Wednesday, December 23, 2009

the answer

Sorry I kept forgetting to post and instead left the blog on a cliffhanger. The Navy gave Jack his first choice for residency!

Merry Christmas-eve-eve!

Monday, December 14, 2009

down to the wire

Two days from now, the military match results come out, which means that the Navy tells Jack where he'll do his residency... and thus, where we'll spend the next three years-- and to which location I'll have to limit my rank list in a few months.

I've been telling everyone for weeks that I'm no longer freaking out about this. God knows what He's doing, everything will work out, I'm sure it'll be fine, I got the worrying out of my system months ago, etc. etc. etc. All true.

But realizing that it's happening NOW? That in LESS THAN 48 HOURS the results will be final? That a large governmental bureaucracy is about to announce its decision that will affect the REST OF OUR LIVES in a rather large way?

Yeah, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous.

(This also has the effect of causing me to avoid, for the past week or so, my usual hobby of intermittently checking out apartments on Craigslist in the cities where we could be sent. Because apparently my subconscious has decided that by looking, I would somehow affect the decision and jinx our entire future. Logical, no?)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


First, a warning, prominently posted in the student break room of the radiology department:

We were greeted on our first day of radiology with extensive exhortations not to take food or beverages into the reading room (the room with all the computers where the radiologists work). The food rule, it was explained, was to avoid mice. Fair enough. Then we were told that beverages used to be allowed, until the day some hapless student dropped an unopened can of Coke on the floor and it exploded all over his attending. From that day forward, no drinks.

This news was heralded with some mild grumbling, of course, but we took it in stride.

Then, what did our innocent disbelieving eyes see, but this:

What is that, there, in his hand? we asked ourselves. What is that attending holding?

The answer? Coffee. (If you can't make it out in the blurry cell-phone close-up taken in a dark room, trust me. That's what it is.)

Was this for real? Surely it was just a fluke! After all, Beverages Aren't Allowed In The Reading Room.

Alas, we learned it was not just an aberration, as we became more and more jaded over the following weeks. Observe (and note that all the photos in this post were taken over the course of one day).

Illegal water bottle:

Illegal pop can:

Illegal (and very hard to see from across the room, I'll grant) coffee:

Yes, it's true. With our naive acceptance of the "no beverages" rule, we hadn't realized that the rule apparently only applied to us. Students may not take drinks into the reading room, because evidently students are not capable of holding drinks.

It's good to know we'll gain this valuable skill once we're granted our MDs, isn't it?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

screen time

So Jack and I decided that our Christmas present to each other this year would be a new TV.

Not that the old one doesn't work, mind you. It works fine... and it was free (from Jack's aunt), which is even better. But it was just.... huge.

I mean, seriously, look at this thing. It's massive, and almost unbelievably heavy.

The observant among you will note that in the above picture, the morbidly obese TV has been relegated to the basement. This should be a clue that we got a fairly exciting UPS delivery the other day!

Ain't it purty? It's all sleek and shiny and... non-enormous.

The screen is actually a few inches larger, but it takes up a much smaller footprint in our living room.

Now for review purposes....

Tired and hopelessly overweight TV:

Thin, svelte, glamorous TV:

(Note: My intent is just to be mildly humorous, not to offend those who have weight problems, nor to suggest that they cannot be glamorous and should thus be relegated to the basement. This should be a "duh," but with the internet, you never know.)

Monday, December 7, 2009

o come all ye faithful

Last round of showing off our Christmas spirit!

The advent calendar:
(you can tell it was only the 3rd when I took this picture)

The advent wreath:
(for those unfamiliar, here's a link which explains the tradition and the colors)

And the Nativity scene:
(last year our then-3-year-old little friend Evvy broke the shepherd's legs off by accident... he's good as new thanks to the magic of super-glue, but we still laugh about it)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

let it snow

No, it's not snowing here yet. But our living room and kitchen are bountifully decorated with paper snowflakes!

these are left over from our wedding centerpieces last year

just barely visible through the sheers

see? pretty

We also have stockings hung-- not by the chimney, because we don't have one-- but in the window in the study. (Also left over from our wedding.)

And the family calendar made by my in-laws is also quite festive this time of year!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

o Christmas tree

We got our tree last weekend!

When I was growing up, we always had artificial Christmas trees. I loved the ritual of taking the tree out of the box and putting it together with the family. But Jack was adamant that he had to have a real tree. It was a point of contention for awhile, but after last year and now this year, I think I'm sold. I love that it's a living (for a while) part of God's creation... I love the little imperfections. And really... making sure it has enough water and cleaning up a few needles aren't really that big of a deal.

