It's the most wonderful time of the year

428 courts. 40 city blocks 6725 teams. 26656 players. 14000 games. 200,000 fans.

Driving through Spokane during the year, you may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of what is to come. A warehouse parking lot off of Freya. A back lot near Red Lion Barbecue. Lines upon lines of basketball backboards. The bright orange hoops aren't attached, but any true Spokanite knows what they are. As the days tick on into late June, those backboards start their great migration downtown. Loaded on flatbed trucks, slowly and carefully, the beauties make their way to the many downtown streets that will soon be transformed. You roll your window down because you hear music coming from outside. Looking up you see speakers on light poles block after block after block. You can only hope that the loop of music is longer than an hour. You are stopped at a light on Riverside, and in your rear view mirror you see a noisy, slow moving pack of forklifts. They scurry over to the truck; gracefully each and every backboard is unloaded. Continuing down the street you notice more and more parking meters with orange bags over them and more and more hoops taking the place of where cars should be. Your heart beats a little faster because it is just so close.

The last Friday in June brings complete and utter transformation. Parking meters shut down. Roads closed come early afternoon. Volunteer upon volunteer swarms the streets. Yellow tape. White tape. Hoops on backboards. Food tents up. Shaved ice stands rolled into place. First aid tents strategically placed. Not always visible from the street, even more is going within Riverfront Park. Bleachers up. Sport Court down. Hundreds of brackets pinned to large, black billboards. Garbage cans, recycling bins dot every street corner and open space. Then you hear them. Bounce. Bounce. Bouncing rim. It never hurts to get a little more practice in before Saturday starts. As the sun goes down Friday, players make their way home. Looking down Main, it is backboards as far as the eye can see. The sun fades on the rims as the butterflies can't help but take their place in your stomach. You can't sleep. It really is like Christmas Eve.

Up early. Gatorade - check. (Somewhat) healthy snacks - check. Water - check. Throw in a few extra shirts, some towels, and your shades. It will be too hard to park with 40 blocks shut down, so you start walking down the hill. A few cars quietly pass by, but you are in the zone. The butterflies have made their way to your throat. By the time you reach McDonalds on 3rd you can hear it - whistles, yells, clapping, gasping, cheers. You can't help but pick up your pace. And now you can see it. The sidewalks are jammed. Mom wrangling little ones, dads huddling their teams, kids passing the ball off the building. Court upon court of players. For some this is their 1st; others - their 21st. Some are hear just for fun, some are a little more competitive. All however are hear for the same reason: because they love basketball.

This, my friends, is HOOPFEST!!!!!


Becky, M4

Whoop! I guess I shouldn't say that quite yet seeing as how I don't know if I passed the internal medicine shelf yet or not, but.........done with M3 year!!!! I am not back in Spokane with my mom and dad. The last few weeks of cardio were not too bad. We got our list down from 22 patients to 10. It was marvelous. Rounds actually concluded before lunch allowing us teaching time in the afternoon. I learned quite a bit during this rotation, but it also scared me that in a little over a year I am going to actually have some power. I am going to be the one signing those orders and not just writing them for the interns. I will be the one deciding one what medication to give and can't just say "will discuss with staff" in my SOAP note. Crazy. I guess we all get through it together, and we all have to start somewhere. Anesthesia starts July 6th I chose to take these 2 weeks off and am very glad I did. So much wedding stuff to do!

Following the Shelf exam I worked out of course and then waited for Matt to get home from summer school. He teaches one class from 1130 to 230 5 days a week. He only has 16 kids in the class, and many of them are actually smart kids who are trying to get ahead in their schedule. Only a few of them are delinquents, which is a good thing. Teaching summer school in fact has been a good thing for Matt. It keeps him out of trouble. After Matt came home we joined some of his colleagues for happy hour. Following that we met up with my classmates at Surfside Club in Omaha. Now, don't let the name fool you. It isn't fancy by any means. In fact, people have been known to see many a moon rising off of the Missouri river from passing boats if you know what I mean. They have 2 options....fried chicken or fried catfish. Each comes with fries and fritters. The weather had come together perfectly to give us quite a lovely evening. No the Missouri River isn't the cleanest, prettiest river, but for a while there I didn't feel as if I were in Omaha. It was great.

Happy Father's Day to all fathers out there. Speaking of which, this is the 100th anniversary of this splendid day, which was, in fact, started in Spokane. Way to go Spokane!


Oh the insanity

Things aren't actually that insane, I just don't make the time to update. I am currently waiting for my lunch to arrive at Panera, so this is a perfect opportunity. 3. more. days. So close to being done I can taste it. Or that is just my oh so delicious asian chicken salad. Either way, I have 3 days of internal medicine left. I finally feel like I am starting to learn things. More for the shelf than for real life hospital work, but still. This test though is a beast of a test. It is pretty much all the clinical aspects of Step 1. Tons of organ systems. Tons of little criteria to memorize. It is painful. Hence why I am at Panera. It was sort of nice (yet lonely) having Matt gone this week because it really allowed me to study more hours than I normally do when he is around. I have also eaten way more healthy than we normally do. Weird. Matt comes back tomorrow! Yay!

I really haven't done much other than study and workout since the last time I updated. My friend and teammate from college has just moved to Omaha, so it will be good to add another non-medicine person to hang with. That was bad grammar. Sorry.

In some semi-sad news, my mom has to have knee surgery. She seems of have torn her meniscus. Can't remember when or how, but the doc confirmed it with MRI. Surgery will likely be the same day as my Shelf. I told her she is going to have to walk from the surgery center door to the car because that is what she made me do after mine. At least this way she will have to take it easy and sit down when we go look at wedding dresses. Maybe that will keep her more calm. I am painting her in a scary mother of the bride light, which I shouldn't. A) because she could be reading this. B) because she has actually been awesome. She is making all those phone calls I don't want to make and isn't pressuring me to do anything. Yay! Other than date and location, nothing has been decided. So don't ask. I've been busy!!!!!!!


June Hath Sprung

Meaning I need to start studying. Enough about school though

It is official! Moving out of our apartment! Not until the end of July, but the lease to our new place has been signed. A 2bed 2 bath about 1.5 miles from our place now. It isn't that we hate our apartment or that we love moving in the heat of summer. Really, the residents of our complex have taken a turn for the worse. More sketchy people hanging out at night. 3 of our 4 neighbors are HEAVY smokers...and not just the legal kind. We love our location, but if you are paying a bit of money, you deserve better than coming home to a smoke filled hallway.

Matt is done with school! And I hate him for it. I have 11 mornings left. And fewer afternoons. Pumped! My 2 weeks off are going to be crazy busy, but I am up for it. Okay. Sleepy time.