Jan 25, 2015

Diana Ho, artist (shameless promotion)

Meet my good friend Diana Ho:

Diana Ho (Left), Me (Right)

We have been friends since middle school. We've played make believe house together, caused mischief in our neighborhood by hunting flowers, liked the same boys, sang and danced in the same girl band, experimented with make up, played Asian videogames, watched all of Friends .... the list goes on. She has always been an incredibly intelligent individual with an amazing sense of humor. She will make the best innuendos and sees the same world as I do, but at different angles, shades, and filters and in the process, unearths an appreciation for life that would've otherwise been dull.

Last year, my boyfriend, brother and I had the pleasure of playing cool in her Brooklyn art studio as she opened it up to the public. If you have the opportunity to visit an artist's studio, just go. It's a neat experience to see the environment where art was made and is made, was inspired and continues to inspire. Her pieces were centered around food. I like food. The ensemble was delectable.

My favorite work mimicked Cheetos:
This photo does not justify real life perception. Now, I love Cheetos. During my night float rotation, I would usually wander to the vending machines to experience the salty artificial cheesy puff that is Cheetos. The best ones are crisp and all are a weird shade of electric orange that stain your fingers the same color. I'm not the only one drawn to this American snack like a fly towards a lit lamp in the evening. According to a very reputable source, Wikipedia, they total $4 billion in annual retail sales. That's a lot of citizens fulfilling their daily sodium! Diana's Cheetos almost looked like real Cheetos and of course, she camouflaged them well in her studio. Now the key word is almost. Thinking they were snacks for the guests, I was about to reach out and grab what I thought was a Cheeto. But, they were a shade too electric and, to no avail to my grumbling tummy, I realized they were fake. Everything else was convincing, but the orange was too... fake? Shocking, I know, for Cheetos which already appear artificial. Her fake Cheetos opened up a discussion in my mind about the science behind marketable food. WHY DID GREEN AND PURPLE KETCHUP NEVER CATCH ON?!

Here's a taste of two other pieces that were on display:
Pie in the Brooklyn sky

Pie face!
And of course, afterwards we had to get ice cream from Ample Hills.

If you're interested in more of her work, take a shot of her business card:

QUESTION FOR MY GUESTS: Whose lips are on her business card? (Hint: Diana's friends are at an advantage with this one :-) )

DISCLAIMER: I totally made up the names to her work. But you should check her out. 

Aug 14, 2014

Cheaper than Chipotle

Although my blogging has been nonexistent, I am now taking the time to promote my brother's blog: Cheaper than Chipotle. It's in its nascency but it's a cooking blog with delicious photos of foods my brother has cooked up that follow the paleo diet. Recipes are to come, but for now, let your mouth water at these delicious photos:


Nov 20, 2013

Philly Marathon Recap

My last marathon was the Boston Marathon 2012, which was marked by heat, sweat, then no sweat, and finally disappointment. Temperatures reached the high 80’s and we started the race in tank tops and shorts, with our skin already moist to touch with sweat. All of us had received warnings from the Boston Athletic Association to take it easy. Starting the race, I had no plans to get my best time, but I also had no plans to “take it easy”. I just ran and a couple of steps into Heartbreak Hill, I realized I had mental status changes, palpitations and the next thing I knew I was sitting in a chair surrounded by kids trying to feed me Gatorade. I was transferred to a medical tent and was advised by a physician to either stop the race, or walk the rest of the marathon, but certainly not run. I was a good patient and walked the remaining 6 or so miles. 
 The Boston Marathon was supposed to be my last marathon before residency. Unfortunately, it did not go quite the way I had envisioned and so, my hiatus from marathoning at the start of intern year had a sour taste. When Andrey, my boyfriend, and I found out that he would be in Philadelphia at the time of their marathon, I impulsively signed up. I think my thoughts were: “What a coincidence!” “I better take advantage of the free housing.” “It’s supposed to be a flat course, I can get a good time”. At the time of signing up, I had grand plans of training hard (or at the very least, completing my long runs on the weekends) and getting a good time, maybe qualify for Boston again to seek my revenge.
I obviously was suffering from amnesia. At that moment, I’d forgotten that Ob/Gyn residency sucks up a lot of time. During my Philadelphia Marathon training, I had no time for long runs and when there was time, sleep took precedence. After my 24 hour Saturday calls, I was in no mood to go for loooooong runs on Sunday. In summary, I had maybe 3 long runs during my training with the maximum distance being 14 miles. Sometimes during the week I’d throw in 2 4-milers.
And as quickly as I’d signed up, marathon weekend came. I completed my 24 hour call Saturday morning, then trucked my butt to Philadelphia promptly after to get my bib. After eating a sandwich, I crashed on the bed by 7:30pm and fell asleep without problems, but kept waking up starting midnight at 15 to 30 minutes intervals. I must have been nervous, but 4 am finally came and I was ready to start running.
Before the race had begun, I met up with an old friend and met new people. I was reminded about the warmth between runners as I was talking, for the first time, to a veteran marathoner from NYC who was trying to get a sub 4 hour marathon.  As I made my way to the starting line, a woman on my left was a first time marathoner, who was excited to be present and hoping to finish. At the starting line, I met another female my age planning to start with the 4 hour pacer, but not expecting to finish with him. Even before the race started, I was elated to be in the presence of a group that shared my passion.
Learning my lesson from Boston, I decided to take it easy and follow the 4 hour pacer at least until the half marathon mark. The first part of the course weaved through center city/old city Philadelphia, which might have been more enjoyable had the course not been so crowded. After 4 miles of being surrounded by a cloud of body odor and being stepped on, I decided to break free from my 4 hour pace group for a breath of fresh air. In the process, I lost them and was on my own. I was trotting along and at mile 6, I saw Andrey and Jason, my brother, who handed me the Gu I accidently left at Andrey’s apartment.  Shortly after, I met up with one of the ladies I’d met at the starting line and we chatted our way till mile 14, which is the out and back to the marathon finish. At that point, I saw the elite runners headed to the finish and my excitement overtook me. Not only did I egg them on, I also picked up my speed and lost my companion. I felt the repercussions of my pace change and lack of training at mile 16 when I hit the dreaded wall. I was reminded to slow down, swallowed some Gu and kept trucking. As expected, I hit another wall at mile 18 (I always do), took more Gu and tried channeling the energy of the crowds to power by dead legs. I’d thought my legs lacked life at that point, but apparently not because at mile 22, I hit another wall, yet again, and my legs felt deader, like blocks of concrete that they would use to build a penitentiary.  Thank God for Jason joining me at mile 25! Although I wanted to smack him when he asked me to slow down, it was nice to have someone to chat with to distract me from my heavy legs. He finally got chased off the course by the police and I finished the little I had left of the course respectably. Somehow I was able to open my stride, pump my arms, and charge the finish line with joy swelling from my chest. I had finished and still as a sub 4 marathoner. 
Mile 25 ...
 In conclusion, the Philadelphia marathon was the most light-hearted marathon I’ve run. There was no pressure to run the best time, just to finish. In the process, I had a lot of fun and am itching to run another marathon. However, as healthy as running may be, marathons are not and I’d be foolish to try this stunt again without proper training. If the stars align where my schedule makes it easy to train for a marathon, then maybe I’d run another one during residency. If not, I’m happy to be just an Ob/Gyn doctor that runs for fun. I’ll have to defer the Chicago/Flora/Berlin/South Korea/Greece marathons until after residency.
 QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Anyone willing to join me for any of my marathon ventures?!

Oct 17, 2013

My favorite snacks on GYN

Being an Ob/Gyn resident can be tough (especially on University Hospital GYN). Survival tips? A locker filled with snacks:

-sweet + salty. 'nuff said

-sweet + sour gummies with a hint of jolly rancher flavor

-don't even think this is healthy, it's crack

-crack #2

-needs rice, but delicious protein that will hold you over during your late nights in the hospital

-tastes like candy + a fun cooling sensation in your mouth

Yes, I've released the true fat kid just now.


Dec 5, 2012

Join the voices 5M

Goal: 7:30 min pace or below
Realistic goal: 8 min pace
Overall time 38:44
Translation 7:45 min pace
Times are slowly creeping up but, 
Hilly course, minimal training, I'll take it
Next 5 miler I do I'll aim for <7:45 pace on my intern schedule

As for the EB Alumni 5K, I didn't go. I had to house sit for my parents and wait for an inspector to come and assess the damage from Hurricane Sandy. Too much turkey in my belly anyways!

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: My next race will not be for times. Any takers for my running companion? We'll make tees.