Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Take that Disney! I hate you so much.

Second City Network has posted some new videos that are pretty hilarious. This is the troupe that did the Sassy Gay Friend bits, which are pretty one dimensional, but still entertaining.

Anyway, these new ones are Disney princesses giving advice. Some of the jokes are old (if you follow Disney princess jokes, and really, who doesn't?) but the summation of the material with some great delivery really pans out.

This is the place. Again

One trick to blogging every day: short posts. None of these full stories or complete thoughts I’ve been wasting my time with. I even ended that sentence with with, and I’m not going to change it.

I’m heading back to Utah for the first time since I graduated, many moons ago. I’ll be in Provo, Salt Lake, maybe a little Heber. I’ll be there from Friday to Tuesday. Let me know if you will be too.

What should I do? I have my favorite haunts that I’ll visit. Plus I’ll try to pick up girls in periodicals. Maybe I’ll wear my scrubs for the whole trip to emphasize my many degrees that permit me to wear pajamas to work.

But I also figure I should try some things I never tried before. Like I never went to Tucanos. I never actually went to the Salt Lake. I never went to Sundance.

Let me know. Awesome things you did. Awesome things you should’ve done. Most of my friends are married (so unvisitable) so I’ll have plenty of time to fill while I’m up there.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Blogging like it's my Job

A friend told me that a successful blog needs posts nearly every day. Clearly, my blog is destined for failure.

I only made it about a third of the way through my lesson today, so I considered posting the inspiring latter 2/3 of the life of Job here. But I don't think anyone would read it, so I'm keeping my pearls to myself.

Instead I'll report the statistics from our Name That Tune game. I didn't have a stop watch, but by my keen sense of timing, this is the order of how quickly they were recognized:

Saved by the Bell (only the bell was required to identify)
Seinfeld (perhaps the most universally recognized)
Gilligan's Island
Fresh Prince
Ducktales (one false guess of Tale Spin)
Full House
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Batman (This should have been #1. It started with "To the Batmobile!)
Man of Constant Sorrow
Praise to the Man
Walker, Texas Ranger
The Final Countdown
You All Everybody (Driveshaft from Lost)
2 ducks talking about Meet the Parents
Spiderman (70s version. Way hard.)
David the Gnome

Surprisingly, the only one that wasn't answered correctly was David the Gnome. Praise to the Man would have been higher but there was some confusion in naming it.

I'm sure you're having a hard time relating this back to Job. Pretty much the whole lesson would be that way, hence me not posting it. But you should come to my next one.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Scott Pilgrim Rules My World

I saw Scott Pilgrim last night, and it was 8 kinds of awesome. Maybe 9 kinds. Never has a movie made me want to play video games and be in love simultaneously. Sadly, the two are so often mutually exclusive.

I think the success of the film is mostly attributable to Edgar Wright, who appears to have the golden touch. Sure, he’s sticking with his nerd roots, but he knows those roots really well. I watched Hot Fuzz this week, and forgot how well planned it is. I’m a much bigger Shaun of the Dead fan, so remembered well how good it is. He picks his genre films, buddy cop, zombie and comic book respectively, and just nails them. They’re both homages and prime examples of the genre.

This film nailed comics. Ang Lee tried to make his comic film, The Incredible Hulk, and was notoriously unsuccessful when trying to get the feel of a comic book. Wright gets it right on. And where this particular comic is so based in music and video games, his focus on those elements was equally successful.

The cast was good, though I feel less noteworthy than the structure of the film. A friend had told me earlier in the day how Michael Cera reminds her of a Chihuahua, so I kept seeing him as one, which was a bit distracting. But generally everyone performed admirably. The movie was so packed to the gills that every part was small, but they all worked together well.

That review really didn’t express how fun the movie is. You should go see it because it’s fun. The film-making side of the movie is what impressed me, but what made it a great movie was that it was a great time. Go see it.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Psychosis Virgin

I brought a med student with me on an interview yesterday. It was his first time meeting a psychiatric patient.

She started out telling me how she was here because she threw away her roommate’s food because it was harmful to the environment. This progressed to a variety of concerns for our environment, like how the Bermuda Triangle is expanding. Because of problems like this, we need to move to Saturn. Mars just isn’t good enough. How does she know this? She is God in female form. She needs to make plastic by drinking saltwater through her nose, which will help her make it to Saturn.
Then she stops talking. She says to me, referring to the med student, “That guy doesn’t believe me.” I look over at him, and his mouth is hanging open, ever so slightly.

I forgot; he’s a psychosis virgin.

This is one of many reasons why my job is better than your job. I also heard today about Lady Gaga bringing a patient a centerpiece for their table. Another patient’s medication was turning their face into a porcupine. Another patient didn’t want to talk to me because I wouldn’t let her eat shampoo. Another stopped taking her medication because her psychiatrist told her telepathically that peppermint candy works better than medication. Another patient was telling me about how she sees faces floating in the air, only to have her husband tell me that his wife isn’t necessarily hallucinating because their house is haunted.

It’s great when patients get better. It’s sad when they don’t. But I rarely fall asleep at work, excluding those days I work for 30 hours straight.

What small talk did you have to make today?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Implicit Compliments

I don’t like compliments. As you might guess, this makes me immensely popular. I don’t really like giving them or receiving them. I just don’t like them.

A variety of negative character traits converge to make me dislike compliments. I’m lazy, so I don’t like giving compliments. Instead, I want people to interpret my actions as compliments. If I want to be around you, I think you’re worth being around. I want my presence to implicitly convey the compliment. The fact is I’m not polite enough to show up to your party or invite you to do something if I don’t think you’re worthwhile. I don’t expect you to be honored by my presence or anything so grand, I just want you to realize that my regard for you is dictating my actions. Which, to me, is better than me saying you’re fun or cute or smart. Anyone can say those things without them being true. But I’m not going to have a conversation with you if I don’t think you’re interesting, and I’m not going to ask you out if I don’t think you’re attractive. I think it’s kind of redundant to verbalize those facts.

I don’t want you to have to verbalize your esteem for me either. If you think I’m funny, you should talk to me more, not tell me I’m funny. If you like my lesson, you should come next time I teach. (By the way, I’ve yet to come up with a good response to “you’re funny.” It seems like it requires a joke as a response, which then seems like a challenge, which then doesn’t seem very friendly.) By labeling our interactions with compliments, you’re really removing the tact.

I’m the only one that feels this way, I realize this. Me and telepathic robots. And I’m not saying that my way is better; in fact I know that it’s not. But it’s the way my mind works, so I thought a disclaimer would be valuable. If we’re spending time together, and you’re not a patient of mine, it’s because I consider you smart and/or fun and/or beautiful. Feel complimented.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

I often forget that I’m a Westerner by birth. I was born in Colorado, which while not exactly Texas, is certainly West of the Mississip. And as was pointed out to me this week, by the end of residency I will have spent a full decade in West, between Arizona, Utah and Idaho. Add in four years in the Mid-west, and quite a few hours watching Hey Dude, and I’m pretty much a cowboy.

Since I have inadvertently lost my city slicker status, I figured I should go whole hog and visit the rodeo. A couple years back at the Demolition Derby I made up the Redneck Pentathlon. I’d already visited the Demolition and Roller Derbies, so Rodeo was next on my list. I’ve already got takers on my upcoming visits to Monster Truck and NASCAR, so I’ll keep you up to date. In any case, I discovered a group of folk heading to the Payson Rodeo, so I thought I’d seize the day.

I wasn’t completely willing to give up my yuppie cred, so I bought a USB drive on the way to the rodeo. I wanted to make an offering to the urban spirits so they wouldn’t abandon me. But after that, I put on my famous belt buckle and met up with the group.

Turns out the group was all female. Maybe I’ll write a post about ideal ratios at some point, but let me just say that 7:1 is not an ideal ratio. At 7:1 you’re really just a passenger at Girls Night Out. But seeing as Girls Night Out was at the rodeo, it all worked out. I picked the car that agreed not to play country music and we were on our way.

The Payson Rodeo is the oldest continuous rodeo in the US. I’m not entirely sure what that means other, but I know that it doesn’t mean it’s the biggest or the best. Though honestly, I couldn’t tell if it were. I was there for the people watching much more than the rodeo watching. And I wasn’t disappointed. As expected, there were a lot of belt buckles, camo, denim and mullets. But there was also a lot of Abercrombie, which seemed doubly out of place. A lot of the audience was sporting injuries, which I imagine were from their own rodeic exploits, but could have just been from domestic violence.

The whole event was oddly patriotic. I think it was odd to have something be so pro-America, when it was something I didn’t particularly like. But there was a lot of flag waving, military promoting and just general pep rallying. The only thing they talked about more than America was their corporate sponsorship. At least half the words out of the announcers mouths were brand names. Sometimes they were so busy naming companies that they neglected to name contestants.

