Tuesday, January 31, 2012

3-4-5 keep the diaphragm alive!

Just breathe! Not that things have been overly stressful lately but my schedule's been pretty packed and there have been a few late nights at work.

To catch up...

Right after Wicked Spoon.  This is posed, but still!
Vegas was so much fun but my friend Brooke was right, two days is enough! We stuffed ourselves almost to the point of being ill at Wicked Spoon. The food was delicious and we were starving since it was two and we hadn't eaten apart from a split breakfast pastry. We had also worked out. So when we sat down to eat, we WAY overshot our stomachs' comfort zones. Holy hell, I felt so full.

O was amazing. I loved the show and the athleticism and amazing ability of the performers was unreal. There was an amazing solo trapeze artist. There was an awesome scene with three back-and-forth swings that performers kept launching off of into the pool. The high divers took my breath away since I would be SO SCARED to ever dive off of a 10m platform. Fun fact: I didn't pass the "advanced beginner" swim class for months because I was so scared to dive from a standing position. From the pool edge! Scaredy cat younger me!
Outside the Bellagio

There was another neat scene where this ship in the air was like a big back-and-forth swing and there were several trapeze artists on it. I really loved the show and I am definitely a seat snob now. Even though good seats cost money, they are worth it! Mom and Dad got the tickets for Brady and I as combo birthday gifts which was really sweet of them (and generous!). We called them the next day and really, who calls her parents from Vegas?  This girl!

Everything was decorated for Chinese New Year, especially this flower child we named Mr. Bedonk-a-donk!
See!  Total Bedonk!
That night, we went to Marque night club then played 25 cent roulette until 0630. Hello, problem alert! We lost a fair bit of money on the $5 real table so we were nursing our wounds on the 25 cent from then on out. On those machines by the end of the vacation, we broke exactly even. Le sigh. Gambling is not for me!

We are in Paris now!
We are le cranky and le tired!  But still in Vegas, so rally!
 That day, we were both a teeny bit cranky from lack of sleep. We went to Mon Ami Gabi for breakfast, walked around the Bellagio, hung out at the pool and went to the Cosmopolitan one last time. We took our flight home and I was le pooped! Overall, really fun but a place that I only need in small doses.

That next week, took two pilates classes and had a Super Bowl party. I made healthy potato skins, baked chicken wings, oven fried carnitas and delicious Guinness cupcakes with Bailey's frosting. Oh, yum! And the game was great. Several of my friends came over. That whole weekend, I wasn't called in once- hooray!

This past week was another busy one but lots of great laser cases in the OR. I'll have a total of 3 SPX classes this week (the third is tomorrow) and one 6 mile run (today). I need to get Barry's back into my schedule. I have excuses but I need to make it work!

Tomorrow, Mechen and I are taking a San Diego stay-cation. We're going to the Pearl hotel for the night and I cannot wait. Mechen and I have not spent enough time together recently and I need some quality time with my guy! Granted, he's been on a business trip this week so there's a reason but still...I'm excited for our getaway!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas

I love Brandon Flowers and I love Las Vegas! Brady and I arrived last night on a 7 o'clock flight from SD. We took a shuttle, aka mini-Strip tour, to the Bellagio which is pretty awesome! We checked in and headed out for dinner because we were hungry!

We headed over to the Cosmopolitan b/c while the Bellagio is beautiful and pretty awesome, it's a little old with regards to the vibes we were getting from the restaurants. We went to The China Poblano, a restaurant by Jose Andres. I had two delicious margaritas and we split some awesome dim sum and a DELICIOUS queso fundido. Then we walked around, tried to see the fountains (which were off for the night) and met two guys from Sweden that we hung out for a bit before turning in at 2 a.m! Sagoy!

I'm happy we stayed up so late b/c I want to be on Las Vegas time for tonight. We are going to see O, have dinner and then head out to a nightclub- maybe Marquee at the Cosmopolitan?

Today is already off to a great start since we worked out at the hotel gym. I'm so happy that I did b/c I hadn't run all week so it was nice to keep up my conditioning although I felt a little on the dehydrated/sweating alcohol side of the things. But I got some good intervals in at 8.5/9.5 every 3 minutes for 24 minutes. This week was light on the workouts- I had a SPX/4 mile run double workout on Sunday then nothing until SPX Friday morning.

Now, we're showering up to head out to buffet land. It's amazing how Las Vegas feels like a cruise ship- shows, food everywhere and casinos randomly in the middle of things so you have to walk through.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Week 2/3

I'm not sure if I'm in love with the numbered week format, but at least it will keep me semi-honest in trying to update things regularly. The last post highlighted what we did in week 2. Add a little football on Sunday and that about wraps it up.

