Saturday, August 30, 2008

So I've simultaneously been really tired and having trouble sleeping. A weird combo that I'm putting down
1) to the stress inherent in putting any animal (including myself) into a 'novel environment'--rats show increased levels of stress hormones when put into new environments, even if the environment is 'better' in terms of having more toys, food etc. Same here--medical school is 'better' in some senses than other environments, but still novel;
2) Healing from last weekend, and (occasionally) taking the associated painkillers--brief bump for Tramadol, or Ultram, by the way--all the pain relief with much lower addiction potential than 'typical' opioids! Yay!
3) The fact that my eating and exercise haven't been under the super-best control, and when you're running a lot and not eating much, that tends to run down your batteries.

So I really don't want to depend on my zolpidem or lorazepam (that's Ambien and Ativan to you); I bought a tea called 'tea of tranquility' while I was in Kansas City and tried it for the first time tonight, and while it remains to be seen whether it will help me drift off, there is one thing that is not open for debate: stuff tastes like ass.
There's valerian and skullcap and passionflower in it, which makes me a little nervous (I take herbs seriously as pharmacologic agents, and I'm not sure how those particular sedating herbs might interact with some of the other gemischte things I'm on), but that's not what makes it taste disgusting. The culprit there is the inclusion of thyme, sage, lavender and rosemary. Maybe nice for stuffing, but stuffing is not tea, and if I wanted stuffing-flavored tea, I would buy some. I actually don't like sage and thyme even in stuffing; rosemary and lavender I'm OK with, especially in experimental little culinary delights. Viz: everyone knows about rosemary and olive oil focaccia, or at least they should; I've made it once or twice, and it's especially nice if you add some sun-dried tomatoes and a sprinkling of asiago. As for lavender, I once made a lavender shortbread that was actually quite nice. I'll have to post the recipe sometime, but basically you make a shortbread (with a little extra sugar) and add either some dried lavender buds, lavender essential oil, or both, to the batter. Very classy and nouvelle cuisine. Unlike this tea, which I am actually going to pour down the drain right now.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

My first day in the anatomy lab was today. I posted my musings at my other blog--this one more medically-oriented--Medical School Mayhem.
That's where I'm going to put most things that are more strictly medical-school related, and other little tidbits of info--studies I find interesting, medical policy that drives me up the wall, and my eventual lapse into a scrubs-wearing vagrant wandering the streets muttering mnemonic devices about the nervous system.
This site will have some of that too, to be sure--it's impossible to separate your school life from life in general when you're a student (thanks, Captain Obvious) but will have a more personal focus, and probably more political rants, mental health advocacy stuff, whatever strikes my fancy at the moment (and by extension your fancy, I'm sure).

So there we are.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

This is an image from "The Dream Hunters" by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Yoshitaka Amano (famous, apparently, for his connection to Final Fantasy...about which I know nothing. You have to draw the geek line somewhere, and while my line allows me to be into graphic novels/fiction [not the same as comic books, by the way...and anyway Vertigo comics aren't the same as Superman] it stops short of gaming of pretty much any kind, up to and DEFINITELY including RPGs). Tell me that isn't beautiful. You can't, can you? Or if you can, I shake my fist at you for having crappy taste. I've been rereading this book, which my super pal Nathaniel Hawthorne (yes, that's my nickname for him...strangely, I often give people nicknames that are longer than the original names they replace) turned me on to. Thanks, Najj, for getting me heavily into the Sandman series just before midterms my sophomore year when I was taking all those hard science credits! So, book recommendations: ANYTHING by Neil Gaiman, especially his graphic novels, but also his straight-up fiction (Good Omens, which he wrote with Terry Pratchett, is amazing and got me through some very rough times last year by virtue of the fact that it wrestles with the 'big issues' in a lighthearted but not-at-all minimizing fashion; one of his other novels, Anansi Boys, is the book I happened to have with me this past April when I passed out on the job and spent 6 hours in the ER getting hydrated/repotassiumized. So you know it's absorbing if it managed to keep me from utterly freaking out).

