Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Don't hate.

Grady doctors, Jason S. and Kimberly M.

Can't you see us smizing? Ha ha ha. Tyra, Mister and Miss Jay would totally keep us in the running for America's Next Top (Public Hospital) Model. I'm just saying.

Mmmm hmmm.

What? Don't hate.  (No. I mean, like, seriously--don't.)

Happy Wednesday. This post was inspired by this.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


"Baby, I can fly like a bird
when you touch me with your eyes
Flying through the skies
I've never felt the same
but I am not a bird
and I am not a plane

I'm Superman
When you love me it's easy."

~ Barbra Streisand


This morning:

Harry:  "TWOOOOO MI-NUUUUTTES! Let's go guys! Hustle up!"

Scrambling to the garage to head to the car.

Isaiah: "Ready to rock and roll, Dad!"

Begins to run down the stairs quickly as Zachary dawdles near the door.

Zachary:  "Mama?"

Me:  "Yes, Toogie?"

Zachary:  "Hug please."

Me:  "Coming right up!"


Next I launched into my daily out-the-door affirmations. . . 

Me:  "Have a wonderful day, son. Work hard and make good choices, okay? Put on your listening ears and speak up like a young man, alright?"

Zachary: "Yes, Mama."

Me: "And remember: You're the head and not the -- what?"

Zachary:  "Tail."

Me: "You're a leader and not a -- what?"

Zachary:  "Follower."

Me: "Good." Helping him into his coat and getting his backpack on. "And know that I'm always super proud of you and I love you very, very, very much!"

Zachary:  "I know, Mama." 

Zachary starts down the garage stairs behind Isaiah and then stops midway.

Zachary: "Mama? Thank you for making me feel like I'm confident."

Me: *swoon* 

Zachary:  "And you know what, Mama? Confident is when you try to do something and feel like you know you can do it."

Me:  "Is that how you feel?"

Zachary:  *nods head*

Before I could respond, he scuffled down the steps with his giant backpack bouncing behind him and dove head first into Harry's truck. I stood there watching as the car pulled away. . . feeling glad that my son felt confident and that, without knowing, his words had given me confidence, too.

And off the Manning boys went toward school . . . while the Manning girl went back inside to get some tissues for her leaky eyes.



Now playing on my mental iPod. . . . praying my babies always, always feel this way.

Follow the leader.

"This is another bullshit admission."

That's what my senior resident said while shaking her head hard. Her cheeks were pink and flushed, partly from the stairs she'd just climbed up to the ward but mostly because she was mad. Our call day had been extremely busy so far. Mostly, in her opinion, because of patients that the Emergency Department brought in similar to this one.

"What is it for?" And by "it" I meant the admission. Which kind of makes me cringe when I think of it that way.

"A man who ran out of his medications, like, a thousand years ago who now has--surprise!--a high blood sugar and blood pressure. Ugggh!" She plopped down into a chair and checked her pager. "This is the kind of thing that bottlenecks the system. It's such complete bullshit."

Bullshit. Wow. Well, if she thought it was that then it had to be just that.

Didn't it?

See, I had immense respect for this particular resident. I was just under the halfway point of my internship and she was one of the seniors you wanted to have covering you. She was smart. She was decisive. But most of all, she simply knew what to do and always had a clear idea of how to get things done. Whether she knew it or not, she was a leader and one that I often sought to emulate.

She tossed an index card in my direction. "I have some of the information from the admission here but you'll have to check the archival for background stuff. I'd also call his pharmacy if I were you."

Oh yeah. Call his pharmacy.

"They can tell us his compliance history with these meds and exactly what he took last. Go and see him and if I can get our attending up here maybe we can discharge him before they pass the dinner trays." She laughed at that last part and I followed with a nervous chuckle of my own.

I quickly scrambled to grab the card and stood to my feet. "Okay," I responded. "No problem."

"And hurry up because we'll probably get another one soon. More bullshit from the ED, but plenty of work, still."


So down to the ED I scurried. I walked as fast as I could to get over to see this less than ideal admission--the same one that we fully intended to send on his merry way should all of the attending stars fully align.

"Hey there. I'm Dr. Draper." I reached out and shook his hand.

"Hello!"  His voice was raspy with tobacco damage and his teeth beige with what was likely the same culprit.

"I came here to see you from the medical team. I heard you've been out of your medicines."

"Yes, unfortunately," he said with a tiny shake of his head. "My insurance stopped and I couldn't pay for them. So I stretched them as long as I could and then just ran out. I was hoping to see a social worker and that's it, but my blood sugar was pretty high when I got here so they wanted to keep me."


"They were checking my blood to see if I had gotten acid in it from the high blood sugar. My blood pressure was up some, too."

"Yes, sir. I saw your lab work and you don't have acid in your blood. Have you ever had what they call diabetic ketoacidosis--that is, acid in your blood from diabetes?"

"Naaaah. It's never gotten to that point. And I've been diabetic for almost fifteen years."

"Okay."  I jotted that down on the card.

Next, I took an inventory of his symptoms. Chest pain? Headaches? Visual disturbances? Foot ulcers? Shortness of breath? Dizziness? I asked the whole battery of things for every body part, none of which yielded answers in the affirmative.

With his permission, I did a physical exam. Inspected his neck veins with my novice eye, placed my stethoscope onto his supine chest and closed my eyes as I left it there while listening. Maybe there was an extra heart sound consistent with longstanding blood pressure, but nothing ominous from what I could tell. I completed my assessment by pressing my finger tips into his ankles to check for any tell-tale swelling and there was none.

My resident was right. This man probably could have forgone an admission.  But since he was admitted, then this probably was, as she'd so colorfully put it, "bullshit" indeed.

"Where do you live, sir?"

He described the duplex he shared with his daughter's family on the other side. That's when I learned that he had plenty of support but had just been proud about troubling anyone with his medication issues. In fact, his daughter had driven him to the hospital and had left only to get her children from school. All of it--the admission, that is--was a bit of a hassle for this man and his family. But he had decided to fully cooperate with the doctor's instructions which, this time, meant he was getting admitted.

Even if he didn't need it.

"How would you feel about NOT getting hospitalized?" I asked. I knew it was kind of bold of me to go there as an intern but I just had to know.

"Well. That would be fine with me so long as somebody could help me with sorting out my medicines." And even though this took place in Cleveland, Ohio and not at Grady Hospital in Atlanta, even then I knew that social services are often the lifeline to a solid medical plan no matter where you are.

