Friday, July 31, 2009

Exam Day

Dictated and signed by a just-turned-four-year-old friend of ours.

Prayers and good wishes wishes appreciated! (Even retrospective ones, if you don't see this until after Friday. I'm sure God isn't limited by such paltry things as time.)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

restaurant review

So there's this restaurant where we often hang out, and which Jack is absolutely ga-ga over. It's this Mexican place over on Secor, called El Vaquero (which apparently is a chain, albeit a small one).

They do have charming decor-- the seats are all slightly different, so I'm pretty sure they were hand-decorated.

See, even two-year-olds (this one is the son of our friends Patrick and Christine) are pleased with the decorations:

Their margaritas are particularly delicioso:

They give you unlimited chips and salsa:

(Mmmm, salsa!)

And they have an extremely large selection of meals from which to choose:

Unfortunately, I don't much like Mexican food myself, so this is the only thing I've found which I enjoy.

I'm sure most normal people would find everything fabulous, though!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Everyone knows that packing and preparing for a trip (unless it's a vacation, and even then) is stressful. But what if it's a month-long trip to a city 500 miles away where you know pretty much no one, and where you'll be trying your darnedest the whole time to make a good impression and where you'll be expected to work like crazy?

Maybe your study would look something like this:

And if you're really anal like us, maybe you would have multiple lists of things to pack and do, like this:

Everyone knows that studying for an exam is stressful. But what if it's an 8-hour nationally standardized test that's required for your medical licensure, that you paid hundreds of dollars for the privilege of taking, that you'd better get a good score on if you want even a chance of getting the residency you'd like... and that both you and your spouse are taking on the same day?

Maybe your dining room would look something like this (and that's after straightening):

And, what if you were taking that test on Friday, and then leaving for that trip on Saturday?

Maybe your blood pressure would look like this:
(Kidding. That's not my blood pressure reading. At least I hope not.)

Friday, July 24, 2009

craft closet, part 2

Don't you love sequels? Well, okay, no, scratch that. Don't you love the idea of sequels, even if they often don't live up to your expectations? So with that in mind, here's the EXCITING CONCLUSION of a previous post.

I ended up finding the exact same desk that the nervous-Nellie Craigslist seller was so anxious to part with. I got it at Wal-Mart (I know, gag) for only about $10 more than the Craigslist price.

So here's the largely-completed craft closet!

The homemade spool storage board:

The repurposed jars for storage:

The craft books:
Mostly knitting ones. And don't laugh at my Knitting For Dummies book, that's how I taught myself to knit!

The yarn bin:

I'm looking forward to getting it more organized and useful (just as soon as I've taken Step 2 of the Boards)...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

how does your garden grow, part 2

More surprises from the back yard, this time in shades of purple!

First, some morning-glory-ish flowers, taller than I am:

Then some trumpet-shaped, vaguely columbine-like ones along the fence:

There was also another rose on a different bush-- hot pink!-- but it looks like the downstairs neighbor might have clipped it to take inside, before I could get a picture.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

battle of the geeks

Okay, now remember how I said in the sidebar over there that you would soon find out how much of a Nerd I am? Well, now is that time.

See, there's this show called Star Trek: The Next Generation that I have always been totally enamored with. No, I'm not a Trekkie, I have never been to a Convention, I don't own any pointy Vulcan ears and I don't speak Klingon. But the show? It is awesome.

Now, it has recently come to my attention that there is, apparently, among the Super-Super-Way-More-Nerdy-Than-I-Am-Nerds, a huge rivalry between fans of Star Trek and those of Star Wars. Now, I like Star Wars. I do. They're fun movies which were pretty darn innovative when they were first made. (I'm not going to bother making fun of the newer three, because hello, original Star Trek series? Cheesy.) But I still maintain that The Next Generation is superior to the older Star Wars movies. Let's compare characters.

1. The Main Protagonist

Star Wars: Luke Skywalker.
I don't have anything against Luke. But honestly, at the beginning, Luke is kind of whiny and annoying. Then he mysteriously becomes an entirely different character (I know, I know, he's channeling The Force) and he kind of loses all personality and is a little boring. Sorry.

Star Trek: Jean-Luc Picard.
Okay, Picard is just The Man, and that's all there is to it. Awesome Shakespearean accent, awesome Patrick Stewart acting. I'm going to show my nerdiness when I quote Tasha Yar (after her DEATH), "A man with the heart of an adventurer and the soul of a poet." And may I add: never, ever whiny.

2. The Token Hotshot

Star Wars: Han Solo.
Okay, there's no denying that Han Solo is the coolest character in Star Wars, at least from my perspective. And Harrison Ford is generally always an entertaining actor. But Han? He is totally a self-absorbed mercenary at the beginning. He does redeem himself, fortunately... but still.

Star Trek: William Riker.
Will starts off the series as kind of a friendly jerk, but then he gets older, puts on some weight, grows a beard, and mellows out. He's all friendly and good-natured (and also a total womanizer but apparently that's okay because it's The Future), but constantly demonstrates that he is a Hotshot with Mad Leadership and Tactical Skills. He gets offered positions as captain on various starships like three billion times but decides to stay on the Enterprise, which is admittedly a little contrived, but what are you gonna do?

