Thursday, May 22, 2008

My own little version of "You Might be a PA Student If..."

Well folks, here's a small taste of my life.

You might be a PA student if...

- You check your watch so often that you even look at your wrist in the shower and have a mild panic attack when you see that it isn't there. It takes a few seconds to recover and realize that you don't actually wear your watch in the shower and there is no pressing need to know what time it is every second of the day, anyway.

- Your backpack has become a constant companion. A constant, heavy, companion. When you don't wear it, you have phantom limb pain.

- You buy beverages according to caffeine content. When you go out for some rare leisure time, you buy beverages according to alcohol content.

- You refer to anyone who hasn't gone into a medical profession as a "non-masochist."

- You seriously consider the possibility of living in a shack on the beach and selling sun-tan lotion for the rest of your life.

- You start to think things like "Oh, it's only another $10,000 on my loan. That's not too bad."

- You realize that the afore-mentioned loan will total more than many mortgages when you're finished.

- You also realize that, after graduation, you will have to move to a remote part of Alaska to qualify for repayment of the afore-mentioned loan because that is the only way you will ever be able to afford things like groceries again.

- You watch TV shows, commercials, or movies and notice all of the things people do wrong, medically. You announce these things to your friends. They give you a look that says "It's fiction... it doesn't matter if she put the earpieces of her stethoscope in backwards."

- You automatically run through the ABCDEs in your head whenever you notice that a friend has a mole. You then tell them what the ABCDEs are and insist they go to a dermatologist immediately just for monitoring. Pester them until they make an appointment.

- When you're out in public, you diagnose certain things on sight alone, then you think about how you would write up a description of your assesment.

- By the end of first semester, you have become convinced - on at least three occassions - that you have some sort of rare disease or condition. Your classmates have also convinced themselves of this. Between the 30+ students, you've covered every disease known to man.

- You have absolutely no clue what your, :ahem:, cycle is anymore - partly because you're constantly stressed and partly because you sit in a classroom with 30 other women every single day. You also hang out together most evenings.

- You can put together a complete sentence using only acronyms and abbreviations and know exactly what it means.

- You use these acronyms and abbreviations with your non-school friends and they look at you as if you're speaking Greek. (You are).

- You say things like "If I see the word beta-adrenergic one more time I'll have to claw my eyes out." You're only half-kidding.

- You love every single second of it and wouldn't trade it for the world because when you finally stop to think about it, you're still astounded that you got accepted in the first place. ;)

Time to get back to studying for the big Pathyphysiology exam tomorrow (and hence look at the word "beta-adrenergic" again and again and again).

Ms. V

Thursday, May 08, 2008


Holy mother-frakking cow. Flight of the Bumblebee on piano and up-tempo. There are no words to describe it. None. I am truly speechless.

I think some people may even get motion sickness just watching the close-ups of his fingers. Unbelievable.

Ms. V

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Request for a date

Well folks, I’m in need of a date for “Ironman.” A classmate (the only guy, bless him) invited me but left me in the lurch and saw it on his own last weekend. When I told him he was at the top of my SL, he said “I’m sorry. I thought you’d forgotten!” Ahem. I responded with “I NEVER forget the request for a date to a superhero movie!” He’ll pay. He’ll pay dearly. He’s trying to get back in my good graces by offering to see it again. I’m not sure I’ll take him up on that just yet. He might have to bribe me with coffee. We’ll see.

Tomorrow night, however, will be something much less fabulous than "Ironman." A few of us are supposed to hang out and watch the newer version of "A Texas Chainsaw Massacre." I wonder if I'll be able to keep my eyes open through the whole thing? Wish me luck!

Ms. V

P.S. - This is my 200th post. Yay me. It's kind of sad to think that I actually have that much useless crap to discuss though, isn't it? ;)

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

My new roommate

I hate bugs. Really. I really, really hate bugs. One of my ex-boyfriends used to say "There are only 2 things that Ms. V hates: bugs, and bugs." He wasn't kidding. Spiders aren't bugs, but I hate them too. They're creepy and crawly and gross.

This past weekend I was talking to a friend of mine about how much I hate them, and how I killed my first spider at the age of 20. He brought up a very good point: why kill a spider? It's an animal too, isn't it? If I would never kill a dog or a cat, I shouldn't kill a bug. He was absolutely right, so I mentally vowed to stop squishing all of the nasty critters who show up in my apartment.

I didn't think this would be a problem since I don't exactly live in a cockroach infested slum. It turns out that I was wrong. While going over some homework last night, I noticed that there was a very large spider sitting on top of my closet door. Fabulous. Just what I like to see. I was faced with a major dilemma. If I were to capture it and take it outside (5 stories down), I'd have to get within 6 inches of the hideous thing for more than 3 seconds and I would run the risk of it crawling onto some part of my body, which would send me into a psychotic fit. If I were to attack it with a paper towel, I'd become and animal-killing hypocrite. The only choice I had was to accept it and leave him (or her!) alone. The fact that I can't actually reach the spider helped with my decision. I'm short and don't have a stool. It hasn't moved. My theory is that it knows it was spared and has chosen to cohabit with me in peace. I'm OK with that. The other possibility, of course, is that it's already dead. Either way, I'm not willing to find out, so I'm keeping it as a pet. Maybe it'll help me get over this completely irrational fear.

If you have name suggestions, I'm happy to hear what they are. Something gender-neutral would be preferable. ;)

I'm going to stop avoiding my mountain of schoolwork now and get some of this stuff done.

Ms. V

Sunday, May 04, 2008


Well dear readers, I arrived back in Albany this afternoon around 5:30pm. Zippy Jr. did a great job carrying the 2 large pieces of luggage, the small luggage (which held my books and was heavier than either of the large pieces), my laptop, and my medical bag. I managed to get extremely lucky and find a parking space within 1/2 a block from my building. Ab-fab.

