Sunday, February 26, 2006


The (Gay) Black Pirate

Friday night, I took a break from powerpoint and went to the symphony. They were showing the very first full-lenght technicolor film "The Black Pirate" starring Douglas Fairbanks. It was a silent film, and the symphony played the original score along with it. I love these kinds of things. I once saw "The Battleship Potemkin" while the Philadelphia Orchestra played in the background. Of course, that was in the summer at an amphitheater and was complemented by a gourmet picnic and booze. Totally different vibe.

At any rate, the movie was hilarious. Due to the lack of dialogue, all the actors overemoted and made ridiculous facial expressions to get the idea across. The extras looked like real people so there were many shirtless pirates who never saw a gym and never missed a meal. I couldn't help but think that, if made today, the pirates all would look like Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp and, somehow, be less entertaining. Of course, if it had been made today, perhaps Douglas Fairbanks would have been wearing PANTS. He spent almost the entire movie in a black short unitard with black mid-calf boots (Stevie Nicks must be so jealous). I thought this was just a byproduct of his character being shipwrecked (and a chance to show off Doug's stylin' biceps). Unfortunately, when his daring crew showed up later to rescue the maiden in distress, they were an entire boatful of unitards. If I had been a pirate, I'd have been nervous. And if I'd been the maiden, I'd be thinking, "Wouldn't you know it. All the cute ones are gay."
Potential Band Names:

Lady I Regret
I Thought I'd Die

Monday, February 20, 2006


I Am "Le Tired"

An old high school friend sent me this link I Am Le Tired. It is awesome. Thanks Amanda W.

p.s. I was reminded of this link by Dima's post "Le Weekend". Thanks, Dima.


The Bitch is Back

I'm back in San Diego (view from my deck)...

...back with Hooch (he always starts out on the floor)...

and back to the grind. I have a huge community-wide presentation on "External Fixation In Acute Pelvic Ring Injuries" coming up on March 1st. Oh yeah, it's as exciting as it sounds. I'm hiring extra security for the stage divers. But after that, I promise to tell all the stories I've been teasing about...

1. The rest of the depression saga
2. The holiday party Ruby went to where there was a birthday cake for Jesus
3. The drunken debauchery of 3 drunks (alcoholics go to meetings) in Seattle
4. My new car and my new apartment...WHAT?

That's right. I'm cycling faster than Lance Armstrong, and in an effort to soothe my soul, I've decided to move closer to the beach and buy a car with a real roof.

Anyway, I'm keeping up with everyone via their sites. Please don't think I've stopped reading or writing. I just have to focus, focus...uh, what was I talking about? Oh yeah! Focus until March 1.

Friday, February 10, 2006


Sleepless In Santa Nella

Day Two of Stampygate continues with no end in sight. How did the defense proceed today? Well, the case started out strong with a bagel and coffee for breakfast and a salad for lunch. Of course, the smoking gun was the smoking Stampy. That's right, I smoked my way down I-5 and right through Northern California. Not a great start for my campaign to become aerobic and fit Stampy again. I tried to go to sleep to just get through this swing (sometimes that works, you know) but the committee was in full force. That's what Ruby calls them - The Committee. Those voices (no I am not hearing real voices) that kick in when you're exhausted and think you're about to go to sleep...

Wow, I'm tired. I should get some sleep.
I don't feel that sleepy.
Did I pay the cable bill?
Did I lock the door?
I'm so forgetful. Maybe I have a brain tumor.
Why didn't I hold the door for that little old lady?
I'm a horrible person.
That's why no one calls.
Did I pay the phone bill?
I'm fat. Am I out of nutella?
Nutella, am I crazy?
Ohmigod, if i'm crazy my parents will be devastated.
Did I forget my father's birthday?
I AM a horrible person. Maybe I should kill myself.
That would devastate my parents and leave them with my student loan bills.
Did I pay my student loan bill? I'll never get a mortgage with my credit.
Fat and bad credit. Maybe I should disappear.
That would devastate my parents. Besides, where would I disappear to?
I'd like to go someplace warm, but I'm too fat to wear a bathing suit.
Oh god, why can't I just go to sleep?
Did I lock the door?...

Shower, rinse, repeat. And repeat, repeat, repeat. Even Ambien can't seem to win this debate.

Please note: Do not panic - no Stampy's were hurt in the making of this committee demonstration. But boy, does it hurt.


Losing It In Canyonville, Oregon

NOTE: This post is from yesterday, 9 Feb 2006 but I fell asleep before posting it. Was just going to erase it, but I'm back in the same mental place and can't sleep so WTF.

When left to my own devices for too long, especially too long without alcohol, I begin to look at my life, my thighs, my diet with a high power microscope. I am sitting here in a Best Western in rural Oregon just a short shuttle ride to an Indian casino waiting for Ben Affleck to come banging on the door asking for protection from Charlize Theron (or was I the only one who saw that piece of shit?). Barring young Hollywood knocking down my door, I’ve decided to have a small nervous breakdown of the “Stampy Sucks” variety. Trust me, these get started and they take on a life of their own.

