A Hocus Pocus Halloween

Hocus Pocus is an all-time favorite Halloween flick.  I am sure most would agree.  Now if only I could snap my fingers, say hocus pocus and voila…power back!  Ugh.  I don’t typically swoon over Halloween anyway so I guess with the hurricane I actually have a decent excuse this year not to have to dress up and go crazy for this candy lover’s dream day of the year.  But I do know there are people out there who anxiously anticipate Halloween every year so if that’s you…Happy Halloween.  Here is what I like about Halloween:

-Kit Kats
-Cute little kiddie costumes
-Hearing little kiddies get excited to say Trick or Treat
-Haunted Hayrides (I hate them because I don’t like scary but they are creepily fun)
-Orange cocktails in lieu of dressing up
-The year Mr. Dr. and I were Malibu Barbie and Beach Ken – uninventive but fun!

OK.  So I guess there is more to like than what I originally thought :)  But really, forgive me if I don’t seem overly thrilled this year.  Halloween just doesn’t seem so happy around here.  They cancelled the annual NYC parade and it seems that those still wanting to partake in the festivities will have to venture uptown to find a bar or party to celebrate.  I would anticipate some crowded, costume-filled sidewalks above 40th street tonight.  As I shared with you all yesterday…it’s certainly ghostly downtown.  Maybe it’s fair to say that this might the most fitting scene NYC has ever seen for Halloween.  When I say ghostly I mean literally at night when you look down towards lower Manhattan there are no lights except some brave car headlights that are passing through.  No traffic lights,  street lights,  store lights,  apartment lights.  Heck, all the ghosts and goblins in the world could come strolling through with glow sticks at night and people wouldn’t even be alarmed.  But rather happy that perhaps they could walk in line behind them with flashlights in hopes that parading across lower Manhattan might spark some power lines back to life.

Seriously Con Edison earn your money this month and get us back in business before we all go completely loony.  But hey it is Halloween so maybe we are all allowed to be a little nuts today.  I certainly am.  Tonight will be night 3 without power.  Please keep your fingers crossed for us and in the meantime enjoy your electricity, appreciate your running water and eat lots of candy.  It’s the one day of the year you don’t need to feel bad about it.  Happy Halloween friends!

Sandy…I liked you much better in Grease

The Calm Before Sandy

Well I guess I won’t be naming our future child Sandy (no I’m not pregnant).  Not after the madness that has swept through the east coast in the last few days.  As most of you should know by now us Manhattaners have suffered severe devastation over the last 24-48 hours from this hurricane.  And our neighboring friends in the surrounding boroughs and areas have experienced damage that people believed was unthinkable.  This storm became a reality all too fast.  There was the calm before the storm, the uncontrollable mess that occurred as it swept through followed by the unbelievably devastating aftermath.  As we sat and watched the storm unravel I was just thankful we had stocked up on the essentials – wine, liquor and water.

We all were annoyed by good ol’ Irene last year because she did not live up to expectations and allowed for widespread panic and overrated precautions throughout this city.  Well my friends, one thing I must say about Sandy is that she did live up to our wildest and most unwelcome expectations.  They were right.  The weathermen, the news, the predictions, the government officials and the like…all told us what to expect and it happened.  It happened bad.  My heart goes out to those that lost their homes, valuables and even their loved ones.  There are already too many deaths pronounced associated with this hurricane.  It’s heartbreaking.

East River

As Mr. Dr. and I arrived back into the city Sunday evening from our amazing trip to LA it was strangely quiet and ominous outside.  We were lucky to be on one of the last flights out of California Sunday morning.  As we departed 75 degrees and sunny weather with a refreshed attitude ready to start the week, we were certainly not prepared for what was about to sweep across our home over the next few days.  As we arrived into the city we were floored at the number of closed business, stores and emptiness.  We were a bit dazed at what we were walking into.  It was ghostly…the same way it was this morning when we ventured outside to get to a place north of us that had power to charge our phones, use the internet and use the bathroom.  And here I am writing this post from a hotel lobby.  It beats sitting in a blacked out apartment with no power, running water or good food.  Thank goodness for NYC hotels.  Flooding, trees in streets, road signs knocked over, barely any movement on the sidewalks, no public transportation and buildings quiet and dark from midtown all the way down to Miss Liberty.  It’s times like this I wish I was an Upper East Sider.  Then at least I may have my power back.  The usual taxi-filled streets with the overwhelming noise of horns and traffic were empty and wet.  It was…strange…and sad.  Hearing that the East river was spilling onto 1st Avenue throughout the storm wasn’t exactly a comforting thought considering we live on 2nd Avenue.

