Monday, December 31, 2007

Break's over

A few weeks ago at Panera, I ran into the anesthesiologist/critical care specialist with whom I rotated in the ICU back in July. I asked if maybe I could do morning rounds with him at some point during my three week break.

What was I thinking asking to work over break? I am sort of wondering that myself. But, if I remember correctly, I think that I was thinking that I really like critical care, and that in less than a year I will be expected to decide what I'm going to do for residency, and that the more exposure I have to what I think I may want to do, the more likely I am to make a career choice I can happily live with. I think that is what I was thinking.

And, I really do like critical care. I like that the critical care team looks at the whole picture of the very sick patient. They are sort of like consultants in a huge Jenga game, telling others, You can move this and change that, but if you touch that one...this is all going to fall apart. (It's sort of interesting that I like critical care because I don't particularly enjoy Jenga. Huh.)

While I like critical care, what I meant when I said do morning rounds with you was spend the morning rounding with you. What he meant when he said sure was sure you can spend all day, every day with me. And, because I like you, tomorrow, you can follow the traumatic brain injury dude, the codes for no good reason man, and the I just had open heart surgery fella. Apparently, he and I had a bit of a miscommunication. Opps.

So, right now, part of me is wondering what the hell I was thinking. But, another part of me is thinking I'm going to learn a hell of a lot this week. And, all those procedures they let willing, attentive medical students do? Well, those will be coming to me...because I'm the only one around.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

A new toy

I got money for Christmas and have wanted a camera for months. I paid extra so it will be here by Wednesday, because, if all goes as planned, my sister will be having a baby on Thursday or Friday.

Oh, and as it turns out, I am much more excited about that baby than originally planned. I spent much of my time at home poking the kid in the foot and then watching her wiggle her butt--a game easily played on my sister's belly, as she is so skinny you can roughly make out baby body parts with a little prodding. When my sister protested (something like, Ouch, quit poking me in the stomach), I told her to mind her own business, that I was playing with the baby.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Holiday 07 (in brief)

For those of you who didn't get to spend the last five days with those people who swear we look alike because we're related (I'm trying to convince them the resemblance is mere coincidence), I offer the following recap...

Uh, somebody pull the battery out of that smoke detector.
(Because it was going off. Again. Mom was cooking.)

Well, that rabid possum just would not give up. I hit him forty or fifty times with that stick. I thought he was dead. I went to pick him up by his tail, and he turned around to snap at me. So... I hit the damn thing another forty or fifty times.
(My uncle has a lot of stories like this about the poor bastards who get into his garage. Don't call PETA--he'll just beat the shit out 'em with that stick. He may sound like an asshole, but when I was running from Ex, I ran to his house. The dude hits rabid beasts with a stick. Sometimes, knowing that kind of dude comes in handy.)

That happened to me once at Bingo.
(My sister works in retail, and a quick change artist got $250 out of her register. According to my aunt, they also hit Catholic church basements. We all thought that was funny. It doesn't seem so funny now that I'm typing it. Maybe you had to be there.)

Frankly, I don't really care if Iran gets the bomb. We have the bomb. We're the only ones who have ever used it. And we used it on two civilian populations.
(That was my dad, and the dude has a point. And no, I won't be entertaining arguments about this is in the comments.)

I once dated a woman named Dagmar Stockfish. (This was a different uncle. And Dagmar, you ain't missing much. He's turned out to be much more of an asshole than the one with the stick.)

I need a magnifying glass to read the phone book.
Something seems to have happened to my bowels.
If I sit down on that floor, I may not be able to get up until next Christmas.
The clothes in my closet have been there so long, they're back in style again.
(There was a lot of this talk of the joys of aging.)

Oh, wow. That's...uh...a really pretty color.
(That was all my dad could come up with after he opened the half sweater/half sweatshirt my grandma bought him. It will come in handy for all those occasions when he's not sure if it's casual or business casual.)

Mom, go in the living room and ask to see your daughter-in-law's new tattoo. It's on her ring finger.
(A few months ago, my sister-in-law got drunk on all of four glasses of wine and got my brother's name tattooed on her ring finger. Unfortunately, tattoos on your hand have a tendency to wear quickly. So, it's beginning to look like she's in love with IKE instead of MIKE.)

There was other stuff, but it was even more boring than above. I don't know what it is about spending the holidays at home, but it has a way of eating at my soul.

I kept looking at my sister and saying, "Couldn't you go into labor already so we can get the fuck out of here?" She didn't. Typical family--you ask for one small thing, and they let you down.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Have a holly jolly SSRI

I have read a lot of posts lately that go kind of like this...

Is it here yet? Is Christmas here? Because the sooner it gets here, the sooner I can hug all those people I intentionally moved miles away from, and pass out those gifts I resent having to spend so much money on, and feed them those cookies I hate having to waste time on.
Is the fucking holiday here yet?
And when will it all be over?

As I may have mentioned (seven or eight times) already, I did my OB rotation in Small Town America. The downtown streets are lined with little shops with their Christmas wares displayed in picture windows. The trees are all decorated with tiny white lights. People say, "Merry Christmas" everywhere you go. There is no Hanukkah or Kwanzaa gumming up the works. It's all a very merry Christmas, all the time--think Normal Rockwell circa 1950.

And it's all bullshit.

Beginning in mid-November, women started to trickle into the doctor's office asking for anti-depressants. Can I have something for stress? Will you refill that pill you give me for stress? I'm going to need to you to up that thing I'm on for stress.

I finally had to ask, "So, you use a lot of fluoxetine (Prozac) in your practice, huh?"

"Well, you know," he said, "it's that time of year. None of these women are really, what I would call, depressed. I send actual depressed patients to a psychiatrist. These women are just miserable because the holidays are coming. The Prozac seems to help. Except, I never actually call it Prozac, and I never say anti-depressant. If I did, they'd never take it. And, they'd all eventually really lose their minds and, by Christmas, shoot their husbands."

"So, the whole town is medicated."

"At least through January."

So, if you've written one of the posts I referred to above, take heart. You're not alone.
The emperor's not wearing any clothes.
Christmas sucks.
And anyone who tells you differently is heavily medicated.

Friday, December 21, 2007

365 portraits

Bill Wadman has taken someone's picture every day of this year. I have been enjoying these daily portraits for some months now, and I only hope he does something equally brilliant for me to marvel over in the new year.

Look...amazing, huh?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Tip of the day

Graci and I just got back from dunch (a bit too early to be dinner, way too late for lunch--dunch), which almost ended in my being arrested for manslaughter. At the table next to us, a lovely American family was coming up with ways to stiff the restaurant. They settled on picking a stray hair from their kid and dropping it on the last little bite of steak on one of their plates. When the waitress came over, they were all, "Uh, miss...we hate to bother you, but we found this hair on our steak and now we think you should, uh, probably take that off our bill."

The waitress picked up the hair, looked at the tow-headed child and said, "Huh. That's strange. We don't have any blondes working in the kitchen."

"Well, we don't know where it came from. But, we think it's gross. And, we probably shouldn't have to pay for that."

"Yeah, yeah," she said, "I'll take it off the bill."

"Oh, and can we get a little bowl of grapes for the kid?" To throw on the floor. That's what they meant to say, "Can we get a little bowl of grapes for the kid to throw on the floor?"

As blondie peppered the restaurant with fruit, the lovely American family began studying the bill and discussing the tip.

"Well, all I'm saying is it isn't any more work for her to walk out here with a $16 steak than it is for her to hand you an $8 burger. I don't see why we should tip her more for that."

And this is where the near manslaughter came in, because it was all I could do to keep from stabbing them with my fork while saying...

You don't see why?!? I'll tell you why. BECAUSE THAT IS HOW IT WORKS. When you decide to go out to eat, you are deciding to pay for service--15% is the minimum for standard service. If you can't figure that out, move the decimal point, multiply by 2, and make it 20%. Consider the other 5% a too-stupid-to-do-math tax. If you get exceptional service (and, in this case, the moment you handed her that hair and she refrained from bending you over and shoving it up your cheap ass, it became exceptional service), you tip more.

Them's the rules. If you don't like em...EAT AT HOME.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Gold, Frankincense, and Dylan

As part of my father's Christmas gift, I'm making him a CD. I'm noting it here, so that years from now, I'll be able to look back and remember my moment of gift-giving brilliance. I'm telling you, if those wise men had been wiser men, this is what they would have brought the baby Jesus--a lovely collection of scotch and cigar music.

