Monday, September 26, 2011

Weekend Wisdom

 {Loved this little framed poem we found in a local art shop this weekend}

Some observations from the weekend:
  1. If you ever thought that bacon and gouda cheese might be a worthwhile culinary pairing, allow me to assure you: it is stellar.
  2. I am normally a very empathetic person.  But sometimes my job makes me want to drop-kick underage drunk kids.  Does that make me a bad person?
  3. Sure, we really don't do great at our Sunday night trivia games.  But if I'm ever that person who actually knows off the top of my head who the Times Person of the Year was in 1952, please host a "get a life" intervention for me.  K, thanks.
  4. I love my husband.  (And now that that disclaimer is out there...) When he decides to play dubstep music on his laptop for hours on end, it makes me want break things.  Namely his laptop.
  5. There are still way too many local restaurants and shops around this little town that we need to make it to before we leave.  If I don't get back into a regular exercise routine soon, this spells disaster for my badonk.  Just sayin'.  BACON and GOUDA, people.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Love is.

I know you haven't heard from me in a little bit, but it's because I'm on that that cloud up there.  Yep, that ninth one from the bottom.  I'm just sittin' pretty up here, enjoying the view.

Ladies and gents, there is a Dr. D in the house.  And he's done with away rotations.  Donezo.  Even better yet, he's a fourth year medical student and---today?  Well, today he got to come home from the hospital at 3:30pm.  It was still light outside.

That's what's up.

We are currently cozied-up in a booth at my favorite coffee shop, and as I bask in the glow of our rediscovered togetherness, I decided to compose a list of what love is to me, based on the past few days.

That's my two cents, anyway.  It evolves daily.  How about you?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

What's Good

It has been an emotional couple of weeks for me and mine; it feels like we have been living the epitome of "when it rains, it pours" lately.  When times get tough, I find that it helps to remember the things that are good, and the things that are still making me smile.  Call me a hopeless optimist, but I'd like to think it keeps me sane and grounded.

So as I greet this weekend with open arms and heart, I hope to usher out the bad, the sad, and the stressful by appreciating some of the things that are just plain right.

Starting this afternoon, I will no longer be living the bachelorette life.  My partner in holey-jeans-wearing crime comes home to me today.  Hallelujah!

Speaking of that guy, I have him to thank for bringing me out of my baking slump.  Dr. D's favorite cookies (recipe here) are fresh and ready for the nom-age.

My coping mechanisms are typically either chocolate or new nail polish colors.  Have a guess at which one won out this week.

And of course, J-dog continues to be an endless source of entertainment.  Last night, Silence of the Lambs happened to be on television.  I chewed my nails through the whole thing and J-dog slept---until Precious the dog got yanked down into the pit in the ground by that conniving kidnappee.  After that, J-dog was glued to the television, no doubt to see to it that Precious got the proper veterinary attention after the whole ordeal.

...and: The Lion King is coming back to theaters in 3D.  I mean really.  That's just great.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Dear Dr. D

Dear Dr. D,

Remember a week ago when I was super giddy because you were almost in my 10 day forecast?  Well now you're in my 5 day forecast.  It says right here: "Saturday: a high of 75 degrees, low of 50, and 100% chance of soggy kisses."

I apologize in advance for crying tears of happiness all over your sweet face.  And for looking a hot mess when I do it.

Let's never do this again, deal?

Your Mrs.

P.S.  It's a good thing you'll be back soon, because this guy is obviously getting WAY too comfortable in the alpha male role:

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Junk Food for the Soul

Two days ago, I found myself sitting alone in my car in the nearly empty parking lot of a movie theater on the outskirts of town.  It had been too long to remember since I had eaten anything from a fast food drive-through, and yet at this moment in time, I held a small mango pineapple smoothie in one hand and a McDonald's three-piece Chicken Selects in the other.  The radio played at a deafening decibel, and as a song by Darwin Deez sounded over the airwaves, I started to cry.  And then I started to laugh at myself, at the ridiculousness of it all.  I also distinctly remember snorting, which made me laugh-cry harder.

Two observations: (1) Grief is a crazily convoluted emotion, and (2) eating while laugh-crying feels awkward.  But in that moment, it was what I needed to do---I'm sure of it.  We all have that tipping point, where the surface tension of bottled up emotions finally spills over, and apparently that moment was mine.

My reactions to grief have ranged in my lifetime from convincing myself that the benevolent spirit of a loved-one resided in my family's spare bedroom, to a full-blown anxiety of flying in airplanes, and even to a habit of changing the radio station whenever a Modest Mouse song is on.  And I guess this time around, I needed some junk food and an upbeat, goofy love song.*

Do yourself a favor.  Don't ever let anyone tell you that there's one way to grieve that's better than others, because my life experiences so far have taught me that not only is that not the case, but you can never predict how you'll react to grief.  Don't limit yourself.

Life is so beautiful, so precious.  Gosh, I hope you're enjoying it.

*Thank goodness Dr. D will be home in a week to remind me how nutritionally gross McDonald's is, because so help me, I didn't think the chicken was half bad...

Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday Favorites

Today, I feel the need to celebrate one of life's greatest mysteries, and one of my favorite things in the whole world: a puppy's ability to make nearly anything downright adorable.

{Found on Pinterest, source unfortunately not provided... 
let me know if you know where he's from!}

See?  SEE?  This little dude is pissed, and yet you probably don't even care because he's fantastically furry and cute beyond comprehension.

