Monday, March 31, 2008

72% Geek 72%

I knew it. I'm a geek. I spend more time on my blog/ reading/ programming than I do at bars. I can tell you why Open Office is better. I am apparently one of the last living English speakers who knows how to use an apostrophe correctly. I can tell you why "e" beats the hell out of "pi," even though they're both transcendental numbers. I think the fact that I have an opinion on the e vs. pi issue probably tells you enough about my level of geekitude.
I went to the state spelling bee and state geography bee (damn you, "indefatigable"! A pox on your house, Turkmenistan! I could've gone to D.C.!). I took a class on the novels of Franz Kafka (in the original German, no less) for fun. I knit. I read graphic fiction--they're not comic books, dammit--and I especially like Harvey Pekar, Adrian Tomine and Neil Gaiman. I'm a music dork, too, and a science geek for all seasons. Ask my college roommate--I have a stuffed plush model of the Ebola virus, complete with little googly button eyes, and a life-sized model of the human liver.
I know the corpus callosum from the corpus cavernosum (which is a good thing, considering what I hope to do someday). I've read all the Harry Potter books at least 3 times. I would rather be shot in the stomach at close range with an M-16 than wear those ridiculous pointy-toed stilettos that seem to be in fashion lately. I get my news from the BBC, because I take my news seriously. I know my homo history, and I can tell you when, why and how Stonewall happened; I say "I'm a feminist" sort of like I might say, "I'm a bipedal carbon-based life form--duh", and I can think of very little that would make me geek out as much as the opportunity to meet 1. Gloria Steinem, 2. Alice Walker or 3. Audre Lorde (oh, wait...not so much a possibility). The master's tools will never dismantle the master's house. Preach it, girlfriend!
Hey, all.

Installed a music player at the bottom of the page...let me know what you think.
I'll add more good grooves as I find them.

And though yes, it is a Monday, and yes, I am not expecting it to be a particularly great Monday...at least I am not this guy. There's always something to be thankful for, and working in a hospital gives me more opportunities for thankfulness than most.
Despite a few medical snafus and weirdnesses, I generally 'have my health.'
I have all my body parts, and they all work.
I have a low-rent room in a kick-ass part of town with roommates I like.
My job pays well and has good benefits. Hell, I have a job.
The list could be longer, but I'm tired...insomnia being one of those medical weirdnesses mentioned above.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


Emergency Contraception Advice, and a Rant.


I've said this before, but I'll say it again: you need to go get emergency contraception right now. If you're over 18, it's available without a prescription (though you'll need to show ID and get it from the pharmacist--or go to your local Planned Parenthood); since it's over the counter a lot of private insurance plans won't cover it (though in some states Medicaid will). Yes, 50 bucks out of pocket is a lot, but how much is peace of mind worth, really? And if you happen to have birth control pills around that you make your regular 5 or 10 dollar copay on, you can take higher doses of those in a certain way and produce the same effect as taking a dose of Plan B. More on that in a sec.


But as I was saying--now, before the condom breaks; before you or someone you know is sexually assaulted and can only get to a Catholic hospital, after which you're hardly in the mood to hit the pharmacy and stand around between the blood pressure monitor and the Cheetos display; before you google over to webmd and find out that, oh crap, that course of antibiotics you took last week can affect how well your birth control works...you get the picture. Get some now. Have it so that when you, or your girlfriend or daughter or mother or cousin or downstairs neighbor need it, it's there, and no doctor or pharmacist can invoke a 'conscience clause' and weasel out of providing you with the basic health care you need.


If for whatever reason you can't get your hands on Plan B, you can make it into a fun DIY project and cobble together your own version using whatever brand of regular contraceptives you happen to take: here's how to do it. Some caveats: stuff might make you kinda queasy. About 20% of women who take it end up...how to say this delicately? Tossing cookies, blowing chunks, riding the porcelain train to Yaksville. I was one of these lucky ones...when I took EC after I was raped, I spent the first day ralphing like it was my freaking job. Luckily the nice folks at the campus health center (hi Barb! Hi Julia and Nina and Randy! Oh, like they're reading...anyway...) gave me not only a repeat dose of those happenin' hormones, but also some anti-nausea meds. Thank God I went to school in Ithaca, New York, one of the hippie-liberalest towns in blue-statedom, where the ER protocol automatically includes not only calling a specially-trained nurse examiner to collect forensic evidence, but also paging a member of a counseling/advocacy crisis team, arranging government payment through the Victims of Crime Act, and discussing EC and HIV prophylaxis.


