Well Hello There Scrubs

I always joke with people that the main reason I am going into anesthesia is because I want to wear scrubs the rest of my life. While no, that is not the reason I am going into it, it sure is a bonus. Next month, I will get a little dose of it. Today is my last day on VA floors as in December I move to VA Night Float! I am a little excited and a little nervous. I will work from 5pm to 8am every other night. And I get to wear scrubs. And I don’t have to go to clinic. The first part of the month I will be admitting patients to the various Creighton teams (there are 3 of them) as well as taking “cross cover” calls. This means that any time a nurse has a question on a patient that is on a Creighton team, I will be the one answering that call. The second half of the month I won’t be admitting and will just be taking the nurses calls. Ahhhhh….to be out during the day time sounds simply marvelous. Ask me in 2 weeks and my answer may be different. For now, however, I am excited. I will do night float again but at Creighton in March. That month will be much rougher. I am not looking forward to that one L
Review time!!!!
Casablanca: So this restaurant is relatively new I think. It is a “tradition” during VA months for either your supervisor or attending to take the team out for lunch near the end of the month. We went on Tuesday and chose this place as our attending had been before and loved it. It is located near the ‘hip’ and upcoming part of Omaha called Midtown crossing. It isn’t actually in the cool part. Just near it. And slightly in the ghetto still. The place, however, is run by 2 people. The chef/waiter/host/bus boy and hostess/waitress…who only speaks Spanish I think. Anyway, this place is a tiny hole in the wall that has been open less than a year. It is Moroccan. I don’t eat Moroccan often, but I am not opposed either. It wasn’t busy at all, which was great since I had to go to clinic at 1. Without asking, they brought us out some hummus (I think they usually charge for it), which was delicious. The English speaking chef was a little slow to take our orders, but…he is the only one working. He was awesome. While they had the menu, he would ask you “What type of meat do you like?” I wanted lamb. Then he said “I make you something; you want rice and vegetable?” Yes please! It was out pretty fast and was super flavorful! In looking at the plate I didn’t think it would be as there was no sauce or anything. The middle of the plate had a beautiful (and oh so yummy) pile of rice with meat and vegetables surrounding it. So good! And filling too. I have no clue what the total came to as I had to leave for clinic, but it wasn’t outrageously expensive given the proximity to coolness. Yes, on a busy night it may be ill advised to go, but otherwise, hit it up if you are in the area. In summary:

I will try to rate things consistently on a 0-6 scale (had been 0-5 but changed it a little...there goes consistency I guess). 0: never again. 1: if someone else (Matt doesn't count) is paying. 2: If it is a big group and they decide on it. 3: Only on Matt's request. 4: Oh yeah, I like this place, I will suggest this next month or so. 5: Put it in the rotation! 6: GET ME THERE NOW!!!!

Service: slightly below par, but forgivable
Cleanliness: par
Ambiance: a notch step above par, still working on decor I think
Menu: obviously eclectic but relatively small...he will make you a combo of anything though
OVERALL:  4. If we wanted to head downtown I would throw this one out there. I may not make a special trip however (I don't have a number for that....3.5 I guess?)


How do they come up with this stuff?

Do you ever watch TV ads and ask yourself that exact question? They chose that line? That actress? That really awkward conversation? I have two favorites right now, and both of them have to do with jingles. I think one of the most obvious mistakes you see (or hear) in TV ads are unnecessary jingles. Why do ad agencies think everything needs a little jingle with it. Yes, I am sure there have been studies showing that the human brain is more keen to remember something if done with music (I can remember all the words to a song I haven’t heard in 5 years but can barely remember the age of my patients). To me, however, that doesn’t warrant a bad song. Now, if you can come up with a good one, great! Go for it. Mediocre or bad ones, however, are more likely to turn me, the consumer away. Sometimes I would like to sit in on those brain storming sessions, focus groups, and test audiences just to see from where these thoughts stemmed and who actually backed them up and told them it was a good choice. My three cases:
Gheridelli chocolate with caramel: Yes, the combination of these two things is down right heavenly. Why ruin it with the song???? It makes no sense. Plus, her outfit is downright awful. I am not saying I have great style, but you paid someone to put her in this ugly get up! I highly doubt she just stumbled into the commercial looking that way. Nix the song, change the outfit, you are good to go.
Lego Duplo: Cool. Little kids playing with big legos that their little hands and developing coordination can handle. The song?!? Wait, what is going on here? Are these kids all siblings? Why are we singing? Is this her first time walking? I guess if you look at it, a song is better than someone trying to explain what is going on in the ad. I would change this one all together.
Cat food: Pretty sure this has Acid in it or some other hallucinogen. Basically I think you now just have pot heads buying this and trying it. This didn’t need the cartoons or the song. If I take a step back, however, I can almost see the reasoning behind it: you have to stand out from all the other boring cat food ads AND your fan base is probably crazy cat ladies who love this stuff. Enough said
There ya go! So next time you are writing a TV ad, run it by me first before you embarrass your company