Songs and Stories for a Better Than Alright Guy
Diamonds on my Windshield -- Tom Waits
Shiver Me Timbers -- Tom Waits
Grace of God Go I -- Flogging Molly
Alright Guy -- Todd Snider
Sally MacLennane -- The Pogues
The Story of the Ballad of the Devil's Backbone Tavern -- Todd Snider
The Ballad of the Devil's Backbone Tavern -- Todd Snider
Gotta Serve Somebody -- Bob Dylan
The Times They Are A-Changin' -- Bob Dylan
Ring Them Bells -- Bob Dylan
Not Dark Yet -- Bob Dylan
Nobody Knows Me -- Lyle Lovett
Here I Am -- Lyle Lovett

Monday, December 17, 2007

Excuse me, Dr. Oz

I was just flipping through the channels (because I'm on vacation, and I can). Right now, you're on Oprah. In scrubs.

I'm confused, Dr. Oz. Are you about to perform surgery...right there...on the stage? Because, if not, you should probably PUT ON SOME FUCKING CLOTHES. Business casual, perhaps.

Whew. I don't know about you, Dr. Oz, but I feel much better now.

Using a straw, a coat hanger, and a piece of tape...

First, I want to thank every person who read my last post and left a comment. I have read them several times. Thank you so much.

I have been without the internet for most of the last few days. I just didn't have the patience to deal with DSL customer service. I have to work myself up to those phone calls so that I can get through all twenty minutes without screaming, "I already tried reseting it...eight times!" It's times like those that I wish I practiced meditation or yoga or something that makes you more laid back and go with the flowish.

After I get the DSL fixed (it breaks every six months), I have to reset my Airport--my Apple base station. It always works when I get started, but by the time the DSL woman is done having me re-reset everything from my computer to the microwave, the Airport can't find my laptop anymore. I like the Apple customer service guys, though. I can call them and just say, "Look, dude, the DSL bitch fucked up my computer and if you can't help me fix all of this soon, my head is going to explode and I'm going to kill the cat." This amuses them.

This time, though, I didn't have to call and entertain the Apple guy. I remembered what he told me last time, and I made it work all on my own! For a half hour afterwards, I actually felt like MacGyver. Granted, I didn't actually fix the thing with a wad of gum, a paper clip, and a pine cone. But, using my new found technical genius, next time, I feel like I could.

Friday, December 14, 2007

When Novocaine and M&M's don't work

When I was twenty-one, I had my wisdom teeth pulled. Ex and I had crappy dental insurance at the time, and it wouldn’t cover oral surgery. So, in a moment of what I now know to be total fucking stupidity, I decided to save $1000 by having a regular dentist remove four impacted teeth with nothing but Novocaine. I was thinking something like, “Novocaine is related to cocaine. Cocaine is a mighty powerful drug (or so I’ve heard from people who actually had the balls to try it in college). It’ll be fine.” What I didn’t know was that they are not really close relatives—Novocaine and Cocaine. They are more like fourth cousins.

Novocaine is not really adequate anesthesia to have impacted wisdom teeth removed from your skull. Or, at least, not in the hands of the dentist I went to. At some point, he gave up on getting me numb and decided he would just try to work faster. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a job to be hurried. Those damn teeth did not want to come out. He ended up cutting them into pieces and then removing the pieces. This took a while, because he had a hard time getting hold of the pieces. By the time we were done, we had worked out a system. He would try to get a hold of a piece, I would squeeze his arm when he had it, and then he would pull.

I still get nauseous thinking about it.

I didn’t cry, though. The whole two hours. Not a drop. Not until I saw Ex in the waiting room. Then, I broke down—huge tears, complete with snot. When he asked what was wrong, I sobbed, “It was the worst thing ever.” I wasn’t even in pain anymore. Well, I mean, my mouth hurt, but nothing like the last two hours. What I mean was, I wasn’t crying because I was in pain. I was crying because the whole thing had been so fucking bad.

Tonight I found myself thinking about that day, about the way I felt in that waiting room.

I have decided I am allergic to my bedroom, as I spend a good twenty minutes sneezing when I lie down each night. I think I may have actually sneezed myself to sleep twice last week. So, in an effort to reclaim my bedroom as a place where I can breath, I decided I would tear it apart to clean it—vacuum, dust, launder every cloth thing in hot water. When I moved the bed, I found a journal from the summer after I left Ex. I made the mistake of reading it. Sober.

It was filled with these little letters to God. These little “Uh, please help me with this and this and this today. And thanks for taking care of this and this and this yesterday.” And, as I read it, I remembered how I felt. I was so grateful to be alive every day, and so worried that at any moment Ex might come kill me. I was holding onto what I had to believe was this huge, powerful, scary God for dear life. Because, when I didn’t, I would literally curl up into a ball, and cry, and shake, and go a little crazy. Literally.

What struck me as I read it was how fucking cheerful I sounded in those little letters. I think that part of me was afraid to be anything but, afraid that God would think me an ingrate and actually let Ex catch me. Like, “Well, if she doesn’t appreciate my protection, why should I even bother.” And, like I said, I really was very grateful.

But now, when I think back on all of it—on the five years I was married to him, on the summer I spent running from him—I feel like I did in that dentist’s waiting room. I just want to cry. Not because I’m in pain. Because, it is nothing like the searing pain I was in when I was actually there. I want to cry because the whole thing was so fucking bad.

And sometimes, buying earrings, and eating M&M’s, and being the wittiest, most together med student in the whole fucking world doesn’t cut it. Sometimes, like tonight, I just break down.

This is where I excel

Well, the drunken bowling plans fell apart (as fantastic, elaborate plans tend to do). So, I spent last night with Graci drinking at home in stolen hospital scrubs in front of the TV. I know it sounds sort of pathetic, but after a rather exhausting OB rotation, it felt absolutely decadent.

We took turns saying, "Do you know what we have to do tomorrow?"
"That's right...nothing!"

I slept until 10:30 this morning. Got up. Showered. And put pajamas back on. When Graci woke up, I was having M&M's. She looked at me like I was eating toe jam and said, "That's not breakfast." Shows how little she knows about vacation. She tried to join me, but only got about seven M&M's down before turning green. What can I say? The constitution for vacation--you either have it, or you don't.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Drunken bowling

Teresa ~ Guys, wanna go drunken bowling tomorrow after the exam?

Polo (so named because of the ever-present emblem on his shirt)~ Hey Teresa, the trailer park just called. They want their white trash back.

Teresa ~ Is that a no?

Terroni ~ Fuck Polo. I'll come bowling.

So...I'm off to finish studying the 846 things that may, at any moment, go wrong with my girl parts (it's the Ob/Gyn exam); and then I'm going to get my white trash groove on.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Overheard in the OR

Uh, Barb, now that we've got those two gay employees, we're not really supposed to make the colonoscope jokes anymore.

Really? Why not? Does that kind of stuff offend them?

Well, the liberals have made everything so PC nowadays. You can't hardly say know, just in case.

We all know how much those never had a gay thought in their lives conservative Christian right-wing Republican straight folks love to talk about anal probing. Damn the liberals for stealing their joy.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

December 5, 2007

I left this morning while it was still dark.
After I got done scraping my car, I stood for a moment in the falling snow and looked around Dorothy's quiet cul-de-sac.
It was just, well... ahhh.

I came home today to freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.
The ugly, mushy, melty ones.
The best thing to ever happen to real butter.

It's the coldest it's been all year.
Amazing how warm it feels.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Nice ears

Last week, Psycho Ex emailed the church where my mother works as a minister. It was two and a half pages of crazy, complete with poor spelling and atrocious grammar. I asked my mom just to summarize it. I have spent a lot of money so that I don't have to listen to him anymore. I certainly don't want to have him read to me. I got an email from him today. It's the first one I have received in well over a year. Apparently, he checked the date on the restraining order and realized that it expired a month ago and he can legally contact me again.

I moved his address into my junk email folder and went to Etsy to buy some earrings. It seemed like the thing to do. I may still have to carry mase and watch my back, but by God, my ears are going to look fucking fabulous while I do.

And these ears are listening to Patty sing...

Don't bring me bad news, no bad news

I don't need none of your bad news today
You're a sad little boy, anyone can see you're just a sad little boy
That's why you're carrying on that way
Why don't you burn it all down, burn your own house down, burn your own house down
Try to kill your own disease
And leave the rest of us, there's a lot of us, leave the rest of us
Who wanna live in peace to live in peace...

Don't bring me bad news, no bad news
I don't need none of your bad news today
You can't have my fear, I've got nothing to lose, can't have me fear
I'm not getting out of here alive anyway
And I don't need none of these things, I don't need none of these things
I've been handed
And the bird of peace is flying over, she's flying over and
Coming in for a landing.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

A pickle it turns out, the way that my Ob/Gyn preceptor practices, while it works for him, is not really how textbooks talk about practice. I have a big test coming up in less than two weeks--a test written with the textbooks in mind. So, needless to say, I'm in a bit of a pickle. I've got to hit the books (hard) and relearn how all this Ob/Gyn stuff is supposed to be done. I also have to remind myself that when he tells me something, it's probably not the answer.

