Monday, February 28, 2011
Dear White Hummer Driver Parked Outside Nawab At Lunch Today,

Thank you.  For being you.  You, meaning a typical hummer driver.  It gave me an opportunity I didn't think I'd ever get!  You see, for Christmas, santa left me a great little gift in my stocking, but I wasn't sure I'd be bold enough to use it.  Then I pulled up to lunch, very hungry because we'd already gone to one indian restaurant that turned out to be closed on Mondays, and I just wanted to eat.  Instead I had to debate if I could fit in a parking space because you parked like this:
Yes, I know this isn't your exact hummer.  I was too busy contemplating my options to think to take a picture.  Your hummer was white, but equally poorly parked.  So I squeezed into the last parking space, which was really more like 4/5 a parking space because you apparently have neglect of the right side of your vehicle.  And then, I whipped out my pen and my stocking stuffer and went to work.

It was a bit of a rush, deciding to use the stocking stuffer on you.  I had to be bold.  And sneaky.  And about 3 inches taller, because your hummer is huge.  By now, you know what I left you, as a present for you kind hearted spirit, and parking etiquette.  And the present looks like this:

Thats right.  I did it.  I gave you a ticket.  For "failing to park between the lines", and "owning a Hummer".  The fact that "owning a Hummer" is on the list meant that I was really morally obligated to give you a ticket.  How could I not??  I pretty much had to leap to get the ticket under your winshield wiper so I'd be sure you saw it.  But it was totally worth it.  I was, however, extremely relieved that your particular Hummer wasn't equipped with a talking, honking, electrocuting person sensing alarm system.

How did you react when you saw the ticket?  Did your heart start pounding initially, because you thought it was a REAL ticket?  Did you laugh?  Get mad?  Snicker on the inside because you recognize your own absurdity?

I hope you learned something from today.  Mainly, if you can't park your hummer between the lines, you can't drive your hummer.  Sorry, those are the rules.  I would drive a firetruck to lunch, except I can't park it between the lines.  So I don't drive it to lunch. 

Learn to park your car.  Or get a smaller car. 


PS.  If you were just borrowing your mom's car, I apologize for giving you a small heart attack.  Please convey this message to her, and tell her not to let you drive her Hummer, until she teaches you to park it.
Friday, February 25, 2011
I have a goal in life.  Well, I have many goals in life, but I only want to talk about one of them tonight.  The goal is simple.  I never want to live vicariously through my children's athletics (or dance, beauty pagents, singing, acting, or whatever else they may choose to love).

Here's the thing.  Sports are for the athletes, not the parents.  Win or lose, good or bad, your kid is the athlete, not you.  You may have been a really excellent high school cricket player.  But you aren't any more.  So get over it. 

I love watching sports, playing sports, and I love competition.

But I can't stand the parents who act like their kids success in sports is 1) tremendously important to their and everyones futures, and 2) part of their identity.  I understand cheering and wanting your child to do well.  But in the end, it's not about you.  It's just not.

Today I ran into a situation with one of these parents.  A mom was so invested in her child's athletic career that she payed no attention to the injury that meant he couldn't compete any more, and instead quite literally ranted about his poor performance and how she had put 6 years into this and he performed horribly.  The result?   Her son left in tears, her daughter and husband followed him (it was clear that this was not new behavior for her), and she stayed behind to tell us (the medical staff, who clearly cared...) how he's just not competed well, and it was embarassing, and she wasn't normally a b**ch.  Inside my head I said, "I bet you are"... but in reality I just pursed my lips and stared at her until she left. 

I can understand a kid getting mad when they lose.  They've worked hard, winning is more fun than losing, and it's frustrating to not do your best.

I can understand coaches getting upset when they lose.  It's their job to win.  You feel like a failure when you don't do your job.  And it's especially frustrating when you know your athletes didn't perform their best, even if they tried really really hard.

But parents?  It's not about you.  Win or lose, you shouldn't get to react like a toddler throwing a tantrum.  Give your kid a hug.  Tell them you love them.  Let them be upset if they need to.  And stop for ice cream on the way home.

Don't act like this:\
All it does is make your kid unhappy, make people think you're ridiculous, and give you high blood pressure.

No kid (particularly one with a record of 32-1) should leave a room crying because his mom said he didn't deserve to compete because he was so bad.

It's not about you.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
There are ways to use your time wisely...

And then there are time sucking activities that accomplish practically nothing, but still take up absurd amounts of time.  We all have our weak spots.

Mine rotate.

Right now, the time sucker is house hunting.  Mostly virtual. 

There's so much to look for!  Space, location, heating, cooling, yard, kitchen, upstairs?, bathrooms, charm, storage, drive time, surrounding homes and people...

And then, when I find a house I like, I have to look up paint colors, new appliances, front doors, grills, ceiling fans, shelving units, and a dog for the back yard.

It takes a lot of time. 

Good thing I'm a 4th year, and I have time...
Monday, February 21, 2011
A Jeni's Ice Cream creator was out for a stroll.  And she saw corn... and blackberries.  And thought to herself, "Hmm, I bet these two things would make a great ice cream if you put them together".  People laughed at her.  But she had a vision.  So she made Sweet Corn and Black Raspberry Ice Cream.