Another book recommendation, with the caveat that I haven't actually read this one: Founding Faith, by someone Waldman, which examines the faith of the Founding Fathers (less so the Founding Mothers, though one would assume they'd be included somehow, even if only tangentially). Did you know that Jefferson and Washington and Franklin would be totally f*ing appalled by the state of religious affairs in the US today--Falwell's wide reach (may he rest in peace, ahem...must not speak ill of the mention of his probably current thirst for a glass of ice water...), the Religious Right (which, according to a lovely bumper sticker I saw recently, is neither) and the fact that James "Beat Your Kids Until they Understand The Love of Jesus" Dobson is going to have a major influence on the upcoming election...
Well, the Founding Fathers were Deists, not Southern Baptists, and they not only believed in religious freedom, they practiced it. They didn't blindly accept what they were told was right; they didn't mindlessly toe the party line ("Well, if my pastor says abortion is murder, it must be, and I'm not going to tax my brain thinking about it."); they were men and women of thought as well as action.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

First of all, XKCD strikes again...and he's totally right about literary criticism (much as I love it, you have to admit that a lot of it is like Joe Biden in book format: long-winded, self-congratulatory, and the kind of smooth that is commonly associated with being oily). See for yourself...look at that smooth mother. Shut yo' mouth! Just talkin' 'bout Biden!
In further news, the diversity retreat and ropes course was this weekend...I ended up going home early from the ropes course on account of...well, I managed, even in an environment where "safety is priority #1," to hurt myself. More specifically, while we were doing this activity that involved mad dashing on LEVEL ground, I tripped on a rope that was on the ground (to demarcate one of the 'zones' we were supposed to be in. Needless to say, I went from sixty to zero (and standing to lying down) in about a nanosecond. I did a total face-plant, slammed my chest into the ground, and after a few minutes of wheezing--the result of knocking myself square in the solar plexus--went over to one of the picnic tables to sit down. And discovered that breathing, once an unnoticed part of my existence, had become painful. Really painful. Especially in this one area of my ribcage.
I did a quick differential diagnosis (actually, I did it while I was lying facedown in the dirt, unable to breathe): rib fracture, lung puncture, pneumothorax, internal bleeding. The doc in charge of the whole shebang came down to the area where our group was (bonus of doing diversity training affiliated with medical school, no?) and palpated my ribs and belly, asked some questions, came up with basically the same differentials (which made me feel good about my diagnostic skills, but bad about what the hell might be happening in my chest) and said to wait a bit, take some NSAIDs, and if I still felt bad that he would either take me himself or get someone else at the retreat to take me to the ER for x-rays. Which is what I ended up doing, with one of the other deans. We had to stop off and get my ID card to take into the ER, which means that a member of WUSM's administration has now seen my apartment in a state of disarray--including, though I tried valiantly to keep her from following me upstairs, my pit of a room. Not exactly how I had planned to make a scintillating first (or second) impression: "That klutzy girl with a trashed room who I spent two hours at the ER with." On the other hand, most other people judge me about 1/10 as harshly as I judge myself--or, frankly, don't give a shit--so I think I'm probably in the clear. She was so incredibly nice, utterly sweet, coming into my room in the ER every so often to make sure I was OK, telling me about her kids, bugging the docs about my X-rays when they were taking a while to process. Generally being uber-helpful. Something I also didn't know--because the doc/dean who checked me out at the ropes course called in to the ER and told them to expect me, and furthermore because I'm a student at WUSM, I kind of got to jump the line in the ER. One of the deans, during orientation, mentioned that now that we're med students we really are part of the 'medical community'--and that, right or wrong, there is a certain amount of privilege that comes with that, health-care wise, little favors docs and nurses extend to other health-care professionals, like sneaking them onto the schedule or staying late to take care of their needs. All I can say is, right or wrong, that's pretty damn cool.
I'm sure the fact that I was in incredible pain probably helped some, too...I'm talking serious pain, beyond what is euphemistically (and rather inaccurately) referred to as 'discomfort.' To me, a bug bite or mild menstrual cramps constitute(s) discomfort--this was heavy-duty, lights flashing, sirens blaring with each inspiration pain. And so the lovely ER doc gave me some hydrocodone. Quite a bit of hydrocodone, actually. And while it's helped--a lot--and made the hour I spend waiting for the X-rays just fly by (time passes more quickly when the pattern of the curtains and each word spoken by the nurses outside is suddenly FASCINATING), it's also made me a little loopy, which is what I'm going to use as an excuse if anyone points out that this entry is a little rambly. It was the drugs, man.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