East River

Evacuations across the entire city with some of the worst among the hospitals were occurring in the midst of the worst of the storm.  The biggest hospitals in midtown and below are flooded or out of commission.  Have no fear though…that rock of Bellevue is still standing and working off their backup generator.  But walking patients down 18 flights of stairs to get them safely to a new hospital is unlike anything these NYC hospitals have ever experienced.  Yes, unthinkable damage has been done throughout our city.  And it’s not pretty.

Recovery from Sandy will take time, lots of time.  But we of course will overcome this, as we do everything else.  NYC will prevail as it always does.  We will come together and help our family, friends and neighbors.  Life will slowly start to come back together (if we ever get our power back).  And one thing is for certain…Hurricane Sandy 2012 will be a storm we will never forget.  Yep, this is one for the history books.  Stay safe everyone.


The Golden State Awaits Us

I am so excited for this week to commence for two reasons.  First reason is because Mr. Dr. is on vacation for a week.  After a pretty emotionally draining 6 weeks (for both of us!) on his current rotation he gets a week off and then has one last week of work before moving onto the next rotation.  He definitely needs a little break so I am really happy that he is going to have some time this week to catch up on some much needed R&R.  The second reason I have been looking forward to this week is because we are heading west…

to LA!  We have never been to LA before and we absolutely cannot wait for a long weekend of fun in the glorious land of the Golden State.  We have only ever been to San Francisco (which is an awesome city) so we are really looking forward to exploring a new part of California.  We are going to get to spend some time with friends and Mr. Dr.’s family while we cruise through all of the cool places and activities LA has to offer.  We have lots of ideas of places and things we want to check out but for any of you LA veterans out there…let me know if there are any musts.  I can’t wait to walk down Rodeo drive and pretend I am Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman…only minus the hooker part.  That is definitely one of my musts.  Now if only we had the wallet big enough to handle the damage I could do.  Mr. Dr. better keep the plastic card out of sight from me that day or else we may need to get an extra piece of luggage for those extra purchases.  Ha, I dream.  Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Malibu, beaches, sunshine, the Pacific and an awesome time await us!

My Fellow Americans…

Politics is not something I like to get too involved in.  Even when I lived in DC I didn’t appreciate it like most.  If I can’t appreciate it in the mecca of politicians then I don’t think I ever will.  Don’t get me wrong.  I am all for it if that’s your “thing” but it’s certainly not a topic I personally find much interest in.  I do like to watch the debates because it’s good to be informed.  But I have a confession about that too.  I secretly just love to watch the end when the wives/families come up and greet their husbands with sweet staged hugs and painted on smiles.  But it’s my favorite part and I wait for it through the whole debate because it’s so exciting to see their outfit of choice.  Take the other night for example.  Michelle Obama and Ann Romney were in the exact same color pink.  That means one of two things.  Either that color is in in in or it was a big oops for each of their stylists.  I like to believe the latter because come on…as much as these ladies get critiqued on how they present themselves and what they wear there is no way they would have chosen the same color if they knew.  Mobama I expected a bit more out of you my dear.  You have had a great sense of fashion as first lady but do your research.

I like to live pretty lightheartedly and sometimes political discussions can be way too heavy.  Yes I realize that it is important and that I should cast a vote.  But that does not mean I have to run around campaigning for my political party of choice.  If you are a campaigner then good for you, live it up.  But I’ll never be one of those gals driving around with a bumper sticker on the back of the car so the world can see who I favor.  The only way that would ever happen is if Mr. Dr. decides to forego residency and run for office.  Ha.  That is a pretty funny thought but probably wouldn’t happen unless pigs start flying overhead so fear not my fellow Americans.

