Thursday, March 27, 2008

Buckeye Blast

Test week.
No time.
No sentences.
Here's a video.
I made it.
I think technically a couple of those were in fact sentences.

Friday, March 21, 2008

An exercise in futility

I hate exercising. HATE it. This is partially related to my aversion to sports, but there are lots of other factors. I find it boring, I dislike feeling exerted, I dislike the gym itself, I don’t like being sweaty, I see no results etc etc. The point being, I hate it. But I make myself go, because I do know it’s important, I do want to be more attractive and in a few months I’ll be telling nearly all my patients that they should be exercising more (because almost everyone should) and in general I try not to be hypocritical.

So I trick myself. Since class is on the way to the gym, I make myself go immediately afterward. I’m already part way there, so I might as well I tell myself. Of course this is silly since class is a 2 minute walk, so I could easily go home and go some other time. But that’s part of the trick. I am incapable of exercising without my iPod. The distraction is absolutely necessary if I want to exert myself for more than 5 minutes. Additionally, I read while I’m listening to music, to add another layer of separation from me and the exercise. Some people manage to study on the treadmill, and this boggles my mind. I would most certainly kill myself if I had to read about dermatology while running. So I buy magazines (currently Entertainment Weekly and Spin) exclusively for the purpose of reading them while working out.

I lost my iPod earbuds earlier this week, so have been unable to workout. It’s strictly impossible. I actually have 2 other sets of earphones, but I require the earbuds, which don’t get sweaty. Just as I was about to purchase another set, I found them. So today I headed to the gym for the first time since Saturday. Once I got there I looked in my bag, only to discover that I’d left my gym shorts at home. Fortunately walking to and from the gym takes 20 minutes, which is almost the same thing as working out.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Ethanol: never had it, never will. Do I think there’s something inherently evil in those 9 atoms? Is there something diabolical about that particular arrangement of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen? No. Or at least I don’t think so. I am wrong on occasion.

In excess it most certainly damages the body. I’m not going to go into the potential benefits in small doses. Let’s just assume that it’s unhealthy in general, and say that’s reason enough not to drink it. There’s also the fact that I’ve covenanted not to drink it. That is reason enough never to imbibe. But why did I covenant not to? I think the most reasonable explanation is that nobody needs to drink, and there are some people whose lives would be ruined by alcoholism, so we all commit not to drink. It’s certainly a sensible decision.

None of this is new to me. What is new is debating whether or not I would be an alcoholic. Traditionally my answer would be no. I tend to have a pretty blunted response to medication and caffeine, so I hypothesized that alcohol would affect me less than the average bloke. And although I feel genetics has a huge impact, and I know nothing of my own, strictly on a personality basis I think I could be a potential alcoholic. How did I come to this conclusion? Veronica Mars.

Yesterday I watched 20 episodes of Veronica Mars. This was certainly not my intention at the beginning of the day. I watched an episode as I ate breakfast, which I can justify. I realize that breakfast sans television takes 5 minutes and with television takes 45, but I’ll allow that inefficiency. I did a lecture, then watched another episode. I did one more lecture, and once again rewarded myself with an episode. And then I rewarded that episode with another 17.

Why exactly did I watch 20 episodes in a day? There are a number of intrinsic reasons. Primarily, Kristen Bell is extremely cute. I felt a bit bad considering her character is 17, but I was able to justify myself since the actress is 27. It was also a bit bittersweet in that she looks very similar to a girl I used to date, but it was primarily a positive association. The show itself has an interesting concept, an engaging plot, and a sense of humor very close to my own. Compound these facts about the show with how flexible my schedule is and how little I like the musculoskeletal block that I’m currently studying, and you’ve got a recipe for indulgence. I tried to justify the marathon (notice how many times I’ve had to use justify in relating this experience) by thinking how I was going to watch all these episodes eventually. I might as well check Veronica Mars off my to-do list so I can focus more on rotator cuff injuries tomorrow. Ridiculous thinking, I realize. Because I’ve got The Wire to watch next, and a never-ending stream of television and movies that I’d like to watch at some point after that. It’s not like the entertainment is ever going to run out so I can strictly focus on learning medicine. And at least with The Wire I could talk about the show without people thinking I was pervy and asking “Wasn’t that show on the WB?”

The good news is that I didn’t watch any Veronica Mars today. This victory was diminished by the fact that I finished off the series yesterday. However, I didn’t watch The Wire either, which is a minor accomplishment. Maybe I wouldn’t so much be an alcoholic, just a binge drinker. What’s worse for a medical student: the time consumption of entertainment or the brain damage of alcohol consumption? Some students actually manage to pass doing both. Once vice is all I can handle.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Weekend Update

• I started off the evening with a med school potluck. I always think it’s kind of funny to do potlucks with non-church people. The potluck seems like a very churchy thing. I don’t have any particular reason for feeling this way, it’s just that I’ve never done them much outside of a ward setting and I guess I think of Mormons as being more domestic than the average individual. But these last two year’s I’ve discovered something shocking: non-Mormons are better cooks than Mormons. Certainly there are some Mormons that are a wonder in the kitchen, but in a dish for dish battle, the med school potlucks have handedly beaten the Mormon ones. A statement on the skill set of 20-somethings in the church? Perhaps. In any case, dinner and the conversation afterwards were quite good.
• After dinner we headed over to Pi Day. I haven’t thrown a Pi Day party in a couple years since an accountant friend feels more passionately about the holiday than I do. I was quite full from dinner so had a single piece of pie, which was a bit sad since there was a fine selection. Although I didn’t join in on the Guitar Hero (the default activity with this particular group of friends) some fine conversation was had.

• I had a great debate Saturday morning: The Saint Patrick’s Day parade, or the NCAA Fencing championships. Turns out that I don’t actually like parades (like fireworks, they often make me think that I like them, only to find upon arrival that they are quite boring) so fencing won. It’s also interesting that while basketball, football and baseball hold little to no interest for me, I end up dragging my friends to go watch fencing, ping pong, and wheelchair rugby. As so often holds true, if it’s popular I dislike it and if it’s weird it’s fascinating. I probably should have brushed up on my fencing knowledge because we did spend most of the time trying to figure out what was going on.
• Because I’m currently in a non-dating period, I let fencing stand as my social activity of the day. I was moderately productive throughout the afternoon and capped it off with Chinese food and a bad movie. It was called Bound if you’re interested, and while bad is rather strong, I was hoping it would be great, and it certainly did not reach great.

• I threw my second annual St. Patrick’s Day-inner. Although I have just bashed on Mormon cooking, this potluck turned out quite well. Bryce made some fine corned beef and cabbage, I made my colcannon from last year and we had a fine selection of food from the dozen or so people that we invited. Although I prefer making new dishes (I recently taught myself how to make flan) the colcannon was pretty popular last year so I gave it another shot. The reviews were once again “This stuff is actually pretty good.” No one’s ever heard of it and it looks pretty ugly, but colcannon has a pretty solid track record. I officially passed the torch of the holidinner afterwards, making up the tradition that one of the people we invited must throw their own potluck at the next holiday. I’ll let you know come Arbor Day or Cinco de Mayo if that pans out.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

What's New?

When someone asks “What’s new?” I say “Nothing much.” There’s a linguistic term for this automatic and meaningless response, but unfortunately my brain is not the sponge I sometimes purport it to be. In any case, this is normally true. What’s new? I’ve been doing much the same thing for the last 2 years (socially, academically etc) so I don’t consider much to be new. I want things to be different, but they’re not. C’est la vie.

Last night had you asked me “What’s new?” I would not have said “Nothing much.” I would have said “I saw two genitourinary exams today.” That was new. As a single Mormon boy who chooses to avoid athletics (and thus communal showering experiences) my exposure to genitalia is quite limited. Textbooks are one thing. Watching a testicular exam and DRE is quite another. Looking through a speculum is quite another.

Today I heard an hour-long lecture on aspirin. What’s new? Nothing much.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Doctors should be smarter than this

Stupid things in medical texts:

Potential benefits of oral contraceptives: decreased pregnancy.

Really? Surprising.

Congenital Deficiency of 5-alpha-reductase
Small prostate
No prostate cancer
No male-pattern baldness
Ambiguous genitalia in male fetus (poorly formed penis and persistence of vaginal pouch)

Well, that’s really a toss up. I can certainly see the advantages of having no DHT.

It’s test week. Why else would I post medical stuff?