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7 Quick Takes (7)

April 23, 2010

Ash –

G’day mates. Watch your step! Indeed, you must be very careful. For we are in the breathtaking presence of the weekendos americana. A rare and beautiful breed. Naturally a docile and relaxing creature, but with a tendency to party and have fun. Scientists say that it was last sited nearly a week ago. Perhaps if we’re real quiet, it’ll stay with us for more than a couple of days this time. DON’T CONTRADICT ME. A girl can dream, alright.

Anyway, who’s got two thumbs and cannot wait to catch some zzz’s after class? You guessed it. Matt has mentioned this several times, but it really has been a longgggggg week. I can’t say next week will be much better. Every professor, T.A., and person with a grading book is assigning last minute homework, tests, and projects. But hey… only one more week of classes and then finals. Lets hear some encouragement from the blogging world!

Until then, here are your Quick Takes for the day.

1. Ash – The dreaded sociology research paper has finally been put to bed. I even managed to go on to an extra page! (the minimum was 15) Thankfully, I volunteered to present my paper the same day we had to turn it in instead of waiting until next week. While I’m glad it’s over, I did learn some interesting stuff. Especially regarding pregnancy statistics. So for any of you people who just love a fun stat to quote, here a few good ones:

  • According to one of my other professors (who is a physician), nearly 30-40% of all pregnancies end in a miscarriage. While most of these happen in the first six weeks, more and more women are realizing how common miscarriages are due to home pregnancy tests (the most recent ones claim that they can tell you if you’re pregnant “up to six days” before your missed period).
  • Have you ever noticed how popular IVF is in America even though it costs tens of thousands of dollars? For example, Celine Dion was talking about it in People magazine just a few weeks ago. What you don’t know: Women under 35 have the highest in vitro fertilization success rate, and yet they only have 30-35% live birth rate (American Pregnancy Association).
  • The triple screen test is an early second trimester test for genetic abnormalities. Although the test only suggests a potential rather than a certainty, “it is estimated that 90 percent of all Down syndrome fetuses diagnosed in utero are aborted” (one of my bioethics books).
  • According to a pregnancy magazine, “at least 60 percent of American women today have an epidural for pain relief during labor.” Even more interesting. There is a group on Facebook called “Give me the Epidural!,” which describes itself as “having a child the All-American way.”

Obviously I have lots of other great things I could share. But then this wouldn’t be a Quick Take.

2. Matt – I know it’s probably old news, but Starbucks has this “new” brand of instant coffee they are pushing like pot dealers by the name of “Via”. A cup of hot water and one little packet supposedly makes a cup of coffee that rivals (or surpasses) a regular cup you would get from the Bux. A good while back the Girl and I were at an Austin? Starbux (are we liking the “x” instead of the regular ending? Does it make me “hip”?) and they were having a taste test. If I recall correctly, the Via actually did taste better. Turns out, at the local store here they were giving out the actual packets as samples. Anybody tried this stuff for real yet? I’m probably going to use my sample tomorrow morning.

Handy, yes. But tasty? We will see.

3. Ash – In calculus today, my teacher was talking about Switzerland (where he’s from) and made the following comment: “Well we’d call them hills, but you’d probably call them mountains.” But wait a second. Isn’t everything bigger and better in Texas? I guess not. Or maybe we just all see things a little differently.

Which made me think about the book we’re reading for bioethics The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down. It’s a non-fictional story about a Hmong family  forced to leave their own country and who came to America in 1980. Actually that’s just their background. The real story is about their daughter Lia – their 14th kid but the first born in America. She is also their only child to suffer from epilepsy. The Hmong see epilepsy as something to be honored – the spirit has “chosen” them. Highly respected, they often become shamans. But Lia has particularly severe epilepsy. Her parents feel like they have no other choice than to take her to the hospital. Needless to say, there is a lot of miscommunication. Both sides are trying to do what they think is best for Lia, and yet neither side really trusts or understands the other. You’d think what’s “best” for Lia would be obvious especially as the years progress. But the author demonstrates how a clash of cultures is not as simple as right or wrong. She takes the time to look at each person’s perspective and how they come together to tell Lia’s story.

I haven’t finished the book yet so I couldn’t ruin it for you even if I wanted. But I’m not encouraged since they used the word “tragedy” in the description. It has been a great read so far though. I’d highly recommend it if you’re looking for something heavier than a beach read but still reads like fiction.


If you are a hardcore Dallas Cowboys fan, you may not want to read any further.

