Monthly Archives: August 2012

blue bend

This first picture has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the post, but…behold, my box of bones!! I don’t get to keep-keep it, but better than nothing! It’ll be good for studying. :D!

I don’t have much to say for the rest of this post, because frankly, I think the pictures speak for themselves. A couple weekends ago, I went out to Blue Bend since I’ve wanted to know its whereabouts ever since the mentor outing that never was (because of weather + the fact that we got out super late that day). One of the guys from church graciously offered to show me the way on his motorcycle, so I followed along with Cordelia and bam! It was breathtaking. There are definite reasons as to why I kinda feel like I’m on an eternal camping trip/vacation here (y’know, when I’m not holed up in a room somewhere studying). This is one of them.

It took a short hike and there is absolutely no cell phone reception out there, but look at this pure, unadulterated wilderness. :O


(Sorry as usual for the red glow of my phone case… :X ) Here’s the swinging bridge!


This is the part of the river that I waded across. :O


And here it is! Blue Bend! This part is deep enough that you can jump off the rocks and cannonball (or flip if you’re super skilled) and go swimming. :D I didn’t go swimming that time since I hadn’t planned on going there and didn’t have a towel with me/didn’t want to dirty up Cordelia, who I’m still babying like no other, but we came back today! There were pockets of freezing cold water and also some pockets of warm water, so that was pretty interesting, haha.

an elbow to the face

Jason had a test on Tuesday morning, so he wasn’t in on Monday. (I usually roll with him because he’s closer to my size than Dan, and then Dan can throw me all kinds of pointers while we’re rolling.) But! It’s good to practice with different people anyway, and Dan’s an awesome instructor. He says I’m picking up things really quickly. (I managed to break out of back control during both our drills.) :D! He’s also started to actually throw me [lightly] so I can get used to it/practice my breakfalls. As the title suggests, he accidentally elbowed me in the face while we were practicing something (it’ll be a good while before I actually remember the names of everything I’m learning). Since it was an accident, it was a lot more painful than it normally would’ve been, since they’re very good about checking their blows when they’re actually trying to hit me, but I am a-okay. Learning to be more durable. And accumulating a hell of a lot of bruises. My face is fine, so meeting with my standardized patient went well. (No “what the hell happened to you? I’m not sure I want you as my physician” comments. In fact, he said I was very personable, thorough, did a really great job and was the first one to actually extract a pretty vital piece of information from him. Score!)

I like what Dan said: “It takes a special kind of crazy to actually like coming in 3 times a week to be thrown around and beaten up.”

At least if people see my bruises now (it’s basically all over my left leg; I don’t know how my right leg escaped everything, but there’s always next time), I can say BJJ even if, in the future, it’s from pole, since it’s a conservative community and all that goodness. Speaking of poling, I still need to obtain one. :[ There’s one in our one and only club (it’s also a restaurant), but apparently people aren’t allowed to dance on it, so I’m not sure why it’s there. :/

What better way is there to get to know people than when you’re straddling them and pretending to punch them out? (Or choking them out.)

Truth be told, there are many other ways. (For instance, stripping every week in OPP lab and having people palpate you to find somatic dysfunctions.) We’re basically going to know our class a little too well by the end of this [and next] year.

Rice Cooker Muffin Cake

I finally updated the Recipes page, so it should be easier to navigate/locate the stuff that’s been made/will soon be made.

Over the weekend, I finally mustered the courage and time to use my first-world rice cooker for something other than rice! (Okay, so I’ve made quinoa in a rice cooker before, but still.) It’s because I needed to make a cake or something to that effect for one of my friend’s birthdays, for my mentor, and for a potluck. What better time to start, right?

So what was the verdict?