While I understand that the people we have running our government affect Mr. Dr. and I’s lives everyday, I have learned that there are things that will happen that are well beyond our control.  Healthcare is a big topic in politics and who our presidents are over the years might greatly affect Mr. Dr.’s career as a surgeon.  But I really believe that as long as Mr. Dr. stays the course, continues to be a great doctor and a good person, he will have a great career and we will have a happy life regardless of who is sitting in the White House.  So let’s keep it light on this Friday and get to the point.  This my dear blog friends deep down is my take on politics:

Happy Friday!

Is This Hotel Pager-Friendly?

I bet you are questioning this above device because you think you know what it is.  But why would anyone want to resurface a device that hasn’t been thought about by the general public since the 198o’s?  Well my friends you are right.  It is a pager and no one uses these things anymore unless…you work in a hospital.  When Mr. Dr. was in medical school I used to make fun of the fact that they still use pagers.  Well nowadays I wish I could go back to those funny beeper jokes because it has gone from a silly joke to a not so fun real life addition to our family.  In a decade of tablets, paper thin computers, bluetooth headsets and video web chats the most efficient way for communication among doctors, nurses and other lucky ones in the medical field is through the beeper.  Really??  Unfortunately…yes really.  But hey I guess it’s only fitting considering the beeper was first used in a Jewish hospital in New York.  I did not make that up.  So like I said…fitting since that is Mr. Dr.’s life.

The excessive pages coming out of that device that usually resides on Mr. Dr.’s belt loop or next to our bed is out of control.  He has the luxury of home call for a few months and as glamorous as that sounds it means dreading the beeps that come out of that mini device.  Sure it looks innocent and harmless.  And just when you get comfortable on the couch or sit down at a restaurant to get something to eat it attacks like a lion hungry for it’s prey.  And our peaceful home call Friday night turns into a sleepless and interrupted night for Mr. Dr. – oh the joys of home call and…the beeper.

Part of me thinks that hospitals still use these so they can justify not paying for the phone plans of all doctors.  I swear Mr. Dr. is on his cell phone more than I could have ever imagined.  Whether its texting, emailing or phoning whoever it may be (nurse, chief, attending, patient) his cell phone is constantly in hand and in use after hours (loose terminology as I think after hours is not clearly defined in medicine).  And as soon as that beeper goes off that means he is calling back the hospital within 20 minutes.  It’s like having a booty call.  Only…from our experience these booty calls aren’t usually pleasurable or desired.

Let’s face it.  Even in the popular comedy The Hangover when Alan asks the hotel concierge why his beeper wasn’t getting a “sig” you can’t help but laugh.  Because no one…I repeat no one…still uses one of these suckers.

At this rate I’m not sure hospitals are ever going to turn away from Al Gros’ mind-numbingly brilliant invention.  It just makes too perfect of sense for hospital workers I suppose.  It’s efficient, a money-saver and has proven to be effective.  I like to think it won’t be around forever.  But I mean come on.  Orthopedic surgeons are putting prosthetics in people that end up competing in the Olympics and we can’t find a cure for the beeper?  Seems strange.  In the meantime maybe I will consider sending the following letter along to one of America’s favorite corporations.

Dear Apple ,
You invent lots of amazing devices.  You are always thinking one step ahead. You design and create revolutionary technologies.  PLEASE for the love of God can you please find a substitute for the 1949 beeper?  My plea to you is to invent something with the following criteria:

-Doesn’t make noise
-Doesn’t interrupt our life
-Lets Mr. Dr. sleep more
-Saves time
-Eliminates most patient emergencies

If you could create and send it my way I would greatly appreciate it.  I realize it may seem I am asking you to make magic but I think based on your successful track record, it’s possible.

Your Truly,
Mrs. Dr.

Living Space Sanity

Do you ever think about where you spend the majority of your time?  Not in the sense of what websites you visit in your daily browser but more in the sense of where you physically spend your time…especially in your home.  Take me for example.  I sit in what is  probably a 10ft x 10ft space all day every day at work on the 16th floor of a NYC landmark shopping building.  So although I work in a ginormous building I spend my days sitting in front of my desk in a space smaller than my bathroom.  Then I go home and sit in a 640 square foot apartment.  It has a bedroom, a living room, a dining…I guess area, a bathroom and a small kitchen.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my apartment but it’s not large.  So when I say it all out loud it kind of makes me feel like the majority of my time is spent in the same 700ish square feet.  Is that healthy??  Sure it makes getting to the kitchen easier because it’s less steps, hence, making it simply too convenient not to enjoy a glass of wine every night.  But still.  I guess people say they only “live” in certain areas of their house and the others fill with dust so maybe it’s not a bad thing that Mr. Dr. and I utilize every last inch of our apartment.

We definitely live in every part of our home so we don’t have the collecting dust issue.  Ours is more the collecting piles of papers that Mr. Dr. so innocently leaves lying around in the most random of places issue.  Love him to death but I am totally throwing him under the bus here when I say he is not the most organized.  He claims once he has an office it won’t be a problem.  I translate that to “I can’t wait to have an office so I can just throw all of my papers into one room in different piles so she doesn’t have to complain about them being all over the apartment.”  Have no fear though.  I recently took ALL of the random papers that “can’t just be thrown away but rather need to be shredded due to containing patient information” and stuffed gently placed them all into ONE bag in the corner of our bedroom.  I mean we are talking notes written on napkins people.  That is the kind of stuff Mr. Dr. pulls out of his pockets when he gets home.  Anyway, this will be the new way I will organize his piles.  I think it’s fair.  And once the bag starts to overflow…well then its time to play the “either I’m throwing it out or you are taking it out tomorrow” game.  Sigh.  I feel bad that he doesn’t have an office for his paperwork.  I feel bad that he has so many things to keep track of that he has to write on napkins to remember.  I feel bad complaining about his piles when we live in a small apartment with little space.  But here is how I look at it.  We chose NYU because of the residency program, not because of the living situation.  Clearly we knew what kind of space we were getting ourselves into after already being here for 4 years of medical school.  Therefore, its not really an excuse and we have to manage accordingly.  And in order to stay sane and happy in our 640 square feet of living space Mrs. Dr. likes to maintain a tidy apartment as best I can.  I think once again that’s fair.  And when push comes to shove I do believe Mr. Dr. would agree.

What some people might feel like living in my amount of home/work space

So maybe I’m just used to it at this point.  And healthy or not the 700ish square feet of home and work space that I reside in most days is my life.  But it does make me ponder about how much space we think we really need to live.  In reality the truth is we probably don’t need that much.  We all just acquire stuff we don’t need in that extra space anyway.  Then it makes moving a pain and cleaning is annoying.  Ugh.  Moving.  I hate moving.  I think most of you would agree that no matter how big your place is, moving homes makes you feel like you need an intervention.  Like you could be considered for the show Hoarders on A&E.  No one ever thinks they have that much stuff…until they move.  Anyway…maybe this weekend you should consider dusting off those unused areas.  Try to turn them into something productive or a spot where you will actually want to spend your time.  And in the process think about what you really need to be happy in your life space.  You may surprise yourself.  Is simple better?  Maybe sometimes that’s just what we need.

All you really need? Some may not agree :)

Zeus Is Not Just A Ruler Of The Gods

Mr. Dr. and I had an impromptu weeknight out the other night.  We restaurant hopped in the meatpacking/west village areas here in good old NYC.  We were very satisfied with our selections as it led me to a new cocktail I have to share with you all.  I saw it on the menu and knew I had to try it.  The drink was called Zeus.  Fitting because this drink was the perfect strength across all elements and I must say ruled all other drinks on the cocktail list.  A perfect blend of vodka, cucumber, peppercorn and lime.  Not sweet, a little bit of spice to compliment the cool cucumber flavor and an absolutely delectable flavor as I took my first sip.  Check it out.

Zeus at the Restaurant Catch

-Generous Amount of Vodka
-3 Splashes of Lime Juice
-3 Splashes of Cucumber Juice
-2 Splashes of Peppercorn Syrup
-Cut Cucumber Chunks and Mix In
-Garnish with a Cucumber Slice

Overall this restaurant had a great cocktail menu.  It was filled with unique blends and intriguing mixtures of refreshing liquors and juices.  Mr. Dr. even tried a Gin & Kummel Oyster Shot.  It came out as a mini oyster on top of a shot glass.  He dropped the oyster in and slurped the shot.  He said it was heavy on the Kummel but nonetheless it was pretty cool to watch.  Also available in Watermelon Tequila and Spicy Bloody Mary flavor.  If you are an oyster lover (sadly I am not) then it’s worth a try.  But I think we will be venturing back to Catch for sure to try some more delicious cocktails and experiment with the food menu.

