Wednesday, May 06, 2015

being mortal


I started this post around Thanksgiving last year, but then I let it slip away as I worked through some pretty major life changes.

It's not like there haven't been moments over the past year when I thought, "hey! I should write a post about this" (I completed a half marathon and beat my goal time; Twin Peaks is coming back). But then the moment passed, and I didn't really feel compelled to share anything. I guess I could've easily let this blog fade away.

But the list-making, spreadsheet-tracking part of me is prone to documenting things, and compelled me to revive this. So for the record: last fall I decided to make a big leap, and now this month I'm going back to school to become a doctor. Not a PhD, like I imagined while in undergrad, but a (hopefully) board-licensed physician. There are moments lately when I have trouble processing this, imagining what my life will be like in 10 years when I'd finally be out on the other side. Mostly I just hope that my dog will be alive at that point! Overwhelmingly, however, I am filled with excitement and happiness--I even feel a lightness of relief in knowing that this is the right thing for me and that I don't have to worry about my "calling" in life anymore.

Since last summer, I've been reading almost exclusively non-fiction medical books/articles. Notably, it started with Mountains Beyond Mountains (a book my mom gave me during college, in the hopes that it would reignite my passion for medicine...she turned out to be right, though off by about 7 years), and then moved swiftly to Atul Gawande's small but substantial body of work (not counting the wonderful backlog of his New Yorker articles that I have yet to completely read). The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks was also memorable, and there were a couple of more technical books on pregnancy/birth/reproductive health thrown in there as well (for work). I'm hoping to squeeze in Sheri Fink's Five Days at Memorial, but with only a few weeks until school starts and math review that I've been putting off for weeks now, I'm not sure that's going to happen. I'm also still trying to find time to watch the doc Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies (and read the book too, maybe), but Breaking Bad still holds my attention through Season 4, even as it elevates my blood pressure like crazy to watch it!!
I'm not even sure if this should be a part of the same post, but I would like to have an ongoing record of what's happening with my personal style. For the past few months I've been mostly wearing scrubs. I currently work at UPenn's hospital, often for several 12-hour overnight shifts at a time, and so I basically leave the house in scrubs, come home, and crash. I really can't be bothered to function as a normal human being, let alone dress myself. For a while this made it easier to curb my shopping (no time for online browsing/no foreseeable point to dressing up), but now that I'm going back to school there's been a flurry of add-to-cart, textbooks aside.

So far in 2015 I've been pretty good about keeping my spreadsheet of purchases updated (and to a minimum), though I have spent a fair amount on things that I've wanted for a long time, but that I now fear will serve little utility. Do I really need multiple leather jackets? Do I have too many shoes considering on most days I either wear Nike Frees or Danskos? I suppose the bigger problem is that I tend to buy multiples of things that I perceive to be useful: i.e. backpacks, "sturdy" bags (I have a Filson addiction problem), and APC denim. How am I supposed to test if something really lasts if I never really let them get worn in?
p.s. is anyone else as excited as I am about the upcoming BBC production of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell?

Monday, June 16, 2014

the pug life

The past couple of months have been some of the best of my life--Ben and I finally adopted a pug! Grover is 5 years old and has quickly become the center of our little family. Those of you who follow me on instagram will know that I've definitely already fallen down the hole of crazy-pug-mother-dom and basically only post photos of Grover now. I'm really resisting becoming one of those people who has an instagram solely dedicated to their dog(s) but considering how much joy I get out of those, maybe I might as well just do it? 

Unfortunately, our Memorial Day weekend was brought to a scary close when one of Grover's front teeth fell out. We booked the soonest vet appointment available and then were told that it is likely that Grover has never had a dental cleaning before. He has bad tooth decay and gum disease and will need between 5-10 teeth pulled :( It's not uncommon for pugs to need lots of work done for their teeth since getting all 42 teeth crammed into that little snout is no small feat, but that doesn't make us any less worried about putting him under general anesthesia or that the cost is going to be roughly that of two-month's rent. 

I am continuing to exhaustively clean out my closet and have been listing things to sell on The Laws of General Economy and ebay to help foot the costs for Grover's surgery. We are also considering using an online fundraising campaign like PetCaring or GiveForward, but both Ben and I feel a little reluctant and uncomfortable about it. Have any of you used online fundraising for personal matters? Would you do it again? 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

ho hum

Well, I'm thinking that maybe the best way to get this blog rebooted is just to write-up whatever thoughts I have swirling around without overthinking it too much and waiting to come up with themes/lists/etc.

Things I am struggling with:
- The fact that it still isn't warm and spring-like even though I took the above photo about three months ago and it was like 65 degrees that day.
- Expedia's customer service. Really just the worse--if you're thinking about using them in the near future--don't. 
- Feeling like I have a pile-up of clothes again, yet continuing to buy because of sales and deals that are just too good to pass up. And feeling like I still want to buy the Everlane Petra bag even though I already have nice bags that just sit in my closet and never get used.

Things I am looking forward to:
- Mounting our new staghorn ferns after being inspired at Longwood Gardens last month
- Completing step 2 (a home visit) of the 3-step process of adopting a pug from Philly Pug and Short Nose Rescue
- Seeing The Phantom of the Opera at the Kimmel Center this weekend with my boyfriend's mother :)
- Taking a mini-vacation down to Baltimore next weekend
- The start of summer superhero blockbuster movies, mainly X-Men Days of Future Past but also Guardians of the Galaxy 
- Eating fried calamari at Head House Crab & Oyster Co. because it is the only place I trust even 5 years after that NPR story
- Fleetwood Mac just announced that they will be doing a US tour this year with Christine McVie AND Stevie Nicks

So...maybe not so ho hum after all? 

Tuesday, March 04, 2014


Do you hear that? That's the sound of time passing. And just like that, we're 2 months into 2014 already.

It always feels a little unnatural to start blogging again after a long absence. I feel ok about it though because this time was mostly due to just spending time doing more fun things and not busy-ness (though work has been extremely busy lately). Mostly I'm just trying to hold on to the hope that this endless winter will finally end any day now.

Wardrobe Planning for 2014 
I've already made a few missteps in purchases because I didn't stick to my plans and bought impulsively. A couple of choices seemed necessary (needed a dress for a wedding, needed an all-black pair of ankle boots), while others I should've taken longer to think and maybe try on in person.

Here are my purchases and wishlist for 2014, with notes:
1. A.P.C. navy wool oversized scarf so necessary for the polar vortex 
2. Zara navy open back dress wedding purchase - might resell 
3. Zara black tuxedo suit jacket for work
4. Steven Alan danny pant in grey wool the best fitting pants for my body type - I already had them in black and red wool
5. A.P.C. petit standard raw jeans bought a size 25 which I think may have been too small--still can't button all of the buttons! Might have to resell...
6. Madewell charade black blazer another good purchase for work 
7. Uniqlo silk blouse in navy polka dot and camel, probably won't be purchasing an Everlane one now 
8. Madewell peter pan collar denim shirt this fits differently than I expected...probably reselling/returning
9. Hope macy boots in black birthday present to myself - extremely happy with the workmanship and comfort level! 
10. Nike free runs yeah yeah yeah everyone has them but I just want to save my feet from getting bunions, that's all!
11. Sam Edelman trina sandals to replace a pair from 3 years ago that's pretty worn at this point

In other news, I hope this blog's revival will include lots of photos of a new four-legged friend soon! 

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

the best

2013 was the best year of my life so far. I fell in love, lived in Paris for the summer, landed a job that I love going to every day, and moved to my favorite neighborhood in Philly. If 2014 is half as good, I should only be so lucky! Happy new year!!
(paris, brittany, mont st michel, tuileries/louvre)
(schuylkill river trail, view from my office, visiting parents in connecticut, first snow in philly)