Tuesday, June 25, 2013


let's see if i can put together a few sentences before i get bored with writing, find myself uninspiring, and leave this post trailing like so many others before.

i've been perusing the world wide web for first day surgical intern advice. so far i've come across a few pretty basic, but pretty much repeated across the board, lists of advice. they start with things like, be nice to support staff, and say you don't know or forgot to check instead of making things about exam findings/lab values/etc.

another site lists 101 tips

this was a good thread from our good ol' urologymatch website

to be perfectly honest, i have no idea what i am doing. i vaguely remember being a good student as a 3rd and 4th year medical student, good reports in the morning, enthusiastic about getting work done, always trying to help out. however, it has been over a year since i have been in the clinical setting and i feel like the only thing i know is that blood glucose should definitely not be over 1000. forget about drug names and interactions, managing medical problems, normal lab values, whatever.

so here is my list of to do's as i mentally prepare for my first day on urology

- ask questions, ask lots of questions.
i've always been a bit afraid to speak up, esp with attendings. it's just this thing i have with people in positions of authority. when i was growing up, my dad would give me lectures, hours and hours long lectures, and i would stand there nodding. if i asked any question, the lecture would just continue on for longer, because it generally meant that i had asked a stupid question or made an invalid argument that needed to be corrected. i learned not to say anything and just pretend like i was absorbing whatever was being taught. i don't know how well that worked, since i don't really live life how my dad would want me to these days, and i'm sure if he knew the details, i would be in for another 3 hour long lecture.
in my medical school years, i tried hard to correct this trait. i learned that when students asked questions, residents and attendings would get the idea that they were interested in learning. i was definitely interested in learning, and i had to get that idea across in order to be taught. slowly i started asking questions, giving answers, became more ok with asking questions that seemed stupid and giving answers that turned out wrong. it was a part of learning.
this is something i am still working on though, so asking questions and seeking answers is definitely still at the top of my list.

- fight to work hard.
i don't think i'll have to fight too hard, but i hope that i live up to the standards of hard work in this environment. i want to be proactive and i want to volunteer my time and efforts.

- be nice, be kind, smile.
just a reminder to myself that a smile and a hello can go a long way.

- be a team player.
i would like to act with the thought of, how can i make my resident's day easier.

- read.
this was not something that i was good at in medical school. definitely have to pick up the slack here.

well that's as inspired as i am for now. i have 5 more days until i start, 3 more days of orientation and 2 days filled of lake side fun. and then, it's trial by fire.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

happy new year!

happy 2013! i can't believe we made it through another year. this year felt like it was a stop in time for me. everything was sort of in limbo, mostly because my future was in limbo. in two and a half weeks, i find out what i'll be doing and where i will be for the next 5 or 6 years of my life. i have a good idea about where i'll be, but i'm not gonna jinx it! whee so excited!!

anyway, holidays were a bit rough this year but there was definitely lots of fun and food involved. as always, i love making hor d'oeuvres, even though i don't know how to say that word or how to spell it (yup, had to look that up right there). if it were up to me, it'd be spelled "er dervers" with all syllables pronounced and the accent at the front like in the word "covers" (also similar in pronunciation to ermergerd).

anyway! the first thing i wanted to do was play with some puff pastry! i had been looking at puff pastry recipes and they seemed really simple and tasty looking. i also had had my eye on one of my friend's recipes for pinwheels. don't they look delicious?! so far in my cooking and baking experience, i have not gone all in to making dough. yeah yeah yeah, it's quick and easy, but hey it's not that quick with all the waiting around and i don't have a kitchenaid mixer and not enough arm muscle these days, so meh! puff pastry was just as delicious anyway :) so here's my version!

Caprese Pinwheels
Flour, for work surface
1 sheet frozen puff pastry
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
10 oz mozzarella cheese
1 cup tomatoes, roma or grape tomatoes
Handful of whole spinach leafs
Fresh chopped basil

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a floured surface, roll the puff pastry into a 16-by-10-inch rectangle. Trim uneven edges. Place pastry on a baking sheet. Beat the egg and water in a small bowl with a fork, and brush the pastry sheet with the egg mixture. 

