Monday, September 22, 2008

Cookin' tonight

Check out what my man is making for dinner tonight! He tried this recipe last week with salmon (freakin' delicious), but this weekend we found the right kind of fish at Hong Kong Market! I love that place--the best produce, plus those little lychee flavored jelly things that I adore. Anyway, he's making me dinner, and I'm so excited. Andrew doesn't think he's a very good cook, but anytime he tries a new recipe, it's unbelievably scrumptious.

I'll try to write something later about my adventures in the abdomen today. It was quite something, let me tell ya.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Empty buildings

It's been a great day. A great weekend really. Fabulous dinner out on Friday with the man, wonderful wine, estate sales on Saturday (they deserve a whole post to themselves), naps, poker with friends, shopping, even some studying thrown in there. Tonight we had fondue and watched most of The Fall, which is an amazing movie so far (Andrew got sleepy, but it was probably just a ploy to get me into bed).

Despite all the fun and everything going perfectly this weekend, I'm feeling melancholy tonight. The reasons why are probably silly and wouldn't be very interesting to write (or read) about, so I'll deal with my neuroses on my own for now. But I thought I'd share something great.

This is the work of David Kohrman, who keeps a blog dedicated mostly to decrepit, abandoned buildings. Aren't they beautifully eerie? He says that his favorite buildings are hotels, and he does have some amazing photos of crumbling hotels. But the most intriguing to me are abandoned hospitals. I see the defunct Charity hospital every day and I'm so curious to know what it looks like inside. From below, it's hulking and monstrous, with abandoned ac units sticking out of broken windows. It must be so spooky inside.

I was alerted to Kohrman's stuff through bohemian hellhole, a bad ass blog about broken buildings and other beautiful things. Check it out.

I'll sign off and stop overthinking things. New week tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Rock N' Bowl

I'm so excited for St. Louis Slim at Rock N' Bowl tomorrow night! Finally a little swing in this city! I'm having so much fun here in New Orleans--amazing food, great booze, fun people, very very strange sights on a daily basis, and oh, the AMAZING food. But the one thing I've definitely been missing is a swing scene, and maybe I'll find one tomorrow! I'm an awful bowler (really really terrible), but it should be a great night.

Off to make Deb's kefta and zucchini kebabs (yum...). Later kids!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I know I shouldn't but

Ok, so I know I have an anatomy exam on Monday and I should be spending every single waking moment with my nose buried in Snell, but I mean really. A girl needs a break.

So I finally watched the premiere of America's Next Top Model (no cable=waiting until cwtv posts episodes online=lame-o). I promise not to turn this blog into an SGM wannabee (even though man oh man that blog makes me laugh), but GOOD GOD! The drama! The bitchiness! The fabulosity! I love and hate them all already! Let's see, we've got stuck-up and bitchy, antisocial and super shy french girl, vegan animal rights bi-girl, Alaskan moose-huntress (to borrow a phrase), mixed-martial arts fighter, and even a transgendered woman! Oh yes, it should be an exciting season (not that I'll be watching that trash...ahem). And oh man, how fantastic and over the top is Sheena? Don't you just want to be her friend?

Ok, fine, back to it. Later, you lovely people.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Chest cavity

I'm back! I'm so sorry to all two of you (three? sure, I'll be optimistic) that check my blog daily for these little vacations that I keep taking. Silly med school. But the good news is that I did really well on my first exam! Biochem, baby. As always, I had psyched myself out way too much and did a lot better than I thought I would. Wait, as always? I never do better than I think I did! I usually do worse, which makes me think that I'm actually starting to get this med school thang! Go me.

(from here)

I had a traumatic gross anatomy experience yesterday. Traumatic might be a bit of an overstatement (I'll tell you a truly traumatic lab experience in a mo'), but it was certainly less than ideal. We were dissecting the chest cavity, and as always, Dr. Levy gave us some words of wisdom beforehand. His first and most ringing words were "Don't cut your phrenic nerve!", and he then went on to describe in detail how to avoid such a terrible, med-school-career-ending mistake. And what did my lab group do? Right after taking the lungs out, we just chopped right on through the nerve. And not just on one side--nope, both phrenic nerves! The worst part was that we didn't even know that we'd done it until Dr. Levy came over and KICKED OUR ASSES. I mean really, I wanted to climb into the humidor with out body just so that I could hide from him. Scary stuff. He had that "I'm so dissappointed in you" tone of voice, and I swear, I had to keep the tears in. Sniff. The only way I held them is was knowing that it was our last day with Constable Levy, and Tuesday we'll be switching lab directors. Dr. Levy would never let us live it down otherwise.