So we got our IT training--and our approximately 6 usernames and passwords--on Wednesday.
I'm not exaggerating. There's email, a portal for all our essential med school/academic resources, access to the library's various databases, a Wash-U wide something-or-other called "WebSTAC"...and of course we have to change these every three months, which means that sooner or later I'm either going to have to start writing down passwords (which anyone with even a passing understanding of data security knows is a major no-no) or I'm going to start not being able to access my accounts. So that's fun. Look, people, I'm already having to memorize what the latissimus dorsi and teres major are, and where the sympathetic trunk branches, and a million other fiddly little anatomy and biochemistry tidbits...could we please at least attempt to make my everyday life with my everyday information f-ing simple?

One of the more amusing parts of the day, however, was the IT talk (who'd have thunk?), more specifically the part where the tech guy informed all the people staying in the dorms that they are technically still on the school's network anytime they use the internet in their rooms.

Even if it's 2 am on a Saturday. Even if they just finished exams and need the headspace to have a beer and freaking relax. Can you see where this is going? Yes indeed, the IT guys got to have a friendly chat with us about the quickest (and apparently most common) way to get booted from the network--perusing porn. To quote:
"And don't tell us you're studying anatomy. You're not. And don't have us put you back on the network and then get kicked off again for the same thing. We know what you're looking at. We know when you do it over and over again after we've told you not to. And if you keep doing it, we have all the urls you've visited saved, and you really don't want us telling the Dean that you've been going to every night."
Apparently even in cyberspace the all-knowing Deans have eyes.

I will say that this particular lecture made me glad that I'm not living in the dorms, though of course I'm not a closet porn addict. The thought of the IT guys knowing my every online move makes me more than a little apprehensive, I don't mind saying. Again, not because I'm into some bizarre sexual fetish or a member of some proto-terrorist political group, but just because it creeps me out the door to think that someone's watching everything I do. I know it happens; I know no one's really safe; I know there isn't much that can be done. But at least I'm never going to be nailed for trying to download "Tipping the Velvet" on Wash-U's bandwidth.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

As if you needed an update, size-ism is alive and well...even in scientific journals who should know better.

Apparently the stereotype of "unpopular overweight girl" is based on something...or so says the New York Times.

Girls who rated themselves 4s or lower (in a survey assessing high school aged girls' perceptions of their social status) gained more weight in the 2 years following the survey--on average about 11 pounds more--than girls who rated themselves 5s or higher.

My question (in addition to my obvious observation that this is firstly a weird study and secondly doesn't sound like it would provide really reliable data that you could do a lot with; it's too open to [mis]interpretation) this cause, or effect?
Are young women who feel unpopular likely to eat more (the stereotypical lonely fat girl subsituting food for social relationships, because food is never catty or rejecting unlike, say, a fair number of high school students) or are these young women heavier to begin with (meaning the 'cascade' has perhaps already begun playing out) meaning they have established poor eating habits/have a heavier body habitus naturally, which makes them feel less socially desirable?

And this is measuring perceived social standing, remember; a girl could be relatively popular and still feel like a loser, or for that matter could be--I'm sorry, I can't think of a PC term, so I'm just going to say a bit of a reject--and still have high self-esteem and feel like she's as well-regarded as the captain of the cheer squad. This doesn't measure social standing as much as self-esteem, I would argue, and by positing this as a question of social desirability I think the researchers...their names are mentioned in the Times article...are making a bit of a mistake. For instance, they suggest offering social skills courses to "at-risk" (of becoming overweight, I guess? As if it were some debilitating disease, as opposed to true morbid obesity which is harmful, and eating disorders, which spring IN FACT from associating overweightness with being a loser, reject, etc....) girls. Why not offer self-esteem seminars instead? For everyone?

