Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Austin Birthday

I know it's narcissistic to have two posts just about my birthday, but so is having a blog about my life, and since it's my blog, I get to do whatever I want to.
On Saturday Erin and I woke up feeling a little bit stale and cheese-logged, and had an impromptu photo shoot inspired by the enormous Warwick Reynolds image of jungle cats that hangs above my bed. Their names are Wolfgang and Sasha.
When we were finished modeling, we cleaned up and drove to Austin for my family birthday party. I have an awesome family that I love more than anything or anyone on earth and I'm incredibly blessed and lucky to have them.
Shannon, Ben and Anna came over for dinner. My mom made steak, broiled asparagus, sauteed mushrooms, baked potatoes, and a salad with green apples, pecans, and chevre with balsamic vinaigrette. For dessert we had yellow birthday cake from scratch with chocolate icing, made by my domestic goddess sister, Shannon. we took pictures with my cute niece Anna, because she's the most photogenic person on earth.
She's also learning how to eat solids by herself. She can eat 1/2 of an avocado at one time.

Sunday Morning, Erin and I practiced gymnastics in my mom's living room. This is a very artful picture of me falling while trying to do a headstand. I think I pulled an intercostal muscle with my grace.

Here is Erin doing a back walkover. I'm pretty impressed by her ability to do this. I haven't ever been able to, even as a child. probably because I have freakishly short legs.

Other highlights of the weekend: Shannon and I went to a Tex-Mex restaurant named Vivo that's on some street in Austin that I forget the name of. But if you're in Austin, you should go. The guacamole is very good and the combo platter with a chicken puffy taco and a verde enchilada was superb.

I'm 24 years old... and I'm still not married.

My birthday was super duper fun. I was a little late to my own party, due to circumstances beyond my control (I took a long time getting ready and then forgot my tiara at home and had to go get it). We went to the Maple Point, which is pretty awesome. They loved us because I brought in ten times as much business as they probably have on an average Friday night. I love them because they gave us free soft pretzels, everyone got in to sing who wanted to, and the beverages are extremely reasonably priced. I think that heaven will look something like the Maple Point.

Never gonna give you up: you just got Rick Rolled!Me, singing Baby One More Time.
The lady who owns the Maple Point told me that I should try out for the Karaoke Talent competition. apparently she thinks I have what it takes to make it to State, or even National Karaoke contests. I told her not to tempt me.
Group song: Livin' on a prayer

Me with Erin. The awesome earrings are hers and she wouldn't give them to me as a birthday present. I don't blame her, because I wouldn't either.

I'm starting to realize why my minister decided NOT to put a link from her blog onto my blog:
Pitchers with Cluster . After the bar closed, Amit took Erin and I to Taco Cabana. While I was in the ladies' room (actually I was in the men's room because someone was in the ladies' room for like ten minutes and the men's was empty and reasonably clean) Erin decided to order 12 tortillas and "The Biggest Queso you have". In case you were wondering, Taco Cabana's largest queso is 16 oz. That's a lb of queso. In addition to the taco I actually wanted her to order for me. We made a valiant effort but we ran out of dippable things (ie; quesadilla, taco, or tortillas) far before we ran out of queso. What a waste. let's have a moment of silence.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

misery loves company!

good thing, too. Because pre-test days are uniformly miserable. luckily I'm having a Karaoke birthday party tomorrow night and I can obsess about what songs to sing while pretending to myself that I'm studying. I usually do Aretha, but I'm not sure this time. I'm kind of tempted to try something new, like maybe Gloria Gaynor. Or do something stereotypical in a tongue-in-cheek manner (Hit me baby one more time!)
comments re: what song I should start out the night with are greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

you need to grow up. you will be sorry.

There's an MS4 at my school (who I will henceforth refer to as "Motor Mouth") who inadvertently began a war of communications between himself and pretty much every other student. How did he do this, you ask? Good question. Motor Mouth has gotten into the habit over the past semester of sending out emails of long lists of things that he would like to sell.
Many people during their fourth year decide to send out a list of books for sale, or furniture that they don't want to move, or an apartment that they are vacating, etc. It's usually only one email and then it's over. However, Mr. Mouth didn't want to stop at only one email, and so he's sent out approximately twenty over the last four months. Often he will send out the same list of things a second time, with an update that "I'm still selling the four year old Ikea desk for 75% of its original price, however, the rice cooker and the Nintendo 64 have been claimed!"
Last week he sent out an email which he promised would be his last; unfortunately, he was being a big fat liar because on Sunday he sent out not just one spam to sell his crap, but THREE!

