Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The 2nd Biggest Loser, Transformed

This is Ed Brantley at the beginning of this season of "The Biggest Loser." Ed is fat.

This is Ed today. Ed lost weight, but only enough to earn 2nd place. Ed is skinny, but not the Biggest Loser.

This is Ed six months from now. Ed wishes he won Biggest Loser. Ed appears maladjusted.

This is Ed in a year. Maybe if Ed didn't eat all those coneys and hobbitses, he would have won Biggest Loser.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Back in the Saddle Again

It's been a few weeks since my last post, so I thought I'd hit a couple of recent highlights to start things off.

1. Thanksgiving Day -- Malerie woke me up and told me there was a football game going on that morning that my friends wanted me to go play in. Now, when Malerie (harpist) and I got married, I envisioned being woken up every morning to the melodious sound of the harp. Hasn't happened. But the next best thing is being told I'm wanted at a football game. I'll have some more of that.

Later on, we feasted at our place with some friends, watched the parade, the dog show, and some football, and then capped off the night with two games of Cities and Knights of Catan. I'd like to thank the sheep that helped me bring home a warm, wooly victory.

That night, after such an amazing day, I didn't want to go to bed. So I didn't. I drove to Target at 1:30 in the morning and got in line for Black Friday. Holding down the fort as #2 in line out of I don't know how many hundreds, I sort of dozed on the cement outside the front door, covered up by a blanket I found in my car, which if memory serves was the same blanket I peed on one time when I was little. But my dutiful patience with the unforgiving concrete and urine-stained coverings paid off, as I was rewarded with $13 seasons of "The Office," unnamed Christmas gifts for Malerie, and the very last Guitar Hero. As I grabbed that last one, much to the chagrin of a middle-aged female bargain hunter who swore at me like I had just peed on her blanket, I knew I had succeeded.

2. Winter in San Diego -- Is not like winter in Utah. Or Spokane. At all! Malerie and I both really miss the snow and can't wait to see it soon. I am grateful, however, that it has at least been cooling down here in California. After living here for 2.5 years without ever turning on the heater or the (non-existent) air conditioner, we finally caved and cranked up the thermostat this morning.

And now, a list of a few things I'm planning on doing while in Utah for the first time in 9 months:
  • Double Country H -- Hires Big H
  • Bacon cheeseburger (ketchup only), fries, blackberry shake -- Apollo Burger
  • Reconnaissance mission to Hires for Triple H
  • Shredded beef burrito, enchilada style -- Café Río
  • Giant tofu log -- Wayne's Tofu Hut oh who am I kidding I can't even type that with a straight face
  • Walk in snowy canyon with my mom and dad
  • Build first snowman with Madeline
  • Go to Cottonwood Mall, get gag picture behind bars in "old jailhouse," stop in at old saloon, tour old abandoned mine shaft
  • Taking a break from all things medicine for a few weeks.
Merry Christmas, everybody!

Friday, November 21, 2008

50 Ways to Blow Your Cover

In preparation for the BYU-Utah game tomorrow, I've been reviewing some footage of the past two years. Doing so has inspired me to re-write the lyrics to "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover," by Paul Simon. If your volume is up, you should be hearing this right now, since it's the Song of the Week.

It’s been a year now since you came to Lake City

Saying, “Coach Whit, won’t you please just start me at DB.

My man will never score and this I guarantee,

I’ve got game according to my mother.”

Now these days Coach Whit says lose the attitude,

Furthermore I hope my job’s not lost and that I won’t be sued

But Harline and Collie have left me one unhappy dude

Because you’ve found fifty ways to blow your cover

Fifty ways to blow your cover

If BYU pulls it out on Saturday, maybe I'll try to do a few more verses. If they lose, look for me at the bottom of the bay.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

What's the worst movie you've ever seen? It's a question I've been contemplating lately. Doing so has given me some bad PTSD, and I plan on suing the makers of the following four movies for the irreparable damage they've done to me and mine.

