Thursday, July 28, 2011

eau de step 2

As you read this, Y is taking step 2 of his boards. They say step 2 isn't as big of a deal as step 1, and it's true, there weren't as many brushes with crazy as during Step 1 (as seen here and here) and there did seem to be a lot of ping pong games in the lounge...

Regardless, there has been some serious studying going on and Y needs a break. And if you won't take my word for it, take Ike's.

As I've mentioned, Ike enjoys long walks in the park and snuggling with items that smell like us. The other day, I caught him snuggling with something that, understandably, has Y's scent all over it:

A study guide.

When your study materials start to smell like you, it's probably time to get the test over with. Am I right?

By the way, I think Y appreciated the half-asleep wisdom I came up with this morning as he left: "Remember, all step 2 is is putting your junk in that box."

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

i'll miss you...corn

It occurred to me that I've already gone through my first "last" in this city: my last ears of The Corn.

In college, I came home to find my roommate shucking corn. This was such a foreign concept to me; I was pretty sure corn came either a) frozen, b) canned, c)popped, or d)chipped. I think I made fun of her.

But I've come around. Fresh corn is worth shucking, especially if it's Bradley Farms corn from our local farmer's market.

I've never gotten to the farmer's market early enough to confirm this, but I imagine a line gathers at the corn stand when the market opens. I've only been there with the slackers, those of us who savor our few hours of sleeping in on a Saturday morning and rush to the booth, sighing in relief when two or three bags of corn still sit in the bed of the truck.

The family that sells the corn give friendly nods when they're complimented on their crop, but I don't think they understand the extent of their reputation. People know about this corn, whether they've been to the farmer's market or not. "This corn is delicious," they might say over dinner at your house, "Is it Mennonite corn?"

I don't like calling it Mennonite Corn (I wouldn't want people calling my, say, cookies Jew Cookies) but here, that's what it's known as.

The women at the corn stand wear plain dress and head covers, but I'm more likely to remember their whiteboard sign announcing that the corn may include extra protein at the end of the season (aka worms) or the so-delicious-yet-so-obvious method they shared with me for cooking the corn: put it in the microwave with lots of butter.

I got my last 4 ears of corn a few weeks ago. The season is over and as far as I know, they haven't been back at the market.

And by the time corn season comes around again, we'll be gone. How upset am I? Mildly so. Yes, fresh corn is delicious. No, Y doesn't need to rank Nebraska or Iowa so I can get my fix.

(PS, I'm patting myself on the back over here for writing an entire post about corn. And yes, Y, you have eaten corn that had worms in it. Surprise! They were cute worms, though.)

I'll miss you... archive:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

google search terms: bieber monocle

I've been writing in this little blog for about a year and a half, and I just recently discovered the stats tab on Blogger.

Stats tells you everything you're dying to know: the location of your visitors (by country, don't worry I can't tell you're at the Starbucks around the corner. Or can I?), how many people have looked at your blog in the past hour/week/month, and where they came from.

All of this is very useful if you're trying to entice companies to put ads on your blog. But my favorite feature is knowing what people search for in Google that randomly points them to my blog. Not for advertising purposes. For fun.

A recent search term: bieber monocle.

What would encourage someone to search for "bieber monocle", you might ask? I was wondering the same thing. Here's my guess:

The scene: a love-struck teenage boy doesn't understand why his crush is in love with Justin Bieber -- and not him.


Poor guy must have been crushed when he came upon my blog only to find this picture:

Monday, July 25, 2011

on peeing in a cup

a portrait of an uppity, pee-judging health professional

I'm not a fan of carrying my own urine around.

I came to this conclusion after agreeing to pee in a cup every day for 3 months. One of our friends is doing research during her 4th year of med school, and her team is collecting urine samples from women to track our levels of some kind of virus, the nature of which I promptly forgot after signing the forms I was given.

The refrigerator at work where I have to store my pee cup is about 50 feet from the bathroom. But that 50 feet is heavily trafficked. People have seen me clutching my little cup. And for some reason, this makes me extremely uncomfortable.

I'm not sure why; another 100 feet away from the refrigerator is a hall of patients who have exposed themselves in far more personal ways than a glimpse of their urine in a cup. Maybe, since most of the people I pass are medical professionals of some kind, I think they're judging my sample?