But it gets even better! *Dripping with sarcasm like a nose in a Flonase commercial* Target and CVS have adopted corporate policies that allow their pharmacists, without penalty, to not fill birth control prescriptions (including EC). A number of states allow doctors to refuse to write contraceptive scripts even when, all things being equal--ie, we're not talking about a 40 year old smoker who goes on lots of transatlantic flights--that would be a reasonable course of action. You can look your state up here.


Sorry for all the linking; I know I don't always like it when I see posts that are just forests of links, but this is something important to me, and damned if I'm going to copy out the vagaries of Mississippi's crazy-ass conscience clauses when I can just link to it instead (nb: in Mississippi, anyone can refuse to prescribe contraceptives for "religious purposes." I've read about pharmacists and doctors refusing to prescribe/dispense birth control to young women out of concern for 'promoting promiscuity,' which is kind of a nice way to say "let the little sluts suffer"; I wonder how many of these same health professionals would refuse Viagra to an unmarried man on the same grounds..? Oh, wait. *Head slap* He has a penis. Sorry. Forgot).

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Phones.

I made a lot of recruiting phone calls today--basically cold calls, trying to get qualified participants to take part in our study. Of course, I call from work, which means--you guessed it--a lot of the people I call are also at work. So I leave a lot of messages. I have the message all worked out, too, and after I've left five or six in a row it starts to sound weird even to me, and it gets boring, and I want to change the inflection of my voice to spice it up a little but then it sounds even weirder:

"This is a message for Ann Coulter. My name is Anne and I'm with Blahdiblah Consultants at Saint Holycrapitsamiracle Hospital. We're doing a clinical research study with the echo research department, and you qualify to participate. If you're interested in taking part or you'd like more information, you can give me a call at 123-456-7890. There is compensation for your time and effort, and we'd really appreciate it."

I want to start throwing in ad libs to make it interesting. Like, hm...
"My name is Shawanda, and I'm with Blahdiblah Consultants..."
"If you're interested in taking part, or if you'd ever like to see your child alive again, you can give me a call..."
"We're doing a clinical research trial, and you don't qualify to participate, but I thought I'd call just to say hi."
"There is compensation for your time and effort, and we'd really appreciate it, especially me, because the more people say yes, the less time I have to spend reciting this Great American Novel into answering machines."
People who have had a worse day than I did yesterday:

1. The Spartans, at Thermopylae.
2. Julius Caesar, on the Ides of March
3.Mabalo Lokela, Patient Zero of the 1976 Ebola outbreak in the Congo
4. Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, the day she had her head chopped off (it took 3 tries--Marie Antoinette had it easy, but then the French always do)
5. Napoleon Bonaparte, the day after Waterloo
6. Edward Rydz-Smigly, commander of the Polish army, on Sept 1, 1939

right now that's all I can think of. Yesterday sucked hard.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Fun Games To Play When You're Po' (I couldn't afford to put the 'or' on the end)

Poverty doesn't have to be soul-crushing. To quote my father, "Girl, we were too poor to pay attention, but we knew how to have fun."

1. Guess Those Leftovers
Use last night's dinner leavings to create tonight's masterpiece; let everyone else in the house guess what went into it. The person who gets it right (or comes closest) gets first stab at the chocolate chip-meatloaf torte.

2. Bills, Bills, Bills
See how long you can juggle your various bills without a) paying them or b)taking a blow to your credit score. Actually, pay 'em if you can, but you know you can't. Postdate that check. Promise the hot-sounding East Indian collections agency dude some phone action that'll make his spicy chicken tikka look as bland as unsalted grits. You do what you've gotta do.

