Monday, June 30, 2014

Katie Johnson - Pass You By

I promised an album review a month this summer and it's time for June's. Once a couple of years ago my kids and I went to a preliminary round in my partner's Great Arkansas Talent Search. He quadruples as a talent scout, jazz pianist, and recording studio co-owner. This round was in a charming old brick church in Argenta - a progressive part of downtown North Little Rock. There was a lot of great talent, but I remember loving Katie the most. I don't remember who went on to the next round that night (I think she was one of them), but in my mind she was the runaway winner.

The next day I wandered in his office all excited despite the kids having late bedtimes and me dragging a little. He asked who I liked best. "That girl that wore (describe describe) and she sang (that song) was so awesome! Who is she?"

"Oh that's Katie Johnson. Yes, she's amazing. She's a sweetheart too."

I can't believe that was almost two years ago. Now she has her own album out and I've been listening to it a lot this past week. She wrote all of the songs, and she does all the vocals, and she also plays acoustic guitar. So the album is practically all her.* Her bluesy voice penetrates your soul and the intelligent lyrics blow my mind. The album is perfect for a rainy Sunday morning with your kids or background music for a glass of wine with your significant other. I particularly like it for belting out the songs at the top of my lungs in my car. It's really timeless.

My favorite songs are "All I've Ever Known" and "I'm Sorry." But they are all incredible. Check out her video of "Inside" that just went up on YouTube last week. You will see that she is also stunningly beautiful - obviously from her talent both on the inside and out.

You can buy the album on itunes. Don't be jealous - I'm Facebook friends with her! I cannot wait to friend her fan page that my partner told me about so I can follow her performances. Cecelia is going to fall in love. I cannot think of a better musical idol for my daughter. 

*Gotta give credit to the other guys on the instruments and the amazing guys who created Infrared Records. Check out all their stuff they have quite a variety. Stay tuned for July's review. 

Vaginal Redistribution

Read it over at Fizzy's House:

Vaginal Redistribution

I think Fizzy came up with the awesome title. I do not remember coming up with that. It's been a few weeks.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Purely Elizabeth

Caption: Arkansas blackberries that went great on ice cream tonight (end to a wonderful dinner with cousin Chris and Jack and boyfriend) with granola product I found shopping this weekend. I love the brand name, don't you?

I also love that I was able to find the blackberries, locally grown, at my Kroger store. Incidentally, the brand name on the blackberries was Sue - my Aunt's name (she doesn't grow the blackberries, just a coincidence). Despite dropping the bagged blackberries on the floor of the store they did not squash and tasted amazing. This granola brand, named after me of course, was a little more out of the way at local Drug Emporium. It's nice to have a weekend at home to explore new snacks. I can't wait to try it for breakfast. I hope it tastes as good as the name.

Saturday, June 28, 2014


Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun. More headphone music. Today I saw a turtle and a chipmunk and a rabbit in my yard. This weather is crazy but amazing. I'll bet there isn't a firework ban in Arkansas this year.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Girl's Night

With some of my very best buds at work L - path assistant, and P - histotech.

We went to my new favorite Mexican place. Lupita's. Never crowded on a Friday night. Very close to my house. Wonderful fresh ingredients. I get this salad with radishes and cucumbers and ground beef (or fajita chicken, or shrimp) and lettuce. I skip the sour cream and dressing and pour salsa verde all over it. Their version is creamy with ground avocado but spicy as hell. When I took the kids they ordered a pineapple treat full of fresh pineapple.

Caption: Cecelia and Jack and Mr. (or Mrs.? Or androgynous?) Pineapple. When the top comes off there is a mound of fresh cut pineapple the whole table can enjoy. They do other amazing things with fruit. I saw this cool watermelon Easter basket thing with watermelon rind as the basket and fresh fruit filling the center.

L told me a story about Dr. Woods that had me rolling. We were talking about doctor fashion. We had lots of funny stories but this one stood out. Once he came to work in light blue slacks, a navy shirt, navy topsiders, and he was wearing his navy doctor's coat. She bumped into him in front of flow cytometry. The whole clinical lab heard her belt out slowly, arms outstretched to him, "Am I blue?"

