Happy New Year!

Since I've been officially relegated to my deathbed by the worst timed illness ever, I hope I, and this song, will serve to further entice you to throw your hands up tonight for the passing of 2010 and the beginning of 2011.

Also, pour one out for me if you'd like. Or actually, I'd rather if you drank it.

Feverish Ramblings

Hello Sam's World,

Kathryn here. I am the other guest blogger for the week and I'm already 4 days behind. Ask anyone--I tend to run on my own schedule, however, I refuse to allow my tardy tendencies to ruin my commitment to my one and only Sammas. I guess I'll sum up the life lessons I have learnt from the past few days:

12/26: Leftover Christmas Cookies May Require Rehab. We all experience that rush of excitement over a plate of fresh baked cookies at Christmas time. The warmth, the melty chocolate or toasty nuts, the crispy outsides and chewy center. So much delicious. But when indulgence turns to dependence, that's when a recreational cookie eater becomes hooked on sugar sustenance for survival. Take me on Sunday. Working a double for which breaks do not necessarily occur. Giant plate of leftover Christmas cookies lying in wait, no longer needed to bring good tidings of great joy, just waiting for malnourished servers to indulge in their tastiness and fall into their sugary grasp. Thus it began: the pangs of hunger, the moment of seduction, the consumption, the rush, the sweet revenge on your sugar ravaged stomach. The level of my sugar dependence became so strong I began to madly revel in the pain, knowing that the i had fulfilled my need for the high, and that its ensuing low would lead to another chance for a chocolate bourbon ball.

12/27: Michigan Produces Wine That Doesn't Make You Want to Cry: After a day of moving stuff into my new place, my Mom and I decided to dine at Bang! for dinner. Always a solid choice (you must try the seared shrimp with cilantro pesto & cherry tomoatoes-yum!) we ate lots of delicious food and also decided to order a half bottle of bubbly. A Blanc de Noir caught our eye (that means that the wine is 100% Pinot Noir though it is a white colored sparkling hence the translation "White of Black"). It was tasty, toasty and dry, perfect with the tapas. BACKGROUND: I'm a wine nerd. As we were getting ready to leave I checked the bottle to see where it was from. And it said Michigan. I had heard that they were making wine up there in the near frozen tundra of the tip top of the state but had never tried it--and I liked it! L. Mawby is the producer...it's not the best I've ever had but if you want to try something new from our good old US or A I recommend!

12/28: Vomiting is Probably the Worst Feeling Ever: Basically it had been years since, and I hope it never happens again.

12/29: I Don't Know If I Should Blog With a High Fever: But I did. Hopefully I didn't sound too crazy, though Sam would probably argue that it'd be nothing unusual.

Till Tomorrow Kittens!

So you had a bad day....

My mother always told me I was a pro at complaining. Something about it is just cathartic. To be honest I have nothing to complain about other than boredom this time of year. As I was reading the news this morning I read a story that made me laugh and think of the old saying "no good deed goes unpunished."

A 26 year old man in Minnesota thought he was doing a good deed when he offered a ride to a 70 year old woman who rents from his mother. He offered to drive her to the bank thinking she was getting money to make her latest rent payment. Little did he know that she entered the bank, threatened to use a gun, and left with over $3000. They were both taken in to custody until it was understood that the young Samaritan was an innocent unknowing accomplice.

Talk about a rough start to your day.

Full story here: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20026304-504083.html

Greetings to the Followers of Sammas

As a devoted reader of Sam's blog I am excited and terrified to fill his shoes for this week. My job (as a federal employee I'm fully prepared for the heckling) isn't nearly as exciting as Sam's so I'll stick to writing about funny and/or interesting things in the news.

I'll be the first to admit I am kind of sad when an election season is over because I enjoy all the debate that it stirs up. Few people are devoted to following all the positions as us policy wonks who live and work in the shadow of the capital building. This is why I always wonder what could make people pay more attention. I am happy to say I found the solution... not really, but I did find a campaign video that made me laugh. I'm all in favor of signing a petition that all future campaign videos must be auto-tuned like this. Anyone with me?


Season's Greetings

Peace out, guys!  I'm heading to China for two weeks, and thanks to the government's control over media and the interwebz, I won't have access to Blogger while I'm there.  But fear not, for I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be for all people: I have asked my good friends Russell and Kathryn to guest blog in my absence.  I hope you enjoy their contributions, and I'll see you guys in 2011!

Pediatrics Recap

Whew, it's been a while since I've done one of these.  Let's see if I still remember how it goes.

- Kids are fun!  Kids are healthy!  And when kids do get sick, they get better!  Unlike the adults I saw on inpatient medicine, the majority of the patients I saw on inpatient pediatrics came in, got better, and were discharged within a matter of days.  Win!
- Unlike adults, whose Type II diabetes and coronary artery disease are frequently due to their own poor lifestyle choices, kids aren't usually responsible for their viral gastroenteritis or Kawasaki syndrome.  That means I don't have to keep myself from yelling, "YOU DID THIS!" when I see them in clinic.
- Every pediatrician I met has been fun to work with.  And when you're spending hours upon hours at the hospital, it's kind of nice to get along with your colleagues.  Also, their maturity level is often comparable to that of a preteen, much like my own.

