Sunday, February 28, 2010

Medical Students are WEIRD

This makes me wonder what bizarre things I do that I don't realize. Aside from my neurotic need to draw lined boxes all over sheets of paper and in books, and wear my sunglasses indoors, I'm not sure what mine could be. Nonetheless...THIS is ridiculous. I only wish I had a picture of Towel Head to accompany it. Honestly man, if you want to be that comfortable go home and study on your bed/couch/floor. After this picture was taken, he covered up with the blanket you can see in the background. WTF...

So, who is Towel Head you ask? Towel Head is a kid who, true to his name, carries the same freakin' towel with him everywhere. Instead of sleeping in his apartment like a normal person he takes random naps all over campus and goes home once a week. His reason? He doesn't like his apartment...This is not the Iron Curtain. You can move to another apartment at any time.

Also, the smell of revolting...

Friday, February 26, 2010

The never-ending cycle

Mini 2 is just around the corner. Is it just me or does it feel like we were just taking Mini 1 from Semester 1??? This semester has, so far, gone by MUCH quicker than last semester. I think the majority of it is I'm more accustomed to Dominica and its culture's juxtapositions with my own. That doesn't mean I like them any better, but they're not throwing me for a loop every other day like they did last semester. I'm not nearly as annoyed when I have to wait three extra minutes to get change. I still don't understand why people here move like they're tied down to a Bowflex machine, but I deal because it's either deal, or gain five pounds due to stress. What's the better option?

I've been going through yet another round of Stevie Nicks/Fleetwood Mac infatuation the last few weeks. Two weeks ago I was given an assignment on the affects of cocaine in PBL, and after reading about the hoarseness that cocaine abuse can cause I was trying to think of a real-world example just to liven up the discussion, and my mind floated to Stevie Nicks, a well-known cocaine abuser. Thanks to I was able to procure the Rock a Little and The Wild Heart albums for a grand total of $1.00. Fly, right? Cocaine habit aside, I really enjoy her music. In fact, I enjoy it so much that I would (disturbingly) find myself completely zoning out while listening to the lyrics, only to find myself about to run off the road. As a result I had to 86 the Stevie-in-the-car thing. Of course on the flipside it makes long flights so much quicker...

I've also had difficulty getting to sleep the last few nights. I'm not positive, but it wouldn't surprise me if the oppressive, sticky heat this week has had anything to do with it. The night before last I just sat in the bed for hours, feeling sticky and gross and wide awake. I ended reading all about B-cells until I just couldn't stand the fun anymore, and substituted it for an episode of Roseanne. Even more exciting, no?

I'm annoyed that I can't follow the healthcare (sidenote, why do I always want to spell that word "h-e-a-t-h"? I've been doing that since the fourth grade) clustergem back home. The only thing I've been able to glean so far is that aside from it being MORE expensive Mr. Obama is proposing to eliminate the Nebraska deal and the public option. He is however, proposing tax hikes on the top income earners. Won't that please the wealth envy crowd? Never mind that taxing the top earners gives them less incentives to provide jobs, which is where the real issue is in the economy. Higher taxes and higher unemployment go hand-in-hand. Now of course the "spend your way out of recession" crowd will use that line, BUT, like many of them were mussing and fussing about during the Iraq War (myself included) I'm left asking WHERE THE HELL IS THIS MONEY COMING FROM? Did we make some under-the-table deal with Greece?? Is that why they're bankrupt? Ok, teeth are gnashing and my blood pressure's going up. I'm going to have to leave this topic alone for a little while.

I sometimes wonder if the random and disjointed nature of my posts/thoughts are coherent to anyone but myself, even though I know of only two or three people who actually read this blog. I must say I rarely have time to actually sit down and write well thought out postings because that takes time and EDITING. On top of that there are usually three or four thoughts flying around my head at once anyway, and if I were to do a complete posting on each and every one of them as I would like to, I'd never get anything done. I'm far too scatterbrained. Don't most people think in blips and blurbs anyway as opposed to essays and soliloquies? How much more effective is it?

One last mentioning. I'm getting really bad about letting my email inbox rack up 300 and 400 messages (most of them unread Facebook notifications) before I ever get the impetus to actually delete them. Never mind that I check my email a minimum of 432 times per day...

