Friday, May 29, 2009

Mistaken Identity

An amusing story from the halls of the university hospital!

The other day, Jack was rounding in the hospital with the Internal Medicine team he's rotating with this month. Before they headed into one patient's room, the attending physician handed him an EKG and said, "Here, read this patient's EKG, and when you're ready, come in and tell us what it says." Then the attending, the residents, and the other students went into the room to see the patient.

A few minutes later, having duly studied the EKG tracing (it's more than just wiggly lines!), Jack followed them in to report.

So, the tracing shows some Q-wave changes in the inferior leads... and some S-T elevation over here... [insert further medical jargon]

[takes EKG to look at it himself]
Very good, it does show those changes! Hmm, we'll have to change our treatment plan based on this...

What does that mean, doc?

Well, it basically means that we're pretty sure you had a heart attack.

What?!?? Are you serious?? They told me my heart was completely clear!


[to another student, whispering] Are we sure this is the right EKG?

Well. As it turned out, he was right on both counts. The EKG did show changes suggesting a heart attack... but it was the EKG of a different patient. Whoops.

(Non sequitur PS: The allergy medicine I got is totally working! Callooh! Callay!)

Thursday, May 21, 2009


I've been plagues by allergies since I was, I don't know, eleven or twelve. Since before there was Claritin (and I know, because I've taken it daily since it was a prescription med). I get the itchy eyes, the sneezing, the whole nine yards. Normally, the Claritin pretty much takes care of it.

But this year? This year we're living in a new place. And while I love this place (though I'm not so crazy about the landlord, but that's a post for another day)... the neighbors have this Tree. I don't know what kind of tree it is, so I just call it the Evil Tree. It drops gigantic bundles of pollen (apparently known as catkins) that look like this:

This tree drops so much pollen that my car, before the rain last week, was totally covered with yellow powder.

(Note: This is neither my car nor my tree-- owing to the Lack Of Camera mentioned earlier-- but the resemblances are uncanny.)

I hate, hate, hate the Evil Catkin Tree. Loathing, you understand. Unadulterated loathing. Hence the video. (*squee* to Wicked, though.) This tree is torturing me to the extent that yesterday, for the first time in probably ten years, I went to the doctor for my allergies. Since then, not only do I have my lovely Claritin tabs, but I also have Flonase spray and some antihistamine eye drops. To the tune of $40, I might add. You would think the insurance provided by a medical school to its medical students would be really particularly good, but no.

Let's hope they work, because otherwise I may have to take drastic measures. And I don't think the neighbors would appreciate me setting fire to their tree.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Cue addiction.... now.

Okay, I have a confession to make: I get angry at inanimate objects.

Now, I think most of us do this to some extent. Everyone has at some point in their lives felt as if, say, a traffic light was out to get them. Most people can probably commiserate with getting frustrated at a window that won't close properly, a key that refuses to turn, a chair that seems determined to trip them. In college, my roommates used to laugh at me for yelling furiously at my homework, "What are you even asking??"

But I also get angry at books. I love to read, don't get me wrong. And I don't bother getting angry at books that aren't any good, because... let's face it, they just don't deserve that kind of attention and emotional response. The books I get angry at are the ones that pull you in, that demand every speck of your mind, that won't let you put them down, that worm their way into your heart.... and then leave you shouting, "What? That's the end?!?"


The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins just did that to me. It's a wonderful book, really, and I highly recommend it, but it should come with a warning label: "Caution: This book will mess with you."

You know how, with a lot of books (and movies), even very good ones, you can kind of predict which characters are going to live and which will die? "Oh, they'll never kill off that one." "Uh oh, she's a goner." That kind of thing. This book? Not a chance. You're not even sure about the main character (even though she's the narrator and it's hard to think how that would work out). I found myself making deals with the author in my head: "Oh, please don't make this terrible thing happen. This other terrible thing, I could live with that."

Also, I didn't realize when I read it (*cough* in a matter of hours, nonstop *cough*) that it has a sequel. A sequel which hasn't been published yet.

And if there's anything more frustrating than shouting, "That's it???" at the end of a book, it's shouting, "What?! 'End of Book One'?!? You mean, that's not it???"

Because then you know you're hooked.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Stop! Thief!

My phone got stolen.

