Sunday, September 28, 2008

Street fair!

I love street fairs! The music, the vendors, the people and most of all, the perfect excuse for a funnel cake! This weekend is the Normal Heights Adams Avenue Music Festival. I went yesterday and heard some great bands. I highly recommend Sara Pettite, whom you can find on iTunes. The only problem is that she sounds WAY better live. Still, I bought "Coming Home" and "Little House" and both are excellent. I also had some delicious teriyaki meat bowl and yes, a funnel cake STRAIGHT out of the fryer.

Friday, I had drinks at the Hotel Del. It's such a sweet place and had some great music but the scene was a little skeevy. There was a business party that let out and people were in the bar looking for only one thing. Well, one thing and drinks but the drinks seemed easier to procure since most people were bombed out of their minds. I was at a small table with a group so we were insulated from it with the exception of the people who have voice immodulation disorder. But it was fine- I definitely wasn't expecting a bar to be as quiet as a library. I had a great time and it was a beautiful night.

Today is catch up on work day, which always guarantees a procrastinating blog entry or two. I'm also going to check out St. Brigid's church in PB. I met a few people who go there at Ken's wedding and it seems to have a really active, fun young adult scene. I've always thought it would be pretty cool to be part of an active Church community. I see some patients from time to time who really seem to draw strength and great friendships from their spiritual life. Also, my life can be so insular and work-focused, it's nice to have my attention turned to something ever-so-slightly larger than myself. So that's at 5:30 so I can get two chapter's of Bailey's (ENT textbook) done, right? I think so as long as I say, "Silence bed! No nap for you!"

Saturday, September 20, 2008


I love the Farmer's Market. L-O-V-E! I would take lots of pictures and post them, but I can't get over my hesitation at being the creepy solo photographer with a point-and-click going around the market and invading people's private lives. I certainly don't like being the random background stranger, so why would anyone else? Of course, sometimes it can't be helped and sometimes I blatantly disregard that courtesy for the sake of pure visual awesomeness. Example: the photo ostensibly of me but really taken for the purpose of documenting the sight of the Japanese policeman in a lovely lilac head-to-toe rain suit although in the picture it comes out as powder blue, which for some reason is a slightly less funny color.

ANYWAY, the point of this post was to lament the loss of $10 of wild (but safe!) mushrooms that I was going to make into a delicious mushroom soup as soon as I could find the appropriate recipe. During that time interval, the mushrooms decided to embrace their fungi-hood, add a few species of mold on top of that and turn into an unappetizing, softened mess of yuck. Boo! I still have to get used to the fact that it's just me that I'm buying and cooking food for and it's a fine line between wanting to stock up on food so I don't have to go to the store frequently and buying too much and watching it go to waste. It was so much fun in Japan because the markets were so cool to walk through and were located in the train station by my house. And even if I got off at the closest stop without any markets, I could stop into a mini-mart and pick up a pre-made dish that was delicious and inexpensive, which is definitely a benefit of a noodle-heavy cuisine. I also am still under the illusion that I have lots of time to cook, even though I keep getting home between 7-9 at night most days of the week. But my weekends, with the exception of call, are blissfully free. For example, free to find moldy gross mushrooms on the counter. Oh well, better than the fruit-fly infested peaches I found on Tuesday!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Best week ever!

Is it overly jinx-y to have a title like that, especially since I'm on call today? Maybe, but this week at work has been totally awesome. After a few weeks of working in the O.R. with a few things thrown my way, I've done a septoplasty, a few FESSs, and a superficial parotidectomy (inferior branch). So! Awesome! I love the O.R. and it's amazing how quickly time goes when I'm actually operating as opposed to retracting or watching. I mean, those roles are important too, but it's nice to be transitioning to a more consistently active role.

Oh, and plug of the day! Heirloom tomatoes are amazing! I had a Caprice salad this morning for breakfast and the dish is amazing with a nice, ripe, tomato-y tasting tomato. I used smoked mozzarella, which was ok. I've never been the biggest fan of the smoke. But the dish was still amazing with slices of tomato and cheese topped by salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Little Plates!

I love picnics. And I love pulling together little mini-plates of snacks/treats for a meal. Living on my own, I pretty much get to eat however I want which involves a fair amount of grazing on O.R. days (must stay primed) and 3 meals and a mid-morning snack most other days. I feel like people catch me eating way out of proportion to other activities (although I'm glad they don't see me doing other things, like say, using the restroom). So, multiple people think that I eat all the time. Trust me, I could eat WAY more than I do. But then my life would revolve around sweets, being uncomfortably full, and weighing at least 10 pounds more than I do.

So, this morning, I had my Kashi cereal and then a few hours later, had the most delicious snack plate of olives, cheese, sundried tomatoes and crackers. I found this awesome stand last Sunday at the Farmer's Market where I got 0.5 lb of mixed olives, a container of sundried tomatoes, and a fair sized wedge of smoked mozzarella for $15. Score! I still have some left- it's amazing how many olives fit into half a pound. Some of my other favorite mini-meals are...

* Mini-toasts, fig spread, and manchego cheese. This is a Whole Foods delight that I haven't had in awhile. But Manchego cheese is my cheese boyfriend. That's how much I love it.

* Trader Joe's crackers (amazing. blanking on the brand but I will take a photo), light cream cheese, and sliced raw salmon. The tasting lady had this one day and my tastebuds were tickled!

