Monthly Archive for August, 2006

inspirational music for the graduate student 1.5

With all of the unpleasantness of trying to set up my qualifying exam, it’s only fitting that this week’s inspirational music song be for the grad student. The song for this week is: Soft Cell – Tainted Love or what I affectionately think of as Tainted Lab.

Here’s an excerpt:
Sometimes I feel I’ve got to
Run away I’ve got to
Get away
From the pain that you drive into the heart of me
The love we share
experiments I do
Seems to go nowhere
And I’ve lost my light
For I toss and turn I can’t sleep at night

Once I ran to you
Now I’ll run from you
This tainted love
lab you’ve given
I give you all a boy
girl could give you
Take my tears and that’s not nearly all
Oh…tainted love
Tainted love lab

Feel free to submit song suggestions through the contact form.

my current obsession: the prius

I’ve noticed that I become obsessed with things. Almost as if I need to obsess over something. It used to be music and songs. Then it became bands. Then there was a gap during med school because I was too busy studying. Then it was engagement rings when I knew marriage was on the horizon. Then it was wedding planning. Then it was the crazy in-laws and how to get rid of them. And most recently: tennis racquets. When I couldn’t really obsess over tennis racquets because of my sprained ankle, my obsession became the Nintendo DS Lite. Now that I’ve bought the DS Lite (and my tennis racquet!), I’ve moved onto a newer, most expensive to date obsession: the Toyota Prius. I’m scared to see what’s next after the Prius. A new house? I suppose it’s a good thing I won’t be able to afford one after the Prius.

I spent the entire day today at lab reading about the Prius and debating over whether we can afford it and whether we should hunt down a 2006 model or wait for the new 2007s. Funny, my whole obsession started because of my post about the flaming red Hummer parking in front of my house. After writing the line about the Prius, I got to thinking to myself, “Why not get one?” The idea simmered in the back of my mind until this last weekend when we parked next to a Prius at the grocery store. I told my husband I wanted one. And he said okay, citing the October 1st ending of the full IRS tax credit as being a good incentive. He probably didn’t think I was serious when he gave his approval (which doesn’t really matter because I call the shots here :P ). But what was a passing interest has turned into a full-fledged obsession.

We even test drove one yesterday. I can’t really tell if I love a car when I test drive it, so it wasn’t really helpful except that it alerted me of some things that might be issues: I can’t see the front of my hood with this car (how will I parallel park?!), the rear window is hard to see out of (especially if the back passenger seat headrests are raised), no seat position memory (okay, what do I expect—a luxury car?), and it feels like a boat (well, duh, since my current car is a sports car). These are all minor issues that I can get used to. But even so, I still find myself asking if I’m ready to give up driving my cooler sports car for a geeky practical environmentally friendly car. I thought I was, but the difference was quite noticeable when I test drove the Prius. Can I really give up my coolness—the fact that I can pass for a college kid? If it were any other sedan, I wouldn’t even think twice—the answer would be a resounding no. But the Prius…it’s so tempting because I think it’s cool, just not in the same way that I think of my current car. And I really want to do my part, even if it’s not really benefiting me in terms of saving gas money. I guess it’ll be okay because I’ll still be able to drive my current car when I want a break from being geeky cool.

But then there’s the issue of actually getting one. The tax break on the Prius is set to be reduced by 50% starting October 1st. That means I have to have the car in my possession by September 30th to qualify. And this tax break is by no means a small sum of money. So we’re trying to hunt down an 06 with the package that we want and we actually found two in acceptable colors today in our area. But we don’t want to pay full MSRP, which is what they want. Even more bothersome is the fact that the 2007 model is coming out soon (but not in time to meet the tax break deadline). It’s not much different from the 2006 model and I wouldn’t care except for the fact that they’re offering a Touring edition, which is supposed to be sportier, which is awfully tempting. It just might give me what I need to not feel like I switched over to driving a granny car. So the ultimate question is: get a 2006 Prius and the big tax break or wait for the 2007 Touring edition and get half the tax break? Gah. I can’t decide.

are you anorexic?

Are you an alcoholic? Oh, oops, sorry, I thought we were playing let’s-ask-random-people-we-just-met-super-personal-questions.

Yep, the other day, I met a random woman in the conference room on our floor. And she asked me if I was anorexic because I didn’t want to eat vegetables. I guess if you were to look up anorexia in her dictionary, the definition would be failure to eat vegetables. I’m used to people telling me that I’m too thin. As a matter of fact, one of my friends told me just that a couple of weeks ago. She used her doctorly tone of voice on me (she’s a new grad), so I knew that she wasn’t kidding. I think I’m too thin. But I’ve always been thin. I’m used to it. And I eat so much junk food that I’m surprised I’m still thin. But I’ve never had anyone ask me if I’m anorexic. Not even a doctor. Does thin = anorexic now? Thanks a lot, Nicole Richie. Has it become acceptable to ask people such things? Oh yeah, well, why yes, yes I am anorexic. I’m glad you noticed. It’s the in thing, you know. I guess I’m not really that offended, just a little taken aback. I’m sure people are always thinking that I’m anorexic when they see me. I just never had anyone ask before.