This past week was pretty standard. I've been doing really well with making my workouts and I am really loving SPX Pilates. It's a total ass-kicker though but I feel so much stronger and toned, even after ~8 classes. I'm really interested to see if that whole Joseph Pilates quote is true- paraphrased "feel better in 10, look better in 20, new body in 30." I'll definitely keep you posted.

Last night, Mechen, Shelby, Zheng and I went to Whisknladle for restaurant week. I love that restaurant. It was really delicious although really rich- my stomach hurt last night. I think all the buttery deliciousness of my Steelhead trout dish did me in. But it was so fun to have a couple double date.

Tonight, we're going to a Chinese New Year's party. Tomorrow is brunch club at Urban Solace followed by some more football. I'm on call for Super Bowl weekend but I may still host a Super Bowl party anyway!

Saturday, January 14, 2012


I am so excited! Brady got into medical school! We celebrated last night on my parents (thanks Mom and Dad) at Jake's in Del Mar. It was a beautiful restaurant and such an awesome location. I got flowers delivered to the table to surprise Brady which was a teeny bust since she thought they were part of the restaurant decor and not specifically for her! Ha, ha, fail!

I had brunch on last Sunday at The Farmhouse Cafe, which was a lot of fun. We talked about many things but one of them was Coachella. I was a little bummed at the list that Coachella had released. Don't get me wrong, there are definitely some good bands on there but for me, there were about 2-3 "must-see" bands. That's a little too low for me and while I know it shows that I am not super hip-to-the-scene (truly, would someone cool even use those words?), I didn't want to only discover new bands. Mechen tried to buy tickets yesterday anyway just in case but as it turns out, the decision was made for us since it was sold out in less than two hours and he didn't get through. I'm definitely SO glad I went last year b/c the lineup was amazing and I've always wanted to go but even last year, I never felt like I had to make it an annual pilgrimage.

This week was more hectic than I was anticipating but things are going really well at work, plus I'm trying to keep a little work-life balance and get home at a reasonable time. I've also been doing well with exercise classes. I did have an extra two drinks this week (mimosa at brunch and mid-week glass of wine), but I'll get back on track this week. This week is all about restaurant week! I'm so excited. I was planning on two restaurants but maybe I'll just keep next Friday's reservation at Whisknladle since we ate out last night.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Week in Review, #1

I had my first week back! Work is going well- I had one day in the OR and one day in the clinic so teeny baby steps back into the San Diego Oto world. Friday academic conferences went well with me running the tumor board conference.

I started on my New Year's exercise plan. I'm going to workout 5-6 times a week with a combination of SPX Pilates and Barry's Bootcamp. I'm pretty excited to see what my results will be since I get awesome interval cardio workouts and strength training without lifting heavy weights that cause me to bulk up.

I'm also limiting my alcohol to two events a week. This is all part of my "9 in 90" plan, which is a set of 9 goals that I want to accomplish before my 32nd birthday. One of the goals has to do with weight loss and I'm really excited about my current strategy because I think it will deliver! In addition, purchasing the classes was definitely an investment and I don't want to squander my money by doing these awesome workouts and then eating terribly or drinking the calories back.

This week, Mechen and I went out to Kensington Grill on Wednesday and Blue Ribbon Pizzeria Friday. At KG, we split a bottle of Consilience Cabernet, although some was brought home. We had buffalo tater tots that were not as good as their original recipe but still, the plate was emptied. I felt a little gross because they were like hush puppies- more fat grams in them then they actually weighed! Or so it seemed. We also shared a bruschetta plate and mussels.

At BRP, we shared the albacore crudo plate (swoon!), followed by two pizzas- the Whole Hog and the Signature. Leftovers here too, but it had been so long and we each wanted our respective favorite pizza.

Last night, we went to Chorus Karaoke in Kearny Mesa which was fun. I love singing although my range has definitely decreased over the years. It was a fairly early night but I feel awesome this morning (lots o' sleep and no alcohol drinking will do that!). I'm off to SPX now and then brunch with my lady friends!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2011 Wrap-Up

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
I went sailing. I became competent at neck dissections. I lived in North County.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

There’s a blog post with “New Year’s Resolutions” in the title but oddly, none are mentioned in the text. I did increase the number of blog posts, which I’m really happy about. I just re-read them now and it brought back so many memories of the last year. I loved it! That is definitely enough motivation to keep that one going in 2012. Although, clearly, it’s not like I was that great at posting frequently, just better.

