Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Top Ten: Things I've learned recently.

A real Real Housewife of Atlanta

I know. It's only Tuesday, but I've got a top ten in me.

Here's ten things I've learned recently--the importance of which are a matter of opinion. Use what you want, throw back the scraps.

#10  -- Check the pockets.

I learned that Crayola crayons like to hide in elementary and preschool pockets.  If you put said pockets into your washing machine and subsequently into you dryer, then it's a hot mess. Literally.

Yeah, so I learned to check the pockets of all those elementary school blue jeans. You should too.

#9  -- New uses for WD 40.

I learned that melted in Crayola crayon marks come out of clothing pretty darn good with a direct shot of WD 40.  The only caveat is that it smells exactly like WD 40 even after you've washed the garment.  But so what. As long as it doesn't have purple and orange blobs it doesn't matter if you smell like a mechanic!

#8  Blasphemy.

LSU won the game between them and Alabama on Saturday. In clinic yesterday, I decided to make some small talk and asked a resident who happens to be from Shreveport or Baton Rouge or somewhere down in cajun country "who won." You know. To show that I remembered that he was from that part of the country and all.

Epic fail! He looked at me like I had a horn growing from between my eyebrows. Kind of like this:


Then he said with a look of complete disgust, "LSU won, Dr. Manning."  Damn. My bad.

(I am certain that this will be reflected in my faculty evaluation.)

#7  -- del TACO.

Turns out that this is more than just a tex-mex specialty. It's also an acronym for "TRANSFUSION ASSOCIATED CARDIAC (or circulatory) OVERLOAD."

Who knew? (Not me.)

#6 -- Oh, de toilet!

One of my patients told me that (next to the kitchen table) the commode is THE best place to smoke cigarettes. The absolute best. She told me to "just ask any real smoker."

"The commode?"  I asked.

Her answer?

"Hell, you already got the matches in there so you half way there!"


Um, yeah.

Matches? Um yeah. Matches preceded what YOU now call GLADE air freshener in your bathroom. Mmm hmmm. (And obviously some folks still don't see the need for any fancy plug-ins or sprays.)

#5  Encyclopedic knowledge.

"life in the South"

I just found out that there's a whole ENCYCLOPEDIA on "life in the South." Yep, sure is. I went with my friend and fellow Grady doctor Dominique C. to the North Carolina mountains for our residency retreat this past weekend. Right there in the foyer of the big log cabin was the ginormous encyclopedia of "life in the South."  I paused for a few moments to skim it and serendipitously landed on the "black life" part which was kind of interesting. Particularly because it seems like it was written during reconstruction (or at least at some point where saying "negroes" repeatedly was cool.)

Um yeah.

#4  Disturbing discovery.

Pre-Thriller Babies

I sent a last minute text on Friday to my first year medical student small group (Small Group Gamma.)  I asked them to join me for lunch and lucky me, they obliged. So over Thai food we are just a-laughing and a-talking about all things non-medical when the subject of Michael Jackson comes up.

"How old were you guys when 'Thriller' was released?"


"Um. . . Dr. M we weren't even born yet. It came out like four years before we were born."


Okay, so it turns out that all of my eight (ADULT) advisees were born either in or after the year that I graduated from high school! (!!!)  So in other words, when I was changing into my cheerleader uniform for the pep rally, they were getting a diaper change. Or when I was sneaking a kiss on the Varsity bus, they were turning somersaults in utero.


See? These are the moments when you realize that you are a whooooole lot older than the people you're teaching and not nearly as cool as you think you are.

I think it's because in my head I always see myself as "youngish" until things like this come up. Kind of like the way I always see my parents as somewhere around the age of thirty-six and my grandmother around the age of fifty-five for perpetuity. Am I the only one who gets trapped in this kind of time warp?

Newsflash:  If the people who were born when you finished high school or college are old enough to be in medical school, that makes you old enough to be. . . . . .

. . . their extraordinarily cool and gainfully employed older sister. Yes. Exactly what you were thinking.

Don't let the youthful glow fool you--that lady could be your mom.

Mmmm hmmm.

#3  I now pronounce you.

One of my favorite residents speaks both English and Arabic.  Yesterday he gave me a really cool Arabic lesson at the end of clinic that was quite eye-opening. (I'd say this was definitely a pre-pre-pre-K Arabic lesson at best, but then you have to realize who the student was.)

Anyways. I learned that some of the most simple inflections in the voice can COMPLETELY change the meaning of a word in Arabic. Like big time.  So this resident's name is Mahmoud and he was teaching me how to say it properly in Arabic. It's kind of like saying MAH and then a teeny-tiny, breathy, almost indistinguishable sigh followed by MOOD.

MAH (mini-sigh) MOOD.  

Sometimes when people are trying to show off and demonstrate how Arabic-savvy they (think) they are, they add a gutteral sound to the first syllable. Just imagine that sound one makes when hocking up a large lougie from the throat.  Yeah, like that.

Well. If you add the lougie-sound on accident, then you've just inserted a completed different letter and, when it comes to my resident's name, changing that letter changes the entire meaning of the word. Like entirely. Kind of like meaning to say "halo" but saying "harlot" instead. Mmm hmmm. Just like that.

So. Here's what I learned--don't go throwing around fancy pseudo-Arabic pronunciations of words if you don't know what the hell you're doing. (Or else you might get punched in the nose for talking about somebody's mama without realizing it.)

#2  Target couture.

I was looking in my closet yesterday and it became quite apparent to me that nearly 80% of my entire wardrobe came from Target. All the way down to the tights.

What can I say? I'm all about getting paper towels and a pashmina in the same checkout lane, baby!

#1  Keeping it real.

So I was watching the Real Atlanta Trainwreck Housewives the other day and came to this conclusion:

If they really followed around real housewives in Atlanta, it wouldn't be too exciting. Like at all. On second thought, I take that back--it all depends on what you find exciting. Yesterday before bath time, my boys wanted me to judge a stinky feet contest -- blindfolded. (Yes, I obliged --blindfold and all-- and Zachary won.)

Anyhoo. I've decided that blindfolded stinky feet smell-offs--combined with leftover spaghetti and homework at the kitchen table--wouldn't be nearly as good for ratings as this:

(click this image to see it in action.)


I bet you NONE of these women can get Crayola stains out of Target clothing. Mmm hmmm. Now you tell me who's REAL?

Happy Tuesday, people.


  1. Very funny -- and silly! And in keeping with it, I can teach you the Arabic word for "shit." My maternal grandfather was Syrian, and we heard it a lot!

  2. And del Taco tastes horrible! Only edible at 3 am. If I want to kill my heart, then it needs to TASTE GOOD.

  3. I like to break up my Target couture with a little Old Navy when I'm feeling fancy.

  4. I love the photo of you and the boys. I am old enough to completely love Michael Jackson and to still mourn his death. I find it sad that the young folks mostly remember him for supposedly being a child molester, which I don't happen to believe.

    Nene Leakes might know about getting rid of Crayola stains. Nene is my boo. I love her. I am a Real Housewives addict. I watch them all. The Viking does NOT get it. At all. He finds it mind-numbing.

    Love you, Doc.


  5. E -- Ooooh! I need that word!

    NOLA -- Aren't del Taco and Taco Bell only open from midnight to 3 am?

    Lisa -- Have I told you of my trick? Getting your Target and Old Navy couture altered? Mmm hmm. Yeah, girl.

    SB -- Lawd. Those housewives are a hot mess, but yes. . .I watch them more than I care to admit. And that Nene is out of control. Completely. Glad to know that somebody was alive when Thriller came out--dang!

    Right back atcha, SB.


"Tell me something good. . . tell me that you like it, yeah." ~ Chaka Khan

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