Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Social Irresponsbility

In Barbara Kingsolver's The Bean Trees, there is a story about how in both Heaven and Hell, there is an identical giant pot of food with a giant spoon that is too big for anyone to use. The people in Hell all mope around starving, but the people in Heaven are full and content. The idea is that those in Heaven are willing to help each other by holding the spoon while another eats; to those in Hell, however, this thought either never occurs or is never acted upon, as it is so contrary to their self-centeredness.

Well, I've discovered a third type of person in this little parable. This person, although unable to eat from the pot, somehow manages to wash his feet in it, much to everyone's chagrin. As the others stand there, mortified, this person shoots them all back a nasty look, as if to say, "What's your problem? My feet were dirty."

I am sad to report that a few of these socially unconscious individuals have yet to see the fire and brimstone or the pearly gates, and are still living among us. When you gently tap your horn when they're stopped in front of you at a green light, they flip you off. They are the ones who can't be bothered to turn away from the buffet table when they have to sneeze. They are uniquely responsible for most of elevator flatulence, and although I can't prove it, I'm pretty sure 90% of public bathroom ectopic urine (PBEU) is their doing as well.

I've recently discovered a new variant in the species, the Library Cellphone Talker. Seemingly oblivious to traditional library etiquette and obviously illiterate given the number of "No Cellphone" signs posted everywhere, the Library Cellphone Talker's inconsiderateness knows no bounds. Not only will she take calls while sitting at your table, she'll leave her ringer on and treat you to "Brass Monkey" every time someone calls! And he (LCT may be male or female) won't stop there. He'll call up his buddies and ask them what they did last night. If he keeps his handset volume as high as I think he will, you'll get to hear, too!

This is all very bothersome to someone like me, a hardworking, unassuming student who uses the library to study. I do most of my studying at UCSD's Biomedical Library, which has recently become infested with LCTs. What to do with them? I've thought of a couple options:

  • The stare -- Try to bore holes in their head. Usually ineffective in my experience.
  • The snitch -- Report the LCT to the library authorities. I'm not sure if you're familiar with librarians, but they're not the most intimidating of people. This usually results in only a temporary interruption in the undesirable behavior.
  • The swipe -- Haven't tried this one yet, but it would consist of stealing the offender's cellphone out of their hand, running into the bathroom, and dropping it into a puddle of urine, which, like as not, they themselves created 15 minutes ago. Sort of a karmic justice thing.
Call me if you have any suggestions. I'll be in the library.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Penultimate Bachelor ReCrap

I thought this was a reality show, but this week featured some really incredible acting.  For those who somehow missed it, let's recap the "actors" and the roles they played:

Chelsea (bachelorette) -- "Somewhat interested"
Lorenzo Lamas -- "Concerned father"
Two random people -- "Amanda's parents"

The fabulous Shayne introduces Matt to Lorenzo Lamas, her father.  Now at this point I was really hoping for a Bobby Sixkiller cameo in which Sixkiller interrogated Matt at knifepoint, but no such luck.  Instead, a perfectly-coiffed Lamas seemingly throws his daughter under the bus, saying Shayne only came on the show because she "wants to be famous."

Luckily I saw right through this little charade.  Shayne immediately protests, saying she is only there for Matt and has no ulterior motive.  Hmm-mmm.  I think you could actually see her reading off the cue card.  Lamas then claims he "just wanted to see where her heart was," trying to convince the Britchelor that Shayne's impassioned defense means she truly does care for him.  Riveting stuff.

What really killed me about this was that anyone, anywhere would consult a guy who's been married four times about marriage.  Isn't that like asking Trump for tips on hair?  Or Miss South Carolina on geography?  Did I mention this guy used to traipse around in leather jerkins as a character named "Reno Raines?"

Anyway, they leave Lamas to do whatever it is he does these days, and head off to Shayne's mom's place.  Now, I tried to find a headshot of Shayne's mom, because trust me, you want to see it, but all I could find was this stunning likeness pictured at the left.  I've seen Barbie dolls that had more real parts than Shayne's mom, and cows that had a less-leathery hide.  But Matt seems to dig her because she made him Yorkshire pudding.

Now, I don't mean to offend anyone here, but it's a time-honored truth that if you want to know what your girlfriend will look like in 30 years, you look at her mom.  Women, I hate to break it to you, but every male knows this and considers it.  But apparently they don't teach Mother-Daughter Similitude in British school, because Matt seems unfazed by this harrowing look into his potential future.  Shayne gets a rose.

Chelsea also somehow survives again this week, despite showing less interest in Matt than Wesley Snipes does in paying taxes.  Meanwhile, the lovely and devoted Noelle gets the boot.  Is there no JUSTICE???!!!

For her hometown date, Amanda hires two actors to pretend to be her parents.  I thought maybe she was an orphan and this was an attempt to appear normal.  Anyway, "Dad" acts extremely suspicious of Matt and the two sit down on a backyard bench to hash it out.  But then "Mom" shows up with some wine and tells her husband to make tracks.

"Mom" sits down next to Matt and commences to hit him up with a full-court flirtation press, cougar style.  I wish I was joking, but no--she starts rubbing his chest, as Matt blurts out, "You're touching my nipple!!"  Suddenly, the faux father returns, wild-eyed, and demands to know what's going on.  Amanda comes clean and introduces her real parents.  Matt claims that he liked the prank, and gives Amanda a rose.

Finale next week.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

By Popular Demand

The people have spoken, and they want more "Bachelor" analysis.  What started as a one-time experiment will now become a recurring feature of the blog.  Unfortunately.  This means by the time I take the board exam in June, my IQ will have sunk like a stone, possibly into the negatives, from having to watch this garbage.  Fortunately, I hear most residency directors are big "Bachelor" fans.

This week, the Britchelor had to prune some more dead wood in order to get it down to four lucky ladies for next week's "home town dates" (more on this later).  For this week's date, the handsome young male host--we'll call him Token--announced everyone would be going to Sun Valley, Idaho for some skiing.

So they hit the slopes.  The snow bunnies frolic in the freshly fallen powder.  Except for Marshana, who, away from the others, tells the camera that she looks so good that she doesn't want to "get snow on her clothes."  At this point it was unclear to me if anyone had explained to Marshana that skiing is typically an outdoor activity.  Or if Marshana had ever been outdoors, period.

Regardless, we next see Matt take off after Marshana.  I thought the following scene would unfold something like this:

Matt (returning, alone, with shovel and workgloves on hands): Now that that's all taken care of, who's ready to hit the slopes?

Girl #1: Where's Marshana?  Didn't you run after her to throw her into the snow?

Matt: Uhh....yeah, that's it.

Token: Well, I guess that's one way to "eliminate" contestants!

(General laughter)

Actually, though, all that happens is that Matt throws Marshana into the snow.  Marshana says it was "sexy."  I bet she wouldn't say that if the Britchelor at least nailed her with a few point-blank snowballs, Dumb and Dumber style.

Another matter of interest on the ski trip was from the famous Shayne.  In a sit-down conversation in the middle of the slope (not recommended), she whips out enough makeup products to stock a Clinique counter.  She has them all on her person!  In her giant coat!  On the slopes!  Who does this???  By the way, I know it was a lot of makeup because Malerie, who claims to not like this show yet somehow always watches, told me so.

After the ski trip, ABC throws to commercial, promising that tonight, we'll see "the biggest confrontation in Bachelor history."  I was hoping for fisticuffs, or at the very least a slap/hairpull.  All I got was the lovely Marshana launching unstrategic F-bomb strikes all over the household and Chelsea walking away, upset.  My favorite part was the Marshana confessional that aired in the middle of all this in which she said, "I am a great person.  I am nice.  I am friendly.  I am loving.  I am giving.  I am so thoughtful.  I am charitable."

Anyway, the episode ends with Matt finally showing some degree of intelligence and bouncing Marshana and Robyn the Desperate.  Token asks everyone to get ready for next week's home town dates, in which each girl takes Matt home for a few days to meet her family and see her town and whatnot.  We catch a sneak preview which includes none other than. . . Lorenzo Lamas himself!!  This could be live-blog worthy material, so stay tuned....


Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Office of Milk and Honey

Before we get to today's topics, I wanted to advertise two of the blog's new features: the links box and the comment feed, both found on the left.

For the past six months, I've had a preceptorship with a local primary care physician.  I come in about every two weeks on Wednesday afternoons and see patients.  I talk to them about what's been going on, do a physical exam, and then present the case to the physician -- pretty standard stuff.  I've seen all sorts of different ailments, everything from heart murmurs to toenail fungus to kidney failure to Alzheimer's disease.  It's been fun to meet new people, practice my physical exam skills, and learn from firsthand experience.

