t suck.) Time living somewhere where the health care is socialized and higher education doesn’t require mortgaging the house.

I think I’m a better person and a better citizen because of my non-US experiences. And I fell sorry for those who haven’t had the same opportunity. I also think those people who haven’t traveled are much more likely to vote for laws (or wars) that the rest of the world think are frankingly asinine.

So I’m sad. ‘Cause my time of adventure has just passed. After leaving residency there won’t be many more opportunities to run away to another country for an extended period. No more flying by the seat of my pants and the Lonely Planet guidebook. We hope for children and professional success and home improvement.

All of these are good things. And I look forward to them… but they don’t much allow for four weeks in a third world country.

I’m not saying there won’t be more vacations. That’s not right – I plan on dragging my poor, suffering and greatly understanding husband back to Guatemala to see everything I’ve seen. I met some outstanding folks who just started a pediatric clinic in Honduras that I want to help. I want to go to Belize with my hubbie – ‘cause it is supposed to be amazing there. I want to help the underserviced Mayan get routine pediatric healthcare more than once every two months – ‘cause you can’t get far if you’re deaf secondary to multiple untreated otitis medias.

On a total side note, lots of American couples travel to Guatemala to adopt. One such couple is sitting in front of me and they are such a pretty family. They obviously love their new son very much – his name is Brock. (Although he looks more like a Jorge.) He’s happy and smilely and his mother obviously can’t get enough of him. I would guess that Btock’s about 3 months old.

I wonder what questions he’ll ask in 18 years?

But back to my original point – I’m not like Karla. I really really envy some parts of her life. Not everything, mind, but some of her opportunities are astounding. My husband’s job won’t pull him overseas, and mine won’t either. Fate willing I won’t have problems with conception and our disposable income will go towards our kids. But even if we had similar problems, the cars and the skiing and the architecture we hope to create would probably preclude adventure. Not to mention neither my nor my husband’s profession is much predisposed to copious vacation time. And two or three weeks a year just isn’t enough time to properly adventure.

So I’m sad, ‘cause this is the last great fling. I’ve flown by the seat of my pants, seen the Holy Week of all Holy Weeks, slept in a room that would be classified as a screen porch state-side, avoided traveler’s diarrhea and helped treat patients who live on less money per day than I spend on one beer in a bar.

But I’m also obscenely happy – I’m returning to my husband, the land of hot water, A/C, drinkable tap water and busses that aren’t crammed with livestock, produce, cargo and more people than rationally fit. I also will no longer be tripping over chickens, which is nice.

‘Cause it ain’t Guatemala if there aren’t chickens, Gallo and busses. (Gallo is a beer – the most popular beer in Guatemala. It’s obscenely alcoholic, tastes like bad Bud and is everywhere, The nearest competitor is Brahva, which is less alcoholic but more flavorful. Needless to say, the clinic was right next to the Brahva brewery… and it was still easier to drink Gallo. Talk about near monopoly!)

I can’t wait to get back.