Monday, December 31, 2012

since we last spoke

A lot has happened since December 3rd, when I last posted (as Y reminds me every day as he checks this blog in vain).

On December 3rd, I was just a naive Southern girl who thought that this was a lot of snow:

And then this happened:

Okay, maybe that's a hole in the ground. It was more like this:

What you don't know is that Ike is 6 feet tall.

Since December 3rd, I've become obsessed with a teen movie (Pitch Perfect) and not twenty minutes ago, when I wanted to trim my bangs, I turned to Seventeen Magazine for advice. I think my brain is Benjamin Buttoning. But at least my freshly trimmed bangs look good.


In the last month, I've slipped on the ice at a busy corner and landed on my ass. Minnesota rite of passage?

It never would have happened under Ike's watchful eye. 

In the last few weeks, Y got a gold tooth and will henceforth be known as ¥. 

And finally, in the last month I've realized two things:

1. My life, thankfully, no longer revolves around med school/residency. Sure, it's still a big part of our lives --I still only understand 5% of what ¥ says -- but now I have other things to worry about. I know people who have nothing to do with medicine! More to the point - I have other things to blog about. My little blog is still fairly little (despite being mentioned on a super famous blog), but it has grown to the point where more than just medical spouses read it. 

2. The resources out there for spouses of medical people continually frustrate me. If you're not incredibly religious or have a bunch of kids, there just isn't much out there to work with.

Keeping those things in mind, I've decided to start a little community specifically for medical spouses. 

If you happen to have strong feelings for someone who is a doctor/doctor adjacent, you should check it out! Medicine: A Love Story will be home to my weird residency-related stories (some of which I'll still post here), but also things a lot of my new, non-medical blog friends won't care about - advice, link ups, and more of a community feel.  

Here at Just Dand¥, I'll keep writing about our lives (well, like I used to prior to December 3rd). In fact, I've got a post lined up about how I was hit on by an 8 year old. (That says HIT ON, not SHIT ON -- even I had to read it twice.)

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 3, 2012

semi DIY gift guide

Do you want to know what I did this weekend?

Silly me, of course you do. 

I spent hours reading countless bloggers' gift guides. I don't know why, but I can't get enough of these. The more ridiculous, the better. A $40 paper flower for your mom? $60 candles as a housewarming gift? I want it all. I especially love how specific these things get. 

For the artsy niece who picks her nose occasionally. 

 For the chic BFF who has a pet lizard. 

For the hipster boyfriend whose secret favorite movie is Aladdin.   

So you know what's coming, right? The first ever just dandy gift guide: under $25 gifts from the well-meaning friend whose DIY attempts look like they were created by an eight year old and who is still using her iphone 3 to take pictures so she attempts in vain to make them look nicer with an instagram filter.

Eh, we can work on the title later.

1. for your favorite brunch date

Fill a container (this is an empty clementine box) with brunch fare. Seen here: homemade chai syrup, homemade granola, homemade jalapeno vodka for bloody marys, and maple syrup.

2. for your beloved co-worker who wakes up early and works from home to catch up

A cozy shawl and socks, fun file folders, homemade granola, and a mug for the necessary coffee 

3. for the voracious reader

A new book and a new mug, wrapped in a soft blanket and adorned with a homemade bookmark.

Bonus idea: (see previous photo) a gift tag made from a Victoria's Secret catalog for your 14 year old brother-in-law.


I love coming up with themed gifts -- dare I say I'm kind of good at it? --  so hit me up in the comments if you've got someone hard to shop for. As long as they like anthropologie mugs and homemade granola, you'll be all set. (just kidding - I'm willing to think outside the [empty clementine] box.)

(By the way, the mother of all gift guides this year is To & From, which is approximately one million pages. It's amazing.)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

a tale of two cocktails

the perfect winter cocktail to keep your friends and family drunk, happy, and begging for more: this pear ginger fizz cocktail (from Style Me Pretty's Thanksgiving guide) is simple, delicious, and a crowd pleaser -- at least it was at my Thanksgiving.

the perfect pop culture cocktail to keep you constantly looking over your shoulder and waking up at 4 a.m. due to  nightmares: Homeland is amazing, The Walking Dead is addictive (even though the constant, redundant arguing makes me want to tear my hair out), and Gone Girl is so twisty you'll get carsick. But I don't recommend watching/reading all of these at the same time to anyone. Small doses. Zombie dreams are bad. Abduction dreams are bad. Terrorist dreams are bad. Together? I don't even want to talk about it.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

following up

>> As a followup to this post, I heard Eminem on the radio the other day and practically licked the radio.

>> As a followup to this post, there has since been a poop elephant and a poop turkey to accompany the poop whale. Someday I'll post a collage of our poop menagerie. 

