Monday, June 28, 2010


This marks my 600 post. Which reminds me that I’ve been doing this for a while. Which reminds me that I’m old.

But recently, I feel that I’ve become a bit younger. I was at getting a haircut the other day and the stylist said “You must look really young without the beard.” Similarly during my thousand introductions I’ve given over the last fortnight I’ve been told a couple times that I look too young to be a doctor. The trick of course is that I don’t have any smile lines on my face. Just stop smiling and you’ll look young and miserable.

So if I don’t look old, why do I feel so old? In another of my thousand introductions, this time at work, I got this response. “Wait, you went to BYU, so you’re Mormon right? And you’re single?” My problem isn’t that I’m 28, my problem is that I’m single.

Which is of course the problem. Except for the occasional Doogie Howser, my coworkers are at most 2 years younger than me (darn mission) and generally older than me. So it’s only when I’m thrown into the YSA pool that I become old and wrinkly, metaphorically.

But even that is different these days. These days I’m missing my old pool. In Ohio, I was a big fish in a small pond. In Arizona, I’m a little fish in a big ocean. But in Ohio I was also an old fish, with only a handful of more senior fish, and constant influxes (influces?) of 18 year old fish. In Arizona there are too many fish to count, so even if I were an old fish, I don’t think I’d know it. But I’m pretty sure I’m not one any more. I’m not a young fish, but I’m a middle-aged fish.

So if you’re old, move to Arizona. Unless you want to be old, then grow a beard. And smile more.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Oh blog. Bloggity bloggy blog. The more times you say blog the less it seems like a real word.

The problem has been this: lots of little things have happened, but nothing big. Hence, no blog posts. If I actually used my twitter account I guess it could have kept you guys updated. Unfortunately I just use it to hear about what Bill Murray’s up to. Not much btw.

So I don’t know what’s new or exciting to report. Here’s a problem with me: I adapt way too quickly. New stuff only seems new for about 30 seconds, and rarely seems exciting. After that 30 seconds of novelty, it’s same old same old. So it makes it hard to report on the new, despite most everything being new. But I’ll try, by just reporting lots of little things.

Turns out there are no Key banks in Arizona. To compensate, it also turns out that Frys is owned by Kroger, so I don’t have to learn a new grocery store. Score one for the home team. But now I don’t have a bank, which is inconvenient. I opened a new Chase account today and the lady asked me how much I’d be keeping in my account. I stared at her blankly (really, I did) because I have no idea how to answer that question. When’s the last time I actually had an income? Eventually she moved on.

Although it took 30 seconds for Arizona to seem like the norm, it did take my body a week to adjust. To compensate for the 100 degrees, zero humidity weather my body kept producing mucous for a week. Hey body, inconvenient and inappropriate. Eventually it stopped, and I got my first ever nosebleed. Once that stopped there haven’t been any problems. The temperature really hasn’t bothered me that much. Admittedly I have never stayed outdoors for longer than an hour while the sun is up, but that’s not that different from when I lived somewhere with normal temperatures.

I’ve stayed reasonably cool, as has my apartment, the only problem is my car. I forgot that a box had a wax candle in it, and only remembered the melted waxy oil started seeping through the side. I also left my scriptures in it one day and a bookmark melted into a portion of 1st Nephi. It’s ok, I’d already read the page.

I’ve found my favorite donut place, BoSa Donuts. And my favorite ice cream place YogurtLand. I haven’t found any healthy food yet.

My apartment complex is infested with 2 things: hummingbirds and cats. Having a variety of hummingbirds outside your window? Pretty sweet. Most people would say that having 3 semi-straggly cats roaming the complex is a negative, but I like it for some reason.

I might have to buy polo shirts! This makes me sad, as polo shirts are the devil. But the dresscode at work is different when the temperature is over 100 (ie June-Sept) which includes polo shirts and slacks, rather than the typical shirt and tie. I might rebel and wear a suit instead.

Good news: my class seems pretty cool. In med school there were 200 of us, so really I only had to get along with about 5% of the class and I was fine. But in residency there are 6 of us, so hating someone’s guts is much more problematic. Luckily, I do not currently hate any of the other doctor’s guts, nor do I anticipate doing so. In fact, these may have been the 5 people I would’ve sought out as my work posse. Maybe psychiatrists are just all awesome (sadly, I know this not to be the case.)

United States of Tara is very addictive. It kept me from unpacking for a day. But I'm a sucker for shows about crazy folk.

I wish that I were shy. Then I’d have a good excuse not to meet people. And when I did make myself socialize it would be exciting because I’d be terrified. But sadly, I’m just lazy. But despite this, I’ve been to 3 home evenings, 5 institute classes, 2 ward activities, 2 church meetings, and even 1 choir practice. I’m slowly amassing a list of people I know, some of which seem like they have potential. It’s just a lot of work. And boring. Not that the individuals are necessarily boring (though let’s be honest, I find a lot of the world’s population boring) just that I find the getting-to-know-you process boring. I’ve talked to a lot of people in the last 3 weeks, but 95% of it has been the same blather. My name, how long I’ve been in town, why I’m here, you? Repeat. Yawn. It's not you world, it's me.

Conversely, I’ve had some really good conversations on IM/gchat/fbchat. Mostly this is because I know those people and can skip the small talk. But also, I’m just awesome on IM. It gives me just enough time to amp up my clever and/or charming, so I’m much more appealing than in real life. But maybe I feel like these conversations have been so good because a girl sent me a picture of herself in a schoolgirl outfit and that’s completely biasing my views.