And it was amazing. 

You should go get some.  Right now.  You'll have to go to Ohio, but I promise it'll be worth it. 
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Yesterday was an excellent day, so today had a lot to live up to.  It did.

My morning started by waking up at 8:30... sleeping in is lovely (and yes, that counts as sleeping in).  I made some coffee, watched Meet The Press, and whipped up some fresh biscuits to make ham, egg, and cheese biscuit sandwiches for breakfast.  I must say, Vermont white sharp cheddar cheese is definitely the best thing to come to prepackages deli cheese since american cheese.  It makes ham, egg, biscuit sandwiches extra delicious. 

After breakfast, I drank some more coffee, packed up, and headed to Hanging Rock for a trail run.  Hanging Rock and I are getting to be good friends.  I've been there three times in the last couple weeks.  The trail I ran is the same one that I hiked with Chris a couple weeks ago (check it out here).  It's about 5 miles from the car back, mostly a loop (4.2 miles of it), with a short common beginning/end.  The fire tower is about 3 miles into trail (which, when you expect it to come up at the halfway through, can be frustrating).  A good chunk of the trail to the fire tower is a steep, rocky uphill.  There are about 1.5 miles of downhill with some stone stairs on the backside, and the rest is "flat".  It was BEAUTIFUL out (just over 60), and a little overcast.   

I was VERY tired when I got to the top.  I took a little break at the top of the fire tower.
And then I checked out the view.

I finished the 5 miles in a 57:16.   The hike itself is listed as "strenuous", and it's STEEP, so I was happy with that :) 

After the hike, I came home, showered, and made a gargantuan salad and biscuit from this morning.  My salad had projectile edamame on it... every time I tried to spear the little buggers, they shot off my plate.  And by shot, I mean they made it a good two or three feet.  Crazy jumping beans. 

I ran to target to pick up a couple things, then hit up Panera for a loaf of bread for the week. 

Now, I'm sitting on my couch watching SVU, contemplating whether or not to bust out the thin mints in my freezer.  And for your reading pleasure, here are a few random things that made my day better...

I remembered to get coffee filters at the store, after forgetting them the last three times I've gone.

I have the makings of a new years feast (pork and sauerkraut) for a late dinner.  Yum.

The bathroom at Hanging Rock had Xcelerator hand dryers... that's enough to make my day all on it's own.  I love those things. 

My rank list is due tomorrow, which means that AFTER tomorrow, I won't have to think about it again!

I found a flavor of Gu (well, this was CarbBOOM!) that doesn't make me gag.  Double espresso.  Yum.

Wyatt and a bird had a staring contest... and Wyatt lost.  It was a big cardinal, and looked vicious.

Tomorrow's going to be over 70 degrees, and I have the afternoon off.  I think I'll spend some QT with my bike.

Cookies and coffee are calling my name!

Yesterday was one of those days.  Let me give you a run down of the events.

First, I spent from 12-2am finishing The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Next.  What can I say, those books are addicting.  I couldn't go to sleep until I finished it!  Which happened just before 2.  And then I spent 10 minutes reassuring myself there wasn't a giant German with congenital insensitivity to pain sitting outside my window.  You'll be pleased to know there wasn't.

Then, I woke up somewhere around 7:30, ate a banana, and went to the lake for a run.  I've been running pretty short distances recently (4 miles-ish), and wanted to go further.  Which is easy to do at the lake because it's a 7 mile loop... so if you get to mile 3, you're gonna HAVE to go at least 6!  So I ran 6 miles in 50:25 (which was faster than I'd anticipated), AND this nagging foot pain I've had the last couple times I've run didn't rear it's head!  It was super exciting.  Not to mention it was sunny and warm (about 60 by the time I finished), the trail wasn't busy yet, there was a cool breeze coming off the lake, and it wasn't muddy.  Perfection.

Then I went home and had breakfast, took a shower, and met Betsy at Starbucks.  I got a FREE iced mocha, and we walked 2 doors down to get a pedicure.  Well, they were having a special on the deluxe pedicure, so we got that.  I decided to go outside my normal pink-range colors, and went with blue.  And of course I got an awesome design... because that's what I do.

How fun. 

Then, I hopped in the car and drove to one of the local high schools to cover a regional wrestling tournament.  Luckily for the wrestlers, there weren't many major injuries.  We took care of a concussion, a shoulder separation, and elbow injury, a variety of bleeding things, and said "oooo, how is that shoulder not dislocated?!" a lot.  And we got free food.  To the person who made the cheeseburger soup, thank you.  And then the guys at the snack bar wouldn't let us pay for our sodas.  We handed him money, and he handed it back.  It's hard to argue with that.

The tournament wasn't done until about 9, so I came home, had a snack, watched some SVU marathon, and went to bed. 

You can't really argue with running, Starbucks, pedicures, event coverage, and free food. 

Don't try, you can't.  It's simply the makings of an excellent day.

Hopefully today will be excellent too!
Friday, February 18, 2011
I think that "reading day" on my schedule implies that I should be reading.  Well, it's really a reading half-day.  And you'll be glad to know that I AM reading!  I'm reading, "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Next".  I'm sure that's what I'm supposed to be reading... 

