Thursday, February 26, 2015

Random thoughts on a fake snow day in Atlanta.

"Due to inclement weather, your kids' school will be closed for the second day in a row."

Maaaaan, I'm calling the automated message line back and leaving a message that says, "Due to the fact that I am very impatient and also have a whole bunch of stuff to do, I'm bringing my kids up there whether y'all like it or not."

Snow-day, shmoe-day.

Something tells me that this wouldn't go over so well. Ha.

Feeling sort of random so if you have anything remotely important to do, please stop reading here. I'm serious. This will do nothing to enhance your brain. But then again, sometimes things like that are welcomed aren't they? Yes indeed.

So let's see. Where to start? Oh, this:

Why is it that I am so, so annoyed with The Duggars family -- you know, the ones with the 19 children -- but paradoxically intrigued by the happenings of their family when shared in People magazine? So now the little Duggars are having babies and getting married. On the cover of my very important literature (People) is the one who just got married and the whole story is about her and her new husband.

Mmmm hmmm.

Yeah, so they didn't even kiss before they got married. And when they did kiss, they went and did it in private. So yeah, that was interesting. Man. That's kind of impressive to hold out on kissing. Being a bad kisser is SUCH a deal breaker, man. I'm glad it worked out for them. Or that it at least appears to be.

What next? Got to see one of my favorite former students a few weeks ago. It was so awesome. It never gets old to me when folks come back to town and call me to meet up. Kevin will always be one of my absolute favorites. He made me a better teacher and physician for sure.

Ha ha ha . . . I posted this on Facebook. . . this super romantic looking picture of the BHE and me from Valentine's day.

Followed by this next snap of our kids who were ON OUR DATE with us.

Funny how romantically perfect social media can make things and people look, right?

Yawn. What else? Oh yeah. Speaking of people not even being perfect. . .  I got what I deserved yesterday. Have I told you guys about my tendency to silently judge peoples' grocery baskets? OMG. I do it. I try to  keep my face all straight as they put stuff on the belt but deep inside I'm all like, "GIRRRRRRL!!! CUP O'NOODLES???" or "Do you have any idea how fattening prime rib is? Sir? Do you?"

Especially if they're in work out clothes. Which for some reason they usually are.

Now. This is completely independent of my own Cap'n Crunch, Hebrew National hot dogs, Eggo waffles and lemonade. I told you already--I judge THEIR baskets. There are perfectly good excuses for every bit of high fructose corn syrup and refined sugar in MY basket.

Mmmm hmmm.

So yeah. Yesterday I'm standing in line behind this lady who had on, of course, work out gear. Now me, I'm getting fake snow day staples like bread, milk and Reddi Whip whip cream. This woman starts pulling all kinds of stuff out of her buggy. Extra buttery microwave popcorn, Oreo double stuff cookies, fish sticks, a thousand different frozen meals, some Digiorno's pizza, a Graeter's ice cream, and like three or four packages of Jimmy Dean sausage biscuits.

Mmmm hmmm.

So I squint my eyes and try not to give a "chile please" smirk. And I secretly think she caught me doing the side eye so I tried to look all happy and sweet which, I think, worked for like two minutes.

Mmmm hmmm.

So she pays for her stuff and keeps it pushing. And I start checking out while watching her leave thinking, "That microwave popcorn is the devil." That is the devil in who will make you not be able to fit your Prada.

Mmmm hmmm.

So the person behind me starts putting their stuff up there. And this person was all UBER granola. Like every single thing was terrifyingly organic. Oh, did I tell you? My buggy judgement is on both sides of the pendulum. I hate on the unhealthy shoppers and equally hate on the super-duper healthy ones. Ha ha ha.

So yeah. This couple had a little kid in the front seat and she looked to be about four or five. And I am just looking and thinking, "That poor child. She is thinking, 'Can a kid just get a bag of damn Cheetos up in here?'" And OMG they even had some of those fake meat hot dogs and burgers.


So yeah. In the midst of me sizing up everybody in Kroger and their pantry selections, the time comes for me to pay.

"Debit or credit?" the kind lady asks me.

"Either is fine!" I chirp back.

But then I discover that my wallet is in my other purse. And that I have no cash.

Mmm hmmmm.

So guess who had to be THAT CHICK who pushes her buggy to the side and vehemently apologizes? Uhhh, that would be me. And when I said, "Can you leave this right here while I run home to get my wallet?" I am 100% that little girl in the cart behind me curled her lips and gave me this expression.

Which was really what I sort of deserved.

Sort of, not fully.

Hmmmph. That's why all she gets for snacks is celery and she doesn't know what a Pop Tart even IS. See? Aren't I mature?