As for the rodeo itself, honestly it was pretty meh. There were some impressive feats of daring do, but they were pretty few and far between. I imagine if I were more animal-rightsy I would’ve had issue with the concept of the whole thing, but my conscience was minimally bothered. My 7 companions were convinced that there was a loudest fan award, so threw their collective hat into the ring. Sadly, the award was fictitious, but I’m pretty confident they would’ve won it. I don’t think I would’ve.

To complete my trashy weekend, I attended Best Worst Movie. I’d heard about this documentary, and was pretty pumped. My standard rule on documentaries is that the stranger the subject the better. A documentary about a font or an animatronic band is always going to trump one on the Civil War or whales. Best Worst Movie is about Troll 2, considered by many to be the worst movie of all time. And it was awesome. I knew it was going to be awesome when one of the previews before the movie was this:

Turns out this movie theater basically specializes in horrible movies. This made me extremely happy. But it turns out the documentary we were seeing wasn't horrible; it is scored at 95% on Rottentomatoes, while the movie it documents scores a 0%. I laughed more in this documentary than I do in many comedies. And it actually made some very interesting points about movies, about fame, about people and about trolls. I heartily recommend it. I wanted to stay and watch Troll 2 which aired afterwards, but sadly my co-watcher had work the next morning so we had to go. Thankfully, Troll 2 can be found on the internet, and also on Blu Ray. Tempting.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Recipe for Success

Take one part awesome


Add one part awesome

Kristen Bell

Voila : Double Awesomeness

It’s a bizarre video, to be sure. But encouraging. If Kristen can love that living meatball, she can love me.

The time of the week when I rank the collective works of Kristen Bell

1. Veronica Mars – For something shown on UPN/CW/lamest-channel-ever this was actually pretty great. Heartily recommended to everyone.
2. Forgetting Sarah Marshall – My favorite of the Apatow oeuvre.
3. Assassin’s Creed II – A videogame. True story: I spent 40 dollars to hear Kristen Bell’s voice in a video game. Also true story: this game was wicked awesome.
4. Party Down – A hilarious series, so accordingly it has been canceled. Kristen appears in a couple episodes and kills (figuratively.)
5. Deadwood – Another sad story, I watched an entire season of the show to see the one episode in which she appears. However, it was an entertaining season.
6. Fanboys – Kind of funny, but greatly hindered in that I hate Star Wars.
7. Pulse – Pretty bad horror movie.
8. Couples Retreat – Pretty bad romantic comedy. Notice that horror trumps romantic comedy.
9. When in Rome – Even worse romantic comedy.
10. Heroes – sadly Kristen shows up at the same time the show became unwatchable.
11. Gossip Girl – I watched 2 episodes to hear Kristen narrate. It was a mistake.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

You can help for only pennies a day.

You know what I hate: going to shows by myself. Movies aren’t as big of a deal, but even then I vastly prefer to have someone there so I don’t like a hermit. Which is odd because I don’t care if I look like a hermit in other situations. In any case, watching something is way better with a co-watcher.

This fall I’ll be attending 4 shows. Or at least I will if I can find a co-watcher. So you should volunteer to go to one of them with me, because they’ll all be awesome.

1. The Pixies – September 24th

2. Daniel Tosh – September 25th

3. Gorillaz – October 26th

4. Jim Gaffigan - November 27th

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

This Just In: Kesha is not a human

All my dars are pretty faulty. My radar, gaydar, flirtdar, even my robodar. So it took me a while to realize it, but Ke$ha is a robot.

Exhibit A – What are some typical robot names? C3PO. T 1000. What are some typical human names? Rupert. Evelyn. Which category does Ke – dollar sign – ha fall into?

Exhibit B – Most people think Ke$ha uses an auto-tuner. Not true. I watched her videos this afternoon and there are no auto-tuners in sight. That my friends, is just her voice. Robotic no?

Exhibit C – Have you seen her “dance?” She dances as well as the Terminator. She waves her hands every once in a while, but it’s about as convincing as those dancing cans and flowers you could buy in the 90s.

Exhibit D – Her lyrics. They’re not the worst thing on the radio. That honor goes to Usher’s masterpiece OMG. The title would imply a 12 year old girl wrote it, but in fact a 10 year old boy wrote it. “Honey got a booty like pow pow pow.” But that’s not the point. Kesha (I’ve given up on reaching for that dollar sign) has lyrics that are nearly as bad. She rhymes crunk with drunk. But any simpleton can have bad lyrics. The key to knowing that Kesha is a robot is that her lyrics make no sense at all. No one insists on men that look like Mick Jagger. Her lyrics are clearly constructed like a robot compiling pop culture elements. A Kesha song is basically: Sex, Alcohol, Sex, Rock and Roll, Something that rhymes with Sex. Along with a predictable beat. Who’s good at coming up with pop clichés streamed over a predictable beat? A robot.

Exhibit E – In the 21 seasons of The Simpsons, every single episode has used The Simpsons theme in the opening credits. Until Tik Tok opened an episode this season. Who could force the hand of the juggernaut that is The Simpsons to stop a 20 year tradition? An evil robot.

So there you have it. Ke$ha is a robot. Here’s hoping she runs out of alcohol to fuel her circuits or catches some type of a fatal virus soon.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Famous Titles

Dolly Parton!

That was in honor of Will Ferrell, who has a new movie out which is evidently not horrible. And now on with the post:

A patient came up to me the other day.

Patient: Do you remember my name? (Remarkably I did, since he wasn’t my patient, and I’d only met him once, at 3 in the morning.)
Me: It’s [patient confidentiality]
Patient: Good. Are you a doctor or a psychiatrist?
Me: I’m both, I’m doing by psychiatry residency right now.
Patient: So you’re a doctor, and after this you’ll be a psychiatrist.
Me: Sure.

The first thing I thought was, why aren’t my patients this friendly? I get all the cranky ones. Probably because I don’t smile they just give me the ones that never smile. My second thought was, I guess that’s a good way to describe my job.

Titles and labels are funny things. I don’t really like them, but they’re fairly important in medicine. For all of undergrad I refused to call myself a pre-med. Because anyone can call themselves a pre-med, and many do. I felt like it was a bit presumptuous to call myself pre-med, when my eventual med status was not guaranteed. Which is a bit odd, because my ego didn’t really permit me to doubt to heavily my ability to get into med school. In any case, I was not a pre-med, I was a neuroscience major.

In medical school I was perfectly content calling myself a medical student. However, I hated the title “Student Doctor.” I would only use it when my attending was standing right there. I introduced myself as Chris the med student. Inadvertently I sometimes introduced myself as just “the med student” reinforcing that we were all the same. But never Student Doctor, unless my grade depended on it.

Now people ask me what I do for a living. I feel like the most accurate answer is resident, but I realize this may not mean anything to those unfamiliar with medicine. So sometimes I jump straight to doctor, which is accurate as I have my MD. But it still sounds a little pretentious to me. Sometimes I answer psychiatrist, but then invariably they’ll want to know if I’ve been analyzing them. I deal with people who believe they have siblings in their testicles all day long; I’m not terribly interested in analyzing the person I just met at this party. And if I answer psychiatrist we also invariably get into the psychologist/psychiatrist clarification.

Now I knowingly went into psychiatry. I know that a significant portion of the population thinks psychiatrists are quacks. I had a guy ask me if I felt quack was offensive the other day. I don’t care if you don’t like my job quack-labeler. I also know that most of the population doesn’t know the difference between psychologists and psychiatrists, and that’s perfectly understandable and not bothersome. I can’t tell you much about civil engineering. And if I can explain the difference for less than three sentences and we move on, I have no issue. But too often it gets into one of these:

Person: So what’s the difference?
Me: Psychologists go to graduate school and do therapy. Psychiatrists go to medical school and do therapy and drugs.
Person: So you went to medical school?
Me: Yes.
Person: For how long?
Me: 4 years.
Person: How long do doctors go?
Me: 4 years, psychiatrists are doctors.
Person: And then you go to graduate school?
Me: No, we go to a psychiatry residency.
Person: And the doctors start working?
Me: No, the doctors go to residency also.
Person: But a longer residency.
Me: No, some are a shorter, some are longer.

On and on and on. I have no problem with you not getting it, I do have a problem with having to talk about it. But I guess [patient confidentiality] had the best way to describe it. I’m a doctor. In 3 years and 11 months I’ll be a psychiatrist. The end.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Fame, I'm Going to Live Forever

So I was answering a questionnaire on eHarmony (long story, and I’ve done far too many posts about dating lately, so we’ll just have to see if it comes up later) which asked what I wanted most: money, fame, power or respect.

It was a funny question, because I felt like I had to answer respect or be a douche. Clearly, it’s the only respectable answer. And it’s what I chose, but just narrowly. I like having power, except when I want to be lazy. I like having money, but honestly my expenses are pretty limited. But fame, well there would be major benefits.

The downside of course would be talking to people. Sometimes I’m grocery shopping and they don’t have a self checkout aisle. And I get pretty annoyed that I’m actually going to have to talk to the grocer. It’s true, I probably have some kind of a personality disorder. Now imagine if you had people talking to you all the time as you walk down the street. Death.

But, here’s another thing to consider: fame is like respect, for stupid people. When you’re famous people would treat you like they SHOULD treat venerable people. But instead we displace our respect onto celebrities. So in terms of fringe benefits, you’d get a ton more with fame than respect.

I was reading about Amanda Palmer the other day. In case you don’t know who she is (ie everyone who’s reading this) she was the lead singer for The Dresden Dolls. Yes, I imagine that doesn’t help you out any. They’re a band; I’ve only ever met one fan, though I rarely ask people if they’re fans of the Dresden Dolls in the course of normal conversation.

ANYWAY, Ms Palmer came to my attention because I was listening to her song, Oasis. It’s uber-catchy, and a bit controversial because of the content of the chipper song. This lead me to the fact that she had just released an album of Radiohead covers played on a ukulele. Because that’s what you get to do when you’re famous, make albums for fun. She’s charging 84 cents to download it. 54 cents go to Radiohead, 30 to Palmer. Again, she gets to do whatever she wants because she’s (a little bit) famous.

In the course of reading that, I came across the fact that she’s engaged to Neil Gaiman. NEIL GAIMAN! Equal parts random and awesome.

I don’t want to marry Neil Gaiman. Stop the presses, I know. And sorry to bring up marriage yet again btw. But my point is when you’re famous, you get to marry famous people. You get to work with famous people. You get to play Uno with famous people.

Imagine playing Uno with Kristen Bell, Neil Patrick Harris and Bill Murray. Can you imagine it? No, probably not, because it would be too awesome. And what if each of them brought a friend from work? Suddenly you’re playing Uno with Jason Segel (who knows both Kristen and Neil), Nathan Fillion and Scarlett Johansson. Aside from the fact that 7 is getting to be too crowded of an Uno game, it would be about the coolest thing ever.

The original thing I was going to write about was Radiohead covers. I’m sorry if you would have rather read that post. But here’s the gist: Radiohead is awesome, always will be, and despite it being hipster cliché to love them, you should. Here are some great covers, because cool people cover Radiohead:

1. Regina Spektor – No Surprises. (Also, Amanda Rogers and Northern State do pretty good ones.)

2. Vampire Weekend – Exit Music (for a film).

3. Jamie Cullum – High and Dry

4. Gnarls Barkley – Reckoner

5. Mark Ronson/Phantom Planet – Just (Awesome, I nearly like it better than the original.)

6. Damien Rice – Creep (Everyone and their mother has covered Creep. Damien is better than their mother.)

7. Eliza Lumley – Black Star

8. The Twilight Sad – Climbing Up the Walls

9. Tori Amos – Karma Police (James Vanderslice does an interesting one as well.)

10. Amanda Palmer – Fake Plastic Trees (the whole album is pretty nice.)

Also worth noting:

A. Hanson – Optimistic (Yep, that Hanson. Actually pretty good cover.)
B. Hard ‘n Phirm – Rodeohead (a country medley of songs.)
C. Overdub – What a Wonderful Surprise (What a Wonderful World / No Surprises mashup)
D. Christopher O’Riley – True Love Awaits: O’Riley Plays Radiohead (a great album of piano covers of Radiohead)
E. dj gyngyvytus – crunk tribute to radiohead (fun crunk versions.)

Monday, August 02, 2010

Chemical Imbalance

There's probably something wrong in my brain that I want to be saxrolled.

It's the new Rickroll. I have to admit though that Rickrolling is better, because Never Going to Give You Up is actually way fun to sing along with.

This guy though, is not fun to sing along with. He does have a sweet Lady Gaga wannabe in the background, but that's about it.

The crazy thing is this video is nearly 9 minutes long. Why did you keep editing it together after 30 seconds internet-nerd-who-made-this?

But still, I'll be pretty happy when I actually stumble upon the video, and don't have to look it up intentionally.