Happy Birthday, Titan

While the rest of the world is ringing in the New Year, I have something personal to celebrate today.  Exactly one year ago, I dragged Catmo with me to the Chesterfield County Animal Shelter to help me pick out a dog.  As soon as I saw that quiet, little brown puppy that looked up at me with its huge eyes and wagged its tail in a weird, circular pattern, I knew that Titan was the one.  I should have known that he would be trouble when we took him for a walk and he ended up biting through his leash and running back inside the shelter, but I still love him, in spite of all of his... misguided energy.

Seeing as how today was the one year anniversary of adding Titan to the family, I thought that the time had finally come to tell him that he was adopted.  Well, it didn't really seem to phase him.  But if you want to learn about why you should adopt instead of buy your next puppy or kitten, click here.  I can tell you from experience that there's no better way to ring in the New Year than by saving a homeless pet.

Three Things I'm Thankful For

I know it's not Thanksgiving, but I can still be thankful, can't I?

1. The return of Carmen.  After spending a month at the body shop, she's finally back on the road!  I've been driving my dad's car since Thanksgiving while he's been using the rental car, and I think it's safe to say that we're all happier driving our own vehicles.

2. Avatar.  Apologies to Catmo and Nick, but I really did enjoy this movie.  Sure, I had a headache during the first five minutes of the movie while my eyes adjusted to the 3D screen, and sure, the 3D glasses wouldn't really stay in place because in addition to having a flat Asian face, I also wear glasses (they need to invest in 3D goggles for people like me), and sure, parts of the plot were completely predictable.  But the special effects... ZOMG!

3. My mom's birthday.  It was today, and what better way to celebrate than with the third hot pot dinner this week?  I'll most likely put on 10 more pounds before this break is over.  Which, let's be honest, is probably a good thing.

Hot Pot

I just had the greatest dinner of all time.  OF ALL TIME!  We turned the hot pot on at 6:30 and didn't finish eating until 11:30.  If there's one thing my family knows how to do, it's how to feast like there's no tomorrow.  Every time I come home, we celebrate the Festival of the Noms.  And let's be honest, the Festival of the Noms is the greatest festival of all time.  OF ALL TIME!

Courthouse Family Practice

I visited my family doctor this morning to get my pink eye checked out.  Don't worry, it's not the infectious kind of pink eye.  My left eye is just inflamed for some unknown reason.  In fact, you might say that it's... idiopathic.

Anyway, when I called to make my appointment, the receptionist told me that I had to fill out the new patient paperwork again because I hadn't been to the office since 2004.  I guess I didn't realize it, but the last time I went to my family doctor was right before I started college.  My, how the time flies.

Luckily, some things never change: Nisha's house is still filled with endless noms, and Nisha's mom still encourages me to eat as much as I want when I go over.  Oh, and also, you couldn't tell the difference between all of us who are friends with Nisha and all of the high schoolers who are friends with her little sister Nina.  Why are we forever cursed with the bodies of teenagers!?

United State of Pop 2009

High School Sam Is Back!

I forgot to mention this awesome joke I made at Scottie's party!

Kat: My favorite Disney movie was definitely The Little Mermaid.
Nisha: No way, Ariel sucked!  She was so selfish!
Sam: Do you mean... SHELLFISH??
Everyone: [GROAN!]

Thanks, I'll be here all night.


I caught up with Jim on the phone during my 34 minute drive to Scottie's house tonight (geez, Ashland is so far away!).  I don't know if it was because I was losing service out in the boonies or because Jim was losing service on the train back to NYC, but at one point both of our phones made a long, screechy, static-y sound.  Here is the ensuing conversation:

J: Hello?  Hello?
S: Err... whoa, hi?
J: Sammas, are you still there?
S: Yeah man, hey, can you hear me?
[Simultaneously]: It sounded like my phone was turning into a Transformer.

...I kid you not.

That's Hot

I just got back from a Governor's School holiday reunion hosted at the Hilton Short Pump, which is probably the largest and fanciest hotel I've ever been in.  Okay, that may have been an exaggeration, but it was indeed a very nice place.  And oh, teh nomz!  Calamari, biscuits, and seven layered dip?  How did you know??

