Sunday, November 30, 2008

Tis the Season to be... busy

Looking forward to a nice, sloooow December..... or not.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Calories, Car Trips & Cousins: It's Thanksgiving!

I find myself with 2 hours to kill before my LAST class of the day and bedarned if I'm actually going to do work when there is not a single living breath molecular organism left in this office building. All I can say is attendance better be terrific, since I tried to cancel this class in the first place and there was an uprising.

A popular topic of conversation the last few days has been T-giving plans, so I'll pick up there. Tomorrow we head to High Point for a feasting with Matt's mom's side of the fam. I was delegated with the task of bringing an appetizer. Of course, being a nutritionist I am making a dip with 4 super healthy ingredients:
1. Mayo
2. Cheese
3. More Cheese
4. Artichokes

Yes I know, know. I teach this stuff. But honestly this is the best appetizer I have ever made and tears of joy have been shed over this dish. And I can't make it when it's just the two of us or we'll consume about 800 calories a piece and stop only when we explode. So it's best made when there's 17 other people present. Sharing enforces portion control.

Friday I'll head down to Charlotte to see my cousin and her clan of three, including a new little one - 7 weeks old - who I will be meeting for the first time. The idea of seeing those 3 little goobers make me insanely excited. As does the idea that I get to give them back when I'm tired of them. Saturday is a baby shower for a cousin on Matt's side and dinner with that clan (Dad-in-law's fam.) I'm looking forward to the 2 extra days off of work, but somehow I can already guess they are going to fly by in a whirl.

This morning, speaking of things being a little hectic, we were very short on helpers at work with all our student workers enjoying an early Thanksgiving (enjoy it now, youngsters!). I mentioned this to Matt and my gracious, wonderful husband showed up here this morning with a skinny vanilla for me and a stethoscope to work. The best? You betcha. No, you can't have him, HE'S MINE.

I have a lot to be thankful for all year round, and I love little moments when a wave of gratitude just washes over me. I've never been big into Thanksgiving. For starters, I don't really like yams. Or pie. Or cranberry sauce. But the idea of one day to sit around and acknowledging the act of being grateful seems kind of silly to me. I'd rather have 364 mini moments of gratitude, like the one I had today when that tall southerner walked into my classroom with my piping hot latte, than think that there's just one day where we go around the table and say what we're thankful for. On the other hand, it does seem to be one of the few times of the year when almsot everyone I know drops the usual excuses and finds the time to be with their family. So for that, for all of us to continue to do that, I am thankful.

Please pass the artichoke dip now.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Greetings from Non-Snowy South Carolina

It is snowing in NC in November.... totally unheard of. Of course, we are not there. We are in sunny, warm Columbia, SC. (Sunny yes, warm is up for debate. Mid-50's.)

Per usual for residency interviews, we had dinner last night with the other applicants and residents last. 3 hours of listening to them talk about "getting airways" (medicine speak for having an oppurtunity to stick a tube down into someone's lungs) and "moonlighting" (working in small nearby hospitals for extra pay in your "free time") and the terrors of July for an intern. (The "omg, I'm a doctor?!!? moment most 1st years experience.)

This morning I dropped Matt off at his interview and took myself on a walking tour of Columbia. The area down by the waterfront (river? canal?) is very nice. Very trendy and cute. Reminded me a little better of Fells Point in Baltimore, but newer. Lots of shops and places to eat. Probably not where medical residents live. The state capitol house was interesting.... and by interesting I mean, a confederate flag is waving proudly in it's front yard. Is that legal?

Now I am working (writing emails, blogs and facebook status updates + 3 legit phone call sessions) in my hotel room til late check-out at 1pm, then I'll go find somewhere to eat and check out USC campus.

I'll pick up the student doctor at 3p and we should be back home to snowy NC by dinner time. After his first six interviews, Matt went on a cancelling spree and went from 21 interviews down to 11. I can see why now. If one more resident asked him "So, do you have any questions about the program?" (knowing full well all applicants had to watch a SIXTY-FOUR slide powerpoint about the program that included details such as the program director's middle name and that south carolina is known as the Iodine State and thus has the lowest incident rate of goiters)... I think his head was going to explode from repressed eye-rolling.

Still left on the interview circuit: Charleston, Duke, UNC and U of R.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I could get used to football like this...

This weekend my friend/freshmen year roommate Kim invited me to come watch the NCSU vs. Wake game in Raleigh with her and her parents. The weather report was looking mighty dreary so I expressed my reservations until she told me we were going to be sitting inside in a suite. Oooh! Football indoors? This I can do.

