Sunday, August 29, 2010

Proud Puppy Parents

We refuse to be one of those couples who refers to their dog as their "baby." We also try to limit the number of times we mention J-dog in casual conversation to two [relatable to the topic] stories---a rule that we sometimes bend when in the company of other dog lovers and/or veterinary students. We understand that not everyone is going to think our precocious little fur-ball is as amazing as we do. (I wouldn't say their opinion is wrong, per say, but...)

All that being said, and with the disclaimer that if you could care less about our dog then you're more than welcome to sit this one out with no hard feelings, I feel compelled to share:

J-dog is weirdly smart.

I'll admit, when he was younger we weren't so sure he would be. Mostly because he was (and continues to be) incredibly awkward and clumsy. He's like the geeky band kid with allergies, who people find endearing
and entertaining to make fun of. And yes, our hypoallergenic poodle has allergies---the irony is not lost on us.

However, despite tripping over his own feet and unsuccessfully attempting to impress the other dogs at the dog park with his strange boxing/goose-stepping playful maneuvers, he continues to surprise us with his brains.

For example, I have this special ring tone for when the hubster calls my cell ("No One's Gonna Love You" by Band of Horses, if you're curious), and Dr. D will frequently call me when he's on his way home. J-dog eventually learned Dr. D's ring tone, so whenever he heard it, he would do a couple laps around the living room, look out the window for a few seconds, and then go wait by the door for Dr. D to get home. That is itself was pretty cool, but then recently when I was playing some music on my laptop and "No One's Gonna Love You" came on, J-dog---who had been sound asleep---startled awake and ran over to the couch where Dr. D was sitting. Confused, he looked from Dr. D, to my laptop, and then back to Dr. D as if to say "But you're already HERE!"

The thing that prompted me to write this post, though, is that J-dog has recently mastered a very delicate, very environmentally-friendly trick...

That's right. Homedog can turn off a light switch.

Note that I say "off" and not "off and on." I'm mean, let's be real... It just wouldn't be environmentally responsible to give the dog the ability to waste energy. This isn't some cheap parlor trick. I'd like to be able call him up at home when Dr. D and I are on vacation and be like, "J-dog, I forgot to turn off the bathroom light. Can you take care of that for me?"

We all need to do our part, people.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Lithe of the Thung

"Mah thung huths."

Choosing to break the studious quiet surrounding our collective couch + textbook lounging this evening, I decide I just can't take it any more. I must be quite a sight to the startled Dr. D, with my tongue extended to its fullest length, looking down at it accusingly (while simultaneously cross-eyed).

"I'm sorry?"

I'm not really able to tell whether his response is out of empathy or misunderstanding, so I trudge on with my chief complaint.

"Ih huths. Iss gah uh bump." Thinking it might help illustrate my point, I dance the tip of my tongue around a bit and then point to the small swollen bump on the end. "Wha iss ih?"

Let's pause a moment to remember that Dr. D has only just started his second rotation in his third year of med school, and ob-gyn probably hasn't taught him a whole lot about tongue maladies at this point. And then let's remember that non-medical types tend to ignore the reality that future doctors have to actually go to many years of school before they are experts, and therefore we expect med students to know everything. Thus, the wife confronting her med student husband with a irritated, wagging tongue and growing ever-expectant of an explanation.

"Oooh... I don't know. But I hate those things."

Slightly disappointed, but appreciative of the honesty (since he very easily could have said "Oh no! Tonguitis!" and I would have freaked), I put my tongue back in my mouth and try to focus on not running the irritated bump along the back of my teeth as I have been for the past hour. Resolved to get to the bottom of this, and fresh out of my Dr. D lifeline, I turn to the next best thing: Google.

This is one of those searches that you kind of have to agonize over the proper phrasing before hitting the search button, lest you find yourself facing horrific pictures of bumpy, diseased tongues.

I decided on "what is it called when a bump on your tongue gets swollen?" and managed to avoid seeing any STD-laden mouths, thank you very much.

So, friends, I present you with what I learned today:

When one of those little bumps on your tongue (called fungiform papillae--they are NOT "taste buds") gets swollen and irritated, it's called "Transient Lingual Papillitis." But of course it's abbreviated to TLP because who in their right mind has the time to say anything in its entirety any more?

TLP is usually caused by some sort of accidental trauma to the area, like biting, scraping, or rubbing---or in my case, probably when I stabbed my tongue with a crispy samosa at lunch today---and they last a day or two. (In my best "fast disclaimer at the end of a drug commercial" voice: Ifsymptomspersistlongerthanoneweekpleaseconsultyourdoctor.) Also, TLP tends to get further irritated when people end up mindlessly messing around with the bump in their mouths, which I just realized I'm doing right now. Dangit.

And get this: apparently TLP is more commonly known as "lie bumps." I've never heard of this before, have you? I guess it's a wives' tale that a person gets one of these bumps after they've been telling lies. Subsequently, I'm kind of annoyed by the phrase "wives' tale," which seems to imply that wives are frequently giving misguided and false information--how am I only just now thinking about this? Now my tongue is irritated and I'm annoyed by patriarchy.

What a night.

Monday, August 23, 2010

It's got antioxidants, right?

The way I see it, I deserve it. I've earned it.

It has been a long couple of weeks--I can't tell you how much restraint I just had to apply to avoid cramming about a hundred more o's into the word "long." I'm talking twelve-hour work days for many, many days in a row. Yes, I'm aware of the apparent insensitivity of that statement, coming from a person married to an almost-doctor... but holy shmokes, y'all, I'm just not cut out for that much action. Especially not when 85% of those hours are spent meeting, organizing, and entertaining new people and partaking in an endless amount of ice-breakers and team-builders. My inner introvert weeps from exhaustion.

Aside from running myself ragged, however, it's been quite a successful August thus far, and I'm tickled pink with the way things are going at work. That's why I felt completely justified in treating myself to what I had coming to me this weekend.

What's that, you might ask? Why, copious amounts of chocolate. That's what.

How can I possibly explain my love for chocolate? Let's just say, if my love for Dr. D is infinite (which, duh, it is), and my love for chocolate is a mere fraction of that infinity... it's still infinite, right? I mean, I'm no mathematician. But yeah. Chocolate is pretty great.

I found this cookie recipe at, and I have a feeling it'll make it into the regular rotation. I made them with an egg substitute per usual, and they are exactly what I wanted (and earned!) after these past weeks. The hubster is also fond of them, so that's an added bonus. Let me know if you try this one out, and enjoy.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, beat butter, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; stir into the butter mixture until well blended. Mix in the chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes in the preheated oven, or just until set. Cool slightly on the cookie sheets before transferring to wire racks to cool completely. Makes approximately 48 cookies.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

This is only a test.

Tonight marks my triumphant return to the blogoverse, as my past two weeks of hard work and long hours have finally culminated into the busiest day of the year for my job. Let's just say this day was to me as Black Friday is to retailers. The day is now over---so sayeth the cool beverage in my hand and the warm company of my husband, both of which I'm enjoying on my couch, J-dog at my feet.

You may now return to your regularly scheduled programming.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Adenosine Blockage Bliss

Well, it's happened. I've become one of those people I used to look at with with a blend of pity and superiority, biting my lip in an "Oooh you poor, pitiful thing" manner while inwardly counting my blessings that I wasn't in their boat.

No, I'm not talking about about people with neck acne ("neckne," as I like to call it), or people who drive PT Cruisers.

I'm talking about the people I would see every morning with a death-grip around their coffee mugs, clutching it with white knuckles and the faintest hint of a snarl, as if the world or--
gasp--"The MAN" were out to pry it from their sleep-deprived fingers.

Caffeine junkies. Caf-heads. I am one of them now, and I'm afraid my dear Dr. D is only enabling.

It started, as these things so often do, with my gateway poison: Diet Coke. Truthfully, I wasn't even out for the caffeine fix; it was much more recreational than that--I just liked the way it tasted with pizza. And then I really liked the way it tasted with sandwiches... and then with salads... and pretzels... and then with my morning bagel. Uh oh, we might have a problem. Nahhhh, what's a few Diet Cokes a day among friends? There's not
that much caffeine in them. I could totally quit cold-turkey at any time. I mean it's not like I'm a coffee drinker, right?

Right. Essentially. Well... I mean I wasn't. Not until my coffee-drinking, med student of a husband brought this into our home:

THAT, my friends, is an Aerolatte milk frother. THAT is a contributing factor to the reality that I am now so dependent on caffeine that I get headaches if I somehow manage to avoid it during my day. I must have caffeine--that magical, adenosine-blocking chemical (so Dr. D tells me)--or my head starts pounding and I begin grunting like a caveman. Dag

This little hand-held whirlygig makes the most delightful lattes--a heavenly cloud of frothy goodness atop a perfectly sweetened, deliciously caffeinated pool of liquid warmth.* I love it. It's horrible.

You should get one... or save me from myself. I think I'd be happy with either outcome.

*Nope, I'm not sponsored by them or anything... I'm just that smitten.

Monday, August 2, 2010

M3: Commence!

I would start this entry by apologizing for the week-long update hiatus, but that's a pretty dangerous path to head down considering that life has a pesky habit of happening and this very well may not be the last time I am absent for so long. So I guess I'm sorry for not being sorry. Can we still be friends?

Anyway, two big things have happened for us in the past week (more specifically pertaining to Dr. D, but you know how it goes... married to a med student, his struggles/triumphs/business are my struggles/triumphs/business, blah blah blah, love love love).

The first big thing is that Dr. D got his Step 1 board scores back (!!!). Waiting for his scores was kind of like waiting for Christmas, except that this Christmas we weren't sure if Santa was bringing us peace of mind or something truly horrible, like a clown a la
It. Thankfully, Dr. D's scores are very good; no hellish harlequins around these parts. Honestly, it is taking all of my willpower not to brag my hubs up one side and down the other--he gets very embarrassed when I do. Med students tend to be fairly tight-lipped about actual score numbers unless they are are posting on anonymous forums, so I'll respect Dr. D's privacy, put down the personal cheerleader pom-poms, and just vague it up by saying: I'm so proud of him.

The second big thing that's happened is the beginning of Dr. D's third year of medical school (or "M3" as they call it, because obviously even pre-doctors are too busy to verbalize superfluous syllables). Holy schmo, how quickly the first two years have passed! This year marks the beginning of Dr. D's core medical rotations--in other words, goodbye classroom and hello sick people. Each rotation is between 4 and 12 weeks (most are 8), and they're basically crash-courses in how to be a "(fill in the blank)" doctor. The idea is that each med student will get a little taste of each of the specialties which will, in theory, help them solidify their future specialization plans. For some, it will just confuse them more. Only time will tell...

Dr. D's first rotation is in family medicine. It happens to be only 4 weeks long but also has one of the more notoriously difficult shelf exams, which are standardized tests that med students have to pass after every rotation in order to prove that they learned everything they were supposed to. I don't think family medicine was ever a specialty that Dr. D was seriously considering, but I think he's really enjoying himself. The doctor he's assigned to is great, and the hours are very reasonable--probably about 40 hours per week compared to the 60ish that some of the med students in internal medicine are doing right now. It isn't exactly the flashiest or sexiest specialty ("sexy" in the doctor sense, meaning blood, projectile bodily fluids, infectious diseases and rare cases) but Dr. D managed to get a scalpel in his hands in the first week to conduct a minor procedure, so I'm thinking he just may have a little crush on family med... call it woman's intuition. I'll allow it.

So that's a little update on the med student in my life. In other news, I have a gigantic itchy bug bite on my wrist (a consequence of our rediscovered social life, which we gladly reclaimed by grilling outdoors with friends last night--totally worth it!) and typing is tickling the heck out of it, so I'm gonna splitsville. Happy August!