3. Playing Doctor
No, not the fun kind of playing doctor. When you realize that your insurance deductible is more than you make in a month, have fun playing doctor and treating your own maladies. Do the same for your uninsured/underinsured 20something friends. Broken arm? Rig up a splint with a piece of plywood and some duct tape! You've eaten nothing but Ramen for six months and now you're having neurological problems along with bleeding gums? Hit the library or webmd and figure out what nutritional deficiency you're suffering from! Scurvy and beriberi may be a drag, but learning is always fun!

Can you tell that doing my taxes has put me in a bad mood, moneywise?
Etymology and Vaginas

Someone called me a cunt today. It is the first time, to my knowledge, that I've been called such a thing; it's certainly the first time anyone's had the cojones to do it to my face. However, considering that I was in my car and the entitled, pretty-boy asshat (popped collar on his polo shirt, hair carefully combed into a state of messy emo/jock/Queer Eye fabulousness...you know the kind--he'd be metrosexual if he weren't on the football team) who yelled it was on the other side of my car, on the street, perhaps he was suffering some hypogonadism after all...what was I going to do, get out of the car and explain to him exactly how using female anatomical terms in a derogatory way has a long and shitty history and is still used as a tool of subjugation, so just cut it the hell out, please? Also, newsflash to planet Hollister--I had the right of way. There isn't a crosswalk there. You know what that means? That means that your jaywalking ass is breaking the law, and if you get a dent in my car when your head hits it (because obviously your head is hard enough to do so) you're going to be 1) paying for it with your trust fund or 2) sucking the dent out yourself with a funnel, a hose, and your own pair of lungs until you pass out or I tell you to stop.
Truth be told, the word itself doesn't bother me that much--perhaps because I'm such a fan of Inga Muscio's book by the same name. What does bother me is the implication that femininity, specifically feminine sexuality, is all up in the house of what one might say is the 'worst' insult we have at our disposal. Bitch? Eh, we've reclaimed it some. Pussy? It's two syllables, and that softens the blow a little bit, plus it ends in a vowel (ish), and that tones down the impact as well. But 'cunt.' That there is a word you can throw through a window like a brick. Powerful word. Not to be used lightly--sort of like not taking the Lord's name in vain. And, according to The Women's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, it's not just a slang term (like, say, 'cock' or 'prick') but a word with history. It shares a common Indo-European root with such noble words as country, kin and cunning--loyalty, shrewd intelligence and a sense of belonging all wrapped up in those four explosive little letters. So, asshat on the Plaza, I'll let you get by with it this time. But next time you wanna play, I'll indulge you, and we'll see whose balls are bigger. Hint: the person driving the car usually wins.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Quotables from this week

I.T. specialist: "We're just trying to limit the number of printers that have access to medical records, for privacy compliance purposes."
Anne (in my head): "No, you're pissing me the fuck off is what you're doing, and I suggest you stop it immediately."
This after 2 days trying to get them to hook my printer up to the medical records network (I can view but not print) since the nearest authorized printer is in the CVICU and I doubt they want me in there printing things for my studies, especially since a lot of the things I'm printing are EKGs from old AMIs. Imagine, as it comes out of the printer and a nurse picks it up: "One, we don't have this patient. And two, what the F*CK! Code STEMI! Code STEMI!" Yeah.

B: "Where's Will with our pizza? We sent him out to get it almost an hour ago."
Anne: "He probably stopped to look at something shiny."
It was Minsky's Nature's Way pizza, by the way. Whole wheat crust, onions, peppers, tomato, artichoke hearts and almonds. Mmmm.

Therapist: "Try opening up to people. I think I'm pretty familiar with your internal dialogue--do you think anyone's response is going to be as un-nurturing as you anticipate?"
A: "Probably not."
T: "I guarantee you, no one is going to talk to you as harshly as you talk to yourself."
A: "Unless I hired a dominatrix or something."
[Pause]
T: "Actually, even then I doubt it."

