Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I've Moved On....

Check out my new blog at www.apublichealthyappetite.com

It's all about food. Food. Yum.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The End.

Well, Jack to School fans (aka Elana)...

The votes are in and there is an overwhelming landslide for me to keep blogging. The current tally is 2 to 0. What a turn out! Unfortunately, as I learned in biostats, 2-- when I have an average of 10 readers a day-- is too small of a sample size for me to go on. (although 20%? Maybe it's not. I know there's a formula to figure that out, but whatever). So, alas, Elana, we'll just have to keep in touch the old fashioned way-- email. As for the rest of you-- yes, I know who you are-- feel free to email me, too. This way, it won't be so one-sided, ya know?

And of course there's always the old facebook, for those of you who are my friends or "friends." Besides, the only things I really want to talk about anymore are my awesome plants. Zucchinis, cukes, tomatoes and basil are in the ground. You should see them! If only I still continued blogging-- you could! Ha ha!

All in all, it's been a good year. Changed directions, fell in love, got more knowledge up in my brain. I have no idea what will come next-- as in May, 2010. For now, I'm sticking it out in Baltimore, though.

Maybe I'll pick this blog up again. But that may require me getting a PhD. The chances are slim. I was thinking about maybe keeping this going with more pictures, less talk. We shall see. But, don't hold your collective breath.



Friday, May 15, 2009

The End?

Well, Ladies and Gentlemen, I completed my last assignment for school on Wednesday, making this blog perhaps obsolete. I suppose I could sum up all I have learned this year or write some meaningful thoughts on the conclusion of this year, but you can just read past entries and use your imagination on what I could possibly write. All in all, it's been a good year. I'm glad I did it. I'm starting my field placement (the second part of my two year master program) on Monday. Sticking around Baltimore for another year. Back to full-time work. Or should I say Jack to Full Time Work. I shouldn't.

Anyway, I'm done with classes! Woohoo!

I'm taking a poll on whether I should continue this blog. Feel free to vote. (although full disclosure: the final decision will not be democratic).


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Counting Down

The countdown is on. A week and a half left of school. I just handed in my one big paper for this term last night. It was eh. But it's done. I actually like the class a lot... It's online and a management/policy class. I never thought I'd be able to deal with an online class, but it's actually awesome. Especially because I don't have to listen to annoying people raising their hands and asking asinine questions. In the few "live chats" that we have, people still ask asinine questions (my questions of course are brilliant), but it's all over text. Much more easy to tolerate. The interesting thing will be when I have to give a presentation online. Hope my internet connection can handle it. That will be the last thing I have to do before I'm done and done. Yay. Then off to a friend's wedding in NYC and summer...

I'll be working this summer at CCP. Oh! I forgot to mention I went to a congressional briefing last week in DC for malaria and Rwanda's success with it. It was very cool to see how shit actually gets done in Washington. Here's what I've been working on at work, by the way: This project. Specifically the podcasts. I produced them. Fun times. Tomorrow I will figure out what I will be working on for the next six months. Hopefully it will include travel. Fingers crossed.

In other news: the swine flu. Public health in action. Pretty cool, although not cool at all. Anyway, reading all the articles, I actually understand what's going on behind the scenes. Seems like I learned something here. Ok, I'm being flippant... I truly am surprised and impressed with how much I feel like I learned this year. I actually get the whole going back to school thing. It's not just for the degree. I'm more knowledgeable! Crazy. And this swine flu thing... It's like an epidemiology refresher from first term. Other than that, it seems like people are freaking out. But that's what people do. Just take precaution. And maybe avoid Mexico.

Speaking of Mexico. Who needs it? It's 89 freaking degrees here. Yesterday the bf had off and we ended up at an outdoor bar on the harbor drinking and eating midday (before I finished my paper that was due at midnight). It felt like being back in LA. Except that there were fat people at the bar. And fewer designer jeans. Oh, and the black bean burger I had was $3.50. Go Baltimore. I'm also in the market for a new road bike. Before the bar we went to the fourth bike store of this bike-buying journey to check out what they had. And I think I found my perfect bike. I'll be taking it out for a test drive on Sat. Why am I telling you this? Because the bike store was yet another Baltimore highlight. Local. Friendly. With a woman, the owner, who actually took the time to measure me and fit me and blah blah. I cannot wait to get out for a ride. Cannot.

