Thursday, March 26, 2009

Wild things

Hey all! Guess what! This is the 100th post on my blog. Pretty cool, huh?

I'm having a lazy study day here in rainy New Orleans. I woke up around 3am this morning to a vicious thunder storm--little Stevie was none too happy, never having heard thunder before. She curled up close to Stokely, who stayed fast asleep through the whole thing. It's still raining off and on today, with more thunder likely this afternoon, which makes it a very nice day to stay in and study for my exams tomorrow. And after more histo and physio! Woohoo! I need a change of pace, and even though I know neuro is going to be a bitch, I'm looking forward to it.

In other news...the trailer for Where the Wild Things Are is finally up! Check it out:

I am so excited! I can't believe we have to wait till October, but the movie looks like it'll be completely worth the wait. See some beautiful stills from the movie here.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Another one

not this

I'm having a real day, let me tell you. Can't put my finger on what's wrong. My fuse is very short, and I think I need a change of scenery, at least in the metaphysical sense. Do you ever get tired of thinking the same thoughts every day, walking down the same mental roads? I don't like where my mind is taking me today. Time for a change, people.

(photo via lolita)

Improve your English

We had an interesting talk today about patient safety by our Vice-Dean, Dr. Kevin Krane. I wish I could say I'm about to launch into an intellectual discussion of patient safety and the merits of departmental communication in hospitals, but I'm here for much cruder reasons. As per usual.

I just wanted to post a hilarious commercial that Dr. Krane showed us.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Zhou Fan

A new post was demanded, so a new post ye shall have!

Tragically, my computer is going on a trip this week to Toshiba, for a little R&R. I won't go into the details, but we had a disagreement yesterday. I wanted the screen to remain functional, but the computer had different ideas. So this might be the last post for a week or so--hang in there faithful readers. Don't desert me!

What do you think of these pieces by artist Zhou Fan? His work transports me. It's like living inside of a dream.

Be sure to read his statement and gaze at the rest of his portfolio. Amazing! Found via the lovely lolita.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Did I mention that I heard Billy Collins speak on Monday at Tulane undergrad? He's one of my favorite poets, and I was lucky enough to hear him speak four or so years ago at HSU (wow, time flies). His poetry is beautiful and simple, and his quiet, dry humor makes for a perfect reading. Thought I'd share one with you.


Today I pass the time reading
a favorite haiku,
saying the few words over and over.

It feels like eating
the same small, perfect grape
again and again.

I walk through the house reciting it
and leave its letters falling
through the air of every room.

I stand by the big silence of the piano and say it.
I say it in front of a painting of the sea.
I tap out its rhythm on an empty shelf.

I listen to myself saying it,
then I say it without listening,
then I hear it without saying it.

And when the dog looks up at me,
I kneel on the floor
and whisper it into each of his long white ears.

It's the one about the one-ton temple bell
with the moth sleeping on its surface,

and every time I say it, I feel the excruciating
pressure of the moth
on the surface of the iron bell.

When I say it at the window,
the bell is the world
and I am the moth resting there.

When I say it at the mirror,
I am the heavy bell
and the moth is life with its papery wings.

And later, when I say it to you in the dark,
you are the bell,
and I am the tongue of the bell, ringing you,

and the moth has flown
from its line
and moves like a hinge in the air above our bed.

--Billy Collins

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wednesday in New Orleans

Oh my GOD. I am a little too sauced to be writing a blog post right now. I just got home from a long night of watching my friends' get their heads shaved for St. Baldrick's, eating burritos at Juan's, and drinking far too much for a Wednesday night. Man, who would go to med school anywhere else?

I've been meaning to post this all day, because it's just too cute for words.

Really people, before you judge me too harshly, watch them yawn. I die.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Dirty commercial

Not to be watched at the office!

(via fabulon)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Happy Friday

The ambulance ride-along was basically a big bust. Not even really worth describing. Lots of sitting around and waiting for calls. My friend Kathleen was in a different truck, and she spent about four hours sitting in the hospital waiting for a bed for their single patient. Last night I thought that she had it even worse than me, but now that I think about it, at least she got to see all of the other patients that came into the ER! We kept getting calls and then having them swiped out from under us by other teams. Lame-O.

Spent the day NOT going to class, doing some grocery shopping, studying a bit, trying to look productive. Watched Fried Green Tomatoes tonight and BALLED MY EYES OUT. I don't know what it is about some movies that really gets me going, but this was definitely one of them. Something about Mary Stuart Masterson (whose late eighties-early nineties self I have a huge girl-crush on) and Mary-Louise Parker--their love was so touching and tragic that I couldn't hold it in.

As I dry my tears and try to pull my wasted emotions back together, here's a fabulous website to cheer us all up.

Trust me, it'll crack you up. Via Oh Happy Day, a while back.

