Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Dear Dr. D

Dear Dr. D,

Since you've been gone (resist the urge to belt out Kelly Clarkson, dear readers, and succeed in being a stronger person than I) these seemingly infinite three and a half days, I have done the following:
  • Taken out the trash on my own and nearly lost everything out of the bottom of the ridiculously flimsy bag.  How are you so skilled at this, and is it simply your absence that is contributing to my woeful feeling of inadequacy, or do I really just suck at trash? Is that even possible?
  • Had an in-depth conversation about the proper usage of chopsticks.  With our dog.  Complete with demonstration, which eventually digressed into me trying to catch his beard with said chopsticks.
  • Bragged to anyone who will listen that my brilliant husband is rubbin' elbows with the hoity-toity hot-shot doctors at a prestigious west coast institution (I may not have any friends when you get back, by the way, because they'll be sick of hearing about this).
  • Cleaned up dog-vom twice.  I think it's because J-dog misses you...?  Boy, am I glad he and I don't display that emotion in the same way.
  • Reminded myself every 30 minutes or so that many people have had to suffer long distance in a relationship for much longer than a month, and somehow they survive and thrive.  And then I got annoyed because that didn't really make me feel any better.
  • Texted you a picture of me making a stupid face, which did make me feel better.  Go figure.
Your Mrs.

Friday, March 25, 2011

I really don't want to talk about it...

...but maybe it'll help me feel better if I just get this off my chest:

I am going to be Dr. D-less for an entire month, starting tomorrow.


Are you shocked? I certainly am, and I've at least had a couple months to get used to the idea.  But honestly, he and I haven't been apart like this since before we were 15 (a little math lesson for you: that's over 10 years!), so I really don't know how to be nonchalant about it.  It's just not in my nature.

Dr. D will be flying to northern California tomorrow to complete a four week ENT rotation.  In the med student world, this is what they call an "away rotation," and it's something they are all required to do.  They're not required to go all the way across the country to do it, but since we're hoping for Dr. D to get into a residency program back in CA, the best strategy for him is to do as many away rotations there as possible so he can make some good connections before applying to residencies in the fall.

So yes, this is a great move for our future.  But for now, it really bites.

For this next month, who am I going to dance around in the kitchen with? Or make funny faces at across the table as I'm blogging/studying?  Who is going to drag my introverted behind out of the house so I can go enjoy being a situational extrovert?  Who's going to play me songs by new artists from Pitchfork that I initially think are way too bizarre, but then find myself humming it an hour later?  Who will will join me when I randomly break into full-on song as I wash the dishes?  Will there even be dishes, since he's the one that typically cooks?

And tell me, who exactly is J-dog going to head-butt in the crotch over the next month?  He exclusively does that to Dr. D.  How can I possibly break the news to our little fuzz-bucket? Bless his little heart...

This next month is going to be rough.  I'm just putting that out there, in case you end up witnessing some extra sensitivity, sass, or overt hostility from yours truly.

How does that saying go? "Hell hath no fury like a woman who is apart from her med student partner on an away rotation"...?  I'm pretty sure that's it.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

World Water Day 2011

Just a quick note to provide a friendly little reminder to you all that today is World Water Day.  What better way to commemorate than with a small (or large!) donation to charity : water?

Hooray for sustainable water solutions!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Home Stretch

\\\\\] \=

{What you see on the line above happens to be a guest post by J-dog. He saw an opportunity to rest his chin on the corner of my keyboard in hopes of an absent-minded ear scratch from yours truly as I gathered my thoughts for this post. It worked; ears are thoroughly scratched. Moving on...}

We're in the home stretch, folks. I'm talking less than a year until our future is determined. Less than 365 days until we find out where we'll be spending Dr. D's residency and beginning our next big life adventure.

Where's the fast-forward button?

This past Thursday was Match Day for fourth year medical students all around the country, a day during which I'm sure many tears were shed (both happy and sad) and many adult beverages were consumed (both in celebration and medicinally). Now all of those people are making plans for the future. And next year, that will be us.

