Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Decorative Baskets

The link goes to with the very type of basket I am reviewing. This review is for people looking for decorations that are both functional and beautiful. A wicker weave basket is the perfect solution. It is both beautiful and functional. It fits into a variety of decorative motifs. And depnding on what you would use them for, you have many options at your disposal.

In my own apartment, I use the baskets in a couple of the rooms. In my living room, I have a lovely rectangular shaped basket with cloth lining to store my remotes. The color of the wicker is a light brown that goes well with the color of my couch. The depth of the basket means that you can't see what's in the basket from a few feet away and so all those remotes (I seriously have like 6 or 7) don't offend the delicate sensibilities of my apartment that is strongly influenced by estrogen-based decorations.

The Girl Scout in me likes to have things readily available. Always Be Prepared and all that. So my wicker baskets allow me to prettily arrange the things I want to have on hand without having to have loose pens, safety pins, etc. lying around and cluttering the place up. For example, in my remote basket, I also have a spare blue and black pen, a small pair of scissors, and extra minty chewing gum.

I also have a basket in my bedroom with remotes, a tiny little bottle of air freshener, lip gloss, a baby flashlight, and hair clips.

But my favorite basket is in my bathroom. I have all the basics a guest who might use my bathroom could possibly need without having to pry through all my things to find them. I have a medium-tooth comb, nail clippers, a nail file, cough drops, Claritin, air freshener, Kleenex tissue, Vaseline, a lint roller, two safety pins, five bobby pins, and three tampons (each one a different size). I've put a lot of thought into this basket. The basket itself is a dark brown that matches the color scheme of my bathroom. Everything in the basket it either brown, turquoise, red, or silver. In fact, it looks like a gift basket. I am quite proud of it.

So, the key to a great basket as functional decorations is to place it where it is least obstructive. Also, make sure it fits your color/decorative scheme. Next, fill it with useful things that help keep the place organized, neat, and private. And if all esle fails and yo just have to have a basket in your life, fill it with potpouri stuffed animals.

My Favorite Things About Decorative Baskets: 1) They come in many colors, shapes, and sized; you can get exactly what you need for the space you need to fill. 2) The possibilities are endless in terms of what you can keep in them. The cloth lining makes it possible to put even clothes pins in these baskets and keep track of them.
My Least Favorite Things About Decorative Baskets: 1) They aren't exactly unique. Once something is mass-produced on and at Wal-Mart, you haven't found something you won't also see at all your friends' houses. 2) They are probably super flammable. If you think your house may go up in flames, don't count on holding on to anything you decide to put in those baskets.
Final Rank: 4/5. They're not easy to keep clean; dust gets into the crevices and don't even think about refitting the cloth on the basket after you wash it in your washing macine.

Paying Bills

This, and the next few days, are the days when I pay my bills. I don't like paying bills. It's not that I don't like spending money. I like spending money, but I like spending money and getting an immediate, hopefully pretty, reward for what I've spent. This most often results in a pretty dress or a lovely pair of strappy sandals.

But when, it's bill-paying, it doens't feel the same. I know I sound like an excerpt from "Confessions of a Shopaholic" and I don't mean to. But I do like the feeling I get when I've purchased something. And I know that I am getting something for the money. After all, if I didn't pay my bills, I wouldn't get to keep having water when I turned my faucet on. I wouldn't have access to the past episodes of "How I Met Your Mother" on On Demand on Comcast. I wouldn't even have the juice or internet connection to write this blog. I get it, I just don't feel it, you know?

But that doesn't change what I have to do. I have to go online to a couple of website (thank God for online bill pay) and walk over to my property manager's office to pay my bills for March/April (there's some overlap there). But the fact that I have to pay bills never means I'm going to enjoy it.

You know what would work better for me? Being able to pay as I used something. Like, if I had to enter a code when I turned on my TV, type in a pin number before each shower, swipe my credit card when I turned up my heat (or A/C, go Spring!), or confirm the last 4 digits of my social when I logged onto the internet, I'd more appreciate what I was purchasing. The separation of goods and payment for goods makes me feel like I'm spending money while getting nothing in return.

I don't like being this grown up with bills and other crap. Part of me wants some man to sweep in and take me away from all of it. He will take care of me and I'll never have to be bothered with paying a bill ever again. Just lovely strappy sandals in my future. That is so melodramatic, I know. But that's how I feel when I pay bills. I feel melodramatic. I can't wait until April 4th. Of course, there needs to be some concern about filling out my FAFSA too. And my taxes. But that's what Daddy's are for! And once I get married, that's what my husband will be for. And if by chance my hubby has no skills, that's what H&R Block will be for.