We also set up the mini tree... which is artificial, obviously.

It's probably older than I am... I think my sisters took it to college, and then I did. And then I kept it. (The plastic stand broke years ago, so my dad handily made me a new one out of a few layers of plywood sandwiched together.)

When we got our tree, the nursery also had wreaths for sale, so we got one of those on a whim, too.

I love the sharp piney smell that I get a whiff of every time I open the front door!

And the tree nursery also throws in a (small) free poinsettia when you buy a tree. Pretty.

(I prefer the red poinsettias by far. I can deal with the yellow ones though they're not my favorite, but I see people selling all kinds of bizarre colors. Blue sprinkled with gold glitter? Seriously?)

Friday, December 4, 2009

God rest ye merry

Seeing a little Christmas cheer in our windows as I got into my car early on a weekday morning is just bound to make the day a little brighter.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

adventures in the reading room

I'm currently taking a radiology rotation. Now, at most schools, radiology rotations entail strolling down to the reading room, looking at x-rays and CT scans with the doctors for a couple hours, then heading home. At our school, the radiology rotations entail 40 hours a week of... watching radiologists do their jobs.

In any case, the rotation is divided into four weeks of different types of images. The first week, I was assigned to watch musculoskeletal images being read (x-rays of broken bones, knee MRIs, etc.).... this week it's neuro (brain CT scans, spine x-rays)... next week it's gastrointestinal/genitourinary stuff, and the fourth week it'll be cardiopulmonary images.

Now we have a weekly schedule telling us which radiologist will be reading which types of images on any given day, so we know whom we'll be with on any given day. The other morning I was assigned to Dr. E, with Dr. S scheduled for the afternoon.

The morning went fine... Dr. E was nice and a good teacher. Then we went to lunch conference, which was being led by my resident. Halfway through, another resident stuck his head in and told him, "Oh hey, apparently Dr. S isn't going to be in until 3:30 or 4."

Now, here is a vitally important difference between third year and fourth year. My third-year self, upon hearing this news, would have gotten dejected, sighed, and thought resignedly, "I guess I'm going to be here late." My fourth-year self immediately thought, "Oh heck no!!!" and instantly began planning how to get out of there.

As soon as the hour was over and we began filing out of the room, I turned to my resident and said incredulously, "Is Dr. S really not going to be here until 4??" ...hoping that he would realize my situation and say, "Oh, you know what? There's no point in you sticking around until then. Why don't you go home?" But instead, he just shrugged. Hmph. Well, that didn't work.

Upon re-entering the reading room, I spotted Dr. E still sitting at a computer monitor. I positioned myself strategically beside him, hoping that he was just finishing up some images from the morning and would soon leave... giving me the perfect opportunity to leave as well. But instead he smiled and said, "Oh, I'm not doing neuro this afternoon, but you're welcome to stick with me anyway," before turning back to the screen.

Oh no no no no no. This would not do. I might very well learn valuable information from Dr. E if I stayed with him through the afternoon, but I was not about to risk being kept there with Dr. E until 3:45, and then having Dr. S show up and being obliged to follow him until who-knows-when.

So I did what a third-year student would never do. I waited until an appropriate pause in his dictating, then spoke up smilingly, "Um, Dr. E? If you're not doing neuro this afternoon, and Dr. S isn't going to be here until 4, is it okay if I just go home and get some studying done?" "Oh, sure, go ahead," he replied benignly.

Fourth year? Is awesome.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

make like a tree and get outta here

The other week, the city came and collected all the leaves on our street that people had raked to the curb.

This may not seem interesting enough to be the subject of a blog post, but it was interesting to me. I was home when they came to collect them, and I was bizarrely delighted and intrigued by the whole process.

When I texted my friend Jax to share my excitement, she replied, unimpressed, "Haven't you ever seen a leaf truck before?"

And the answer is, no! I lived in the country until I went away to college... then I lived in a dorm until I went to med school... then I lived in a shabby little apartment complex until I married Jack. I didn't even know cities collected leaves until last year.

And now my inner 7-year-old was looking out the window with glee, thinking nothing but, "THERE'S A BULLDOZER MAKING A GIANT PILE OF LEAVES IN FRONT OF MY HOUSE!!!"

Let me tell you, I was this close to going outside and taking a flying leap into that puppy. Well... at least in my head.