23 February 2009

PSA and day in atlanta

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: i take my USMLE step 1 exam in precisely 46 days. i have worked meticulously to come up with some sort of study schedule... we have an "integration" class for the next 3 weeks that should hopefully force me into a study pattern. anyways, the announcement part is this: i will probably be pretty aloof. i might try to maintain a presence in cyberspace, but my days and nights will be devoted to slaving over the books. it'll be worth it. :)

so in real human life -- this past weekend ended up being so much fun! henry took me to atlanta on saturday. we didn't leave super early in the morning, but we still had a full day:

1. ate dim sum for lunch on buford hwy. if i can ever figure out the name of the place, i will highly recommend it to you. it's ridiculous.

2. saw the king tut exhibit. one of my childhood obsessions was ancient egypt. this was a collection of artifacts recovered from tombs of different kings, including tut. i guarantee you that on more than a few occasions, i leaned over to henry and said "...this one time in elementary school, i did a project on egyptian ______" (blank can be filled with: gods & goddesses, how pyramids are built, stratification of society, role of cats in society, and cleopatra... among others. yes, i was obsessed).

3. shopped ikea. i admit, the first time i visited ikea a few years ago, i pretty much had a panic attack. it's a ridiculous store. even so, i have learned to appreciate it -- and to always go in with a specific list of what we're looking for. we did, and we came home with two new chairs for our desk in our study. woot!

4. saw the
bodies exhibition. it's incredible. i saw this a few years ago when i was living in chicago, and it blew me away. it was henry's first time to see it... and it was an entirely different experience for me after having studied it all in med school. really glad we went.

5. ate dinner at a little pub that made me nostalgic for england. it's true. i get misty every once in a while thinking about life the way it was living in london. it truly felt like home. i hope i'm fortunate enough to get to live there again someday.

i learned lots of random little tidbits on the trip, too, like: GPS can screw up in the middle of the city with lots of tall buildings blocking the satellite signals. also, i have no desire to ever live in atlanta. also, although i already knew this, henry is my best friend and the best partner i could ever have in life. we've taken a few car trips like this recently and have been amazed at how quickly they go by as we're chattering about every detail of life. also, although i already knew this too, i adore coldplay.

19 February 2009

pet peeve #324.7: obvious research disguised as important

don't you love those research studies that, upon publication, have everyone saying "duh" and wondering what the research funding could have been spent on? prime example:

CNN.com: Men see bikini-clad women as objects, psychologists say

...and this just in! the sky is blue.

as a psych major in college, i totally support psychological research. but Princeton -- really? can we please study something that might actually help us learn something useful? i especially like the researchers potential next step:

"Another avenue to explore would be showing images of men's wives and girlfriends in bikinis, Raison said. He predicts the objectifying effect would not happen in this context."

oh good. i hope your prediction is right, or you will spend a whole lot of unsuspecting IV-leaguers' tuition money providing wives and girlfriends with more fodder to attack their husbands and boyfriends. and if you are correct, then what? you can conclude males can overcome objectification of women, but only *their* women? wow, the irony might just make my head explode.

...back to studying repro for my LAST FINAL OF 2ND YEAR TOMORROW! yippee.

16 February 2009

about half a teaspoon, actually.

because i have little social judgment and thought you would want to know the useless things i'm learning in medical school:

comparison of ejaculate volume by species
ram: 1mL
human: 2-3mL
bull: 4mL

dog: 9mL
stallion: 70mL
boar: (as the lecturer put it) a messy 250mL

do you think this has to do with the accuracy of the aim? just a random, inappropriate-for-the-general-public-who-are-not-being-inundated-with-ridiculous-amounts-of-reproductive-information question. feel free to answer... or not.

10 February 2009

ends, beginnings, and the moon

10 days and counting until i finish my second year medical school classes. !!!