I had the chance to puppy-sit for a friend a couple of weekends ago, and was reminded of how much I love every move puppies make---but also how much work they are.  The dying-of-cuteness moment of the weekend was probably when the little guy stopped in his tracks in the midst of a wrestling match with J-dog, sat down right in front of me, and proceeded to do this:

Is there anything better than puppy hiccups?  Few things, I'd venture.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Stink-face States

Dr. D and I on the phone, going over which programs he should send his residency application to:


Him: "Why don't we just start at the top of the list and work our way down alphabetically?"

Me: "---NYeahhhh, that's a great idea.  Makes complete sense."

Him: "Okay.  Alabama."

Me: "........"

Him: "You're making a stink-face, aren't you?"

Me: "...yes.  You're not?"

Him: "What about Arkansas?"

Me: "........"

Him: "This does not bode well."

I have this problem where I can't control my face.  Or at least, I can't control my face in reaction to something I don't like or am anticipating not liking.  My loving husband knows this about me---he's had about sixteen years of experience dealing with how my face looks in these situations, and has dubbed it my "stink-face."

I'm pretty sure we all have a version of this face, am I right?  And in our case, mine was a useful tool for determining residency prospects.  Much to Dr. D's chagrin.

Don't get me wrong---to my knowledge, there is nothing innately horrible about Alabama, Arkansas, or any other stink-face state.  I'm sure we could find redeeming qualities about each of them.

I just can't control the face, people.

All told, we still ended up applying to a whopping 70 ENT programs (out of 105 total in the nation, some of which are military only).  We've got to cast a wide net, because this is a tough specialty to match in to.  There are people who literally do not match anywhere, and that scares the daylights out of us.

Luckily I know that Dr. D is brilliant, has great scores and experiences, and can pretty much charm the heck out of even the most demure docs.  At the risk of sounding boastful, I'm confident enough for the both of us that we'll match.  And we are determined to make the most out of next year's adventure in our new, non-stink-face home.

Anybody else have stink-face states?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Successful Submission

“Have you submitted?”

This question has been buzzing in the air among the medically-inclined crowd since the clock rolled over to 12:01am on September 1st.  While I wish so much that this referred to submitting to an inclination towards regular exercise, or even submitting to the urge to eat loads of chocolate cake, what this is actually in reference to is the submission of ERAS—an online application for residency programs across the nation.
We submitted on Saturday.  We submitted so hard that it cost us like $10,000. 
Okay, not really... it actually only cost a fraction of that, but still.  Beaucoup bucks, guys.  We had to shell out just so these hot-shot programs will even consider looking at Dr. D’s application.  Honestly, his app is so pristine that they should probably be thanking and paying us.  I mean really.
Here’s the way residency applications work, as far as I can tell:
  • You update your CV, complete with hobbies, and then realize that you can’t remember what your hobbies are because you’ve been in MED SCHOOL for the past three years.  So you ask your wife to remind you what your hobbies are, and she tries to slip “loving your wife” in as a hobby and you’re like “Lol, cute.  But not appropes.” 
  • You write a personal statement, and agonize over each word and its synonyms, only stopping yourself when you realize there is no synonym for “the,” so you might as well be done with it.
  • You chew off all of your fingernails as you wait for the rock-star docs who agreed to write your letters of rec to actually submit the letters, and pray about ten times a day that they (a) remember to do it, and (b) put the correct name on the letter. 
  • You choose which residency programs to send your application to, and pay based on the number of places you send it.  Some people research every detail of the residency program and its surrounding areas, and selectively and systematically identify which programs they want to work for.  Others utilize their wife’s stink-face method (more on that later). 
  • You click submit and wait for the interview offers to come.   And according to your loving wife, they will come. 

Prayers and crossed appendages (fingers, toes, whatever you got) welcome.  And for those of you who have submitted or are about to, congratulations!  We’re so close!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Big Unknown


GUYS.  We are 193 days away from residency match day.  That's like 6 months and some change.  Chump change, y'all.  This is happening whether we're ready or not.

I'd like to think that we're ready, but we're probably ready for some things more than others.  For instance, we are so ready to not have the Big Unknown (aka our mailing address for the next 5-ish years) hanging over our heads.  If I have ONE more person ask me where Dr. D is going to residency, one of two things will happen:
  1. I will launch into a tirade about how nothing in this life is certain and there can be no way of really knowing where you'll be tomorrow---or even an hour from now---so we can't be expected to answer such a question and perhaps we should instead focus on living every moment to its fullest potential and maybe the real question should be what are YOU doing with YOUR life and shouldn't you be asking yourself why you haven't done something epically selfless like joining the Peace Corps or Teach For America and why haven't you solved the world's hunger problems yet?  ...What do you mean, I have "deflection issues"? 
  2. I will revert back to a ten-year-old mentality and say something like, "Where is YOUR MOM going to residency?!  Huh?  Huhhhhh??  Can you tell me THAT?!"*
All of that is to say: we're ready to know what the next chapter is.  Otolaryngology is such a competitive specialty that we really can't afford to be too choosy about residency programs, so we might end up virtually anywhere (except a few select places, but more on that later).

What we may not be ready for, however, is everything the next chapter entails.  And what it will most certainly entail is this: long hours at the hospital for Dr. D, a new job for me, and working on getting a family started.


Anybody out there fairly confident that you know what this next year holds for you or your med student?  I'd love to hear some stories about certainty so I can live vicariously through you.

*I'm sorry you had to find out this way, Mom, but yes.  I have been known to use a "Your Mom" come-back every now and again.  This doesn't mean I love you any less.