And so. I bit the bullet and decided that I'd take it upon myself to advocate an un-admission or rather a discharge on his behalf. This meant talking to the attending physician in the Emergency Department who I'd noted to be one I'd worked with during my recent month rotation there.

I still remember that attending. He liked to be called by his first name no matter who you were and why you were calling it. In fact, he insisted upon it. This helped me to get to know him because it was very much against my medical school upbringing to call any faculty member by their Christian name. But John, as he repeatedly pressed me to call him, was a different kind of faculty. He'd had another career before all of this and it was simply his style to flatten the hierarchy. For him, that worked well and always made him a bit more approachable and fun to work with. Plus he was middle-aged with graying hair so the whole first-name basis never seemed to undermine his authority in any way.

Anyways. I went over to where he was and found him talking to one of the upper level ER residents. Since he was such a nice guy, he immediately smiled when he saw me. "Welcome back, Kotter!"

I chuckled at that goofy 1970's reference and replied, "Hey there, John. How are things going?"

"It's the emergency department. Things are always going!" He passed a chart back to the resident in front of him. I loved the way he always made things look so relaxed and easy. "Is everything okay with you?"

I was glad he gave me an opening to talk about my patient. The attending who'd seen him earlier was now off of her shift so all of this would be brand spanking new to John. And so I carefully discussed this man and his lack of insurance which led to his lack of medicines and blood sugar and pressure control. John listened intently and nodded his head with each layer to the story. I also noticed the body language of that upper level resident. Her arms immediately stiffened and a ripple of discontent rolled over her face the minute I said the name and room number.

"So, do you think we can get him a definite game plan for follow up?" John asked.

"I feel certain that if I hustle right now, I totally could." I felt my pulse quickening. He was listening to me--the intern--for real listening to me. Hearing the story and trying to make sense of it. I couldn't wait to head upstairs triumphantly to tell my resident that I'd officially "blocked" my first admission.

A "bullshit" admission, no less.

"I will go and see him again. I can't see why that should be an issue," he said while staring at an EKG tracing. Then he looked up at me and smiled. My face felt warm because as interns it wasn't every day that your voice felt so heard. John always had a way of doing that with every single learner, nurse, patient and person around him and I could tell, even then, that it was a decision that he'd made long ago.

And so. John and his senior resident disappeared behind the door leading to that patient's room. A few moments later they returned and confirmed that our man with his missing medicines would indeed go home and return the following day for follow up in the clinic.


I nodded and quickly paged my resident. As soon as she called back I proudly told her of how this patient--the "bullshit" admission--was an admission no more. And she patted my back as best she could through the phone and affirmed me for a job well done. I was over the moon.

Just as I hung up the phone, I saw John walking in my direction after finishing with his senior resident. I stood at attention to be sure my body language signaled deference. "Hey, can I do anything?" I asked.

"No. . . . he said, but I do want to give you some advice." His voice was decidedly serious and it kind of made me nervous. He pointed at his chest and then at me. "Us, all of us, are in this thing together. Our goal is to do what's best for the patients and nobody wins when we're more interested in ourselves than our patients."

Ooooppph. That kind of hurt. I felt a lump developing in my throat. Had I acted too elated when I'd learned that the patient wasn't being admitted? Perhaps I had since that's exactly how I felt.

"Kim, your resident was rude and confrontational. She is passionate, yes, but was proud. Too proud to have a conversation that felt collaborative for the patient. I heard you when you called her and was a little disappointed to hear what you said."

My mouth fell open. Which part had he heard?

He put me out of my misery. "You said, 'The BS admission is OTD.' (OTD = out the door) And, Kim, that was not only insulting to my resident, but to my department." I felt my eyes stinging with embarrassed tears. I coached myself not to cry while holding his gaze. "You know, Kim, that gentleman was one that deeply concerned my resident. She was afraid that he'd fall through the cracks and had noted two other times that someone had tried to manage him as an outpatient. She'd given thought and consideration to that decision and hearing it all referred to as, well, 'bullshit' was a little offensive. And surprising coming from you since we'd worked together before."

"I'm sorry, John." My voice was thready and anemic, which made sense considering I felt like all of my blood had drained down and pooled into my feet.

"Your resident doesn't realize her power. You see, I've worked with her and she's a good doctor and leader. And you know? I see a leader in you. A real, true leader. But always remember, Kim-- we have to be good stewards of our influence. We must."

And John left it right there. Left me with that deep statement to ponder and chew upon for the rest of the day and perhaps, my life. I never, ever forgot that lesson. Not ever.

That patient did well and, though I'm not fully sure where she is, I imagine that my resident did, too. But this morning I was just reflecting on that sage advice that John, the attending-on-a-first-name-basis, had given me nearly sixteen years ago.

"We have to be good stewards of our influence. We must."

And so I think of this. I think of this when I talk to people in hallways and when I get dressed each morning. I remember how John knew the names of the custodians and how he bought Diet Cokes for nurses and interns on his way to the vending machines. But most of all, I remember the way he spoke of the patients. Almost always in a collaborative spirit and rarely, if ever, in anything else.

Collaborative with his learners. Collaborative with consultants. Collaborative with nurses and pharmacists. Collaborative even with the people passing trays from the cafeteria or the person emptying a waste basket. But especially collaborative with the patient. Which matters most of all.

I still appreciate that feedback and him telling me directly that he saw me as a leader. It was a pivotal moment for me and is one I return to regularly.


So today and every day, my intention is to be a good steward of my influence. Some days, I get it right. And the other days? It's a work in progress.

Happy Tuesday.

Now playing on my mental iPod. . . . some old school New Jack Swing for you--Guy singing "Gotta be a leader."

. . and some Eric B. and Rakim. . . "Follow the Leader." That's the jam!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Music Lyrics Monday: Spinning wheels.