This feeds into the harmful assumption that fat=unhappy=socially undesirable. Do we really need cracked scientific theory to falsely substantiate the belief society already holds so dear? This, boys and girls, is why scientists need solid grounding in the humanities, or at least a little social theory--so they can realize their own biases and prevent them from clouding their judgement and coloring their conclusions...or at least acknowledge that the bias is there.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Went to see Mamma Mia! tonight with my mother as a short break from the tedious-yet-so-important work of packing. Could've done with a little more air time for Meryl "An actress beyond compare, with a face to make lesbians weep" Streep, a little less of Amanda "I was the Slutty one in Mean Girls" Seyfried. But hey. I'm really proud of my new pop culture knowledge. Despite watching maybe three hours of TV a week, being out of school for this year has allowed me to get into, you know, normal-people stuff. Like knowing who the cast of Weeds is. Just thought I'd point that out. But in a few days it's back to a home without a TV (unless the as-yet unmet roomie has one), and with my nose in a copy of Moore's anatomy 24/7 I'm chagrined to say what little "with-it"ness I've managed to cultivate in the TV/movie/sports arena is probably going to be defunct shortly. Just thought I'd flaunt it while I've got it.

And I know this is weird, but as the cast was dancing and singing to the title song, it struck me (as it never has before) just how much a relapse to ED (that's an Eating Disorder, for those not in the know) can feel, perversely, like a return to a lover...seriously, try these lyrics on for size.

I've been cheated by you since I don't know when
So I made up my mind, it must come to an end.
Look at me now,
will I ever learn,
I don't know how,
There's a fire within my soul--
I suddenly lose control
Just one look and I can hear a bell ring
One more look and I forget everything

Mamma mia, here I go again
My, my, how could I resist you
Mamma mia, does it show again
Just how much I missed you.
Yes I've been brokenhearted,
blue since the day we parted
Why, why, did I ever let you go?
Mamma mia, now I really know
my, my, I could never let you go.

I've been angry and sad about the things that you do
I can't count all the times that I've told you we're through
And when you go, when you slam the door
I think you know that you won't be away too long
You know that I'm not that strong

Mamma mia, even if I say
Bye bye, leave me now or never
Mamma mia, it's a game we play
Bye bye doesn't mean forever...

Man, what a person with a background in close reading and exegesis could tweeze out of that. Oh, wait. You say I'm just such a person? Well yes indeed.
An ED screws you around (v. 1). It messes with your perceptions, your bodily functions, your ability to function normally in daily life. So you decide to kick it to the curb, get into treatment, stop running ten miles a day, eat more than an apple for dinner...whatever. And things do get better, but in a sense you still miss your ED. And then there's the "Just one look"--the sight of a really thin model in a magazine (or a lissome 13-year old at the next check-out counter at the grocery store), or seeing a certain number on a scale, or--in the relapse of one of my friends--holding back a roommate's hair while she wharfed in the toilet (she was really drunk and had no idea that A was a recovering anorexabulimic; she was a really nice girl who would've been mortified to know she was being triggering). Then there's the one more look and you forget everything...
You forget the previous hospitalizations, the Ensure, the bedrest, the vomiting blood, the stress fractures, the two-pneumonias-in-one-winter, the osteopenia, the cardiac arrhythmias, the godawful impaction (and nearly as godawful process of getting, your favorite nurse on the EDU, and a friendly enema...or, Goddess forbid, GoLytely). Because if you can Look Like That (like the model, the 13 year old, yourself in a picture from high school) and Feel That Way (in control, slim, invisible, perfected, purified), it will be worth it. And relapse happens, and you feel like you can't let go...
Even when there are the internal struggles, and recognition of what a horrific thing ED can be ("I've been angry and sad about the things that you do; I can't count all the times that I've told you we're through") but still it's almost irresistible--"How could I resist ya?" And it can feel like an awful, perverse, but engrossing's just that with games like chess and darts and, hell, even're a lot less likely to keel over. I recognize this. It's something I need to hash out a little with myself, frankly.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Truths about moving.

