Tuesday, May 25, 2010

This is why I'm so fascinated by psychiatry. What happens in a young brain to cause pain and pleasure to get confused? What is it, exactly, that 'turns someone's mind'? What pushes someone to make the jump from normalcy to freakdom? Because, rest assured, there is such a thing as a freak, such a thing as 'sick.' (As for why we brand certain things freakish and sick, that's a topic for a whole sociology library). For example, so-called "supermasochist" Bob Flanagan, the infamous early-90s arts grant recipient whose performances included nailing his manhood to a board onstage. He also happened to be (at the time of his death in 1996) the longest-living person with cystic fibrosis, a disease that generally kills people--horribly and painfully--in their teens if not earlier. Was he fighting the pain of his illness with pain that was self-inflicted, in order to finally have some control over the pain; to be able to say, "CF, I will hurt myself before you can"? Or did he eroticize the pain because it was the only way that his psyche could make his life with CF bearable? Did his masochism (admittedly extreme) have anything to do with his unusually long life, a way of fighting death by courting it? Flanagan attempted to answer this question (or at least a tongue-in-cheek send-up) in his poem 'why'. I almost linked directly to that poem--on second thought, just google it up. More about this soon, I think; I've been thinking about this a good deal lately.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Scientists find new role for ultrasound — as a male contraceptive - Times Online

So imagine your guy could go in for a quick procedure--no, not even a procedure, really--every six months and you would both have zero worries about birth control.
It's time contraception caught up with the sexual equality thing that has (kinda) swept through most other areas of our lives. Or did in, like, 1970.
Now, I don't have to worry about this myself, but having just finished our OB/Gyn course it's definitely on my mind the extent to which contraceptives for women--especially hormonal contraceptives--can really screw with one's body (and mind). Granted, a lot of the pills are low-dose now and don't have nearly the side effects they used to, but how about something that requires no pills or invasive procedures whatsoever (included the 'invasive procedure' addendum after remembering a friend whose Copper-T IUD caused her so much pain and bleeding that when her doc told her to 'give it a few more months,' she told him he was either taking it out before her next period or she was finding someone who would)? Behold:
Scientists find new role for ultrasound — as a male contraceptive - Times Online

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Sorry it's been so long, folks. Studying. And studying. And, you know, stuff.

Boards, which apparently determine your fate for the rest of your days, are in a month. Despite the fact that many people (including a psychiatrist) have told me that, as a wannabe psychiatrist, my board scores don't matter, I still want to do well. Ok, not just well. Not to be hypercompetitive or anything, but I want to nail the test to the wall by its balls. So there.

Feeling a little cranky, studying this much. Want to complain about some things. So here we are, the things that have been pissing me off lately:

Having to drive out to the VA to get fingerprinting done so I can do rotations there. Granted, it's my own fault.

Allergies that not even Zyrtec can touch. Ok, "Wal-zyr," but whatever. It's spring and everyone's having sex. Even the plants are having sex, and that's getting up my nose (literally) and making my life a miserable orgy of antihistamines and tissues.

Cilantro. This is nothing new; I've never liked it. But especially lately, it seems like everyone thinks they have to tart up their cuisine with chipotle this and cilantro that. F*ck cilantro.

In the same vein, what are acai berries, and why have they found their way into my blueberry yogurt such that, in fact, there IS no blueberry Light and Fit, only blueberry-acai Light and Fit? The same goes for you, goji berries. I've got my eye on you.