Email #1:
From: Motor Mouth
To: MS2011, MS2010, MS2009, MS2008
Subject: Furniture for sale: last few items reduced in price
Body: a link to his crappy furniture which no one is buying because no one needs an oak finish swiveling cd rack, or a secondhand lamp for $30.oo (at the reduced price). I'm not putting in the link because it says his real name.

Email #2:
From: Motor Mouth
To: MS2011, MS2010, MS2009, MS2008
Subject: golf clubs for sale

Taylor Made Tungsten

Irons 3-9
ball retriever

Taylor made 3 wood

This does not include a driver

$50 obo

Email #3:
From: Motor Mouth
To: MS2011, MS2010, MS2009, MS2008
Subject: golf clubs sold

I was irked by his extensive salesmanship, and as I prefer to deal with people directly before complaining to administration, I sent Mr. Mouth an email of my own. What followed was a bit of an email avalanche:
From: Lauren Losefast
To: Motor Mouth
BC: Friendly
Subject: re: golf clubs for sale
EBAY! CRAIGSLIST! please, for the love of all things holy stop using the list serve as a personal garage sale.

From: Motor Mouth
To: Lauren Losefast
Subject: re: golf clubs for sale
don't waste my inbox space with your complaints
this list has been used this way for years..years!

From: Friendly
To: Lauren Losefast
Subject: re: golf clubs for sale
Yeah, no sh*t. *@#$ing Motor Mouth. He's the guy who wouldn't deal on selling his books en masse, and then when they didn't sell, sent a million emails out. I've hated this guy for awhile, even before he started sending out emails every other day about his furnishings.
Last year I would have sent him a seething sarcastic berating like that one blackberry-wielding !@#$*bag.
ps Who's Taylor and do you suppose he makes good golf clubs?

From: Lauren Losefast
To: Friendly
Subject: re: golf clubs for sale
I've heard that Taylor makes awesome golf clubs.
in response to my email, Motor decided to respond along the lines of "don't clutter my inbox with your complaints! the listserve has always been used like this" which I then forwarded to an administrator. I seriously want to sign Mr. Mouth up for all the spam emails and newsletters I can find online. want to join me?

From: Friendly
To: Lauren Losefast
Subject: re: golf clubs for sale
Way ahead of you. He's signed up for Hormel's Spam newsletter, as well as the kevin federline fanclub and LDS Singles.

Other people preferred a more generalized outcry:
From: SH
To: MS2011, MS2010, MS2009, MS2008
Subject: Selling Lucky Nickel...STOP SENDING THESE EMAILS
I'm selling my super lucky nickel!! It comes in a custom designed folded piece of paper with a mystery note written on it!! It has helped me marginally pass all of my tests!! What a super value at only $50!!
STOP SENDING EMAILS ABOUT SELLING RANDOM THINGS, PLEASE!!! I can understand offering medical equipment, and I can even stand deleting the emails about places to rent close to school or medical books, but selling personal items, furniture, appliances, etc should be done ELSEWHERE!
Might I suggest www.craigslist.com or www.ebay.com.

Seriously, stop cluttering our email boxes.
Every person who actually wants to use his/her school email account for school related emails

From: LC
To: MS2011, MS2010, MS2009, MS2008
Subject: Lucky Nickel sold.

From: JS
To: MS2011, MS2010, MS2009, MS2008
Subject: Important!!!
Before people stop sending out emails offering items for sale, may I simply draw your attention to my own item of the day:
a bottle of UnKLe JoHhniE's Super Fantastic Snake Elixir Oil!!!! Only $29.99, and if you order now, you'll get 20 (yes thats right!) more bottles for free.
-cures everything known to man*
-was used to soak S's lucky nickel
-also great for cleaning carpets
Comes in a collectible special edition used Coca Cola © bottle!!! Collect em' all!!!

