Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Life's little treasures

...includes wearing a just laundered shirt with the nice detergent smell and the dryer softness.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Don't forget!

While I'm on the talk of politics and all that jazz, remember to register to vote(and re-register if you changed your address, name, or political party).  I'm assuming most people reading are in California, so that link, and this post, is specifically for California.

Commonly received excuses:
  • I'm too busy to vote - yeah, so am I!  I work 80 hours a week and I have to study on top of all of that, while maintaining my sanity.  Don't tell me you're too busy.  And yeah, I still vote.  How do I do it?  Absentee, baby!  California lets you sign up for permanent absentee ballot.  It's the best thing in the world.  Just send off your vote and be done with it.  Easy as pie. 
  • I don't care about any of the candidates - yeah, but you should.  It matters who is in political office as to what your taxes pay for, how much you pay in taxes, how good the public school your kids go to are, what your doctor can order for you, etc etc.  You should care and it is a privilege (and a right) to vote - take advantage of it.  And there's a lot more on the ballot than just candidates.  In California, there are propositions regarding animal rights, gay marriage, and alternative energy, among others.  Surely one of those must matter.  If nothing matters, who cares.  Send back an empty ballot.  Saying nothing says something.
  • I don't know anything - read the silly one pager on all the propositions and candidates.  It's easy.  If I can manage to do it, you can.  It comes in your mailbox and is available online, conveniently enough.
Why am I so adamant that everyone vote?  Because voting for me is a privilege.  I wasn't granted the right to vote based on my birthplace.  My parents had to travel over an ocean and a mountain of paperwork to be able to obtain the right to vote, so I take it as my own responsibility to do so - and so should you. 

So, that's it.  Yeah, more than my two cents.  And no, I don't care who you vote for.  I'd rather someone vote for Michael Jackson than not vote at all. 

(Trying to get people who don't vote is kind of like getting smokers to quit - you never think you will change their habits, but you just have to keep on trying.  On that note, I just got notice that one of my patients that I counseled on smoking cessation last month actually quit the day after I saw him!  It can work!)

It's all about the economy, stupid!

A classic line during the 1992 election campaign and I think that it applies to this year's election as well.  Times like these make me wish that I actually paid attention in my economics class (which I took as a senior in high school at the local community college - I mean, who knew that it would be useful later?!).  I wish that I could make sense of the situation and figure out who to believe.  Will we fall into a huge recession (more so than we have already) if we don't rescue the big corporations who got us into this whole mess?  Or will bailing them out just cost the taxpayers billions of dollars while the big corporations get off scott-free?  Who knows. Maybe it's a mix of everything.  Just from listening to things, I get the sense of taht something needs to happen.  I think ideally, it would be that there is a bailout - maybe not $700 billion - but attached to it are conditions whereby the mortgage and investment firms have to reform their practices so that this doesn't happen again.  It's silly.  I mean, you'd think we learn from previous financial market meltdowns, such as when savings and loans went the way of the dinosaurs, but alas, politics has a short memory when it comes to lessons and a long one when it comes to scandals. 

In the end, I think taxpayers get screwed.  They have to bail these companies out while trying to eek through their daily lives with rising gas and cost of living prices.  In the end, we could have done a lot more with $700 billion.  We could have worked towards insuring the 46 million plus uninsured Americans.  We could have improved our failing public schools.  We could work towards cleaning up our parks and waterways.  There is so much more we could have done - but alas, those are apparently not as important as bailing out the companies who counted their coffers while the average American tried to stretch theirs. 

Better to say nothing at all

My mom always said that if I don't have anything nice to say, then to say nothing at all. So, that's why I haven't been updating very much - I'm not having much fun. I'm on inpatient medicine right now and it's tough, dude. The schedule is so confusing, I have yet to figure it out. There's call, post call, pre call, long call, short call, overnight call. Why can't there just be a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc etc? And I work 6 days a week. What is this madness?

But yeah, I miss ob/gyn. I haven't done any ob/gyn in nearly two months and I miss it. I'm glad I'm getting the training in medicine, because I want to be an excellent primary care provider, but it's not as fun as delivering babies or operating. Ah, just a few more weeks.

Yum! (again)

My main dish:

Vietnamese caramelized salmon
Serves: 3-4
Prep and cook time: 20 minutes

  • (2 tbsp) sugar.
  • (1 tsp) canola oil. I use canola oil in most of my cooking (other than Italian), because it has the lowest saturated fat content.
  • (1 lb) salmon fillet.
  • (1) medium yellow or red onion. Cut into quarters, then sliced into 1/2 inch thick slices.
  • (3) cloves garlic, minced.
  • (2 tsp) fish sauce. Found at any Vietnamese grocery store. It's a staple in Vietnamese cooking. It's called "nuoc mam" in Vietnamese.
  • Optional: 1-2 chiles.
  1. Place sugar in pan on medium heat. Watch closely, because you're looking for a caramel.
  2. When it starts to become light brown, add the oil.
  3. Add onions and garlic and chile (optional).
  4. Place salmon skin side down in pan.
  5. Cook for ~2 minutes, then flip over, making sure to keep whole fillet intact.
  6. Keep on low to medium heat so that the sauce slowly thickens. If it becomes too thick, add some water to reconstitute.
  7. Done when the salmon is done. You can continue to cook if you want, to boil down the sauce.
This is my take on a classic Vietnamese dish called "ca kho" (and very similar to another dish made with pork called "thit kho"). There are many ways of going about making it and you can just do a google search and finds dozens upon hundreds of recipes. I myself make it very different ways too. You can make it with all kinds of fish, with catfish being traditional (and one of my favorites - but preparing it is much more labor-intensive). Some people add chiles (like myself), some add ground pepper (like my mom).

I hope am hoping to do more Vietnamese dishes, but they have to come as they come.


fIt was a short day today, so I decided to make a full two course dinner. First, the soup:

Mong Toi and shrimp soup
Serves: many
Prep and cook time: 20 minutes

  • (1 lb) "mong toi". It's a broad leafed, dark green vegetable on a thick-ish stem that, when cooked, is sort of slimy (which sounds unappetizing, but it's good!). Alternatively, you can use almost any of the veggies found in the leafy green vegetable aisle of your local Asian grocery store. Cut it into large pieces, basically cutting a little bit of stem with each leaf. Make sure you wash it well, as with any leafy green veggie. My advice is to get a big tub of water, place it in, swish it around and repeat at least twice.

  • (2) king oyster mushrooms. I also used them in this dish.
  • (1/4 lb) shrimp, peeled and cut in half lengthwise. Season with a dash of salt and freshly ground pepper.
  • Optional: 2 tsp chicken broth powder. It's my secret weapon in making quick, easy soups. Yeah, it's full of MSG and such, but it beats making your own broth (which I do - but not when I am making a quick soup!).
  1. Boil 3 cups water and chicken broth powder (or just use two cups chicken broth). Add mong toi.
  2. After a few minutes, add mushrooms.
  3. Then, add shrimp. Mix together. Serve!

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Quickie dinner made of leftover pasta and basil, yet inspired by Parmesan cheese purchased today:

Pasta, tomato, garlic, and basil - on my!
Serves: 1
Prep and cook time: 10 minutes


  • (2 cups) cooked pasta. I just used the leftover pasta I had from the other night.
  • (4) cloves garlic, thinly sliced. No, you don't have to use that much, and yes, I love garlic.
  • (2) Roma tomatoes, diced. I used only one, but really wished I used two.
  • Teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil.
  • (2 tbsp) freshly grated Parmesan or Romano.
  • (handful) fresh basil leaves.
  • Seasoned salt.
  • Freshly ground pepper. I use only freshly ground. You won't find the pre-ground stuff in my kitchen!
  1. Heat olive oil and garlic in a saucepan. I started out on low and let the garlic sit there (which added cook time), but you could definitely just go straight to high heat.
  2. Add tomatoes, seasoned salt and fresh pepper. Add pasta and mix very well.
  3. Add cheese a little bit at a time to let it melt with the pasta.
  4. Turn off heat and add basil.
  5. Top off with a little bit more cheese.


Today is my only day off for the week, so I decided to go run some errands and do some exploring.  First, I went to Michael's to get some art supplies (as though I have time to do that!).  Then, went to the Guadalupe River Park - it's really not that cool and the fact that it was a beautiful Saturday afternoon and I only saw a dozen people in the span of an hour makes it seem very sketchy.  Maybe I went to the wrong section (the one closest to the airport - which provided the cool views of planes flying into SJC), but I'm willing to give it another go.  Next time, I think I will go to the southern section, where there may be more people?

On the other hand, I drove through the Rosegarden neighborhood and drove right by its namesake.  I didn't have time to stop by, but now it's definitely on my to-do list (in addition to visiting the San Jose Public Library branch there). Of course, I found the neighborhood grocery store and had to make a stop, where I got some Parmesan cheese to make a quick pasta dinner (to be posted later). 

Overall, a good day.  I still need to study and it feels like a Sunday because I have to work tomorrow.  Booo. 

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Keeping it real

I'm currently watching Grey's Anatomy and it's utterly ridiculous. Utterly. Well, maybe it's been ridiculous for awhile, but I haven't seen it in about a year. So far we have seen a trailer preview be a complete joke ("I'm carrying your child"), the nearly impossible (a resident falling on her back, then being stabbed by an icicle - oh, the drama!), and the main character pining away (whiny Meredith, wondering why, why, why).

Eep! How many more seasons can this ridiculosity continue? Why am I wasting 2 hours of a perfectly good evening watching it?!

At least I have a drink to help me through it.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


One of my favorite pasta dishes involves lots of zucchini and other squash - perfect for today since I have a bounty of them from the local farm.

Pasta with vegetable marinara
Serves: 5-6
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients (all fresh from the farm today... I love living in California!):

  • (1 lb) pasta - whichever variety you choose, boiled to your desired done-ness.
  • (1 lb) ground turkey (optional). Alternatively, you can use ground beef, but turkey is healthier and tastes all the same.
  • (1) jar pasta sauce
  • (2-3) large tomatoes, cut into large wedges.
  • (1-2 lbs) squash, cut into large chunks. I have a wonderful selection of green and yellow zucchini, summer squash, yellow summer squash, and a round little squash that's adorable.
  • (1 tbsp) olive oil.
  • (5 cloves) garlic, finely minced.
  • Handful of fresh basil, cut into a chiffonade. Again, this is picked from my basil plant, which I have been nurturing for over 2 months now (thankfully, it has not gone the way of my other plants).
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  1. Cook pasta. Drain and place aside.
  2. In same pan, or while you are cooking the pasta, place olive oil and garlic with pan on high heat.
  3. Sautee until garlic is aromatic.
  4. Add ground turkey (optional) and sautee until just cooked.
  5. Add zucchini and sautee until brown and just done.
  6. Add tomatoes until they begin to soften.

  7. Add tomato sauce and turn heat down to medium.
  8. Cook down until squash is done.
  9. Serve with pasta and fresh basil. I prefer not to cook the basil, but rather place on top to mix with the pasta to preserve the flavor.
  • You can also add whatever vegetables you want to the sauce. I like to add bell peppers (green ones are great because they stay crunchy), onions, or even carrots. If you add the onions, add it the same time as the garlic and cook unti lnearly translucent. If you add other hardy vegetables, add at the same time as the zucchini or slightly after.
  • I cooked it with rotini, but it's good with spaghetti or any other thicker pasta that can hold up all the veggies in the sauce.
  • A tip for those eating alone (like myself): make the sauce down to being ready to serve it and then put it into freezer bags to defrost later on. Then, you can just boil pasta and you have a healthy, fabulous dinner.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Here is a classic recipe, ala YennieT. I make this whenever I think in advance and know I won't have time to make dinner later on in the week.

Marinated and baked chicken
Serves: 4-6
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes

  • (4-6) chicken thighs, boneless and skinless. Alternatively, you can use chicken breasts, but I favor thighs (yeah, yeah, "dark meat is bad").
  • (3) cloves garlic, or more if you desire.
  • (2 tbsp) soy sauce.
  • (1 tbsp) rice vinegar or lemon juice.
  • (2 tbsp) oyster sauce
  1. Place everything into a large zip loc bag.
  2. Mix around until mixed together.
  3. Place in fridge.
  4. Can be marinated anytime from 1 hour to 2 days. The more marination, the better (I usually make it one day, bake it the next).
  5. Alternatively, you can freeze it after making sure everything is mixed together. To use, just pull out of freezer one day before you want to cook it and place in fridge for defrosting.
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place foil onto baking pan (I use a large casserole dish). Foil helps in clean up.
  3. Arrange chicken in single layer, with some room in between.
  4. Turn occasionally until chicken is barely done.
  5. Turn on broiler in oven. Place under broiler until both sides are browned.
Some hints:
  • You can add zucchini or onions or carrots (or any hardy veggie) to the chicken while it's baking, to get your veggie quota for the day as well. (I got these wondrous specimens straight from the farm today.)
  • Use plastic bags to marinate, not bowls! That way, the marinade reaches the meat entirely (in a bowl, only the pieces at the bottom really get marinated well). Also, makes for easier clean up.
  • In place of the vinegar or lemon juice, you can use any acid. Alternatively, you can use a salad dressing with vinegar and oil in it. The acid helps the marinade reach the inside of the meat - meaning you get juicier and tastier meat!
  • Instead of baking the chicken, you can place it on the BBQ. It's a hit!
  • For the marinade, you can really use anything you'd like. Sometimes I add shallots. Sometimes I add ketchup. As long as it has the sweet (the oyster sauce), the salty (the soy sauce), and the acid (vinegar/lemon juice), you're all set.

Raining men

Well, it's not really raining men - I only wish.  I went out with a high school friend on Saturday (just out as friends, not that kind of "going out") and we went to a club.  It was pretty obvious that there was an overwhelming percentage of men.  When I made note of this to my friend, he quipped, "Well, it is Man Jose."  (For those of you outside of California, I live in San Jose, so Man Jose is a play on words.) 

The thing I'm wondering is where are all the men?  I have yet to find a date, or even a date-able man.  Maybe it's because I work in the hospital almost every waking hour.  Maybe it's because even when I'm working, I never really come into contact with any men.  Or maybe it's because I'm hideous and un-date-able myself.  I really hope it's not the latter. 

Monday, September 22, 2008

Sunday, September 21, 2008


For dinner tonight, I was craving something other than rice, so I made noodles!

Sit fried chicken and vegetables with rice noodle
Serves: 4
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

  • (2) chicken thighs, boneless and skinless.
  • (1/2 - 3/4 lb) baby bok choy, cut into 1 inch segments.
  • (1/2 lb) giant oyster mushrooms (see note below). Cut them in half lengthwise, then on a diagonal, about 1/4 inch thick.
  • (3 cloves) garlic, finely minced.
  • (1) package flat, broad rice noodles, found at your local Asian grocery store. Break them up into their individual noodles before placing them in the pan (otherwise, you'll end up with a giant clump of noodles.
  • (1 tsp) black bean sauce
  • (1 tbsp) sesame ginger salad dressing. I recently discovered Newman's Own Low Fat Sesame Ginger dressing, and it's great!
  • (1 tbsp) oyster sauce
  • (1/2 tsp) starch or tapioca flour
  1. Heat up pan, place drizzling of oil and sizzle garlic until aromatic.
  2. Add chicken and sautee until chicken done.
  3. Add mushrooms and baby bok choy. Sautee until bok choy is soft. Add water if it looks really dry.
  4. Add noodles and sauce.
  5. Mix together until thoroughly combined and starch/flour in sauce is cooked.

(The baby bok choy ended up looking like a rose from the way I cut it. How cute.)

Some notes:
  • For the sauce, I really just eyeball everything and mix into a bowl. Sometimes I add soy sauce. Sometimes I add chiles. Sometimes I don't add dressing. Really, use your judgment. I use these general sauce for most stir fry's and noodle dishes.
  • Salad dressing can be used for more than just salads! I use my dressing more for marinating meats than for salads, actually. My famous chicken recipe will come soon!
  • King oyster mushrooms are these wonderful specimens:They can be found at your local Asian supermarket (along with other wonderful mushrooms - my favorites are Shiitakes, Enoki, and Portabello). They are great in stir fry, soups, and anything else your heart desires. They are meaty in texture, but not in flavor.
Is anyone reading these food posts? I enjoy putting them up, but they definitely take longer than most my posts.

And yes, I really have been cooking nearly every night! What can I say, I love to cook and I hope you love my recipes.

So cool it's hot

When I first told my parents that I wanted to get a degree in public health, they kind of just smiled and nodded. I don't think that they knew what it really was. Now, after many explanations, my dad proudly explains to other people that it deals with getting safe water and vaccinations to populations. My mom, however, is still a little confused. Er.

However, apparently college students get what it is. An article in the Washington Post focuses on how hot the public health classes and majors are on college campuses. I wish that they went into the graduate degree level as well, as those are the people likely to work in public health.

There's a lot to be speculated about why public health is so cool nowadays. In the article, Dr. Thomas Coates pointed his finger directly at HIV/AIDS, saying that it raised the public awareness. I don't know if that's entirely true (and I think he's biased - look at his bio!). Even after the HIV epidemic became large and publicly well-known, public health was still not totally cool. I think a lot of factors have helped public health become a hot commodity - the terrorist attacks of September 11th (and the subsequent nationwide discussion of chemical and biological warfare), the prominence of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other global foundations and their focus on global health, and the culmination of numerous articles on public health issues domestically (i.e. food contaimination scares, drug contamination scares, the growing number of obese Americans, etc). Regardless of the reason, I think it's great that there is more interest in public health.

As an MD/MPH, I think it's also very important for physicians to be interested in public health. My medical school class was pretty split between those who understood and were interested in public health and those who couldn't have cared less. The student quoted at the end of the article was so optimistic about public health and so pessimistic about medicine (she was planning on getting an MD). That's a sad prospect. Do public health people really think medicine is still its old, stody self? Perhaps it still is, but there is still a lot to be had for public health-minded people who want to go into medicine. I have only gotten the greatest response to my public health degree among my classmates and my attendings. It's a hot commodity in medical schools, just like in undersgrad. I think that the medical profession is slowly changing towards a more global perspective - global in the sense of geography as well as disciplines - and that, in the end, it will be better for doctors and patients.

The article just got me thinking about public health and how it relates to my career plans. I feel as though my public health mind has been put on hold while I'm in residency, as it's hard to do both. Then, I'm reminded of my public health training every time I work with patients to provide more comprehensive care.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Ode to California

I love California. That is my proclamation for the day. I went down to the Monterey Bay Aquarium today and had so so so much fun. I took highway 1 down to Monterey and the drive was beautiful. Beautiful beaches. Farms by the shore. Sand dunes, trees, and fields. What else could a girl ask for?

Of course, I went down to Monterey for the aquarium and it definitely did not disappoint. I've been wanting to go there for months, just so that I can feel like a kid again and be mesmerized by the crazy jellyfish (my favorite exhibit!).

Sea anemones!


Anemones, looking like trees from another planet!

Birds through a peephole!

(If you can't tell, I was very excited about my day.)

Of course, like always, you can find more pictures at my flickr page.


For lunch today, a way to use leftover chicken:

Chicken and asparagus with soba noodles
Serves 1
Prep and cook time: 10 minutes

  • (1) serving whole wheat soba noodles, approximately 1 cm in diameter.
  • (6-7) stalks asparagus, cut into 1-2 inch pieces.
  • (1/4 lb) chicken. I used chicken thighs (my favorite for chicken dishes) that I had sauteed with brocolli and mushrooms (which turned out disastrously). However, the chicken was still good.
  • Dash of soy sauce.
  • Dash of sesame oil.
Instructions: (This is another one pot meal!)
  1. Boil water, place soba noodles and asparagus in. My soba noodles say to boil for 3 minutes, which is perfect for the asparagus to get cooked enough but not mushy.
  2. Drain soba noodles. In same pan as noodles were cooked, place chicken.
  3. Add noodles and asparagus.
  4. Take off heat, add soy sauce and sesame oil.
Some cooking tips:
  • For asparagus, break off the woody ends. They will automatically break off at the spot where they stop being woody. Woody asparagus = party spoiler.
  • Soba noodles are a great standby. I use them like ramen, for stir fry, and any other use. They're healthy and as easy to cook as ramen (which is bad for you!).

Friday, September 19, 2008


Another dinner creation tonight. After an exhausting day at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, I was craving seafood (happens every time I see fish, dead or alive!). So, to satisfy my craving, I made my old standby:

Pesto pasta with red chile flakes
Serves 1-2, depending on appetite.
Prep and cook time: 20 minutes.

  • (1/2 lb) whole wheat pasta - I used penne, but usually I use angel hair.
  • (1/4 lb) frozen shrimp, peeled and cut in half lengthwise.
  • (1 tbsp) extra virgin olive oil.
  • (3) cloves garlic.
  • (1) teaspoon red chile flakes. You can adjust this, depending on your taste for spicy foods.
  • (1-2 tbsp) ready-made pesto. I like the Trader Joe's variety.
  • Seasoned salt to taste
  • Optional: handful of fresh basil. I usually don't use it, but now that I have an overgrown basil plant, I decided it would be a nice addition - and it was.
  1. Boil pasta in water until tender, as desired, and drain. While pasta is boiling, do steps 2-4.
  2. Wash and drain fresh basil and cut into ribbons (aka chiffonade).
  3. Peel and mince garlic.
  4. Peel, de-vein, and cut shrimp in half lengthwise.
  5. In pan (can be the same one used for pasta, after you have poured out the pasta), heat the extra virgin olive oil.
  6. Add shrimp and garlic until aromatic and shrimp is just done. Then, add pasta, red chile flakes, salt, and pesto.
  7. Take off heat. Add fresh basil (optional) and mix all together.
Some cooking tips:
  • I hate garlic presses - so much better and easier to just crush the garlic under your knife and chop it real quick.
  • Rub the red chile flakes between your hands to release the essential oils and flavors. I do this with all dried herbs, actually.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Today we had a resident retreat and it was a blast. We all ended up in the pool in all of our clothes, which gave me a really free feeling. Also the fact that everyone else was also in the pool made it all the better.

The more I think about it and the more people ask me how residency is going, I realize that I have it good. I like my fellow residents. I like the hospital. I like the attendings. I like the patients. Seriously, intern year isn't as bad as I thought it would be. This could mean 1 of three things:
  1. That I haven't hit the worst part of it - which I fear may be the true choice. I hear that it gets much worse. And truthfully, I'm only 3 months into it - I don't know if the whole "new-ness" of it has worn off yet.
  2. That I had really low expectations of residency when I started. I thought I wouldn't have a life at all, but so far, I have managed to go camping, make several trips up to San Francisco (and even on a worknight!), and go home a good amount.
  3. That it really is this good. I'm an optimist, so I hope that this is the right answer.
All that said, the retreat was nice. All of us got to get together, in a non-threatening, non-stressful environment, and really get to know each other. Lots of laughs and lots of fun. I can sincerely say that I am happy.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

4th meal

So, Taco Bell has this ad campaign advocating for a fourth meal.  As a public health advocate, this is a terrible idea, as it's basically telling people that, "Yeah, you can eat a whole other meal!  Of course you're not adding 33% more calories to your diet!" 

However, after a long night mingling and pondering art, I'm hungry and going to have that fourth meal tonight.  What will it be?  The only thing available to me in less than 10 minutes: Lean Cuisine's Swedish Meatballs and Linguine.  Yeah, silly and absurd, but hey, they're good, low calorie/fat (high sodium, I'm sure), and remind me of childhood (I used to eat them at my best friend's house as a kid). 

Hotel Des Arts

Tonight, I had the pleasure of seeing my cousin's artwork displayed at a gallery opening (Hotel Des Arts, San Francisco - yes, it's a hotel!). In short, it was fab, hip, and totally cool. Of course, I felt like the least cool person ever because everyone there has their hair and clothes picked out so meticulously that it didn't look like they spent the last 3 hours pondering over whether to part their hair on the left or right.

There were lots of cool pieces on display and a few that I didn't quite understand.

Here are some highlights.

My coolest cousin's artwork: (my favorite is the sailor boy)
My aunt Jackie and cousin Ian:

Just a cool painting. I like the contrast of the lady with the bloody bull. Anyone know the artist?

My cousin, being interviewed by Video In My Backyard (VIMBY):

She's such a star! Visit her work here.

Top of the mornin' to ya!

Today, I didn't have to be in until 9:30, and I forgot to set my alarm. Fortunately, I woke up exactly on time, phew!

Yeah, that's a bottle of wine on my bedside "stand." Actually, I should say, yeah, that's an alarm on my wine rack.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I'm going to try and do a food segment every once in awhile. Those who knows me well know that I cook a lot. A whole lot. Enough to feed a family of four.

So, tonight, I will give you a recipe for corn salad. Well, I really don't know what it's called, so I will call it:

Corn, tomato, and pepper salad
(serves 4 as a side salad)

  • (1) bell pepper - I had yellow, but you can use red, orange, or yellow. Roughly chop up.
  • (1) serrano or jalepeno chile - seeded and chopped up finely.
  • (2) vine ripened tomatoes - just look at how red those babies are! Just got them at the local farm.
  • (2) ears of corn - yellow or white, whatever strikes your fancy.
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of pepper
  • Squeeze of lemon
  • Splash of olive oil
  1. Boil cobs of corn until barely done (I think the firmer the corn, the better for a salad).
  2. Place pepper, chile, and tomatoes in a bowl.
  3. Use a knife to cut down the kernels from the cobs. Add corn to mix.
  4. Add salt, pepper, lemon, and oil to bowl. Mix all ingredients together. Adjust seasonings to taste.
  5. Voila! You're done. Eat chilled. Great with a sandwich, or, in my case, a frozen entree.

(I really need to learn how to better take food photos... it's much harder than you think!)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Beautiful San Francisco

My parents and I went to San Francisco yesterday to feel like tourists for a day. It was a beautiful day in the city by the bay and I got my second sunburn in one year, both from day trips to San Francisco. Isn't this a city famous for its foggy days? What can I say, I just bring the sun out!

A man on a bike, playing a piano. A quintessential San Francisco scene on the Embarcadero.

A metal skull of some prehistoric creature, with the Bay Bridge and Yerba Buena Island in the background. Just some nice perspective.

Some skater deterrents shaped as various sea creatures. Just cute enough that I want to peel one off with a crowbar and place it on my bookcase at home.

A picture of one section of the murals at the base of Coit Tower. Can you spot the Asian? My, the slanty eyes just give it away. [Note: I think the one in yellow just may be a fellow Asian.]

Just a beautiful view of San Francisco from the top of Coit Tower.

Bishop Ranch Regional Open Space

Finally, pictures from my hike with my dogs.

Can you spot all 3 little doggies?
This is my fatty Lucy, who would stop and lie down at every shady spot along the way. She really believed that I was torturing her for something she did wrong.

The cows! Well, this is only one cow, but I just like the picture.
That's it. It wasn't a particularly pretty hike, just lots of dry grass, a big hill, a couple of dogs, and a few cows. All in a Saturday morning.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Less vs. Fewer

I was watching TV the other night and saw a commercial for education reform. The script went something like this: "With less resources going towards education, blah blah blah...". I literally cringed. Ergh.

What is a terrapin?!

My bears lost. I'm sad.

Weekend jaunt

I went on a hike through some open space near my parents' home today and took the 3 dogs with me. At first, I was only going to take one, but then my dad said taking only one would make the others jealous. So I took all 3.

In my hike, my dogs' personalities really shone through.

Lucy, the obese non-Pomeranian (my brother is convinced she's a German Spitz) would get into this pattern of laying down at every shady spot (not many on the way up) and looking at me like I'm torturing her.

Jackson, the timid one, got lost. Actually, I lost him when I turned onto a smaller trail and didn't check to make sure I had all 3 dogs. About a hundred yards later, realized I only had two dogs and had to go back, only to find him at the fork in the road looking really confused.

And Princess, who was a trooper throughout the hike and kept our path clear of cows. Every once in awhile, she'd run far ahead and I would lose her for a second. Then, when I would come up on her, I see a cow off to the side of the trail. Too bad she couldn't make sure our path was also clear of cow poopies.

Pictures on the way.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Dear Dr. Papanicolau

How much better it is to give than receive an annual. Ouchies!

Now every woman out there, get up, call your doctor and line up to get one (I'm serious here... cervical cancer is much harder to handle).

Check, check

Anyone who knows how I work knows that I love lists. I have at least 3 to-do lists going at any one time. They have all different timelines. One is a to-do list for the day. Another for the week or month. Another is a to-do list where I'm waiting for confirmation of things, and so I don't forget, I write them on a list.

Today's to-do list just got completely checked off! How cool is that? Granted, some of it was moved to another to-do list, but hey, I hit everything. That makes me happy.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

My man Bailey

There's nothing like curling up with a blanket and a glass of Bailey's on the rocks, listening to Josh Ritter and "studying."

7 years and going

It's funny how September 11th will never just be another day of the year. Just as people remember their birthdays, the birthday of their children, their wedding day, and other special occasions, people will remember September 11th. However, it won't be a happy memory, as it will be remembered as the day America stood still.

Just a note to remember those who lost their lives.

What about pigs?

There's been a whole bunch of controversy surrounding the whole, "lipstick on a pig" statement by Senator Obama. Here are my two cents: I think that it was mistaken by the Republicans, to think that he was referring to Governor Palin (I really doubt Senator Obama really meant to refer to Palin as a pig). Whether the Republicans really believe that Obama meant to call Palin a pig is another argument altogether. Either way, I think that it's dismissive of Obama to just say that he thinks the Republicans are just creating a sandstorm when there is no sand - I think he should just apologize for any misperception (but not for the statement) and move on. Why is it to hard to say "I'm sorry" in politics? Understandably, but saying you're sorry, there's a perception that you're admitting guilt - but we have been taught (or at least we in medicine have been taught) that this is not true and that it's simply an acknowledgment of the other party's feelings.

Oh well. I think pigs are getting the short end of the stick. Really, I hear pigs are really intelligent creatures. That's exactly why I cannot befriend a pig - then I won't be able to eat pork ever in my life.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Hole in my head

I just watched the new Fox series, "Hole in the Wall", which is a full on stealing of the concept from Japan's Human Tetris. Let's just say that it's just not as funny as the Japanese version, but then again, what is? And yes, I was procrastinating. It's really hard to study. Really, really hard.

I also procrastinated all weekend, when I went to the beach - not once, but twice! Who knew intern year would be so fabulously fun? I wish I brought my camera, but alas, I forgot. I apologize for not having more pictures up, but here is one (taken a sunny day in June where I got a sunburn in San Francisco - unheard of!).

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


So, I am making myself watch the Republican National Convention in order to, as I told a friend the other day, "know the opposition."  Sometimes, I think that Democrats and Republicans can get along in a substantive way, but other times, I think that it's impossible.  So many times during these speeches, I have come to realize that I really don't know if American politics can go above partisanship, as has been touted but never practiced in the last few years. 

And anyone else make the observation that the RNC is much less diverse than the DNC?  Of course, that's no big surprise, but you'd think that they could spare a few of the blonds for a few brunettes at least. 

Ok, I'll shut up now.