Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wildest Night!

I kid. I remember in college that Thursdays were the start of the weekend. This October, my Thursdays have been marked by desperate reading of multiple articles before talks and quizzes on resident academic day. I love academic day. The fact that Friday is marked by a fairly serious commitment to education is pretty sweet. Except when I have loads of articles to read and it's already late. Fortunately, I only have 6 more to read tonight.

Work is going pretty well. I'm paying the price for my two nights of call in early October and my week of leave by being on call almost every day these past two weeks. I've been VERY lucky with the pager although last night I got paged by an ER staff doctor in a snit. I was told that I HAD to come in because MY patient was now in the ER 6 hours after surgery saying that he couldn't breathe. Since this did not quite jive with the surgery he had, I asked what his exam showed. Mmmm, well, I was once again informed that this was MY patient and I had to go in.

Now, this was not exactly my patient. But the ER staff was irritated that this guy came in as a seeming "patient dump" by ENT and she was not going to have it. Sigh. Nevermind that she was there and would get to go home at 7, while I was working the entire next day, But since I was the ENT duty doc and this was a rather insignificant issue to take an awesome!stand! against the ER, I went in. But earlier that evening when I got home, I realized I had left my keys at work. Kelly let me in (thank you!), but now that it was two in the morning, I was 2 miles away and functionally carless. So. I packed my lunch and ran to work at 1:45 in the morning. Blech.

Once I was there, the patient stated that he couldn't breathe when he lay down. So, I had him lay down. He looked up at me and shook his head. I said, "Open your mouth." He did. Shockingly, it worked. [I've spent the last few minutes trying to type something exceptionally scathing about this patient, but I can't. Nothing conveys quite the scathiness I feel, in addition to the complete disbelief in the capacity for some people to be complete and total idiots.] Not that I'm judgin- oh wait, yes I am.

So, I went to bed in the call room and woke up, freezing. But after a day of clinic and a gross amount of notes still left to write, I'm now reveling in a call-free night. I made chili for the Halloween potluck. It tastes pretty good. Never fear, I used a separate, one-time-use spoon to taste not only because I try to cook in a sanitary way, but I also have a huge fear of being that person who brings the dish that makes everyone sick. Now, I'm going to finish my articles and go to bed. And that ends my wildest night ever.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Vacation, part 2

Martha’s Vineyard was awesome! After the Boston daytrip, it was off to the Rhode Island quick ferry preceded by a little bit of totally classy tailgating in the parking lot. The ferry was EMPTY, which was totally different than the last time I was on it, heading to Hil’s wedding.

The Dockside Inn is a nice place in Oak Bluffs that is near everything and fairly inexpensive. We rented bikes and rode everywhere- Edgartown, South Beach, West Tisbury, Vineyard Haven. It was ~50 miles in 2 days on these little beach cruisers. I had so much fun and the weather was unreal. Crystal blue skies, perfect temps- it was awesome.

Also awesome? The fact that I had two lobsters and three lobster rolls in three days. There is a GREAT place in Vineyard Haven called the Net Result where there is amazing seafood at really reasonable prices. It’s not really a restaurant, but there are picnic tables outside so once the order is in, a person just lounges around while pure deliciousness is being prepared.

And if you ever want to go shopping for your island abode, there are insane sales over Columbus Day weekend as all the seasonal shops close down. I didn’t go shopping, but the signs were everywhere. My best purchase, apart from the lobster, was an apple fritter from Back Door Donuts at 11:30 at night. I followed my nose to the back door of a bakery where they sell donuts while baking for the next day. It was still warm and so good!

Then the part I don’t like to talk about, the end of the vacation- boo! We left Martha’s Vineyard, headed back to Newport, then I was off the next day back to SD. Things are going great here. Definitely very busy- I’m on call 10 days out of 14 and I’m working on my grand rounds. But once this crunch is over, it’s on my home for Thanksgiving. And everyone will be there! It’s Christmas in November, hooray!

Saturday, October 18, 2008


First, a clarification. I was not physically hung over driving into work on Wednesday. No, no. On planes, it's strictly water for me. I had a mini-bottle of wine on a flight once and felt so desiccated, I never have really had the inclination since. I'm sure first class seating would rid me of that hang-up but since that has happened only once so far, I don't think I'm due for another upgrade until mmmm...forever.

Besides, I always feel a little sorry for the first class passengers in sections where the whole coach cabin tromps by them on the way to the back during boarding. Lots of staring, which is different than casual people watching. This is a distinction a lot of people do.not.get. People-watching. Yay! I love people-watching. But this encompasses casual glances and mental registering of things of note. It is NOT frank, gaping staring as if the people one is watching have no eyes or general sense of their surroundings to include, for example, some rude person boring into them with his/her eye laser beams of tackiness.

Whew! Hello, soapbox. How are you today?

