Thursday, April 30, 2009


See, the thing about night float is that I never really know what day it is....

Who am I? What's going on? Where in the world did Thursday go????

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Fun with pictures

Call it Wordless Tuesday. Except with words. Lots of 'em.

So Sparrow and I are on together tonight. Which, so very rocks.

(PS - did I mention that Sparrow had a birthday last week? I think I forgot. She had her first 29th birthday this past week. We went out for "Asian Fusion" - if several days later - and it was yummy. The company was impeccable, of course, as well...)

(Ruthie's birthday is today, also. I made an impromptu little banner on our door using Post-It notes.)

(But I digress.)

So Sparrow and I are here. And we had a lot of funny, funny stuff come across our paths last night. So we decided to take pictures (you'll notice that all the patient identifiers are conveniently missing...).

Shortly after I came on, a direct admission came from one of the community hospitals. I went down, signed her in, talked to her a bit, and then came back upstairs and looked through the thick envelope of material that the outside hospital sent with her.

I found about twenty pages of MARs (medication administration records), which was ridiculous because this woman is on exactly ONE medication. And of course, they sent a big stack of nursing notes.

Notably missing? A discharge summary. Or, say, a psych consult note. But in case you were worried, we got her post-endoscopy nursing notes, too.

Absolutely essential to good psychiatric care.

They also...seriously, I almost fell off my chair when I saw this. This is not a diagnosis.

The word is hypokalemia. I mean, really. They are just makin' shit up at this point.

You know you're in good hands when your doctors start making up diagnoses just for you. That's a sure sign that they really know what they're doing.

Also waiting for me when I came in was this hand-off note:

Oh, but, be sure to notice the patient's age.

It's the the Playskool Trenchcoat Mafia out there. They're just starting younger and younger these days. Sparrow tells me she got a report from a parent the other day that some three year old girl was "pole dancing". Really? A three year old taking off her clothes. Astonishing. That's highly unusual. Toddlers almost never like to run around naked.

And furthermore, pole dancing is not an innate talent, unless you're a surgeon (inside joke. Sorry...). So if you find your little one working the pole at've got ask yourself where she could possibly have learned that behavior.

I'm just sayin'.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Best response ever.

So I get called down to the ER to see this very cute little old lady with worsening dementia, who, fortunately for us (and her, because we have no geropsych beds right now, but we probably will tomorrow) also has a wide complex tachycardia. But, okay, I go down to consult, and know she's had an increase in auditory and visual hallucinations, and so we have the following exchange:

Me: Do you ever hear things that other people don't?

Cute old lady: Well, I hear this man singing in my ear. Only one person, and it's very faint.

Me: Oh, okay. Tell me, do you ever see things that don't make sense, or that maybe your husband doesn't see?

Cute old lady: Tomorrow.


Me: Um...tomorrow?

Cute old lady: Yes. Honey, it's 2:00 in the morning. I'll tell you about it tomorrow.

I told her that was the best answer I'd ever gotten to that question. But I still made her tell me about the people she sees on her farm...

Sunday, April 26, 2009


So I'm on Night Float again.


You know what this is? Go on, guess.

It's my last week of Night Float ever. Let me repeat that: ever. Five more nights and then I will never pull another week of 12 hour third shifts again.

And even better than that? When I walk out of the hospital tomorrow morning, I'll be able to count the remaining nights I have to spend in the hospital without taking my shoes off (4 more NF + 6 calls = 10 nights in the big house).

(The thought makes me a little giddy, frankly.)

Now, does this mean I'll never spend another night in a psych hospital? Undoubtedly not. Because while I don't ever plan to be admitted (although, who knows...), I do expect that I might want to moonlight. But, when they're paying you $50 an hour, somehow that makes it all more worthwhile. And, it's a voluntary admission (if you will). I mean, right now, at least I have the keys, but...

The weekend was good, though. Yesterday Sparrow had us all over for some outdoor fun. The weather here's been crazy - when I went into work on Friday morning, it was 50 degrees out. So then my 2:30 walks in, right, and she's all sweating, and I was like, are you okay? Are you sick or something? And she looks at me like I'm completely insane, and says, "It's over 90 out there!" Yesterday was also in the 90s (as was today), but by 5pm it had let up a little. We played badminton in Sparrow's backyard. It was sweaty, but very fun. And then we talked and laughed and told war stories (because, what else do we do when you get us all together?) and soaked in the cooling night air and lit candles as the darkness fell and it was lovely. All we needed were some fireflies, but it's still a little early in the season for those.