Strip Clubs and Being Judgemental

I don't know what percentage of American men and American women have been to strip clubs, but I am currently interested in that statistic. I'm also interested in finding out what current public opinion is about strip clubs. The recent news story about improper spending by the RNC has brought this to mind. I'm less concerned with what's goin to happen to Michael Steele and more concerned about the open-mindedness of this country.

I've been paying attention to MSNBC, Comedy Central, and ABC when looking at coverage of this story. Mostly because these people don't often say things that piss me off. But what I notice is not so much judgement of the strip club (art interpretation) as judgement of the Republicans. They are supposedly the party of family values, yet they have as many varied and unique scandals as the Democrats. If they were to gain perspective and be more honest about the heterogeneity of their consituents, perhaps they would have more people in their party. Not that I want that, though.

But I don't get why strip clubs are such a bad deal. What do I know? I'm just a liberal Democrat who thinks sexual freedom is important. I think people should have the right to do, and not do, whatever they want. I believe this within reason, no one should be dying from sexual acts or forced to engage in them. If all parties involved are in agreement and enjoyment, who is anybody else to judge what happens?

If I were discovered to have spent a good deal of money at a strip club, I would be furious and indignant towards anyone who tried to judge me. For the record, I am a heterosexual 20-something female and I like strip clubs. I think they're fun. I wouldn't ever go to one for women without at least 10 friends. And I wouldn't ever go to one for men without a heterosexual male or homosexual female by my side. That's how I like it. However someone else likes it is their business.

Perhaps people wouldn't be so over the top about this news story with the RNC if they were a little more honest about their intentions. They want to recruit more donors since Mr. Steele is draining the coffers. One of the people they hired to do that took the potential donors to an interesting location in order to gain their attention and perhaps money. You can't blame them for that, at least I don't. I do however blame them for their constant and mind-boggling hypocrisy.

All this frustration gets me down. I know what would make me feel better, a trip to a strip club with Bad. We always have such fun. We always get adopted by a friendly stripper who's not obsessed with getting a whole bunch of money from us. Conversation skills are important in every industry.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Water Supply

I have, over the years, heard a lot about water. The latest is actually related to the healthcare reform debate. The attorneys general who have filed suit against the new law say that one can't be told what to buy by the government. It is the center of the case. Yet, the article I've linked to shows that it is very possible for the government to force the people to buy things if it is in the best interest of the people on whole.

These people are not allowed to use their well water, but have to purchase the municipal water. Even if they would prefer to buy all their water in bottle form (even for bathing), that's still not allowed.

Can you imagine, if someone wanted to use all their water from bottled water. How would that work? Would they make all the drinking water Fiji, all the cooking water Evian, all the cleaning water Aquafina, and all the bathing water generic brand? Would that even matter? How much waste would that produce in the form of plastic bottles? It's very impractical to be sure.

I wonder how many people have had the argument about whether water has a taste. I don't know if water itself has a taste, I don't believe I've ever had water with nothing else in it. I don't mean Crystal Light, I mean without chlorine or magnesium, or salt. There are all types of metals and minerals floating around in the water. I know I don't like spring water, it tastes like it probably has microscopic particles of soil floating all through it, yuck.

But, having grown up in Chicago, gone to college in Florida, and now living in Rockford, I know what it means to appreciate your water supply. The difference in the quality of the water source and the purification process is really something. And it's not just about drinking water. It's also about bathing water. I take a lot of pride in my skin and how it is to touch, and there's always an adjustment period when I move to a new area because the water is always very different. Chicago's water is wonderfully soft on the skin and palatable to the tongue. Florida is neither. Rockford tastes okay, but doesn't feel very good. Without Dove, I would be in a bad place.

The Summary: water is not only a sustainer of life and cleanliness, it's also capable of breaking apart the fundamental argument against healthcare. Go water!

Kindle DX Wireless Reading Device

This device is amazing!!! I spent a lot of time researching e-book readers before I purchased one.