At first I thought I just lost it.... which, technically, I sort of did. Jack and I were at the movie theater last weekend to see the Star Trek movie (love!!!), and the next afternoon I couldn't find my phone anywhere. In a burst of inspiration, I called the movie theater and asked about it.

Hi, I was just wondering if anyone found a cell phone last night?

Um, what kind of cell phone?

Verizon... it's a silver one.

Okay, lemme check. [Returns after brief pause.] Well, there was a silver phone, but it was already claimed.

Uh... okay then. Thanks anyway.

So naturally, I figured, Guess that wasn't my phone after all. Right? Otherwise how could it have been claimed? Wouldn't there be some kind of test or proof? For example:

[sidling up to counter] Hi, uh.... were there any cell phones found recently, perchance?

Yeah, actually, there were. What kind did you lose?

[taking a gamble] Well, you know, my phone... um.... my phone is sort of metallic in color. And it, uh, flips open?

[suspicious] Well, hmm, we did get a phone like that.... but... Well. One more question. [Opens phone, presses a few buttons.] Whose name do you have under "In Case of Emergency"???

Curses! Foiled again!

So I went to the Verizon store to get a new phone. Which I did. (And it's purple! I am not particularly girly but this nevertheless secretly fills my heart with glee.)

Later on I called my mom to give her my new number. And my mom told me that the theater called her the very day I lost the phone (evidently they dial the number labeled "Mom," not the one labeled "In Case of Emergency"-- which, FYI, would have dialed my husband and ultimately been much more helpful). They told her that I just needed to go in and claim my phone and provide some proof of ownership. So she, allegedly, emailed me to tell me this. Apparently cyberspace ate that email message in a fit of malevolence, because I never got it.

But in any case. Do you know what this means? It means the theater did have my phone, and let someone claim it who wasn't me! Despite the fact that they apparently were going to require "proof"! So evidently the situation actually went a bit more like this:

[approaching counter with wide, innocent eyes] Hi, um, I lost my cell phone.

You did? Well, that stinks. Let me see if we found any phones..... oh, yep, we did! [holds up phone] Is this one yours?

Why yes, yes it is. That's my phone, all right.

Oh good, I'm glad you got it back. [hands it over] Have a good night!


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

life and love and what?

The blog title may be a bit cryptic, I understand. (I'm also paranoid that people will think the "wings" part refers to, say, Buffalo Wings. No. While I am rather fond of them on occasion, they do not go in my blog title.) It comes from a line of one of my favorite poems. I'm not a huge e.e. cummings fan, but I do love this one.

i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday; this is the birth
day of life and love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any-- lifted from the no
of all nothing-- human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

post the first


I had a blog (once-upon-a-time) on Xanga. When I was in college, Xanga was the blog Place To Be. All my friends were on Xanga. In fact, Xanga became a verb ("I'm totally going to xanga this") and even occasionally an adjective ("ooh, this conversation is extremely xangable"). But when my friends graduated, most of them started posting less and less. Posts were months apart when a few years before there would have been multiple posts in a day. Most of us eventually abandoned our Xanga pages.

But-- there's always a "but," isn't there?-- since then I've discovered the wonder that is Google Reader, and the really truly good and entertaining blogs out there. You know, the ones that people read because they're good to read, not because the writer is your bestest buddy and you never know when they might post an AIM conversation you were in on (yeah, AIM was the Place To Be too). And I remembered that blogging was actually kind of fun.

So here you go. I'm starting another blog. I'm not going to send the link to all my friends far and wide, and I'm not going to make any promises about how often I'll post or what it'll be about. I'm not even sure myself, yet. (I do know that for awhile yet things will be boringly picture-free, because I accidentally left my camera at my parents' house when we were there for Easter.) We'll just have to wait and see.

I'm not sure how one goes about getting readership. I mean, I'm not desperate to win any Most Popular Blog Awards or anything, but it does seem a little pointless to write entries if no one is going to read them. Does one simply start commenting on other people's blogs with a link to one's own site at the bottom? Is there a special way to link to blogs you like, such that people can then see yours? Do you join a theme sort of group (difficult, since I have no particular theme)?

Hmm. I can see a have a bit to learn... and this time, just posting the link at the top of my AIM profile probably isn't going to work.