I'm a Terrible Father

I've been looking forward (in a sick sense of the term) to taking the Boards next Thursday, because I've been planning on taking Titan on a week-long hike on the Appalachian Trail with a bunch of my friends afterwards.  I've missed having him around every day and was excited for some quality man-and-his-best-friend time next week, but now it looks like that won't be happening.  I took a four-block simulation exam today, and not only did I not do as well as I had hoped, I actually did the worst I've ever done on a single question block.  Now it looks like I'll be pushing my test date back a week so I have enough time to prepare.

I haven't officially changed my test date yet, but I plan on doing it tomorrow after I've had a chance to sleep on my decision.  Who knows, maybe God will appear to me in a dream, and maybe He'll tell me that He'll give me anything I ask for, and maybe I'll ask for wisdom like King Solomon did, and maybe I'll never have to study again for the rest of my life.  Alternatively, I could just continue having weird dreams about dinosaurs and jet packs.  Yeah, that seems more likely.

Late Start

I had a hard time getting out of bed this morning, because for some reason I had trouble falling asleep.  On average, 30 seconds elapse between me laying down and me entering Stage I sleep with EEG alpha waves of an 8 to 13 Hz frequency.  Last night, for some reason, it took me over an hour.  I dunno, maybe it had something to do with the bird in our neighborhood that kept trilling the same three notes over and over.  Every time I'd almost fallen asleep, it would start again.  I never thought I would hate springtime so much.

To add insult to injury, I signed into Gmail this morning to find the following message pop up on my screen:

What the heck??  Apparently someone hacked into my account from California.  So, if you got some e-mail from me in the past 24 hours that sounded crazier than I normally am, then I apologize, but it wasn't me.  But props to Google for catching on to this... I'm very impressed with their security settings.

Lastly, to end on a happy note, J.D. Shapiro has finally come out and apologized for the atrocity that is Battlefield Earth.  Apparently he just did it to get laid.  Check out the full article here.

Everybody Should Watch This

The tree-hugger in me thinks that everyone should check this out and take action.  It's only a few minutes long, and it calls us to do something that's easy and can make a big impact.  Thanks to Kendall for sharing it on her Gchat status!

I'm Not Worthy

There are good blogs and there are great blogs.  Actually, there are bad blogs too, but let's not talk about those.  Anyway, I just came across a great blog on Scott's Facebook profile, and I had to share it with the world.  Check out Futility Closet, which the author describes as "an idler's miscellany of compendious amusements."  It contains a bevy of interesting facts, clever puzzles, humorous quotations, and philosophical musings.  Now that's a blog worth blogging about.

Some cool posts:
The Pudding Guy
Power Failure
Erin Go

Ah, They Grow Up So Fast

From BRS Pathology, 3rd Edition, as pointed out to me by Paul:

A 3-year-old businessman visits his primary care physician complaining of a purulent penile discharge.  He had unprotected sex with a woman he met at a conference 1 week ago.  Gram stain of the discharge fails to reveal any organisms.  Which of the following is the most likely cause of the discharge?

Holy precocious puberty, this child is out of control.  NOW GO PRACTICE FANTASIE IMPROMPTU TWELVE MORE TIMES,THREE -YEAR-OLD SAM, JR.!

Just kidding, no son of mine will be having unprotected sex at the age of three.

Food Coma

The only way that I can fight through it is to blog.  I guess I should have known this would happen when Sunny, Coop, Sonny, and I went to get dinner at Ni Hao Cafe after having already attended the Graduate Student Happy Hour at Trinity.  I think we can all agree, though, that the food at Trinity lacked a certain je ne sais quoi.  Actually, I know exactly what it was lacking: deliciousness in my mouth.

I think spending all day at the library has resulted in a severe drop in my abilities to communicate with other people.  Apparently it's also made everything 249 times funnier than it is to anybody else.  I can't even remember what Sunny said during dinner, but at some point I had to get up and leave the table because I was laughing so hard that not only was I crying (typical), I thought I was going to vomit.  It felt terrible!  It went on for so long that I nearly died of asphyxiation, and the only way I was able to get my body to stop convulsing was to imagine Titan dying.  Isn't that awful??

