Today, I feel like a medical detective.

A 67-year-old man, a heavy smoker goes to the hospital to investigate the origin of his chest pain. The lab parameters and blood gas values are: Na+: 138 mmol/L, K+: 4.8 mmol/L, glucose: 5.2 mmol/L, creatinine: 98 mmol/L, pCO2: 55 mmHg, pH: 7.32, actual HCO3-: 40 mmHg, BE: 4.2 mmol/L. What kind of acid-base disorder do you suppose? What could be the cause of the disorder?

Our physiology lab manual posed this and some related questions to prepare us for our acid-base balance experiment. The topic itself has been dense to study and wrap my brain around, so it was nice to see the knowledge applied in this direct, clinical way.

My diagnosis: compensated respiratory acidosis due to COPD.

Today’s a big day in college basketball! Duke is playing UNC in enemy territory. In the name of all the -arkies, GTHC, GTH!

Inside Cameron! 2010

Inside Cameron! 2010

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Today, I’m channeling Dory.

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.

Love that phrase. And it’s funny because my building is literally surrounded by Ellen’s buildings so I feel like I channel her energy a lot lol. She’s a pretty cool lady.

Anyway, the past few months are starting to catch up with me and I’m getting a little tired. But I’m trying to shake it off and keep swimming.

Things that are helping:
-daily iMessages with Char/Jarkie
-Chelsea beating Manchester City today (historical stuff, my friends)
-getting comfortable enough with people here to start making weird, random noises
-watching The Good Wife like it’s going out of style

I’m gonna try to make it out to the beach this weekend, though it’s been a little “cold” in LA recently, so we’ll see about that.

Also, if anyone knows of a cure for the travel-flu, aggressive strain (that doesn’t involve going somewhere), let me know. The bug has hit full force. Thanks, Char, for your Vienna post…. 😛

 

Today, I still feel at home in Vienna.

For those who are lost, there will always be cities that feel like home.
– Simon van Booy

Last weekend, Megan and I met for a semi-spontaneous trip to Vienna! It’s about a 3 hour train ride from BP, and a slightly longer plane ride from Madrid. She doesn’t have class on Fridays or Mondays, and school’s about to start for me again, so it worked out really well!
My memories of the city are tinged by nostalgia and the summer heat: ice cream every day, walks in the park, strangers who took to me, the girl traveling without her parents. I was prepared for the possibility that the city wouldn’t have the charm and luster that lives in my memory, especially in the winter and with the changes that more than a decade inevitably bring to a person and a place.

Stefansdom then ...

Stefansdom then …

... and now.

… and now.

Anna and I arrived on Friday around noon, and took a subway straight to the hotel. One great thing about Vienna is that public transportation there is extremely accessible: every subway stop has an elevator, for example, which makes life there A LOT EASIER when trying to get around in a wheelchair.

Megan arrived shortly after, well-fed by the airline snacks on Air Italia 🙂 We walked around the city center, including a visit to Stefansdom and Peter’s Church. Afterwards, Megan and I saw more of the city by ourselves. We tried to go to one of the cafés that her father recommended, but all of those had a least a step precluding my entrance. Accessibility issues still abound! However, it worked out for the best because we stumbled across a delicious Italian restaurant called Ristorante Sole. The staff there was so considerate, even taking pity on our indecisiveness and portioning our two entrees so that we could each have half. For dessert, we split strawberries with creamy mascarpone.

Well-fed and ready to see the city by night!

Well-fed and ready to see the city by night!

That’s when the excitement really started, though, because as we walked around, we found ourselves on the outskirts of a riot protesting a ball in the Hofburg. Megan and I tend to gravitate towards home before the night owls even take flight. It so happened that the entrance to our hotel was RIGHT in the middle of a crowd of protestors. Fortunately, the policemen deemed us harmless and allowed us to pass through the barriers.

On Saturday, we took a subway to Schönbrunn, the Hapsburg’s summer residence, painted Maria Theresa’s favorite color, ochre yellow.

We toured 40 rooms on the first floor!

We toured 40 rooms on the first floor!

The palace itself is only half the fun of Schönbrunn; its vast grounds include a zoo (with pandas!), rose garden, and paths for meandering.  We walked to the top of a small hill to see this view:

I didn't realize we were so far up until we got there! It was worth the cold ascent.

I didn’t realize we were so far up until we got there! It was worth the cold ascent.

After warming up in our room, Megan and I ventured out again for dinner at Café Landtmann and explorations around the city hall. The city hall is a gorgeous building, reminiscent of the gothic style of Duke Chapel.IMG_0793

There were at least 3 ice skating rinks set up in front of the city hall, and people were out en masse to skate and enjoy mulled wine and hot food.

There were at least 3 ice skating rinks set up in front of the city hall, and people were out en masse to skate and enjoy mulled wine and hot food.

Temperatures were frigid at this point, so we called it an early night again and relaxed in our room.

On Sunday, we went to the Albertina to see the newly acquired collection of Impressionist, Expressionist, and Surrealist art, entitled “Monet to Picasso”.

This Chagall painting was one of my favorites

This Chagall painting was one of my favorites.

Per Anna’s request, we had to to have Wiener Schnitzel (when in Wien …), so that was our mission in the afternoon. That was when the snow started to fall! It was enough to be pretty without becoming an inconvenience like the Snowpocalypse and Polar Vortex of the East Coast.
In the evening, Megan and I went to visit Stephi, an old friend of mine, at her home. It was really nice to see her again and meet her family. I had not spoken to her in quite a while, though she sends me Advent calendars every December! Moreover, Megan and I had just become friends in middle school before I met Stephi, so it was sweetly bizarre to introduce these two people who have been in my life so long.