2. To prepare the filling, dice the tomatoes and place them into a medium mixing bowl. For best results, try to remove as much liquid from tomatoes as possible. Dice the mozzarella, or put it through a food processor until it is crumbly, and mix in with tomatoes along with chopped basil. Add olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, and mix evenly.

3. Top puff pastry with the tomato and cheese mixture evenly and add a layer of spinach leave on top, staying about half an inch away from all 4 edges. Starting at a short side, roll up like a jelly roll. Cut into about 20 (1/2-inch) slices. Place the slices, cut-side down, onto 2 baking sheets. Brush the slices with the egg mixture.

4. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown. Remove the pastries from the baking sheets and let cool on wire racks for 10 minutes.

these pinwheels are not only delicious, but also super easy to make! (i also made some flat pizza like puff pastry snacks, which are the bottom in the last pic.) the best part is you can substitute in any number of ingredients that you like for a different flavor. my next ones are going to be spinach and parmesan.

so cheers to a new year, to happiness, to love, and to delicious food!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Carrot Cake Cookies

i love the holiday season! mostly because i get to buy myself xmas presents and not feel as guilty. one for grandma, two for me! i also love that i get to eat all i want, also without feeling quite as guilty. that does certainly mean that i gain a few extra pounds through the wintery months, but it keeps me extra warm, right?!

last week, ali and steve had a peppermint patty party at their place, the perfect starter holiday party complete with a cookie exchange. i was just getting back from traveling and hadn't planned to actually make any cookies, but an hour before the party, i decided it wouldn't be very holiday spirited to arrive empty handed.

so i looked up a recipe that i thought my friend rob had used before when he brought cookies to a potluck. carrot cake cookies! i think i didn't find the same recipe though because it wasn't the quite as good as rob's, but it was still good none the less. here it is, carrot cake cookies!

Carrot-Cake Cookies


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup packed, finely grated, peeled carrots
  • 1/3 cup dried currants

  • Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Make cookies: In a large bowl, whisk together butter, sugars, and egg yolk. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture; stir until combined. Mix in oats, carrots, and currants.
    2. Drop dough by level tablespoons, 2 inches apart, onto prepared baking sheets. Flatten with the palm of your hand. Bake until edges are crisp, rotating baking sheets halfway through, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.
    oh i did make an addition, dark chocolate chips. they added just a nice bit of sugar because the cookie wasn't too sweet itself. the party was quite the success, with almost two dozen different kinds of cookies! ali and steve also decorated their place very nicely and everyone was so pretty!

    Sunday, November 4, 2012

    bloggation procrastination

    Oh wow did I really last post in AUGUST??? It is now OctoberNovember, with Fall in full swing, with all it's pretty color changing leaves in the midwest. I can barely recall all that happened in the last two months, it's been such a whirlwind! I'll give some brief highlights though :)

    At the end of August, my cousin Mel got married! Melissa is a pretty cool fun loving gal who's always ready to be at the center of a party. She's also into fashion and I've always been envious of her style. She gets to wear awesome outfits that I would never dare show up in at the office. From what I've known, she's been making clothes and outfits and such things for many years now, and she applied her knowledge to her wedding invitation and wedding! You can see her wedding invitations at her blog and here are some pictures of her wedding. Yes, it was at the French Laundry, which I hadn't heard of before (not that I've heard of any restaurants from across the country) but learned is like totally famous or something.

    A friend of theirs conducted the ceremony. I don't know what's on her head but she was really proud that she had made it 
    The French Laundry Garden
    With my family
    My French Laundry menu, vegetarian style
    The cut of meat, which I did not partake in
    The wine pairing, which I did partake in
    After coming back from a total food bingefest from being in California, I decided it was time to get my diet under control again so I could fit into my suit! My boyfriend challenged me to start a program with him based on a book called "The 4-Hour Body" by Tim Ferriss. It's a great book for people who are beginners in the nutrition field, i.e. my boyfriend, who has never really thought about calories, fat or carb content, or watching what he eats in any way at all.

