In which there’ve been midterms

 

For disclosure - not take-out soup, but it was made from a lot of cans.

For disclosure – not take-out, but it was made from a lot of cans.

I’ve been in midterms for the past two weeks and then to round out the spectacularity of being in the twenty-second grade, I was on call with an incessant pager and worked the holiday. There’s something about it all piling on at once that can crush your soul a bit.

Each time that I find myself so exhausted that I want to take a nap in my car in the few moments between class and clinic or want to complain that I have to go in to the hospital again right when I just.sat.down to eat the dinner I was interrupted from three hours ago for another call or when I’ve had problem sets due every day and sometimes on lectures we haven’t had yet or when I’ve spent several precious hours researching medical complexities on patients who then don’t make their appointments or how it’s now the second day I haven’t seen sunlight because our nights are so, so long or when I realize we’re eating take-out again because I can’t find a moment to do adult-like activities like grocery shopping…

I just take a good, deep breath of our cool, rainy air. This is all part of it. No one reminds you when you tell them your plans that it’s going to be a long string of tired. It’s going to be many weeks of constantly feeling like you should always be doing something and lots of take-out food. But if this is anything like dental school was, there is the sweet, sweet amnestic healing that comes with being another semester (or quarter or even half quarter) closer to your goal. You forget how stressful the last push was and continue onward.

As I hurry between buildings on campus, I find myself quietly rejoicing that I am fortunate enough to have a coveted parking spot so I can drive between class and clinic. When I walk into the Emergency Department I remember how blessed I am to be on call for such a great hospital, and how I’m so very, very thankful to be in this program I fought so hard to continue. I am grateful that I can work in this fun, little waterlogged corner of our country. I feel like I’ve made it. I feel like I have so far to go.

Beyond anything else, I feel so incredibly lucky to be living my dream.

Thanks.

In which Jeff has a birthday

Merry (almost) Christmas!!

We’re celebrating with our friends and family from afar this year since I’m on call over the holidays. Unfortunately this also meant being on call on Jeff’s birthday yesterday, but fortunately after a very busy Saturday in the ED, the pager gods gave us reprieve enough to celebrate.

We started the day off with cupcakes from the nearby Trophy Cupcakes – so delicious! They remind us of the cupcakes from Sugarland in Chapel Hill that we had for our wedding. There were too many choices, but I finally settled on the buy two, get two special of chocolate peanut butter, brandy eggnog, salted caramel and red velvet. They even gave me a complimentary candle for the birthday boy:

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Brandy eggnog

Then brunch over at The Elysian at his request:

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Birthday mimosa

After a nice lazy day of watching Christmas movies we headed out to dinner, but not before checking Seattle Children’s ED board to make sure no dental emergencies were on their way in:

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All clear!

For his birthday I’d been planning on taking him to the Walrus and the Carpenter in Ballard, a restaurant I ran across while reading an article on the revival of heirloom oysters. They’re open daily after 4p and they don’t take reservations, and I naively thought arriving at 4:13p would be okay. Silly me. We were told to go have a drink and come back in an hour so we trudged down the street to wait out the rain and oyster line at the Ballard Loft.

The wait turned out to be totally worth it. We sat at the bar and had some of the best food we’ve eaten in Seattle to date.

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It’s a cozy place, not somewhere you’d try to eat with more than four people together. The staff was so knowledgable about exactly where the food came from on their daily changing menu that it reminded us of a Portlandia episode.

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We splurged on two dozen oysters (four of each kind), steak tartar, bread and butter, yarmuth nonna cheese with prune jelly and fried brussels sprouts.

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oyster varieties of the evening

And then we indulged in another dozen of our favorites: the Barron Points, Hamahamas, and the Malaspinas. Ahh, to paraphrase a Travel + Leisure article: Those evocative names, derived from actual locales: Pemaquid! Skookum! Tatamagouche! …does any food pack such a powerful sense of place?

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These west coast varieties are distinctly different from the oysters we’ve slurped on in New Jersey and North Carolina; stronger in flavor and less subtle, they pack a powerful aromatic punch. So, so delicious.

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Jeff declared it a great birthday and a perfect way to become 28. I’d like to thank the children of the greater Seattle area for behaving themselves and not injuring any teeth so we could celebrate.

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Happy birthday love! Here’s to many more!