Happy Easter/Passover/Weekend!

Passover is a lovely holiday that almost always involves a conversation about constipation. 

But you know what? I don't think that's the reason I enjoy it so much. 

I think it's because we got engaged on the first night of Passover in 2008, and I have this priceless piece of art to remember that night:

In case you couldn't tell, that's Y celebrating his engagement to THE CLAW while THE CLAW ponders when bushy eyebrows will be in again and why she chose to spend her life with a mate with such large ears and no chin to speak of. Both Y and THE CLAW probably ate too much matzah and are constipated. It happens.

Y's little brother painted this when he was ten based on a picture we took at the Passover seder.

It was a pretty good night. Before I mauled everyone with my claw.

toothbrush musings

It's toothbrush week at Just Dandy!

Okay, not really. I just happened to have two toothbrush-related thoughts to share two days in a row. 

Would you be surprised if Toothbrush Week was a thing, though? Everything has a day. Monday was National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day. I'm pretty sure today was national Let Your Dog Steal Your Used Q-Tip Day (at least, it was in our house). But I digress.

This post is actually about how time flies. About how I distinctly remember scribbling John Mayer lyrics in a notebook after Y brought his toothbrush to my apartment for the first time. She keeps a toothbrush at my place... as if I have the extra space.

Six years later we practically share a toothbrush. (We share the base of a Sonicare toothbrush. It's not gross.) Sometimes, when we both finish flossing at the same time, we box each other out to achieve the greatest of victories: the first to use the toothbrush.

We've also become fluent in each other's Toothbrush Language. Y has a bad habit of asking me questions while I'm brushing my teeth, and I have a bad habit of trying to answer him. Our biggest accomplishment happened this week, when Y understood my entire half of a long conversation composed of only mmm-mmms and exaggerated eyebrow movement. 

He'll come in handy as my interpreter on National Bring Your Toothbrush To Work Day. (April 29th! Mark your calendars!)

back buddies

Let's talk about great ideas. Eli Whitney had one. Kristy Thomas had one. Benjamin Franklin had several.

We did not have one. 

When we moved in over 3 and a half years ago, we set up two desks in our office. Since we were both students, we knew we'd be spending a lot of time at our desks. Naturally, we put them back to back. 

Y's desk was directly across the room from mine, facing the opposite wall. I can't show it to you because he clearly doesn't spend as much time on Pinterest as I do, and doesn't care whether his area is blogworthy. Boys. 

For three and a half years, we spent hours sitting back to back. I had a lovely view of my wall, while Y had a lovely view of my face and whatever medical condition he was currently studying. 

And then one day, Y made me a card that changed everything.

And that's when I had my idea- my idea that could rival the cotton gin, bifocals,  or the Baby-Sitters' Club. If I had thought of it, oh, four years ago.

"We should push our desks together."

"But we only have a few more months here."

I'm convincing, and we did it anyway. It's amazing. We realized we had wasted 3 and a half years not looking at each other, not having Ike underneath us licking both of our feet at the same time, and not watching porn because we were worried the other one could see it. 

Just kidding about the porn.

Y was playing a computer game when I started taking pictures, and I demanded he turn it off. Because that's the kind of wife I am. This is the kind of husband he is:

having a medical professional at home is supremely helpful

Since Y has been in medical school, he's gotten several midnight emergency medical questions from family members. Symptoms have ranged from vomiting and diarrhea to Lyme Disease. Every time, he's woken up and given patient, thoughtful answers, backed up with facts from whatever exclusive medical app he has access to.

Since Y has been in medical school, I've asked him several questions about my own health. Symptoms have ranged from random dizzy spells to shortness of breath. Every time, he's looked at me with a scowl and said, "I don't know. Ask a doctor!" 

Have you ever heard the phrase "the shoemaker's wife has no shoes"? I get it. I really do. 

In the past few years, there are two instances I can think of when Y has been helpful in response to a medical issue or question I've had (not including the time I got brain freeze):

1. Y looked up from his textbook. "I know why you get scared so easily!" he announced, startling me. 

"What are you talking about?" I asked, even though just that week he had accidentally scared me to the point that I almost killed him. We were running together, and near the end of our route he had slowed to a cool-down walk as I sped up for a sprint to the finish. A few seconds after I passed him, he snuck up next to me, startling me and causing me to reflexively hit him as hard as I could in the chest. I feel like I was one heartbeat off from inflicting commotio cordis.  

"You have Jumping Frenchmen of Maine syndrome!"

"You definitely just made that up," I said.

But in fact, he did not. Jumping Frenchmen of Maine syndrome is (assuming Y didn't change the Wikipedia page to play a huge joke on me) a neurological disorder.  The person who first described this disorder noted patients "reacting abnormally to sudden stimuli" including jumping, yelling, and hitting (all of which I've done). It was first observed in northern Maine, hence its awesome name. 

I think I'm going to start writing this on any form that asks for my medical conditions. The gym I join when we move isn't going to know what to do with me.

2.  Yesterday, while watching a Rogaine commercial, I turned to Y. "Do you think," I ruminated, "That if I smeared Rogaine on my face, I could grow a beard?"

Y's expression turned serious. "The major compound in Rogaine is blablabla," he said thoughtfully. "so that means bla bla bla bla. I think. Let me get my phone." He returned a moment later with his trusty medical app. "bla bla bla bla. So, no."

I'm still wondering why I often feel dizzy and get out of breath. But at least I know I can fall face first into a vat of Rogaine and be okay. 

doctor of tomorrow

Since I'm sharing holiday gifts in February, I might as well show you this one, too. 

That ripped out magazine page in the center of the refrigerator was part of my gift from Y (the "this isn't really a gift, but I decided to give it to you anyway because I thought it was neat" part). He randomly came across it while flipping through a 1968 Life magazine at an antique store. 

Here's what the text says:

Evening at home.
Like many another courageous girl, she's married her young doctor in the making. And now she shares with him those long, gruelling years of medical study and internship. 

In a very real sense, they're her years of preparation, too. For ahead stretches a lifetime of marriage to a man with whom... day or night, week-ends or holidays...the needs of patients will always come first.

You'll find dedication, as well, among the men and women who carry on A.H. Robins pharmaceutical research. It keeps them persisting through months and years of discouragement. For it may take a thousand trials and experiments to achieve a single success... a single better medicine to help your doctors of today and your doctors of tomorrow. 

Isn't that funny? Here are my thoughts...

PS: this was the actual gift - a vintage earring holder ordered from Etsy.

Interview trail: a brief break at home

After his fifth trip -- at five days it was the longest so far -- the boy is finally home, in his own shower, his own bed. The next flight is in just two days, and a good night's sleep in his own bed is a must. He falls asleep as soon as his head hits the pillow, his stomach full from homemade chicken pot pie (and cramped from laughing at the girl's botched haircut). 

The girl falls asleep soon after, but is woken in the middle of the night by the boy's tossing and turning. She opens an eye wearily as the boy rolls over, groans, and whispers in her ear. 

"Are we in a hotel?"

keeping gift giving interesting

I love giving gifts. I love sitting down and thinking about what the recipient loves and coming up with a special twist on it that they would never expect or would never buy for themselves. I love wrapping it up in a pretty package and watching the person's face as they open their gift, or getting a phone call that says I've made their day. The thought of asking someone what they want and giving it to them verbatim has never crossed my mind. 

This year for Y's birthday, I got lazy. Or overwhelmed. It was a week before his birthday and I was struggling; I knew he was into watches and ties but I was sure I would misjudge his taste and get something completely wrong. I did the only appropriate thing: I procrastinated.

Then he said, "I think I should start wearing cologne."

And I pounced. "I'll buy it for you for your birthday!"

I couldn't believe I said that. It was so anti-my preferred method of gift giving. 

But the truth is, when you're hopefully going to give someone approximately 180 big gifts in their lifetime, things are bound to get boring.  (That's birthday, holiday, and anniversary presents for 60 years.) I couldn't let it happen. At least not on gift  7/180 of our marriage.

A few days before Y's birthday, we went on a little "date" to Ulta and Sephora (they're in the same shopping center -- drama!), where we gathered a big stack of tester strips and trudged through the cologne aisle, from Armani to YSL, testing each scent and giving it a yea or nay. 

After we weeded out the bottom half, we narrowed it down to our top three -- and I got to make the final decision. A final decision that I would purchase the next day and which was not to be revealed until his birthday. 

Then I tried to buy some nail polish and spent 15 minutes trying to decide what color to buy before giving up in exasperation, convinced I was going to pick the wrong shade. 

That purple would be great for a football game, but would you ever wear it to work? ...  White? Really? That's going to look like you got bored with Wite-Out.... Gold sparkles? What are you, 12? They are really cute though...

I'm pathetic. Is anyone else so picky about nail polish?

Anyway. The moral of the story is that on his birthday, Y still got to unwrap a surprise.

And I didn't feel quite as bad about my mundane gift.



The girl arrives at work in her frumpiest outfit, rushed and sweaty after yoga class, no makeup. Who’s going to see her anyway, she thinks.

Later, exhausted and self-conscious, she buys  a cup of tea at the cafe. She stands in line behind a handsome doctor. He glances behind him and says, “...and I’ll pay for whatever she’s having.”

The girl thinks she must look (and smell) even worse than she thought; the doctor must have felt sorry for her. "Thanks," she says, embarrassed. She walks off quickly, head down and back slumped, undoing whatever benefits the yoga class had on her posture.

As she stirs skim milk into her hot tea, she is struck with a thought: Maybe, just maybe, he wanted to buy me a drink.

And then, she catches a glimpse of her reflection in a window and gets angry.

Who does this asshole think he is? Just because he has a white coat and a chiseled jaw, he thinks he can make some frumpy girl's day? No way. I will not allow myself to be flattered by this. I don't need some handsome doctor to make me feel special.

A few hours later, she tells the boy, her own handsome [almost] doctor, the story.

He listens then nods, understanding.

"You do kind of look like crap."

{because it's more fun to tell your "love story" in the third person}


The girl spends her day off at a local boutique inhaling perfume, coffee beans, perfume, coffee beans. She just exhausted her latest bottle of the perfume she grew up with and it's time for a change. But her new scent has to be perfect; when she leaves on weekend getaways the boy breathes in her signature scent from her empty pillow.

After an hour of back and forth and he'll love it, he'll love it not, she finally lets the cashier wrap up a scent. A sweet, almost fruity scent; chosen as much for its warm vanilla bean and rice flower aroma as for its pretty bottle. 

The most luxurious of fragrant escapes. 

At home, she spritzes her neck and waits for the boy. When he walks in the door, he inhales, pausing for a moment, a faint smile appearing as a memory plays out in his mind. 

The girl is satisfied, she's chosen a scent that calls to his mind a comfortable childhood memory. 

The boy finally exhales.

"You smell like diabetic ketoacidosis."

{because it's more fun to tell your "love story" in the third person}


The scene: an impromptu frozen yogurt date. The girl, unstoppably excited about her signature combination of pistachio yogurt, raspberries, and mochi, dives in a bit too quickly. The cold enters the roof of her mouth and envelopes her. She stops, mid conversation, the brain freeze apparent on her face.

The boy stares at her with a loving smile on his face. Through the girl's crushing pain, she appreciates this look, as if he wishes he could do anything to make it stop. When it does, the girl gives the boy a look of relief.

He opens his mouth, the girl can only assume, to tell her he can't stand to see her in such pain; that he hopes he never has to see that pained look on her face again.

The boy opens his mouth,

"Know why that hurts? The blood vessels in the roof of your mouth rapidly contract then expand, causing pain in that nerve, which then refers to the covering of your brain. The covering of your bain is literally what's hurting you right now. That's why they call it brain freeze."

The girl makes a mental note of the subtle difference between the boy's "loving" gaze and the boy's "I know something you don't know" gaze.

on colonoscopies

I'm a very visual person. When someone tells me a story, I set up the scene in my head. What the room looks like, how many people are there, where people are standing, etc. If I actually visit the place in question later, I usually find out that I was dead wrong. But I still need my imaginary visual in place to be able to pay attention to the story.

Last year when Y was on his surgery rotation, he started telling me something funny someone said during a colonoscopy. As I started to create my fantasy-colonoscopy world (doesn't that sound fun? Sim Colonoscopy, anyone?), I realized I couldn't complete the scenario in my head: I wasn't sure exactly how one is positioned during a colonoscopy.

This was vital to my understanding of the story. So I interrupted Y and asked him.

Y has expressed interested in taking an academic career path; he's always liked to teach. So he did what any good teacher would do in this situation: demonstrated the proper position of a patient undergoing a colonoscopy:

That's the last time I ask him a medical question.

music & memories vol. 3: the beatles

Today's song: anything by The Beatles.

I'd love to hear your Beatles memories. Write about it in your blog and link up
below, or -- tell me in a comment.

I imagine I'm not unique in that my memories of The Beatles' music span most of my life.

As a 16 year old on a summer camp trip to Israel, "Here Comes the Sun" played on an acoustic guitar as we woke up after a night of camping under millions of stars in the middle of the desert. That song makes me smile about the unexplainable bonds that camp creates, even if you're a weird 16 year old with no friends and a severe fear of being stung by a scorpion.

But the reason I chose The Beatles as today's music is because today is our two year wedding anniversary, and our first dance song was The Beatles' "Something", as performed by The Panorama Jazz Band, a New Orleans jazz band.

So naturally the song "Something" brings back some pretty strong feelings, along the lines of it's so f@$king hot out here and holy crap, we're married and why is the fire alarm going off? (long story).

And the entire remaining Beatles catalog? Well, that's the soundtrack to our first big road trip from Louisiana to California-- a trip we loved, hence, the reason we chose a Beatles song as our first dance.

red rock canyon, december 2007

And the song "When I'm 64" brings back the frustrations of wedding planning:

Me, for approximately 1 year prior to wedding: Y, what do you think of this, this and this? And this? Oh, and this?

Y, for approximately 1 year prior to wedding: I. DON'T. CARE.

Y, the week before the wedding [very seriously]: D, I really think our first dance song shouldn't be "Something". I think it should be "When I'm 64", that one's more sentimental.

{a valid point, and a very sweet thought, but, really? I told the band our song three months ago so they could learn to play it and you have never had any sort of opinion about the wedding and... REALLY?}

{also I cringe to think of myself trying to dance to When I'm 64, but that's another story}

On that note, happy anniversary Y! I hope you let me poke fun at our relationship on my blog forever and ever, or at least until blogs don't exist and my means of self expression changes. Then can I poke fun at you on my hologram channel? You know I only do it because I love you, right?

Below, a snippet of the incredible Panorama Jazz Band's version of "Something". Speaking of cringing when I think of myself dancing...

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRDD5bwKLIk&w=480&h=390]

Something in the way she knows,

And all I have to do is think of her.
Something in the things she shows me.
I don't want to leave her now.
You know I believe and how.

on being the wife of a medical student

Over a week after I asked my friends to weigh in on their experiences being pegged as a stay-at-home doctor's wife, I think it's finally my turn. Warning: this post ended up longer than I expected. So if you want nothing but funny videos and a picture of Ike, scroll to the bottom.

My experience might be unique, it might not. In the town we live in, medical professionals are everywhere. Example: when it comes to bar dress codes, scrubs are almost as popular as Affliction t-shirts. Stethoscopes peek out of purses at Starbucks. In yoga, the pre-class chatter revolves around Step 1. And on top of it all, I work at the medical school. My father-in-law works at the medical school. 75% of dinner table conversations revolve around medicine, the medical school, people at the medical school, etc. Sometimes it feels like my entire life revolves around something that, quite frankly, I'm not interested in except on the most basic of levels.

This by itself kind of makes me feel like an outcast; like I should be part of the community. And believe me, I've had people ask me what I do, and then ask -- almost accusingly --, "Why aren't you in med school?"

I majored in advertising in college (which should be a good enough explanation of why I'm not in med school). On the first day of class, we usually had to introduce ourselves and tell why we majored in advertising. A lot of people simply shrugged and said, "it had the least required science credits." I share that sentiment. But the real reason I majored in advertising?

It's embarrassing.

It has to do with a Mel Gibson romantic comedy.

That's right. I saw the movie What Women Want, and thought, I want to do what they're doing. Also, isn't that the little girl from Growing Pains? How old am I?

It turns out it was a pretty good fit - I really enjoyed the creative process that led to advertising campaigns. And I wasn't terrible at it. But my senior year, we had a huge final project that doubled as a national competition. Our product was a locking mailbox. (The year before us had Coke and the year after us got something equally fun. We got... a locking mailbox.)

If you can't read the text... you'll be okay. It's incredibly boring. Because it's an industry ad for a LOCKING MAILBOX.

During a lesson in presenting our ad campaign, our professor told us, in what seemed to me like complete seriousness, "You have to sell this idea. If one of your co-presenters keels over with a heart attack in the middle of your presentation, push them out of the way and finish. your. pitch."

I got a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. They warned us in school that any ad agency we would end up working at would be hell compared to the environment at school. If my teacher was this serious, I finally got a sense that the general attitude in the advertising world was even more so. SELL YOUR PRODUCT OR ELSE.

I decided that I couldn't do it. But it wasn't long until I discovered the concept of social marketing, which uses the principles of marketing and the same processes I loved so much in advertising to change behaviors for social good.

When we moved here, I did what I thought would be the closest thing to experience for that specific niche:

1) I enrolled in a Masters in Public Health program (to better understand behavior change theories and all of the social problems in the world)

2) I took a job in health communication - the big sell was that I would be on a team that creates a nationally distributed series of guides focusing on living with certain chronic diseases.

(I didn't realize it also involved catering to medical students by picking up bakery treats for their small groups and ensuring that some of their lectures went as smoothly as possible. I don't mind doing this -- are you kidding? I would never complain about having to enter a bakery-- but occasionally it does make me feel even more like there is absolutely nothing in the world as important as being a medical student.)

ANYWAY. A few weeks ago I was in Tampa taking a 5 day intensive course on social marketing, where we learned how to create campaigns like this one:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ytMx7irm-c&w=480&h=390]

and this one:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElgkLZX401E&w=480&h=390]

By the way, when I explained in that course that my undergrad degree was in advertising and my masters was in public health, it was suddenly like I was the most qualified person in the room. That has never happened before. People usually look at me like this:

I always feel like somebody's watching me.

Y was obviously a little annoyed that I left him for such a long time, because he hurt me in the worst possible way: he pulled a prank on me that he knows I've been dying to pull on someone.

I noticed it when I ran immediately to the bathroom after my 7 hour car ride, and turned to wash my hands.

And then I realized it was everywhere.

And I'll be honest, crying with laughter on my bathroom floor was a pretty good way to return home after a vacation.

Y = maverick

There may be consequences to pay when I get home. First I leave Y for what feels like FOREVER -- I'm even missing med school prom -- and then I schedule a post while I'm away poking fun at him? Go ahead and give me the worst wife ever award.

But this question needed to be answered: what does Y have in common with the Palin supporters of the world?

You've probably heard about Palin's latest gaffe* involving messing up the story of Paul Revere. The Daily Show reported that Palin supporters have been flocking to Wikipedia to try to change the story of Paul Revere to reflect Palin's version. So much so, that Wikipedia had to lock the page.

That story sounds familiar, right?

Just saying.

*I learn so much while doing research for this little blog. While investigating how to spell the word "gaffe", my first guess was "gaff". Apparently, a gaff is a pair of underwear that cross dressers wear to, um, tuck away certain parts of their body that they want to hide. If you want to get specific: "Our uniquely styled gaff is the perfect panty for men who want to hide their masculine bulge." Seriously. Google it.

(I can't wait to find out what kind of new readers I get from pasting that phrase. Welcome all gaff-wearers! And on that note, have a great weekend!)

point, starbucks

The other day it was approximately 1 million degrees outside. We were at Starbucks and Y, a tried and true "regular coffee" kind of guy, saw an advertisement and decided it was just hot enough for a Frappucino.

If you don't get this reference, I don't think we can be friends.

"After all," he said, reading the sign, "a grande is only 140 calories."

The next time we visited Starbucks, he ordered another Frappucino in his standard tall size. He picked it up and frowned. "I feel like my last one was bigger than this one."

Poor, naive Y spent his entire college career preparing for med school while I (an advertising major) a)studied much less and b) gained useful skills that would come in handy in the real world. So I explained why Y's drink appeared to have shrunk.

On our last Starbucks run, he looked at the sign {strategically} placed next to the register which {strategically} only mentioned how many calories were in a grande. Before he could even think about it, he turned to the cashier and asked for what was on his mind: a grande Frappucino. He didn't even realize the words coming out of his mouth. Point, Starbucks.

When I explained this to him, his jaw dropped, like so:

And he exclaimed, "Holy crap, I just got advertised!"

his & hers 1: reading material

Sometimes the contrast between Y and myself makes itself obvious in the most interesting ways. Take, for example, our bedtime reading material.
An excerpt from my reading material: "Perhaps there is some sort of homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers." & "Ardisia maxi dress: $228".

An excerpt from Y's reading material: "boggy waterlogged sponge consistency of prostate".

anatomy of a nickname: farmer ike

I've mentioned before that Y and I rarely have anything to talk about anymore -- he practically speaks another language and my days are so dull they're not worth mentioning. Our conversations these days are either duets about Ike or made up nonsense (see: pretzel romance, plus we once seamlessly transitioned into a 5 minute sports commentator bit while we watched Ike chase and catch a tennis ball. True story.)

Congratulations, Farmer's Insurance -- your jingle has been our go-to duet recently. And the inspiration for our latest nonsense conversation. Truly an honor.

This morning I woke up to Ike's nose pressed against mine, and naturally the first thing I thought to say...or sing... was Ike is a farmer!

Naturally, from the other room I heard Y call BUM BA DUM DUM DUM DUM.

And we were off. Still half asleep, I asked the obvious question: Ike, what kind of crops do you grow?

Ike -- or maybe it was Y in a high voice, it was too early for me to be sure -- replied, SUNSHINE, HAPPINESS, AND JELLY BEANS!

I call shenanigans, I told Ike, who at this point was licking my face and wagging his tail. Everyone knows jellybeans and happiness don't grow in the same climate.

I INVENTED A HYBRID CROP THAT ALLOWS THEM TO GROW IN THE SAME PLACE, Ike Y retorted. Oh, right. I should have known.

Scholarly Ike says, "it wuz a piece of cake, guys"

Later, at work, proof landed in my inbox:

Well. I guess I lose this argument.

What, you didn't think I was smart enough?