Here are my top 4, in reverse order, with a little Four Horsemen theme:

IV. Strife - "Wild Wild West" (1999)

When not even Will Smith and Salma Hayek can save you from the top 4, you know you've made something truly horrible. I remember being excited to see this movie, driving with my equally-unsuspecting friends to the movie theater in West Jordan, and then being subjected to two hours of absolute crap.

I'm a sucker for Will Smith movies (yes, even "I, Robot"), but there was one too many jokes in here about him winding up "in the saddle" with old-west floozies. And the plot, if you can call it that, was just ludicrous. I'll spare you the details and just say that it involves Kenneth Branagh constructing a giant mechanical spider which he uses to terrorize the western United States. Yes, someone actually thought that was a good idea for a movie.

I left thinking, "There's two hours and eight bucks I'm never getting back."

III. War - "Here on Earth" (2000)

Few people I know are familiar with this craptastic chick flick. Sadly, I am. I sent the girl I was dating at the time to Blockbuster with no specific instructions, and this was the consequence. Since then, anytime someone goes to rent a movie for the night, I give them the strictest of orders to avoid Leelee Sobieski like the plague.

Two friends crash a car into Leelee's parents' restaurant. They're ordered to fix the restaurant as punishment (note: if I had been the judge, everyone would have gone straight to the gallows -- the boys, Leelee, her parents, the customers, everyone). One of the boys comes from a wealthy family, and Leelee is the daughter of poor restauranteurs.  You're not going to believe this -- but they fall in love! Groundbreaking territory to be sure.

So there I am, trying to be a decent guy and watch the movie, miraculously stifling all of the thousands of snide remarks that were bubbling up inside of me. Then, at the dramatic end, Leelee's boyfriend returns after an extended absence and the two play "Marco Polo" inside their new home. He actually wanders around looking for her saying "Marco. . . Marco. . . " I couldn't take it anymore, and blurted out something about the movie sucking worse than 10 vacuums. It's like the production team played Marco Polo with their brains. . . and lost.

II. Famine - "A Walk to Remember" (2002)

I feel like going on a hunger strike when I think about this movie and the circumstances under which I watched it. 

Some girls convince me and my friends to watch it one Friday night, and since I'm interested in one of the girls, we go along with it. After two hours of Mandy Moore's maudlin performance and Shane West acting a fool, I'm nearly catatonic. But the girls go on and on about how sweet a movie it was and how romantic and what a good message blah blah blahhhh.

And because I'm interested in this girl, I do something I had never done before and haven't done since -- I totally sell out. I remark loudly about how I liked the movie. "What unbelievable chemistry they had," I say. "What a perfect ending. I'd watch that again," and other tall tales. Somehow my buddies refrain from calling me out right then and there, which is what they should have done.

I. Death - "Bicentennial Man" (1999)

I was a senior in high school looking for a good date movie. Apparently, the summer of '99 wasn't exactly a vintage year for movies, because we ended up going to see this thing.

Here's a quick tip for you young daters out there: On your date, when you wake up your date, explain to her that the movie is probably only another 15 minutes, and ask if she wants to stay, things probably aren't going so well. And when you then decide to stay and then the movie goes on for another hour, you can just throw that pack of gum in the garbage, because you won't be needing it for quite som
e time.

Robin Williams stars as Andrew, a robot who wants to be a real boy. If only a giant whale would have swallowed them all up. . . but I digress. Andrew's best friend, "Little Miss," is the little girl in the family he lives with.  Through the miracles of modern technology, Andrew becomes human. We follow his life as Little Miss grows up, has children, and then has grandchildren, one of whom Andrew falls in love with. All of this is happening so slowly that for a minute I wonder if they're filming in real time a la "24."  Needless to say, it wasn't a great night, and it was the last date we ever went on -- the death of our relationship.  That had to happen, but this movie did not.

Agree/disagree? Feel free to share your picks and/or traumatic experiences.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Overheard on my last day in the OB clinic...

...asked by a woman who had recently started breastfeeding:

"If I eat steak and don't chew it up well enough, will my baby choke on it?"


Sunday, November 2, 2008

Oooh weee oooh I look just like Buddy Holly

1952 - Big Forehead, Small Brain

1956 - Rebel Without a Cause

1960 - I don't care what they say about us anyway

1968 - Marine Helmet No, Hair Helmet Yes

1970 - Professor Who Always Made You Uncomfortable

1974 - Father of Screech

1976 - Wait, I said "male"

1980 - Wayne Arnold

1982 - I finally grow an afro and they're "out?"

1988 - All Business Up Front, All Party Out Back

1994 - A Little Too Realistic

1996 - Trapezoid Hair

1998 - I just ate '88-'96

Saturday, October 25, 2008

In the Navy Now

Third-year medical students, having spent the first two years largely in the classroom, spend the majority of their time on different rotations, as they are called. At UCSD, these third-year rotations are all mandatory, and include internal medicine, OB/Gyn, psychiatry, surgery, neurology, pediatrics, and primary care.

I'm currently on OB/Gyn at the Navy Hospital in San Diego. Going into the rotation, I had three concerns:

1) How would I cope with having to get up at 4:30 am?
2) Would I ever want to have children again?
3) If called upon, with little prior preparation, would I be able to salute in adequate fashion?

The verdict so far:

1) Uhhh
2) Hmmmm
3) Yes, sir!

Actually, I've enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. I've gotten to do two deliveries by myself (with a resident physician supervising), and they were both incredible experiences. I'll tell you about the first one.

It was a Sunday afternoon, and I went into the labor and delivery room to meet the expecting parents. This was to be their first child, and they were both very excited. They had a traditional Irish name picked out for their son-to-be. More importantly, the father was wearing a Red Sox jersey, which was obviously appropriate because Game 3 of the Sox-Angels playoff series was that night.

The resident and I put on the sterile gowns and gloves, and a short while later, something unexpected and disturbing happened: The Red Sox lost. But before that, we all welcomed a beautiful and healthy baby boy into the world. As I pulled him out and made sure not to drop the slimy little guy, the parents both burst into tears of joy. The room may or may not have gotten a little dusty at that point.

As I was getting ready to leave the room, I heard the parents talking about how their son was bigger than they had anticipated. I told them he was "a regular Kevin Youkilis."

What better compliment to pay a new mother/wife of a Red Sox fan!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Phil's in my Future

I had never been known as a real big meat eater, but that all changed when I met Phil.

Phil's BBQ is a San Diego favorite despite having only been around 10 years.  Before their recent relocation to a barn-sized building in Point Loma, Phil's was just a hole-in-the-wall in Mission Hills.  Rumor has it that the local residents were so overwhelmed by the intoxicatingly potent barbecue smell that they actually forced the restaurant to move elsewhere.

I hadn't been to Phil's in about a year when, a few weeks ago, I stopped in at lunch for some take-out.  I was running a little late, but such is the power of the Phil that I could not resist.  And that's where I met my new love: the pulled pork Broham sandwich.  A giant mess of sweet, tangy pork grilled to perfection slathered all over a toasted bun.  It's impossible to eat without getting sauce all over yourself; I actually had to stop off at home that day just to wash up before going  to work, lest people in the clinic think I was some meat-crazed savage.  Which is exactly what I have become.

That sandwich was so good that I had to have more.  The very next day, while Malerie was out of town, I convinced our friends Pete and Rachel to try it out.  Pete liked it so much that he reportedly lobbied to go there a week or so later for their anniversary dinner (didn't happen).  Since that first Broham, I have had many other Brohams like unto it.  Malerie thinks the sandwiches are a bit much for her, but really likes the onion rings.  Madeline hasn't yet had Baby's First Broham, but that's coming.