Spinning Wheels

Looking around all the places
Familiar spaces
Brings me back home to you
Cause love keeps on traveling
Keeps on traveling
Makes me feel like no matter how far
I'm still with you

So love

Will you try to slow down
I cannot keep up
With the speed of your sound
Cause this love keeps on

Break it down
Turn around
And depend on something that's new
Chase the miles that I'll drive
It'll eventually get me to you
I'll keep you locked up
So tight
In my pocket
Till you decide to slow down
I'll keep spinning wheels
Spinning wheels

Moving alone the weathers changing

My hearts rearranging
Every little doubt in my mind
Oh so I'm coming to find you
And nothing can stop me
I'm driven by this feeling inside

But love

Can you try to slow down
I can't keep up
With the speed of your sound
That this love will keep on
Break it down
Turn around
And depend on something that's new
Chase the miles that I'll drive
It'll eventually get me to you
I'll keep you locked up
So tight
In my pocket
Till you decide to slow down
I'll keep spinning wheels 

Angel Taylor


Do you ever feel like you're just spinning wheels? I do sometimes. Not so much with my day to day life, but sometimes with writing I do. I kind of do periodically.

I know.

It's terrible, really. To write something wondering as you're writing it what another person will think or how it will make them feel. Or if it will make them think or feel anything at all. You wonder this sometimes when you write things down that others read. At least I do.

It's true.

So yeah. This song got me thinking about that. I heard this morning like a song coming from my lips to my own writing. Weird, I know, but that's where I was when I heard it. Wondering sometimes if I'm just spinning wheels or being indulgent to use this forum, you know? Yes, that's the little voice, I know. But really, I'm just being honest. And so, I dialogue with myself and say "no, you do this for you" but then, lately, I've followed up with things like "but you're human, you are." Which is true. So that's where it sits now.

Does this even make sense? Probably not. See, this is when I go back to my writing mantra to shake these thoughts away. These thoughts of spinning wheels and questions on publicly sharing inside-my-head thoughts so liberally.


Like. . . .  there are times when I just need to get the thoughts out. Some observation is swirling rapidly through my head and like some carpenter bee caught in a jar and I must let it out. Into the world and into some written form. And so I do and the pressure valve is released.

But then, there are times, many times, where it is more of a dialogue. Or rather, I'm hoping it could become one. One where I say my piece and then someone who has read it responds with their thoughts on the topic. No, not so much praise or anything, but just something that says, "You know? Here is what I felt when I read this. Or thought. Or was reminded of."

Some days I feel that more than ever. And it's so funny when I do that because it makes me annoyed with myself, wondering if I do this for all the wrong reasons. I sure hope I don't.


I'm rambling, I know. And I also know that I am terribly hypocritical in the fact that I am not so great about consistently chiming in on the rich and wonderful things I read that have been written by many of the gifted writers that I know. Part of that is because I read things in "chunks" as my time between work, play, love permits. So sometimes I'm LOL-ing or marveling at something somebody wrote last week. The comment feels a bit anti-climactic then.

But sometimes I read and just don't comment. Then I tell myself that they, unlike me, are caring far less about whether or not someone has something to say. Which is silly, right? Because the ones I love to read are almost always meant to be more multidirectional than unidirectional.

Okay. So I'll say it. I like knowing what people think. Not as much about me but about what they are reading and feeling and seeing. Feel free to gag here. Ha h ha.

But if that's not your thing, know that I still appreciate you reading when you get a "chunk" that allows for it. I really, truly do.

That's all I've got for this morning. And don't worry, I'm fine. It's just one of those mornings.

Happy Monday.

I am a fan of this woman and her singing. Very much so.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

"Catfish" and other bril-liant musings.

Me rounding at Grady this weekend.

Ello, blokes! It's Sunday evening and yes, I have some poignant things I could very well be writing about seeing as I'm on the Grady inpatient service and all. My friend Carol R. always tells me that she rubs her hands together when I'm on wards because my writing seems inspired by being there. That's true, I think. The inspired part. And there are lots of things inspiring me right now, but I'm also feeling kind of lazy at the moment.

You know what that means, right?

Of course, you do!!  It means a post full of randoms!!

And, for emphasis, I'll use the word Zachary says no less than seven hundred trillion times when playing Madden Football on the Wii:


Oh, yeah. If you're new to this blog and came here looking for something deep, peep the archives for something redeeming. Or you can just do what the follower #349 did between yesterday and today and just hit the un-follow button. Heh.

Hold up. Is that what it's even called? Un-following? Eh. Who knows? I sure don't.

Yawn *scratches stomach*

So where to start? Oh, yes. This:
Manti Te'o of Notre Dame


Turns out that I was totally up under a rock and hadn't heard this story about the Heisman hopeful Manti Te'o and the whole on-line girlfriend debacle he was tied into until my dinner last week with Small Group Beta. Now admittedly, I have not gotten the full, unabridged story of what happened here, but what I've essentially heard (from my medical student advisees) is that he basically got "catfished." Bless his trusting little heart.

Hold up. You haven't heard about "Catfish?"

OMG. It's a documentary this guy did after "meeting" and falling in love with this woman on line. The problem is, the woman he thought he was talking to was the PHOTO of some poor unsuspecting married woman in another state. And the real chick? Let's just say she wasn't quite the person in the images. Uhhh, no. So, basically, the dude and his brother or friends or somebody or other filmed the entire saga of his mission to meet her in person. Which he did. And well, you can guess how that all turned out.


Actually, the dude, Nev, who was the subject of the story, fared pretty well. He got a hit indie film out of the deal which spun off into a reality show on MTV repeating the heinous experience with a whole new set of players. Turns out there are enough on line love affair epic failures to make a whole season's worth of television. Yep.

And, okay, I admit that I have seen the show like two or three times. And what is it like? Well. I liken it to watching Larry David on "Curb Your Enthusiasm." A very, very uncomfortable train wreck that you cringe through repeatedly until eventually you have to just turn the channel, leave the room, or at least cover up your eyes and ears to avoid seeing.

So, that's Catfish. 

It's such a hot mess, y'all. And both times that I've watched, it's been a girl thinking she was talking to some super-hot dude when--whoops--she was talking to some adolescent girl fronting like she was some super-hot dude.

See? Isn't that a train wreck? Case in point:

The blonde on the right thought she was talking to some guy who was a model. Instead she was talking to this girl on the left. Lawd, yes. This is from their "big reveal." (The guy in the middle is Nev from the Catfish movie.)

Cringing yet?

In his defense, he data mines before the big reveal and offers the person a chance to back out before meeting the "love of their virtual life." Of course, they never, ever want to believe that their boo would lie or pretend to be someone they're not. Hence the show having plenty o' episodes.