He pointed at her chidingly, "Enough," as the entire lab erupted in laughter. We all know he was eating it up on the inside.

Music Idol

Caption: Jessica Lea Mayfield. White Water Tavern. Little Rock, AR. June 26, 2014

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Doctor's Lounge

Read it, if you want, over at MiM. Here's the link:

Doctor's Lounge

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Dr. NastyRude

My real last name is Nestrud. It's weird. There aren't many of us. My ancestors came over from Canada/Norway (Nestrud is Norwegian) and dropped the "E" at the end, because they thought it sounded more "American."

No one in America has that name, with the exception of the people close to me that I love. My family.

I try to get people at work to call me Dr. Elizabeth. It's a hell of a lot easier than my last name.

I have grown up telling people how to pronounce it. "I live in a nest and I'm rude." They laugh, because I project myself as quite kind.

Various mispronunciations over the years have irked me.


"Nesturd." - This one is common and very annoying.

I had a nanny for the kids a couple of summers ago. She was short-lived - had medical issues - but wonderful. She called me Dr. NastyRude.

I loved it.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

On the Origin of Feces

Caption: Pic of horse feces I took at dude ranch in 2013 to send to my megalomaniac partner. Which one, do you ask? He knows.

I was showing Dr. Woods a stomach polyp. It was benign, but looked a little funny.

Me: I'm guessing hyperplastic polyp with a little trauma?

Dr. Woods: Yeah it's weird. I guess it got tossed around a bit in the fecal stream.

Me(!!!): The fecal stream? I would hope it was a food stream. If there was a fecal stream in the stomach something is definitely wrong with the plumbing.

Dr. Woods: Hey that would be a funny debate. Instead of "When does life begin" we could discuss "When does feces begin." He animatedly mimed placing a piece of food in his mouth. "Here? Or in the rectum?" He pointed to his backside.

Me, laughing, walking out of the room: Definitely not in the stomach. Maybe when the food is dumped through the pyloric sphincter into the duodenum. For sure it's feces in the colon.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Frozen Caveman

An e-mail conversation this morning while I was working on cases. It's between me and my new banker for my house loan on my new house.


Me: I'm a little more flexible about leaving work this week. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday are best.


Me: Your all caps are cracking me up. 10-1 ish works best for me. Tell me what time and how long so I can get coverage - I'm doing boutique surg. pavilion frozens not a big deal to cover since frozens are rare.

Banker: Sorry ... Horrible typer...or is that typist?????? Prob take 45 min to hour...wanna say 10:30

Me: It's never a bad thing to get a laugh from a faceless banker shouting at you. I've got you down at 10:30. See you there. Where?

Banker: 10-4 (directions directions directions). I will need an explanation on the sentence below? Sounds like you are operating on frozen cavemen in a mall

I'm doing boutique surg. pavilion frozens not a big deal to cover since frozens are rare

Me: Great that should be an easy interstate hop thank you! LOL at Surgical Pavilion they do mostly derm, breast enhancing, breast reduction (there is an equal very high number of women getting bigger and smaller breasts daily it is shocking), other plastic surgery. They rarely require a pathologist to freeze tissue and tell them right away what something is so they can do something different (like in cancer surgeries in the main OR). So there are days I don't have to go over there at all. Easy thing to cover. I wish I was operating on frozen cavemen in a mall way cooler. Literally and figuratively. Have a great day:)

Banker: Ha....See ya WED

This is the first time I haven't completely dreaded working with a banker on a house loan (and this will be my seventh house purchase as an adult, but only second on my own). The dread is there, but it's diminished.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Silly Things

My daughter was at a school camp last week, and despite being chagrined that none of her peers were there she was ultimately happy to fulfill her volunteer hours for sixth grade at SafetyTown.

They taught safety to younger kids from schools all over Little Rock - maybe pre-K through 1st? I saw a miniature dollhouse sized town in the gym complete with cars and street lights when I picked up the kids after work.

Friday evening at dinner she was full of stories. All the way there in the car she sang, "Stop! Don't touch. Run away. Tell and adult!" She had dramatic hand motions for each declaration that were hysterical.

Finally I had to ask. "Did you see an alien? Encounter a hive of killer bees? Find a vat of poison?"

"Ha Mom, that's what you do if you see a gun."

My boyfriend asked, "Do they still tell you to Stop, Drop and Roll? How many people have ever had to actually do that?"

I haven't laughed this hard watching a music video in a very long time.

Saturday, June 21, 2014


My boyfriend grew up going to the symphony with his Dad. He makes me these mixes that I love to wind down to while I am cooking dinner for the kids at the end of the day.

The mixes are shared on itunes, so I don't know the composers. I know them by pseudonyms - 13 track 13. 3 track 3. My all time favorite is 10 track 10. I had to ask, eventually. Debussy. Arabesque.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Whiz Kid

I was reading a gross description of a gallbladder today in Conway. SH is a very experienced physician's assistant and describes organs beautifully. I got to the part about the bile description - pink-red viscid fluid. Viscid. I hadn't heard that descriptor in a while. It sent me into my own world.

Whiz kids whisk viscid mixes into a biscuit.

A limerick.

She gets to risk it all on a piss kit. Is it his kid? We can fix it. A tisket, a tasket, a green and yellow basket. This stuff is viscid. This oven doesn't want a biscuit. Let's whisk it.

Another limerick! Or maybe a rap? That's one for anyone out there who have been in that viscid predicament. I'm glad I never had to make that decision. But if I was in that situation - who knows - life presents you with opportunities to test all your internal values. If it didn't work for me at the time, I would have chosen it in an instant.

Happy Friday.

Thursday, June 19, 2014


I once overheard a doctor venting his anger about a mistake to another doctor. The former is a bit of a hothead.

This was my favorite part of the conversation.

"These are patients, Dammit! This is not a Tyson chicken farm!"

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Dr. Demanding

I got a message scrawled on a fax the other day.

"Path lab docs: I expect a comment about eosinophils on every sinus case from AOC ASC. Thanks."

Dear Dr. Demanding:

I don't expect you to keep up with my path societies, and if I kept up with every one of every clinicians I would never leave work. When most docs have special requests they come visit us with articles. They make a personal phone call to plead their case about why they want to order a molecular test on certain tumor blocks. They answer phone calls requesting clarification.

Memo to all path docs:

A clinician has requested a comment on eosinophils on all sinus cases. We have already established a pattern of comments on eosinophils for Dr. Sweet as Pie. Let's generalize for all of our docs who look at chronic sinusitis. Here's how I do it. I know that's subjective; I have four articles on eosinophils and sinusitis - if anyone wants more  objective criteria they are welcome to review or make copies.

Arrggh. Respectful communication people. That's a rule in my house. I wish I could make it a rule for all of society.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Apical Core

I meant to publish this in the morning on MiM, but hit the wrong button. It's out there. Oh well.

Read it if you like: Apical Core.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Wandering Eybrows

I accidentally shaved part of my left eyebrow off yesterday morning. Don't ask.

I spent about ten minutes perfecting the filling in of the missing part of the eyebrow with dark brown eyeliner. I was striving for the natural look vs. the alarming lady with painted eyebrows look. I finally got it with a smudge effect.

I was taking Jack to summer day camp this morning. I read that I was covering afternoon frozens last Friday so I knew I could take my time. "Sure Jack, have another breakfast burrito." He must be in a growth spurt he's eating like he has a hole in his leg. As we exited the subdivision we sat at the longest stop light in Little Rock. I'm used to it, it's been four years. I've perfected the saving of tasks like putting on makeup (not much - a little press powder, eyeliner, and lip gloss) at this stoplight to prevent an impatience heart attack/stroke. Today someone had pulled up to the stoplight ahead of me so I only had time for lip gloss. I put on my sunglasses. I had not looked in the mirror yet today so I forgot about the eyebrow.