By the way, while I enjoy cucumbers, I hate pickles.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Location, location, location

Do you ever wanna say...

I bet you had no idea those pajama pants that look so cute when you wear 'em around the house would look so white trash when you wear 'em around the Walmart. Funny how that works, huh?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Hey, how's med school going?

It's going pretty well, Rich. Thanks for asking.
I'll try to say more about that later this week, but right now, I'm off to read about ovarian cystadenomas. They either look fabulous with pumps or taste great with cocktail sauce. I can't remember which.

Verizon Wireless is run by Satan

My phone broke. In half. It is a shitpiece, and it is almost two years old, and shitpieces only live to be almost two years old. (Shitpiece is my new favorite word, by the way.) So, last night, I had to drive 846ish miles in the pouring down freezing rain to the Verizon store. I told them, "Look, my shitpiece phone just broke. In half. I'm due for a new one in less than two months. Can you help me?"

They said, "No." Except when they said it, it sounded like, "Well, we have many nice phones over here to choose from. You'll have to pay the full retail price, of course, because your contract with Satan isn't up yet, but I'm sure we can find you something reasonable."

I growled and said, "Show me your cheapest phone." And then it began. The fucking Verizon Wireless dog and pony show. The woman started talking about all the things my phone could do for me.

"For $212, this one has a built in navigator."

"Do you know how many maps I can buy for $212?" I said.

"Well this one has a directory in's like the yellow pages."

"I get like the yellow pages for like free. And you're not understanding me. I just want a phone. I plan to use it to make and receive phone calls. I don't need it to store low-resolution pictures or music videos, or to sing to me with that crappy phone voice, or to give me directions, or to massage my feet, or to kiss my ass."

Talking low and slow while squinting a bit for effect, I repeated, "I just want a phone. Do you have one of those?"

In the end, I walked out $150 lighter with a phone that has a sticker on the back that reads, Internal Antenna Area--For best performance, do NOT touch this area while using the phone. So, now I have a brand new shitpiece that I have to carefully balance on the side of my face so as to avoid contact with the antenna. When I slip and touch it, it totally ruins my reception and probably gives me finger cancer.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


The holiday went about as well as could be expected, which is to say it was all a bit much. I've been away long enough now that I am truly a guest when I go home. They have whole conversations about people and places that I know (and care) nothing about.

I found myself sitting at the kitchen table at my grandmother's house, surrounded by siblings who seemed more like acquaintances. In some ways, this is comforting. It reminds me that I have my own life, a life that I built, apart from them. But, in some ways, it's a bit jarring. I mean, they all still look like a lot like the people I left when I moved away years ago. But then they start talking, and they sound like people I don't know very well at all.

Or maybe that was the wine. Who knows.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Give thanks

I just got off the phone with my dad. He said simply, "Well, we've ordered the wine." By that he means that he ordered my brother, the server, to bring a couple cases. We finally started incorporating alcohol into the holiday last year. My grandparents don't drink. You know, because they go to church instead. But last year, we finally said something to the effect of, "Look, this getting together and pretending like we all like each other bullshit would be a hell of a lot easier if we weren't all so very alert and oriented the whole time." Or at least, that's what we meant. It may have sounded more like, "Have a glass, Grandma. Trust me...Jesus would want you to."

We could probably do the whole thing cheerfully sober if it weren't for those two. You know the ones. They talk and you think, "Do you ever want to strangle you, or can you not actually hear yourself speak?" Yeah, we've got a couple of those. And every year we give thanks that they don't live any closer.

So, tomorrow I will raise my glass, and then tip it upside down over my esophagus until I feel nothing but gratitude.

I'm staying in her guest room

She reminds me of my late grandmother. I came into the house the other night to find her in her recliner surrounded by piles of books with little scraps of paper marking her place in each. She was reading The New York Times. I pointed at the paper and said something about the big city news. She said, "Well, you know, if you live in a small town like this and all you read is the local newspaper, you miss a lot. If you want a broader world view, you've got to read other things."

I smiled and sighed a bit as I told her, "My grandma Betty used to read The Wall Street Journal for the very same reason." We went on to discuss that broader world view, and I found that I'm staying with a rather well-read, well-traveled liberal old lady.

I have often wondered what it would be like to sit and talk with my grandma now that I am grown. I think I may have caught a glimpse of that this week.

She is funny, entirely without meaning to be. Last night found me chasing her pug around her neighborhood in my pajamas. The little Houdini occasionally likes to stretch his legs when she opens the door, and she can't catch him. I did catch him (not before entertaining the neighbors as I darted around their backyards braless and shoeless yelling, "Come here, Smokey!") and returned him to her. She proceeded to yell at him, "You are such a little s-h-i-t!" That's right. She spells it. Because he is only eight, and you shouldn't really cuss around children.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Actual voicemail

Hey T, it's Grandma.
Well, I just wanted you to know that we're going to have Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday (like we have every year since before you were born).
I'm just calling to invite you (in case perhaps you thought you maybe didn't make the list), and tell you we'd really love to have you come.
Okay, well we hope to see you on Thursday...for Thanksgiving dinner (just to clarify, that's what we'll be having).

I get this message during the second week of November every year.
I'll get another one around December 15th when she calls to invite me to Christmas.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

So much to say, so little time

I'm bogarting a wireless signal and listening to shared iTunes from someone named Leah. Leah has rather eclectic music tastes, by the way--Ella Fitzgerald, Kenny Chesney, and John Fogarty in the same library. I really want to write about the woman I'm staying with (she reminds me of my late grandmother) and about my amazing surprise visit from Graci last night (I'm still smiling as I think about it), but I really have to get some reading done before surgery tomorrow. So...I'm writing to say that I can't really write.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Something Beautiful for you.

Sinful meme

The seven deadly sins come to me courtesy of Vic, who did this meme forever ago. I'm just now getting around to it (damn you, sloth).


With whom did you last get angry? The Ex, who still hasn't refinanced the house despite the court order.

What is your weapon of choice? Usually dirty looks get the job done, but, in this case, it's an over-priced lawyer.

Would you hit a member of the opposite sex? I used to whomp on my brothers occasionally...

How about the same sex? and my sisters.

Who was the last person who got really angry with you? I generally try not to piss people off.

What is your pet peeve? People who take their children to Panera, let em have at it with a bagel, and then leave without cleaning up the mess. It's all I can do not to say, "Now, I know you don't let your kitchen look like this. Get back here and pick up after those zoo animals you call offspring."

Do you keep grudges, or can you let them go easily? Why would I let them go? How will they take care of themselves? Won't they be lonely without me?

What is one thing you're supposed to do daily that you haven't? Eat fiber.

What is the latest you've ever woken up? Hmm...probably 2:30 pm when I wasn't sick. I can sleep until dinner if I'm sick.

Name a person you've been meaning to contact, but haven't. Heather Stuckey, what is your married name? And how the heck are you?

What is the last lame excuse you made? It's best to be non-specific..."Something came up" (like my overwhelming desire not to meet you for lunch).

Have you ever watched an infomercial all the way through? Did you know that you can make your own fruit roll-ups with the Ronco Food Dehydrator?

How many times did you hit the snooze button on your alarm clock this morning? Twice.

What is your overpriced yuppie beverage of choice? Imported beer.

Are you a meat eater? Well, I had cut back, eating almost everything vegetarian. But, then I went to the small town for OB. I eat free in the hospital cafeteria, and one look at their salad bar (iceberg lettuce and a shredded carrot) told me that I was either going to eat meat or loose about 50 lbs. during this rotation.

What is the greatest amount of alcohol you've had in one sitting? I can only drink about three beers before I have to stop sitting and go pee.

Are you comfortable with your drinking and eating habits? No, I should be eating more fiber, drinking more water, consuming more fruits and veggies.

Do you enjoy candy and sweets? Do oreos count?

Which do you prefer: sweet, salty, or spicy? I have to pick? Why? Are we on some God-forsaken deserted island where only one of these fine things grows? We can't have the others flown in?

Have you ever looked at a small house pet or child and thought, "lunch"? No, but I have thought, "Why don't you go get me some lunch."

How many credit cards do you own? None.

If you had a million dollars, what would you do with it? Pay off my school debt and set up a college fund for my soon to be niece.

Would you rather be rich or famous? Rich. I don't like having my picture taken.

Would you accept a boring job if it meant that you would make megabucks? No. In fact, after college I turned down a couple of these jobs.

What's one thing that you have done that you're most proud of? You know, I honestly can't think of anything right now.

What's one thing you have done that your parents are proud of? They don't say it, but I think they're proud that I'm in med school.

What would you like to accomplish late in your life? I would like to be a well-read, well-traveled old woman.

Do you get annoyed by coming in second place? I usually can't even see second place from where I'm standing.

Have you ever entered a contest of skill, knowing you were of much higher skill than the other competitors? No, I'm not at all competitive.

Have you ever cheated to get a better score? In fourth grade on the states and capitals test.

What did you do today that you're proud of? Well, I got up before 9. (I haven't gotten out of bed yet, so I'm fishing in a rather small pond for this answer.)

How many people have you seen naked (not counting movies, family, strippers, locker rooms)? I'm going to assume we're not counting patients either and say...I still don't know. I'm not a slut. I just spent a lot of my high school summers skinny dipping.

How many people have seen you naked (not counting physicians, family, locker rooms, or when you were a young child)? So, I can get naked with all the physicians I want and they don't even count? Huh. I wish you had told me that sooner.

Have you ever caught yourself staring at the chest/crotch of a person of your chosen sex during a normal conversation? No, I was looking had a piece of lint there.

Have you ever had sexual encounters (including kissing/making out) with multiple persons? No. I've led a pretty boring one-on-one kind of life.

Have you ever been propositioned by a prostitute? No, this isn't really that kind of neighborhood.

What item of your friends would you most want to have for your own? Do you have a digital camera? Because if so, I want it.

Who would you want to go on "Trading Spaces" with? Perhaps this should be under sloth, because I'm not redecorating anybody's dining room just to get on TV. "Come, wear matching shirts, paint your neighbors house..." Yeah, I don't think so.

If you could be anyone who existed in the world, who would you be? I'm still trying to master being T. I don't think I'm ready to move on.

Have you ever been cheated on? I don't know.

Have you ever wished you had a physical feature different from your own? Bigger boobs, a smaller nose, a not to think about all that too much.

What inborn trait do you see in others that you wish you had for yourself? Eye-hand coordination.

What deadly sin...
Do you do the most often? Sloth.

Do you do the least often? Probably envy.

Is your favorite to act on? Ahhh, lust.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Biting my tongue

I was standing in the surgery lounge today and Fox News (and we're using that last word very liberally here) was on the television. The reporter (again, not the literal definition) said that the government is now warning us that there has been some threat of terrorism in the form of attacks on malls in LA. In response, the LAPD has decided to map Muslims, identifying neighborhoods where they live in order to root out potential extremists.

Upon hearing this story, I shook my head a bit and said, "Well, that's just great." I try to avoid religion and politics when I'm with my ultra-conservative physician preceptor, but I couldn't help it. Occasionally, carbon dioxide builds up and stimulates my respiratory centers, and I have to exhale to keep from dying. Similarly, occasionally, bullshit builds up and stimulates my brain, and I have to shake my head a bit so as to keep it from sticking.

Said physician saw the head shake and replied, "Well, if you don't want to get blown up at the mall, you have to be okay with profiling; and the only people who aren't okay with it are people who want to blow you up."

I bit my tongue (the end of it is now gone) at the time, but get ready for some head shaking now...

First, I worry about a lot of things, but I do not worry about Muslims lighting up my ass at The Gap. No one does. I don't worry about it, in part, because, as is the case with all of these threats of terrorism, I'm never shown any actual evidence. Believing them now requires almost as much faith as believing in Allah himself.

I do, however, worry about profiling. I'm against both blowing up shoppers and mapping Muslims. (Despite what the good doctor said, those two positions are not mutually exclusive.) I'll tell you why I'm not okay with profiling, why it's not okay. It's not okay because it doesn't work. Profiling people based on their religious beliefs does not find terrorists. It finds Muslims. They are not the same thing.

Let me say that again. Muslims and terrorists are not the same thing.

Like Christians and Jews and Agnostics and Atheists and all the millions of I just try to live a good life and pay my taxes please stay off my lawnists, Muslim Americans deserve peace and privacy in their homes and neighborhoods.

The story I heard today scares me because it reminds me of the writing of Martin Niemoller...

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I was not a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

We studied the Holocaust my freshman year in high school. I had an English teacher, Mrs. Toth, who taught it every year. She ended the Holocaust unit by sharing Mr. Niemoller's writing with us and by finally saying, "I know it seems like the Holocaust was a long time ago, but it wasn't really. This kind of evil still lives in people. And, if we don't learn from this, if we don't learn to speak out even when they aren't coming for will happen again."

So then I wonder, how much should I really bite my tongue?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The OB

Well, I think that maybe the best way to describe him is to say he's one of those doctors that nobody--not even people who have worked with him for twenty years--ever calls by his first name. Because, well, it just wouldn't fly.

He can drink a bottled water in 30 seconds. I know this because he told me, "I can drink one of these in 30 seconds." I wasn't really sure what to say to that, but, ever since then, I've been timing him. If he looks like he's going to make it, I try to interrupt him with a question. I now consider it a personal victory every time it takes him more than 30 seconds to drink a bottle of water.

He says the same thing to every patient...I find a pretty healthy lady. One of these patients looked at me, rolled her eyes a bit, and said, "You know, he says that to everybody." When they're pregnant, he hands them all a book to read. He handed her the book. She smirked a little, turned to me again, and said, "I've got three of these books at home." He looked a little annoyed. She was my favorite patient so far.

Monday, November 5, 2007

My bags are packed

I start OB tomorrow in a small town about an hour and a half away. I am working with a doc in private practice and staying with an older woman who donates a spare bedroom to medical education.

Graci was with this same physician during her last rotation. Of her, he said, "She is the most superior student I have had the honor of mentoring in several years." pressure there. (She's going to kill me for writing that, by the way.)

The older woman has a dog, though, so the clerkship should be a great success--I'm good with dogs.

Saturday, November 3, 2007, uh, got a haircut

That's what people have been saying all afternoon. That's what you say when someone has obviously lost a lot of hair (in a non-chemo, non-middle-aged man kind of way), but it doesn't really look great. It's like saying, "I'm not an idiot. I noticed. I'm just a shitty lier, and am therefore incapable of mustering up a respectable Damn, girl, you look hot."

Except that I think it does look great. Or, rather, it will. In about four days. Right now, it's a bit short...even for my hip, cool taste. I freaking love getting my haircut, though. For one hour a month, I feel all Margaret Cho as my hair designer (yeah, he actually calls himself that) fans the flames of his faggotry.

Last month, I got to see pictures of he and his fiance's new poodle, Madonna. Pictures of Madonna before they rescued her--before the bows, and the haute couture, and the weave. Poor thing looked like...well, like a dog. Pictures of Madonna now, the happy and healthy diva she was born to be, getting kisses from Scott, Shane's fiance. All of the pictures were tucked in a lacy pink baby book. As Shane handed it to me, he said, "Is that not the gayest thing you've ever seen?" It was.

This time we chatted about Shane's upcoming birthday. It's upcoming as in just two short months away. Shane and Scott have been getting their house ready for the party by redecorating. As Shane talked about wall colors, he stopped cutting briefly to say, "Well, you know, my favorite color is purple..." He went on to explain how this week they are painting the dining room to match some fabulous curtains he found. He sighed and said, "We've been busy little bitches!" I've been invited to the party, and I've penciled into my planner. I can't help it...I want to see those curtains.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

It's like a really crappy poem

Sorry no posts
Big psych test tomorrow
Lots of studying
Then some drinking
Then posts

This weekend
(I promise)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Half a meme

Stolen from Maria (who called the cops before we had time to swipe the rest of the questions) and completed with Graci, my partner in crime...

Name one person who made you laugh last night.
T~ That'd be Graci... When I asked, "Who's the coolest person you know?" (fully expecting her answer to be "You!") she said, "Jesus."

G~ That'd be Terroni... who then said, "Well shit, how do I compete with Jesus?"

What were you doing at 8:00 this morning?
T~ Sleeping.

G~ Camping.

T feels the need to clarify~ That's what Graci calls it when she sleeps on the floor. Don't be fooled...she was indoors.

What were you doing thirty minutes ago?
T~ Watching TV.

G~ Studying antepartum hemorrhage.

(Graci just said, "They're gonna think I'm the biggest loser ever." I reassured her by saying, "Naw, you're best friends with Jesus. And he's the coolest.")

What happened to you in 2006?
T~ I left the Ex and started acting like an adult.

G~ I got an iPod.

