Thursday, June 30, 2011

neurosurgery scars

I don't know if you can see it, but I have a neurosurgery scar on my shin.

Part of me wishes I could tell you it was from some innovative new brain surgery technique where they go in through the leg. The other part of me is glad I've never needed brain surgery.

Nope, it turns out my scar is a casualty of the lifestyle of a neurosurgeon. Or in our case, a pretend neurosurgeon.

Y was exhausted after a week of waking up at 4 am to assist with observe brain surgery. So, he went to bed at 6:30 one night. When I tiptoed to bed 4 hours later, it was pitch black. I thought I might be courteous and leave the light off.

Apparently (in a lack-of-sleep induced state?) Y hadn't thought about being courteous and closing his dresser drawer -- the corner of which, when opened, is right in my path to the bed. It sliced right across my leg. (Commence wincing.)

Hence, my neurosurgery scar.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

the truth about ike

When Ike, Y and I are alone, Ike is the sweetest, most well behaved dog you've ever seen.

But introduce another person into the equation, and the dog goes completely insane.

When visitors stick around long enough, they see the obedient snuggly dog we love. That is, if Ike hasn't jumped up and down with excitement so ferociously that he's busted said visitor's lip. (This has happened twice... Cesar Milan, are you out there?)

But this is the real Ike; what I see every morning when I leave the house:

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

music & memories vol. 3: the beatles

Today's song: anything by The Beatles.

I'd love to hear your Beatles memories. Write about it in your blog and link up
below, or -- tell me in a comment.

I imagine I'm not unique in that my memories of The Beatles' music span most of my life.

As a 16 year old on a summer camp trip to Israel, "Here Comes the Sun" played on an acoustic guitar as we woke up after a night of camping under millions of stars in the middle of the desert. That song makes me smile about the unexplainable bonds that camp creates, even if you're a weird 16 year old with no friends and a severe fear of being stung by a scorpion.

But the reason I chose The Beatles as today's music is because today is our two year wedding anniversary, and our first dance song was The Beatles' "Something", as performed by The Panorama Jazz Band, a New Orleans jazz band.

So naturally the song "Something" brings back some pretty strong feelings, along the lines of it's so f@$king hot out here and holy crap, we're married and why is the fire alarm going off? (long story).

And the entire remaining Beatles catalog? Well, that's the soundtrack to our first big road trip from Louisiana to California-- a trip we loved, hence, the reason we chose a Beatles song as our first dance.

red rock canyon, december 2007

And the song "When I'm 64" brings back the frustrations of wedding planning:

Me, for approximately 1 year prior to wedding: Y, what do you think of this, this and this? And this? Oh, and this?

Y, for approximately 1 year prior to wedding: I. DON'T. CARE.

Y, the week before the wedding [very seriously]: D, I really think our first dance song shouldn't be "Something". I think it should be "When I'm 64", that one's more sentimental.

{a valid point, and a very sweet thought, but, really? I told the band our song three months ago so they could learn to play it and you have never had any sort of opinion about the wedding and... REALLY?}

{also I cringe to think of myself trying to dance to When I'm 64, but that's another story}

On that note, happy anniversary Y! I hope you let me poke fun at our relationship on my blog forever and ever, or at least until blogs don't exist and my means of self expression changes. Then can I poke fun at you on my hologram channel? You know I only do it because I love you, right?

Below, a snippet of the incredible Panorama Jazz Band's version of "Something". Speaking of cringing when I think of myself dancing...

Something in the way she knows,
And all I have to do is think of her.
Something in the things she shows me.
I don't want to leave her now.
You know I believe and how.

Monday, June 27, 2011

i'll miss you... coffee shop where everybody knows your name

Maybe this picture isn't the best one the illustrate my title. Y and I have unique names; names that require at least 4 repetitions and can spark 10 minute conversations. We don't always have that kind of time, and the wasted time usually doesn't help anything anyway.

That is not my name. Close...but no.

So when it comes to well meaning Starbucks baristas, Anthropologie dressing room attendants, or sushi to-go orders, we opt for names that don't require any additional explanation. We've been using Steve and Amy for at least 5 years.

But beyond the baristas at our local Starbucks, it turns out everyone else does know our name. 80% of the customers are usually friends of ours. The other 20% are doctors at the hospital, friends of Y's from middle school, or other people Y knows from the community. A great dane usually roams around the outside patio while his owner answers millions of questions (mine was, how much poop do you have to pick up daily??)