(insert Natalie-Portman-SNL-digital-short-style WHAAAAT?!)

after, i will spend two months studying for my 1st US Medical Licensing Exam (Step 1). it's on april 10. AUGH! i really feel like med school is flying by. it didn't last year... it dragged mercilessly through neuroscience this past fall... but as soon as we hit hematology/oncology in november, it's FLOWN. not complaining. :)

i also completed my last OSCE (objective standardized clinical exam - they video us doing history and physicals on fake patients for a grade) last night, which marks the end of my clinical class as well!

in other news, henry and i have found a place to move! we are filling out the application and crossing our fingers. we'll be moving mid-april (after my exam). the top three things i really like about this apartment:
1. closer to both Henry's work and UAB (and going home will be in the opposite direction of rush-hour traffic, HALLELUJAH!)
2. literally $250 cheaper than what we pay now
3. decked out with stainless kitchen appliances, ceiling light fixtures, huge closets, and wood floors.
it's a steal. i can't wait to move. our current apartment is livable, but the combination of price, location, and amenities at the new place is thrilling. plus, i am ridiculously addicted to arranging and rearranging furniture, so this will be the ultimate high for me. (HA!)

in completely random useless news, i discovered the other day that you can buy property on the moon. it's ridiculous. there's this whole section about "is it real?" and they explain how an international treaty was signed that said no country can claim land on the moon, but the treaty did not say anything about individual people. so apparently -- wham-bam -- that makes it valid. give us $30 plz thx bye. ::facepalm::

06 February 2009

all you need is love.

it's amazing how many times a week i invoke the words of coldplay (politik) -- "give me love over this." because, truly, what else do you do with stupid drivers, tiring schedules, frustrating people, and blown expectations?

it's slightly immature to complain (of which i've been guilty 100-fold), and beating yourself up over it is not only inappropirate but further destructive.

does this mean i'm growing up? i sure hope so. i'm ready to waste less precious irreplaceable minutes of my life trying to fix the unfixable. sing it coldplay: give me love over this.

02 February 2009

groundhog day and wild animals

in case you were unaware, punxsutawney phil saw his shadow, which means we will have 6 more weeks of winter. in the process of obtaining this information, i happened upon a very informative website about phil, which taught me the following random facts:

1. Punxsutawney Phil is the only true weather forecasting groundhog. The others are just impostors.
[sorry Birmingham Bill, apparently you are a fake!]

2. There has only been one Punxsutawney Phil. He has been making predictions for over 120 years! He gets his longevity from drinking the "elixir of life," a secret recipe. Phil takes one sip every summer at the Groundhog Picnic and it magically gives him seven more years of life.

3. After Phil emerges from his burrow on February 2, he speaks to the Groundhog Club president in "Groundhogese"(a language only understood by the current president of the Inner Circle). His proclamation is then translated for the world.

when i was in the 3rd grade, we lived in Pittsburgh, PA (but BOO STEELERS -- all of my family is from Philadelphia -- big rivalry!). Punxsutawney was one of my spelling words, and I will ever remain loyal to the creepy little all-knowing meterologist rodent.

in other random animal news, i got henry to take me to the zoo on sunday! unfortunately, the birmingham zoo is in a sad state at the moment. many of the animals were "hibernating" [you can't fool me, i know alligators don't hibernate!] and the zoo itself was in somewhat disrepair. in any case, we got a few good shots of the animals that were out. it was a beautiful day too!

spectacled langurs

who you lookin' at?

well-trained sea lion

new arrivals: sleepy kangaroos!

what a fun afternoon!

01 February 2009

radio and naughty cat

so the other night, henry and i were at circuit city (which is going out of business in hoover = awesome sales) and we found this ipod radio remote on sale for $29 ($49 on apple.com). i absolutely love it. i'm a big talk radio fan, and i listen to NPR pretty much all the time. and that's the one thing about my ipod classic i wish it had -- radio. so, this does the trick. it's an FM radio receiver. woot!

in other news, our kitten fuzz figured out how to get herself INSIDE THE COUCH last night. we still haven't figure out all the details... we were sitting on the couch and felt a bump. our other cat, millie, was sitting behind the couch peering curiously under it... and that's when we realized, holy cow, fuzz must be inside? so we up-ended the couch and discovered a hole in the felt that covers the bottom. we felt around, tried to use the kone vacuum to scare her into jumping out... all to no avail. at some point she managed to climb from under the seats to the back of the couch, and then we didn't hear any noises. for a split second, we feared the worst. had we squished our cat inside our couch?! augh! it was at that point i retrieved my handy-dandy pen light from my white coat and flashed it into the couch. in the back corner i saw a little white paw. i grabbed it and started dragging her out! i mentioned to henry once or twice during this whole ordeal it felt like a very poorly carried out c-section (ha!). in any case, we got her out safely. then we used cardboard and electrical tape to try and prevent it from happening again. hopefully. oh man. always keeping us on our toes. :)