Other than that, the lab itself was just yucky (by the way, if you're not into cadaver descriptions and general ew-ness, read no further!). I mean, I'm basically over the yuck-factor of spending hours and hours with our less-than-properly-preserved body, which is looking and smelling worse and worse as the days go by. By now it's pretty routine. But as I was elbow-deep in that chest cavity, wrestling with the left lung (bitch didn't want to come out), I was experiencing new and truly awe-inspiring stenches that I had previously only imagined. And oh, the coagulated pulmonary fluid! Hand fulls of it that had to be removed, all of it a sickly redish-brownish-yuckyish color and the consistency of runny rice pudding.

So! That brings me to the truly traumatic lung dissection story that I mentioned earlier. A friend of one of my classmates was doing a lung dissection in gross anatomy at a med school somewhere (stories like this transcend space and time anyway), and while she was leaning over, she accidently pierced something that spurted directly upward. Into her mouth. Oh. My. God. Like any sane person with a normal sense of what should NOT be in your mouth, she vomited, into her cadaver. This started a chain reaction around her lab table, and they all ended up vomiting more or less into their humidor, all over their cadaver. I can't even imagine anything more disgusting than a vomit-covered cadaver, especially since it's not like they could just get a new one. Nope, they were probably stuck with it for the duration of the lab. And I thought I had problems.

Sorry about that folks. I promise, that's all of the gross for today. Other than that, there's just so freaking much to know about that general area (nerves and the like) that it was a bit stressful. Especially because this is block 2 material, and we're all frantically trying to study our block 1 stuff for our Monday exam without absorbing anything unnessesary. Arg!

It's going to be a long weekend folks, full of my good friends Rohen and Snell, plus a lovely Sunday trip to the lab (who needs church?). Hurricane Ike is brushing past us right now, so it's pretty windy out there. I feel awful for Galveston! They're getting the shit beat out of them at the moment, and it looks like it's only going to get worse. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you, Texas!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Oh my goodness yum

Hey all. Thought I'd share a mouth-watering dish with y'all.

Stuffed tomatoes, from the Wednesday Chef! Check them out--delicious! I'm dying to try them out, maybe with some of the tasty Creole tomatoes that you can get around here. I can't imagine a better way to spend an end-of-summer afternoon on the back porch!

By the by, I found a link to this recipe via smitten kitchen, one of my favorite food blogs EVER. I've made a few of her things and they always turn out splendidly, not to mention the fact that she fills her recipes with gorgeous food photos. It took me a while to branch out to online cooks again after the end of my love affair with Mark Bittman (the Minimalist) of New York Times fame. But after four or five complete failures, I had to admit that he and I were just headed in different directions as far as the kitchen is concerned. Some of you may have heard about the Octopus Incident:

There was also an unfortunate experiment involving granola. Ugh. But even though I was traumatized, I decided to jump back in the water, and I'm thrilled that I did. Seriously, try her chicken marsala. Fantastic.

Anyway, even though it's soggy outside and all mosquito-y, I'm itching to sit on the porch, sip some wine, and stuff myself with bruschetta. Hope everyone's having a lovely evening!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


The hurricane's over, and now that the panic and general hullabaloo are over, everyone's settled in to wait. Waiting for the power to come back on, the grocery stores to open up, waiting for help to get that damn tree off your car. The big wait for the next few days will be for the go-ahead to come back home from wherever people evacuated to. Then, after it comes, everyone will wait in traffic on parking lot I-10.

Tonight, I'm waiting for Andrew to come home. He spent the night, thank goodness, but had to take off again to Belle Chase early this morning. He had some amazing stories about tornadoes, big trucks, and walking on top of levees that were just about to be overtopped. And he's back to it today, and I haven't heard a word. I'm not complaining; I know how intensely busy he is and how shoddy cell phone reception is these days. But it's getting late, and we were hoping he would be able to come home for dinner, and I'm lonely.

Even though I've jumped off the flickr bandwagon for my personal photo needs, I do love it so. This post was going to center around my flickr favorites with a waiting theme, but I'm having image upload issues. But I love typing a random word or date into flickr and seeing what pops up, so I would recommend trying it out. Sorry, this was supposed to be a lot more visually pleasing! Here's a nice pictures of the bridges over the Mississippi, near my house, just for a little color:

Nighty night!

Travolta power

(taken by yours truly at the audubon zoo here in NO town)

I am feeling like a BUMP on a LOG! It's 4:02 pm and I have studied my way through exactly ONE biochem lecture. Only one! I wish I could say that I spent the rest of the day deeply immersed in gross anatomy, but I cannot tell a lie. Well, yes I can, but I'm choosing not to. Instead, I:

1) Ate two bowls of fruit loops (actually 1.5)

2) Played with the cat

3) Took a three hour nap

4) Spent a silly amount of time looking at nothing in particular on the internet

5) Ate more cajun sausage and one of Maria's delicious white chocolate chip cookies

6) Watched an episode of Dexter

Productive, eh? Oh yeah:

7) Finished the first Twilight book. Yep, in a day and a half.