I'm off to have another gin and pineapple juice and read The New Yorker. Y'all have a lovely evening, and don't do anything I wouldn't do. St. Patty's for a few more days, after all.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Just saying hi


If Andy Warhol was grabbing your boob, wouldn't you have a happier look on your face than Yoko does? Just some food for thought.

Only an hour and a half break until my ambulance ride along tonight. Does anyone want to go cause some mischief on the streets of New Orleans tonight? I'm hoping I don't have to just sit around for seven hours and not see anything (the medical student's perpetual conundrum: wishing for a little excitement while hoping that no one gets hurt or actually needs serious care). I'll let y'all know how it goes. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Plant a tree

Another beautiful idea from David Horvitz. I really like this one.

This weeks tests: done and done! This morning's went swimmingly, much better than yesterday's disaster. To celebrate tonight it's pizza and beer at Reginelli's. Let's hear it for $2 pitchers of Abita with good friends!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Garfield minus Garfield

Today is a really great day to be down in the dumps. For one thing, it's Monday, and that's already strike one. Plus, we lost an hour of our lives yesterday! Which means that some of us had to wake up while it was still dark out, before grouching our way to class to bomb a physiology exam! And then some of us had to drag ourselves out of our near-catatonic states to start studying for another exam tomorrow at 8 am. Great day!

Ready for something wonderful? Because I'm here to cheer you up. One of my super-duper friends introduced me to Garfield Minus Garfield the other day, and I can't stop laughing.

I'll let the comics speak for themselves, but it's brilliant and hilarious, even though it highlights how depressingly bonkers Jon is.

It's all very angsty and cerebral, and you should really check it out for yourself--right here.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Negative motivation

(via i suwannee)

Please please PLEASE will someone help motivate me to study! Physiology exam tomorrow and I can't seem to look at my notes for more than fifteen seconds before looking away! I'd like to say that I've reached saturation point, but I'm really don't think that I've soaked up everything that I need to. I'm Not that the kidneys and urine and poop and the rectum aren't wildly exciting--don't get me wrong, I love all this stuff. But I can't study anymore. I can't! Does anyone have any helpful suggestions?

I think I might get out of the house for a while and go to the store. Tonight might be the perfect time to try out these amazing cookies, and maybe even the shrimp that I mentioned yesterday. I'm aiming to be much chubbier and happier the next time Andrew comes to visit, which only leaves me a month! I'd better start working harder.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Hey kids! Time to tell you about the totally cool thing I did yesterday. Laurel reminded me that I mentioned it and then left y'all hanging (admit it, you've been on the edge of your seat this whole time), so I thought I'd better get my act together.

About a month ago, I signed up to take a tour of the Tulane National Primate Research Center, which is a slightly mysterious research center across the lake in Covington. It's not really open to the public, so it seemed like a great opportunity to check out something I'd never seen before. And, you know, to see some monkeys. So even though the tiny little part of my brain that's always nagging me to be a better student was screaming that I have two exams on Monday and Tuesday, I ignored it and hopped on a little yellow school bus with fifteen of my classmates and our associate dean, Dr. Kahn.

An hour drive across the lake brought us to a modest sign outside of town, pointing us down a dirt road that ended in a giant fence with guards posted outside. The compound was beautiful--although it seemed so discreet from the outside, the compound comprises 500 acres (huge!), all surrounded by trees hung with Spanish moss. After an interesting talk by the director of the center, we split up into two groups for tours.

I wish I could post pictures of the place to help me explain how amazing it was, but of course there were no cameras (or cell phones) allowed. We first took a driving tour of the breeding colony. Driving into it was daunting--it reminded me of the scene in Jurassic Park when they go through the big gates. It's surrounded by a huge perimeter fence with double locking gates, so that you drive into one and have to wait till it closes until you can drive through the second. The center houses a population of 5000 non-human primates, mostly Rhesus Macaques. 5000 monkeys! It still amazes me that here I am in New Orleans, and just across the lake are 5000 monkeys. Crazy! The breeding colony was really cool, although we couldn't get out of the van and walk around (the monkeys are all very healthy and they wouldn't want us to infect them with anything--even the caretakers wear masks and body suits). There's a huge husbandry/veterinary faculty whose job it is to make sure the resident primates are happy and healthy, and to make the living conditions as close to nature as possible. It was amazing to hear about the amount of effort that goes into preserving their natural breeding habits, hierarchies, socialization, etc. We also got to drive by their Krabbe population, which is the only population of monkeys in the US (there are eight National Primate Research Centers around the country) that breeds true for carriers of Krabbe disease. Very cool!