Any non-vegetarians who read this, do yourselves a favor and go to Phil's.  Vegetarians, it's for the best that you stay away -- eat a little of the good stuff and you might just switch teams.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Grand Rounds

Grand rounds are a time-honored tradition of medicine, an age-old practice that even predates waiting rooms and breezy hospital gowns. Formerly, grand rounds were led by a wizened clinician who would present a patient's case to the group of attending physicians, fellows, residents, and students. The group would meet in the hospital, discuss the case, then go see the patient.

Sadly, that type of grand rounds has gone the way of leeches, lobotomies, and the four humors. Today, grand rounds typically consist of that same group meeting in an auditorium somewhere and discussing the patient's case. . .but without ever seeing the patient. Some dumpy auditorium and no visiting patients? Maybe grands rounds are neither grand nor rounds.

So then what are they? Last week, I got the chance to find out.

I got up extra early on a Wednesday morning and made my way over to UCSD's campus, to Liebow Auditorium, where these supposed grand rounds were to be held. Much to my chagrin, I had actually heard this same exact lecture twice already from the same presenter. And there was no discussion whatsoever of any patient's case. Luckily, there was food.

Afterward, I had to hoof it back over to Thornton Hospital for my day's work. Despite it being only 9:00 am, it was already blazing hot and humid outside, and I was in my dress clothes and white coat.

This is the route I was forced to take. You'll notice the drastic northward deviation I had to make in order to cross I-5. You'll also notice I ended up passing through a rather unfortunate locale there near the baseball field. I was running late, and if climbing over a giant mound of whatever is the only way to get to work on time, then that's what I'll have to do.

Basically, I've decided that the term "Grand Rounds" must actually refer to the following three things:

1. The approximate shape of my route to Thornton Hospital.

2. What I'd like to fire off at the person who decided that spot was perfect for a compost heap.

3. The waste products of the various animals through which I was forced to walk.

Anything in the name of patient care.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Gymnastics Judges' Identities. . . Revealed!!

Millions have wondered, but only now has the truth come to light.

Just who are these women's gymnastics judges? A little digging on the internets was all it took for me to find out. You heard it here first.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Beijing Beef

I am nothing if not a huge Olympics fan. I can remember watching every Olympics back to 1988 in Seoul when the roid-racing Ben Johnson blew everyone away with a 9.79 in the 100m dash. He was disqualified after testing positive for stanozolol three days later. But I was in love -- not with Ben Johnson, but with the Olympics.

So naturally I was stoked for this year's games in Beijing. I've been able to watch a lot of the events because this month I've got a great schedule. Overall, I have been really happy with the way things have gone, but I do have a couple of beefs with Beijing.

1) Chinese gymnasts being replaced with prepubescent cyborgs. Olympic policy is that the athletes must turn 16 during the year of competition, and if you've seen these Chinese girls, you know that such cannot possibly be the case. The girls produced Chinese passports "proving" their legal age, but the world smells a rat. Just a few days ago, I found an article, published earlier this year, on the Chinese government's OWN NEWS WEBSITE stating that gymnast He Kexin was 13 years old. That article has since been removed from the site. Basically, the Chinese government just told the world, "These aren't the droids you're looking for."

2) I am in absolute awe of Michael Phelps. To do what he has done, with all the pressure on him, is phenomenal in the truest sense of the word. I love sports because I love finding out who will wilt under the pressure and who will come through. He reminds me of Michael Jordan: the perfect combination of talent and the will to dominate.

So where's the beef? Well, I heard a few people say this past week that it "would be good for swimming and for Michael Phelps" if he lost. Uh, no. This is an example of when people just say things to get attention but have no clue what they're talking about. How, exactly, would it be good for swimming? The more Phelps does, the more attention he brings to the sport. Losing his bid for eight golds would have brought less attention, not more. His story is now everlasting, and will capture the imagination of more children and get them in the pool because people will still be talking about it for years and decades to come.

And what of this nonsense that it "would be good for Phelps" if he lost? It's true that defeat early in an athlete's career can provide motivation for later greatness. But Phelps already did that -- four years ago in Athens, the first time he tried for 8 golds in one Olympics. Beijing represented the last attempt at something of this magnitude, so what purpose would defeat have served? To fire him up to nail down 4/4 golds next time? I don't buy it. Go come up with some other weightless argument, maybe something about how it's actually good for America to get fatter, or how Lucky Charms are neither lucky nor charms.

3) The Opening Ceremonies were great, until I found out that some of the fireworks may have been about as authentic as Panda Express. Also, the cute little girl who sang the song was lip-synching; apparently the real singer wasn't attractive enough for TV, and was relegated to singing off camera. That sends a great message, don't you think? "Kids, you may have loads of talent on the inside, but it's what's outside that counts." Imagine the backlash if this happened in America. . . .

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Arm Amputation Recommended for Wunderkind Yankee Pitcher

Joba Chamberlain, New York Yankee pitching phenom, received some sobering news Tuesday evening regarding his recent shoulder injury.

Chamberlain, 22, left Monday night's game against the Texas Rangers in the 6th inning complaining of shoulder pain. After an MRI in Arlington, Chamberlain flew to Alabama to be examined by 
the world-famous orthopedic surgeon and noted arm injury expert Dr. James Andrews. After conducting a thorough examination and additional imaging studies, Dr. Andrews concluded that the only appropriate treatment would be amputation.

"Joba's pitching shoulder is damaged beyond hope. He's done irreparable harm to it by throwing that famed 100-mph gas of his. Thing is, if I just take the right arm, he might learn to throw lefty and then ruin that shoulder, too. So I've decided to just go ahead and cut off both of them."

Upon hearing the news, Chamberlain immediately inquired as to how long it would take for his arms to grow back so he could pitch again.

"I didn't even know what to say," said a mystified Dr. Andrews.

Chamberlain has drawn heavy criticism this year for his excessive celebrations and head-hunting pitching style. Many in the media are already wondering if this injury represents some sort of karma.

"I've seen him pump his meaty little fists after striking out some no-name in the second inning," commented a Boston Globe sportswriter who wished not to be identified. "I guess that won't be happening anymore."

Prior to Dr. Andrews' bombshell, many figured Chamberlain would simply miss a start or two; most anticipated he would be back in time for a potential Yankee playoff run. But no one could have foreseen this.

"First Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy (two other highly acclaimed New York pitchers) stink up the joint, and now our one good starter has to have his arms cut off," quipped Brian Cashman, the team's general manager. "Fortunately for us, we're the Yankees. We'll get some more arms from small-market teams strapped for cash." When asked which pitchers he was considering acquiring, Cashman clarified, "No, I mean arms as in actual arms. We don't want the whole pitcher, we just want everything from the shoulder to the fingertips."

Chamberlain has a 2.63 ERA and a 4-3 record this season.

Monday, August 4, 2008

What Not To Do With a Pacifier

This is my daughter, Madeline, getting her game face on. Note: her hair is actually light brown, not red.  Anyway, we're getting ready to follow game 4 in the post-Manny Red Sox era. The first three games have been wins, and we've got high hopes for tonight.  

The Red Sox are not the topic of this post, however. The topic is my daughter's growing dexterity. She's figured out how to take her pacifier out of her mouth and how to put it back in. The other day, she was doing this very thing while also playing with her stuffed hippo. I noticed a rather objectionable behavior, and said the following:

"Madeline, pacifier doesn't go in hippo's bum."

Malerie, sitting nearby, started choking with laughter and very nearly spat her milk out all over the place.