- I'm not sure if I'm entirely ready to write off the adult population.  They can be cool, too!
- When you get the kid who doesn't get better within a few days, like the ones with traumatic brain injury or other debilitating diseases, it's a bummer.  A real bummer.
- Obnoxious parents.  Enough said.

Overall, I really enjoyed the rotation.  Who knows?  If my top two choices of Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine don't end up working out, this is certainly a viable third option.

My Worst Fears Realized

Today marked the "15th or 16th Annual KCRC Holiday 'Talent' Show Extravaganza."  And what an extravaganza it was.  From The Artists formerly known as Therapists' performance of EPIC to the tune of YMCA to the attendings' performance of The Eight Days of Hannukah to the tune of The Twelve Days of Christmas to the audience-included performance of Feliz Navidad, it was one jam-packed festival.

The staff asked me to play some pieces as well, so I gave a keyboard rendition of Chopin's Prelude Op. 28 No. 17 in A-Flat Major and an arrangement of the traditional French carol Sing We Now of Christmas.  I'm sorry, Chopin, I simply can't do you justice on a Casio.  I hope you'll forgive me for what I did today.

In other news, it snowed today!  And this was the only picture I got before my camera ran out of batteries.  None of the Christmas lights on the Lawn, none of Titan and his friend Luna playing in the snow at the foot of the Rotunda, and none of the beautiful sunset that took place this evening.  What else could go wrong!?

A Swing and a Miss

I'm out of ideas.  I went to trivia at McGrady's tonight, armed with what would seem like an invincible lineup: one medical student, two lawyers, one landscape architect, and education graduate students in biology, social studies, English, and foreign languages.  Our final score: 34.6.  The winning score: 36.  WHAT ELSE CAN I DO??

I know, I can rewrite the hook from Like a G6 and dedicate it to my patients at the Kluge Children's Rehabilitation Center.

Stickin’ pipelines through my abs, it’s the fashion
When we eat we do it right, pureed rations
Drippin’ Vital from my pump, don’t hafta chew
Now I’m feedin’ so fly with my G-tube
With my G-tube, with my G-tube
N-n-n-n-n-now I’m feedin’ so fly with my G-tube
With my G-tube, with my G-tube
N-n-n-n-n-now I’m feedin’ so fly with my G-tube

Mmmwhatchasayyy, Part 2

Nosheen:  I got a text from ***** the other day that said "LULZ," and I was like, I'm pretty sure I haven't said this to you before.  IT'S SPREADING EVEN WITHOUT OUR TRYING.
Me:  It's because I'm using telekenesis.  Teh-lul-kenesis!?

Me:  I won't be here in February; I'm at home for my Family Medicine rotation.
Dave:  That will be nice.  Is that in the Orient?

Kathryn:  I danced my face off and a giant guy fell on me and now my knee is swollen.  I also have no voice.  All signs of a good time.

And now, I'd like to take a moment to commend whoever arranged this kick-ass version of "You Don't Own Me" from last season's The Sing Off.  Also, who knew that Nicole Scherzinger could actually sing?  Color me shocked!

It's Playdate Time!

The rainy weather today washed away any intention I had of taking Titan out for a run or to the dog park.  Luckily, Sam invited me to bring Titan to the fire station, where he and Jasper were hanging out.  So, while Sam and I studied for our respective Shelf exams, Jasper and Titan had a grand old time.  Here's a picture of them chewing on an old piece of fire hose together:

Then they made each other friendship bracelets and gossiped about the other dogs from the dog park, because that's what BFFs do!

It's T-Shirt Time!

I was putting my dirty clothes in the laundry when I came across an undershirt that I swear has more holes than fabric at this point, so I finally decided to throw it away.  Then, a bolt of genius!  What if, instead of throwing it away, I made Titan wear it?

Haha, he looks ridiculous!  But at least he's not objecting to it.  The last time I tried to dress him was a year ago, when I bought him a Snuggie for Dogs.  Not only did he rip it off and chew it up immediately, he also tore the one Hershey was wearing off of her body.  It's good to know that my dog has become a little more modest and a little less insistent on parading around the house naked.

Bargain Shopping

Let's face it: we were meant to hibernate like bears.  My body cannot tolerate these sub-freezing temperatures.  To compensate for my lack of insulating blubber, I took a trip to TJ Maxx to pick up some winter essentials.

Gloves: $9.99
Thermal Underwear: $14.99
Ear Warmers: $7.99

Sure, the 180s ear warmers were probably unnecessary, but how can you resist a deal like that?  Man, I just love shopping at TJ Maxx.

Whoa, when did I turn into a 40-year-old woman?  That's it; I'm taking everything back.  Except the ear warmers... those can stay.

It'sa Me, Mario!

Interesting fact: Mario was originally called Jumpman.

More interesting fact: You can play the original Super Mario Bros. game as a number of characters from other games here.  Sooo cool!

In the Manner of the Church

Caroline convinced me to start watching The Sing-Off, an a cappella competition on NBC.  If you didn't know, "a cappella" is actually Italian for "in the manner of the Church."  Ironically, there is nothing holy about some of the groups on the show.  Some of them are downright horrible.

Complaint #1: On the Rocks, famous for their YouTube hit, Bad Romance, was actually awful onstage.  Why did they go so flat?  What were all of those wrong notes doing in there?  Maybe it would have sounded better if they'd spent more time on the quality of the music and less on the Lady Gaga-esque theatrics.

Complaint #2: Pitch Slapped, a group out of the Berklee College of Music.  You'd think a group of student musicians would be a lot better than what I saw.  Not that their singers were terrible, but their arrangement just lacked... color.  They performed Good Girls Go Bad, and although their voices sounded better than the Arrhythmics, I have to say that my own arrangement of the song was a lot fuller and more exciting than theirs was.

I'm sorry, Nicole Scherzinger: music doesn't bring us together like you said.  It just makes me feel better than other musicians.  Except for the guys from Committed.  I love their harmonies, and my money's on them for the grand prize.

I Dream of Zombie

Despite the fact that last night's The Walking Dead season finale was the greatest letdown of all time, it still inspired me to have the coolest dream of all time.

Setting: The Zombie Apocalypse has already begun and is spreading throughout our nation.

Characters: Christin, Kathryn, Stevie, Tina, and Sammas.

Plot: We gather in my parents' family room to determine our route to the refugee center.  Apparently in this version of the Zombie Apocalypse, communications have not been severed, because we are able to easily plot our course using Stevie's iPhone.  We pile into his Bronco and begin our treacherous journey.

Conflict: Eventually we run out of supplies.  We pull up to a Food Lion parking lot crawling with Zombies.  Stevie and I kill many of them with the fire axe and shotgun that we have picked up on the way.  We find tons of people already inside and scramble to get our share of canned food and bottled water.

Climax: I find my old UVA Resident Staff Nalgene on the bottled water shelf.  I've been wondering where I left that thing!

Resolution: None, because my ALARM WENT OFF AT 6AM AND WOKE ME UP FROM MY ZOMBIE DREAM.  Ugh, worst!

Sing We Now of Christmas

Ah, the holiday season.  Nothing puts me in a better mood than Christmas music.  Luckily for me, I've had an almost unhealthy dose of music in my life this past week.

We begin with the Albemarle County Medical Society meeting on Thursday, where the Arrhythmics were invited to perform a few songs.  A chance to run through some of the songs we've been practicing for our concert, the opportunity to rub shoulders with several members of the UVA Faculty, and most importantly, free food from the Boar's Head Inn.  It's everything I could ask for this Christmas!

Friday night, the Arrhythmics had our second annual Scopes and Scrubs concert in conjunction with the First Harmonics, the a cappella group consisting of students from the science graduate programs.  Here's to a night full of syncopation (but not syncope)!

On Saturday, Bingjie and I were invited to the Ophthalmology Department's Holiday Party.  When we arrived, they were in the middle of playing a murder mystery game, something I thought only existed in books and movies.  Our gig went pretty well, despite the fact that I had to borrow Matt's keyboard because Dr. Netland doesn't own a piano.  This is the first time I've ever had to perform on a keyboard and without a pedal (eep!), but I think we did pretty well given our circumstances.  Dr. Netland certainly thought so, as we were paid handsomely in both cash and gifts.  I walked out of the house with an entire quiche, a plate of vegetables, and a full case of Blue Moon.  Ophthalmology Department, I think I love you.

And now it's time for the Charlottesville & University Symphony Orchestra and the University Singers' Family Holiday Concert.  Dear Lord Baby Jesus, can it be Christmas forever??

Celebrity Gossip

I mentioned earlier this week that today's Pediatric Cardiology Clinic had been canceled.  Well, enter Gunner Sammas, who asked Dr. Schneider if there was anything else going on that he could do this morning.  Turns out there was a baby with hypoplastic left heart syndrome who was having a Norwood procedure (the first of three corrective surgeries) in OR3, so Gunner Sammas went to go observe.

Part of the procedure involves the placement of a Sano Shunt, during which a hole is made in the wall of the right ventricle, and a conduit is placed to connect that ventricle to the pulmonary artery.  Half an hour into the procedure, who should walk into the room but Dr. Sano himself.  ZOMG!  Apparently he was visiting UVA Health System, so he came to watch the surgery that was freaking NAMED AFTER HIM.  Jealousy venous distension!

The Role of the Patient

Having been on Pediatrics, there are certain parents of patients that I... strongly dislike.  And it turns out that I am, in fact, one of those parents.

Titan had an appointment with the veterinarian at 10am, but we didn't show up at the office until 10:10.  Strike one.

The veterinarian encouraged me to get an influenza vaccine for Titan.  I declined, because I never board him or send him to be groomed, so his exposure risk is pretty low.  Strike two.

The wellness exam, lab tests, and vaccines came to a total of $149.  When I heard this, I complained loudly about how much this visit cost.  Strike three.

What have I become???