26 June 2009

In Memory of Icons

This post is for my mother-in-law, who cried yesterday for MJ as much as the day JFK passed away, who has a white glove on her mantel now in remembrance, and who was very upset to hear I would NOT be writing his eulogy.

A picture from his better days

new! Take a quiz online to see how true of a Michael Jackson fan you are. (I only scored a 4. I'll let you know what my mother-in-laws score was though.)

And to Farrah Fawcett, whose tragic death due to a rare cancer was overshadowed by the sudden passing of the moon-walker. (Did you know that Michael Jackson's picture is on home page of WebMD today? I think there's a fan in their company.)

Charlie's Angel

25 June 2009

The Chocolate Relief Act

As if someone from MARS (the chocolate company, not the planet) heard my plea for boredom relief, I found this site today where coupons for FREE chocolate bars will be given out every Friday from the end of June to September.

Hungry? Why Wait?!

24 June 2009

The Summer Work Blues

I thought that work had ended,
packed my things again,
but then I noticed the clock, it said
it's ONLY 3:00 PM.

And that's the BLUES! The Summer's here and I'm at work blluuees.

Yes, that's right. I'm so bored and tired at work that I had to distract myself for a good five minutes making up that one verse to the next Elvis song. I have the workplace summer blues. There is beautiful weather outside, families are going on vacation, work is slow, and I'm stuck inside. Let's just say, 2:00 PM rolls around and I am more than ready for a nap. I'm trying to think of new ways to keep myself awake- What excuse can I make up to take a walk?, What snack has the vitamins and nutrients needed to supply my body with three more hours of lasting energy?, What does WebMD say about adult onset of ADHD?

I actually have been concerned lately that I am exhibiting behaviors more and more like the millennial generation. It seems like my one year mark rolls around in my job and I'm anxious to find a new challenge. Of course, there are external factors. My one year mark tends to pop-up in the summer when everyone is out having fun. No employers are coming on campus during the summer, so my job isn't nearly as exciting as it will be in two months. And I'm pretty sure educational/semester habits have trained me to need a vacation every three months.

I'm bringing chocolate to work tomorrow. I've already tried fruit and celery, even adding peanut butter as a protein boost. No help. Pure sugar just gives you a 30 second high and a two hour nap. Chocolate has to be the next experimental option! AND if you need me to do some internet research for you, post a comment. That's how I keep myself entertained in the dull moments of 8 - 5.

21 June 2009

To My Father

There may be some who don't know Terry Cavanaugh very well, or have been intimidated by his quite nature. As an ode to my dad this Father's Day, I have listed my top 10 favorite things I love about him. Read and enjoy!

10. My dad and I share a great love for food, especially free food! He always finds fun food deals, and his favorite place to eat is the Coast Guard cafeteria buffet (soft serve ice cream days are the best!). Dad and I can always have a good conversation about food!
9. He is a guidance counselor extraordinaire! He helps you think through, and has advice for, any major and all careers. And he knows his stuff.
8. My dad is one of the funniest people I know. He has a somewhat dry, witty sense of humor. I can always count on him for a good laugh.
7. My dad is very supportive and has always encouraged me to do great things. While at times he had to convince me that a B grade was okay, he also told me that I could do whatever I wanted. I remember after piano recitals or music concerts I would be harsh on my own performance, but my dad would always be waiting after the performance to tell me that I was perfect! I was always "the princess" in dad's eyes.
6. He also has great health advice. As a physical therapist, he knows anatomy really well. He also knows hospitals really well. He's been called to Washington, D.C. before to give the government health advice. He is a smart cookie! He can also do this thing with his hands and static electricity to heal headaches. Weird science!
5. My dad taught me to be really frugal. We were told to watch the grocery ads for foods we wanted each week, and he would celebrate with me when i found a cute outfit on clearance.
4.Even though my dad is frugal, he also taught me to be giving. He gives of his time and resources to help others, especially family. And he loves to give good gifts! My father is very generous!
3. My dad could easily pull of a stint as my bodyguard or CIA agent, with his sly aviator glasses,dark suit, and multi-purpose watch.

(caption: I've got a 20 on the perp and we're moving 'the eagle' to section 24)

2. Dad is an expert wildlife watcher. Every day after eating at coast guard, you can find my dad sitting on the couch in our second floor living room watching the waves for whales and sea lions. In fact, he is now taking a class that would certify him as a wildlife tour guide.

1. My dad is the world's greatest dad! He taught me a lot through his character and helped to raise me to be the amazing woman I am today! And that says A LOT.

Happy Fathers Day!

11 June 2009

My life story

A little background to this post. . . I've been in the middle of writing my personal statement for med school applications and I've received a lot of feedback about making it less formal and bringing in personality (kinda like my blogging style). So, Katie recommended I post about how I became interested in medicine to get a feel for writing a less formal statement. Here it goes. . .

