Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Can you repeat that? Plus, Spies Like Them

As I cram facts into my head for Boards, I am reminded of the fact that I hate repetition. Few things irritate me more than someone telling me something that I already know. Unfortunately my memory is very selective, so there are snippets of unimportant conversation that I can repeat verbatim, but as I look through all the various microorganisms that I’ve learned so many times before, I’m hardly recognizing them. This is even more annoying than hearing things I know multiple times. Hearing things multiple times and not knowing them.

Hearing things multiple times is annoying, as is being forced to repeat myself. Yet I find myself repeating my own words by my own volition. Blasphemy! But I do it.

I lived a superb anecdote this weekend. IE (I realize that’s not the correct way to use id est, but I like it, so get off my case) something happened to me that I believe I’ll repeat many times in the future as an amusing story. And though it will hopefully be new and amusing to each person as I tell it, it will be repetition to me. And that will annoy me. Just a little, but it’s there. I feel like a hypocrite repeating myself when I so hate hearing others vain repetitions.

Another example, I recently performed in our med school fundraiser. I’m a busy person, so didn’t have the time or inclination to come up with a new comedy act. So I did one that I’d done before, and this annoyed me. It was new to 99% of the audience, but not to 100%. And not to me. But this is the nature of comedy acts. I saw Mike Birbiglia twice last year, and got almost the same act twice. I saw Demitri Martin last year and again a couple months ago, and again, his material didn’t change that much. Is it too much to expect comedians to do a new performance every night? Of course. Though as a separate rant, if it’s your job to be funny, you should be able to switch it up more than they do. It’s my job to study medicine and I make a little bit of comedy in my spare time, so I feel a bit more justified in rehashing material.

In any case, if I’m ever telling you a story and you’ve heard it before, feel free to stop me. I’d prefer it in fact. We can then move onto new material, which will be preferable for us both.

Today you get two additions to My Island: Special Agent Dana Scully and Super Agent Sydney Bristow.

I had a Dessert Exchange/X-Files Viewing session yesterday (I do realize that my social interactions are unlike those of anyone else on the planet) and was once again reminded of the beauty and spunk of Gillian Anderson.

And as for Jennifer Garner, she got onto My Island through this scene alone:

"What was wrong with the red one!?"

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Battle of the Sexes

Last night we held my last church activity, The Battle of the Sexes. I haven’t been the Activities Czar in several months (incidentally a name I gave myself, in case you were wondering if that’s what the Bishop called me as. It sounds much better than Activities Committee Co-Chair) but wanted to work on this activity since it was my brainchild. I really should’ve just ran the whole thing, but because I’m lazy, and to a lesser extent because it’s no longer my calling, I turned the reins over to the new chairs.

So the other people took care of the Physical Challenge and the Spiritual Challenge. These were very hectic, but I think were generally enjoyed. Activities included tie tying, football throwing, a high heel race, button sewing, name that hymn and Mormon catchphrase. The events were fine, but the timing and rotation between events got problematic. So instead of participating in the events I ended up coordinating things. Which is really what I like doing for whatever reason, so it worked out.

By the time we got to my Mental Challenge section I think people were kind of battled out, so we only ended up doing about a quarter of the questions I had prepared. Although it was inevitable that people would complain about questions, the much bigger problem came because people spent too much time deliberating. But again, I think people generally enjoyed it so I consider it a success. I’ve included the questions we used below, but may end up using the others for a later activity.

Questions about Guys (for girls)

Man Movies
2 Who starred in Predator Arnold Schwarzenegger, Danny Glover

Manly Music
2 Name a Metalica album Metalica, The Black Album, St. Anger, Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets, Load, ReLoad, And Justice For All.

