Sunday, October 30, 2011


I've decided to apply for non-profit status.

The amount of time I spend scooping up lost dogs I find on the side of the road could be considered a part-time job. In the past 2 weeks, I've helped return 6 dogs to their owners. I've been late to work twice and missed one appointment. But I can't not stop and pick up a dog that's wandering in and out of traffic, who obviously belongs to someone. It just comes with the territory of being a crazy dog lady. 

 All of this dog-rescuing, besides being kind of a pain in the ass, has me thinking about what I would do if Ike got lost. When he somehow escaped through our fence (aka teleported) last year, I wondered why we didn't just keep a stack of pre-made "missing" posters. 

So today I made some. Because I'm a paranoid, crazy dog lady with too much time on my hands, I have missing dogs on the brain, and I don't think this would be a bad idea for all pet owners to do. 

(Also because I wanted to remind you that my dog has a heart on his back.)

PS, My neighborhood also specializes in lost babies. That story never gets old.

Friday, October 28, 2011

I'll miss you... Baton Rouge

When I drive over the bridge heading east into Baton Rouge at night, the lights of hundreds of far-off, tiny skyscrapers greet me. For a split second I squint and pretend I'm entering New York City or Tokyo.

Then I crest the bridge and realize I'm staring at glittering oil refineries and entering Baton Rouge: college town, state capitol, traffic nightmare, home to awkward teenage memories. 

But past the skyscraper mirage, I can see Tiger Stadium and the LSU campus, and the small but revamped downtown where I got married.  And my memories of this place consume me and make me think that maybe it's better than any metropolis.

In small doses, anyway. Let's not get ahead of ourselves.

When we move, I'll miss our proximity to my home and college town. The spirit and energy at LSU on a game day; the peacefulness of playing golf with my dad (aka watching him play) at the crack of dawn; spending time with friends so close that you can lay in bed for hours and giggle about absolutely nothing; the anticipation of finally setting foot in an Anthropologie and a Whole Foods again.

PS, a little video from campus 2 weekends ago.

Song is "Louisiana Saturday Night" by Benjy Davis project and for the sake of I have no idea who my youngest readers are, let's just say the lyric is "turn the funky radio up"...

I'll miss you... archive:
movie moments
antique stores
nice people
lunch date 
Counter Culture

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

my letterman jacket

Dear high school me,

Right now you're probably sitting in an overly air-conditioned classroom, shivering, wishing you had a jacket. At least, that's what you'll tell anyone who asks. What you really and truly wish is that you had a boyfriend, and if you're really going out on a limb here, a boyfriend who has a letterman jacket. Think about how warm you would be, swallowed up in a twice-your-size jacket that just reeks of manliness?

Well I've got news for you, sister. Something better awaits you. 

Ten years from now, when you're feeling a little chilly, you can slip on the letterman jacket's way cooler cousin: the white coat. 

Just like the letterman jacket, wearing the white coat will let everyone know that the coolest guy in school picked you. And when you wrap yourself up in the scratchy fabric and take a deep breath, you'll not only smell notes of manliness, but - bonus! - undertones of feet that haven't seen any personal hygiene in decades.  

Forget about patches, or varsity letters, or whatever it is that the cool kids put on their letterman jackets (I can't remember; it's been ten years. Do people even wear letterman jackets anymore?). When you run your fingers over the sleeve of the white coat, you'll find something better: mystery stains. Red, brown, and every color in between. Badges of pride, for sure, because getting squirted with bodily fluids is far superior to making the varsity football team. 

And the pockets. Oh, the pockets. Inside and outside, of varying sizes, most of which are perfect for stashing... miniature notebooks. So convenient! You'll never need a purse again.

So hang in there, high school me. And if I can give you one piece of advice, it's this: bring your own sweater. Because you won't have a boyfriend for a loooong time. {Also, don't really touch the mystery stains. Gross.}

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

book club: black heels to tractor wheels

Here's what I knew about the blogger Pioneer Woman (Ree Drummond) before I read her book:

  • Girl makes a mean cinnamon toast.
  • Apparently Reese Witherspoon will play her in the NY Times best-selling story of her life.
  • I have entered no less than 5 giveaways on her cooking blog to win candy-colored Kitchenaid mixers
  • I am the proud owner of all of her {free} photoshop actions, such as Old West:

As you can probably tell, I had no expectations going into reading her book Black Heels to Tractor Wheels.

Here's what I know about blogger Pioneer Woman after reading her book:

  • She annoys the sh*t out of me.
  • I can think of three people off the top of my head who could write a better book than she did.
Obviously, I was not a fan of this book. And when our book club met at Laurasia (my phone's autocorrect pet name for "Laura's"),  we were pretty divided on it. Here's the breakdown:

The "loved it" girls felt like Ree did a great job expressing the "fizziness" of a new relationship. The "hated it" girls thought Ree was a bad person and her relationship was based on a lot of making out and some big arm muscles. My personal opinion was that the story wasn't even that interesting, although a better writer could have made me care. Case in point:  in the book, Ree runs over her childhood pet, and in describing it, didn't even make me feel bad for her. I felt like I was reading a far-off narrator explain to aliens how a girl might act if her dog died.

When my car suddenly shook from a series of unsettling bumps, i knew something dire had happened. To my horror, when I looked in my rearview mirror, I saw that I’d run over Puggy Sue. Puggy Sue, my fat, prognathic canine who’d settled into my arms the day I’d returned from California and had become, in effect, my child during my time at home, was now lying on my parents’ street, squealing, writhing, and unable to move her hind legs. 

Hearing Puggy’s yelps from inside the house, my mom darted outside, scooped her up, and immediately rushed her to the vet’s office. Within thirty minutes, she called to tell me the news to which I’d already started resigning myself: Puggy Sue, my little package of fawn-colored love, was dead. 

I spent the next several hours in a fetal position, reeling over the sudden death of Puggy. 

I'm glad we read this though, if only because the conversation was hilarious and the food - recipes from the Pioneer Woman blog including fig and prosciutto pizza, bruschetta, chicken spaghetti, and pear clafouti- averaged about 4 sticks of butter per dish.  And there was sangria. Butter and sangria, who could ask for anything more?

& a few pictures from our Gatsby book club night, which somehow slipped through the blog cracks:

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

flowers in her hair

This week's writing prompt from Mama's Losing It: tell the story of your current Facebook profile picture.

The girl in this picture has flowers in her hair, and she's happy - no, delighted. What else could she want in life?

{Plus, she doesn't know it yet, but she's about to watch her former camp counselor/role model dance on a pool table to Empire State of Mind. I repeat, what else could she want in life?}

I keep this picture up because even though I'm tempted - like every member  of the story of our lives that is Facebook - to display that picture of me in oh-so-perfect lighting or that outfit that photographed one hundred times better than I thought it would, this one not only tells my story best, but reminds me who I am when I'm at my best: delighted with flowers in my hair.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Yes, you read that title right. Roleplaying. Complete with costumes.

But before you assume things have taken a turn for the scandalous around here, you should know that I've been dressing up as Paul Stout, a 75 year old man presenting to the clinic with hearing loss.

Y takes the next part of his boards in a few weeks. This part of the exam process tests the student's ability to communicate with patients and ask the right questions. Y has been studying with a big book of fake cases, and when he asked me if I would practice with him, there was only one answer.

Yes, but only if I can use props.

Compromise, people. It makes healthy marriages.

Besides Paul Stout, I've been John Matthews(above), a 25 year old banker who was texting and ran into a tree;  Jack Edwards, a 28 year old male angel dust user who sees writing on walls (probably my finest acting thus far, if I do say so myself); Gwen Potter, a graduate student who can't sleep (and whose famous last name inspired a strong British accent);  and the mother of Adam Davidson, a child suffering from bed-wetting issues. A special guest star took on the role of Adam:

He was brilliant. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I'll miss you... Humphrey.

The name Humphrey obviously evokes a dashing old-fashioned gentleman. And I suppose you could call the subject of this post, the Humphrey Yogart, the handsome grandfather of plain tart yogurt. 

Or, if you're not like me and don't feel the need to personify everything, you could just call it delicious, delicious yogurt. Your call.

The next time you go out for yogurt - and if your town is anything like mine, you've got at least six trendy self-serve shops to choose from -- and you order "original tart" or whatever they're calling it these days, I want you to remember something. 

Before Pinkberry, before Red Mango, before Orange Leaf, we were enjoying plain, tart yogurt here in Louisiana courtesy of Counter Culture. And while it may not have fancy toppings (mochi! pop tarts! orange balls that pop in your mouth!), sometimes nothing beats a classic Humphrey Yogart: plain yogurt, bananas, strawberries, red grapes, granola, and honey. 

Fun fact: these pictures were taken during a little blogger get-together. Sarah found my blog and since she passed my "99% sure she's not a serial killer" test, we decided to meet for lunch with two other blogger friends, Lauren and Lindsey. When I first started writing here, I honestly thought I could be the only person in my town to have heard of the blogging phenomenon.

A year and a half later, and I know three other people who blog. We're a fast growing community, guys. But at least we have Humphreys. And we'll always have Counter Culture. 

I'll miss you... archive:
movie moments
antique stores
nice people
lunch date

Monday, October 10, 2011

life as a med student's wife

Our friend T's homemade table, site of many dinners with medical students

I wrote this for the Real Simple blogger contest this summer, which asked bloggers to write about the friend they were most surprised to have. At the last minute I decided it didn't really answer the question, so I didn't enter it, but I thought it might be worth sharing. 


My only memory of high school science is the day we thought it would be funny to ask our teacher what “sodomy” meant (it wasn’t). My most vivid memory of college science is my elation that attendance wasn’t enforced.

And yet, here I sit at a restaurant with a medical student (my husband), two surgeons, a dentist, and a physician’s assistant. They talk about medicine, science, break to discuss the food, then more medicine, more science. I chime in to comment on the risotto but remain silent when talk returns to bodily fluids. Though discussing discharge over dinner no longer fazes me, I have nothing to add.  