Although it might be nice to live somewhere with a local coffee culture and iced chai lattes that are just a tad bit spicier (work on that, will you Starbucks?) I admit I'll miss this [practically] one-coffee-shop town and the people watching/gossip that can come about from just 5 minutes in its Starbucks.

i'll miss you... archive:

Friday, June 24, 2011

on being the wife of a medical student

Over a week after I asked my friends to weigh in on their experiences being pegged as a stay-at-home doctor's wife, I think it's finally my turn. Warning: this post ended up longer than I expected. So if you want nothing but funny videos and a picture of Ike, scroll to the bottom.

My experience might be unique, it might not. In the town we live in, medical professionals are everywhere. Example: when it comes to bar dress codes, scrubs are almost as popular as Affliction t-shirts. Stethoscopes peek out of purses at Starbucks. In yoga, the pre-class chatter revolves around Step 1. And on top of it all, I work at the medical school. My father-in-law works at the medical school. 75% of dinner table conversations revolve around medicine, the medical school, people at the medical school, etc. Sometimes it feels like my entire life revolves around something that, quite frankly, I'm not interested in except on the most basic of levels.

This by itself kind of makes me feel like an outcast; like I should be part of the community. And believe me, I've had people ask me what I do, and then ask -- almost accusingly --, "Why aren't you in med school?"

I majored in advertising in college (which should be a good enough explanation of why I'm not in med school). On the first day of class, we usually had to introduce ourselves and tell why we majored in advertising. A lot of people simply shrugged and said, "it had the least required science credits." I share that sentiment. But the real reason I majored in advertising?

It's embarrassing.

It has to do with a Mel Gibson romantic comedy.

That's right. I saw the movie What Women Want, and thought, I want to do what they're doing. Also, isn't that the little girl from Growing Pains? How old am I?

It turns out it was a pretty good fit - I really enjoyed the creative process that led to advertising campaigns. And I wasn't terrible at it. But my senior year, we had a huge final project that doubled as a national competition. Our product was a locking mailbox. (The year before us had Coke and the year after us got something equally fun. We got... a locking mailbox.)

If you can't read the text... you'll be okay. It's incredibly boring. Because it's an industry ad for a LOCKING MAILBOX.

During a lesson in presenting our ad campaign, our professor told us, in what seemed to me like complete seriousness, "You have to sell this idea. If one of your co-presenters keels over with a heart attack in the middle of your presentation, push them out of the way and finish. your. pitch."

I got a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. They warned us in school that any ad agency we would end up working at would be hell compared to the environment at school. If my teacher was this serious, I finally got a sense that the general attitude in the advertising world was even more so. SELL YOUR PRODUCT OR ELSE.

I decided that I couldn't do it. But it wasn't long until I discovered the concept of social marketing, which uses the principles of marketing and the same processes I loved so much in advertising to change behaviors for social good.

When we moved here, I did what I thought would be the closest thing to experience for that specific niche:

1) I enrolled in a Masters in Public Health program (to better understand behavior change theories and all of the social problems in the world)

2) I took a job in health communication - the big sell was that I would be on a team that creates a nationally distributed series of guides focusing on living with certain chronic diseases.

(I didn't realize it also involved catering to medical students by picking up bakery treats for their small groups and ensuring that some of their lectures went as smoothly as possible. I don't mind doing this -- are you kidding? I would never complain about having to enter a bakery-- but occasionally it does make me feel even more like there is absolutely nothing in the world as important as being a medical student.)

ANYWAY. A few weeks ago I was in Tampa taking a 5 day intensive course on social marketing, where we learned how to create campaigns like this one:

and this one:

By the way, when I explained in that course that my undergrad degree was in advertising and my masters was in public health, it was suddenly like I was the most qualified person in the room. That has never happened before. People usually look at me like this:

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

music & memories: volume 2

I'm playing this little game again, even though no one linked up to it last week. What can I say, I like to talk about myself. AND I thoroughly enjoyed the comments, especially when my sister described my brother in his Coke-bottle glasses doing the Bus Stop. Which I now want to learn.

Anyway. This week's song (well, album): Alanis Morisette's "Jagged Little Pill"

When I was ten years old, I had never been to summer camp. Summer camp -- sorry to all the parents out there, but it's true -- is where all of us sheltered kids without older siblings around learn to curse.

