Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas 2011

Mechen was here! And we figured out a way to watch Downton Abbey, Season 2. So, in short, we had a GREAT Christmas!

Ok, it was more than just TV watching. It was great to see Mechen after a month apart. He's the most missable! He came in Thursday evening. Friday, I was on call and was fairly busy during the day but was off from 12-5 so we went out to lunch and then to the Menil Collection. We had Turkish food for lunch at Pasha, which was delicious. Then I was very happy to re-visit the Menil Collection. I like taking advantage of cultural opportunities when I can. I was called in later that evening, but done by 11 and then that was it! No overnight calls, hooray! I happily turned over the pager the next day and apart from rounding, I was free!

Mechen and I watched a ton of Downton Abbey and engaged in delicious day drinking of Christmas cocktails. On Christmas morning, we went to Church and opened presents. I got an awesome gym bag which will be much better than my huge sack I've been lugging around. We had a delicious dinner cooked by chef Whole Foods in order to avoid lots of leftovers and lazed around. Today, we watched the Christmas special and walked around Discovery Green before he left. Although I was sad to see him go, I am SO EXCITED that I will be home in 5 days!

A bunch of us are going out to Starlite for New Year's Eve. I will also get to wear my super-cute Anthro dress, hooray! I didn't wear it this weekend since the timing didn't work out to go to fancy restaurants due to special holiday hours.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Fun weekend!

I had such a fun weekend. I feel I should write it down so that when I feel like the weekend was a million years ago and I realize that it's only Monday afternoon, I'll be able to look back and get some perspective.

Friday night, I vegged out. Boring but needed.

Saturday, I killed my to-do list. I went for my long run (7.2 miles w/o music- I needed the thinking time). I also got a pedi/brows, finished ALMOST all of my notes, took an awesome nap and watched the Christmas episode of Modern Family.

Today, I went for a fast 3.8 mile run (29:17), did yoga, watched a bit of football, went to the Menil Collection (loved) and finally, say Young Adult and had Tom Yum soup for dinner. So, overall, a great weekend. Next weekend will be even better since MECHEN will be here!!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Long December

I've been thinking about making a music list from the mid-to-late 90s for the OR. It's really the time period I know best for rock music, apart from the stuff I listen to today that does not always tickle people's music loving ear. I don't know WHY- I'm talking about The National, Arcade Fire, Cold War Kids, Robyn. I think it's because part of what makes OR music tolerable for most people is some familiarity with the bands which, frankly, my uncool staff have never heard of (<-- this is tongue-in-cheek). BUT, we all like the "modern rock" of the 90s so in an effort to find ways to frivolously spend my money, maybe I'll putter around iTunes for a bit.

Last weekend, I felt a little more Christmas-y because I went to the Nutcracker with Jen. It was a great production. What I liked most was in the first act parlor scene, there were so many visual jokes and side encounters occurring. It was so clever! I loved it! We also went out to dinner afterwards which was a little bit of a bust- Jen did not like her meal and there weren't any great alternatives to her liking. I think part of the problem was she was so excited for an amazing (sounding) salmon salad on the menu, but instead of grilled salmon, it came out raw. Isn't that weird? I mean, I get it, but there was no indication on the menu that it was raw and I would assume that salmon on salads is usually grilled. Anyway, I enjoyed my plate of vegetables. I was trying to eat very "cleanly" with a vegan diet. I always feel good with unprocessed foods and more veggies, but it will always be a little bit of a phase sort of thing for me. I love all types of food too much, although my day-to-day eating is often more vegan/vegetarian based on my preferences.

This week was another week at MDA down. Lots of clinic notes left over, although not as many as the mountain from last week. I had a two good days in the OR although yesterday I was with an attending who trained at PITT, where it's well known that their OR mode is "moudus assholendai." So, my head was bitten off for a solid 1.5 hours and then at the end, I was told "great job." Sheesh. I know I do better with complaints than compliments in the OR but yesterday was bordering on the little much side of things.

This weekend, my TTD is a little mundane. I want to get everything set for my soon-arriving departure date and my even sooner-to-arrive boyfriend visiting for Christmas! Awesome! For fun, I'm planning on seeing Young Adult with Jen and Shirley. Otherwise, I'm laying low and keeping my nose clean!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Spirit!

Hey-o! I'm feeling a little more Christmas-y with my new little tree! I ordered a ready-made (Charlie Brown) tree from 1-800-FLOWERS for both Mechen and me. I love it! It's so cute. It's a teeny live tree in a pot with a potholder (ha, ha, they actually call it a "tree skirt") that has a countdown calendar with little felt ornaments for each day. My favorite part about it is the Christmas feel I get when I'm in a dark room right before bed and the Christmas lights are on. The lighting always makes me think of Christmas. And, bonus points for being a thoughtful girlfriend and getting Mechen a tree! This is a nicer way of looking at it than to point out that I once again lived out my Christmas shopping mantra, "One for you, one for me!"

Speaking of Christmas shopping, I'm going to the Mall today for family and friends gifts. I haven't done that in years but I'm looking forward to it. I have high expectations! I definitely want to cover Mom, Dad, Ed and Brady so that I can mail there stuff off overseas (I already may be too late to get it there in time). I also need to shop for Joe, Mechen and a few friends back in San Diego.