Lots of work today which is a guarantee that a post about the rest of my vacation is sure to appear since posts= procrastination! And maybe I will tell you about Boozy Boozerton who sat next to me on the flight. She was a little bit of a wastrel, for sure.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Picture getting slugged in the gut with a pillow that's just a little too firm. This slightly unpleasant sensation was mine when I drove into work this morning. Ugh, post-vacation hangover. But today was fine and I'm happy where I am even though a huge amount of work looms in the next few weeks. Most petrifying is Grand Rounds in about 4 weeks. I'm going to work on that (for SURE!) this weekend.

But back to my awesome, amazing vacation. I arrived in Providence last Wednesday and headed straight for Newport. The Fall foliage was slightly pre-peak, but beautiful. Newport was a trip. It's hard to believe that this whole Navy thing started just six years ago. Same with the doctor thing, I suppose. But all those heinous hours of pre-med study means that, in my mind, that path started a little earlier. I ran around the base and saw the building where I stayed in June/July 2002 for OIS. Even better, I went to the Red Parrot and had a most DELICIOUS frozen drink. Essentially, it's an Oreo milkshake but it was so good even if the weather may have been slightly unseasonable for a blender beverage.

Speaking of the weather (boring!), it was beautiful. I think there may have been one, max two, clouds in the sky the entire vacation. It was perfect outdoor weather and I think I'm going to try and have an outdoor theme to most of my future vacations since I spend so much time indoors.

After a night in Newport, it was off to Boston. I love you William Shatner! Priceline linked me up with an awesome deal to the Marriott Long Wharf, a completely beautiful hotel. Even though the main point of the Boston visit was to go on a 3 hour North End culinary/history tour, I also got to see two college friends and their beaus. Total bonus! And the tour was amazing. I learned so many new things to include cinnabark vs true cinnamon, boy vs. girl eggplants, the origin of carats as a measurement, what constitutes real balsamic vinegar and tons of other neat facts. Afterwards, lunch at a "true" Italian place (vs an Italian-American cuisine style) capped off an awesome morning/early afternoon. to Martha's Vineyard! Which I'll save for tomorrow since I have to read a LOT before bed. All ENT stuff. I did read one book for fun on vacation though. The Maytrees by Annie Dillard. Her prose and lyricism are wonderful.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Back from Vacation!

I just came back from the most amazing vacation! I had such a great time in Newport/Boston/Martha's Vineyard that I almost can't be sad that it's over because it was just so cool. Note the almost since in reality, I would be back in two shakes of a lamb's tail.

I'm a little jet-lagged and slightly fearing the time I need to get up tomorrow in order to go into work and prepare for the day. At least it will feel later in the a.m. since I'm firmly entrenched in New England time. Here are some pics to tide you over. The green-shirted ones are from the day out in Boston on the coolest North End culinary tour. The other pics are from the day we rode to Edgartown (beach photo) then made our first of three (3!) trips to The Net Result in Vineyard Haven for the most awesomely priced seafood ever.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Dare I Say It?

My love affair with my iPhone is cooling slightly. And do you know why? The ACCURSED ATT! I am not very impressed (at all!) with their signal strength and ability to penetrate building walls. Now I know when I sit in a lead bunker, it is reasonable to assume that it wouldn't work. But really, when I'm sitting in a thin-walled hotel room next to a window, I don't think I'm being overly demanding and petulant when I want my call to my B-ton friend to remain unbroken. Harumph!

And the "GPS" is not the best at realizing that people move as time passes. Which is problematic since that's its job. But the GPS feels awfully fond of Providence and kept telling me I was on that side of the bridge, rather than lovely Newport.

Oh, little iPhone, wait, come back! I still love you. It's just we're having growing pains. Come heee-re. We have at least 23 more months together. We can make it work!


I love “Vacation” by the Go-Go’s. It’s such a peppy, upbeat song. I love starting my mornings with it. But do you know what I love more…REAL VACATIONS!!!

In August, I was shocked when I heard that I got a week off every 3 months due to the way residency leave is structured. Even though I was quite the queen of leave while I was in Japan, I was expecting nose to the grindstone, internship-like leave (read: not much). Instead, I was told that awesome piece of news and moreover, when did I want to take off between Aug-Oct? Yay! I didn’t think I would get a week since I showed up later than previously planned but nope, not so.

So, I’m heading to the East Coast to visit Newport, RI; Boston, MA; and Martha’s Vineyard. I can’t wait, especially for the Martha’s Vineyard part. I have so many fond memories from that place, that I can’t believe that really, I’ve only been twice. I was there for an amazing pre-Senior week and then the best wedding I have ever been to. Not that I’ve been to many but there were so many fun people (yay college friends!), great music, and delicious food and drink.

Sorry this isn’t the most scintillating entry ever. I’m sitting in the Dulles “A” terminal waiting for my plane and it’s 3:40 SD time so my brain is a little fuzzy. Although not so fuzzy that I didn’t realize that the guy in the aisle seat was a stinker! I felt pretty badly for the girl in the middle. Gross!

Monday, October 6, 2008

I'm a lady!