Monday, February 22, 2010


Dominicans have this fun little game they like to play. It's called Scream-on-the-streets-when-I-can-hear-you-perfectly-but-mumble-when-you're-on-the-phone. It's really annoying because they blast my ear off when I'm five feet away, but I can't hear anything they're saying over the phone. I think they do it on purpose and get a kick out of it. Even more annoying is when you say "wrong number" they a) keep talking like they have no concept of wrong number or b) call the same damn number maybe there's some variable telephone fairy that will just randomly dart their number to the correct phone...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Work's rants

I'm disturbed that I can still remember the number to Fisher Scientific's customer service line. 1-800-766-7000. Press 1 for new orders, # to speak with an agent. I always wanted an agent so I could finger point (how chivalrous of me, I know). Regulated industry is all about CYA! I probably remember it because I only called them at least twice a week, and sometimes more. I do not know the account number, and never did. The company recognized the phone number, and I would confirm my identity. If for some bizarre reason I needed the number I had an online user account that was linked to a password, but it took some fishing to get the actual number. So wonderful Royston facility workers need not be worried that I can still rack up illicit purchases!

I'm rediscovering some of my dormant OCD-ness. I've felt the need to book all of my airline tickets NINE MONTHS before I need them, at least the vital ones. To be fair there are only so many flights off of this island getting the good ones require vigilance and staying on top of things. After purchasing the blasted ticket, however, I noticed that my American Airlines flight from San Juan to Dominica in May had been moved by four hours from a 2:00pm departure to a 10:10am departure. American neglected to inform me of this. God only knows what would have happened if I had checked later. The catch you ask? My Delta flight from Atlanta wasn't due to LAND in San Juan until 12:15pm. See the problem??? A slight drawback resulting from having to buy two separate tickets. In the end it was all good as I was able to change the Delta ticket free of charge. On the flipside I now have to overnight in San Juan as opposed to being able to do it all in one day. Oh well. The positive is I now don't have to wake up at 5:30 to be at the airport in time for an 8:30 flight as my new flight leaves early evening. Thanks American Airlines. That is one tally mark in the NEGATIVE column for you.

I would also like to know why I always get the divine pleasure of sitting behind people who insist on putting their backpacks on the back of the row, as opposed to under their seat like the vast majority of people. This is INCREDIBLY annoying for tall people like myself who have long legs and people who have to end up walking up and down the aisle. A quick survey around the room yields that most people have put their backpacks in the seat next to them or under their seat. That brings me to another point, two seats is marginal, but you do not need to take up three spaces with your spread out crap. My lovely Canuck for some reason insists she needs all these spaces when in reality she just has piles and piles of paper there. Really now, you only read on packet at a time, organize the rest of them. Most of us manage to only use one space, why do some people need three (and I've seen one or two people spread out across five). The biggest irk though is the inconsiderate boobs who insist on placing their backpacks in the most inconvenient places. Sorry ladies, but you're the worst offenders!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Carnival...and clouds...

The grand occasion of Carnival was spent mostly doing diddly squat. We had a three day weekend so I was welcome to leisurely review material and preread for the coming week. I mostly did that, substituting an entire season of Dexter for the last twenty slides of that Basal ganglia lecture. Having already seen how wonderfully half-assed this country celebrates things like it's 30th independence, I wasn't all to enticed to go stand around and see the other half of the town stand around and yell at the half that's always standing there. It's kinda weird. They yell at each other on the streets, but they almost whisper when in the stores/banks/restaurants. Also, the only people who seem to dance are the people who have no business shaking what they have. The people who don't have anything to shakes seem to not dance. It's interesting. After spending six hours in the bed watching Dexter and reading about the epithelium of the oral cavity I decided food would be a good idea. So I went to Subway, and somehow ended up at Epic Fail's house, where I ended up staying for like six hours. Epic Fail had the same books I did, so I ended up reading physio and neuro for most of the afternoon, so it was a mostly productive day. I felt like I learned/read a good bit, so whatever. It also ended up raining off and on most of the day, which is OF COURSE a perfect excuse to lounge away the day like a beached whale. I talked to a few people in the Subway line who had gone to Roseau and they said it was an organizational mess (surprise surprise). I guess I'll save my Carnival experience for Rio...

This morning on the way to class I was nearly knocked over by a cloud of marijuana smoke that seemed to come out of nowhere. I was walking down the river on my road to class and was just overcome by the smell. It wasn't the usual whiff/trace that we normally get at any random moment walking down the road. It was full on OMG I'M IN A CLOUD OF MARIJUANA SMOKE AND I HAVE NOWHERE TO RUN. I thought I felt a slight buzz for a few minutes afterward...Seriously, the murderer guy must have been smoking a rope of weed down there. Ok, now that I've seriously overblown that one...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Possibly the saddest song I've ever heard in my life

Turn down the lights, turn down the bed
Turn down these voices inside my head
Lay down with me, tell me no lies
Just hold me close, don't patronize - don't patronize me

Cause I can't make you love me if you don't
You can't make your heart feel something it won't
Here in the dark, in these final hours
I will lay down my heart and I'll feel the power
But you won't, no you won't
'Cause I can't make you love me, if you don't

I'll close my eyes, then I won't see
The love you don't feel when you're holding me
Morning will come and I'll do what's right
Just give me till then to give up this fight
And I will give up this fight

Cause I can't make you love me if you don't
You can't make your heart feel something it won't
Here in the dark, in these lonely hours
I will lay down my heart and I'll feel the power
But you won't, no you won't
'Cause I can't make you love me, if you don't

~ from Bonnie Raitt's Luck of the Draw album


Mini 1 came and went, woohoo. I can't really complain about the results -- they were frankly better than expected given how freaked out I was before the test itself. I felt like I didn't know a blasted thing. I'm now hooked on Dexter. We burned through True Blood, and now it looks like the same will occur with Dexter. I must say, though, that I'm amazed the creator isn't on a perpetual thorazine drip. No normal person would ever come up with some of these plot lines. Is it possible we had Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dalmer write down all of their sinister thoughts so we could commercially exploit them when society had reached its limit of pathetic reality television and Sex and the City went off the air???

In other news the friendly Suffriere Hills volcano on the lovely little island of Montserrat is acting up again. For those not in the know, the volcano was dormant for hundreds of years, then in 1997 blew its up, burying the capital of Montserrat, Plymouth. Since then it's been erupting in an on-again-off-again fashion. Thursday, 11 February 2010 its dome collapsed sending volcanic ash nine (NINE!) miles into the sky. Since we are only about 100 miles away from Montserrat, some of the ash came raining down on Dominica. It looked like snow at times it was so heavy. I find that somewhat comical considering at home in Atlanta they had/have four inches of snow. It's very rare for us to have two winters in a row where we get a lot of snow. At the end of February last year we had seven inches in some places near Athens. I read yesterday that every state in the US had some snow on the ground. WOW!

Thankfully we didn't get ashed (is that even a word?) as badly as some neighboring islands like Guadeloupe and Antigua, which are more or less right next door to Montserrat. In fact, Montserrat had a lot of advertising in Antigua when I was there in August saying "Come visit, we're right next door!". A lot of LIAT flights in and around the area have been cancelled or grounded. I wonder how much of a shock this is to their regular customers considering LIAT has a horrible on-time record and all of my flights with them have been ordeals. Many people here (read students) had surgical masks on, which I couldn't help but laugh at. The ash didn't irritate my eyes directly but most definitely gave me a headache due to the dust and the haze. I seem to be particularly sensitive to strong sources of light. My sunglasses are omnipresent anyway, and I often wear them inside because my eyes don't seem to care too much for the double whammy of florescent lights and hours and hours and hours of reading from computer screens.When I flew to Dominica in January we actually flew around the volcano in question. It had been erupting on a much smaller scale than what we experienced this week, but it was still bizarre to see this giant cloud of dust and ash in the sky.

Some friends of mine had been planning to Guadeloupe for this long (three day) weekend, but the fact that everybody in Guadeloupe is running around with their own face masks, if they go outside at all, they had to cancel. On a not-so-funny note, they have been unable to contact their hotel to cancel their reservation. Note to self, never deal with!