Also, I was re-reading some older posts and I realized I mentioned swimming in La Jolla cove as an activity on my San Diego to-do list. Well, no more! I did it last weekend. And I was petrified. The arms of kelp coming out of the gloomy water were so!scary! I could see about 10 feet and then EEEEEPPPPPP! Another arm of kelp. I chilled out a little bit but I realized how much I hate open bodies of water I can't see things in. And if a seal had come near me, I probably would have passed out from fear. Or become petrified like a tree in the petrified forest causing me to sink like a stone. Although I was thinking of seals in terms of the potential off-chance that maybe there was a killer seal who developed a taste for human blood.

But I swam half a mile. I think it's an OTO (one-time-only) thing. Later in the week, I swam in the pool. It was much more relaxing. It's so funny- I love the outdoors, but I can be the biggest scaredy cat. I try and face my fears but sometimes, I need to know when I'm semi-beat. Although I did tell my roomie I'd go swimming with her at some point. I think I can handle that. I'd be a lot less scared if I know I have a 50% reduced chance of being the one eaten by the blood-thirsty seal.

[Clarification: I do not want my roomie to get eaten by a blood-thirsty seal in place of me or due to random chance. It's just two against one is a way better situation in the treacherous waters of La Jolla cove.]

[Clarification, part 2: La Jolla cove is a family-friendly place where many people swim. And kayak. And boat. And snorkel. I do not believe anyone has ever been eaten by a seal. But still.]


Last night, I went to a wedding reception. Read: not a wedding. That happened earlier in the afternoon and I couldn't leave work but that evening, there was a terrific party for the good Dr. Ken and his lovely wife Linnea. Ken is a friend of mine from the Kitty Hawk and it was so much fun to go to a party with people I know in San Diego. Well, actually I only knew one person when I got there but I met a lot of their awesome friends throughout the night.

I was on call so I kept an eye on my pager but no calls. Yay! And even though I didn't initially feel like dancing, I summoned up the energy and had a great time. Sometimes it's hard on a Friday night to shake off the work week, you know?

And I have a new favorite song! "Wonderful Day" by O.A.R. Now, I've never been much of an O.A.R. fan b/c I lumped them into the "frat rock" genre of music but I think I have to reconsider. At the very least, this song is one of the happiest & jauntiest I've heard in awhile.

And then if you want another fun song, "Low" by Flo rida is so awesome to dance to. Listen to it and don't dance, I dare you! At the very least, it's going to make an awesome addition to a workout mix. Got to fit into those Applebottom Jeans, you know?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Movie: Vicky Cristina Barcelona

The new Woody Allen movie is...alright. I thought it was a good movie, but not so overwhelming that I need to encourage anyone and everyone to get out there right!now! and see it.

The story starts with two ingenues, touristas Americanas, as Penelope Cruz states scathingly later in the movie. The theme is love and and its impact on life, mostly in how it can completely destabilize even the best laid plans (Vicky) and how it can lead to continual transience and search for the true thing (Cristina). The two women are a little too archetypal for my tastes, but it is a nice, if not the most original, conceit.

The highlight of the movie is Penelope Cruz and to a lesser extent, Javier Bardem. Penelope Cruz plays an unstable artist with self-proclaimed genius that is most likely a true claim. Her outbursts and rage have a constant undercurrent of frustration- something is missing, something can't be expressed. This yearning for completion underscores many of Cruz's scenes and the emotional state underlying her outbursts is complex and nuanced.

Javier Bardem plays a man in love with three women and never one at a time. His suffering comes from his inability to be with the one he is supposed to be with simply because in the end, they can't be together. Very tortured.

The lighting in the movie is beautiful, as is the setting. But then, I'm rather partial to most things Spanish.

In the end, it seems the message is that in order to find happiness, you need to know the unknowable. While my view on love isn't quite so doomed from the start, it's a good movie that is a pleasant watch.

Friday, September 5, 2008


For how complex life is, it's funny how certain things can fit into relatively tidy boxes. I feel that I am pretty good at compartmentalizing, mostly b/c my life seems to consist of little Acts (like a play). Most of it centers on places I lived as a child, then I move on to my varying stages of schooling- high school, college, med school. Then Kitty Hawk time and now I'm in my newest phase, Residency.

Why do I bring this up? Because I spent a good part of the day cutting on dead people. Isn't that weird? I mean, it's totally essential for surgical training (do NOT believe the hype about 100% simulation, it's doggie doo). But really, dead people. I most certainly do not see dead people in the rest of my day-to-day existence and I must confess, I would be more than a little FREAKED!OUT! if I did. But in the lab. No biggie. For the most part. Occasionally there's a whiff I just can't shake. But I'm doing well now. Why? B/c I'm home, relaxing, thinking about how awesome life is, and looking forward to tomorrow when I get to repair fractures that staff inflicted. Well, maybe not the waking up at 6:30 on a Saturday bit, but the plating? Awesome.

Monday, September 1, 2008


So my roommate and Bluey were introduced yesterday. Bluey is my car- my bright tomato red Hyundai Accent. She's named Bluey after a 1960's Cadillac I saw in the parking lot of Army-Navy Country Club with a "BLUEY" vanity plate. I loved the name, so I promptly stole it.

It fits b/c Bluey is a little retro, as my roomie found out (she drives a car that is just a scoosh above Bluey in the niceness factor). Not only are the manual locks and windows totally styling, but Bluey also has a tape deck. Yes. It's true. And the car is a 2005! And guess what I just bought on Amazon? A cassette converter so I can plug my Diskman in and play cds. Just kidding, it's for my iPod. But still, hip to electronics I am not. Just two days ago, I temporarily broke my beeper since I hooked it to my shirt and ran to work. Well, apparently sweat and beepers don't mix. Who knew? Definitely not me. But it's better now after I used the blow dryer for a bit. All that's left now is to drop it in a toilet then wash it off in a sink. Oh, and maybe work out more often so that a 2 mile run is not at the exertion level of "Sweat until you break a beeper."