twenty-ten, part 2

Ike’s top moments of 2010 (in no particular order, except for #1):

10. Starring in a Valentine’s Day card

9. Burying a loaf of bread in our couch cushions

8. Watching The Ring
7. Conquering his fear of Cameron Diaz
6. Learning to swim
5. Taking a trip to Dallas to go to Him-a (Ikea…get it? No?)

5. Enjoying his first snow
4.Crashing a movie set
3. Celebrating Uncle G’s bar mitzvah

2.Practicing his high jump
1. Discovering what his inner monologue sounds like (Please watch this video. Trust me.)

twenty-ten, part 1

Like every other blogger out there — can I really call myself a blogger these days? — I feel the need to recap my 2010, even though you’ve been along for the ride and can access my archives if you feel like you need a refresher.

In 2010, I decided to start this little blog to share my story of living in Small-ish Town, USA with my med student husband and our extremely photogenic dog. I know there are some of you that read this blog to see Ike’s expression du jour, some of you read this blog because you too have a med student as a spouse and want to commiserate. And some of you (okay fine, just my dad) read this blog to see what I’m up to.

So, I’m breaking my recap up into three parts. The first? 2010 Recap: Life With a Med Student


Y was a mere second year, still sitting in a classroom all day, not quite sure what to do with one of those knee hammer things. Sleeping and studying took up a lot of time.


When one is still a lowly second year, they’re still willing to roll around in the snow with their dog. Now, after having important things like surgery under his belt, will he still be willing to roll around in the snow in public? Time will only tell.


After getting a white coat, I worried Y’s sense of self importance would start to sky-rocket. Fortunately, even with all of the knowledge crammed into his head, he was still curious about the world around him.


Y learned to balance the art of studying and being married. Sure, honey, I’ll cheer you on at your 5k, but I’ll be sitting in my car with my notes until you cross the finish line. But later that night, when we have a wedding to go to? I will not be afraid to show you my “I’d rather be studying” face.


Studying for Step 1, the national exam that pretty much determines what field of medicine you’re capable of pursuing, began. Our house smelled like a Starbucks.

Other thoughts on studying for Step 1: a, b, c, d


Completing Step 1 deserved a reward, a vacation with a med school friend, David. David and Y have spent so much time together as med school classmates that they’ve started to look alike.

After weeks and weeks of studying, giving the side-eye to people who can make a living throwing paint on a canvas was completely natural.

July – August:
Y began his third year and started shadowing doctors. His first rotation: pediatrics. He seriously considered a career in peds…until he realizes not all kids are perfect angels like my nephew here.

September through October:
Y started medicine rotation and experienced shock when medicine nurses weren’t as nice and bubbly as peds nurses. Was sad. Recovered once he realized that medicine doctors wear bowties.

Seriously considered career in general medicine.

November through December: Y started surgery rotation. Strange stains started appearing on his white coat. Also notable during surgery rotation: Y began to start discussing gross bodily functions with a straight face. And weigh the pros and cons of diseases while having a few beers with friends. And was forced to do strenuous work like heart surgery on his birthday.)


Well, I’ve been a bad blogger. I’ll be back soon. It’s just that I don’t type well in my Snuggie, and I’m not sure I can bear to take it off.

Yes, I realize I’m like three years too late with the Snuggie.

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas!

Lost Dog

If you remember, we had an Ike disappearance scare earlier this year. Ever since then, I’m sure you’ve been wondering what would D do if Ike actually did disappear?

Well, I finally have an answer to that question.

Things You Probably Shouldn’t Do When You Realize That Your Dog is Missing, Yet I Did Them Anyway

1. Run around the house making noises that sound like a dying goose.
2. Run down the street to the Spanish speaking roof workers and realize that I don’t know dog, white, or run away in Spanish
3. Realize that I, as usual, can’t find my keys
4. Spend 10 seconds too long deciding which shoes are my best “dog searching shoes”
5. Call Y under the assumption that missing dog beats emergency surgery
6. Start to think about the design of our MISSING posters, then wonder why we don’t just keep a stack of premade posters.
7. Realize that if Ike never comes back, we can adopt Harry (since our lease only allows one dog)

Harry is in New Orleans and may still need a home!

