Friday, February 28, 2014

Happy Birthday Mom!

Spent the day yesterday celebrating my Mom's Birthday. We started off at the De Young Museum in the Golden Gate Park of San Francisco. There was a fabulous traveling exhibit on Georgia O'Keefe. Her love of nature truly comes out in her paintings and her ability to capture colors and contrasts is phenomenal. Of course, no photos allowed in the exhibit, but we snuck a pic right outside.

After a nice museum cafe lunch (always my favorite), we walked next store to the Japanese Tea Garden and we enjoyed our cups of sencha and jasmine green tea. We were lucky enough to have a beautiful day in the city given that it rained the day before and the day after!

From there we picked Abs up from track practice (who made Varsity track what what!), and went to Bistro Vida for dinner!

 Happy Birthday Mom! Hope you enjoyed the day as much as I did!

Friday, February 21, 2014


My Grandma Pederson painted a portrait of Bruce Springsteen back in the day, she used to always call him Bruce, hubba hubba!

I am trying to choose a complementary frame. What do you think of this gold one?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Treasure Island ~ not just a famous novel

To celebrate the end of President's Day weekend, we drove across the Bay Bridge to Treasure Island and took a walk. Treasure Island is one of three islands in the SF Bay, I've been to Angel Island, but still haven't explored Alcatraz. Unlike the other two islands, Treasure Island is man-made, built for the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition, later used as a base for the U.S. Navy, often used for movie filming, and now the site of the popular Treasure Island Flea Market, which I previously enjoyed with my bff Shannon- it was great.

I hope you enjoy this shot from a beautiful sunset over the city yesterday. You can see the GG bridge on the right edge of the photo.

I spy a bobcat in Berkeley

Back in the Bay Area! Went for a really nice hike this weekend at Inspiration Point in Berkeley's Tilden Regional Park. The views of the Bay are amazing! In addition to the 360 views, the wildlife was phenomenal. Two hawks, a dozen wild turkeys, several blue jays, and a bobcat! The bobcat was about 50 yards away, at first we couldn't tell if it was a coyote or a cat, but with the help of a friendly hiker's binoculars, we confirmed it was definitely a bobcat. I didn't bring any cameras, so the photos below are taken from the web.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Hasta Luego Buenos Aires

I can't believe it's time to go home. I feel like I had so much and yet so little time here! Bah studying!

There is so much left to see, do, explore. I can't wait to come back. I feel like I was just getting to know the city, and now I have to leave! I spent the first week trying to understand Peronism, Evita, and their history. The second week was mostly studying, the third week, mostly studying and exploring Recoleta. Now I need a fourth and fifth week to get down to business.

Here's what I'm doing next time:

Abuelos de Plaza de Mayo -just learned they still march every Thursday afternoon. How did I not know this? How is this not on everyone's top 10 of BA list? The guidebooks don't mention it. I am UPSET at myself for just finding this out now.


Enjoy the Botanical Garden...I really should have done this, it was so hot though and an hour walk away.

Feria de Matadores

Watch the stars at the Galileo Planetarium

Explore Argentina's past at the Museum of National History (just learned about this today, why!?!)

Go on a Graffiti Tour

Dance at a Milonga

Pay homage to Carlos Gardel at the Tango Museum

Visit Ex ESMA and pay my respects to the Desaparecidos

Go to an event at Teatro Colon

I love living in a different place so much. Understanding and appreciating the history (every place has its horrors and heroines), I love eating the food, listening to the language, reading the news, watching the movies, listening to the music. But 3 weeks is not enough! Especially with studying full time! Heck, I've been here 6 weeks technically and its not enough! It just leaves me finally beginning to peel apart the layers and figuring stuff out. Can't I stay longer?

But this is the great part of traveling. Now, I have my entire life to be interested and enthused and pay more attention. Still, there is something so unique about living in a place, breathing the air, seeing the architecture, the street art that just makes you want to dive in and learn more.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Casa Rosada

On my way to San Telmo, I noticed that people were walking right inside Casa Rosada. What?! Ok me too. A free tour? Yes please! It was awesome!  There is a beautiful art room, the room celebrating the Women of Argentina in which the President gives important speeches. There is the Salon de Eva Peron.  The tour even includes the President's office! No photos allowed in there, but man, Christina has a LARGE pile of books on her desk, and very sweet photos in her office. Could you imagine visiting the Oval Office?! Apparently no one comes to work on the weekend, and the President lives elsewhere. I was so pleased with stumbling across this experience!

Evita's desk

Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo

This cartoon runs on the children's channel of the Argentine Ministry of Education, explains the reasons and history behind the "Rights of Identity" and exactly what the Abuelas are still working for.

I'm sorry it's only in Spanish...

Who is Mafalda?

At the flea market today, I saw so many "Mafalda" items- t-shirts, bags, mugs, keychains, even refrigerator magnets. Clearly she was a character from a beloved Argentine cartoon that I knew nothing about. I thought I'd share with you my findings...

Mafalda is a cartoon character from the late 1960s to early 1970s, created by "Quino". She is a 6 year old girl, who "reflects the Latin American middle class and progressive youth, which is concerned about humanity and world peace and rebels against the world bequeathed by their elders". 

Aww! No wonder she is so beloved! I totally would have bought a t-shirt!

Update: I found Mafalda, La Pelicula with English subtitles on youtube, had to share!

Feria de San Pedro Telmo

I can describe the San Telmo Antiques Fair in just one word: OVERWHELMING!!!

The traditional antiques fair is centered around Plaza Dorego, but there are 270+ stands set up over almost a mile along Defensa. It's awesome and exhausting, so many people, so much stuff to look at, and several different bands playing throughout. A really cool place to check out. I hear it's a big pickpocket area, but I didn't have any trouble. I'm running out of pesos, or else I would have several items I'd be taking home with me!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

View from my window in Recoleta

The stormy summer here in BA creates such beautiful skies! Counting my blessings :)


Argentine Women

One of the most unexpectedly pleasant surprises of living in BA is seeing how many distinguished, well-dressed, older women they are. Women here do a wonderful job of taking care of themselves.

You might here that Argentina has a huge amount of plastic surgeries and its probably true, but of course that's not what I'm talking about at all. I'm talking about the two 70 year old women who sat next to me at the tea shop, with put together hair and make-up that celebrated their age, jewelry that added glamour, and sophisticated outfits like a button down shirt with a skirt and cute belt and nice sandals.

I LOVE the shoes in Argentina. So many flats, low heels, and wedges that women can actually walk in. (The current platform trend isn't my favorite, but that's why its a trend). As I was running I passed a woman walking down the street, about 60 years old, wearing skinny white pants with wedge sandals and a lovely colorful blue blouse with coordinated jewelry. Good fashion amongst older women here is just so plentiful!

Many seem very fit, that is likely due to where I'm staying, downtown, no need to drive, can walk and do all the errands.

Mostly, I love their sense of style. It's so classic. With most of the women I observe, you can tell the clothes aren't new, the shoes aren't spectacularly fashionable, the earrings aren't exorbitantly expensive.

I am in Recoleta, the most posh, ritzy and European part of the city. Shouldn't I expect this? But I think their sense of style is better than any US city or European city I've visited. Mostly I'm shocked by the shear number of women in their 60-80s I've seen that I've been impressed with. These women are not staying at home all day, they are getting out!


You might have noticed there have been some design changes around here. I hope you like the new look, I do! In a bout of reflection (read: procrastination), I re-read a bunch of my "med school" posts.

Some reflections...

1. I am SUCH a science geek.
Love of human anatomy? Awestruck by developmental biology? Losing my sensibilities while studying pulmonology?  In disbelief over the fact that we have an aqueduct in our brain? Somethings don't change...

Except now I don't just love it, I fear it. Clinical medicine has shown me up close and personal all the terrible, no good things that can go wrong. Now it's more of a reverence. You've got to pay respect your body so it doesn't go haywire on you. Even if you do pay respects, it still might go bonkers.

2. OMG I have learned so much. 

My posts about the vocabulary I was learning at the time are particular endearing. Medicine is really all about building blocks, which allow you to learn more and more and more.

Mountains and mountains of knowledge.

3. OMG I have forgotten so much. 
This hits me especially as I study for USMLE Step 2. I was like the smartest person in the world when I took Step 1. I really think it's the height of my brain capacity.

Clinical years lead to more medical savvy, but I wouldn't say more medical knowledge...Except of my specific patients. How do you have three patients with cholangiocarcinoma during internal medicine, NMDA receptor encephalitis in neurology, placenta accreta in ob/gyn, but have never treated a patient with Alzheimers or Rheumatoid Arthritis? I've forgotten almost all of neuroanatomy. There is a brain, and spinal cord, and some nerves...(JK I remember a little more than that...)

4. Compassion is the name of the game
I love clinical medicine, because I get to take care of people! I get to figure out what they need medically, but also how to break bad news, break good news, explain tests, ask for help, talk with family, explain that I don't know that answer but I'll find out, explain that we don't know what the heck is going on, explain that we know exactly what is going on but don't have any great treatments, or my personal favorite, we know what is going on and we're going to do something about it! My biggest medical school accomplishment? I am most honored by the fact that I was nominated by my peers to the Gold Humanism Honor Society.

5.  There's just so many ways to be awesome every day!

Medicine is not the end all be all of professions. While for me, it's the right choice, and I'm happy to have the privilege of becoming a doctor. I've gained an ENORMOUS amount of respect for all the other people in the hospital AND the non-health care settings. We need good pharmacists, nurses, respiratory therapists, social workers. We need good parents, good grandparents, good cousins and aunts and uncles and friends. We need good mayors and county supervisors, and state senators. We need good neighbors and small business owners. If there's anything I learned from medical school, is that you certainly don't have to be a doctor to help someone. Just being the best version of yourself. It is SO SO SO important. Be a stay at home mom, be a part time teacher, be an astronaut, be a CEO, or a mailman but make sure you know what your values are, and hold on to them steadfastly.

Okay, I'm all reflected out right now. I'm sure in the future I'll have more reflections to share with you!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Buenos Aires Street Art

BA is well known for great works of graffiti art. There are even tours you can take! Just about every walk I take, I come across something interesting.


Ladies Night!

My local Tea Connection here in Recoleta has a Ladies Night, where they give you a 15% discount AND 5% of the proceeds goes towards women's groups via

This was made even sweeter by the fact that there was phad thai* on the menu!!! My first taste of asian food in South America, and while my photos didn't turn out well, the phad thai was delicious! Very unlike phad thai in the US though with corn, peas, and red onions. I also enjoyed a tasty berry iced tea. While ice is a rarity in other parts of BA, this place makes super icy iced tea. Perfect after a hot and humid run.

This might be the best addition to my UWorld QBank studying yet!

I love Argentinian food, but this phad thai was a real treat!
*spelled "phad" thai because that it how it was spelled on the menu :)

Sculpture Run!

Running through Recoleta in the early evening is the best. Plenty of people out biking, rollerblading, running, walking. I noticed there are so many sculptures on my run that it begs to be named the "Sculpture Run". Here are just a few shots of the many sculptures. See for yourself!

A Memorial Plaque to the Disappeared Artists of the Recoleta Crafts Fair

Nice trail!

Relaxing on the lawn like all the other portenos