Monday, February 18, 2013

The Residency Money Pit

Just when you think residency has sucked as much out of you as it possibly can, you get a slap in the face to remind you that there's always something else waiting around the corner.  You might remember me bitching about all the residency-related costs we had to pay for back in December here.  Well, I thought after paying for the written Boards and all Jeff's fellowship interviews that the worst was behind us, right?  Wrong.

There's a Board review course in Chicago that all the Ortho residents go to in order to up their chances of passing.  Not required, but who wants to be the only one to not go and take that risk?  What if you don't pass and always wonder, 'What if I had gone to the Board review course?'  $1300.  Yes, that's $300 more than the actual test itself.  Oh, plus the flight to Chicago, hotel room, food, etc.  In the past, the residents have gotten a company to kindly pay for their expenses out of their education fund.  But it seems that since times are tough, funds are low.

Ok, that sucks.  But, whatever, right?  All of this will be worth it when we can sit back at graduation and share that much-deserved moment with our families and look forward to all that is to come!  Wrong again.  We were just informed that each graduating resident can only bring one guest (ME!) and any other family members that would like to come have to pay $150.  Are you freaking kidding me?!  That would amount to $900 for both of our families to be there (it's at the Ritz so I guess you're paying for the name, because I can assure you the dinner is not worth $150/person).  That is unless the program decides to have it somewhere cheaper.  But after 4 years of watching other classes graduate there, am I wrong to want Jeff to have that same experience?  Why should his be the class that has to sacrifice?

So to everyone in med school, or in the early years of residency- go ahead and save up a good $10K for your last year.  And don't be so silly to think you can use it to by a house, or perhaps reward yourself with a nice vacation when you're done.  Just go ahead and think of it as being lost forever to the black hole that is the cost of becoming a doctor.  Maybe if you're lucky, you'll have a couple thousand leftover to move for fellowship.  If not, there's always more loans.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Mardi Gras Mambo

Delayed Mardi Gras pics for your viewing pleasure:

Ready to go!

Cops on horseback

Popeyes fried chicken...a Mardi Gras staple

A marching band

Throw me somethin' mister!

The crowd

Mardi Gras toilet paper

Big beers

So thankful we had nothing going on this weekend in Nola! After the Superbowl and Mardi Gras, I need to lay low until my dissertation is done. Until the Spring festivals begin...

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

Here's the question...Will Jeff make it home in time for our Valentine's dinner plans??

He warned me last night that he had a long case today and might be cutting it close to make it to our 6:45 reservation tonight.  Ahh the joys of having an uncertain schedule every single day!  I'm just thankful he's not on call tonight.  I told him when he was making the schedule for this month that I didn't care if he took call on Valentine's Day, but now that it's here I'm glad he'll be available to celebrate.  Even if we don't make it to our dinner reservations and end up just cooking dinner at the house.  It's nice to have the option of doing something.  Another 5th year perk I guess.

And today marks the second day of Lent.  We both decided to give up meat, which will be a easy task for me.  Jeff, not so much.  I'm going to keep a tally of how many times he forgets...

Was anyone brave enough to give up Facebook, or dare I say, coffee?!  Those are two things I want to try giving up one year as I'm pretty addicted to both.  I should have given up Facebook this year because I'm sure it would help me concentrate on writing my dissertation.  Giving up coffee would have been disastrous!

What are you doing for Valentine's Day and do you give up anything for Lent?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Mardi Gras sneak peek

I picked up the King Cake yesterday.  Possibly one of the biggest disappointments of my life.

Beautiful, right?  That's where the good news ends.  I cut into it and immediately knew something was wrong.  There were no flaky, pastry-like layers or swirls of cinnamon goodness throughout the bread.   Just a fluffy, white "Bunny bread" like consistency.  Not good.  That's the risky thing about trying a new bakery.  From now on I will stand in line for an hour at one of the three famous bakeries- Haydel's, Gambino's, or Randazzo's- they're busy for a reason!  The other two King Cakes I got this year were from our local grocery, Rouses, which were pretty good too.   Lesson learned.

Today we're headed off to do some parading and pass a good time, as they say in New Orleans.  Endymion, one of the big mega parades, is tonight.  This year they have a new float which is the longest in the world.  So we're packing up our cooler and folding chairs and launching ourselves into the madness of the French Quarter.  Cross your fingers we make it out in one piece!

And it wouldn't be Mardi Gras for me without a good ole spicy Bloody Mary!

Happy Mardi Gras y'all!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Friday Ramblings

Ok guys, this is the BIG MARDI GRAS WEEKEND! So you know what that means, no dissertation writing will get done! I've just sat down in a little corner of our local coffee shop to hopefully grind out some good work today so I can feel better about slacking this weekend. But seriously, if you lived here you would understand.

Do you know what is possibly the most annoying thing ever? When ONE person takes up one of the big, nice tables at the coffee shop.  But in today's case, all the nice tables are each taken up by one person.  I'm by myself today, so I don't mind sitting at one of the little "cafe" tables, but when Jeff and I come here together this drives us absolutely nuts!  It's the little things that will make you crazy...Jeff said I should just walk up and sit down next to someone.  Wonder what they would say?

On a less grumpy note, I'm getting another King Cake today!  Instead of being lazy and picking up the grocery store variety, I actually ordered one from a bakery and will go pick it up this afternoon.  It will be filled with cream cheese and all that is good about New Orleans.  Don't worry, I'll post pics of it before it's devoured.

I can't wait to share some parade pics with everyone!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Medical Mondays- Superbowl!

Happy Medical Monday!

If you haven't visited my blog before, this is where I talk/whine about the ups and downs of residency and graduate school life.  Welcome!  Jeff is a 5th year Orthopaedic surgery resident, and I'm a 5th year Neuroscience PhD student.  We live in New Orleans and absolutely LOVE it!  We're sad to be moving this summer after we both graduate, but are excited for what's next.

Speaking of New Orleans, the city just hosted a little thing called the Superbowl this past weekend.  No big deal, right?!  It's great to be a 5th year and have most weekends off!

You would think with the busy life Jeff leads that he would want to relax on his days off, right?  Whenever I have a crazy week, I want nothing more than to become one with a Netflix, a glass of wine, and my couch all weekend.  But Jeff is the complete opposite- he wants to go, go, GO on his days off.

So, we made the trek down to the French Quarter on Saturday to see the sights.  It was no small feat considering most streets were pedestrian only for the weekend.  It was wonderful to see so many out of town fans enjoying the city as much as we do, even if they weren't wearing Saints jerseys ;)

Jeff in front of the Superdome

The park along the riverfront was lined with food tents, stages featuring local musicians, and various activities hosted by Superbowl sponsors.  We ambled into the French Quarter and watched street performers painted all in silver posing as statues and amazing guitarists and violinists playing for tips on the corners (a la the HBO show Treme).  This is what I love about New Orleans!  Every day is a festival down here, and I couldn't help but wonder what these Baltimoreans must think.  I had a feeling the San Fran fans were a little more used to these types of "eccentricities."

So congrats to all you Ravens fans out there!  

But, Who Dat?!!  There's always next year!