4 Rainbow, brown, brook and steelhead are types of what? trout

Macho TV
2 Name the 3 stooges Moe, Larry, Curley, Shemp
6 Name two Decepticons Megatron, Soundwave, Starscream, Frenzy, Blackout, Barricade, Skywarp, Rumble, Devestator

Things that go boom
1 Which of the following is not a gun? 44 Magnum, AK 47, Glock 17 Colt 45, Tanner 6
High Literature
2. What did Louis Lamour write? Westerns

Snips, Snails, Puppydog Tails
1 Who is the spokesman for Slim Jim? What is a Slim Jim? Macho Man
5. Who stars in Halo? Master Chief

Questions about Girls (for Guys)

Estrogen Radio
1 Name all the spice girls Posh, Baby, Sporty, Scary, Ginger
2. Name the boyband:
Brian Litrell and Nick Carter Backstreet Boys
Nick Lachey 98 Degrees
Justin Timberlake N’Sync
3. Lance Bass N’Sync
Donnie Wahlberg NKOTB
Ricky Martin Menudo
4. Name 5 Britney Spears songs
6. Name 3 Zac Efron movies High School Musical 1 and 2, Hairspray

Chick Lit
1. Name 2 of the Little Women Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy
2. Where is Avonlea/Green Gables Prince Edward Island

Chick Flicks
1. “Nobody puts Baby in the corner” Name the movie. Dirty Dancing
2. Name 3 songs from The Little Mermaid
3. Name 3 movies starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail, Joe Versus the Volcano
5. Where did Bridgette Jones visit in her sequel? Thailand

Sugar and Spice
1. What are the events of Women’s Gymnastics? Floor, uneven bars, vault, balance beam

In case you were wondering, the final score was 89 to 84. The men won, or lost, depending on how you look at it.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Not for Everyone

The other night I watched The Mist (at 2 in the morning, which adds to the experience, and on my computer, which detracts slightly) and was pleased. A good horror movie is hard to find, and while this one wasn’t great, it certainly qualifies as good. Despite the eponymous mist, I saw the ending coming from miles away. And had that been better I’d list it as great.

This stands in contrast to Pulse, which I watched several weeks ago. Pulse had been on my “probably should watch some time eventually when I have the time” list, a list incidentally which is about 500 movies deep. It had actors I liked from Black Donnelys and Lost, and most importantly, and the reason I actually got around to watching it, Veronica Mars. Oh Kristen Bell, can you do no wrong? Yes, in fact, she can. Pulse was pretty dumb, with no few actual scares. Which got me thinking, what makes a good horror movie?

Psychopaths do not make good horror movies. I certainly admit to liking Seven, American Psycho and Silence of the Lambs (please don’t take that as an official endorsement. You may very well hate these movies and think me evil if you see them) but I don’t consider them horror movies. A killer is just a guy. Sure, it’s much easier to imagine yourself getting killed by one of these guys than something from The Mist. Psychopaths exist, The Mist doesn’t. But the fact that I know there is a statistical possibility that a sociopath will kill me (and a greater statistical possibility for me since I will most likely deal with crazies on a daily basis) but that doesn’t qualify as horror.

Gore does not make a good horror movie. I admit, it would be very hard to make a horror movie where no one gets hurt. It’s hard to build a sense of dread when there’s no potential for harm. And I don’t mind gore that much, though I have yet to see Saw, Hostel etc and don’t really plan to. But gore in and of itself is not scary.

So what makes a horror movie that I enjoy? Nightmare Creatures.

But Chris, some of those aren’t horror movies! you say. It doesn’t matter. Whether the film is fantasy, sci-fi, thriller or horror, it’s the nature of the beast that matters. Most of these guys have some semblance of a human form. Any 5th grader can tell you that dragons are da’bomb (been a while since you’ve heard that huh?) but they’re not creepy. It’s the distorted human form that gets you. It also helps if the creature is obscured through most of the film. Hence movies like The Mist, The Fog etc. A grotesque creature in the middle of an open environment is scary, but not creepy. You need the uncertainty of when things will get nasty and the mystery of the nature of creature.

