Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree... plastic are thy branches.

Since we are still snowed in (our neighborhood is very small and we live on a side street, so it doesn't get much traffic, meaning there is still quite a bit of snow), we were unable to get a Christmas tree this year. We were supposed to get one on Saturday after I got home, but we all know how that went.

Anyway, we decided to improvise, so this year we have the Christmas Ficus. The fake Christmas Ficus.

Deck the halls!

Home for the holidays

As anyone from the Pacific Northwest knows, we have had quite a bit of snow and freezing rain for the past week and a half. I was originally scheduled to get back to Portland on Saturday the 20th, but due to the weather my flight was canceled and I could not fly back until Monday. And even Monday was iffy, as there was still snow in Portland (about 10 inches or so, in a city that shuts down after only a light dusting). But we departed at 8 am from O'Hare, and everything seemed fine. Until we got to Portland.

Apparently the runway was too icy to land, and we didn't have enough fuel to circle while they de-iced and cleaned the runway, so we were diverted to Seattle. Yay. So we landed in Seattle, only to wait over an hour to get to a gate so we could refuel. We finally refueled, and off we fly back to Portland. We landed at 2:20pm (we were originally scheduled to land at 10:40am), but we had to wait for a gate in Portland, too. So wait we did. Until 5pm, when we finally had a gate open up so we could disembark. But the fun doesn't end, because then we had to wait an hour and a half for our luggage to show up at baggage claim. Thank goodness my express shuttle driver was kind enough to wait for me. Otherwise who knows when or how I would have gotten home.

Anyway, after my 4 hour flight turned into an eleven hour flight, I was very glad to finally be at home.

Friday, December 19, 2008

What does it mean

When several times after introducing yourself at a party, the other person says, "Oh you're Timzie"?

I don't know what to make of that.

You know the weather is bad

When they close school in northern Illinois.

I feel so bad for the guy outside on the little 4 by 4 at 4:30 in the morning, trying to keep the walkways somewhat clear. He's definitely fighting a losing battle.

You can even see little Subie-doo (the second car in from the left) covered in snow.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Favorite quotes from Anatomy Lab

While working on the neck...

"What is that hanging from her? Is that her ear?"

While working on the skull...

"It says we're not supposed to open that yet."
(Tear) "Open what?"
"What you just opened."

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Love ya Mom!

I got a good chuckle out of this one. It reminded me of an essay I wrote in second grade for Mother's Day. I wrote that my mother was just like the Virgin Mary, but not a virgin.

She was thrilled.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Turkey Day

Happy Thanksgiving Mom and Dad! Wish I could be with you this year.

Love and miss you!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Good Morning

This is what I woke up to this morning:

I think it is going to be a very long, very cold winter for the Pacific NW gal.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


As you know I finished my first term of school on Friday the 7th. What I didn't tell you was that I flew home the next morning to surprise my mom. I had a ticket I needed to use and I figured it would be a nice opportunity to go home and relax. I knew my mom would also be happy to see me, but I really wanted to surprise her, so I told pretty much everyone but her. My friend Kirsten was kind enough to pick me up at the airport and drive me to my mom's house, then ring the doorbell to get her to the door. I was kind of hoping for a Publisher's Clearinghouse kind of reaction, but instead got more of a what-the-hell-are-you-doing-here reaction. Oh well. I think she was still definitely surprised.

Some background from before I got home...
I actually woke up that morning 7 minutes after my taxi was supposed to pick me up to take me to O'Hare. Somehow I slept through 2 alarms but woke up to a text message vibrating my phone which was across the room. After throwing on my clothes (which I had neatly laid out the night before) and running downstairs to make sure the taxi was still waiting, I flew back upstairs to grab my bag and lock my door. Thank goodness I packed everything the night before! Then I dealt with the overly chatty cab driver who also insisted on showing me pictures of his entire family, one picture being of his scantily clad young wife. Thanks dude. Then I got to wander around O'Hare because I could not find a departure display with my specific airline on it. You would think they would put these right on the other side of security, so once you get through, you check the screen and go to your gate. Nooooo. I had to wander halfway down the terminal before finding it.

