Thursday, July 31, 2008

and we're LIVE!

This day will live in infamy...

Released nationwide as of 10:15am, July 31st, 2008.

This is a culmination of my work this year, and about 8 years in the making!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The world belongs to the enthusiast who keeps her cool...

Swamped with secondaries and leaving for my trip tomorrow evening! Posting will resume when in Ireland.

Many thanks to William McFee for my title quotation

Saturday, July 26, 2008

CRAIG of Craigslist

It is official. I met Craig of Craigslist at Cafe Reverie at 3:18pm, Saturday, July 26, 2008.

I am happily staring at this cute puppy, when a guy, mid-30s, a bit round, squats down to pet the puppy.

Unknown guy: Sees me looking at the puppy, "Guess we are both suckers for cute puppies".

Unknown guy walks in, everyone saying "Hi Craig". He has some coffee, reads a magazine and then gets up to leave. I am sitting by the door, as he is about to exit, I interject as follows:

Julia: Are you THE Craig, of Craigslist?

Craig: That's me, nice to meet you, what's your name?

Julia: I'm Julia. I just wanted to let you know that your site has changed my life.

Craig: Glad to hear it, make sure you get out though.


Friday, July 25, 2008

I am so lucky

This week I was a bit stressed. You know the drill, crazy busy at work, tons of planning for my vacation, endless applications. BUT thanks to a certain someone, I was reminded that I am extremely blessed.

I have amazing family and friends who are so unique, fun, and generally make life worth living on a daily basis for me. I will soon have a second home in Hawaii, so whenever I want I can jet over and chill on the North Shore. I am a college graduate, have a great job with interesting colleagues and incredible mentors. I live in one of the most beautifu
l and diverse cities I have ever been to. I live two blocks from a green luscious park I can take meandering runs through daily. I have good health, good spirit, and enough time on my hands to read, hike, think, write, photograph, as well as contribute to my community and my love of track. I have terrific roommates and a supportive boyfriend who put up with my shenanigans. Most of all, when I am lying in bed at night, I am happy with myself, who I am, what I strive to be, and what I'm about.

For this I am happy and thankful.

--> Happy Julia -->

When I think of all the things I am blessed with I realize that I don't have anything to stress about. I may want more, but I don't need anything else.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Rules are Made to be Broken

I'm currently reading The Journey of Man, a great book my uncle gave me for birthday. It follows the molecular history of the dispersal of humans across the world, starting in Africa and branching out.

We can trace single DNA polymorphisms that are prevalent in entire populations (Europeans vs. South Asians for example) back to a single mutation in a single man or woman. We trace changes in skills, language, and human progress along with this molecular paths.

While I was daydreaming on the shuttle yesterday, I was hit by the fact that it didn't just matter that these gene mutations were made, but the other fact, the fact that the human with this mutation was able to reach out beyond what he or she knew at the time. Imagine being the first person to draw something? Or the first human being to put complex sentences together? It is absolutely incredible to me, because it takes a leap in thinking and processing, but it also means you have to go against the grain, against what is normal. Against the rules.

I've been thinking a lot lately about scientific innovation. In breast cancer we have pretty good treatments, but we don't have a cure. There must be a way to prevent it, or at least to guarantee it won't come back. There just must be. But the rules, the way we think, what we know to be true, could be wrong, in which case we could be missing something. Something obvious even if we changed the rules/principles we know.

Hehe maybe I'll have the genetic mutation that will allow a leap of thinking to occur. If I could break a "rule" I'd want to rethink transportation. I wish there was a way for us to just morph ourselves where we want to be. Or maybe not. Maybe just a way for me to morph myself to any location in the world. It could be dangerous if everyone had that capability. This way I could take all the liquids I want and visit all my friends in cool places without spending a nickel.

23 miles

What an awesome bike ride!

Old pros.
I want to do it again!
But I need butt padding first. Or bike shorts.

Medpedia -Shout out to Andrea!

I am so proud of my roommate Andrea. She just started her first day at her new job, she'll be working for
Medpedia this next year. I, (and others vastly more qualified then I to think so) think this could really be a disruptive technology that changes the way medical information works. Transparency in medical information is such a tiring issue that needs to be laid to rest, and I think that Medpedia can really be the dealbreaker that will be able to provide patients and care providers with excellent medical information across a huge range of diseases and ailments.

I'm so excited for you Andrea and I'm looking forward to hearing about the triumphs and roadblocks of this great start up!

Here's an LATimes article that's pretty cool.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Times are Changing

Change is in the air...the new batch of interns is here, my parents are moving to Hawaii, I'm applying to medical school... I feel like this time next year I will have a completely different frame of reference in terms of my home and my day-to-day activities...

An update on my regular activities are in store. This weekend I took time to rest and relax, I slept a lot, took care of some errands, and really worked over some secondary applications, pressing "submit" is my new favorite activity. I also had a great 7 miler yesterday, nice and easy. It's so cliche, but long runs are really great for clearing the mind. The next 11 days I will devote to secondaries so I can feel like I'm on top of things before jet setting across the Atlantic. So in case you're in the mood for sending me presents, anything with caffeine and positive thoughts will do.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Thinkers and Doers

Over the past few years I’ve become more and more interested in the way the world operates. I feel like in high school and most of college I was a doer, I did sports, I did my school work, I was really busy doing things. I’ve noticed that I’ve been gradually changing into starting to think a lot more. To think about why I do what I do, To think about what I really want to do and what there is to do.

I also recognize that, as a Doer, I surrounded myself by other Doers. I’ve started to try to seek out Thinkers, I really don’t know many Thinkers.

There are Thinkers, Doers, and then there are Thinkers AND Doers. What I want to strive for is being a Thinker and a Doer. I think it’s easier to start out as a Doer and then become a Thinker and a Doer. Being a Doer comes naturally to me, and I know this is not the case for a lot of people. I have no problem planning crazy weekend hikes, starting to coach a track team, deciding to go to Germany, starting a blog, making videos. I just DO DO DO. I think I can really start to harness my Doerness now that I’ve really begun to think. This excites me and exhilarates me. Reading really helps me to think, I love reading, I love reading narratives, fictional novels, biographies, blogs, OpEds. I just really love hearing other people’s perspectives, it gives me something to think about, to compare what I think and believe.

This girl sitting in front of my on the plane right now is such a Doer. She’s like 3 years old and just keeps peeping back at me and playing a little game of hide and seek.


Debby Hamolsky is a nurse where I work, and each year she gives a talk on Breast Cancer Care for the new premedical intern group. Even though I am not a new intern, I remember how much her talk moved me last year so I decided to attend it again this year. I am so thankful I did. She gave a wonderful talk detailing all that a woman diagnosed with breast cancer must struggle with and go through.

Debby is a really amazing person. It’s not that she’s super smart or super motivated, or super anything really when I think about it. What really impresses me and inspires me about Debby is her authenticity. Debby is the most authentic, whole-hearted person I have ever had the chance to know.

It’s interesting that this quality of authenticity strikes me as amazing. Should it really be considered amazing? Is it really that difficult to be authentic? Has it always been this difficult to be authentic? To not get caught up in so many of the parts of life that we force ourselves to comply with, like looking the best, or feeling like we are the best, or thinking that other people aren’t the best? Trying to fit in and be liked by everyone? Am I the only person confronted with these feelings? In honesty, I don’t think that Debby should be considered amazing, I wish that more people had the characteristic of authenticity as she possess, so that Debby would be considered normal, instead of amazing. To me, being authentic, true to yourself and your values is what we should all be striving for.

I feel like so many of us don’t take the time to really think about what our values are, who we want to be, what we want to do. Not "do" as in right this moment, but "do" as a lifetime pursuit. I don’t mean to imply that to be authentic you must be helping others either, this is what Debby does as a nurse, but she does it because she really loves it and really values its impact, which is more important.

1 Year at the BCC

It’s been a year since I started working at the UCSF Breast Care Center. What a learning experience. I thought I would reflect on some of the highlights of the year in some upcoming blog posts.

Most rewarding has been working with patients to help them get the most out of their appointments with physicians. It’s so rewarding to me for two reasons, firstly, I see how incredibly helpful the exercise is for the patient, for understanding their disease, for thinking about what they value the most, for thinking about how they want to make the decisions they are faced with. Being able to help women have piece of mind about the decisions they make, helping them understand their cancer and come to grip with having a cancer in their body, is such a great thing to be able to offer, I am so happy I’ve been help them with this process. To be helpful to another human being, another family is such an awesome ability.

Secondly, this experience has been so personally rewarding for me. Through these women I have heard so many of their stories, hearing how breast cancer has affected their lives and relationships, but also hearing how they are persevering and coping. The diversity, the uniqueness, of the women I’ve worked with has really opened my eyes in ways I am very thankful for. I’ve been confronted with my own stereotypes and ignorance, and I am so thankful for this. I think my perspective has been widened immensely and I hope it continues to be widened as I know I am not perfect, nor do I perfectly understand other’s lives. At least I am at the point where I am beginning to realize this.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Clinton debt

This infuriates me. Why in the world would Obama supporters help contribute to paying off Hillary Clinton's debt from the endless and obnoxious campaign she ran against him? WHY?!?!?!?! The gall of her campaign to even ask. I bet this is a first in political history.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

First Impressions

Do you swear by first impressions? Are they something to rely on or something to ignore, based on biases and previous people you have known?

I'm very intrigued by this thanks to a conversation with Yiwey this evening, would love to hear what others make of first impressions of people.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Great Job Becky!

Yesterday my good friend and former teammate, Becky Christensen, jumped a PR of 1.84m at the US Olympic Trials to place 11th overall!

When I saw her first jump at practice 3 years ago, I immediately told her she was going to jump 6' - no problem. Thanks for proving me right! I am so happy for you Becky, it is awesome to see you continue to improve. I can't wait to see what you are made of in another 4 years!!!

Friday, July 4, 2008

4th of July!

Just finished a wonderful run with Meredith and Eugene. Here we are in our patriotic attire. Happy 4th of July!!!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

2007-2008 Intern Crew

Today was the last day we'd all be together, we had such a good time this past year!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Exactly 1 month until I am in Ireland, celebrating my Grandpa's 80th birthday with friends and family!
It will be Abbey's first time climbing Croagh Patrick, the holy mountain in this photo.

My office buddies

So sad these two will be leaving me in 11 days!

To Die for Blueberry Muffins

After buying some fresh blueberries from the market yesterday, I decided to throw my hat in the blueberry muffin baking department.

They turned out to be so tasty! Oozing blueberries with a crumble topping, this recipe is a keeper! I just had a muffin for breakfast, so good.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

It's July

June went by so quickly...July means gloomy days in San Francisco, more secondary applications, saying goodbye to the old interns and greeting the new ones...