In addition to reading, I'm sitting on my couch with a cup (errr, pot) of coffee in my hand and the door to my porch open!  Because it's 59 degrees outside, at 9:30am, on a Friday, in February.  And it's splendid.

Wyatt thinks so too.  He's chasing a bird... or a leaf... or something like that. 

It's supposed to be 74 degrees outside today.  I think that's some sort of record.

I like sunshine.

I also like my new running shoes.  They're so squishy.

And I like coffee.

And making eggs for breakfast.

And the Today Show.

And hanging all my jackets up because I won't need to wear one today.

And when my hydration pack finally dries out enough that I can put it away.

And blue Gatorade.

Okay, this is just getting random now.  I'm basking in reading day (morning...) glory, and it's going to my head.

I think it's time to take down the Christmas stockings now.

AND, today I have to go get measured for graduation regalia today!  It's very exciting.

Here's a pretty picture of spring.

It's from the Atlanta Botanical Gardens.

Have a good day!
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Unless I don't. 

But given all the cancer-causing substances I (and you) am surrounded by, I don't hold much hope.  It's gonna happen.  Because of all the substances, not because of our increased life expectancy, and the fact that eventually cells get old and tired and no longer work right.  It's the cancer-causing stuff in this world. 

I made the mistake of reading the news.  If you don't know by now, me reading the news (and ESPECIALLY the comments), usually ends in me being perturbed about something.  Today it's cancer causing substances.  Let me list some of my favorites for you.

Caramel coloring:  This is the story from today.  Caramel color additives to cola's (dark sodas) WILL cause cancer.  They proved it in mice.  They injected mice with artificial caramel coloring and the mice got cancer.  I'm particularly concerned because I'd only have to consume 10,000 bottles of cola a day for 30 years to cause cancer.  So it's likely.  And as the Center for Science in the Public Interest says, we should take no risks.  Any caramel coloring is too much.  And so you know what you have to avoid, it can also be found in dark beer and Worcestershire sauce.

Deodorant:  The aluminum contained in some (dare I say, most) deodorants may be linked with an increased risk of breast cancer.  The Europeans must have known a long time ago.  So ditch the deodorant and stay cancer free.  It's the way to be.
Mouthwash:  The alcohol contained in mouthwash may be linked to oral cancers.  If you're going to increase your risk with alcohol, it might as well be in the form of gin and tonic.  Cavities may be stinky and painful, but they don't cause cancer!

Cell Phones:  Between the radiation being directly sent to your brain, and the overactivity of brain cells near the ear, you (and the rest of the world) are gonna get a brain tumor.  Probably two.  So hang up your cell phones in the name of health, people!  With all the concern over things causing cancer, I KNOW you'll stop using your cell phones.  And all that texting... Finger cancer.  Yes, it can happen.  It can happen to you.

BPA:  I used to drink out of plastic bottles and refill them.  It was good for the environment.  Now, I only drink out of organic lemon grass paper cups, because everything else has BPA.  Lots and lots of BPA.  I feel healthier already.  Except I drink less water.  Organic lemon grass paper cups are small.  Can dehydration cause cancer?

And then there is the complete list of things that cause cancer.  From the internet, which I trust explicitly.  For your, my beloved readers, safety, I will give you the whole list.  Because it's for your own good.  I'd be concerned about you getting freaked out about even leaving your house, but this is 2011 people!  We're SUPPOSED to be scared to leave our houses!  Because there is a high likelihood that in 7.6 months, a study will prove that air below 3000 ft above sea level causes cancer.  Watch our Denver, the people are a'comming.  Here's the complete list.  I've highlighted my favs.

Acetaldehyde, acrylamide, acrylonitril, abortion, agent orange, alar, alcohol, air pollution, aldrin, alfatoxin, arsenic, arsine, asbestos, asphalt fumes, atrazine, AZT, baby food, barbequed meat, benzene, benzidine, benzopyrene, beryllium, beta-carotene, betel nuts, birth control pills, bottled water, bracken, bread, breasts, brooms, bus stations, calcium channel blockers, cadmium, candles, captan, carbon black, carbon tetrachloride, careers for women, casual sex, car fumes, celery, charred foods, cooked foods, chewing gum, Chinese food, Chinese herbal supplements, chips, chloramphenicol, chlordane, chlorinated camphene, chlorinated water, chlorodiphenyl, chloroform, cholesterol, low cholesterol, chromium, coal tar, coffee, coke ovens, crackers, creosote, cyclamates, dairy products, deodorants, depleted uranium, depression, dichloryacetylene, DDT, dieldrin, diesel exhaust, diet soda, dimethyl sulphate, dinitrotouluene, dioxin, dioxane, epichlorhydrin, ethyle acrilate, ethylene, ethilene dibromide, ethnic beliefs,ethylene dichloride, Ex-Lax, fat, fluoridation, flying, formaldehyde, free radicals, french fries, fruit, gasoline, genes, gingerbread, global warming, gluteraldehyde, granite, grilled meat, Gulf war, hair dyes, hamburgers, heliobacter pylori, hepatitis B virus, hexachlorbutadiene, hexachlorethane, high bone mass, hot tea, HPMA, HRT, hydrazine, hydrogen peroxide, incense, infertility, jewellery, Kepone, kissing, lack of exercise, laxatives, lead, left handedness, Lindane, Listerine, low fibre diet, magnetic fields, malonaldehyde, mammograms, manganese, marijuana, methyl bromide, methylene chloride, menopause, microwave ovens, milk hormones, mixed spices, mobile phones, MTBE, nickel, night lighting, night shifts, nitrates, not breast feeding, not having a twin, nuclear power plants, Nutrasweet, obesity, oestrogen, olestra, olive oil, orange juice, oxygenated gasoline, oyster sauce, ozone, ozone depletion, passive smoking, PCBs, peanuts, pesticides, pet birds, plastic IV bags, polio vaccine, potato crisps (chips), power lines, proteins, Prozac, PVC, radio masts, radon, railway sleepers, red meat, Roundup, saccharin, salt, sausage, selenium, semiconductor plants, shellfish, sick buildings, soy sauce, stress, strontium, styrene, sulphuric acid, sun beds, sunlight, sunscreen, talc, tetrachloroethylene, testosterone, tight bras, toast, toasters, tobacco, tooth fillings, toothpaste (with fluoride or bleach), train stations, trichloroethylene, under-arm shaving, unvented stoves, uranium, UV radiation, Vatican radio masts, vegetables, vinyl bromide, vinyl chloride, vinyl fluoride, vinyl toys, vitamins, vitreous fibres, wallpaper, weedkiller (2-4 D), welding fumes, well water, weight gain, winter, wood dust, work, x-rays.