Anyway, I finally made it home and a great time visiting, relaxing, and reading for fun. It was basically the fastest week of my life.

But now I am back and ready to get this term off to a great start. I've already forced myself to go to the library 3 times, and if you knew how much I hate this library, you would know how awesome this is.

Friday, November 7, 2008


I finished my last final exactly 3 hours and 1 minute ago. It feels great to be done. I'm not so sure about my grades, but at least this week is over. I haven't slept more than four hours a night, and I think I may have worn the same outfit every day. I've also discovered that even two pots of coffee won't keep me up all night, no matter how strong I brew them.

Anyhoo, I treated myself to a nice home-cooked meal and a beer. And now I can finally clean up my aparment, do some laundry, take care of the foot tall stack of filing, and catch up on episodes of The Office. Thank God they put their episodes online!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Here comes the sun

It was only a week ago that there was talk of snow here, and now it is in the 70s. Crazy.

I've had 4 finals already, with two more to go. I've vowed not to check my grades until everything is over, so as not to become depressed. I'll wait until I have some time off and can cry without worrying about it taking up precious study time.

And on that note, back to studying.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ticket Me Elmo



Remember those Wassup guys from the Budweiser commercials? They're back, and just in time for election day.

And just for kicks, the original.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Baby it's cold outside

Brrr! It's not even Halloween yet and I just walked back from lab in some snow flurries. My fingers were practically numb by the time I got to my apartment, yet the people from this area keep telling me this is nothing compared to what winter will bring. I better stock up on some good long underwear.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hard to believe

that there are only two weeks until the first of my final exams. I feel like we just had midterms! Sheesh. Anyway, there will be lots of studying, and very little blogging, between now and then. Cross your fingers, knock on wood, and say a little prayer for me.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Long weekend

I have next Monday off. BMS (before med school) I would have wondered "Where will I go? What crazy shenanigans will I get myself into this weekend?" Now I wonder, "Oooh, how much Anatomy can I get caught up on? Will I have time to go into lab and brush up on my identifications? Can I get an awesome jump start on reading for next week?"

I guess it's good that I'm thinking these things, but honestly, it's also kind of sad.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

See, that didn't take so long

So whenever I am in the neighborhoods just south of school, I see these signs at major intersections. I've never seen signs like this before, but I just think they are a riot. Who puts this stuff on road signs? Are things that bad that you have to remind people to be caring at a 4 way stop? I hope people don't forgo teaching this at home or in schools because it's on a road sign.

(PS...I tried taking some pics with my camera phone, but none of them turned out. These are from

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming

I know, I know. I haven't blogged in a while. But cut a girl some slack! We had midterms last week, so my days consisted of waking up, consuming copious amounts of coffee, and studying until approximately 2 am.

Now that I have sufficiently recuperated, I'll try to blog a little more.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The most disgusting lab ever

Today in Anatomy lab we probed and prodded the pelvic area, and then proceeded to cut it in half. That's right, right down the middle. We cut all the soft tissue with a scalpel, and then had to use a saw to cut through the pubic (poo-bic) symphysis and up through the coccyx and sacrum, up to about L4/L5 (lower back).

Needless to say, I think I am scarred for life. There is something so wrong about turning a dead woman onto her side, raising one leg, and sawing down the middle of her lady bits. Looking around and seeing everyone do this at their lab tables and hearing the saw go through bone was probably the strangest, most disturbing thing I have ever experienced. And there was poo everywhere. Ev-er-y-where. And then we had to clean everything up, and take any remaining poo out of the rectum so it wouldn't smell too bad and we could actually find all the structures we needed to.

I just feel so gross and dirty.

Monday, September 22, 2008

It wasn't just me this time

So today in Anatomy we were lectured on the Pelvis. The professor, who has a strong accent from I-don't-know-where, kept pronouncing "pubic" as "poo-bic". I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing, but at least this time other people were laughing, too. It made me feel a little better that I wasn't the only one getting the giggles from "poo-bic".

Hee hee. Poo-bic.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Breakfast of champions

Iced coffee
Bacon (oops, ate that before I took the picture!)
Chocolate chip pancakes
Physiology textbook

Wait, one of these things doesn't belong.....


Well, I passed my first exam of medical school. Woo-hoo!

Now back to studying for the other four exams I have coming up. Ugh.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

We got to pray

Just to make it today.
-MC Hammer

Spotted this little guy outside my apartment today.
Of course the real one disappeared by the time I got my camera, so this internet picture will have to suffice.

This was after my ECR lab got out early due to a fire drill. So much for learning how to find pulses and take blood pressure. Who really needs those skills anyway?!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

What's the word I'm looking for...?

I didn't really want to delve into politics in this blog, but I found this online and thought it was pretty funny.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Anatomy lab part three

We get to use the bone saw in lab tomorrow and I'm disturbingly excited about it!

Monday, September 8, 2008

I'm a 13 year old at heart

In my clinical reasoning lecture this morning, we had a professor demonstrate a musculoskeletal exam with a standardized patient after we, as an audience, obtained an HPI (history of present illness). Our standardized patient had rheumatoid arthritis, and talked about how his fingers and other joints felt stiff when he woke up. The professor asked us what this was called. When no one answered (as is usually the case in a lecture hall of 300 people), he went ahead and informed us that it was called "morning stiffness". And he did this without a smirk, or a laugh, or even an inkling that it might also mean something else (at least that's how it seemed). I, on the other hand, could barely suppress my inner 13 year old from bursting out in laughter. Oh goodness.

Friday, September 5, 2008

We didn't start the fire

Okay, well, someone here did. Apparently they loaded the washer too much, and it spun out of balance, which caused the motor to burn out, which caused the fire alarm to go off. Forty minutes later we were allowed back in the building by the fire department.

All for a clean pair of chonies. I'm sure the guys in the two fire trucks, ambulance, and incident command vehicle were thrilled.

Anatomy Lab part deux

I just ripped off a woman's breast. For reals. We were starting our thorax dissection today in anatomy lab, and we needed to examine the breast. We had to remove the skin except for around the areola, then blunt dissect underneath the areola and nipple. That means stick our fingers under there and rip it off. It was horrible. Absolutely disgusting. And it took a while. There were a lot of suspensory ligaments (also called Cooper's ligaments) that we had to tear through. Eeeewwww. And now I reek of formaldehyde, too. Bleh.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Be careful what you wish for

As many of you know, I love fall. Love. It. So I was very excited when the weather finally got cooler and it even started sprinkling a bit. Well, now we have a flood advisory, and I went through two pairs of pants today because they got soaked when I had to walk back to my apartment. At least the rain let up a bit when I walked to class so I didn't have to sit through lecture with wet pants sticking to my legs. Ick.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


It is finally cool, cloudy, and drizzly here! We'll see how long it lasts.

Monday, September 1, 2008

A good day is...

...sitting outside in the warm sunshine with a light breeze blowing, in a beautiful serene garden getting your studying done. The surroundings sure make it easier to relax and focus. I'd take a garden over the library any day.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

That's a lot of crap

Recent quote from a classmate in regards to learning Physiology:

"I feel like I'm trying to cram 1000 pounds of shit into a 10 pound box."

And that's just for one class.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Anatomy Lab

I had my first Anatomy Lab today (well, we did meet on Monday, but only to vaseline and wrap our cadaver-to make sure it didn't dry out). It's weird. They don't really look human. They are very gray, and kind of shriveled. But I couldn't help but think how this was someone's mother or grandmother (my group has an older female). And she let us use her body so we could learn. It seems so cruel to be cutting her open like we are, but at the same time it seems so amazingly generous on her part that she signed off before death to let us do this. I don't know that I would want someone to cut into me or one of my loved ones like this. Because we're not just cutting. We're digging and tearing to find the different muscle groups and various nerves and arteries that run to them. There is nothing gentle about what we do.

We will be having a ceremony to honor those who have given their bodies for our education later in the year. I will definitely be going.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Silver Lining*

Although I do suppose that by the time I get to do rotations a few grays might make me look a little older and wiser (and help detract from my baby face), and thus give me a boost when dealing with patients.

*And yes, that pun was totally intended.


Four more gray hairs this week alone.

I'm gonna be totally gray by the time I graduate, I just know it.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My Apartment

So several of you have requested that I put up some pictures of my apartment, and being that it is past 11pm and I do not feel like reading up on various cell transport mechanisms, I will gladly oblige!

Here are some facts:
It is approximately 650 square feet.
I have it all to myself. No crazy roommate stories here.
While I do look out onto another housing building, I also get a partial view of a little pond and pavilion. The pond has koi, ducks, swans, and I even spotted a young heron there last week. I'll add pictures if I ever leave my apartment and remember to take my camera with me.

Here is the floor plan:

And now for some pics!

My kitchen is so small that all the cupboards are full of plates and glasses and baking stuff (okay, so maybe it's not that small- I just have a lot of kitchen stuff). Anyway, I had to convert part of my hall closet to the pantry so I would have somewhere to put non-refrigerated items.

This is looking from the front door into the living room. The kitchen is on the left and the hall closet is on the right (not visible in picture). The door that you do see on the right is to the heating/cooling unit.

This is from the same position, just looking more into the kitchen. Notice the drawers I had to buy from IKEA since the kitchen only has two, and they are tiny.

They're hard to see, but there are red arrows pointing to the two drawers I mentioned. They are not even wide enough to put a cutlery organizer in. Sheesh.

In the kitchen looking toward the living area.

My study area. The desk seemed a lot bigger before all my crap was on it.

Printer, stereo, wooden monkey...the usuals.

The couch and tv as seen from near the study area.

A better shot of the dining area. Actually, more dining goes on in front of the tv, and more dumping off of the books goes on here. Oh well.

The living area as viewed from the corner I shoved the tv into. The door between the kitchen and study area goes into the boudoir.

Into the giant bedroom....

Seriously, it is quite large. Almost as large as the living area. I don't really know what to do with all the space.

Down this hallway is the bathroom on the left and a closet on the right. The door directly in the back houses a little area in case you want to add a washer and dryer. There are some down the hall that work just fine, so I added a tension rod and made it into more closet space.

My little bathroom. This room had no drawers at all (clearly not designed by a woman), so I had to add that little plastic monstrosity you see under the counter. Not very pretty but it gets the job done. Kind of.

Some other stuff about the apartment...
It is on the third floor of a five story building.
There is a patio on the next floor up that I still have yet to check out.
My floor has study rooms, so I don't have to go all the way over the library if I need a quiet study space.
The school is right by a Navy training base, so I here the recruits during the day chanting things. I also here bugle calls and canons firing on occassion.
There are also Army and Marine posts (posts? offices? I'm not sure really, I've just seen Army and Marine signs around, too), so I am pretty much surrounded by the US Military. I'm either really safe with all this protection or really vulnerable because this would be an excellent place to attack. I prefer to think I am safe. I'm sure my parents prefer that as well.

Chicago Botanic Garden

One of the first things I did when I had free time before Orientation was visit the Garden with my mom. I thought we might be there for a couple of hours but we ended up staying the entire day! The place is huge, and beautiful. Mom was nice enough to get me a membership so I can come back and see the gardens at different times of the year or even plop myself out on one of their many grassy knolls and do some reading while the weather is still nice. Here are some of the (way too many) pictures I took that day.

(Do you see the armadillo?)