Well, seeing as how there was a post about it. I’d say it was a success. I brought it to Adam’s (my neighbor) place and we stored it in the microwave until people came over. Everyone liked it, and the general consensus that the only thing that would make it more awesome would be to toast it and to eat it with jam. Or with apple butter! (I still have the jar he gave me since I was working on finishing off the jam Tricia gave me. <3 )

To preface, I have a Zojirushi NS-TSC10. I think a lot of the Zojirushi rice cookers have a cake (or steam) function, and I will probably mess with the steam function one of these days, but not today. :O

I wanted to make something that was at least on the slight side of healthy, because what with our lovely lifestyles of sitting around (although I think our class as a whole is actually pretty darn active–in my apartment complex alone, we have an avid runner, a cyclist, and me [I don’t know what I’d fall under. Weightlifter? Dancer? Jack of all many trades?]–exceptions unfortunately apply during exam week), diet is kinda one of the only things I can readily control every day. I grabbed this recipe off of allrecipes and made a good number of modifications based on what I had in my apartment. :O

I should probably point out that halfway through, I realized that I forgot to throw in sugar since I’m a genius, so I kinda opened it back up and added a little in/mixed it up a bit. (Honestly, I think it would have been fine without the sugar.)

Rice Cooker Muffin Cake

Ingredients:
-cooking spray
-1/2 cup whole wheat flour
-1/2 cup all-purpose flour
-brown sugar, to taste
-2 1/2 tsp baking powder
-1/4 tsp salt
-1 cup rolled oats
-1 cup soy milk
-1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
-1 egg
-1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
-2 handfuls of dried cranberries
-1 small apple, diced
-1 banana, diced

Instructions:
1) Spray rice cooker bowl with cooking spray.
2) Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a bowl. In a separate bowl, add rolled oats and milk. Let sit for ~5 minutes while you dice an apple and a banana.
3) Add egg and oil to oat mixture. Stir to combine. Stir flour mixture into oat mixture until just combined.
4) Fold in the fruits, pour into the rice cooker, and let cook for 50 minutes.
5) When it passes the toothpick test (stick a toothpick in the middle and if it comes out clean, you’re good), invert the rice cooker bowl onto a plate and serve!

Alternatively, you could also just throw the batter into a muffin tin at 400F and bake for 20 minutes. :O

BJJ

So I decided to join the BJJ club because having an outlet is pretty much necessary when you spend most of your time cooped up in a library or classroom studying/in lecture. I get fed all kinds of awesome food (chicken, bread, cream cheese pound cake, ginger snaps, chocolate, fresh berries/pineapples, energy bars, cream puffs…) in the library by Jerry (sweetest woman ever) and there are almost always fresh home-grown veggies/herbs up for grabs in the classroom, but still. We’re attempting to stuff mountains of knowledge into our brains and we actually need to retain it. An outlet is healthy. The gym is cool, but I’ve pretty much been a solitary gym-goer since…almost right after I realized I’d be a disgrace to my major if I didn’t do much of anything (I had Tahitian and hula, but still–ward off that osteoporosis and sarcopenia! Everything starts going downhill after 25, so in my opinion, the more of a base you build, the better >_>). Human interaction is pretty nice to have.

Said outlet involves rolling around on a mat with dudes, since I could not, for the life of me, convince a single one of my female friends to join with me. (To be fair, I didn’t try very hard to recruit them to BJJ. I figured it wouldn’t happen, given my observations of the reservations they had about the idea of sports bras and palpating both genders’ backs.) It also looks all kinds of wrong in some cases, and I have to admit, I could not keep a straight face when he said, “We’re going to do the rear naked choke now.” But anyway, I’ve wanted to learn some form of a martial art for quite some time now, partially because I think it’d be awesome (what with brag rights and all–I picked someone up when he put me in a guillotine at my second class and threw him on the ground; how cool does that sound? :D? Even the guy I threw was pretty impressed. :D!), and partially because I still have a hell of a lot of latent anger directed towards the creeper we never caught. If there’s ever another one and my taser does not get to him first, I’d like to at least be able to throw him on the ground and pummel him. In other news, self-defense would be pretty cool to learn too.

The guys at the gym are super nice. I’ve only been to three classes so far and had absolutely no prior experience, but they’re really good about breaking down each move, demo-ing it, and then walking me through it. I joined in on the “sparring” in my second class (I put it in quotations because although they said they were just going to attack me, it was more like “attacking” me and giving me hints if I forgot what to do/giving me suggestions on how to make it better) and that definitely helped me to cement what I’d learned more so than while I was just learning them. They’re still going easy on me and not actually sending me flying onto the mat for the time being, which I appreciate, because I’m still pretty weaksauce and/or not 100% confident on how to break my falls yet. It’s going to take a long, long while until this becomes second nature (will it ever? ;_; I wish I had someone to practice it on.)

