Thursday, January 21, 2010

Looking Up

Currently, I am feeling rather content with myself.
  • Downstairs, there are BBQ ribs slowly cooking and tenderizing in the crockpot, releasing a wonderfully spicy smell.

  • My legs and butt are giving off small, painful protestations about how they have spent the last two days at the gym every time I sit down or climb stairs.

  • AG has been home for almost two weeks now, and it is starting to feel more like our life rather than my life.

  • A white envelope arrived in the mail two days ago, and... I PASSED MY BOARD EXAM!
Don't get me wrong, there are still plenty of things to worry about... the wedding planning I have been dodging lately, oral board exams now that the written component is finished, and a project that I can only refer to as: The 3rd Bedroom, and all of its messiness. But for now, I am enjoying the moment.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

2009 Reading List

Currently I am recovering from a string of overnight shifts. Here are my reads from this past year. Since graduating, I have tried to not be a complete recluse by joining a book club. It has been good in that a lot of the books I probably would have never come across otherwise. As far as discussion goes, we are really more of a wine and dessert club, with often hardly a mention of the month's read.


Walking Across Egypt - Clyde Edgerton. A funny, quick read-- kind of like reading several episodes of Golden Girls.

Twilight - Stephanie Meyer. This was a gift from someone, and I was curious about what all the fuss was about. It seemed like there wasn't near enough action in the book to warrant it's length.

Empire Falls - Richard Russo. This was a book club pick. About life in a small town, where nothing seems to ever happen, and everyone is stuck and unhappy with their positions in life until there's a dramatic turn at the end.

The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage - Dr. Laura Schlessinger. This was a homework assignment for AG and I by our chaplain (I have yet to meet the guy). There were a lot of duh! forehead-slapping statements in it, like how one should treat their spouse nicely if they want niceness in return.

All the King's Men - Robert Penn Warren. Would have been better had the politician been shot much earlier in the book. Apparently, this was made into a movie, which I probably should have just watched as it wouldn't have wasted as much time.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Betty Smith. Somehow I avoided reading this in high school. I liked it, as its protagonist is a scrappy girl and her struggle to educate herself and rise above her surroundings.

Hornet Flight - Ken Follet. WWII thriller, a nice, quick and entertaining read.

Dead Heat - Dick Francis. I had never heard of this author before. My future father-in-law lent me this book, and I really enjoyed it. It's about a chef who keeps having accidents until he figures out that someone is out to get him, and becomes a bumbling detective in the process.

Scarpetta - Patricia Cornwell. It had been a while since I had read a Kay Scarpetta thriller, and I think that this one may be my last. Cornwell seems to be capitalizing on America's current obsession with Little People. It was so bad, I donated it to the hospital library in St. Lucia.

The Last Juror - John Grisham. Read this one on a plane. It was entertaining, and more about Southern living than legal sleights of hand.

One More Day - Mitch Albom. Very quick read about an alcoholic and his regrets for not appreciating his mother.

The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands - Dr. Laura Schlessinger. Another homework assignment. I thought the first one was misogynistic (if that's possible from a female author) until I read this one!

Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoevsky. I was warned that this one would be a difficult read, but I didn't think it was too bad. A disillusioned student murders out of theory and then drives himself mad dwelling on it.

Peace Like a River - Leif Enger. I think that this book was probably the best discovery I had from book club this year. The characters are very likable, and the story is about miracles happening as a result of faith to keep a family from falling apart.

The other benefit from joining a book club has been rediscovering the value of the public library system. My local library is in a historic building from when this crippled town was populated by millionaires. It has marble staircases, a domed ceiling, and lion statues guarding the front door. It is much more accessible than libraries were when I was younger. One can reserve and renew books online. Checkouts are for four weeks, rather than just two. The library is also linked to three other ones in the area, and they don't even mind which branch the books are returned to, regardless of where they came from. In times when people are looking for cheap entertainment, I would suggest the public library system, as you can also check out popular dvds and workout videos with equipment!

Past reading lists: 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005

Friday, January 01, 2010

2009 In Review

I borrowed these questions from another blogger. Several of my answers are kind of redundant, but if you've been reading lately, it has just been that kind of year.


1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?

I sold my house, and took my Emergency Medicine boards.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

It doesn’t look like I made any last year, but this year I am going to shoot for being fitter, smarter, stronger, and a better cook.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

I can think of 5 friends with new babies this year.

4. Did anyone close to you die?


5. What countries did you visit?

St. Lucia and Canada

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

My soon-to-be husband around on a daily basis!

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

End of residency- June 30, 2009.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Graduating and starting my first full-time EM job.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Hmm, judging from the tightness of these jeans, I would have to say not keeping up with my running/exercise.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I broke my toe, although I think it was technically just before New Year’s Day, and currently I am on day 13 of this stupid cold.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

My new car (it has heated seats!), although my iPhone runs a very close second.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Hmm… I would have to say AG’s. He’s been sleeping on a cot and getting shot at on a daily basis, and somehow remains positive.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

There have been several patients that come to mind… although Octomom is definitely up there, too.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Paying off realtor/mortgage balance, starting on my student loans, wedding deposits.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

AG coming home for “Mid-leave” break in October.

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?

“Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon because they won’t quit playing it already!

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder? I think I am happier than I was last December, as by this time, AG had just left. Overall, it’s definitely been a bummer compared to 2008.
b) thinner or fatter? Fatter.
c) richer or poorer? Richer, in terms of less total debt.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Working out, spending time with friends.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Sitting around, watching TV, complaining.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were spent at work. I celebrated Christmas with my family back in Arizona earlier in December.

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?

Nope. I was already in love, although 2009 has definitely reassured me of the strength of our relationship, and that I have a great future to look forward to.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

I think the best new show that I started watching is "Castle", although I continue to hang onto Gray’s in spite of its silliness.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

I don’t think that I have the energy to hate anyone, although I do have a new batch of frequent flyers at work that exasperate me.

24. What was the best book you read?

Currently reading “Peace Like a River” by Leif Enger and am loving it.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Can’t think of any new artists that I really like… maybe this means I’m getting old?

26. What did you want and get?

AG kept safe and sound.

27. What did you want and not get?

AG home for Christmas.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

Missed a lot of movies that I would have liked to have seen, but I think “X-Men:Wolverine” and “Julie & Julia” were two of the best that I can recall.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 31 this year, and I think I went out for dinner and drinks with friends, although I can’t remember exactly.

30. What’s the one thing that made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

2009 has probably been one of my least favorites… it sounds bad, but I’m going to say the knowledge that 2010 will be better.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?

Ponytail and scrubs, alternating with jeans and t-shirts.

32. What kept you sane?

My friends and family are really supportive.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

President Obama. You can say what you want about the guy, but at least he is making congress work.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?


35. Who did you miss?


36. Who was the best new person you met?

I would have to say one of my co-workers is really supportive and helpful.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.

Um, real estate is not a safe investment.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

I feel it’s gonna rain like this for days
So let it rain down and wash everything away
I hope that tomorrow the sun will shine
With every tomorrow comes another life
I feel it’s gonna rain for days and days, I feel it’s gonna rain.

--Creed “Rain”