Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 Running in review

I logged 665.1 miles over a total of 5 days and 11 hours in 2008.


New Year's Eve Triathlon

Abs and I did our own triathlon today...

RUN! I ran 3 miles, she joined me for the last mile.
BIKE! We biked 3 miles around Waikiki park and zoo.
SWIM! We swam to the lifeguard tower and back.

Then we collapsed with triumph!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Hawaiian Running buds

Abs and I went for a run yesterday, then we jumped in the Pacific to cool down, swam about 300 yards. I've been really enjoying Waikiki so far, the water is so warm and calm I love swimming in it. I'm surprised by how many Japanese tourists and high-end fashion stores there are. I think my favorite part is the daily rainbows. I really understand why triathlons are so hip here, because every time you go for a run, you end up so hot and sweaty the only thing you want to do is cool off with a swim!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Update: We have power! (and enjoyed a beautiful hike)

Hip hip hooray for the power being restored this morning while we were on our hike of Manoa Falls. The waterfall at the end made the hike through the rain worth it. Coming back to power being restored was even more awesome!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Update: all of Oahu is blacked out

Waikiki, Obama compound everything. Please update me with
information--- 800,000+ folks have no power... How come no news?
Thanks guys- my family is good, we have several candles...
Sent from my iPhone

Hawaii blackout

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas on Diamond Head

This shot pretty much sums up my Christmas this year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Mele Kalikimaka!

I made it to Hawaii! Busy afternoon, toured the Bishop Museum after getting off the plane, then went for a nice easy run with my Dad along the canal and beach (amazingly warm weather), and then we all went to the Honolulu Lights which had some really cool Christmas light displays such as the one below. Man I'm wiped out, surfs up in the AM!!!

Christmas Eve morning at SFO

Good thing I got here 2.5 hours early....

Addendum: Luckily it only took me 40 minutes to get through the check-in and security, AND they didn't ask me to open any of my wrapped presents! Impressive SFO.

New Year's Resolutions

I don't want to jump the gun on holidays here, but starting January 1st I will start my quest to blog every day in the year 2009.*

I think it's a worthy goal, I want to write my thoughts more regularly, keep people posted on my antics and adventures, so I'm diving in. I actually think it's harder to blog when I do it less then several times a week, I have a high activation energy for writing a blog entry after iIve fallen off the horse for more than a week.

Recently I've been reflecting on what other significant resolutions I would like to make for 2009, any suggestions before 1/1/2009 will be taken into consideration.

*For those of you on my direct email list, I can take you off if this gets really annoying...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Home for the holidays

I must say, Hawaii and home just don't seem right, but I'm totally game for it!!!! I am completely looking forward to landing in Hawaii tomorrow afternoon, 75 degree weather, Obama right next store, Christmas the next day. Could I be any more lucky? I'm hoping to explore the island, see the big waves of the North Shore, and go nuts hiking. Stay tuned and in case I am incommunicado these next two days, Merry merry christmas!!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Baking baking baking

I've discovered two things about my baking skills that I thought I would share..

1. I can make fudge! Tasty, moist, yummy fudge that gives you a delightful tummy ache when you eat too much!!!

2. Sugar cookies are a great idea in theory, but the dedication and resilience required to see them through is just too much effort in my opinion for the lack of taste they offer. Perhaps the worst thing about sugar cookies is they require icing, which I do not have the patience to deal with after cutting out and cooking dozens and dozens of sugar cookies.

Pictures to come soon (hopefully)...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Family time!

I drove up to Santa Rosa for Stephie and Scott's 1st Christmas party as newlyweds. Their house is so awesome, I especially enjoyed seeing all the art pieces they picked up on their trip around the world (wow!). It was really awesome hanging out with Grandad, Laurie, and Nicole as well. Nicole made it around 11pm -after a 20 mile run in San Diego and the 10 hour roadtrip! I realized too that now my kayak can be put to good use-Nicole is going to use it in La Jolla, and whenever I visit I'll be able to go kayaking with her which I'm stoked about.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Going shopping!

After my trip back east, I managed to spend a day in southern California while my mom and sister were visiting. Thanks to Grandma and Grandpa's early Christmas presents, we spent the morning shopping at Main Place.

Here we are in the parking lot...we jumped the gun a bit, the mall didn't open until 10am but we got there by 9:45...The two brightly colored pashminas are courtesy of my trip to NYC, I picked them up from a street vendor in New York City for $5 each!

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Soooo, how did I end up seeing the statue of liberty you ask? Well, remember I'm applying to medical school this year-I was so incredibly fortunate to have 2 medical school interviews on the east coast, BU and VCU, and I decided since its such a long plane ride anyways that I would visit some good friends in NYC as well, and honestly, why not see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island? It was awesome! Remarkably I was able to find the record of my Great Grandmother, Norah McDonnell Kilroy at Ellis Island, making the tour that much more special.

Times Square

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Me in a suit

Just finished my interview at VCU. Everyone in Richmond is so hospitable, I really enjoyed my time here. Now I get a breather, no more interviews until 2009!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I will be a positive deviant!

In the spirit of positive deviation from the mean (Positive deviant = my new favorite term and my life aspiration), here are my notes on how I do against Atul Gawande’s advice for becoming a positive deviant

1. Unscripted question –I admit, I get stuck on the old “How are you”. So from now on, I’m going to make a pointed effort to ask people (if I don’t know) where they grew up. CPRS has really helped me to bring my questioning down the ladder of inference at least!

