Saturday, April 30, 2011
There are few things quite as satisfying as emptying out an entire pen.  Rarely does this actually happen.  More commonly, I lose a pen before I even have a chance to get through the whole thing.

But for the last two weeks, we've been in lecture all day... without our computers.  And while I'm listening to lecture (yes, I promise I actually am listening), I have to do something else.  Normally, I play minesweeper.  But since we weren't allowed to have computers open, instead I doodled.  And 8 hours of doodling for 5 straight days will burn out any pen.  Including this one:

I got this pen with my information packet when I was interviewing in Portland, OR.  They got bonus points for giving me a sweet pen.  Over the past couple weeks, I used this pen as my exclusive doodling pen.  And then, it does.  It completely ran out of ink.  I even disassembled it to make sure it wasn't just clogged!  Sure 'nough, it was empty.  Dry.  SUCCESS!!!

Talk about a feeling of accomplishment!  I owned that pen. 

I probably should get less joy out of draining a pen of all of it's ink.  But whatev.  It makes me happy.

Very very happy.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
There is something you should know about me. 

I hate packing.  Loath might be a better description.  I don't know why.  Even when I'm packing for a trip I'm really really really excited about, I still put packing off until the very last minute.  If you and I are facebook friends, you should already know this about me.  The day I'm supposed to be backing, you will see a string of status updates that look something like this:

"I hate packing."
"Ugh, I hate packing."
"Instead of packing, I think I'll clean the bathroom."
"Boooooooo, packing."
"I should be packing, but instead I'll eat ice cream."
"Watching Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, but I should be packing."
"Does someone want to come pack for me?  Because I don't want to."
"My flight leaves in 6 hours.  I should really pack."
"Packed.  3 hours of sleep, and then off to the airport."

And it pretty much always happens like that. 

But, I'm trying to change that.  You see, packing an entire apartment is likely going to take more than 17 minutes.  So, in an attempt to spread the misery over many many days, rather than consolidate it into like three consecutive days of total misery, I'm going to try to pack at least one box a day.  Here's my progress so far:

Not too bad, right?  I think the hard part is going to be figuring out what I want to and can fit in my car to lug around with my nomad self for a month between when my stuff gets picked up from my current abode, and delivered to it's final resting place in my new house.  This is complicated by the fact that the moving company says, "please allow 3-14 days from the day you are first available to accept delivery for your belongings to be delivered".  So, in other words, I will drive to my new home, stay in a hotel for a night, close on my house the next day, move in, and not have anything except the clothes on my back and whatever I have in my car for 3-14 days...  

That means I'll need certain things in my car.  Like my coffee maker, a mug, a pillow and some blankets, a source of light, a roll of toilet paper, a towel, something that is microwaveable, and probably important documents that shouldn't sit in a box in a storage shed in an unknown location for 34-43 days.  Everything else needed I'd have with me anyway (clothes, running shoes, computer, bikes, Wyatt). 

I also need to put in my car things I do not want to entrust the movers with, ie things I cannot replace.  A big platter I just painted, a statue thing from Mexico, a globe from Belize, a bierstein from Germany, a painting from Mexico City, a tapestry from Lesotho, a singing bowl from Thailand, a handblown (handmade?  mouthblown? there's just no good way to say it...) glass pitcher, and some other nifty stuff that, if broken, I can't replace.  

I also have to bring enough clothes to have stuff for a graduation, a trip to Europe, a bunch of bike riding, normal clothes, and some professional clothes, in case my stuff doesn't arrive before I start orientation.  

And I have to be able to fit a cat.  And his stuff.

And me.

See, this is why I'm starting the packing process now.

And by now, I mean right after I finish watching NCIS and eating ice cream... 
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Total Distraction

Now, let me explain.  Picture number one is the house that, barring any unforeseen issues in the next 50 days, will be mine.  Picture number two is the pillow which will inspire the decor of said house.  And planning said decor of said house is completely and utterly consuming.  I partially blame Young House Love for having an in inspiration napkin for their current house, which let to me searching for an inspiration item, which led to finding this pillow, which led to me being totally preoccupied with searching for things to decorate my house with.  Seriously.  Total distraction. 

Let me briefly share with you what my current fantasy plans kind of look like in my head.

