Wednesday, December 28, 2005

 

The Cheese Stands Alone

I am currently suffering from a wicked case of SAD squared. What?

1. SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER - If they have an organization, I should be it's poster child. I can get cranky after a few consecutive cloudy days in San Diego, which makes Seattle in December my own personal sensory deprivation chamber. The days here are surprisingly short. The sun is not really up until almost 8:30 and it starts to go down around 3:30. When it gets dark here, it gets DARK. Even though I'm living downtown, this dark is like a moonless, cloudy night on an abandoned country road - spooky dark. No stars. I've fallen asleep on the couch post call and woken up at 5 o'clock. My god, I'm so confused. Is it 5pm? Should I get up and go to the gym? Is it 5am? Should I sleep another 15 minutes or take an extra long shower before work? Reportedly, it was nice during the scant daylight for the first several weeks I was here. Unfortunately, I was poaching in the microclimate of the hospital where it is always 70 degrees and flourescently lit. Now it has begun to rain. Daily. I've upped the working out, increased the caffeine, eaten tons of citrus fruit, bought another round of strange vitamins...I'm even researching tanning salons. (This is a no shit treatment for seasonal depression - some insurances even pay for it. Plus, I think my thighs look thinner when they're tan). My next move may be to actually order one of those light therapy contraptions. Unfortunately, they're ugly and expensive. Has anyone had any luck with them or will this be yet another one of "my most expensive mistakes ever"?

2. SEASONAL ASS DISORDER - There has been an endless supply of gourmet crap around the hospital over the holidays. Everyone brings homemade treats, edible gifts, and some stuff they obviously want to get out of their cabinets. Last week, there was even a giant pannetone on the front desk in the OR. Time is often in rare supply on operative days, and several of my colleagues seem to think that lunch is optional. These are probably the people who happily get up on time and have a hearty breakfast. Overachievers. In between cases, there is often little time to grab a bite to eat, so I usually keep my lab coat full of power bars. But oh how much better to have a homemade brownie, a hunk of macademia nut brittle, or a piece of baklava being sold "for a good cause". How's that for motivation - Calories for a Cause. Add in some hors d'ouerves at holiday gatherings, some dinners out with the parents, and my secret stash of nutella. What do you get? Fat Stampty. Now the other group I should belong to is the Body Dysmorphic Disorder Group. (I can't be their poster child. You know the camera adds five pounds.)

Add these axis I and axis III disorders together and you get a Stampy who's not feeling to good about herself right now. I feel like the cheese.

P.S. I know this comes from "The Farmer In the Dell", but I'd forgotten the lyrics and my less flexible adult mind wondered why a "cheese" was standing in any status, alone or not. I found the lyrics at the following website:
http://www.niehs.nih.gov/kids/lyrics/farmer.htm
I tried to link it (thanks for the instructions Hanni) but I'm working on a Mac and Safari doesn't support that toolbar option. Thus, please copy and paste as necessary. Just be warned, this site doesn't just list the words but actually plays the music along as well. Over and over and over. If you ever wanted to cold cock Barney, this is not the site for you.

 

Insert Stampy Here...

I was going to post some commercial lines and movie lines that I love. Then, being the egomaniac that I am, I decided to start a new series of posts. From now on, I will insert "Stampy" wherever it sounds really cool. Here is my first...

Commercial for the new Underworld movie...

"I'm not scared of you Stampy." "We'll have to work on that."

Please feel free (nay, I heartily encourage it) to send me other "insert Stampy here"...

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

 

Shirley Temple

I was feeling blue, so I went to get my hair cut. Usually, I have them blow it out straight. Today, we let it dry.



Altogether now..."On the good ship, lollipop..."

 

Random Task

Spike TV has been having the 8 days of 007 and Goldmember's "OddJob" reminded me of Austin Powers' "RandomTask". It's the little things that make me laugh. Here are some "random thoughts" that have caught me off guard or provoked a chuckle over the last few days...

1. A special on VH1 which had a clip on the new stars of 2005 stated that having BustaRhymes in their video provided the PussyCat Dolls with "street cred".

2. On the Food Network, the Barefoot Contessa (Ina Garten) was preparing "Chicken with Morels". She stated that morels had a wonderful earthy taste, "much like sweatsocks".

3. I've never seen "The Office" before, and I still haven't seen a full episode. Tonight, however, I caught part of an episode with the following conversation...
"No one cares about your beet farm."
"People love beets."
"People hate beets."
"Everybody likes beets."
"No one likes beets."
"Why don't you try growing something people like, like candy. I'd love a piece of candy."

4. Tonight, I was having dinner at Cafe Campagne in Seattle (Champagne, Pate, Cotes du Rhone, Mussles and greens). I was reading I DIDN'T DO IT FOR YOU, a book about Eritrea. Sitting at the bar, there was a couple one seat down from me. The woman turned to me and said, "That looks like a great book. Something I'd read." I told her it was about colonialism in Africa. She asked, "Does it have lots of romance and violence and plot twists?" If one finds international relations and third world politics exciting, the answer might me yes. For her, I'm thinking "not so much". She finished with, "well, it's got a really great cover". Shortly thereafter, while I was busy blanking out the stupidity of the previous interaction, the guy she was with went to the bathroom. She leaned towards me. "This is the worst date ever. I can't wait to get out of here." "Why don't you leave." "I'm hungry."

5. Caught a taxicab home. NPR was playing in the cab and I got into a conversation with the cabdriver. He then spent the last 5 minutes of the drive home (including an awkward 90 seconds in front of my building) with him telling me about people he'd seen shot and people he'd seen dead on the street. Not funny ha ha this time. Egads.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

 

Guilty Pleasures

This is a post that will recur and recur. However, holiday scheduling demands a comment...

"The Long Kiss Goodnight" with Geena Davis. A violent chick flick that makes Thelma and Louise look like Romper Room. She throws knives, she breaks the necks of deers, she says "Life is pain!"

Geena Davis rocks!

 

Fa ra ra ra ra, ra ra ra ra!

Yes, it's that time of year again...24 hours of "A Christmas Story" on TNT. Nothing says holiday fun like tongues stuck to metal poles, gifts from "fra-gee-lay", toys that put your eye out, and the beheading of a Chinese Xmas duck. God bless the Bumpus hounds. I am on call for Xmas, so this is my Xmas post.

We had a wonderful Christmas eve. It started out wonderfully - I didn't have to go in today so I got to sleep in. When I was younger (i.e. before I started med school), I used to say "plenty of time to sleep when you're dead". Now, I love-nay I covet-sleep. I woke up, got in a workout, then went with my parents to Pike's Market. Consider this my festive holiday photo...



Many people have taken a photo of the market sign from the front. Here it is from behind the scenes.

We opened our presents on Xmas eve. The gifts for the 'rents went well, and I got wonderful gifts (more details on both later).
We had a phenomenal Xmas eve dinner with other freaks and stragglers in Seattle (again, more details later). Many family secrets were shared by all. My favorite holiday story, however, came from Ruby. There was a message on my cell phone when Ruby and Ruby Jr. (aka Squirrel Nuts) had to leave mass for behavioral issues. They walked out to the nativity scene out front of the church to admire Jesus in his cradle. Ruby Jr. took one look at him and stated, "that baby pooped". My sentiments exactly.

Merry Holidays to all, and to all a secular night!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

 

Hey there, Cupcake!

So I have this new fascination with cupcakes. Don't get me wrong...cakes, pies, and cookies rock, too. It is the very independence of the cupcake - it's ability to be carried without a plate, eaten without a fork, consumed without sharing - that I adore. I bought my mom a new cupcake cookbook for Christmas and now I think I'm going to have to go back and get one for myself. (I also have my eye on some of those brightly colored silicon cupcake pans. I am a sucker for brightly colored kitchen gadgets.) This whole obsession was rekindled by an ad in one of Seattle's free weekly newspapers (The Stranger) for a local bakery (Cupcake Royale). This is what they were advertising...



O.K. They're not so beautiful but they were to begin with. Blame it on several hours in rainy, holiday traffic with my dad holding them in the back of a jeep wrangler (neither Dad nor cupcakes were happy at the end of the day). And forget their physical appearance...They are beautiful on the inside...



That's right! They are RED VELVET CUPCAKES with CREAM CHEESE ICING! These are only one of my favorite childhood memories. Unfortunately, my mom never made RVC and so no recipe got passed down. My friends grandmother took hers to the grave. If anyone has a recipe to share, please send it on. My tastebuds thank you (and my thighs curse you).

Happy Cupcake Days!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

 

Happy Holidays Jerry Falwell!

So have you heard that a Florida based group called the Liberty Counsel ("liberty" here being defined as "religious right") are proposing a law suit against referring to the Christmas foliage in DC being called a "holiday tree"? They're also targeting some public schoools that have taken "Silent Night" off their Holiday choir list. Glad these people are applying themselves to the real violations of "liberty" in America.

In tribute to these paragons of virtue, I present my small but proud Xmas tree (please substitute X with deity of your choice).



I know it doesn't seem like much to argue about but he IS a real tree (and his name is Bruce...as in rhymes with Spruce). Bruce was apparently out to lunch when the tree fairys gave out that fresh pine scent I so associate with THE HOLIDAYS. Thus, we burn some l'occitane winter incense every evening and bask in the glow of all 14 lights I squeezed onto Bruce. He also lacks a tree topper (they were all too big) so I am planning on making him a tinfoil star tophat for his stocking (eat your heart out Martha!). But despite all of this, I'm determined Bruce will have a very merry HOLIDAY.

Then I'm going to decorate him with condoms, stick him in a box, and mail him to the good Reverend Falwell along with a Spring Candy Receptacle full of treats from the Holiday Bunny.

Cheers.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

 

Wish You Were Here

Dear Mama,

I'm really enjoying my time here in Seattle. I've been helping lots of people with broken bones and dislocated joints. They are very appreciative, too. Yesterday, a nice young man whacked out on crystal meth crashed his motorcycle and his leg was all poned up. When I tried to help him by putting the bones back where they belong (to restore blood flow, mind you), He called me a "dumb cunt". When he finally crashed down off his recreational drugs, he looked just like a little angel snoring away.

Oh yeah, and the weather here is beautiful.

Love,
Stampy

Sunday, December 11, 2005

 

Crowded in a Crowd

THE NEXT INSTALLMENT IN “WHAT CHEESES ME OFF”

I have a big problem when people don’t understand the whole “personal space” thing. Some might assert this is because I grew up as an only child (loved every minute of it). But I would assert it is due to the fact that so many people either think that the world is their living room or that there is no one else in the world but them.

Here are some examples…

YOGA: I take ashtanga and bikram yoga. I try to get there several minutes before the class starts to secure some yoga mat real estate. Then some schmuck comes in 3 minutes after the class starts and puts their mat down right next to you…right where your arm or leg has to go in some unnatural pose. Then they act all offended that your toes are in their face when all you can think about is “ohmigod…my body is not intended to bend this way.” Fuckers.

BATHROOMS: There are six empty stalls. I take the end one. Someone comes in and takes the stall right next to me. What if I fart while I’m peeing? I would just die. (No really, I have a shy bladder.)

MOVIE THEATERS: I sit in the front third of the theater. There is no one in front of me. Then some couple comes in (with a giant tube of popcorn which they will chomp down with their mouths wide open) and sits two rows up directly in front of me. If I’m really lucky, a heavy breather with individually wrapped cough drops will sit just behind me.

THE GYM: O.k. So here’s what set this all off…I’m at the gym this morning in the room with all the free weights. There is no one in the room – plenty of space. I’m sitting on a weight bench doing bicep curls when an older man comes in,, picks up a pair of barbells and stands half in front of me while he throws them around. His sweaty, wrinkly crotch is at eye level less than a foot away. “For gods sake man, you have the whole room to strut around. Have some decency. I haven’t had my coffee yet.” Yuk!

End of rant – I need some coffee. Then I think I’ll do some Xmas shopping. Just the thing for someone who freaks out in crowds.

Friday, December 09, 2005

 

That's not my bag, baby.

I'm not real hip on the internet lingo the kids these days use. My deductive skills are taxed figuring out vanity plates in Southern California. But I now undertand what "OMG" means - It means "holy frikkin' shit, whose ass is that?" Because I know that fat, jiggly thing following me around Seattle does not belong to me. So if you've lost some weight recently, I've found it. And I'd be more than happy to give it back.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

 

Yadda, Yadda, Yadda...

I’m getting tired of saying all those things I say just to say “something”. You know what I mean? Like when someone asks me what made me want to be a doctor. The first couple times, I hoped it was one of those questions that people really didn’t want an answer to…you know…”How are you?” ”Fine thanks”. So I said, “I’m not really sure.” And they’d (they being the amorphous group of people who make me talk when I don’t want to talk) would say, “you must know”. So I’d give the stock “to help people” response. But they had to have more. “Is someone in your family a doctor?” “No.” “Were you sick/in the hospital when you were younger?” “No.” “Is it for the money?” “Are you shitting me?” So I would try to explain (which I won’t bore you with now) and came up with an answer which I repeated the next thousand times someone I didn’t know asked what made me tick (THEY are so nosy). Now it’s like a script. It has lost all meaning. And I can spew it verbatim – even after several pints of Guiness.

Other examples…
1. ”Do you prefer Sam or Samantha?” “Sam. Samantha usually means I’m in trouble.” (insert forced laugh here).
2. “By large, do you mean a grande or a venti?” “In a world of small, medium, and large, I want the biggest fucking coffee you’ve got.” (Insert nervous laugh here).
3. “It must be hard being a woman in orthopedic surgery.” (Not really a question but always said with that inquisitive rise in pitch at the end). “Actually, no. The line for the bathroom is always really short and I get applauded when I fart.” (Insert appalled silence here).

There are many more examples but now I’m annoying myself by trying to remember them. In order to keep from being trite, I’ll stop quoting my personal scripts. From now on, my answer will be “Fine, thanks.”

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

 

We'veGotSpiritYesWeDo!

Last Friday, I attended the Seattle Sonics game. It was awesome (even though their season is less than stellar). They were playing the Cleveland Cavaliers, and I got a seat at center court 18 rows back. While I have no real loyalty to (or against) either team, I was looking forward to seeing Lebron James live and in action. A couple sitting next to me had flown in from Fairbanks, Alaska just to attend the game It was their first NBA game, and they thought that the Cavaliers were probably going to win. By the end of the first quarter, however, all three of us were cheering for the Sonics along with the 5 foot nothing season ticket holder to my right who I forgive for hitting my beer hand repeatedly (thus causing some spillage). AND THE SONICS WON!

This brings me to the problem I have with professional team sports…I’ve never really known which team to support. This is a huge confession coming from the daughter of a sportscaster and a self-proclaimed member of the Raider Nation. NOW HOLD IT! HOLD IT!. Don’t start booing just yet. I got some ‘splaining to do.

In high school, I pulled for the school I attended. This was particularly important as I danced at every halftime show. And yes, I was on the dance squad. I was not just shaking my ass in the bleachers (although I have been known to shake my ass in the bleachers). I grew up as an Auburn fan and spent my first year of college drinking my way through Auburn University, so my college allegiance is unquestioned. (The tiny liberal arts school in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts from which I graduated couldn’t muster an ultimate Frisbee team, let alone compete in football so there was no competition for my loyalty). But Alabama doesn’t have an NFL or an NBA team. Everybody was a Braves fan by default. Who was my pro sports self supposed to support (please applaud the alliteration at will).

I lived in LA (Los Angeles, not Lower Alabama) for a few years and followed the Lakers, the Kings, the Dodgers, and the Raiders. The Lakers eventually started losing. The Kings traded an entire line that had taken them to the finals that year. I saw Darryl Strawberry at bat and heard a sober man scream “Do what you fucking get paid to do…Hit it!” That was the beginning of my seasons of discontent.

Does one pull for the city in which one resides? I’ve moved too often. Does one pull for the coach? They can get fired when losing or jump ship when winning. Or do you pull for a specific player? Talk about show me the money.

So here’s how I shake down…I pull for the Oakland Raiders (oh, shut it) and the New York Yankees. I don’t start following the NBA until playoffs and then follow the most dramatic and graceful players. I’m still pissed at the NHL for last season (or lack thereof) and spend my time watching the San Diego Gulls. And for any of you Aussie rules fans, I barrack for Collingwood – I even have the scarf and the black-and-white striped socks.

Go Team!

Monday, December 05, 2005

 

A Moveable Feast

NOTE: THIS POST IS FROM LAST SUNDAY (AS IN 27 NOV). I APOLOGIZE FOR MY TARDINESS. PLEASE REMEMBER I HAVE ONLY SPORADIC ACCESS TO THE INTERNET. THEREFORE, I WILL WRITE AS I GO AND POST WHEN I CAN.

Tonight, I had the best dinner ever. It was the kind of enjoyment of a meal you have when you’re starved (although I had a wonderful big brunch of eggs benedict with a side of French toast and several cups of strong Seattle coffee). My only excuse is that I’ve been eating hospital cafeteria food for days on end.

I walked down to Pike’s Market and stopped at my favorite bar in Seattle – Kells on Post Alley. They pour a perfect pint of Guiness. Then I tracked down a wine store which I remembered from my last trip here with Ah-sweep-ay, Pike and Western Company Wine Merchants. It was just as I remembered it. The staff there are friendly and helpful. I explained that I wanted to learn more about Oregon and Washington wines and they were more than helpful. I bought two bottles and a Riedel red wine glass (the apartment has plastic cups and coffee mugs). Then I headed off to find cheese and bread.

That being said, I dined on Chabrin cheese, ciabatta, steamed edamame with sea salt, and a bottle of Syncline Subduction Red 2004 ( 60% Syrah, 38% Mourvedre, 2% Viognier). Purely sublime.

 

Every Day is Fun...

I hearby declare Monday “Play With Your Food Day”.

And for my first trick, I present to you BOK CHOY BLOSSOMS.



This is what happens when you don’t get out much.

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