1. The amount of stuff you have multiplies over time. Socks mate with socks under the bed. Knicknacks undergo binary fission and become two, then four, then eight. Despite the fact that you only had six clothes hangers when you moved in, you now have seventy-three. Obviously you won't take them all with you. When you arrive at the new place, you'll have to start over again with six. Don't worry; they'll multiply given time.

2. You will never have enough boxes. This is true even if you are Ted Boxington, owner of Boxes and Co. Shipping Company. You will end up using sturdy plastic bags, or even garbage bags. You may feel like a hobo loser as you move your stuff in these bags. Don't worry; your new neighbors think the same thing.

3. You will injure yourself shortly before the move. A shoulder injury is a safe bet; go for the rotator cuff. Bursitis is also a plausible option. Back injuries work well. Note that this doesn't mean you can put off the move, or get someone else to do all the carrying; it just means you'll suffer a significant amount of pain and curse your own stupidity for thinking you needed the entire set of Encyclopedia Britannica to travel with you. I personally have chosen to go with bursitis of the shoulder, from overexercise. Excellent.

Without further ado, some poems.

Living and Dying

Dying for something
isn't difficult;
you do it once,
The bomb explodes,
the bullet bursts your heart,
You shield a child's body
with your own.

It's living for something
that's hard--
Slogging through,
unglamorous, mundane,
when that passion
which once bore you up
becomes a burden,
or at the very least
a weight
(not quite a millstone)
round your neck.
One may choose once,
impetuously, to die
and not look back because
there is no time.
A life is nothing but time,
which is why
the living is so hard;
so many salt
pillars mark the path
to martyrdom of spirit
(rather than flesh and blood);
which, for its dailiness,
is just as good.


Confession and contrition

Bless me, Mother, for I have sinned;
Surely somewhere in the folds
of blue and white
you have some absolution tucked away
for just such a moment as this,
when I, hungry-eyed and needy
as a child
Approach you on raw hands and bleeding knees?
I have made an art of penance;
take my brush away.
I have stretched myself like canvas
on a frame; please
slip me loose and hold me to your heart
crumpled and no longer able to
assume the forms of what's called
mortal sin,
that wily separateness,
that lonely shame.

Whisper my name
and call me yours--so long
I've wanted someone to belong to,
and resolved, once I was taken in,
To cling with all my strength
and never go.


You are not alone

You are not alone.
That is the message
every human ear
strains to hear
Through the cacophony
of living,
the thick silence
of solitude.
To belong--if not here,
then somewhere
at least;
That is the need,
raw and incandescent,
that knocks the arrow to the string
and strums the wanderer


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

I. Can't. Sleep.


So what are the options for drifting off to blissful slumber? Well, aside from the standard holistic, behavioral, and natural advice (chamomile tea--tastes great, especially with a splash of fat-free vanilla soymilk and Splenda, but doesn't really help me sleep; keeping to a bedtime routine--yes, I take a few minutes to wind down, I even had a gentle pre-bed yoga routine for a while, but nada; warm milk, which has a fair amount of tryptophan--the amino acid that, through a series of magical steps, gets converted to serotonin--has yielded nothing but a need to brush my teeth again, and anyway I hates the milk)...there are, of course, drugs. Pharmaceutical options. Better living through chemistry. And while I'm generally not in favor of getting all "Strom-Thurmond-at-an-historically-black-sorority-reunion" excited about unnecessary medications, a good night's sleep is the foundation of solid mental and physical health. So for a chronic insomniac these aren't, strictly speaking, unnecessary.

Technically, drugs that put you to sleep are called "hypnotics," from Hypnos, God of sleep. Sedatives, which may be the same drugs as hypnotics but at a reduced dose, you out a little. An example from my medicine cabinet: 0.25 mg of Ativan is a sedative. 0.5 mg of Ativan is a hypnotic. And 1.0 mg of Ativan means you could run me over with a truck on the 50-yard line at the SuperBowl and I wouldn't even roll over.