Phew.  That's a lot.  I'm gonna get cancer.  Unless I don't.  Which is also possible.  Since this is simply ridiculous.

The point:  Cancer is a scary, challenging, variable, unpredictable, painful disease.  Lots of people have endured or succumbed to it.  It's real.  And each type comes with it's own causes, challenges, treatments, and prognosis.  There is no cure for "cancer".  Each type can be treated in it's own way.  We should stop pretending that caramel coloring causes cancer, and start supporting the people who get cancer. 

In my opinion, at least...
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
I didn't write yesterday.  Even though it was a busy day and there was lots to write about.  And today was also busy.  Instead of give you the play by play, I will give you a list of random facts.  Enjoy.

  • Raspberry cream cheese icing (or frosting?  whats the difference?) is delicious.  Especially on chocolate cupcakes.
  • I can't wait to have a dishwasher that actually gets the dishes clean. 
  • I like mornings.  I like waking up early and getting things done.  But if I let myself, I'll sleep late and waste the morning.  And then I'll be sad.
  • Ever since I watched an episode of Wishbone (you know, the TV show with the dog), I can't eat tuna salad without potato chips.  I never eat potato chips, except when I'm eating tuna.  It's because Max ate a tuna sandwich with chips in the episode where he was getting bullied by his older foster brother. 
  • My dad sent me the most delicious gourmet chocolate covered strawberries for Valentines day!  And my mom sent me a package with homemade cookies (and other stuff)!  It was a pretty sweet valentines day.
  • I like injecting joints.  But only when they need it....
  • I had a dream last night that I didn't match at my first choice, and ended up at some random place in the jungle.  I really hope that doesn't happen.
  • One of the dean's wives bakes the most delicious cookies.  But only twice a year.  One of those two times is at Valentines Day.  Which means I have delicious cookies to eat, and they're shaped like hearts. 
  • Tomatoes should be red.  Not white.
  • I still have Christmas stockings hanging in my apartment.  And a wreath on the door.  But the wreath has been there for 2 years... so it's kinda a lost cause.
  • The hospital FINALLY took care of a bill I've been arguing about for 3 months.  Which is good, because they were never going to get the money (because I don't have it... because I've given all my money to them already...)  I cheered with joy and hit my hand on a hanging light.  Whoops.
  • I've having an excellently fun time on Sports Medicine so far.  But the shoulder exam and I have some bonding to do.  We aren't really friends yet.
I think that about sums it up.
Peace out,
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Some days, races just don't go your way.  Yesterday's race did NOT go my way.  Not the way I wanted to start the season, but such is life!

Our first race of the collegiate cycling season was at NC State.  The course was a 7.5ish mile loop through the country in Sanford, NC with two climbs.  The women's B race (my race) was doing 4 laps, for a total ride of 33miles (with start distance).  We left campus at an unfortunate 5am (meaning I woke up at 4am) to make the 2 hour drive and have time to get ready and warm up.  It was COLD by the time we were supposed to start.  Somewhere in the high 20's?  Enter: my fatal mistake.  I should have worn neoprene booties.  I have them... I just didn't put them on for the race.  Remember me talking about how I love my slippers because my feet get unusually cold?  Well, that certainly applies to riding my bike in 30 degree weather.  What was I thinking?!?! 

