Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Study in Consumer Disgrace

I wonder which will cause me to break down first? Buying these boots with a long unspent gift certificate:

Or breaking down and admitting to myself that I want to read the new Dan Brown book in spite of all of my literary snootiness?

Monday, September 14, 2009

I Shot a Man in Wee-no, Just to Watch Him Die

The Object of My Affection bought himself a sparkly new guitar. No, really, it's sparkly:
(Note the acoustic guitar, relegated to a position of shame in the corner.)

About an hour after the Object got the guitar, we decided to institute some new regulations in our house. These stipulate that I get to veto him playing along with the song on stereo in a different key. After much negotiation, we added a codicil that states that if and when that occurs, he gets to then try to convince me that he's developing his artistic talent. However, I reserved the right remind him why we will always have a two bedroom apartment and use this information in all future apartment considerations, until which time I get a keyboard and am in the same boat.

To be fair, the Object has no small amount of talent those skinny fingers of his. His latest project has been working on the passages from Folsom Prison Blues. I don't have the heart to tell him he can never top the all-time, greatest performance of the song:

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

We Don't Need Another Reason Not to Have Kids

Dear Mr. Baucus,

I am a brand-new student of public health. In my very first chapter of the textbook, I read the following:

"Demand for costly services is largely determined by the health care provider rather than by the consumers. Competitive market forces have not worked well for those in greatest need."

I just wanted to let you know that on the most basic, public health 101 level, if you don't pass the public option (which is already a total cop out), you will have admitted that you don't care about poor people. In public health school, they also taught us to get over saying "there's no value on a human life. (I know, it took some doing for me to accept that. Talking about money so bluntly seems awfully awkward and offends my white suburban sensibilities. Tacky, no? But alas, it appears to be ineluctable in the public health arena.) But once I did, I also learned that because children have the most potential life, by some measures, their lives are more valuable than yours and mine. So, way to not only screw them over, but also violate economic principles.

As for what to do with those kids, that's no longer your consideration. They get their chance, and when it comes, I think DCeiver offered the best advice:
This school year, wherever you go, whether it's school or your neighborhood or the grocery store or an afterschool activity, I want all of you kids to promise me that whenever you encounter an adult, that you will walk up to them, get their attention, point right at them and simply say to them, "I blame you." Then just walk away.
Love and Snuggles,

The Goo

Friday, September 04, 2009

Observations on My First Day as a Student of Global Health

My Future is Bright
Observe:The Down Side
I am going to get my ass handed to me on a silver platter. I was already a little addle-brained over the bio. Then, in Global Health Frameworks, our professor asked, "How many people have had organic chemistry? Remember when you got your first grade of50 on a paper? This class is kind of like that."

The Up Side
Happily, the public health and international development students seem to mitigate those fears by drinking. A lot.

The Other Down Side
There were five or six people in my immediate seating vicinity who were sneezing and wheezing throughout class. I'm glad we're all such assiduous students, but you would think that public health kids would know better that to come to class sick. I'm going to be pissed if I get H1N1, especially after I tried so hard all summer to get it before it mutates and kills us all. Way to FAIL, Mexico.

The Other Up Side
When I'm dead from mutated H1N1, I won't need to worry about knowing translational biomedicine.

But, Bio Flashcards and All...
I'm definitely in the right place. For what might be the first time in my life, I am among a peer group that joins me in taking the stairs by choice, talks about childhood diarrhea at the dinner table, thinks gym teachers are the future, and agonizes over whether or not to drink that incredibly corrosive, incredibly unsustainable, incredibly tasty and satisfying Diet Coke.

Something That Touches All of Us. Bad Touch.
In our "Welcome to the Rest of Your Life" scare speech, the professor cautioned us that if we're out to save the world, we're a little too late, and should possibly consider another line of work. I thought about it for a moment, until I went to the bathroom, where they have automatic flush toilets. Automatic flush toilets and faucets are one of the greater and grosser public health nuisances in the United States. Women are afraid to sit on them, lest they flush mid-evacuation. So they hover over the seats and don't, um, make it, so you get layers upon layers of pee. IThen, you go to the faucets are so frustrating that people give up without washing their hands. I'm not a big germophobe; I feel people should have some germs and build up antibodies. But remember that those people not getting a hand wash just came from some awfully gross toilets. I'm very seriously considering doing my practicum investigating which costs more: the costs of all the days and productivity lost from people spreading germy nasties from automatic flush toilets, or the costs of completely rehauling the bathrooms in the school of public health.

Automatic flush toilet eradication: it's the next polio vaccine.