I have my second to last four hour class today. It's quite painful. Next week are the presentations, so really I just have to make it through this class. It's all about snacks. Snacks are key.

That's enough random ramblings for now. Tata.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Poor Baltimore

I just sat down to read the Sunday Times. The Style section always comes first. A glance at the weddings and then onto Modern Love. Today's Modern Love is amazing and I suggest you all read it. It encapsulates so many things I've mentioned (and haven't mentioned) in my blog: how watching The Wire is more than just watching The Wire, Baltimore, public health, and love. I can't do it justice, so just read it.

And while I'm on the topic of Baltimore, this is volunteer week, so I decided to join some fellow Hopkins grad students for a morning of volunteering yesterday. I spent the morning cleaning up and gardening an abandoned lot in East Baltimore. The cleaning involved picking up dozens of broken alcohol bottles, from fifths to tiny airplane liquor bottles. The gardening involved digging and weeding and tilling (I actually used a gas powered tiller. Fun! The other Hopkins girls didn't go near it). Today, I am indeed sore and have a large blister on my thumb, but I am so glad I did it. Sure, volunteering is ideally seen as altruistic, but being outside, doing manual labor was what I enjoyed most. Getting in a zone digging out massive weeds was completely refreshing. Somehow manual labor allows my mind to wander where just sitting or walking or running outside doesn't. I think I'll be back next week.

In sad Baltimore news, my favorite coffee shop here closed. I'm a part-time student this term and rather than spending any more time at school than I need to, I've been at my office for my job, or at cafes to study. The other day I went online to see if Bluehouse, the cafe/eco-friendly furniture store in question, was open on Mondays. It was not. Nor had it been open any other day for the past month. It really was a great place. I would always run into classmates there, the coffee was good, the decor was modern, it was sunny, plenty of seating, and in a really cool old warehouse. Plus, as a study break, you could wander around the store and look at (and sometimes buy) the very cool, unique wares, that you wouldn't see anywhere else. There's still an online store and a store in Towson, but the flagship space is gone.

I'll end this post on a more uplifting, or at least amusing Baltimore story. Yesterday I went out for a walk (and to buy beer) because it was so freaking nice out. I walked by one convenience store, but couldn't remember if they sold beer or not. I peeked in to jog my memory and realized they did, so I kept walking. About 3 feet away from the store was a guy standing there, probably in his 20s, who looked to me like either a drug dealer, addict, or alcoholic. Or all three. Anyway, he said something to me that I couldn't understand. Normally, I would just walk by someone like that. But I was feeling generous because of the weather, so I asked him what he said. He held out two five dollar bills and asked me if I could go into the store and buy him something. By then, he had engaged me in conversation and for some reason (see posts on my Persuasive Communications class) I couldn't then say no. He asked me to buy him a pack of Newports and Phillies. Oy. So I went in and bought the Newports. Then, totally uncomfortable, I said, "Do you have Phillies?" (What was I doing?). The guy behind the counter told me that he didn't have the regular kind, he only had strawberry flavored. Now was the time when I had to decide whether dealer/addict/alcoholic was the kind of guy who would want strawberry flavored Phillies. I concluded, no. So, I walked out of the store and handed the guy his Newports and his change and said, "All they had were strawberry Phillies, sorry." Then he said, kind of annoyed, "That's what I wanted." Um, really? Strawberry. So quick to judge. Lesson learned.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Hey Elana!

Since you're the only one who really reads my blog on a regular basis, I figured I might as well just direct my posts to you. Anyway, it was so great to see you and Stephan last night. I told you about my zucchini plants. I was not kidding that they're on steroids. You might want to sit down for this:

Ridiculous, right? I'm like a gardener or something. We need to move them outside soon.... If only it weren't 40 freaking degrees in April. Grr.

Here are the nemos in the back. They had a tough time surviving Passover without us, but we're back and giving them lots of water, so hopefully they'll perk up soon. (Like the plants, I also need a lot of water on Passover. Water and prunes).

Tomatoes and basil are in the front above. We almost have a caprese salad.

And from this morning:

If you don't hear from me soon, it's because I've been attacked by a giant zucchini. (And I don't even like zucchini that much... )


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Spring Break

Since I've been back from my Spring Break, I've taken a little blogging break, you may have noticed. That's because exciting things are in the works that have been distracting me from my blogging. I'm not going to apologize. Oh no. But, yes, good things are on the horizon. Details to come when they are more finalized.

Anyway, Spring is here. It's quite lovely, I admit. Did I miss the seasons in LA? No. Not at all. There was one awesome season all year 'round. And it was not winter. But now that it's Spring on the east coast, I do appreciate it. (which is not to say I didn't appreciate the awesome weather all year in LA. Oh, I did).

The bf and I decided to start a garden. How green of us. I've never tried this before, so starting a garden from scratch is all new to me. And really fucking cool! Here is what our first sprouts looked like a few days ago:

Cool, but really tiny. Although, I was super psyched at the first sign on sproutage. Nature really works! And I didn't kill them yet!

The ones shown above are Nemophila. (They love the movie Finding Nemo? Me too.) Their other name is Baby Blue Eyes. They're flowers. Not veggies, but we're diversifying.

Anyway, here's what they looked like a few days later:

The Finding Nemos are crazy! And below is the first basil sprout a few days ago:

Basil! We've almost grown something edible. But, look what we have today: more Nemos, snapdragons, lots of basil sprouts, and even some tomato sprouts in the front right (All organic seeds and soil, by the way. Yeah. I know. I'm a stereotype).

A massive zucchini sprout below:

And another shot of our Nemos, tomatoes, and basil:

Stay tuned for more adventures in seed growing! (Oh my god, what have I become? Soon I will be watching PBS and nothing else).

Happy, Cheesy Spring!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Back in Bmore

After 8 lovely days in California, visiting some of my favorite people and driving up the most beautiful coast in the world, I am back in freezing cold Baltimore for my last term of classes. I have the same feeling I did my senior year of college, "Really? I'm not done yet? But I'm so ready to be done." And so my mind is elsewhere. I think this term is going to be quite easy, if I can swing it. I'm over the whole school thing these days. I'm probably feeling this way because I'm fresh off vacation and miss California and would rather be there than here, but I think it's also because, frankly, I'm just done. Get me back to the work force.

Technically it's spring, but it doesn't feel like it. Last night the temperature was in the 20's. Not cool. Cold. It better warm up soon or I may find myself back on a plane headed west. Sigh.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Jack to Sleep

As I mentioned in my last post, midterms and finals happen pretty much always with a four term system. And thus, I am now mid-finals week. And I can't sleep. I'm leaving for CA in four days and I have one exam and three papers to write before then. (Aren't you loving my constant thrilling accounts of how much work I have? I know you are.) Anyhoozle (it's 5:45 am and I'm awake and I'm using "anyhoozle" if I damn please), so anyhoozle, I can't sleep. The three papers I have to write aren't actually due this week. They're due during my spring break. That was supposed to be a nice thing the professors did-- give us extra time. Do you know what happens when I'm given extra time? I take it. But, there is no way in hell I'm touching an ounce of work while I'm on spring break, so I am trying to finish all three papers way ahead of time. This will be a first for me if I can pull it off.

[Disclaimer: I have a coffee addiction. I always have coffee before I do anything for the day-- check email, write, talk, breathe. I have not had coffee yet this morning because I plan to go back to sleep this morning. I really do. You hear that, sleep gods? Anyway, the point is, forgive my pre-coffee ramblings.]

So, last week I went to a public health career fair at school. It was the first time I'd actually been to a career fair and had taken it mildly seriously. The problem is, I didn't want any of the careers being presented at the fair. They were all... well, just not for me. Yesterday I presented a group project for my health literacy class. The project was a photonovella, which is basically a comic book-like thing, but with photos, and with a health message. Anyway, I wrote the thing for my group and it was pretty fucking funny if I do say so (group members, if you're reading this-- we totally won). The other groups' novellas were not as funny. In fact most of them were kind of boring. That's when I turned to my friend and fellow group member and said "this is why public health needs comedy writers." And, that is what I want to continue to do. Make these messages, which tend toward the incredibly boring side, actually enjoyable and funny. There were no careers like that at the career fair. Not many comedy writing jobs at the public health career fair. Go figure. But I will find one. Oh yes, I will. I think the jobs I want are just not career-fair type jobs. Have they ever been? Nope. And I've never been a career-fair-job type person. And, thankfully, I'm still not. The job I want will require more searching, probably, and less recruiting. Being at the career fair was still amusing-- lots of usually shlumpy people all dressed up in pants suits and make-up. It made me appreciate not being in a more competitive graduate program. Fortunately, there was little clamoring, as far as I could tell. But maybe that's because I wasn't doing any of it. Anyway, I did score lots of free pens.

Okay. My ramblings are done for now. I really should blog more often, I know. It's a good thing to do when I'm lying awake thinking about all the work I have to do. Way better than actually doing the work, right? Sure. Good night.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Oscars Shmoscars

Oh, hello. I'm back. In the middle of midterms yet again. With two month long terms, I am in the middle of midterms or finals pretty much always. I have three papers due this week... and then finals in a week or two. But then I have spring break. Woohoo! One of the great things about being back to school!

One of my three papers was due yesterday. I spent all weekend working on it. It took up a lot of my time (here's a hint-- when going to a cafe to do work, while free refills on coffee seem like a good idea-- it may not be). I planned on finishing my paper in time to watch the Oscars. But did I? Of course not. Thus, while the Oscars happened on the other coast, I was in Baltimore writing a paper... a paper about media, no less. It was a existential crisis-evoking moment. What had I become? Where was the old me? The me who organized Oscar pools, had seen all of the movies, and thrown Oscar-watching parties? That me was writing a paper about the effects of television on eating habits. That's what had become of her!

As a break, I turned on the Oscars. It was a few hours in and they were only at Best Supporting Actress. I caught it just in time to watch five previous winner honor this year's nominees with ass-kissing, poorly written speeches. Blech. My existential crisis was over. According to reports, the Oscars sucked this year. But do they ever not suck? Not really. Then I realized the best part of the Oscars was coming in to work the next day and discussing it with co-workers who no doubt had watched the whole thing, red carpet entrance to finish and had seen all of the movies. I tried talking about the bit of the Oscars that I had seen with some classmates, to no avail. Everyone else was writing papers that night, too. Maybe it's not that I miss working in TV... maybe it's just that I miss working. Although, seriously. I miss working? I took a nap at 3:30 PM yesterday on my couch. I have a Spring Break. I really should appreciate this school thing a little longer. Nap time is almost over.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Do you know who I am?!

Hello all you jacktoschool readers! I just returned from a lovely weekend in NYC and now am procrastinating by blogging when I should be writing a paper about I have no idea what. It's for my Research Design class. It's a required class. I don't really like it. I don't really like it because I don't really need it. I have no plans to design research. I had the option of taking this class or an evaluation class. I think I picked the wrong one. Oops. It's not easy writing about something you do not care about. But, I just ordered Chinese food so that may help matters. Plus, I just have to get through four more weeks of school, then I'm off to sunny California. Then... one more term of classes. Then, I'm done! Well, done with the classes part. Suh-weet.

On Friday, bf and I took the Chinatown bus from Baltimore to NYC. The one we bought tickets for was running an hour late. Then, it got a flat tire. So, we were moved to the bus two hours later. Good old reliable Chinatown. Anyway, we had two hours to kill and no car to kill it with, so we walked to a pizza place a few blocks away called Joe Squared. The bf had been before. It's in a totally random, sketchy part of Baltimore, but surprise, surprise, it was awesome. There was live music, which, again, was actually good. Good pizza (and square, too). Good wine and beer and cool local art on the walls. And from the restaurant, we could see our bus coming. Early, this time. We ran and made it, but got stuck in the back between the bathroom and a snoring guy. Not awesome.

One of the plans for NYC was to go to the Rejected book party/show. So, we left dinner on V-Day early and got to the show an hour late. The douchebag behind the ticket counter at UCB was thrilled to pick a fight as soon as I opened my mouth. "We're sold out. We're at capacity. No, you can't come in." "Would it help if I told you I have a piece in the book and I'm in from out of town?" "No. I don't care." Moments later, we were thrilled to see two people leave the show. "So, now you're not filled to capacity, so can we go in?" "No! The ticket office is closed." "What?" "I can't let you in. Where were you an hour ago? You can't come in. It's a fire hazard. Go away. What's wrong with you. I said no. Go away." That's when I said, "Whatever issues you're having, please don't take them out on me, dude." Then I asked for his name. It's Peter (or Pat) Baer if you want to send hate mail. He claims to be the manager. (And he's probably the narcissistic comedy type who googles himself regularly, so if you're reading this Pat-- you're ugly.) Anyway, what I should have said was, "I'm sorry you fat douchebag prick, that it's Saturday night/ Valentine's Day and you're here selling tickets and you haven't gotten laid in years, if ever, and no, just because you hang out at UCB doesn't mean you're going to be on SNL and doesn't make you in the least bit funny. You're just like everyone else here who thinks they're special because they're so angsty and ironic, but are really just a clone of the next guy, you fat, greasy, goatee wearing comedian wannabe, whose only pleasure in life is wielding the ounce of power you were given with your pathetic ticket selling job, which is all you've got going for you anyway. I'd feel so sorry for you if you weren't such an asshole." But, unfortunately, I didn't say that. I left and got a drink and felt much better. And then I realized, I was just rejected from the Rejected show for the Rejected book. Perfect. Stay tuned for a story there somewhere.

The rest of the weekend was, as I said, utterly lovely. But, utterly lovely does not a good story make.

Okay, where's my Chinese food? I'm hungry. Love, Jackie

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Hello from sunny Baltimore! It's a beautiful day. Even the hallway in my apartment building smelled like spring when I walked outside. So what am I doing inside blogging when I could be enjoying this weather? The answer is not that exciting. For one, I just got back from a brunch/networking meeting and so I'm letting my food digest. And for two, yesterday I play frisbee for the first time in months and pulled my hamstring with the first lunge. Awesome. And ouch. But I must give a shout-out to my favorite over-the-counter drug, Aleve. This morning I woke up with a headache (hangover) and throbbing leg. One pill of Aleve, back to sleep for an hour, and on the second try of waking up, I was healed. It's a miracle. Aleve may in fact be the answer to all of life's ills. Malaria? Aleve. AIDS? Aleve. Cancer? Aleve. If only. But pulled muscle and too much wine last night? Aleve, indeed!

What, you may ask, was I doing last night that caused me to wake up with a headache? Duh, I was drinking. But, I was doing it at an event that was yet another pleasant Baltimore surprise. It was a benefit for El Rancho Grande, a weird arts collective/music space, a place and concept that can only be described as "so Baltimore." It's basically a hole in the wall joint owned by a former banker/aging hippie who lets local artists come in and play. Everything's free. Including the coffee. The benefit was at an art gallery, not at the Ranch. About 10 musical acts performed. You know when you go see a random, or friend's, band and you expect them to suck? Well, I didn't expect much from this show. But holy shit, I was surprised. Act after act, I was impressed. I can't remember the last time I saw a musician randomly, or not intentionally, who I actually liked and was inspired by to buy the album. Thumbs up for Baltimore's music scene (I think Rolling Stone rated Bmore as the best music city of last year, or something). Basically all of the Baltimore indie/alt-county/folk/rock scene was there last night and although they were all incredible talented, it was a very friendly intimate vibe. Nothing like I've experienced in NYC or LA. Very cool indeed.

Okay, that's enough of that. Time to get outside and enjoy this weather before it disappears.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

An Early Start

By now you've all bought, read and then bought again for a friend the hilarious book Rejected: Tales of the Failed, Dumped and Canceled. Did you like it? Good. Glad to hear it.