I deposited Jack at summer camp - his first day of only two weeks this summer so I walked in to sign him up and make sure he had all he needed for the day. I got in my car and put on some music for the ten minute drive to work.

As I was pulling in the doctor's parking deck my pager went off. 911. Shit, a frozen? I'm on morning frozens? Did I read the schedule wrong (most likely). Did our scheduler change the schedule again and I missed the change? No matter, I'm here thank goodness and there wasn't a 7:30 frozen or I would have had to call for help. I called the gross room. "I'm in the deck I'll come straight there."

I took off my sunglasses and grabbed my purse. Forty-five minutes and three frozens later (it was my fault I read schedule wrong) I was finally ready to unlock my office at this ungodly late morning hour and start triaging my cases. First I needed coffee. I walked into the transcription area to check the block count - 130 ish busy but normal Monday. I talked to various staff and partners. I went to get coffee and talked to some doctors in the lounge.

I sat down at my scope. I suddenly felt naked, realizing I hadn't put on my eyeliner. I looked in the mirror to apply and saw the eyebrow. I laughed remembering the number of people I saw that hadn't mentioned a thing but what must they have been thinking? Crazy lady for sure. Oh well. I penciled in my missing eyebrow part and started my day.

Wondering Eyebrows Music for your Listening Pleasure

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Science Genius Girl

One of the best science songs EVAR.

I do have a point to quibble. Times one times two times three?  It should be times (X) 10 X 20 X 40 X 60 X 100. Those are the standard magnifying views.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Wedding Bliss

Caption: Cecelia and Aunt Sarah at Fountainview Mansion, Auburn, AL

Caption: Jack and Uncle Matt ditto

Caption: Wedding Day

We had a big party to celebrate tonight. My littlest biggest bro and his new wife are hellah worth celebrating.

Much love to you both! 


Friday, June 13, 2014

Things I Wish I Could Say in a Comment

Mrs. Wolleh with Children, 1967, Gerhard Richter

Soft tissue adjacent to pterygoid muscle, CT guided core biopsies: Fibroadipose tissue with chronic inflammation and granulation tissue; negative for malignancy. See comment.

Comment: The pancytokeratin immunostain is negative for metastatic carcinoma but highlights numerous exfoliated histotechnologist skin cells floating above the inflammatory fibroadipose tissue like geometric burnt sienna-colored clouds.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Minced Words

I walked into my partner's office to ask a question. I have a lot of partners. This one happens to be beautiful and intelligent and has about 10 plus years experience on me.

Me: "How are you?"

Partner: "Ugh frustrated. This breast. It's chorio. I've got to figure it out."

Me in my head: Choriocarcinoma of the breast? That's a placental tumor. I've never heard of that. Shit, there's so much I've never heard of. I'm too embarrassed to tell her this.

Partner: "Luckily (other partner jazz extraordinaire megalomaniac slacker) has extensive notes on it. I'm going to go get them."

Me in my head: He has extensive notes on this heretofore unknown to me entity? Him? Really? I've got to get them for myself in case I ever run across this thing. I need to research and read about it.

Me out loud: "I've never heard of choriocarcinoma of the breast. Can I get a copy of those notes?"

Partner, laughing loudly: "No Giz, Coreo, not chorio. The new machine for ER (estrogen receptor), PR (progesterone receptor), Her2. For breast cancer."

Ah, the indicators we routinely evaluate on all breast cancers for treatment and prognostic purposes. I haven't had to use that new machine yet. It's been in the works for a while, I've trained on it, but it was a couple of months ago before the validation studies were completed. The old one is obsolete and no longer has tech support, which is the reason for the change. I'll probably have to dive in head first next week when I'm on surgicals. I didn't know it was called Coreo.

I laughed so hard I doubled over. She was in stiches. I'm a little relieved that she didn't have a choriocarcinoma of the breast.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Let It Go / I Don't Know

I ran across this on Kevin M.D. today.