Also, Young House Love put a link to that post on their blog yesterday, making the story of the poop whale my most viewed post ever. This traffic surge knocked this out of the top spot, a post in which I mentioned Kristin Chenowith. It's not a particularly special post, it just gets hits when people search for Kristin Chenowith feet. People are... interesting. & thanks to YHL for the shout out! 

>> As a followup to this post, the other day, my cashier at Trader Joe's cheerily sang "OOOOOKIE DOKIE" to the tune of "HAAAALLLELUJAH!"

>> As a followup to this post, my rectum is still amazing.

Monday, November 26, 2012

weekend lessons v. 6

01. Giblets is a really funny word.

02. Last night, we went to a holiday parade in downtown Minneapolis and I just wanted to PINCH ITS LITTLE CHEEKS. Lesson: Non-Louisiana parades are so cute, with their teeny tiny floats and sober riders and lack of things flying through the air.

03. The other day I was talking to Ike, and I apparently called him Mr. McStinkyButt.  Y called, from the other room, "Of the Minneapolis McStinkyButts?" It was then that I snapped to consciousness and even realized that I had been talking to the dog. I have a problem, I think.

04. We started watching Homeland this weekend and BAM. Marley from Glee, topless. The lesson: Marley from Glee is topless in Homeland and I just don't feel like her mom the cafeteria lady would have raised her daughter to be so... topless. Related: Angela from My So Called Life is a CIA agent.

05. I'm thankful for a dog that winks at me and a husband that sleeps through the cutest photo session ever. (see above photo)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

pinterest in real life + Young House Love

A few weeks ago I posted some pictures of real fall, meant to show you what's going on behind the scenes as your favorite bloggers frolic through apple orchards and make out with their pumpkin spice lattes. 

Today, along those lines, I want to show you Pinterest in real life.

Ever since some genius crafter discovered that - gasp - dry erase markers work on glass, Pinterest has been full of pinners posting their dry erase frame creations.

I decided to jump on the bandwagon, putting a frame in our bathroom (on those shelves that I fought so hard for).

Brushing our teeth is usually the last thing each of us does in the morning before work, so it would be perfect for the love notes we were dying to leave each other as we parted ways.

Or  helpful reminders-

Not that I would ever have the foresight to package up leftovers for Y's lunch.  But that's the thing about Pinterest - it's supposed to make you perfect. 

But, readers, my husband is not John Petersik*. So instead of love notes, this is what I got:

*John Petersik: co-blogger of Young House Love who seems to be open to any and all DIY projects and doesn't incorporate voyeuristic whales into home decor. 

Edited to add: I actually met John and Sherry, the couple behind Young House Love last night at West Elm for their book signing. 

I'll share more later -- they are as friendly and real as their blog suggests -- but I thought this little story was relevant. You see, this exact project (sort of) happens to be in the YHL book. I showed John and Sherry Y's whale, which they, of course, loved (how could you not?! Look at that face!). 

And then, because I was at the back of the line and I think everyone in the store was a little delirious, John wrote this in my book:

My copy of this book is going to be worth millions one day. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

what causes radon: the truth

Being married to a resident can be kind of humbling.

Like when you realize that no matter how much you have to do at work, no matter how annoyed your boss is, when something happens to your house there is no argument: you don't have lives to save. You are the one staying home with the repairman.

This has its perks. Like... hanging out at home with the dog.

It also has its downfalls. Like, staring at an unfinished bedroom that would look a million times better if a) there was a picture ledge on the wall*, and b) there was no underwear on the floor.

But mainly it has its perks. My favorite: getting the real story from the repairmen. 

Recently, while sitting at home entertaining the people who were installing our radon mitigation system,  I got the inside scoop on why our basement has so much radon. I made sure to share with Y. 

Apparently, insinuating that Y caused a poisonous gas to emanate from our floors is the way to his heart. Just a few days later, our bedroom looked like this:

some other bedroom shots:

By the way, this is what our bedroom looked like when we looked at the house:

*I screw up every time I try to put something in our walls. Otherwise, I would have hung the shelf myself. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

the complexities of bubble baths

I can't wait to go home and de-stress with a glass of wine and a bubble bath

For some reason, I've always felt like this is what real adult females do when they get home from work. I don't know where I got the idea -- a romantic comedy starring Kate Hudson? A book with a pink cover? -- but I've always felt like I wasn't truly a grownup because the bathtubs in my rented places were too disgusting to ever dream of sitting in.

Then, we bought a house of our very own. With a bathroom we owned.

And it had a disgusting bathtub.

I resigned myself to a life without bubble baths. It was hard to do, guys, but I did it. I know, I know: I'm so brave.

And then we discovered that the lack of tile in our shower was causing the water to rot the walls. 

And, as the popular children's story goes, if you tell new homeowners they need new tile, they're going to want a new shower head. And when you give them the shower head, they're probably going to want a new bath tub. 

The first order of business in our shiny new bathtub? I was taking the freaking bubble bath I had been deprived of for so long. 

But there are things you realize when you take the first bath of your entire adult life. Things like, you have no idea how to take a bath. 

As Y said after he was forced to take a bath before the shower head was fully installed, Am I supposed to wash my hair in the same water I wash my asshole?

Valid question. I haven't taken a bath since.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

weekend lessons v 5

01. Just because you watch Felicity for 6 hours straight doesn't mean that your hair will magically look like Felicity's when curly.

02. On a related note, dressing up in your floofiest skirt and riding your bike to the library doesn't mean you resemble Zooey Deschanel or Belle from Beauty and the Beast

03. On a related note to that, this still ranks as my favorite Youtube video of life. Hey girl.

04. No matter how good the shopping is in the city in which you live, you will continue to buy clothes at Target. Or at least, I will.

05. Making your dog sit still for a photo shoot before you give him his food is just plain cruel.

06. A perk to owning a house from 1920? Pretty glass doorknobs, no Anthropologie trip required. 

07. College football is unnecessarily heartbreaking. 

08. Three cake balls is not a good dinner... It's a great dinner.

09. Having the house to yourself all weekend is an excellent time to a)sing loudly along with Glee, no judgment & b) take lots of pictures of your little house. I think I'll take you on a house tour this week. Starting with this behind the scenes look of our living room, aka the room in which Ike likes to hump his bed. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

I live in a rap desert

Minneapolis is the whitest place you'll ever live.

That's what everyone told us, at least. Some said it disdainfully, as if we would never know diversity again. Some said it jealously, like our neighbor in Shreveport.  She was upset about the new black family on our street, and said -- are you ready for this? --

 "I wish I could move to Minnesota. Things are getting a little...dark here."

(We're glad we don't live by her anymore. The racist neighbor, not the black one.)

Yes, it is home to an albino squirrel family. But Minneapolis also has the largest Somali population outside of Somalia and a huge number of Hmong (from the mountainous regions of China, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand).

Let's put it this way: At Y's hospital in Shreveport, if his patient spoke a different language, he had to call a special number. From there he had two options for translators: Spanish or Mandarin. 

At his hospital here, there are over 20 in-person translators, plus a phone number that has 300 additional languages. So far Y has needed Hmong, Somali, and Russian translators... and he's accidentally called the Polynesian and Urdu translators. (Which sounds like an awkward phone call.)


Now that I've lectured you on making assumptions about the midwest, allow me to get to the real problem. Despite all of this unexpected diversity, there is no rap station. In fact, I don't think I've heard a rap song since I've been here. Even songs with rap collaborations are played on the radio sans rapper.

This is a problem for this girl, who went to high school football games only to hear the band play Juvenile's Back that Azz Up. Whose high school soundtrack could be performed by My$tikal. Who knows the dances to these hip-hop classics. Who thought it would be a good idea to spend her first weekend in college at Club 112 -- also known as One Tweezy, made famous by Jermaine Dupri in the song Welcome to Atlanta in these classic poetic lines:

it's off the heazy fo sheezy
You can find me up 
in one tweezy 

So, friends, I need to know: what's playing on your local rap station? What am I missing? Louisiana friends, if I were to go to Goldmine at 4 am, what songs would I hear? 

Please help me. 

(And if you can't help me, help those affected by hurricane Sandy.)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

the sunday currently

reading Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed. I started reading this before I read Wild, her other book. The one where she whines and hikes and whines and hikes and whines and hikes. Now I don't know if I can take her seriously enough to enjoy this book. 

writing blog posts about Enrique Iglesias, My$tikal, dog sweaters, and radon. Stay tuned, it's about to get musical, snuggly, and toxic around these parts.

listening to the Lumineers Pandora station, through which I've been introduced to Noah and the Whale and The XX. Tip: The XX is amazing writing music.

thinking about the peppermint white hot chocolate with whipped cream I'm going to be making later tonight. 

smelling snuggles. Does anyone else's dog develop a smell when it sleeps? We like to say it smells like snuggles. You are not to repeat that to anyone, do you hear me??

wishing I could be a morning person. I even googled "how to be a morning person". I got nothing.

hoping that the next bar in which I try to watch an LSU game doesn't change the channel for the entire first quarter because one table wants to watch a horse race. I'm sorry Minnesota, but SEC football > horse racing.

wearing my new Minnesota uniform: a flannel shirt, down vest, jeans and boots.

loving podcasts. On a scale of one to Screech, how nerdy does that make me? My current favorites: NPR's pop culture happy hour and Joy the Baker. 

wanting to fill out one of those "about me" chain letters that were cool back when I had a hotmail e-mail address and a geocities account. That's what writing this post feels like. JuSt WiTh a LoT lEsS oF tHiS.

needing to eat more vegetables. This week has not been conducive to vegetable consumption.

feeling cozy. Flannel will do that to you.

clicking and laughing out loud. 