There, my humiliation is complete.

Because I'm obviously having an uninspiring day, I wanted to share with you a reliable source of motivation. Whenever I feel like getting off my lazy ass and doing something useful with my life, this is where I turn:

That's right folks! Staying Fit with John Travolta, a guide to reshaping your body through weight resistance and modern dance! Some highlights:

And my personal favorite:

Ah, if only I had a black spandex workout jumper! And such fine tone in my buttocks! John Travolta circa 1984 really knew how to shake his groove thang, something that I think we've lost in these jaded days of pilates and hot yoga. Tragic.

Ok, study time. Hey, I'm serious this time! Stop laughing!

(john travolta pictures via atouchofvintage, unfortunately sold out (sorry ladies). found via a cup of jo, quite a lovely blog)

Monday, September 1, 2008

Back online

Okay folks, we're back on the air! Power, internet, refrigeration--you name it, we got it.

I'll tell you, it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be, or as bad as everybody else thought it would be. I usually think of myself as a pretty tough cookie, but after hearing everyone's horror stories about how scary hurricanes are, I was a little worried that I would be spending the day hiding under the covers. But after the first couple of hours of wind and rain, I got used to it. The power went off around 9 am, hence the lack of updates all day, but even that wasn't too bad. I studied as much as I could stomach (I'm embarrassed to admit how little that was), and spent most of the rest of the day reading Twilight (I'm also pretty embarrassed to admit that, but it turned out to be the perfect storm book).

Biggest surprise of the day: Andrew stopped by! I heard voices out front around 10 and looked outside, and there was an emergency guy in a big white truck talking to my neighbor Todd. I waved, and he said, "He went around to the back door!" I said, "Uh, who did?" "Your boyfriend!" And there was Andrew! He could only stay for five minutes or so, but it was so great to see him and know that everything was ok!

Deciding that the lack of refrigeration warranted a huge lunch of perishable food items, I cooked up a massive amount of cajun sausage and settled down to stuff myself, washing it all down with a nice cold beer (beer isn't technically perishable, but warm beer is not an option). Let me tell you, one big difference between storms back home and storms down south is that in Louisiana, when the power goes out, the lack of a/c is pretty damn debilitating. Now again, like I said, tough cookie. I didn't mind the heat too much, but an icy beer went a long way.

I decided I'd take a nap around 3 (it was a very taxing day, you know), and when I woke up a couple of hours later, the power was back on! I hung out on the porch a while longer with my NOPD friend Bob from yesterday, who told me that it had been a totally quiet, peaceful twenty-four hours (relative to Katrina). I'm hoping that the aftermath is quiet as well.

Conrad also had a very taxing day inside:

Someone else that I feed:Skip just stopped by to check on me and picked up chocolate cake making supplies--I think he's trying to wheedle Maria into making cake, so I might have to stop by and visit. I'll keep updating, but it looks like the worst is past. The rest of the city fared pretty well too, except for some flooding on the west bank, and it looks like one of the levees in Plaquemines Parish is being overtopped. Wish us luck!

A bit of wind

All of pictures I take out the back door are pretty crappy--stupid little digital camera. Maybe I'll bust out the film and try to take a real picture. But this is the photo I wish I'd taken:

(ted jackson/times-picayune)

This is a picture of St. Louis Cathedral in the quarter, via a daring photographer at the Times-Picayune. Got a text message from Andrew this morning saying that they're all hanging in there down in Belle Chasse, but he hasn't been able to make a phone call yet. If you want to stay updated on the storm, check out the NOLA website. Scroll past the panic-inducing headline at the top and check out the "Real-Time News" section to the left. Great stuff! Keep and eye out for Andrew's stories!

Mr. W

In honor of the weather, check out this brilliant and touching commercial!

Get it?

The daring cat rescue

After much worry and calling at the back door, I saved the cat! Conrad wouldn't stay in the house last night, so I thought it was best to let him out. But it started getting bad around 6:30, and I was so worried! I figured he was hiding under the house, but no matter how much I called, there was nothin' doin'. Finally I heard a pathetic little meowing and rushed outside, and there he was, trying to balance his way along the fence to me! So now we're both inside, and he's much more agitated than I am. I think Katrina (bad name) is next door with Todd.

Gotta run because the power's flickering, but the storm has definitely started! I'll try to post again later, and hopefully with pictures. Bye kids!