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.