and love rained down from the surgery lights:

The couple of days right after vet school graduation were kind of insane. I was simultaneously trying to pack everything, turning in various important forms, getting the utilities turned on/off in the correct apartments, and meeting up with my buddies before we all left town.

One afternoon, I stopped by the vet school on an errand and tarried a while to use the free wifi (fun fact! I never set up wifi in my last apartment. Mostly because it was expensive and I spent most of my not-at-home hours in spaces with free internet). I settled on a couch at the end of a long hallway connecting the small animal hospital with the large animal one. It's a cheerful space, with a steady but not distracting stream of passers-by.

The door next to me opened and Dr. Quin emerged. Dr. Quin is a large animal surgeon. He is a suave, sarcastic man who constantly carries a mug of coffee. His ego is larger than the condom supply at a gay bath house.

He has a habit of looking up at his student in the middle of surgery and saying,

"So! Do you have a boyfriend? Or a girlfriend?"

He will then proceed to dispense romantic advice to said student.

Now, this never happened to me. I scrubbed in on one surgery with Dr. Quin during that rotation, and we somehow missed the topic. We've talked maybe eight or ten times in total, and always about veterinary subjects.

Also, I'm quite femme in manner and dress. Many a new friend or classmate has been surprised to discover that I'm into the ladies.

So, Dr. Quin, through the door. I glanced up at him. He paused next to me, fist-pumped, and said,

"Twelve states now!"

Oh my goodness. You guys, I cried. And holy shit, the Quinster's ninja gaydar skills blew my mind.

we're nerds:

You guys, cardiology was a fantastic rotation. The hours were reasonable, the chiefs were kind and gave unbelievably thorough rounds, and the patients were well-mannered. Also, it was really fun.

So, there is this cardiologist at the University of Awesome who describes the left atrium and left auricle on echocardiogram as Fudgie the Whale. He will then wink at the students and lament that no one has ever brought him a Fudgie the Whale Carvel cake.

Well, thanks to one guy on our cardiology rotation, he'll need to find a new punchline:

"Palpable Krill". Friends, vet folks are nerds. Unapologetic, fantastically epic nerds. Hooray!


My new state is a reasonable driving distance (a little over six hours) from the University of Awesome. So! Moving was simpler than it might have been otherwise. All of the stuff in my apartment fit into the back of a pickup truck and a car, even with the front seat reserved for a certain someone:

My cat is awesome, btw. I met her in a palpation lab at the vet school during my first year, and at the time she was as fat as a house. She weighed approximately twice what her trim body weight should be. She sat fatly in her metal cage sternly regarding the world around her. I scooped her up in my arms (my lab partner said, "Lift with your legs!") and I instantly loved her.

She has since lost a significant amount of poundage, and enjoys snarfing every morsel of food she can find. We share the same name (I did not name her, she came with it), so for a time the two technicians in charge of the labs called us "Alacrity" and "Fat Alacrity". As in,

"Hey Alacrity! How's Fat Alacrity doing?"

She is also an excellent traveler, and always very polite. Sometimes she bites.


This was supposed to be a post about furniture.

I didn't have all that much furniture in my last apartment, but in the spirit of minimalism and having fewer heavy things to carry whilst moving, I winnowed said furniture down to the following:

1. Futon and frame
2. Nightstand
3. Coffee table
4. Two folding shelves
5. Meditation bench
6. Two stools
7. Freestanding kitchen butcher-block structure
8. Fish tank stand
9. Three disassemble-able small shelves for shoes, etc.
10. Sturdy plastic storage container with drawers

Also (not furniture exactly but heavy, big, and/or fragile:

1. Full-length mirror
2. Two small lamps
3. One tall lamp
4. Toaster oven

Here are some things I learned about moving a) furniture, and b) things that are heavy, big, and/or fragile:

1. Take the lightbulbs out of your lamps.
2. Get a box designed to move art for your big mirror (or your art also), or really extensively/absurdly wrap the mirror in soft, comfy blankets.
4. Put all the screws and washers in a bag together for each piece of furniture and label them.
5. Do not let cords dangle and trip you while you are carrying a corded appliance.
6. If you are moving something with drawers without emptying said drawers, tape the drawers shut.