Will (this will explain, partially, why he's the sort of guy who might be an hour late because he stopped to look at something shiny. Also, we were both kinda drunk--it was St. Patrick's Day): So, do you think there are really leprechauns?
A: Huh?
W: I mean, for a long time I thought dwarves were just in fairy tales, like Snow White and stuff, and now they've got that show about them on the Learning Channel. So maybe there really are leprechauns, too.
A: That's achondroplasic dwarfism, man. I don't think there's any such thing as achondroplasic leprechaunism.
B: They DO both like to be called "The Little People."

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Time to Get Right With God

It's Maundy Thursday, which has me thinking more than usual about religion (and religion's close cousin, spirituality). Which, in turn, given the way I sometimes feel I cherry-pick the good out of the various religious traditions I have experienced (this is one reason why being Episcopalian is so good-- you want saints? Have some saints. Here, we've got a lot of 'em, almost as many as the Hindus have gods. They're mostly the same as the Catholic ones. Here, have a St. Christopher medal. You'd think people would stop wanting them after the Vatican de-saintified him (sorry, I don't know the real word for desaintification), but damned if they don't still move like Pepto the morning after St. Patty's day. Saints creep you out the door and make you feel like you're praying to a person, which you think you learned in Sunday school was Something To Avoid? You can be as saintless as a Methodist and still call yourself Episcopal. You can meditate, even do Buddhist meditation--or not; be totally head-over-heels in love with Mary (I am) or think about her once a year at Christmas. Etcetera) has got me wondering what exactly I do believe. In a literal, bodily resurrection? If so, as a one-shot deal for Jesus, or something that's going to happen to everybody eventually (yes, I know the Creed says "I believe...in the resurrection of the body." I always mumble that part during church services)? In death and resurrection as metaphor, or as a metaphor that also happens to be real? Well, in the spirit of one of the monologues in Neil Gaiman's American Gods, which I just finished and highly, highly recommend (While you're at your local independent bookstore, also pick up a copy of Gaiman's Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch and Our Lady of the Forest by David Guterson--yes, the guy who wrote Snow Falling on Cedars. I love you, Kansas City public library. Because you have so many books, and because you have good DVDs and CDs, and cool programs, and most of all because you are very, very free):
I believe that perfect faith is redundant, that "God is love" is tautology
and that "holy war" is an oxymoron. I believe in sin
but I believe more in redemption and so I believe
that everyone gets into heaven in the end.
I believe that God is too busy sustaining the cosmos
to notice when I get a flat tire or lose my keys;
I also believe that she watches over me
every minute of every mundane day
and worries about me when my period's late
or I can't stop crying and tells the cherubim over Earl Grey tea,
"I despair for that girl sometimes."
I believe that everything happens for a reason and that everything works out eventually
I believe that sometimes there is no explanation and things really don't work out
and that platitudes are empty bullshit anyway because Jesus never said
"Yea, verily, put that frown upside down,"
And I believe that God is beyond gender but partakes of all genders
and before you say "but Jesus called him Father" keep in mind that Jesus
was a man at the time, and isn't that what a man would say?
And I believe that Jesus was God, and man, and a very wise man,
which is exactly why I believe he and Mary Magdalene
were doin' it--because she was holy, and a very wise woman,
and sex is also holy, and an orgasm can be a mystical experience
on the level of St. John's Revelation or Ezekiel's dreams
and if Jesus had to learn Midrash just like any other man and wasn't
born knowing it,
surely he had to learn about sex too (though I'm sure he was a quick study).
I believe that my smallest action affects every particle in the universe
and that everything has consequences, planned and unforseen;
I believe that in an infinite universe, I am infintely small, reduced to a point,
and can affect virtually nothing at all.
I believe in the marriage of hope and despair, and that a life without passion
isn't worth living.
I believe that a life of passion, devoid of any set aim, is by definition pointless
but not without merit
and that it is much harder to live for something
than to die for it.
I believe that no one is an island and that a more apt description would be that we are all water molecules in the same contiguous ocean but
that it's still impossible for one person to completely know another.
I believe that creating, with words or paints or fingers shaping clay
is the best way of keeping the darkness inside
at bay, since the darkness is the destruction
the undoing, the gaping void. I believe that creation
is holy, and that God appreciates it
when we help out with the workload...
And I believe that someday
I won't have to believe all this anymore,
because I'll finally know instead.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Stripes is, and always will be, one of my favorite movies of all time. Even though I know, in my heart, that Bill Murray is probably a total bastard. The combined hilarity of Stripes and Good Morning Vietnam was enough to make me consider, for half a nanosecond, joining the armed forces. And this is why:


Recruiter: Now, are either of you homosexuals?
John Winger: You mean like flaming? Or part time?
Recruiter: Well, it's a question we have to ask of all our new recruits.
Russell Ziskey: No, we're not homosexual, but we are *willing to learn*.
John Winger: Yeah, would they send us someplace special?
Recruiter: I'll just put that as a 'no.'


John Winger: We're all very different people. We're not Watusi, we're not Spartans, we're Americans. With a capital "A", huh? And you know what that means? Do you? That means that our forefathers were kicked out of every decent country in the world. We are the wretched refuse. We're the underdog. We're mutts.


General Barnicke: Where have you been soldier?
John Winger: Training, sir.
Soldiers: Training, sir.
General Barnicke: What kind of training?
John Winger: Army training, sir.
Soldiers: Army training, sir.

Like I tell people at work when I'm heading outside for a smoke--"I'll be right back, I just have to go do a thing, with some stuff..." Heh.

Friday, March 14, 2008

I want candy...

No, not really, I hardly ever eat the stuff (I prefer salty to sweet, despite my recent foray into pastry-making...salt is significantly less caloric than sugar as well, not that I as a 21st century American woman surrounded by more sizeist and sexist bullshit than you could shake a stick at, told each and every day that my intrinsic worth as a person is intimately related to my dress size/bra size/waist circumference care about such things...no, no, just making an observation) but I saw some interesting candy online and had to bring it to someone's attention because it was just so...disturbing. It was all right at first. Started with absinthe lollipops. That's all right, then. Just advocating and lionizing a very high-proof, hallucinogenic and possibly poisonous drink popular with Victorian homos (see: Oscar Wilde). Then they started making bacon lollipops. And it was too much.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

SEX!!! Or, how STDs are NOT like quantum physics

Well, Wednesday is hump day, no? Number one-- I walk into work today, and what do I see on the front page of the newspaper, above the fold? This. One in four teenage girls in the US has an STD, apparently. Included in the article was a shout-out from a doctor at Children's Mercy that made me proud to call KCMO home: "We have historically seen lots and lots of STDs among teens in Kansas City,” Lynch said. “It’s a very sexually active, sexually promiscuous crowd that doesn’t practice safe sex. And therein lies the problem.” Yee-haw. I'll comment more on this later; suffice it to say, young ladies (and gents, though it seems the gentlemen are less likely to incur society's wrath for picking up the clap--boys will be boys, after all): Use a condom. Every time. This isn't like quantum physics, where there's a strange probability cloud of electrons around the nucleus and you can get away with saying, "There's only going to be chlamydia there 80% of the time, and the other 20% it's in some paralell universe, so if I rubber up 80% of the time it's ok." No. Say it with me: no.

No matter how hard some guys may try to convince you that their dick is the thing around which the cosmos themselves revolve, a dick is not a nucleus, gonorrhea is (are?) not electrons, and it's not Werner Heisenberg you'll be cursing when you have to get a dose-pak of antibiotics at the pharmacy. That said, sex is fun, sex is good, and orgasms are better than chocolate-covered peanut butter fudge sprinkled with pure, uncut Columbian cocaine. So take care of yourself once in a while, or more frequently, as you choose; use protection; be monogamous (and remember that you being monogamous doesn't mean a whole lot if your partner ain't).