Who says parenthood isn't exciting?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Casting Change in "Twilight" Drives Stake Through Hearts of Women Everywhere

Females across the nation are in mourning in the wake of today's announcement of a casting change for the role of "Edward" in the upcoming movie Twilight. The movie, based on the eponymous book by author Stephanie Meyer, features the heartthrob Edward as perhaps the only vampire whom most women wouldn't fight if he asked to drink their blood. Hunky Edward was set to be played by the little-known yet devastatingly handsome Robert Pattinson. . .at least until today. According to producers, that role has now been given to Christopher Mintz-Plasse, best known for his work as "McLovin" in Superbad.

When asked why they made such a drastic decision so late in the process -- much of the shooting had already been completed -- director Christopher Wren says, "If we want to market our movie to people besides women age 16-45, we need something in there besides a dreamy vampire. We need a dreamy vampire who wears glasses, farts a lot, and is socially awkward. We need McLovin."

"I'm at a total loss," comments crazed Twilight fan Brenda Gowdry of Sioux City, Iowa. "I read all of Ms. Meyer's books fantasizing about the day Edward would take me away to his lair and give me passionate, toothy kisses. Edward makes me swoon. McLovin makes me barf."

Other fans remain convinced that the casting change was done out of spite. "I just know my boyfriend is behind this," claims 17-year-old Jane Theyer. "He complains that ever since Edward came into my life, I've made unreasonable demands of him. Whatever. I even offered to pay for those incisor implants and for the set of 30 satin capes, and he still balked."

Yet not everyone sees the switch as a negative. Mintz-Plasse, for example, describes himself as "stoked to the max" to don the cape and fangs. "I plan on bringing my own natural charm to the role," he says, yet also admits he knows little about the character. "As long as Edward's one of those vampires that acts like an idiot and gets drunk in public a lot, I've got it made."

The movie is due out December 12.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Bus Thing That Ever Happened To Me

I finished my work at the hospital earlier than anticipated this morning, leaving me in a quandary over how to get back home. Malerie was at church with the car and had her cell phone off. What to do? Walk? That would take like 5 hours and I'd most likely keel over on the way. Ask my attending for a ride home? Probably frowned-upon, especially since he lives in the opposite direction. Then a thought occurred to me--with my phat monthly income of $0, I could probably spring for a taxi.

So I checked into cab fares, and I fully intend to report my findings to the Better Business Bureau. Have you seen the racket these cabbies have going? $35 for a 12-mile ride?? For that kind of coin I ought to be going by helicopter, or at least one of those crappy stretch-Geo "limos."

My last option was none other than The Working Man's Champion, The People's Choice--the city bus. Always an adventure in sounds and smells, the bus offers many people the one thing they desperately need. And what might that be? Conveyance? No. Shelter? Wrong again. What many bus riders are really looking for is a captive audience. Go ride one sometime if you don't believe me. You'll feel like an actual captive.

Upstairs in the hospital, I planned out my route online, hoping I wouldn't get to hear about a co-passenger's intestinal complaint again (this actually happened). And then I remembered February 2003.


In February 2003, I was a missionary living in Costa Rica. Another missionary and I had been travelling down near the Panamanian border and were due to return to San José, a healthy seven hours away. As the bus approached, my companion informed me that he had forgotten to buy tickets, which meant we would be riding standby. Rapture. We would be able to sit as long as no other passenger boarded with a ticket for our seat. The first three hours, mercifully, we were able to sit down.

That changed all too soon, as I suddenly found myself standing, packed into the back of the bus like a sardine. Despite my efforts to be a good soldier, I soon started noticing how uncomfortably hot the bus was becoming, what with the wall-to-wall people. Costa Ricans are under the impression that exposure to any sort of cool air causes serious illness, so opening the windows on that inferno bus was out of the question. I even tried to sneakily crack one open an inch or two and steal some air, but the other passengers balked.

After standing in the heat for two hours, I started feeling nauseous. What could I do? There certainly weren't any sickness bags to be found. Thanks to my shenanigans with the window, the other passengers had edged me to the center of the aisle, so I had no easy way to open the window if the worst should happen. Like any good missionary, I cast my eyes to the heavens...