Our waiter reads the specials. When he leaves, the table huddles together. I lean in, in case it’s layperson gossip.

“Did you see that?” someone asks. “How about the lump on that guy's neck?” The rest of the table agrees, throwing out potential diagnoses. I realize I’m the only one at my table who doesn’t perform a secret physical examination on every passing human.

Born to be a liberal arts student, I was shocked when I married someone who was so thoroughly a scientist. Though I know he accepts me mass communication degree and all, it’s hard not to be intimidated when we meet friends for drinks and discuss the experience of delivering a baby.

It’s a daily test, but I’m becoming acclimated to my unexpected social circle. I’ve learned when complaining about my terrible day in the office is in poor taste (right after a friend shares that his patient died, for instance).  I’ve absorbed enough to comment on medicine occasionally. Most importantly, I’ve discovered that as intense as these very smart people are, they sometimes crave tales of life outside the hospital. And that’s where I come in.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

on iphones

Just this afternoon, I marveled at the fact that even while sitting at my desk at work, I was able to coat-shop with Y. (I convinced him our coats, made for Louisiana Novembers, might not cut it when he interviews in a Wisconsin or Minnesota November.)

Just yesterday at work, I read about the ways that doctors using iPads and iPhones can revolutionize patient care in medicine. 

Which sounds like a great idea and all, until you realize how hard it is for an almost doctor to type something simple like "woohoo".

Or that time he told me Ike had large forks. (He meant laryngitis.)

Oh well, we can't all change the world.

But we can try, right? 

"the only way to do great work is to love what you do."
                    -steve jobs

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

this proustian moment brought to you by world market

Y's family is relatively exotic. There are weekly phone calls to family members in other countries, in foreign languages. A charming aunt lives in a flat in Europe, just waiting for a visit from her American great-nephew. At holidays his parents bake traditional foods that, growing up, I didn't know existed. (like sufganyot at Chanukah. Why would America deprive its Jews of jelly donuts?)

I'm boring in comparison. My Russian grandmother did pass on her  delicious kugel recipe,  but let's face it: kugel is old news to any Jew who's ever been to a synagogue luncheon.

While shopping at World Market the other day I found my answer to his family's homemade jelly donuts and schnitzel. 

My eyes met that package of sprinkles and I swear I heard cheesy romantic music. In the middle of World Market, the rush of memories nearly knocked me over: the crunch of sprinkles on top of toast and the perfect combination of chocolate and butter. 

Because it turns out that I do have one exotic connection, a magical place where parents feed their children toast with chocolate sprinkles on top for breakfast. I don't remember much from the three years my family spent in Holland, but oh how I remember hagelslag. 

Or as I described it to Y when I got home, chocolate sprinkle toast. 

He approved. Is it possible not to approve? 

And in the game of exotic childhood treats that he didn't know we were playing until this post, I like to think I win.  Chocolate sprinkles for breakfast every morning > jelly donuts once a year. 

Monday, October 3, 2011


The girl spends her day off at a local boutique inhaling perfume, coffee beans, perfume, coffee beans. She just exhausted her latest bottle of the perfume she grew up with and it's time for a change. But her new scent has to be perfect; when she leaves on weekend getaways the boy breathes in her signature scent from her empty pillow.

After an hour of back and forth and he'll love it, he'll love it not, she finally lets the cashier wrap up a scent. A sweet, almost fruity scent; chosen as much for its warm vanilla bean and rice flower aroma as for its pretty bottle. 

The most luxurious of fragrant escapes. 

At home, she spritzes her neck and waits for the boy. When he walks in the door, he inhales, pausing for a moment, a faint smile appearing as a memory plays out in his mind. 

The girl is satisfied, she's chosen a scent that calls to his mind a comfortable childhood memory. 

The boy finally exhales.

"You smell like diabetic ketoacidosis."

{because it's more fun to tell your "love story" in the third person}

Sunday, October 2, 2011

i'll miss you... lunch date

When Y started med school, we were told we would never see each other.  I planned for my alone time, scheduling TV shows on our DVR that I knew Y would never watch. I was ready to eat frozen tortellini or cereal for dinner every night.

 But. My tortellini is still frozen. Unwatched episodes of The Bachelor clogged our DVR and had to be deleted. In fact, my TV is constantly blaring the sounds of World War II battles and pawn shops and whatever else it is that boys watch. I love that we get to hang out, but judging from the horror stories I heard, I never though I would come to relish the time when I'm home alone and can light a candle and watch The Glee Project without being mocked.

Part of the reason we see each other so often is because I work at his school and we have lunch together almost every day, even when we have nothing to say to each other. Not that I'm complaining.

I'm sure next year when I've gained 10 pounds from frozen tortellini and reality TV marathons and haven't seen my husband in the daylight in a week, I'll be begging for the sounds of Saving Private Ryan. For now I'll meet him for lunch in our spot, an alley that's perfectly shaded and chilly enough to make a Southern October feel truly like fall.