On an unrelated note, Veronica Mars certainly makes it onto My Island. Pulse may have been no good, but as long as Kristen keeps up her wisecracking Veronica character, she’s welcome to join my tropical paradise.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

T-Shirt Day!

I recently broke my self-imposed t-shirt fast. I don't remember when I started it, but it lasted maybe 6 months. Pretty good I'd say.

Today, and today only, BustedTees are 12 dollars. Now I haven't purchased a BustedTee in several years, because they're a tad sophomoric for my sophisticated senses, and they’re a smidge too popular. But at 12 dollars, I’m forced to peruse their selection. Here are probably the top 3 contenders:

This shirt would be great to balance out my 2 communist shirts. And I don’t have a brown shirt, so it’s fairly practical.

This shirt isn’t terribly clever, but it does loudly proclaim my Danish pride.

This one is probably the nerdiest. It’s not likely to win this particular contest, but feel free to vote for it if you too are a nerd.

If you vote by the end of the day you could have a small impact on my wardrobe. Fun isn’t it?

These aren’t on sale, but they’re still fine options.

Eavesdropping ( a poem type thing)

Reflect the superficial fascia from superlateral to inferomedial.
Where’s Thunder? Probably up all night downloading.
We’re supposed to locate the insertions of the sternocleidomastoid.
Do we have PCM after this? It’s PD? Even worse.
English, what does Mr. Netter have to say about that?
The rectus capitis posterior major is the medial boundary of the suboccipital triangle.
I just want to see Godzilla tear into the lamina like he hulked out that labcoat.
We’re supposed to make sure we tease apart the pia mater and the dura mater.
Dr. Claw, find your tools and do you thing.
Note the boundaries of the cubital fossa.
Noted. Next.
If I hear one more story about clown suits . . .
I can’t tell where the papillary muscle ends and the chordae tendineae begins.
I heard you don’t really need to study for Epi.
Tomato Tomato, umbilicus umbilicus.
I don’t see any M in this brachial plexus.
So he’s surprised and Earmuffs, he jumps out and its sprays all over the couch.
That would be the ASIS, anterior superior iliac spine.
Cause of death 386: no phrenic nerve.
I really have no idea if this is stylohyoid or stylopharyngeus.
I swear, the second they say lymphatics my brain turns off.
Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, teres minor, subscapularis. Right?
No one else starts singing Duran Duran when they say sartorious?
Behold, the ischioanal fossa, in all it’s adipose glory.
Enough with this blunt, let’s get on with some samurai.
That’s what she said.

I was assigned to write about anatomy, and this is what I came up with. It's a composite of med school references, anatomy terms and inside jokes, with very little proper English involved.

Thursday, April 17, 2008



When I read a news headline and do a double take, it's usually a post from The Onion. Or FoxNews. I'm a pretty staunch conservative, but come on FoxNews, some of your articles are pretty silly. But The Onion is even sillier, so I don't often read it. But I found this video hilarious. As a retired comic book reader, this hit home for me. Though I'm not usually a purist, I did boycott The Fantastic Four movies for their infidelity to the comics. And because they looked horrible. Mostly because they looked horrible really, despite having Jessica Alba. If Iron Man had Jessica Alba, I'd almost certainly see it. Without her, there's about a 50/50 chance.

No Island choices today. Check back later.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

My next 14 months

I got my schedule for next year yesterday, and I guess I’m happy about it. Kind of. Generally.

Academic Year: 2008
1 07/07/2008 Obstetrics and Gynecology
2 09/02/2008 Ambulatory Care Clerkship Family Medicine
3 09/29/2008 Ambulatory Care Clerkship Selective
4 11/03/2008 Internal Medicine
5 01/05/2009 Psychiatry
6 02/02/2009 Neuroscience
7 03/02/2009 Pediatrics
8 05/04/2009 Surgery

Here’s the thing: it doesn’t seem like it matters very much. For the first two years of med school our curriculum was unchangeable. Finally we get to third year where we exert some control, but to what end? Everyone takes the same 8 classes. The only thing we’re doing is choosing the order. In the end the order matters very little.

