Happy Halloweekend

For the most part, the past few weekends have been filled with fun and excitement, and Halloweekend was certainly no disappointment.  Things kicked off to a good start with the annual VMed Halloween Party.  Crickets in my underwear aside, the night went pretty much as predicted.  Let's take a look at some visual highlights of the evening:

 As far as costumes go, you can't really beat Jim and Mary as Gumby and his horse Pokey.  I literally had no idea who was under the Gumby outfit until Jim started talking to me.

Obligatory Samsheen Rezhao picture.  It's hard to believe that two years ago, we were running this party.  I could've sworn it was just yesterday.

Chun-Li kicking Blanca's butt in an epic game of Street Fighter.

Lee and I enjoying all of the delicious nomz offered at the party.  What?  Don't act so surprised.

A now-clothed Blanca enjoying his delicious pita.  It took us a while to settle him down for long enough to get this picture.

In addition to this weekend's shenanigans, I also got to enjoy the peak color found this time of year in the great outdoors.  Richie, Michael, and I went for a hike at Mint Springs Park in Crozet, and I have to say, there's no weather as perfect as a Virginia fall day.  We stopped by Starr Hill Brewery to do a beer tasting on the way back to Charlottesville (I think I'm addicted to that place), and get this: today, they had free food as well!  Greatest win of all time!!  I made sure to sign up for their mailing list so that I'll never be out of the loop when it comes to food at Starr Hill again.

A wise woman named Coop once said, "I get so sad on Sunday nights; I don't want the weekend to end."  Sigh, truer words were never spoken.

I Got Ants in My Pants

True story:

I came home last night from the annual VMed Halloween Party and was changing into my pajamas when I noticed a ticklish feeling in my groin.  "That's weird," I thought.  I didn't feel anything weird down there again, so I figured I had just imagined it and got into bed.  A few minutes later, I realized I had to pee.  I went to the bathroom, opened my fly, and a cricket hopped out of my boxers.  UM, WTF!?  It must have crawled up my pants at some point and decided to hang out in my underwear.  What a perv.

The Unauthorized Biography of James Sherman

I just got back from dinner at the house of Dr. Sherman, the pediatric pulmonologist with whom I worked in the Newborn Nursery.  At some point last week, the topic of music came up, and we discovered that we had a similar interest in it.  He invited me over to meet his family, and true to his word, after we finished dinner, he invited me to join his family in singing choral pieces in six-part harmonies.  When we tired of that, we moved on to sight reading barbershop music together.  His daughter and I also played several four-hand piano pieces together while the rest of the family listened.  Okay, that's not a euphemism for anything dirty, so get your mind out of the gutter.

As it turns out, music runs deep in Dr. Sherman's family.  During college, he took lessons in singing and dancing, and he met his future wife when she first accompanied him on the piano.  After they married, they spent over a year on the road as part of a touring Vaudeville act.  He left to become a medic and ran a hospital for the indigenous people during the Vietnam War, which inspired him to go to medical school and become a doctor when he came back to the States.  He and his wife have eight children, all of whom are musically talented themselves.  A few years ago, they formed the Family Chorale with 30 members of their extended family.  The group toured up and down the mid-Atlantic and even recorded a CD together.  So basically, in addition to being a real-life Captain von Trapp, Dr. Sherman is also my new personal hero.

But now I'm suddenly worried again that I'll have kids who are tone-deaf.  Augh, what would I do!?

Magnum Opus

It's 1:30am.  I have done nothing productive since I got off of work at 4:30pm.  Scholastically speaking, that is.

In fact, I have spent the past nine hours straight (except for a dinner break in the middle) arranging Carrie Underwood's Cowboy Casanova for the Arrhythmics.  I'm pretty proud of some of the renditions I've done over the past few years, my favorites thus far being That Thing You Do, Good Girls Go Bad, and another Carrie Underwood hit, Before He Cheats.

I haven't had the opportunity to play this arrangement of Cowboy Casanova on the piano or hear it sung in rehearsal, so I don't want to speak too soon, but I think it may be my best one yet.  Perhaps even my best one I'll ever write.  A sneak preview of the first eight bars:

Unfortunately, I'm missing this week's Arrhythmics rehearsal since I'm in Roanoke.  I can't wait to be back in Cville so I can hear how it actually turned out!

Great Expectations

After working just one day in the General Pediatrics clinic, I have already developed an unsettling fear: what if my future children aren't perfect?

What if I have a kid who is dumb?

What if I have a kid who is ugly?

What if I have a kid who is anxious or shy?

What if I have a kid who doesn't enjoy the outdoors?

And worst of all... what if I have a kid who is tone-deaf?

I should just play it safe and instead of having my own kids, adopt only children who are at least eight years of age and can live up to my standards.

Five Tips for Auditioners

I had the pleasure of playing piano for the UVA Drama Department's auditions for Evita today.  I say "pleasure" because not only was it a lot of fun as always, but I also got paid more than enough to cover the cost of last week's party at our house.  FTW!

Having accompanied for numerous musical theater auditions over the past few years, I would like to offer some advice to any future auditioners out there from a pianist's perspective. 

1. Bring sheet music for your audition.  Chances are, you're not as good of a singer as you think you are.  It's the sad truth.  The director hires an audition pianist for a reason, so don't sing a cappella.  You're more likely to stay in pitch and time with accompaniment.  Additionally, the piano is there because the director wants to hear if you can follow the music, something he or she can't tell if you sing a cappella, which makes it less likely that you'll be cast.

2. Sing a tonal song.  For some reason, several of the auditioners today decided to use really modern pieces that 1) did not accurately convey their vocal talent or 2) were very difficult for me to sight read.  Having no sense of humility, I'm not afraid to say that I'm pretty darn good at sight reading.  So if I can't do it, there aren't a lot of audition pianists out there who can.

3. When given the opportunity, do your monologue first.  Even a sight reader as talented as myself (seriously, no humility here whatsoever) can't play a song perfectly the first time he or she sees it.  By doing your monologue first, you give your accompanist a minute or so to at least look at the piece and figure out its structure, chord progression, and general feel before you perform it.  This is especially helpful when you bring in a ridiculous song written in 7/8 time or in the key of G flat.

4. If the pianist asks you what tempo you'd like to take, sing the first line for him or her.  Rarely is an auditioner able to accurately count out the speed at which he or she wants to sing the audition piece.  It's not his or her fault, he or she is probably just nervous.  Instead of tapping out a rhythm, sing the first line to the accompanist, because it's simply a more accurate way of conveying how you want the song to sound.

5. Compliment the pianist.  Okay, this is probably the most trivial piece of advice I have, but I absolutely love receiving compliments.  I usually know or have accompanied most of the people who audition for plays at the UVA Drama Department, but my favorite auditioner today was a young man that I had never met before.  As he approached me to give me his sheet music, the first thing he said was, "Oh, you're a great pianist!  I remember going to your fourth-year recital.  It was awesome!"  I think I nearly fainted with pleasure right then and there.

Genesis 34: Dinah and the Shechemites

1 Now Dinah, the daughter Leah had borne to Jacob, went out to visit the women of the land. 2 When Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, the ruler of that area, saw her, he took her and violated her. 3 His heart was drawn to Dinah daughter of Jacob, and he loved the girl and spoke tenderly to her. 4 And Shechem said to his father Hamor, "Get me this girl as my wife."

5 When Jacob heard that his daughter Dinah had been defiled, his sons were in the fields with his livestock; so he kept quiet about it until they came home.

6 Then Shechem's father Hamor went out to talk with Jacob. 7 Now Jacob's sons had come in from the fields as soon as they heard what had happened. They were filled with grief and fury, because Shechem had done a disgraceful thing in Israel by lying with Jacob's daughter—a thing that should not be done.

8 But Hamor said to them, "My son Shechem has his heart set on your daughter. Please give her to him as his wife. 9 Intermarry with us; give us your daughters and take our daughters for yourselves. 10 You can settle among us; the land is open to you. Live in it, trade in it, and acquire property in it."

11 Then Shechem said to Dinah's father and brothers, "Let me find favor in your eyes, and I will give you whatever you ask. 12 Make the price for the bride and the gift I am to bring as great as you like, and I'll pay whatever you ask me. Only give me the girl as my wife."

13 Because their sister Dinah had been defiled, Jacob's sons replied deceitfully as they spoke to Shechem and his father Hamor. 14 They said to them, "We can't do such a thing; we can't give our sister to a man who is not circumcised. That would be a disgrace to us. 15 We will give our consent to you on one condition only: that you become like us by circumcising all your males. 16 Then we will give you our daughters and take your daughters for ourselves. We'll settle among you and become one people with you. 17 But if you will not agree to be circumcised, we'll take our sister and go."

18 Their proposal seemed good to Hamor and his son Shechem. 19 The young man, who was the most honored of all his father's household, lost no time in doing what they said, because he was delighted with Jacob's daughter. 20 So Hamor and his son Shechem went to the gate of their city to speak to their fellow townsmen. 21 "These men are friendly toward us," they said. "Let them live in our land and trade in it; the land has plenty of room for them. We can marry their daughters and they can marry ours. 22 But the men will consent to live with us as one people only on the condition that our males be circumcised, as they themselves are. 23 Won't their livestock, their property and all their other animals become ours? So let us give our consent to them, and they will settle among us."

24 All the men who went out of the city gate agreed with Hamor and his son Shechem, and every male in the city was circumcised.

25 Three days later, while all of them were still in pain, two of Jacob's sons, Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brothers, took their swords and attacked the unsuspecting city, killing every male. 26 They put Hamor and his son Shechem to the sword and took Dinah from Shechem's house and left. 27 The sons of Jacob came upon the dead bodies and looted the city where their sister had been defiled. 28 They seized their flocks and herds and donkeys and everything else of theirs in the city and out in the fields. 29 They carried off all their wealth and all their women and children, taking as plunder everything in the houses.

30 Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, "You have brought trouble on me by making me a stench to the Canaanites and Perizzites, the people living in this land. We are few in number, and if they join forces against me and attack me, I and my household will be destroyed."

31 But they replied, "Should he have treated our sister like a prostitute?"

That's pretty much one of the craziest stories in the Bible, so let me conclude by saying this: I performed two circumcisions this week, and I do not plan on killing either of those babies.


Noooo, a cesarean section wasn't good enough.  Noooo, I just had to ask to see the "real thing."  Noooo, I wouldn't be satisfied until I'd watched a baby being born by vaginal delivery.

WHY!?  Why did I have to witness such a terrible, gruesome, unholy, vile act?  Seriously, that is effing messed up.  As the baby crowned, the thoughts going through my head were, "This isn't happening.  WOW, THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING.  That baby is not going to fit through that tiny hole.  WOW, THAT BABY IS REALLY FITTING THROUGH THAT TINY HOLE.  The vagina can't possibly get any wider than it already is.  WOW, THAT VAGINA IS REALLY AS WIDE AS THAT BABY'S SHOULDERS.  Somebody hold me."

I have honestly never been so simultaneously filled with elation and dismay.  It's true, natural birth is a miracle, but it's a very disgusting and unsettling miracle that I don't ever care to see again.

EDIT:  This is not to say that I disapprove of vaginal deliveries, which, except for in special circumstances, I believe are healthier for both the mom and the baby.  I just don't ever want to see it happen again myself.  KTHXBAI!

And I Was Like Baby, Baby, Baby Ooh

Changing a baby's diaper for the first time was cool, but seeing someone give birth for the first time?  Way cooler.

I'd never thought of it before, but when the mom "delivers" the baby, someone has to be there to "receive" it.  And today, that was me.  Okay, fine, and the nurse practitioner and the nurse that I was shadowing.  Moving past the important details, what a crazy experience!  The woman giving birth was getting a repeat c-section.  Only thirteen minutes passed between the first incision and the baby's head popping out!  And I mean literally popping out.  They were carefully cutting open the uterus when BAM! all of a sudden the entire baby emerged.  I was caught completely off-guard!  The next thing I knew, we were drying off the baby, taking its Apgar score, and weighing the newborn (a small but healthy 5lbs8oz).

The weirdest part of it all was that the family had asked the nursing student to take pictures of the baby as soon as it came out, so I'm in the background of a ton of them.  Now, whenever they flip through their baby's photo album, they'll see me.  And the narcissistic side of my personality couldn't possibly be more pleased.

The Scoop on Poop

Nearly 24 years and two months, and I've never changed a diaper in my entire life.  Until today.  I was doing an initial physical exam on a baby in the Newborn Nursery, and when I unwrapped her to fully examine her, I noticed some meconium leaking out.  "Crap (literally)," I thought, "this baby has hilarious timing."  And then it wouldn't stop coming.  More and more and more.  And more.

When the baby finally stopped pooping, I set her down in a new diaper.  But before I could wrap her up, she started peeing.  Everywhere.  Seriously!?

Anyway, to cut to the point, I learned how to change a diaper on-the-spot today.  I also learned that despite what the family may think, it is not healthy to feed your one-month-old baby Mountain Dew, Dr. Pepper, coffee, and gravy.  Unless you want your baby to aspirate the pieces of sausage that are in the gravy.

On an unrelated note, I'd like to extend a warm welcome to Paul, who has recently joined the blogging community, whether he is willing to admit it or not.  Check out the music blog he and his high school friends have started, a line of blue.

Internal Medicine Recap

Here I am in Roanoke again, starting my Pediatrics rotation.  Which means, as Cameron so kindly pointed out to me tonight, it's time for me to recap my Internal Medicine experience.

- I really enjoyed Ambulatory Internal Medicine.  I liked working regular clinic hours, I liked seeing a wide variety of patients each day, and I liked the continuity of care you get as a primary care provider.
- Internal Medicine doctors are so smart!  I guess it is the "bread and butter" of the medical profession, after all.  Or maybe I just lucked out and got the coolest AIM preceptors and inpatient attendings.
- You can basically do anything with a training in Internal Medicine (minus surgery, of course).  I could be like Dr. Powers, who is a GenMed doctor, an Emergency doctor, and a Palliative Care doctor.  So many hats!  Gotta catch 'em all!!

- I really hated Inpatient Internal Medicine.  I hated talking about my patients from 8am till noon, I hated putting in orders for them all afternoon, and I hated the fact that we just sat around and pondered their illnesses all day.
- The GenMed service gets dumped on all the time.  We would constantly get bogus transfers from other services [cough ORTHO cough].  It seems like Internal Medicine is just the catch-all at the bottom of the totem pole that gets all of the patients that nobody else wants to take care of.
- Even if I were to become an outpatient clinician, I'd still have to go through the same inpatient residency training.  And did I mention how much I hated rounds??

So yeah, the last two months have been dichotomous, to say the very least.  We'll see what this upcoming month of Inpatient Pediatrics has to offer me.  At least I get to start tomorrow by playing with babies in the Newborn Nursery.  I can't wait to pinch their chubby little cheeks!!

Golden Weekend

I missed Homecomings 2008 because I was at Caroline and Erik's wedding, and I missed Homecomings 2009 because I was in the middle of second year exams.  The fact that Homecomings 2010 took place in between third year rotations was like a gift from God Himself.  For the first time, I was able to enjoy an entire weekend with friends from both college (no parents!) and med school (still no parents!).  Unfortunately, I will not be sharing many of my stories from this weekend on this here blog, because (1) I can't recall with vivid accuracy what actually happened and (2) some things are not meant to be shared with the entire world via the interwebz.

Some memorable and not entirely incriminating moments from this weekend:

Me sporting my newly purchased 36-Shot-Glass Bandolier.  Perhaps the best purchase I've ever made in my entire life.

After years of living vicariously through my Facebook photo albums, Rosanne finally experienced a med school party in person.  I daresay she wasn't disappointed.

Paul and I making over-the-top smiles at the UVA vs. UNC game.  This was taken minutes before I was... err... "escorted" off of the premises.

Did I exceed my own rage potential this weekend?  Frankly, yes.  But every decision I made was based on what I learned from Sesame Street.  Don't believe me?  Just ask Elmo.

Family Dinner

Celeste prepared a family meal of beef bulgogi for our house today.  ZOMG, it was the best!  My only regret is that at 6pm I was so hungry that I forgot we were going to eat together, and I cooked myself dinner.  When David reminded me of our plans, I quickly stopped what I was doing and put everything back in the fridge.  Sigh, hanger-induced delirium: it strikes again!  At least those nomz can be saved for me to enjoy on another day.

I came across the creative internet (106 things) while I was perusing Facebook the other day (shocking, I know).  I haven't had time to watch most of the stuff on there because, well, 106 is a really big number (that's 5 more creative things than there are dalmatians!).  So... why don't you scurry on over there and tell me which ones are worth watching, hmm?  Kthxbai.

Let Us Pray As He Taught Us to Pray

Ever since last Friday, I haven't been able to stop thinking about what the Lord's Prayer would sound like if it were written about food.  So here it is: the Chef's Prayer, at least according to Sammas.

Our Father who art in kitchen,
Hallowed be thy nomz.
Thy hors d’ouevres come,
Thy steaks well-done
On earth, as they are in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our leftovers,
As we forgive those who eat less than us.
And lead us not into starvation,
But deliver us from food coma:
For thine is the appetizer,
And the entree, and the dessert,
For ever and ever.


My grandma would not approve if I just sat around the house and wept day after day, so this morning I picked myself up and went in to work.  And what better way to be welcomed back than by a 16-hour call day?  At least we got a free lunch out of it (mmm, paninis), even if we were lectured on the American obesity epidemic while we gorged ourselves silly.  Ironic?  Yes.  Freericious?  Definitely yes.

In addition to getting back to work, I've also gotten back to spending inordinate amounts of time on YouTube.  And, thanks to Christin, I came across the most lol-worthy video of all time.  OF ALL TIME!

Thanks to everyone who texted me, Gchatted me, and left me comments with words of comfort and encouragement.  Thanks especially to Jim, who kept me together while I drove back to Richmond on Saturday; Matt, Lindsay, Matt, and Cameron, who accompanied me to dinner last night so I didn't have to eat by myself; and Richie, who let me hang out at his house so I wouldn't have to go home and be alone afterwards.  You guys are literally the best.

Her Life

Shen Xiu Rong, my Niang Niang, was born in 1926 to the third wife of a wealthy landowner.  If you asked her, she would admit herself that she was "raised in a pool of sugar water," the Chinese way of saying "born with a silver spoon in her mouth."  Her father, my great-grandfather, seemed to run the village.  He was a sharp businessman who owned pharmacies, paved roads, started schools, ran factories, built bridges, and was respected by everyone in his community.  Their house was decorated with the most intricately carved redwood furniture, and my grandma wore the finest jade jewelry.  She was never in want of anything that money could buy.

But then the Communist Party took power, and her life changed forever.  The family lost everything during the Great Leap Forward, and what little they had left was stripped away during the Cultural Revolution.  The half-brother who raised my grandma committed suicide to avoid being framed for treason.  But she persisted, and did everything she could to support her children.  When my grandparents didn't have enough money to take care of their second daughter, they made the difficult decision to send her off to live with a farmer's family so that she could at least have food to eat.  When their fifth daughter was born with a cleft palate, they ignored the doctors and friends who told them to throw her away.  My grandma nursed my aunt to health, and she sold the beautiful house she and my grandpa owned to pay for the medical bills.  When my mother's generation was forced to work in sweatshops and factories, my grandma took it upon herself to raise each and every one of her grandchildren.  Niang Niang was the glue that held our family together.  Without her, none of us would be who we are today.

I'm glad that Niang Niang lived long enough to see the Shen family persevere.  Her half-nieces and half-nephews attended the best colleges in the country and are now all high-ranking government officials.  Like her ancestors, my grandma was powerful yet humble.  During her last days, I realized that she drew that strength from her Lord and Savior.  After her stroke two weeks ago, she was no longer able to communicate with anyone else.  The only thing that she was able to say was, "Thanks be to God.  Amen."  No matter what you said to her, she would repeat it, over and over again.  I am comforted knowing that even when she didn't recognize her husband and children, even when she couldn't articulate anything for herself, she knew that she was going to go home to be with God.

I've been looking at pictures of Niang Niang all day, but the only ones I have on my computer are from the last time I visited her in 2007.

Making wontons.  I'm telling you, she taught me my love for nomz.

Enjoying frozen durian fruit.  She would kill me if she knew I was sharing this picture.

Taken the morning I left to come back to the States.  I had no idea then that this would be the last picture I ever took with both of my grandparents.

Niang Niang, I am proud to have known you for 24 years of my life.  You are the greatest, most accomplished, and most understanding person I have ever known.  If I had to venture a guess, I'd say that you're probably strolling through the Heavenly gardens right now, showing the angels how they should be taking care of the flowers.  Thanks be to God.  Amen.

To My Grandma

After a long and difficult week, my grandma passed away this morning.  Everything I have learned on the wards tells me that this was the best thing for her, but that doesn't make letting her go any less difficult.  I want to share this letter to her with anyone who might be reading this, because everyone needs to know what a wonderful woman she was.

Dear Niang Niang,

I don't know where to begin, so I'll start from my own beginning.  You took care of me from the minute I was born.  You taught me my nursery rhymes, my manners, and above all else, my love for food.  I know you missed me when you sent me to America to live with my parents, and I missed you too.  I came back as often as I could to visit you, but I didn't do it enough.  I hope you can forgive me for this.

In many ways, it doesn't feel fair.  It's not fair that we lived halfway across the world from each other.  It's not fair that when you started getting sick, I didn't get to take care of you as much as your other grandchildren did.  It's not fair that I didn't get to see you one last time before you left this world for a better place.  I hope you can forgive me for this.

You always wanted to talk about me whenever we were together.  But there's so much I wanted to know about you.  What was it like growing up in a family where your father had several wives?  How did you meet Dia Dia?  Did you always want to be a mother of six, or did you have other dreams in life?  I wish I had given you a chance to answer my questions.  I hope you can forgive me for this.

But I still managed to learn so much from you.  I learned that you were stronger than any Cultural Revolution or Great Chinese Famine.  I learned that despite how gently you carried yourself, your favorite programs on American TV were COPS and boxing.  I learned that you made the best platter of stinky tofu and played the meanest game of mahjong in the entire neighborhood.  I learned that you were the best grandma anyone could ever ask for.  I will never forget you for this.

Niang Niang, do you know how much I love you?  I know that they're throwing the best welcome party for you up in Heaven, and I just hope that they're serving all of your favorite food.

Until we meet again,

Bao Bao


I knew this day would come, but I tried not to think about it.  "We'll cross that bridge when we cross that bridge," I told myself and my imaginary friend Andy.  Welp, I'm standing on that bridge right now, and it seems to have collapsed beneath me.  The vitaminwaters pictured below are a graphic representation of how my personal collection has dwindled from 107 to zero.

Ugh, what am I supposed to do now?  Drink normal tap water?  But that's so... tasteless.  And vitaminless.  What do you think I am, some sort of peasant??

A Turn for the Better

Something incredible happened tonight.  My resident decided, out of nowhere, to let me off of work early.  It just so happened that I got out in time to make it to the Arrhythmics gig at the Medical Alumni Symposium tonight.  A symposium that, coincidentally, featured an endless bounty of free food.  Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy nomz.  Hmm, what?  The word is "name," not "nomz"?  Ugh, I've been saying it wrong my entire life.

Perhaps more coincidentally, I ran into Dr. Casscells, who is president of the UVA Medical Alumni Association Board, as well Mrs. Casscells, another member of the Alumni Board.  Or, as I know them, Nick's parents.  Mrs. Casscells tried to tell me that as a mother of children my age, she wasn't "hip," but that she was at least "aware."  Then she ran off to text Nick that she had run into me.  The fact that she uses text messages already makes her at least 18 times more hip than my parents.

And now I would like to share with you Ben Folds' new music video for From Above.  Hey, it's way better than making you watch that new Miley Cyrus music video, amirite?

The Silver Lining

I really hate the fact that my posts have been so negative lately, but I can't imagine that things can get much worse than they were today.  In spite of it all, I have to give a balls-to-the-wall shout-out to Matt.  I had already come home after what felt like the longest day of my life, only to remember that I was to be on call tomorrow, but I didn't have any scrubs at home to wear.  When he was finished studying at the library, Matt took a detour by the scrub room, picked up a pair of Medium-Medium scrubs, and dropped them off at my house.  Matt, your t-shirt doesn't lie: you really are the effin' man.

And that's the way the cookie crumbles.  Erm, schwaa??

Benedict Arnold

Today, I defected.  My team was down to two patients, both of whom are being discharged tomorrow, and we won't be picking up any new ones until Friday.  Meanwhile, my sister team already had eight patients, and they were getting more today.  I jumped on the bandwagon and worked up one of their new admissions from the Emergency Department because, geez, I can't go on living like this!  I JUST CAN'T DO IT ANYMORE!!

And now a video to remind you that even though websites like Literal Bears I'm Jealous Of may try to convince you that bears are friendly and harmless, even the cutest cartoon bears are capable of dark and unspeakable deeds.  Note: video contains cartoon violence.

Sleepless in Charlottesville

It's 11pm.  I just finished reading about diseases of the renal and genitourinary system to refamiliarize myself with acute renal failure, which is afflicting one of my new patients.  Any rational medical student would try to get to bed and sleep as much as possible before having to wake up at 6am to go to work again.  But I am no rational medical student.  No, I am an irrational and irrepressible True Blood addict.  Which is why, before I lay my head to rest, I need to watch the Season 3 Finale.

But before I do that, I would like to share with you what Lee shared with me a few days ago: The Buttafly Guide to Interpreting MySpace / Facebook / Friendster Photos.  I guess my current Facebook photo doesn't fall under any of these categories, but the one I had before this of me shooting a fireball out of my hand on my birthday would imply that "there has never been a photograph taken of [me] where [I wasn't] holding an alcoholic beverage."  I'll let you decide whether that statement is true or false.  Hint: it's true.  DO NO JT DUBDJUDGE ME!

UPDATE: Best/worst season finale ever.  I can has seezun fore nao, plesh?

Can I Get an Amen?

A lot of people out there will disagree with me on this, but I have to come out and say it:  Glee sucks.

I know, it won four Primetime Emmy Awards as well as the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series — Musical or Comedy.  I know, over ten million people tune in each week to watch the latest episode.  I know, the show features some pretty cool arrangements of songs I actually like.

But something about the show just rubs me the wrong way.  Perhaps it's the awkward delivery of the jokes that always make me wonder whether or not it was supposed to be funny.  Perhaps it's the escapist use of the musical numbers, which don't actually seem to fit in with the advancement of the plot.  But definitely it's because of the abominable, horrendous, dreadful lip-synching.

Okay, so I probably don't have the right to judge, since I've only seen two episodes of the show, including last week's Britney/Brittany episode.  Hey, cut me some slack.  I'm weak, and I give in to media advertisements like a fat kid gives in to bacon wrapped chicken wings.

In conclusion, I might actually enjoy the show more if instead of concentrating on over-dramatized dance numbers, it focused on a better plotline and showcasing the performers' undeniable vocal talent.

Fight Club

Having been out of town every single weekend since Labor Day, yesterday was my first night out in Charlottesville for almost a month.  And what a welcome back it was!  Apparently everyone was so happy to see me that the only way they could express their excitement was by throwing fisticuffs at each other.

It all started during dinner at Wild Wings Cafe, when a large guy sitting at the bar began yelling at a woman who was watching the game from her table.  I still don't know why he started verbally abusing the nice, young lady, but the server had to come by and deescalated the situation.  The large guy yelled at everyone as he left the restaurant, which ended with him punching the owner (whom we found out later was also his neighbor) in the face before getting into the car.  Meep!

But it didn't stop there.  While we were watching the LCD Soundsystem concert from the Belmont Bridge, a seven-year-old kid walked up to us and threatened to hit us with his stick.  Nate took the stick from him and gave it to his friend, who was trying to get him to stop threatening people.  The kid ran and got his mom, who told us that he was "just playing" and not to take anything out of her child's hands.  She then left to get her husband to show us what's "straight up."  Meep!

And it all ended at Biltmore, where one of the bouncers got in a fight with someone for, once again, unknown reasons.  At that point, we decided to just flee the scene and get out of the way of all the angry people in Charlottesville.  Meep!

But, every cloud has its silver lining.  Peepers got to meet Captain Morgan while we were at Biltmore.  He then caught a pass from the Captain and got to keep the football.

Meanwhile, one of the barwenches told me, "You're so cute," and gave me a styrofoam hat.  Man, she was probably just trying to get me to fight her like everyone else last night.