I must admit that I haven't always been interested in medicine, per se, but I've always been fascinated by the body. This is probably because I grew up playing sports and was always focused on training and getting better. In playing the sport I gained an interest in the body's ability and in watching professional athletes I was drawn to the body's potential. However, growing up in a family of dentists and sales reps didn't give me much exposure to medicine. Therefore, my interest in science took me towards engineering and architecture. I enjoyed designing and problem solving which is why woodshop and enginerring classes quickly became favorites. Still, my involvement in high school athletics kept me interested in how science was able to benefit the body. It wasn't until family members began persistently suggesting that I look at medicine that I began to consider what options were available in that field. Since then I have never looked back.

It was kind of random that I chose cardiology as my field of interest but it got me started in my studies of medicine. Dr. Daniel's from my home ward invited me to observe an open heart surgery upon hearing about my interest in cardiology. I wasn't hesitant in accepting the invite but became a little more tenative with my first whiff of the fumes coming from the operating room. I was surprised that I was invited to stand directly over the operating table while they underwent the procedure and intently began to focus as they sawed down the middle of this lady's chest to open her thoracic cavity. There were several times during the procedure that would've been uneasy for most people but I was very intrigued by the work. The fact that I could stomach that procedure helped confirm that medicine, and even surgery, was a real possibility for me.

From there I became pre-occupied with finishing high school and moving on to college to worry about any further exposure to medicine, though I found myself constantly telling people that I was headed towards cardiology. It became quite similar to my testimony; the more I said it and lived it the more I believed in its reality. Speaking of testimony, I then went on my mission to Connecticut, which surprisingly provided me with experiences that helped me stay on the path towards medicine. Though Connecticut is one of the more affluent states I served 18 months in underserved and underprivileged inner cities. Simply being there and serving helped me to see the need to advance healthcare in these communities. I remember working with Charlie who struggled to provide for his family while dealing with chronic back pain. He underwent two spinal fusions in the time that I was there. I was curious how someone in his financial situation could afford the cost of such procedures. This has helped me realize the compassion that doctors must possess and willingness to work with such cases. Not all cases are as glamorous as working on professional athletes who then recover in order to play a sport at a levels most of us are incapable of.

After coming home from my mission I continued to take classes dealing with health; classes like physiology, biochemistry, anatomy, biomechanics, and sports nutrition. I loved the material in each of these classes, though the competitveness at BYU makes it difficult to constantly rank high in all of these classes. It wasn't long after getting home that I met Katie. We dated for 10 months and then were engaged for 4 months before we were married. My life perspectives began to change since I knew that my personal decisions would now affect a family. Her pursuit of a Master's in Public Health helped bring new insights into how I saw medicine. She helped me realize that medicine is more than just working on needy, but also about promoting good health throughout society.

Katie helped me find a job in working at a physical therapy clinic. Though at the time it was just a way to provide for a small family, it has proven invaluable in the experience and practice I've received in working with recovering patients. One of the first patients I worked with had underwent two total knee replacements. I was there everyday as she progressed from pain with laying on a table to riding a stationary bike. The recovery was remarkable to witness and I was excited to be on a team to provide such service. My association with physical therapy has introduced me to orthopedics, sports rehab, and the body's ability to heal itself.

Recent health problems within my own family have caused me to look further into understanding medicine. My mom was recently diagnosed with epilepsy. She has not yet responded to treatment and her life was changed dramatically. Katie was diganosed with Crohn's at the age of fourteen. Assisting her during recurring episodes has left me curious for future advancements for this disease. It motivates me to get involved with research and I often wonder if I will ever be involved in discovering a product or procedure that would assist somebody in similar situations.

I feel like I've been adequately exposed to medicine and the responsibilities associated with practicing in any of its fields. I have been in the operating room. I have served the underserved. I have participated in research that will help us understand the effects that ice has on injury. I have countless hours in the clinic. I have the support of a wife and immediate family for whatever path I choose. I know that I am a good fit for medicine but unfortunately, at this point, the decision is no longer mine. I now must await the approval of some medical school that will see the time and effort I've put into preparation and will give me a chance to make a career out of my preparation. Whatever transpires, I know I will remain committed to finding some area of medicine that is a perfect fit for me.

Really? Are you still reading this?

SYTYCD Has Begun!

It is summer and that means So You Think You Can Dance Season 5 is on! Wednesday and Thursday nights of dance has become a summer tradition since season 2 for me. And Season 5 has now started my favorite part, the actual dancing and judging.

