I Can't Today.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Today is not going how I thought it would be going, and I'd like to submit a complaint to the management. Mercury is so retrograde right now it hurts. Just have to make it to Saturday.

How I Thought Today Would Go: Wake up for an invasive procedure at a doctor's office (we'll just leave it at that), blood work, therapy, studying until I fell asleep, went to class, or died.

How Today Is Actually Going: Woke up for an invasive procedure at a doctor's office, blood work, therapy, found out my car had been towed from a handicapped spot because my placard had fallen down, locating my car, paid a $21 cab fare to get across town to rescue my car, paid $175 to get my car back, found out that I had to drive back across town to contest the towing and the ticket, parked, walked to the other office, waited in line, was told that I can't contest the towing or the ticket today  but that I could schedule a hearing, couldn't schedule a hearing because my ticket wasn't even in the system, drove home in the rain, ate gross fast food for lunch, threw every piece of change in my wallet all over my car, and then sat in this Starbucks and tried to restrain myself from standing up and screaming, "THAT'S NOT HOW ANY OF THIS WORKS!" when a lady sitting next to me was trying to convince another lady to try some natural products and included the phrase, "Yeah, tapeworms have a good amount of protein."


1. Tapeworms are parasites, you shouldn't voluntarily ingest them.
2. Tapeworms are designed to live in your GI tract, unharmed, so no, you can't digest them... otherwise, we wouldn't have this problem.
3. That is not how science works. Or life. Please go home.


So yeah, that's my day. I'm also freezing and exhausted and I have to cram so much information into my head that while in the cab on my way to wherever the hell today, I wasn't wearing my seatbelt and actually thought, "Well, if I die in a fiery car wreck, at least I don't have to take this exam tomorrow."

Welcome to crazytown, population: Me.

Or, as I said to someone the other day, "I am on the Struggle Bus to Struggle City."

Fortunately, I have since ingested a warm chocolate chip cookie and a latte, so I'm doing much better than I was before that. Also, here are some things that are good:

1. My name isn't Phillip Phillips.
2. My car has heated seats.
3. I found a bobby pin in my purse so I can keep my bangs out of my eyes.
4. I found a seat at the Starbucks by 2 outlets. TWO.
5. In 21 hours, this exam will be over and I can drink heavily relax.
6. My kitten thinks I am the best thing in the world. Ignore the fact that he thinks this because I am the one with the food.
7. I just got a coupon for 50% off everything at LOFT and I'm going to order this dress because I need it in my life.
8. I don't have bed bugs. Or any parasites, for that matter.
9. I have a massage scheduled for Monday. I hope she doesn't mind if I pass out and drool on her table.
10. Pam sent me a picture of this llama:

And in case you're having a day like mine, here's an adorable porcupine eating a pumpkin. I want to hug it, but that would probably be the worst life choice I've made yet. Yes, even worse than that time I got a graduated bob.

Okay, I need to go study now, because this binder is my best friend. The kind of best friend that you want to light on fire and throw out a window. Yeah, that kind.

Send help. And caffeine. And for tomorrow, wine.

- A

Living the Dream... Or Some Reasonable Approximation Thereof

Monday, October 20, 2014

Hi. I'm still alive, just mostly buried until a giant pile of notes and textbooks and study guides, swimming in a pool of my own tears. See also: Exam week.

This weekend wasn't super exciting, except for that Ken and I got to see my brother's a cappella group, After the Bar, perform as the opening act for Keystone A Cappella. It was really fun, and I was the world's proudest big sister ever.

Then on Saturday, I slept in and our new dining room table was delivered. It's beautiful:

The best part is that it is easily distinguishable from our floor, which was not the case with our former table.

Apparently, having our table delivered was entirely exhausting, because I went back to sleep for another 2 hours before heading out to Starbucks. I set up camp there and didn't leave for 7 hours, minus the 30 minutes I took to eat dinner with Ken at Chipotle. My friend, Julianne, came to study with me and she reminded me that yes, I do have friends in med school. She is pretty much the best and I need to hug her to thank her for her friendship and sanity-saving this weekend.