She told me we were going to the game with "people my dad works with." I don't really know what Kim's dad does - all I knew is that he raises turkeys and works for a major turkey producing company, so I didn't really know what to expect. So, we get there and we go up to this suite... only this suite is about the same square footage as my house. No joke. Amazing views, huge plush leather couches, flat screen TVs everywhere, a buffet nicer than our wedding and an open bar with top shelf liquor. I'm like ok, and I thought I had connections when I scored Gold Lot passes for Wake? Not having to walk far to the stadium is small peanuts compared to an endless pour of Chardonnay. Hello! So I'm finally like Kim, whose box is this? And she points out this adorable little old man in his 70s with a big red plaid shirt on and faded Levi jeans and a braided leather belt... I mean, country as can be. She's like "That guy, Wendell Murphy. He raises hogs." So she starts pointing people out... that guy raises hogs, that guy raises turkey, they sell grain, etc. She goes "Everyone here is pretty much a farmer." Talk about counter to my stereotypes! I am such a Yankee in that I tend to still think that Big Business is the only way you can make Big Moola. Nope. A few minutes later we're sitting in our seats (inside while the rain pelted down!) and I look at the field house.... well here, this is what I saw. I love how Kim plays it off like "oh no biggie, he raises hogs." Um, apparently a lot of hogs. I did some googling when I got home and by "raising hogs" she really meant "owns Smithfield Farms." She is about as Southern as can be when it comes to downplaying things.

But anyways, it was nice to be inside and be half sloshed on very yummy wine to watch our miserable, miserable team. It was not nice to be sitting with the very, very vocal and jubliant Wolfpack fans as we get smacked in our game.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Yankee Land Delight!

Just a mere 1,700 miles driven in the last week. No biggie. Matt has been off interviewing in the land of blustery winters, harsh accents and rude drivers. In other words, the North! (This is the fun of being a Yankee Belle - I have the right to disparage BOTH geographic locations that I call home!)

NC to York to NC to Pittsburgh to Morgantown to Pittsburgh to NC... Oh my!

Monday he spent up in York, PA interviewing at a private hospital there. Prior to that, our only encounter with York had been to ski at Roundtop Mountain, the first time Matt came to visit me when I was living in Baltimore. It was on this mountain hill that our romance was rekindled... but I don't think the nostalgia was enough to sweeten the visit as a high on the future rank list.

York, PA - Ski Roundtop - Matt's first visit to Baltimore, March 2005

Wednesday he was back on the road to Pittsburgh - a town both of us know well, given that both of our college roommates hail from the Iron City. Dropping a "Go Stillers" into your interview is always a nice touch. Overall though, he sounded truly thrilled with the program at Pitt.

View of Pittsburgh from the top of Mt. Washington (from Britta's Wedding Reception, 7/05)

Today he is in Morgantown, WV interviewing at WVU. We don't know much about Morgantown, so I'm curious to hear his take on the program. Then he is back on the road back to Pittsburgh, for a visit with Jason, a Steelers game and one more interview at Alleghany General before it's back on the road again. Thank the heavens that gas prices have dropped to the low 2's again!

Safe travels, Hubby and get home soon!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Birthday, Hubby!

Officially it is tomorrow, but because my husband has become an interview nomad, we are celebrating tonight. I've got all the fixins of a good b-day dinner ready (Paprika Chicken, a favorite of this household) as well as a pound cake with coconut and pecan frosting. Calories don't count on your birthday... right? Matt is off playing volleyball and then he gets to return home to open his presents. Only I forgot that the wrapping paper is in the closet in the guest bedroom, which is conviently barricaded by the drumset we moved to make room for our guests this weekend. So, by unwrapping, I actually just mean seeing them sitting out on the kitchen table. Rats. I hate when I totally lame up a plan. Especially birthdays - my mom was all about birthday hoopla and extravaganza and I haven't quite mastered her ability to make a birthday person feel like a rock star. Give me a few more years... or at least, some wrapping paper.

Happy Birthday, Hubby! I love you!

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Ingredients for a perfect weekend:
- 6 best friends
- husband/fiancees that tolerate (adore?) our obsession with another
- a late warm spell coupled with gorgeous foliage on an already picture perfect campus
- a winning football team

Welcome to Wino Weekend. If I took the time and wrote out how I feel about these girls, we would be here all day. Suffice it to say, there has been nothing like the friendship of this group of girls for me. We love each other unconditionally, support each other unanimously and go above and beyond the challenges of long distance friendships to make time for another. Having all six of us in one place - especially the place we were "born" 5 years ago this fall - is perfection.

Friday night, half the girls arrived and we met up for drinks with Sigma Pi alum at Fox & Hound. Saturday we packed the show on the road and tailgated for a few hours, before enjoying a sweep of a football game against UVA. The afternoon was sunny and unseasonably hot, with the backdrop of gold and reds as the only reminder that it was still fall. The afternoon was filled with eating, chatting, drinking, laughing, cheering and just a general feeling of fullness.