So here's the deal: I'm the only male that works there.  Period.  The physician is female.  The nurses are all female.  The receptionists and secretaries are female.  Futhermore, they all are obsessive calorie counters, cursing themselves for eating two Girl Scout cookies and the like.

This aversion to food is complicated by the fact that drug reps bring in enormous meals on a daily basis.  I'm not kidding.  It's a postgame team buffet in there.  It's like having an Alcoholics Anonymous meetinghouse right next to a saloon and two liquor stores -- you're just waiting for the inevitable fireball when the willpower fails.

But so far, these women have held strong, which means there is, continually, in the office, a quantity of food that could easily satisfy John Madden, 1990s Oprah, and this guy here on the right.  So what do I do?  I feast like it's my last meal before the firing squad.

Yesterday, for instance, we had a giant spread from La Salsa, and I took down a boatload of chips and salsa, a quesadilla, some salad, and a chicken burrito.  Two weeks ago we had California Pizza Kitchen for lunch followed by "mid-afternoon snack" two hours later of smoothies, doughnuts, and danishes.  Then, as I was leaving, they forced an entire chocolate cake and a box of oversize muffins on me.

Well, it's been six months and I'm not dead yet, although they have been calling me Hansel and asking if my father's a poor woodcutter.  Anyway, I've got one afternoon of work left, and my goal is to eat/bring home the following items:
1) 2 dozen doughnuts
2) Giant wheel of cheese
3) Three smoked hams
4) Entire Thanksgiving dinner complete with turkey, yams, and pie
5) Roasted pig on spit with apple in mouth

I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Lost in Translation

Last night, I stumbled across a special on ABC that warrants mentioning in these pages. The 90-minute documentary centered around a fascinating species unlike anything I've seen in nature.

The females in this species outnumber the males like 10:1 and worship him as a result. Doing little but lounge around the hive or nest or whatever it is, the female contributes nothing to the welfare of the species. Somehow, though, these creatures have survived long enough to develop the ability to walk erect, and even a rudimentary form of communication that appears to consist entirely of high-pitched squeals and crying.  The crying is particularly prominent, and must serve some adaptive function because the female appears to be able to turn it on and off at a moment's notice.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered I wasn't watching a nature special at all, but that these bizarre creatures were actually "human" (debatable) and I was watching "The Bachelor."

This year's bachelor is British.  I learned last night that what the Brits call "brilliant," we call "awesome." What they call "football," we call "rugby."  And what they call "a very attractive and mature girl," we call "a hideously made-up phony who I wouldn't want to share a continent with, let alone a night out."

Last night, the lovely Holly got to go on the first one-on-one date with Matt the Britchelor, and you're not gonna believe this, but the other girls got jealous.  Holly, meanwhile, told Matt about her career as a children's book author.  At this point, she held some redeeming quality in my eyes.  Then, later that week, she revealed to another girl that she had brought along her own spray tanning machine.  Unreal.  Which leads me to wonder, what are the titles of these books she's writing?  I came up with the following:

-- Why Are You Orange, Mommy?
-- Basal Cell Carcinoma...It's Not So Bad
-- Ol' Grandma Wrinkley's Favorite Nursery Rhymes

But by far the best moments of the night came from Shayne, the 22-year-old actress who claims to be really mature and who took advantage of Holly's spray tanner.  I think she might have a speech disorder because anything that comes out of her mouth is in this infuriating little-girl sing-song voice.  I kid you not, if I were the Britchelor, as soon as she pulled that crap I would have thrown her in the loo or the watercloset or whatever it is until the producers took her away.

Unbelievably, the bachelor finds Shayne worthy of his attention.  Last night, they went on a one-on-one wine tasting date.  Matt asked Shayne why she was so hesitant to talk about her parents.  Shayne reluctantly revealed that her dad is none other than the Renegade, Lorenzo Lamas.

So if you're scoring at home, here's an abridged list of Shayne's "deal-breakers:"

1. Questionable ability to talk not like Barbie
2. Questionable ability to have skin tone not like Barbie
3. Questionable ability to hold more intelligent conversation than Barbie
4a. Knows who Lorenzo Lamas is
4b. Immediate relative of Lorenzo Lamas

To me, that's more than enough to send Shayne packing. Will she survive? Tune in next week, to what I'm still convinced is ABC's first prime-time nature special.

Endangered Species?: