3.31.2011

Modern Medicine: one of God's favorite ways to produce miracles

 Go get your doctoring husbands to show them this: 

Yes, I have parental permission to share these!
This is is my beautiful 12 year old cousin's pre- and post-op back x-rays.  Isn't it bananas?  I had never before seen anything like this.  She was (most obviously) suffering from a severe case of scoliosis.  She underwent surgery this week to have two metal rods placed.    We are praying that despite the road to recovery from this being quite difficult that the long-term benefits will help to ease her back pain.

Modern medicine is simply amazing.  Here's to wishing her a smooth and speedy recovery.  We all love you, girly!

3.29.2011

Med School Ball : HELP!

(Please excuse me while I am a teensy tiny little bit socially awkward and insecure for a moment).

Okay, all you seasoned medical wives out there - I need some help!  The Med School Ball is coming up in the middle of April.  The Hubby had mentioned it before and I was excited, thinking "Oh, how fun!  We can dress up, eat a dinner that I don't have to cook and clean up, and dance!" In my mind, I was wearing my trusty little black dress, and the Hubby had on a tie.  But now, we just got the invitation.  And now, I'm freaking out.  

It's themed.  "The Roaring Twenties" (I know, hello).  Are we supposed to dress to go with the theme?  I have this nightmare that either I will show up as a flapper, and no one else will be dressed in "costume," or vice versa.  Either scenario sounds terrible!  But our high school proms were themed, and we never dressed according to the theme then (am I allowed to compare this to prom???  Is it similar?  Because that's really all I've got!).

Also: the words "Black Tie" are mentioned on the invitation.  Now this makes me think no to the flapper outfits, but also no to the little black dress.  When I think black tie, I think a seriously fancy dress, going to get your hair done, the Hubby renting a tuxedo, the whole nine yards.  Is this accurate??   Because if that's the case, that sounds like a T-O-N of money.  Just ball-parking: $100 for a tux, $50 for hair, and I have no idea how much a nice dress, maybe $100 (side-note: would that be called an evening gown now that I'm in my mid-twenties???), plus $70 for tickets....that's $320 minimum.  $320!  Holy mackerel!  That's like a rent payment!  (Obviously I am exaggerating.  I wish our rent was $320!). 

But is that what we should do?  Is that the normal?  Going all out, the tuxedo, the fancy dress, the hair, the everything?  I have a sinking suspicion that this is the case.  If the general consensus is that yes, it is normal to wear a fancy dress, (and since my prom dresses are now mildly out of style), I am forced to share a secret with you.  Are you ready?  

(Man, I hope this doesn't alienate me in the blogging world........)

I hate to admit it, but I am as skinny as a beanstalk on the thin side (for real - no hating on me for this.  Blame it on my genes.  Everyone has different body types.  This is just mine).  Beanstalk as in I don't like buying clothes, because they never fit quite right.  Beanstalk as in if clothing from the little girls' department had long enough lengths, I would probably have better luck there (it's all fun and games until you and your eight year old niece show up to a family gathering wearing the same capris...wait, what? No, this hasn't happened).  Beanstalk like using the pediatric blood pressure cuffBeanstalk as in "might be confused with a 12-year-old boy from a distance."

All that being said, I don't want to buy a new dress!  I loathe clothing shopping, especially non-clearance rack clothing shopping (which I never do).  I literally cannot fathom dropping $100 or more on A DRESS.  Which I will likely only wear ONE time (because all the nice events  will be with the same group of people from here on out, at least for the next few years, and I'm pretty sure that wearing the same dress to every fancy occasion is considered a faux pas).  (Also - I'm having flash backs to wedding dress shopping...another "one-time-only" dress).

So. In summary of my socially awkward/beanstalk confession rant:
  1. Do we dress according to the Med School Ball theme?  (if you say yes to this, you better have a really great description of what someone in the Roaring Twenties would wear).
  2. Does black tie mean the Hubby in a tuxedo, or would his nice black suit do the trick?
  3. Does black tie mean that I have to wear a long, fancy dress (if yes, does anyone have one I can borrow because I don't want to spend that much money?), or would a black cocktail dress be appropriate?
  4. Does black tie mean that I have to go and get my hair done? (bare in mind that if I'm doing it, it might start out curled, but would likely end up in a pony tail.  Because I'm classy like that).
  5. Am I overreacting?  Someone please tell me I'm overreacting.  