Happy Friday!

You Can’t Judge A Doctor By It’s Cover

I wonder if anyone really chooses their doctor like this.  If they do Mr. Dr. would never get their vote because he doesn’t really have the time to hang out on social media.  Although that brings up a good point.  You may want to steer clear of any doctors who spend more time on facebook than in the hospital.  In any case choosing a doctor can be stressful.  Whether its your primary care physician or you need a surgery, it can be difficult to choose the right one for the job.  I feel a little differently about it being married to one.  A part of me feels like he should just tell me which ones to go to but he is in residency for Orthopedics.  Not general medicine or gynecology – the ones I would annually need.  Shoot…I can’t say that without confessing something.  I don’t go to my primary care physician like ever.  In fact I think I have only been maybe twice in the last 5 years.  I know I know.  That’s a very jaw dropping concept for most.  But I swear Mr. Dr. said that as long as I go to my you know who doctor every year I should be fine.  Glad I got that off my chest.  Anyway, when I looked at him a few months ago and asked him to find me a new woman doctor he kindly reminded me that he does not work with those kinds of doctors on a regular basis and probably would not know who to recommend.  He also reminded me that just because he is a resident does not mean he knows every doctor in NYC.  Well this is news to me.  I thought being a doctor meant that all doctors know each other no matter what specialty they are in.  This is so not the case.   Especially for residents.  There are a bazillion doctors in NYC – come on Mrs. Dr.  you should know better.  Call it a blonde moment or call it a “I was just hoping that this might be a perk that comes with residency” moment because these days they are a little scarce.

So if Mr. Dr. can’t provide me and everyone else I know with recommendations for doctors how do we all choose?  Well I think the two biggest ways are #1 Referrals and #2 Insurance.  Referrals are HUGE in medicine.  In fact dearest blog readers consider this your not so discreet hint.  In 10 years when you or any of your friends need an orthopedic surgeon you know who to contact.  And maybe if you refer to him as Mr. Dr. during your consultation he will give you the friends & family discount :)  Sorry I once again digress.  Referrals are definitely the way to go.  When making a big decision like who should be examining your body, people often look to to their friends for advice.  Its comforting.  Referrals from your current physicians are usually safe bets too.  But not all those pretty little referrals take every insurance now do they?  Ugh.  Getting stuck with a doctor just because they are in your network is the worst.  Most people won’t be willing to fork out the extra few hundred bucks per visit for an out of network doctor so you hope to get lucky.  I have been through 4 different lady doctors in the last 4 years at the same practice because each year I’m not thrilled with the care I get.  Oh well.  I’ll figure it out.  The good news is that once you do find the right doctor its worth it.  You want your doctor to be someone you trust and someone who puts you at ease…although it is highly unlikely I will ever feel at ease while I am lying awake uncomfortably with a speculum inside of me.  But that’s just me.  Although I am sure most gals would agree.

Personally, I think part of my decision on choosing a doctor should mirror how I went about choosing wedding vendors.  A big factor for me was response time.  All of my vendors were great about getting back to me promptly and I truly valued that etiquette.  I can relate this to waiting room time for doctors.  The quicker the wait time, the higher on the list.  We all know we sit in that waiting room impatiently pretending to read the magazines they have sitting out counting down the minutes on the clock.  But then again I guess they say good things happen to those who wait.  Hmmm.  If that’s the case I should really be looking forward to my birthday the year Mr. Dr. starts in a practice.  I bet I might get something extra special that year…even if I am wrinkly by then.

Mean Girls Love Fashion

The calm before the storm

Fall fashion is a fun time in NYC.  Working in retail, it’s always a busy time for us.  We have fall fashion everything – integrations, catalogs, commercials, emails, billboards, banner ads – you name it.  It’s exciting to see what the must-haves are for the upcoming season.  And nothing is better than sitting at a NYC Fashion Week show watching those skinny ass models strut down the runway in the latest trends.  I am lucky enough to have been to a few good ones.  I will never forget my first fashion show experience at Bryant Park.  It was back in 2008 and I was waiting in the back of the tents outside to meet my friend before we went in.