2. Don’t complain –ah this is one of my favorites. I HATE it when people complain; I do think there is a difference between productive and unproductive complaining. Complaining and doing something about it =acceptable.
Just complaining = not acceptable.

3. Count something –Atul is my long-lost twin. What don’t I count? I have recorded every single one of my runs since January 1 of this year, where I run, what time of the day I run, the total distance, and the total time. At work, I count the total number of patients I’ve supported via Consultation Planning and Recording (without looking at my notes, I know its around 60). For, I record weekly tallies of how many trials are being coded and how many I still have to work on. As track captain I spent more hours then I am willing to admit counting and recounting in what ways we could place at Heps or beat Yale. I’ve even started recording the time of day I wake up and go to bed to see if my sleep cycles mess up my energy or mood. Ok, maybe I overdo the counting sometimes….

4. Write something –duh why do you think this blog exists?

5. Be an early adopter –I pride myself on this one, here is a list of things I’ve been an early adopter for among my own ‘society’ (i.e., people I know: my family, friends or peer group):

• BLOGGING - writing blogs, reading blogs, commenting on blogs, getting others to write blogs, health care blogs, patient-advocate blogs, political blogs, PCT hike blogs, athletic blogs (In case you didn’t know, I think blogs are the best thing since sliced bread)
• photo sharesite
• –cool family social networking website
• Using interpreters during CPRS for those who do not speak/understand English
• Nikeplus band (thus my ability to record all the details about my runs)
• Iphone –life changing, democratizing awesomeness
• OBAMAMANIA –April 7th 2007 is when I donated $5 and urged my family to do the same to support Barack Obama’s campaign.
• Photobooks –so cheap, so small, so easy
• Self-publishing ( –shout out to Lilly Zhang and her newly published children's book that you can buy on
• Working at the UCSF Center of Excellence in Breast Cancer Care –everything at my job is on the forefront of medical care for women with breast cancer thanks to Laura Esserman and the incredible team she has built. Can you tell I love my job?
• Composting –props to my roommates Jaline and Andrea for this one
• Bartering –babysitting for garage space = sweet deal
• In the future: Health informatics –I will be a strong advocate of web-based medical systems as a clinician

In the spirit of change and becoming a positive deviant –do you have an experience in which you were an early adopter? Please use the comments section of this post to tell me about it!

MUST READ: Better, by Atul Gawande

I just finished Atul’s 2nd book, Better. It was excellent, the best-written and insightful book I’ve read in a long time. He centered his stories and discussion on the idea of improvement in medicine –not in terms of new treatments or technologies for disease, but in terms of improving the very systems within which clinicians operate. Every aspiring physician should read this book. His enthusiasm for understanding case studies of when certain physicians were able to make incredible tangible, measurable changes in patient care and outcomes with minor costs is awesome. It really does come down to mindset, and at the final pages, he outlines what he thinks are the most invaluable traits in people, certainly doctors, who are looking to improve outcomes for those they care for, and I will re-iterate them here for everyone, the keys to becoming a positive deviant:

1. Ask an unscripted question
2. Don’t complain
3. Count something
4. Write something
5. Change (Be an early adopter)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Womens bathroom = tornado shelter?

Saw this just now in my layover at the Denver airport...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Engage with Grace

The one slide you should talk with your family about...Drawing from my Grandma Pederson's experience, answering these questions and having a discussion with your loved ones while you are healthy and clear-headed can dissuade so much future confusion and arguments for their sake, and can make sure that your wishes and dignity are respected in the way you want them to be.

This guest post was written by Alexandra Drane and the Engage With Grace team. I'm engaging in a blog rally today to help promote this cause.

We make choices throughout our lives - where we want to live, what types of activities will fill our days, with whom we spend our time. These choices are often a balance between our desires and our means, but at the end of the day, they are decisions made with intent. But when it comes to how we want to be treated at the end our lives, often we don't express our intent or tell our loved ones about it. This has real consequences. 73% of Americans would prefer to die at home, but up to 50% die in hospital. More than 80% of Californians say their loved ones know exactly or have a good idea of what their wishes would be if they were in a persistent coma, but only 50% say they've talked to them about their preferences. But our end of life experiences are about a lot more than statistics. They're about all of us.

So the first thing we need to do is start talking. Engage With Grace: The One Slide Project was designed with one simple goal: to help get the conversation about end of life experience started. The idea is simple: Create a tool to help get people talking. One Slide, with just five questions on it. Five questions designed to help get us talking with each other, with our loved ones, about our preferences. And we're asking people to share this One Slide wherever and whenever they can ... at a presentation, at dinner, at their book club. Just One Slide, just five questions. Let's start a global discussion that, until now, most of us haven't had.Here is what we are asking you: Download The One Slide and share it at any opportunity with colleagues, family, friends. Think of the slide as currency and donate just two minutes whenever you can. Commit to being able to answer these five questions about end of life experience for yourself, and for your loved ones. Then commit to helping others do the same. Get this conversation started.

Let's start a viral movement driven by the change we as individuals can effect...and the incredibly positive impact we could have collectively. Help ensure that all of us - and the people we care for - can end our lives in the same purposeful way we live them. Just One Slide, just one goal. Think of the enormous difference we can make together.