*this statement has not been evaluated by the FDA

But seriously, after buying my Snake Elixir, I second the motion for saving our mailboxes from turning into ebay.
-UnKLe JoHhniE

From: Motor Mouth
To: Ms2011, MS2010, MS2009, MS2008
Subject: who ever email bombed me needs to grow up. when i find out who you are you will be sorry
today I opened my mailbox to find close to 50 emails from various companies that I did not sign up to.
so far the only suspect that I know of is a Mr. SH.
who ever email bombed me needs to grow up. when i find out who you are you will be sorry
From: W. Personance
To: Ms2011, MS2010, MS2009, MS2008
Subject: re: who ever email bombed me needs to grow up. when i find out who you are you will be sorry
Body: Can I be a suspect too?

From: Motor Mouth
To: W. Personance
Subject: re: who ever email bombed me needs to grow up. when i find out who you are you will be sorry
Body: If you would like

From: JL
To: MS2011, MS2010, MS2009, MS2008
Subject: Leave my friend alone
Dear classmates,
Leave my friend Mister Mouth or else (I won't mention what because this is a public forum)? What's your deal, anyway? What's the big deal with deleting a few "SPAM" emails a day between classmates needing stuff? Its annoying but get over it okay? You look at advertisements everyday on the streets, on tv, and even the stuff that randomly appears on the computer from companies. Occasionally, you find an advertisement useful and become interested in the product. Again, leave my friend alone now!

From: JL
To: MS2011, MS2010, MS2009, MS2008
Subject: specifics
Partly to relieve myself of academic and legal liability after a possibly hasty email, when I said "or else," I meant whoopy cushions, water bombs, setting feces bombs on fire, tepeeing your carrel, and other stuff like that.

From: JL
To: MS2011, MS2010, MS2009, MS2008
Subject: absolutely my last email ever
Dear classmates,
Resting comfortably in your nice mansion in Highland Park or SugarLand, maybe some of you have forgotten that some of your classmates have kids to support or don't have support from their parents. You might say that you can buy or sell stuff on Ebuy or something. Trust me, if you had to feed your kid an extra piece of toast the next day, you might go door to door and beg (I've done more degrading things for less, but that's how shameless I am anyway).

After this long chain of correspondence, I've come to the conclusion that:
1. Motor Mouth doesn't have social graces and probably never will
2. Med students can be funny and creative when given incentive and a good outlet
3. The person or persons unidentified who signed Mr. Mouth "up to" the numerous free emails will never ever be sorry. This is supported by the fact that innocent people wanted to claim guilt because it was a clever and hilarious thing to do.
4. I think very poorly of people when they make basic spelling and grammar errors.

On a completely different note, I accepted nearly 40k in loans for next year. Yeehaw! bring on the debt!

Names have been modified so that Mr. Mouth isn't led to my blog via a google search.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Schedule Schmedule

This year our school is trying a new system that enables the 2nd year students a lot of freedom and flexibility in scheduling our third year classes. Every three days or so, the computer system opens up at noon sharp and we're allowed to register for one more class. I like it because it makes me feel like I have some small amount of agency in my future, even though once I get to each rotation I will have no control over what hospital I'm assigned to, no idea what is going on or what I'm supposed to be doing, and I expect to feel exasperated at how little control I will have over my day to day life. But picking exactly when I will be frustrated and confused in surgery vs when I will be frustrated and confused in pediatrics is kind of refreshing.
The problem is, every person has heard from some other older and wiser student what the "perfect" schedule is, and thus half of the class is trying to schedule a rotation during one time slot. I think that 1/4 to 1/2of my class wants to do Medicine-Pediatrics-Surgery-Break-Neuro-Family-Med Subspecialty-Ob/Gyn-Psych. About 10% of people say they don't care the order of their classes (and I beleive them) and 40% say that they don't care the order of their classes, but still have suspiciously enviable schedules which testify to their presence in front of the computer at noon whenever registration opens...ie they're either lucky or they're ashamed of admitting that they too are neurotic and obsessive. I am in the 50% that admits freely that I care what schedule I have and so I stake out a computer to try to be the first one logged on to grab a spot in a class before it disappears. It's not personal, it's business.
Here are my thoughts and dreams re: my schedule for next year:
I opted for surgery just before winter break because I want to have three weeks to sleep after taking call on the trauma service. I know that I want to be a surgeon, so I don't want to do that rotation first when I am bright green and an idiot. I am taking medicine just before surgery because I hope to still have some retained knowledge from studying for my USMLE, but I didn't want to start with it because my summer is only 6 days long this year and I wanted a mental break scheduled in there.
I want to take psych just after the holidays, because I think I can have the optimal number of crazy people after they've just spent an extended period of time dealing with their inlaws. I don't have any proof, but I highly suspect that the psych ward will be busy after Christmas. Scheduling that would leave a spot for ObGyn just before spring break. I anticipate needing a vacation very, very badly after ObGyn.
In the end, I'm not sure that the order will really make any difference in my performance. I have no real idea what I'll be doing at any given time during next year, but I'm looking forward to a hell of a ride.