3. The Token Female Character
Star Wars: Leia.
Leia, like her brother, is all about Total Character Shift midway through. She goes from being a white-robed, weird-hairdo-ed damsel in distress ("Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi!") to being kind of kickass, riding around on speeders and zapping storm troopers. A little weird, don't you think? Also-- bizarrely incestuous romantic gestures, anyone?

Star Trek: Beverly Crusher.
Dr. Crusher runs around sick bay, shattering gender boundaries left and right. She always makes the diagnosis (thanks to the handy-dandy tricorder thingy), and when it's a brand-new never-before-seen illness, she just figures out a cure all by herself. Also, there's some romantic tension with Picard thrown in for good measure, but no incestuous moments. Fortunately.

4. The Token African-American Character
(hey, blame the times, not me.)
Star Wars: Lando Calrissian.
Forgive me if I misunderstand the plot nuances, but isn't Lando kind of a slimeball who betrays his "friends" and hands them over to the bad guys? Despite his inevitable subsequent redemption? Man. The dude even just looks kind of sleazy, doesn't he?

Star Trek: Geordi LaForge
Geordi, on the other hand, is never a slimeball. (In fact, none of the Enterprise crew is ever anything but totally honorable, dutiful, and caring. If that's what the future will be like, then I'm all about it.) He knows a ridiculous amount of crazy things about quantum physics and stuff, but is charmingly inept when it comes to relationships.

5. The Token Know-it-all Robot Character
Star Wars: C3PO
C3PO is annoying, and everyone knows it. For one thing, he may speak a lot of languages, but he doesn't know nearly as much as he thinks he does. Also, he's a total wuss. And far too shiny.

Star Trek: Data
Data, on the other hand, knows exactly the amount of information he thinks he does. And he's always doing heroic things like offering to use his own body to shield other crew members from electricity, fire, and who knows what else. And trying endearingly to be more human.

6. The Token Whiz Kid Character
Star Wars: R2D2
Okay, R2D2 isn't exactly a whiz "kid," but he (she? it?) serves the same function. And he is oddly appealing, and saves the day frequently, but.... wtf? Why can't he talk? Wouldn't it be easier to just program a robot to talk than for everyone to apparently learn his "language" and translate his beeps and buzzes for the benefit of the audience?

Star Trek: Wesley Crusher
Wesley is almost unbearably geeky and naive for the first couple seasons, but he gets better as he gets older (and gets rid of that awful 80s rainbow-stripe sweater). And he has an IQ of like, 340.

7. The Token Scary Warrior-Type Character
Star Wars: Chewbacca

Again, what is up with the lack of dialogue? Obviously Chewie understands English, so why can't he speak it? I mean, seriously, how weird would it be if you had a friend from another country, and you both understood each other's languages, but you each insisted on carrying on your side of the conversation in your own native tongue?

Star Trek: Worf
Man, if you think the rest of the Enterprise crew is all about being honorable, they've got nothing on Worf. And when the other Klingons are mocking him for hanging out with humans? He just growls and takes it, because he's a freakin' Starfleet Officer, even though you know he would otherwise smash in their skulls. With his bare hands.

8. The Token Mystic Character
Star Wars: Yoda
I'm not dissing Yoda. But is there any particular reason he has to talk that way?

Star Trek: Deanna Troi
Fine, she's an empath, not really a mystic, but close enough. Admittedly, not as awesome as Yoda.... but definitely way hotter. I don't know exactly why she doesn't have to wear the Starfleet uniform like everyone else, but I suspect it has something to do with her rather impressive cleavage.

So there you have it. Not only evidence that Star Trek beats out Star Wars, but also evidence of the frightening magnitude of my geekiness. Be afraid, be very afraid.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Fourth Year vs. Third Year: A Critical Analysis

All I have to say is, THANKS BE TO THE HEAVENS ABOVE, GLORY HALLELUJAH THIRD YEAR IS OVER!!!! This is my fourth day of fourth year, and so far, this year gets the big thumbs-up from me. So in honor of this momentous occasion, I'm going to call upon my second-grade skills and do some Comparing And Contrasting.

Third Year
  1. Students are absolutely clueless at the start of this year.
  2. Students are constantly yelled, mocked, and berated.
  3. No choice in what classes to take.
  4. White coat required every day.
  5. All rotations are done in Toledo, except for a few in outlying towns an hour or so away.
  6. Freaking out about every little thing.
  7. Have to take huge and scary exam after every clerkship.

Fourth Year
  1. Students actually have some clinical experience.
  2. Students are winked at when they are not ignored.
  3. Complete freedom in what classes to take.
  4. White coat only required for certain rotations.
  5. Only a few rotations need to be done in Toledo, and the rest can be anywhere in the country.
  6. Really don’t care anymore, just want to graduate.
  7. Only one clerkship the entire year has an exam at the end.

Hmm, yes, I think it's clear that Fourth Year takes the prize in betterness. What I don't think can be made clear iss quite how much better it is, so just take my word for it: IT'S A GAJILLION TIMES BETTER.