That was the year I bought Jagged Little Pill. I bought it because its first single was catchy, even if I didn't understand the lyrics. I bought it because it was cool, and the story of my life at that time was attempting to be cool while secretly playing with dolls after school. But I also bought it because I knew, through the grapevine, that the F word was in that CD.

I was ten years old, and it was high time I heard the F word used in a sentence. My daily leisure time activities, aside from playing with dolls, consisted of reading Baby Sitters Club books and watching Full House, and obviously Claudia Kishi and Uncle Joey weren't going to be doing anything so lewd as to allow for use of the F word, right? I had to take matters into my own hands.

So I sat in front of our combination radio and record/cd/tape player that was taller than I was, pushed aside the Lion King soundtrack and The Best of Disney CD and put my new treasure into the 6 disc changer. I'm sure it was at that moment that I discovered the perfect road trip album (because I'm a sing-while-driving type of girl), the perfect angry feminist album (because sometimes those moods just happen), and just how perfect the F word was for expressing pure disgust.

Okay fine, that last part isn't true. I probably didn't understand what was really going on in that song until high school. But I did learn the rest of my curse words that summer at camp. I also acted out a fake wedding for a stuffed ghost and a stuffed elephant. Oh, to be ten again.

Does early 90s angry lady rock conjure up any memories for you? Let me know in the comments - or write a blog post about it (I didn't think I could come up with 326 words about Alanis Morisette, but it just happened) and enter your link here so others can see it:

Monday, June 20, 2011

I always feel like somebody's watching me.

Y was obviously a little annoyed that I left him for such a long time, because he hurt me in the worst possible way: he pulled a prank on me that he knows I've been dying to pull on someone.

I noticed it when I ran immediately to the bathroom after my 7 hour car ride, and turned to wash my hands.

And then I realized it was everywhere.

And I'll be honest, crying with laughter on my bathroom floor was a pretty good way to return home after a vacation.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

hey dad

As I've mentioned, my dad is no different from other dads in that he is GREAT at embarrassing me. His best trick: wearing a t-shirt with my picture on it, especially when we are going out in public together. He must have at least 6 shirts: one of me as a pudgy 16 year old riding a camel in Israel; my most awkward school picture ever; even one that my mom and I made for my 7th birthday that says "D's Daddy" in bright pink puffy paint.

I've embraced the shirts; once I realized that there was a lot more than my dad's wardrobe keeping me from being cool I started actually giving him shirts with my picture on them (I do try to choose mostly flattering pictures, though). It's one of the few gifts I know he'll actually use.

So as usual, I sent my dad a shirt for Father's Day this year. But then I realized what would really make this father's day gift go above and beyond: buying myself a shirt with our picture on it. And wearing it in public.

And that's what I did.

I wore it to the aquarium.

And to Paris (I go there often)

And on a roller coaster.

And that time I went to the moon.

Okay fine, maybe I didn't actually have time to go out in public between receiving the shirt and writing this post. But the message I'm trying to send is still true: hey dad, you don't embarrass me anymore!

Happy Father's Day!

(please refrain from commenting on my photo booth skills)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Y = maverick

There may be consequences to pay when I get home. First I leave Y for what feels like FOREVER -- I'm even missing med school prom -- and then I schedule a post while I'm away poking fun at him? Go ahead and give me the worst wife ever award.

But this question needed to be answered: what does Y have in common with the Palin supporters of the world?

You've probably heard about Palin's latest gaffe* involving messing up the story of Paul Revere. The Daily Show reported that Palin supporters have been flocking to Wikipedia to try to change the story of Paul Revere to reflect Palin's version. So much so, that Wikipedia had to lock the page.

That story sounds familiar, right?

Just saying.

*I learn so much while doing research for this little blog. While investigating how to spell the word "gaffe", my first guess was "gaff". Apparently, a gaff is a pair of underwear that cross dressers wear to, um, tuck away certain parts of their body that they want to hide. If you want to get specific: "Our uniquely styled gaff is the perfect panty for men who want to hide their masculine bulge." Seriously. Google it.

(I can't wait to find out what kind of new readers I get from pasting that phrase. Welcome all gaff-wearers! And on that note, have a great weekend!)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

carol convention 2011

Today is a very important day: the start of the annual Carol Convention.

I've explained Carol Convention before, but let me just sum it up by saying that at my old age of 27 and 4 days, it is the one weekend a year where I might have the opportunity to make a Facebook album with a line from a song as its title. Just like the olden days.

This year our planner, Leila, went all high tech on us with her clues for the weekend. We were sent this CD and told to listen to the songs, go to a website and answer questions about the songs, and only then would we receive our clue.

The clue:

Here is your packing list:
Cowboy boots
A Swim suit
Dancing Shoes
Water shoes
Water camera
Lots of room for Texas beer, chips, and salsa!

If you haven't figured it out, I'm headed to Texas today, authentic Target cowboy boots in tow!

For those of you who enjoyed the guest posts the past few days, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter! If you write a post, send me the link -- and I'll share my thoughts sometime next week, when the traveling craziness dies down.

For those of you who think my blog has turned into The View (aka Y's friends): a) dibs on being Whoopi and b) don't fear, the guest posts are over and I'll be back to making fun of your friend shortly. As in, tomorrow.

(PS: A recap of last year's Carol Convention. I'll do better this year.)

guest post: keely

When I first discovered the network of medical spouse bloggers, I wasn't interested in many of them. I found a lot of them very "poor me, my husband had to work last night" or, "Today is Tuesday and I am the luckiest woman in the world because I have a kind husband who is sacrificing everything to save patients. I will love him forever. SMOOCHES, HONEY! Check back tomorrow for more of the same."

Keely was one of the first blogs I dared to follow because she wasn't like that. And she has a cute puggle. And -- possibly most importantly -- she teaches me everything I need to know about Dancing With the Stars.

When D asked me to do a guest post I was so excited! I’ll be honest, it’s my first time. The awkward thing is that my first guest post anywhere requires me to address a question I still can’t answer.

You see, a little while back one of our medwife friends wrote a post about how people assume we married future doctors for their future money with undertones suggesting that we will always be the woman behind the man. The whole woman behind the man thing is something I added, but I think it sums up what so many assume the life of a doctor’s wife is (mind you, I only know what it’s like to be married to a medical student, not a doctor).

However, Mrs. Dr. D’s post struck a particular chord with all of us when she said this:
“It so happens that you are also fairly confident that you will make your own equally important, unique mark in the world. You just won't be doing it with an ", MD" behind your name."

So D was wondering how I plan on making my mark…

(For fear of being totally dull, I’ve included some photos of my pets.)

Oh my gosh. I have no idea. I don’t plan on spending the rest of my life only supporting my husband’s career, but in this stage of our lives he needs me to be there for him. I really do think of these years as his. Were in New York for him, and I work at a job I’m less than crazy about to stay here for him…but also for us.

In my quiet moments, which have occurred frequently throughout the last two years, I’ve been enjoying taking the time to do things to get to know myself better. You know, branch out a little.

I enjoy trying new recipes, spreading my wings a little in the realm of decorating, dabbling in slightly more fashionable things than I’m accustomed. These things may seem insignificant, but I think they are more important than they sound in developing yourself as a person.

But then I started blogging, and the more interesting people I came across, the more I wanted to expand my own horizons. I read blogs, I write my own, all in an effort to grow as a person.
I’ve also enrolled in an Anthropology course for the Fall. It’s something I’ve been very interested in for a while now, and I’d like to get my feet wet before J’s residency.
Why before residency, you ask? Well, because that is my time. J will have an income, and even though I fully intent to contribute, there is less pressure to bring in any certain amount. (At least I hope not, we will see where we end up.) I could go back to school, I could work a less steady job that makes me insanely happy…the options are endless.

I changed majors so much that I practically just Eenie-Menie-Mynie-Moed my way to a major in journalism and a minor in Biology. It is what it is. I have a job. Life is good. I’m a writer and editor for a medical news website, and I want to pinch myself each time I say it. There is nothing wrong with the job- there is something wrong with my butt in a chair for 8 hours every day. No good.

I enjoy learning, and I’d like a master’s degree, but I’m only going back to school if I’m in love. I’m talking crazy in love with a subject.

So much of my life remains up in the air, partially because my husband is a medical student, and partially because I can find it in myself to love so many things. My inability to choose the career path I truly want has nothing to do with disliking everything…and everything to do with liking most things.

Am I making a point here? Not really. The truth is that I’m incredibly immersed in my husband’s future profession, but I have not forgotten about figuring out what I want in life. If anything, I chase it with more hope and determination as I watch my best friend get one step closer to his dream each and every day. I imagine that the way I envy how he is doing what he loves will only become stronger when he gets his nose out of books and gets his hands dirty during third year.

Another plus, J would never let me become complacent with being the woman behind him. It’s possible that he wants me to find my passion in life more than I do.

…And hey! If I ever really lose direction, I could always start a puggle farm! (I’m totally kidding, I’m all about pet adoption.)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Guest post: Drew

It really is a small world. While blog shopping one day (as my friend Lauren calls it), I came across another medical wife's blog. As I usually do, I scrolled through the most recent pages to see if it interested me. It did - you could tell this girl liked to write -- so I kept scrolling and came across a buzzword: "Louisiana". I didn't think I would know this person until I found another buzzword: "Jewish".

My Jewish friends and I like to play a little game we call Jewish Geography. If someone tells me they live in say, Jackson, Mississippi, I can usually list 3 or 4 Jewish friends and they will know at least one of them. So I knew I would know (or at least know of) this girl.

Sure enough, after a little blog stalkage, I realized I did know this blogger, Drew. More specifically, her husband. In fact, her husband and I started a club together in college, and Y listened with great interest while Dr. J described his process of getting into med school.

Okay, anyway, enough about exciting coincidences. Here's Drew:

Doctor's wife: two loaded words that combine to create a title that most people really don't understand. Truth is, most people will never understand all that goes on behind those two words because it's something you have to live to understand. I can't tell you how many times I've been introduced to someone and they find out I'm married to a "doctor" (who's still in training -- but no one seems to hear that part).

Cue the many responses that just tick me off:
"Oh, how wonderful for you!"
"Well, that must be nice."
"Good for you!" (Really?!)

Yes, I am very proud of my husband. Proud that he knew what he wanted and achieved it. Proud that he put in the thousands of hours that becoming a doctor requires. However, I didn't marry him for the money that people assume we have (which FYI, we don't have and will not have for a very long time). I didn't marry him because I wanted to stay home and play homemaker all day while he brings home the bacon.

The reality of our situation is that residents make just enough money to pay their student loans and pay for food and basic essentials. There isn't much left over after all that. That is the face of our future for the next three years while my husband works for next to nothing when you calculate out all the hours. So no, I didn't marry a Doctor for the money or the "stable/secure" lifestyle. After all, what's stable or secure about Match, the notorious lottery that assigns you a residency by running a complicated algorithm? What's stable about applying for fellowships all over the country (depending on how competitive your spouse's specialty) and then picking up and moving for the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th time since beginning medical school? Nothing. Medicine today is not stable and depending on where you do end up putting roots down, even doctors can struggle to keep up with the expenses of everyday life. Sounds like so much fun, right?! Yeah, right.

After all of the introductions are done, the next question out of people's mouths is always, "Oh, and what do YOU do?" "You" is always said with this tone that says, "I don't really care but I already see you as housewife/babymaker". People, I struggle with this question but my passions aren't as clear cut as my husband's. I never had the THIS is what I want to do with my life moment. Truth is, I enjoy a lot of things and I'm good at a lot of things. I love art, design, color, history, marketing, public policy, and so much more. The only things I can say that I hate and that I suck at would be: math, excel spreadsheets, foreign languages, and college finance courses. Really.

I started college as an art major and loved it. However, I felt I needed more, so I moved over to art history and business. Then, I was just business/poli sci. Finally, in my junior year I realized this major hopping wasn't getting me anywhere and I settled with a general degree just so I could get out of school and figure out what I wanted without the pressure of grades, counselors and well-meaning faculty who were convinced I was "meant to be x,y or z".

After college I worked retail, I worked as photographer, I worked as a nanny and I started blogging. I had no idea what I wanted. Today, I work as a social media and marketing intern for local business and I L.O.V.E. it. I wake up and want to go to work. I'm dying to get on my computer and create our next mailing campaign, line sheet, or dream up more marketing avenues. Even my husband has noticed the change and even said, "I can really see how much you enjoy this job and you deserve this." People, I almost fell over in shock! I've gone from having an evasive answer to the "What do you do" question, to having a confident response and feeling like I'm doing something worthwhile. I'm now certain that I am more than just the woman behind the busy doctor. I'm more than the housewife, homemaker or mother. For me, having an identity and a career path that is not my husband's is essential to my well being and our relationship. For whatever reason, I need and want more from myself at this time than just being a wife. I need to know that I made my own small contributions to this crazy, wonderful, messed up world.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

guest post: corinne

I think I first found Corinne's blog because she posted the picture you'll see at the bottom of this post and could immediately commiserate. I was so grateful to find someone who could make light of the same weird "problems" I was facing. Also, if I was really nice to her, I figured we could become BFFs and she could take me with her to Italy one day?! Right?!