On a separate note, I think that NBC online is out to ruin me. Last night I watched 30Rock for the first time (with the intention of only one episode)... I ended up watching seven and overslept Sunday school this morning. I still went down for the last ten minutes and to get a donut because Sundays are the only days when I'm allowed to eat Donuts. For more about church donuts:


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Parkland is hilarious.

This week I am on my phlebotomy training rotation. For those of you not medically inclined, phlebotomy means "I take your blood with a needle and a tube". How does one begin to take blood? good question. We watched a 30 minute video, practiced on a classmate (I made sure to choose a skinny girl with good veins...) and then they release us into the hospital to work on patients. Scary, isn't it? I had a patient ask me yesterday "have you ever done this before?" my prompt answer was a very firm "yes!" followed mentally but not verbally by the word "twice".
Yesterday I went with my instructor to the room of a middle-aged guy to get some of his blood. As soon as he saw us, he started insisting that my instructor was a student, that she probably didn' t have any experience, that they always send students in, that he knows better than anyone how to get blood; he never went to school for it, but he gives his wife medicine and takes her blood every day! I refrained from asking him what he did with the blood after he took it out of his wife.
My instructor ignores him or humors him and tries to get into his veins, but they're hard and rolling all over the place. The man insists that his nurse come in to get the blood, and the same thing happens again, all while the man is complaining that no one knows what they are doing in the hospital and they all must be students.
Finally, he says "give me that peice of rubber you got there!" then takes the torniquet, applies it to his own arm using his TEETH to hold one end, and says, "okay, now go on and get you some blood!" At this point only do I finally notice a big circular scar over one of his more prominent veins and it all comes together. I may be naive, but I'm pretty sure I know EXACTLY what kind of "medicine" he was injecting into his wife (and himself)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

St. John's Basilica and Pamukkale

After our night in Selcuk (where I bought some beautiful Uzbek Suzani and vowed to come back for carpets once I'm grown up and on a freer budget), we spent the morning wandering around inside St. John's Basilica, which was directly across the street from our hotel (The Bella).
I have to make a special note about our breakfast: we met a fellow hotel guest named Mary who was pretty much completely awesome. On her 60th birthday, she began hiking the Appalachian trail, alone. The Appalachian trail stretches from Georgia to Maine--2,175 miles. She only stopped once because she got bitten by a rabid raccoon. I would like to imagine myself to be the kind of person who would be able to do a 2,000+ mile hike, but after reading the FAQs and realizing that you have to carry around a trowel so that you can dig a hole and then poop in it and then re-cover the hole, I decided that I'm more of a short-term hiker than a lifestyle hiker. And I think I'm okay with that.
Anyways, We spent about an hour looking at St. John's Basilica, which is the burial site of John the Apostle.
It was remarkably well-preserved and had beautiful view over the fields surrounding Selcuk.
The tomb of St. John

We had to leave a little sooner than we would have liked to catch the bus to Pamukkale. After getting off the bus and having a quick lunch, we walked up the hill to see the calcium deposits.
At this time of year there is not much water flowing down, so it looked like frosting or like snow covering the hill, but it wasn't cold. It reminded me a bit creepily of ice-nine from Cat's Cradle. Before you're allowed to walk on it, you have to take off your shoes so that the rocks aren't made dingy by tourists' feet.
a view from the top:
once at the top, we saw the ruins of the ancient city of Hieropolis.
The site is an archeological work in progress, so you can see the places where they have grouped all of the column pieces that they've found that belong to one building, or all the squarish pieces, or the arches which have been put together in one area but not yet assembled.
Another amazing thing about Hieropolis: when they began to dig at the site, they found a spring which was naturally carbonated and naturally warm. They decided it would be too much trouble to stop it up, so they made it into a swimming pool for tourists, complete with sunken Roman columns and ruins inside. After swimming for about an hour, we got out and walked up the hill to explore the arena and more of the ruins.

one of the best things about Turkey is that there aren't too many people yelling at you to stay off of the old stuff like there would be in America (as if we even had anything that old worth staying off of!) Here is a picture of me and Aaron climbing on old stuff:

The arena with the town of Ephesus in the background
A close-up of the statues in the arena
We finished the day walking down the calcium cliffs as the sun set behind them. It looked as though we were on another planet, and that planet was good.
We ended the night on an overnight bus to Cappadocia

Thursday, April 10, 2008

low energy/ high procrastination

I stole this from a friend's blog

What accessories do you wear everyday? stainless steel diving watch, Ray-Ban aviators in the sun, navy blue Gucci glasses in the shade or night time, ID badge on weekdays.

What is your beauty routine? today, showering, put some random volumizing goo in my hair, brushed/flossed my teeth, covered up the bags under my eyes obtained after putting in a 17-hour study day, deodorant...

What was the last item of clothing you bought? gray lounge pants

Do you use a dresser, closet, or both? I use a closet and shove everything else under my bed in plastic drawers.

What type of earrings are in your ears right now? None. it's test week and I left the house at 6 am.

What type of figure do you have? a tall one.

Do you wear glasses? Aviators in the sun, navy blue Gucci glasses with a white stripe when not in the sun. My right eye is almost perfect, but my left eye is continually getting worse.

What type of handbag do you carry? right now a polka-dotted brown tote bag with a silk skull and tweed hearts appliqu├ęd onto it.

What is your ideal style? Classic but not generic... but I think I often end up looking like an elementary school art teacher.

What jewelry are you wearing right now? just a watch. I didn't even brush my hair this morning.

Do you wear knee-hi stockings? I wear tall socks under cowboy boots. I may start wearing compressive stockings next year on rotations.

Do you have to wear matching lingerie? never thought about it much.

Do you wear makeup? heavens yes, I'm from TX.

Do you wear nightgowns? I prefer lounging separates.

What outerwear do you put on when going out on a typical winter's day? a scarf and a coat. I have a red coat and a black one.

What is your favorite perfume? Laura Mercier Amber Passion. Or anything else heavy on the amber. I don't like orange flower/orange scent because one time at the dentist they gave me laughing gas in an orange-scented mask before I got a root canal. Ever since then the scent makes me slightly nauseated.

Is your motto "quality over quantity"? depends on the medium. yes for handbags, meat, and wine. no for books, chocolate, or flowers.

Do you wear rain boots? absolutely not. My feet would look like boats.

Do you wear socks or slippers when your feet get cold? Sometimes I leave socks on for >24 hours in the winter because I don't want my feet to get cold for even one second.

Do you have a set of travel luggage? no it's strictly for household use.

Do you wear a watch? yes. It was a graduation present and I love it.

What item of clothing always makes you feel extremely beautiful? I'll settle for moderately presentable. I like my boots, though. they always make me feel extremely awesome.

What is your favorite type of yarn? the soft kind that doesn't shed on other stuff. and I don't like the way silk smells.

Do you prefer zippers or buttons? they each have strengths and weaknesses.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

endocrinology is terrible

This morning I tried to make oatmeal without any water because I'm so stupidly sleep deprived. the only things I'm good for right now are complaining and underlining words without looking at what they mean.
as an aside, I've noticed that every single professor who comes in to teach us tells us that somehow their particular subject will be of utmost importance to our future careers. There is an inverse relationship between how cool a specialty is and how much the doctor thinks they need to promote/justify their specialty... the worst offenders were predictably urology, gastroenterology (they peek up the rectum with a tube for a living), and gynecology. And every pathologist, ever, thinks that we need to be acquainted with pathology. But invariably, they put a disclaimer on the end of their speech, to the effect of "and that's why, no matter WHAT you do, ____ will affect your practice... unless you want to become an orthopaedic surgeon or something and go fix fractures all day".
Every time they say that, I say a prayer for my future career as an orthopaedic surgeon. If my future job allows me to forget the chemical structure of eight million different kinds of synthetic hormones and why one of the eight million subtypes can cause metabolic acidosis, I will be the happiest girl in the world. Until then, I just think of Gladys Knight:
"I just got to use my imagination
to think of good reasons
to keep on keepin' on.
Got to make the best of a bad situation..."