At the beginning of the race, we were supposed to have a neutral roll out (no actual racing until we got from the staging area to the actual start line), but someone decided they thought neutral start meant 22mph.  I didn't do a good job of positioning myself, and started off towards the back.  There were some gaps early because of the "neutral rollout", and then an unfortunately placed pot hole resulted in people in front of me braking suddenly and separating us from the rest of the peleton.  I played catch up for a while, but about 5 miles into the race I realized the fatal mistake I'd make with my feet.  Numb I can deal with.  But for whatever reason, my right foot was KILLING me.  Sort of a throbbing/burning pain that made it difficult to push the pedal with my right foot.  I rode for a while longer, hoping that it would either warm up or get numb, but neither happened.  By this point, the pack was gone, I'd caught a couple other people, but I wasn't having much fun (races are not fun when you're riding alone!), so when I finished a lap, I bowed out of the race, went to the car, and warmed my foot up.  Have you ever experienced rewarming pain?  It sort of feels like your toes are imploding.  Even when they felt warm to the touch, they were killing me. 

Not how I wanted the racing season to start.  Oh well.  On the bright side, the rest of the team did well!  I think we had 4 top 10 finishes?  Solid start to the season for the team... no thanks to me!  Better luck next week...

Today, there was a criterium in NC State, but the course was only .35 miles long (that's short, fyi), and none of us were thrilled at the idea of waking up at 4 again to spin circles on a tiny track.  So, instead, a teammate and I decided to ride to hanging rock.  I haven't done a long ride (>50 miles) in over a year because of the whole ankle fiasco, and it felt good to ride some miles.  The route to hanging rocks is 30 miles of rolling flats for 23ish miles, and then 5 miles of hills, with the last 2 miles being a climb to the top of Hanging Rock State Park.  It was a beautiful day for a ride!  The sun was shining, it was warm enough that all I needed in addition to shorts and my jersey were arm warmers.  We paced ourselves on the way out, knowing that we needed strength to do the climb at the end, and all the climbing once we turned around!  It worked excellently.  There was a good amount of wind, but it was never too bad for long.  We finished the 60 miles in a little less than 4 hours, which is by no means fast, but given the climbing I'm okay with it! 

And then I came home and ate lunch.  Because I was hungry.  Chocolate milk and leftover pasta.  Perfect post-ride food. 

Now, I'm going to go to Barnes and Noble to get The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest and sit on the couch reading for the rest of the day.  I know it's not next on my list, but I'm hooked... what can I say!

Hope your weather is as beautiful as it is here!
Friday, February 11, 2011
You are never too old to go to the circus.

Really, you're not.  It's a fact.  The ringmaster told me so. 

Ringling Bro's and Barnum and Bailey Circus was in town (well, in Greensboro), and my friend Lindsay and I decided to go!  It is, after all, The Greatest Show On Earth!  And she never got a snow cone when she went as a kid.  So we had to remedy that.

We didn't have time to get dinner before heading from school to the colliseum, so we grabbed some unhealthy, delicious, priced too high but not outside the realm of reality food, and took our seats.  It wasn't too crowded because it was a Thursday night (good planning, us), but there were still tons of kids around!  It was fun to watch them get SO excited when the clowns came out before the show started :)

I wasn't very good in the picture taking arena because I was distracted.  But I snagged a few!  Sorry for the quality... it was dark, and I didn't want to use flash for fear of ticking off a very large tiger. 

These horses could dance.

He was my favorite tiger.  The big white sitting one, that is.

How do you teach and elephant to do that??

The elephants were clearly the smartest animals.
At intermission, we went on operation: snowcone.  They don't sell them in just a plain cup, so Linsday had to get it in an elephant cup.  They had them in clown cups for $1 less, but the clowns were scary.

And then, there were a series of terrifying events I would never let my children participate in, including tightrope walking, running on a giant steel rotation hanpster cage, being a huge Ukranian man, and being shot out of a human bow while on fire. 

Don't worry, there's a small inflatable air matress below them.  They'll be fine...
So, we had a super time at the circus.  I wonder if they need a doctor? 

I'm betting yes. 
Sorry for my TWO DAY absence.  I was busy.  Going to the circus.  And finishing my 10th ROTATION!  That's right.  Ten 4th year rotations town, and two to go.  That's simply craziness.

If we flash back to this post from May 3rd, I was in my first rotation and said time would fly.  I was right!  Let's get back to the countdown, so I can cross some more things off.

Kari's 4th year schedule

April-May : Peds ICU
May-June : Step 2 study block
June : Vacation in Michigan
June-July : Physical Medicine/Rehabilitation
July-August : Emergency Medicine
August-September : Othopedics (Trauma/Ankle)
September-October : Family Medicine
October-November : Burn Surgery
November-December : Campus Medicine @ WFU
December-January : Vacation/Interviews
January-February : Law in Medicine
February-March : Sports Medicine
March : MATCH DAY!!!
March-April : Community Medicine
April-May : Senior Seminar

We've already gotten information about fittings for graduation regalia, match day, and graduation weekend.  Which pretty much means we're done. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011
I know you've all had the experience of sitting in class and thinking to yourself, "I'll never use this is real life".  For most people, that happened some time in Algebra.  For me, and a lot of my classmates, it happened sometime during microbiology and immunology.  We sat there thinking, "Why does it matter if this is a lactose fermenting rod or a beta hemolytic cocci??  This is why they have UpToDate!"  And while it does seem like we are forced to shove a lot of "useless" information into our brains, there is value in it.