I am doing my very best to live in the present, but every now and then I get that exhilarating roller coaster feeling in my gut because--guys, I don't know if you know this about me, but I love new beginnings. And I love road trips. So the potential of getting to go on another cross-country road trip with my husband and poodle on our way to start a new life chapter... well, there aren't a whole lot of things that could excite me more.

I mean, during our last cross-country drive we discovered 85 octane fuel, sweet potato fries, gas stations with slot machines, and gigantic dinosaur sculptures in Colorado. After that, how could I not be hooked? There's so much out there I haven't seen!

That being said, as I began fantasizing this week about all of the fantastic and scary new things that will inevitably start happening to us in a year, I decided to ground myself with some reminders about things that I love about the life we're currently living. I want to make sure I remember these things, so here I go, e-emoting them to the cyberverse:

  1. The gorgeousness that is October in Illinois, and our standing tradition of family walks to take pictures of the leaves after they've changed.
  2. Multiple college town radio stations, making for epic car dancing sessions and a fun local music scene.
  3. Laughing with friends about the funny business cards, ticket stubs, and notes left by strangers underneath the glass table covers at one of our favorite laid-back downtown hangouts.
  4. The giddiness I feel after winter's first snow, and the fantastically spastic way J-dog greets it, as if on a snowflake high.
  5. Having a kitchen big enough for impromptu family dance parties when we need to take a break from preparing dinner. J-dog can totally cut a rug.
  6. Living on a college campus and not having to pay for wireless internet, cable, or indoor climate control.
  7. Having a legitimate reason to wear galoshes, and purposefully seeking out deep puddles.
  8. The fact that sharing one car between the two of us is not a big deal because the public transit system here is phenomenal.
  9. Knowing that everyone in our building can smell what I'm baking.
  10. Fireflies in the summer.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


{photo by Reuters}

At the time, I was 12 year old who was craving french fries more than anything else in the world. It had just started snowing, which for a girl from central California was neat for about the first 5 minutes, but now my fingers were frozen, and gosh, can we please just go find a McDonalds?

But our Japanese guides were watching expectantly, hopeful. And so the small group of us, middle school choir students from some cow-town half way across the world, launched into our best three-part harmony on the steps of a Buddhist temple in Kyoto:

sakura sakura
yayoi no sorawa
mi-watasu kagiri
kasumi ka
kumo ka
nioi zo izuru
izaya izaya
mini yukan

I was sure we were butchering the pronunciation, and yet the kind and smiling people stopped on the way to and from their devotions to listen, to nod, to sing along. It was in that moment that I fell in love with the people of Japan. And I forgot all about the french fries.

What's happened to their beautiful country in the aftermath of the massive earthquake is heartbreaking. In times like this, the desire you might feel to reach out can be swallowed whole by feelings of ineptitude, thoughts that you are incapable of making any true difference, that anything you might have to offer won't make a dent. I tend to have those feelings when faced with mass tragedies such as this.

I pray. And yes, many of us believe that those prayers do good, but I would encourage all of us, whether praying or not, to use whatever tangible gifts we have been blessed with to help in times like this. For many of us, our means are not great. But right now the little bit that we do have makes us far richer than those in Japan who need our help. When I feel dwarfed by a cause, I always ask myself the same question:

Why do nothing, just because you can't do everything?

My "little bit" can be added to all of the other little bits, and soon it becomes something big. I think I'll give it a go.

You can use this linked image to find an established charity in Japan through

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Goodbye darkness

I truly despise the idea of losing time, but a part of me is absolutely giddy at the prospect of more sunlight in my days to come (that is, if the clouds will cooperate). Since I knew we're losing an hour tonight, I felt compelled today to get many things done in order to make up for it.

