Thursday, October 30, 2008

In honor of Tuesday!

As if anyone needs yet another reason not to vote for McCain, check this out. Obama totally kicks his ass in this dance off.

Oh yeah folks, it's for realsies.

And because none of us can get enough Sarah Palin, get your giggles out here (my favorite is the poster of baby names, and keep clicking on the office door).


Ok, so I know that I swore off all Mark Bittman recipes, but doesn't this one look delicious? I've never roasted chestnuts before, but I think I might try. It might make things a little toastier in this chilly house. Leave a comment if you have any roasted chestnut experience! I don't have an open fire, so any suggestions would be appreciated.


Hi all. I have been in such a big funk lately! And so much has been happening that I can't believe I haven't been writing about it all along--I'll never catch up. But I'm trying to pull myself out of whatever this is that I'm stuck in.

Andrew drove away on Friday--almost a whole week ago now. I was dismally depressed at first, of course, and while I'm still just as sad, it's faded to a dull kind of crappiness now. Seriously guys, it's now 4:30, and I've been in bed since noon. Noon. I only got up to go pee and check the mail. But I'm not completely gloomy and out of it--I've gotten a lot done! Ate lunch, studied biochem, watched Heroes, played with the kitten, read.

There are a few great reasons to stay in bed these days. One, Andrew's gone, and not only am I sad, but I don't feel guilty for being completely lazy and immobile! Two, it's flippin' freezing out of my warm blankets. Yes, actually cold! Well, cold for New Orleans (don't laugh at me). Three, I get to cuddle with my adorable new kitten, Stokely! Yep, I finally took the plunge. I couldn't find an old cat that was right for me, so instead I adopted this tiny, sad, scruffy black kitten and am completely enamored. He sleeps on my neck. It's love.

It's so hard to leave the house in the morning and go to class! Wouldn't you want to stay in and cuddle too? When he's not trying to tear your bare feet to shreds, that is.

More later folks. I'm going to try and drag myself out of my nest and rustle up some grub. Or a g&t. Or whatever.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Lala land

Hey all. I know I've been out of touch lately, and I promise that I'm hard at work dragging myself back into the land of the living! Been a rough week, let me tell you. But I promise something substantial soon, so don't touch that dial! Until then, a little vintage loveliness from swissmiss.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


In my birthday box from my dad was a boat load of my favorite kind of apples, these tiny little tart things from one of the trees in his orchard. I love apple season! Does anyone know of a place to go apple picking in Louisiana?

I promise a more substantive post later. I just love Fall! Anyone want to carve pumpkins?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Happy holidays!

People, today's my BIRTHDAY! Woohoo! That's not me in the picture above, but it's a cute picture of my sister with her birthday cake a couple of years ago. And here's one of my dad holding a flaming cake:

After the exam, I think Andrew and some friends and I are heading up to Northern Louisiana for the Washington Parish Free Fair--should be a hoot. So wish me biochem luck!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Practical practicals

(found via a cup of jo)

My friend Jeff asked a question about anatomy exams, and I was trying to find some amusing picture of lab practicals or something to post. Instead, I found the above. Friggin' adorable. From James' Year in Pictures blog--awesome photos, and I promise, most of them aren't as cutesy as this one.

Anyway, I checked my answers this morning and it looks like I did well! Woohoo! Our gross anatomy exams are in two parts: written and practical. Each section is a little less than two hours. The written is in the same format as the board exams, which means primarily clinical cases with multiple choice answers--and yesterday's written portion was miserably hard, so I'm thrilled that I passed! When we finish that, we all trudge upstairs to the anatomy labs for the practical portion, which consists of 70 tagged structures throughout the six labs. We all have clip boards and we're herded from lab to lab by a buzzer (15 minutes per lab or so). I saw Dr. Jerret this morning as I checked my answers at the bulletin board, and he said that he was thrilled with how well we'd all done on the practical. Gave me a nice warm fuzzy feeling, because I know that it doesn't really matter what scores we all get, but I do live for praise and to make my superiors happy. It's a little pathetic.

Anyway, I'm now sitting in the library, trying very hard to study biochem. Wish me luck!

(PS--Thanks for commenting, Jeff!)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Bed time yet?

Doesn't this look like the most comfortable bed ever? I love white rooms, and the blankets look so fluffy. All I want to do is crawl into bed right now. My anatomy exam went pretty well, but it's time to study for Wednesday's biochem. Ugh. Hope everyone else is having a relaxing night!

Test time

Block II anatomy exam today! Ahhh! Wish me luck.

One of my favorite anatomy professors posts the above picture at the beginning of every lecture (click on the image for a bigger view--totally cool). I found it at this great website full of antique anatomical art. More about it later, so I won't post the link yet. You know, that way you'll come back for more. Ooooo...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

PS: Cats

I haven't mentioned that Andrew landed himself a wonderful job with the Associated Press as a technology reporter! It's a great position with honest to goodness benefits. The downside: it's in Manhattan! So he'll be moving back up North in a couple of weeks, and although I'm beyond bummed that he has to leave, I'm trying to stay positive (more closet space, cheaper food bill, etc). And now that I'm going to be all lonely, I'm back to wanting to adopt a cat. The Louisiana SPCA (which is only two minutes from my house) has this great website with pictures of their current adoptable animals, and I think I want this one:

Doesn't he (she?) look fantastically old and grumpy? And fluffy to boot. I think I'll go meet him tomorrow. Thoughts?

Fun in the perineum

Yesterday one of my dear dear friends (you know who you are) reminded me that it's been far too long since I wrote anything of substance in this silly blog. Ok, so that's not exactly what he said, but the intent was clear. And he's right! Things have been a bit busy lately, and it's time for some lab updates. All I can say is that you asked for it!

I said I'd tell y'all about my day in the abdomen, and I will, but first I'll discuss what I've been studying all day:

(thank you, frank netter, for everything you've done for me)

Oh yes, yes indeed. The day finally came to dissect down there. The day that Andrew's been snickering about every since he learned I have a male cadaver. We've been working with our body for two months now, and we're very respectful. When we're not working on a specific region, we cover it up with the towel. Until now, that's meant keeping his nether regions discreetly hidden. We all knew it was down there, we knew that we'd have to get to know it eventually, but until that time, we were perfectly happy to ignore it. We try to let the man keep his dignity while desperately clinging to our own, enjoying our time with his arms and heart and colon.

But it couldn't last forever, could it? The day came when we had to remove the towel. It was an ominous act; we set it aside and stood staring for a few moments, not saying a word. Then the three men in the group quietly stepped back out of the circle. You see, each table had been assigned a different dissection to do, because they're all tedious and intricate and take several hours. For better or worse, we'd been assigned the money dissection: male urogenital triangle. Us gals were a little apprehensive, but the fellas were having nothing to do with using scalpels, probes, and scissors in that most tender of areas. Especially not if the end result was going to look something like this:

We waffled for a little while, putting off the inevitable. We moved him into position, which was unsettlingly similar to the one women assume at the gynecologist: legs bent and spread, feet in the stirrups, scoot down a bit please, a little further, there we go... Now we were ready, and I had somehow ended up in the dissection position. It felt a little like in the cartoons, when they ask for volunteers and everybody steps back except for the one unlucky sap. I was that sap.

But I'm not afraid! I crouched down and started skinning, the feet hovering somewhere near my ears and my relieved lab mates grouped around the end of the humidor. It was strange at first, holding his abnormally hardened you-know-what (I'm trying to avoid those creeps that google dirty words and stumble upon well-meaning blogs) and peeling away skin and fascia. But eventually it was just another body part, and skinning can be very soothing (as far as dissections go)--you don't really have to think about much, you're not searching for annoying nerves and vessels, you can watch the progress you're making minute by minute.

After a while we started to draw a crowd, and everyone stood around watching me dissect. I earned a reputation as a man-hater pretty quickly--completely undeserved of course! But I'm afraid it's going to stick with me for a while, and all because no one else would step up to the plate! To be fair, (almost) everyone did their part eventually.

The dissection itself went well. We found lots of little structures and ended up with a pretty nice perineum, which, by the way, has SO much fat! We didn't find anything too unusual, although he had a bunch of benign fatty lipomas in his spermatic cord. Weird! One of the bodies a few labs down the hall found a surgically implanted penile pump--totally cool!

(a little gray's anatomy from

As much flak as I took for dissecting a penis (oh no! I said it!) and testis, I feel like our table was pretty lucky. We could've gotten stuck with the anal triangle--no fun at all, let me tell you.

That's all for now, folks. The weather down here is finally cooling down. Today was the most lovely, breezy day. Thanks to my block II exams next week, I spent the whole thing inside studying, but I enjoyed it on the walk to breakfast. Hope all is well out there, and ta ta!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


This flow chart describes my current "study" session so perfectly that I want to cry a little. Instead, I'll just talk to you people (Laurel).

Andrew's parents are coming to visit this weekend and I'm excited! We're going to make dinner for them on Friday and in addition to the red beans and rice that I experimented with last week (fantastic), I think I'll try out this delicious looking apple cake. It's from smitten kitchen (big surprise!), so I'm sure it will be mouth-wateringly fabulous.

We'll probably be going out to eat for the rest of the weekend, so I'm trying to brainstorm great places to take them. A few definites for the list: Cochon, Crescent City Brewhouse, The Gumbo Shop, and Irene's Cuisine. If any of you are from NO or have spent some time here, any other suggestions?

Robotic Sheep

PS--Andrew REFUSED to mow the lawn today (some silly excuse about "I had to go to work so that I can pay rent and buy you pretty things"). I think I might get this instead:

(also via swissmiss)

Feeling funky

(via frank chimero, found at fantastic swissmiss)

Light on the posts these days, I know! Busy busy busy...As Dr. Jerret likes to keep reminding us, gross anatomy is in hyperdrive now, and we need to study accordingly. I'm trying, I'm trying! But the above illustration describes how I'm feeling lately, especially the past couple of days. I just can't seem to keep things straight! Ugh, I need to get my mind right.

Anyway, I'm in need of a bubble bath and a g&t, or something of the sort, so I'll sign off. But boy oh boy, do I have a lab to describe to you! Gorey details soon, I promise.