Friday, August 29, 2008

Dear Joe Biden

I really love the ladies over at Bitch Ph.D. They are intelligent, witty and excellent at expressing their opinions in writing. Today M. LeBlanc wrote a letter to the democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden regarding McCain's chioce for his VP. In it she blasts the republican party for their anti-women stances

John McCain's party is the party that doesn't give a shit about women. They don't want women to have ownership and control over their bodies, and they don't care whether women get equal pay for equal work.

and tells him what we would like him to ask her.

If you were elected vice-president, and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act came before the Senate once again, and the vote was tied, and you were called upon in your constitutionally-mandated role as tie-breaker, how would you vote? Would you, like me, vote that when women are denied equal pay for equal work, they should get restitution, or would you, like John McCain, vote that a Supreme Court decision making it nearly impossible for them to receive that restitution, should stand?

Read the entire letter here

Monday, August 25, 2008

Hella Cool

The is amazing. The first few seconds are the coolest.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I love this game.

I stumbled across this game a couple a years ago and was addicted to it for a week or so. Last week I was reintroduced to it again. It is fun and lets me know how abysmal my geography and history knowledge is.

Traveler's IQ

I did have it embedded but I couldn't make it fit so you will have to play it on the other website

Read Any Good Books Lately (part 2)

I have read three really good books in the last several weeks.

The last on I read was Possible Side Effects by Augusten Burroughs. I always run the gambit of emotions when I read his books (this is my 4th I think). There are hilarious parts that make me laugh until I nearly pee myself, there are parts that make me want to cry in empathy and sympathy, I feel envy at some of the adventures that he has. His books never disappoint me and I have his new one in my queue of books to be read.

Just before the Burroughs book, I read the first book in the Cronus Chronicles, The Shadow Theives, by Anne Ursu. It is a fantasy book about 2 cousins who save their friends and classmates from a sickness that the adults can't figure out. It is written at about the same level as Harry Potter (5th - 8th grade) and could be enjoyed by just as wide of an audience. There are two more books in the series, The Siren Song and The Promethean Flame which I hope to read soon.

Right before that I read Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips. This is a wonderfully written book where the "real gods" are the ones from Greek Mythology but they have had to resort to living on earth and have been losing their powers because no one believes in them any more. It is sexy, silly, irreverent and a really quick read.

Currently, I am reading The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. I am not very far into it yet but it is a interesting read so far and I will write more on it when I am done.

Books in queue: Middlesex (Kate - if I could borrow your copy that would be awesome), When You Are Engulfed In Flames, The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao, A Wolf At The Table and Freethinkers. I am open to any suggestions.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

15 years in a Nut Shell

Very few people actually read this blog so I didn't actually get this meme passed to me by another blogger but I read it some where and thought it would be fun to write about.

Think back on the last 15 years of your life. What would you tell someone that you hadn’t seen or talked to for 15 years? How would you sum up your life?
You get 10 bullet points, a list of 10 things to summarize you. At the end of your list, tag 5 more people and send on the love.

*Attended and Graduated from Medical School.
*Had a baby.
*Rode out Hurricane Ivan on Grand Cayman Island.
*Lived in
a. Roswell, Georgia
b. Kennesaw, Georgia
c. West Bay, Grand Cayman
d. Westbrook, Maine
e. Anderson, South Carolina
f. Saginaw, Michigan
*Got Married on a cruise ship in Puerto Rico.
*Attended and Graduated from Kennesaw State University with a BS in Biology.
*Graduated from High School.
*Meet my would be husband when I was a freshman in high school.
*Went from a person who would only eat bland ‘everyday’ foods to a person who enjoys a variety of different cuisines and will try foods that I previously disliked.
*Became an aunt and a sister-in-law.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What does this mean to you?

Driving down the road today I say a church with a sign that read:

"Have you tried a little Salem lately?"

I will freely admit that, due to my own personal prejudices, I tend to assume the worst when it come to organized religion but it seems to me that this sign is condoning witch hunts and encouraging people to take part in them now. I have been thinking about this for several hours and cannot come up with any other explanation.

Is there any other explanation that you can think of?

Friday, August 8, 2008

5 Things

5 jobs I've had: Medical Student, Medical Assistant, Office Manager, Billing/Collections/Insurance Clerk, Dipper at Hagen Das

5 movies I can watch over & over: Labyrinth, Princess Bride, Lord of the Rings (all of them), Spaceballs, Willow

5 places I've lived: Long Branch, NJ; Roswell, GA; West Bay, Grand Cayman; Westbrook, ME; Saginaw, MI

5 TV shows I love: The Daily Show; The Colbert Report, Good Eats, Simpsons, Family Guy

5 places I've been on
Boston, MA; Myrtle Beach, SC; Hilton Head, SC; Sequim, WA; Niagara Falls

5 of my favorite meals: Puerto Rican Rice and Beans, Chicken Terriaki, Veal/Chicken Piccata, Brian’s Hot Wings, Chicken and Dumplings

5 websites I visit daily: Google Reader, My Yahoo, My Space, Friendly Atheist, Pharyngula

5 places I'd rather be
Residency, Boston, MA; At the beach, With all my student loans and credit card debt paid off, With Brian,

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Wind is Blowing and the Water is Rising

As I mentioned in my previous post about my medical school journey, I was living on Grand Cayman when a Class V hurricane (Ivan) hit the island.

Here is the view from our apartment before the hurricane.