This is what you'll see if you check out the page for the Kindle DX:
Beautiful Large Display: 9.7" diagonal e-ink screen reads like real paper; boasts 16 shades of gray for clear text and sharp images
Slim: Just over 1/3 of an inch, as thin as most magazines
Books In Under 60 Seconds: Get books delivered wirelessly in less than 60 seconds; no PC required
3G Wireless: 3G wireless lets you download books right from your Kindle DX; no monthly fees, no annual contracts, and no hunting for Wi-Fi hotspots
Global Coverage: Enjoy 3G wireless coverage at home or abroad in over 100 countries.
Carry Your Library: Holds up to 3,500 books, periodicals, and documents
Longer Battery Life: Now read for up to 1 week on a single charge with wireless on, a significant improvement from the previous battery life of 4 days
Built-In PDF Reader: Native PDF support allows you to carry and read all of your personal and professional documents on the go
Auto-Rotating Screen: Display auto-rotates from portrait to landscape as you turn the device so you can view full-width maps, graphs, tables, and Web pages
Read-to-Me: With the text-to-speech feature, Kindle DX can read newspapers, magazines, blogs, and books out loud to you, unless the book's rights holder made the feature unavailable
Large Selection: Over 450,000 books and the largest selection of the most popular books people want to read, including 101 of 112 New York Times® Best Sellers, plus U.S. and international newspapers, magazines, and blogs. For non-U.S. customers, content availability and pricing will vary.
Out-of-Copyright, Pre-1923 Books: Over 1.8 million free, out-of-copyright, pre-1923 books are available to read on Kindle, including titles such as The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Pride and Prejudice, and Treasure Island.
Low Book Prices: New York Times® Best Sellers and new releases from $9.99. When traveling abroad, you can download books wirelessly from the Kindle Store or your Archived Items. U.S. customers will be charged a fee of $1.99 for international downloads.
Free Book Samples: Download and read first chapters for free before you decide to buy

Of course, before one purchases an e-reader, more reseach needs to be done. I compared the Kindle DX with the Kindle 2, the Sony e-book reader (the one with the color touchscreen at the bottom), and the Barnes & Noble nook. But this is not a comparison, it's a review of the Kindle DX.

The first thing I noticed when I turned on my Kindle DX was how sleek it looked. It felt a little heavier in my hand than I expected and cause a slight tinge of regret at not getting the smaller one. Then, I saw the font changes. I was playing around with the sizes of the fonts and the way the screen automatically turned so I could see from all four sides. I began to get giddy, this was what I signed up for after all. I began looking around the Kindle Store. There were so many books available for free. Well, they had a price, but Amazon offered savings that got the price down to $0.00. So, I downloaded about 100 books. This whole process took me about 12 minutes. That was amazing.

I bought the Kindle to help me study for school. I have lots of notes from the hundreds of lectures we have for each test. But amazon charges 99 cents for each document they covert for you. Even if you load the document on your Kindle by USB, they'll take it off using the whispernet (or whatever they're calling it these days), covert it to PDF, and load it back on your Kindle. Then they'll charge you for it. Seeing as how I have so many documents, it was just cheaper for me to get a $9.99 subscription with to convert the files myself. I can convert webpages, Word documents, and powerpoint files. That worked out perfectly for me.

I also like that it plays music. I loaded my music I purchased from iTunes onto my Kindle DX. But it wouldn't play. I couldn't figure out what I had done wrong, so of course I sought out Google to solve my problems. Turns out iTunes has it's music files as an MP4 format, not MP3. Those protected files are not the right format for the Kindle. But there are several programs you can download on the internet that are actually legal in order to convert the files. Now, when I pulled up my iTunes files, they were M4A format, which is not protected and thus, were able to be easily converted. I finally had music on my beloved Kindle.

Next is the search capabilities of the Kindle. Here is an example search. I can type "rainbow" using the keyboard and it shows up on the screen at the bottom. I can then choose to search my content (except the PDF files), search the Kindle Store, search the dictionary (a very extensive one) that comes with the Kindle, search Google, or search Wikipedia. It's an amazing resource, especially for me because I have to constantly look up terms while studying.

My Favorite Things about the Kindle DX: 1) Even if your place is lost in the book when you reopen it, you can choose "sync to last read page" on the menu and it will take you there. 2) If I want to listen to music, but not disturb those around me, the volume adjust a wide range, and there is a headphone jack. 3) It's so portable. I literally take my Kindle everywhere. Whenever I have down time, I have it out.
My Least Favorite Things about the Kindle DX: 1) the MP3 player is especially rudimentary. You cannot skip tracks or save your spot in the playlist if you have your Kindle off for too many days. 2) I can't adjust the font on the PDF, which make me extra glad I got the larger Kindle. 3) The extended warranty is misleading. I didn't even get it. They make it seem like by purchasing it you get three years, but you only get two. It's like paying extra for only a few more features. No thank you, this technology evolves too fast. I'll probably want a different e-reader in two years anyway.
Final Rank: 4/5 The Kindle DX is one of the most costly e-book readers available on the market right now. But darn it if that e-ink background and large memory don't more than make up for it.