Linking up with Lauren, who just moved to Wilmington, NC today. In her honor, I think I'll go watch Dawson's Creek on Netflix. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

three thoughts on shopping

1. Remember that time I wrote about my local mall in Shreveport? The miserable, desolate mall where great deals go to die? Remind me to do a post now that I live 4 minutes from the complete opposite of that mall. A mall that has a store entirely devoted to Peeps. And a wedding chapel. And a log flume. But still manages to somehow be miserable in its own way. 

2. Urban Outfitters is selling rare Lisa Frank items, clearly trying to appeal to girls exactly my age. However, the last time this 28-year-old walked in to Urban Outfitters, I immediately had to turn around and walk out because THE MUSIC WAS SO LOUD. Turn down your music, Urban. And get off my lawn while you're at it. Then maybe I'll think about buying a folder with a picture of two hot pink dolphins hugging. 

3. Yesterday, I went to Target to buy bread. I came out with a bag that was so heavy it set off the seatbelt sensor on my passenger seat. Story of my life.

What about you guys? Any random musings on shopping?

Monday, October 22, 2012

an urban hike in st. paul

Lately I've been feeling kind of lazy. I partially blame the book I've been reading.

Writing a memoir about hiking 1100 miles is just cruel. I'm talking to you, Cheryl Strayed. You start telling me about your journey, about your boots! the stars! how amazing it feels to bathe after walking for miles and miles! and I'm ready to buy out REI and embark on my own physically challenging expedition to find myself. But you've sucked me in to your tale, and now I'm stuck on my couch for the next 4 days, not moving, shoving snacks into my face, desperate to see how it ends. 

Also, a guy jumped from space. 

I managed to make three crockpot meals in the past week. Only one of them didn't burn. That's been my contribution to society lately. 

Inspired, I dragged Y and Ike on our own version of a journey to find ourselves: a three hour hike that was mostly on a paved trail. Baby steps.

Note: I actually wrote the above paragraphs in my head before we actually hiked. I just knew something noteworthy would happen, most likely:
  • I'd get mistaken for a weird celebrity (celebrities I've been told I look like: Cameron Diaz, Suri Cruise, Blair Underwood. Let's recap: Cameron Diaz looks nothing like me, Suri Cruise is four, Blair Underwood is a black man.)
  • I would trip in some hilariously slapstick manner
  • One of us would say or do something ridiculous.
Spoiler alert: It ended up being the latter.

Because while we were walking through the parking lot to our trail, this pulled up.

Out walked the best dressed hiker you've ever seen, and his impossibly adorable little boy. The dad spouted off the history of the trail as he pushed his hair back with his Ray-Bans. The little boy gazed adoringly at his dad.

I don't know what you do when you come across a Cool Dad. Maybe you smile. You probably don't think twice about it.

Y and me? Well, we invent a sitcom about their adventures and spend the next few hours writing the theme song and singing it while hiking. In case you're interested, the song starts "I've got my son for the weeeeeeeeeeeekend", Bradley Cooper plays Cool Dad, and the show is called Custody. As in joint custody. Because, you see, Bradley Cooper and his ex-wife got a divorce after it became clear that she was a lesbian. 

Sidenote: the last time I went hiking was in Central Arkansas during Carol Convention. We made a Justin Bieber music video in the woods. Is it possible that I'm too ADD to hike?

FYI: We "hiked" from Harriet Island to Lilydale Regional Park, through Lilydale, and back. The Lilydale trail winds uphill on what used to be a brick factory, so there are old bricks scattered throughout and a brick oven hiding in the woods. The uphill switchbacks are a pretty good workout and end in a nice view that was probably amazing two weeks ago, before the leaves fell. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

real fall versus blog fall

Having lived in Louisiana for most of my life and loving the idea of fall, I never truly knew what a real fall was like. For the past few years, I've been relying on bloggers in cooler climates to show me. 

Now that I live in a "cooler climate" myself (have you heard? It's cold here!), I know the truth. There's blog fall, which is pumpkin-scented and crisp and lovely and all of those other words bloggers like to throw around. 

But then there's real fall. The greater blog population doesn't tell you about real fall. 

So I will.

Blog fall:

Real fall:

Blog fall:

Real fall:

Blog fall:

Real fall:

Blog fall:

Real fall:

Blog fall:

Real fall: