Month: August 2008 (Page 1 of 2)

Crafty desires

Ack! only a few more days until I have to handle responsibilities again. My fridge is busting with desserts. Amanda brought over a delicious carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. I made the NY Times chocolate chip cookies (verdict: decent but not worth the hassle). I made the fruit salad from Cooking Club again. I have greek yogurt to make fro-yo. April and I canned peaches and made peach jam this morning. Tasty tasties surround me!!

I discovered and am loving it. I found all sorts of projects I would make if I had lots of lovely silk and alpaca balls. Lots of patterns to browse and great organization. I uploaded my “stash” of yarn and lined up WIP and queued projects. Little Sheldon here immediately caught my eye. I’m working on another knitted tortoise (almost done!) then I’ll try a couple of these before school starts.

Mavi and I spent some good time in Anthropologie cooing our eyeballs out. So much cuteness! Look at those grape-colored pleats! That pink sweater has POSIES in the pocket! Their stuff is so inspiring and beautiful.

I figured out my life plan. Once I’m a nurse making the $$ I’m going to get a powder blue vespa scooter and anthropologie outfits to drive to and from the local hospital. Once home again after a long day elbow deep in body fluids I’ll don my ruffly half-apron to catch the salsa dripping from my Chipotle burrito. Perfect.

“The streets are paved with diamonds and there’s just so much to see!”

Welcome to Brooklyn! We arrived via taxi from LaGuardia around 6 pm. Mavi and Jeff gave us a quick tour of their abode before the hit the streets looking for food. They had Thai on their minds. (That’s one of my patented “Rachel holds the camera at arm’s length” photos)

Below is the menu for our resteraunt – I forgot the name. It’s in Williamsburg, hipster central so I’m told. Sure enough, we entered through an unlabeled barred garage shop-like door revealing a hidden warehouse converted fancy resteraunt with a DJ table by kitchen.

Ben ordered squid (on the left) and I had delicious peanut chicken curry. Sorry for the low lighting pictures, but I try not to make a show about taking photographs in resteraunts.

After dinner we walked to the Williamsburg bridge and admired the city lights. We crossed over into Manhatten and took the subway back. We finished off the night at the Barcade (bar + arcade). Ben set a few high scores before we called it a night.

Saturday morning. Here’s a nice shot of our bohemian friends’ living room. Buenos the cat was very social while Trixie mostly stayed out of our way (that must be a tiger tabby trait!).

Breakfast was at Tiny Cup where I had my requisite toasted bagel with cream cheese and a hot chocolate.

After a long subway ride we arrived in Queens. We walked all over the park and cooled off in the fountains, despite a cop warning us that it was “the dirtiest water in the city” since they reuse the same tanks filled in the 60s. Whatever. It was a hot day.

The US Open was happening at the stadiums near the park so there was a lot of security and tennis fans wandering about. Once we were thoroughly hot and tired Mavi led us to the “real” chinatown for supper. We ate “hot pot” at the place with the red awning. Hot pot is where they bring a pot of flavored broth and spicey oils to your table stove so you can cook your own food. For just $25 including tax/tip you can eat and drink all you want. You mix your own sauces (note that that had a bowl of M.S.G. you could add to your mix) they bring you whatever frozen meats or fresh veggies you want. You can also order dim sum items like dumplings. The staff got very excited when Mavi started talking to them in Chinese. They were eager to please and helped us use the correct tools and mix good sauces.

With full bellies we rode the subway home to ready ourselves for an evening of fun. First off, The 39 Steps at the Cort Theater. The show was a real hoot, we all loved it. (Thank you Mom and Dad!)

We walked through Times Square to gawk at the lights then ducked underground to get to Marks Place. This time we went cheap and grabbed sandwiches from Bamn, an updated automat. Across the street I finally finally got to try Pinkberry! I’ve been curious to try it for over a year but alas, they are only in NY and LA. It was delicious and I’m already trying to recreate fro-yo at home. I hear their is a place in Denver called Kuulture that makes a similar fro-yo.

Next came my most anticipated activity – Karaoke! Sing Sing Karaoke is Asian style karaoke. Instead of singing in front of a large group you rent a private room with your friends. This has two benefits: 1) Everyone is encouraged to sing without the public embarassement and 2) you get to sing more songs in your own room.

I have some videos of the night that I might not get around to posting (do you really want to hear our drunken/full sugar cola insprired 2:30 AM ravings?). We sang our wallets dry, slumped onto the train, falling into bed well after 3 AM.

So Sunday we decided to take it slower. We slept in mightily and cooked breakfast at home. Mavi took me shopping on 5th avenue and the guys went to central park and Toys R Us.

Late afternoon we met up and took another long train ride out to Coney Island. I think our true destination was Nathan’s Hot Dogs, but what the heck, we looked at the park too.

I gotta say that most everything about Coney Island, aside from the hot dogs, was disgusting. The beach was filthy. The whole area stank even more than usual. The rides were ancient and overpriced. Nevertheless we had a good time laughing at it all. Brian rode a couple spooky-type rides and Ben took a lot of gorgeous pictures. We took one last trip into Manhatten for another Pinkberry and headed home.

Monday our friends needed to return to work. We just had time to have breakfast in Bedford, Brooklyn, walk around a bit, and go back to gather our luggage. Travelling home was very smooth. I’m so glad we took the time and money to make this trip happen. Jeff and Mavi were FANTASTIC hosts!

“and everything is beautiful when you’re young and pretty.”

I uploaded my photos to flickr this afternoon. You can see them here or by clicking on the widget on the right side bar. I promise that I’ll follow up with a photo blog post, explaining where we are and what we’re doing. I might even toss a couple videos online if I get real fancy. For now, here’s a little background on our trip.

We knew Jeff and Mavi from high school in Fruita and all went to CU Boulder where we really became friends. I hooked up with Mavi when we both signed up for East Asian Civilization, me because Ben recommended the Japanese history portion, and Mavi because she was majoring in Chinese language. Jeff was at CU’s film school. After school they got a cool place on Capital Hill. We went out dancing, crafted, cooked, and even made a Movie Saturday at their place. Soon they decided to move to New York to give themselves more opportunities in music and film. They make internet movies and are working on a film about their Breakfree Project music tour. Meanwhile, we had a standing offer to come visit New York and stay at their place for free. That was . . . three years ago.

Gosh darn it – it was high time we took them up on their offer. I had these two weeks off from school so we booked a flight and convinced Brian to come along (later finding out he had NEVER been to New York. Ben and I have been several times). Even more than visiting the city, I think we had a blast just spending time with great friends. Ben and I got to see a different side of NY, away from the touristy stops.

Now I’m home and despite the laundry and work to be done, it’s nice to be back. There’s nothing like a trip to make you appreciate home. No more polluted humidity making us sweat the moment we step outside. We desert folk like our dry, clean air. My comfortable bed encouraged me to sleep much later than I should have this morning. Molly is affectionate and happy we are home. Jem is exhausted from playing nonstop at her kennel. My tomato plant has tiny green tomatoes(!) and my clematis bloomed a second round of purple stars. I’m so glad I have until Tuesday to enjoy the quiet of Colorado before going back to school.

Omnivore’s 100

How could I resist Amanda’s list of the top 100 foods every omnivore should try? She has a pretty impressive span (see what I mean here). Let’s see how I compare. The foods I have eaten are in bold with a -. The foods I’m discounting for religious purposes have an X. Links take you to a description of the food.

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:

-1. Venison
X 2. Nettle tea
-3. Huevos rancheros
-4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
-6. Black pudding
-7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
-9. Borscht
Baba ghanoush
-11. Calamari (yes, I tried fish)
-12. Pho
-13. PB&J sandwich
-14. Aloo gobi
-15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
-17. Black truffle
X 18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
-19. Steamed pork buns
-20. Pistachio ice cream
-21. Heirloom tomatoes
-22. Fresh wild berries
-23. Foie gras
-24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
-27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
-29. Baklava
-30. Bagna cauda
-31. Wasabi peas
-32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
-33. Salted lassi
-34. Sauerkraut
-35. Root beer float
X 36. Cognac with a fat cigar
X 37. Clotted cream tea
X 38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
-39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
-44. Goat’s milk
X 45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
-47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
-49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
-51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
-54. Paneer
-55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
-56. Spaetzle
X 57. Dirty gin martini
X 58. Beer above 8% ABV
-59. Poutine
-60. Carob chips
-61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
-65. Durian
-66. Frogs’ legs
-67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
-69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
-71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
X 73. Louche absinthe
-74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
X 76. Baijiu
-77. Hostess Fruit Pie
-78. Snail
X 79. Lapsang souchong
X 80. Bellini
-81. Tom yum
-82. Eggs Benedict
-83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
-85. Kobe beef
-86. Hare
-87. Goulash
-88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
-91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
-93. Rose harissa (common in African cooking, so I’m pretty sure I’ve tried it)
-94. Catfish
-95. Mole poblano
-96. Bagel and lox (well, not the lox, but I’ve had my chances so I’m gonna count it)
97. Lobster Thermidor
-98. Polenta
X 99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

I have eaten 61 items. 13 items are disallowed alcohol, coffee, or tea.12 items are seafood which anyone can tell you I detest. But I’ve actually tried 3 of them. Ha! I beat Amanda’s 59 even with her my fish handicap. I think it helps to have a husband who likes exotic foods. To sum up:

  • 61/100 or 61% total
  • 61/87 or 70% of allowed items
  • 58/75 or 77% of non-seafood, allowed items

Not bad for someone my age I should think!

August break from the heat and the school

I’m off for two weeks from school – normally one week but thanks to the DNC coming to Denver we get until Labor Day to put our books on the shelf.

My clinical was fantastic. Great instructor, great staff and patients, interesting experiences, pretty much all you could ask for. I got to spend my last day in the surgical ICU, what a treat!

This weekend Ben and I are headed to NYC with Brian in tow. We’re going to stay with some friends in Brooklyn for a long weekend away from dusty old Colorado 🙂 I can’t wait!

Yeah, this is a short, kind of lame post. I waited too long since clinical to write, so my interest in revisiting it is low. I’m loving that my house is clean, my kitty is in my lap, and I spent 2 hours today watching Scrubs and knitting. How about some quick stats as a final note on my Med/Surg 1 experience?

Number of MRSA swabs taken down to the lab: 11
Number of times I almost fainted: 1 (PICC line insertion = YOWCH!)
Number of old men I showered: 2
Number of times I yanked up my compression socks per day: 7
Number of nurses I shadowed: 6
Number of lungs auscultated: 7
Number of times I washed my hands: 288 (give or take)
Number of times I applied soap thinking it was alcohol rub until it failed to absorb: 3
Number of times I entered vitals in the wrong column of the flow sheet: 5
Number of times old men winked at me: 6

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