The train wreck isn't always horrible. . . case in point:

This girl (with the ring in her nose) thought she was talking to some slim, trim and tatted up rocker dude only to find out it was a completely different person--the one above. Specifically, the person she was speaking to on line was transgendered and in the process of female to male reassignment. The woman who was "catfished" met him and said that she didn't care and loved him no matter what. And that one was a hot mess at first like all of the others, but ended very sweetly. It really, really did.

At least, to me.

Anyways. Enough of that. I kind of felt sorry for Manti Te'o. Especially since it was so public and all. And who hasn't been embarrassed by something before? I mean, can you imagine your most egg-on-your-face moment of your entire life being broadcast all over the planet?


What else? Oh. This:

Heavens to mergatroid, have you seen this show? O. M. expletive. G. It is seriously like the most highly addictive thing EVER. The villains are extra-extra-horrible and the drama is just . . . . drama-ful! And me, I love a good period piece with British accents. I kind of think I'm fascinated by the British. Or at least intrigued.


So if you haven't seen this show on PBS Masterpiece Theater -- dude. Go straight to your Netflix so that you can see Season 1 in it's entirety. Then, go over to Hulu+ so that you can peep Season 2. After that, just go to the PBS website where the episodes from Season 3 are there until March 3.

This is coming from someone who doesn't watch much television at all. But this? This is smartly done.

Speaking of the British and my intrigue with them, I'm thinking of just randomly adding U.K.isms to my vernacular. What do you say, mate?

Here's some of my favorites:

  • Going to the "loo" instead of the bathroom.
  • Getting on the "lift" instead of the elevator.
  • Telling my husband he looks "smart" whenever he puts on a suit.
  • Declaring all awesome things "brilllll-iant." 
  • Referring to all things nonsensical as "rubbish."
  • Pronouncing record and "REH-CORD."
  • Calling Tounces "Mum."
  • Calling the dudes around me "blokes." 
  • Going on "HOH-LIDAY" instead of vacations. 
  • And even though I don't like bangers and mash, I'm going to order some. 
  • That, or some french fries, which I will politely refer to as "chips."

Mmm hmmm. I'm particularly fascinated by British actors who play Americans on movies and television show but who then pop up on NPR talking to Teri Gross on Fresh Air in a snappy King's English.

Exhibit one:

This man, Idris Elba, was a sight for sore eyes as gangster Stringer Bell on the (now cancelled) HBO show "The Wire." Here he is with his Baltimore (or Baaaaallll-dimore) accent as that wonderfully diabolical character. Oh, and was he a hot topic in the hair salon back then?

Two words: FO. SHO.

Disclaimer before you click play: The Wire was about the drug game on the mean streets of B'more, Maryland. Which means there is some real, true profanity in this clip. Charge that to YouTube and not to my heart, okay?


Just when I thought Idris Elba couldn't get any sexier, I turn on my radio one day and hear him talking on NPR in a--what?-- British accent. Say WHAAAAAAAT? Then when I was feeling like I was over it, I heard him getting interviewed after winning a Golden Globe Award for his role in Luther this year. Yes, there he was in black tie looking finer than ever. In that British accent sounding like a London bloke. (For effect, please watch a bit of him as Stringer Bell first before listening to him in this interview.

Woooo chile. I would be salivating over him more if my friend Tracy D. hadn't told me that she met him once and he smoked cigarettes. Killed the image for me. (I can't help it, I'm a doctor, y'all.)

Blimey. What else can talk about?

Oh. Yesterday evening I went by Grady to peek in on some of our patients. One of our patients has been pretty confused as of late so, honestly, he was one of the ones I was most wanting to see. So in I walk and there he is, giving his nurse a very hard time with some pills.

"He won't take his medicine!" she exclaimed as soon as she saw me.

"That's 'cawse you ain't asked me nicely!" he shot back.

"I think it's because he's confused," his nurse said to me while shaking her head.

Just then I came over to his right side and took his hand. He looked over at me and smiled the sweetest, most endearingly edentulous smile ever. "Hey, Miss Manning. You look real, real cute today!"

I glanced at the nurse and shrugged. "Well, clearly he isn't confused," I said.

She was NOT amused. Not even.

But I was. Hee hee.

Seriously, though--not even kidding--I asked him nicely and he took his medication. Just like it was candy, he sure did. I'm still not fully sure whether or not it was confusion or conviction about wanting to be asked nicely to do something.

Mmm hmmm.

Y'all! Guess what? I'm ready to make a confession to you about something I've been doing. I have been. . . . . wait for it. . .wait for it. . . .training for a half marathon! Craziness, I know. You all remember how much I've wanted to improve my running ability. That got put on ice when I went outside one day, ran one mile and wanted to die.

Uhhh, yeah.

So anyways. When Deanna passed I started thinking about something I could do in her honor that would be a challenge for me. She knew how much I secretly wanted to be a runner (right up there with me wanting my minivan) and tried hard to link me up with friends of hers who run. So, I decided that I would make this a goal. Sure did.

I took to Google and entered several permutations of "women", "races", "heart disease", "American Heart Association", "half marathon" and out popped a few perfect fits. I settled on a half marathon this spring/summer. Plenty of time for me to train and get myself ready. And with Deanna as a motivator, it's been much better than my prior attempts at running.

Can I please just do my little curtsy as I tell you about my run on Saturday? I ran a little over 4 miles -- without walking -- which, for me, is HUGE. Or as my friend Neil would say in his New York accent, "YOUGE."

Man. I was so super proud of myself. When that voice came in on "Map My Run" saying "distance, four miles" I was all shadow boxing and all like:

"GO ME!!!!!"

For real, I was. And yes. For those who run like Flo Jo all the time, four miles and some change doesn't seem like anything but when you're ME? Dude. It's perfectly. . . .brilliant. 

Especially considering it was a record for me. I mean, REH-CORD.


So, yeah. I'll keep y'all posted on how that unfolds. But just know this: Nothing will stop me from attaining this goal. At least, nothing mental. Nope. Can't wait to cross the finish line in some bedazzled dri-fit shirt with a big ol' number 3 on it (Deanna's lucky number.)


Hmmm. Anything else?

Oh, yeah. Harry and I had a hot date last night. I mean, a proper date considering I'm getting all Brit-i-fied. Better yet, it was a double date with one of our favorite couples, Marc and Akima H. Marc and Akima just welcomed their second son last month and we all went out to clink wine glasses and celebrate love, life, marriage and stinky little boys. And the lads, Harry and Marc, looked quite smart in their crisp shirts and jackets.

Oh. And even more delightful was that Dan, one of my advisees from SG Beta, babysat Isaiah and Zachary. All of that made me happy.

Oh, shoot. Almost forgot! Turns out Beyonce really was lip-syncing. But I'm saying--since when is it a crime to lip sync to YOUR OWN voice? Maaaaan, please. To the people giving her a hard time for that I say: CUT. IT. OUT.

But I do fully authorize them to bust on her for wearing that Pucci BALLGOWN to the inauguration ceremony on a freakin' Monday morning. Which reminds me of one of the best things I heard in the hair salon last week:

"Girrrrrl, Beyonce came up on that stage and I was like, 'WHERE IS you goin' in that BALLGOWN at 11 o'clock in the damn mornin', CHILE?'"

And, let me be clear on something: The person who said that meant to say "where IS you going" and not "where ARE you going" because--I'm not sure you knew this--but sometimes breaking up your subject verb agreement adds emphasis to what you're saying.

That is, if you're in the hair salon. (Or if you're talking to the Teenage Mutant Target Checkout Chick.)

Mmmm hmmm.

Alright, mates. I've got to go to the loo before Downton Abbey comes on. . . . .

Happy Sunday.

Here's one of my favorite U.K. artists, Estelle, singing the song now playing on my mental iPod "American Boy." I guess they're fascinated by us, too.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Little moments of my week.

Good morning, y'all.

Here's a few images from my week at and around Grady. It's been a good one and I hope yours has been, too.

Usually I'm particular about who I let look at my retina, but since Jen Z. is such a wonderful intern (and since my pupils were already dilated) I thought I'd make an exception. Oh, and before you start thinking I'm the world's most dedicated clinician educator to let an intern dilate my pupils for practice, please note that I'd just had my annual eye exam which explains my Betty Boop-sized peepers. 

That just reminded me. I am pretty dang dedicated. Remember when I let the medical student do an arterial stick on me for practice? Worst. Idea. Ever. Talk about an EPIC failure of the most monumental proportion. 


On Tuesday I had a lovely dinner with Small Group Beta. Well, five of the eight. But either way, it was wonderful and they were wonderful and I loved that piece of my week. Marla W., in the middle, just found out that she matched in Urology! We are super proud of her for being gainfully employed and all collectively agreed that we hope we never have a reason to use her services. Especially those boys.

Umm, yeah.

I stole away for a peaceful moment in the Grady chapel this week.  Isn't it beautiful?

It really is as serene as it appears. It welcomes people of all faiths and is essentially open for quiet meditation and prayer to whomever wants to stop in. 

I did yesterday.

Here is Jen K. (a lot of Jens this month, I know) talking to one of our patients this week. I loved the way she respectfully pulled up that chair and patiently explained what was actually a rather complicated plan. The patient really appreciated that.

I did, too.

 Go medical students.

I spent nearly an hour with this patient yesterday. We talked and laughed and shared our life stories. Mine was a little less interesting. Either way, it was one of the best parts of my day. The patient told me that this would be a day he'd never forget.

Now, I won't forget it either.

And here is me, leaving work last night. I was giving my Grady BFF, Lesley M., a hitch to her car and she stopped to snap this with her phone. We were both just standing there on the roof marveling at the sight of the hospital from the vantage point of that upper platform. 

It was beautiful. 

And here's Zachary at the pediatrician's office getting his height assessed with baited breath. He really, really wants to be tall. Like, really. And technically, this wasn't taken this week, but it was close so I thought it'd make the cut. Plus, the look on his face makes me laugh all the way out loud. That boy is comedy central. For real, he is.


It's been a good week. It really has. 

Oh, and I almost forgot. One of my most favorite moments of all this week was when Poopdeck told me that he is now practicing yoga. I started calling him "Poopdeck, the yogi" and we just laughed and laughed. And it's good to hear your daddy laughing like that. It really is. 

He promises to have someone take a picture of him in a downward dog pose for the blog and for all of your viewing pleasure. And please know that there is nothing more blogworthy than my dad doing yoga.
Nothing. Ha ha ha.

Much love to you all today. Including Poopdeck, the Yogi.

Happy Friday.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


With change comes responsibility
Don't forget where you are 
ain't where you've been
Life's lessons then made you into a woman

And don't you forget it

Don't you forget your way home
For that little girl
Hold on to your world
And don't you forget it
Don't you forget your way home
For that little girl
Hold on to your world

~ Glenn Lewis

I met a Grady elder this week who reminded me of why I am here. The day that he was leaving, he held both of my hands in his and squeezed them hard. He narrowed his eyes and told me:

"This is all so much bigger than you. I think you know that. But don't forget it, Dr. Manning."

His lashes were glistening with tears that were threatening to fall. One of his arms shaking with the tight embrace he had on my hand. And I didn't dare let go or even think of looking away from him. No, I did not. Because this was the kind of moment that called for this kind of searing eye contact and that hand-gripping.

He wasn't nice to me when I first met him. In fact, I'd walked right in and introduced myself, trying to shake his hand. And he was scared and defensive so he kept his palms right behind his head and offered me nothing more than his elbow, if anything. 

And for me, that was okay. Because I knew that things like that weren't about me but instead about fear. So I withstood it all, and yes, there was a lot to withstand. He wasn't nice to me or to anyone in that room at all. 

But I waited it out. Waited out the fear and the anger and the lack of cooperation because I knew that underneath it all was someone who just wanted to be okay. And since I knew that to be so, I knew that, really, we wanted the same thing. 

And he saw that. He saw that I was waiting it out and eventually those barriers melted away. They really did. 

So by the last day of his hospitalization, he was telling me about his life because now we were beyond the anger and the fear. He was telling me what it was like to grow up in the Southern United States as a black man in the forties and the fifties, and sure, that meant he told me of some of the ugly parts, but mostly he was laughing and his eyes were dancing as he told me of the good parts. 

"We used to call shorts 'short-pants.' That's 'cawse you got you some pants when in the cold season and then when you outgrew 'em by summertime you jest cut 'em off into some short-pants." 

And I smiled when he told me that because my Poopdeck always calls them "short-pants," too when in the presence of his brothers or others of his generation. 

"I thank this short hair suits you, Dr. Manning." This was another random comment he offered me. That one made me grin, too. Especially coming from him.