Anyway, I got to see a ton of people that I haven't seen since... well, last Christmas.  It was nice catching up with everyone from high school, especially since I missed our five year reunion this past October.  The VIPs of the night were definitely Nisha, whom nobody has seen because she's been traipsing around the globe and is finally home from filming her documentary in Tanzania, and Scottie, whom nobody has seen because he's been stationed all over the country and is about to graduate from the Navy SEAL training program.  Err, wow, I just realized how boring my life is.  Womp womp.

Mass Text

Christmas is the one day of the year in which the most mass texts are sent.  I actually have no studies to prove this, but like the existence of God, it must be taken simply on faith.  Which is why, in a sea of mass text messages (that I really do appreciate), I most enjoyed this personal text message from Randy:

Ho ho ho merry xmas sam... (i think thats what he says)

You'll have to forgive him; he's Jewish.

Merry Christmas!

I hope you all enjoy a safe and joyful holiday season with your friends and families.  I also hope you all enjoy this video that has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas.

Christmas Wish List

I know I won't get any of these for Christmas, so I don't feel bad asking for them.

1. Magic Mouse.  I've mentioned it before, and I'm not ashamed to mention it again.  It's just... too... beautiful...

2. Finale 2010.  I'm spending a lot of time arranging music for the Arrhythmics over Christmas break, and it would be nice to have a computer program turn it all into pretty sheet music for me.

3. Sony 20mm f/2.8 Wide-Angle Lens.  It would make the pictures I take while hiking so much more brilliant, especially the landscape shots of the Shenandoah Park.

4. Dog DNA Testing.  I think Titan is a mix between a Rhodesian Ridgeback and a Boxer, but it would be cool to find out for sure.

5. Three Wolf Moon.  This video explains it better than I ever could.

Home for the Holidays

After a long drive down a very congested I-64, I have finally made it home for Christmas.  Guess what's for dinner... okay, I guess I can't really hear you guessing from over there, but the right answer is Chinese hot pot.  Oh, teh nomz!

And I'll be free until classes start again on January 4, so if you're free and want to do something, let me know!  Wait, except for you.  I wasn't talking to you.  Weirdo.

Borrelia Burgdorferi

Before this summer, I had never met anyone with Lyme disease.  Then I came back from Africa and found out that Richie had gotten it in August.  Well, the vet told me at Titan's annual checkup today that he was "negative for parasites, negative for heartworms, and STRONGLY positive for Lyme disease."  Luckily, he's shown no symptoms of the illness, so he should be better after taking a month-long regimen of Doxycycline.

On a lighter note, I might start watching Jersey Shore per Catmo's recommendation, because apparently it's just the kind of trashy, mindless television show that I need to forget everything I learned this past block.  And that leads me to the following video, based on the Dove Evolution campaign: 

Pharm Is Phunny

Less than seven hours until the start of the Pharm exam!  I wasn't expecting to pull a near-all-nighter for this one, and I certainly wasn't expecting to spend the night in Mulholland Lounge, but seeing as how it would take me half an hour to walk home and half an hour to walk back in the morning, I decided to get what sleep I can on the couches.  At least I'm not alone... I'm taking Josh down with me.

And now for some sound bytes from studying the past 24 hours together:

Josh: Should you pop cysts?
Coop: They usually go away on their own.  I used to have one on my abdomen.  I called him Ralph.

Sam: The antiarrhythmics are the worst!
Lee: Actually, dopamine drugs are worse, but I can see how you would be distressed by the antiarrhythmics... seeing as how you are an Arrhythmic.

The Blizzard of '09 (cont'd)

A mature, responsible second year medical student would stay in today and study for the Pharm exam on Monday.  An immature, irresponsible second year medical student such as myself would take a two hour study break to play on the Lawn and go sledding at Nameless Hill.  Luckily, it turns out that most of my friends are also immature, irresponsible second years.

I took several more pictures in the daylight today, but one that I wish I had gotten was of a car parked on Brandon Avenue.  Apparently someone had tried to dig their car out of the snow, but had obviously given up halfway through.  According to Lee, some clever person thought to write "FAIL" in huge letters in the snow on top of the car.   If I see this tomorrow, I will have to remember to take a picture of it.

Speaking of Lee, I will leave you with a video he showed me that hopefully will not happen in Charlottesville tomorrow, although let's be honest, it probably will.

Winter Wonderland

What the heck is happening in my life!?  It's been snowing since 4pm yesterday, and somehow we have accumulated over 15" of snow in Charlottesville already.  The storm shows no signs of stopping, either; the winter weather alert is in effect until 6am on Sunday.  I haven't seen this much snow in Virginia since the Blizzard of '96, when I was a fifth grader.  If you ask me, it's way cooler when you're an 18th grader.

Of course, in typical Sam style, I had to go out on the Lawn and take some pictures last night before people destroyed it with their footprints this morning.  Most of the photos didn't turn out too great, coming out slightly blurry due to the fact that it was snowing so hard.  But some of them look pretty decent, and per usual, I posted the ones I like in a Facebook album.  Also, I was surprised by the number of people out at bars last night despite the blizzard taking place.  You undergrads are craaazy!


Ladies and gentlemen,

I am not usually one to brag about grades, as I find it tacky and kind of rude.  But I would like to share one exciting piece of news with everyone out there:  I finally beat the average on a medical school exam.  You heard me right: for the first time since I entered medical school, I have scored higher than the mean on an exam.  I would like to thank the Academy, I mean School of Medicine, for making this moment possible.  And special thanks to Jim and Josh for forcing me to learn POM2 last night when all I wanted to do was watch more videos on YouTube.

Smell ya later,


Back and Forth

I'm sitting at one of the computers in the downstairs area of the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, and there's a guy I don't know (undergrad?) who's pacing back and forth in front of all the computers while memorizing whatever it is he's holding in his hand.  Very distracting.

EDIT: Two hours later, and he's finally stopped.  Victory is mine!

Movie Reel

So as you may have surmised from my last post, I was a little stressed about the Microbiology test.  And honestly, even after having taken it, I have no idea how I performed.  But at least I don't have to worry about it anymore, allowing me to resume my movie marathon tonight over at Randy's apartment.  Since last Thursday, I have watched Coraline, Inglorious Basterds, Star Trek, Up!, Drop Dead Gorgeous, and now Zombieland.  What a week filled with sickawesome movies!

And since all I've been talking about this week is movies, here's a trailer for the new Alice in Wonderland that's coming out in the spring.  Yee!

Oh God


Bacteriology exam in less than seven hours.  I.  Am.  Going.  To.  Fail.  Bacteroides?  Clindomycin??  Mycoplasma???  Erysipela????  Klebsiella?????  Pyrazinamide?????  WHAT DO THESE WORDS EVEN MEAN!?


Early Bird Gets the Worm

And late bird does not get to take the Pathology exam.

I woke up this morning feeling extremely refreshed and wondering why my alarm hadn't gone off yet.  Then I looked at my clock and realized it was 8:20, and my Pathology exam had started 20 minutes ago.  I hurriedly threw on some clothes, popped a Dentyne (no time for tooth brushing!), and scrambled to the Old Medical School Auditorium.

When I arrived, I found that Debbie, our test proctor, had just left the room.  First, I waited a few minutes in the hallway for her to come back.  When she didn't show, I tried every floor of the building until I found the Pathology laboratories, but she was not there, either.  I ended up spending no less than half an hour looking for her, and I'm not kidding when I say that her office is better hidden than the lost city of Atlantis.

Despite starting the test an hour later than everyone else, the time constraint did not turn out to be a problem.  In fact, I somehow finished before many of my classmates did.  However, the fact that the test only contained 81 questions may pose a serious issue, as each question now counts more than 1% of my grade...

Oh, and of course while I was running through the halls of the hospital in my hoodie, sweatpants, and flip flops, I happened to cross paths with my old POM2 mentor, Dr. Robbins.  He greeted me with an incredulous look, sighed, shook his head, and kept walking.


I was biting my nails while going over renal pathology and my finger slipped and cut my gums.  WORST!

What if bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus viridans migrate from my teeth to my heart hematogenously via the cut in my gums and give me infective endocarditis??  WORSTEST!!

Ask And Ye Shall Receive

In response to the question I posed earlier, Christina, Lee, and I ended up watching Star Trek tonight.  After all, it's only my favorite movie to come out this year, so it was the logical choice (HIYO!).  And calling it my favorite movie is saying a lot coming from me, as 2009 also saw the releases of such masterpieces as X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Terminator Salvation, District 9, Paranormal Activity, and The Hangover.  I use the word "masterpiece" in this context to mean films that nearly made me pee in my pants while I watched them (in a good way, of course).

And now that we've started the pattern, it only makes sense to watch a movie every single night until exams are over.  God, I love medical school.


Text message that I just received from Josh:

"I accidentally wolf up at 11.20 but i'll be in soon. And wow, my phone picks wolf over woke and Bmx over any. It's pretty hard core"

Well, luckily for Josh, I also only just woke up around 11:00.  Why, you ask?  Because I stayed up late last night watching Inglorious Basterds last night with a bunch of other people.  Seriously, why do I keep doing this to myself?  I'm pretty sure my subconscious is actually trying to fail me out of medical school.

At least the movie was totally sickawesome.  Now, I wonder what movie I'll watch tonight...

Cutest Video of All Time?

I Should Probably Just Quit Now

I just spent the last two hours watching Coraline with Lee and Christina instead of studying for my Psych exam, which takes place in less than 12 hours.  Hey, it's not entirely my fault.  I had a free rental from Redbox that expires in two days.  In fact, it would have been irresponsible for us to not watch a movie the night before exams begin.

Oh, and in case you're wondering, the movie is freaking awesome and you should watch it if you haven't seen it already.  Tim Burton is a demi-god of the cinema.

Desperate Times

I sat with my books, studying in the hallway, from 3:00 to 3:30 this afternoon.  As soon as the first POM-1 group finished, I bolted into the room and set my stuff down so we would have a space in which we could go over the practice Psych final out loud.  That's right; I am not beneath camping outside of the study rooms until one of them becomes available.

On that note, undergrads, please leave my library immediately.  I find your final exams to be insignificant and laughable.  Bahaha!

And We're Going to Be Doctors

A conversation between Josh and me tonight:

S: Gah!  I just had another bout of paroxysmal coughing.
J:  Wait, I always get that word confused with that other word that means "the opposite of what you'd expect."
S: Do you mean "paradoxical"?
J: Yeah, that one.
S: Okay, yeah, but "paroxysmal" means "a sudden attack."
J: So what was the other word again?
S: "Paradoxical."
J: Crap, now I forget what the original word was...
S: "Paroxysmal."  Josh, I just said it less than eight seconds ago!

We're going to fail out of medical school.

Help Me

My neck is in a lot of pain and I need a massage.  Any takers out there?

National Nom Day

Days in which I can eat every meal for free are few and far between.  Yet, as luck would have it, today was one of those days.

Breakfast: The rest of Coop's oatmeal that she didn't want to eat anymore.
Lunch: Pita Pit from the Family Medicine talk on H1N1 and Bodo's Cinnamon-raisin bagel with cream cheese from the Honor Council.  Alas, there was no more pizza from the Neurosurgery talk, so the legendary three-in-one lunch triumvirate was not assembled.
Dinner: Ritz crackers with meat & cheese and crab dip from the medical school reception at Lighting of the Lawn.

These are small noms for Sam, but great noms for Sam-kind.

Antibiotic Faux Pas

One of my roommates just told me that he thinks he has bronchitis, and he's been taking the amoxicillin that he didn't finish taking when he was diagnosed with bronchitis a year ago.  He still had some pills left over because he stopped taking them when he started feeling better.  I didn't have the heart to tell him to always finish his antibiotic regimens, but inside I was screaming, "NOOO!  YOU'RE CONTRIBUTING TO ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE!  DON'T EVER STOP TAKING ANTIBIOTICS BEFORE THE PRESCRIPTION RUNS OUT!"

See?  I have learned something in Microbiology!

Highs and Lows

Today has taken me through a roller coaster of emotions.  The best parts were getting to watch two of my undergraduate singing groups in concert.  This morning, Jubilate presented their annual Lessons and Carols during the morning church service at University Baptist Church, and this afternoon, the University Singers performed their annual Family Holiday Concert with the Charlottesville & University Symphony Orchestra.  Perhaps the highlight of my day was singing "five gold rings" in four-part harmony with Lindsay, Russell, and Sam.  Gah, I love everything about the Christmas season, but especially the music!

On the opposite side of the spectrum was the candlelight vigil we held for John this evening.  Several family members as well as classmates gave moving testimonies about his life, and I think it would be safe to say that in the short time we have known him, John has touched every one of us.  Unfortunately for me, I naively offered to play the organ at the beginning of the vigil while people were being seated so as to cover the awkward silence.  Next time, I'll try to remember not to sight read songs from the Mormon hymnal on an instrument that I haven't touched in years...

At the Bonfire

Because the Arrhythmics concert last night didn't help us procrastinate enough, we followed it up with the annual VMed Bonfire tonight.  And what a Bonfire it was!  Nosheen and I showed up about half an hour early to set up, and from the moment we laid the food out until we packed it all away, I don't think I stopped eating for more than five minutes at a time.  So.  Full.  Right.  Now.

And what's a Bonfire without a few kegs and a live band?  I called up one of my residents from when I was an RA my third year, and he and two of his friends came to play for us.  The three of them put on quite a show, too.  They played all of our frat favorites, and they even learned the chords to Party in the USA on the spot and let anyone and everyone come up and sing along into the mic.  Hilarity ensued!

Scopes & Scrubs

And so the curtain falls.  Tonight, we had our first EVER Arrhythmics concert!  We did a program with the First Harmonics, each singing six songs before coming together for a joint finale.  I'm so impressed with our current group.  We've come so far this semester; if you had told me in August that we'd be performing in a concert in December, I would have probably kicked you in the shins for lying to me.  Plus, we have the best fans ever... there were so many med school students in the audience tonight!  Anyway, thanks for everyone who was either in or at our concert.  You guys are all the best!

Okay, time to get a good night's sleep before doing some quality studying and then setting up for the VMed Bonfire tomorrow.  All in a day's work!

Assimilation: Complete

[Sam]: who is actually in charge???
[Sam]: nobody knows
[Nosheen]: NO ONE KNOWS
Thus sayeth Samsheen Rezhao. 

A Gift to Myself

I received an e-mail from Qdoba today informing me that if I buy a $25 Q-Cash Gift Card for a friend, I receive a $5 voucher for myself.  This is interesting to me, not because I'm particularly interested in buying a Qdoba gift card (random) for anyone this Christmas, but because I know that I myself will inevitably spend at least $25 at Qdoba this coming year.  So, what's stopping me from buying the gift card for myself and getting a free $5 voucher out of it?  Nothing, I tell you.

And, because it keeps popping up all over my Facebook News Feed and friends' Gchat statuses, I thought I'd share this article.  It's by Shane Claiborne, one of the founding members of the Potter Street Community and activist for nonviolence and service to the poor.  He's kind of the new "it" guy for today's young Christian community, kind of like an edgier Mother Teresa.  If you like the article, you should definitely read his book, The Irresistible Revolution, which poses some serious challenges to today's church.

Site Under Construction

Tina has started putting up my new layout (thanks, Tina!), but it's a work in progress, so pardon the glitches right now.  And, after a two and a half hour Arrhythmics rehearsal, I don't even have the energy to say anything else.  Goodnight, moon.

Excuse Me, What?

From our Pathology notes:

"Although glomerulonephritis are strictly glomerular diseases with inflammation, it also encompasses glomerular diseases that have no inflammatory components."

From some absolutely ridiculous Chinese news source that apparently uses graphics from The Sims in its reports:

Creep Creep

Usually I'm the one doing the creeping on Facebook, but suddenly I feel like I'm being creeped by others.  I just got two friend requests from people I'm not sure that I know, but I hesitantly accepted anyway, thinking maybe there were just people I knew from the past that had somehow slipped out of my life.  After all, would hate to turn someone away that was just trying to get back in touch.

That said, I'm pretty sure I've never met this guy Park Stetson.  His friend list is consisted entirely of guys from around the country, most of whose profile pictures are Myspace-esque photos of themselves either shirtless or flexing.  Which, now that I think about it, makes me wonder why he added me as a friend, since I'm clothed head-to-foot in my Max costume in my profile picture.  Oh, and in case you were wondering, Park's own photo is one of him both shirtless AND flexing.  I kid you not.  What's more, the little blurb under his photo says: "totally into body building and meetin new buds for fun pic trader send to receive ********@yahoo.com."  Aaand I'm gonna just go ahead and click the "Remove from Friends" link now.

I'm also nearly positive that I've never met my other new friend Gretchen Cabanday.  I think I'll keep her around, though, since her profile seems much tamer.  But watch yourself, Gretchen: the minute you start soliciting me for "pics," you're outta here.

Dressed for Success

Today, I decided to make myself a little more presentable for class, hoping that if I looked better, I would also learn better.  Instead of wearing a jeans, a t-shirt, and a hoodie like I do every other day, I wore jeans, a polo shirt, and a sweater.  I know, I'm basically a grown-up.  Well, I didn't feel any smarter than I usually do, so it's back to the old getup starting Wednesday (I have to dress in "professional attire" tomorrow to present the patient that I interviewed last week to my POM mentor).

And now, for your entertainment: