Friday, November 23, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, or at this point, Happy Fakesgiving!  I don't usually reflect on the year at Thanksgiving (that's usually a January and July thing for me), but I have so much to be thankful for and I'm so happy with where I am in my life.  I am so thankful for the love of my family and friends, my health, the fulfillment and education I get from my job and being on my own to pursue self-growth.  Granted, my personal life is in a markedly different place than where I thought I would be in a few short months ago I am! And truly, I feel lucky, blessed and happy!

Thanksgiving Day was spent thinking about working out, cooking, rounding at work and heading over to Shelby and Zen's for a fantastic feast!  Zen made a great turkey and the sides were provided in pot-luck style.  There were several cranberry sauces, Amy's delicious corn pudding, sweet mashed potatoes and rolls.  I brought stuffing, mashed potatoes, KY bourbon sweet potatoes and some Julian pies.  We watched the Redskins-Cowboys game, which had a great 4th quarter and hung out.  Then I thought about working out again (ha, ha) and ended up going to bed early.

Today, Matt, Bryon and I had a Fakesgiving at the house.  We made the following-
Gravy (pan drippings stirred with a "roux" of flour and pan drippings, simmer until thick)
Cranberry Suace w/Ginger (minus the orange)
Mashed Potatoes (mashed with half-n-half, butter, sour cream)
KY Bourbon sweet potatoes but with a pecan praline crumble on top
Green Bean Casserole
Matt's Pecan Pie

It was really fun to hang out with my roomies and everyone enjoyed the meal.  It was also amazing and tonight, I had my leftover sandwich on delicious sourdough!  Hooray!  All my Thanksgiving culinary check boxes complete!  Tomorrow, I start a diet- Thanksgiving was a great break/treat but I need to get ready for HI and be able to fit in my clothes!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Keeping It Real!

I had all these aspirations of blogging more often I am, at my normal qweek interval.  It's better than where I was previously though so slow, micro-improvements are ok!
On Tuesday evening, I had a blind date.  We met for wine at Wine Steals.  It was fine.  No real chemistry but he was nice enough.  More importantly, it was good for me to go on a date where it's ok to acknowledge (not explicitly for heaven's sakes, but you know) that there's no chemistry despite the other person being very nice and probably not a serial killer.

On the 14th, I went to Trivia night with the Mercy crew.  Our team was S'Avant Garde and we were awesome.  5th place awesome, but still.  It was a ton of fun.  The categories were current events, Nicholas Cage, Tea, Deaf Culture, College Basketball and picture round.  This was my first trivia night ever and I'm so glad I went!

Winner!  (+ Golden Spoon!)
On the 15th, I had a banner day.  I won the chili cook off at work!  9 entrants and I am the W-I-N-N-E-R!  Hooray.  I made a bacon chipotle monstrosity.  I fully acknowledge that the bacon let me win.  Although several people liked the smokiness of the chipotle.  I was also a poor winner since I had to rub it in to all the haters and prior smack-talkers!  Since I had a new golden spoon, I could shake it vigorously!

That night, I made it a weekday spa night.  I got my hair done by the excellent Audrey at Gypsy Doll.  I was a little more courageous with the bangs and went for it.  They look awesome!  I also picked up a gold sequin dress that fits really well and was $20 (vintage)!  I then headed over to Va-Va-Varnish in East Village.  *LOVE!*  It was so clean and cute but even better, the products were awesome!  Nice polishes and the lotions felt great during and after!  I am definitely going back!

Friday, I went to Seven Grand, a pretty awesome whiskey bar in North Park.  I had grapefruit juice and soda since I was on call, but I got to hang out with Shelby, Zen, Robbie, Jenna and two of Jenna's friends, one of whom acted single but...was not.  What a dirtbag.  Seriously, what is wrong with guys sometimes?  Although he was kind of strange, the rest of the group was awesome and we had a great time.  I also saw my cousin Jim, which was pretty random.

Korean BBQ, cooking
Saturday was packed in the afternoon evening.  I went to Manna Korean BBQ and karaoke for Ryon's birthday, which was awesome and definitely an experience.  The I went to Station and WhistleStop.  Again no drinking but I had so much fun.  I like to drink, but it's definitely not necessary.  The only thing I notice is that my nights tend to end a little earlier because I'm aware of getting sleepier and/or a tiny bit bored.

Manna Korean BBQ

More Korean BBQ, very pigglie wigglie!

Sunday was super mellow, as was Monday.  I did a pretty awesome mastoidectomy; actually, I did two!  So, that was a good day.  Last night, I went out to Barrio Star and had delicious margaritas, mini-tacos and tortilla soup.  DELICIOUS!  Tonight, I'm going back to trivia night.  I'm feeling like a winner!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

LA weekend!

I had such a fun weekend!  I need to remember how much fun four day weekends can be, especially when I'm working the next two Federal holidays!

My weekend was slightly elongated since I combine work & play this weekend.  I left Thursday afternoon for Loma Linda so that I would be ready to attend my Supracricoid laryngectomy course  on Friday.  Brooke and I travelled together since she had a speech pathology conference at the same location.  It was great to drive with a friend, for both the company and the carpool lane!

We arrived in Loma Linda and spent the night in the hotel room that was provided for the resident course so free lodging!  Even though the bed was small, it still felt great to save money!

The course itself was great.  Excellent lectures and lots of time in the anatomy lab.  I felt like a did a nice job on my dissection and I worked with a PGY-4 and PGY-1 from LLU.  That night, Brooke and I ate at Wild Rocket in Redlands, where she made fun of my chatting with the bartender.  Then we went to the movies and watched "Flight."

The next day, we "slept in" until 8, then got ready and went to LA Live to watch the Williams-Amherst game!  The Amherst folks definitely outnumbered the Williams crowd and they won (because Amherst is full of dirty cheaters ;).  The game viewing was hosted at LA Live in the ESPN Zone party room.  It was right next to where everyone was lined up for the Twilight premiere.  That was three days away.  Yes, people were camping out for Twilight.  OMG.

After the game, where we saw Dr. Drew (an Amherst alum), Brooke and I headed to LACMA based on Johanna's recommendation.  What an awesome museum!  I talked my way into the member's preview of the Caravaggio exhibit (the sign at admissions said it was open that day!  For everyone, I assumed incorrectly!).  We also saw some more contemporary art like Klee, Sam Francis and Georges Braque.  I loved going to that museum- it was great!  There were also a line of food trucks out front which looked delicious although we weren't hungry.

Levitated Rock
Later that afternoon!

Actual 10 segment piece of Berlin Wall, W. Germany side

East Germany Side, Graffiti/Artwork added in America.
East Germans were not allowed to access the Wall.

LACMA front

Interactive art with lots o'germs, likely

That night, I went to Mumford & Sons after picking Jenny and Steffani up at the train station.  We had the best time!  We had a sushi picnic in the partially finished hotel lobby.  The sushi place was packed, so we placed a to-go order, bought booze, picked up our food (and drank one of our beers while we waited- classy!) and ate at the hotel, which is currently being renovated.  It was so much fun.  We missed the openers, but were there in time for Mumford and Sons.  They were great.  We spent most of our time sneaking up front, which was worth it!
Hotel Lobby Sushi Picnic!
Sushi Picnic Close-Up

Original Seats!

Much better
The next morning, I felt a little worse for wear but drank water, took ibuprofen and made it out to the FESS course.  The highlight was drilling a respectable modified Lothrup dissection!  I felt very advanced.  After the course, I went back to LA and Jenny and I went out to dinner at Osteria Mamma and had dessert at Cafe Gratitude.  No Jason Mraz sightings, unfortunately.

The next day, we went to Toast for brunch and then met up with Brooke and her sister for the TMZ celebrity tour.  It was a little cheesy but fun to do.  Highlights included seeing two Backstreet Boys in their car while driving around and a hungover girl on the bus puking over the side.  That was more gross than anything, but still, a deviation from the standard tour (I think/hope).  After that, we went to lunch at Grub where I had a delicious salad with a side of crack bacon.  Then I picked up my tickets for the 11/12 show (which I thought was the night prior since I can't read a calendar) and scalped them to a nice woman who really wanted to go!  It was sad to let those tickets go, although the profit took some of the sting away.

Then I made it home, did laundry and went to bed.  It was an awesome weekend with great sights and even better friends.

Catching Up!

Game night was a lot of fun.  This time, instead of a lot of lying, we played Apples to Apples.  Each person had cards with a noun and adjective.  The person who was running the round would pick an adjective and then everyone threw in a noun for the best and worst match.  I thought I had some good choices but I didn’t win any rounds and once I got the worst.  Whah.

Halloween was great.  We went and saw Grace Potter & the Nocturnals at House of Blues.  It was a great show.  They really sounded different live but in a great way.  Still very musical but lots of riffs and jams that weren’t insufferable, as that stuff can sometimes morph into.  “Oasis”, “Paris (Ooo La La)” and “Medicine” were highlights, as were their covers which included “Rocket Man,” “Black Hole Sun” and “Paint It Black.”  The “Kissing Bandit” emerged, who’s one of my friends that tends to get makey-out face on when she drinks.
Halloween costumes!

House of Blues

Grace Potter!  So cool!

The next day, I was supposed to meet someone for coffee but someone proved to be flake-tastic, but I did get more Cafe Calabria beans.  Why oh why do I sometimes toy with the idea of giving up coffee- it’s so good!

On Friday, Jenny and I went out after I finally got my key back.  She had taken it to lock the door behind her and Brooke on Thursday a.m. and Thursday she forgot to give it to me and Friday, she gave me a look-a-like, wrong key.  So, she came down to SD and we went out to Isola in Little Italy and then dancing at The Office.  It was all so much fun and completely unplanned.
Isola in Little Italy

On Saturday the 3rd, I ran in the Color Run.  It was fun, but much cooler in concept than implementation.  They definitely maximize registration for profits and the color stations are not super-well staffed so you have to go out of the way to get the color talc on you.  Also, the logistics of participating in a 5 K aren’t worth it unless I can walk to it (like a Balboa Park run!).  I was with a really great group and that was awesome to hang, but it’s definitely an OTO (one time only) thing for me.
Post-Color Run at URBN, North Park

Then that night, I made the rounds.  First, I went to Banker’s Hill Bar and Restaurant for Zen’s birthday then I headed to Wine Steals in Point Loma for Suzi’s 40th birthday.  Both were so fun and I got to see so many friends and celebrate birthdays, which I love to do!  I ended up at the Shout House to see some girls I roomed with on the Mercy.  Dueling pianos- so fun.  It once again made me wish I could play the piano better!

The next day, I met up with some friends for Farmhouse Cafe brunch.  Delicious and I got to see a friend whom I haven’t seen in awhile (toddler + pregnant).  That was awesome!  The rest of the day, I laid low but it was a great weekend.  I definitely pack a lot into my non-call weekends!

On Tuesday the 6th, I participated in a paramedian forehead flap takedown, which I was super stoked about since I had done the first part of the procedure and I could now take it to completion. 

On the 7th, I did a Les Mills Body Combat class, which made me feel so uncoordinated and nonathletic.  I felt like a fat kid getting a lot of dodgeballs pegged at my head, aka not good.  

On Thursday, I had an easy day in the OR and the headed up to Loma Linda with Brooke.  Friday was a conservation laryngectomy course for me and speech path course for her.  That evening we went to Wild Rocket in Redlands and then saw Flight, which was well acted by Denzel Washington but otherwise not really what I look for in a movie since it was just a sort of depressing trajectory story of drugs and alcohol = downfall and rock bottom.
Any publicity is good publicity...?

Ok, part II will be my LA weekend.  It was awesome!  And then I’ll be caught up and hopefully in less list-like form!