    For me, while I new all the basic rules that the book set forth (e.g. don't eat processed grains or simple carbs - which it simplifies by saying, don't eat anything white; don't drink your calories), the book really got me thinking about seriously working toward a low carb diet. I think especially since I'm a vegetarian, I have always relied heavily on carbs to supply my nutrition, and I have not been picky about eating whole grains or complex carbs. I don't eat enough tofu these days, and I've never been fond of beans or lentils. With the extra incentive of getting gold stars (boyfriend made excel spreadsheets for us to track our new lifestyle and health changes), I decided to give beans and lentils a second chance. Holy moly! I'll save the resulting yumminess for a whole 'nuther post! In the meantime, check out the book. It's an interesting read if nothing else.

    I'll end on another fun note. A couple weekends ago, I went out camping at Kelley's Island with Nidhi and made some new friends! It was so much fun. The first night was so cold that none of us slept, and the second night was perfect temperature of 65 degrees with us all snuggled in our sleeping bags. I took some sweet pics and instagrammed them. I was going to write a whole post about our adventures, but Nidhi did such a good job with that already. I can't deny that I'm not fond of the term glamping though. I think we roughed it pretty good! Here's a few of my favorite pics from the weekend.

    Beautiful Lake Erie
    Entering the magical forest with my new friends
    Abandoned ruins in the middle of magical forest
    Delicious food (lots of yummy curry potatoes) all weekend cooked over the "campfire"

    Thursday, August 23, 2012

    Garage sailing is the best kind of sailing

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    Or so says Nidhi. After this weekend I think I would agree!

    In anticipation of my new roommate moving in, I finally decided that I can't live like a bum anymore. I had somehow managed to put together my makeshift couch in a way that was presentable, but the apartment needed some more furniture to really pull the look together. I wanted to spent little to no money on this so I decided to do a garage sale scavenger hunt weekend.

    First I had to find the garage sales. While I could just drive around and look for signs and posters, I wanted to at least plan a little for my path. I discovered a neat site Gsalr that maps out locations and descriptions of sales, pulling from different websites including Craigslist. While on the road, I also found an app for my iPhone that did the same thing, iGarageSale. These were both great tools for plotting the path of least resistance.

    Since I'm new to the area, I decided to put in all the addresses into my GPS. I thought I was getting completely lost in Cleveland Suburbia, but it turned out that I actually was just circling around Shaker Heights and University Heights.

    There were some things on my list: coffee table, couch, dining table, and lamps.

    IMG 0431
    At one of my first stops, I discovered this beauty. Well, it had been a beauty at some point, by by now it was a little beaten up. Not anything you would notice unless you were really paying attention though! The clear glass top isn't shown in this picture, but the two supporting blocks are marble/granite. It was super heavy and didn't exactly match my wood couch and tv stand. The guy was desperate to sell it though, offering it for $20 and said he could help me load it in my car. I said I'd think about it, then 20 minutes later after visiting another sale, came back and bought it! And even better, he then offered to deliver it as well!

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    The ladies of Shaker Heights really think they're something. I went to a few more garage sale there, but they weren't actually garage sale prices. These sales were advertised as vintage sales. You know what the difference between used old shit and vintage is? How much you have to pay for it. I'm not that kinda sucker, I'll pass! They did have these cute business card sized cards to give to parking assholes. I didn't even bother asking for a price, I'm sure they would have asked me for something ridiculous!

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    This lamp was a great find at a rummage sale put on by Cleveland Heights High School bands. It was $3 plus I also got for free a great piece of fabric that I used as a belt. All the proceeds from the sale went towards supporting the band for the year. It was fun to rummage around while listening to the great show they put on in the front lawn. These were some talented kids!
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    This owl tea set is so cute! No price tag so I offered $2. Sold!

    IMG 0435 I stopped by a bunch of other places and picked up various items in the picture above. There's Tango playing with my new actually new scarf. There a serving tray ($1) under the two Scrabble games ($4 for both). Why two you ask?
    IMG 0437
    I've been on Pinterest way too much! I'm planning to make Scrabble letter coasters :)

    That wooden box was actually a free gift from a lady just down the street! It's a champagne box. She was wrapping up her garage sale, putting things away, and most of the goodies were gone by then. We started talking a bit because she had this wonderful huge easel for sale for $65, which would be a steal too! It turns out she's an artist and works with mixed media. Such a sweet lady - I'll be back to see her for her next sale if she has one!

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    I found this wonderful bedroom set of headboard/footboard ($30), dresser and mirror ($50). I asked the lady of the house if I could get it delivered, but there was no way. They were such nice pieces and the price was so amazing that I decided I would take it and figure out the delivery issue later. There's plenty of two guys and a truck movers, so I could probably hire a couple of guys for not too expensive. I talked the lady down to $70 for both ;D and we had a deal!
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    Here's a few pots and table cloth ($8 all together). The table cloth is just perfect for my kitchen table, though we might move that out to the sun
    room. New shower hooks and a nice vintage style glass ($2).
    IMG 0440
    IMG 0439

    Phew! After all that, I was headed home and saw signs that there was a street sale just on the next block from my apartment! I picked up this couch for $40, signed, sealed and DELIVERED! Since this super nice guy was delivering the couch, I thought maybe my dresser and headboard problem would be solved. I ask him if he could help me get some other furniture I had bought already and he gladly agreed, even before I offered him $20! I figured it would be at least that much to hire movers.
    IMG 0433IMG 0454
    I stopped by this guys house the next day and picked up this chair from him too, which he delivered as well.
    IMG 0441
    So after a long day, I thought about cooking for about half a second, and decided that after all that hard work and moving heavy furniture, it was time to celebrate with a home cooked meal from Hunan Coventry. Their General Tso's Tofu is awesome and so is their cashew tofu. Yum!

    Thursday, August 16, 2012

    saturday fun

    IMG 0406
    IMG 0408
    It seems my social life in CLE has suddenly become quite exciting. Last Saturday, MotivAsians had their summer bbq. They had veggie burgers (always a plus) as well as the beach and football! It was far too cold to go swimming unfortunately, but Nidhi

    IMG 0407 and I took a walk out by the water, traversing some treacherous rocks over which was posted a sign “Do not climb rocks”, and made the best of a cold windy day. We did discover that a new friend has a boat, information to be used in the future!

    Afterwards, Nidhi and I went thrifting at Value World. It was a big thrift store. It had that thrift store smell. We got some good stuff. What is it about old stuff that gives that thrift store smell anyway??
    IMG 0410
    When we got back, we joined in on football. It was quite fun as the boys decided to include me in a lot of plays since no one was guarding me. There were a couple crazy runners and intercepters on the other team tho, so our awesome team did not win. We decided to celebrate our losses by going to our new friend's boat!

    (Well, this isn't his boat, I was just taking a picture of the marina :p)

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    Annyyyywayy... this followed with delicious dinner at Li-wah's and then butterscotch shots at Fung-lin's. I forgot to take pictures through the rest of the evening, but it was probably for the best as someone we went out with, who Nidhi is "friends" with apparently, was trying to get me as severely inebriated as possible. At 12:49 am exactly (and yes we did end up closing up the bar), as evidenced by the following picture, I attempted to call my boyfriend only to play juggle with my phone unsuccessful. It fell into the toilet. I think I had flushed already, but I can't recall exactly. Yeah... was probably 4 shots of Jameson in at this point...
    (I only found this picture later saved in my phone and have no idea how the phone took a picture of itself while I was frantically trying to turn it off!)
    What bar were we at? I dunno.. As you can see, the consistent element here is Nidhi and the conclusion is that Nidhi leads to dead iphones! Fortunately, a bag of rice saved my phone, so she's off the hook this time... ;p

    Sunday, August 5, 2012

    picture post!

    Yet another post that begins with a lament about how long it has been since my last post! It has been 3 months since I moved to CLE and I am still not settled! A few days ago I moved to my new apartment. It is a lovely two bedroom apartment/duplex in the Cedar-Fairmount area, and I will be joined in a few weeks by my new roommate! I am super excited to make this place home and cozy it up with handmade touches.

    Even though I haven't updated the blog, I always do keep an eye out for things I want to update about! Usually I'll take a pic on my iphone so I can keep the memory. Since I've been slacking on the updates, I'll post one big update with all the pictures!

    Shortly after I moved to CLE, I decided my new apartment needed a cat. I went on craigslist as I have always done and searched for if anyone needed help with fostering their cat. A perfect opportunity came up. Tango's dad had just gotten deployed overseas and Tango needed a new home until his dad came home! This is the first picture of him. He is the sweetest, cutest, most adorable cat I have ever taken care of. I have never wanted to keep a cat, until him! My facebook updates constant contain pictures of him, doing something funny, or just being the adorable self that he is.

    Early June, I went up to Traverse City to celebrate Becca and Evan's wedding! It was an awesome party and I got to see some of my favorite people!

    Here's the boy I love <3 and here's the girl I love <3

    Went to a restaurant down the street on Coventry called High Thai'd. Veggie spring rolls and noodle soup. Noodle soup is my ultimate comfort food. This wasn't the best I've had but it satisfied the craving for the time being.

    It was my birthday so I went to Detroit to celebrate! No one remembered tho ;( It's ok, still had a good time ;p Tien took me out for an un-birthday lunch and dinner! Lunch was at Mudgie's where I had my signature sandwich and dinner was at Woodbridge with the boys :)


    Hooray I got a piece of paper! Add that to my paper collection.... ;D


    I frequented Phoenix Cafe in Coventry, quite frequently. Their coffee, lattes, and chai are quite good. Can't say the same about their bubble tea tho :( It's a nice study environment although sometimes people watching the interesting characters who come to Coventry can be a bit distracting..


    It was the weekend again! So off to Detroit :) We made taco/quesadilla things. The first time around we didn't realize the tortillas were raw, bit into them only to taste raw doughiness. Then we fried up the tortillas and they were delicious ;D



    Had it again for breakfast. Just as awesome!


    I brought Tango for a visit as well. He mewed all the way there in the car, poor baby! Unfortunately, Cecil didn't take to having a stranger around. The first night she swat at Tango with her razor sharp claws so that got them off to a bad start. By the end of the weekend, they were content with grumbling while staring at each other. So cute!


    It was also Priyanka and Matt's wedding that weekend! Saw some wonderful people and had a great party :)



    Beautiful bride and such a beautiful ceremony! They had a combined western and indian ceremony and tied the whole thing together so well. It was so moving :')


    Last time to see these awesome people in a while!


    Mudgie's again, with Lenie and Ken :)

    Oh I finally figured out how to use my flat iron to make dramatic looks like this ;)


    Patches here needed a sitter for the weekend. She wasn't happy about not being at home though :(


    This is Smoochy on the left, and Hippity on the right. What a lovely odd couple they are :)


    My attempt to recreate my Mudgie's special. It was awesome!! Ingredients: sour dough bread, pesto, roasted red peppers, avocado (or sub guac), smoked gouda, mixed greens. So amazing!


    This is how Tango sleeps! How adorable! (Can you tell this post is getting too long? I don't want to type anymore lol)


    My car got towed. It wasn't all my fault. The tow lot was literally half a mile away. We walked to it to get my car back. Could have bought a PS3 with how much we had to pay them. It sucked! :(


    Some delicious new drink from starbucks, for free!


    Tango likes playing with/eating spinach leaves apparently...


    Kabobs at Olivia's! Since I just moved (yes, again) we are now neighbors!


    Ok that is all the energy I have for typing for now. Yes, as I just mentioned I have moved yet again. It is a huge pain in the ass and I'm still getting settled in. More details and pictures once I have decorated :)