Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Race to the top

I am so excited for BYU's NCAA tournament game tomorrow. I've been looking forward to it since BYU's (upset) against Gonzaga last week (I know it wasn't an upset but by the way people are talking about their expectations for BYU, it sure seems like it was). Unfortunately I am on-call and am really hoping for a quiet few hours to watch the Jimmer Show. I also feel a personal competitive desire for the Cougars to seems everyone around me is rooting against them or planning to see them lose. I want to be right this time and see them to the elite 8. Please! For me! Let's shut everyone up...

Anyone else think they have a chance at at least one more win?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Just a note

I'm hurting today. And feeling pretty tired. After a long day in the OR. But hey, we gave a girl a chin today. Every girl deserves a chin so I think it was worth it.

Now, just hoping for a quiet night, just me and my pager. I have to be up before 5 tomorrow so better hit the sack soon.

Oh, and way to go Cougs! Everyone keeps telling me I was foolish for putting you through to the third round, that you will get "spanked" but I am hoping for a few miracles. It's called faith, right? I'm usually agnostic when it comes to BYU in the tournament. Please make me a believer.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

More food

Our second day in Chicago we decided to take it a little more easy. We slept in and then made our way to the Grand Lux CafĂ©. We had a reasonable lunch and ended with beignets which had come recommended as the “best ever” to Abe by a friend.
Again, in case you were worried, we didn’t let them go to waste! How could we when they come with yummy raspberry sauce?
We did a lot of walking around the city, 16,592 steps (which equals 616 Kcalories, if you really were worried about the beignets).
We took a nap that afternoon and then went to a movie. Thankyou LivingSocial: we paid $9 for $22 tickets. I was worried about trying to catch a movie downtown in a big city so we arrived early, to be practically the only people in the theater. Abe got a kick out of teasing me about that. So in case you wondered, Monday night isn’t busy at the movies even in a happening place like Chicago. (We saw Unknown which we both recommend. It has Liam Neeson and I kept wanting to call it Untaken—it has a similar feel to it as his last movie Taken). It was a little weird to be in a skyscraper for a movie (below is the view from the theater). Oh what a Utah/Iowa girl I am, so small minded.
We ended the night with a late dinner at Gyu-kaku, a Japense BBQ restaurant where you cook the food on a grill at your table. Abe was excited for me to try this style of food and it was delicious. In case you were wondering, it is a somewhat busy time for Japanese food at 10 pm on a Monday night in the Windy City.
We ended our dinner with the Japanese delicacy, s’mores.
And yes, we ate it all (well mostly). Perhaps this has fueled my new found motivation for the gym now that we are home.


Each year we get 15 days off for vacation. Our program has a rule that we are not allowed to take time off in the summer months (June, July, August) as that is a transition period with new residents and by far our busiest time. We also aren’t allowed to really take time off during our rotations off of oral surgery.
What does that mean for me? I had to submit my vacation time early to ensure I was able to enjoy every last day (last year I had almost a full week I was unable to use due to scheduling…what a waste!). This also means that as I have been on other rotations for the past 6 months and prior to that was summer, I have almost three weeks of vacation coming up for the months of March, April, and May. Should be a nice way to break up the busy schedule!
Anyway, I fortuitously asked for a few days off around March 5, which just happened to be the day after Abe’s thesis. We felt the stars seemed to align and we definitely deserved a vacation. With a small budget in time and money, we first considered Vegas. There were some really great online deals. Until we realized one important point: VEGAS. We’re not huge fans for more than a day or two. We decided to head up to Chicago instead.
We stayed at the “historic Palmer House Hotel,” which facts streaming in the elevator stated is the “oldest operating hotel in N. America.” So it really is historic—I wasn’t just throwing around fancy adjectives to impress you. It is famous for this Tiffany’s “peacock door” which I wanted to walk through but they don’t let you do anymore.

We wanted to make sure we saw at least one show while we were in town. We decided to try Working, which tells the stories of normal everyday workers (cleaning ladies, steel workers, housewives, etc). It was a good reminder that “people are people no matter how small (their job seems).” Abe’s mom was in an off-broadway production when he was a little boy in Chicago so it was cool to see for that reason. Besides, it’s the “perfect musical for anyone who has worked a day in their lives.” We knew that was us.

We had the Sunday Brunch at a restaurant called Zed 451. This may have been one of the best meals I have ever had. It is one of those brazillian style grills where they bring out fancy meats as well as have a fancy salad bar. The food ranged from the best oatmeal I have ever had, vanilla bean oatmeal, to huge cinnamon rolls, buffalo chicken waffles, and ranch marinated beef. I wish I had pictures of the food (we were too fat to want pictures of ourselves afterward—j/k) but this is where we sat. I often read people’s blogs where they say, “Don’t worry, I didn’t eat it all!” As if I am judging their intake. And they are usually talking about a cupcake—which isn’t the whole purpose of a cupcake to be one serving that you don’t have to share? Anyway, “Don’t worry, we didn’t eat it all.” Only because we couldn’t possibly. We sure tried.

We did a bit of shopping at the Water Tower Place. I found two really cute boots on sale for 75% off at Macys. Here is Abe making me try them on for the camera.
That evening we decided to see another show (student tickets!). Unfortunately it was a lag period in Chicago theater with few options. We saw God of Carnage, which I guess is the winner of 3 Tony awards. Sounds good, right?

It was entertaining but I don’t think we thought it was nearly as funny as the rest of the audience. I don’t think we find as much humor in people behaving badly as others apparently do. I do have to say it was the first time I have seen vomit onstage!
About 10 hours after our brunch we finally decided to eat again at one of Abe’s favorite places
All of this was in one day! We know how to PARTY!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Doctor Sheffield #2 (or I guess #3)

Since before I met Abe, he has been an MD/PhD student. When we first met he was finishing his second year of medical school. The next year he started work in the lab for his PhD in genetics. Since that time, most of his medical school friends have interviewed and matched for residency, moved away, and are now finishing their residencies. Since that time for us, Abe has been working in the lab. It has been very frustrating at times with mishaps with DNA constructs, failed mouse surgeries, cannabilistic mouse mothers, etc. But finally within the last few weeks Abe turned in his monster written thesis and finally presented and defended his thesis to his committee.

This was the advertisement they had for his thesis presentation last Friday.


Here he is with his mentor right before the presentation. His mentor had a lot of great things to say about Abe, as well as a chance to poke a little fun at him before the presentation.

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Everyone agreed Abe did a fantastic presentation to a packed house, standing room only.

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After that, he had to meet in a room with his committee to field their questions. This was the actual part they call the “DEFENSE” and the most stressful part of the day. Luckily after about 45 minutes they congratulated him on a job well done and declared he had met the requirements to graduate with his PhD. They had some great compliments, two of the members said it was the best written thesis they had ever read! Also, more great news is that he will not have to make any revisions to the thesis, which is a fantastic surprise as it is expected to have to make changes after.

After the defense his lab had a party. They made some cakes for him (I think they felt a lot of pressure knowing how great a baker Abe is): a mouse with headphones (to illustrate all of his work with deaf mice) and a kit-kat cake, a lab joke about Abe stealing the lab kit-kat stash.

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Here is Abe with his labmates.

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We headed to dinner to celebrate that night with the Sheffields at Wildwood.



Abe will have a few weeks off now before heading back into Medical school. I think our lives will get pretty crazy from here on out! I can’t believe the PhD is finally over.

*Unfortunately, he will not be rewarded the actual degree or title until May 2012 when he graduates with his MD as well. But as far as I’m concerned, go ahead and call him doctor.