back squat tips, crossfit style:

fellow crossfitter: "You gotta fucking...snap your ass cheeks together. PRISON DEFENSE!"

infection control + sarcasm for the win:

pathologist: "I always lick my hands after I load my washing machine."

say what?

pathologist: "Color can be some protein cause it can be kinda yellowish."

my first paleo challenge:

Hi everyone!

So the Crossfit box I've been frequenting over the past several months is starting a paleo challenge on the first of February, and (possibly against my better judgement) I've decided to participate.

What is a paleo challenge? It's a group...pledge? undertaking? goal? of sorts, where the objective is to eat as "paleo" as possible for a period of time. This particular challenge is a month long, lasting until the first of March.

Paleo is a somewhat funny way of eating with a lot of rules. More specifically, it aims to get you to eat in a way that is similar to our hunter/gatherer ancestors: eat lots of meat, fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and some oils. Also, eat no sugar, grains, legumes, dairy, alcohol, processed foods, Nutella, cheese popcorn, et cetera.

I'm a little bit nervous for a couple of reasons:

1. My favorite snack to stress-eat when clinics get particularly insane is a giant bag of Pirates' Booty (a puffed cheese snack) and a giant handful of these fruit-juice jellybeans sold by the food cooperative near my apartment.

2. I'm a non-negotiable vegetarian, so my version of paleo is going to be...less varied than average.  Hooray for fruits and veggies!

I've been doing some research on the best ways to have a veggie paleo adventure, and so far this post has been the most helpful/awesome resource I've found. Apparently, there are lots of things a vegetarian paleo person can eat! 

I'll let you know how it goes.

surgeons are weird, redux:

We're in the middle of a colic surgery. The surgeon and the resident are on opposite sides of the horse, who has a 360 degree large colon volvulus.

This conversation happens:

resident: "I wish I had paddles for arms!"

surgeon: "AUGGHHH! The cecum is my nemesis!"

anesthesia is not fucking around today:

Anesthetizing a horse can be somewhat exciting, mainly because it involves a horse going to sleep suddenly and laying down.  There's a way to do it so it mostly happens without incident:

1. Sedate the horse, rinse out his mouth.

2. Position the horse against a padded wall.

3. Rope on the head, rope on the tail. These ropes go through rings in the wall.

4. Anesthesia injects the valium and the ketamine.

5. Someone raises the horse's head.

6. Person on the head rope sits on the rope, holds the tension as the horse gently slides down the wall into a "sitting" position.

7. Person on the tail rope pulls as the horse sits.

8. Flop the horse over, anesthesia intubates, etc.

So we're anesthetizing a horse for colic surgery, and I'm on the head rope. The anesthesia resident turns to me, and we have this conversation:

Resident: "Do you know what you're doing on the head rope?"

Me: "Yes."

Resident: "Well, you have to tell me exactly what you're going to do. You know, students will tell you that they know what they're doing when they actually have no idea."

Me: "You're going to induce him and raise his head. I'm going to sit on this rope and hold the tension while he slides down the wall."

Resident: "Oh...okay, you DO know."

multidisciplinary knowledge at work:

surgeon:  "Do you have a linear probe that has a sort of pseudo-curve-like aspect to it? Or whatever you call those things?

radiologist: ""

my first pride, part 1:

Hello everyone!

Today is a wintry, damp Saturday. I just handed in my match rankings, and my patient (a generally nice but older-than-usual racehorse) tried to slam me into the wall when I pulled his catheter this morning.  He is a fine example of the thing that happens when you inject a horse with great frequency: the horse assumes that every time a person touches his neck, it will involve a needle. 

However, today I want to tell you about my first pride parade. PRIIIIDE! 


Pride is great.  In fact, pride is so fantastic that I must resort to an elaborate analogy to explain its awesomeness:
Imagine that you’re in college (won’t take much imagining for some of you). Finals time is approaching. You decided to take an extra class this term for some reason, and you are currently regarding your last-semester self with some potent rage.  Your classes have been unreasonably challenging, and your level of burnout is truly epic.

The Friday before finals week begins, you get e-mails from three of your professors. They all say much the same thing – they’ve been very impressed with the work ethic put forward by the class this term, and as a special treat they’ve each decided to cancel their final exams. So now you only have two finals: a paper that you’ve all but finished (look how prepared you are), and an interpretive dance performance for that strange comparative dramatics class. You smile. You go out for a cup of hot chocolate to celebrate, which the barista at the coffee shop gives to you for free. Then you find ten dollars.

That is how excellent Pride is. Actually, it might be better.

I vaguely wandered through the Pride festival a couple of times during my first years in college, but since Northampton Pride happens in early May, ALL THE FINALS are always happening the week after Pride weekend. I engaged in a certain amount of internal scolding about how I “really should be studying”, and allowed myself a quick stroll through the tents before returning to my desk. This is how I missed out on Pride (mostly) until my senior year.

During my last semester of senior year, I was having rather a good time. I had been accepted to vet school, and I was finishing my degree credit/ vet school prerequisite requirements in a pretty gentle manner. I was riding lots of horses, dating lots of ladies (cough), and also randomly taking an EMT class off-campus.

Pride weekend arrived. I was psyched. I was in a brief lull between ladies, and I had prepared myself for a weekend of wild adventure.  Alas, having never attended a Pride before, I actually had no idea what that meant. No matter - when in doubt, forge boldly ahead!

The first event on the lineup was the Friday night Dyke dance. The Dyke dance occurred in the event room of a defunct railroad-station side restaurant overlooking a bike path. When I arrived, there were piles of leather jackets in the entryway and a trail of glitter leading to the bathroom. I unbuttoned my jacket, straightened my flowered dress, and paid my $5 admission. 

You guys, it was intense. There were butches in Oxfords and ties lined up at the bar while their femmes twirled in a group on the makeshift dance floor. Rainbow streamers and twinkling disco balls hung from the ceiling. Balloons gently bounced around tables loaded with cheese cubes and pretzels.  A couple of shyish ladies wearing tucked-in tee shirts and jeans leaned carefully against a wall, watching the dance floor with hungry eyes. 

Since I love to dance*, I planted myself amongst a group of ladies on the floor. They graciously accommodated me, and then watched with some amusement when I was double-teamed by a couple of butches. One was a tall, burly, silver-haired gym teacher-like woman with a striking resemblance to Jim Carrey. Later, I found out that she was actually a high school field hockey/soccer/lacrosse referee. The other had golden-grey hair and twinkly eyes. First they sandwiched me between them, then the referee swung me around and we dirty danced while she crushed my knee with her thighs.

I danced with everyone. I danced with lithe, gym-going butches, wild and dirty femmes, teachers, chiropractors, androgynous bois and shy architects.
I slipped away to gulp a glass of water every now and again. By the time it was over, my knees ached as I walked and my right high heel clicked on the pavement.

*This is an understatement that is hilarious in its magnitude. I will spend the entirety of a dance either dancing wildly or boycotting the bad songs by sitting pointedly at an adjacent table.

just so you're aware:

There are several insanely hot muscular butch lady police officers who work out at my Crossfit box.


stereotypes proving themselves are hilarious:

I'm walking towards the courtyard with my patient when I pass my buddy Dan in the hallway. We have the following exchange:

Dan: "Oh hey, Alacrity! What rotation are you on right now?"

Alacrity: "Dude, I'm carrying a Yorkie and a ladle."

Dan: "Ah, you're on medicine!  Ha ha ha, that sucks. Good luck!"