Also, Eliot Spitzer (as I saw on the news at the gym) may have spent as much as $80,000 on prostitutes. Really? A politician--a man who has made a career out of saying one thing and doing another, a sanctimonious ass, a "family values" apologist who would as soon kick a baby as kiss one (legal disclaimer: I am not saying Eliot Spitzer kicks babies, as that would be either libel or slander, which I know I learned about in high school government class but didn't care about then and care less about now. Though it stands to reason that kicking them might tenderize them for when he eats them, which is common knowledge) would see a prostitute? And conceal it? No, that wasn't what surprised me. I was surprised by the sheer sum of money. Either Eliot was Spitzing it with some high-class ladies, or he was screwing six ways to Sunday, or both.
I'm learning to make fancy pastries--French mostly, mais oui, but also German and Viennese and Belgian. Thus far I've conquered the bouchette delice, the bresilienne, and the napoleon (among others). I haven't the heart (or the stomach--or friends enough with stomachs enough) to conquer some of the larger and more complicated confections like the profiteroles or the strawberry Vosgien. I've gotten some recipes from the Joy of Cooking (of course) but also from www.thefrenchpastrychef.com. Check it out!

The weather yesterday and today was gorgeous--I went running outside IN SHORTS and was still totally comfy. Unfortunately, and unbeknownst to me, yesterday was apparently Be A Creepy Old Guy Harassing Young Women Day. Yesterday this guy was running really close to me on the trail, and there weren't a lot of other people around, and he was starting to make me nervous. I speeded up, he speeded up. I dropped back, he dropped back. Finally, after a while, he reached out like he was going to grab my arm--almost nonchalantly, if you can imagine that. I was so not in a mood to be screwed with; I was just trying to enjoy my day, dammit. So I veered off in another direction, towards a part of the path where there were more people, and I said, "Motherfucker, if you touch me I will kick you in the balls so hard I'll make your brothers sterile."
It was perhaps unwarranted. It was perhaps excessive. I'm still not sorry I said it. It felt right for the moment, y'know? And at the end of my run, there was this other creepy old guy by the bus stop very obviously ogling all the women walking/running by. I should have used the line about the balls on him, too, but instead I powered through the last few hundred yards of my run and called it a day. I don't want to give the bastard the satisfaction of knowing he got to me, but on the other hand by saying nothing I'm implicitly reinforcing the idea that what he's doing is acceptable. Maybe in Testosteroneville making gutteral noises as you watch someone run by is considered complimentary; here in the Real World it's at best rude and at worst threatening. Here's a quarter, dude, go buy yourself a ticket for the Clue Train. The next one leaves the station in five minutes, and if your raggedy harassin' ass isn't on it, I may do something to your reproductive organs that we'll both regret. But you'll regret it a lot more than I will.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

I wanted to embed this video of the Wailin Jennys singing "Long Time Traveller," but couldn't figure it out. Yeah, yeah, whatever you're about to suggest, I probably tried it. Move along now.
I swear I'm not technologically retarded; I can hack together a little something in HTML if the situation calls for it, I'm all up in the interwebs...but damned if everyone over the age of 50 doesn't assume, based solely on my age, that I am an expert on all things technological.
"Honey, can you come over and program the VCR?"
"Mom, it's a DVR. That's the whole reason you got it--because it's better than a VCR."
"Right. Well, come fix it. Your father's about to have a stroke messing around with it."
Maybe people born after, say, 1985 do have a certain affinity for computers, video games, gadgets, etc. that older folks lack. Like after '85 they (and I mean they in the most paranoid, unmedicated schizophrenic sort of sense) started replacing ever-larger portions of our brains with computer chips. We are brothers, the TI-89 and I. We will walk arm in arm into the future. Never completely figured that damn machine out, either.