It all started around the 9th of September 2004 when the weather reports started talking about a hurricane that was traveling north from the mid-Atlantic towards the Caribbean. On that day it hit Carriacou and Grenada and began its track toward Jamaica. From the paths of previous storms we were pretty sure that if it hit Kingston then the storm would turn to the west and miss Grand Cayman all together. However on the 10th the news came that the storm had bypassed Jamaica and was headed straight for Cayman. On its way to us it would pass over the warm waters of the Caribbean and gain strength. At this point many of my fellow class mates evacuated the island on a plane chartered by the school but since they refused to allow family or pets to travel on the flight we made the decision to stay on the island. Two classmates of mine (Kevin and Dan) also decided to ride out the storm and stayed with us because the school closed the dorms where they were living.

Here is what happened to us.
9/10/04 – Early that afternoon Kevin, Dan and I went to my house to prepare for the storm, stopping by the grocery store, on the way, for provisions. Brian was at work trying to prepare the radio stations and grocery stores. Later on that afternoon Brian arrived home and we continued preparations by putting up storm shutters and picking things up off the floor.

Around 4pm the police came around and said that the power and water was going to be shut off to our area and that we were being evacuated from the house. The four of us packed our stuff into the Alto, grabbed the dog and headed for a friends house. We arrived and settled in at the home of Jamie and Karl, two of our good friends from the island. All told there were 8 adults, 1 child, 3 dogs and 2 cats in a 1000sq foot condo. We continued to have power until about 8pm but we were able to keep the internet going for another 2 hours using Universal Power Supplies (UPS). We used our computers, played cards, imbibed a little alcohol and had dinner. When the UPS finally died at about 10pm we all tried to get some sleep curled up around the living room. The wind was picking up and it was raining a little but nothing serious.

9/11/04 – At around 9am Jamie’s and Karl’s son woke us up complaining of being wet. We all woke quickly and found that the water outside was about a foot up the back door and leaking in around the door jam.

We just kind of hung around for a while until the water started rising more and then the men started moving anything they could from the downstairs to the upper floor. Being guys they grabbed the electronics (computers, TVs, video games etc...) first and then remembered that we might need food. At about 1pm, before anything had been retrieved from the kitchen, there was this loud cracking noise that turned out to be the wood from the door frames splintering. The doors were being ripped out of their frames. Water rushed in and was quickly 4 feet deep. All people and animals were safely on the upper floor as we watched all kinds of items (coolers, furniture, medications, tiki gods) flow through the front door and out the back.

Over the next several hours the rain continued to pound down, the wind continued to howl and the water continued to rise as the waves grew bigger and stronger. It was at about 2pm that the water level peaked as it was lapping at the bottom of the top step. At this point we were trying to figure out what we would do if the water rose any higher. Luckily it did not eventually started to recede. As night was approaching we ventured outside to survey the damage and commandeered the vacant bedrooms of neighboring townhouses in an attempt to get a good night’s sleep. It was hot and muggy, the bed linens were wet and there were bugs everywhere but we tried to sleep as best we could.

9/12/04 – As the sun rose the next morning the heat increased as did the humidity. We all packed up our stuff and decided to hit the road. Kevin and Dan headed for the dorms and eventually the airport. Brian and I with Lucy in tow headed first for Brian’s office with plans to go back to our own house later. After an hour or so of walking over crumbled streets, climbing over fallen trees and surveying the destruction we arrived at what had been Brian’s office.

With nothing to do there we continued on to the grocery store the company he worked for owned and already there were looters. Brian and some other employees took up what ever they could find to fend them off until the building could be secured. We then began our trek towards home which took us a couple of hours even with the kind people who took us (with our dirty and smelly dog) about 1/3 of the way. We were shocked to discover that while we had significant water damage it was all from the roof because the storm surge did not reach it. We cleaned up what we could, chatted with our neighbors and eventually raided the freezer for anything still good and had a grand barbecue. Here is the view from our apartment after the storm passed.

Over the next several days we spent our days at the grocery store helping out, mostly because they needed the help but also because they had air conditioning and fresh food. At home, we had no electricity or running water. We bathed in the ocean because the cisterns had filled with sewage. And I waited to hear about what would happen with school. Two days later word was given that my school would relocate temporarily to Windham, Maine and we began trying to figure out how to get me back to The States. Brian was going to have to stay for a couple of months to help get the island back together before joining me in Maine.

Every day there were long lines of people waiting in a hanger at the airport to get on one of the relief flights to Florida. Many people were told to go home each night and return the next day to try again. Brian and several of his co-workers convinced their boss to charter a plane for the families of the employees who agreed to stay. So on the 16th I was at the airport at 9am waiting to board the plane along with a friend and her 5 month old baby. After all documents were verified we were allowed to board the plane and since we had the baby were giving the bulkhead seats. A little while later when all the employees families had gotten on board the flight attendants were doing their head count and reported to the pilot that there was 20 vacant seats and he decided he would not take off empty. So this began our 6 hour wait on the tarmac with no air flow, no beverages and no food until the airline could find additional 20 passengers. During this time we were all hot and uncomfortable. The baby got very upset and overheated and began vomiting and finally the pilot agreed to let the people with children have water.

At 5pm the flight finally took off and about 80 minutes later we landed in Fort Lauderdale. After getting through customs, immigration and baggage claim it was 8pm. With no money, I called my family and had them book me a hotel room for the night and wire me money so I could by a plane ticket to Atlanta where my family was. The hotel room was great and I think I took about 5 showers that night. I was so glad to be out of the disaster area that was Cayman but I was incredibly sad that I had to leave behind Brian and Lucy.

I am glad to have had the experience and to have come out a better person on the other side but if there is ever a hurricane ever coming anywhere near anyplace that I live I will take the fastest route out of town.

(To see more video of the hurricane and it aftermath click here for Brian's YouTube)