Monthly Archive for February, 2008

i’m still alive…barely

So I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t finish my thesis by two days ago. I was making progress last week. Not fast enough, of course, because who really can write 20 pages of scientific stuff a day? But last Wednesday, I made it to page 25 and I was proud. I was done with Materials & Methods and I was proud (well except for the fact that my thesis was going to be woefully short). So then I set about starting the results section. And realized that the data my major professor wanted me to use didn’t exist. So then I got stuck because the major professor was out of the country. Then I got all despondent because it was feeling like I was never going to finish my thesis and be done with grad school. But I couldn’t stay despondent for long because I had to make that pesky poster for my little conference thing tomorrow. Which I only managed to barely finish last night just in time to get it printed at Kinko’s for a handsome sum. And now I really hate Microsoft because it really shouldn’t have taken that long. And I’m also far too lazy to start working on my thesis again. So I’m lounging around enjoying the nice weather and silently freaking out about my thesis inside. But, yes, I’m still alive.

me? i’m kinda screwed

Two months ago, I was supposed to start writing my dissertation. Or at least that’s when my major professor thinks I started writing my dissertation. At first, I put it off for a week. I just needed one more week to slack off before I got serious, I swore. Then one week became two. Then I decided to wait until Christmas break. Surely, I would get so bored that I would just have to start writing. But my lovely brother got me Rock Band (awesome game, by the way) for Christmas. And my brothers and I just had to beat the game. Then, New Year’s came and went and not a single word was written. Of course, I was just starting to be all hardcore about starting my writing when I was struck down by a cold. Not only was I sick, but my husband was too, so my brief moments of consciousness were spent taking care of him and making sure we didn’t starve. Then I had to slack off to make off for my sick days and swore I would start writing soon after. Well, that didn’t happen either. I woke up on Chinese New Year freaking out about the fact that I had yet to write a single word of my dissertation, but convinced myself that it was bad luck to freak out about such things on such a day and went back to sleep. For the whole day. After swearing that I would start writing the next day. Which I didn’t. Then my major professor went out of the country and I’m really down to the wire because he requested a draft be ready when he returns. Which is next Monday. But even though that happened last Monday, I did not start writing until today. That’s right. Your eyes do not deceive you. I only started writing today. And given that it’s now the end of the day and I’ve only written one page, I’m realizing that I am so totally screwed that it’s not even funny. I’m kind of hating myself right now. Yet, at the same time, I’m amazed at the slacker I’ve become. Did I also mention that I have to make a poster presentation on the 28th and that my poster does not yet exist? Yeah, I’ve definitely backed myself up into a major corner at this point. So I really hope you understand if I disappear for a little awhile…

grand rounds 4.22

Don’t forget to check out Grand Rounds today at Daily Interview.

they have obviously forgotten what it’s like to be a med student

I’ve mentioned in other posts that part of my meager grad student salary comes from a grant that has nothing to do with my project. And that I’m required to attend these marathon monthly meetings about the project’s (lack of) progress. Well, in the last one, there were some, let’s say…issues…with my major professor’s methodology for our part of the study. Instead of actually addressing them like a normal person would, my super narcissistic major professor danced around these issues for so long that the people asking these questions of him were about ready to physically knock some sense into him.

So suffice it to say, because of what happened last time, there were some residual hard feelings going into the meeting that happened today. Of course, my major professor happens to conveniently be out of the country for this meeting, leaving only myself and teacher’s pet to fend for ourselves (which, by the way, did not go over too well the last time this happened). Apparently, these people know that we don’t do a little song and dance around issues they bring up, so they take the opportunity to put us on the spot and screw us over. Even though I was expecting trouble, I had no idea what I was in store for. Obviously, I’m leaving the lab in two months to go back to my clinical rotations. And teacher’s pet will be leaving in six months. So that leaves no one to do the legwork for their study in our lab. The logical next step would be to hire a replacement for me before I leave so that said replacement can be trained during my remaining time here. But of course, they’re resentful of my major professor’s power plays and he’s not there to dance around their questions, so they decide that it would be a brilliant idea to make me forever an indentured servant to their project by requesting that I “moonlight” for them while I’m back in school. Are you kidding me? These guys are MDs here. They’ve been through all of this. Don’t they know that a third year med student has no time to sleep, let alone work on pointless research projects that they’re not in any way interested in?