Losing things

The VA isn’t the busiest of places, so I often have time to sit and reflect. Recently, it has been how life progresses through what you think you have forgotten/can’t find. For me, this is how it has gone
-Middle school: where is my homework?
-High school: where are my keys?
-College: where did I put my pants (joking)? Where did I put my camera/room key/dining card/ID? Or, more importantly, where did I put my basketball mouth guard/jersey/shoes?
-Med school: where did I put my First Aid for Step 1? Where did I put my resident that I am supposed to follow around?
-Intern year: where the heck are my pager and stethoscope?
Seriously, 5 times a day at least I have that “where is my pager?” moment. It isn’t that I want my pager. That thing drives me nuts. It is more that if I don’t have that thing, there could be backlash. Not from doctors but from ancillary staff. Even if I am done for the day, I still want to know where it is. It was funny. When an intern first gets his/her pager, it is a little exhilarating. Even that first buzz or beep or vibration (mine is always on vibrate) was a little fun. Then, however, realizing that everyone in the hospital has you on a leash, you want to run. Away. Fast.

Speaking of deep things, let’s talk about philosophy, the subject as a whole. In college, I was required to take 2 courses – intro and an elective. I took logic. I liked logic. Because, well, it was logical. I only needed 3 more courses to get my minor in it. Being who I am, I seriously thought about it. I thusly signed up for “The philosophy of politics.” My goodness people, that was over my head. I only got an A because the professor liked me. I am a relatively smart person, but philosophy just wasn’t for me. And you want to know why? The language. Now, all you lovers of thought, this is all opinion, so you can’t get mad. Or you can, but realize my opinion doesn’t make you less of a person. The language of philosophy is such that it prevents people from understanding. It is a very verbose topic in general. They use too many words that are too big (which they themselves have created and defined simply to confuse people :D) making it difficult to simply discuss with everyone. It is an elite group that prefers to keep itself that way. No, I don’t have a specific ‘they’ in mind here. I just remember sitting in that politics class wondering what in the heck people were talking about half the time. If you need to create a complex word with an even more complex definition that needs 10 other definitions to define it, maybe the creation of that word wasn’t necessary?
Matt (and I begrudgingly sometimes) will listen to the ‘In Our Times’ podcast from the BBC. Some topic I enjoy – the moon, the Hippocratic Oath. Other topics bore me to death. One in particular was on some sort of philosophy. They were discussing how your understanding of a sentence depends on whether you have personal context for the current subject or if that subject should really be the predicate.  Or some ridiculous nonsense such as that. See what I mean? Do we really need to debate something like that? Like I said, it is above my head. That is, most likely, the only reason I put it down. Go ahead and keep loving it you crazy people. Just don’t try to talk to me about it.



I came into this one blank. Not a lot of ideas rolling around in my head. Weird. So I guess I will just life update and review the places I have eaten.

Life: I have clinic on Tuesdays. I hate clinic. Ergo, I hate Tuesdays. From the moment I wake up on Tuesday, I am usually in a bad mood. Yes, I know this is a personal problem that I can very easily remedy, but that seems to take a lot of effort. And to tell you the truth, once I get to clinic, my distaste quickly dissipates. I like the doctor I work with. Most of the time I like the patients. I will never be a fan of long term care (hence one of many reasons I am going into anesthesia). The issue is more the fact that it interrupts your whole day. You have to do an entire day of ward work in half a day. You come back the next day feeling unsure what happened with your patients and unfamiliar with any new ones. It creates a lot of stress. BUT....after November I will be half way done with clinic! Yay!