Reading Blogs

Yup, I'm writing a blog about blogging. It's become my new way to keep sane. Last fall, it was ballroom dancing. Last winter, it was hula dancing. I definitely have some interesting ways to stay sane with the schedule I have and the obligations I have.
I like blogging. It takes a lot more time on my computer (I follow a number of blogs in addition to writing my own). If I can reconcile my new sedentary hobby with my need to not feel like a couch potato, then this is a wonderful new addition to my life.
My blog doesn't have a true direction except for being about whatever is most pressing on my mind at the moment I'm writing.
The blogs I read vary as well. I am very very into politics. I try not to write too much about it because it will eventualy sound like a one note song. But, I do know that I love love love reading blogs that are about politics. I'm such a liberal and I love snarky wit, so the Rude Pundit is one of my aboslute favorite blogs. I've been following it for over a year.
Then there are the blogs that are similar to my own. The blogs that are written by 20-something women who are commenting on the happenings in their lives are of great interest to me. I like seeing that someone is going through life experiences that are so similar to mine in so many ways.
Then there are the things I read that don't fall into the category of blogs I follow. I love reading and I also love reading about soap operas online. My particular faves are All My Children and One Life to Live. There are weekly commentaries that I look forward to all the time.
Whatever I'm reading, it certainly helps me stay sane. They offer an escape from my life, in a way that feels real (except for the soap operas) because they're about real people and real events. So thank you blogosphere for keeping me sane!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Why Am I Attracted to Men Who Don't Have Time For Me?

The article I've linked to does a pretty good job of expressing how I am in life. I want it all. And a healthy, happy romantic relationship is an important part of what I want. It's not the only important part. There's family relationships, my friendships, my career, my own personal life (hobbies, religion, self-improvement), and the impact I have on the world around me through community service and mentoring. But this blog is about romantic relationships.
There is this man I met on Halloween. He's made quite an impression on me. He is the only person in my life right now that I could truly see building a life with. I'm not planning out the rest of our lives, but if a serious committment discussion were to happen, I'm pretty sure I'd be on board.
Usually when I assess a man who is interested in me, I measure him up against a list of wants and non-negotiables to see how he measures up. I don't remember actually doing that this time. There was just something about this guy. We'll call him PT. PT didn't have to run the gamut of approvals that other men have. He hasn't even met my parents yet. I usually have a guy meet my parents even bfore a month has passed (They have an amazing crazy radar. When I really like someone, I lose all ability to gauge reality). But we have been getting to know each other without too many outside influences, which is a nice switch.
And PT has been lavishing me with praise in the aftermath of what I was afraid was a mistake. I'm still super glad I took that risk thinking I may get a different response this time. But anyway, I'm about to finally get to the point.
PT has an amazing job and life. These things were in place before he met me. He has a lot, I mean a lot, of demands on his time. There just isn't a whole bunch of time for me. Knowing that I am going to be delivering babies for a living assures me that someone who has their own life will not give me grief for the way I spend my time. PT certainly never gives me grief for the time I spend on my life.
One of my best friends, I'll call him Bad, always tells me that I want contradicting things. I want the type of romance that Carrie describes to the Russian in an episode in the last season of Sex and the City. That all-consuming passionate love. Yet I also want someone who is settled, provides a sense of security and has aspirations in life that include more than just loving me. I'm asking for a whole lot that could be contradicting in most men. What I end up with is a man who ends up upset with me because I have more things to do than sit in his lap and be in love. Well, either that or a man who is so busy building the foundation of his life that it is of little consequence to him that he hasn't been building a relationship with me. I was afraid the PT was the second type.
For one, I don't see him that often. We live in different cities and have abhoriously differnt schedules. Also, there are so many times I think of something I want to say to him, but can't reach him to have the conversation. I've been impressed with my ability to not freak out and go the way of insecurities and sabotage the relationship before it can get off the ground. We are not even close to where I usually am at this calendar point in a relationship. But I'm okay with taking things slow with him. It seems to be working in our benefit because we aren't forcing things and we're allowing a real transition period of relationship-building.
I have been having some trouble getting PT to come visit me in Rockford. Everytime, something comes up. I've been very patient, but it seems that finally it may happen. My grandmother encouraged me to push him on coming to visit me. I try not to take advice from her seeing as how she's divorced. But she's such a fan of PT, I didn't think she'd suggest something she wasn't sure of. And she was right! I asked a little more insistently, and now he's coming! Thank God for Spring Break! I guess, score one for patience and perseverance. Maybe this one man may have actually struck an acceptable balance of his life and ours.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Conflict of Logic aka No Logic at All

Well, I've been watching the growth of the Tea Party movement. Even though there are a few nuts in the bunch, I've been in favor of its growth for a few reasons. 1) At least they're doing something constructive with their free time (obviously they have lots of free time to show up at the Capitol and peoples' home towns all the time). 2) They're members of the Tea Party and hopefully not one of the other "patriot" groups that have popped up since Obama won the presidency that are actually racist nativist groups. 3) They're making their voices heard in a way that draws attention to an opinion that's opposite from the government majority. Having opposition front and center helps keep those in charge aware that they do not represent everyone, just some people (like me!).

