Thursday, September 30, 2010


The little thing that I'm appreciating today isn't really so little when you think about all it encompasses. And truth be told, it's really always been a big part of our lives---for Dr. D and me---both individually and as a couple. We both grew up with parents who were passionate about it, and it was probably one of the biggest catalysts of our friendship as kids and eventual budding relationship as teens.

Today, I find myself thankful for the awesomeness that is music.

I'm not going to go all indie and music-elitist on you by dropping names of obscure bands and critiquing artists or arguing my points for "greatest band of all time ever in the history of any sounds ever made and--oh, you've never heard of them? that's because they're TOO GOOD FOR YOUUUUUuuuuuu

Gosh, that's just annoying.

No, instead I decided tonight to take a memory lane stroll through my CDs (what?! who still has those?) and mp3s (some from way back when Napster was free---a story I'll one day share with my grandchildren, no doubt) and remember to appreciate all of the memories and emotions that come along with them. Here are some musical memories that I found myself reliving tonight:
  • Taping songs off of the radio in the '90s, like Selena's "Dreaming of You" and that "I've Got the POWAHH!" song, then blasting them from my boombox repeatedly as I shot baskets on my driveway.
  • Buying a used CD of Salt-N-Pepa's Very Necessary at the age of 13 and spending an entire afternoon memorizing the lyrics to "Shoop"... and having no real idea what any of it meant.
  • Going through an entire phase in high school where I would only listen to Me First And the Gimme Gimme's punk rock covers. I can't imagine what my father must have thought the first time he heard their version of Paul Simon's "Me and Julio." Sorry, Dad.
  • The mixture of elation and fear-of-suffocation I felt, finding myself pinned between the stage barrier and a 17 year old Dr. D (who, bless him, was doing his very best to shield me from the bone-crushing mosh pit) as I rocked out at my first Foo Fighters concert. Dave Grohl sweated on me during a particularly violent head-banging sesh as he played "Stacked Actors." No big deal.
  • Walking through the desert dark amidst a glittering sea of plastic water bottles littering the ground in Indio, CA, after Spoon wrapped up the first day of my first festival concert experience. I can still remember the beautiful buzzing in my ears.
  • During my senior year of college: watching Jenny Lewis jump around stage in sequined gold hotpants, banging on a cowbell, and thinking, "I want to be her right now."
  • Waiting arm-in-arm with my father on a breezy summer day, listening to Sufjan Steven's "Chicago" on the garden air and watching some of the most important people in my life file into places, waiting for my turn to finally walk down that aisle. Thinking contentedly and joyfully, "Finally, this is where I am meant to be."
Really, music has shaped my experiences and memories innumerably over the years. And that's why revisiting some of those times has made this week especially awesome.

Anyway, I tossed a few of the aforementioned songs/artists in my handy little sidebar o' music. Enjoy.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


This is yet another little thing that makes this week awesome, and needs no explanation.

Aspergillus fumigatus!


Today, I sliced my hand on my droptop's protruding, jagged battle wound AND there was an active shooter on a campus in Texas, which is one of my all-time worst fears ever since I work at a university. The latter has a way of putting the former into perspective.

Even so, I am still bound and determined to enjoy the little things this week, so here's your daily dose of awesome:

Who doesn't love a baby pygmy marmoset? Sometimes when I'm stressed out, I need to focus on something cute and fuzzy (as evidenced by my pressure/puppy paradox), and this little guy definitely does the trick. I mean really, how freaking fantastic are these little creatures?

In related news, J-dog's latest haircut has him looking like a howler monkey/poodle hybrid. Hmm.

Monday, September 27, 2010

This Week is Awesome

Actually, it's kind of not. At all. Coming off of a nice, relaxing weekend, it's hard to look at the week ahead and realize my plate is fuller than a hungry college student at an all-you-can eat sushi buffet.

And, I dropped my laptop. Droptop, yo.

It's still functional, just aesthetically marred. I think it's lost a bit of self-esteem... and there's a jagged bit that cuts into my wrist when I type now.

Needless to say, I'm in need of a bit of a pick-me-up, so I've decided: This week is awesome.

This week, I plan to pay attention to the little things that put a smile on my face. As I get older, I'm finding it so easy to look past the little things in life and focus on my proverbial "plate" (which--much to my chagrin--is not full of sushi, but responsibilities). So this week, I'm going to be extra intentional about enjoying the gosh-darn heck out of the little things. My hope is that they will indeed make this week awesome.

Therefore, I present you with the first "little thing" that is making this week awesome:

Why, Mrs. Dr. D, are those... California socks?! Yes. Yes they are.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

An apple a day...

Thank goodness that's a cliché and not a fact of life, because I'd rather not keep Dr. D away, but I am currently in possession of a LOT of apples.

There are two indicators that fall is upon us here in the Midwest. The first: my allergies are going berserk because they're digging up all the gosh darn fields without any consideration of my personal well being or sanity. Height of rudeness.

Ah, but the second is much more pleasant. The apple harvest is ready, which means it was go-time this weekend for what has become one of our favorite fall pastimes---apple picking!

Even I'll admit, I wasn't sold on this whole idea when we first moved here. The fact that I was supposed to pay to pick my own apples, which were probably kind of dented and not nearly as nice looking as the ones I could just go pick up at the store... well, it just didn't sit well with me at first. But after my first trip, I was a convert.

Not only were there tons of different kinds of apples to pick (who knew they had names other than "red" and "green"?), but it was my first introduction to the world of apple products. [allow me to apologize for the lack of iPod, Phone, or Pad jokes here... those creative apple juices just aren't flowing. Heh.]

I won't run the risk of sounding too much like Bubba the shrimp fisher from Forrest Gump by naming them all here, but do you all have ANY IDEA just how many delicious things can be made with apples? I thought I had a pretty good grasp on it, but I was sorely mistaken upon setting foot in the market at the orchard. Among the standouts are apple butter and balsamic apple reduction, but the thing that's been bringing us back every fall has got to be the apple donuts. Yum.

So now I've got a bushel---or is it a peck?---of apples in the kitchen and a world of recipe possibilities. However shall I choose?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Dweebs & Weird Smells

These are completely unrelated topics, despite what you may think. One medical, one less so. Can you guess which is which?

First up: I am still coughing. After hacking for a couple weeks, I finally dragged my stubborn self to the non-husband, actual MD-having doctor, who proceeded to tell me that I have exactly what my actual-husband, not yet MD-having Dr. D told me I have. I am equal parts annoyed and impressed.

Mr. RealMD did, however, offer up the hypothesis that perhaps the aggravated coughing symptoms I encounter frequently when I get colds may have to do with me being asthmatic, to which my reply was "Aw, maaaaaaan... I thought I grew out of that geeky inhaler crapola!"

Turns out, probably not. I am now the proud owner of two new inhalers, which I plan to bedazzle with rhinestones in defiance of their innate dweeby-kid connotation. It'll catch on, just you wait... dweeb/diva chic. Dweeva.

It took all of my willpower not to make some quip to Mr. RealMD about how I obviously didn't drink enough urine as an embryo. (Confused? Read this.)

In other news, allow me to share with you a snippet from my evening at home with Dr. D:

Cuddling in front of the kitchen sink after dinner dishes, as we are often prone to do, I noticed a faint but distinctly smoky smell on my husband's clothes.

"Were you hanging out with a smoker today?" I said accusingly, appalled by the notion that the physician Dr. D is assigned to for his current rotation might actually be crazy enough to puff on the ol' cancer stick.

Dr. D leaned back from me slightly, looking confused. "No...," he said, trailing off and obviously thinking back on his day.

And then his face fell into a half smile, half grimace. "Oh. Gross."

It took me a few seconds longer, but finally the part of our dinner conversation when we shared what we did that day came rushing back to me. More notably, the part where Dr. D told me all about the procedures he got to assist today... mainly, the one where they cauterized flesh repeatedly.

Yeah, gross.

Monday, September 6, 2010

MM 101, Lesson 4: The Danger of Differentials

Over the past two years, I've heard some pretty freaky medical stuff. I'm talking weeping pustular wounds, anus-dwelling worms who lay eggs at night, African sleeping sickness... the stuff nightmares are made of, for the medically overly-informed.

Is it really any wonder at all that I've become a bit of a hypochondriac?

I'm not quite sure that hypochondriac is the right work for it, actually. It's not like I'm constantly telling myself that I'm sick---in fact, I do my best to tell myself I'm
not sick until it's absolutely apparent that I am. So I guess I'm not really sure if there's a word for it...

Let's just put it this way, in terms of medical matrimony: Marrying a med student means you'll often assume the very worst of your ailments, thanks to a handy thing called a "list of differential diagnoses."

Differential diagnosis is just fancy doctor-talk for "shtuff that might be going wrong." It's something that doctors use to move from a patient's chief complaint or symptoms to an actual diagnosis. Every symptom you can think of---runny nose, blurred vision, swollen fingers, you name it---has a differential diagnosis, a list of things that
could be wrong with the patient. All of my medically inclined readers will probably balk at this statement but, yes, it's kind of like the list of illnesses you get when you fill out WebMD.

So, I'm sick. Last weekend, I started to get a sore throat and a runny nose---signs of my first cold of the year. However, in true married-to-a-med-student fashion, my first thought was that I might have strep throat. But THEN... I remembered I had been fatigued lately. Fatigue has a huuuuuuuuge differential diagnosis, and one of the only things I can really remember being on that list is mononucleosis. So then I start thinking, oh man... I have mono. And then after a couple days I start coughing, so I'm like, this is definitely bronchitis. Or maybe whooping cough. Tuberculosis?

Thank goodness I'm not a doctor, or I'd have everybody thinking that their runny noses mean they've got TB. Dr. D tells me that I've probably just got some viral upper-respiratory infection, which should clear up in the next week (

That's the danger of being only
slightly informed about differential diagnoses, though. I know just enough to scare myself, but not enough to really know what I'm talking about. Thankfully I've got Dr. D here to tell me I'm not dying.

I think I'm gonna go back to sleep.