Speaking of San Diego, I am in TOTAL countdown mode at this point. I cannot wait to go back. I miss Mechen and my friends. I also want to feel part of my residency program again. I feel I've been gone for so long due to Kaiser, research and MDA. Don't get me wrong, I'm not checking out three weeks early but I'm really looking forward to moving on, closer towards the end of residency!

This week wasn't too bad. Three days in the OR plus a bonus assist on a neck dissection yesterday. It was pretty crazy- I was holding hooks for a former medical student when I was an intern. It was his case and I was happy to help (read: heckle), plus we were on our own for about two hours. Nice!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Reverb- Jan 2011

Oooo, did you hear the latest thing to hit the internet? It's called reverb and it's aim is to help reflect on the past year. Except....eeerrrccckkkk(*screeching brakes*), that was done last year and this year, it doesn't look like it even exists.

So, I'll make up my own! It'll help with regular blogging and I'll get to look over the year. Since I have no readers (holla!), it'll help reinforce my online journal status.

So, January started out- hungover. Not too badly, but definitely a little worse for wear after a fun New Year's Eve. We moved into our Cardiff apartment and were so happy to finally be living together! We had some great Craigslist finds and gradually made the place our new home. Oh, whatever, it was instantly our home because we were both there. I know this sounds incredibly cheesy but I could have been in the apartment with my Japanese futon and an upside down box and as long as he was there, I would have been so content!

But, because Mechen is a champion, we moved my stuff from Banker's Hill and found some more furniture around the neighborhood. Probably the best find was a comfy but chic armchair that Mechen really fixed up beautifully with a little TLC- covering the black paint chips and de-piling the upholstery.

I was working at Kaiser so I'm pretty sure we just stuck around North County this month. But it was bliss!

A weird question that people frequently asked was, "How IS it living together?" implying that there had to be some tough times or rough patches. Honestly and truly, there were none. Although maybe I give off a "She MUST be hard to live with" vibe? Don't answer that!


(The title is a poor written form of how I hear Adam Sandler sing "Thanksgiving" at the end of his turkey song. I have a thing for male singers who sound as if their voices are about to crack- I always whisper a silent prayer, "Oh, please don't let them crack." Ok, I don't REALLY pray. But I do stress.)

Anyway! Thanksgiving was great! Mechen came down on Wednesday night and even though his flight was super-delayed, at least I knew which airport to go to this time. I picked him up, made him wait outside on the deck while I lit 38(!) candles on his homemade cake and then I let him in while singing "Happy Birthday!" It was his birthday the day prior and I didn't really have it together to send him a card so since he was visiting a day later, we had his birthday party then. I made him a homemade German chocolate cake (delish!) and bought him a bottle of D&G The One cologne. Mmmmm, it smells incredible. And, yes, I know it's in part a gift to myself but he loves it too!

The next day, we slept until 2. Sagoy! I was SO TIRED from work and we hadn't gotten back from the airport until 1 so I can definitely believe it but I haven't slept in like that since college. I hopped out of bed, put the turkey in the oven (prepped the day before) and then, once human after coffee, we started making our Thanksgiving sides. From smitten, we made a delicious cranberry sauce. provided our stuffing recipe (amazing!), green bean casserole (burned the milk and spoiled the dish although Mechen gallantly ate some) and gravy. The mashed potatoes we winged and then the sweet potatoes were loosely based on a recipe + what I could remember from my Mom's recipe. It was a feast! The stuffing I really loved because there were little bits of greens from kale and surprise moist bites from stewed plums (read: prunes) that gave great texture and way less gross to think about than canned oysters. We ate, ate and ate. We also watched the Cowboys game, which was very exciting.

The next day, we slept in again but actually made it out and went to Benjy's for Happy Hour and a light round of appetizers. We took it easy b/c I was on call Saturday (boo), but overall, it wasn't TOO bad of a call day although busier than I wanted. Finally, we went back to Benjy's for brunch on Sunday where I had the most amazing shrimp and grits dish ever, even better than Urban Solace in SD.

We also finished the entire first season of Downton Abbey over the weekend. It was amazing and completely absorbing. I HIGHLY recommend it, even if an early 1900s English period piece doesn't seem to be your gut instinct for great viewing. And Maggie Smith's character and line delivery was tart and clever.

This past week was back to reality in a big way since I got the gift of lots and lots of clinic. I didn't write any notes b/c my presentation was on Tuesday so I was preparing for that. I spoke a little too quickly and probably could have fleshed it out a little more on the sentinel lymph node biopsy (I was told not to though since it's been covered in the past). But it was well-received and, most importantly, it's OVER!!!

This weekend, I have Friday/Sunday call. Today was spent recovering from the constant paging that marked my night and I'm about to do laundry. I did go for a run, although slower than my normal pace. My legs felt a bit heavy. Tomorrow, I'll go for a run before my shift start and then head into work for some mega-note writing. *Sigh* Hopefully next week will be a lot less clinic. Next weekend, I'm going to check out the Menil Collection, King Tut exhibit and go to the Nutcracker with Jen!