In response to "Manland" at work, I've started the "I'm a Lady" campaign. It's about as successful as these two.

Dawning realization...

So, there I was, blathering on during a conversation when I had the most peculiar, slightly horrible feeling of "Oh my gosh, what I am talking about is completely not what I thought I was talking about."

Has this ever happened to you? It was the most bizarre mental progression ever. I don't think it has ever happened to me because it was so unsettling, I'm sure I'd remember.

Wait, what? More details you say? Alright, but for such a weird feeling, it was a rather mundane conversation. Because I was talking to a friend at a dinner party that Kelly and I were hosting and we were talking about the variations on carnitas. I have always made more of a Cuban style dish, while my friend has had the Mexican version in a green sauce. (The green sauce is another mystery. He says it's not tomatillos, so I am perplexed). So, I was talking about how I made the pork with tamarind when I started getting this foreboding sense of impending doom because I realized, "I did not use tamarind, I used tahini." COMPLETELY different. Tart fruit pulp derivative, meet sesame paste. Sesame paste, meet tart fruit pulp. Crazy!!!

I think I was flustered because I realized this significant change about 5 minutes before dinner for 8 was about to be served. Now is this on the level of, oh, say, who to vote for? Almost. Just kidding! Of course not. But it was pretty strange.

Fortunately, all unsettledness ended at the end of the meal when we had Breyer's vanilla ice cream with Goya Dolche de Leche. Hooray for comforting desserts!

But, yes, Kelly and I had a dinner party, which was awesome. No movie night unfortunately since one of the guests had a kid and HELLO CHILDLESS PEOPLE, it's a school night (duh). But everyone had a really nice time and I'm so happy I am meeting awesome people in San Diego. I'm even going knitting in two weeks. Fun!

Today was my command orientation. Yes, two months later, it's time for me to figure out what's going on. But actually, it's a lesson in customer service and patient relations. Now, yay for empathy, patient care, and doing the right thing. I feel I do that reasonably well and fairly often. But what I cannot stand is a Steven Covey "7 Habits of Highly Effective People" lovefest, with lots of buzzwords and Powerpoint mindlessness. But, it was mercifully short, I got to help in clinic, and I got *thismuchcloser* to my Rhode Island/Martha's Vineyard vacation! Yay! I leave Wednesday, hooray!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

New haircut!

Warning: Other titles could include, "How I spent my most exciting Saturday" or "New reasons why I may be confused with a wild and crazy old lady."

But yes! I did get a new haircut. I drove up to Poway and got a great haircut from M, a fellow resident's wife. She is awesome! I love the haircut plus I got a 20% discount for being a first customer PLUS I had a mimosa while my hair was blow-dried. Most excellent. I am definitely heading back. You know, in a few months.

I also went for a run as a break from some work since, yes, I also spent a little time at the hospital. I wasn't entirely on my game today. I've been running with my chiefie (resident, not CPO type) and today I was definitely a little more sluggish than I'd like to be. But it's ok- good runs and bad runs, you know? And it wasn't terrible, just not great.

Oh, and guess what? I went to bed at 6:30 last night. I had spent the prior night reading and only had 3 hours of sleep so I gave up trying to stay awake until a normal bedtime so I decided to take a nap. I didn't hear my phone and I woke up at 4 a.m. I was out! And it felt great. Although I still have a little bit of a sleep deprivation hangover (see: poor run, above).

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Lunch Lady Land!

Lychee, plain yogurt! Lychee, plain yogurt. Navy bean, navy bean!

Hmmm, rip-offs of Adam Sandler "Lunch Lady" songs do not work so well when typed out but in my head? It sounds awesome.

So, over the last 20 minutes, I have INHALED a delicious amount of plain/lychee swirl from the local fro-yo shop. It is amazingly delicious. And I even had some gummy bears and mochi. Delicious! Even though I am slightly mad at a vegetarian friend who indirectly reminded me that it all comes from horses. GROSS!

I looked like my usual cosmopolitan, sophisticated self when I asked the lady, "Is it lee-chee or lee-key?" She said, "It's lie-chee." Awesome. Yet another word I have completely butchered the pronunciation. It's like a curse, really. My pronunciation is HORRIBLE. I know a lot of words from reading and when I pronounce them, guaranteed, I pronounce it incorrectly. It's a little embarrassing. What good is it to know a lot of fancy-pants big doctor words if I sound like a complete ignoramus when I use them. It makes me sound like a person who would, say for example, make the screen turn to black consistently when trying to view CT scans during pre-op conferences. What, wait, that's me too? *Sigh* I can't get away with anything! You're the sharpest pencil, yes you are!

But, regardless of the pronunciation, the yogurt was delicious. Now, I'm going to read a few articles before heading to bed. I'm on call again and hopefully I won't have any calls but that's doubtful. Either way, it's ok because I had an awesome nap for about an hour this evening. I felt quite tired today because even though I can swing it with reduced sleep, multiple days in a row is quite wearing. I'll catch up tomorrow for sure.