Friday, March 30, 2012

life for dummies

It took a few hours for the post-Match Day margarita to wear off, and when it did the initial excitement of moving to Minnesota wore off right with it. Suddenly, we were moving across the country but it was Friday at 8 pm and there was no realtor or leasing agent or mortgage broker or bank or moving company available to help us move forward. Do you have any idea how frustrating that is? Well, frustrating for Y, the grown up of our relationship. My self-appointed Match Day duty was the somewhat less important stuff: to start making a list of restaurants to try, and sign up for Groupon, LivingSocial and all of the other eight billion daily deals in our new city. The internet doesn't just work 9 to 5, THANK GOD.

But honestly, I didn't realize how much I would have to do so quickly -- and how much I'd need to learn to move across the country. What is the Frozen Four? How do you grow things in a climate where lakes are sometimes SOLID? What is it that I'm supposed  to be saying when I say "y'all"? How do you buy a house?

It's been pretty crazy over here. But I still plan to take you guys along for the ride - I just needed a quick break to drink my margarita, take some pictures in Barnes and Noble, and buy a house. Mission accomplished. See you in April?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

match day post #8459055403

Here's a little video about Match Day:

And if you're tired of Match Day related things, but really want to watch a video, you should probably watch Marcel the Shell with Shoes On.

Friday, March 16, 2012

TGIFaces of Ike #2

We're moving to Minneapolis!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

too excited to sleep

Remember that Disney World commercial where the most adorable children you've ever seen squirmed in their bed the night before their vacation and squealed about how they were too excited to sleep? 

I feel you, kids. During the weeks leading up to Match Day, I've had the night before Disney World jitters. 

When I was in college, my best friend went to Disney World with my family over Christmas break. We had the jitters. We dealt with them by prank calling all of our high school friends.

Unfortunately, that wasn't an appropriate solution to dealing with week-before-Match-Day jitters. I had to find some way to keep busy or I knew I would go insane. 

Y's solution was to watch every single episode of Downton Abbey, re-watch all 4 seasons of Mad Men, and start Breaking Bad from the beginning. Boys have it so easy. I got tired of sitting still after 2 episodes of Downton Abbey, so it was time for a new strategy. 

So I overhauled my blog. Click here to see if you're viewing from a reader. I also updated my "about" page and Y's "about" page (formerly the "the white coat" button). 

Then I decided to change my twitter background, and in the process invented houndstooth.

But this only ate up a few hours. When the chance came up at the perfect time, I volunteered to plan a 1950s housewife themed bachelorette party, which I think will be the standing theme for any event I plan from now on. Show up to my house in an apron, and you'll be good. Just look how adorable the bride, T, was in her costume and you'll be on board. 

I've been trudging through this month's book club book, Love in the Time of Cholera, and helping to plan our next book club meeting. Have you heard of this book, MWF Seeking BFF?

 I -- in my manic, productive state-- contacted Rachel Bertsche, the author, and arranged for her to join our April book club meeting via Skype. I can't wait to share that book club experience with you guys!

A project for work/school that I've been slowly planning since August is picking up momentum, and suddenly I'm finding myself at Starbucks working diligently before and after work. LSU ruined me, people. After cramming for nearly every test in college in a coffeeshop, I can't concentrate anywhere else. 

What I've learned from the last two weeks is that if something exciting were happening at the end of every week, I think I could change the world

Are you looking forward to anything this weekend? Perhaps me not talking about Match Day anymore?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

back buddies

Let's talk about great ideas. Eli Whitney had one. Kristy Thomas had one. Benjamin Franklin had several.

We did not have one. 

When we moved in over 3 and a half years ago, we set up two desks in our office. Since we were both students, we knew we'd be spending a lot of time at our desks. Naturally, we put them back to back. 

Y's desk was directly across the room from mine, facing the opposite wall. I can't show it to you because he clearly doesn't spend as much time on Pinterest as I do, and doesn't care whether his area is blogworthy. Boys. 

For three and a half years, we spent hours sitting back to back. I had a lovely view of my wall, while Y had a lovely view of my face and whatever medical condition he was currently studying. 

And then one day, Y made me a card that changed everything.

And that's when I had my idea- my idea that could rival the cotton gin, bifocals,  or the Baby-Sitters' Club. If I had thought of it, oh, four years ago.

"We should push our desks together."

"But we only have a few more months here."

I'm convincing, and we did it anyway. It's amazing. We realized we had wasted 3 and a half years not looking at each other, not having Ike underneath us licking both of our feet at the same time, and not watching porn because we were worried the other one could see it. 

Just kidding about the porn.

Y was playing a computer game when I started taking pictures, and I demanded he turn it off. Because that's the kind of wife I am. This is the kind of husband he is:

Monday, March 12, 2012

Interview trail: a bonus note

(This winter, Y traveled around the country interviewing for a residency position. I've been writing about his travels. For more notes from the interview trail, click here.)

Today was the day we found out whether Y matched. Not where he matched, just whether or not he actually has a spot somewhere.

