Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I tried and I'm tired.

So no updates for a while due to me being online-lazy and my stupid hand flaring up again. I'm currently typing this against my own better judgement. Last Friday I finished up with Pediatrics, and took the national shelf exam (which was absurd). Here are the nuggets of wisdom I will share from my rotation:
poop is complicated, even when it isn't
parents will deny that it's their fault when their kids are fat (most dramatic case--an 88 lb 3 year old who asked repeatedly for hamburgers during exam. Mom replied "what are you talking about? you know we don't eat junk food like that!")
Meth ruins lives in a very sad way
I'm uncomfortable around most children.

For the weekend I went home to see the family and to do a stupid hard triathlon with my mom. it was completely awful and made worse by the fact that I hadn't worked out for like two weeks prior to the race. I did well on the swim (the shortest part), mediocre on the bike, and terribly on the run. The bike was all hills and valleys, with pretty much no flats at all. The run was through meadows and gravel and rocks and sand. it was absurd. And did I mention that the run from swim exit to transition was 1/4 mile long? What a joke. All I realized from that stupid thing is that I wish I could start rowing again, but Dallas doesn't have any great facilities, and the ones that are marginal are still far away.

I drove back Sunday night (exhausted) to start my internal medicine rotation. So far I have one patient. All I can say about her is that she's one of the few patients I've ever gone home and prayed for because she looks so freaking uncomfortable, and that I almost started dry-heaving during my morning exam. There's ickyness going on that I'll not describe because I don't want you to ruin your computer by up-chucking onto it.
P-land is dirty. It makes me want to soak myself in a tub of 409 every night. The upside is that we have catered lunches every day but wednesday, and they're fairly high quality. Yesterday I had a mufalletta and kettle chips. yum.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

book list

I found this list somewhere of all the books you're supposed to read in order to be a good American according to the national endowment for the arts. I have no idea how they put it together. The estimate is that the average American adult has read six of these books. The ones I've read are starred, along with some thoughts on them.

1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen* She is one of my favorite authors and this book acted as my grown-up security blanket for several years. I've probably read it fifty times.
2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien* I read this once. I like to make myself read books before I allow myself to see the movie version because once you've seen the movie you can't possibly imagine the characters looking any other way.
3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte* read in school... not my favorite but who knows i might enjoy it if I read it again without having to find themes.
4. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling* obviously. I'm ashamed to say how many times I've read these.
5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee* one of the few books I read during school that wasn't ruined by my teachers. It's that strong of a book.
6. The Bible* I made the effort to read through it once in an organized way. Leviticus and Numbers nearly killed me. Now I just flip it open and trust I will find some wisdom wherever I land.
7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte* I'm not a huge fan of the Brontes. They're depressing and overly complicated.
8. 1984 - George Orwell* read a long time ago... I remember watching the movie in high school and there was full frontal ungroomed nudity, which we all freaked out about.
9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens one of the few I haven't been able to get into easily. it's on my list though.
11. Little Women - Louisa May Alcott* This is a sweet book. I enjoyed it as a kid and I still do.
12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy* hard to enjoy. I may have skipped some chapters in the middle
13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller* speed read for my freshman anthropology seminar. remember little.
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare* Maybe not all of them, but a good chunk.
15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien*
17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger* do NOT understand why so many people say it's their favorite.
19. The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20. Middlemarch - George Eliot
21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell* I read this like five times in two years when I was 12 and 13.
22. The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald* Where I first learned to be skeptical of the self-importance of New Yorkers.
23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens why don't they have any of the funny Dickens on here? Nickolas Nickleby was a hoot.
24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy* reading it again right now
25. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams* Funny but I'm not fanatic about it.
26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky* I read this during the summer, and suspect that it is really more of a winter read. A little heavy.
28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck on my bookshelf
29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll* got curiouser and curiouser.
30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy* Not as good as W&P
32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis* Read like ten times when I was a kid, and a few of them more recently
34. Emma - Jane Austen* Have probably read 10-15 times
35. Persuasion - Jane Austen* most under-rated of her works.
36. The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis* Magical and still makes me feel like a little kid when I read it.
37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden* entertaining and a good story but not earth-shattering.
40. Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne* sweet. I also remember watching this on the Disney Channel when I was little ALL the TIME.
41. Animal Farm - George Orwell* we were made to read this during 8th grade without learning any of the history of the Russian Revolution... so basically it just became a book about talking mean animals.
42. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown* Trash but I loved all 3 hours of it.
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez* good book that I've been meaning to re-read for a while.
44. A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
45. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery* read this series when I was around 11... until Anne grows up and it wasn't any fun anymore.
47. Far From The Maddening Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood* Good book, if a bit pessimistic.
49. Lord of the Flies - William Golding* ruined by my 8th grad English teacher.
50. Atonement - Ian McEwan
51. Life of Pi - Yann Martel* I really didn't want to think that he'd eaten his mom, so I just figured the tiger was real. sorry if you haven't read it yet.
52. Dune - Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen* Has some zingers. I don't know who can match her in making fun of people's idiosyncrasies without seeming malignant or mean.
55. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57. A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens* ruined by the french.
58. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley* yet another book discussing the fall of mankind.
59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon* good but not awesome.
60. Love In The Time of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez* He's such a great story teller and sneak in some social commentary without sounding preachy. it's fantastic.
61. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov* He was one sick puppy.
63. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold* the entertainment of an afternoon
65. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas* Made me want to be a hero.
66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding* light summer read even though she totally ripped of Jane Austen it's still entertaining. More subtle than most updates of literary classics.
69. Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick - Herman Melville on my bookshelf waiting for me to get the courage to read it.
71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens* funny and sweet. He's good at making cartoonish figures who you can somehow still identify with. And his names are fantastic.
72. Dracula - Bram Stoker* I prefer count chocula.
73. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett* a lovely story.
74. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson I've read other stuffy by him he's hilarious. I probably will read this one eventually.
75. Ulysses - James Joyce
76. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath* really depressing... it made me tired.
77. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78. Germinal - Emile Zola
79. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray* A good story about flexible morals and where they get you.
80. Possession - AS Byatt
81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens* God bless us, every one.
82. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker* Good if you're in the mood for that type of book
84. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro Saw the movie...the fact that it was written by a Japanese person (who tend to appreciate subtlety in art a bit more than the average American) explains a lot.
85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert* I think I may have gotten tired of her whining and stopped halfway through.
86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87. Charlotte's Web - EB White* terrific pig!
88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom* trite and saccharine sweet. Mitch Albom is the author to read if you don't like thinking but want to pretend that you do. I hate him. He and Oprah are ruining America.
89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle* Aaah the sleuth. Classic and fun, short stories, easy to read one at a time.
90. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad* Not my type of book.
92. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94. Watership Down - Richard Adams* Awful. It's Animal Farm without any outside cultural parallel, except longer. It's a 350 page book about RABBITS. And for some reason we consider this a modern day literature, essential reading for every public school student. I remember reading this book in 8th grade and having to try to figure out themes in the rabbit wars. There are no themes. The author has said so himself... he just wanted to write an really long book about rabbit migration and how hard it is to steal cabbages or something. Terrible.
95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas* Very entertaining.
98. Hamlet - William Shakespeare* He was one crazy dude. I think he may have been suffering from undiagnosed late-stage syph.
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl* I love Roald Dahl. When I was little I PRAYED that I would somehow be able to get to the room where everything was eatable. I was a fat kid... almost like a little female Agustus Gloop.
100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo* I think I stopped partway through because it was a bit too heavy... and what's the fun of being all French if the characters aren't flamboyant?

I think I've read around 65 of the suggested 100. There are definite holes in this book list, and there are also books that I think were put on there to massage people's egos so they could say they'd read at least a few of the books on the list (should the Da Vinci code REALLY be on the same list as Shakespeare?)

Oh and PS if you were wondering which is my favorite, it's probably War and Peace because of Tolstoy's ability to make you feel like you intimately know 18 different characters. Each character is developed, well-fleshed out, and individual. And he actually makes you care about them all. And he makes them all believable figures without falling into the traps of stereotype or caricature. The only difficulty is in being able to separate in your mind Dolohov from Denisov, and realize that Petya, Pierre, Petruska, and Peter are referring to a single person. Except that there are two Peters in the book, so that makes it a teensy bit harder. But still awesome.

For reading this far, here's a picture of me and my sister laughing about literature at a party full of really intelligent people this past weekend. you should probably be jealous if you weren't there.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

ridiculous people who get away with ridiculosity

*original post removed so I don't sound like a crazy bitch.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

investigation- wild birds unlimited

how the hell does the store Wild Birds Unlimited stay open and thriving with multiple stores in the same city? I pass by one like five times a week and never once have I been tempted to enter it. I think they sell exclusively bird feeders and bird seed.

from the website:
"At Wild Birds Unlimited, we aren’t just a birdfood store. We are Your Backyard Birdfeeding Specialist®, here to help bring you, your family and nature together."

so really, they only do sell birdseed and bird feeders. how many bird feeders do they have to sell to be able to keep a store open on Lovers Lane in UP in what I imagine to be a very expensive area to lease? I may enter the store today to do a little investigating. My guess is that it's really a respectable-looking front for a nationwide suburban drug ring. Honestly, can you think of any store name that is more boring or wholesome sounding? I may just go in there to take a nap on a little pile of birdseed.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

babies everywhere.

Sometimes I get tired of having what feels like a job but is actually school because I pay tuition and get tested after doing my work which is kind of not awesome. It's times like that when I wonder what it would be like if I were just like a raging drug addict or something. I know it's not something I should aspire to, but really, would it be that bad to just be completely oblivious to the universe and to kill every brain cell I had by being cracked out? I know it's a bad idea and people around me would think it was a shame and a waste of potential, but I probably wouldn't care because I would be high on crack. Seems like a win-win.

On the other hand, I'm kind of afraid of crack addicts and dealers, and crack dens don't seem to be the cleanest of places, so maybe I'll just have a Nutri-grain bar because this commercial makes them look like they could make you cracked out for a lot cheaper.

I have this problem where if I'm working super duper hard and don't have time to think then I'm happy and industrious and satisfied with life. But if I'm not as busy and have more time to myself, then I get into this funk where I think that being a crack addict sounds like a great idea. So really I'm just in a bad mood because I've been in the newborn nursery all week examining babies and the hardest thing I've had to do so far is change a really full meconeum diaper. I need something that will make me too tired to be dissatisfied.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

awkward turtle

On Friday I went back to the private practice pediatrician's office. As a refresher, this is the same Doc who was concerned about my single status and who recommended that I be engaged or at least in a long term relationship by the time I graduate Med school. During one of the breaks between patients, she and her staff begin to slyly ask me questions about what my ideal man would be like. As she is involved in grading me, I play along with her, thinking this question to be completely theoretical. I say he has to be 6'3" or above, clean cut, smart and well-educated, reasonably athletic, well-mannered, and most importantly completely infatuated with me. He also can't whine too much or be an ass. This is why I'm still single (the standards against whining and/or being an ass cut down the potential field by around 75%).
Her medical assistants start chatting rapidly in Spanish, not knowing that I can understand just about everything they're saying (because I've only been speaking English to them all week). Basically they're saying "ooh, I bet she's going to like him! I hope he comes today!" The Doctor then tells me that they had a sales rep come by on Wednesday who was 6'7" and that she had somehow in his five minute office visit found out that he was single and told him to come back on Friday to meet her tall medical student. And he did. AWKWARD! He seemed pleasant and was certainly very tall, but really?

When he left, the entire staff started asking me if I thought he was good looking, if I liked him, if I would go on a date with him, etc. I tried explaining that it didn't matter because he was in the office for five minutes and I'm not going back there anymore. The Doctor then told me that she would email me when he was coming and bringing lunch so that I could make the 15 mile drive to her office and be there whenever he was. I told her politely that that was ridiculous. Her entire staff began to say that he had come that day just to meet me, and that he must have really liked me because he stayed for seven minutes instead of the usual five. And in case you were wondering what our children would look like, don't worry because they figured that out too (tall, beautiful, and athletic).
Before I left, the Doc made me give her my phone number just in case. Why the hell not? Who knows? one of these days I may get a phone call from a mysterious number saying "hi, I'm Joe Pharm... remember? The really tall Allegra rep from Dr. S's office"