Monday, April 28, 2008

Shake it, baby

I'm sitting at my little desk, listening to The Kinks as I log cases in between patients. The fussy nurse, Mary Anne, just came in. Every office has one--perfectly pressed white scrubs, spotless tennis shoes, a phone voice that is simultaneously courteous and belittling. She stood here for a minute, looking for a chart on the shelf next to my desk. And then, entirely without meaning to, she busted a move. She shifted her weight back and forth on her feet, even shook her tail feather a bit.

When Mary Anne suddenly realized what was happening, she inhaled sharply and stood erect, wide-eyed and panicked. I could see her thinking, "Oh my goodness, please tell me those weren't my hips moving."

As she turned on her heel to make a hasty retreat from rockin' danger, I yelled after her, "It's not your fault... The Kinks do that to people."


I'm pretty sure that no apples were harmed in the making of this applesauce.

Yuck and ick.
Oh, and also blah.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

For Maria

Thank you.
I really needed this tonight.

Thank you for the post, M. I am honored that you think that somewhere in here is a girl who will make a good doctor. I promise I'll keep trying.

April 28~ In the light of this clear, blue Monday morning, I reread your post and my response. I was smacked in the face by all that woe is me, by my total inability to put things in perspective. Above is what I should have said last night.

Rhymes with Brie

Friday, April 25, 2008

Skinny bitch goes hog wild

When I told Dorothy that Graci was coming to town to visit us girls, she said, “Oh, oh…this will be good because I just bought a huge pork loin!” Apparently, she bought the big cut of meat hoping she’d have someone to share it with. So, last night, Graci drove into town after work and the three of us had Porkapalooza. Dorothy cooked, and Graci and I followed instructions. Dorothy’s rheumatoid arthritis limits her hand strength and dexterity a bit, so we transferred pots and cut meat—her younger hands at work.

I haven’t purchased meat since that fateful day in Borders when I picked up the book Skinny Bitch. I unknowingly flipped to a passage in the middle where the authors described in brilliant detail how terribly tragic it is for cows and chickens and pigs to be charged with TASTES GOOD MARINATED and then sentenced to die at the hands of sadistic slaughterhouse employees. Turns out, these delicious animals are mother and fathers with hopes and dreams for themselves and the calves and chicks and piglets they work so hard to feed, clothe, and keep out of prison and off the pole—not at all unlike the rest of us.

In less than a chapter, those damn skinny bitches sort of ruined bacon-wrapped filets for me. Now, I don’t buy meat. I do, however, eat meat that others purchase and serve. I’m not going to piss on hospitality to make a point. First, I don’t have the courage to be that hippie. Next thing I know, they’ll want me to turn off my air conditioner and give up my toxic chemical hair products—no one wants to see that sweaty, unstylish mess. And second, I have $120 to my name—I’m in no position to turn down free protein. So, if you invite me for dinner (or, should I say, when you invite me for dinner) and ask what I eat, I’ll tell you, “Oh, just about everything. I’m not picky.” I’m just not going to support the meat industry on my own.

Besides, my tongue has no morals. (Hi perverts who came by way of the google search that flagged that last sentence. Nice to have you.) My ethical objection to draining the blood out of innocent pigs has done nothing to change the fact that pork tastes great. Nothing. Last night, I ate more murdered pig than Dorothy and Graci combined. And then, I had some more. They kept exchanging sideways glances that said, “Where the hell is this skinny bitch putting all that food?”

The truth is, it was the most delicious meat I’ve had in years. In fact, now I’m being very careful not to read anything about how Revlon tests my lipstick on poor, innocent monkeys. I’m afraid it will suddenly become irresistibly tasty, and Dorothy and Graci will find me holed up in the bathroom eating my makeup bag.

Monday, April 21, 2008

For the gods

As I drove home tonight, the streets in Dorothy's neighborhood were lined with trees holding tiny bright green explosions up to the sky, like an offering. Spring.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Sharing is caring

Graci: Offering a piece of gum, You want half?
Terroni: Taking gum, Uh huh.
Graci: That is the half I stuck in my ass.
Terroni: Figures.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Love story

The 73-year-old woman, just married for the second time was eager to talk about her new husband, Jay…

“My late husband and I used to spend time with Jay and his late wife. We went out to dinner as couples and spent time at the yacht club together.”

“His wife died about six years ago, and then my husband died about two years later. Jay and I started spending some time together, you know, just as companions.” And she’s very clear about this… “He was just someone to go to dinner with.” (Just two people sharing a meal. Nothing to see here folks. Move along.)

“But then,” she said, blushing and looking down at her lap with a little grin, “well…” she whispered, “a deeper affection developed.” (Translation: I let him touch my booby.)

“I took him on vacation to the Carolinas for a few weeks. You know, just to sort of try it out. I needed to see if I was going to feel smothered with him around all the time, and I wanted to show him around to my friends. We had a very nice time, so I decided I would marry him.” (New state motto: The Carolinas, come for a test run.)

“We got married in Florida a few weeks ago,” she said, holding out her newly adorned ring finger. “We didn’t tell anyone we were going to do it. The next day, I sent out announcements to all of our friends. I told them we’d meet them at the yacht club for a party when we were done in Florida.” (Yes…you read that right. She said done.)

