Wednesday, August 28, 2013

To get you through until next Sunday.

If you're like me, you live every 7 days between new episodes of Breaking Bad in a fugue state, obsessing about what just happened, wondering what will happen next, worrying to death about poor Jesse. Here are two videos to help ease your pain. No spoilers involved, in less you count how Hank and Marie react to Miley Cyrus at the VMAs or Walt's AMAZING rolling skating abilities a spoiler.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Monday musings.

-Disclosure. There was a time in my preteen existence when N'Sync was probably in the top 5 things I cared about. I had posters of them on my walls. I used to have in depth conversations with my best friend, MK, about the five of them, as if they were our close, personal pals (we always wondered about Lance, even back then; Joey was the funny one we'd love to have as a friend; Justin was dreamy; Chris we didn't talk about as much). I attended two N'Sync concerts consecutive years in DC at the Verizon Center with group of middle school girlfriends. Both times we screamed so loudly we all sounded like 30 year smokers the next day. We made posters and waved them madly as we danced in our seats (of course we had spent the entire previous MONTH memorizing choreography from watching music videos on MTV (how old does THAT make me sound?), which we just knew in our hearts would impress the band all the way from our nose bleed seats to the stage. To this day I can honestly say they were the funnest, most joyous, silliest concerts I have ever been to, or probably will ever go to.

Their break up, even though I was getting older and should have been past boy band related things, was...difficult. And though I've enjoyed watching JT's career grow and blossom, a piece of my TRL loving, Bye Bye Bye choreography memorizing heart has missed them dearly. I knew they were done, would never really reunite ala the less superior BSB (there was a legit rivalry amongst our 7th grade class between BSB girls and N'Sync girls, obvi the N'Syncers were correct).

Which is why last night's brief little snippet of a reunion still managed to bring me so much joy. There's only one window in your life to love a band as much as only a preteen girl can love a boy band. It's a love that is pure and without abandon, a love that has nothing to do with being cool or hip or ironic. It's just earnest, scream your head off, cry when they descend from the stage on giant strings in a cloud of pyrotechnics and dry ice love.

-The US Open started today and that brings me almost as much joy as N'Sync. I love this tournament.  I've explained at length on this blog that night matches at the Open are what solidified my deep and abiding love for tennis. There just is nothing like it when a night match creeps toward midnight and then past it, past the point when you should be asleep but you could care less, could not possibly think of turning the TV off, because you're in it, you're there in that moment, in that stadium in NYC just as much as all those people who are physically there, on the edge of your seat, living and dying with every bounce of the ball. 

Plus, Nadal is healthy this year. Which makes me a very happy fan. 

-I'm seeing the Beach Boys this Wednesday in Charlottesville, which I'm pretty stoked about. It's not so often you get to see living legends play a concert, and seeing them outdoors at the Cville downton mall is just the icing on the cake. Plus this concert is the first of three incredible ones I have scheduled for the next few weeks. The other two are Fun. (!) and Frightened Rabbit (!!). You may not have heard of Frightened Rabbit, because they're not that well known, but they are one of my favorite bands. Their songs are raw and gorgeous in the way it seems British bands just excel at, and I cannot wait to see them live. 

-My first day of clinical immersion in a critical care unit was last week, and as much confidence as I gained this summer doing med/surg during my externship, I kind of felt like I started over there. Which is good. The best way to build confidence is to start off feeling completely overwhelmed (right? isn't that something people say?). My preceptor is a total super nurse, and I know I'll learn oodles from her. She's on the code team which means that every time someone in the hospital's heart stops, she drops  everything and runs there (which means I run behind her trying to keep up). I'm sure that will become somewhat more natural with time, because right now, when I hear a code called out, it feels a lot like this:

I haven't literally hidden in a closet yet, but I know it's only a matter of time :)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Winos in the 'Ville

This past weekend five of my lovely friends and I headed an hour up the road to Charlottesville to do what any sensible group of women in Charlottesville should do, DRINK LOTS AND LOTS OF WINE!!

We had ridiculously unseasonable weather for August, and it was perfect for sitting outside sipping yummy wine, even cool enough to make me crave red wine (just one sip of red wine and I got all giddy about fall). I've done a good number of Charlottesville vineyards, but this was the first time I brought picnic stuff.

I made two types of baguette sandwiches:

Turkey, sharp cheddar, and granny smith apple

And prosciutto, arugula, and mozzarella

We also brought along lots of other yummy things, cherries, grapes, trail mix, etc. to keep our wine soaked selves steady enough to power through four wineries.

We hit King Family, which was absolutely beauitful. The wines were really good too, especially a really refreshing and crisp Viognier although the tasting only included five. But you got to keep the glass! Always a bonus in my book.

Next we went to Pippin Hill, which may be my pick for most beautiful winery in Charleston (which is really hard to pick, because they're all so ridiculously gorgeous, all rolling hills and idyllic rural tableaus.

We went to Jefferson and picnicked

This was MK's face when I told her to "act natural"

Our last stop was Trump, which I want to hate because, well, it's Donald Trump. And maybe if I was a wine snob I would hate it, but I've been twice now and have thoroughly enjoyed it both times despite the giant golden T's all over the place. The wine is yummy, the view is great, the tasting includes like 13 samples (two sneak attacks that aren't even on the tasting list), and they have two sparkling wines that I love. So as much as I hate to say it, I like your winery Trump. I am still highly skeptical of you in general.