Hey, if all else fails, I think I'm just going to wear my wedding dress.  That would be totally appropriate and not socially awkward at all...right?
http://www.acarrollphotography.net/
(Someday...I'll find an excuse to wear it again!!)

Slightly later addition: Shoot.  I'm panicking.  I'm sure there are people that are going to read this post, and immediately dismiss it, ranting about how "all skinny people complain about their body."  But really, women - all women in general - at some point or another are discouraged by their body type.  Remember that we are all beautiful - Remember 1 Peter 3.3-4!

    3.25.2011

    Rice Heating Pad / Foot Warmer

    Do you have a rice heating pad/foot warmer?  Do you even know what I'm talking about?  If you do (and live somewhere other SoCal or Florida), you probably know why I'm enamored with mine.  If you're clueless (and live somewhere where it is going down to 15 degrees tonight like it is here), get ready to fall in love.  I use this puppy daily - primarily to warm up my side of the bed because I absolutely refuse to get into a cold bed and make the Hubby lay on my side to warm it up before I'll even consider getting in dislike cold sheets in the winter.  It's also really helpful to ease sore neck or back muscles, and you can use it anywhere (not plugged in like an electric heating pad).  Just pop it in the microwave for a couple of minutes and viola!  (Almost) Instant goodness.

    Plus, Joann Fabrics has heaps of cute flannel prints.  

    Just a sample!  I want to buy them all every time I'm in Joann's.  Which isn't weekly.  No way
    I could write a whole little tutorial on how to make these, but why beat that poor dead horse?  I just took this one from V and Co and this one from Hippos and Dinosaurs, and combined the best of both of them: the removable "pillowcase" from V & Co (for easy cleaning), and the divided sections for the rice from Hippos and Dinosaurs (so that the rice stays evenly distributed).   The size of mine varies a little from these tutorials, with the finished size measuring about 9 x15 inches.  Also, I added in some dry tea to each of the rice-filled sections, so it gives off a lovely herbal scent every time it's heated up.  

    If you go to make one and have any specific questions, ask away and I'll try to answer!  I mean, I must be a pro now, I've made five!!  Oh, and be prepared to have rice everywhere around your sewing machine, even if you are very careful whilst sewing.  

    Now, for your viewing pleasure: random photos taken while making rice pads:

    Shockingly looking good - remember that I have only owned a sewing machine for 3 months!
    I adore this color thread!
    This one is mine, and the first one I made.  I improved on the design for the following ones!  But I adore this fabric, and instead of calling it a 'rice pad' or anything logical, we just call it 'the birds.'  "Hubbbbbbbyyyy.....would you warm up the birds for me?????"
    My new favorite gifts to make and give!  These were gifts for my girlfriends (the birds sneaked in there on the left end). Left to right: Shannon, Katie and Amanda.
    "Sew" pretty, all it needs is a ribbon!
    So do you have one?  Do you need one?  Can you barely hold back grabbing your fabric right now???? 

    On that note, I think I could use the birds!  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend :)
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    3.23.2011

    Ice Ice Baby

    Things I dislike: Ice Storms
    (though they do make for pretty pictures - even when snapped with a cell phone while waiting impatiently for your car to defrost enough that you can begin to chisel through the half inch of ice.  And then you proceed to use your door on the passenger side, because your driver's side is permi-iced shut).

    Here's to rooting for Spring!

    3.21.2011

    "Healthy" Relationship Advice

    I'm 100% stealing this from The Daily Dose.  I read it to the Hubby last night and we were both rolling with laughter, so I deemed it worthy!  

    It's obviously pretty exaggerated, but there is still some basis of truth in each statement.  And I naturally gave my two cents with each one. 


    Dating a med student? Check out these tips for a "healthy" relationship

    1. Don't expect to see them. Ever.  (It helps if you're married.  Then you at least literally see them - while they're studying).

    2. Accept the fact they will have many affairs. With their books. (I don't like the word affair. But I can see their point).

    3. Learn to hide your “ew, gross” reactions when they tell you all the stuff you never wanted to know about your bodily functions. (This happens daily.  I try to explain to the Hubby that I'd really rather not know, but he sincerely feels the need to educate me in these matters).