Saturday night, I continued studying at home until roughly 4 am, although from 3:30-4:00 or so, I was just knitting and finally catching up on this season of American Horror Story. As Julie said, "It's effed up." This is not surprising, given that it's Ryan Murphy and American Horror Story, so effed up is the name of the game. As expected, the acting is on-point, the writing is fabulous, and the story is shaping up to be quite interesting. The clown that everyone is talking about isn't as terrifying as I thought he'd be, but there's one character on there who isn't even one of the "freaks" that totally creeps me out.  Are you watching AHS? What do you think? Do you have coulrophobia? (If so, don't click that link about the clown, and if you did, I am not responsible for any of your medical bills or therapy that may be required as a result of viewing that article. Call my lawyer. Just kidding, I don't have a lawyer.)

ANYWAY, that was Saturday night. Sunday, I slept in again (because bed at 4 am) and then spent 4-5 hours at the library at school. We were baffled by the desk lamps, which led to this conversion:

Med Student 1: Med Student 2 came over and was freaking out because she can't figure out how to turn this light on.
Me: I know, she was under the table for awhile trying to fix it.
Med Student 1: I told her I'd come look at it. ::inspects lamp:: I think there might not be a light bulb in this...
Med Student 3: That could be a mitigating factor.

See also: How many med students does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

This gem also happened:

Med Student 1: Are there educational goals?
Me: Yeah. Don't fail. 

The rest of Sunday was spent studying, again until almost 4 am, which resulted in sleeping until 10 am today, and subsequently missing my appointment to get my car's oil changed and figure out why the engine light randomly lit up. Because that's what I needed this week.

Anyway, this weekend, my brain felt totally overwhelmed and overly full. There were many times I wanted to give up. There were many times that for an hour or two, I did give up. I just closed my notes, picked up my knitting, and watched an entire episode of something without trying to also outline something or cram information into my brain. During exam weeks, if you were to ask me how I was liking medical school, I'd probably tell you that it sucked, I hated it, and that I wished I could just go back to my office job where someone paid me to essentially organize large piles of paper while drinking coffee made by the office Keurig. If you asked me whether you should consider going to medical school, I would probably tell you to have your head examined and to pick something that was less expensive, less time consuming, and less stressful. When I left the library yesterday, I wanted to run screaming from the building and not look back. 

That all sounds pretty terrible, huh?

I have to keep reminding myself that about a  year ago, I was waiting for secondary applications for medical school and was hoping and praying to any deity that would listen that I would eventually be accepted somewhere. I slept, ate, and breathed med school applications. Whether I would be accepted consumed my every waking thought, and probably most of my dreams as well. When I was finally accepted in February, it was a huge weight that lifted off of my shoulders, if only momentarily, to be replaced with the much heavier load of, "Oh God, I'm going to go to med school." Regardless, I was finally getting to achieve this dream.

When people say, "Living the dream!" it's often sarcastically. You can almost hear the eye roll, the exasperation, the wish to be anywhere else, doing anything else. In fact today, I said to a classmate, "Yup, just living' the dream," and she chided me saying, "You should be more excited about it!" 

You know what? She's right. All 162 of us in this class are living the dream. The dream that at some point, none of us knew would be a reality. Out of over 5,000 applicants, we are part of the 3% that made the cut. There are plenty of people out there waiting for another admissions cycle, praying and hoping that they too can get to live their dream of becoming a physician. Sure, the dream may certainly feel misguided at times, and this week, I kind of feel like I'm living a nightmare instead of a dream, but this is it. This is what I wanted. For better or worse.

So yes, tonight I will go home after class, eat dinner, and shower, all the while minimizing the time it takes to do those things so I can get back to studying. I will continue to massacre my sleep schedule in the name of studying, and my husband may forget what I look like. My friends and family may wonder if they'll ever see me again. My blog will probably be neglected. (When you can barely remember to shower and eat, this is not a surprising idea.)

Eventually, Friday will come, I will take my exam from 8-12, and then I will go home and collapse into bed. Then I will reset my life and we will start this entire thing all over again. In a mere 60 days, we'll take our final exam for the first semester of our medical school careers, and then we'll be 1/8 of the way to being doctors. This is not a drill! 

We are all living the dream... or a reasonable approximation thereof.  I have to remind myself how damn lucky I am to be able to say that. It truly is a privilege, and I hope that all of you can say that you too, are living your dream.

- A

I'm Having an Inertia Problem

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Hello, faithful readers. I apologize for the radio silence around these parts. You see, I'm having an inertia problem. For those of you who were fortunate enough to have not taken physics since high school, or ever, perhaps, let me refresh your memories. Inertia is the tendency of an object in motion to remain in motion, or for an object at rest to remain at rest. Oh hey, my blog is educational. Check it out.

Anyway, inertia. Over the last couple of weeks, things have been getting harder and harder, and by "things" I mean life. My depression has been getting worse as have my autoimmune symptoms, and getting out of bed every day was becoming more and more of a challenge. I alternately just didn't see the point of getting out of bed, and even if I knew I had to get out of bed, I was so overwhelmed by the entire process of waking up, getting dressed, and functioning in the world that I just laid there, paralyzed with fear. Fear of what? Who knows. That's the kicker about Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder. It doesn't have to be fear or dread of anything specific. It's just life.

As you can probably imagine, this isn't fun. As if med school wasn't difficult enough, imagine trying to do it when you feel like you're wading through The Swamp of Sadness. (Name that reference and get 10 points.) Case in point? It's taken me three days to write this blog post because I've been salvaging all of the energy I have to get dressed, shower, and study, and even accomplishing those things were debatable. I saw a new psychiatrist on Friday and she was wonderful. She increased my SSRI, which hopefully will help some of this swampy sadness abate, and I'm also still seeing my therapist. I'm also convinced that once Mercury turns anterograde, life will get easier. Only 10 days to go.

So what else is going on? It's Wednesday, which means it's Hump Day Confessions with Kathy, and since the rest of my brain is completely consumed with the above nonsense and/or biochem, I figure that we might as well go with something easy, like confessing stupid things on the internet. I already confessed that I'm having this inertial issue, so let's get to some lighter stuff.

Vodka and Soda

I confess...

... I am woefully behind in my studying. I am almost caught up with biochem, but virology, bacteriology, and histo are a mess right now.

.... I am also woefully behind in my TV-watching. This is almost as upsetting (perhaps more upsetting?) than the fact that I am behind in my studying.

... The phrase "sex pilus" will always make me laugh, even though I know it's about bacteria and I am not 12.

... I'm going to be learning cervical HVLA (translation: cracking people's necks) next week in Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine lab, and I'm moderately terrified that I will hurt someone. Or that someone will hurt me. Guess we'll see? If I die, at least I don't have to take the exam next Friday?

... I smacked myself in the forehead... with a hot curling iron. I win at being a spaz.

... I am basically a terrible friend right now because all I do is study, sleep, complain about studying, and complain about how I want more sleep. Sorry, guys. Check back on December 19th when the semester ends.

... I hate the term "leaf peeping". Just... stop. Who invented that nonsense, and can I make it go away?

... I had delusions of going to Pure Barre classes before my afternoon med school classes. See also: Inertial issue.

... I totally suck at #Blogtober14, but today's prompt is a favorite quote, which is easy. Well, I have a lot of favorite quotes, so it's not easy per se because I have so many favorites... but it's not a complicated thing to write about. Some of my favorites are:

For more of my favorites, check out my Pinterest page for Thoughts and Ideas! What are some of your favorite quotes? Any juicy confessions you have to share?

Helene in Between Blogtober

As for me, I'm going to go cram more biochem into my addled brain until the Emergency Med resident case study at 12 (free food!) and then this afternoon, I'll be listening to a total stranger's heart and lungs.

Med school is weird, man.

- A

Mercury Needs to Calm the Eff Down

Friday, October 10, 2014

Hi, my name is Alison and I have totally failed at blogging every day in October. I meant to blog more this week, but my brain is all over the place and school is insane and I spent Wednesday in the living hell of a panic attack for most of the day, so..... yes, here we are. I've gotten my head above water for the time being and I can breathe and feel like most of the time, I'm not going to vomit and burst into tears at any moment.

Anxiety is FUN, you guys.

And I know it's not just me. I walked into the restroom this morning during lecture and there was a classmate having an anxiety attack. I stayed with her for a bit and talked with her, because clearly I couldn't just leave her there. This med school thing, man. It's no joke.

I don't usually put stock in any astrology whatsoever, although I do enjoy reading my horoscope and laughing about it with Pam. However, I am a firm believer that when Mercury is retrograde, shit goes sideways. And guess what? Mercury turned retrograde on October 4th and will stay there until October 25th, which is just rude because I am taking a gigantic exam on the 24th and really need life to work out that day. Anyway, if you're having a rough time, blame Mercury. That's got to be part of it, right?

So! The last three days of post prompts from Helene and Taylor were:

- A letter to myself in 10 years
- My best/worst Halloween memory
- I never thought blogging would...

The latter two? Easy.

