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The Mess

The other day one of my favorite tiny humans had a poop incident.

As I was cleaning him up I managed to get most of the poop into the toilet.  Somehow though, between me and my tiny poopy friend, we managed to get poop on quite a few other bathroom surfaces too.

The rug?  Got poop on that.
The outside of the trash can?  Got poop on that.
The sink?  Got poop on that too.

And while I recognize the tiny humans are pretty messy at baseline and that I myself am no stranger to mess, this was a pretty impressive mess even for us.

So, tiny poopy friend and I paused and took a moment to contemplate the impressively disgusting mess we had made, with the thought of maybe if we stopped moving we could stop spreading the poop.

As we stood there and contemplated the grossness my tiny poopy friend cracked a joke.  I don't remember exactly what he said, but I know it was funny.  So we stood there and giggled.  And we kept giggling while we cleaned up.

Later, I couldn't help but think about w…

The (Alternative) Commencement Speech*

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*Since I technically graduated from medical school in September of 2016, going to a commencement ceremony in June of 2017 felt super weird to me, so I decided not to go.  Oh, and, if I had gone, I'm pretty sure they wouldn't have let me give a speech....  But y'all don't mind do you? Nah, I didn't think so.

Here goes.




To my esteemed colleagues, friends, and family: Welcome.

We've worked incredibly hard to get here.  But, it is only right that we should have worked hard to get here for now we find ourselves continuing in the tradition of the long and noble line of physicians who have gone before us.

Together, we have done a lot of living.  We have seen things.  We have watched each other grow and learn and struggle and do better.  We have cried tears of joy and tears of sadness together.  We have provided each other with comfort when comfort seemed impossible.  We went from a group of strangers with a common goal to becoming each others family.

We have helped e…

you gotta do the work

For the duration of my Mono-Month I basically became a hermit.  I didn't have the energy in my stretchy-pants-no-moving-state to even formulate replies to texts.

Bestie and Babydoll checked in on me one day and I looked at the text and then promptly forgot to reply for so long they started using the SHOUTY CAPSto demand replies to ensure I wasn't dead.  I'm pretty sure they even threatened to call my Mama if I didn't respond.

During that month, I didn't even really realize that I was ignoring everybody- all nonessential Caitlin-functions had been temporarily suspended.

Looking back now though, it's clear to me that I didn't even have the energy to deal with "the feels."  Talking to other humans would have required me to use higher thought processes and those weren't really functioning at that moment.

Relationships- whether they be with your Mama, your bestie, your partner, or even your mailman- and the feels that go along with them are hard …

Apartment Hunting with Bestie, Babydoll, and Construction Santa

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*As always, context-free for your enjoyment

Me: My current best-apartment option has a murder entrance

Me: Which is why I've emailed y'all the pictures, cause it's funny

Bestie: That is for sure a murder entrance.  But at least you'd have Construction Santa to help dissuade murderers?

Me: I like it

Me: He could have the spare bedroom

Bestie: Pros: presents and elves year round! Cons: he'd rate all guests as naughty or nice

Me: You're making me giggle

Babydoll: Shit I like it

Babydoll: Ain't too murdery

Babydoll: Construction Santa > Genghis Khan

Bestie: Of course Babydoll doesn't think the entrance is murdery.  She had a rape shed!

Bestie: But I agree, other than the entrance it looks pretty nice!  The kitchen is very you- perfect for cooking a big meal for a dinner party.

Babydoll: Excuse me, Bestie!  I've had multiple rape sheds!

Me: It's true.  She has.

Me: And one rape shed even had "help me" carved into the concrete block above the washer**

Be…

Fever Dreams and Lost Time

This is the first springtime I've spent fully in Florida in several years.  And while I love the warmth, I don't so much love the pollen.  It's only the end of April and nature has been in full bloom for months.  Everything has a green sheen to it all the time.  As soon as one type of tree quits blooming another type is right there full of buds and blossoms to take its place.

The pollen takes a toll on me.  I'm allergic to pretty much anything that blooms, so springtime here is a relentless march of allergies.  I take all the antihistamines and try to keep my windows shut as much as possible, but sometimes the pollen still wins.  
A couple of weeks ago I was forced to admit defeat to the pollen.  I was pretty sure it was the oak trees that finally did me in.  
I felt like crap and didn't move off the couch for a solid 24 hours.  I was feverish and weak and had no appetite.
But by day two of this "pollen hangover," my medical deductive skills had kicked in…

Freddy the Road Man, and the 7 Layer Chocolate Cake

My Granny was one of those traditional sorts of grand southern ladies, a real steel magnolia.  She didn't drink, she didn't cuss, she tried to feed everyone she'd ever met, and she never had an unkind word to say about anybody.  She was funny and hardworking, and friendly as all get out.

Never once in her life did she ever meet a stranger.  By the time I was a kid she pretty much insisted everyone call her "Granny Bass," whether or not that made sense age-wise or social status-wise.

She loved to bake, and was locally famous for her seven layer chocolate cake.  Yes, I really did mean seven layers.  That cake took a full day to make and ice, but anytime we made that cake, it was a good time.  That cake was a beast, but she made it at every opportunity.

Easter?  Seven Layer Chocolate Cake.
Christmas?  Seven Layer Chocolate Cake.
Thanksgiving?  Seven Layer Chocolate Cake.
Freddy, the Road Man's birthday?  Seven Layer Chocolate Cake.

Now Freddy the Road Man, w…

Mustard Seeds and Metaphors

When I was a kid, I had a mustard seed necklace.  It was a tiny glass heart that had an even tinier actual little ole mustard seed in there.  I loved that necklace and wore it all the time.  

I don't remember who first told me the meaning behind it- you only need the "faith of a mustard seed" to move mountains.  It seemed so reassuring to me.  I totally had the faith of a mustard seed, so I could totally move mountains.

The actual quote is from the Book of Matthew (17:20).  Jesus has just cast out a demon and his disciples are questioning why it was so easy for him to do so, when they couldn't.  Jesus tells them they had such a hard time, because they aren't faithful enough.  He says "Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

A couple o f months ago, when I came back home, I planted a garden.  And in that garden I planted mustar…

Both are True

"And I'll ask you what you think because your thoughts and words are powerful"
-"Loose Lips," Kimya Dawson, 


     " ...if you ever hear someone      Say you are huge look at the moon, look at the stars, look at the sun      Look at the ocean and the desert and the mountains and the sky
     Say I am just a speck of dust inside a giant's eye
     I am just a speck of dust inside a giant's eye"                    -"I like Giants," Kimya Dawson

These songs are from the same album, but usually I don't get a whole album stuck in my head all at once.  
Lately though, that first quote keeps popping into my head.  It feels relevant to me right now on a big public all encompassing sort of scale.  Like maybe we all need to be reminded of it today and every day for the foreseeable future.  
Repeat after me.
Your thoughts and words are powerful.  Your thoughts and words are powerful.  Your thoughts and words are powerful.
Keep saying it to yoursel…

The Rascal

If you’re hungry and you’re in town, you’re welcome at my Mama’s house for dinner.  In my family, we feed each other to take care of each other. 
Mealtimes are sacred in my Mama’s house.  You show up on time.  You try everything that’s offered.  You never turn down dessert.  You had better make conversation.  And you’re delusional if you think you’re going to look at your phone.
This isn’t to imply though, that meal-times are stuffy, staid affairs. In fact they’re quite the opposite.  My family is the loud-talking, shout-y sort of close.  So when all sit down to eat together, there is always some sort of excitement.
When I was studying for Step 1, Mama would call me at lunch time to insist I head on down to her house for some food.  She felt like it was important to break me out of my study cave at least once a day. 
Back then, she was watching both of my nephews during the day, so lunch was always a big, loud affair.  Lunch would include, me, my Mama, my Dad, my nephew Clayton, wh…

Balls and Sh-tting Rainbows

Gainesville is a weird place.   This is known.  The weirdness of Gainesville is a decent part of it's charm.  But sometimes, the weirdness, is just, well, weird....

In weird Gainesville news: I recently learned two different friends of mine will be attending weddings this year of couples who met at Balls.

Now, you're probably not familiar with Balls.

Balls is a dingy fratty (as in, solely frequented by bros) bar in midtown, right across from campus.  I was dragged there once during college, by my bro-iest friend, Liz.  In true Gainesville fashion, that was a weird night, but not one I ever felt the need to repeat.

The best part of the place was that there were no actual balls in Balls.  No pool balls.  No bowling balls.  No balls of any kind, except the frat variety.  This always seemed comical to me.  Why is it called Balls?  Why are there no balls?  Am I the only one who thinks this is weird?

To me, it seems crazy, like nearly incomprehensible, that TWO DIFFERENT HAPPY CO…

Bad Words

When I was a kid, you never said you were bored.  Bad things would happen if you declared boredom.  Saying you were bored was a mistake you only made once.  When I did it I was probably 10 or 11, it was the middle of the summer and I was whining.  I turned to my Mama and drawled out "I'm booooooooooorrrrrrrreeeeeed."

And then all hell broke loose.  You'd have thought I said something terrible.

But for Mama, "bored" is terrible.  It demonstrates laziness, both physically and mentally.  That's her bottom line for human existence, if you can't at the very least entertain yourself, maybe you don't need to be here sharing oxygen with the rest of us.

To prove her seriousness and to "give me something to do" she made me clean all the outside windows.  With newspaper and vinegar, dragging the ladder behind myself so I could reach them all.  Any time somebody I know whines about being bored I still remember the smell of newspaper and vinegar…

things I'm bad at

Things at which I am Bad* (Listed in no particular order)


1. Not ending sentences with prepositions
2. Getting the dirty kleenexes to the trash
3. Going left when the navigator says left
4. Differentiating heart murmurs
5. Reading things I don't want to read
6. Remembering what authochthonous means, even though I've looked it up FOUR times now
7. Putting myself out there
8. Not swearing
9. Texting you back
10. Change
11. Following the recipe
12. Getting song lyrics correct
13. Remembering HJNTIM
14. Higher maths
15. Sometimes basic maths
16.  Liminal Periods

What's a liminal period you say?  Hell, even spell-check is currently saying that.  Spell-check has suggested I might mean "nominal, "criminal," or "imaginal" instead.  No, thanks spell-check, I do, in fact, mean liminal.

A long time ago, in some mostly forgotten cobwebby portion, of my liberal arts education I learned about liminal periods.  They were described to me as periods of time in tra…