neurosurgery scars

I don’t know if you can see it, but I have a neurosurgery scar on my shin.

Part of me wishes I could tell you it was from some innovative new brain surgery technique where they go in through the leg. The other part of me is glad I’ve never needed brain surgery.

Nope, it turns out my scar is a casualty of the lifestyle of a neurosurgeon. Or in our case, a pretend neurosurgeon.

Y was exhausted after a week of waking up at 4 am to assist with observe brain surgery. So, he went to bed at 6:30 one night. When I tiptoed to bed 4 hours later, it was pitch black. I thought I might be courteous and leave the light off.

Apparently (in a lack-of-sleep induced state?) Y hadn’t thought about being courteous and closing his dresser drawer — the corner of which, when opened, is right in my path to the bed. It sliced right across my leg. (Commence wincing.)

Hence, my neurosurgery scar.

the truth about ike

When Ike, Y and I are alone, Ike is the sweetest, most well behaved dog you’ve ever seen.

But introduce another person into the equation, and the dog goes completely insane.
When visitors stick around long enough, they see the obedient snuggly dog we love. That is, if Ike hasn’t jumped up and down with excitement so ferociously that he’s busted said visitor’s lip. (This has happened twice… Cesar Milan, are you out there?)
But this is the real Ike; what I see every morning when I leave the house:

music & memories vol. 3: the beatles

Today’s song: anything by The Beatles.

I’d love to hear your Beatles memories. Write about it in your blog and link up
below, or — tell me in a comment.

I imagine I’m not unique in that my memories of The Beatles’ music span most of my life.

As a 16 year old on a summer camp trip to Israel, “Here Comes the Sun” played on an acoustic guitar as we woke up after a night of camping under millions of stars in the middle of the desert. That song makes me smile about the unexplainable bonds that camp creates, even if you’re a weird 16 year old with no friends and a severe fear of being stung by a scorpion.

But the reason I chose The Beatles as today’s music is because today is our two year wedding anniversary, and our first dance song was The Beatles’ “Something”, as performed by The Panorama Jazz Band, a New Orleans jazz band.

So naturally the song “Something” brings back some pretty strong feelings, along the lines of it’s so f@$king hot out here and holy crap, we’re married and why is the fire alarm going off? (long story).

And the entire remaining Beatles catalog? Well, that’s the soundtrack to our first big road trip from Louisiana to California– a trip we loved, hence, the reason we chose a Beatles song as our first dance.

red rock canyon, december 2007

And the song “When I’m 64” brings back the frustrations of wedding planning:

Me, for approximately 1 year prior to wedding: Y, what do you think of this, this and this? And this? Oh, and this?

Y, for approximately 1 year prior to wedding: I. DON’T. CARE.

Y, the week before the wedding [very seriously]: D, I really think our first dance song shouldn’t be “Something”. I think it should be “When I’m 64”, that one’s more sentimental.

{a valid point, and a very sweet thought, but, really? I told the band our song three months ago so they could learn to play it and you have never had any sort of opinion about the wedding and… REALLY?}

{also I cringe to think of myself trying to dance to When I’m 64, but that’s another story}

On that note, happy anniversary Y! I hope you let me poke fun at our relationship on my blog forever and ever, or at least until blogs don’t exist and my means of self expression changes. Then can I poke fun at you on my hologram channel? You know I only do it because I love you, right?

Below, a snippet of the incredible Panorama Jazz Band’s version of “Something”. Speaking of cringing when I think of myself dancing…

Something in the way she knows,

And all I have to do is think of her.
Something in the things she shows me.
I don’t want to leave her now.
You know I believe and how.

i’ll miss you… coffee shop where everybody knows your name

Maybe this picture isn’t the best one the illustrate my title. Y and I have unique names; names that require at least 4 repetitions and can spark 10 minute conversations. We don’t always have that kind of time, and the wasted time usually doesn’t help anything anyway.

That is not my name. Close…but no.

So when it comes to well meaning Starbucks baristas, Anthropologie dressing room attendants, or sushi to-go orders, we opt for names that don’t require any additional explanation. We’ve been using Steve and Amy for at least 5 years.

But beyond the baristas at our local Starbucks, it turns out everyone else does know our name. 80% of the customers are usually friends of ours. The other 20% are doctors at the hospital, friends of Y’s from middle school, or other people Y knows from the community. A great dane usually roams around the outside patio while his owner answers millions of questions (mine was, how much poop do you have to pick up daily??)

Although it might be nice to live somewhere with a local coffee culture and iced chai lattes that are just a tad bit spicier (work on that, will you Starbucks?) I admit I’ll miss this [practically] one-coffee-shop town and the people watching/gossip that can come about from just 5 minutes in its Starbucks.

i’ll miss you… archive:

on being the wife of a medical student

Over a week after I asked my friends to weigh in on their experiences being pegged as a stay-at-home doctor’s wife, I think it’s finally my turn. Warning: this post ended up longer than I expected. So if you want nothing but funny videos and a picture of Ike, scroll to the bottom.

My experience might be unique, it might not. In the town we live in, medical professionals are everywhere. Example: when it comes to bar dress codes, scrubs are almost as popular as Affliction t-shirts. Stethoscopes peek out of purses at Starbucks. In yoga, the pre-class chatter revolves around Step 1. And on top of it all, I work at the medical school. My father-in-law works at the medical school. 75% of dinner table conversations revolve around medicine, the medical school, people at the medical school, etc. Sometimes it feels like my entire life revolves around something that, quite frankly, I’m not interested in except on the most basic of levels.