Otherwise the weekend was generally uneventful. I tried to get some sleep today, but it didn't work so well. Fortunately, I had a three shot latte on the way in, which is making me a little buzzy at the moment (sometime around 4am, I expect to crash. We'll see). And I put my darkening curtains back up today, and have my fancy little eye mask, so, what else can a girl ask for?

I'm also contemplating what to do about the gym this week. Typically, on night float, I avoid it for fear that the activity will keep me up, but I've been going after work lately, and am wondering if it might be more to my advantage to go wear myself out and burn off that post-shift activation. Plus, I've concluded lately that what actually is more awakening is the post-gym shower (still, I hate to go to sleep all gross like that...). So, we'll see. Gomer and I are planning to meet on Wednesday on a contingency basis - i.e., if I'm completely delirious, I can cancel. I expressed my concerns about the activity being activating to him and he just smirked, and promised me that by the time he was done with me I'd be more than ready for sleep. This concerns me a little...

Alright. I should have referrals on the fax machine. Time to go do some work...

Saturday, April 25, 2009


So, Blogger refused to let me post anything last night. So I gave up. And now I'm putting up a little back-dated post as a placeholder. Argh.

(But, unrelatedly, the title is a Dollhouse reference. Did anyone see this week's? Loved it. That series has really grown on me. And Alan Tudyk is joining the cast next week, apparently. Awesome.)

Friday, April 24, 2009


So I'm trying to stay up late. Because I'm on night float next week (LAST WEEK OF NIGHT FLOAT EVER. EVER.) and am endeavoring to get my sleep schedule flipped. Not that it's going to work, but...well, whatever. Did I mention this is my last week of NF?

I had a long day. I had patients at 9, 10, 11, 12, 1, 2:30, 3:30, and 4:30, and, I had my yearly review with my program director at 2, plus a supposed lecture at 8 (the lecturer got stuck in traffic, so, I got about 30 minutes of solid administrative time out of the deal instead. Ahhh). I did have dinner with Ruthie, though, after all of this therapizing, which was very nice. We went to an Italian place in town and had excellent food and this really, really good pie. Mmmm.

And somewhere towards the end of that evening we had a whole conversation about, if people in our residency were animals, what would they be? This was spurred on by a discussion of people's stupid nicknames on the blog (Fang, Gomer, May and June, Mike and Ike, Benny, Martha, Faye, Rene, Tony and Cleo, etc, etc, etc, but most notably leading to the former conversation were, of course, Sparrow and PenguinShrink).

Somehow...Ruthie decides that I'm a Care Bear.

Cracks. Me. Up.

I tried to tell her they weren't real. Her answer? "Please. Of course they are."

She decided I'd be a pink Care Bear, with cute little bear ears, who was really very cuddly. I've decided this makes me Love-a-Lot Bear (who was one of my favorites when I was six. I definitely had the little jointed action figure).

I could be Love-a-Lot Bear.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I feel for him.

Courtesy of Barb, poor sleepy Bizkit the Dog (not Barb's dog, she just sent me the clip).

I bet he was on call last night, too...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Barackin' it

Found this today on my lunch hour ten minutes. No matter what side of the political fence you graze on, anyone who enjoyes punny linguists can appreciate this guy:

Monday, April 20, 2009

Seriously. It's never boring in psychiatry.

Had a long day. Arduous. Bleh. But last patient of the day comes in, right? And she's blind. Cool. Had her guide dog with her. Sweet, sweet big 90-lb-ish German Shepherd whom we'll call Misty. So I get in the room, and the patient says, do you mind if I let her out of her harness while she's "off duty"? I said, of course not. So we talk, and Misty sniffs, is appropriately respectful when things get heavy, and then gets sort of playful towards the end. And my attending and I are getting ready to walk out the door, and....I see that look on her face.

I know this look.

I say, "Misty...where do you think you're going?"

But by then? Misty? Down the hall. Freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

A very comical chase ensues. Fortunately, we were running late, so most of the clinic had cleared out. And she just galloped and pranced and ran down the hallways, this way and that, with me trailing behind her and several other docs trying to head her off in various directions. I got a hold of her like four times, but she's solid, and powerful, and has four-wheel-drive, and so she just mowed me over. Finally, one of my fellow dog people caught her and I got a hold of her collar. We took her back to the room and let me tell you, the moment that harness went on, she was allll business.

I don't really think it's a lapse in training. I think she knew she was with kind souls who would permit her a bit of fun and enjoy it as much as she did.

It kind a looked like this...(Sorry I couldn't find the classic Benny Hill on YouTube...this isn't a bad recreation, though. Just imagine it in a psych clinic instead of a high school...)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Xristos Anesti

A happy Easter to all. From both of us.

(That picture is at least 5 years old. And yet, I still love it. Did I post it last year?)

Am feeling better, and had a lovely day. I slept in, and by the grace of God and NyQuil, slept pretty well. Got up, watched a little TV, went to the gym and had a really good workout. Came home, restored my hair to red (whew), had delightful coffee with Peng, and then had a very wonderful dinner with my aunt and uncle.

Back to the grind tomorrow. Definitely time for bed.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Sick Day Weirdness

I'm sick.

So, I have again fallen to some random virus. Seriously, my T cells and I need to have a talk. I'm all feverish, and snotty, and I ache from my hipbones to my toes.

So I've been mostly asleep today. I took a venture out to Walgreens so I could dope myself up on NyQuil and Sudafed. And I found these:

From Brach's Orchard Fruits 100 Calorie Packs. They're teeny-tiny!! They're not Haribos, Barb (and they're probably not South Beach approved), but they're pretty tasty. And there's a pretty good pile of them for only 100 calories (provided you don't eat four bags of them at once. In my defense, they're awfully soothing on a sore throat).

Those are more cute, less weird. So in real weirdness, I've been watching a lot of MASH when I've been awake, and I keep seeing this commercial:

Did he seriously just say you could drink that?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Everything Comes From the Greeks

This is cute. It isn't embed-able, so you'll have to click here to watch it.

(And for those who missed it, it's not actually Greek dancing, it's a play on Lord of the Dance.)

Greeks. We're funny people.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Long. Ass. Day. guessed it - long.

It started with my getting to work at the crack of early so I could let my 7am patient in. Of course, the front desk staff is no longer there at 7am, so, now, now it's just me. We had a decent session, and then I had four long, long intakes (not that I got all that long to do them, of course). I had supervision, and then my psychotic clinic, and one of my patients walked in that didn't have an appointment. I went to the gym and Gomer kicked my ass (I still think he's trying to kill me) and then I went to Peng and Chef's for dinner. They even let me shower off the nasty gym funk. And Matthew and V came over, too, and we had phenomenal braised pork shanks and asparagus and we watched Repo! The Genetic Opera, which was bizarre and awesome all at the same time (I'm going to have to watch it again. And I think there's literary allegory in there, I just can't put my finger on what...). There was good food and good wine and good company, and good irreverent entertainment. The night was definitely lovely.

But it was a long ass day.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Get mad. Get involved.

I'm so with Garfield on this hating Mondays thing.

Clinic was rough today. My first patient needed to be admitted (she knew this. She showed up with a suitcase). It's a long and fairly arduous thing to admit someone, and generally takes longer than a clinic appointment. Fortunately, someone who saw her last time dictated a fabulous H&P (it was me) so I could just cut and paste all of the history. I made it just under the wire so it was done before my next patient.

Meanwhile, the patient sat in the waiting room until - I'm not kidding - 5 pm waiting to be sent to the floor. There's got to be a better system than this.

I had a little bean bowl lunch with Ruthie, which is always enjoyable (she's insane. And I love her for it). And then my afternoon ensued. I had three really difficult cases and one poor lady who's quarantined in her house with MRSA. But one of those afternoon four was especially hard.

One of my patients was raped last week.

It was awful. It was an awful situation. There are details I'm obviously not going to share that made it especially heinous. I felt so bad. She's one of these abused kids who sort of ended up with "VICTIMIZE ME" stamped on her forehead, I think. She was already having a rough time of things (that's why she sees me), and then she gets slammed with this. It's a damn shame (it's always a damn shame). She's a little histrionic, but generally just sort of sweet and funny when she lets her guard down. And it never fails to amaze me the moments in which someone so otherwise worldly can end up being profoundly naive. But she's stronger than she knows, and she's going to come out of this okay. She'll never be the same, don't get me wrong - this is a particularly loud bell that cannot be un-rung - but I think she'll persevere.

But I'm listening to her story, and what really overwhelms me is this sense I get all the time when listening to these stories - I do not understand what motivates people to do things like this to others. I mean, I get the whole forensic ideas of, this happened when they were small, so this and this and this shows up in their personality, combined with this temperament and this inciting event and this is how the whole complex plays out, blah, blah, blah. But what I can never wrap my little brain around is...when does this feel okay? When, as a human being, does it seem like something acceptable to hold a woman down and rape her? To molest a child? To beat an elderly woman? To defile and humilate another life? Does that really feel like a normal path to sex/love/power/whatever delusion they hold? When does this seem like "something you do," like reading the paper on Sundays or going to the grocery store?

I just don't get it.

But it happens. It happens over and over and over again. Sexual assault happens to one in three women and one in nine men. To prostitutes and beggars, college kids and working moms, to doctors and lawyers and socialites. It happens to handicapped people and to the mentally ill. It creates handicaps and mental illness, and it perpetuates itself. But in that, some will flounder and drift downward, some will find strength they didn't know they had, and some will even find enough to lend that strength to others.

April is Sexual Abuse and Assault Awareness Month. Support your local Rape Crisis Center - give money, give time, give provisions, give prayers. Get involved with Threads of Compassion or another group that supports survivors. Get involved with a SANE program if you're in the medical field. Get involved in advocacy and victim's rights. Or just listen to a friend that needs to tell a terrifying story. Let people know they aren't alone. Be proud that you survived, or that your sister, your husband, your grandmother did.

Let no one stand alone who has fallen victim. Be aware, be involved, let this be out in the light of day.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Wait, what happened to the weekend?

How is it almost Monday again?

Last week was nice - I actually didn't have to work all that much. My Tuesday afternoon clinic was empty, I didn't go to the coast on Thursday because I was on call, I was postcall on Friday...

This week? I'm apparently paying the piper.

My clinics are booked solid. Tomorrow I have like nine patients booked, and I know exactly two of them (my 8am...I don't want to talk about it). Tuesday I have four new patients in the morning, after my 7am therapy case, supervision at noon, a full afternoon clinic, a 6:00 appointment with Gomer, and then dinner at Peng and Chef's. Wednesday, fortunately, starts a little later (at 9), but also goes a little later. Thursday the coast, Friday is a day full of therapy...and somewhere in there I'm hoping to go see a couple of rental properties.


Today, I got a few things done but not as much as I wanted to (why is everything closed? Easter isn't until next week!). Mags and I spent a lot of time driving around looking at potential places to live. Found a couple of good options. I called and left a message with the management company, so we'll see.

Looking at my schedule over the next few weeks, I really have absolutely no idea when I'm going to pack my house up.

Did I mention? Oy.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

"Take your boob and go home."

So, everybody caught Sebastian Maniscalco's show on Comedy Central, right?

Funny guy (of course he is, he's family). It cracks me up, actually - he's clearly, clearly related to his dad (whom I adore), and his uncle (who's the one who's married to my cousin). But he's totally a dead ringer for the impression my cousin's eldest daughter does of her stepdad. Which is hysterical (and remarkably accurate) in its own right. And I enjoy hearing about my family on television.

In other news, I met my new landlords today. Who basically told me they don't really want to rent the place out anymore. So, I guess I'm moving. I've been fussing with that decision for a couple of months now... guess that makes the decision pretty easy!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Brain mush

I got two hours of sleep last night, which was not the most restorative. And then, true to form, I didn't sleep all day today. And now it's 10 pm and I'm pretty sure my brain is running out my ear and dripping onto my shoulder.

It was a nice day, though. I went to the yarn store this morning, and then to the Fleet Feet store, which, Gomer and I got into a discussion yesterday about my ankle pain and returning shin splints and whatnot, and he was like, hey, why don't you go to that store Claudia's been telling you about forever? (Okay, that might not actually be how he said it, but it's what I heard.) And there just happened to be one next to the yarn shop. So I went in, and they kind of gave me this look like, uh, why are you here? You realize this is a shop for like, runners and athletes and such, right? But, eventually my sales guy got into the groove, and wow, it was a great experience. I got new shoes and better insoles for less than my last pair of New Balance (before the fancy insoles, damn high arches). And then I went to the gym, and had a kickass workout. Came home, snuggled the puppy, shower, shrink, Target, and then got the world's best strawberry milkshake from the Cook Out for lunch (yes, just a milkshake. It's what I wanted, bugger off). And then tonight Rene and Peng and I went to this Indian place in town (Mint. Awesome) for dinner and it was sooooo good. The daal was awesome, and spicy, and now I can breathe through my nose again. And then I picked up Little Maxine (Sparrow's out of town; Rene and I have shared custody this week), and now we're all snuggled up on the bed and the girls are asleep and, frankly, I can't quite figure out why I'm not....

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Call-ful thinking

Dear Triangle Area Crazy People:

Please stop coming into our ER tonight. We have no more psych beds, and the doctors are tired and want to go to sleep. I've heard, though, that if you go to that other hospital (you know, the one down the street. They're a slightly darker shade of blue than we are) they have wide screen TVs in all the patient rooms and super comfy mattresses and gourmet food and they sing you to sleep at night.

No, really.

Think about it.

Why would anyone want to come here? Last year, one of Ruthie's patients kept finding lice in her bed. I mean, no one else could find the lice in her bed, and they kind of went away when we finally got her meds right, but really, why risk it?


The Baby Blue Call Team

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Fun with technology

So, you know how your computer has those little pictures in front of various links and things (icons, if you will)? Mine has been doing weird things with those icons lately, namely, swapping out staid icons that have been associated with links I've had for a while for whichever new flashy picture has come along from whatever random website I've been on. This seems to happen without rhyme or reason, and usually stealing pictures from sites I don't visit very often or have stopped by once. Which leads to some strange things. Like this:

(It might help to click to enlarge it)

WebCIS is our electronic medical record program at the hospital. But here? WebCIS is a potato.

This cracks me up.

Probably helps that I was a little cracked already...

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


My day started thusly: The Tarheels won last night. I? Will confess to not caring enough to stay up and watch the game (I dunno, college ball was a lot more fun when I knew the guys on the court). So my day started shortly after midnight when my neighborhood erupted. People screaming, horns honking, and this freakin' news helicopter hovering over my house. I was not pleased. Some of us get up really damn early, people! I woke up a couple more times overnight, but, sadly, NOT when I was SUPPOSED to be up this morning. So I overslept, couldn't drag my ass out of bed when I did wake up, didn't coffee, went to work, and caught the Early AM Shuttle. Which, of course I was the last one on, and on the way out, my pager got stuck on the seat belt. And the case broke. Sending various things in various directions, and holding things up for several minutes while I groped on the floor of the van in the dark to find my pager.

I had a good therapy patient, and then a really annoying, chock-full Intake clinic (HATE Intake clinic), and then supervision, and then I made a break for it (as my afternoon was blissfully empty. My Tuesday afternoon clinic seems to be all feast or famine these days...the next few weeks aren't looking so hot) and went to Starbucks to spend a few more hours documenting. Whee.

By the time I made it to the gym a little after 5, I really wanted to hit things. Thirty minutes on the treadmill, then the elliptical, then the treadmill again did not help my mood much. But my rescheduled-rescheduled (and actually, I rescheduled it again, from this afternoon to tonight) session with my trainer helped. We did this circuit training thing that was all like running around, back and forth, ADD-like. It hurt (my knee is still sore), but for some reason or another after about five minutes it really amused me. Which was useful when he accidentally smacked me in the face with a resistance band.

I went to the Lowes Foods on the way home, forgot more things, and bought hamburger I intended to cook for dinner...except I got distracted by something shiny and forgot to buy anything to go with that (like, you know, buns).


But now I'm home, and showered, and dude, it's so time for bed (it's like 11:30. Fortunately, my Wednesdays start late). Oh, and hey, here's some good news - my cousin's husband's nephew, Sebastian, has his very own Comedy Central special this Saturday (details here). I think it's his second one, actually. Watch! Laugh! Enjoy!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Love it.

I've been trying to pull this off for, like, four days now, and finally got it to work (here at work). People have been doing duct tape prom dresses for years, but this kid takes the cake. WHO KNEW you could KNIT with the stuff??


(PS - in case it doesn't load, the link is here.)

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!

Ahhh, I do like a weekend.

Yesterday I didn't do much, frankly, which is a nice change. My knee was still sore, so Gomer and I decided it was best to reschedule to today. So mostly I sat around not doing much for a while (okay, I was reading), and then Peng and I went to a wine tasting. Which was delightful. Peng's one of a cast of regulars who, as she's been telling me for a while now, are hysterical. Certainly the rowdiest bunch of oenophiles I've met, ever. It was a very good time. With some very good wine. And then she and I went down the way to this little Italian place that had surprisingly authentic Chicago-style deep dish. A little cornmeal would've made it just about perfect. Ohh, gosh, that was a delightful find. Made me a little bit homesick again when I had the leftovers for lunch today...

All in all, it was nice - I had dinner with Ruthie on Friday when Peng was on call, and dinner with Peng last night. I like my officemates.

Oh, and the Tarheels won. Yay.

Today, I got up, spent some quality time with Mags and then Little Maxine (Sparrow was on call last night), went to the Starbucks and the Walgreens and then to the gym. Gomer and I had rescheduled for today, right? He cancelled on my this morning (things were hectic at his real job last night), and then recanted (well, maybe he wasn't feeling all that bad) and then we agreed that maybe Tuesday was better anyway (when I pointed out that I wouldn't be at all offended if he wanted to take today off after all). Which made it even funnier when I went to the gym at the same time I'd planned to go anyway and ran into him. We had a nice little chat, I went back to the elliptical and he went back to his workout, know, I always suspect there's a weekly meeting where all the trainers sit around and come up with more ways for us to look stupid (seriously. Two weeks ago, about twenty minutes before he made me do sideways squats with a big heavy disc thing and then toss a medicine ball against the wall, I watched Gomer pushing another of his clients across the gym in an office chair). It's nice to know they save a little of the looking ridiculous for themselves, too.

I spent five more minutes on the elliptical today than I usually do (I'm still getting into elliptical shape - that thing is hard - and am trying to slowly push up my time and resistance), and think I figured out how I jacked up my knee last week. Well, okay, it hurt when I left the gym Thursday night, after a hard go at the treadmill and elliptical and the lifting workout that involved those sideways squat things again, and then I stepped out of bed later, and it caught, and I twisted it. But I think that I'm hyperextending it too much on the elliptical. Which I think is causing some general inflammation, but also some patellar tendonitis. Or maybe infrapatellar bursitis. I don't know, I'm a psychiatrist. Knees are a little beyond my purview these days...


That five extra minutes added a good deal more stinky, but I went to the grocery store anyway. I'm sure the grocery people were thrilled. I bought the wrong sour cream and forgot like eight things, including the chicken I'd planned on making for dinner. I came home and did a shitload of dishes, some of which had gotten unacceptably gross (strangely, those were relatively new. Turns out this Spirutein stuff I've been drinking ferments really fast and then starts to grow all manner of weird stuff). I realized about halfway through that my plan to scale this giant mountain of dishes, which I washed by hand in really hot water, and then take a shower was ill-conceived about halfway through when I started running out of hot water....

Planning was not my strong suit today.

But I did manage to do all the dishes, and the laundry, and eventually I did even manage to shower. With hot water and everything. I also washed all the pieces of my espresso machine and its little accessories today, in an effort to cut back on my Starbucks consumption (we'll see how that goes....). I'd intended to make chicken and potatoes for dinner, but, see above, re: stupid grocery shopping moment, so I had a big baked potato with cheese and broccoli. Which...somewhere in there, I realized I wanted to actually bake the potato. And...I hadn't really done that in a while, so I wasn't quite sure I remembered how. Like, I usually do them on the grill or in the microwave. So I texted Peng, who knows about these things, is marrying Chef, and can locate her Joy of Cooking faster than I can (it's in a box somewhere, still). She helped me out, but in the meantime I found this website. Which cracked me up a little.

It was a yummy potato. But next time I might microwave it a little first...

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Do you hear hoofbeats?

Apparently there was a pillow fight on Wall Street this afternoon...

I think this could be a sign of the apocalypse, frankly.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Another of those moments...

...when I'm really quite proud to be an American.

The Iowa Supreme Court today ruled against a proposed ban on same-sex marriages (article here). I think this is a huge victory for American civil rights, especially given the rightward leanings of the Hawkeye state.

This is important stuff, you know?

Listen, I'm a straight white girl from the Midwest. No one cares enough about who I marry anymore to ban it or legislate it or even put up a fuss (except maybe my mom). Come to think of it, most of my family, I think, would just be grateful I actually GOT married, considering how far past my expiration date I've already gone. But it wasn't too long ago that it was illegal for me to marry or even date someone of a different race. Now, we all agree that's a stupid place for laws to be. I hope that the time course is even more swift with this issue. Right now, we're all fighting and up in everybody's business and putting up a fuss on both sides of the issue. But in ten, twenty, fifty years? I sincerely hope we'll be looking back at all this going, wait, why were we wasting our time on something so obvious?

There's always going to be people who object. There are many who still disapprove of interracial couples, of May-December couples, of couples who eat too much jam. Point is, you can always find someone who disapproves of what you're doing. That's fine; this is a free country. Feel free to voice your objections. We'll be sure to give them all the consideration they deserve.

But to those outside the courthouse praying for the court to ban same-sex marriages, consider this: maybe God heard you. Maybe He knows better than you, and maybe the answer is "no."

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Sex and Love Thursday

So yesterday we had this "sex therapist" come lecture to us. I don't know why I put that in quotes, she really is a sex therapist. Just...well, maybe she's a better therapist than lecturer.

She was really...awkward. Which seemed weird, given her profession. And disorganized. And seemed peculiarly uncomfortable with the men in the room (we only had two, relative to, what, three times that many women?). I dunno, it was weird.

So this woman's going on, and Sparrow (I love that she's representin' for me) points out that, wait, didn't *I* do this work for a while?

Which, I did. During my training hiatus, I sold yarn and worked as a sex therapist.

Seriously, my life is weird.

But nonetheless. So, Sparrow brings this up, and I said, yeah, and....I don't think I'm usually a name-dropper, but the woman I worked with is one of the top names in the business. She looks at me blankly, so I explained in a sentence or two the work that we did. Which she then, later, snarked at a little bit.

Um...really? First of all, was that necessary?

And second, I was a little offended. Sure, everyone takes a different approach, right, but, the clinic I worked in is world renowned. People come literally from the other side of the globe to do her program. She must be doing something right.

And so I was thinking about the clinic today during all of my driving back and forth from the coast. It was a seven week intensive program (recreated by my boss in this book) for married couples (we were a Jesuit hospital, after all). We worked as therapist pairs, and met with the couples for five hours a night one night a week for seven sessions, and it was, well, intense. We'd start with a check in, then split up and do individual, then come back together, then there was "symposium" (sex ed, really), where all the couples would come together for information sharing, and then we'd go back to our therapist-couple sets, dish out homework for the next week, and they'd go home. They spent five hours there per session, we spent about seven, not including the two weeks of introductory training we had. We did a lot of teaching, and lot of different types of therapy - dynamic, CBT, gestalt, relational...

It was a good time. I learned a lot about therapy and psychiatry and working with couples. And when you got right down to it, not much of what we did was really, strictly, about sex. We did a lot (lo-ot) of relationship work, which was the thing that I think this therapist yesterday really failed to communicate. We did a lot of work about attitudes, communication, ideas passed on by one's family of origin. We worked with religious beliefs, fetishes, gender role ideals. We worked on trauma, conflict, abuse. We rooted out anger, resentment, shame, blame, and guilt. And we changed people's lives. Some couples split as a result of the work that they did in the clinic, but many, many marriages were saved. Countless relationships were made stronger. My boss, in the decades she's been doing this, boasts close to 100 marriages that were consummated after years of marital celibacy because of the work that she's done (one of which was one of my couples. You know, once they stopped beating on each other). She's a pretty remarkable lady.

And what she did a good job of, which this woman yesterday really flubbed, was pointing out that sex is really just one form of communication in a relationship. It's actually a pretty potent, very intimate communication - even when it's casual. And it's often a crucible in which all the loaded issues of the past, all the passions and conflicts of the present, all the predictions and hopes for the future, hit a flash point.

Yeah, not a small issue. And really not about silly toys and "shocking" books.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


$6.99 for air, huh?

How does one even certify air as organic?


(Yes, yes, I know it's actually air freshener. Work with me, here...)