Hello D&Y (and who could forget - Ike!) fans! I'm Corinne from over yonder at As an intro as to who I am, I figured I would tell you 3 (random) things about myself:

1. I was born in Italy and lived there for a majority of the first 10 years of my life up until we moved to the good 'ol Midwest - Missouri. I spent the rest of my life growing up in a small town, went to college in the "big city" 30 miles down the road, and upon graduation moved to PA.

2. I'm engaged to a wonderful guy, Russ, and we live together along with our pup, Miley. I'm beginning to realize we need to get busy planning our wedding which is officially less than a year away! (calm down - we have the reception site and photographer booked)

3. I play the piano and the French Horn - Yes, the French Horn is a heavy instrument to lug around, Yes, it's a difficult instrument to play, but oh my does it sounds beautiful.

Insert Image #1
oh look, it's us :)

Oh, and I'm adding a #4 (because it's my guest post and I can): My fiance Russ happens to be preparing to embark on his 4th year of medical school.

SO! Let's chat, shall we? So as I'm sure you are all well aware, Y is embarking on this pretty amazing journey. Some of you may have heard of it? Medical school. Oh yes. Exciting stuff, right? Well, if you refer up to my #4, you'll see that Russ is doing the same thing. Awesomesauce! Life is just hunky dory, am I right? We're gonna be living the fabulous life in no time! (rrrrrright...)

When tossing around how to approach this post I was a little stuck. I don't want to complain about all the stereotypes of medical school significant others. They ARE there. They DO exist. I HAVE been in situations where i had to pick my jaw off the floor because of comments or questions I've received. Special moments those were, I tell ya! The first few times I was livid...there was probably smoke and fire coming out of my ears. Nowadays, I realize it's better just to let it roll off my shoulders, I don't need that extra stress and worry in my life!

For those individuals who don't know, medical school is like a big 'ol fun sucker. Loans, exams, rotations, applications, studying, specialties, lectures and a handful of vacation days become your life. Yes, there is a way to strike a balance between school and your home life, but for many it's ever-changing depending on what rotation they are on, or what exam is coming up. In my two years of living with Russ (I'm no expert) I've discovered that no two weeks are the same. There is constantly something to prepare for, something on the horizon that I know will keep him away from home for 12+ hours a day. (*I feel like I should make sure I say this has been my experience - Russ is very dedicated to his studies and works very hard and because of that, it pays off for him in the form of grades. NOT money*)

Aside from all that, it's important to know that while Russ goes through school, I'm creating a life for myself as well. I work full-time at a University and although it's not my dream position, salary or location, I know it will help me advance to where I want to be. You notice that I added Russ' profession as an additional number on my about me. It's because although we are a team in life, we are still individuals carving out our own "niche" in this world. Sure, my profession may not literally save a life but if I can help an international student figure out how to feel more comfortable here in the US, if I can help in suggesting ways for them to get involved within the school or community, or prepare and submit a proposal that will award my university funds for research, then I feel pretty good. I don't think it should necessarily be a "competition" about who is helping humanity the most, but HOW you are helping.

So, in closing...medical school. It's a journey that takes dedication and deserves admiration. Don't be fooled into thinking the life is luxurious. It's not. We live on a budget (1 income house - woot woot!) and when we can afford and have time for a vacation, by golly we're gonna do it and enjoy it. But please, for the love of cheese and pasta (yes, when you're reading this we'll be in Italy enjoying a feast) don't make us feel guilty about it. I don't make you feel guilty about your vacations, do I?

Also, it doesn't matter how many times I see a book opened to a picture that makes me stomach churn, medical school kits and books are NOT my friend.

*shudder* Sutre kits and I are not friends.

Thanks for having me over D,Y and Ike :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

guest post: mrs. dr. d

I found today's guest poster totally by chance. While commenting on a totally unrelated blog (this one), I saw that "Mrs. Dr. D" was the first commenter. (See people?! This is why it pays to scramble to post "FIRST COMMENT!!111"). Once I started reading her blog, I felt like I was reading a funnier version of my own life. Luckily, she didn't think my stalkitude was too creepy and the rest, as they say, is a lovely mutual exchange of blog comments and tweets.


Hi, I'm Mrs. Dr. D, and no, I'm not just some med school groupie.

I also think it might be best to clear the air and say yes, I do have a real name. It's Katie. And while I do think the "Mrs. Dr. D" moniker is pretty cute and bloggy, I understand that some people might misinterpret it to mean that I define myself by my husband's (future) profession.

Not so much.

I do think that being a wife is one of my most salient identities, but you best believe I am also the first person to challenge stereotypical gender roles in a relationship just for the sake of tradition---the "barefoot and in the kitchen" ideal, if you will. I think that if your feet are sore and you love to cook, go for it, just don't let anyone put you into that role without your consent.

For those of you who have been through medical school either as a student or as the partner of one, you know that med students need a grip-ton (West coast speak for "a lot") of support to get through it, and I have been supporting my fanny off for Dr. D because I love the heck out of this guy. I proudly define myself as a wife because I love being his wife.

But the minute you insinuate that that's all I'm good for... dude, I will throw down.

My husband would never ever imply such a thing because he has known me since 5th grade and he understands all of the passions and (sure, I'll brag) talents I possess. When we're out together and someone makes some comment that magically reduces my entire complex being into a one-dimensional label ("Dr. D's wife"), my dear husband---my best friend---can see the fire in my eyes. And yes, I get perturbed, but it also further inspires me to leave my mark on this world.

I don't save lives in the way that Dr. D someday will, but I'd like to think I impact them daily. I work with college students; I supervise them, I discipline and challenge them, I counsel them, and I lead and mentor them. I live among them, and I role model for them. I role model professionalism, personal independence, dependence on friends and loved ones, and an overall joy of living. The best part of my job is hearing students say that I've helped them figure out a little piece of their own life puzzle or that I've inspired them in some way, and thankfully those times have been more numerous than I ever could have hoped for.

I'm not in my end-game career, and I know I won't be doing what I currently do forever. I'm only 25, and I have many other passions yet to be pursued, among them writing, photography, and being a mother. All I know is that there is more to me than my husband's (future) MD and my new married last name, and I'm supported and loved by the man who shares this name with me. Together, we are pretty much unstoppable.

Haters gonna hate. Us lovers, we're gonna love and live boldly.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

guest posts

Pay attention, people, I've got my serious tie on.

A few weeks ago, a blog friend (Mrs. Dr. D) wrote about how much it frustrated her when people learned that her husband was a med student and automatically assumed she was in it for the money and just waiting for the day when she never had to work again. She mentioned that even though she wasn't planning to have an MD after her name, she still planned to make her mark in the world.

I could completely relate. A few years ago I sat down with a friend for dinner, and the first words that came out of her mouth were, "So! Y is in med school now, this means you can stop working soon! That's great!" Aside from all the logistical problems with that statement, I was slightly offended. Did she think I was sitting in my office crossing off the days on my calendar with a giant dollar sign on the day Y graduated? I've known this girl for years, and I think that was a pretty good indicator that she didn't really know me at all.

I always worry that my blog makes it seem like I live and breathe med school and have no life of my own, and I realized after reading MDD's post that a) I don't really talk about my job (mainly because it's not as easily subject to cheap jokes as Y's, and b) I don't know a lot about any of the other medical spouse blogs that I read. I certainly try not to let med school take over my life, and I know most of the other bloggers don't, so I thought it might be interesting to learn more about them and how they will be making their mark on the world. And, maybe, for you to learn more about what I'm doing when I'm not packing Y his lunch and doting on him.

For the past few days I've been out of town learning some skills that will hopefully help me make my mark on the world. So to fill the void of the next few days while I'm still there, I've asked a few of my favorite med school bloggers to weigh in on the subject of not being defined by med school. So stay tuned, and when they're done I'll share with you where I've been hiding.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

one of those days

This morning was going perfectly. I woke up to an exciting e-mail, my head was spinning with nervous/excited energy about going out of town, and most importantly, I was having a great hair day.

And then it turned into one of those days.

I'm sure you have them. Everything you pick up falls down. Everything you touch is knocked over. Everything that can get dirty will. Etc.

5 minutes before I needed to leave for work, I made my lunch: a big bowl of Greek yogurt with fruit and granola. The lid on my plastic container wouldn't close right. I pushed. And pushed. I started sweating. The window of leaving the house and getting to work on time passed. I gave the plastic container one more hard push to snap the top into place.

Bad idea.

I'm not going to lie, I may have cried for a minute. Then I looked in the mirror and realized the ridiculousness of having yogurt on one's head. Like, a lot of yogurt. I may have smiled. A tiny bit.

At that point I did what anyone in my situation would have done: collapsed on the ground and let the dog (Chobani's number 1 fan) lick the CRAP out of my face and hair. I may have laughed. Hysterically.

The moral of the story: it's impossible to be sad when you have a dog.

Especially one who poses for you.

(FYI, I took a shower after my Ike bath. Then my car wouldn't start. Then I drove 10 minutes to the hair salon and forgot my wallet. One of those days.)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

music memories - a little experiment

Last week when I posted about music as a soundtrack to my life, I loved reading all the comments about songs that recall certain memories for you guys, and how they vary from person to person. I love that while I was breathing in the smell of new construction at my brother and sister-in-law's new suburban California house and listening to John Mayer, Casey was smacking her Discman and breathing in the smell of the seats on her school bus.

So I thought it might be a fun idea to make this a weekly topic, with participation from anyone who wants to share. Once a week, I'll post a song (maybe two) or an artist and write about what rush of senses it brings back for me, or maybe tell you a story about that song. At the bottom of the post, I'll have a widget so you can do the same and paste your link at the bottom. If you don't have a blog, you can write your story in the comments if you want to share.

I haven't thought of a good name (my ideas are tending toward cheesy - Throwback Tunes Tuesday? Vomit.) or a button but hopefully that will come soon if you guys like the idea.

For today's song, I opened my 90s playlist in iTunes and chose the first song I saw that gave me that knock-you-out rush of nostalgia that I love:

No Doubt - Just a Girl

Just a Girl -- and the entire Tragic Kingdom album -- revolves around my dad's home office. In the days of one-computer-households, our computer was kept in this cluttered corner of our house. The internet was just becoming a thing, and as a middle schooler whose friend count was slim to none, I graduated from Baby Sitters Club books to websites for products that were supposed to make me popular.

My magazines (I think YM was my publication of choice at the time) were dog-eared; any beauty ad with a URL at the bottom was marked so I could get to the website later. No doubt (ha!) it would have tips on "how to be beautiful in 5 easy steps". Noxzema and Bonne Bell were two of my favorite early websites (and the thought of my favorite sparkly mint chocolate chip LipSmackers chapstick just adds to this whole memory).
A little Lipsmackers and Noxzema and I would have been a beauty queen

For a year, most of my free time was spent in this cold, crowded office surrounded by National Geographic Magazine, marathon memorabilia, and the beeps of the modem connecting. And that entire year, my bright orange No Doubt CD stayed in our CD drive.

Now I want to hear your stories! Add your link below when you post to your blog. And if you have any song suggestions for future posts, e-mail me at

Monday, June 6, 2011


Thanks to the greatest high school psychology teacher ever, I've always been kind of fascinated with psychiatric disorders and modern psychologists. So, I was kind of excited to hear about Y's psych rotation.

Apparently all I took away from my psychology class was the tragedy of baby monkeys clinging to wire mommies and the fun, harmless vibe of the Hawaiian shirts my teacher wore day after day. I apparently forgot the horrifying nature of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, which we watched in class. All I remembered was a lovable group of psych patients -- one of whom was a large Native American man -- who became great friends and lived happily ever after and got front row tickets to Lakers games.

Well, we watched One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest the other day, and without my funny teacher and her Hawaiian shirts there to distract me, I realized something: psychiatric patients can be, um, dangerous. So dangerous, in fact, that the medical students are advised not to show the patients their names.

As it turns out, the psych ward is a mildly depressing, potentially dangerous place whose purpose is bigger than merely to provide me with interesting stories. And One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is a disturbing movie. Duly noted.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

I'll miss you... roundabout

(We've got one year left in this town before Y graduates and we hit the road. For the next 52ish weeks, I'll be taking you through all the things (big and little) I'll miss about this place)

This roundabout is near my house, and each time I drive around it I feel slightly more European than I did after the last turn I took. Even though 9 out of 10 people take it the wrong way and the most time I've ever spent there has been chasing after lost dogs, it's a nice reminder that I'm almost home -- especially when the roses are in bloom.