After 3 trips up to my 5th floor apartment, I decided it would be fun to put together the coffee table I received on my last break in February. I figured it would be a cinch, since I am now an old pro (having deftly assembled my TV and microwave stands). If it were easy, however, I wouldn't be blogging about it, right? By now, you've probably figured there's a story. You're right: there is.

If you're ever interested in assembling the same style table, feel free to use my revised instructions below. Plan on the entire project taking at least an hour and a half. This is exactly how I managed to survive the ordeal and with careful planning, you can too.

1) Cut open package containing coffee table, look at 2 diagrams and simple instructions, say to yourself "Hey, this isn't bad at all." (Words you will later wish you had never uttered).
2) Remove 2 "B" pieces, 2 "C" pieces, one "D" piece, 8 nuts, 8 screws, 8 wooden pegs, and 1 allen wrench. Dig out the flat-head screwdriver from the little black toolkit you stole from your mother 10 years ago. Prepare for take-off.
3) Using nuts, screws, allen wrench, and flat-head screwdriver, attach 2 "C" pieces to one "B" piece, then attach "D" piece to same "B" piece. Crank allen-wrench like mad to make sure everything is secure. Strain a muscle in your arm.
4) Turn the table onto its side to attach other "B" piece to the empty ends of the "D" piece and 2 "C" pieces. Just as you're about to secure the screw, drop the allen wrench on your foot, then drop the heavy screw on your foot, too. This is best executed when you're barefoot (which I always am). Lose screw. Lose allen wrench. Sift through coffee table box to find them. Start over with attaching the screw and once again crank like mad to make sure they are all nice and tight. Plug all 8 holes with wooden pegs to make the table look pretty. Drop one peg under your futon and get a cramp in your shoulder as you reach to retrieve it. Note that none of the pegs fit.
5) This is where the real fun begins. I suggest mixing yourself a drink at this point. I didn't but I wish I had. Dig piece "A" out of the box. Note how heavy it is. Find 4 cambolts and 4 camlocks hidden in the mess of packaging. Once again break into the old black tool-kit that you stole from your mother 10 years ago and retrieve a Phillips-head screwdriver.
6) Use Phillips-head screwdriver to secure 4 cambolts into the 4 holes in the bottom of piece "A." Note that the holes are too small and you need to make them larger by hand. Strain another muscle in your arm while you complete this task.
7) Insert 4 camlocks into 4 holes of both "C" pieces. Gently place "A" face down on top of these holes so cambolts fit into locks. Realize that none of them fit. Contort yourself into positions that would make Nadia Comaneci proud. Use allen wrench in an attempt to re-position the camlocks. Lose 2 camlocks in the process.
8) Invent new curse words and contort yourself once more as you search for the camlocks. Find them in the mess of cardboard sitting on your floor.
9) Repeat steps 7 & 8.
10) Repeat steps 7& 8.
11) Repeat steps 7 & 8.
12) Turn table upside down and attempt to secure cambolts into camlocks. Repeat steps 7 & 8.
13) Turn table right-side up and attempt, once again, to secure cambolts into camlocks. Repeat steps 7 & 8.
14) Take a deep breath (or a large sip of that drink you mixed), and pray for a miracle.
15) Rejoice in the miracle that has occurred and secure cambolts into camlocks. Strain a muscle in your arm to make sure they're tight.
16) Lift table from the top to make sure it won't fall apart. It won't. Pull a Pat O'Brien and bury your face in your hands and cry.
17) Look at the mess on the floor, decide it's going to stay there until tomorrow, then blog about your experience.

The end result will be a few strained muscles, a cramp in your shoulder, a bruised metatarsal bone, and a coffee table that looks like this.

Good luck,
Ms. V

Saturday, May 03, 2008

My shoulder hurts real bad!

(I miss Napolean.)

Ms. V

ps - My shoulder really does hurt. I never got around to making an appointment with my chiropractor on break. Great.

Friday, May 02, 2008

The madness of life

I am absolutely certain that PA school turns people into alcoholics. I actually said this to my mother today on a quick trip to upstate NY. The bright side is that I will know the minute I have cirrhosis or pancreatitis. Heck, I'll even know how to perform my own liver transplant! This might not be so bad afterall.

All kidding aside, I have concluded that there are only two things required to survive PA school: chocolate and coffee (actually, in my case, these are the only two things required to survive life.)

I had been enjoying my glorious two-week break until this past Wednesday when my fellow students and I received an email from a professor with a homework assignment attached. Fabulous. Naturally, I am the queen of all procrastinators and haven't even considered doing the reading yet. I'll probably crack open the book at 11pm on Sunday night when I arrive back in Albany.

To get over my mild-depression (related, of course, to "life's general annoyances"), I guzzled some pomtini's then stayed out at a friend's house until 3 o'clock this morning watching "Curb Your Enthusiasm." This was followed by a quick trip home to catch an episode of "Ace of Cakes" which helped me nod off to sleep in the recliner. When I finally awoke from my coma, I high-tailed it to Malone and was lucky enough to see both my niece (16 months old) and brand new nephew (3 weeks old). Naturally, they are perfect in every single way.

Hub is away for the evening, I'm going to settle back into the oh-so-comfy recliner and take a ride in the TARDIS with Doctor Who (or as I like to refer to him: "my second husband").

I know this is a bit of a boring post this evening (certainly not nearly as entertaining as my little trip to the dentist, which people are still asking about), but I'll have more very soon. Promise. School starts again on Monday. Something tells me that I'll have plenty to write about.

Ms. V