Kitchen:  White cabinets, blue walls (the darker blue), with my green pear mixer featured. 
Dining room:  Chocolate brown walls, white glazed/slightly distressed table with white chairs with a nifty green fabric, green based accents/place settings, green, blue, and eggplant accents.
Living room:  Neutral light but NOT white walls, white fireplace, dark orange accent wall, fun purple area rug, sectional couch with many accent pillows (based on colors of this one), reading chair in corner with lamp, ottoman, and bookshelf.
Bedroom:  Palladium blue (yes, there is a color picked out) walls (and ceiling, because their dormer ceilings and there is no place to stop!), black furniture (I think), a cool painting, little fuzzy white rug to step onto in the morning (because I have hard wood floors), and some new awesome yet to be found bedding that will replace the bedding I have now, which will become guest bedding. 

And it's going to be awesome. 

Back to online window shopping.
Saturday, April 23, 2011
I'm home in Pennsylvania this weekend for Easter.  For whatever reason, they decided this year to start giving us Good Friday off... I'm pretty sure we've never had it off before, but I could just have been missing something.

My aunt, uncle, and cousins were in town for a surprise birthday party we had for my dad last night, and today I gave them (and Betsy) the tour de Lancaster, food style.  Let me give you a run down.

We started by going to Central Market, the longest running indoor farmers market in the country.  Yes, the WHOLE country.  It's pretty cool.  Normally I can get all my groceries there, and spend very little money.  But today I didn't need groceries.  Instead I got snow peas (for the car ride home tomorrow), marinated string cheese (mostly because it's the most delicious salty cheesy food ever), and chicken pot pie.

Lets pause for a second so I can explain to all of you what chicken pot pie is.  If you are picturing something with a crust, I'm sorry.  You've been mislead your whole lives.  If it has a crust it's a chicken pie.  The "pot" in chicken pot pie implies that it's made in a pot.  Made with potatoes, chicken, thick noodles, and salt.  The only role vegetables play is in the making of chicken stock, should you choose to make your own (which, PS, you should.  Chicken pot pie is delicious.  Chicken pie can be, but it's never as good as chicken pot pie.

Okay, so back to the PA food tour.  After central market, we came home, and then promptly took my cousins to the Bird-In-Hand Bakery (located in Bird-In-Hand, PA).  They have whoopie pies.  And the worlds best molasses cookies.  Please, don't argue.  It's useless.  Unless you have TRIED Bird-In-Hand bakery molasses cookies, you can't judge them.  Anyway, back to the whoopie pies.  Whoopie pies are cream filled dense cake sandwiches... in a nutshell.  The original whoopie pies are made with chocolate cakes and cream filling.  They also have peanut butter (chocolate cake and PB filling), red velvet (red velvet cake and cream filling), and pumpkin (pumpkin cake and cream cheese filling).  Amish make them best.  With Amish love.  It's a secret ingredient that no one else has.  We got 2 dozen whoopie pies, 6 molasses cookies, and 2 chocolate chip cookies (those were for my cousin... special request). 

After the bakery, we went to Starbucks (not uniquely PA, but I thought it would be good fun to give all three girls lots of sugar and return them to their parents...

When we got home from that, my aunt recommended we go to the Sturgis pretzel factory (the oldest commercial pretzel factory in the country.  Yes, the WHOLE country.  You can take a tour, where you get to learn how to hand twist pretzels, see the old brick ovens, and learn that they used to dip pretzels in straw water and lye to give them the color and taste.  Lye... that sounds safe.  Now they use super-strong sodium hydroxide I think.  We picked up some pretzels (they are SO much better than the pretzels you can get in NC), and then headed home... until we realized that the Wilbur chocolate factory was right around the corner!!!

Wilbur makes super super super delicious chocolate (they export some for Godiva to use to make their chocolates), and these things called wilbur buds, which look like Hershey kisses but have a swirly pattern on the bottom and are imprinted with "Wilbur".  Yummmmmm.  So my aunt got some Wilbur buds, I got some Easter coconut cream eggs, and we headed back to the car.  We also saw some baby ducks... 9 brown ones and one yellow one.  They were adorable.  But since the theme is food, and we didn't eat the ducks, I won't dwell on them.

We got home from Lititz (the home of Sturgis and Wilbur (oh, by the by, Wilbur uses Sturgis pretzels to make their chocolate covered pretzels)), and it was time for dinner.  Like we needed to eat.

After dinner, Betsy and I decided to go to Hershey Chocolate World because she hasn't been since she was a little one, and doesn't remember it.  We went on the free ride (which I can pretty much sing along to, but it's still always fun!), got some free chocolate, and then perused the store for a while.  I didn't get anything, but Betsy got some coconut kisses.  Then we went home.

So let's review.  We covered Central Market and chicken pot pie, Sturgis pretzels, Wilbur chocolate, Bird-In-Hand bakery and whoopie pies and molasses cookies, and Hershey.  I think the only thing we didn't covered (in a single day) is ham and bean soup.  I'll save that for another day.