I mean, all information can be looked up somewhere.  So what's the point in learning at all?  Well, looking up information takes time.  And understanding what it means taken time.  And then knowing how to use it to figure out what you want to know takes time also.  And when someone is dying, or sick, or you are seeing them in a 15 minute appointment, you don't have time to look it up.  You have to know.  That is why we go to medical school, and that's why seeing a doctor and looking up something on WebMd are not equivalent. 

Take for instance, a situation I was talking to a friend about.  She happened to find herself in an ambulance with a man who was sick.  He had a fever, and was acting kind of funny, and his lungs sounded kind of junky.  That's all she knew. 

What would you think about know that much information? 

Well, here's how our conversation went.

Me:  Was he old?
Her:  No, middle age.
Me:  Other health problems?
Her:  Nope, generally healthy.
Me:  Huh, strange.
Her: Yeah.  The paramedic asked me if I'd seen anyone act this loopy because of a fever.
Me:  How high was his fever?
Her:  Only to 103.  I don't think that was it.
Me:  Huh.  This is suspicious.
Her:  Yeah.  We put on masks.
Me:  Did he look like a meningitis guy?
Her:  Maybe.  We put on masks.
Me:  Good call.
Her:  They said in the ED they might not do a spinal tap.  I hope they do.
Me:  I hope so too.  Maybe they will treat first.
Her:  But I want to know what it is!
Me:  I imagine you do!
Her:  Looks like they got blood cultures and treated.  I want to know what the culture shows!
Me:  Strep pneumo is the most common cause of bacterial meningitis, right?
Her:  Yep.  I hope it's not meningococcus.
Me:  Me too.  The gram stain will come back soon.  Looks like they're already treating with Vanc and Rocephin.
Her:  It's a gram negative diplococci, right?
Me:  I think so.
Her:  I wonder if they'll prophylax without a positive culture.
Me:  Huh.  I dunno.  You should tell them you want some Rifampin if they think there's a chance.
Her:  Then I'll cry orange tears.
Me:  Cool, huh?

Okay, so that conversation was SLIGHTLY embellished (really, only slightly).  The point is, we went from "I saw this dude on an ambulance" to talking about the likely bacteria, what it'll show up as on a test, how to treat him, what else it could be, and how to prophylax contacts, in about 3 minutes.  You could google "funny acting guy with fever", and eventually you might figure out that he could have meningitis.  Then, if you knew it was important, you could look up what bacteria might cause it, and what they'd look like under a microscope.  But it would take a LONG time. 

The fact of the matter is, no regular non-medical person walking down the street needs to have this information tucked in their brain.  But even though I didn't think I'd ever need to know which bacteria are gram negative rods, it's useful. 

And even though you didn't think you'd ever use algebra again, you will. 

Trust me. 
Monday, February 7, 2011
Have you ever had a travel mug that was supposed to seal tightly, put it in a bag, and then found out that it didn't really seal as tightly as you had hoped (as evidenced by a small puddle of coffee at the bottom of your bag)?  Well, I have.  Despite numerous attempts, I've not had much luck in finding a mug that keeps coffee hot and inside the mug for a long enough period of time to take it anywhere further than class.  I have one mug that I can throw in my bag and take to class, but it's not big enough or insulated enough to take on a "trip".  Really, I need something I can throw in a bag, take hiking or leave in the car for a while, and come back later to a HOT beverage. 

I did some Amazon shopping (since I still have $113 dollars of Amazon money to spend!), but didn't find anything that peaked my interest.  Then I took a field trip to REI, and after reading some reviews (ALWAYS read reviews!), I snagged the 0.5L Bullet Vacuum Bottle.  I don't know what the difference is between a bullet vacuum bottle and a thermos, but to me it just looks like a thermos. 

Reasons I liked it were:
  • Reports that it kept things HOT for a long time (like overnight, or in the freezer).
  • Good capacity without being too bulky.
  • Color (I got it in Marine Blue). 
  • A cup on the top. 
  • General trusted REI quality.
I took it hiking with me today (read about the hike here) to see how it fared.  I put the coffee in about an hour before I left for the hike.  I did preheat the thermos with hot water, but only because my heat was out, and my apartment was about 50 degrees.  I doubt I'd need to do that in normal conditions.  So I threw it in my bag, we drove an hour to the state park, and hike for about an hour (maybe a little more) to the top of the fire tower.  Here's the proof.

I should have taken a picture of the steam coming off the top of the coffee...  Yes, it stayed piping hot!  Not much better than hot coffee at the top of a fire tower with a 360 degree view.  A+ for that performance test.  Also, I didn't notice the weight of it in my bag, which was nice.

Although it passed that test well, I wasn't convinced it could do everything I wanted it to.  I threw it back in my bag, and we hiked back down the knob (Moore's knob, to be precise).  Then, we got in the car, drove home, I dropped Chris off, and went home. Then, I took a shower, ate some lunch, talked to the dude who fixed my heat (woo hoo!), watched some TV, and decided to see if the coffee was still hot (about 4 hours after drinking it on the fire tower.  I opened the thermos, poured it into my (freezing cold) mug from this morning, and it was still hot enough that I needed to blow on it. 

Mission: accomplished!

So, while I can't yet speak to the durability of the REI Bullet Vacuum Bottle, it sure does keep things hot!  I'll let you know what happens when I'm drinking coffee on the top of a fire tower and accidentally knock it off...