Option 1. Antihistamines. They help with allergies too, but beware that as a class, they will dry out your mucous membranes. Including that one, girls. These are H-1 (or nonselective) antagonists; H-2 antagonists are the drugs you take when you have acid reflux problems. Cool, eh?

There's diphenhydramine, or good ol'-fashioned Benadryl. Knocks me out better than some of the prescription sleep meds I've tried, to be honest, and without weird hangover effects. When I had my colonoscopy/esophogastroduodenoscopy (say that five times fast) done in February, I had an 'anxiolytic' dose of Benadryl before they wheeled me back to the procedure room. I was already feeling pretty good about life (though wondering why the room was revolving, and why they'd installed a strobe light in the hall) by the time I got hit with the Versed and whatever else it was they gave me. 50 mg of IV Benadryl, when you're barely knocking on 100 lbs, will do that to a person. And it should go without saying, but however this appears, it's not medical advice, OK? Also, while I'm not giving you advice, for Moses' sake don't mix any of these with alcohol, unless you don't have any appointments for the next few, you know, days. Or, depending on which drug, how much, and how much EtOH, if you don't have any more appointments, ever.

There's doxylamine succinate, which is actually sold just as a sleep aid (as opposed to an anti-allergy preparation). It's the stuff in NyQuil (or Unisom) that puts you to sleep. There's some evidence it's even more sedating than phenobarbital, for Goddess' sake. It's also used to combat morning sickness, which brings up the interesting point that a lot of antihistamine antiallergy/antipruritics are pretty potent antinausea/antiemetic agents as well. (In case you were wondering, antipruritic means it makes stuff not itch, pruritis being the 50-buck word for "itching." Interesting fact: the pretty schmancy-sounding "pruritis ani," which has been Latinized and doctored out of all recognizability, is a way for doctors to record that you have an itchy anus, without having to write the dreadfully unsophisticated "itchy butthole" in your records. Your insurance company reads those, y'know. Now aren't you thankful for Latin?)

Option 2. Benzodiazepines.
Oh joy. These can be short-acting (meaning you're out pretty quickly), or long-acting (meaning it takes a while to kick in, but has staying power)--finding the right balance between the two means that intermediate-acting ones are the best...Getting to sleep quickly enough but sleeping through the night; sleeping through the night without being so hung-over you plow into pedestrians like someone doing Human Bowling on a Japanese game show the next day.
Actually, benzos aren't recommended for long-term management of insomnia; they're a little bit addictive. Mostly people take them for sleep if they have an acute condition, or if they have an anxiety disorder and have panic attacks at night and just happen to discover--lo and behold--that they can actually freaking sleep if they take them. Purely hypothetically. By the way, some benzodiazepines are super-duper effective, if short-acting, anticonvulsants. They really are the little pills that do everything! (And they ARE little, as anyone can tell you who's ever dropped a bottle on the floor when they were having a panic attack and their hands were shaking so badly they could hardly even unscrew the STUPID child-proof cap...what sadist decided to make an anxious person solve the physical equivalent of a New York Times Crossword to get to their drugs?...well, man, good luck finding those babies before they're ground into the carpet).

Option 3. Barbiturates and Opioids.
No one uses these for treating insomnia anymore. I put it here so I could list more options. I'm so ashamed. They're too addictive, and in the case of barbiturates, there's too great a chance for accidental (or, considering that insomnia is a prominent feature of many mental illnesses, intentional) overdose.

Option 4. The Other Stuff.
Zolpidem, or Ambien, works to make GABA (gamma amino butyric acid) work better as an inhibitory neurotransmitter...but it BINDS to benzodiazepine receptors. Cheaters. As a bonus, some people report sleep-walking, sleep-eating, and sleep-sex-having. If I'm going to be noshing on Cheezits and doing the horizontal tango, I want to be awake to enjoy it. Anyway, I've tried Ambien and the next morning I felt like I'd been hit by a truck. And not the Cheezits-and-orgasms truck. A bad truck.
Zaleplon, or Sonata, is pretty much the same thing as Ambien but in different clothes (and their ads have a moth in them!).
Ramelteon, ie Rozerem, has Abe Lincoln and his beaver (or is it a woodchuck?) sidekick shilling for it. It is a novel hypnotic, though; it's a melatonin receptor agonist. Melatonin binds to recpetors in certain parts of your brain (especially a part called the "suprachiasmatic nucleus," which is closely associated with your 'internal clock') and basically tells you it's time to turn in for the night. Remember your aunt from Boulder who swore by melatonin supplements at bedtime? This is the same thing, only standardized and much more expensive.

Hope this treatise hasn't been a hypnotic in itself. Hopefully I'll still have time to just learn cool things that interest me once I start school. Or maybe I'll just have to get my happy ass interested in whatever it is I happen to be studying. Somehow I think that's more likely.

Monday, August 04, 2008

It's been too hot to give--or, indeed, even take--a sh*t here lately. 100 today, with a heat index commensurate with the opressive humidity that marks "Misery" in August. By Wednesday it's supposed to be in the 80s, to which I can only say: About effing time. I foolishly went for a run last night, because the gym was closed and I was at that point in the evening so tightly wound that you could probably have flicked me and heard a "sproing," and I would've hated to kill certain people in my house who haven't figured out that if you run the TV and washer and downstairs AC at the same time, it blows the power out, and I lose all the important files on my computer that I've been working on for days, viz, that article on borderline personality disorder as a trauma spectrum disorder that I was thisclose to finishing (not that I'm blaming anyone), because they DON'T THINK.

Oh yes indeed, there's a story behind this one. I'll just say it: I can't live with boys. Men. Whatever. Like bears with furniture, I swear. Dishes pile up and begin forming their own tiny civilizations in the primordial crud: "Oh, I was just leaving them to soak," or, "The dishwasher's full." So RUN IT, or if it's clean, EMPTY IT. You don't need a degree in Dishwasher Operation to put in the detergent and turn the thing on. You don't need a vagina to operate the dishwasher. Your member will not fall off if you touch dishwashing detergent, I SWEAR. Would it help if I told you Peyton Manning probably does his own dishes sometimes? Don't you want to be like Peyton?

So, to blow off some steam--I went for a little jog. I should have taken the hint when NO ONE ELSE was outside, not even that cute girl who runs the same time I do and wears those little shorts that say "hot stuff" on the back. Why weren't they outside? Because it was hotter than the surface of Venus. And not in a sexy way. I think this is what we call exercise addiction. And damn, I was doing so well there for a while! Not to mention that I think I've done some Very Bad Thing to my right shoulder...possibly too many laps in the pool, or too much arm-swinging with the running, or overzealous elliptical use. It feels like something's popped out of place.

So I went for a little 3-1/2 mile jaunt and came back...DEAD. No, not really, but close, and I'm sure I smelled like something had died. A cold shower has never felt so good. Each individual drop of cold water was like a little orgasm on my skin. Seriously.

Add to the heat the fact that I have been running around like beheaded poultry trying to get things in order for financial aid, the move to St. L, and actually attending medical school (sadly, in that order), and you see why I've been away a few days, and haven't been religiously commenting on my favorite blogs (I'm looking at you, DrugMonkey, Nurse Ratched, and Nurse K--squealed apologies!).

So. A man shot up a Tennessee church because he hated its liberal leanings--especially towards "the queers." Oh Joy. Most news outlets didn't even cover the reasoning behind his rampage, and furthermore it's now dropped COMPLETELY out of the limelight. If some "liberal elitist" were, on the other hand, to shoot up a megachurch because they were tired of the relentless anti-gay or anti-choice rhetoric (of course, this probably wouldn't happen, as liberals aren't likely to have a gun rack for the Audi), you KNOW the folks at FoxSpews...I mean, News...would be flogging it for MONTHS. So we've learned the lesson--feel free to kill some queer-lovers. It's not really news. The world cares more about Britney Spears' visitation rights anyway. (Please, please, please note the extreme sarcasm).

In other news, if you're reading this, Amy T, hello! Feel free to leave a comment! It's not weird...