After a couple hours de-pickling in our hotel, we headed out for dinner at the Whiskey Jar (had a bangin' barbeque sandwich that was perfect after a day of drinking), where the boyfriend managed to swing by and grab a bite with us after work (we graciously allowed him and his cooties to sit with us). We made a stop at Commonwealth Sky Bar, where the scene was somewhat....less than friendly. Mostly it made me feel like an old fart, because I remember a time in my life where weekly I went to bars that were packed with people and I had to stand in line for 20 minutes just to get a drink, and I could last until the bar closed.

We were out of there my midnight. But in our defense we'd been drinking since 12pm! It's not just due to our steadily advancing age.

We did revisit our youth in one major way though, the late night junk food pig out stop. We hit up the Cook Out driveway (full disclosure, I've never been to Cook Out, now I wonder what is wrong with me to have waited so long). Their milkshake menu is INCREDIBLE. There are like 50 flavors and you can combine them, and it's just one of the happiest places in the world I think.

I got peanut butter, banana, with Reeses Cup. BOOM! Do you not want to go get one of those right this second? I wanted to find a way to live inside of that milkshake. Sadly I just ate it. All 5,000 calories of it right before bed.

And I'm not even a little bit sorry about it.

So to sum up, a weekend drinking wine (and milkshakes) with some of my favorite people on the planet in one of the most beautiful parts of our state=the perfect way to end summer before school starts (tomorrow, eek!!!)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Some things.

Back from Belize. And it was as gorgeous and relaxing and beautiful as it was last year, if not more so. More on that later. But first some (random) things.

-I may be a little late to this party but Florence and the Machine's album "Ceremonials" just completely crushes me. I downloaded it a week before Belize and I almost can't handle how good it is.

Shake it Out is one of those songs I can listen to again and again and again. Do you have those songs? That one you just hit play on as soon as it's over, that you almost get a little irrationally sad over during its last few seconds, because it's that ridiculously good that you don't want it to end, you just want it to continue, be permanent. The whole album is like this. I am head over heels in love with it in a way I haven't been in love with a CD in a long time. It is a CD (does it make me old that I still call it a CD?) designed for car rides, for driving around the block a few extra times just so you can catch the end of a song.

-On the topic of soul crushingly good pop culture, Breaking Bad's last eight episodes started Sunday. I watched the first of these episodes two nights ago since Sunday night I was stuck in the Atlanta airport for 5 hours. And you guys. You guys. I just can't. Television shouldn't be this good. The last few minutes of the episode, I straight up sat upright on the edge of my bed, leaning forward, holding my breath. A unicorn wearing a poncho could have wandered into my room and I just would have given it a glance and then gone back to watching that last scene of Breaking Bad, because Breaking Bad would have been the more captivating of the two.

And Aaron Paul's Jesse Pinkman. If he does not make it through the end of the show alive I don't know if I can emotionally handle it. I don't know how Vince Villigan has made me so desperately care about a character who has made and sold meth, murdered, and done some other very bad things. But I do. Oh all I want is for Jesse to make it out of this series somehow intact.

-Tom's has tempted me all summer with its crochets and its wedges, but I've been uncharacteristically frugal and resisted. But no longer. Tonight I splurged.

So these Ikat print Toms are very similar, yes I admit. But one is light blue! And the other is gray. TOTALLY different. For example I could not wear those light blue with say, a pink top. Gray on the other hand...

Whatever. I just gave not one, but two barefoot children in Africa shoes (probably not Ikat print), so I completely justify buying both pairs.

And to my delight, I got a cool Alice in Wonderland tote bag because I spent over $75. I love me a free tote.

-Last but not least Hardywood just came out with a Blackberry beer.

I had some the other night, and it is as whimsically delicious as I hoped. I love a good fruit beer. Last year Hardywood came out with a strawberry beer so good I wanted to swim laps in a giant barrel of it. I think Abita strawberry beer is one of the most fun beers to drink in the world.  Don't even get me started on the subject of pumpkin beer. So I was so excited about this blackberry business that I may have had its release on my calendar. And it did not dissapoint. The blackberry taste is actually not that strong, but it's just present enough to be a delightful little surprise in the midst of a traditional Belgian white ale

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Belize bound.

This is what it looks like when I pack for a week long trip.

You do not even want to know the state my room was in when I packed for 6 months in Thailand.

Overpacking issues and all, I'm pretty flipping excited about spending another week in Caye Caulker in Belize. I can't think of many places on earth more relaxing or beautiful. Last time I was there I also swam with a sea turtle, which I'm 99% positive is my spirit animal.

I also drank lots of cerveza, ate lots of ceviche, and did fun things like paddleboard, kayak, snorkel amongst coral reefs, and climb around on Mayan ruins.

I hope to do those things again this week, although honestly, I would be pretty stoked just to lay in this swing for hours and hours.

See you all in a week :) I'll be the tan and Zenned out one reminiscing about more magical memories with sea turtles.
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