Halloween - I am going to become very unpopular. I hate Halloween. #sorrynotsorry I've never liked it, not even as a kid. I didn't really like dressing up, make-up made my face itch, and the annual Halloween parade at school gave me anxiety. I've never had a terribly good or terribly bad Halloween. Now I just leave the house on the afternoon of Halloween and try to stay away until well into the evening to avoid the incessantly ringing doorbell. Tiny kids in costumes are pretty cute, though.

Blogging - I never thought I'd consider myself a blogger. That's pretty weird. But there it is.

A letter to myself in 10 years? That's more difficult. Let's give it a shot.

Dear 38 Year Old Alison,

Well, am I glad to see you. This means you made it through most of your thirties without killing yourself, either accidentally or on purpose. Good job. Yes, this was a legitimate concern for 28-year-old-Alison.

At this point, you've been a doctor for 6 years! You graduated from med school in 2018, finished your resident in 2021, and are finishing your fellowship in pediatric oncology. So what if you're starting your career as an independent physician when you're almost 40. You finally did it.

Your kids are pretty cute, by the way. Yes, you finally got pregnant, and no, your autoimmune disease didn't kill you. It wasn't super fun, but it was totally worth it. And Ken is an amazing dad, just like you thought he'd be.

You have fabulously successful friends; great politicians, physicians, professors, and creatives. You're so lucky to be surrounded by such smart and passionate people. Remind them how much they mean to you. And yeah, you were right to cut those few people out of your life back in the day. You don't even know what they're doing anymore, which probably means it's nothing important or useful. And I see that you and Sarah are still as silly as ever. Good, never lose that.

Also, I'm so glad that people finally started vaccinating their kids again. Jenny McCarthy is a hot mess still, but at least measles outbreaks are no longer a problem. And I'm glad that Ebola never became a real problem in the US, although I'm not surprised. Did the conspiracy theorists ever shut up about that?

I see that you're still pretty intolerant of the blatant stupidity of the masses... I guess some things never change. But, I'm glad that you're better at suppressing the rage at that stupidity. Being a felon was never part of the plan, so good job there. Just continue to surround yourself with those intelligent, passionate friends of yours. They'll keep you sane.

Are Scandal and American Horror Story still on TV? Those were your favorites in 2014. What's your favorite show now?  Have you met Neil Gaiman? Has he written anything as amazing as American Gods? Have you finally given in a written that book you always secretly thought you might write? You totally should do it. And nice job playing in the pit for those shows in Philly... it's good money and you have a great time.

I hope that by now, you've realized that life isn't going to end every time something negative happens. I hope that your health is better than it was ten years ago, but if it's not, I hope that your team of doctors is still as great as they were in 2014. I hope that you read, knit, and sleep more. I hope that you remember that med students you may encounter on a daily basis aren't being stupid on purpose; they're just sleep-deprived and don't know anything yet. Buy one a cup of coffee and chat for a few minutes; you might save a life.

I'm glad that you seem happy. You spent so long being unhappy, with yourself and with your life, that you deserve to be happy. You worked hard to get where you are, so enjoy it. And pay it forward. You didn't get here alone; none of us do.

Keep doing you; you're doing fine.

Your Slightly More Neurotic, 28 Year Old Self

PS: Do you still have that sweater you've had since 6th grade? GET RID OF IT.


Annnnd since it's Friday, here's your #1down1up with Chrystina!

One Down | Definitely the panic attack I had on Wednesday. I forgot how terrible those were. Blergh.

One Up | The little things. The chocolate milkshake I had on Wednesday night at the diner to combat the panic attack. Snuggling the kitten. Snuggling the husband. Brownies. Chatting with Emily.

I hope your weekend is as great as this milkshake. Have a good one, all.

- A

Take Me Away!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Helene in Between Blogtober

Let's face it, I am not a big traveler. This is largely because traveling is expensive and also because I am afraid of being in strange places and eating strange food and getting lost somewhere where I may not speak the language. I'm also not great at flying. Hell, I don't even know where my passport is right now, and I'll be honest, I haven't seen it since 2012. (Don't worry, I made sure the government knows that it's lost, so it's been canceled or zapped out of existence or whatever the government does when passports go MIA). As you can imagine, I haven't needed to leave the country in the last few years, so not knowing where my passport is on this planet isn't really troublesome. Minus that whole... identification document being lost... thing.

I am a nervous-wreck when I travel. I hate packing. I hate unpacking. I hate airports and I really don't care for planes. But, I do enjoy seeing new things, relaxing, not having to cook or clean while on vacation, and visiting people. When I do decide to take a trip, I generally enjoy it; I just don't take very many trips.

I also am a big weirdo and hated taking days off from work while I was a 9-to-5'er, so the only real vacation I took in the 2 years I worked at CHOP was our honeymoon (I took 5 days off in August 2013). This is how I had amassed almost 300 hours of paid time off when I left that job, which was an awesome paycheck to get... but it meant no real vacations since 2011, which was a drag. Now that I have approximately zero time to travel anywhere that is farther away than can be accomplished by a few hours in a car, I'm itching to get away.  Murphy's Law, right?

So, let's get to \today's prompt for #Blogtober14: My Best and Worst Vacation

As much as I dislike the before and after of traveling, I've had surprisingly few "bad" traveling experiences. Honestly, the worst "vacation" I've taken was a long weekend I took to Niagara Falls in 2007. I went with the guy I was dating at the time, and I didn't want to be dating him anymore and I tried to say that I didn't want to go, but I ended up going anyway and it was just a bad time all over. It would have been super romantic and lovely had I been there with someone who didn't make me want to jump into the falls. PSA: Break up with people who make you want to jump over a waterfall. And that's all I have to say about that.

My best vacation... has to be tied between our trip to FL in 2011 when I graduated from my MPH and Ken finished his teaching certificate and our honeymoon to California in 2013. I also loved my Birthright trip to Israel in 2011, but I can't really count that asa "vacation" because it was more of a tour and there was very little downtime for relaxing. So, for today's purposes, I'll go with our honeymoon as my favorite vacation ever.

In fact, that was probably the first real vacation I took with Ken where we did whatever we wanted, didn't stay with family for a majority of the time, and planned the entire thing ourselves. We flew from Philadelphia to San Francisco, rented a car, and drove to Napa for 2 days. We visited a few wineries, had portraits shot by the lovely Allison Andres, and ate a ton of delicious food. Then we drove back to San Francisco and stayed there for 2 days, where we wandered the wharf area, hiked in Muir Woods, walked around Sausalito, watched the sea lions play at Pier 37, and again, ate delicious food. Then we drove to Monterey and stayed in a fabulously swanky hotel on the bay, went to the aquarium (I saw a Giant Pacific Octopus and it was AMAZING), and again... ate delicious food. After Monterey, we drove down the Pacific Coast Highway and it was one of the most beautiful drives I've ever taken. We could have literally stopped every 10 miles to take photos, but limited ourselves to a few choice spots. We also stopped in San Simeon to see the elephant seals and had lunch at The Madonna Inn (which was bizarre). We continued our drive to LA, where we stayed with my aunt and uncle, and the next day, we took a day trip to San Diego to go to the zoo and safari park. We did a ton, but the best part was just spending 7 days with Ken. It was great for us to reconnect and we had the best time running down the miles on the PCH. Check out my entire post about our trip here... there are plenty of pictures! And, if you get a chance to drive the coast, DO IT. 

Damn it, now I really wish I was in Napa, sipping wine. Instead, I'm going to go to my OMM lab. WHEE. Have a great day, all!

- A

Hindsight is 20/20... or Whatver

Monday, October 6, 2014

Helene in Between Blogtober

So, this weekend I basically slept. It was lovely. There was homemade pasta and peanut butter ice cream (not together), wine, brownies, and Chipotle. There was 6 episodes of season 2 of Downton Abbey. There was knitting. There was Gone Girl, Noodles & Company, and ordering a new dining room set. There was snuggling of kitties. Basically, it could be summed up follows: carbohydrates, cinema, cats, and couch.

In other words, the best weekend ever.

However, I totally disregarded blogging in any way, shape, or form. I usually don't blog on weekends, so I completely forgot that #Blogtober existed. Sooooo, let's play catch-up!

Day 4: Favorite Photo on Instagram
My first Instagram photo was of my therapist's waiting room. If that's not telling, I don't know what is. My favorite one, though, is probably this one:

This was our first and sadly, only, trip to Ocean City this summer. We sat on the beach, ate pizza, bought fudge and salt water taffy, walked in the sunshine, and ate custard. It was just a wonderfully relaxing day and even though I got sunburned, I would love to just live in that day over and over again. It doesn't hurt that I spent it with this handsome guy. It also was the first day of #100HappyDays, which is fun. :)

Day 5: Fall Bucket List

The short and sweet version: Survive with my sanity mostly intact.