I'm tired, and also tired of being tired. I want this semester OVER!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Lots of places to be...

I came across a thread somewhere that asked how many counties had you been to in your home state. Well, for those not in the know The Great State of Georgia (We're Glad It's on Your Mind) has 159 counties, second only to Texas with its mind-boggling 254, but Texas is much larger (hand me my Captain Obvious award). Here is the glorious list, 63% complete!

Baldwin -- went to school here, you would have to pay me a very large sum of money to ever live there again, it's tied with Greene County for the cradle of idiocy.
Banks -- duh, the outlet malls
Barrow -- once the home of pure rednecks, now a yuppie's paradise
Bibb -- ugh, Macon, enough said...
Bryan -- a stop on an interstate somewhere
Camden -- marsh, and more marsh
Clarke -- Athens...spent many a weekend here ;)
Columbia -- the AUG
DeKalb -- twas in 86 when I made my first appearance on this little tract of land
Franklin -- worked there, wouldn't recommend living there
Fulton -- concerts, boat shows, and traffic
Gilmer -- old one horse mountain town turned into kitsch mountain town...
Glynn -- da beach
Greene -- the other half of the cradle of idiocy
Gwinnett -- home sweet home! Grew up there
Hancock -- ugh, even worse drivers than Baldwin or Putnam
Hart -- lived there, LAKE AND MORE LAKE
Macon -- no, Macon, GA is not here...
Madison -- the road between work and Athens, lol.
Putnam -- some of the worst and stupidest drivers on the world. They have no concept of it... at all...and the cops prey on outsiders...
Richmond -- more AUG

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Odd movies and TV shows

I'm just now getting around to writing about this, but just as the semester began my friends got me hooked on True Blood. For those of you not in the know True Blood is the fantastically gory show about vampires in Louisiana based on The Southern Vampire Mysteries. It's a completely ridiculous but very addictive show that has some elements of Southern Gothic and Vampire lore amalgamated with the usual HBO softcore porn. The protagonists are a young woman named Sookie (who in their right mind name's a girl Sookie! That's a cow's name for cryin' out loud!) and her vampire boyfriend Bill. The actor who plays Bill actually does a pretty good job of imitating a traditional hoity toity Upper Crust Southern Accent, much like my great-grandmother's... Anyway, the first weekend we were all back we started watching the first season, well, that was burned through in about 8 days. THEN the second season was done through a series of marathon late Friday and Saturday nights. Now, I'm not quite sure what we're going to do about Season Three, because it's still "in production," and none of us has HBO here. We have all the movies channels except HBO -- how lame is that...Anywho, the ladies swoon over Eric, the stereotypical Swedish vampire. It's kinda funny, I went to school with a lot of Swedes and most of them did not have blond hair and blue eyes. They did however, have a masterful grasp on the English language...

On top of that let me just say that looking up these pictures brought up A LOT of creepy pictures of drag queens...and this particular gem of I think Cher, or a drag queen doing a really good impersonation of be the judge... Don't ask me why I know this, because I don't even know, but I think that picture was taken on that whirlwind tour of Cher's where she trotted the globe for like three years depleting the world of it's supply of sequins, thereby putting us the Global Financial Crisis as we scurried to find more sequins for her and her troupe of sequin-clad dancers and front-row bitches. And then, as if that wasn't enough, we have to send Cher (Cher!) To Vegas, where they encourage OTT costumes and frivolity. Ok, why did I get off on that tangent...somebody do please figure me out and let me know so I can genug with all this nonsense!
Anyway, back on topic here, Sunset Boulevard is one of those few movies that has absolutely no good ending at all. There isn't one shred of happy/awwww/phew/I-knew-it-would-work-out moments AT ALL, and I think that's what makes it a good movie and at the same time one of the most unique movies. It's a tragedy through and through. You, as the viewer, want it to be a little satirical and "gotcha bitch" like All About Eve but no. There's nothing heartwarming about it. Yet I love it! It does, however, provide the launch pad for William Holden's career and that priceless moment at the Brown Derby where Lucy Ricardo creams him with a pie, then lights her fake nose on fire. Wow, are we on 50's wayback or what???