I've been waiting for this day for months. 

Not because I was worried about Y matching. I knew he would.(He did.)

I've been waiting for this day because Y told me that as soon as he found out he had a place somewhere, I could tell you this story:

It was a rainy, almost snowy, day in December and Y was at an interview in Pennsylvania. Not just any interview - an interview at one of the most prestigious programs in the country. It was just after this infamous night (to recap: flight delayed 4 hours; arrives at hotel at midnight to find he has no bed), and despite the less than optimal sleep he was on his game. Ready to impress.

The doctor conducting the interview looked down at his file. "You're from Louisiana, I see. Where else have you interviewed?" Y ticked off the list he had gotten so used to reciting.

The doctor nodded. "What made you interview at places so far from home?"

Y was relieved. He liked it when the questions were about his desire to experience something different from the South. He enjoyed sharing his love of travel. He had his answer fully prepared, but played it cool.

"I just, you know. I just wanted to spread my legs."


Shit, he thought, I played it too cool. 

And that's why I don't think we'll be moving to Philadelphia. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

I'll miss you... mall

I'm making my way through all of the things I'll miss about it here when we move. See the bottom of this post for my other I'll Miss You... posts.

If I could, I would fly each and every one of you here to experience our mall. We could do a little shopping in the Gap That Time Forgot and when we get done there, indulge our corn dog craving in one of three eateries.


Then we'll rest our feet and discuss which cross we'd like to purchase before checking out the Kardashian Kollection at Sears. 

After Sears, we'll visit Dillard's, the only other department store. We'll make our way through the maze of church hats and trashy prom dresses until we find one we want to try. Just wait until you see the dressing rooms, reader. The decor is lovely as it is, but the folks at Dillard's know the secret to a perfect finishing touch: a decorative bowl of shells.

It might be hard to imagine anything can top all of this. But the grand finale can't be missed. If you plan to stay the night and want me to take you out to the local line dancing club, you'll need something new. Something...groovee.

(photo via Rob Corrdry)


Can you see why I'll miss this mall? My wallet sure can.  The mall parking lot is so chronically empty that part of it is used as a street -- a street that I take to work every morning. Let me clarify: I drive through a mall parking lot twice a day, five days a week, and not once have I been tempted to stop and go inside.

Ask my dad, who funded my shopping habits in high school - this is quite unlike me.

I'll miss you... archive:

Friday, March 9, 2012

TGIFaces of Ike

This morning I got an e-mail from J. Crew about a big sale, today only. "Give TGIF a whole new meaning," it said. I rolled my eyes and thought,  TGIF is so overused. It's not even clever anymore, J. Crew. Surely Jenna Lyons had nothing to do with this e-mail. 

Then, as I prepared to publish this blog post about the many faces of Ike, I realized I had about 50 pictures in one post. Why not split them up and make it a weekly series? Of course TGIF was my first thought for a title. And suddenly, it felt like a great idea. It's so ubiquitous! Everyone understands it! Jenna Lyons even encourages her marketing team to use it in e-mails! 

Anyway. Happy Friday, and here's Ike:

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

having a medical professional at home is supremely helpful

Since Y has been in medical school, he's gotten several midnight emergency medical questions from family members. Symptoms have ranged from vomiting and diarrhea to Lyme Disease. Every time, he's woken up and given patient, thoughtful answers, backed up with facts from whatever exclusive medical app he has access to.

Since Y has been in medical school, I've asked him several questions about my own health. Symptoms have ranged from random dizzy spells to shortness of breath. Every time, he's looked at me with a scowl and said, "I don't know. Ask a doctor!" 

Have you ever heard the phrase "the shoemaker's wife has no shoes"? I get it. I really do. 

In the past few years, there are two instances I can think of when Y has been helpful in response to a medical issue or question I've had (not including the time I got brain freeze):

1. Y looked up from his textbook. "I know why you get scared so easily!" he announced, startling me. 

"What are you talking about?" I asked, even though just that week he had accidentally scared me to the point that I almost killed him. We were running together, and near the end of our route he had slowed to a cool-down walk as I sped up for a sprint to the finish. A few seconds after I passed him, he snuck up next to me, startling me and causing me to reflexively hit him as hard as I could in the chest. I feel like I was one heartbeat off from inflicting commotio cordis.  

"You have Jumping Frenchmen of Maine syndrome!"

"You definitely just made that up," I said.

But in fact, he did not. Jumping Frenchmen of Maine syndrome is (assuming Y didn't change the Wikipedia page to play a huge joke on me) a neurological disorder.  The person who first described this disorder noted patients "reacting abnormally to sudden stimuli" including jumping, yelling, and hitting (all of which I've done). It was first observed in northern Maine, hence its awesome name. 

I think I'm going to start writing this on any form that asks for my medical conditions. The gym I join when we move isn't going to know what to do with me.

2.  Yesterday, while watching a Rogaine commercial, I turned to Y. "Do you think," I ruminated, "That if I smeared Rogaine on my face, I could grow a beard?"

Y's expression turned serious. "The major compound in Rogaine is blablabla," he said thoughtfully. "so that means bla bla bla bla. I think. Let me get my phone." He returned a moment later with his trusty medical app. "bla bla bla bla. So, no."

I'm still wondering why I often feel dizzy and get out of breath. But at least I know I can fall face first into a vat of Rogaine and be okay. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

just another post about match day

I get a lot of questions about how many job offers Y has gotten, which one he'll take, etc, etc. 

No, no. 

Apparently word hasn't gotten out that matching into a medical residency is less like applying for a job, and more like pledging a sorority or fraternity. Let's examine this theory:

Step one, in both cases, is the official Deactivation of the Facebook Page. No one can know about that time they wore a bow tie and posed with a Shake Weight. 

Then, whether it's Rush or Interview Season, they travel from place to place in a  short time span, dressed in their finest. In Greek life, the places are houses, situated several yards away from each other in a row. In medical life, the places are hospitals, situated around the country. In both situations sensible shoes are advisable.

The applicants/potential new members attend several events -- pink lemonade parties, grand rounds -- where they make conversation and imagine themselves fitting in with the house/hospital. 

Then, they must make one of the most important decisions of their lives. Thoughtfully, they craft a list of their top 10 (or 3, or 5, or 15) places they visited to be turned in by a designated time. Potential new members of sororities and fraternities get a few days to think about this; medical students get several weeks. 

Meanwhile, the residency programs and active sorority/fraternity members are making their own top whatever lists based on criteria like board scores and bubble writing. (I'm sure sororities look at more than handwriting, but can we discuss how sorority girls have perfect handwriting and I am doomed to be forever inferior?)

When the medical students and the residency programs turn in their rank lists, a far away computer performs some kind of algorithm developed by an economist at Harvard. I'm not sure how it works on Bid Day - perhaps the computer has a part-time gig during its off season?

Match Day is approximately one month after the students and residency programs submit their rank order lists. Every graduating medical student in the country finds out where they matched at noon eastern on March 16th. (Some fourth year medical students find out their matches in private, this post explains how Y's school does it. )

I've never been to a bid day, but I imagine it's similar...but pinker. 

See the similarities? Apparently it's confusing for everyone involved - the social committee at Y's school is throwing a post-match party and accidentally used a leftover theme from a sorority party: Devils and Angels. How embarrassing.


After the medical students find out where they matched, med school still isn't over. It doesn't officially end until graduation day on May 26th. If you're wondering how medical students spend their final days before actually being employed, stay tuned. It involves a lot of sleeping. And in our house, a lot of Downton Abbey.

bid day photo via

Sunday, March 4, 2012


We did a little redecorating when we realized that one of our favorite pieces of art needed a more prominent home. That look on Ike's face? He approves.

$4.99 grocery store flowers are still kicking a week later.

Although we don't need any more junk in our lives before a potential move... we bought more junk. Because who doesn't need a vintage pennant, Abraham Lincoln bookends, an owl wind chime, and a book of Shakespeare's sonnets from 1961?

 Or a pair of polka dotted shorts and a fedora?

We've been soaking up 70 degree weather in late February/early March, because odds are we won't be seeing that again for a few years.

Go ahead... try to convince me I don't need Abraham Lincoln bookends. YOU CAN'T DO IT.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

match day is march 16th

You guys. Match Day is so soon. We have dairy in our refrigerator that expires after Match Day.

And we are within the window of when it's appropriate to send the traditional Match Day greeting card. 

My last interview trail entry may have been posted last week, but it actually happened over a month ago. It almost feels like the whole thing never happened - the sleeping alone in my scary house, the rodents living in my walls, the portrait of Jack Black at the Boston MFA, the getting mistaken for a prostitute in St. Louis (while wearing jeans and a long sleeved shirt, I might add). Without having to make trips to the airport every few days, we've had a lot of time to think about where we might like to live for the next 3+ years -- and I have the massive, multi-city pros and cons list to prove it, with items like:

  • Ike would have to wear snow boots (pro!!)
  • Gooey butter cake (pro!)
  • Pro baseball teams (pro!)
  • Home of the most famous minor league baseball team in America (...neutral)
  • We could wear cheese heads at Match Day (pro!)
  • Resident autonomy (What? What does that even mean?)
  • Good clinic schedule (Who cares! Get back to the important stuff.)
  • A bridge collapsed!!! (CON.)
  • Residents of this state are encouraged to take their shirts off, twist them around their head and spin them like a helicopter (both?)
As you can see, someone's had their work cut out for them. And last Wednesday, Y turned in his official, final rank list... and now we wait. 

In the mean time, let's discuss that Match Day card, which is actually not a thing and was sent to Y by the American Medical Association in hopes he would upgrade his membership from student to professional sometime this year.

Y thinks the note on the back of the envelope was written with an auto-pen. I -- having worked as an intern -- think a couple of interns were forced to write 13,000 handwritten congratulatory messages. What say you?