In the excitement of being published, I forgot that I also had school work to do. I was in Philly this past weekend and decided not to do any homework. It was lovely. I watched tennis, played tennis (and am incredibly sore from an hour of tennis-- sad), half-heartedly watched the Super Bowl, and ate. The plan was to start my paper due yesterday (Monday) on Sunday night when I got back to Baltimore. (Actually Plan A was to start and finish the whole thing last week, but that was just laughable). Getting back at midnight was not conducive for starting a paper. So, instead I decided to get up at 6:30 am on Monday and start and finish it before my 9:30 class. Fortunately the paper was a "Media Autobiography,"-- an essay about some form of media that affected us when we were children for my Media, Children and Health class. (I wrote about Saturday Night Live). Somehow I managed to write 3/4 of it before class and the remaining 1/4 in between my morning and afternoon class. It was due at 5 pm. I got it in at 3:30 pm. I am, in fact, amazing. Procrastinator? Not me. I must say, I thought the essay was actually pretty good. But we shall see what the professor thinks when I get it back.

Last Thursday was the second session of my favorite class, Environment Health. I think I like it so much because it's what I imagine to be a rocks-for-jocks-(or English majors)-type class. In college, I fulfilled my science requirements and then some with classes that kicked my ass in preparation for med school. But now I realize what I was missing. This environmental health class is actually fun. It's making me way paranoid of all the chemicals and germs we come in contact with everyday, but I'm learning cool little factoids that will be great for cocktail parties. For example, in humid areas (like China) peanuts grow some kind of fungus (don't ask me what) that can cause liver cancer. But, broccoli reverses those effects, which is why in Chinese food with peanuts, you'll often find broccoli. Brilliant! This class is also making me aware of how important it is to cut down on my consumption. Especially on cheap, disposable goods, like H&M clothes. Seriously. Thanks to Walmart, H&M, Target, et. al. things are so cheap that we feel it's okay to buy lots of them. But why not buy one quality thing that may be more expensive, but will last? I'm going to make an effort. And you should, too. And there's my environmental pitch for the day.

Okay. Seriously. My forearms are killing me from an hour of tennis and I must save my strength for actual work that I have to do later. Later...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I got Rejected today! The book Rejected: Tales of the Failed, Dumped and Canceled came out today with an essay of mine it it. You'll have to buy the book to find out what the essay is about. But I'll give you a hint. It's about rejection.

It's nice to have something else going on in my professional life other than school. Once again, I am reminded that I had a totally different life before school. And that I haven't (or shouldn't completely) give it up.

Isn't the cover purty? Now go get yourself a copy and look at the inside. Particularly page 217. I'm just sayin. And check out (my mention in) the product description on amazon.

Rejectedly yours,

Friday, January 23, 2009

Jack to School: Part II

Dear Faithful Readers,
Thank you for being so faithful. I know I have been lax in my blogging. I was on vacation for a month and had nothing school-related about which to inform you. But, alas! I am Jack to School once again. And so, I promise to be a better blogger. At least until the end of the school year in May.
Love, Jackie

P.S. I am almost finished with my first week of classes for this term. Only seven more to go! I really have only had three days of classes, but already I am swamped with reading. Yes, I said "reading". Notice how I didn't say "problem sets" or "suffering through fake math". Well, friends, that is because I do not have biostats class. Thank the fucking lord. This term is already shaping up to be way better than last. I also don't have the asinine required theory class that I couldn't stand, nor do I have the waste-of-time seminar with my cohort where each week we heard from alumni who couldn't stand their jobs. Done and done.

This term I'm taking an Environmental Health class, which I am very excited about. Because, like last term's US Health Care class, I am actually learning useful, factual information about our world. (I think I miss liberal arts). I learned last night that one of the ways to determine if there are serious toxins in a location is by finding frogs with extra legs. I will try to get the picture from class of the extra-legged frog. Ca-razy. If you just can't wait, I recommend googling it.

What else, you ask? I'm taking a class on children, media and health, which I haven't had yet, but which I'm very excited about; a two-term class on health communications, where we'll be designing a health campaign-- again very excited, as I'm figuring out that I think I want to get into advertising or social marketing; a research design class, which is required-- I wouldn't choose to take it, but it could be good (although we were warned that there will be some statistical analysis... but maybe it'll actually be useful as opposed to ridiculously complicated?). I'm also taking a class on managing NGOs. Haven't had that one yet either, but we shall see (We're required to take a management class, so... ). Hmm... I think that's it. I need to get organized. I need a three-hole puncher. I wish I still worked in TV, so I could just steal one from the supply closet. (Where did my stolen three-hole puncher go?) But, I don't. I work at a non-profit, and stealing from them just feels wrong.