What else? Oh. I remembered more slang when I was in the hair salon yesterday. The first is this: "In a bad way." This is when somebody wants to do something but it isn't going to work out. The person who says this is usually making it clear that they can't help nor will they with whatever said situation is.


For example. Just yesterday while my hairstylist was on the phone speaking with a client who was talking so loud that I could hear everything from the chair:

"Sakinah! I got stuck at work. Can I still come?"

"Oh, boo, I'm getting ready to go after Kim. You were supposed to be here two hours ago."

"I know! Please, please, please!"

"You in a bad way. I can take you Friday but not today."

And that was that.

Here's another: "You tripped." 

That means you made the wrong decision and now you are regretting it. Or someone else made a bad decision and you are talking about them making the wrong decision. Ha ha ha.

"Jessica Simpson blew up after she got divorced from Nick Lachey. Her shoe and clothing business makes millions, man."

"Yeah. He tripped."

Whoops. That reminds me. "Blew up" does not refer to her weight. It refers to somebody succeeding financially or professionally.

"Girl, I start my new job next week. I'm 'bout to blow up."

"That's what's up, girl!"

Ha ha ha. Did y'all know those?

Here's one more which is so ridiculous but a regular piece of the vernacular: "Smelling yourself."

This describes when a person gets cocky either because they've grown a bit older or maybe that they've recently blown up. Ha. Maybe it has to do with hormones? Hmmm. Hell if I know. Here's an example.

"My son has lost his mind. He had the nerve to talk back to me last night."

"Really girl? What's that about?"

"I guess since he's a senior in high school he's smelling himself or something. I sure took those car keys though."

"Ha ha ha, he tripped!"

"Yeah and when he started looking all sad since he had a date planned I told him, 'Bruh, you in a bad way. You should've thought about that before you started talking crazy.'"

*High five*

Ha ha.

That reminds me. I may or may not have schlepped my children with me to the hair salon on fake snow day #1. And there may or may not have been at least three other children there with their moms on their fake snow days, too.

Mmmm hmmmm.

Ummm let's see. What else? Have you guys ever tried flavored balsamic vinegars and olive oils? I'm obsessed with them right now. So delicious. And low in sugar. The oils make your whole house smell amazing. Just ran out of my garlic flavored olive oil from Atlanta Olive Oil Company.

Must. Get. More.

Speaking of which: My grandmother on my mom's side once told me that if I wanted to be a good wife and have my husband come home to delicious smells in the home here's the trick: Just sauté some onions in a little oil. No matter what leftovers you're serving, the house smells like you are wife of the year. Hand over heart she told me that.

"So you just sauté onions no matter what you're cooking?"

"Yep. Especially when it's just leftovers."

"What if he sees the onions?"

"Oh, you put those up. Or dump them in the leftovers."

Yes. This was what my grandma told me and quietly, it is genius advice. That woman had a college degree in Home Economics and knew all the tricks of the trade. She was also married for longer than I've been alive.

So get you some onions at your local Kroger when you go. And some Reddi Whip.


OH and last but not least. SPEAKING OF KROGER. . .  Y'all. Y'ALL!!! Did you know that in Atlanta they name all the in-town Kroger stores with nicknames? OMG. So funny. Okay, so check it. I'm talking to one of my residents who is trying to tell me where he was the day before on his off day. And as he is describing the restaurant he then says, "You know, right by Murder Kroger."

And me, I'm like WHAAAAT???

So it turns out that everyone knew this but me. Soooo. . .there's Murder Kroger in Fourth Ward/Downtown, Disco Kroger in Buckhead, Kosher Kroger in Toco Hills, Baby Kroger in Downtown Decatur and Hipster Kroger in East Atlanta. How funny is that?


Yawn. I think that's all I've got for today. That and just a little more Stefon who is, in my opinion, SNL's funniest characters of all time.

Okay. That's it really. Thanks for wasting good time with me.

Happy Fake Snow Day to all. I hope you don't get hit by a fake snowball.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Game face ON.

"Enthusiasm creates opportunities for learning."  

~ Daniel Wang, MD
EUSOM '13,  Small Group Beta


Small Group Delta (and all of the other medical students in their class) are starting their clinical clerkships this week. Isn't that exciting? I sure think so. Anyways. I met up with them yesterday evening after their orientation session--partly to just lay my eyes on them but also to get their minds right for this next step. I'm a big fan of the "game face."


That reminds me. When I was in residency, I used to pretend as if I was literally strapping on a mask when taking call or starting some particularly challenging rotation. My classmates knew about that little practice and would always get a chuckle when they saw me fastening my imaginary buckles behind my head. "GAME FACE ON!" I'd yell out. "BRING IT, BABY!"