This is a shot that I dug up that someone else took who must have been standing 2 feet next to me

All of the sudden I see this cracked out blonde in a jean dress walking towards me covered in paparazzi cameras.  Low and behold it was Lindsay Lohan who was heading in to see her boo’s sister at the time, Charlotte Ronson’s, show.  I must admit.  At first I didn’t recognize her because she really did look cracked out, had her head down as she walked up and was wearing glasses.  Well and I couldn’t remember at the time if she was in jail or out of jail.  Ha…I kid.  But I was also thrown off because most celebs walk the red carpet and go through the front entrance.  Not to mention her “girlfriend” at the time Sam literally looked like a boy so I was once again thrown off.  By the time I realized who it was as they got closer and I heard the paparazzi screaming “Lindsay, Lindsay look here!” I quickly caught on to a little something.  Attending these shows is an experience that one does not forget.  From celeb sightings to little white chairs that line the runway crammed with industry goers to gift bags if you’re lucky…there really is nothing quite like it.  The techno remixes and whimsical selection of music sucks you in and instantly you become mesmerized by the glimmer of lights on the long runway.  There is really not a bad seat in the house as you sit back and drool over the untouchable, creatively flawless designs prancing up and down in front of you.  Fabrics you may never dream of putting on your body in ways that sometimes only a model can make look good are the stars of the show leaving your eye wanting to see more every time.  Then when it’s all over you wake up and find yourself back on the busy streets of NYC walking home to your not so quite up to par wardrobe.  Sigh  :)

Back to LL for a second…what a hot little mess.  The poor girl unfortunately has not gone too uphill from 2008 it seems.  In fact just the other day I saw here on the local news that she claimed she was assaulted in her hotel room in Union Square after SHE brought the guy back to the room.  Really.  Come on L.  Get it together.  The moral of the story is…at least I had an unforgettable experience at my first ever NYC Fashion Show.

Back when Bryant Park was the home of the infamous tents…



Pumpkins Aren’t Just For Pies

It is a bit depressing that I feel like it was just yesterday I was sharing some of my favorite summer cocktails with you all.  And now here we are already having jetted down the runway into takeoff on a new season with the snap of a finger.  Lucky for us a new season means new cocktails.  I am looking forward to experimenting with some fun fall cocktails in the near future.  I feel like this year more than ever, everyone is on the pumpkin latte bandwagon.  It’s all I saw on people’s facebook status’ for an entire week the first day it hit 70 degrees out.  All of the coffee shops seemed to be promoting it big time too.  Maybe in the past I have just been oblivious but it certainly seems like pumpkin is putting the “in” into ingredient this year for all things that come in a cup.  I don’t often write about coffee recipes and I’m not going to be starting now.  So as you may expect…let’s talk cocktails!  I would like to throw two seemingly exciting cocktail recipes into the mix using this season’s favorite flavor.

I call the first one Autumn Bliss as the recipe sounds like just that.

-Generous amount of Vodka
-3 Splashes of Ginger Ale
-1 Splash of Apple Cider
-2 Spoons of Pumpkin Puree
Notes:  So I tried this one at home.  Here are my findings.  First, do not try to replace the cider element with apple juice.  If you do the apple juice will outshine the rest of the drink.  Second, it is a bit heavy with the puree so I recommend turning this into more of a martini than an iced cocktail.  It’s filling.  And finally I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed the pumpkin puree flavor.  I was skeptical when I scooped it into the drink to mix but it was the key ingredient.  This is a seasonal drink for sure.

 What looks and sounds to me like a: Rumpkin White Russian.

-Generous amount of Rum
-2 Splashes of Pumpkin Schnapps
-2 Splashes of Kahlua Liqueur
-2 Splashes of Milk
-Garnish with a Dash of Cinnamon
-Notes:  From the looks of this, I’m going to guess this is designed to be a dessert cocktail but I would definitely hold the whip cream (not a huge fan of whipped cream with my cocktails).  Nonetheless, I like the blend of rum and pumpkin schnapps.  This could be a match made in heaven.  All of this aside, with the kahlua and milk this could end up tasting very much like a pumpkin spiked white russian.  We shall see.  I am looking forward to trying it.

Happy Pumpkin Cocktail Friday!