And really, I would love to be just a little meatier. Then I would finally fit my size XXS or 00 or petite XS clothes and not look like a little girl trying to play dress up in her mom’s clothes. It would probably also help with the whole getting taken seriously thing. And maybe, then everybody and their mom would stop telling me to eat more. Because I eat a lot! The ironic thing is that I’ve been trying to be healthier by cutting out my one-a-day soda and five-servings-a-day chips. Maybe I lost weight because of my efforts because my clothes fit even worse now than they did before and I got asked if I’m anorexic. Sorry, I just can’t help it that I’m skinny. Just like some people can’t help being fat. So please don’t judge me or presume that I have an eating disorder.

why didn’t i think of this?

Dr. Djoymi Baker watched Star Trek (all of it) for her PhD thesis.  I’m speechless because I wish I could get away with doing such a thing.  But I can’t.  X_x


grand rounds 2.49

Don’t forget to check out Grand Rounds today at Protect the Airway.

and that’s why i called it the dreaded phd qualifying exam

It’s always hard to get back into the more annoying things in life (such as setting up my quals) after enjoying the more fun things in life (such as having a nice semi-relaxing weekend with my non-crazy family). I almost convinced myself not to check my email today, but knew better.

And things were going well at first. Committee member #1: December is good. I like certain days of the week. Committee member #2: December is good except for a few dates. And then there was committee member #3: December is not good at all. D’oh. Eh well, that’s to be expected considering I’m trying to schedule this all at the last minute. On to committee member #4’s (who is also the chair of the committee) response: WTF, why didn’t anyone tell me about this? Okay, so maybe those weren’t his exact words, but close enough. I proceeded to start freaking out once I read this response because committee member #4 is by far the scariest member of my committee and also the chair of my committee, who I really didn’t want to piss off.

So I freaked out for a good fifteen minutes or so before deciding to ask my older and wiser major professor how to proceed with this turn of events. Instead of being helpful, he just kept right on rubbing it in my face, saying “That’s why I told you to contact your committee earlier. You’re going to fail now that the chair of your committee is upset with you. Go call Dr. My Buddy and ask him to chair your committee.” Why thank you for being so supportive. And just because you like to throw your weight around and because you can doesn’t mean I like to or even can do the same. It’s not like I can even change my committee let alone push some random person into being the chair out of nowhere. Thanks for nothing, major professor, as usual.

By now, I was too busy being mad at my ass of a major professor to freak out as much about committee member #4’s response. So I wrote him an email apologizing for his not being informed earlier and explaining how and when the committee assignments were made. Then it was off to lunch with the husband, who of all places to eat, chose to eat at the bar of Yummy Seafood Restaurant, tempting me to no end to order a mai tai or two to help me forget how it seemed that this whole putting off scheduling my quals thing is blowing up in my face. But I resisted and had gumbo instead. Yum.

When I dejectedly returned to lab, I found that committee member #4 had already responded to my humble apology email…nicely. So I guess I made it through my first (second if you count the whole getting off my lazy ass to contact the committee members in the first place as one too) hurdle on my quest to pass my quals. Now let’s see if I can survive the meetings with these committee members. First up: committee member #4. Other pesky matters that may turn into hurdles: I’ve gotten no response from committee member #5 at all and committee member #3 insists that she’s not available in December, period. But I think I’ll bask in my little accomplishment of not pissing off the chair of my committee too much today.

role model (season 1, episode 17)

I don’t do speeches.  I’m shy.

I just find being forced to sit through drivel annoying.

It’s not the food.  It’s your brain.

Last week you didn’t get annoyed.  You made poopie in your pants.

Afternoon delight.  She just loves the hard wood.

This could leave you b-b-braindead and you’re worried about NASCAR dads?

If that were true, would Dr. Wilson’s mouth be contorted into that ugly shape?

CHASE: You made a deal with Vogler?
HOUSE: It’s all the rage.  Everybody’s doing it.

Are you comparing me to God?  That’s great, but just so you know, I’ve never made a tree.

People pray so that God won’t crush them like bugs.

That’s very moving.  It’s a shame I don’t vote.

CUDDY: Why do you have to make everything so dramatic?
HOUSE: Because I’m a very high strung little lap dog.  Ruff ruff! Ruff. Growl. Ruff.

Idiopathic from the Latin meaning we’re idiots because we can’t figure out what’s causing it.

You have restored my faith in the human race—you’re lying.

CHASE: And his spleen isn’t enlarged.
HOUSE: Well, size isn’t everything.

Now go tell our human pin cushion we’ll be sticking him one more time.

I am not warm and fuzzy and you are basically a stuffed animal made by Grandma.

Well, it was a stupid idea when you said it.

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babies and bathwater (season 1, episode 18)

I’m out of town this weekend, so here are some House-isms posts.

Sorry. Up late. Internet porn.

CHASE: How come you’re not in your office?
HOUSE: Because there is a computer in my office. If I long on, romance will ensue. My wrist might fall off.

FOREMAN: She got fired because you couldn’t swallow your pride.
HOUSE: An ultrasound? Excellent thought.

I’m not a baby expert, but I’m pretty sure babies shouldn’t shrink.

Did you make a pass at Cuddy? Told you. She only has thighs for me.

DISCLAIMER: All copyrighted content is the property of its respective owners.