Stephi suggested we go to Sunday Swing at the Leopold Museum Café, so that was our next destination, since the night was still young, even for us. At this point, there was an inch layer of snow coating the streets, making for a charming winter wonderland as we trudged out. The Sunday Swing was in full … swing… when we got there. I felt transported to the ’20s! The only downside was the thick smoke hanging in the air from all the cigarettes, but perhaps that contributed to the authenticity of the experience.

Monday was our last morning, so we went to see Karl’s church and a peak of Belvedere, but it was too cold and snowy, so we ended up getting hot chocolate and coffee in a bakery underground. 🙂 Warmth and a friend – not a bad way to end the trip, after all.

from a temporary exhibit by the Austrian artist Sonja Gangl. Adieu, Vienna! Auf Wiedersehen!

from a temporary exhibit by the Austrian artist Sonja Gangl at the Albertina. Adieu, Vienna! Auf Wiedersehen!

Vienna wasn’t quite as I remembered it, but that ended up being okay. After all, I’ve changed a lot, too. Time has worn down parts of us, circumstances have enriched us, but we are still recognizable.

Today, I am glad to live in California…

Sure, I wish that my family was here, my friends were here, that I had a paying job, my own place to live, that Juan Mata didn’t leave Chelsea for the worst team ever, that I could travel and travel and travel, and that life was generally a breeze BUT one thing I do not wish is that I didn’t live in California. Southern California. Where, no matter how crazy life gets or how stressful things seem, you can just go sit on the beach and watch the sunset (for free!) any day you want. That’s where I find my zen, if I may. At this moment, after getting off the phone with my Mom who is lamenting over the possibility of a massive snowstorm, I am glad that I live here. (And that I live here with my wonderful sister.)

A lot has happened, friends, since I posted last. 2014 began, I turned a year older (YIKES), I started an internship (I’m learning how to read again…SO MUCH READING), started hula hooping (OMG so hard), met new people, joined a leadership team, and so on and so forth. I have to write all of these things down or I won’t believe that it has been almost 4 months since I moved here or that 26 days have passed by in January. I also have to write them down or I won’t believe that I’ve been doing things since I moved here.

Time flies. And it’s so easy to dwell on what hasn’t happened than to reflect on what has. Yes, I yearn for all those wishes I posted at the top. And yes, it hurts a little bit when I think too much of them. But I’m here and need to be as present as I can because cool things are happening and will happen and I don’t want to miss them when they do. 

P.S. My mom lectured me on how important writing on this blog was. Well, that’s a bit dramatic. But she did say that I need to keep writing. So I’ll try, promise. 

Thanks for your patience and, as always, thanks for reading.

Today, I’ve been a long time gone


(What beautiful harmonizing and an unexpected pairing from these two musicians!)

After 4 weeks, 3 exams, 2 decidedly unfestive holidays, and 1 lovely visit from my mom, I can finally say that the fall 2013 semester is in the books. I’m already dreading doing it again in May, but I’ll try to just live in the moment for a bit. It’s an odd feeling to be so free – kind of like when I stopped piano lessons after many years, and couldn’t shake that feel of “what am I forgetting?!” when I didn’t practice.

Now, I’m on a full-out media binge (TV shows, books, magazines, music I’ve neglected since October) and making plans for the next 2 weeks of break. Any recommendations to add to the list?

Today, I make my own version of Salad Niçoise …

I watched Amélie for the first time the other night. While food did not take a directly role in the plot of the film, food did find itself into many of the scenes in the film. I thoroughly enjoyed the film – but it left me hungry… hungry for French food!

Image via blogspot.com

I decided to ask the -arkies for suggestions of French food and tonight I finally began the process. Tonight’s menu involved just one dish.

photo (4)

Salad Niçoise – There apparently is debate as to what the true salad is. Some say that the true salad does not include green beans and potatoes (both of which appear in my version… woops). I also seared my tuna to more than just a medium rare as I was afraid my tuna steak wasn’t fresh enough. But anyways, here it is. Have you made this dish? What is your  advice/tip/secret for this salad?

Vinegrette – Olive Oil, Lemon Juice, Worcestershire Sauce/Balsamic Vinegar (uh… I didn’t have red wine vinegar in my pantry so I just made something up), Minced Parsley, Dijon Mustard, Garlic, Salt, Pepper

Salad – Fingerling potatoes, Green Beans, Boiled Eggs, Tomatoes

Tuna  – Olive oil, chives, tarragon, Salt, Pepper
Grill each side for ~2 minutes or so.

Combine everything!
Enjoy!

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Today, I leave a kiss on post-it note…

Long time no see! Sorry we’ve all been a bit MIA. Charkie has been labouriously brushing up anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry knoweldge for her finals; Markie has been settling down in her new life (which I saw, is pretty sweet!) and being social, and Arkie has been busy with her job and being awesome. As for me? I have no excuse. Sorry!

This morning, as I left for work, I didn’t want to wake le significant other up, so I decided to do what I’ve seen in countless romcoms: leave a note and a kiss. I felt like a penguin waddling around in the dark and falling all over the place. Where’s the post-it note? How do I cut the tape? I can’t see! However, when I had the finished product hanging up on the wall… How did it feel? Pretty cool… I guess.

Lancome’s Color Design Lipstick in Wannabe Pink will do the trick! 🙂

Images via lancomeusa.com and fiverr.com

And now to something sort of related, not really – what’s your favorite lipstick (or lipgloss, if you don’t wear lipstick)? What’s your favorite romantic comedy?

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