...and saw the emergency exit. Perhaps I could somehow pop open that hatch and release my burden? But nauseous or not, I didn't want my head getting lopped off by a low hanging branch. I thought about just exploding all over the place--that would serve these people right for not giving me window privileges. But then I would have to stand in my own vomit for two more hours.

It soon became apparent that I would need to act, and fast. Desperately, I lunged toward the nearest window, landing, arms extended, on the laps of a seated man and his young daughter. Still laying across their knees, I forced open the window and tossed a surprise into the night. Relief was instant, but also temporary. 30 seconds later, I did it again.

Missionaries are there to answer questions, but I'm almost positive those two poor souls didn't board that bus wondering, "I wonder what it feels like to have someone wretch while in physical contact with me?" But maybe they were.


Perhaps now you can understand my aversion to buses. Fortunately for me and the other passengers, today's trip home was much less eventful. It cost a total of $2.25, so I can buy more motion sickness bags. Plus, the driver looked just like this guy:

Maybe next time, I'll get Mini-Me or even Mr. Bigglesworth.

Monday, June 23, 2008

"iPhone?" iThink Not!

In Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point (which is excellent, by the way), he details how new trends catch on, describing the key players and various stages. For instance, there are some people who must have the latest innovations; it is often a source of pride for them. They deal with the early kinks and bugs, sacrificing stability for novelty. These are the "early adopters."

I am not an early adopter. In fact I'm not sure I'm even an adopter. I waged a dying war against owning a cellphone until 2006, when I was 23 -- if anyone reading this held out longer than that, I'd love to hear about it. Why the anti-cellphone sentiments, you ask? Three reasons: 1. The thought of people being able to get ahold of me whenever they wanted scared me. 2. I liked spending time by myself just thinking, not talking. 3. I liked telling those hyper-aggressive cellphone salesmen at mall kiosks that I didn't own/want a phone -- the incredulous looks on their faces were priceless.

In 2003, during my first semester back at BYU after my mission, as I walked across campus, some dude handed me a flyer for a bit of newfangled technology. It was for some music player that could hold a bunch of songs, and it had the ridiculous name, iPod. Like something named iPod would ever sell! Silly Apple. "No wonder your company went to the dogs!" I thought. Five years later, I own two of the 170 million of these babies that Apple has sold. Not coincidentally, I decided not to go after an MBA....

Technology isn't the only arena in which I play a little slower than the rest, however. A few months ago, I was in the library studying for an anatomy test with some friends. I don't usually listen to music while studying, but that day, I couldn't help but listen to the Justin Timberlake song I had just downloaded. I leaned over to one of my friends and told her to listen in with one of my earbuds. She listened for about 10 seconds and then said, "Yeah, I listened to that song a lot when it came out a year and half ago." Zing. She just laughed.

Sifting through my memories, I have come to realize that my late-adopter ways began in childhood. When I was in third grade, if you didn't have Girbauds, you were not cool. I didn't even know how to pronounce this, and I certainly didn't own any. A couple years go by, I'm in seventh grade, and I finally decide to "cave" and get some of these hot French jeans. As no doubt all of you know, Girbauds by this time had gone the way of Milli Vanilli and New Kids--if you had Girbauds, you were not cool. Shoot! Luckily for me, fashion is cyclical, and if I could just fit into these again, I'm sure I'd be the man one of these years.

So now here I am about to start my third year of medical school and my first clinical rotations. Many of my classmates are excited about the upcoming release of the 3G iPhone, as they plan to make good use of its no-doubt stellar features on the wards. Me, I don't even know what 3G stands for. Is that how many grand it costs? Is it how I'm supposed to feel if I don't buy one (Grim, Guilty, and Gutless)? Does one of the G's stand for Girbaud?

Until such time as mandated otherwise, I'll be taking notes and looking up drugs the way our forefathers intended--in a book. And I'll be doing it wearing some pleated slacks, which are due for a comeback, because like JT sang that day in the library, what goes around comes back around.