And if they're not medical professionals, I assume they just think it's gross. (Because that's what I would do.)

While thinking about how ridiculous I am (a favorite pastime of mine), I realized that maybe, just maybe, I actually had an advantage in this specific situation. Because in my lifetime, most likely the only urine I will have to deal with will be that of someone related to me. Not the case for most of those uppity, pee-judging health professionals I pass in the hall.

And while I was looking on the bright side of this situation, I also realized that there was no chance of me:
a) meeting the man of my dreams in the hallway while carrying a cup of urine or
b) running into my crush (literally) and spilling urine all over him.

Also, I get paid to do this.

That's a lot of whining for a 30 second walk and 70 dollars, am I right?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Ike's dance party

Thanks to a generous benefactor (Justin Bieber), I received an invitation to Spotify. Somehow -- I don't ask questions -- Spotify lets me listen to any song. Ever. In full.

Of all the songs ever, I decided to listen to the Romeo and Juliet soundtrack and remembered one of my favorite songs from a decade ago, The You and Me Song by The Wannadies. The last time I heard this song, I was just a high school girl crossing my fingers I would get a valentine.

But I digress. The real point of this post isn't to talk about the juxtaposition of listening to a love song when you're convinced no one will ever like you versus when you're married.

The real point is to tell you that my dog loves to dance.

Well, technically, he loves to chase his tail. But he really gets into it when music is playing, and it's more fun to believe he's dancing.

(Don't worry about the last :15, he stops. And while Ike's too lazy to keep dancing, I'm too lazy to edit videos.)

Different week, same genre: 90's classics. This time when I tried to capture Ike dancing, he stopped and pouted. Luckily, the song is the perfect background for his angst.

I'm almost positive I listened to that song in middle school with the same pout and high pitched whine. No valentines for this girl.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

couch potatoes

In the summer, when our handful of television shows are off the air, we tend to overcompensate. We start at the beginning of a series we've never seen, watch it obsessively, send back to Netflix and repeat. Not surprisingly, we have tv on the brain.

Specifically, we have Parks and Rec on the brain. Everything Aziz Ansari does makes me laugh, so I'm not sure why we just recently started watching. And Leslie's love interest in Season 3 made me giddy in a Jim/Pam or Logan/Veronica way (Any Veronica Mars fans out there?).

Our recent Parks and Rec marathon explains the following situation. The other night at approximately 2 am, Y must have been having a dream that I ran off with Rob Lowe. I assume this because he rolled over and mumbled, "Are you going to leave me for Rob Lowe?"

Without missing a beat I replied -- while pretty much still asleep, mind you -- "I would lit-rally never do that."

And the following situation can't really be explained. Y has been speaking to a secretary at the school where he was planning to do an away rotation. I asked him what she sounded like (because I saw her picture and needed a voice to match to her face, I'm weird like that). He replied, "Harriet."

I cocked my head. "Harriet?"

He rolled his eyes. "Harriet. Duh. Winslow. From Family Matters."

Which brings us to something I've been wondering since we had this conversation: when you reference a character from a sitcom that was on over 15 years ago, can you really just use a first name?

Speaking of tv, and speaking of Y's away rotation, I have recently removed ER from my Netflix queue. More on that later. In its place we've been watching Scrubs, which I've heard is the most true to life medical show out there. We just finished episode 4, where JD sleeps with a patient. So...yeah...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

how to catch a kitten

This is one of the hardest posts I've written. No, nothing's wrong. I just can't tell you this story without making Ike out to be a total, for lack of a better word, douchebag.

One night while Ike was wandering around in our backyard, he started barking his THERE'S SOMETHING BACK HERE GUYS bark. (He also has a SOMEONE'S WALKING THE DOG BY OUR HOUSE bark, a STRANGER! bark, and an I WANT THIS TOY bark which sounds suspiciously like a high pitched squeal.)

I immediately assumed there was a possum in the backyard and panicked, because Y once told me that Ike would lose to a possum in a fight. And even though I've worked out that Y doesn't always know what he's talking about, I still trust him 99% of the time. And no possum was going to kill my dog, dammit. I had to do something.

So I made Y run outside and deal with the situation, because I (in a shocking turn of events) don't like rodents. To be helpful I paced and considered what shoes would be best to wear to a dog funeral. A second later, I heard Y scream at me to get outside.