What that really was was me being intentional about whatever it was I was going to do next. Like, here was this line I was drawing in the sand that said over here is what I was doing before and over there is what I'm about to do. And something about taking a moment to clarify that has always been good for me. I still do that, actually. At the start of wards when riding the elevator up to meet my team on the first day, I put on my metaphorical game face. Sure do.

(A selfie of me at Grady with my game face strapped on.)

I think it makes a difference.

So yeah. That's what I wanted for my small group advisees. I needed them to get their game faces strapped on tight. And so. We met up and had our pleasantries. Then I launched into what I thought were some clutch things for them to know and do before jumping into this part of medical training. And most of them weren't that much different than this, which is pretty much the advice I had a couple of years back when SG Gamma started the wards.


This time tapped into a great resource. This group is the fourth of my small groups to date. Two groups have since graduated on and one more is in their final year. I asked them for a few words of advice for "how to bring your A game" on the wards and clinical clerkships. And by "bring your A game" that means what are the ways to get the most out of the rotation and just maybe get an A while doing so. Oh, and I also told them to "keep it around the length of a tweet."


I reached out to the whole Team Manning SG Fam--Small Groups Alpha, Beta, and Gamma. I got quite a few responses. Even if you aren't a member of the Manning SG Family Tree, that's okay. This advice is good no matter who you are. As a matter of fact, it's good advice for me, too.

I bring you:


(Oh, and the photos are all members of my small groups through the years. My, how the time flies.)

Like to hear it? Here it go!


Words of wisdom to put on your mental post it notes. . . . 

"It's a marathon not a sprint. You've gotten this far. Don't let anything get in your way--ANYTHING."

"Go hard. This is a critical time. Don't drop the ball. Run hard and strong on every single play."

"Enthusiasm creates opportunities for learning." 

"Focus on what matters on wards: the patients, the care, the science. Be likable, but don't waste energy thinking about how to be likable." 

"Know things (about both history and pathology) for your patients."

"Don't be late."

"Always do your best. Even if you feel tired."

"Stay engaged and look happy to be there. Sometimes this means that you get to be super involved but sometimes this just means listening attentively during never know when a question will be thrown your way."

"Develop a good understanding that it's not about you (or your attending), it's about the patient. This will get you far on the wards, and get you through some of the tougher days."

"Keep the patient and their well-being as your focus and all else will fall into place. Even if it's a rotation you aren't interested in as a career, there's something you can gain from it, appreciate the opportunity."

"Show up on time and have a question to ask (after reading up on the question first.)

"Never stop thinking. And remember: Happy spouse, happy house. And remember that it's all about expectations."

"Work hard. Seriously just work hard for your patients and always ask questions! If you act interested and clearly will do whatever it takes to give good patient care, automatic good eval and a great experience."

"Be nice. And don't ever lie."

"Don't let your midriff show!"

"Appearance matters. No matter how scruffy or gross you are in real life, tighten it up. No cell phones in view of anyone you work with.  Always think of the next step beyond what is asked of you."

"Be useful! Anticipate needs and attempt to formulate plans, even if you're wrong. Ask questions and study for the shelf exam."

"Hear Dr. Manning's motto in your head at all times: 'Don't embarrass me.'"

"Leave it all on the field. Every single time."

"Remember the 'my mama rule' and the 'It's not about you rule.'"

"Never stop caring."


Is there any question why I love my job so much? I get to receive text messages that say things like that. From people like this. 

Oh, and before I forget--couldn't miss a chance to add these last couple of snaps with my newest colleague at Grady. . . .

With Dr. Alanna Stone of SG Alpha EUSOM '11

Yep. In a few months I'll say good bye to Small Group Gamma . . and welcome Small Group Epsilon. . . . at the same time that Alanna from Small Group Alpha returns to the nest. Yes. We will be shoulder to shoulder at Grady Hospital. . . but this time as fellow FACULTY.

How cool is THAT?

Game face. . .ON!

Happy Wednesday--and hey! Don't embarrass me.

Oh and in case it got missed, here is my first day quick advice that I gave these guys.

And since I'm feeling mushy. . .here are my videos of SG Alpha and SG Beta. Le sigh. Along with the Beatles songs that are playing now on my mental iPod. . . .yes, I am a mush ball.

SG Alpha. . . 

Small Group Alpha - EUSOM Class of 2011 from Kimberly Manning on Vimeo.

and SG Beta's graduation day (for Mark who couldn't come to commencement.)

Commencement 2013 from Kimberly Manning on Vimeo.

. . . and, okay,  this isn't the Beatles, but is also from Small Group Beta. . . "Beautiful Stranger" by Madonna.  Watched this, too and got choked up with the other ones. Yes, my advisees have the most sentimental advisor of them all. :)

Small Group Beta from Kimberly Manning on Vimeo.