    4. Support them when they come home after each test, upset because they failed—and gently remind them after they get their well above passing grade how unnecessary the “I’m going to fail out of medical school and never become an MD” dramatics are. (Oh no, this NEVER happens with the Hubby.  Never ever. Ever). 

    5. Each week they will have a new illness. Some will be extremely rare, others will be more mundane. Doesn’t matter. They will be certain they have it (no second opinions necessary.) Med school can, and will, turn even the sanest into a hypochondriac. Date them for long enough, and you’ll become one too. (Bahaha I can completely see this one coming into play).

    6. There will be weeks you'll forget you even have a boyfriend—friends will ask how he is and you'll say, “What? Who? Oh....right. He's well...I think.” (Again - marriage makes this different.  I do have the same response, though, for when anyone asks how school is going: "Well, it's tough, and he studies a ton, but you know, it is doctor school...").

    7. They'll make you hyper-aware that germs are everywhere and on everything. Even though you used to walk into your home with your shoes on, and sit on your bed in the same clothes you just wore while riding the subway, or sat on a public bench in, you'll become far too disgusted to ever do it again. Believe me, it's going to get bad...you'll watch yourself transform into the anal retentive person you swore you'd never become. And when you witness others perform these same acts that, before you began dating your med student, you spent your entire life doing too, you'll wince and wonder, “Ew! How can they do that? Don't they know how many germs and bacteria they're spreading??!” (Non-applicable to me, as I may have been mildly like this already).

    8. Romantic date = Chinese take-out in front of the TV on their 10 minute study break. (True to a T, except the take-out part.  "Dates" definitely revolve around exam schedules and study breaks).  

    9. A vacation together consists of a trip down the street to Walgreens for new highlighters and printer paper. (Vacation is stretching this one, but it might fall into the date category for us.  And all med students l-o-v-e their school supplies).

    10. Their study habits will make you feel like a complete slacker. For them, hitting the books 8-to-10 hours a day is not uncommon, nor difficult. You'll wonder how you ever managed to pass school on your meager one hour of studying per night. (There's no way I could have ever studied like he studies.  But I mean I did have a mildly "slacker" major in undergrad, which involved napkin folding and wine tasting in class, so one hour of studying a night would have more than sufficed!).

    11. They're expected to know everything. Everything! The name of the 8 billion-lettered, German sounding cell that lives in the depths of your inner ear, the technical term for the “no one's ever heard of this disease” disease that exists only on one foot of the Southern tip of the African continent. But ask them if your knee is swollen, or what you should do to tame your mucous-filled cough, or why the heck your head feels like someone's been drilling through it for oil for two weeks straight, and they won't have a clue. (We got a huge kick out of this one, because at this point in our lives, this is unbelievably true.  The Hubby's brain is STUFFED full of pre-clinical knowledge every day.  We're excited for the clinical side to start!). 

    12. “My brain's filled with so much information, I can't be expected to remember THAT!" will be the standard excuse for forgetting anniversaries, birthdays, and, if you get this far, probably the birth of your first-born. (We have already experienced this with birthdays of family members and friends, dinners out that have been planned weeks in advance, and our small group meetings, among other things).

    13. You'll need friends with unending patience who pretend never to get sick of listening to your endless venting and complaints. Or, you'll need to pay a therapist who will pretend never to get sick of listening to your endless venting and complaints. (This is over the top. Toughen up and deal).


    I could totally add to this list, but they would all be exaggerated as these are.  Honestly, med school isn't so bad.  As long as a highly regular routine doesn't wear you down, you can entertain yourself while your spouse studies, you know that sometimes you'll have to do things by yourself (this applies across the board, from fixing broken things to going to birthday parties solo) and you can understand and accept that medical school should and has to take priority over some other things, you will be just fine.

    3.17.2011

    Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Recipe

    We are avid hummus addicts here in the Dr+Mrs household.  I don't think our refrigerator has ever not had hummus in it.   In fact, we were hummus lovers long before hummus went mainstream (maybe it's just me, but it seems like everyone and their brother suddenly adores hummus in the last year or so.  Don't take that as a sour attitude - I'm thrilled.  Hummus is pretty much the only healthy dip out there, save for salsa.  Just give up the ranch dip people.  Give it up!).  The Hubby's got quite a bit of Lebanese in his heritage, so he grew up eating it.  And I've been a hummus lover ever since I met the Hubby! 

    I currently hold the world's BEST hummus recipe.  It's the Hubby's grandma's secret blend, and it is a very traditional, delicious hummus.  But I'm not going to give it to you!  Ha!  How's that for cruel??  Instead, I'm going to give you a tweaked/modified/combined version of Grandma's hummus into a roasted red pepper hummus, since I'm pretty sure that is the most popular and well-liked flavor!  

    Hummus is so easy to make.  Just gather your ingredients:


    Blend them together:


    And serve!


    Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
    Ingredients
    1 can garbanzo beans (drain, but reserve the liquid into a separate bowl)
    ~1/3 to 1/2 cup roasted red peppers (I should learn to measure - sorry. I found mine at Aldi)
    2 Tbsp. tahini (sesame paste - find it in the international foods aisle. It's pricey but don't leave it out!)
    3 Tbsp. lemon juice
    1 clove garlic, minced (more if you're a garlic lover!)
    1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper 
    1/2 tsp. cumin
    1/4 tsp. salt
    Extra virgin olive oil 

    Directions 
    Place ingredients into blender or food processor.  Add in about 1/4 cup of the reserved liquid and ~1 Tbsp. olive oil (seriously - just eyeball it and pour some in!).  Begin to pulse the mixture, scraping down the sides.  Add in more reserved liquid gradually until mixture becomes creamy and smooth.  Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

    I made this version of hummus last night for our small group when they came over  (who, by the way, are seriously fabulous).  It was divine served with veggies and pita chips (seriously - Aldi has the best pita chips.  And on the cheap!).

    (Just please don't tell Grandma that I tweaked her recipe!!)
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    3.14.2011

    MS1: Spring Break, baby!

    Notice that I haven't been spouting off quite as frequently this past week?  

    That's because the Hubby and I left this and our boots:

    To head south and wear these:
    Yup.  Those are the Hubby's old-man boat shoes

    Thank goodness for actually getting Spring Break during Med School Year 1!  My in-laws spend several months in Florida every winter (any one ever heard of the Villages???  It's like a retiree's playground there), and due to the awesome price of lodging (read: FREE), this is where the we have vacationed for the past three years.  The weather, during vacation years one and two?  Miserable.  Cold.  One good pool day out of the bunch.   (Can you picture me saying, "Now listen here, Hubby, if we have crummy weather one more year, it will be the LAST time we EVER go there!"  Because I might have).

    This year?  Decent!  We actually had three hot, sunny, pool-worthy days.  It did rain the better part of one of the other days, but the rest were mild and sunny. Our trip was last Sunday through yesterday Sunday, and we spent up until Friday with the in-laws.  (Some of you are probably cringing at the thought of this.  There are some terrible in-law stories out there in cyber-world.  Thankfully, I can't relate to them at all.  I have been blessed an awesome bunch of new family members!). Then Friday through Sunday we were in Jacksonville, visiting the Hubby's old roommate/friend since childhood/our joint-BFF Kyle, and got the added bonus of the fact that my old roommate Maria now lives there too!  

    Seriously - we vegged this trip.  We'd "sleep in" until 7.30 or so, amble out to the kitchen and eat Florida fresh grapefruit. 

    We ate copious amounts of grapefruit.  At least one a day.  Sometimes two.
    We'd sit out on the lanai (that's Florida-speak for screened in porch), drink our coffee, and read the newspaper.


    Actually, I would read the paper.  The Hubby discovered a new love/hate relationship:


    After that, we'd eat a to-die-for breakfast prepared by my father-in-law (seriously - he's famous for his breakfasts!), then go for a run or walk.  (You can guess which I preferred). The Hubby golfed with his dad once, but got rained out the second time (I took a pass.  I loathe golfing with every fiber of my being prefer not to golf).  Afternoons were spent by the pool when it was warm enough, where this little guy lived:

    I was mildly terrified to get close enough to take a picture
    When it wasn't quite warm enough, we could be found playing our favorite "old-person game."

    We were shockingly the yellow team!  You can guess why I chose to take a photo at this particular moment...

    Seriously - we love shuffleboard!  The Hubby's parents normally beat us, but we claim it's okay because we are in our 20's, and you really shouldn't be any good at shuffleboard until you are at least 45.  

    "Family Picture" while playing shuffleboard.

    Look at them, humoring me wanting to take a shadow picture!
    See!  Blue skies!  Sunshine!  Green grass!
     We also learned two new games.  Pickleball, which I don't have any photographic evidence of, is a strange combination of ping pong and tennis, played on a badminton court.  Apparently, it's all the rage. 

    Then Bocce Ball:

    Super technical measuring device: Old tin can + string.
    Most nights, we would hang out at the house, enjoying some of these:


    Normally we played Hand and Foot or Mexican Train Dominoes (at which I tend to dominate - I have no idea why!)

    Maybe because half of my dominoes are doubles??
    One night, we went to a restaurant with the in-laws and a couple with whom they're friends (and some of that couple's family) that had entertainment featuring an Irish couple who played and sang old Irish songs (and some from "Mamma Mia," randomly).  There was another Irish couple having dinner there that evening, and they did this awesome jig.  I loved every single second of it, standing there, clapping, mouth-open grin.  Check this out - paying attention to their fancy footwork and the Irish drum playing:



    Please note the crowd in this room.  The Hubby and I were the youngest two there, the next youngest being the daughter of the other couple, who was in her mid-forties.  Then it shot right up to sixty years old!   All of the other women at our table were out galavanting on the dance floor - I didn't participate.  As the Hubby put it: "MJ - you going out there to dance would be like one of these women showing up at a club."  Touche, dear husband, touche.

    Fun fact: The Villages is a "golf cart community."  Which means you've got thousands of people, some in their 80's and 90's, zipping around in these bad lads:


    Some of them are totally tricked out - made to look like old Cadillacs or covered in sports team paraphernalia.   

    After our time at the Villages was over, we headed north to Jacksonville.  We got to hang out with Kyle!

    Who is a pain in the rear and refused to smile for a picture.
    And we got to see Maria!

    Who is way more cooperative in the picture-taking department!  Note our long pants and jackets.....
    We ate great seafood (and great pizza!  Mellow Mushrooms, anyone?), walked the beach, went into cute (over-priced) stores and loved seeing our old friends!  

    The only negative of our trip?  Our connecting flight home had 10 seats double sold.  Normally, we'd have jumped on the $400 flight vouchers, but the Hubby really needed to get home and study, since his books and notes may have been slightly neglected this week.  So we fought our way onto the plane, sat in the last two seats (last seats available, and last row of the plane).  Thinking that we'd won the battle, the flight attendant comes over the speaker and says that we are just waiting on the pilot, that he'd just landed from another flight and was on his way over to our gate. While we were waiting, we chatted with the girl next to us,  who is an RA in the dorm where the Hubby and I met, all those years ago...Finally, an hour and a half later of sitting on the tarmac (for our flight that only takes 29 minutes), we finally started moving. 

    My conclusion on vacations?  No matter how wonderful they are or how relaxing they seem, the absolute best part of vacation is coming home.

    3.08.2011

    Did you notice?

    Did you notice that I added a new page up along the top there?  It's called "The Pathway," and it describes the pathway to a career in medicine.  Many people have no idea what it entails - I know I certainly didn't until we began this crazy journey called medicine.  Check it out :)

    3.03.2011

    Sometimes sewing is actually a hot glue gun and a lighter.

    Spring is in the air!  At least I'm sure it is somewhere.  Maybe not here.  I mean, it was 30 degrees and sunny the other day.  So there is hope that this winter - like every winter before it - too shall pass.

    I've been itching to make a new wreath for our door.  This is what our door looked like this Christmas, bearing a (somewhat) lovely (faux) evergreen wreath:

    (That's probably misleading.  While our door did look like that at Christmastime, it also looked like that up until this past weekend).  Sorry for the terrible picture.  I was mildly embarrassed to be caught photographing our door by one of our neighbors, so you get a picture from a phone instead of from an actual camera. 
    After some subtle hinting from the hubby, I got to work and started making a new wreath.  I braved the elements and did a little spray painting in our garage a little while back during our "February Thaw."  (Aside: I loathe the February Thaw.  We tend to get one every year, where it is unseasonably warm, in the high forties or maybe even fifty degrees for one day, maybe two.  Then the temperatures plummet and the snow returns and it's miserable again.  I'd just prefer not to have the Thaw than let my hopes get up, just to have them dashed again in a matter of hours).
    Eww.  Please do NOT look at the floor of our garage.  I feel like I can be okay letting you see it though, because it's not my fault that it's nasty - It's the snow's fault.  Plus I don't park in the garage, the Hubby does.  So as payment for me scraping my car all winter, he'll have the joy of scraping the caked dirt-and-salt combo that is covering the garage floor come spring! 
    It was originally just a plain-Jane brown grapevine wreath from Hob Lob, on sale half off for $2.50.  I painted it one of my favorite colors - Heirloom White (am I the only one whose favorite colors happen to be spray paint colors?  ORB anyone? Krylon's Ivy Leaf?  No?  I'm alone on this???  Dang it).  In case you're curious about why the wreath is hanging - it's the perfect way to paint without having to wait for one side to dry to flip and paint the other.  I learned this technique from one of my awesome Auntie K's (I have three of them!) and it is pure genius. 

    After painting, I made some various fabric flowers out of felt, cotton and polyester.  Notice that I used the word made instead of sewed.  To quote my mother, "Sometimes sewing is actually a hot glue gun and a lighter."  (If you're wondering about how a lighter fits in - see here).

    Please note - lighter technique can only be used on polyester (like the white and green fluffy flowers.  Do not attempt it on cotton, like the tan flower.  A real fire might result.  Also: do not ask how I know this. 

      This flat rolled green flower is made like this.

     And the tightly rolled felt rosettes use this technique.

    This is on our bathroom door - remember, neighbors laugh at you when you stand in the hallway, taking photographs of  "nothing."
    You probably couldn't tell in that first picture with the "Christmas Wreath," but our wreath hanger is a not-so-glamorous gold color.  I just wasn't digging it with this wreath.  I love hanging wreaths with ribbon like my Valentine's wreath, but that's not very practical for a door; it gets all bunchy each time you open/close the door.  

    So I improvised using the leftover green fabric and made a "slip cover" for my wreath hanger. 

    It totally looks fancier than it was to make.  I simply sewed a tube of fabric, turned it right-side-out and slipped it onto the wreath hanger.  Leaving it a little bit bunchy helped make it look a better.  Plus I'm on a mission to sneak ruffley things into our surroundings without the Hubby noticing.

    At first, I had made the slip cover tight all the way through the hook of the hanger (the part that comes up around the front part of the wreath - know what I mean?).  Then, I realized that if I let out the stitches starting from where it begins to curve, it would be wider and look more like an actual piece of ribbon was holding up the wreath.  So out came the handy-dandy seam ripper!  (Just FYI-instead of hemming this polyester fabric (since it's not actually ribbon with finished edges), I just took a lighter to it to keep it from fraying).


    It works so well with our door!  No bunching or banging.  We can't tell any difference from before. 

    View of the back.  It's a pretty shabby sew job, but you can't really tell from the front!
    There it is! The completed wreath on our bathroom door :)  Don't worry the asymmetrical look was actually on purpose.  Two quick pictures to prove that I actually put it outside (again, from the phone with terrible lighting). 

    Don't you love the strange maroon color our door is, paired with the evergreen indoor/outdoor carpet?  Lovely.

    Come on spring!  The Hubby+Mrs. are so ready to welcome you in with open arms!
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    3.02.2011

    Reading, lately

    As this semester of medical school progresses, I find myself reading more and more.  (And more).  But I've been finding myself having an increasingly difficult time finding great books to read.  In the past, I could pick up almost any book and simply devour it, cover to cover in a matter of days.  (My Hubby always tells me that I read much to quickly to even absorb what I'm seeing.  I have to explain to him that reading a novel is slightly different reading a neuro textbook).  Lately, however, I have seriously been striking out. Either my taste in reading has become much more sophisticated or the reading material I have been choosing has been sub-par (who's going with the latter?).

    At the suggestion of a friend, I started reading Ishmael by Daniel Quinn.  I'm sure that it's a lovely, thought-provoking book, as it is incredibly deep and philosophical.  However, I had a very difficult time getting past the fact that there is a talking gorilla as the main character.  Well, not a talking gorilla - a telepathic gorilla.  (Can you sense why I had any difficulties?).  I tried to read it.  Really, I did.  And very, very seldom do I ever not finish reading a book once I've started it, even if I don't enjoy it.  But this one was just a little bit too out there for me.  (Plus I took about a month-long hiatus from reading it, tried to pick it up and start reading it again, and then realized I'd forgotten most of what had happened and this is the type of book  to which you must pay very close attention.  So maybe someday I will re-read/finish it.  Or maybe I will put it at the back of the bookshelf and stop worrying about it). 

    As for my husband's suggestion?  He was appalled that I had never read 1984 by George Orwell ("MJ! It's a classic!") and insisted that I read it.  I've actually started to get into it somewhat, but seriously - the print is so tiny and the chapters so long that I'll admit that I sometimes just use it to help me fall asleep at night (not that I ever need help with that - I am what you might call a champion sleeper). I will finish that one.  At some point. 

    We're pretty much 0/2 on my choices.  My mother-in-law reads quite a bit of James Patterson and offers his books to read.  I do enjoy parts of them, but sometimes they are just, well...a little bit much for me.  When books are too realistic about really scary things happening to women, I start to hear things go bump in the night.  My imagination always gets the best of me.   So she found a tamed down version of James Patterson for me to read (I know-I'm such a baby).  It was called Predator by Terri Blackstone.  This is the best book I've read lately (could it be because of what I have to compare it to?  A talking gorilla and an old novel based in the "future"?).  Anywho - that one was good.  I'd recommend it.

    For my bible study, we are reading Radical by David Platt.  It is a very good read, and I have very much enjoyed going through it with the girls in my group.  But I only recommend reading it if you are ready to feel convicted and take a serious look at your life, your responsibilities, and your wealth (yes, if you are reading this, you have access to a computer.  So you, my dears, are wealthy by all worldly standards).  

    Quite a few med-wife-blogs that I stalk on a daily basis and wonder why they haven't put up a post in a week then realize that neither have I peruse occasionally have been talking about reading memoirs of doctors.  Then, at my bible study, one of the ladies brought Bryson City Tales by Walt Larimore, MD to offer if any of us wanted to read it.  It's about a brand spanking new doctor, living and working in a rural mountain town.  As one of the wives in our group has a husband who is just now finishing his residency and will soon be moving to such a little town, I let her take it.  Then immediately came home and requested it from the library.  I just got it the other day, but I'm already sucked in.  I love it - but is it really SO GOOD?  Or is it because it's the first glimpse that I've had into the life of a medical couple, instead of a medical school couple?

    Either way - I'm hooked on medical books.  I downloaded Gray Matter by Joel Kilpatrick, which promises to be "a perfect blend of medical drama and spiritual insight."  (It's still free for download from Amazon).  I'm fairly certain that it's a memoir, but I can't distinguish for sure from the little blip on Amazon.  Nevertheless, I'm excited, and it's next on my "Medical-to-Read" list.

    Another medical memoir to which I'm looking forward to reading is In Stitches by Dr. Anthony Youn, which debuts this spring.  Dr. Youn is a plastic surgeon who resides in the same great state as the hubby and I currently do.  I had already read the excerpt on his website, and thought that it would be a good read, when he emailed me the In Stitches book trailer on YouTube to watch.  (I know -a trailer, for a book??  I've never heard of such a thing.  For thoughts on trailers for books, please see this post by Lauren which pretty much sums up what I think on that subject.  No need to repeat, right?). 


    I watched it - and it was cute.  Maybe a little nerdy, but that seems to go with the premise of the novel.  So I deemed it fitting.  I enjoyed hearing the synopsis in Dr. Youn's own words, and own voice.  But I really can't get past the thought of a trailer for a book!  So beyond me.  But I suppose that is the way of the future?  I am definitely looking forward to reading Dr. Youn's memoir.  You can read the book's excerpt on his website here.

    So fill up my comments with reading suggestions!  (If they are medical memoirs - awesome.  If not, just note that if they are super gory or scary, or have vampires, I will probably thank you for your suggestions but not take them!).   

    Happy March!

    Disclaimer: Please note that while Dr. Youn did send me the link to this video and ask me to watch it, I was not compensated for this post, and the opinions are mine alone.  Also, I cannot guarantee that I agree with or endorse the content of In Stitches, as I have not yet personally read it.