Thursday, May 24, 2012

So Rich It Hurts

Check out this email I just got:

"As a member with direct deposit payment option set up with CreateSpace, we want you to have the most current information regarding royalty payment terms.   Your direct deposit minimum payment threshold amount is now $10/£10/ 10 (previously $20) and the new payment terms will be effective for payments made in June 2012, for any royalties earned through May. "

As some of you may remember, I wrote a little novel a while ago.  (LINK!)  Anyway, the website that I used to publish it (CreateSpace) previously had a $20 minimum for royalty check payment.  Meaning that even though the book was the best-selling title (of my apartment) and made the topped the Best Seller List (of my blog); I wouldn't get my royalty check until I had $20 worth of sales (I make about $2 per book sold, and yes, selling 10 books was a lofty goal.  Since I only have 2 parents).

BUT! now the minimum payout is $10!!!! 

That means I've got a check for $11.74 coming my way.  I need to find something AWESOME to do with it.  Here are my leading thoughts:

-Find a stock and invest.  That way, if my some crazy turn of events, I happen to pick a stock that ends up making millions from my $11.74; I can tell people that I made my first million from my novel.  And then drink tea with my pinkie up.
-Similar line of thought:  buy lottery tickets with the money.  Same general principle applies: Laura makes millions, Laura gets to act like the millions came from her proliferative and astounding career as a novelist.
-Give the money to a charity.  "Why yes, I did write a novel.   But I donated all my profits to a charity.  Because I'm not only creative but also generous..."
-Buy two Chipotle burritos and eat them with my boyfriend.
- Divide the money in 4 parts, and do a little of each.  "I took my proceeds and invested part, gambled a bit, made some charitable donation, and still had money left over for these 6 tortilla chips.  Now bring me my golden footrest!"

Saturday, May 19, 2012


Last night my wallet was stolen at a bar.  Once we realized it, Dan asked me why I wasn't freaking out.   My honest answer was that this wasn't stressful at all- because there wasn't any way it could kill anybody.  Since becoming a surgery resident,  somehow that had become my new standard of stress.    An old lady getting post MI? Stressful.  All of my credit cards and ID's bring stolen? Not stressful.  See the second one is fixable with a few phone calls and one trip toothe DMV.  The first one may or may not be fixable, they may or may not be doomed, but I have to work my damnest to to try to fix the- and no matter what happens, I'll probably think I should have done better.

I guess i'm learning the difference between stress and annoyance.  Stress is when someone might die. Everything else is just an annoyance.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Day To Remember

This is a day that I want to remember.  I sort of want to freeze it into a little snow globe so that I can put it on my bookshelf and take it down when I need a pick-me-up.

I presented at Morbidity and Mortality for the first time this morning.  It's the conference where we present cases that have gone wrong for one reason or another; and the attendings will ask us very challenging questions about why certain decisions were made.  It's a weekly ritual at every surgery residency around the country.  Patients are usually presented by a senior level resident or fellow.  There are has not been an intern to present this whole year.

A few weeks ago, while on thoracic surgery, I was involved in a case which developed a severs postoperative complication and needed to be presented at M&M.  My attending asked if I would present it since I was intimately involved.  Loving  a challenge, I said yes!  Only to be told be every resident that I mentioned it to that interns weren't allowed to present unless approved by the Big Boss.

Now Dr. Big Boss happens to be a tough man to work with, but I have gotten a special place in his heart somehow.  He was attending on my first rotation of intern year.  He usually calls every female resident "Girl" or "Her", and most men get a individualized nickname.  We bonded early over something silly that I can't even remember now, and he started calling me Red.  Word spread through the program pretty much instantly that he liked me enough to promote from from Girl to Red.  Unfortunately, he called me Red because my hair was dyed pretty red when I started intern year.  Confession: My hair is not really red.  Confession: I have consistently dyed it every month since I started because I can't give up a nickname from the Big Boss once I've earned it.  Confession: I will dye my hair for the next 5 years.

So I asked the Big Boss if I could present at M&M.  He looked at me, arms crossed and said (verbatim),  "Did you shit your pants out of fear during the case?".  "Umm no?"  "Good, then don't shit your pants when you present."   "Ok, thanks?"

So I presented this morning.  Word had spread through the residents pretty quick that an intern was going to be presenting; so when I stood up to go the the podium everyone was at the edge of their seat.  Sort of like watching the gazelle getting stalked by the lion; they were all waiting for something pretty gruesome.  I was pretty terrified too; I'd been walking around with a knot in my stomach all week.  One of my co-interns sat next to me and literally held my hand as I was waiting for my turn to present.

So I take the podium.  I look at the 100+ people I'm presenting to, including all of my bosses and colleagues. And I feel prepared.  I've run over my case and my research numerous times.  I've prepared for every question I can think of- not just with an answer, but I've read the research that backs it up.  And so I go.  I give my presentation exactly like I've practiced and it sounds awesome.  I open the floor for questions; and I get thrown about 5 softballs right away that I just pound out of the park.  It's a freaking homerun and I can tell it.  I'm grinning like a goofball as I walk back to my seat.

I take my cell phone out of my pocket a few minutes later to find the following text messages from my co-residents (verbatim) "You killed it! Congrats!"  "U did so awesome!"  "Stop making us all look bad! You rocked it". And from an attending who I know well, "Great job, Laura!"  And (perhaps my favorite) from an attending who I barely know but somehow had my email address "Beautifully presented m&m case, Laura. You are years ahead of your rank."    Another resident said that they had never seen Big Boss look so proud as he did when I was rocking at answering questions after the case.

Needless to say, I walked around all day floating about 6 inches off the ground.  And the icing on the cake, is that about 10 minutes ago, I received a page from an attending who I have never worked with before.  I called it back, and he went on for 5-10 minutes about how astounded he was when he found out after M&M from one of his colleagues that I was a first year resident.  He had assumed I was a new fellow who he hadn't met yet; and simply could not believe that I was an intern until he heard from me directly. 

Somedays I feel stupid, like there is so much to learn in medicine that I could work my whole like and never make a dent in it.   Somedays I feel clumsy, like my hands look like chunks of meat as opposed to the graceful instruments of my mentors.  Somedays I feel underappreciated for all the hours I put it and all extra miles that I go which no one every notices.  And then there are days like today, when I get to feel like the King of the World.  

This is a day that I want to remember.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


My dad really wants me to update my blog.  So here goes.