Alright, I think I've made it over the hump.  Time to get back to studying, hooray!

Pros and Cons

Pro: I love superhero movies!
Con: Michael Cera has gotten really annoying.
Pro: It's written and directed by Edgar Wright of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz fame!
Con: The character of Scott Pilgrim is Canadian.
Pro: Mary Elizabeth Winstead is hot in a weird, fangirl sort of way!
Con: Hmm... I definitely thought I could keep this up for a lot longer than I actually can.

...and the pros have it!  I can't wait for this movie to come out!


Last night, I woke up at 4am to discover that I had a nosebleed.  My first thought: ugh, not again.  My second thought: do I have a hematological malignancy?  Or what if it's a nasopharyngeal carcinoma??  They are more common in East Asians, after all.  Before I could worry about it any more, I fell asleep again.

This actually isn't anything new; I've had recurrent nosebleeds since I was a young child.  They've always been on the right side and never on the left, so I suspect that I have some sort of telangiectasia (small vascular malformation) inside my right nostril that is prone to rupture.  When I was younger, my grandfather actually took me to his hospital to see if they could use laser treatment to seal off the bad vessels.  In the end, I didn't get it done for a reason I can't remember.

The upsetting thing is that every time I've blown my nose today, it has started bleeding again.  Moral of the story: if I suddenly start gushing blood while you're talking to me... well, at least you'll know why.

I Am My Father's Son

USMLE Step 1 Qbank question that I got today:
A 3-year-old girl is brought to the physician for a well child examination.  She was born at term after an uncomplicated pregnancy.  Physical findings show no abnormalities.  She rides a tricycle, can build a tower of 8 blocks, and speaks in sentences.  Which of the following is an accurate assessment of this patient's condition?

My thought process:
Riding a tricycle at the age of three seems normal.  Only speaking in sentences?  Well, I guess that's okay.  Wait... she can only stack a tower of 8 blocks??  I started playing piano at that age!

My conclusion:
Normal gross motor, delayed fine motor, and normal language development

Well, apparently she had actually met the appropriate developmental milestones in all three categories.  It looks like one day (hopefully years from now), when I'm a father, I'm going to be just the kind of Asian parent I hoped I'd never become but secretly always knew I would.  NOW GO PRACTICE FANTASIE IMPROMPTU TWELVE MORE TIMES, SEVEN-YEAR-OLD SAM, JR.!

I've Made a Terrible Mistake

I pretty much jumped the gun on moving over to WordPress, because as Tina and I found out, you actually can't edit the HTML on WordPress-hosted blogs unless you pay $15/year.  Even then, you have very limited access to what you can change.  Add on the fact that WordPress has a somewhat jumbled Dashboard layout, and I have no reason to stay.  Time to go back to where the magic began.

So, I'll see you back over at http://idiopathies.blogspot.com!

Predator and Prey

I made the terrible mistake of starting a new show last night: Life, made by the same guys who made Planet Earth.  I can't really say I regret the decision, though.  The show is awesome, the footage is incredible, and the animals are freaking sweet.  My only complaint is that instead of David Attenborough, North American viewers get Oprah Winfrey as the narrator.  WHY??  She's so... awkward to listen to.

Anyway, check out the clip below; it was so crazy that it totally made me bug out!  (Pun intended)

Music Is Medicine for the Mind

Turns out I wasn't quite done procrastinating.  I woke up this morning at 8am, but not to study.  I drove over to Culbreth Theatre, where Bob Chapel was hosting call-backs for this summer's Heritage Theatre Festival.  He had e-mailed me earlier this week to ask if I would accompany the auditions, and of course I eagerly said yes.  I mean, why study all day when instead I can do something I actually enjoy (i.e., play the piano) and get paid $35/hour?

We finished casting the roles for this summer's production of The Sound of Music and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. If, like me, you'd never heard of The Spelling Bee before today, I highly recommend that you check it out.  The script and the lyrics are absolutely hilarious, sending me into paroxysms of laughter during each audition.  Oh, and apparently the original Broadway cast featured Jesse Tyler Ferguson of The Modern Family fame.  Who knew?

This afternoon I also got to see the Arrhythmics perform for the first time in my life.  They sang Poker Face and Party in the USA (my arrangement!) during Second Look Day for next year's accepted students.  I cheered them on like the proud Papa that I am (and, okay, I may have sung along quietly under my breath).

Aaand now I'm off to see Carbon Leaf perform at the Jefferson Theatre.  God, could this day possibly get any better??

Holiday Over

Welp, I've used up all my allotted fun time, and it's back to the grind.  Between the End of Basic Sciences, St. Patrick's Day, and Match Day, I think I've gotten all of the partying out of my system.  While the rest of the country kicks back and relaxes this Friday evening, I'm buckling down in the 24-hour section of the Health Sciences Library and enjoying the fine company of my Boards review books.  Ahh, this is the life.

During the three days I took off after exams, I found two more things to be obsessed with.  I don't remember how I came across fiverr, but it's this cool website where you can purchase random goods and services for only $5.  Also, my friend Myles has started a new blog called Broadway Time Travel, and it's pretty cool, so go check him out.

Ooh, Hai!

It was 71 degrees and sunny today, and I got to ride in a convertible for the first time in my entire life!  Okay, so it technically wasn't my first time, since Jim and Brittany kidnapped me on the night before my last birthday and drove me around in Colleen's Mustang.  The thing is, I was blindfolded the entire time, so I don't think it really counts.  Today, however, Colleen and I ran some errands together, and let me tell you: the ride is much more enjoyable when I'm not blind and hyperventilating underneath a pillowcase.

Perhaps even more exciting than my first real convertible ride was this picture text message I received from Lee later on in the afternoon.

How did I not think of this first?

Hello, WordPress!

Wow, the WordPress dashboard and publishing format is so different from the one I've grown accustomed to.  No matter, on we go!

I took a quick trip home today to get some dental work done, and of course I stopped by my house to have a nice, home-cooked meal made for me by my mom.  More importantly (don't tell her I said that), I got to see my dog Titan!  I've missed him so much, and apparently he's gotten even bigger since I last saw him two months ago.  How is it possible that he's still growing!?

We went for a jog together through my neighborhood this afternoon.  I hesitate to call it a "run" because I'm pretty sure I was passed by a four-year-old on a tricycle at some point.  Also, my local anesthesia* hadn't worn off yet, so I was drooling out of the corner of my mouth the entire time.  Mmm, so hot.

*Lidocaine (brand name: Septocaine).  Amide-type anesthetic.  Half-life of 20 minutes.  Metabolized in the liver and plasma.

EDIT: Sorry to all of my classmates.  That Pharmacology footnote was too soon.  Way too soon.

Goodbye, Blogger!

I didn't expect migrating all of my posts over to Wordpress to be so easy, but it's all done and over with.  I'm just using one of the standard Wordpress layouts for now, so pardon the blandness of the site.  Anyway, change your bookmarks and come visit me over at http://idiopathies.wordpress.com.  See you there!


At Tina's urging, I have decided to move my blog from Blogger to Wordpress, allowing Tina more freedom with her design and encoding.  Bear with me over the next few days as we work out the transition.  When it's all done, you can visit me at my new address, http://idiopathies.wordpress.com.

Congratulations to the VMed Class of 2012, and thanks for a great night last night!

End of Basic Sciences!

I just finished my last exam of second year, and now it's off to celebrate with our annual End of Basic Sciences Party.  Hope everyone else is having as great of a day as I am!

So What You Mean Is...

The Hamburger Sign refers to the immediate desire for a hamburger (or some other heavy food) in a kid who has just had a spinal tap.  The Hamburger Sign is an excellent indication that the kid has viral—rather than bacterial—meningitis.  In viral meningitis, the spinal tap is often therapeutic.

The Gus Burger Sign refers to the immediate desire for a Gus Burger (or some other late night food) in a 23-year-old who has just had three or more drinks.  The Gus Burger Sign is an excellent indication that the young adult has alcohol-induced—rather than activity-induced—hunger.  In alcohol-induced hunger, continued administration of beer often increases the likelihood of a trip to the White Spot.

Fun Fact

In 1991, a 303lb / 137kg, 3ft in diameter mucinous cystadenoma was removed from a 34 year old woman at Stanford Medical Center!

Oh, the things you learn when you read your old Path notes.

What. The. Heck.

Nosheen just showed me the music video for Lady Gaga's "Telephone," and I have no words to describe what I just saw.

Actually, that's not quite true.  I typed my reactions to Nosheen while I watched it, and it went something like this:

Sam:  what the heck
is this a movie
oh i forgot that beyonce is in this
why is her head steaming?
oh cigs
does the song ever start??
this is like naked chicago
i always knew she was a pirate
shoephone lulzzz
thats the only thing thats made sense so far
this jerky camera is freaking me out
was this an homage to kill bill??
Nosheen:  i have no idea
about anything
in that video

Not the Same

I was talking to Christin tonight on Gchat, and this is how our conversation ended:

Sam:  ok i need to get back to studying, but i will talk to you after exams are over!
Christin:  ok im going to atlantic city nowww

Could our lives possibly be any more different??

And, because I can't get enough of Fully Sick rapper, here's one of his new videos.  It would have been helpful if I'd seen it before our Microbiology exam, actually...

Just a Minor Hiccup

Ah, yes.  The POM final exam.  I suppose I could have studied more for it, but seeing as how it was not cumulative and contained half the number of questions that the Pharm final exam did, I didn't really see the point.  Compared to the amount of material that is going to be on Monday's Pathology exam, today's "exam" was really more of a "quiz."  For that reason, I don't feel guilty about going out last night to celebrate Nosheen's birthday.  Oh, and remember that picture I took of Amir and Tri?  Nosheen and I decided to recreate it last night, and not to brag or anything, but I think we did a pretty darn good job.

Highlight of my Day (or, as Harris would say, HOMD): Discovering free food outside of the Jordan Hall Conference Center.  Grabbing two soft-shelled tacos for lunch before taking the exam.  Sitting in the classroom, watching as Randy, Bob, and Byron joined me in eating said soft-shelled tacos while everyone around us was taking the test.

A Day of Firsts

I usually like to keep the topic of conversation on my blog on the lighter side, but sadly, I have terrible news to share.  We took our cumulative Pharmacology exam today, and it was honestly the longest and most difficult test I've ever taken in my entire life.  If it gives you any idea, I spent four and a half hours on the MCAT, and I spent four hours and 45 minutes on my Pharm exam.  I only needed a 44% to pass the class, but at this point, I'm not even sure I got the 70 out of 159 questions correct that I needed.  Sigh, the worst.

On the flip side, a bunch of us went out for Happy Hour after our review session for the Practice of Medicine final exam.  Since I went straight from waking up to the Pharm exam to the POM review to Boylan Heights, I was still wearing my comfy plaid pajamas.  So, today was also the first day I've worn PJs to a bar and/or played shuffleboard in my PJs.  And you know what?  I'M PROUD OF IT!

Don't Worry, I Haven't Forgotten

Obsessed with songs about dorks?  Here's another one for you!

Enjoyed watching the Oscars last night?  Look forward to this upcoming release!

Loved Iron Man?  You're in luck; Marvel just premiered a new (longer) trailer for Iron Man 2!

Not to Belabor a Point

But Saigon Cafe has the best lunch deal of all time.  OF ALL TIME!  I just had the Mandarin Triple Crown off of their lunch menu, where everything comes with a bowl of Hot & Sour Soup.  The dish itself is a combo of chicken, beef, and shrimp.  And the price for this lunch special?  A mere $3.45.  I'm pretty sure there is a portal between the kitchen and Asia, where someone in Vietnam is making the meals for sweatshop salaries.