When I got to the scene of the kerfuffle (that's right, I just said kerfuffle), Y was dragging Ike (who, thankfully was still alive) inside.

"Go comfort it until I get back, make sure it's okay," Y said, pointing around the corner and referring to the alleged possum.

"What?! No! I'm not going near some strange rodent! You do it!"

Y looked at me, not amused. "Go over there and comfort the kitten."

I turned to my right, and as if an ironic spotlight had suddenly been dropped on it, the tiniest of kittens sat shivering and mewing. Which I would be doing, too, had a mean old mutt just terrorized me.

mean old mutt

The kitten must have sensed that I am not a cat person, and ran off as fast as it could.

About a week later, I saw the kitten in our backyard again (alerted once more by the telltale THERE'S SOMETHING BACK HERE GUYS bark). The cat ran off into some unknown location, but I wanted to make amends; to apologize for the big goofy dog who seemed to think life was an episode of Tom and Jerry.

I tiptoed around our yard with a ramekin full of heavy cream(we keep things fancy around these parts), calling in my best cartoon voice "Heeeeere kitty kitty... heeeere kitty kitty."

Are you rolling your eyes at me right now? As I heard the words coming out of my mouth, I rolled my eyes at myself (and may even have blushed), but it was honestly the only idea I could come up with for how to get a cat's attention. Ridiculous, right? I mean, who am I, Elmer Fudd's cat-catching cousin?

After a minute, I realized that no, my method of catching a kitten was not doing any good. I packed up my ramekin and was about to head inside, when...


A cat was actually peering under my fence, as if to say You raaang?

Not the kitten I was looking for, but one of the neighborhood cats I've known for the past three years - one of the elders of the feral cat community, you might say. His timing and concerned posture were impeccable. I could have sworn he was panting, his cat eyebrow was furrowed in concern. I imagined he was at Feral Cat HQ, holding down the fort when he saw the bat signal -- aka heard my pleas of Here, kitty kitty-- and rushed over to make sure everything was okay. It was the only explanation.

I brought my ramekin full of cream inside with confidence. I knew with our feral cat neighborhood watch program as strong as it was, the little kitten would be just fine. Mean old mutt and all.

Monday, July 18, 2011


The scene: an impromptu frozen yogurt date. The girl, unstoppably excited about her signature combination of pistachio yogurt, raspberries, and mochi, dives in a bit too quickly. The cold enters the roof of her mouth and envelopes her. She stops, mid conversation, the brain freeze apparent on her face.

The boy stares at her with a loving smile on his face. Through the girl's crushing pain, she appreciates this look, as if he wishes he could do anything to make it stop. When it does, the girl gives the boy a look of relief.

He opens his mouth, the girl can only assume, to tell her he can't stand to see her in such pain; that he hopes he never has to see that pained look on her face again.

The boy opens his mouth,

"Know why that hurts? The blood vessels in the roof of your mouth rapidly contract then expand, causing pain in that nerve, which then refers to the covering of your brain. The covering of your bain is literally what's hurting you right now. That's why they call it brain freeze."

The girl makes a mental note of the subtle difference between the boy's "loving" gaze and the boy's "I know something you don't know" gaze.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

on colonoscopies

I'm a very visual person. When someone tells me a story, I set up the scene in my head. What the room looks like, how many people are there, where people are standing, etc. If I actually visit the place in question later, I usually find out that I was dead wrong. But I still need my imaginary visual in place to be able to pay attention to the story.

Last year when Y was on his surgery rotation, he started telling me something funny someone said during a colonoscopy. As I started to create my fantasy-colonoscopy world (doesn't that sound fun? Sim Colonoscopy, anyone?), I realized I couldn't complete the scenario in my head: I wasn't sure exactly how one is positioned during a colonoscopy.

This was vital to my understanding of the story. So I interrupted Y and asked him.

Y has expressed interested in taking an academic career path; he's always liked to teach. So he did what any good teacher would do in this situation: demonstrated the proper position of a patient undergoing a colonoscopy:

That's the last time I ask him a medical question.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

more nostalgia

Forgive me for this incredibly random post.

When I was writing my last post, I started thinking about all of the things I've ripped out of magazines. I wondered if I could remember, in my long history as a magazine consumer, the very first thing that screamed at me to be placed on my wall.

