Sunday, December 20, 2009

lost angeles detours

Already in Los Angeles, CA for my Step 2 Clinical Skills exam and interview #8. I'm tired of traveling and am ready to go home; but I can see the light at the end of this toilet paper roll.

I enjoyed a lot of time with my family in Sacramento: a 13 year-old smarty pants and an 8 year-old sassy pants. I love those girls. We picked out a Christmas tree, ate plenty of onolicious food, played some Rock Band on the Wii, went skipping through the mall, and I watched them do some back-handsprings off the 4" balance beam. I loved my interviews and squeezed in time to have dinner with some very good girlfriends of mine (Nicolina, Angelina, Jenny, & Allison) and some very good friends (John & Marsha). I'm sorry there was not enough time to have dinner with everyone. I know I've missed out on some great parties while I've been away: Golf-themed party, Fysiotherapie and the Tacky Sweater Christmas parties. I've also missed some great parties up here while I've been interviewing: another Tacky Sweater Party and Sean's engagement party.

It's hard to remember why I am doing this sometimes since I haven't seen a real patient in a long time - only the fake ones during the CS exam. I know it'll all be worth it one day; but even now, in my fourth year, I'm missing out on so much (parties, alumni games, weddings, Mississippi, and family time).

I've very much enjoyed the time I've spent here with family and friends. Over the weekend I'm spending time with my grandmother - who I rarely see or spend much time with. We've already gone to tea with another aunt and lunch with Uncle Dick and Aunt Delores. I've seen my cousin and his new wife and my aunt and uncle who might not see me again 'til the next wedding!

And who knows where I'll end up... The MATCH (yes, usually we medical students capitalize the entire word for emphasis) is unpredictable. I've worked hard to get to this point and now it'll be out of my hands -- except for the few emails I write to programs I have high interest in, just to remind them of who I am. The point I'm trying to make is: just like the LA freeways, there's no telling where the road will turn. I've just got to learn to enjoy the detours.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

cactuses or cacti?

So, I arrived safely into Phoenix, Arizona and got hooked up with a phat pad called the Residence Inn Marriott Phoenix Airport 1 bedroom suite. I have two flatscreen tvs, a full size bed, a vanity, dishwasher, refrigerator, sofa, desk, and extra chair and dining set, etc, etc, all to my(bad)self. I was able to workout in the "gym" at the hotel -- two treadmills, a bike, and an elliptical machine with a few hand weights. Not my favorite, but there was a tv and I was able to watch an episode of CSI to keep me running for an hour...

I got COMPLETELY lost on the Metro Light Rail train thingy trying to find dinner with the residents and was walking through areas of town that almost-petite-Asian-twenty-six-year-olds should probably not be walking through. I was scared & cried 'cause I was frustrated and 30 minutes late for dinner; which ended up being a sit-down dinner rather than a buffet-style. I'm sure all applicants will agree that being at a sit-down dinner is much more uncomfortable than an open floor atmosphere because you are limited to talking to the same four people all night. Because I was late, I ended up at the end of the table and the poor resident, medical student, and applicant significant other had to talk to me all night... However, the food was FABULOUS ITALIAN with gourmet pizzas, caprese salad, & a tossed salad covered in parmesan. Yummy.

After interviews, I went running with a resident and another applicant. Seeing as I'm out of shape coming back from knee surgery, I was falling a little behind during their 7:40 pace... Urgh. Nothing more frustrating for an [ex]athlete than being out of shape and having someone else see it. That's okay. I'll be back.
I think as a resident, I shall train for a marathon and try to do one in a different city every year. Okay, I stole that idea from an REI doc that interviewed me... but it's a goodie :) Maybe my first can be a half marathon in Hawaii...

The breakfast is awesome at my Residence Inn. It's the breakfast with the waffle-maker, the oatmeal and accouterments, the yogurt and fillings, the bagel and toast bar, the hot eggs, bacon, sausage, and potatoes, and fresh juice and coffee!! Oh, and cereal and milk and pastries! A good breakfast bar is always a sign of a great hotel. I shall return again tomorrow!

The Residence Inn shuttle drops us at the Metro and I took the train to the Tempe Fall Festival of the Arts. It's near ASU - where Jana went to school, home of the Sun Devils - and took up like ten blocks. I was walking around all over the place! Found some great Kettle corn and listened to some live music while walking around looking for Christmas gifts. I had a wonderful time and stopped by Mills End for a vanilla steamer and some post-card thank-you writing...

Keep in mind, people, that whatever you are doing cannot be as bad as all the street performers I saw today trying to make some money by juggling on a unicycle or pretending to tie and untie knots in handkerchiefs... Actually, that sounds like fun. I take it back.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Noah's Bagels

Driving in fog is different from driving in rain or snow or Hawaii's fake fog, vog. There was minimal variability this morning at 5:30am as I started my 2 hour drive to the airport in my electric blue PT Cruiser. It slowed me down a few minutes but I made it to the car rental return and to the gate on-time. A blessing was bestowed upon me this morning when I made it to my gate and there was a Noah's Bagels in the gate area. "Cinnamon raisin bagel toasted with honey almond shmear please." Love them. Ultimately, after all my doctor stuff works out, I think I would like to own - and maybe live in - a Noah's Bagels.

Short blog 'cause I gotta go board my plane to Phoenix. Which should be spelled 'Pheonix' by the way...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Electric Blue

I ran through Central Park!! I get to check that one off the list of things to do in my lifetime :) Also had a hotdog from a corner cart ($1.5o in case you were wondering) with sauerkraut and mustard -- there was no relish! No relish on a hotdog is outrageous btw...

Left NYC with my running shoes on to head to San Jose. It's a short story but I ended up having to rent a car and then drive to Sacramento for a couple nights rest. Lucky me, Fox Rent-A-Car actually did exist and then I was upgraded from an economy car to a PT Cruiser. I woke up this morning to discover my new wheels are ELECTRIC BLUE! I guess I had no idea when I got into the car in the dark at the airport that it was that bright... I thought it was navy or a dark gray. Silly, fun things. Drive an electric blue PT Cruiser -- CHECK!

Spent a fun day with my family today: making waffles, playing in the fort, reading through the Sunday newspaper ads, going out for burgers, playing RockBand2 on the Wii, and getting some stuffesses done on the computer. It's nice to be back in California. It's crazy to be driving past my college hangouts and old friends' places with a totally new purpose. I hope that if I stay in the Bay Area for residency, that I can make new memories as well as cherish the good ones I once left behind.

Tomorrow I shall make the 2 hr drive back to San Jose for another residents' dinner and interview. It's a good feeling to get through an interview and learn as much as you can about a program. Easy to forget, we medical students must remember that we are interviewing the programs to make sure they are a good fit - and only a little bit are we on trial :p

Of note this evening: There's nothing more special than biker dudes and chicks carrying toys for tots down the freeway.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday

I would normally like to be bumping elbows and screaming at the mayhem of deal-seekers on the second best shopping holiday of the year (the first is the weekend before Christmas) but instead, I'm sitting in the glorious quiet of the New York Public Library. I needed Wi-Fi to work on my laptop and found the sanctity of the NYPL 3rd floor. The old halls are decorated with portraits of the greats: Washington, Roosevelt, a few madames; and vintage chandeliers hang from the ceiling of intricately carved ivory. I was able to complete some car rental reservations, jot on my blog, and write some postcards...

My mother asked me what I might want for Christmas this year. I cannot think of a single thing. I mean, there are the occasional pair of earrings in the window that I might admire, but I don't think I need anything that my mother could get me for the holidays this year. I think it's all of the spending money traveling that's got my panties in a bunch. I can barely pay for my travel bills and my utilities, so I decided to make gifts this year.

To my followers: How do you feel about giving &/or receiving hand-made gifts at Christmas?