Mondays and Wednesdays are BJJ/Judo, and Saturday is kinda a mix–mostly muay thai with some other things thrown in. Dan likes teaching us self-defense, which I believe is partially for my benefit because I look somewhat dinky and unthreatening. They say this makes it all the better because people won’t expect me to attack if they try to come at me (I keep wanting to say, “Come at me, bro!” in class :X ), so I can use that to my full advantage and just lay it on them. So yesterday, I started learning some striking so that I wouldn’t only know how to do take-downs. I rolled with one of em’ (I am pretty ashamed to admit that I can’t remember his name. ._. I feel kinda stupid asking now because I’ve had so many conversations with him and we’ve been throwing each other around for the past two weeks ._.) once and also joined in on one of the stand-up’s. Jason said there’s definitely a hell of a lot of anger in my eyes when I’m punching. har har. :X I got punched in the face twice, but I am improving, so that’s a definite plus. I also rolled with Dan and almost managed to choke him out. Granted, he is definitely going all kinds of easy on me, but the fact that I almost got it on almost-pure instinct was kinda nice. I think all the fights with my brother when we were little and didn’t get along really helped. :D He was always super frustrated because he could never pin me. >_>

I think it’s sad how every time I’m living in a town where people say there’s “never anything to do,” I always find all sorts of things I want to do and never have time to do it all. Back when I was in Davis, I did indeed try to do it all. It technically wasn’t the best of ideas, but I managed to cram a whole crap ton of things into my four years there. Here, it’s definitely not advisable if I want to actually make it out of medical school alive and well. Sacrifices must be made. I need to choose wisely. ;_;

culture shock

So I’m still kinda getting used to this whole “everyone’s so nice”  phase. It’s not that people in the other places I’ve lived weren’t nice, but…I’m really not sure I’ve ever encountered this level of hospitality. It’s kinda unreal. I’m not used to such a small town, nor am I used to everyone just knowing…everyone. There are no secrets here–if something happens, everyone will know. So we have to be careful what we say, because for all you know, one of their relatives could be sitting right behind you listening to every word. Tis a good thing that I never made it a regular habit to talk negatively about other people. I guess I’m really just not used to having to really care about what other people in the town think of me (never was an issue before because [1] I’d never see them again, and [2] the chances of people talking about me were rather low).

I also think the place I grew up in was fairly liberal, and I’m not entirely sure what it’s like here yet, but there are churches everywhere and not being Christian is definitely out of the norm. They actually have an SDA church here though (I was very surprised :O ), so I’ve been going there. People are super nice, friendly and welcoming, but part of me wonders what they’d think if they found out just how cafeteria-y of a Christian I am. Joanne mentioned last month (I can’t believe it hasn’t even been a full month since I left California) that when she thinks of someone Christian, she thinks of me, so she doesn’t associate terrible things to them. <3 Makes me happy. <3 I’m not so sure this sort of cafeteria-y Christian-ness will fly around here though, so I’ve been careful with everything I’ve been saying lately. :X

I also can’t tell if someone’s hitting on me anymore. It used to be fairly easy, but here, everyone’s just so nice that it’s hard to tell if they’re really just that nice, so I reciprocate and vaguely hope that I’m not accidentally lead them on or anything. lawl. Also slightly concerned about offending future patients with questions like, “Do you have sex with men, women or both?/How many partners do you have?” since this is not California, but…yeah. :O

I went to Blue Bend last weekend (separate post on that later <3 it is absolutely beautiful) and stopped in Caldwell for dinner at a church friend’s place. (Apparently, practically 2/3 of WV consists of uninhabited crazy-beautiful wilderness.) They live on a farm, so I got to pick/shuck some corn to roast for dinner/pick up firewood. It was pretty awesome. :D They have 2 horses, a bunch of chickens, turkeys, ducks…and speaking of which…

Meet Duck! :D She (we think it’s a girl) is kinda afraid of water where she can’t touch the ground at the moment, but hopefully she’ll grow out of that soon. so cute. ;_;

All in all, it was a pretty awesome, super-peaceful day, although I can’t shake the feeling that I’m always supposed to be studying. It’s kinda like studying for finals, but every single day. :[