I remembered immediately.

I think this may be the exact poster I tore out of Bop magazine in the 90's.

I've started to realize that when my friends were kids, they were catching up on classics like Dirty Dancing or The Breakfast Club. Not me - I was a fan of the juvenile sports movies. Little Big League, Angels in the Outfield, Little Giants, and the best one of all: Rookie of the Year. With my long, easily fumbled last name, I felt a special connection to Henry Rowengartner. Thomas Ian Nicholas lived (in poster form) to the right of my canopy bed for a long time circa 1990-something. (FYI, said canopy bed 's bedding was covered in rows and rows of primary colored hearts. I possibly was too old for my bedding.)

Eventually, Thomas Ian Nicholas was replaced by a few of my other true loves:

Does the phrase "Can I keep you?" make anyone else giddy? I can't possibly be the only girl-child of the 90s to wear out my VHS copy of Casper by rewinding to the part where he turns into a boy.

How unoriginal, right? What girl didn't stay up all night wishing she would win a pair of JTT's autographed shoes from Bop magazine? What? That's just me?

Do tell: whose Bop (or Big Bopper, if that was your drug of choice) centerfold was on your wall?

All photos in this post are from Bosses of anyone who came of age in the 80s and 90s, I apologize for making my readers/your employees aware of this site because they could probably spend hours there. The best part is that whoever labeled the pictures was clearly very excited and went out of their way to make the visitor feel very creepy. For instance, that Thomas Ian Nicholas poster was labeled "YOUNG BOY!!!!!!"

Friday, July 8, 2011

a carol convention recap

A few years ago, I ripped an article out of a magazine and it made things happen. The kind of things that you normally agree might be fun and then you just talk about for years and years.

I'm always ripping things out of magazines: from posters of male celebrities in middle school to wedding dress inspiration and recipes. I take great care to make sure each item is organized the way I want it, then I put it in a corresponding binder: recipes, home decor, entertaining inspiration... teen idols.

It's a huge waste of time. I've never looked at those things.

Until Real Simple's executive editor wrote about her and her friends' Great Escape-- their yearly vacation planned by one and kept a secret until the very last minute. My friends and I had just returned from a weekend full of marathon sessions of laughing until we couldn't breathe. I felt like we needed to do that yearly.

Although I e-mailed my friends pretty regularly, I made actual paper copies of the Real Simple article and snail-mailed them with a sticky note. Let's do this.

Who knows, maybe the actual paper made it feel more like something real and less like just another article.

A few weeks ago, I returned from the second episode of our very own Great Escape: a summer weekend in central Texas.

Where I experienced a short and sweet taste of Austin and its live music for the first time. (I'm excited to go back in September!)

Where we had to forgo fashion to avoid foot fungus at a water park.

Where we floated a river; a giant party on tubes. My favorite part was when we floated underneath the water park and the entire river cheered as the next victim was lifted to the top of a sky coaster. My least favorite part was cramming two giant tubes the size of my Prius into... my Prius.

One night we visited a teeny town called Gruene which, while undeniably charming, is running the risk of turning into the next great city turned tourist trap, a la Gatlinburg. The first sign: a ye olde timey photo studio. I predict a tacky t-shirt store and a few pancake houses within 5 years. I'm glad we visited while it was still charming.

We were in Gruene to visit the oldest dance hall in Texas.

One of us wore cowboy boots. One of us had really sweaty ankles.

(It was me.)


After a night of Texas beer and dancing (mainly with each other), we found a real live cowboy to draw the name of next year's planner.

While in Gruene, we found air conditioning in an antique store where one of us bought a phrenology head. Looking back, I'm not sure why we didn't return from our night out and read the bumps on each others' heads.

Probably because we were too busy laughing until we couldn't breathe.

Other Carol Convention posts: 1, 2, 3


I want to share this, um, compliment the janitor in my hallway gave me earlier today. It's pretty much verbatim.

As I walked out of my office, the janitor was speaking with my coworker, but stopped mid-sentence and gawked at me.

"Look at her!" she exclaimed, "She clownin'! Look at that little belt match those little shoes - you profilin'! You just like a sista! Look at those shoes! Those are shoes a sista wears. You a sista now!"