It's hard to keep up with the gift-making because it does take a lot of time and you want it to be something meaningful to the receiver. I don't know if all this talk about making gifts, spending money, or the weather has given me this headache, but I must pause for some Tylenol...

It's also hard to keep up with sending postcards. I will be leaving New York tomorrow for California and I've only sent a couple 'Thank You' postcards to my interviewers. Don't worry, you will all get them - can't promise you will get them by Christmas, but I'll try.

Have a dark shopping holiday :)


Thursday, November 26, 2009

macy*s day parade

It's been a fun past few days in NYC... Staying at my cousin Erin's place on the upper east side and traveling downtown on the subway and west on foot.

Surprisingly, I was offered another interview in the city - they opened up a personal interview day for me. I definitely felt that another interview made my trip more worthwhile. Wait, what am I talking about? Worthwhile? I got to hang with Megs, go on the Sex & the City tour and get closer to the fabulous ladies I dream about sometimes, I've strolled through Central Park, got to cook and eat Thanksgiving dinner with my cousins Erin and Alyssa, and check out the Macy's Day Parade balloons in real life!!

The trip has been very worthwhile. I would like to thank everyone for putting me up in hotels, their apartments, and giving me rides around the country. There have been some bumps in the road but (hopefully) it's making me a better...traveler.

I will have to figure out how to attach photos to the blog 'cause after Central Park, the Parade, and Thanksgiving dinner I've got some good ones. There were two crazy girls running around the Union Square Farmers Market, the subway, Agata & Valentina market, and the grocery store with miniature shopping carts yesterday... Oh, wait! It was my cousin, Alyssa, and myself! Trying to shop for all we needed for Thanksgiving dinner was fun but tiring by the time we finally got home. [The tiny shopping carts are because NYC is so compact, that their grocery stores are compact, and their shopping carts need to be short, too].

And how about that Parade? We watch it every year on television but for the first time in my life, I got to see the balloons up close! The weather was beautiful, 55 degrees and sunny with no wind, and there were plenty of peeps out with kids on shoulder and strollers to check out the scenes. I secretly wanted to be friends with those hanging out their windows watching it from Central Park West, but kept it to myself when I saw the kiddies sitting on the port-a-potties for a better look.

I'm getting tired from eating too many calories. Hopefully I'll get up for a run through Central Park tomorrow -- last full day in NYC...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Please, pretty please

45-49 degrees yesterday and today here in New York. Ran in the nice hotel gym - the treadmills had televisions on each one! Anyways, met up with Megs at her office (on a Sunday, yes) and tried to make it to Central Park. However, we were too busy eating and shopping!! So far we've walked down through lower east side and through midtown east.

We planned to see a cinema and wound up watching Blind Side - the movie based on the true story of the Raven's NFL linebacker, Michael Oher - in a cute New York theater. The movie was wonderful and it was a great opportunity to feel like a local instead of a tourist. There was a group of 5 elderly Jewish women that I wanted to take a picture of 'cause they were the epitomy of Jewish wealth in the city. [Read: Sex And the City's Charlotte and her Jewish synagogue matchmakers].

Reminding me of England, New York has adorable delis scattered through the city. I was surprised when we walked into what looked like a small, counter-only mart but it turned out there were two buffet-style counters of hot entrees and salads. It was like Whole Foods on a budget!

Waiting to see if Beth Israel Hospital can accommodate an interview this week. They offered it on Friday but the interview dates don't line up with my stay in New York. I guess this is how things work during residency interviews... Please, pretty please can I come and have an interview please.

Can we talk about these Target commercials with the blonde woman in red and pearls. She's hilariously preparing & training for the Target black-Friday sale and I giggle at her every time.

Found out the Rockefeller Christmas tree lighting will be on Dec 2nd after I've already left the city :( I'll go see if the tree is up at least and I can take pics. Megs doesn't have time 'cause of work, Erin's already been, and Alyssa isn't the hugest fan and needs to save money, so I'm going on the Sex And the City tour by myself sometime today or tomorrow. SUPER STOKED!