We're fully stocked for our ride home tomorrow.  I would have bought stuff to stock up my freezer... but I'm trying to empty my freezer! 

Oh, and I'm going to show you my new house soon.  So be on the lookout!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011
You may end up packing scarves in a box labeled "sterile disposable speculum". 

I can't wait to watch the faces of the movers when they pick that one up...

On second thought, they'll probably have no idea what a speculum is. 

Hey, you've gotta get boxes where you can!

PS.  Have I ever mentioned how much I hate packing?
Friday, April 15, 2011
My hotel is in the middle of the shopping mecca of this area.  Every store one could possibly need is within a 2 mile radius, including both a Borders and a Barnes and Noble.  Apparently, the Barnes and Noble is doing much better, though.  Borders has been forced out of business.  Luckily for me, I rolled into town a mere 6 days before it closes FOREVER!  Which means they are trying to liquidate all of their stock.  Unfortunately, everyone has already snatched up the leftover coffee and industrial cafe espresso machines, but there were still lots of books to choose from!  All at least 70% off, no less. 

So, I may or may not have snatched up some books for a ridiculously cheap price. 
I got these 8 books for a total of $33.14.  I added up the list prices, and the total WOULD have been $166.80.  For you mathematically uninclined people, that's 80% off.  Woot woot!

And, for an interesting summary of what my life is all about, here's a breakdown of books by topic.
2 Medical Related: The Emperor of All Maladies, The Surgeons
2 Fiction: Commencement, Disgrace
1 Running: Born to Run
1 Mountain Climbing: One Mountain Thousand Summits
1 Religion:  Beginner's Grace
1 Random: Confessions of an Economic Hitman

This should get me through the next few months! 

What types of books do you usually read?
Thursday, April 14, 2011
April Fools! 

Yes, I do realize that it's now April 14th, and traditionally April fool's jokes are reserved for April 1st.  But I just now came up with one and I didn't want to have to wait another 50 weeks to use it! 

Really, I thought it might be fun to talk about my opinion of tattoos.  It's quite simple, really. 

I realize that they are very personal.

And people have a right to do whatever they want with their skin and ink. 

And I have, on rare (very very rare) occasion seen or heard of a tattoo that I maybe could understand the rationale behind. 

But in general, my opinion of tattoos is:

There's nothing that can be said better permanently inked on your soon to wrinkle body than can be said with a 1) piece of art, 2) wall hanging, 3) piece of jewelry, 4) photograph, or 5) framed poem, short story, or other form of creative writing.

Yes, I do know stars and Chinese characters may have a VERY important place in your life.  But when you get them tattooed on your ankle, and you put on a dress, the dress is ruined. 

And when you get a heart with a banner and "mom" tattooed on your arm, we all know you really love your mom.  But then you love your muscle and it looks like you held mom over the fire too long, and she melted.  If you'd taken your mom to a photography studio and gotten some nice photos taken of the two of you, she'd feel equally loved and would never melt or wrinkle.

Here are some tattoos that SOMEONE thought were a good idea when they got them... hindsight is 20/20.

And, I must say, even though I might get assaulted from some form of feminist swat team, tattoos look, in general, more ridiculous on women than men.  Ladies, we can wear headbands, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, watches, rings, toe rings, anklets, belts, purses, handbags, scarves, cloaks, shoes, hats, sunglasses, and we can carry small dogs.  There are a trillion and one ways to make yourself unique and represent who you are.  No need to put it permanently on your body.  When was the last time a pair of shoes was in style for... EVER.  Never, oh, then it's probably a good idea to get something on your body that will stay there forever.

Clearly, I have no intentions of ever getting a tattoo. 

Dad, you can sleep easy at night!

What's the most ridiculous tattoo you've ever seen?
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
(Note:  I started this last night, and then my computer had a little fit and I had to stop... sorry.)

After a 10 hour drive, I've settled into a hotel in my future home town.  Tomorrow is day one of Mission: Find A Place To Live!  There are some excellent prospects, but online and in person are two different things, and I'm excited to see what (insert town name here) has to offer! 

But first I thought it would be fun to show you some pictures from my recent travels.  They are cell phone pictures... please excuse the poor quality.

So I just got back from a few days in Connecticut, where Sarah was ordained!  I arrived at the Charlotte airport last night, took the shuttle back to my car, and found this:
Yes, you're correct.  That IS a black Escalade parked outside the lines, over in my space, practically touching my car, with some sort of Carolina Panthers stickers with the word "owner" on them.  I think the stickers are there to make me think he's important.  Note to the Escalade driver:  if you were THAT important, you wouldn't be parked in the $4 boonies section of Long Term 2.  So taking that into account, I gave the Escalade driver a parking ticket, of the same variety that I gave this Hummer driver.  I thought if I got too close, an alarm might go off... but then I realized you couldn't get much closer than he already was to my car.  So he got a ticket.  Ba ha.

After parking lot fun, I drove home, unpacked, repacked, ate dinner, gave Wyatt some much needed attention, went to bed, woke up, and got in the car to drive north for some house hunting.  Turn around time: < 12 hours. 

On the way, I came across some rain.  Lots of rain, in fact.  So much so that I felt a little like I was in Oregon Trail, fording the river with my ill-equipped Camry.  Here's an action shot (of the car in front of me... not my car) of driving through the rain's aftermath. 
Yes, I know you aren't supposed to drive through water you can't see the bottom of, and I could have been swept away in a vicious tidal wave of rain run off.  But this was just a puddle.  A large puddle, I'll give you that.  But it had no current... and all the cars in front of me were doing it!  Luckily, I had space to swerve to the left side of the puddle, where it was it's shallowist, and had no problems.  That really was the most eventful part of my drive.  Other than that, it was smooth sailing.

THEN I arrived at my hotel.  After browsing what Travelocity,, and Hotwire all had to offer, I went with a Hyatt Place.  I've never been to one before so it was a bit of a gamble, but the theory is that's it's a 3 star hotel operated by the Hyatt people (who clearly have a reputation to protect...), so I thought it would be worth a shot.  Especially for $90 a night.  So far, I'm pleasantly surprised.  It's clean, the employees are friendly, and there's free breakfast :)  It's got a definite "young" vibe (as in young adults, not kiddos).  Here are some snapshots from my room.

I'm a fan of the big couch thing (which I only sat on for half the evening... because I spilled coffee all over it (and myself...).  Whoops.  I also like the giant TV that swivels, so you can watch it from the couch OR bed.... and there are power sources and all sorts of cable connection ports right next to it.  I didn't have to unplug a lamp to plug my laptop in!  Woot woot!  I'm also a fan of the giant shower.  And the fact that they give you toothpaste.  Not that I didn't bring my own, but you can never have too many travel size tubes of toothpaste.

Anyway, today I looked at 7 houses, and tomorrow I'll look at about 4 more.  One of my favs was bought yesterday, which is a bummer, but there are LOTS of other ones that are great!  Hopefully I'll find the perfect house :) 

Saturday, April 9, 2011
Sorry I went MIA again.  I was busy finishing my LAST ROTATION OF MEDICAL SCHOOL EVER!!!

That's right, I am officially done learning things in medical school.  I still have a couple weeks of reviewing to do (during this thing called Senior Seminar), but pretty much whatever I have in my brain now is what I'm going to take with me to intern year.  Dun dun dun...

So since I ate dippy eggs last Tuesday (which, PS, did NOT give me Salmonella), I've been busy.  I spent a few more days in the clinic last week, then went to Williamsburg, VA with a friend for the weekend.  We ate lots of delicious food, painted pottery, met up with some old friends, and generally had a good ole' road-tripping time.  Aside from the part where my car (which literally had an oil change the day we left) ran out of oil about 60 miles from home, resulting in warning lights, funny, smells, dip-sticking, and buying oil at a gas station...  But we fixed the problem, and my car didn't explode.  Phew.

This week was filled with four days of clinic, a couple physical therapy appointments to fit me for orthodics (we've discovered that my lateral ankle doesn't hold it's self together at all... so it needs a little help), lots of drug rep lunches, some donuts, dinner with Betsy, unpacking, and packing. 

Now I'm comfortably nestled into home away from home in Connecticut with Sarah and her family.  Sarah is getting ordained this weekend!!!  It's very exciting.

I've got a few weeks with not much to do, so hopefully I will return to somewhat regular blogging.  Plus, I'll have a gear post to write soon because Bruce (Sarah's hubby) and I are going to REI today!  Which means I will come home with some fun new toy...

Happy Spring!!!

About Me

I am a Family Medicine intern at a community hospital in Indiana, navigating the new world of being a physician. I am privileged to work in a field I love, where every day is a new and unpredictable challenge.
I am not only a doctor, but also a cyclist, runner, DIYer in the making, lover of the outdoors, traveler, and human.
Human, MD is a glimpse into the world of a young doctor who is just trying to stay true to herself through the grueling whirlwind of residency.


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