“Oh, and…” she’s careful to add, “his late wife trained him really well. He always picks up his socks.” (After I tear them off in the throws of passion.)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

It's time...

for a little blog hiatus.

No worries, friends.
I just have other things that need my attention right now.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Won't be long before they make me treat the cows

For the next month, I'm in a doctor's office in Bumfuck, Egypt. I'm doing internal medicine now, but this month of ambulatory is really no different than my last rotation in family medicine. I'm tired of outpatient clinics. I'm sick of the rural Midwest.

But, I'm staying with Dorothy again. She has taken me in without any compensation from the school because, as she said, "We are friends now." My friend is saving me from the run-down dorms where the internal medicine students are stored, uh...I mean, housed in these here parts.

I came home today, exhausted from eight hours of...We need to get your cholesterol down a bit. Have you been monitoring your blood pressure at home? Is it always this high? Did you get those labs that the doctor ordered? Why not? Should I maybe just go bang my head against a brick wall? Would that save us some time here? Yeah. That's what I thought.

After all that, I walked in to find Dorothy standing in front of the TV yelling BULLSHIT at General Petreus.

It's the bright spot in my day, watching the liberal old lady from the middle of nowhere scream swear words at CNN during press conferences.

Really. It's the only reason I'm not hanging myself with my stethoscope.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Nothing a little golf and duct tape can't fix

My cell phone rang. It was my uncle calling from Florida.

"Hey, kiddo. So, you and Graci got back okay, huh?"

"Yep. We were terribly depressed on the plane, though. It's hard to fly away from palm trees."

He chuckled and said, "Well, you know we'd love to have to back anytime."

"So, what are you up to?" I asked.

"I'm actually headed to the airport. I'm going to catch a ride with Jack to Augusta." And by that he meant... I'm going to catch a ride to The Masters with my tennis buddy, Jack Nicklaus, on his jet.

"What about you?" he asked.

"Well, I was just in a bit of a fender bender. I'm actually in the Walmart parking lot, duck taping my headlight back in."

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Our last day

It’s Saturday morning at 10. I just ran in the house to grab some sunscreen and my computer. I can’t post this right now as everyone in the neighborhood who has wireless has cancelled their service for the winter. During the first week in April, half of the town heads North, back home to meet their accountants—the great tax migration from south Florida. Birds around here probably watch it all from the palm trees and talk amongst themselves about how backward people are.

Graci and I have to head back tomorrow, a fact we’re trying to ignore as we enjoy our last day. Right now, we are sitting on a couple lounge chairs in the backyard, drinking our coffee. The salty sea breeze is making the palm branches dance over our heads and has brought the sweet smell of a flower that doesn’t grow at home. I could happily sit right here and get nothing done for the next month.

Graci just went inside to make us some cereal and let the dogs out of their crate. We are staying with my aunt and uncle and their two miniature dachshunds, Roni and Galloway—the Girls. Roni will come out and hunt lizards, and Galloway will sit on Graci’s lap and lick her face. Galloway is blind and has Parkinsons disease. Graci is drawn to creatures who overcome. They, in turn, sense that she sees and appreciates their beauty in a way others don’t. So...she and Galloway bonded immediately. They have spent much of the last week chillaxin’—reading books, sharing bananas, chatting about how they don’t have to do anything else because they’re on vacation. Graci does most of the talking as Galloway stares over the top of her head and, with her always agreeable tremor, nods.

Ahh. We’re going to miss this—the sun, the sweet smelling flowers, the Girls. Next week when I’m in clinic listening to some old woman talk about every medical problem she has had since 1957 when her second child was born, I will be staring over her head and nodding like the blind, shaky dog.

And I will be thinking about sitting right here.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Spring Break

Graci and I are on vacation at the beach. We are sleeping in until 10, drinking Blue Moon in the middle of the day, reading books that have not a damn thing to do with medicine, and we're the ocean.

We are the only two women in this part of Florida who aren't wearing make-up and silicone breasts--we simply refused to pack them. We're also the only two women in the water. We're out there with a bunch of wannabe surfers, getting toppled in the surf. We have spent the last year of school trying not to get our feet knocked out from under us, and we have spent the last week of vacation laughing our asses off as the waves do just that. My poorly fitting bathing suit has also been a source of entertainment, as every few minutes I will look down to discover that a nipple has, once again, escaped. If Graci had a nickel for every time she has said, "Uh, your boob's out again," she'd be able to pay off her med school debt.

And speaking of my friend, I learn something new about her every day here. For example, the bitch is freaking obsessed with sea foam--those millions of little bubbles that float on top of the water after a wave crashes. She started by just pointing it out, "Look," she said, wide-eyed, "sea foam!" But, when I didn't seem to appreciate it, she persisted. Gingerly resting her hands on the delicate bubbles, she said, "Feel it." I did. It felt like bubbles. Whatever. She saw that whatever attitude in my eyes and noticed that several foamy waves had passed without my even feeling the bubbles. So, she finally resorted to just yelling at me, "Sea foam...DO IT." And by that she meant, gently touch the bubbles and appreciate their delicate beauty...NOW, dammit. And I tried. Really, I did. But, I was laughing too hard to DO IT properly.

She's going to make me stay on vacation until I get it right.