In other news, I got a redonkulous bill from the time I was forced by the health clinic to go the E.R. for a cold this past September. I'm in the process of fighting it, both the bill and the system. My goal is to get Hopkins to allow walk-ins into their health clinic on the medical campus, like they do for the undergrads. Bastards.

I almost forgot! Barack Obama! New pres! Love it. I saw him speak along his whistle-stop tour in Baltimore. Pictures are up on Facebook, for those of you who are my "friends". For those of you who are just my friends, and not my "friends", enjoy these few:

Baltimore folk on their (our) way to the square to see Obs...
The Man!

Peace, man!

I also went to D.C. on MLK day, the day before Inauguration. Very exciting. (My health communications professor sent out an email urging us all not to miss the first day of class for the inauguration, and so I watched it in the warmth on my TV). But, I was very glad to be there the day before, to experience a bit of the excitement and to see the mall all set up and ready for the 1.5 million people the next day. Plus, it was about 40 degrees on Monday, compared to 15-ish on Inauguration Day. Tropical! The bf and I went to a very cool art exhibit in Georgetown called "Manifest Hope" with Obama- and political activism-inspired art. Here are a few favorites:

An oil well shooting out flowers... (and a profile of a guy with an asthma inhaler)...

Disregard the crazy-eyes, please...

The future is cool...

This one is called "A Man From Illinois"...

That's all for now.

P.P.S. Bye!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Conversations in Healthcare

I have a blog! Totally forgot! Oops. Actually, I didn't forget. I just haven't written because I've been on vacation and the more free time I have, the less I do. I spent a lovely two weeks on a Northeast excursion with stops in Philly, NYC, New Haven and Newport. But, I am back in Baltimore now and here to stay, at least until my Spring break. (Spring Break '09! Gonna be crazy! Public Health Girls Gone Wild! Oh wait.)

Since I've been back, I still had two weeks left of break, (now only one). So, before I left, I decided to schedule all of the doctors appointments I'd been needing during this time. First day back I went to the dentist. It had been maybe three years. Maybe. I went in for a cleaning and a check-up. I left with the news that I had two cavities, needed my wisdom teeth out, and needed gum surgery. I did not leave with a cleaning. (It's like taking your car in for an oil change and being told "We not doing the oil change, but we want to do a million other things on your car." "But what about the oil change?" "Nah. Maybe another time.") I also left the dentist with another appointment for a full series of x-rays the next day (Why couldn't they do them that day?) and an appointment the following day to see the periodontist. On the third consecutive day at the dentist, I was told that in addition to having my cavities filled, my wisdom teeth out, and my gums grafted, I also needed a bite adjustment and would need to wear a night guard for the rest of my life because I grind my teeth at night. I'm getting a second opinion.

In other frustrating doctor news, I went to the eye doctor to get a new prescription for my glasses and contacts. I paid extra for the extended contact evaluation and was given a prescription for a trial pair.

"Try them out for a few days before you order a lot. If they don't feel right, come back and we'll adjust."

Yeah, so they don't feel right. I called to make another appointment to get a different prescription. "Oh, that doctor is only in one day every two weeks."

"So, can I see a different doctor?"

"No, we don't like to do that."

"But I was supposed to have these contacts for a few days and they're uncomfortable."



Then, I went to get new lenses for my frames. "We just have to tell you that if your frames break when we're putting new lenses in, we're not responsible."

"So who is responsible?"

"Well, we're not."

"Do frames often break?"

"Well, we have to heat them up to get the lenses in. So, sometimes they do and sometimes they don't."

"So, you're saying that if my Prada frames break in your hands, I'm shit out of luck?"

"Well, we're not responsible."

"So I have to buy new frames?"


"Because you broke them?"



I'm sticking with my old lenses. They work fine. Especially with frames around them.