Friday, June 29, 2012

Day 21: Eyes.

Seeing this photo confirms a long-held suspicion of mine, though. My left eye is more gray than the other.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Day 20: Transportation.

Okay, sorry. I forgot to do yesterday's challenge, which was "up angle shot." Meh.

My "island car". She ain't much to look at, but she gets me where I need to go. Usually.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Day 18: Favorite color.

It's kind of fortuitous that my favorite color wound up being my semester color here at Ross, and that I've managed to "stay Green" (meaning not repeat or fail out) for five semesters.

Last day in Puerto Rico.

Our second day in PR we went to Ponce and did touristy type stuff going on tours of old buildings and such. We stopped at a lechonera - a grill where they serve pork that has been roasted on a spit ALL DAY and is super tender and delicious. We ate it with yucca root, yams, and rice and I discovered that I am in love with yucca root. Then we tried blood sausage (coagulated blood and rice inside of a pork intestine casing). It tasted good, but the texture was very mushy and unpleasant.

Me and Elly, duckfacing and throwing up a deuce.
I believe this was the St. Augusta church in Ponce.
Firestation in downtown Ponce.
The puking lion! We found this hilarious for absolutely no reason.
Brazos gitanos!!! It's a lot like pumpkin or jelly roll, but with different flavors. I loved the queso (cream cheese), guayaba (guava) and china (orange) flavors.
Lechon! Whole, roasted pig. It was delicious.
Lechon, yucca, sweet potato and rice with an ice cold Medalla Light.
Blood sausage.

My last day in Puerto Rico we went to the beach in the morning and then the Plaza las Americanas (big freaking mall) in the afternoon, where we spent way too much money at Old Navy and American Eagle and got the most amazing and thorough pedicure of my life. Then we spent the rest of the day eating street vendor, side of the road type food where Angie would just point at something and go, "Oh! You have to try that!" and we'd pull over and eat alcapurrias (meat wrapped in a mixture of plantain, yucca and yams and deep-fried), pinchos (kabobs), bacalaito (a dough made out of flour, water, salt and cod fish), tripleta (a sandwich with beef, chicken and ham). 

Now I am sitting back in my apartment, typing up all the fun I had. It was an incredible time that I'll never forget. And I believe plantain tostones and yucca are going to become staples of my diet from now on.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Day 17: Something you made.

Most of what I cook is from scratch to a point and then one or two premade items to save time or money. But my favorite recipes are completely homemade, not a single item artificial or premade. These are pumpkin pie tartlets that I made absolutely, 100% from scratch. Pie crust, pumpkin pie filling from pumpkin that I roasted, strained and spiced myself, fresh whipped cream (not the crap from a tub or can). These were incredibly delicious.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

San Juan food tour.

So this is what I've been looking forward to for months. A food tour that caters to people who don't want to eat at super fancy, high end restaurants on vacation. No. Gimme the hole in the wall, side street grill type places that serve mostly locals. This was the food tour for me.

Normally I hate pina coladas. I don't like super sweet drinks, and I also hate "fake" tasting premixes. This was a gorgeous, silky blend of fresh coconut and DonQ local rum.
Chicharrones con pollo and amarillos (yellow plantains). The chicharrones were incredible. That amarillos were okay, but I'm a fan of green, starchy plantains over the yellow, sweeter ones.
Risotto with calabaza (green pumpkin) and shrimp. Honestly, the best risotto I've had in years. Not too runny, not too underdone, just sticky and delicious.
Mojito. Not my favorite drink, but it was good.
Just beans and rice but damn, it was tasty.
Mofongo con pollo. NOM!
Profiteroles with chocolate rum sauce and vanilla ice cream. A little generic and not very thrilling, but the cafe con leche that we had with it was pretty good.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Day 15: Faceless self portrait.

I didn't have time to snap a challenge-specific photo, so you get all our shenanigans during our first day in Puerto Rico instead.

San Juan really reminds me of San Francisco at times. The narrow, hilly streets, the tall, skinny buildings with lots of balconies.
These cobblestones date back to the 17th century and are blue from the iron slag used to make them!
Lots of colonial Spanish architecture throughout San Juan. Indoor courtyards being very common inside restaurants, hotels and apartment buildings.
These are pork rinds or chicharrĂ³nes. Not like the little wimpy things in the store, these are basically the entire pig skin deep fried whole.

I have a ton of pictures from the food tour that we did, but I'm very tired and I want to type up the report of all the local dishes we had in detail. Just to say, Puerto Ricans have at least a half dozen different ways to prepare plantains, and we tried most of them today. Tostones are still my favorite, even though mofongo is delicious.

One thing I am surprised and frustrated by is my Spanish. I can't speak it anywhere even close to fluently, and I can't even understand most of what I read/hear. But I understand about every third word, which is usually enough  to piece together the drift of what is being said. I totally understood enough to order in Spanish at the churrascaria we ate at for lunch, and I understood when the bartender asked me how long we were staying in PR. I'm happy, because it means my two years of Spanish in high school weren't completely wasted, but I'm frustrated because I want to be more fluent than I am. It doesn't help that Puerto Ricans drop their "S's" like crazy. "Buenos dias" becomes "buen dia" and "gracias" is "gracia." Local dialect is both way cool and super aggravating.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Day 14: Childhood memory.

Brown County State Park in Nashville, Indiana. I spent nearly every autumn here camping with my mom, brother and grandparents (and sometimes my Aunt, Uncle and cousins). My grandpa would let me sit on his lap and steer the car while we drove down these windy roads and pretended we were on a roller coaster. Every time I smell woodsmoke I'm instantly back in Brown County, racing with my brother to thrown more leaves on the fire.
In other news, midterms went very, very well. I scored a 96% on Toxicology and a 95% on Diagnostic Imaging. I'm completely burnt out and still in shock at the DI grade because I don't feel like I studied nearly hard enough to earn that high of a grade.

Tomorrow my flight leaves at 8:30 for three wonderful days in Puerto Rico!!! I'm so excited. I can't wait. This is going to be an absolute blast. I'm also excited to get to have Angie show us around, point out some of her childhood memories or favorite foods. I feel like I'll know my friend better after this in a way.

Tonight I am going to Lobsterfest with Angie and Sako. It's held every Friday night at Reggae Beach with a bonfire and you pay $75 EC for lobster, ribs, chicken and shrimp with all the local fixins - rice and beans, plantains, breadfruit, Johnnycakes, etc. After all that studying and stress, I plan on treating myself to three days of pure relaxation.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Day 13: You + 13 things.

Okay, I am allowing myself a one hour study break to calm down from my Toxicology midterm this afternoon (went well, but still stressful) before I start studying for my Diagnostic Imaging midterm tomorrow.  I look like hell having gotten 5 hours of sleep and doing absolutely nothing with my hair or make up this morning, so I'm not taking a picture of myself. So I decided to incorporate myself into this photo by making a collage of my thirteen favorite foods.

Granted, favorite foods change with mood, etc. But these 13 pretty reliably put me in a happy place.

1. Broccoli - NOM! I used to have my mom cut the stalks down to the white heart and then munch on them raw as a kid.
2. Apple dumpling a la mode. Warm, spicy goodness with melted creamy vanilla ice cream.
3. Hummus and pita. Particularly roasted red pepper hummus. And if I can make little pita finger sandwiches with the feta and olives also pictured, I am in heaven.
4. Pineapple. Any fresh pineapple will do (I HATE canned fruit and veg!) but grilled with some honey and cayenne pepper or cinnamon is delish!
5. Suuuussshhhiiiiiiii! My brain goes zombielike around sushi. I want to consume raw flesh.
6. French onion soup. Or really any soup. I love soup.
7. Olives. Balls of salty, tender goodness.
8. Snow peas! These are so good sauteed with just some olive oil, salt and pepper until lightly browned. NOM!
9. Mmm, spinach.
10. Feta cheese is just plain awesome.
11. Tiramisu is my favorite dessert. Period. And if you make it with cream cheese instead of mascarpone, I will hurt you.
12. Shrimp cocktail with a really strong, spicy horseradish sauce is nommy.

And uhhh... I swear I was numbering these as I went! I was! I dunno how I got so off. Blame it on exam brain. So here you go:

A medium rare steak with blue cheese crumbles. Good steak should never be heavily seasoned or ruined with an overabundance of sauce. A light dusting of blue cheese and maybe some sauteed mushrooms is all I want.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Day 12: Technology.

The radiograph of my rat, Gracie, from her massive traumatic hernia. We were in surgery for 2.5 hours repairing her body wall. Yes, I paid $300 for surgery for a rat.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Day 10: Bad habit.

Day 10: Bad habit. Hamper on the left = clean. Laundry bag the right = dirty. I never fold or hang up laundry. I basically just add and subtract from two distinct piles.

He's not breathing!

So today was my first ever live animal anesthesia where I played the role of the anesthetist. No one in my 3-person anesthesia team had ever done this before, which made it daunting enough to begin with. Add in a wonderful and charismatic but sadistic professor who (I strongly suspect but can't prove) deliberately gave our dog enough propofol as to cause induction apnea, meaning the dog stopped breathing and we had to administer artificial respiration on top of intubating, maintaining and monitoring our patient for the first time EVER! Not exactly how I'd expect an introductory lab to go, and way more intense than any of us were prepared for. Our dog was fine, we apparently did a good job (according to said prankster professor) but my team and I were very stressed out and shaky afterward.

On the bright side, I placed a lateral saphenous catheter for the first time. I've done cephalic catheters before, but this one is a little more tricky because the vein isn't perfectly straight and it rolls more than the cephalic.

Less than an hour after our dog woke up form anesthesia, without time to even eat lunch, I was off to clinical skills lab to learn and practice abdominal wall closure suture technique. My suturing skills are coming along nicely. Apparently I have good technique and beautiful knots when I get them right, but consistency and speed are things I need to work on. After two exams later this week and a much-deserved 3 day break in Puerto Rico this weekend, I plan on getting to work on practicing my suture skills. At some point I hope to make a video in which I demonstrate how to open and close an abdominal incision on the artificial "Rossie" model that they provide us and post it on here for future Ross students and anyone else who might find it interesting.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Day 8: Flowers.

Fresh cut bouquet from my front yard. I love that I have Bird of Paradise growing in my garden!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Day 7: Something blue.

I feel like this requires a matrimonial theme, so...

The cake table at my wedding.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Day six: Something orange.

Kittitian sunset from my very first week in St. Kitts. Hard to believe it's been a year and a half.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Day four: High-angle shot.

My clinical nutrition elective started yesterday, which means I had absolutely no time to snap a photo today as I just got home about a half hour ago. So here's an old pic where I'm totally MySpace, high angle shotting it up in my bathroom.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Day two: What you wore.

Gearing up to go collect data at our White House Bay artificial reef site.
My dive partner was running about 30 minutes late, so since I had my camera I poked around a bit and took some photos. I love this island.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

30 day photo challenge.

Since my life is pretty hectic as well as boring at the moment, I've decided to do a 30 day photo challenge. I've always wanted to do one of these. I like photography and I've got a creative streak. I should have fun with the spirit and not the literal meaning of the challenges.

Day 1: self portrait. On my front porch.