ted-pillow

Ted Pillow

Ted Pillow is a regular contributor to Thought Catalog, and has written for The Awl, PopMatters, and Slacktory. His collected writing can be found at Fanny Pack Spectacular! He tweets @TedPillow.

http://fannypackspectacular.wordpress.com/author/tedpillow/

16 Tips for Being Cool At Med School Parties

1. Follow any thematic guidelines provided by the people throwing the party — nobody likes someone who shows up empty-handed or out-of-costume. If it’s BYOB, bring your own beer. If it’s a toga party, wear a toga. If it’s a search party, bring a flash light and tempered expectations. 2. Everyone knows that if you go to prison, you need to show everyone you’re tough and can take care of yourself right off the bat. Usually this is done by beating up the first guy who messes with you. Well, being cool at a party works the same way — you need to show how cool you are as soon as you walk in the door. One method is to show up already wasted, like “Who needs a party? I’m cool drug-addicted guy!” Another is to walk up to the coolest person already at the party and just do a really elaborate magic trick. WARNING: Do not combine these two strategies. Drunken magic, while cool, can be very dangerous. 3. Don’t start conversations with, “A/S/L?” 4. Don’t bring your mom. Like, don’t even let her wait in the car. But if you do, take my advice and remember to roll the windows down. 5. You know how you usually feel like sobbing during social gatherings because you feel so unmistakably alone? How you are inescapably struck by the futility of meaningful...

5 Reasons To Start Listening To Podcasts

1. You don’t want to listen to slayer on your morning commute. There was this guy who lived on my floor freshman year of college who casually admitted that he didn’t “really like listening to music.” Everyone thought this was equal parts hilarious and bizarre, as well as a potential warning sign that we lived amongst a future serial killer, but I still think of him whenever I’m not in the mood for tunes. Although modern technology allows us to put music in our ear holes pretty much 24/7, there are plenty of times (that dreaded morning commute comes to mind) when I’m too busy idly contemplating suicide to deal with the emotional demands of a song. In fact, the pleasant distractions of an engaging conversation are just about the only thing I can tolerate until about noon. This was presumably the thought process behind morning talk radio shows, but thankfully most podcasts aren’t hosted by the kind of wacky, prank-calling “shock jocks” that make you want to careen your car into oncoming traffic. 2. There’s a podcast for everything. The internet has obliterated any semblance of subculture, exposing the underground (all vulnerable and exposed like an unready, shriveled penis) to the light of the mainstream. Gone are the days of tape-trading, obscure message boards, the fear that you might be the only one – now every possible niche,...

The 4 Kinds Of New Year’s Resolutions, All Of Which Suck

Your New Year’s resolution is stupid and I hate it. Don’t take offense – I hate everyone’s New Year’s resolutions (including my own, which is to stop hating everything). Anyway, it’s not your fault: it’s impossible to make a good New Year’s resolution, unless you’re one of those people who can take a long look in the mirror and come up with a pearl of wisdom like, “Maybe I should stop doing so much Angel Dust.” There are essentially only four kinds of New Year’s resolutions and all of them are inherently terrible. They are shaped by two factors: practicality and desirability. Group #1: Impractical, Undesirable You don’t hear a lot of impractical, undesirable New Year’s resolutions, for obvious reasons. Then again, maybe we should try some of these out, as the other three clearly aren’t working either. Some examples of impractical and undesirable resolutions include: • This year, I will scream directly in the face of every person I encounter. • This year, I will gain a tremendous amount of weight and counter this weight gain by purchasing a series of increasingly smaller-sized coats. • This year, I will forget how to read (making medical school an increasingly difficult task). Group #2: Practical, Undesirable This is where the majority of resolutions foolishly fall. Let’s take running a marathon for example. Most people, with the proper mindset and dedication,...

The 5 Stages of Med School Interview Grief

1. Denial No. No, that did not just happen. Did I really just say my biggest inspiration in life was Carly Rae Jepsen? No; and I also couldn’t possibly have said that my biggest career goal was to “get rich or die tryin’.” No one in their right mind would say these horrible things during a med school interview. He couldn’t have noticed how much I was sweating, could he? Oh god, but he shook my hand… he must have felt how disgustingly sweaty my palms were. Christ, that must have been like shaking hands with an armpit. When he asked what my biggest flaw was, I’m pretty sure I said, “Booze… jk!” I actually said “jk” out loud, didn’t I? Did I fart? I think I farted. I think I blacked out in there. No, no. There was no med school interview. What interview? 2. Anger Then again, it might have gone a little better if the interviewer hadn’t been such an jerk. “Oh, look at me. I interview and my shirts sleeves aren’t too short for my arms, like this stupid beady-eyed guy I’m interviewing! I’m so cool!” Well, excuse me! Sorry I couldn’t think of a time where I worked as part of a team to solve a problem like you wanted me to. I guess I’m not even good enough for an entry-level job licking...

26 Things I Learned During My First Year of Real Employment

Whether it’s your first year out of med school or you’re taking a year or two to work between undergrad and medical school, there is a lot to learn in the real working world. And, for those of you still in school, you can get a head start on some of this insightful wisdom… 1. Bank account balances can be comprised of more than two digits. 2. Once you determine exactly when you need to wake up to make it to work on time, you will get out of bed at that precise moment every day with no time to spare. For example, I get out of bed 31 minutes before work starts. Not 30 minutes; 30 minutes is not enough time. Waking up 30 minutes before work starts is a crisis. 3. Exactly which holidays are federal holidays and which are just the stupid ones. As a doctor, you’ll be working on both but the real ones give you slightly more FOMO. 4. I appreciate my free time so, so much more. When I was an undergraduate in college, I had seemingly inconceivable amounts of free time — when I look back on it, it’s astonishing. I think I actually transcended the space-time continuum with the amount of unstructured, obligation-free time that I had. What did I use it for? I created a fake NFL team in Madden...

That Time Disney Made a Video About Menstruation

I hope I can talk about this bizarre cartoon without coming across as a stereotypical male regarding menstruation, i.e. as confused and frightened by the intricacies of the female body, visibly cringing at the mere mention of words like “period” or “tampon.” Female readers: I assure you, it’s really not the menstruation aspect of this video that freaks me out! (Okay, well maybe when the womb is described by the creepy narrator as a “hollow, pear-shaped organ.” That part kind of freaked me out.) No, it’s more that I’m disturbed by the portrait of femininity painted by this “Walt Disney Production through the Courtesy of Kotex Products,” a sexless 1946 educational video shown in schools throughout the country. The video’s main thrust is to assure girls that they will be able to carry on their lives as usual during their period, provided that said lives consist of dusting the living room, looking in the mirror, and going on dates. Disney’s thoughts on what it means to be a woman (in 1940s America, at least) are more revealingly depicted in this 10-minute video than in endless reels of fairy tale movies. Personally, it’ll be hard for me to think of animated Disney classics like “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” or “Cinderella” again without mentally recalling the phrase “Mother Nature controls many of our routine bodily processes through automatic control...

Inspirational Quotes For Living In Your 20s

“I can’t dislike you, but I will say this to you: you haven’t got long before you are all going to kill yourselves, because you are all crazy. And you can project it back at me, but I am only what lives inside each and every one of you.” – Charles Manson “Every man has inside himself a parasitic being who is acting not at all to his advantage.” – Ronald Reagan “You’ve had your whole fucking life to think things over. What good’s a few minutes more gonna do you now?” – Excerpt from The Shining, as delivered by a crazed Jack Nicholson “The cadaver’s pubes have a cowlick.” – Excerpt from Elvis Presley’s autopsy “There are lesions on the legions…” – Walt Disney “My psychiatrist told me I was crazy and I said I want a second opinion. He said okay, you’re ugly too.” – Rodney Dangerfield “They all feel the need for something. What we sense after the film is that the natural sources of pleasure have been replaced with higher-octane substitutes, which have burnt out the ability to feel joy. Going through the motions of what once gave them escape, they feel curiously trapped.” – Excerpt from Roger Ebert’s review of The Ice Storm “Did I do that?” – Urkel, overheard while watching footage of Tiananmen Square “If one commits the act of sodomy with a cow,...