So I walked over to him before it was time to go. He was sitting on the edge of the bed and I'd been on the edge of a chair across from him. And that gesture signaled that I needed to finish seeing the rest of my patients and that our time together was coming to an end.

I reached for one of his hands and he took both of mine instead. 

"It's truly been an honor to care for you and meet you, sir," I said. And I said that because it was true. 

That's when he clamped down on both of my hands and told me that sage advice.

"This is all so much bigger than you. I think you know that. But don't forget it, Dr. Manning." 

"Yes sir," I replied. 

Yes sir.

Happy Thursday.

Now playing on my mental iPod. . . .Glenn Lewis sings "Don't You Forget It."

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Top Ten: The Hair Salon Inauguration Recap.


Oh man, y'all. So much has been going on in the world that I was absolutely delighted to discuss it all in the hair salon today. (From the perspective of the sistas getting their hair done, that is.) Clearly this warrants a top ten.


So. . . yeah. . . the inauguration. Yes. That. This was our hottest topic, of course. Once we got past the whole "We love President Obama" and "Isn't it wonderful to see him getting inaugurated on the Martin Luther King Holiday!" part, we moved straight into the absolutely, positively unimportant parts that we'd all saved up for the beauty shop. 

Therefore. Without further ado, I bring you:


Like to hear it? Here it go!

Note: Whenever I don't indicate who was speaking, it means that nearly everyone in earshot was chiming in. (Which is nearly all of the discussion points.)

Alrighty then. . . . .



"What y'all think about them bangs?"

"What bangs?"

"Michelle's bangs."

"Oh. Those. I think they were fine. Not as big a deal as everyone made out of them, though. But fine."

"Girrrrl, you TRIPPIN'! I thought they was BANGIN'!"


Stylist: "Did you see your boy Bill eyeballing Kelly Clarkston when she came on that stage?"

Client #1: "Girrrrl! No! What did he do, girl?"

Stylist: "That man about broke his neck when that girl walked out!"

Client #2 (across room): "That's his type you know."

Me:  "His type? Say what?"

Client #2: "Yeah, girl. That's cause Kelly kinda thick. Sorta like Hillary and Monica."

Me:  >_<



"Damn! Doesn't Hillary Clinton have some contact lenses? Did you see her with them Coke bottles on? Poor Bill."

"That's jacked up. You know she just had a clot on her brain!"

"What's that got to do with her putting in some contacts or at least getting some new glasses?"

"You're going to hell."

"And so is Hillary's stylist." 


"Let's discuss whether or not Miss Beyonce was mouthing or singing live."

"No! First we have to discuss what she had on and her hair!"

"I thought she looked nice."

"I thought she looked extra."


"Hell yeah. Why was she giving us sequins and sparkles and big hair at the daytime inauguration? I mean, she was giving us red carpet and Golden Globes and it just wasn't even called for."

"I agree! And you know the only reason she took that ear prompter out when she was singing was 'cause it was irritating her with that big ass emerald earring in her ear."

"No, guys.  I actually think it was because she was trying to hear better when she sang."

(side-eye glance) "Hmmph. You can believe that if you want."

"Girl! Where is you goin' in that ball gown?!"

"I'm with you, girl. She walked out and I was thinking, 'Uhhhh, Dreamgirls called. They want their dress back." 




Me:  "Well? Who thinks she was lip syncing?

Sister-getting-a-relaxer:  "You know what I think?"

Me: "What's that?"

Sister-getting-a-relaxer:  "I think Beyonce is a bad ass b@%h and it don't matter what she did."

Me:  "I heard that!"

Sister-getting-a-relaxer:  "Did you see how she walked up there looking all around like a diva when that music came on? She was giving us Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin and Barbra Streisand!" (looks around and bats lashes.)

Me: "I know that's right!" 

Stylist:  "It totally looked live to me."

Sister-getting-hair-shampooed (yelling over rushing water):  "Well you know what I think? I think it just made me want to hear the Whitney Houston version from the Super Bowl. That's all it did for me."

Me:  "Now Whitney Houston definitely lip synced." 

Sister-getting-hair-shampooed (still hollering like she's deaf): "Yeah, but she was Whitney so she could do whatever the hell she wanted to do!"

*Everyone sits in quiet reflection for a bit trying to recall the Whitney performance. *

Everybody nodding and in unison:  "Yeah. . . Whitney pretty much killed it."


"Who else besides me fell asleep when dude was reading that poem?"

"Okay. Now you really, really going to hell."

#4  JAY Z


"It woulda been hot if Jay Z got up there and spit a few rhymes instead of the Star Spangled Banner. Bet nobody woulda been accusing him of lip syncing then!"

"And Barack coulda jumped in and free styled."

"Yeah. That woulda been hot."


"Girrrrl! Did y'all see how Barack was looking at Michelle in that red dress?"

"He was looking like, 'It's 'bout to be ON when we leave here.'"

"Y'all are disgusting."

"Oh come on! Everyone knows that dressing up in black tie puts you in the mood."

"True dat."

"Yeah. That and waking up the morning after a big argument."

*everyone nodding their heads*



Client #1: "While we talkin' about dresses, don't sleep on Tipper in her dress. She was killin' em in that blue bias cut!"

Stylist:  "Yeah, girl. And you know bias cuts are totally unforgiving."

Client #1: "Totally! They show every lump, bump, nook and cranny! She was workin' it, though."

Client #2:  "Mmm hmmm."

Client #1:  "I was like, 'Tipper, boo, you DID that!'"

Me:  "Uhhhh, am I the only one who's tripping off of you calling her 'Tipper' and not 'Jill?'  Uhhh, Tipper was Gore's wife."

Client #1:  "Oh, hell. Y'all knew what I meant."

Client #2:  "Didn't she have blonde hair, too?"

Me:  0_0

#1  UH OH, UH OH, UH OH!

"I love me some Michelle. Lord knows I do. But can I just go on the record and admit that I look at her husband in ways that she wouldn't like. For real, girl."

*high fives all around*

"Especially with that gray hair he has now. Girrrrrl."

"I know that's right. If I was at that ball she would have been like, 'Who is this broad hunching all up on my husband like that?'"


"I wouldn't go near that dude."

*heads swing in the direction of person speaking*

"Yeah, he's fine and all, but Michelle from the south side of Chicago. And have you seen her arms? She'll kick somebody's ass if they get up in her man's face."