Although I hope that never happens. 

Overall, I give it a solid A.  Only because it's not tested enough to get an A+.  It serves all the purposes I wanted it to, and has a lovely tree design at the bottom that makes it pretty to look at. 

And I like pretty.

But not as much as I like hot coffee at the top of a mountain.
So that I can go hiking on Monday's all the time.

Okay, so maybe this isn't a realistic goal... especially since it's hard to pay the bills making $-36,947 a year.  But I have every intention of enjoying it while I can!  I planned on hiking Hanging Rock earlier this weekend, but due to weather and heating issues, I had to postpone it until today.

So this morning, after insuring that the heat guy really was going to come today, I headed to Hanging Rock State Park with my friend Chris, and his dog, Cash.  It was overcast and damp, but warm enough that it didn't really matter.  The hike is a little over 4 miles round trip, with enough steep uphill to get your heart rate up, and a great view at the top!

There wasn't much picture taking happening today because, well, it's winter and it's cloudy, so there's not much to take pictures of!  But I did snag a view pictures from the top!  Sorry the view isn't as good as it is when it's clear...

East of the fire tower.
Northwest from the fire tower.
Allways... More love than always. 
Fire tower stairs.  Well, we think it's a fire tower...
Geological Marker... I love these things!
I don't really know what Chris was doing... I think it involved lunch.
Yes, I brought coffee on my hike.  I had to test the thermos.  Check out the gear review on it for details!
 I <3 hiking.

Sunday, February 6, 2011
I am by no means a fast runner.  I have short legs, and they have to move fast for me to move at any reasonable pace.  But I still like to run... And whatever speed I CAN run at, I like to run at.  I'm not very good at slowing down my pace to run longer distances.  I'm sure that if I had someone to slow me down, I could go out and run 8 miles today.  But I can't.  Because I'll run at the pace I'd run to go 4 miles, and then I'd be tired, get a side stitch, and stop.  I just can't slow down!  I know that if I WOULD slow down, and run longer, eventually I would get faster.  I'm just not good at that.  I think I'd be really bad at training for a marathon...

On the bright side, I did get to run today (4.4 miles in 37 minutes) in my new shoes, the Brooks Ravenna 2.  And while I would never choose a shoe based on the color, I was very excited to see that the new version is orange.  I am a fan of orange. 

Now, for a question...

Should I invest my amazon dollars that I have yet to spend on a Garmin Forerunner 305?  Would it help me pace myself better?
Saturday, February 5, 2011
One of the many perks of having a couple pints of Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream in your freezer, as I do, is that you can create a triple chocolate stout sundae on a whim on a Friday night. 

This creation was inspired by my friend Courtney, and her love of Young's Double Chocolate Stout.  It is quite possibly the easiest recipe ever, although it does require having some high quality and particular ingredients. 

Ghirardelli Triple Chocolate Brownies

Jeni's Kona Stout Ice Cream

Now, listen carefully, and follow along.  Bake the brownies as directed on the box.  Cut.  Put a brownie in a bowl.  Put two scoops of Jeni's Kona Stout ice cream on top of the brownie.  Get a spoon.  Eat.

I would have taken a picture of the finished product, but I ate it. 

Friday, February 4, 2011
Dear person at REI who has two different sized feet and likes socks that fit well,

Thank you for taking it upon yourself to ensure that you have one pair of socks that fit your mismatched feet perfectly.  I will rest easy tonight knowing that your feet are incredibly comfortable.  It's no surprise that you were bound and determined to acquire a pair of perfect socks.  And it's clear that the SmartWool PhD Light Running Sock, Breast Cancer Awareness version is the perfect sock.  It's also clear that you had to buy them NOW, because they were on sale for $8.95 a pair, a bargain considering the original price was $13.95, which most would consider ridiculous for a pair of socks.

What is unclear to me is why you felt the need to open two packages of these socks, take one from the medium pack, one from the small pack, and trade them, resulting in two mixed packs of socks (one of which, you put back on the rack).  I'm sure it's very important to you to have socks that fit.  Especially if you're going to spend $8.95 on them.  What I don't understand is why, being the type of person who clearly doesn't wear cheap socks, and who likely needs more than ONE pair, and seeing as these were such a killer deal, you didn't just buy a pair of S and a pair of M, and play mix and match at home.  In which case, you would have two pairs of the world greatest socks, and no one would have been stuck with your leftover mismatched socks.  No one, meaning me. 

I'll bet you buy your running shoes at a store like Dick's or The Sports Authority.  Not that there's anything wrong with those stores.  I shop at them regularly.  I also know that when you shoe shop there, they will bring you seven pairs of shoes, and leave you alone.  At which point, you, with your mismatched feet and you mismatched socks, could pick out two different sizes without a problem.  You'd probably take one of whichever shoe felt best on each foot, even if they didn't match.  But I'm sure whoever comes shoe shopping behind you ALSO wanted one blue and one red shoe.  It's the in thing now.

Again, I'd like to thank you for the mismatched socks.  You also helped me figure out what to do with my Friday night!  I'm going to spend it repeatedly putting one sock in the dryer to shrink it from a M to an S. 

The girl with two feet that are the same size, and two socks that aren't.

PS.  If you don't mind sharing, I do wonder what your solution is for that left leg that's 3 inches longer than your right..
Thursday, February 3, 2011
I really had no intention of writing about synonyms.  I want to write about breakfast.  And in the search for the perfect title, I needed a synonym for "fancy" because "Fancy Breakfast"  didn't have the ring I wanted it to.  Neither did ornate, sumptuous, elaborate, deluxe, or elegant. 

And then I found baroque.  Sure, it doesn't really have the MEANING that I wanted.  But it has a nice ring to it.

Baroque Breakfast.  Lovely.

Now, on to what I actually made for breakfast that would quality as "baroque" (really, fancy).  Well, I made a spinach, onion, and goat cheese omelet.  In my world, if you use goat cheese for anything, it counts as fancy.  Especially when combining it with sauteed spinach.  And we're not talking enough spinach to add green flecks.  This is like a whole serving of veggies amount of spinach.  FOR BREAKFAST! 

Here's how I made it.  You should try it.  If you like goat cheese.  Some people don't, and I'm sad for them.

In small saute pan, add a bit of olive oil and heat over medium heat.  Add about a quarter of an onion chopped, and saute for a couple minutes.  Add a few handfulls of spinach to the pan, reduce to medium/low heat, and cover.  Saute for a few minutes, until sufficiently wilted.  Take out of pan and put aside.  In a cup, mix up a couple eggs and a couple splashes of milk, a bit of salt, and pepper.  Pour into the pan (on med/low heat).  Add the spinach.onion mix to one half.  Cover the pan and cook until egg is almost set.  Slice (or crumble) goat cheese over non-spinachy half.  Reduce to low heat and cover until cheese is softened and egg is fully cooked.  Fold in half.  Put on plate.  Eat.  Enjoy.

And that, my friends, is how you make a Baroque Breakfast.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
As a co-president of the Sports Medicine Interest Group (student group for people interested in sports medicine), one of my responsibilities is to send emails updating people on the going-ons in the sports medicine world.  Specifically, when we are going to have talks, what events are available to be covered, and interesting things that happened that week related to sports medicine.  I thought you all would enjoy a taste of what kinds of things I send out.

This week's installment of the Sports Med interest group email was an ode to the US Figure Skating Championships, which took place in Greensboro over the last week.  While everyone seemed to escape this year relatively unscathed (I really like the word unscathed), some people have no escaped the ice with such good fortune. 

Take, for example, Olympic speed skated JR Celski.  In a race he didn't even have to race to get to the Olympics, he slid out, hit the wall, and, well, see for yourself...

And then, there's ice hockey.  Sticks, blades, pucks, and gloves fly, and you never know what they might hit...

And finally, figure skating isn't all fun and games when partners get to close...

Don't forget your suture kits!

Have I convinced you that I've chosen the best career path EVER?!?!


Well, I think I have. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011
In today's installment of "Things That Make Me Happy", we're going to talk about bedroom slippers.  Specifically, MY bedroom slippers.  Because it would be strange if someone else's bedroom slippers made me extraordinarily happy...

Here are the slippers.  And I love them.  I bought these at the Nine West outlet in Boone when they were going out of business.  First of all, who doesn't love getting $50 slippers for $9.99?  And they have faux fur lining and pink suede bowties and are made of real leather.  And they are SUPER warm! 

Here's how these slippers work.  I usually take shower when I get home from the gym.  Then I get out of the shower, and put on my slippers.  I put on clothes too, but this blog post isn't about clothes.  And then, my feet stay warm.  Sometimes, I have to go out to my car.  And my feet stay warm.  Sometimes, I have to chase Wyatt because he's caught a birdie and wants to present it to me as a very sincere and yet unwanted gift.  And my feet stay warm.  Sometimes, I just sit on the couch.  And my feet stay warm.

And then, when I go to bed, I safely tuck them under my nightstand (because they'd get lost in the covers if I tried to wear them to bed...).  And when I wake up in the morning, usually to feed Wyatt whose been poking me in the face with a paw for 37 minutes, I put them on.  And my feet stay warm.

Now, slippers would seem pointless if they didn't keep your feet warm, so why is this a big deal?  Well, because I have unusually cold feet.  Well, not feet really.  Toes.  My toes are unusually cold.  Occasionally, one or two of them will turn white.  When I get back from bike rides in the cold, they are invariably ALL white.  And I can't feel them.  Even just walking around my apartment (without slippers, of course), they get super-cold. 

And these slippers prevent that unusual turn-you-toes-white coldness.  Which is excellently awesome. 

And I don't have to wash them like I would if they were socks. 

Which is okay because I only wear them when I'm clean.

And they're so toasty.

And have pink bows.

And were only $9.99!!!!

And I love them.

About Me

I am a Family Medicine intern at a community hospital in Indiana, navigating the new world of being a physician. I am privileged to work in a field I love, where every day is a new and unpredictable challenge.
I am not only a doctor, but also a cyclist, runner, DIYer in the making, lover of the outdoors, traveler, and human.
Human, MD is a glimpse into the world of a young doctor who is just trying to stay true to herself through the grueling whirlwind of residency.


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