By dinner time, our age had started to catch up to us. We convened at an old Favorite, the Mexican restaraunt on University that we'd chow down on chips and salsa and 'ritas before many a lounge party. After our 4-table party had taken in an abundance of chips and Dos Equis, the carb coma set in hard, and we opted for winding down at our house instead of going out downtown.

This morning, we topped off a perfect weekend at "our" place - 4th Street Filling Station. There were six of us crammed into a both, just like every Wednesday night, senior year. (But, I confess 2 winos were on the road and/or sleeping, and the six-some was completed by 2 Wino Husbands.) There were no KJ bottles ordered, but the feeing of absolute contentment from a good meal shared by good friends was ever the same.

I felt nostalgic for so many reasons I pulled off in the direction of I-40 West to go home while my friends departed to the East, to catch planes to New York and Boston, to return to the other side of the state to Raleigh or to head up north to Charlottesville. We returned to our separate lives, together always.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Interview Season

Eighteen and counting! So far (in order as I remember them)

  • U Pitt (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • Wake Forest University (Winston-Salem, NC)
  • University of Rochester (Rochester, NY)
  • Georgetown University (Washington, DC)
  • Beth Israel Hospital (New York, NY)
  • UT at Chattanooga (Chattanooga, TN)
  • UNM (Alburqurque, NM)
  • Duke (Durham, NC)
  • WVU (Morgantown, WV)
  • Allegheny General Hospital (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • Ohio State University (Columbus, OH)
  • Thomas Jefferson (Philadelphia, PA)
  • MUSC (Charleston, SC)
  • VCU (Richmond, VA)
  • Eastern Virginia (Norfolk, VA)
  • East Carolina University (Greenville, NC)
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill, NC)

I am missing one and it's going to bug me. But anyways... here are the possible places our future may lie! Where do you think we'll end up?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Suckered by the Scenery

It has been so gorgeous here in North Carolina. The campus has turned into a showboat of oranges, reds and golds with the leaves changing but it remains absolutely perfectly warm. (To me, converted Belle that I am, that means in the 70s.) There are few things that make me happier than a lunchtime run in November in shorts and a t-shirt.

That is why, despite the fact that I knew I had packed the wrong pair of socks (too big), I went for a run on Thursday. And that is why, even knowing these socks were too big and thus slipping and sliding all over the inside of my shoes, I went all the way down Polo Rd thus committing me to a 4+ mile run. And that is why, despite the pain, I kept running.

And that is why, the entire medial side of the bottom of my left foot is a blister. It is approximately 3 inches long by a half inch wide. Am I grossing you out yet? I am dismayed at my poor judgement.

But it was such a pretty day...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I did not have to wait in line to vote today. At 2:30 (thank you flexible work schedule), I walked in, took my ballot, filled in my bubbles and walked out.

Sub 5 minute voting experience.

Now that's historical.

Ok, all tomfoolery aside, even though he wasn't my candidate, this is an amazing day for our country and I hope God blesses him and he makes wise decisions for the future of our great country. I'm not a big politco, but am proud to be an American.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sunday Night Recap

My hubby is home! My hubby is home! What a good weekend.

Friday, I worked from home, starting at 6a and was at the grocery store by 2p getting all his favorites. (NTS: More evidence I am becoming my mom. Food purchases = love.) He got home shortly before I returned from the store and all felt right at Wynbrk again. Within 10 minutes, Sportscenter was on, the nap blanket was out and the big brown couch had it's favorite occupant in place. Guiltily, I slunk off for my own nap. Nothing like having your wife greet you at the door and then check out for 3 hours. (I am still adjusting to a new work schedule that invovles a 6a start 4 days a week... ouch.) He seemed perfectly content to get caught up with Tony Reali, Tony Kornheiser and Mike Wilbon instead of me though. I made a great steak dinner and we caught up with each other while taking turns passing out Swedish Fish and Sour Patch Kids to Dora the Explorer, ballerinas, pirates, frogs and Go-Go Dancers. (Happy Birthday, Sis!)

Saturday we tailgated with Monica & company. It was surprisingly warm and a perfect day for some beer & football. The game was way too close. The rowdy Duke fan in front of me had way too many oppurtunities to vocally express himself. Fortunately we won, but it was a nailbiter. Afterwards, we walked down the street to Zac and Jamie's for some burgers and brews and hanging out. Sunday was a typical cleaning/errands day, and I was surprised to find how comforted I was to have the background of NFL Sunday on while I coupon clipped and Lysol'ed my way through the day. There is something about our everyday, domestic, routine life that just makes me oh so content. May I always be so blessed to have such a calm and happy home life.