My Fortune: Your efforts will result in much profit.
Matt's Fortune: This is your day! Expect great results with those ongoing works.
Lee's Fortune: Adversity reveals genius, prosperity conceals it.

The fortune cookies seem to think that we'll all pass the exam tomorrow.  Let's hope they're right.

Secret Santa

Is it Christmas!?  I left my cubicle in the library to play ping pong against Josh (don't look so surprised), and when we came back, I found a Mini MoonPie sitting on top of my Pharm charts.  Who could have left it there for me?  The baby Jesus??

Good thing I'm not opposed to eating strange food from people I don't know.

EDIT: Apparently the Mini MoonPie was from Liz.  Thanks, Liz!  You're even cooler than the baby Jesus.

The Passion of the Matt

A few days ago, I came across the following video on I Watch Stuff, another blog I read religiously.  I decided to share it with some of my friends on an e-mail chain we have going, not realizing what a stir it would cause.  More specifically, I had no idea what a strong reaction Matt would have to what I thought was nothing more than a cutely done YouTube video.

This is the conversation we had that followed.  Note: This Gchat has been modified from its original version.  It has been formatted to fit your screen.

Matt:  Here's the problem with that video...

Problem #1 -- You do NOT remake classics. I mean, it's like they remade Casablanca here... just disgusting (even if it's pretty well done).
Problem #2 -- In Roxanne, you've got probably the hottest cartoon female of all time (and in my Top 10, cartoon or not), and you're gonna cast that dog in her role...offensive.
Problem #3 -- Great song, but why not pick Eye to Eye, the song that Powerline performs at the end of the movie.  Which, and I'm dead serious, is my favorite song of all time. 

A Goofy Movie is probably one of my 3 favorite movies -- I tried to get Randy's house to watch it with me last year to convince them, but they wouldn't do it.
Sam:  Haha, well, you've piqued my interest. Anything that you are this passionate about is worth an hour and a half of my time.
Matt:  WAIT YOU'VE NEVER SEEEEEEN IT??????? Holy [bleep] [bleep] [bleep] we are watching it tonight.
Sam:  Matt, approximately 50 people in the world have seen this movie, and I'm actually counting once for every time you've watched it.
Matt:  Then at least 134 people have seen it. Dude, it's got a Pauly Shore cameo and everything. Oh man. OK, seriously, we are pregaming EBSP with this movie. It will put everyone in a better mood.

Well, I guess that's that.

Waste Not, Want Not

I'm currently eating the crumbs from my bag of pita chips.  I dumped them into my bowl of hummus and I'm eating it with a spoon.  Please don't judge me.

What I Should Have Done Last Night:
Began studying for my cumulative Pharmacology exam on Tuesday.

What I Actually Did Last Night:
Watched several episodes of the History Channel's Gangland and the Discovery Channel's Dirty Jobs.  Played multiple rounds of shuffleboard and Photo Hunt at Boylan Heights.  Hung out with the third and fourth years at Trinity.  Ate late night food at Christian's Pizza.

I'm not sure, but I think I'm consciously sabotaging my career as a medical student.  Why do I keep doing this to myself!?  Oh, that's right, to create unforgettable moments like this:

Yea, Though I Walk Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death

Exams start tomorrow!  I'm partly excited to get Virology over with, but I'm mostly petrified of the week and a half that lays ahead of me.  As I enter this dark period of my life, I can truthfully say that the next few blog posts will be thinly veiled excuses to share videos that I watch to avoid studying.  On that note, here we go!

We begin with the routine that would have won Evegni Plushenko the Olympic gold medal... if he hadn't chickened out at the last minute.

And here's another one for my friends out there who are fans of both LOST and Miley Cyrus.  That's right, I really, really care about you.

Thank you, CollegeHumor, for always being there for me when I needed you most.

Free Advertising

I switched up my normal routine today and decided to forgo the library and studied at C'Ville Coffee with Lee instead.  It was my first time there, and I must say that I really enjoyed the atmosphere.  I enjoy studying with a dull roar in the background, and there was certainly plenty of that today.  I especially loved listening to two women speaking in a foreign language that I didn't recognize.  So cool!

What I like about C'Ville coffee the most, however, is its proximity to Saigon Cafe.  It had been a long time since I'd been there, so obviously I jumped at the opportunity to eat lunch there today with Lee and Neil.  I had completely forgotten that their lunch specials begin at the impossibly low price of $3.50.  And sure, it's not the best Vietnamese food I've ever had, but when $10 covers an appetizer, a LARGE entree, tax, and tip, who am I to complain?  I only wish that more people knew about the place, because it's been sadly empty every single time I've eaten there.  Although I don't want it to become too popular, either... I would hate to see the owners feel tempted to hike up the prices!

Craig, you went to high school with Damian Kulash!?  Did you have any classes with him?  Do you have any pictures of him?  DID HE SIGN YOUR YEARBOOK??

Distractions x3

Classes are over and we have entered the exam period, which can only mean one thing: I now have even more time to procrastinate!  So, here are my current top three music videos.  Sit back, put down that copy of BRS Pathology, and enjoy.

First, here's a video from a guy who's making the most of his time in quarantine.  This dude is so cool, he almost makes me want to have tuberculosis.

Next, we have OK Go's new music video for This Too Shall Pass.  You may recall their awesome video for Here It Goes Again, but trust me, this one is even better.

Finally, here's an oldie but a goodie.  Don't tell me you didn't see this coming.

Is This Real Life?

I thought this day would never come!  I woke up today for my last day of regularly scheduled class.  Can you believe it?  After almost 19 years of going to school every single day, it's finally all over.  Sure, I'll have to go to lectures during my clerkships and electives, but I will never attend class every day at the same time the way I have been since I started kindergarten as a wee five year old.

My final class turned out to be Microbiology.  It was a good wrap-up of this block's Virology, and I enjoy listening to Dr. Hendley, but since it was my last class, I felt that it was only appropriate for me to fall asleep halfway through the lecture.  It would have been out of character for me not to!  And then I took two naps later on in the day.

Oh, and a new episode of LOST is less than three hours away.  Could this be the best day ever or what!?

Ready, Set, Go!

The UVA School of Medicine Spring Elections began this morning, and we have entered the long period of waiting and twiddling of the proverbial thumbs.  The atmosphere of this year's elections are somewhat different from last year's, since I'm running against three of my best friends for one of the two Mulholland Society Vice President positions.  It was all so much easier last year when Nosheen and I ran for Mulholland Society Social Co-Chairs unopposed...

What I really need is a way to fast forward to next Monday when we find out the results of this week's elections.  Say, I wonder if there's an App for that.

Thanks to John for sending me the picture, and best of luck to him in these elections as well!

New Release

The ever-amazing Geekologie writer just exposed me to the music video for The Dork Anthem by musical comedians Dave and Brian.  And, because all I ever do is give and give, I'll share it with you here:

I'm not gonna lie, I really like the song.  So much so that I'm actually considering buying their CD.  They remind me of bands I used to listen to in high school, like blink-182 and New Found Glory.  But before I pay money for their music, I need someone to reassure me that they don't end all of their other songs with the "truck driver's gear change."  If you're not familiar with the term, it's when a song abruptly shifts up either a half step or a whole step (in this case, a whole step).  This technique has been used and abused by pop stars over the past few decades as a cheap way to provide an "emotionally uplifting" finale.  The artist is basically saying, "I'm not ready to end this song yet, but I don't want the listener to get bored when I play the chorus one more time.  What can I do?  Oh yeah, play the exact same thing a (half/whole) step higher!"

Hm, that was a little harsh.  But we've got to figure out a way to stop this musical trend from happening!  O Concertgod, I beg thine assistance!