The first thing I am ashamed of is that I’m about to complain about my weight and my body self-image at a time when so many other strong women on the net are saying they are o.k. with themselves and have pushed unrealistic ideals to the side. Let me make it clear – I AM NOT O.K. WITH MYSELF RIGHT NOW. This 30#s I’ve gained in the last 3 years makes me feel off balance, clothes don’t fit, I’m self-conscious in yoga. At the same time, it is all I can do to feed the dog and pick up take-out most days. There is a mantra in trauma surgical training - eat when you can, sleep when you can. Well, i haven't been getting much sleep, but I seem to keep finding the food. While I worked out some in Seattle, all it took was a bad week of call and a couple beers to make me feel like a big, unhealthy lump again.

This has all served to make me generally uncomfortable in my skin. When I wear jeans, I am now that person that people always want to tell that they are 5 years and 15 pounds past belonging in those low riders. No matter what I’m wearing, I fuss with it. I’ve begun to worry about hair, make-up, and jewelry (all so not my thing – a silver bangle and some mascara is a fancy night out) to draw attention away from everything else. Not that any guys have been begging to take me out, but I cry when I think of someone seeing me naked. Not real romantic, eh. While I used to have trouble keeping my clothes on (wait - that didn't come out right - but you get the idea) now I roam the locker room in the gym draped in towels. I towel off inside the shower, I shimmy my jeans on under the towel, I always have a sweatshirt tied around my waist.…aw screw it…i’m taking an Ambien and going to sleep.

Thursday, February 09, 2006



Ruby thought I scanned that picture in. No. I took it. I don't know whether to be offended she thought I didn't take it, or flattered she thought I was high tech enough to travel with a scanner. Here are some other shots from the same day...

There were gorgeous black and white photos in my room, but there were none for sale in the fancy, schmancy gift shop. Apparently they were commissioned and numbered.

ADDENDUM: While observing the power of the falls (even semi-harnessed to a hydroelectric plant), I was in awe of the force, almost a violence, which with the water went over. I tried to capture that but didn't quite get it. A video clip might have had better effect but I'm still rockin' the pre-video clip canon elph. At any rate, the more I just sat and looked at the falls - the more of an understanding I had for people who feel the need to harness that power or ride that power. The dammers, the goin' over in a barrellers, all the wingnuts. And I was reminded of one of my favorite short essays by MFK Fisher entitled "For Those Who Must Jump." I tried to find a link on line, but failed miserably. I'll just have to get someone to scan it in for me when I get home. If you've read it - if you know the piece - you'll have some idea of how I felt standing at the top of the observation deck getting bathed in the mist.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006



So after almost 3 months of grey, rainy weather and methamphetamine driven car accidents full of open fractures, my time in Seattle is drawing to a close. As a final snub to me from the Emerald City, the sun has finally come out and has shone for 4 days straight. Ha, ha, ha! I was on call from Saturday AM until Sunday AM, went home and slept, and then went back to operate Sunday night. By the end of the weekend, I was broken. I was supposed to leave Monday AM for snowboarding in Mammoth but my hands hurt so much from operating I couldn't slip my clogs on let alone tie snowboard boots. So I did what any strong, educated woman would do...I ran away from home.

And straight to a spa. I am currently sipping a glass of red wine before 5 pm while sitting in a window. Said window is near a fireplace. Said window looks down on a roaring waterfall. A delicious bowl of smoked salmon chowder is in my future. Life is once again good.

And here's the view from good...

O.K. I'm lying. That's the view from down the walkway. I'm in that building up to the left. Cuz that's where the booze is. Hope everyone is well.

p.s. I leave tomorrow for the long drive back to San Diego - will probably take two days to do it. If anyone is sitting around bored, feel free to call and keep me lively. I promise to tell you some really bad jokes.

Thursday, February 02, 2006


Blood, Sweat, and Beers

First, let me start by saying I am a firm believer in the comma before the "and" in a series of things. I know it's up for grabs in the punctuation manuals, but I'm coming down on my side of the debate.

So I'm not sure whether I'm more embarrassed to admit that I missed the beginning of "The Outdoorsmen - Blood, Sweat, and Beers" on Spike TV tonight...or to admit that I watched it at all. Ah-sweep-ay used to say that I was the most stalwart female supporter of Spike TV. After all, they have two hours of CSI every weeknight AND MXC: Most Extreme Challenge. But The Outdoorsmen - I feel like Diane Fosse observing the gorillas. Ladies, I highly recommend it.

Tonight, there was a "Blind Man's Beer" competition. They put two guys in a rope circle with 4 beers randomly scattered around. They then put blackout goggles on the two teammates, spun them around until they were dizzy, and then set them loose to find the beers. Grown men (overgrown in some cases) rolled around in the dirt until they located 4 beers per team. Once the fourth beer was located, they had to chug all four beers. Rules? No puking in the circle. It was a timed competition.

I ask you ladies, why haven't we taken over the world yet?


Into Every Rain, A Little Rain Must Fall

O.K. One bad thing and two good things (WARNING - DREADFULLY LONG POST TO FOLLOW)…

Let’s start with the bad. I tend not to talk about politics, religion, or addictions too much in this blog. Not because I don’t have an opinion. For fucks sake, I was a poli sci grad student at Berkeley. I have an opinion on everything. It’s just that I have a hard time putting this stuff into print. I can argue my ass off in person – I just feel I don’t do it justice in the written word. I always feel the need to couch it in humor. But today, I had on of the worst professional interactions ever. And here is my question? Why do women in positions of power have to behave like such bitches sometime? And why do other women have to treat women in positions of power as if they are social pariahs?

It’s hard enough to be a woman in most professional fields. When I thought I wanted to be a lawyer, I got a job as an intern at a big L.A. (Los Angeles, not Lower Alabama) law firm. The junior female attorneys would get along just great with the legal secretaries. Everyone would go out and party together, gossip on Monday mornings, and talk general smack in the office. Once the attorneys were on the partner track, the attorneys stopped chatting so comfortably with the other women, and the legal secretaries would snipe about how the lawyers were acting as if they were so far above everyone else. Once I was a medical student, female nurses would take sexually explicit jokes and bullshit requests from my male colleagues, but when I would ask for help, I’d get, “I’m busy. You can do it yourself.”

Now before the hate mail starts, this is not a lawyer/secretary, nurse/doctor thing. My favorite aunt was a nurse for years. She went through several years of grueling training to become an ER nurse practitioner. When she was finished, she began working in an ER where she had worked for years as a nurse. She asked for some help with a patient one day, and a former colleague said to her, “What, you think you’re to good to do the work yourself anymore?”

Blah, blah, blah. So today, we did two pretty complicated operative cases. During the first case, one of our anesthesia providers (who never identified herself as the attending anesthesiologist and spent less than 10 minutes in the room) began questioning my junior resident’s orders. The accusations were pretty serious and got the trauma attending pretty spun up. At the end of the case, I checked his orders and found them to be both medically safe and appropriate. I discussed it with the trauma attending and we agreed everything was o.k. I spoke with the anesthesia resident, explained the misunderstanding, and she even apologized to be for the other provider’s behavior. At the beginning of the next case, said senior provider was bitching loudly and defaming our resident. I simply stated (and not in a bitchy manner, trust me internet – I admit it when I’m being bitchy) that I was the chief resident on the service, the junior resident had worked 30 hours straight and was home sleeping, and that I had reviewed his orders with the attending and we were satisfied. She snottily responed, “And your name is?”

My response was “Dr. G*******”. This was not meant to be condescending. I always introduce myself as Dr. G and then say, “But call me Stampy”. Her response? “I hope you’re a doctor. After all you’re operating. What’s your first name?” So I told her. Then we went about putting the patient to sleep and positioning him. When we were getting ready to scrub, she dragged the trauma attending out into the hallway and screams, “You’re resident is being LIPPY and you need to get her under control!” We both replied, “What?” She said, “I am an attending anesthesiologist and I deserve the appropriate respect!” I pointed out that I didn’t know she was the attending MD. She had never introduced herself. “What the hell else could I be?” “A CRNA (certified resident nurse anesthetist)”. We work with CRNA’s all the time. Regardless, I introduced myself as Doctor because we hadn’t met and I wanted to make it clear that I would take care of the situation. I stated that I regretted any misunderstanding – I did not intend to be LIPPY. Without even waiting to discuss, she looked at my trauma attending, said, “get her under control or else”, and stormed off.

We spent the rest of the case in stunned silence. The resident told me she was a real bitch, the room nurse told me she demanded that everyone refer to her as “Doctor” to show the appropriate respect, and the other OR staff told me this was not the first snit she’d thrown. Oh, there’s so much else to this story…too long already. My attending tried to calm her down and asked if I might consider apologizing (even though she and everyone else agreed I’d done nothing wrong). How ‘bout an emphatic “NO!” This was supported by everyone. Later, the attending told me said “Doctor” said I’d been LIPPY with another staff anesthesiologist that weekend. Hey, I was drunk with Ruby and Tammi Faye all weekend – unless I tried to pick said staff up at a wine tasting, it wasn’t me. The bitch said, “Well, he assures me he had a problem with a female chief ortho resident.” There are four of us women chiefs at this hospital alone – all blonde. Fuck them. Can't we all just get along?

So, good stuff?

One: I bought new snowboard boots and bindings yesterday and I’m going to Mammoth on my way home. Shreddy Betty…

Second: I found this awesome magnet this weekend…

More bitching to follow.

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