I mean, I like watching the initial auditions and Vegas week is interesting, but watching bad dancing makes me squirm. I'm also not a fan of watching American Idol auditions, because I despise watching people make fools of themselves, especially when they don't realize that they are! I just feel awful for them, when someone tells them that they are horrible, because their mommies and daddies have been telling them for years that their singing or dancing lights up their world.

In any case, SYTYCD started off in full-swing last night. There was really not a bad dance, and I pitty the judges who now have to make a difficult decision of sending two people home who really haven't had a chance to prove themselves yet or did an amazing job last night. I am glad though that these initial decisions are made by the judges and not by votes. Nigel may be pompous, but he knows good dancing and what makes for good TV (though, why he keeps Mary Murphy on as a full-time judge boggles my mind).

There were many favorites in last night's episode. Napoleon and Tabitha also choreograph brillant story lines. That may have been the best Wade Robson dance I've EVER seen last night, with the crash test dummies. But my new favorite couple this year, based on auditions and this first episode, is Randi Evans and Evan Kasprzak.

I have a feeling that they will deliver on dances of all styles and that I will grow to love their chemistry as much as Benji and Donyelle of yester year.

This is going to be a great season! I LOVE summer!

09 June 2009

Tri for Fun (Scott's First Post)

Sure, maybe before or after the event you can refer to it as the "Tri for Fun" but I don't dare disclose how I referred to this race during the actual event. My internal monologue during the triathlon went something like this, "What have I gotten myself into? I drove 9 hours for this? Okay, time for the resting backstroke for a little bit. What, I just got passed by a girl on the bike! Maybe if I walk for a little then I'll get a little boost. I'm never going to do this again! C'mon, just a little bit farther. Oh, that wasn't so bad!" I did the race with my brother Steve, his wife Sara, my sister Amy, my dad, and my bishop from my home ward. Anything for a little family time, right? Well, here are some of the highlights from the race.

We thought we had gotten there early enough but after registering, getting our numbers written on us, setting up our transition area, and changing into our wetsuits (not a problem for my dad who wore his wetsuit to the event) we found that we only had a couple of minutes left till the race started. It was as Steve and I were mozying down to the water's edge, talking about how to put my swim cap on, that we heard "On your mark, get set, go!" Steve said, "That's us. Let's go!" Without any further hesitation the race that I had prepared 5 months for had finally begun. I thought I was in decent shape because for the first 50 yards I had kept up with my brother. One big gulp of water later and I would never catch him the rest of the race. As I swam I remembered how my siblings told me that I'd be trampled over during the swim. I must have been doing alright since I hadn't touched anybody in route to the first buoy. As I looked up from my freestyle I saw that I had swam about 25 meters off course from the rest of the swimmers, which is why I hadn't had contact with anybody. I was in the middle of the swim course! That's when I knew it was going to be a long day. The day got a little longer in the water as I was trampled over by the next 2 heats that took off after me. But hey, atleast I didn't drown or grab on to a canoe.

I took my sweet little time drying off in the transition area and trying to regain my composure from the swim. Not before long I was onto the 16 mile bike ride, which took place through rolling hills. I remember my dad advising me to strip off all the bike accessories so that I wouldn't have to lug around any extra weight. It wasn't till after I had gotten on the bike that I realized that the accessories he was referring to shouldn't have included my water bottle! Occassionally I would pass water bottles that people in front of me had dropped and it was offly tempting to get out of stride and pick-up one of them. . . .especially the gatorade filled ones. Overall my biking wasn't too bad and I even found myself passing people on the way up the hill (that my sister-in-law was dreading) back to the transition area.

As I got off the bike and changed into my running shoes I began to test my legs to see if they were like jello. They weren't! I was alright then, right? A half mile later I found myself walking a stretch in order to catch my breath and convince my body to keep going past it's breaking point. This wall probably occurred since I never exceeded an hour and a half of exercise during my training. As I approached the mile and a half turn-around I was convinced that I was going to have to walk again, but then I caught a second wind and had a good stride to the finish. Finally I made my way to the finish line, ending up with a time of 1:48:13 which was behind bishop and my brother but in front of the rest of the group.

Well, check that off my list of things to do. I was convinced that I would never do this again; the training is awesome but the race is a killer. However, I've received new motivation to do another one, and soon. My dad can't stop talking about how he was only 10 minutes behind his son who is half his age and size. He says he has a 10 chain paper link at home and whenever he feels like he gains a minute on me then he cuts off one of the links. Well, the following Monday I was back on the bike with new motivation. I've got pictures of my dad hanging from the bathroom mirror and looking at me on the bike. Looks like August will be my next shot.

Obama Climbs the Pyramids

I recognize this post is a tad late, considering that Obama spoke at Cairo University last week, however I need to live up to my I HEART Obama t-shirt and blog about the controversy.