Happy packing! Hopefully you will lose your screwdriver, hammer and scissors fewer times than I did.

containers (and their contents!) that have spilled in my car:

1. Chinese food for 25 people.

To be fair, it was just the sauces. Lots and lots of sauces!

Okay, so my parents went to college together and were members of their school's science fiction and fantasy society. This group got together frequently during college and played games - tabletops and RPGs (role-playing games, for the non-nerds among you). One RPG emerged as dominant when graduation approached - a campaign run by a guy named Dale.

Dale's game had about 15-20 players (my parents among them), and continued after graduation in a semi-annual pattern. As the players dispersed and found fairly permanent places to work/live/have families, the players with bigger residences stepped up to host the game. This tradition continues now, even some thirty-odd years later.

The winter game is hosted on the east coast, and the summer game happens on the west coast (sometimes in the midwest). This is an effort to vaguely equalize travel headaches/expenses across all players. Oftentimes players' significant others and/or kids come as well. Attendance is obviously not mandatory. The game proper is played for 2-3 days, and we fill the rest of the time with tabletop games, random outings, and socializing with one another.

I grew up with this awesomeness. As in, it was not unusual to have a large group of adults descend on the house, sleep four to a room (including in closets), cook gallons of hot sauce from scratch (yes), and spend 10-12 hours a day in the basement poring over a vinyl map with tiny figurines on it.

So! Fast forward to me in college (or possibly early vet school, I'm not sure) and home for winter break. My parents are hosting the game, and we'd ordered Chinese food for dinner. Alas, the Chinese restaurant did not deliver. I volunteered to go pick up the food, and this tall, bear-like guy named Brian came with me. Brian is pretty fantastic. He told me hilarious stories as we drove across town.

When we got to the restaurant, it was readily apparent that the huge volume of food we had ordered was not adequately packaged for transport. I think we had maxed out the restaurant's size limits on to-go containers. The waiter handed us roughly a zillion boxes of rice and packets of fortune cookies in some plastic grocery bags, which presented no problems. The hot, saucy food was another matter. I regarded the eight large, flimsy boats with some trepidation. The boats were that same bendy foil that they use to make disposable loaf pans, and the lids were...vaguely secured to the tops. Each boat was about the size of a smallish sheet cake.

Brian's eyes got big and he shook his head. He helped me carry the food to the car, where we tried to find the best arrangement for minimizing jostling. You guys, I drove home so carefully. Each turn, brake, and acceleration was gentle and smooth. When we reached my house, I saw that the sauces from the boats had carefully, gently and smoothly fountained all over the backseat, other stuff in the car, and into the rivulets that hold the front seats.

Let me tell you, that was a fantastically awesome next hour or so.  The floor mats in the backseat still have some ambiguous brown stains.

2. A gallon jug of Dawn dish soap.

We've discussed this. In short, I purchased said jug of Dawn and left it in my car for several months. It opened and all the Dawn leaked into/across my backseat. One corner of the seat is still sticky and blue-green.

3. A large, full sharps container.


So, I used to work for a large mostly equine, mostly sports medicine practice before I went to vet school. They did some lameness work for the Narnia farm, which is how I got the opportunity to work there. It was fantastic! I loved it. Full marks.

One ambulatory vet at that practice had the habit of breaking open the plastic top of the sharps container in her truck so she could dump it at the clinic and avoid getting a new sharps container. This is obvs NOT what you are supposed to do with your sharps container. Anyway!  One day, this vet and I were at the Narnia farm, examining some horses until late. I was living at the clinic at the time, and she asked me to empty her full sharps container when I got back so she could go straight home.

I settled the several gallon, stuffed-to-the-gills sharps container in my backseat, and on the way to the clinic (you saw this coming) it tipped over. The broken plastic top fell off, and scads of needles, catheter stylets, spinal needles, and glass syringes (joint injections, friends) trickled into the nether regions of my backseat.

I retrieved...most of them when I got to the clinic. I found a glass syringe under the driver's seat many months after that job ended.

do not do this #1:

Hello you guys!

Unpacking is especially fun when you have feline assistance.

I found a spool of thread behind the bookcase. How might that have gotten there? Might it be the same cat that sneakily devoured all the dental treats that I got in my dentistry goodie bag?

Now that I am somewhat moved in and settled, I am exploring both the small town I've moved to and the nearby big city. I attended the Pride festival in the city, and frolicked gaily in the streets with my people. It was awesome.

In the spirit of gleeful frolicking (heh), I have a cautionary summertime tale for you:

During my senior year of college, I attended a series of tea dances.

Tea dances?


These tea dances were mid-afternoon Sunday affairs, hosted by a local queer event-organizing group on a monthly basis.

I noticed a flyer for one such tea dance on a community board at Smith, and fairly dragged Bryce along with me. A community queer event! Possibly there would be older butch dykes (mmmm, yes please)! Ladies we would never awkwardly see in class! We obviously had to attend. Bryce was unconvinced, but humored me.

That first tea dance was an epic affair. The dance was packed with a wide variety of fascinating lesbians. Shortly after arriving, I grabbed Bryce's arm, discreetly indicated a blonde, twinkly-eyed butch, and said,

"I'm going to go try to pick that one up."

Bryce stared at me. I smiled back, walked across the dance floor, and introduced myself.

We danced, made out in a nightclub some weeks later, and then decided to become friends.  Hooray!

(Later, I would realize that this moment began my change from a queer, bookish, shy person to a queer, bookish, astonishingly forward reverse cougar. Anyway!)

So, tea dances. I attended every one, intent on romancing the bashful yet absurdly attractive butches who lined the walls of the room. Oh my goodness, there were so many! I was like a small child in the bulk candy section at Wegman's, except all the sweets bins were free and at my height. WHAT.

Two or three dances in, I started to notice this one butch in particular. She was about fifty, and had jet black hair with a few silver streaks. Her arms were lithe and muscular, and she wore her shirts tucked into snug black jeans. She was from another state, and drove an hour or more to get to each dance.

We exchanged e-mails, then agreed to meet up for a breakfast picnic at Smith. The next morning, I brought her a purple flower. I was envisioning a trip to one of the dining halls, followed by a foray down to Paradise Pond. NOPE!

She asked me to get in her truck, and then started driving out into the country. We mostly sat in silence. I asked her some questions, which yielded some short answers. More silence. After about twenty minutes, I asked,

"So, where are we going?"

She turned to look at me, and said,

"I don't know."



After a little while longer, we pulled over by the side of the highway. It was at one of those rural truck stops, you know - the ones with just a pulloff and a picnic table or two.

I jumped out of the truck and sat on a picnic table. She pulled out two packaged McDonald's breakfasts and handed me one. We ate breakfast and talked a little more, maybe. The situation started to seem more normal, maybe a little.

We finished breakfast and held hands. She slid her hand down my shirt. I pulled back and told her to bring me back to school, which she did.

She came back to my room with me, and I made her some tea. We talked some more. We sat on the bed. Then we made out for the next eighteen hours.

I am actually not exaggerating.

Friends, this woman had insane amounts of stamina. There was some handsiness (I think we took our shirts off), but no buck nakedness and no hard-core fucking. We literally kissed and kissed the day and night around. It was fascinating.

At one point, Bryce insistently banged on the door to my room (so, I lived in a first floor room and my front door was adjacent to the house's front door). After the fourth or fifth knocking coupled with, "Alacrity, I know you're in there!", I pulled away from my guest and threw open the door in my jeans and bra.

Bryce said something to the effect of, "Well, fuck you!", and stormed out of the house.

(Later, she explained that she had wanted to commiserate about single life/recent breakups, only to find that I was getting some action. I told her that her response was totally understandable.)

 Around dinner time, I insisted that I was hungry. My guest insisted that she wasn't. I briefly escaped from my room, grabbed some cookies in the common room, and ravenously scarfed them. A couple of housemates grinned at me with knowing winks and chuckles (first floor room! yay!).

Finally, at 7 am the next morning, I put my foot down:

"Okay, thanks for coming over. You have to go now. I have to go to the hospital to get an MRI of my neck."

(This was actually true. I was having some weird tingling in my hands and was seeing a neurologist.)

"Oh, that's okay. I can come to the hospital with you."