I've been looking through the self-improvement classes that the local university offers, "Communiversity," and while there are some interesting offerings (Bellydancing; Thai Cooking; Discover your Erotic Self) I noticed there are many classes I'd like to see that just aren't out there. Here are some of the classes I'd like to take:

Food and Drink
FUD101: Eating on a Student's Budget, even Though you're not a Student Anymore and the Dining Hall is but a Distant Memory
***Advanced FUD101 Seminar, for those working in a University or Hospital Environment: How to Meet 100% of Your Nutritional Needs Through Food Available At Meetings around Your Workplace (hint: a white lab coat and an inexpensive stethoscope are wise investments. If you've worked at the hospital longer than 6 months, you're as oriented as the majority of the residents).
FUD201: How to Explain, So People Will Understand, That Vegetarians Don't Eat Fish. Or Chicken.

Life Skills
LIF101:How to Make Everyone Love You, Including Your Boss, Your Consistently Undemonstrative Parents, and that Ex You Really Wish Would Come Back
LIF207: Multiple Orgasms--Are You Having Them? If You Have To Ask, You're Probably Not.
LIF345: Self-Esteem for the Writer, or How Not to Run Screaming to the Nearest Bridge after You Recieve Your 4th Rejection Letter in a Row
LIF501: How to Radiate Universal Compassion and Peace at All Times, Even When You're In a Hurry and You Get Stuck Behind the 57 Bus for the 3rd F*cking Day In A Row.

Monday, March 03, 2008

So let's say you have a coworker. Hell, let's say you have several--but there's one particular coworker who frequently asks you to help him out with projects. Not big things, nothing that takes up hours of time--just constant little jots and tittles. You work for the same boss, and when the next team meeting rolls around, Coworker receives hearty kudos for a job well done...a job which, by your reckoning, is about 25% yours. You, meanwhile, receive jack shit. I'm not even asking about saying anything to anyone...but are you justified in being ever-so-slightly peeved? Mildly disgruntled? When Coworker asks for help in the future, are you justified in telling him to bugger off?
In the good-news section, I found out today that I'm having an essay published in an anthology! More details as they are forthcoming, and as the publishing agreement gets hashed out! Huzzah! And just when I was beginning to think I should just scrap this whole writing thing (just kidding...I would excise one of my kidneys before I would give up writing. Speaking of which, that might be a good way to get some cash for medical school...Israel recently set the compensation due a kidney donor at $13,000, but I've heard estimates of up to $30,000 stateside). No, seriously, there are major ethical issues associated with selling organs (duh). Maybe I could sell my eggs instead...

Sunday, March 02, 2008

You know you're a big dork when someone asks you if you want to get high and your first thought isn't, "Is it good stuff?" or "What are the odds I'm going to get randomly drug tested at work next week?" but rather "What neurotransmitters does THC work on again? I know dopamine's one of them, but there's another one...one with a weird name..." and you have to run up to your room and google it before you can give the person a definitive yes or no. NB: It's called 'anandamide,' with 'ananda' being the Sanskrit word for bliss. Bonus dork points if, the last time you partook of such a substance (no mention of when that was, except that you were young and foolish! Oh so foolish!) you started getting uncoordinated and stumbly and said, "Oops. There go the basal ganglia!" Which caused one of your friends, who was also high, to say, "Have you considered that things like that are the reason scientists don't have more normal friends?" To be honest, I thought there must be other more basic, inherent dysfunctions at work. But if blabbing about neuroanatomy while intoxicated isn't indicative of some basic dysfunction...what is?

Now fun work stories.

Overheard in the hallway:
Environmental Services Guy #1: I can't do nothing to him on the job. I take care of my business. But if I meet him after work--
ESG #2: What you gonna do?
ESG #1: I will meet him in the parking lot and beat his ass. I don't care.
[Little old lady walking by turns her head and stares at him, appalled]
ESG #2: Not you, ma'am. You have a nice day, now.

During my annual performance review, which was perfunctory at best, pointless at worst:
Manager: And here's a little sheet about the performance management process.
(Pushes a sheet across the desk with "My PMP and Me" written at the top, and two smiling nurses underneath the headline. I swear I thought it said "My PIMP and Me" and I was trying so hard not to laugh I'm sure it looked like I was about to have a seizure. Doesn't that sound like the name of a horrible, horrible children's book?)
AG: Oh. Thank you so much. *bites lip harder; it's almost bleeding*