Obviously not, because when I tried to diplomatically point out that I may not have the time to do the data analysis in a timely manner, the retort I got was that medical student work hours are limited such that I cannot spend more time in the hospital than is allowed…therefore, I should have all the time in the world to do their data analysis. I seriously could not believe what I was hearing. We all know that those work hour regulations are a joke. Even though they cannot require us to be in the hospital for more than 80 hours a week, we can voluntarily stay longer and we usually should in order to not look lazy and to impress people. Not only that, but just because I may not be in the hospital does not mean I’m going to be lying in the grass watching the clouds float across the sky. More likely than not, I’ll be furiously studying or writing up my presentations for the next day. Or maybe, if I’m really lucky, sleeping. How can they possibly expect me to spend what little precious spare time I’m going to have doing their gruntwork for them?

My plan once I’m done with my dissertation is to leave the lab and never look back. That’s not going to change and I am just appalled that these people even think for a second that I’m willing to risk my clerkship grades for this pointless project. I’m just hoping that my major professor won’t hang me out to dry on this issue.

grand rounds 4.21

Don’t forget to check out Grand Rounds today at HealthBlawg.

the worst in-laws ever

I haven’t been posting much lately, but once I get through with this doozy of a story, you’ll understand why.

Two weeks ago, we got our arms twisted into visiting the in-laws because these super-awesome relatives from outside of the country came to visit (which they only do once every 10 years or so) and we were obligated to see them because they gave us soooo much money when we got married (Asians like to give money at weddings, and no, their little monetary gift was no where near the top sum that we received). Trust me, I complained about it as much as I could, but to no avail, because even in my bitter little heart, I myself was raised too well to not visit them. Of course, being agreeable didn’t make the visit any less painful. I wanted to give them some sort of nice gift (because Asian people also like to give gifts to people they visit), but of course, mother-in-law had different ideas and silly husband graciously gave in to her plan without so much as consulting with me first. Her idea, of course, was much more painful to my wallet as it involved taking these visitors plus any other relative who decided to tag along out to lunch. I protested and I protested, but of course, I failed. So now I’m out $120 when I didn’t have to be if only I had decided not to show up until dinner time for the going-away party that one of the other relatives was hosting. Why didn’t I make the obviously smarter choice? Well, because mother-in-law claimed that the party wasn’t happening because the out-of-towners were leaving that night. Liar, much?

But you know what? I was okay with it. Or at least I convinced myself that I was. I figured that my $120 was well-spent towards earning good will from these relatives as well as mother-in-law. Now, all we had to do was take father-in-law out to lunch for his birthday the next day. Of course, there’s no such thing as taking father-in-law out without taking the mother-in-law out as well and I was resigned to that fate as well. What does father-in-law do? He orders lobster, of course! Which is fine and dandy as long as I can get this whole thing over with as fast as I can. But no, we get dragged back to their house where he proceeds to show us his vacation plans and inform us that we’re paying! You see, he could never go on vacation before because he was always busy working and now that he’s been laid off, he figures it’s the perfect time to go visit his homeland! On our dime, of course! Not only that, but when he failed to show up for lunch the day before with his own brothers and sister, it was because he was job hunting. And planning this trip at the travel agency! What exactly possesses somebody who just lost their job to decide to take a $1000 vacation?! What exactly makes these people think my money is theirs? I really wish I knew. By this time, I was beyond angry. So angry that I was going to make a scene. So my husband and I made a hasty retreat.