As always, Obama's speaking abilities are very impressive. He has some inspirational writers on his staff and some sweet skills with a teleprompter. His speaking covered the assets of the Middle East and Islamic world as well as the points of contention between us.

"We meet at a time of great tension between the United States and Muslims around the world, tension rooted in historical forces that go beyond any current policy debate...the sweeping change brought by modernity and globalization led many Muslims to view the West as hostile to the traditions of Islam..."

"All this has bred more fear and more mistrust. So long as our relationship is defined by our differences, we will empower those who sow hatred rather than peace, those who promote conflict rather than the cooperation that can help all of our people achieve justice and prosperity. And this cycle of suspicion and discord must end."

He said he came to Cairo to start a new beginning between the Muslim world and the United States, but knew that words were not sufficient to inact change.

"I do so recognizing that change cannot happen overnight. I know there's been a lot of publicity about this speech, but no single speech can eradicate years of mistrust nor can I answer in the time that I have this afternoon all the complex questions that brought us to this point."

He spoke of policies that have begun since his inauguration and policies to be submitted. He encourage the rising generation to "re-image" the world to their liking and to look being stereotypes.

While his visit was seemingly impactful for me - meeting and speaking with the Islamic world in Cairo to discuss a much needed truce - I was more interested in how the Middle East and Islamic communities reacted to his discourse. As I watched PBS this last weekend, it appeared that American Muslims were impressed with how much Obama new about Islamic history and great achievements of the race. Reactions within the states were positive, but they also emphasized Obama's point that words are only a beginning.

Reactions outside the United States seemed mixed and leaning more towards unbelief. Iranian leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, continued to snub the US openly in public square propaganda speeches. Many are skeptical.

I was surprised to see today that the media world is still reacting to Obama's speech, or maybe just discovering new perceptions for other regions. If you've heard feedback on Obama's Cairo speech that I haven't mentioned, let me know.

08 June 2009

BFF Day is June 8... Today!

I admit that I didn't know it was BFF Day or that there even was a BFF day until Delilah came on the radio at work and announced that you could Tweet a BFF message on Times Square in NYC today. Well, this isn't that cool, but I'd like to send out a holla to my Best Friend Forever... Maura Bukey Lansford! Maura is a new auntie this month. Isn't she gorgeous! When are we going to garden, already?!

Scott can be my runner-up BFF! :)

03 June 2009

BYU and the Ragin' Invasion

A couple days after coming back from vacation, BYU sponsored a Campus Showcase event to help employees understand the resources available to them around campus. The University mission and goals were displayed, and associations across campus demonstrated what's available to students after graduation. There was a lot of food brought from all of the dining services and catering across campus (maybe more scrumptious that I had previously remembered campus food to be). And of course, all employees had a chance to take a picture with Cosmo!

So here I am with the Alumni t-shirt that I won in a Blinko! game and our strong, creepy mascot.

Taking my free t-shirt, I headed back to work, totally unaware of the tempest of giggles and poses that awaited me - and I don't mean the BYU cheer squad.

EFY has officially begun and has swarmed every resource on campus. You cannot leave the building without having to avoid awkward teenagers reciting EFY cheers or pick-up sports games to pass the time waiting for the next workshop. I'm now under the impression that 15 year-olds have never been taught or taken the time to practice accurate frisbee throwing. I've had to duck and maneuver from many a rogue frisbee and football on my trips to and from the office.

This is not the only cause of concern for the rising generation. For some reason, EFY boys think that they are being uniquely funny if they open up office doors in the Wilkinson Student Center to thank everyone for the wonderful job they are doing, or knock on the window to wave hello. Little do they know that that happens at least twice a day, for every four days that an EFY group is on campus. So I'm positive that by the end of the summer I will be telling these kids that I am not having a good day as long as they are knocking on my window for half of it.

Yet... I feel bad for these poor little EFYers. I can relate! I was actually here, on BYU campus in 2001, to attend EFY myself. I remember that in every clique of young men, there's always one who hasn't quite reached puberty and is significantly shorter than the other boys. I remember how girls make fools of themselves doing what they THINK will impress the young men. I remember having to link arms with particularly sweaty young gentlemen. Utah is hot! I remember...

Thus I try to avoid going outside, commenting to EFY kiddos' comments, or randomly jumping into their photographs of BYU scenery. I will let them live in their naive world where they believe the whole campus belongs to them... because someone did that for me not too long ago and I didn't grow up to be half bad, right?

01 June 2009

Picture from Orlando

Here's a picture that my mom took of Scott and I at the Rainforest Cafe in Orlando, Fl. It was raining the whole time we were there, minus four hours of sunshine of which we took full advantage.

I'm feeling a desperate need for a hair cut if anyone has any suggestions for a good stylist...