When I ran around looking for Ike in our backyard where I left him, the gate wasn’t open, all access to the bottom of the house was sealed. So, my goose choking noises were a mixture of crying and confusion. Somewhere between steps 5 and 6 of my unique process, I heard a yelp from the backyard, and when I ran outside, Ike was standing in the middle of the yard as if he’d been there the whole time.

For a split second, I was sure he teleported.

Then I saw the hole in the fence.

Ike’s competition

Y’s parents gave us this book for Chanukah and I pretty much started crying as soon as I saw the front cover. I guess that’s not saying a lot because I passed two stray dogs on my way home from work yesterday and may have cried a little. Note to self: stray dogs don’t like pita bread. Try something less ethnic next time you offer them food.

But anyway, can you blame me for having my heartstrings tugged by this precious animal? Oogy was a bait dog for a dogfighting ring. He was turned into an emergency vet and was about to die, but a staff member at the hospital insisted that they operate on what looked like a hopeless case. A family brought their cat into that vet to be put to sleep, saw Oogy, and fell in love.
photo found on
Are you crying yet?

Of course I have another reason that this book makes me so sad. Does Oogy look… familiar to you?

I happen to think he looks a lot like Ike. (And acts like him too, based on the book)

Oogy, from his Facebook page

Ike (and Lauren!)

I can’t lie, the thought of someone doing something so horrible to a puppy is horrifying, but it hits closer to home when that puppy probably looked exactly like my puppy. We have no idea what Ike’s life was like before he showed up outside of the animal shelter in a box, crying, wormy, and mangey (hair was missing on his legs and tail and won’t grow back on his legs). Luckily, I don’t think it was quite as bad as Oogy’s life as a bait dog.
Either way, I’m glad he found us and can now partake in such fun activities as sticking his head inside a roll of wrapping paper.
And after reading Oogy, I know his family feels the same way.

Reverb2010: Days 1 through 4

December 28: I made it through day 11 and realized that these questions are just not for me. Maybe I’m not sentimental enough, or deep enough, or there just aren’t enough opportunities for me to insert photos of my dog. After the break are my 11 days of reverbing.

Just what I was waiting for, another blog meme. (Not that I’ve finished WBThirty, but I think I’ll just use those topics as filler when I can’t think of anything else to write). This project, called reverb, is a daily prompt each day in the month of December that reflects on the previous year. I love it when somebody else tells me what to write.

I just learned about this little project, so I’m playing catch up. Below are days 1-5.

December 1 – One Word. Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you? (Author: Gwen Bell)

Although we’ve been here two years, I think I’ve finally adapted, finally feel somewhat comfortable in this city. Our house really feels like home, I’m not dying to leave every minute I’m here (only every other minute 😉 ) I have favorite restaurants, and I feel like I can tell someone the quickest way to get somewhere. I have a hairdresser. And a dentist.

December 2 – Writing. What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it? (Author: Leo Babauta)

I’m not sure I actually do anything each day that contributes to any sort of writing. Except hang out with Ike. That’s where I get all my best material.

December 3 – Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors). (Author: Ali Edwards)

My best guess at what it means to feel “alive” is a moment when I, ironically, feel like a character in a movie. I have this moment when I’m running, or walking and listening to music, my mind going a million miles a minute with ideas and goals, and I’m suddenly looking down on myself from above, as if I’m looking at a character in a movie, lost in their world and wondering what will happen to them in the future. I like it call it an Annette moment, as in Annette from Cruel Intentions, driving away to start a new life as Bittersweet Symphony plays over that final scene.

This usually happens to me when I’m listening to music from a soundtrack. (figures)

Lately it’s been this song:

December 4 – Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year? (Author: Jeffrey Davis)

I got out of town. Although I didn’t visit anywhere new this year, there’s always so much to take in while on vacation that wonder is kind of a given

December 5 – Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why? (Author: Alice Bradley)

I can’t think of anything, but this does remind me of another song that make #3 happen.

I’m joining in Reverb10, a daily prompt to reflect on the past year. I’m playing catch up – this post is days 5-10, see days 1-5 here.

December 6 – Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it? (Author: Gretchen Rubin)

I have millions of little post it notes whirling around in my head, each with a different craft, baking, writing, cooking project to take on. I have precisely 43780234 google reader entries starred, over 100 bookmarks with inspiration, but I just can’t make myself sit down and do any of them.

Last year around this time, my sister took us to a cute gelato shop (Staccato Gelato) in the middle of an even cuter neighborhood in Portland, Oregon. Not only did this place have homemade gelato and homemade donuts, they had something I never even know could be…made: marshmallows. I guess I was kind of under the impression that they just…existed – or at least used ingredients that required a lab of some kind. Anyway, not only did they have homemade marshmallows, they had peppermint ones. A lot of things make me crazy for winter, the holidays, and cold weather, but one of my favorite is peppermint hot chocolate. I skipped the gelato and the donuts for peppermint hot chocolate with a big fat peppermint marshmallow.

Ever since then, I’ve been dying to make my own marshmallows. Almost a year later, I finally tried it. It was pretty simple – I made cinnamon and pumpkin spice flavors. Although I’m not even sure I would rank marshmallows on my list of top 200 foods, there is something about mixing a list of ingredients and coming up with a big fluffy lump of sweetness usually taken for granted.

December 7 – Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011? (Author: Cali Harris)

2010 was the first official Carol Convention (an event that clearly deserves to be capitalized). Carol Convention is more than a weekend of nonstop laughter and Abita Strawberry, it’s a commitment to each other that once a year, we’ll have an epic weekend – which are few and far between these days — no matter what. We grew from 5 to 7 this year, definitely for the better.

December 8 – Beautifully Different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful. (Author: Karen Walrond)

At my favorite quirky location… the MoMA

A few months ago I was called quirky. I’m not sure what this means.. is it because I prefer reading to watching TV? Because I don’t speak with a Southern accent, or like my everything deep fried as is the norm around here? Because I talk to my dog… a lot? Because I’d rather go to the mountains than the beach? Because I can’t tell a story to save my life but sometimes can’t help it and end up swimming in word vomit? Because I choose dingy improv shows with $2 PBR over Broadway? Because I make marshmallows?

December 9 – Party Prompt: Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans. (Author: Shauna Reid)

Speaking of marshmallows (can you tell I’m excited about them?), I made them as part of the toppings bar for a hot chocolate get together I hosted last week . I don’t know where the idea came to me — possibly after seeing 15 different flavors of hot chocolate at the grocery store and wanting to try every single one. I made regular hot chocolate and white hot chocolate and set up our dining room table with my marshmallows; peppermint, almond, and vanilla extract; Bailey’s, Kahlua, Cinnamon Schnapps, and orange liqueur; peppermint candy; whipped cream; gooey meltable caramel balls; sea salt; sprinkles; and crushed candy canes. The 6 of us grabbed mugs and went to town, my white chocolate/peppermint/Bailey’s creation did not disappoint.

My friend Lindsey posted pictures on her fun blog, Focused Linz. I stole one (sorry Lindsey!)

Other than that party (which was pretty rage-y…), I can only think of 3 other parties that happened in 2010. As a person who likes any excuse to celebrate anything, I think 2011 needs more parties. Who’s with me?

December 10 – Wisdom Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out? (Author: Susannah Conway)

Proving that 2010 didn’t include much wisdom, I would say my wisest decision was to start a blog. I feel much better about the lack of updates I send my friends and family about my life, and I’ve reconnected with a lot of old friends that I’ve really missed.

December 11 – 11 Things What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life? (Author: Sam Davidson)

I’m going to go with 4: excuses, gossip, inhibitions and baking disasters.

Supposedly, these are macarons.

Less excuses will make Y happy, as my excuses usually revolve around why we don’t need dinner. Less gossip will never happen, but I can always dream. Less inhibitions will ensure that I actually use my new camera in public — oh, and possibly make friends. Less baking disasters will probably significantly lower my blood pressure, and give Ike’s neck a rest as he’ll no longer have to cock his head in confusion when I throw a spatula across the room.