So, friends, today I am a sista (my coworker assured me that I was striking an appropriate pose). I hope your weekend is off to as exciting a start as mine is.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

re: your wife's diarrhea

Last weekend we were at a wine tasting party discovering the wonders of chocolate wine (it tastes like chocolate milk!) and "pregnancy" wine (it tastes like melted plastic!), when Y started to feel ill and we had to leave.

Later, the host of the party (a fellow medical student) texted Y and asked, "Your stomach hurt? Did you end up vomiting or having diarrhea?"

It occurred to me that if I had been the one to leave the party with a stomachache, his friends would have asked the same question about me. And I'm guessing Y would have told them, because intestinal issues are just intestinal issues, and we're all human.

I imagine, in normal life, that friends don't ask friends about their wife's (or their own!) diarrhea. I certainly don't tell my friends about anything of that nature. I know these guys have seen it all, and upset stomachs are probably on the low end of the grossness spectrum. But... it weirds me out to think that my medical issues could be fair game for discussion

What do you think? Would it weird you out for your husband's friends to know your bowels' every move... even if they were doctors?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

i'll miss you... crape myrtle?


I'm pretty sure the three trees in front of our house are crape myrtles. Regardless, they're the best indication of a change in season in our mainly hot climate and that's why I love them so much.

Having never lived anywhere in the US north of Tuscaloosa, having trees that even hint at fall excite me. Plus, the purple flowers float to the ground like summer snowflakes and make it feel a little cooler when it's 103 degrees.

That's a lie. But I can pretend.

i'll miss you... archive:

Saturday, July 2, 2011

a moment in tampa

One morning in Tampa, I decided to take a walk from my hotel downtown to the Hillsborough river a few blocks over. The hotel boasted its proximity to the "riverwalk", which sounded nice enough. But as I approached this riverwalk I noticed colorful graffiti covering everything in the distance.

My sketchville alert -- the one that goes off when you realize your GPS has just routed you through a scary neighborhood -- was on full blast. Every passing person was suddenly a threat. I jumped each time a car passed.

I could see the riverwalk in the distance and it looked nice - a perfectly manicured park sticking out in the sea of graffiti. I figured the city of Tampa was in the midst of some kind of downtown beautification project in what was once a poor area... they just hadn't gotten around to washing off the spray paint.

It was broad daylight, so I decided to keep walking despite my wariness. When I reached the start of the riverwalk, a plaque explained that Ivy League college crew teams trained at this stretch of river in the summer and showed their school spirit by spray painting...everything.

My brain has never gone from STRANGER DANGER to WINKLEVOSS TWINS! quite so quickly.

By the way, have you ever seen the University of Tampa? My picture above doesn't do it justice, but I thought it was so pretty I had to do a double take the first time I saw it.

Friday, July 1, 2011

recent things that make me happy

The farmer's market, where so far I've picked up peaches, blackberries, strawberries, corn and other various vegetables, goat's milk soap, a lavender plant, and a lemon verbena plant. The peaches and blackberries turned into Olivia at Everyday Musing's peach and blackberry crisp.

I read about this book, Palace of Illusions, in a magazine awhile ago and added it to my to-read-someday list. I found it at an outlet mall outside of Austin and bought it immediately, partly because I want to read it and partly because it's sparkly.

I think I still have a headache from the lunch break I spent picking out a new perfume a few days ago. I ended up with Wish by Lollia. The pretty bottles may have been part of what sold me.

Blueberry picking, which actually happened about 3 weeks ago. It was scorching, but the lemon blueberry cheesecake bars, blueberry muffins, and bowls of Greek yogurt, honey, and blueberries were kind of worth it.

I loved this movie, even though it added about 10 books to my must-read-now list (not to be confused with my to-read-someday list) including A Moveable Feast, The Paris Wife, The Great Gatsby, and Save Me the Waltz. There was also a hilarious moment with Salvador Dali in the movie, where he describes his latest idea for a painting, which sounds like a complete mess -- something about a rhinoceros and Jesus. I fully appreciated that having just been to the Dali museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, and seeing paintings that looked an awful lot like what he described and somehow managed not to be complete messes.

Dali mustaches. What else do you do when posing outside of his museum?

Happy weekend! What's been making you happy lately? Has anyone else read that sparkly book or seen Midnight in Paris?