Food time
Upstream Brewery: As the name would suggest, this is a brewery. My parents and I actually ate here my first weekend in Omaha. To tell you the truth, I never returned other than for events that took me there - interview dinners, post-Match party, resident appreciation night. Every time I go, I remember why I don't go back, but at the same time, I tell myself to go there more often. Make no sense? I know! Why I need to go more: great happy hour ($2.50 pints and half price appetizers) and really pretty good beer with a great seasonal selection. They also have "beer to go." I am always tempted to do that, but then I remember Matt doesn't enjoy beer meaning it would likely go to waste. The appetizers are pretty good too. I also like their soup. I. Love. Good. Tomato. Soup. Seriously. I could marry that stuff. And Wednesdays are half price beer AND pizza night. Go Becky go! Why I don't go back: the rest of the food is overpriced and not great. It isn't bad, but at the same time, it is always a let down. It always seems like 'just one thing' is missing from each entree. A little lemon? Some more salt? Butter? Plating is always average. Service is average. Selection is pretty good: from steak to pasta to flatbread pizzas. Not too much but not too little. Another conundrum: the ambiance. It is an old warehouse with exposed brick. Love it. It has high ceilings. Hate it. For those of us slightly hard of hearing, high ceilings are the death of good conversation.I said I was going to try and be consistent, so here it goes:

I will try to rate things consistently on a 0-6 scale (had been 0-5 but changed it a little...there goes consistency I guess). 0: never again. 1: if someone else (Matt doesn't count) is paying. 2: If it is a big group and they decide on it. 3: Only on Matt's request. 4: Oh yeah, I like this place, I will suggest this next month or so. 5: Put it in the rotation! 6: GET ME THERE NOW!!!! 

Service: par

Cleanliness: par
Ambiance: 2 step above par (high ceiling and all)
Menu: selection is 1 above par, taste is...par
OVERALL:  3. If Matt wanted to go, I wouldn't resist. I may just eat the soup though. 


Gym People

Ah. Gym people. That doesn’t always bring the freshest picture to the front of your mind, but let me explain. I am a gym goer. I am addicted. I need the gym. I am not all ‘rexi’ about it, but I tend to get very grumpy if I can’t make it to the gym. Life as an intern, however, is a tad bit busy. The last thing I want to do when I get off work at (hopefully) 5:30 is go to the gym. Instead, I roll my rear end out of bed at just shy of 5am, pour some coffee into my oh-so-wonderful travel mug from Costco (shameless plug. It really is amazing. It stays warm, in my car, in the cold, until I drink it at 630am), and head to the gym. Yes, this may seem counterintuitive to some, but it is easier to just roll and go in the AM than to motivate and go at the end of the day. Plus, it is SOOOOO easy to talk myself out of going by the time 6pm rolls around. As a side note, I am very glad our gym doesn’t open until 5am or else I would find myself getting there earlier and earlier every day. Sick. Back to the point.

Gym people. They are the sweaty equivalent to “old men friends at Panera.” They are the people you see there every day; they don’t exist outside of the gym to you. And you to them. My gym people are the following

-“The two early guys.” They don’t work out together. One is short and fat; the other is tall and skinny. At 5:01am you can see them lifting heavy. Really? No warm up people? Come on!

-“The stretcher.” She is short, mid 60s. Runs. Every day. For about 3 minutes; then stretches. Then on again. For 2 minutes. Then stretches. This is pretty much the routine every morning. One day, however, she talked to me! (insert jaw drop). Gym people aren’t supposed to have voices.

-“The pusher.” Deep down at heart, I am work-out competitive. You know the feeling. Someone gets on the stair climber next to you, and you bump up your speed. And let go of the handrails. This girl stirs that in me for some reason. Funny thing is, she used to belong to 24-Hour as well. Whenever I am near her, I feel that I have to work out better than she does, which is tough because she is skinny and very fit

-“The long shower-er.” This may be TMI, so if that bugs you, avert your eyes…now. I have never been someone who doddles (sp?) in the shower. I go in with a specific task and get it done. From end of workout to out the door – with shower, blow dry/curl hair (naturally curly, so easy), “makeup” (read: mascara) – it takes me max 25 minutes. Max. This girl will be in the shower that entire time. Who can enjoy a 25 minute shower at the gym? It isn’t dirty or anything and they are private stalls, but still. A shower at the gym can only be so good

-“The invisible lady.” I really didn’t think she existed until just yesterday. Every day I walk into the women’s locker room (practically the first person mind you) to find some clothes hanging on the wall hooks. 90% of the time it is some skirt and some sort of top. Pretty typical 2 week-ish rotation (not that I am recording or anything. Way too little for me to even imagine wearing. When I leave about 1.5 hours later, they are still hanging there. I thought it was an employee or something. Finally, however, I saw her! No talking mind you. She exists!