The longer version includes:

- Baking as much as possible
- Making this soup 
- Going to a winery or 3 (or 5...)
- Celebrating our 2 year wedding anniversary on 10/14
- Decorating our front door/yard for autumn
- Breaking out my DSLR and taking more photos
- Hosting a house-warming (please God, let me do this before fall ends)
- Drink as many Caramel Apple Spice beverages from Starbucks as humanly possible (because I'm part of the 0.0001% of people who can't stand pumpkin spice... anything)
- Knit all the things!

And of course, survive. It's the little things.

Which brings us to today's prompt...

So, that thing about hindsight being 20/20? Mine might have astigmatism, haha. My blog's 2 year birthday/anniversary/whatever is on the 21st of this month, and I only recently started calling myself a blogger. I started going to blogger meet-ups, which has introduced me to so many amazing ladies, and I follow the blogs of so many other bloggers who really seem to have their proverbial excrement together. I feel like such a newbie even though I've been "blogging" in the current sense for almost 2 years and writing on the internet for over 10 years! (And no, I won't link to my old online journals, which are better left in the past. Yikes.)

So what would I tell Alison-the-blogger 2 years ago?

1. Sponsor, comment, and invest in a good design.

2. Blogging is WAY harder than you think it is.

3. It's also way more fun than you ever think it will be.

4. People will think you are funny.  Just go with it.

5. You will not have enough time to do everything you want to do with your blog.

6. Invest in a good design. Don't try to do it yourself, you're inept. That's okay.

7. Comparison is the thief of joy. Just do your own thing.

8. Blogworld is a crazy, crazy, place.

9. You will meet awesome people. You will wonder why so many of them live so far away.

10. Yeah, you're going to be a blogger. Again, just go with it.

So here we are, blogging along, not really sure what I'm doing, and yet a decent number of people who are not my close, real-life, friends read this thing. Hello! Thanks for reading. You're the best.

So what about you? Leave me your Instagram name so I can check out your favorite shots, tell me your fall bucket list, and if you blog, what do you wish you had known when you started? What do you think I need to know? How should I celebrate my blog's 2nd birthday!?
Tomorrow's prompt is about my best and worst vacations, so you won't want to miss that.

- A

Who Needs Sleep?

Friday, October 3, 2014

The last... 36 hours have been, as expected, hellacious. Last night (at least, I think it was last night), I slept for 90 minutes between 5 and 6:30 am, then got up and took an exam from 8:30-11:00. I came home and promptly passed out vacuumed and washed the floor in our bedroom because I couldn't stand it anymore, then passed out. I am convinced I was in a brief coma. I just took a shower and it feels like this is actually the start of my day, since the 6:30 am start of my day felt like a weird continuation of yesterday after a brief nap. Basically, my sense is time is totally whacked out and I am really trying hard to stay awake so I can rectify this disaster I affectionately call my circadian rhythms.

ANYWAY, I don't have anything to report, which is fine because I do a prompt from Helene for #Blogtober14!

Helene in Between Blogtober

Today's prompt: One Thing I Can't Live Without

Obvious answer in my brain right now: SLEEP. Oh my God, give me all the sleep. And then more sleep, please.

But since that is an actual thing that is required for living, on par with oxygen and glucose, and that list would be really boring and the same for everyone, here are some other things I can't would really prefer to not live without. (Sidenote: If you want to freak yourself out, Google "Fatal Familial Insomnia" Yeah, it's a thing. Don't worry, you probably don't have it.)

1. Coffee - If you can't sleep, you might as well drink coffee, right? I love the ritual of making coffee, the social aspect of grabbing a cup of coffee, and yeah, I do like the taste, too. I am not a caffeine-addict, surprisingly, as I can go days without it, but I certainly enjoy having it in my life.

2. My phone (and its internet connectivity) - Yeah, I'm one of those people. I may not be addicted to caffeine, but I am probably addicted to my phone. I just love being able to check my email, hop on Facebook, text random people, call and catch up with friends (Yes, I still make phone calls! How antiquated, I know.) and know essentially anything I need to know at the touch of a button.

3. A good bra - Sorry if that's TMI, but it's the truth. There are few things I can think of that are worse than straps that fall down, a band that's too loose, or when your cups runneth over. Chances are, if you're a lady who wears a bra and you're not my friend Julie (who is like, a bra guru) you're probably wearing the wrong size bra. If you need bra help, you seriously need to check out Linda's Online. They have amazing customer service and the widest range of fits and styles I've found. Locally, I'm a big fan of Hope Chest in Philadelphia, but their selection is much smaller in the store. You seriously have no idea how much a good bra can change your entire look, so... trust me, go check it out.

4. Books - I prefer real, live, paper books (again, I'm so antiquated) but I also love my Kindle. I don't have nearly as much time to read now as I used to/would like to, but I still take any chance I have to get a few pages in.

5. Chocolate - Because chocolate.

See also: Red wine (because red wine), pajama pants (because pajama pants), and cats (because cats.)

Also, let us not forget that Chrystina has her One Down, One Up link-up on Fridays, and Oh Hey, Friday is still going on. It's link-a-palooza on the blog today apparently.


One Down 
Sleeping for 90 minutes last night totally sucked and messed me up in more ways than one. Public service announcement: Humans are meant to sleep for longer than that. #themoreyouknow

One Up
Being finished with today's exam and having an entire weekend ahead of me without studying? Yes please. I should probably start studying for the next exam in 3 weeks but... I'm not. Sorry med school, you lose this weekend.

So how about you? What are some things you couldn't live without? What were the best and worst moments of your week? Have you ever pulled an all-nighter (or almost all-nighter) and not wanted to die? If so, tell me your secrets. I'll reward you with chocolate and you can come over and snuggle my kitten. (Not a euphemism.)

For now, I'm off to drink wine and eat way too much food with a med school friend (because I am making friends!) and then I have a hot date with my couch.

- A

I Will Live My Life as a Lobsterman's Wife

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Hello! It's Thursday, which is almost Friday, which wouldn't normally be excited but tomorrow is exam day, which means that the weekend is a real weekend because I won't be studying. It also means that I need to be studying right now instead of blogging, but I had to get a post in for #Blogtober14. Today's prompt? What was your dream job growing up and what is it now?

Helene in Between Blogtober

Contrary to the subject line, I don't want to live my life as a lobsterman's wife, it's just a line from an Ingrid Michaelson song. In fact, that sounds miserable, mainly because I'm allergic to shellfish and would have to live somewhere like Maine, where it's freezing and snows 23 feet a day in the winter. No thank you. Also, I don't like the smell of the bay. Let's skip the lobstering all together.

When I was 9, I proudly declared that I wanted to be a pediatrician.

Now, I'm... in medical school so I can be a pediatrician.

Well, that's not very exciting, now is it?

Since my dream job apparently has been the same for the last 20 years, I decided to talk about the things I would do if money was no object/if I could create a job out of thin air that doesn't actually exist.

Things I'd Be Good At But Don't Exist As Real Jobs:

1. Professional Googler
Yikes, that sounds dirty. I swear, it's not something that would get me arrested, I'm just really good at Googling things. In fact, I'm so good at Googling things that I am entirely baffled by people who ask questions to which the best answer is, "Let me Google that for you." Now that we all carry computers in our pockets and have access to the internet at all times (except when you're in the middle of Chapel Hill, NC, as I found out in August), whenever I have a question, I whip out my phone and ask Google for the answer. Want to know whether Macedonia is still a country? Ask Google. Want to know who that guy is in the TV show you're watching and what else you know him from? Google knows the answer. Want to know the air speed velocity of a swallow? Google will tell you, and you don't even have to specify whether it's African or European. Basically, I am a world champion Googler and someone should pay me buckets of money for my skills.

2. Knitter and Coffee Drinker
I would be decidedly better at the former part of this job. In fact, I wouldn't say I'm a particularly fabulous knitter, I just really enjoy it. Maybe if I had time to knit whenever I wanted, I'd be better, though. If someone could pay me to sit in a Starbucks and drink froofy espresso drinks while knitting with luxurious yarn, that'd be great. If you have a need for this kind of professional, you know who to call.

3. Kitten Snuggler
I do this now, but no one pays me. I have extensive experience in snuggling cats and kittens of all breeds and ages. Cats love me. I love cats. It's simple, really.

There are also things I'd be really bad at doing, so I guess I wish that I could be good at them and then do them for a job:

1. Jazz Musician
Yeah, I am a pretty decent musician, but I always sucked at playing jazz piano because I am too inhibited to improv because I'm afraid I'll screw up. One could argue that there is no screwing up in improv, but.. there is. Also, I think that I'd get tired of performing all the time and it wouldn't be fun anymore. I loved singing jazz in college, so maybe I can just team up with a pianist who can do the hard work for me.

2. Artistic... Something
I'm decently creative, but I am not artistic at all. I wish desperately that I could hand letter or draw or paint, but I cannot. My stick figures look like they're dying. I can't design layouts and I have no eye for style. But I love and appreciate that kind of talent, so that'd be awesome if I could do that.

3. Professional Photographer
I love photographs. I have almost 1000 random pictures on my phone (mostly of my cats...) and I am slowly learning to use my DSLR. I'd love to be really great at photography, but that whole "lack of artistic vision" thing really screws that up.

And then there's the thing that everyone tells me that I should be, which I find hysterical. A life coach. Apparently, I'm really good at giving other people advice and solving other people's problems, while meanwhile, my own life is in shambles (or dangerously close to being in shambles). That being said, if you ever need advice, let me know. I apparently know how to solve problems.

And for good measure, one job I'd never want? Olivia Pope's. Yikes.

What about you? What was your dream job as a kid? What is it now? Are you doing it? Tell me your story and link it up! I'll be back tomorrow with yet another post, assuming I can pour my melted brain back into my skull after my exam.

Back to the books for me...

- A


Blogtober Confessions

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

It's October.

... what the hell?

I'm not sure what happened to September, but here we are. I'm not totally okay with this, but I guess I don't have much of a say. Hey there, October. Nice to... see you?

Because I am clearly an unbalanced individual, I decided to try another blogging challenge! Helene and Taylor are hosting #Blogtober14, and while I make no promises that I will post every day (because med school), I will valiantly attempt to do as much as I can. Sometimes, this means that posts will occasionally be mashed together. Like today! It's Wednesday,  which obviously means Hump Day Confessions with Kathy, so let's get to it.

Vodka and Soda

I am woefully under-prepared for this exam on Friday. This means that tonight, all day tomorrow, and tomorrow night are going to be hellacious. I apologize if you come into contact with me between now and noon on Friday. I take no responsibility for what may come out of my mouth.

Last night, I wanted to toss the kitten across the room because he decided that 2 am was a great time to step on Ken's face. Repeatedly. I felt so bad for him. I was still awake because my brain hates me, but come on Sinatra, work with us here. (NB - I did not toss the kitten.)

I didn't wash my hair for like, 4 days last week, and it was disgusting. Thank God for ponytails. (Sorry Regina, I broke the rules.)

I seriously don't understand SEO. Or why my Blogger stats are so very different from my Google Analytics stats. (What the hell is a "session" anyway?) Can anyone help a girl out here?

Sometimes, I'm really bad at link-ups. Like yesterday. I was totally stoked for Becca's link-up, "Blogger Men Tell All," but I didn't get around to posting Ken's responses until 10 pm. At least I'll have another shot next month... you should link up, too!

Our 3rd bedroom is still an unmitigated disaster. This gives me extreme agita. I'm hoping that I can remedy this at some point this weekend.

I don't eat enough vegetables. Ever. I like vegetables, so I don't know what my problem is. I need adult supervision.

I will never be someone who contours my face with make-up. Essentially, if I can't apply it while driving, 99% of the time, it's not happening.

Yes, I apply my make-up while I'm driving. Usually at stoplights. I'm a NJ driver, what can I say?

I ate an entire piece of Reese's Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Cheesecake by myself last week when I went to dinner with Jenn. It was glorious. And then I felt terribly guilty.

If I won the lottery, I would pay off my student loans/Ken's loans, pay off our mortgage, pay off my credit card debt, invest a good chunk for retirement, and then with whatever was left, I would:

- Purchase a miniature pig
- Renovate our bathrooms to include some freaking storage
- Travel to Patagonia to visit the penguins (with Pam, obviously)
- Hire a personal stylist/shopping
- Get a blowout, a manicure, and a pedicure every week
- Whiten my teeth
- Contemplate liposuction
- Book a fabulously long and extravagant cruise to the Mediterranean
- Hire a weekly housecleaner
- Buy a Roomba (because I really just want to see what my cats would do)
- Buy books, pretty yarn, and expensive make-up without feeling guilty
- Donate money to an animal shelter, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and charities that promote and support mental health
- Hire an interior decorator
- Visit all of my friends who live far away whenever I wanted

Even if I did win the lottery, I would never stop working, take the money for granted, stop saving, or stop getting really excited over sales and great deals. I also would still shop at Target, although probably a lot more often.

And now I should probably go buy a lottery ticket, because as my Mom-mom always said, "If God wants you to win the lottery, you have to buy a ticket!"

What would you do if you won the lotto? Tell me all about it!

Helene in Between

- A

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