"When Beyonce walked up, Michelle was all like, 'Why you got to be all hugging and kissing all on my man and just giving Joe Biden the nod?'"

"Ha ha ha! I bet that's what she said in Beyonce's ear when she got up close to her."

"It is! This is what she said:

Beyonce: "Yes, ma'am."
 (teeth gritted) 

"Loook, little girl. I'm from the south side o'Chicago and I will s-natch you up by that weave if you pull some mess like that again! Do you hear me?" 


See? I told you that there's never a dull moment in the beauty shop. Never, not ever. Ha ha ha!

Yeah, so that's what we were talking about. What were y'all talking about that had zero relevance or importance regarding this monumental moment in time?

Good times, y'all.

Happy Wednesday.

And here's Miss Whitney lip syncing and killing it--simultaneously.

And yes, Miss Beyonce--personally, I loved your rendition. But I have to agree with my shampoo bowl sister. . .something about hearing you sing that day made me wish for Whitney in her warm up suit a little bit, too.


* Michelle and the Boehner eyeroll. Hee hee.
* Whether or not Michelle Obama's bangs were cut or just clip ins."
* How fun it seems like Joe Biden is to have around
* Whether or not Michelle's mama spanks the girls when they act up
* Why Hillary hasn't gotten Lasik eye surgery yet
* How Jennifer Hudson manages to get such high profile gigs all the time
* How Michelle Obama needs to give Condoleezza her hair stylist's contact information

Monday, January 21, 2013

You've come a long way, baby.

Happy M.L.K. Day, y'all!

And just to get you in the right state of mind, this:

That photo above was taken in the Grady elevator yesterday. Can you believe it? I've got an all girl team this month on the Grady wards! I keep hearing that Beyonce song in my head when we're together. Ha ha ha. Maybe we should bust out in a flash mob version of it on the last day? What do y'all think?


It is cool, though. We walk into the rooms on rounds six women strong and, I tell you, it's a sight for sore eyes. (At least, according to one of the very uninhibited male Grady elders it is.)

Yeah, man. I'm thinking Dr. King would be proud of this team. Or at least hot for it. Gasp! Did I actually say that out loud? Okay. Then act like I didn't.

Hee hee.

Anyways. I don't have a lot to say at this moment. Instead, I just woke up and went back to my archives to reflect on the things I'd written on prior MLK days. I do have some deep thoughts but it seems like my head isn't organized enough to write them right now. Those posts seemed to say what I am feeling, so there. I thought I'd take you back to them--for those who are new here or simply for a reread if you're one who's been here for a while. Either way, I appreciate you all.

But, real talk. . .  especially today I'm appreciating the opportunity to be a Grady doctor. Something I couldn't have been had I just been born at the same time that Dr. King was.

No black doctors allowed at The Gradys back then, remember? Not even on the "Black Grady" side.

Yeah. But I wasn't born when Dr. King was. So I get the opportunity to lead a multicultural team of women through the halls of a place that, thanks to the fight of Dr. King and countless others, welcomes us as healthcare providers. I don't take that lightly.

No, I do not.

Okay. So here's a few things to get you reflecting on MLK Day. I hope it helps to get you in a Martin-state-of-mind today.

First, The Tale of Two Gradys. This is arguably one of my favorite posts because it makes me think about what it means to be right here, right now doing what I do.  Makes me realize that it's kind of a big deal.

Next, I'm OK. You're OK. and The Green Lantern. These two posts capture some of my exchanges with Isaiah about race. It makes me realize that Dr. King's dream is still one that should be alive and in our minds. And, of course, I revisited when me and a bunch of my girlfriends had an EPIC FAIL attempt at getting all of the kids to nestle down in front of a big screen television to watch "Eyes on the Prize." Those kids were all like:

What. Ev.

Ha ha ha! But at least we tried, man. You can read about that here.

And lastly, The Drum Major Instinct. This takes me back to when Poopdeck used to make us listen to Martin Luther King sermons and then write reports on them as punishment once we got older. Now I'm glad that he was crazy enough to make us do that.

That's all I've got for now.  I hope your day is wonderful and full of grace.

Happy Martin-Lutha-da-Kang Day to you all!

Oh, and here's what's been playing on my mental iPod whenever I'm walking around with my all girl team this month:

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Clean-up on aisle three.

I was in the grocery store shopping late this afternoon. Just doing mundane things like getting snacks since next week is Isaiah's week and replenishing the coffee stash. I picked up some eggs and milk and then just sort of stood there wishing I'd written out a list because I wasn't exactly sure if I needed those items or not.


I did suddenly recall that I needed contact lens solution, so over to the toiletries-and-such aisle I went. The fancy no-rub solution in the green box was literally ten dollars more than the Kroger brand. But, see, the fancy no-rub solution in the green box is the one that my eye doctor recommends.


Now me? I'm thrifty. No, not the kind of thrifty where I'd go dumpster diving or something, but enough where I pulled my readers out of my purse to inspect the ingredients on that green box that would make it ten dollars better for my vision. I was hoping they'd all be identical. But they weren't.


And yes. I am chea-- I mean thrifty, but I do value my vision. So I stuck with what I know and tossed the green box into my buggy. Next I stood there thinking to myself that I really should look into Lasik surgery so that I won't have to do this any more. But then I always think of the number of Ophthalmologists I know that wear glasses or contact lenses. The fact that THEY don't all have their eyeball flaps cut open has always bothered me. So in my head, I'm always all like, "Y'all first."


Where was I? Oh. In the Kroger non-food aisle. So yeah. I was basically in there piddling. Because, see, I was in a kid-free window, so I knew that the minute-moment-second that I set foot into my house that my three bears would pounce on me. Two with "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!" issues and one with a "honey do" list.


So I had already gotten my eyebrows done and earlier had gone for a nice run. That morning I had attended sorority meeting and got to see lots and lots of my favorite people. Harry had definitely given me a luscious open window today and I knew that Kroger was the last stop before this train was off service.

I read a few more labels and started to the check out line. Just before I did, I saw Marla W., one of my student advisees who just finished up all of her residency interviews. I hugged her neck and listened as she updated me. And that part was good, it really was.

I said goodbye to Marla and continued toward the cashier. Just as I did I noticed a display of Jello pudding boxes on the shelf to my right. Cherry and lime and strawberry. And then I saw it--lemon. I stopped and pulled one of the boxes of lemon Jell-o from the perfectly stacked row. The corner of my mouth curled up in a half-smile as I recalled the very thing that lemon Jello meant to me:


She always made this lemon Jello cake that everyone loved. The recipe was super easy (even easy enough for no-bake Manning to make) but for whatever reason, it always tasted so much better when she made it. In fact, most recipes that she prepared always tasted better than anyone else' version. "That's because I put loooove in mine," she always said with a chuckle.

Yep. Especially her lemon Jello cake.

So yeah. I just stood there frozen with a box of lemon Jello in the middle of the "spices and baking needs" aisle at Kroger. In that moment, I felt my face warming up and my chest hurting. Not hurting like the kind that signals a medical emergency, but the kind that you feel and know only after you've lost someone very, very special. So I closed my eyes and did my best to wait it out. Hoping that no one who knew me would walk by or ask if I was okay.

And fortunately, no one did.

Nope, they didn't. But instead someone else showed up. Chrissie Hynde and the frickin' Pretenders decided to pay me a visit right then and there. Playing on the in-store stereo straight off of some soft-rock station. Yes. The Pretenders. Busting straight through the Kroger speakers and into my ear singing what I am convinced are lyrics written in cahoots with the universe designed specifically to make me burst into tears at that very moment in time.


First, I heard the initial bars coming in at the start of the song.

No, I told myself. No, no, no. Not this song. Not now.

But Chrissie was relentless. She didn't care that I was already on the tippy-tip edge of crying. No, she did not. As soon as I heard her voice coming through those speakers all sultry and somber, I dropped my head and started tapping my foot to break up the emotion. . . Dammit, Chrissie.

"Oh, why you look so sad?
Tears are in your eyes
Come on and come to me now. . ."

Shit. Shit, shit, shit. This was not the song I needed right now in Kroger. Not on the heels of our Delta Centennial in Washington D.C. and sorority meeting that morning and now, the lemon Jello aisle. No. Not this, not now.

But Chrissie wasn't hearing it.

"Don't be ashamed to cry
Let me see you through
'Cause I've seen the dark side too. . ."

I stepped as closely as I could to my cart and braced myself. The first tear leaked out and I tapped my foot harder and harder. It wasn't working.

"When the night falls on you
You don't know what to do
Nothin' you confess

could make me love you less. . . "

That's when I lost it. I turned my back away from where people were and gave in to Chrissie Hynde, The Pretenders, and my feelings. Right then, right there in front of the Jello and the allspice.

"I'll stand by you, I'll stand by you
Won't let nobody hurt you
I'll stand by you

So, if you're mad, get mad
Don't hold it all inside
Come on and talk to me now."

I folded my arm over my face and wept. Cried like I wasn't even up in a supermarket and like I was strewn across my bed like a teenager instead. And Chrissie kept on, oblivious to my meltdown. . .

"Hey, what you got to hide?
I get angry too
Well I'm a lot like you

When you're standing at the crossroads
And don't know which path to choose
Let me come along
'Cause even if you're wrong

I'll stand by you, I'll stand by you

Won't let nobody hurt you

I'll stand by you." 

Thank goodness that, for the duration of that song, no one needed any nutmeg or evaporated milk. Because I truly had a good, full-on ugly cry that was almost bad enough to warrant a clean-up on aisle three.


I gave into it. Hearing the words and feeling each one. Not fighting it and letting the emotion wash over me.

"Take me in, into your darkest hour
And I'll never desert you
I'll stand by you

And when, when the night falls on you, baby
You're feelin' all alone
You won't be on your own

I'll stand by you, I'll stand by you
Won't let nobody hurt you
I'll stand by you
Take me in, into your darkest hour
And I'll never desert you

I'll stand by you, I'll stand by you
Won't let nobody hurt you
I'll stand by you

Won't let nobody hurt you
I'll stand by you
I'll stand by you
Won't let nobody hurt you

I'll stand by you
No, no, no, no, no
Take me in, into your darkest hour
And I'll never desert you
I'll stand by you
I'll stand by you

I'm glad that Marla didn't double back because, I assure you, it would have been quite awkward.

Seriously? If I catch Chrissie Hynde in a dark alley, she'd better watch out. For real.

My friend Nancy told me that this would happen sometimes. There will be days where Deanna just shows up in between the Kroger-brand contact lens cleaner and the fancy no-rub kind in the green box. Without warning. Yes, she told me this would happen and that I'd eventually get used to it.


See, me? I get that. And even though Chrissie Hynde, who wrote that song, is with The Pretenders, I'm no pretender. No, I am not. When you knew and loved someone like Deanna, there doesn't have to be any pretending. And there is no pretending now. She left behind so much joy that we don't have to pretend things were good. Because they were.

But that doesn't make the missing her part less real.


I think that song made me cry so hard because not only do I miss her, but those lyrics--"I'll stand by you"-- ring so true of our relationship. And not just mine with her. The one she had with all of her siblings, with my sons, and even with Harry and Fran. It was how she was with her friends, with her students, with her sorority sisters, and anyone who was dear to her. No matter what, Deanna was one that would stand by you and bend over backward to let nobody hurt you on her watch.

So, yeah. Some part of hearing that song felt like she really was there on that aisle telling me not to worry because she's still standing by me. I mean that. So I wanted to hug her and thank her and tell her how glad I am that she always did when she was here in the flesh. That she stood by me and stood behind Harry, too. That she understood my Isaiah and could rein in Zachary. That she always encouraged me to try things and told me not to worry and reminded me that things would be okay. It was true. For as long as I could remember, she always stood by me and let nobody hurt me, at least if she could help it.


So.  I had a good cry up in my friendly neighborhood Kroger today next to the Jello. Sure did. And then I politely dabbed my eyes clean, paid for my groceries, and headed out to my car like it wasn't nothin'.

And you know what? I felt good. Good knowing that, even still, Deanna is with me. . . . and standing by me. Always, always, always.

Happy Saturday.

And for your ugly-crying pleasure and for that of all Kroger shoppers, Ms. Chrissie Hynde sings the song she penned and recorded with The Pretenders. (All as part part of a plot to make me destroy my mascara and lose cool points in the spice aisle a decade later.)

Interesting random factoid: Turns out that Chrissie Hynde and I share the same birthday--September 7. Why thank you for that, Wikipedia. (I guess I'll let her off the hook if I catch her in that alley now that I know that.)