What was the last thing that you said out loud?
T~ I read the above question.

G~ I said, "You just read the question."

How many beverages did you have today?
T~ Not that many. Really. I've got it under control. I could quit anytime I wanted to.

G~ I don't know how many...I might have a problem.

What was the last thing that you paid for?
T~ A cookie at Panera.

G~ One of those many beverages.

Where were you last night?
T~ At Graci's watching football with my roommate and a friend who speaks Swahili. (Tapeka means to vomit in Swahili--that'll come in handy if you're ever hung over in Tanzania.)

G~ Camping.

What's the weather like today?
T~ Beautiful...but a little chilly.

G~ Yeah, that sounds about right.

What excites you?
T~ Someone with mad skill and good hands.

G~ Camping...naked.

Do you want to cut your hair?
T~ I have an appointment on Tuesday.

G~ Yes, but I'm afraid. Last time, I said, "Just above the shoulders" and came out with just above the ear lobes. I moped out to the car, and then I cried, and now I'm afraid.

Are you over the age of 25?
T~ Yes.

G~ No.

Do you know anyone named Steven?
T~ He was my first real boyfriend.

G~ No. Well...except that kid in our class, but we're not really close.

Who is the first person on your received call list?
T~ G

G~ T

What does the last text message you received say?
T~ "Your Verizon wireless bill is ready to view online." (I get charged too much for texts, so I don't text.)

G~"Are you still awake?" It was from the girl who speaks Swahili. (But, it was in English.)

Where's the next place you are gonna go?
T~ I was just wondering that same thing, and why am I in this hand-basket?

G~ She's so weird. I can't follow that.

Are you currently depressed?
T~ I'm just ducky--quack, quack.

G~ I'm happy as a clam.

(And then she said, "At least I get a pearl." We are now revising the above statement. Graci is happy as an oyster.)

Did you cry today?
T~ No, but last weekend, I soaked Graci's shoulder...complete with snot. I cried about something I didn't even really realize I was sad about. It was long overdue.

G~ Twice--once about real life, and once about TV. (I cry easily.)

T~ We're kind of ending this on a sour note. We should say something fun now.

G~ Let's go camping. I can pitch a tent, and start a your pants.

T~ Careful. Dive is liable take you up on that.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

An old bag lady

In response to Susan's post about feeling old, I offer this...

It's the Nina Totin' bag--a canvas bag adorned with Nina Totenberg, NPR's award-winning legal affairs correspondent. You can purchase it here.

Not only does this really amuse me, but also, when they say that it would make a great reusable grocery bag, I say, "That's exactly what I was thinking!"

So...who's old now?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I'm so happy for you, and...

Flash: an Army of One

This morning, the other medical student, Flash, and I were sitting at a table in the common area on the unit. We were sitting with patients, nurses, and the psychologist, Juliana. I was sharing the paper with Juliana and Hazel--you a section, pass a section, talk about how if we'd fix the problems of the world if we were in charge. Flash was sitting with his notebook and pencil, waiting for something note-worthy to happen. (Dude missed his true calling as a stenographer.)

The attending physician, Schizophrenic Whisperer, was late this morning; and one of the more irritable and less rational patients was, and I quote, pissed off about this. So, as he is, apparently, wont to do, the patient lashed out at the two people closed to him--Flash and I. He threw a punch at Flash, who ducked and ran (hence the name, which perfectly describes what I saw out of the corner of my eye during his retreat). Flash gone, that left me. The patient came at my neck with his nails, but missed as I weaved away. In the end, he only scratched my arm, and that not even enough to break the skin through my shirt. Another patient came to my rescue, pulling him away from me.

When Schizophrenic Whisperer finally showed up, the staff told him about this morning's bit of excitement. Somehow, though, he only managed to hear about Flash nearly getting hit. So, when he came to discuss the day's plan with us, he started by saying, "I'm really sorry that the patient tried to hit you this morning! Are you okay?"

"Oh, yeah, I'm fine," he said. "I ducked... (and ran, don't forget to mention the part where you ran) because that's what they taught us to do in the United States Army."

Duck and run.
Leave the women to fend for themselves.
I don't know about you, but I feel much better about that war on terror now. Thanks, Flash.

Friday, October 19, 2007

An Indian summer

As part of group therapy the other day, we took the patients for a little walk around the hospital campus. We stopped in a common area for some hot chocolate and then headed outside. The hospital sits on a couple of acres. It's rather unimpressive, the grounds--lots of crabgrass, a few old, unused buildings. It was a beautiful day, though; and the leaves were just starting to turn, making the old trees on the property look almost regal and a little out of place amongst the rest of it.

I walked with a woman named Hazel. Hazel's been in the hospital for almost a year now, but she's facing discharge in the next few weeks. She has come to see this place as home, and she's a little scared and sad about leaving. As we walked, she said, "Hey, can I show you our garden?"

"You have a garden?" I said.

"Yeah," she said. "But, we haven't been out here in awhile, so it's probably a mess." She was right. It was a mess. But, things were growing in amongst the weeds and fallen leaves. We found a few peppers, lots of green tomatoes, and a head of cabbage. It was the cabbage that Hazel was most excited about. She sat down her hot chocolate, cleared away a few leaves, and picked it. "Here," she said, handing it to me. "You hold this while we walk."

And so we walked, her with the hot chocolate, me with the cabbage.

"You know, this is an Indian summer, this warm weather we're having. Ever since I was a little girl, I've liked these Indian summers." We stopped occasionally so she could collect a few leaves she planned to press later. "Do you like these?" she asked.

"Walks with you? Yes, Hazel, I like them very much."

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Getting in is the hardest part

The units in the state psychiatric hospital are all locked. When I arrive in the morning, I sign out a key. In order to get into the unit, I have to unlock a door, step into a small room, wait until that door closes behind me and then unlock a second door. My first day in the hospital, I unlocked the first door and let it close behind me. When I tried to unlock the second door, my key got stuck. Really stuck. I jiggled it and jiggled it. I tried to pull it back out. It wouldn't budge.

I was stuck. Really stuck.

At this point, patients started to notice something was up. There were suddenly four pairs of eyes peering at me through the small window in the second door. One of them was fogging up the glass with his breath. And this is when I stopped fucking with the key and started laughing. I thought, when people ask, "How's med school going?" I'll say, "Well, right now I'm locked in a small room in a state psychiatric hospital. The experience is made somewhat less enjoyable by the fact that I'm terribly claustrophobic. But, on the bright side, I seem to have made four new friends."

Friday, October 12, 2007

Good stuff

The day I turned 16, my mom looked at me and said, "Get your ass in the minivan, kid. We're getting you a job." I had worked at the pool's concession stand every summer for a few years, but she was referring to something that didn't pay in all the snow-cones you can eat. We drove around that afternoon, and I put in applications all over town. (All over town meaning everywhere that didn't serve burgers at a drive-thru--I refused to work in fast food.) In the end, I got a job at a small greenhouse working for a man named Bob.

At the time, it just felt like a job. I realized I worked a bit more than other kids my age. I didn't take off the Saturday of Homecoming to get my hair and makeup done before the dance. I took off an hour early to dig the dirt out from underneath my fingernails and throw on my gown. I generally liked my job, though. It was painfully hot in the greenhouse in the summer (like working inside a ziploc bag), but I looked amazing--tan from all that sun and strong from hoisting 100 pound bags of soil. Plus, I loved our small town customers.

And, as cliche as it sounds, holidays at the greenhouse were magic. In the fall, families came to pick out pumpkins. There is nothing cuter than watching a little kid wrap his arms around a pumpkin that weighs as much as he does and then scrunch up his face and grunt as he tries to lift it. In the winter, we sold Christmas trees. I remember tying one to the top of a family's minivan. It was just before closing time one night, and it had started to snow. Bob came out to give me a hand. As the family pulled away and we stood next to the trees all lined up under a string of white lights, snow falling on our heads, he said, "This is good stuff, kid." And it was.

Today was my last day in child psych. My attending physician asked me what I want to be when I grow up. Actually, what he said was, "You want to do psychiatry, right?" He was surprised when I told him no. He said, "Wow. You worked really hard during this rotation, and the whole time you knew you weren't interested in it...huh. That's actually really impressive." As I left the building today, I was stopped by four others--two physicians, a nurse, and a social worker--who wanted to thank me for all my work.

As I walked to my car, I called my mom. I said, "Listen, I just want to thank you for loading my ass in the van and making me get a job ten years ago. The stuff I learned when I learned how to work...well, that stuff is turning out to be more valuable than all my formal education. I mean, I know how to work. Really work." She laughed a little and told me I was welcome. (She enjoys these occasional little "thanks for the parenting" calls more than she admits.)