Here are some general rules. The hardest rotations are supposedly OB/GYN, Internal medicine and surgery. So I tried to spread those out and that worked alright. There’s a fairly good chance that you’ll mess up your first and last class (the former because of inexperience, the latter because of burnout) so I’m glad those are OB and surgery. I’m pretty sure I don’t want to do either of those. But I definitely don’t want to do Peds, so I wish it was last and that surgery was first instead of OB just in case I like it. Another rule is that you should save rotations you don’t want to do for the last two spots because you decide on your 4th year schedule before your last two rotations. So if I decide I like surgery, too bad.

The sweet spots are November to March. These are when you have the most experience but haven’t burned out yet. So I’m glad that I got my medicine, psych and neuron in that block.

So it’s not exactly the schedule I asked for, but it’ll do.

On a related note, Kate most definitely gets to keep her spot on My Island. And no Amy, Sawyer doesn’t get to stay. Just me and my 10 ladyfriends. And maybe Hurley.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Why 30 Rocks, Return to My Island, or not studying for ACLS

On Thursday we had people over to watch the return of NBC Thursday. I assume NBC has in fact been on the air every Thursday since the Writer’s Strike began, but I’m not a big rerun fan these days. I don’t have time for programming I’ve seen before.

As expected The Office was the big draw. Really, do you know anyone that doesn’t like The Office? Saying that you like it doesn’t actually reveal anything about your personality. Now I can’t really complain because I do in fact love the show. But because I’m an elitist, I’d really prefer that the rest of the world didn’t love it as well.

In a stroke of luck they put 30 Rock on before The Office, so the dozen or so people crammed in my front room had to watch 30 Rock with me before viewing what they actually came over to see. And once again I was reminded how much I love 30 Rock.

Though The Office is still a very funny show, it really isn’t novel any more. Most episodes are pretty sitcomy and even the great awkward moments (and this week did have some fantastic awkward moments) just aren’t as fresh as they were a decade ago when the British one premiered. I’m too lazy to look up when it actually premiered, but I suspect it was a decade ago. 30 Rock on the other hand is just such a great melting pot of comedy. I think I may have written previously on how great 30 Rock is, but again I’m too lazy to look it up. Suffice it to say that it consistently throws jokes at me that I’m not expecting. Pot shots at celebrities, random sight gags, obscure references to politics, obscure references to previously mentioned fictitious happenings, inane characters, clever wordplay, I could go on. Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey are both superb, Kenneth the Page has yet to run out of steam and Tracy Jordan is actually funny now. Amazing, I know.

Which brings me to my point: my second island member is Tina Fey. Cerie may bring more raw sex appeal to the show (see the following clip if you wish to view some raw sex appeal, and really, who doesn’t? : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qGouqhgFWU&feature=related ) but Tina Fey is the one that guys to sit on the beach with me. She’s described in one episode as a sexy librarian, which seems apropos. That was my first attempt as using apropos, and I’m pretty sure it was incorrect. But I’m trying new things and that’s what’s important.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

My Island

In honor of the return of new television programming, I’m presenting My Island.

While watching Lost last season I’d sometimes comment on who I’d like to be stranded with on my own personal island, which hopefully wouldn’t include smoke monsters, polar bears or hatches. It should come as no surprise that Kate does in fact make my list.

These are in no particular order, but I do consider them my ten favorite women on television.

Having watched a new episode of Battlestar Galactica last night, my first castaway has to be Number Six, also known as Tricia Helfer. Honestly, she’s enough reason to watch the show. With the large cast of characters we only get to see her for five or ten minutes an episode, but they’re worth the hour investment. I do think she’s a fascinating character, and that Tricia does a great job acting, but in reality that contributes little to whether or not she makes it onto my island.

Here’s to you Number Six. You’re my first pick and exponentially hotter than 7 of 9.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Writing Assignment: My first time as a doctor

The following facts are pertinent to this anecdote:
1. Tom, the head pharmacist (who doesn’t actually appear in the anecdote, so that portion isn’t pertinent) had asked me to wear a tie to work.
2. It’s the summer of 2006.
3. Elderly Greek retired textile workers believe a tie connotes authority.

“I want to talk to that pharmacist.” The voice is that of an elderly Greek retired textile worker. I’m not really paying attention because I’m busy helping the customer at my window.

“He’s not a pharmacist, he’s a medical student.” This voice is that of Olga, a fellow pharmacy technician. She’s the third Olga I’ve met in my life, the third who has been Russian, and the second who had a thick Russian accent. Our eastern European customers adore her and will do anything she says. Our Greek customers don’t extent the same courtesy.

“He’s a medical student? He’s a doctor? I want to talk to the doctor.” My customer doesn’t look particularly amused by the scene going on next to him. Our customers are frequently rather dour looking. They’re sick, of limited means, and have been standing in line for twenty minutes in a downtown basement. I continue to work on his order so he can leave this dungeon as soon as possible.

“Chris darling, I need you.” A phrase I generally enjoy hearing, but not so much from pregnant Russian women at pharmacies. I finish with my customer and let the next person in line know that I’ll be back in just a moment.

“Sir, I’m not a doctor. I’m going to medical school next month.” The Greek man is short, wrinkled and generally Greek looking. I’m not sure how to describe Greek looking, so I’ll stick with that. He’s also irritated.

“I ordered XYZ. They are blue pills. These are white pills. Where are my blue pills?” I say XYZ to provide some anonymity, because I don’t remember what the pills were, and because I had no idea what the pills were at the time. I turn to Olga.

“Are these the generics?” She nods in the affirmative. Olga knows what she’s doing. She’s been a pharmacy technician for more than a month. She could probably spell the drug names correctly, which I rarely could.

“Sir, these are the generics. It’s the same drug, but it will save you money.” Lest you think Olga inept, I had heard her say the same thing minutes earlier.

“Same drug, only cheaper?”

“Yes. Call us if these don’t work and we’ll get you the blue ones. But these should be the same and are cheaper.” He looks at his pills for half a second.

“Alright, I’ll take.” He walks away from the counter. Olga and I watch to make sure he doesn’t change his mind. Olga puts her arm around my shoulder.

“My doctor.” She purrs. I roll my eyes and walk back to my window where my next customer is glaring at me.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Oprah sans Uma

I’ve been away for a while, so I’ll return with this statement: I hate Oprah.

Now before a couple days ago I simply hated the idea of Oprah. The fact that some lady with no particular qualifications or expertise holds sway over millions of viewers opinions on every subject under the sun. Oprah influences American reading habits more than any other person, which just seems wrong. Granted, anything promoting literacy is good and I don’t have a particular individual in mind who should be the preeminent authority on all literature, but suffice it to say that I feel Oprah shouldn’t hold such power.

After a couple people telling me “have you seen pregnant man!” I decided to watch the Oprah episode in question. Thank you Youtube. Here I’d like to interject that I was not at all amazed by the pregnant man, as people suggested I would be. I have little problem calling the individual in question a man (he is a woman who has undergone gender reassignment) but he isn’t male. This isn’t an XY individual that has miraculously become pregnant. It’s an XX individual who has had their breasts removed and undergone testosterone therapy. Although it’s socially unusual that said person is pregnant, biologically this is no big deal.

In any case, my point being that this is the first time I’ve actually watched an episode of Oprah, and she drove me crazy. She added nothing of value to the presentation. She just threw out banalities and seemed to get excited about random things.

Pick a better culture crush America.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Staying Single in Columbus

I premiered my latest movie on Friday. I'm too lazy to talk about it at the moment, so here's last year's movie.