My daughter has a version of "Let It Go" that has to do with farts. Think about it.

"Let it go, Let it go, can't hold it back anymore."

If you are stuck in Frozen Hell with your kids, as amazing as the musical movie is, you will appreciate all of the above.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Recipe Night!

Caption: Very cool plant I saw on hike in Colorado that is in no way related to this post except that it grows out of the ground and so do the raw ingredients for salad. If anyone knows what it is I'd be delighted to find out.

This is the place to post about things I love.

I've been perfecting this salad for a few months and I think I've finally got it right.

The best thing is you can get all the ingredients at your local big box grocery. If you have time to procure your weekly meals from farmer's markets and Fresh Market and Whole Foods I applaud you, and your version will probably taste better and be more healthy and less processed than mine.

My Favorite Salad

- Half a bag of Asian style chopped salad from the packaged produce section (save the other half for later in the week when you are craving it again)
- A handful of almonds (this can be replaced with any protein of your choice) - I like Blue Diamond because it is the perfect combo of roasted and salted
- Ginger dressing - splurge on the refrigerated kind in the produce section - I like the brand Naturally Fresh - it makes a big difference trust me
- A handful of Wasabi peas - if I am out of these I just add a dash of Sriracha (Rooster) Sauce. I like a big dash.
- A large handful of Craisins (cherry or plain works best for me)*
- Liberal amount of crumbled blue cheese

Mix it all together and enjoy. If you must have more carbs (I often must) my fave addition is those yummy crispy things you get at chinese restaurants to eat with your egg drop or hot and sour or wonton soup.

I'm jonesing to get back to my book. I read two on vacation last week and started a third.

Highly recommend:

The Bone Garden by Tess Gerritsen - Merci for the rec if you are reading! You are right all the blood and guts and medical history around autopsy was right up my alley.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan - Sorry for laughing so hard when everyone was trying to sleep on the 2.5 hour drive to and from the rafting site on the Colorado River.

The Devil in Silver by Victor LaValle - the one I am rushing to get to right now.

Happy Monday

*I have a brother that is a food scientist at Ocean Spray. I just saw a picture of him with his sensory scientist wife who works for Baskin Robbins and Dunkin Donuts on Facebook. They are in Japan, who knew? Kids and I can't wait to get to Boston this summer to see you guys! Buy Ocean Spray products and put them in your favorite everything. No bias here, obviously.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Bats in the Belfry

Caption: Skunk Cabbage a.k.a. Indian Toilet Paper

That's what the Colorado River rafting guide told me. Very non P.C., which I never am (100% P.C. here! All the time! Is that redundant?). Maybe Native American toilet paper? I thankfully did not have to use it as TP, but I did use it on a 5 hour hike as Kleenex when the abundant alien flora stimulated antibodies. Soft and velvety and recyclable and wonderful. 

When you go to the same dude ranch for the second year in a row it's like returning to a safe wonderful family with old and new faces.

At a gourmet meal the second night I sat with a retired genetics prof from UCSF and her husband - a retired mathematics philosopher from Berkeley. I never thought I would be talking Drosophila and HOX genes and Bertrand Russell and Wittgenstein and Alice Waters all at the same dinner table. Math philosophers are capable of dishing out some crazy trash talk about the great minds. It was electrifying - I felt like I was in the presence of royalty. I've already booked next year and if I'm lucky I'll meet their daughter and grandkids - they promised they are working on it.

Jack's horse was Blackjack and Cecelia's horse was D.B., short for Diamond in the Brush. She called him Diamond. I steer clear of horses. You might remember a post I wrote about it on MiM last year: Summer Vacation. I remember composing that on a 20 mile bike ride.

Moose or Elk? Not sure. I heard different things from different sources. Maybe they look the same. Strange that such large animals create this form of waste. Like tiny chocolate Easter eggs that lost their foil and got dropped in the mud.

Dandelion Wine

Are blackberries supposed to be this big?

Happy 9th Birthday Jack (June 3). He chose Lemon Chiffon over Chocolate. A man after my own sour sweet heart.