My goals for 2012 are a mix of old and new. I want to restart my Spanish podcast lessons while I commute and do the Destinos series once the inservice is over. Mechen and I are going to take salsa lessons. I also want to take sailing lessons. I want to keep “brunch club” going at least once a month. I need to study more (I was bad, especially during MDA). I would like to learn how to play a competent game of beach volleyball. After the inservice/during research, I’m going to look up lessons at Mission Beach. There are more details but this answer is getting too long. But I have action plans on my planner!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes! Gisele gave birth to her second son. Mechen’s brother and sister-in-law had their third child together just a few days ago.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

5. What countries did you visit?
Iceland, Denmark

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
More vacation time that I can actually use. I know, whah, whah. But there are some big trips I can’t wait to go on that would be best if I could take two weeks in a row instead of a measly week. But this might have to wait until 2013 and the end of residency.

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Hmm, I don’t have the exact number date but I will remember when Mechen and I moved to Cardiff in Jan 2011. 4/2/11 was my 30th birthday revisited and the best birthday yet! 9/4/11 was one of the most idyllic days of my life when my family and Mechen went on our Hven day trip.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
In terms of singular events, completely and 100% rocking the inservice exam.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Mmmmmm, I don’t think I failed anything or anyone. There’s always room for improvement in some of my lesser traits, such as inefficient use of my time and occasional complacency.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
No, apart from a bad hangover this Summer after drinking cheap vodka (as my attending asked: “Why? Never drink cheap vodka.”). Hmm, I might put that down as part of my answer for #27. I also tweaked my shoulder, which really took awhile to right itself.
Overall, I’m really lucky.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Plane tickets for our Summer vacation, an AMAZINGLY smoking hot dress from Anthro. As someone who rarely feels that way in clothes, it was a find! Oooo, and I finally got a pair of Ray-ban aviator-ish sunglasses that are pretty awesome.
The Anthro dress.  Not the best picture but it's the one I've got!

12. Where did most of your money go?
Plane tickets, travel, rent, dining out.

13. What did you get really excited about?
Living with Mechen, being done with Kaiser and MDA and feeling like residency actually WILL end at some point. I mean, I love my job but I am starting to really look forward to being done with residency.

14. What song will always remind you of 2011?
“Royal Blue” by Cold War Kids and “Magdalena” by Brandon Flowers. I listened to these two songs all the time.

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:

– happier or sadder? Happier, although I certainly wasn’t starting from a bad place

– thinner or fatter? Thinner, yay! This is after Mechen and my “Just because we live together doesn’t mean we can get fat" diet earlier this year. Plus, I lost a few more pounds during my MDA rotation.
richer or poorer? Richer. Yay, automated saving into accounts I can’t touch (IRA-R, TSP)!

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Less brain drain internet surfing. I need to unlearn jezebel’s domain name.

18. How did you spend Christmas?
With Mechen in Houston, day-drinking and watching Downton Abbey, Season II. So awesome. We also threw in a little church too, which is something I’d like to continue this year as a couple (more church, I mean- not just on Christmas).

19. What was your favorite TV program?
Downton Abbey, hands-down. Runner Up: Modern Family, mostly b/c of Cam

20. What were your favorite books of the year?
This was not a big reading year. Bossypants by Tina Fey, The Magician's Assistant by Ann Patchett and The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides were three books I had higher expectations for than were actually met.

21. What was your favorite music from this year?
I loved going to Coachella- that was an amazing concert experience. From there, I got really into Cold War Kids, Brandon Flowers and Robyn.

22. What were your favorite films of the year?
I don’t watch many movies, but Inception was quite good. [EDITED: Ooooo! I really liked The King's Speech too!]

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
31. Mechen made by birthday so incredibly special. And then I had a birthday brunch the next day with my friends.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I can’t think of anything. I feel like my life is constantly progressing, but I don’t feel like this translates into lacking anything.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
Scrubs and professionally disheveled hair with my own punctuated equilibrium of the occasional great haircut. Outside of work, I feel like I’m coming into my own. I love boatneck collars and Naya shoes.

26. What kept you sane?
Reminding myself how lucky I am. Ever since taking care of wounded soldiers as an intern, I have been so incredibly grateful for all that my health has given me- the ability to walk, wipe my own rear end, be of sound mind. Typed out, this seems a little flippant but trust me, after seeing young men who don’t have these things, it makes me so grateful for everything I have.

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.
Don’t drink cheap vodka.