"No, you can't! You have to go now. I'll talk to you later."

She drove away. I meditated on what the fuck had just happened in the peaceful cacophony of the MRI.

You guys, I am very lucky that this odd situation turned out reasonably okay for me. I had a weird, nearly 24 hour date. It was not exactly bad. It was definitely strange. My thoughts during the marathon makeout session were sort of like:

Oh wow, she is really enjoying this. Like, REALLY enjoying it. She told me she hasn't been on a date in fifteen years. I guess that's what happens to all that pent-up sexual energy! Huh. I wouldn't be into her as a girlfriend, but I think this is okay. Seeing how awesome it is for her is interesting and kind of cool. Is that wrong? I hope not.

We ended up going out once more, having an awkward we-feel-differently-about-each-other conversation, and then I spent the rest of the tea dances avoiding her with my new girlfriend.

She snuck up on me and grabbed my side (high, up by my breasts) at one dance a year or two later. I chased her down in the parking lot and told off, telling her that touching me without warning was scary and not acceptable.  

We still run into each other at Pride, sometimes. It's a little...weird.

In conclusion, do not get into a truck with someone you don't know well and allow them to drive you out into the country. Do not ignore that nagging voice in your head that tells you that something is not quite right. And if you are going to bring someone back to your room, have an exit strategy that is better and sooner than your MRI the next morning.

everything is new and different!

Hi there everyone!

Let me tell you, I am so excited to be mostly moved in.

Here are some things I have learned during this last week or so:

1. 5 drops of citrus essential oil and 5 drops of dish soap mixed in a spray bottle of water is a fairly effective spider repellent.

2. It costs $3.75 to wash a load of laundry here, compared with $2 where I last lived.

3. It is important to have your shit together when you visit the DMV. Relatedly (and, seemingly, illogically), the DMV will not take a copy of your lease as proof of your residence in your new state.

4. There are a number of ways to assemble a futon that are not correct. Most of these ways will result in the futon folding upon itself when sat upon.

5. Parking in the city is the worst part about driving into the city.

6. There is a sex shop several doors down from my landlord's office, and a head shop across the street.

7. There is a store down the street from my apartment that makes the best cupcakes in existence.

I start my internship next week. I am really excited!

exotics resident to imaging resident:

"Hey, can you ultrasound the intumescence on this trouser snake?"

surprise underwear on my pathology rotation:

As it turns out, surgical residents need to do a pathology rotation during their residency. The third year large animal surgery resident did his pathology rotation when I did mine, which was pretty awesome.

This resident - the good Dr. Marvelous - is a proper Southern gentleman. He never uses profane language, he always holds the door for women, and he gets teased mercilessly for his 'benevolent sexism' by the chiefs of service.

Now, Dr. Marvelous got along well with us hooligans, despite our rowdy behavior and tendency to say things like "fuck" and "cocksucker" from time to time. He maintained a cool demeanor throughout the rotation, with one notable exception:

It was an average Wednesday. I ran into my friend Colleen on the way to pathology, and she told me that she'd left a gift for me in my mailbox. I stopped by and picked it up as I walked to the conference room where we met each morning for necropsy readouts.  It was wrapped in shiny silver paper.

I opened the door to the aforementioned conference room, and took a seat at the table opposite a glass wall facing the diagnostic lab foyer. My rotation-mates were mostly already there, including Dr. Marvelous. As we waited for our pathology chief of service - Dr. O'Flanagan, a crotchety fellow with a keen eye for detail and a wickedly dark sense of humor - I remembered Colleen's present in my bag.

I pulled it out and unwrapped it to reveal a pair of Consent underwear!

source: tumblr

Sidenote! Here you can read more about how and why my pair of Consent underwear came to be in my hands (besides that Colleen made them).

I held them up and said, "Hey, sweet!"

Dr. Marvelous glanced up, screamed, and involuntarily recoiled from the table. When he regained his composure, his ears were a deep crimson color.

While holding my prize aloft, I looked through the glass wall into the see Dr. O'Flanagan bearing down on the conference room. I quickly buried the underwear in my lap.

All in all, it was an excellent start to the day. Nothing like a little consent to liven up pathology!