To learn more please go to

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Working Solutions -microloans

I just went to a really interesting CPIC seminar with Emily Gasner, the Program Director of Working Solutions, a 501c3 nonprofit that provides microloans (5k-25k) at around 7.5% interest to people within the San Francisco Bay area who otherwise would not qualify for loans from a bank. They also link the loans with job training, with 1 on 1 sessions, PR help, budgeting help, the works. They are able to be a nonprofit via a $250k grant from Comerica and a $500k loan (at 2%) from Wells Fargo.

Before tonight, I was not aware of microloans in the U.S., I associated it more with developing countries because of kiva and the Nobel Peace prize recipient in 2006.

Pretty awesome stuff, here's the website, needs a bit of graphic design work, but the nuts and bolts about Working Solutions is all there.

Friday, November 7, 2008

"Today we begin in earnest the work of making sure that the world we leave our children is just a little better than the one we inhabit today."

-President-elect Barack Obama

Throughout the Presidential Transition Project, this website will be the source for the latest news, events, and announcements so that we can follow the setting up of the Obama Administration. And just as this historic campaign was, from the beginning, about us -- the transition process will offer us opportunities to participate in redefining our government.

Real Change

Digg is awesome!

Definitely join now. It's a way to keep a record of all the cool/interesting/significant articles you like, and learn about news your friends are interested in!!!!

Here's an invitation

You can see the articles I digg with the widget on the right -------------->

A.M runs

I'm 2 for 2 this week with AM runs (props to Jay for getting me out of bed)!

I've definitely been more sluggish on these morning runs, but it is wonderful to enjoy the extra sunshine that I would be missing if I ran after work. Plus I feel so productive before I even get to work!

I've been adding more diversity to my workouts recently, tempos, long runs, ins and outs, stadiums, biking, tennis. I think overall this variety is best for staying away from injuries and for making it fun. I can't wait for Christmas when I can add rain forest hikes and snorkeling to my cross-training. Abbey and I are going to do a 10 mile hike, since, you know, she's 10 now!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Welcome President Obama!!!!!

All the major networks just called it, congratulations Barack Obama and everyone who has worked so hard to start bringing REAL change to the USA!

I AM SO PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mark this one for the history books. Smiles all around!!!!!

Sen. Barack Obama spoke at a rally in Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois, after winning the race for the White House Tuesday night. The following is an exact transcript of his speech.

Hello, Chicago.

If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

It's the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen, by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different, that their voices could be that difference.

It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled. Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of individuals or a collection of red states and blue states.

We are, and always will be, the United States of America.

It's the answer that led those who've been told for so long by so many to be cynical and fearful and doubtful about what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.

It's been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this date in this election at this defining moment change has come to America.

A little bit earlier this evening, I received an extraordinarily gracious call from Sen. McCain.

Sen. McCain fought long and hard in this campaign. And he's fought even longer and harder for the country that he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine. We are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader.

I congratulate him; I congratulate Gov. Palin for all that they've achieved. And I look forward to working with them to renew this nation's promise in the months ahead.

I want to thank my partner in this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart, and spoke for the men and women he grew up with on the streets of Scranton and rode with on the train home to Delaware, the vice president-elect of the United States, Joe Biden.

And I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last 16 years the rock of our family, the love of my life, the nation's next first lady Michelle Obama.

Sasha and Malia I love you both more than you can imagine. And you have earned the new puppy that's coming with us to the new White House.

And while she's no longer with us, I know my grandmother's watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight. I know that my debt to them is beyond measure.

To my sister Maya, my sister Alma, all my other brothers and sisters, thank you so much for all the support that you've given me. I am grateful to them.

And to my campaign manager, David Plouffe, the unsung hero of this campaign, who built the best -- the best political campaign, I think, in the history of the United States of America.

To my chief strategist David Axelrod who's been a partner with me every step of the way.

To the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics you made this happen, and I am forever grateful for what you've sacrificed to get it done.

But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to. It belongs to you. It belongs to you.

I was never the likeliest candidate for this office. We didn't start with much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington. It began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston. It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give $5 and $10 and $20 to the cause.

It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation's apathy who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep.

It drew strength from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on doors of perfect strangers, and from the millions of Americans who volunteered and organized and proved that more than two centuries later a government of the people, by the people, and for the people has not perished from the Earth.

This is your victory.

And I know you didn't do this just to win an election. And I know you didn't do it for me.

You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime -- two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century.

Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us.

There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after the children fall asleep and wonder how they'll make the mortgage or pay their doctors' bills or save enough for their child's college education.

There's new energy to harness, new jobs to be created, new schools to build, and threats to meet, alliances to repair.

The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even in one term. But, America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there.

I promise you, we as a people will get there.

There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won't agree with every decision or policy I make as president. And we know the government can't solve every problem.

But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And, above all, I will ask you to join in the work of remaking this nation, the only way it's been done in America for 221 years -- block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.

What began 21 months ago in the depths of winter cannot end on this autumn night.

This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were.

It can't happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice.

So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other.

Let us remember that, if this financial crisis taught us anything, it's that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers.

In this country, we rise or fall as one nation, as one people. Let's resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.

Let's remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House, a party founded on the values of self-reliance and individual liberty and national unity.

Those are values that we all share. And while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress.

As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, we are not enemies but friends. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.

And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices. I need your help. And I will be your president, too.

And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces, to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of the world, our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand.

To those -- to those who would tear the world down: We will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security: We support you. And to all those who have wondered if America's beacon still burns as bright: Tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity and unyielding hope.

That's the true genius of America: that America can change. Our union can be perfected. What we've already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that's on my mind tonight's about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She's a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing: Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.

She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn't vote for two reasons -- because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.

And tonight, I think about all that she's seen throughout her century in America -- the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can't, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.

At a time when women's voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.

When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs, a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.

When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.

She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that "We Shall Overcome." Yes we can.

A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination.

And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change.

Yes we can.

America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves -- if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment.

This is our time, to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can.

Thank you. God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.

I voted!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008







Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Jay!

Projected Finish Times

The other day I ran 7 miles in 56 minutes, right at 8:00 minute mile pace. I was fairly impressed with myself, especially considering the major hills on this particular run. I entered the run into the Training Calculator and here are the results:

Based on a 7 miles race at 00:56:00, your projected finish times for the following distances should be:

the mile 7:07
3000m(3k) 13:47
3200m(about 2 miles) 14:45
5000m(5k) 23:40
8000m(8k) 38:58
5 miles 39:12
10,000m(10k) 49:21
ten miles 1:21:44
a half marathon 1:48:49
a marathon 3:46:52

Well I know I can run a mile much faster then 7:07, and I've ran a 5k faster then 23:40...but I doubt I could run a marathon in 3:46 right now, or even a half marathon in 1:48...Should I give it a try?

The Distance Finish Times calculator calculates a predicted time at a distance for you based on a time you provided for another distance. It uses the formula T2 = T1 x (D2/D1)1.06 where T1 is the given time, D1 is the given distance, D2 is the distance to predict a time for, and T2 is the calculated time for D2.
The formula was developed by Pete Riegel and published first in a slightly different form in Runner's World, August 1977, in an article in that issue entitled "Time Predicting." The formula was refined for other sports (swimming, bicycling, walking,) in an article "Athletic Records and Human Endurance," also written by Pete Riegel, which appeared in American Scientist, May-June 1981.

You can access the training calculator here

Monday, October 27, 2008


What do you think of my little running Avatar on the right?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Must read blog!

Brittan Smith, Harvard long jumper extraordinaire, will be keeping a blog on about her senior year on the track team. Her first entry is a must read!

Brittan's blog entry here

Speaking out

I remember the morning of September 11, 2001. It was my sister's 3rd birthday and I was driving to school with my mom and we turned on the radio. It was then that we heard that the world trade center had been attacked. We thought maybe it was some "spoof" radio show, we couldn't believe it, it was so incredulous. When I got to school and everyone was talking about it I couldn't believe it was real. We watched the news all day at school. Shocked.

I remember when I first heard the announcement of the Patriot Act. I went into the basketball team room at lunch to listen to the announcement, it was scary. Very ominous and scary to think about the ramifications of enacting such legislation without restraint. I remember telling myself, this is bigger then the attack on the twin towers, this act goes against the fundamentals of our country.

I was in high school when the Iraq war started, I remember heated debates my senior year about WMD, the UN involvement, Colin Powell, Dick Cheney, and George Bush. I wasn't really part of these heated debates because I didn't fully understand the international situation, I didn't feel that I was educated enough to argue. I did know that I opposed war in general, and that Osama bin Laden was not purported to be in Iraq, so it didn't make sense to invade Iraq.

I can't say I really had a judgment about Colin Powell, except my surprise that he was a Republican and the sense that he was a puppet for Bush and Cheney. I can't say that I listened to Colin Powell's speech to the UN at the time either.

I do have an opinion on him now, and it stems directly from his quote earlier this week on Meet the Press, in which he confronts the ugly intolerance displayed by the Republicans constant association of Senator Obama with the religion of Islam:
"I'm also troubled by…what members of the party say, and is permitted to be said, such things as, 'Well you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim.' Well, the correct answer is, 'He is not a Muslim, he's a Christian, he's always been a Christian.'

But the really right answer is, 'What if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country?'

The answer's 'No, that's not America.'
Is there something wrong with some 7-year-old Muslim American kid believing that he or she could be president? Yet I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion he's a Muslim and he might be associated with terrorists. This is not the way we should be doing it in America."

Thank you for saying what has been needed to be said for some time now.

For the video and complete transcript of Colin Powell's recent interview, click here

Words to live by

"I think most people understand that if you're not caring for your family, then you're probably not the kind of person who's going to be caring for other people."

Senator Barack Obama on why he chose to visit his grandmother in Hawaii with less then 2 weeks left in the presidential election.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

"Dear Talula" film

"Dear Talula" is an documentary produced by and starring Lori Benson about her experience with breast cancer. Lori was 38 at the time of her diagnosis and had a little one-year old girl named Talula.

The documentary came across as incredibly authentic, delving into the complexities of learning about treatment, losing your breast, the experience of facing so many unknowns, and the complications of being a mother all at the same time. I highly recommend taking the time to watch this 35 minute film.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Laguna Beach

About to enjoy lunch at Las Brisas

Good company

My Grandpa and Aunt Mary Ann relaxing this morning

Saturday, October 18, 2008

On my way to my Grandparents

Look at my pretty plane!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Statistics and such

  • 98% of small business make less then $250,000, which means that 98% of small businesses will get a tax break when Senator Obama is elected President of our incredible country
  • Earmarks account for 1/2 of 1% of the federal goverment's budget
  • Transportation accounts for 30% of US energy use
To put some rumors to rest: Obama is NOT instituting a single-payer health care system. Given the political history of health care that would be bound to fail. Taxing the employer-based health insurance we currently have is dumb, and yes, the projections that this plan of McCain's will allow over 20 million more American's will lose their current insurance is probably a 'best case scenario' projection.

PS. When John McCain used figurative quotations when talking about women's health with regards to partial birth abortions, he made me so angry. Senator McCain, way to blow off women's health rights with your pathetic attempt at sarcasm and complete belittling of women and health care providers. This is another example of your campaign's lack of understanding of women and what we think. We won't just vote for a woman because we're a woman, and yah, those that don't want abortion to be legal still want to be able to choose to live if their situation comes to the dire decision to terminate pregnancy for their own health and not be sent to jail. You really know how to push my buttons!

19 more days until I can vote for Barack Obama!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008 Press Release

UCSF Launches Nationwide Clinical Trial Matching Web Site for Breast Cancer

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., October 14, 2008 /PRNewswire/— The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Center of Excellence for Breast Cancer Care today launched, a free, non-profit, clinical trial matching service that provides nationwide information for individuals diagnosed with or at risk for breast cancer. is the only clinical trial matching service dedicated exclusively to breast cancer, with an online database that includes information about clinical trials taking place at more than 1100 medical facilities across the country. The site is an outgrowth of a successful regional pilot initiated by the UCSF Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and patient advocates. The nationwide launch of is made possible by a grant from The Safeway Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Safeway, Inc.

" is an exciting, win-win development for the breast cancer community," said Laura Esserman, M.D., Director of the UCSF Center of Excellence for Breast Cancer Care and the UCSF Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center. "Every advance in our understanding and treatment of breast cancer has come from clinical trial results. The more we can empower our patients to find out about and participate in trials, the faster we will be able to complete trials, and the sooner this new knowledge will translate into better care and outcomes for all patients."

By making information about trials easy to find, hopes to make consideration of clinical trial participation the norm rather than the exception. By helping patients find and evaluate trials for which they may be eligible, and by encouraging and facilitating patient enrollment in trials, intends to increase the rate at which new treatments and procedures are made available to all breast cancer patients, as well as those at heightened risk for developing the disease.

"I made the decision to enroll in a clinical trial because I wanted to explore all of my treatment options," said breast cancer survivor and user Isabel Hemming of Los Angeles, California. "Through, it was easy to find several trials that were seeking women with the type of breast cancer that I was diagnosed with, and -- after talking to my doctor -- I was able to identify one that I was eligible for. I hope that my participation in the trial may one day result in improved treatment for other women like me." users enter a detailed health history, which matches them to trials that are specific to their personal health situation. Information on whom to contact for further discussion about a trial and additional criteria for enrollment is also provided. Individuals can use on a one-time basis or store their health history on secure servers for continual matching to newly listed trials. Information stored on is never sold or shared with external parties.

According to the Clinical Research Roundtable at the Institute of Medicine, very few patients are currently aware that they are eligible for participation in research studies, making recruitment challenging for trial sites.1 By helping individuals evaluate trials as a routine option for care, hopes to increase the rate at which new treatments and procedures are developed and made available to individuals at all stages of their disease.

About operates as an independent non-profit corporation. was initially co-developed as a regional pilot by the National Cancer Institute and the University of California, San Francisco Center of Excellence for Breast Cancer Care (COE-BCC), an integral program of the UCSF Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center, and a core program of the UCSF National Center of Excellence in Women's Health and the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. With the success of the pilot, was incorporated as a separate non-profit corporation dedicated to the continuing delivery of this service.

For further information, visit the site at

About Breast Cancer

According to the American Cancer Society's Breast Cancer Facts & Figures 2007-2008, breast cancer is a progressive and potentially deadly disease that will affect about 182,460 women in 2008. About 40,480 women will die from breast cancer this year, and there are about 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the United States. Additional research is critical and necessary to ensure that the millions affected by or at risk for breast cancer receive the proper treatment they need, according to ACS.

About the University of California, San Francisco

UCSF is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. For more information on UCSF, visit

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Get out the vote! (part 2)

We gave a kid a free Obama sign because he didn't have a
dollar....Look where he put it! Amy and I have been registering tons
of people!!!!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Playing around

I just learned how to send blog posts directly from my iPhone!

Medicins Sans Frontieres

I started reading Hope in Hell last night, an inside look into the humanitarian relief organization Doctors without Borders. Here are some of my reactions to the first 100 pages:
  • I didn't realize that MSF employed twice as many local health workers as so-called expats.
  • I was sickened to hear about some of the trauma they treat and the causes, children shot in the hands by soldiers, amputees from mortar attacks, extreme dehydration and malnutrition.
  • I think the burn out rate for these health workers would be really high. It sounds like their living conditions are okay, but the work is basically 24/7, and you never have enough resources
  • The work interests me, perhaps not being directly in a war zone, but the refugee camps, the community clinics they are building, this is something I'm drawn to.
  • It also terrifies me at the same time
  • Being a surgeon in this situations would be really helpful to a lot of people, you could save a lot of people's lives.
  • Reading these personal stories of doctors really inspires me, one of the most compelling reasons to become a doctor is exactly what doctors do every day in MSF, they can save people's lives with their intellect, skill, and technical knowledge.
  • My statement still stands that there is nothing more privileged or cool in the world then having these skills and using them for good.
  • Most of all, I was deeply saddened. Saddened that this type of organization is needed. Saddened that so many people are in such brutal living conditions, unfairly and unjustly, with no fault of their own.
A reason that MSF is able to stay independent is largely thanks to individual donations. If you're interested in donating, learn more here

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


I'm watching Leni Riefenstahl's Olympia right now. 80 years ago they sure focused a lot more on the field events! I watched the finals of the womens javelin throw just now, not to brag or anything, but, I WOULD HAVE WON THE 1932 OLYMPICS!!!!!! By like a meter. How cool is that???? Jesse Owens is about to win the long jump, really really cool.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Redwoods, Weddings and more

Abbey and my Dad have been in town for the last few days. We've been having a great time....

Scoping out the vista just north of the Golden Gate Bridge...

Hiking through the coastal redwood groves of Muir Woods.


Celebrating with Stephie and Scott at their wedding in Napa...

Abbey and I played our first round of golf on Sunday evening, besides losing 4 golf balls, we managed to finish 7 holes before the darkness became too much. 6 racoons scrambled across the fairway at Hole #6. We were surrounded by squeaky little bats (literally dozens) on Hole 7...That was around the time Abbey asked to hold her driver to have a "weapon" on hand.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Vote O O Obama

A few weeks ago I stormed the Ferry Building with my awesome friends -we handed out voter registration forms, free Obama stickers, signs and buttons. It was a total blast. What was impressive was how many people were already registered. Multiple foreigners came up to us to express their support for Senator Obama, a few even bought signs to bring back to their country.

Obama stickers anyone?

Get out the vote!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Was running with Jay today, had a great run to the beach. Beautiful, warm evening. On the way back I randomly fell, caught myself, nothing too bad, pretty random. But then about 15 minutes later I tripped again, scraped my hands and leg up in a pretty mess. Still, no broken bones, no blood. But geeze, two falls in one run??? I have not fallen on a run ALL year. The last fall I remember was along the Charles River the summer after my sophomore year...

Now, 2 in 1 day? Both times my left foot tripped me up. Going up hill (the last 25 minutes of the run was uphill) I felt a little tweaky pain in my left achilles, not a big deal though. Think that could be the problem? I certainly don't enjoy falling though...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Running Parties

Yesterday commenced a new era of SF running buds. Amy, Eugene, Jay, and I teamed up for a 3.3 mile easy run in the GG. When we finished, I felt like we had just begun. I get so easily distracted talking with people, it really makes my runs fly by --another great reason for awesome running friends!

I truly believe that running with someone is the best way to get to know them. Suddenly your runs become a lot more memorable and a lot less painful too. Running parties can be a tricky thing to skillfully orchestrate. As a college-level track athlete, a lot of my friends and family have been intimidated to run with me. I understand the trepidation, but keep in mind that I want you to love running as much as I do!!! I don't want to show off how fast I am or make you struggle!

Here's some general rules of thumb I've found to be helpful in creating a non-threatening, fun, and highly entertaining running environment...

Running Parties Rules of Thumb:
1. The Golden Rule of Running Parties: Run as fast as the slowest person
2. Walking is always acceptable if needed, never ridiculed
3. Check-in with your buds throughout the run to make sure the pace/distance is still working for them!

Interval Parties can be really awesome too, they work a bit differently then Running Parties...
Interval Parties Rules of Thumb:
1. Finish the workout you set out to do (ie: set realistic distances and paces!!!)
2. Fastest runner starts first and gets the inside of the track
3. If you're running the same speed as your training buds, you should alternate who leads/follows (I'm bad at this part, I always want to lead...)
4. As courtesy, whoever finishes first encourages those still running

I'm sure I'll add to these, but these are decent points to keep in mind when you're running with other people. I totally recommend throwing running parties as often as possible!!!

Also, if you are training for something very specific, or you have different goals then those you run with, it's good to keep a balance between social runs and personal workouts. For example, you might want to push your 4 mile tempo run faster then others in your group -that's a good time for a solo run. If you have hidden agendas in your running parties you'll be in for a "world of hurt**"

**I can't believe S.P used that phrase on national television, repeatedly.


Last night I went to see The Dark Knight on IMAX. I was scared to my bones. It's true, Heath Ledger was ridiculously creepy as the Joker. IMAX movies are a bit unbelievable, the sound is so intense I could barely handle it. Overall the movie was really well done, I was captivated the entire time, literally jumping out of my seat.

I miss the POW, KaZAAM, BOOM Batman shows I used to watch when I was a kid.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Power of Humor

Good evening ladies and gentlemen. I understand there are a good many Southerners in the room tonight. I know the South very well. I spent twenty years there one night.
Last time I was down South I walked into this restaurant and this white waitress came up to me and said, "We don't serve colored people here." I said, "That's all right. I don't eat colored people. Bring me a whole fried chicken."
Then these three white boys came up to me and said, "Boy, we're givin' you fair warnin'. Anything you do to that chicken, we're gonna do to you." So I put down my knife and fork, I picked up that chicken and I kissed it. Then I said, "Line up, boys!"

-Dick Gregory

God's Trombones

While we were watching round her bed,
She turned her eyes and looked away,
She saw what we couldn't see;
She saw Old Death. She saw Old Death
Coming like a falling star.
But Death didn't frighten Sister Caroline;
He looked to her like a welcome friend.
And she whispered to us: I'm going home,
And she smiled and closed her eyes.

Go Down Death, by James Weldon Johnson

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Sunday, September 7, 2008

SF Opera in GG Park

The San Francisco Opera performed a montage of vignettes today, right in my backyard! I was amazed with how many people were there, it was absolutely packed. Now I have a 30% coupon for tickets for the Fall Season. I really want to go to the premiere of The Bonesetters Daughter.

Here's the stage:

Here's the crowd, this photo doesn't do it justice unfortunately...According to the Chronicle, an estimated 20,000 people showed up.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


That's how many miles I ran today!!!!

I felt like the guy in lane 2 at the end of it... hehe

Friday, September 5, 2008

Get out the VOTE (part I)

I did the first step. I went to San Francisco City Hall on my lunch break today and got 200 voter registration forms. Should be a fun-filled weekend!

Voter reg 411:
  • Voter registration forms need to be turned in by October 20th if you want to vote for this election.
  • You don't even need postage to send in the form
  • You can get forms in many different languages, mine are english/spanish and english/chinese
  • If you change your party/address/state you need to re-register

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

An Open Letter to Barack Obama

Dear Senator Obama,

Thank you for the way that you've campaigned for this election. You have maintained your integrity, ethics, and professionalism in an honorable fashion on the campaign trail.

Thank you for having such strong family values, I appreciate that you married a strong woman with a career who is also a great mother.

Thank you for appreciating and admitting the complexity of issues we face as a country, for being straightforward about your approach to problems, putting the American people's future as the top priority.

Thank you for asking more of us, of regular citizens, not all of us can serve our country in the military, but all of us can surely serve our country in our own way. I appreciate you bringing that point back into our nation's dialog. I appreciate being called to action.

Thank you for bringing more people to the voting polls then ever before.

Thank you for being educated and understanding the importance of education, for working your way from a small college in California to being President of the Harvard Law Review.

Thank you for your eloquent speaking skills, your grasp of the English language, your maturity as a speaker, your ability to rouse and electrify a crowd. A President should not just lead, but should motivate its nation. I appreciate your unique and seemingly natural skill to do just this.

Now I know I won't possibly agree with everything you do as President, but I trust that I will respect your decisions because you will make educated, reasonable, thought out decisions that you have figured to be best for our country in the long term.

As a thank you, I will do everything in my power to help elect you as President of the United States.

Slam Dunk

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

This is NOT even funny.

Is it not ironic that the McCain campaign ran a nationwide negative political tv ad against Senator Obama linking him to the celebrity stars of Paris Hilton and Britney Spears just to go off and find his own "celebrity" a week later? Here we have a made-for-tv drama, pregnant teen to marry boyfriend, governor who eats moose, husband who races snow mobiles.

You know what, I care nothing about any of that.

What concerns me about McCain's choice is that Governor Sarah Palin had ZERO experience in foreign diplomacy, and is not suited to fill the job of the presidency in the event that she needed to. I do not have faith in her ability to lead our country effectively if something were to happen to Senator McCain's health if he were ever elected. Oh and the latest news is that she's going to get a "crash course" in foreign diplomacy issues by Bush Aides. THAT WORKED OUT REALLY WELL FOR US DIDN'T IT? Maybe she can "learn" from their mistakes.

This hoopla was at first funny, to me it was a laughable pick, showing me that McCain truly feels that women in this country are morons if he really thought all the democratic Hillary voters would for one second vote for him because of the fact their gender is represented in the ticket, without their values or beliefs backed. Now it just makes me angry and sad to think this stunt actually happened during an election year when we are on the verge of a tipping point, having an engaging political discussion about what we can do to improve our country and the type of leadership we need to bring us all together.

This is pathetic, disgraceful and offends me as a woman and as a voter. Don't get me started on the fear-mongering speech President Bush is going to deliver tonight. My stress levels can't handle this. THIS is another great reason I want to go into medicine, medicine may have it's share of politics, but at least every single patient I treat can be better off because of it. As a doctor I can't talk about how good I am, but I can actually deliver excellent care to folks that need it. Enough of this.

I'm going to be registering voters this weekend so we can get out the vote for Senator Obama.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Summer BBQs

Yesterday my friend Jay had an awesome BBQ in her new backyard. Doesn't she look cute in her apron grilling up our hamburgers?

To my delighted surprise Sally was there too! I love surprises like that!!!!

The past week has had unbelievably perfect weather in San Francisco, even the Inner Sunset. I've been in such a happy mood because of it, nothing can go wrong when the sun is shining and there are blue skies overhead! I'm off for a run in GG park. I'm still recovering from being a bit sick so this is going to be my first long run in quite some time.

Wonderful weather, wonderful friends, life is good.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Martin Luther King's I Have A Dream

45 years ago to the day.