Bob was right--that job was good stuff. It taught me most of what I really need to know to be a doctor. In the end, it's all about work.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


I hit the Next Blog button today--something I do occasionally when I really, really don't want to study. And today, I stumbled upon a real jewel. It was a blog dedicated to Victoria Beckham. The whole blog (the whole blog) is in praise to Victoria--a veritable web shrine, if you will. I know because I checked it out. I was thinking, "Certainly, this entire thing isn't about a former Spice Girl." Certainly, it was.

Two things caught my eye. First, it's a post that starts with, "As you know, Victoria Beckham sort of has a close friendship with Roberto Cavalli." This is clearly a misuse of the phrase as you know, because, as it turns out, I didn't know that. It was news to me.

Second, Victoria Beckham has a hairstyle that my mother wore out about four years ago. So, for a woman who is supposed to be on the cutting edge of fashion, she's not that impressive. Her 'do is so 2003.

And the only thing more pathetic than blogging about Victoria Beckham? Well, that would be me...the person blogging about blogging about Victoria Beckham. Mark your calendars, folks, we've reached a new all time low.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Do you ever just want to sit
in the quiet
and wait for truth
to soak you like a wave?

Or is that just me?

post script...
Be patient towards all that is unsolved in your heart,

and learn to love the questions themselves.
~Rainer Maria Rilke

Sunday, October 7, 2007

With breath that could scare you back onto the plane

I got up yesterday morning (and I'm using the term morning loosely here) and went into Lolita's room to find her in bed...with a woman! I said, "Oh my gosh, is that your wife?" And then I ran over and leaped, like a frog, on top of said wife. I'm not sure why this was my first instinct--to fly through the air and make a crash landing in between the happy snuggling married people. It got worse, though. Then, with my most horrendous I-haven't-brushed-my-teeth-in-eighteen-hours-and-
I-slept-with-my-mouth-open breath, I yelled, "Hello! What are you doing here?" This is how I welcome all surprise guests...I soar into romance for a whiff of fresh gingival bacteria.

So, Lolita is having an amazing weekend because her wife, who lives far, far away and hates, hates, hates to fly, hopped on a plane just to see her. And a fabulous time is being had by all (now that I've brushed my teeth).

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Title starts with T

Blame Dive.

1. Famous Singer/Band
: Tiffany (remember her?...she mostly performed in malls)

2. 4 letter word: Turd

3. Street: Tillary

4. Color: Teal

5. Gifts/Presents: Tea cosy

6. Vehicle: Toyota Tundra (2 points)

7. Things in a Souvenir Shop: Tourists

8. Boy Name: Theodore

9. Girl Name: Twila

10. Movie Title: Tootsie

11. Drink: Tab (do they still make that?)

12. Occupation: Tax man

13. Celebrity: Tina Turner (2 points)

14. Magazine: Teen People (that's right...they have a dumbed-down version of People)

15. U.S. City: Tuscaloosa

16. Pro Sports Teams: Tennessee Titans (2 points--both of which belong to Graci, who came up with this and, when I double-checked, said, You doubted me, and made me doubt myself. Number 16 was a dark moment in our friendship.)

17. Number 17 is missing in action.

18. Reason for Being Late for Work: Transvestites totaled the Toyota Tundra. (a lot of points)

19. Something You Throw Away: Treadless tires (2 points--unless your a hilljack, in which case you stack them in your yard)

20. Things You Shout: Throw out your dead! (67 points for an awesome Monty Python reference.)

21. Cartoon Character: Tweety Bird

22. Author: Thoreau

22. Book Title: Their Eyes Were Watching God

23. Composer: Tchaikovsky

24. River: Thames

25. Country: Tanzania

26. Vegetable: Turnip

27. Fruit: Tomato

28. Flower: Tuberose

29 Body part: Thalamus

30 Rude body part: Titties

31. Disease: Trichomoniasis (wear your condoms, kids)

32. Bodily function: Thermoregulation (shut up, I know it's a lame answer)

33. Expletive: Twat!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Who'd a thunk it?

After all this, my attending and resident told me I have a "real knack for psych." They think I should consider it as a career.

Interesting? Yes. And, I have the utmost respect for those who do this for a living.

But as a career? Probably not a great fit for me.

Today, I asked, "What if we took the kid off some of these meds and just prescribed her a normal parent."

They laughed.

I wasn't really kidding.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

A Paul Simon kick

Well I'm accustomed to a smooth ride
Or maybe I'm a dog who's lost his bite
I don't expect to be treated like a fool no more
I don't expect to sleep through the night
Some people say a lie is just a lie
But I say why
Why deny the obvious child?

I've been on a bit of a Paul Simon kick the last two nights.
That's not to say I would ever actually kick Paul Simon.
Because I wouldn't.
I love him.

We had a lot of fun.
We had a lot of money.
We had a little son and we thought we'd call him Sonny...

A threesome story

As told to me by my mother...

Oh my gosh, wait'll ya hear this.

(That's how all her stories start.)

So, your brother was working at the restaurant the other night, and he was serving this couple.

(Bro is a server at a very high end restaurant--he made $70,000 last year in tips.)

They were in their late forties. Anyway, all the way through dinner, she kept flirting with your brother.

(Lots of women flirt with my brother. He's a 22 year old guy in great shape who's been well-groomed by previous girlfriends. But, they don't usually flirt with him in front of their husbands.)

The couple eventually finished and left. Two hours later, he got a call on his cell phone. He answers, and it's this woman!

(Did you catch that change in tense from past to present? That also happens a lot during her stories.)

This woman said, "I thought you'd stay and have a drink with us."
He said, "How'd you get this number?"
She told him how she waited until he left the restaurant, and then went back and told the bartender some lie about being his aunt from out of town, and that she lost her cell phone with his number programmed in it, and yada, yada...
He said, "Look, I don't drink with customers."
And then, she said, "Well, we were hoping you would maybe come home with us"
He said, "Lady, first of all, you're old; and, second, you people are sick. Don't call me again."

(Bro's never been one to mince words.)

But he did say they were good tippers.

(And here's where we have to bow to Mom, because that last line...that's a hell of way to end a threesome story.)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

A Meme for Youyou

It's meme time (not to be confused with Business Time, which is on Wednesday). This is courtesy of Maria.

Hi, my name is Terroni

But you can call me T

Never in my life have I tipped a cow.

When I am nervous I fake it. And apparently, I fake it pretty well. My fellow medical students seem to think I know what I'm doing. Truth is...I'm scared shitless almost all the time, thinking, I don't know what the hell I'm doing!

The last song I listened to was this. Over, and over, and over again. I love it.

If I were to get married right now, it would be to You've got to be fucking kidding me. Not if you put a gun to my head--I'd rather be shot.

My hair looks fabulous. I just got it cut on Friday. It's short and spikey and red. I look like a fucking rockstar.

When I was four it took me entirely too long to learn to ride a bike. My dad still brings it up (mentioned it two days ago) as evidence of my total lack of coordination.

Last Christmas kind of sucked. The whole holiday was delayed because my brother, The Chosen One, was on his honeymoon. All the years I had to work the holiday, the party carried on. But, apparently, the birth of Christ had to be put on hold while TCO had sex at a Jamaican Sandals. (Not that I'm bitter.)

I should be studying.

When I look down I see hands that need lotion.

The happiest recent event was seeing the look on Graci's face when she found the green Converse All Stars I bought her. (She had been talking about them for months but didn't want to spend the money.) She thinks I bought them for her, but it was really a gift for myself. I don't usually do the whole shopping therapy thing, but last week I was in the mood to spend a little money I don't have. I considered buying myself a pair of boots I've been eyeing but decided instead to get her the sneaks. It was a good decision. I have enjoyed watching her smile at her green feet much more than I would have enjoyed the boots.

And then there was...chatting with my roommate, Lolita, last night in the kitchen. We were like little old bitties squawking about everybody and everything (pick a little, talk a little, pick a little, talk a little, cheep cheep cheep, talk a lot, pick a little more). I almost laughed out loud at the two of us.

If I were a character in Friends, I'd I'm not sure which would be worse--being married or being a character on Friends. Either way, I'd rather be shot.

By this time, next year, I'll be applying for residency, looking at the light at the end of the tunnel (which, in this case, is actually a train).

My current distress is this damn cat who keeps pooping on the carpet.

I have a hard time understanding why the fuck she can't use the litter box.

There's these girls Before I complete this thought, let's back up and conjugate our verb correctly...There are these girls who are getting on my nerves--Amber and Polly. Amber whines. I don't mean that she just complains. No, she actually whines. If it were up to me, she would have her talking privileges revoked until she could figure out how to use her vocal cords like an adult.

And Polly? Well, Polly says everything like it might be a question. Today, it was I'm headed to lunch? And then to check my mail? And then I'll be back?
I wanted to say, I'm going to strangle you?

If I won an award, the first person I would tell is you!

I want to buy nothing actually.

I plan on visiting my bed at a decent hour tonight.

If I could spend the night at any house, it would be my own. I was gone all weekend, and I'm quite happy to be back.

The world could do without toe jam.

The most recent thing I bought myself is new lip gloss. I'm always losing the stuff.

The most recent thing that someone else bought for me was a pair of brown shoes. Thanks, Mom. (That reminds me...I need to send her a note.)

My middle name is in between my first and last names (unless you're writing them alphabetically).

In the morning I usually wake up with a hearty, Fuck! I'm late! It's a great way to start the day.

Last night I was too tired to blog--sorry.

There is this guy I know who was propositioned for a threesome this weekend. If I have time, I'll tell the story later.

If I was an animal, I would be Last I checked, I was an animal.

A better name for me would be Hmm...I'll leave this up to you. Any suggestions?

Tomorrow, I am having cereal for breakfast. I've decided I need to include more fiber in my diet.

Tonight, I am going to finish my laundry, vacuum, do dishes, and study psych.
Jealous are you?

And you? What are you doing tonight? If you're not busy, you should check out Dive's and Vic's answers to this meme.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

She's skipping Grey's Anatomy tonight

Right now, as I type this, Graci is assisting an Ob/Gyn in the c-section delivery of twins. We bitch and moan about much studying and little sleep. But, occasionally, we get to pull living human beings out of people. Two at a time.

All I'm saying is...there are worse jobs.

Update: Phone report from Graci...It was sweeeet (and kind of juicy)!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

There's a reason we don't hang out

Amber - Oh T, your hair is so cute! It looks like it takes a really long time to do. I know you don't spend much time on your looks, though, so it must be real easy.

Terroni - Amber, do me a favor--next time, stop after 'cute'.

What's that you say?

My neck feels a little better--less shooting pain, more rotating my head as it should.

In other news, pediatric psychiatry is going okay. Right now, I'm a little confused. English is not the first language of any of the residents or fellows. This wouldn't be a big deal, except that they like to talk Arabic. So, sometimes I'm confused because I don't know much psychiatry; and sometimes I'm confused because I don't know much Arabic.

I did have a lovely chat with a patient this afternoon, though. It's amazing how much people will tell you when you just let them talk.
Best part? She spoke English the entire time. I can do English.

Monday, September 24, 2007

A pain in the neck

Last night found me drinking white wine, listening to music, and laughing with a friend. I didn't want that weekend to end. My body, apparently, felt much the same. I had orientation to the psychiatry rotation today, and the longer I sat, the less I could move my neck. I'm not sure what the hell I did to it. By the time the day ended, I had shooting pains and had to turn my entire body to see anything that wasn't directly in front of me. A little nap, a hot shower, some ice, some Advil, some stretching, and now a heating pad (I'm trying it all)...and I'm feeling a little better.

door bell rings

And, Graci just showed up with medicine in the form of Icy Hot and Oreos! Damn, she's going to be a good doctor. I'm off to self-medicate...

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Come on sucker, lick my battery

The Humans Are Dead, but at least there's no more unethical treatment of elephants. Plus, who doesn't love a good binary solo? Seriously...I challenge you to find someone.

What's next

A few have asked, "So...what's next?" Psychiatry is next. It is known for being easy, mostly because there is no weekend rounding and no call. They call it Psychation.

I'm a bit nervous about it, though, because I hate what I've seen of psychiatric medicine. I was in the psych ICU last week for a surgery consult. It was sort of dark, nothing on the walls, beds bolted to the middle of the floor. I led support groups in a women's prison last summer, and I would rather spend the night there than I would sleep in this psych ward.

When I was an aide in college, I used to occasionally have to work in that hospital's psych unit, and it was much the same. One night, I was a sitter for a young woman who made a half-hearted attempt at suicide. I was assigned to sit in her room and make sure she didn't try to hurt herself until a bed in the secured psych unit became available. When that bed did open up and I walked her to her new room, she looked at me in terror and said, "You can't leave me in here." The rest of the unit was full of men--crazy men--who wasted no time coming to check her out. It was a nightmare. Co-ed psych units--who the fuck thought that was a good idea?

So, inpatient psych scares the shit out of me because I can't help but think, What are we doing to these people?

I will be in a child and adolescent unit for three weeks and then at a separate psych hospital for three weeks. I'm going to try to keep an open mind and hope that the environment is a bit more therapeutic than what I've seen so far. I saw a few patients with a psych resident in the ER last month, and I really liked him. He had some great tips for how to best get a history from the mentally ill. He also reassured me that he, too, is uneasy about some of what passes for psychiatric medicine around here. I hope to meet many more like him.

On the bright side...I should have more time to blog.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Brain mush

Surgery is over! We took a huge, hard exam today to cap off this three month rotation. I originally planned to come home to clean and write, but my brain is mush. Also, for the first time since before I started this blog, Ex has reared his ugly head. This morning, he called a friend of mine. He hasn't done that--made contact with anyone like that--since last summer. No real harm done. He just said a bunch of extremely creepy shit. But, it's been on my mind. I'm watching my back again and feeling, in a very small way, like my life is not entirely my own.

I'm going to go take care of that feeling with ice cream sandwiches and a bit of beer.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A scrumptious crumpet--a scrumpet

My resident today... "I hate the British. They're so uppity with their tea and scrumpets. I mean, what the hell is a scrumpet?"

Good question.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Rock me on the water

I saw him for the first time when I was 12. He was sitting at the piano on one of those "unplugged" acoustic music shows on cable. He sang, Oh people look around you. The signs are everywhere... and that was it. I told my mom, "I want him to rock me on the water." She laughed. The other girls my age were in love with Boyz II Men. I was in love with Jackson Browne.

I was babysitting one night, and, after I got the kids to bed, I started rummaging through their parents' albums. They came home to find me lying on the couch, drinking tea and listening to his self-titled 1972 album. They said something about me being the oldest 12 year old they'd ever met.

Tonight, this old 12 year old is drinking coffee and studying with The Pretender.

I'm gonna find myself a girl who can show me what laughter means. And we'll fill in the missing colors in each other's paint-by-number dreams.

Ahh...and she's still in love with him.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Thinking about love

Not wishing, or waiting, or searching for it. Just thinking about it. Because I have this friend who's never quite found it--at least not in a healthy, life-affirming way--and she swears that it doesn't really exist.

And I will not be that person. I will not deny the existence of the amazingly beautiful just because it isn't happening to me.

And because it brings me great peace to recognize it, to appreciate it, to honor it...even if from afar. It feels, to me, like I am enjoying living art.

Reading Maria, We should all be so lucky to be 88 and still have someone want to pinch our asses...
Listening to Ben, and Patti.
Smiling as my dad tells my mom, You know I would marry you all over again, and I'm not even sure why...and then they laugh and kiss.

I do not believe in the fairy tale I thought I was walking into when I strolled down that petal-strewn aisle. But, I do believe in love. And I love that I am surrounded by it...amazingly beautiful, living art.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


I'm divorced! Let me say that again just because it sounds so damn good...I'm divorced!

It only took an hour. There was a moment there...they asked Ex if he agreed that this marriage was irreparable and he hesitated. Longest 2.5 seconds of my life. He finally said, "Uh, yeah."

Yeah is right.

I did get a small cramp in my facial muscles from trying not to grin like an idiot. I should go back to work, but I've been excused for the day and I'm going to take it. I have a ton of studying to do. I'm also looking at my apartment in the light of day for the first time in about two weeks, and it looks a little scary. So...I'm off to hit the books and the bleach. Graci worked all night, but we're going to celebrate a little later. She's resting up so she can buy me a drink.

This weekend, I have some thank you notes to write. This divorce is a victory I share with all the people who have loved me through it. That includes many of you. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your support.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Really I do

I want to blog. Really I do. But, I am so fucking tired. Sick and tired of this rotation. I have an oral exam on Friday that I'm sort of very worried about. So, in every spare moment I feel like I should be studying for that. But, in every spare moment all I really want to do is sleep.

And tomorrow? Well, tomorrow I'm back in court all day for Divorce...take 962. Or does it just feel like that?

Saturday, September 8, 2007

The TV redeems itself for women everywhere

I'm watching the women's finals of the US Open.
I almost threw my TV over the balcony when I caught a glimpse of Miss Teen USA last week.
These strong, sweaty women with more mad skill than makeup make me glad I kept the damn thing.

There's a guy in the front row wearing a suit, though.
On a Saturday night.
At a sporting event.

Buy a fucking t-shirt, dude.




Someone said, "Maybe you should see a doctor."
I said, "I hate doctors."

Friday, September 7, 2007


So...I haven't been writing much because I've been in the OR. I'm now two weeks into my general surgery month. I am studying for an oral exam--fifty minutes of grilling on any of the 140 cases I've seen so far--and a written test. I'm also reading each night for the next day's surgeries, so that when they hold up some bodily structure and say, "What is this and what does it do?" I can be more specific than, "Uh...nerve?"

So...I haven't been writing much because I've been very tired. And surgery? Well, my job in the OR has mostly consisted of running the camera for laproscopic procedures. I have the eye-hand coordination of Helen Keller, so I'm a real natural. But, as long as I remember that down is up and left is right, it all goes okay. At one point today, the surgeon said, "Clean off the end of that camera--just stroke it on the liver." I can say I stroked it on the liver.

Thursday, September 6, 2007


In my last post, I said that other than church, my weekend was, and I quote--uneventful. That got me into a bit of trouble. While Graci is apparently too good a friend to listen to a word I say, she is still reading my blog. She read that and said, "Uneventful? What do you mean uneventful?"

Graci and I didn't know each other as kids, but, as it turns out, we grew up ten minutes apart from each other. Last weekend, we both had a few days off and decided that we would satisfy some nagging parents by carpooling home. On Sunday evening, I met her fam. They have a lovely home on ten acres and were gracious enough to have a little bonfire (complete with s'mores!).

As we were sitting around the fire, Graci's mom said, "It's awfully bright out here. The moon must be out."

Her dad said, "Naw, that's just the light from the city."

Her mom disagreed. And then, so as to prove her point, she stood up and started looking for the moon. "It's got to be around here somewhere," she said, as though she was searching for her keys. It was hysterical.

I will now think of her every time I run across a large planetary object.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The family that prays together

I went home to see the family this weekend. My dad was preaching in church (as opposed to the preaching he does at home, which is mainly a 20 minute diatribe about the importance of unplugging the iron after each use). He hasn't preached in church in several years. All the pastors and several of the more verbose elders were out of town, so the Internal Revenue Service Officer/part-time volunteer church co-treasurer was up to bat. Imagine the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development becoming President after the 12 guys in front of him get shot--it was kind of like that. Anyway, my dad did a fabulous job. He is a great public speaker--charming, funny, loosely follows an outline.

My brother, son of a preacher man, did not do so well. He was asked to serve communion (again, because everyone else was either out of town or had been shot). We are now calling it The Last Supper for a reason--he screwed it up so badly all future remembrances have been canceled. At some point, he was holding eight plates and stacking those he couldn't carry in the pews. No one in the last four rows got the Welch's Grape blood of Christ--it just never quite made it back there. It wasn't really all his fault. The other server guys kept throwing plates in his general direction. He's almost seven feet tall, though. So, standing there with bread plates stacked up both arms like a waiter, he looked like the Jolly Green Giant of communion debacles.

And the rest of the weekend...well, it was sort of uneventful compared to church.

Friday, August 31, 2007

With friends like this

Tonight, at the grocery store, buying a study snack. I don't even remember what Graci and I were talking about...

I said, "I just told you that."
She said, "Yeah, uh...I don't really listen to you. Mostly, I just watch your mouth move."
(Me, standing in the cookie aisle, with a look of shock and horror, and Graci laughing.)
And then, in an attempt to somehow make that better, she said, "Well, you talk so much."

I told her she's lucky I'm sharing my cookies. Who the hell knows if she heard that.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Buying books

My sister is having a girl--Logyn (like Logan) Jane. I'm starting to think about buying Logyn things, mostly books. I'm going to work on filling a small bookcase with everything from The Cat in the Hat to To Kill a Mockingbird, giving her books to grow into. you have any suggestions?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Quote of the last two days

We had 16 hours of lecture over the last two days for a 10 question quiz.
Do you know how painful 16 hours of surgery lecture is?
So painful.

Graci and I decided we had to drink after yesterday's round of torture.
And out of that, in all seriousness, came...

Alcohol makes me hot.
I think I might be Asian.

In fairness to Graci, though, they skipped the cultural competency lecture--not enough time after 90 minutes of Pancreas: Organ of Mystery and Intrigue (actual title).

Friday, August 24, 2007

One of many

I took back my maiden name, Crazy (the real name actually rhymes with it), this week. When I first filed for divorce, I thought about taking Terroni as my last name. It was my grandmother's maiden name. I was talking to my father and said, "You know, at this point, I haven't been a Crazy since I was a kid. When I think about taking the name back, I think about being a kid again." There are five of us. We grew up in a small town, and we all look alike. I have been on vacation states away and have been stopped on the street by someone asking, "Hey, are you a Crazy kid, because you look like one of em." Yeah, of many. My dad seemed to understand what I was feeling and encouraged me to do whatever I felt fit.

Things changed a bit for me this summer, though, when I stayed with my dad's sister. My aunt and uncle don't have kids of their own, and they inherited piles of dough from my uncle's dad. So, they plan to leave all of us Crazys a substantial amount of money when they die. This has always been a bit of an awkward subject as they mention it entirely too often. Not quite sure how to show it, they are just trying to remind us all that they love us.

This summer, my aunt and I were sitting in her living room watching TV one night. In the middle of a commercial, I said, "You know, I don't care about any of that money you want to leave me...I just want that picture" I was pointing to a painting of a bird hanging over her television.

"Really?" she said, a little surprised. "You know, I bought that painting as a gift for your grandpa, and it hung in my mom and dad's house until she died."

"I know. I remember. And it's all I want." We went on to talk about all of her favorite things from her mom and dad's house, the things she decided to take when my grandma died. She brought out my grandma's china and asked if I wanted that, too. I said I would be honored to have it. That evening with my aunt, the look on her face as she talked about paintings and dishes and memories, was the greatest of my entire summer.

As I walked away from the probate court this week, I looked down at my new old Crazy name. And, I thought about that painting. I have realized that this name is more than just the five Crazy kids. It is a rich history--thousands of tiny amazing moments and memories--a legacy of people who love each other. I'll never give it up again.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

My travels

" was your trip?" you ask. It was fabulous! (And thank you for asking.) I flew in to New York on Saturday morning and met a friend, a labor and delivery nurse I used to work with, and her daughter at the Marriott Marquis. I love that place--the only hotel I've ever stayed in with beds more comfortable than my own. We had a great view of Times Square from our room. ( pictures. The Ex has the digital camera. I get my revenge by refusing to return the digital camera battery charger I some how ended up with.) Plus, the Marriott accommodates pets, which is great since my friend travels with her French bulldog and her daughter with her chihuahua.

The chihuahua, by the way, is a little shit. We got back to our room after eating some lunch Saturday to find the maid standing outside the door. She said, "I'm not cleaning that room. The dog in there is barking and growling and I don't want to get bitten." The dog she was referring to weighs all of six pounds--less than some rodents. When we were out walking her, she (the dog, not the maid) attacked a Rottweiler. He looked down at her and cocked his head to one side as if to say, "Are you fucking kidding me?" See what I mean? She's a little shit.

But, I digress. I got there at about 9 on Saturday morning, and my friend and I headed to the box office at the Nederlander Theater. The point of this trip was to see RENT on Broadway. Two of the original cast members, Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp, are back for six weeks. My friend and her daughter are RENTheads--they've now seen the show twenty times--and they were extremely excited to see these guys again. I had never seen RENT before and was equally jazzed. (I'm bringing back the word jazzed.)

Anyway, my friend and I walked to the box office to get tickets for Saturday night's show. She has the most incredible luck when it comes to getting good seats. She never buys them ahead of time, and she always sits in the first six rows. We arrived at the box office at about 9:40 and they opened at 10:00. There were a couple people behind us in line also looking for seats for that night's show. When we got to the window, the ticket man said, "What do you need?"

She said, "Your three best seats for tonight."

He said, "Well, tonight's show is sold out."

She calmly said, "Please look again."

He raised his eyebrows as he said, "Oh, uh, wait a looks like we just got a phone cancellation. I've got three in the sixth row, center."

She said, "I'll take 'em."

He said, "Wow, ma'am, it's your lucky night."

And it was--the show was amazing.

We spent Saturday afternoon walking around Greenwich village, shopping a bit. I'm more of a walker than a shopper, but I love that part of the city. It was a perfect way to spend the day. I flew back on Sunday morning, totally exhausted from my fabulous weekend.