I know that I am a very liberal person, for the most part. I mean, I love the idea of equality being slightly more important than freedom. I am referring to freedom the way the Republicans mean it. As an African-American woman, my idea of freedom concerns a little more than how much I pay in taxes. The fact that I can walk around without someone forcing me to shuck cotton or give up sex without asking permission first is my bigger freedom concern. But, alas, in the eyes of partisan politics, I find equality more important. Through rules and laws about education, health care, taxes, insurance, etc., the government can ensure that those who cannot do for themselves are not left to flail. And the free market never helped anyone but business people. Every single new area of the economy eventually becomes a monopoly in some part of America.
But, on the other hand, I think I'd like to have lots of guns, and I'm quite sure I don't want anyone to take them away. Now, what makes me liberal is the knowledge that as long as I'm not a convict or a person with some diagnosis from the Psych section of the DSM-IV, I can have those guns with a permit from my state. I don't think the government wants to take my guns. They don't. Gun control laws are sometimes a bit over-reaching. But they're not trying to take away my guns. That's just silly.
Also, I'm pro-abortion. Yup, I am strongly pro-abortion. I think that men can decide to not be a father with relative ease. Claim the baby isn't theirs, simply walk away, dodge a paternity test. There are all sorts of creative ways to avoid the burden. Women can't just walk away from being pregnant. Oh wait, they can! The idea of not being a parent should be equal opportunity. I would bet the entire cost of my medical education that if men were still the majority of our leaders and also the ones who had to be pregnant, abortion would be so legal, it would become recommended. The birth rate would decline, and white people would've been the American minority years ago. But I digress. The moral of that digression: I'm mostly liberal, but that doesn't mean I cannot understand the motivation behind people I completely disagree with standing up for what they believe in.
The Tea Party-ers want less government. They want the government to stop forcing taxes on them that pay for services and things. They feel that if left alone, they could face these problems themselves and come up with a viable solution. They are Libertarians and they want to be left alone. But the cognitive dissonance they engage in is too much for me to bear. This article I've linked to on the New York Times website finally confirms some things I've suspected about the Tea Party-ers.
1) There would be far less of them if unemployment weren't so bad. Most of the people quoted in this article cite joining the cause because they had time on their hands since being forced into retirement/being laid off.
2) They are relying on government help while also decrying it. Most of the Tea Party members are receiving unemployment, Medicare, and Social Security benefits. They denounce public benefits as "false philanthropy." This is an extra-special kind of cognitive dissonance. The fact that they receive these benefits is what allows them to continue to feed themselves and keep a roof over their heads while they protest the exact things keeping them afloat. I'll also bet large amounts of money that you'll never see a sign that says "Take Away My Unemployment Benefits and Stop Footing the Bill Now That I've Lost My Health Insurance."
3) They don't pay attention to the facts when they form their opinions. There is a quote from a man who is upset about lack of regulation by the government. At the same time he is protesting involvement. Let me say that again. “The government has allowed free trade and never set up any rules.” This while also lamenting government involvement. Yup, some serious cognitive dissonance.
"He and others do not see any contradictions in their arguments for smaller government even as they argue that it should do more to prevent job loss or cuts to Medicare. After a year of angry debate, emotion outweighs fact."
They acknowledge they aren't looking at the facts. But they don't care. They want what they want and they want it now. Give them more protection from unemployment. Secure their Medicare and Social Security. And do all of it while lowering their taxes and being less involved in their lives. Stop paying welfare rolls and divvying up money for education.
This amounts to a very selfish mindset. They want less government for everything except what would help them. That's how I sum up the situation. They want the government to help them, only in certain situations, and they want the government to not help anyone else.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Delivering Babies Tonight!!!

Well, maybe not actually sitting down there with a catcher's mitt on. But I will be in the Labor & Delivery Unit at RMH here in Rockford tonight from 5 pm until either 5 am or when I decide I have to go sleep. I'm so excited. I've said before that I want to do OB/GYN and the only other option I can see right now is Family Medicine with OB priveleges.

That's why tonight is so special. They have set up a shadow thing for us. They being the M3s (that's third year med students at U of I) and us being the M2s. Some of us have expressed interest in shadowing them while on rotation calls. This was supposed to happen for ER, surgery, and OB/GYN. I'm not sure how it's going for the other two, but for OB/GYN, we're actually getting in there. Rockford has a pretty high birth rate (sorta). And so I can expect to see a least a couple of deliveries tonight! I may actually be in the room, seeng that moment where someone takes their first breath.

I am soooooo excited, have I mentioned that? All I've been wanting is to see if this goal I've had for all these years is really based on what I think it is. Medicine has been a logical and emotional choice for me. One of the few choices I've made that is actually a good combo of both. And I like the idea of practicing medicine in one of the few areas that is almost always a happy occasion. I'm so excited! Deliveries, c-sections, tubal ligations, oh my!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Lazy Days in the Life of a Med Student

So, I've decided not to leave my house today. Not the best decision considering I have commitments to keep. So... I'll be leaving around 7 because I promised I'd be at the med building at 7 tonight for something I'm not even sure what it is. But alas, I'll be there. But with the rest of my day, I'm just studying. Lots of studying. Most people have a relaxing day and they pull out an instrument or the television remote or the book they've been meaning to read.

Me? I pulled out my Kindle to go over my Pathology notes. C'est la vie, I suppose. But, I'm glad I'll be able to get a lot done with path today. For instance, I've just sorted out all the similarities and differences between the various microcytic anemias.

I do have other things I need to do. I need to mail my grandmother's birthday card to her. I need to send in my Census 2010 reply. There's been a lot of opportunities to do both, but by the time I'm done most days, I just wanna go home, not to the post office. So, I decided to be on the lookout for the mailman in hopes that he would take my envelopes and get them mailed for me.

And of course, I have to eat. But I don't want to take the time to cook. I ordered in from Giordano's. And anyone who's from the Chicago area has hopefully partaken of the wonderfulness (yay for making up words) that comes from that pizzaria. I'm really looking forward to the stuffed pizza and antipasto salad. There'll be enough for lunch and dinner.

And of course, the man I'm seeing doesn't live in Rockford, he lives in Chicago. And he's super busy all the time. He has a very important job making a difference in the lives of one of Chicago's most vulnerable populations (when it comes to education success).

So, no romantic distarctions, no food distractions, no media distractions. Should be a productive day, if not the ideal day off for a med student.

NOTE: the Girodano's delivery guy just got here. Yay for stuffed spinach and pepperoni pizza. I had to throw on pants as to not be half naked. The pants I threw on are my "fat pants" that used to be so big on me. Now they're tight. I feel some kinda way about that... Maybe it's time to cut down on the carbs. We'll see how I feel about that the next time I want to order a pizza, cause right now, I'm eating this!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Revisiting Recent History

So, I'm visiting a place I no longer live in for a friend's wedding. This is the friend whose bachelorette party was so awesome a couple of weeks ago. I'm so excited about this wedding. By being here for this wedding, I've given myself an opportunity to reconnect with some people who really mattered in my life.

When I lived here in Urbana, it was because I was in school here. I had a pretty rough year (half school, half family, half personal, yeah 3/2, lol) and consequently got pretty close with some of the administrators. So the first thing I did when I got up this morning was go to the med school building and visit with some of the Deans. I didn't tell anyone I was coming and they were so pleasantly surprised to see me.

It was a nice feeling for them to be so excited to see me. We spent a good hour catching up on things. Most of them are going to the wedding tomorrow as well, so there was some girl talk about what we would wear to the wedding.

We talked about Match Day and all the M1s who are trying to switch to my campus in Rockford. Don't know if I've fully explained this stuff before, but Match Day is the day that every single graduating medical student in the country who matches to a residency program finds out where they match. There's a complicated algorithm that figures out where people go based on how the student and the program ranks the other after they interview. And M1s are how my school refers to first year medical students. And Rockford is just one of the 4 campuses my school has students at, every M2 in Rockford, Peoria, Chicago, and Urbana all are considered in the same graduating class and are all in together for class rank. At the end of M1 year, a person can put in to transfer to another site. Rockford is where a good number of Peoria people are putting in to transfer. That makes me happy because I like to hear that people want to come to my campus. Rockford's campus has opportunities and little earlier than other campuses, and the staff and Deans and professors and stuff are comparable to Urbana in terms of providing a familial vibe.

But anyway, It was nice to sit down and chop it up with people who were once so important to my present and future. Without them, I wouldn't have made it through last year. And tomorrow, I'll see the rest of the people who get that big claim. My friend invited most of our study group to her wedding. It was a pretty close study group, in fact those people are mainly the ones I consider my friends from last year, even though we're at three different campuses now. There will be some people not there, but for the most part, all important parties will be present. I'm really looking forward to catching up and reliving the good times from last year with them.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

iTunes Keeps Pissing Me Off

So, it seems like every week iTunes has some updated version of the program they want me to download to upgrade to a difference I never actually notice. After always procrastinating (because I know something horrible will be the result), I give in to the constant reminders about the update and download the thing.

And what happens next? All my music gets deleted. Not the music files exactly, just iTunes ability to play said music by clickin on it in iTunes. Seriously, I'm not joking. The music is still in its file location on my external hard drive. The music is still viewable in my iTunes Library. But for some reason, the path connection is gone. If I look up the file location of a song in my library, the location is correct. But when I click play, a message box comes up to tell me that the file is unavailable and would I like iTunes to find my file for me?

It's so frustrating because this has happened to me now 10 times. It took me 4 times to put two and two together that this was indeed the catalyst for the problem. I'm usually an iPod person, very rarely and iTunes person. But lately, I've taken to listen to music while studying on my laptop (it helps me focus, don't judge me), so I finaly picked up on the center of the problem.

It's easily fixed by selecting File>Add Folder to Library...> then actually just choosing the Music folder in my external hard drive. That's not the problem. The problem is manually deleting all the music that shows up in my Library that cannot be played. I have to delete, manually, 3476 songs that have lost their ability to be played.

I am a logical woman (sort of). Maybe pragmatic is a better word. I am aware that iTunes may not be totally responsible for this. I could have a computer virus. It could be my Windows Vista causing the problem. or that iLike application I decided to add to my iTunes. It could be any number of things.

But I've decided to blame Apple and iTunes. I love Microsoft and Apple irritates me, except their commercials with Justin Long. I love him a whole lot. I also love my iPod with a large portion of my heart. But everything else about Apple irritates me. So, iTunes, please fix this issue and stop pissing me off, and wasting so much of my time. And reminding me I actually bought Ashanti's album. Grrr, anyone who will remind me of that needs to be very sorry.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Maybe Not a Mistake

I posted a couple days ago that I was making what I was pretty sure was a mistake. I did it anyway, on the off chance that I would finally yield a different result.

And I got lucky! I seemed to have gotten a different result. The man who inspired me to repeat my mistake is reacting in a way that is so different from the men before him. I am relieved and joyful. Obviously, what I've done doesn't mean we'll live happily ever after. But it does mean that perhaps the behavior I am instinctively desiring to engage in isn't something I should beat down and avoid.

I like being me, and I like it when my quirks and behaviors actually have real-life applications. I don't often see the world the same way as those around me, but I like when I'm not so off the beaten path that no one can follow me.

So, we'll see what happens with this man. But I am hopeful because he's the first to respond positively to behavior that is, to be quite honest, ingrained in who I am.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Repeating Mistakes

One of the benefits of being so young is that I get to learn things the hard way. And for some reason, I think that gives me license to make what I'm not actually sure are mistakes over and over until I get a different result. I figure I don't have to accept I won't get a different result until I'm 30.

The particular mistake I have just made is doing girlfriend-type things for a man whose girlfriend I am not. In fact, it's such a similar mistake, I'm almost ashamed of myself. It's almost and not definitely because I truly hope, and 20% expect to get a different result this time.

Most women I know who I consider smart all agree that behaving as if you are someone's girlfriend when you are not will never end well. I give that advice, but I've never been good at taking it.

For self-preservation purchases, I'll keep to myself the most of what I've done, except to say it involves the purchase of a Disney DVD. For anyone who has purchased Disney DVDs, you may understand the gravity of what I've done. Those things are only available for sale for a short time. Then they go back into "the vault" and aren't available for purchase anymore. I, for some reason, attract men who like Disney DVDs, but are unimpressed by the purchase deadline. That's where I come in. And I really hope that I haven't made the same mistake yet again.

I'm hoping he won't cite this as evidence that I'm being too relationship-y. I'm really hoping.

Friday, March 12, 2010

USMLE Step 1

I finally registered for my Step 1 exam. I don't know what it is about medical school that makes me so hesitant. I never stay ahead of deadlines. For example, when I first started med school, I was so apprehensive about moving to Champaign-Urbana, I didn't even go looking for apartments until like 2 weeks before orientation started. I did the same thing when I came to Rockford.

But I'm kind of excited about this test. Taking this test means that the lecture heavy portion of medical school is done with. I've struggled so much with staying motivated and staying focused. I feel like I've been in the first half of medical school for 5 years. I'm glad to see it coming to an end, even if somewhat bumpily. I am glad about what we're covering right now in class. It seems pretty high yield for this test.

This test is just the first of 3 I'll have to take. Step 2 I take at some point before I graduate med school. Step 3 I take to get licensed at the end of my intern year of residency. It's such a huge process. I seriously had no idea what it included when I applied for med school. I was more focused on just getting in and getting through.

They keep telling us, "You've passed many tests before this one. You'll pass this one too." God, I hope they're right.

The Future

I'm watching a Lifetime Movie on Comcast On Demand. It's an interesting little story about two high schoolers who fast forward to adulthood. They live out the dream the girl set for them in a class assigment where they planned out the future. It was mostly her dream because he (the cool guy) basically made her do all the work. But it's got me thinking how I would feel if I actually got my dream. Of course, instead of jumping ahead 17 years, it'd be jumping ahead more like 9.

Needless to say, I think I'd actually want my dream. I want to be married, to have a number of children, at least 3, and I don't want to have given birth to all of them. I really want to adopt. I want to be settled into my career with a group practice, a free clinic, and lots of stamps in my passport where I have travelled to places where I've done good things for people who don't have any one else to help them. I'll still have a good relationship with my parents and friends.

That's a tall order of course. A lot to get accomplished in less than a decade. But I have faith it can happen. And I hope that with all those things on my plate, I can be happy and fulfilled, yet still manage to have time for myself. I think I just made my order even taller.

I certainly hope it turns out better for me than it's going so far for these two. He's cheating with her secretary. She doesn't have any friends left on her rise to the top of the political world. He just got arrested, and she's his lawyer. she has no memory of actually going through law school. He's so screwed.

All I know is that I am excited about the future, but I am not in a rush to get there. I'm enjoying each day getting there. And all I can do is pray that my dreams actually come true, and that when they do, I'll be satisfied with them.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Healthcare Reform

Why is it that every person I see on Fox News who lambastes healthcare reform all have healthcare already? It's either old people benefiting from the wonders of Social Security and Medicare, or the anchors etc. who all have insurance from FOX. These people are ridiculous. I wonder how they would feel if they were in the position that most people my age are in.

Affording health insurance in your 20s is damn near impossible unless you're still on your parents insurance, a student, married to someone with a real job, or lucky enough to have a job that covers your or be able to afford it yourself.

The likelihood of falling into that category of being able to afford it is so rare. And even if you can afford health insurance, you probably can't afford great health insurance. And if you want to add dental and eye coverage too? Forget about it, hardly ever gonna happen.

But some people in this country would like us to believe that it is better to keep things the way they are. This is the first generation that isn't expected to out-live, out-earn, or otherwise out-prosper our parents. Social Security won't be there when I retire (unless some big changes are made). Health Insurance has become somewhat ubiquitous globally, at least for countries that are similar to the USA. Why is it really that Republicans don't want to make this country more healthy? Why do they think it's better to leave so many people without even the chance to have insurance?

From what I've been learning in my training towards becoming a doctor, if I'm a primary care doctor, I am pretty much guaranteed a lower salary if this legislation passes. Even with more people going to the doctor, I couldn't personally see more than a certain amount of patients and I'd be getting reimbursed less money from the government? I say so what? I think I'll live if my 6-figure salary ends up a little smaller but less people in this country go bankrupt because of health bills they couldn't possibly hope to afford.

I honestly believe that if most of the people who are against health reform actually knew what was in the bill, they'd be all for it. Keeping companies from preying on the insured, making sure pre-existing conditions get coverage too, lowering premiums to a more affordable level. Who wouldn't want that? Seriously, who?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Bachelorette Party

This past weekend, I was on Spring Break. Yes, being in medical school has its downsides. My "Spring Break" was exactly 4 days long. We had Friday-Monday off. I did what I had to do to squeeze 7 days of vacation into 3. I won't go into all the details, but let's just say I succeeded.

Saturday evening, I went to my first ever Bachelorette Party. I was pretty excited. It's definitely one of those things that is an official adulthood thing. I have friends who are married, but none I was close enough with to warrant an invitation to the bachelorette party.

Pretty much everyone there has a career, boyfriend/husband, or nosy church member to worry about. So I won't go into detail. But we had a lovely time. There was dinner and drinks, and chance to go shopping (I bought a lovely scented candle), and dancing all night long. All in all, the perfect bachelorette party. It was truly a celebrationg of our friend and the life she is about to start. There were many toasts to their relationship.

We are all looking forward to the wedding which is in 2 weekends. She will be one of I think 5 people in our graduating class getting married this year. It's really something when everyone around you starts getting married and getting pregnant and buying houses and such.

I will say this about the bachelorette party. There was the most interesting version of Obama for sale that I have ever seen. EVER.
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