Barack Obama = My President

He gave a long speech, but a powerful 250 words is all Obama needed to prove why he is ready to lead our country for the next 4 years...

"We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country. The reality of gun ownership may be different for hunters in rural Ohio than for those plagued by gang-violence in Cleveland, but don't tell me we can't uphold the Second Amendment while keeping AK-47s out of the hands of criminals. I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination. Passions fly on immigration, but I don't know anyone who benefits when a mother is separated from her infant child or an employer undercuts American wages by hiring illegal workers. This, too, is part of America's promise -- the promise of a democracy where we can find the strength and grace to bridge divides and unite in common effort.

I know there are those who dismiss such beliefs as happy talk. They claim that our insistence on something larger, something firmer and more honest in our public life is just a Trojan Horse for higher taxes and the abandonment of traditional values. And that's to be expected. Because if you don't have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare the voters. If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from.

You make a big election about small things."

I am thinking of running a September voter registration drive in San Francisco. Would you care to join?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Why being a doctor is so cool!!!!

This is EXACTLY why I want to become a doctor. I can be so useful and valuable anywhere in the world, at any point in time. How amazing is that? I can be like, LIFE-SAVINGLY useful. That is just the coolest knowledge/skill you could possibly have.

Baby boy born on airliner en route to Australia

One day maybe I'll be on my honeymoon to Australia and help delivery a little baby too!!!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Live Blog DNC - Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama speaks so much from her heart, I can almost hear her voice shaking at moments because what she says is so genuine and true to what she believes. She is radiant because what she says is meaningful and what she strives to be is bigger then herself.

Her point that struck the biggest cord with me was when she was talking about her father and the values he tried to instill in her. She nailed it when she asked when we stopped believing that we could continue to change the world from what it is compared to the world as it should be.

Ted Kennedy

Seeing Ted Kennedy go up there at the Democratic National Convention and give a great speech when he is under such great personal duress and crisis is astounding. Given his brain tumor diagnosis and recent surgery, what he is doing is so courageous and heroic to me.
I salute you Mr. Kennedy, you've got a killer Boston accent.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Bryan Clay is awesome.

Gold medal in the Decathlon, what an incredible athletic performance, several PRs, best decathlon discus throw ever. He's got to be the happiest person in the world right ow.

Stand up guy from Hawaii, not even 6' tall. Respect.
Article on his win from the the Honolulu Advertiser

So you think you can't paint?

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced." ~Vincent Van Gogh

A beautiful thought that has so much meaning when it is coming from the mouth of such an incredible artist. It makes me want to give painting a shot. It also brings a deep breath that I needed. Baby steps.

Monday, August 18, 2008

On the road again...

Not me, my family.

On a more lighter note then my last post, my family (even Lucky) made it to Hawaii today! The weather report is warm with cool winds, my mom is amazed at how many authentic palm trees there are (compared to Southern California). Will report more later. Hopefully their car will make it over in one piece too.

What a fun Christmas I will have. If you are interested in visiting, let me know. :)

Leroy Sievers

You may or may not have heard that Leroy Sievers passed away over the weekend. Formerly a reporter, he was diagnosed with cancer and decided to write about it for NPR, starting a blog called "My Cancer". It is one of the most honest, down to earth, witty, and moving blogs I have ever read and I urge you to take some time out to read some of his posts here.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Shutterfly = Awesome

A few days ago I was trying to figure out how I could share the photos from my recent trip to Europe, and I found that Shutterfly allows you to make your own photo websites, with unlimited storage.

So I've made two sites and will be uploading photos on a regular basis. Check them out and let me know what you think!

My site: or click here
My family site: or click here

So awesome!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Saturday, August 9, 2008

First impressions of Deutchland

  • the autobahn is cool, but not as cool as people make it out to be#
  • Frankfurt is the only city with an American skyline
  • German would be a reallz hard language to learn
  • currywurst is awesome
  • german babies (Mika!) are adorable
  • germany is a very environmental country with recycling bins everywhere and wind mills everywhere
  • everyone should visit berlin
  • the polizei sirens sound just like the sirens from Borne Identity and you keep expecting a car chase to happen and shoot out
  • the german chancellor has like no security around her house.
  • the olympia stadum must have been unbelievable to the athletes in 1936.

  • ikea is big here
  • in germany, doors can double as verz cool windows
  • not all castles are very old, some are as new as the late 1800s.
  • german castles are disneyland esk
  • german senior citizens ride bikes for leisure and say Halo to me as i'm running
  • business class german trains are the way to go, they even give you snacks
  • most german cities do not have skyscrapers
  • sandra, stefan, and mika are the most gracious, hospitable and awesome hosts to ever exist!!!!
  • there are French, Italian, and Thai restaurants but it can be difficult to find a German one!
  • McDonalds and Burger King are everzwhere, starbucks and dunkin donuts are also popular here.

Friday, August 8, 2008


We spent the day in Berlin...
It was unbelievable, more than I even thought it would be. The history just hits you and pushes you over. Will write a more coherent post later. Berlin is the most interesting and complex city I've ever been to.

We even managed to see the 1936 Olympic Stadium on top of most of Berlin. It was special since today, 08/08/08 is the start of the 2008 Olympics, and we were able to watch part of the opening ceremonies from inside the stadium.