This by itself kind of makes me feel like an outcast; like I should be part of the community. And believe me, I’ve had people ask me what I do, and then ask — almost accusingly –, “Why aren’t you in med school?”

I majored in advertising in college (which should be a good enough explanation of why I’m not in med school). On the first day of class, we usually had to introduce ourselves and tell why we majored in advertising. A lot of people simply shrugged and said, “it had the least required science credits.” I share that sentiment. But the real reason I majored in advertising?

It’s embarrassing.

It has to do with a Mel Gibson romantic comedy.

That’s right. I saw the movie What Women Want, and thought, I want to do what they’re doing. Also, isn’t that the little girl from Growing Pains? How old am I?

It turns out it was a pretty good fit – I really enjoyed the creative process that led to advertising campaigns. And I wasn’t terrible at it. But my senior year, we had a huge final project that doubled as a national competition. Our product was a locking mailbox. (The year before us had Coke and the year after us got something equally fun. We got… a locking mailbox.)

If you can’t read the text… you’ll be okay. It’s incredibly boring. Because it’s an industry ad for a LOCKING MAILBOX.

During a lesson in presenting our ad campaign, our professor told us, in what seemed to me like complete seriousness, “You have to sell this idea. If one of your co-presenters keels over with a heart attack in the middle of your presentation, push them out of the way and finish. your. pitch.

I got a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. They warned us in school that any ad agency we would end up working at would be hell compared to the environment at school. If my teacher was this serious, I finally got a sense that the general attitude in the advertising world was even more so. SELL YOUR PRODUCT OR ELSE.

I decided that I couldn’t do it. But it wasn’t long until I discovered the concept of social marketing, which uses the principles of marketing and the same processes I loved so much in advertising to change behaviors for social good.

When we moved here, I did what I thought would be the closest thing to experience for that specific niche:

1) I enrolled in a Masters in Public Health program (to better understand behavior change theories and all of the social problems in the world)

2) I took a job in health communication – the big sell was that I would be on a team that creates a nationally distributed series of guides focusing on living with certain chronic diseases.

(I didn’t realize it also involved catering to medical students by picking up bakery treats for their small groups and ensuring that some of their lectures went as smoothly as possible. I don’t mind doing this — are you kidding? I would never complain about having to enter a bakery– but occasionally it does make me feel even more like there is absolutely nothing in the world as important as being a medical student.)

ANYWAY. A few weeks ago I was in Tampa taking a 5 day intensive course on social marketing, where we learned how to create campaigns like this one:

and this one:

By the way, when I explained in that course that my undergrad degree was in advertising and my masters was in public health, it was suddenly like I was the most qualified person in the room. That has never happened before. People usually look at me like this:

music & memories: volume 2

I’m playing this little game again, even though no one linked up to it last week. What can I say, I like to talk about myself. AND I thoroughly enjoyed the comments, especially when my sister described my brother in his Coke-bottle glasses doing the Bus Stop. Which I now want to learn.

Anyway. This week’s song (well, album): Alanis Morisette’s “Jagged Little Pill”

When I was ten years old, I had never been to summer camp. Summer camp — sorry to all the parents out there, but it’s true — is where all of us sheltered kids without older siblings around learn to curse.

That was the year I bought Jagged Little Pill. I bought it because its first single was catchy, even if I didn’t understand the lyrics. I bought it because it was cool, and the story of my life at that time was attempting to be cool while secretly playing with dolls after school. But I also bought it because I knew, through the grapevine, that the F word was in that CD.

I was ten years old, and it was high time I heard the F word used in a sentence. My daily leisure time activities, aside from playing with dolls, consisted of reading Baby Sitters Club books and watching Full House, and obviously Claudia Kishi and Uncle Joey weren’t going to be doing anything so lewd as to allow for use of the F word, right? I had to take matters into my own hands.

So I sat in front of our combination radio and record/cd/tape player that was taller than I was, pushed aside the Lion King soundtrack and The Best of Disney CD and put my new treasure into the 6 disc changer. I’m sure it was at that moment that I discovered the perfect road trip album (because I’m a sing-while-driving type of girl), the perfect angry feminist album (because sometimes those moods just happen), and just how perfect the F word was for expressing pure disgust.

Okay fine, that last part isn’t true. I probably didn’t understand what was really going on in that song until high school. But I did learn the rest of my curse words that summer at camp. I also acted out a fake wedding for a stuffed ghost and a stuffed elephant. Oh, to be ten again.

Does early 90s angry lady rock conjure up any memories for you? Let me know in the comments – or write a blog post about it (I didn’t think I could come up with 326 words about Alanis Morisette, but it just happened) and enter your link here so others can see it:

I always feel like somebody’s watching me.

Y was obviously a little annoyed that I left him for such a long time, because he hurt me in the worst possible way: he pulled a prank on me that he knows I’ve been dying to pull on someone.

I noticed it when I ran immediately to the bathroom after my 7 hour car ride, and turned to wash my hands.

And then I realized it was everywhere.

And I’ll be honest, crying with laughter on my bathroom floor was a pretty good way to return home after a vacation.