I’ve been ACLS certified, and officially oriented to Maricopa Hospital. Tomorrow I learn how to use straitjackets. I’m kind of joking, but not really.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The wait is over

In case you're not a subscriber to my youtube account (and really, my only subscribers are complete strangers), I've recently posted The Swicket, a movie I made in 2006. I believe this means all my movies are online. Hurrah.

Here's me rapping. Yep, it happened.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Flashback Blog: The Month of May

In the shuffle and hubbub and laziness of moving, some things were left unblogged. Here’s one of them.

Orignal Post Title: That’s Quacktastic!

Now I realize that some people think that all physicians are quacks. I further realize that if any one group of docs are considered quacks, it would certainly by psychiatrists. But for the month of May I got to work with a group even more quacktastic: complimentary/alternative medicine docs.

One thing’s for sure, every day was different. One day I’d be with a chiropractor, the next with a acupuncturist, the next with a herbalist. I worked with Russian, Indian, Chinese, American and Texan doctors. Or at least most of them were doctors.

The most interesting was probably Dr Anonymous, who claims to be able to cure cancer and autism. In his mind most all disease is a result of our crazy modern diet. To be honest, I never understood the nuances of his plans for his patients. Eat only what your ancestors eat, so no corn, but don’t eaten gluten, which your ancestors almost certainly ate. Yes, it didn’t make sense to me either. And in the end, most patients got loaded up with magnesium, Vitamin B and fish oil. Like, ridiculous amounts of fish oil. I was surprised he hadn’t figured out a fish oil IV. I’d consider giving his a program a try for kicks and giggles, but he wouldn’t let me eat bread or bananas (or chicken or avocado or red meat and a couple dozen other near-vital food groups) so that’s a no-go. But he and his patients swear by his program, so who am I to say it’s gibberish. But it might be gibberish. After all, he told me twice that sharks were mammals.

The other herbalists were more mainstream, doing actual history and physicals with their patients, diagnosing conditions in pretty standard fashion, just using more vitamins and supplements than your average doctor. It was always confusing when each doctor had their own beliefs (gluten is the devil, it doesn’t matter; vitamin C ruins other vitamin uptake, vitamin C is the best!) but I liked that they had their own ideology and were sticking with them.

Chiropractic got old quick. It was cool to see, but most everything looked the same. I learned how to crack my neck better.

Acupuncture was kind of similar. It was neat to see, but the majority of cases were very similar. The problem was that with chiropractic and acupuncture I could only shadow the doc, not get involved in the treatment in any significant way. Plus the doctors English wasn’t very good for the acupuncture, limiting the instruction pretty significantly.

I’m still confused as heck about Ayurveda. If it’s true I think I just have to throw my 4 years of med school out the window.

So ultimately, none of the physicians convinced me that their brand of medicine was true. Some of them were actively trying to convince me, but mostly it was a very relaxed month, which is a good way to end the year. While I wasn’t convinced that any of the modalities were the answer to modern disease, it was clear that certain patients liked each of them. And in my mind, any treatment that makes a patient happy (excluding puppy blood facials) is a worthwhile treatment.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Murphy's Roadtrip

Everything that could go wrong in this trip did go wrong. But since I realized this from early on, it didn’t really bother me.

1. As soon as I wanted to load my trailer with my prized personal possessions, it started pooring.
2. As soon as I wanted to start packing my prized possessions into little boxes, the power went out. For 8 hours.
3. I got on the road 6 hours behind schedule.
4. I soon discovered that I was able to roll down my windows, but not roll them up again. Consequently I drove on the highway with my windows down for a couple hours, and may have damaged my hearing.
5. I called Dave One, and together we diagnosed my problem: my trailer had blown a fuse. I felt quite successful finding the fuse box, changing fuses and rolling up my windows. I felt less successful when ten minutes later my turn signals stopped working.
6. After 3 stops at different Uhaul locations along I-70, I finally got my wiring fixed. They had installed it incorrectly. Now I could use my trailer, my windows, and my turn signals.
7. Then my cruise control stopped working. I was tired of stopping to get things fixed, so I went the rest of the 1850 miles without cruise control.
8. I thought my AC wasn’t working, but eventually realized that it was, I just had a fever. Somehow my dust allergy which had been acting up from cleaning my dusty house had metamorphosed into a viral infection. Yep, that’s how it works. I spent the next 48 hours with the nondescript flu symptoms (headache, tired, achey, runny nose, sore throat.) I usually just sleep off being sick, but that wasn’t really an option, so I experimented with cold medications. Turns out Contac and phenol throat spray worked pretty well. The best part was when I was trying to sleep and had a fever dream and started panicking that I had no insurance so couldn’t go to the hospital.
9. Apart from some early mornings, the temperature stayed above 90 for the entire trip. Combined with fever, this was awesome.
10. I came across a Burger King with a “Country Pork Sandwich” but I’d ALREADY HAD LUNCH! Curses.
11. I was traveling along a 75 mph road at 70 mph. The nice thing about carrying a trailer is that I always felt like I was speeding, but because of the extra weight I never was. But unfortunately the speed limit dropped to 35 pretty dramatically. Since I didn’t drop my speed dramatically enough, the police officer watching me decided to pull me over. Thankfully he was from Ohio so didn’t want to give me a ticket.
12. It was the weekend so all the cheap hotel rates I’d found online weren’t valid.
13. My desk disintegrated under the weight of my prized possessions. Evidently it was a desk not designed to hold anything.
14. I didn’t find any supermodel hitchhikers.

Car trouble, legal trouble, sickness, weather, poor timing, no supermodels. Flying would have been a good option.