Sunday, May 13, 2007

Product Reviews: Mother's Day Edition

It's time again for non-professional product reviews. If you schlubs want me to review your book or your product or your salted pistachios, you gotta email me. Until that time, I review what I got.

Cutting Remarks: Insights and Recollections of a Surgeon, by Sidney M. Schwab, MD.

Sid is known to most of us as Dr. Sid, the proprietor and author of Surgeonsblog. Here he collects stories and cautionary tales from his training as a general surgeon (1970-76, UCSF). I have three words for you:

Buy this book.

More accessible than Oliver Sacks, funnier by far than Atul Gawande, totally devoid of snarky ego, and a fascinating insight into how surgeons are made and how they evolve. Buy this book. Read it. If you work with surgeons, read it again. Stick little bits of torn-up paper in between the pages you find particularly interesting, as I did. Keep it by the bedside.

I once reviewed a book here and had hellish trouble finding anything nice to say about it. I am now having hellish trouble not fawning over Cutting Remarks. Sid neither suggested I review this book, nor did he send me boxes full of cheese curds and poutine gravy. I'm doing it on my own.

Verdict: Buy the damned book already. If we're lucky, he'll write another one.

Everybody's Nuts Roasted and Salted Pistachios

The back of every Everybody's Nuts box contains a vignette about pistachios. They are less interesting than the nuts themselves. The nuts are big, as advertised; open, as advertised; crunchy and salty and easy to eat. I have a bag of them next to me right now.

Verdict: Recommended.

Land's End Women's Sleeveless Super-T

Extremely soft. The sleeve-less-es are wide enough that your bra straps don't hang out, and the neck is low enough that you avoid the Enormo Neck Problem (especially if you're me and have more trapezoids than neck). No show-through, even with the white ones. I'm five-foot-two, a size 12/14, and the large fits perfectly. It falls to the bottom of my butt while covering the sides of my bra at the arm holes.

Verdict: Why get anything else? Volume discounts so you can show off your guns in different brilliant colors.

How To Cook A Wolf, M.F.K. Fisher

This is the cookbook Fisher wrote (and later revised) for World War II shortages and rationing. You won't want to attempt most of the recipes here, but she does have excellent advice on how to deal when you got no money, no cheese, no butter.

Her best advice? Carry a (filled) flask with you at all times in case the air-raid sirens go off. That way you'll be set for several hours if you end up in a dark basement with strangers. I would follow this advice daily, since I deal with the dark-basement-and-strangers thing routinely, but I'd get fired.

Verdict: A good read, but optional.

Mirena intrauterine contraceptive

Not A Cramp In A Carload!

I had this bad boy installed on Wednesday. I won't lie: the insertion hurt like a sonofabitch, because I haven't had kids. I have not, however, had any trouble since. Days 1 and 2 I took ibuprofen to control the cramps and have not taken any since then.

It's good for five years and is for both multiparous and nulliparous women. It does *not* protect against STDs and can, in fact, raise the chances of a woman getting PID if she has multiple partners. The Mirena releases hormones that thin the uterine lining, making it a good choice for women who have heavy periods or lots of cramps.

My Mom

The best in the bunch. If you haven't had the opportunity to hang out with My Mom, you're missing out. My Mom is the finest-quality Mom available on the market currently; she uses less electricity than other Moms to accomplish the same tasks. She can also be left by herself for long periods in used bookstores without adverse consequences. My Mom should not be submersed in water for long periods of time. Hand wash with mild soap and hang to dry.

Verdict: You who don't have My Mom are big ol' losers.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!


Yr sis said...

I have Your Mom. That's because she is My Mom as well. By no means is she completely immersible for extended periods, but 95% immersion is possible indefinitely and does not void the warranty.

Sid Schwab said...

"Sid neither suggested I review this book, neither did he send me boxes full of cheese curds and poutine gravy. I'm doing it on my own."

Nevertheless, I'll say here and now I much appreciate the kind words. I am, of course, in full agreement.

Sid Schwab

L said...

Hope you continue to enjoy your Mirena. I freaking LOVE's got to be the best thing ever invented. Worry-free contraception and I haven't menstruated since Jan. 2006. Super!