Matt – Now, if you know me, I am a huge Dallas Cowboys hater. Let me explain why. I don’t hate a team until I have a reason to. To this day, I don’t necessarily like the Cardinals baseball team, but I sure as hell respect them. They play hard, they play up to their potential, and they have good sportsmanship…for the most part. The Cowboys on the other hand? They are lazy, undercoached, bad sports, and their fans….oh…their fans. My intended post about the Cowboys was about their probably corruption of their 2010 draft pick, Oklahoma State wide receiver, Dez Bryant. Just about as talented as you can get at the WR spot, but will undoubtably not reach his potential while involved with the filth that is the Dallas Cowboys lockeroom.

5. Ash – I saw my first live birth this week! During my OB rotation, the doctor offered to let me watch a c-section (but only after I promised I wasn’t going to faint at the first sign of “blood and guts”). We’re not going to play the game of “would HIPPA get mad at me for saying this or that” (generally it’s supposed to prevent me from revealing anything that could tell you about a patient’s identity). But since I’m going to assume you all know where babies come from and can google the word “c-section,” I think what I’m going to say is okay. Mostly, I just want to say it was amazing. One minute they’re cutting into the skin and the next they’re pulling out the baby (for those of you who’ve never seen a live birth, the baby comes out looking kind of chalky and bruised – definitely not what it looks like on television). I was so scared that something was wrong until two seconds later I heard the first cries. Longest two seconds ever. One thing I will say. I would prefer my doctors didn’t play Lady Gaga, Pitbull, or Flo Rida while operating on me. Thanks!

6. Matt – I will leave you with a few of the songs that have been running my life lately. They show up in my shuffle a lot, and instead of skipping over them like normal, I always seem to be in the mood to actually listen! Enjoy!

7. Ash – And for my grande finale, I’ll leave you with something random. I constantly write and draw on myself. Whether it’s to remind myself to call someone, an idea for the paper I’m working on, or because I’m bored in class. You’d think I’d consider a tattoo for how often I’m “inked” up. But I’m pretty sure my mom meant it when she said she’d shoot any tattoo off my body. Plus I don’t really want a tattoo. It’s more fun to draw whatever I’m feeling like. However, I do have a “go to” thing that I draw 70% of the time. Nothing fancy. Just a bunch of stars. But I like them. Adds a little color to my hand.

not my best work but i was very sleepy this morning

Anyway, that’s it for this week’s Quick Takes. Please send in questions for next week’s Texas Tuesday, and play nice with the weekendos americana!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Judi Brenstein permalink
    April 23, 2010 10:54 am

    1) Ashley, wash you hand
    2) Matt, the instant coffee at “Starbux” (i like what you did with the name) is really good! I was shocked as well!
    3) Matt, honey if you are going to marry into the family, it will not be quite good enough to be just “okay” about the Cardinals! They define baseball Matt! There are no better baseball fans and towns than the St. Louis Cardinals!
    4) I hope you both have a good weekend and, as always, we miss you at home.


  2. Hansen permalink
    April 23, 2010 11:57 am

    Yay Cowboys hate! Hating the Cardinals is perfectly alright too. They’re the NL’s Yankees, just to a lesser degree, since they’ve only won 10 World Serieseses and they don’t have the top payroll (but still one of the best in the NL). They’re probably in my, a Rangers fan, bottom 10 favorite MLB teams.

    When I saw I Can’t Wait, I cracked up. You’re welcome.

    And just to comment on something Ashley said, Switzerland is pretty cool.

  3. April 23, 2010 12:24 pm

    first of all, stop hating on the cowboys. secondly, i hate the cardinals, but as a diehard Astros fan, i feel it is justified. starbucks coffee is terrible by itself. i’m done being negative now

  4. Flo permalink
    April 23, 2010 9:26 pm

    Via – Italian Roast is great. Tried it thanx to Judi and have kept it on hand ever since. Amazingly fast to dissolve and launches the phrase “instant coffee” into the next dimension. I like the Bux ending, Matt.

  5. Judi Brenstein permalink
    April 25, 2010 11:18 am

    Matt, no matter what everybody says here, if you don’t take back the Cardinals comment, I’m going to call your soon-to-be grandparents and aunts and uncles and tell them what you said. And, as someone from St. Louis, I must tell you that hating another team (even if it is the Cowboys) is unsportsmanlike! I’m just saying…

  6. April 25, 2010 9:15 pm

    Matt- The Italian Roast is great. I needed something portable to take with my to work, and had a gift card to SBux (as my friends and I call it, haha!), so I picked some up. It was great while it lasted, but it’s a little bit expensive, so I have to watch how much I drink.

    Ash- I think it’s awesome that you saw your first live birth, that much have been pretty amazing. Kudos to you for not passing out 🙂

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