Here's what was accomplished:
  • Breakfast oatmeal with banana as sweetener, since Dr. D and I are fasting from sugar (as well as many other delicious things that I miss). It was actually quite lovely.
  • Dog sitting, which required twice the potty-walks and twice the "womp" clean-up. We refer to doggy #2's as "womps", by the way. As in, "Dang, he just dropped a deuce. Womp womp..." It just kind of stuck, as many little inside jokes for us do.
  • Approximately 150 pages of reading for one of my (three) classes next week. That's more reading than I usually get done on a Saturday, so I'm calling it a victory, regardless of how much I still have left.
  • A nap. I mean, can you really consider Saturday a success without one?
  • A power point presentation on student debt for one of my classes next week, which had me nervously picking at my cuticles the entire time as I thought about our own amassing debt. Yes, I know that's a horrible habit, but I prefer it to breathing into a paper bag.
  • A delish dinner of black bean, grilled onion, and potato tacos, over which Dr. D and I concocted our plan for an invention that we think has the potential to rival the Slap-Chop, ShamWow, and Snuggie in infomercial stardom. I really wish I could share the idea here, but I'd hate to have someone beat us to it. Let's just say we've checked google to make sure nothing like it exists currently, and we may or may not have already story-boarded the infomercial (We did. It's gloriously cheesy). Now we just need financial backers. Any takers?
So perhaps not my most productive day, but all in all, I think I'll be able to go to bed tonight with a clear conscious. I might even be able to convince myself that I've earned an extra hour of sleeping in...

{a mugshot of the wompers}

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Memory Lane: Movies

Two wonderful things happened during dinner last night.

The first is that I put chocolate chips in my last pancake as it sizzled on the griddle---no judgment, please, as it was my last meal with any sugar or processed carbohydrates for the next three weeks. Naturally, I chose chocolate chip pancakes. Wouldn't you?

The second was a conversational trip down memory lane with Dr. D, where we somehow got on the topic of childhood movies. I believe one of us had just quoted Anchorman for probably about the billionth time (some common daily quotes for us are "don't act like you're not impressed!" and "I'm not even mad... that's amazing!"), and so then we began to wonder: what movies have we watched the most in our lifetimes?

Anchorman is up there, to be sure... but in my lifetime so far, it just doesn't compete with some of the movies I watched incessantly as a kid. I was one of those children who when I found a movie I liked, I would not. stop. watching. it. until I could quote it backwards and forwards and hum along to all of the musical interludes. And then act it out in the living room. Sorry, Mom.

When trying to determine my most-watched movies, first I had to eliminate Disney animated films altogether, because obviously Lion King would win... but that's probably true for all people my age, ammiright? Then, I had to think about which movies are so ingrained in my consciousness that I can not only quote them, hum to them, and act them out, but which have also taught me valuable life lessons that I carry with me still today.

And so, I present to you my most-watched movie list, complete with accompanying favorite quote and life lesson:

"Slap that baby, make him free!"

Lesson: Calling the goblin king on my brother is probably not the best option.

"Communism is just a red herring."

Lesson: Tim Curry is THE MAN.

Return to Oz
"Don't you know that eggs are poison?"

Lesson: Life would be so much more awesome if lunch pail trees existed.

"Tell me about it, stud."

Lesson: The key to self-transformation is a head full of curls and black leather pants.

Grease 2
"Where does the pollen go?"

Lesson: You should slather your hamburger and french fries with ketchup, because Michelle Pfeiffer says so.

Ferris Bueller's Day Off
"They think he's a righteous dude."

Lesson: Sometimes Santa will come back after Christmas and take away gifts like this movie, especially when your three year old brother starts to say "sh*t" a lot.


Looking back, I think I managed to balance out all of the really trippy/weird stuff with some nice and wholesome entirely-too-mature-for-me-so-innuendos-mean-nothing stuff.

...What are some of your most-watched childhood movies?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I have this crazy idea...

Maybe you should follow my blog on Blog Lovin', because it will give me warm fuzzies.

...kinda like this picture does:

{Dr. D's family's cat, Lil Girl, on Christmas morning}