And those, ladies & gentlemen, are my gym people. We are like a little dysfunctional family all going to the gym together way too early in the morning


Mexican Food

Sigh. I think I have given up. Not on life. Not of medicine. Heck, not even on marriage. Yes, on Mexican food. Funny thing is, Matt, JC (our friend), and I are actually talking about it right now and trying a new place. Maybe I am not getting the correct type of food. Matt always gets nachos. No matter what. No matter when. He will get nachos. Easy to guess. I try to switch it up however. Sometimes a combo plate, sometimes a quesadilla, sometimes a chimi. And maybe I need to stay away from things not wrapped in tortillas. I feel that sometimes it is easy to just wrap some under-seasoned meat into a tortilla and throw some half attempted sauce on top. In fact, that is usually my cooking at home. But really? At a restaurant? I don't know why I am in such disbelief. Mexican food has been a consistent let down in my life. I find that the best "Mexican" food I get is at non Mexican places. I have hypothesized about this a lot, and here is what I came up with:

True, real Mexican food, which I have had maybe once or twice, is too spicy for regular people to want it all the time. Ergo --> Americanized Mexican food. I am not talking Tex Mex here. I am talking: bland meat - velveta - tortilla - bad sauce - bad garnish. Maybe I need to get the dinner plates (things not wrapped in tortillas)? Maybe I need to suck it up, go to South O, and get me some good Mexican. Anyone want to come? Let's go. This leads up to my restaurant review:

Salgado's: (Yes, it is an urbanspoon website) Matt and I as well as some of his coworkers tried to go here over a year ago. Unfortunately we tried to go the weekend it was writen up in the paper. Oops. Bad mistake. Table for 5? 1hr. No thanks. Take two: this past weekend (heck, we usually go to happy hour at a Tex Mex place for super cheap to get our Mexican nacho fix...and by 'our' I mean Matt's). This time the place is practically empty, but they have Breckenridge Agave Wheat on their menu...cue excited Becky. Alas, secondary to a rough night the night before, I pass. (+) #1....free chips! I strongly dislike Mexican places that charge for chips. Yeah, I said it. We were all thinking it. They bring us 3 dipping choices: salsa fresca, mild salsa, and bean dip. 1 & 2, meh. No thanks. Give me my food processor, and I am 100% sure I can do better. That bean dip? Amazing. Matt ate it all. In one shot. The bite I got was delicious. Matt got nacho's: par. Becky got verde enchiladas: meh. Chicken was tender but under seasoned. Verde salsa was under seasoned. Cheese was...cheese. The rice, however, was actually really good. Usually the rice is something I can do without, resist in fact. Not this time. The rice was really good. The beans were beans. I can never resist refried beans.

I will try to rate things consistently on a 0-5 scale. 0: never again. 1: if someone else (Matt doesn't count) is paying. 2: If it is a big group and they decide on it. 3: Only on Matt's request. 4: Oh yeah, I like this place, I will suggest this next month or so. 5: GET ME THERE NOW!!!! (In retrospect, that seems like an odd scale, but it is what it is)

Service: decent, par. Cleanliness: par. Ambiance: slightly better than par. Menu: slightly below par. OVERALL: 2. If a party were going and decided on this place, I would still go and enjoy the company


I survived cardiology. And to tell you the truth it wasnt too bad at all especially when you compare it to general medicine at CUMC. I am back at the VA now doing general medicine. It is just as it sounds: thrilling and full of old men. Many times when I start updating this I wish I had helpful tips or good points, but I never do. Let's see what I can roll out here regarding medicine/intern year

- Never take it personally. Patients will be rude. Attendings will chew you out. Fellow residents will be lazy or throw you under the bus every chance they get (not neccesarily speaking from experience here). You can only control you.

- Organization is your friend. That goes for med school too. And life I guess.

- Remember to be real and connect with people. I am only gong to be here for one year but that shouldn't keep me from connecting with patients and coworkers. Life isn't about counting the number of friends you have and stopping when meet your quota. We are pople. Not tasks in your inbox.

- Know the love language of your friends/spouse/family. If you don't know what they are...look them up. If you think they are a load of bull...I dont like you. :)

- Learn to like leftovers. I have always had issues with leftovers. Even when I was young. I really dont know why. I usually get up at 445am workout, work, get home at 6pm, and then make dinner. I feel like a failure if I dont make dinner fully from scratch. Sigh. I need to get over that

- Buck up and do your job. This is for everyone and not just interns. God gave you skills and put you in your position for a reason. Enjoy the ride. Stop complaining.

Now that I got all of my "wisdom" out of the way, let's get down to bussiness. And what is business...not sure. I want focus to this blog. Thoughts? Ideas? Comments? All 1 person reading this. All right. Off for the night. To Lincoln tomorrow. I had to experience the power of Go Big Red at least one time before leaving Nebraska.