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Sunday, January 27, 2013

King Cake Update

I know everyone's mouth was watering when y'all saw my last King Cake picture....so take a look at this beauty!





That's right, RED VELVET King Cake!  How was I supposed to just walk by that in the store and not buy it?!  Not enough will power in the world.  And it tastes as good as it looks.  I had 3 pieces for dinner one night...diet schmiet.

In other news, I'm having a small panic attack where my dissertation is concerned.  I haven't pulled a late night writing session since college, but this might be the week it gets reinstated.

On the residency front, not much is new.  I'm getting antsy about starting to look for real jobs after fellowship though.  When I need a pick me up, sometimes I scroll through the Ortho job postings on various websites.  It just makes Jeff panicky for some reason.  I'm so ready for him to start interviewing!  One of his classmates has already signed a contract and is getting a nice stipend every month as a perk. I can't help but think how nice that would be!  I like to live in an alternate reality where I think we'll magically find the perfect ortho job in the same city where I'll get a college teaching position...

For people who have signed contracts, how did you go about starting the interview process?  Did you know exactly where you wanted to live?  Did you wives take into consideration the ability for you to find a satisfying job in that town, or just sign at a place that was best for your husband?







Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Procrastination

I seem to be doing a lot of it lately.

When it comes to this blog and especially when it comes to my dissertation.  I'm supposed to have a draft ready to give to my advisor by the end of January.  Apparently I believe it will magically finish itself in the next 9 days.  NINE days!  Ugh.

I sit down to write and stare at my computer screen.  My introduction is a bunch of jumbled paragraphs that make sense on their own but don't flow together.  I get a moment of clarity that lasts all of 30 minutes.  This takes extreme brainpower and I give up for the rest of the day.  I tell myself I will get more work done tomorrow.  I don't.  Repeat.


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Nola Musings


It's all gloom and doom today here in Nola. I'm sitting in lab not getting much writing done for my dissertation because weather like this always makes me sleepy. The hot tea I got from PJ's downstairs in the hopes it would wake me up is having the opposite effect.



View out lab window at 11am,
complete with overhead light reflection

But even with the not uncommon flash floods we experience down here every time it rains for more than 30 minutes, I'm gonna miss this place, quirks and all.


For example, it's officially MARDI GRAS SEASON!  And that means KING CAKE!  I got one the day after they started going on sale this year.  There are many different types of King Cake, with various amounts of icing and/or colored sugar on top.  Some are "traditional" which means the bread/pastry underneath is the typical cinnamon sugar flavor.  But oh no, that is not enough sugar for me I tell you!  I'm partial to the cream cheese filled kind.  Go big or go home, right?  I debated for about a day and a half whether or not to buy one.  I mean, it is just me and Jeff at the house.  And with Jeff not too partial to sweets I knew I would end up eating the majority of the thing myself.  



As you can see, I caved.


Bakeries used to hide the little plastic baby inside the cakes, but now everyone's lame and worried about being sued by someone dumb enough to swallow the thing.  So now they just set it inside the box...if you bring one to work, school, a party, etc you're supposed to shove it inside the cake from underneath.  Then, whoever gets the piece with the baby inside has to bring the next King Cake.  But perhaps the best part?  King Cakes are not a dessert.  A true local knows you eat King Cake any time of day you darn well please.  Especially for breakfast with your coffee.  Are you craving a King Cake now?  Lucky for all you non-Louisianians, some bakeries will ship one to you:



Food, definitely something we've got down.  Traffic flow...not so much:


What does this even mean?


As I finish writing this post, the rain has started to pour.

Nola, I love you, quirks and all.  I just hope my car isn't flooded.






Sunday, January 6, 2013

Medical Mondays- End of the Evil Away Rotation!

Happy Medical Mondays to everyone who came here via the blog hop!  Glad to have you and would love to have you join the blog :)

Update:  Only SIX MONTHS left of residency!!  And even less time til I'll graduate with my PhD, hopefully, in May... Things are rolling along, Jeff has finished his stupid 6 month away rotation in Baton Rouge, and I'm done with all my rat behavior testing.  I'm so excited to spend the rest of our time in New Orleans living together like a normal married couple before we move away in July for Jeff's fellowship and my post-doc.

I know I've mentioned this before, but I really can't believe we've spent 9 months out of our first year of marriage living apart.  Residency can really do a number on your marriage if you don't pay attention.  I've even heard tales of some programs bragging about their high divorce rate because their training was so demanding.  Residency and grad school both seem to have a twisted culture of competition.  If you're not exhausted or working weekends and holidays then you're viewed as a slacker.  Whoever gets in the door first/leaves last gets the most respect.  Of course this all comes at the expense of your personal life.  Sometimes these crazy hours are unavoidable, for example if the resident is on call or the grad student has a time course experiment (the reason I recently missed Thanksgiving and Christmas).  But sometimes we get so caught up in trying to get ahead and work harder than our peers that we go overboard when it's not necessary.  Too many weeks of this mindset and you've lost touch with how to be a couple.  A perfect example- I had nothing that absolutely had to get done this weekend, so I tried to force myself, just this once, to not do any work.  Taking a couple days off has caused me so much anxiety- what's wrong with you when you can't even enjoy a couple days off?!   I don't know how to operate as a normal person anymore, and I know Jeff would agree.  I can't imagine what life must be like to have nothing hanging over your head, a constant threat that you'll fall behind and not be good enough.

We recently returned from a long weekend in Atlanta.  It was more refreshing than I had expected.  For once I wasn't worried about work I had to do, probably because I was so completely burned out I had no brain cells left for worrying.  But I'm already back to my usual self, stressing that I didn't do enough today.  I should have written one more paragraph, should have read one more paper.  I'm hoping that 2013 will bring more stability to our lives (finally living in the same apartment- yay!) and that we can take the time every now and then to slow down and be "normal" people.  Or at least try ;)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Beginnings



 The holidays are over and I feel like I drifted through them in a haze.  My family was nice enough to bring food and gifts over to our apartment on Christmas Day during the few hours I had off in the afternoon.  While much appreciated, I couldn't really enjoy it between the extreme exhaustion and the anxiety of counting down the minutes til I had to go back to work later that night.  

But between all the craziness, I did get a chance to decorate a Christmas tree this year:


The extent of our Christmas decorations


December 28th was my first full day off in months and in typical Type A fashion, instead of relaxing I spent it running errands.  Jeff had driven up to see his family for a few days in north Mississippi.  After he made the 5 hour drive back to Nola the Saturday after Christmas, we turned around about 30 minutes later and started the 7 hour trek to Atlanta.  We had decided just a couple weeks prior to go to the Chick-fil-A bowl, but got in town a couple days early to eat...



Smoked salmon eggs benedict



Brunch at Canoe

And drink:








And visit with good friends:


Dinner at Local Three

The game was on New Year's Eve and in typical LSU fashion they blew the lead in the last few minutes and lost the game.





But we still had fun!




We're back to work now but I feel like a new person.  Those few days away were exactly what I needed and now I feel ready to finish up the few things I have left to do in the lab and write my DISSERTATION!

But perhaps the best news of all?  As of tomorrow, Jeff's 6 month away rotation in Baton Rouge is done!!!