The really amazing part of the day was getting to see their new biosafety level (BSL) 3 building. Luckily they still have a few weeks of construction left, so we were able to get a full tour of the restricted sections before it's up and running. This is the area where they do all of the research with things like West Nile Virus, anthrax, SARS, and other fun stuff. It was jaw-dropping. To get to the most restricted sections of the building, researchers need to walk through about six security checkpoints and wear an amazing amount of protective equipment, including respirators and bulky suits. And if they need to leave (even to go pee!), they have to spray themselves with disinfectant three times AND take a shower! The amount of money and effort put into redundancy of safety procedures was humbling and a little scary. One of the most interesting aspects was the complicated pressurization of each room, depending on how "dirty" it is (or will be). It's set up so that when a door to a dirty room is opened, air from the cleaner room will rush in rather than dirty air rushing out. Incredible!

The whole day left me with a feeling of awe for medical research. Every medical procedure, from hip replacements to cancer treatments, has been developed at these primate centers. They are where the AIDS vaccine will someday be developed, and cures for dozens of other afflictions. It's sometimes shocking to me to think that there are millions of people who are violently opposed to the use of primates for biomedical research, because without it, we would be lost. The faculty that we met talked to us a little about the level of security that the facility needs, although it's considerably less than some primate research centers around the country (such as the one in Wisconsin). Protesters stand outside some compounds every day of the year, and even go so far as to harass researchers' children at school. It's disgraceful that researchers have to endure this behavior from anyone, let alone the people that benefit from the medical advances that they and their colleagues are responsible for.

Anyway, I suppose I've babbled on enough, although I'm sure I could keep going. Breath-taking day, from the tour to the beautiful weather to the free pizza. Any thoughts out there in radio land?

BBQ shrimp

Mmmm....Doesn't this New Orleans BBQ shrimp look delicious?


I love living here. It's not like I couldn't make this while living in California or Maryland, because they're pretty common ingredients. But living in New Orleans has opened my mind up to all kinds of new flavors, spices, and combinations. Spicy BBQ shrimp with a big loaf of french bread, sitting at the table in my backyard in the warm March evening, with a nice cold Abita in my hand...Mmm, can't think of anything better!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Mr Tooth

Let's hear it for free dental care! Woohoo! Thank you, LSU School of Dentistry, for taking pity on my broke ass and giving me a free checkup this evening. I am but a poor (really really poor), struggling med student, and I can't even come close to affording dental insurance. Now I hope you keep your promise and fill in that tiny little cavity you found! Even if the procedure is done by a nervous dental student taking his board exams. I'll take a little pain and excess gum-prodding if it means I don't have to pay!

Did something really awesome today (besides the tooth x-rays) that I'll share with y'all soon, but right now, I'm desperately in need of a beer or two. This week has worn me out! Neverending class and silly commitments, plus I can't seem to get over this stupid cold. Also, I got a fever blister. ON MY NOSE! On the little bit of cartilage between my nostrils. A big, red, bubbly fever blister. I didn't even know that was possible! Did I do something bad last week that I'm being punished for? Oh, right, Mardi Gras. Crap.

Well anyway, beer time. Later kids.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Venice from above

Check out these amazing aerial shots of Venice, taken by Dan Kitwood of the Denver Post.

Aren't they gorgeous? See the rest of them here. Found via the always entertaining WWJAD.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Bizkit the sleepwalking dog

This video gives me a kind of sick feeling in my stomach--it makes me laugh so hard that little tears come out, but the more noble half of me feels guilty for enjoying it! I'm sure you'll all get a kick out of it too.


Monday, March 2, 2009

Mardi Gras: check!

Hey all. Back from yet another hiatus--and what a hiatus it was! Sierra flew in last Friday and we really didn't stop until Tuesday night (ok, Wednesday morning). I'm a little daunted starting this post because a) it was a very long week; b) I can't quite remember every detail (stop snickering); and c) I have the flu! Yes, I had far too much Mardi Gras, and in return I got the flu. Serves me right.

Anyway, I won't go into too much detail about the what have you. Too be honest, I'm a little Mardi Gras-ed out. We had a fabulous time and ate our way through tens of thousands of delicious New Orleans calories, not to mention far too much alcohol, but it's so tiring! Maybe I'm on old lady, but after six solid days of float-watching, walking across half the city, eating and drinking constantly, and battling the crowds for beads, I felt like staying in bed for a week and a half. But the floats were gorgeous and we had a great time hanging out with friends and generally taking it all in.

Sierra left on Wednesday and I had a day and a half to take long bubble baths before Andrew arrived. Luckily his visit was much more relaxing! One of the highlights was dinner at Gautreau's--fantastic! The food was delicious and the atmosphere was great too. Fancy but still small and friendly. We also had brunch at The Court of Two Sisters, one of the most famous breakfast places in the city. Really tasty food and tons of variety, plus a beautiful courtyard (when it's not raining). As long as it served mimosas I was sold, and it definitely exceeded my expectations.

And now I'm back to the real world, with the flu and six exams to look forward to in March. Needless to say, I'd better get back to studying. More Mardi Gras pictures here if you're interested.