But, of course, running away did not quell my anger. So I figure that if I’m going to be out $1000 (which we really needed, by the way, as we’re still trying to recover from our excessive spending these last couple of  months as well as gearing up to pay income tax, property tax, and house insurance bills), I might as well make them feel really bad about it. Of course, I should have realized that such a thing was impossible since they’re under the impression that our money is their money. Of course, my other mistake was trying to make my husband the messenger since he is absolutely horrible at not being a doormat. In the end, all he succeeded in doing was make me look like a greedy wife unwilling to help out his poor dad who has never taken a vacation in his life. Trust me. I’m Asian too and my parents raised me well. I know that kids are supposed to “help” their parents when they grow up and have successful jobs. But you see, the key words here are: when we grow up and have jobs. Does it look like I have a successful job here? I’m not even done with school yet! And my husband? Well, he’s gone back to school! So now is absolutely not the time to be taking our money. It’s not that we’re selfish. We just can’t afford it!

So, after bitching at my husband late into the night, I fall into an angry sleep. And wake up the next morning with a plan. If I’m going to be out $1000, I damn well am going to tell these people exactly what I think of them. My husband thinks that I will only make things worse, but really…they hate me already…what am I going to do? Make them hate me more? I have nothing to lose. So because he’s a scaredy-cat, I drive down to their place myself to give them a piece of my mind. The fact that mother-in-law was absolutely terrified at seeing me alone was almost enough to make the whole thing worth it. I’m pretty sure she thought I had my husband’s body in the trunk of my car. But, of course, it went downhill from there. I couldn’t get a word in edgewise as she was always interrupting me when it wasn’t even any of her business (since her trip was already paid for by sister-in-law). And father-in-law wouldn’t even tear his eyes away from his newspaper to look at me while I was speaking to him (just like how my husband won’t tear his eyes away from his computer screen when I talk to him…if nothing else, this little trip gave me insight into where my husband got all of his annoying habits from). So of course, I’m getting angrier by the minute. And then, a visitor shows up! And because we’re Asian and we must save face and not allow outsiders to see any discord, I had to pretend that we weren’t just arguing two seconds before this visitor walked up to the door. In the end, I said what I wanted to say, which was rather satisfying. But then the both of them had to say things that riled me back up and that continue to rile me up to this day because I held my tongue in response to their comments. What did they say? Well, that’s a whole other post and this one is already way too long. So I left them with their precious $1000 check and underwent a little retail therapy (yeah, not a good idea since I was now quite broke, but hey, it’s that or kill them).

You would think the story ends there, but it doesn’t. Because it’s been over a week since I handed them that check and they still haven’t cashed it yet. Even after I told them that if they didn’t cash it, I would personally return to their house with $1000 in cash and throw it at them, they still have not cashed it. Even though they’re scheduled to leave this Friday, they have not cashed it and bought father-in-law’s plane tickets. Even though they caused so much drama to get this money, they have not cashed it. Why can’t they make anything easy for me? First, they want my money. And now, they’re making it hard for me to give them the money. These people are seriously trying to put me in the crazy house. I told my husband to relay them the message that if they do not cash the check by Thursday, I’m driving to their place and assaulting them with cash. They should know damn well that I will do it too. I’m really hoping they know what’s good for them. Because, really, I don’t want to spend my Valentine’s Day with them.

So that’s my story. Unbelievable, no? Well, I hardly believe it myself. Even now. That’s why I was sort of MIA last week. Because I was sulking over this whole situation and processing it. Oh, and bitching at my husband to never let it happen again if he doesn’t want to live the rest of his life in the personal hell I will create for him if he fails to prevent another such situation. Because, really, this all could have been prevented if he wasn’t such a damn doormat. 

inspirational music for life’s (annoying) little moments 2.7

Happy Lunar New Year! It’s the year of the rat, but don’t worry, rats aren’t all bad.

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don’t ever change (season 4, episode 12)

Why does scary need pathetic?

The corollary to “people lie” is “people sin.”

If you prefer, I can give your wife my second-best diagnosis.

KUTNER: So Amber dropped off Wilson today.
HOUSE: Yes, the male always drives the female.

Well, I wrote it in black. I’m always serious when use black.

And I speak in Latin because I don’t try to hide what an ass I am.

He’s in for it now. She’s gonna hit him in the face with your testicles.

Oh my God. You’re sleeping with me.

Either explain which part of my analysis didn’t make sense or go do it.

…and pressure blood in direction wrong.

I need you to sleep with Wilson.

I’ve decided you can do worse than a female proxy for me.

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