Wednesday, June 24, 2015

into the woods

I was supposed to have my second "midterm" this morning but woke up with the news that last night's storm rendered all of Bryn Mawr's campus powerless. So now the gap of time between this midterm and my final (next Tuesday) is even smaller, but a small blogging break seems to be in order (and pizza-making and a pug play-date later today!).

It also still kind of feels like I just started classes, but we are almost finished with an entire semester's worth of material. Honestly, I kind of like this rapid-fire way of learning--it keeps me really focused and prevents procrastination (because if I did, it would only take one day to fall behind). Now that I'm pretty settled into my schedule, I'm trying to get back into reading books instead of just binging on podcasts during my daily commute. I started Napoleon's Buttons: 17 Molecules that Changed History a couple of days ago, and it's so hard to not obnoxiously go about asking everyone leading "Did you know...?" questions. But really, it's a very fun read and the extent to which it has made me actually excited for orgo is 1000% worth it.
Other life things:
- Grover recovered fully from his surgery and the growth that was removed from his side turned out to be non-cancerous (phew)
- Our CSA with Greensgrow has been revving up and we made pickles!
- I finished season 1 of Agents of Shield's not amazing but I am definitely hooked and Melinda May is my spirit animal
- We're 1 episode away from finishing season 3 of OITNB and my general impressions are that the show still does an amazing job of portraying characters but damn...things were pretty bleak this season
- Finally saw Mad Max and quite simply, it was brilliant

And now I leave you with some photos from our trip to the Poconos last month, which was basically a glorified Grover photoshoot ;-)

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

wardrobe reboot

As previously mentioned, I like spreadsheets. I wouldn't go as far as this guy from Reddit's MFA thread to calculate aggregate scores for each item of clothing, but I have been using spreadsheets to track my spending.

- Madewell Parkview silk dress - bought for a wedding and ended up not wearing it...not a great start to 2015! Will probably resell.
- Canada Goose Kensington parka - I wanted to replace my vintage Woolrich Arctic Parka with a new one, but the fit on the new one ended up being weird. Because of my work schedule I often had to commute at the coldest times of day/night, so I'm really glad I plunked down for this coat.

- Makr farm satchel - I've had the farm backpack for 3+ years now and it is in great shape, but I always kind of wanted it in the grey color. This satchel is smaller than I expected but it's good for running errands, walking Grover across-town, etc. Not too fussy and good interior organization.

- Everlane slim pants - I'm still not sure if these were 100% worth the hype but they do fit pretty well and I like that they are lightweight wool with a bit of stretch.
- J. Crew schoolboy blazer + maddie pants in heather wool flannel = suit - Bought in anticipation of med school interviews. The pants actually fit perfectly but are a few inches too long and will probably need to be hemmed eventually. The blazer is a little less fitted than the 1035 suit jacket, but I think it's a little more versatile. Still debating if I really need two grey blazers...

- A.P.C. denim romper - I've looked out for this on ebay for years and one surreptitiously showed up in my size during the first warm week of spring.
- Madewell across v-neck top - I own quite a few long-sleeve button downs, sleeveless button-downs, and tank tops, but not really any "tops." I haven't been into wearing dresses lately, so this is basically a dressier version of my jeans + Everlane ryan tank combo.
- Everlane linen tank - I bought this in cream and copper, and I think I'm only going to end up keeping the cream. The copper is a little darker in real life than I anticipated, and I'm not sure the color is really flattering on me.

- Baggu boat tote - mostly for farmer's markets, the beach, or toting Grover around. This thing is huge.

I also bought Dansko clogs + a Patagonia better sweater fleece jacket, because they are pretty much the prescribed hospital uniform in conjunction with scrubs. Clothes aside, I widely expanded my use of beauty and skincare products, because I am now squarely in my mid-20s and the acne that I escaped in my teens has now caught up with me. In preparation for school, I bought a few textbooks, some notebooks, a This is Ground mod, and two sets of my favorite pens.
Trying to shop less for myself sometimes just ends up with shopping more for others. I gifted a navy COS suit to Ben, who is interning at the attorney general of NJ's office this summer. It's made from lightweight 100% navy wool, and I had to get it for him because at 50% off it ended up being less than a lot of the poly-blends he tried on at Zara. I also added to his Filson collection--he now has the original briefcase in navy and brown--and the plan is to decide which color to keep by the end of the summer. On his feet are a pair of Cole Haan Lenox Hill cap-toe oxfords (after The Kingsman we are both a little less fond of easily swayed). For mother's day I bought my mom a Lo & Sons O.M.G. bag; it's been on her wishlist since I brought mine on vacation to Bermuda last December :)
I love reading Maja's year-long shopping fast series (she's 8 months in) because it feels more forgiving and realistic than my aspirations for extreme minimalism, which have been fueled by reading the entirety of the Paris-to-go blog a few weeks ago. I love the zero-waste posts, but 10 items of clothing!! I love that Ariana seems super approachable in her responses to her readers' responses though; very refreshing in the way of blogs these days. Anyways, I like how Maja formats her shopping fast posts, and am thinking of keeping up with this little exercise.

Thing I wanted to buy, but didn't:
- Everlane street shoes - I don't really need another pair of shoes, but it would be nice to give my Nike Frees a break. I am also a little intrigued by their new silk tank dress, in burgundy.

On the wishlist:
- A Lotuff bag. I know it seems really spendy/reckless, especially because I am about to go into mountains of student loan debt, but I can't seem to shake the habit of buying one perfect thing to "reward" myself for working hard/marking milestones.

What I gave away or sold:
- Gifted a Zara studio blazer reminiscent of something Marlene Dietrich would wear to my friend, because it fits her so much better than it ever did on me.
- Sold my Rennes mini duffle, because I rarely carried it anymore and it seemed like a waste for it to sit in my closet.
- Sold my Black Crane quilt pants, because they were kind of big and saggy on me, and not in a slouchy cool way. (I wish they had continued making the quilt top, though, because I love the material).
The internet is still a sinkhole of temptations, but I spend a lot more time looking at real estate than clothes these days, even though buying a house has no basis in reality at the moment. Curbed led me to this terrifying fact, which also seems to echo The New Yorker's recent-ish assessment of Amazon Dash. I should probably get my mind on to more relevant things, as my first day of school is tomorrow

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?