Friday, December 13, 2013

this too shall pass.

"Oh remember dear, this too shall pass, and it always ends the same."

I think You Won't must have been writing about final exam season. Sigh.

Florida-bound in a week! See you on the sunny side.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

quotable quotations

Mface here, checking in for my sporadic update. This one's quick, as another Monday test is calling me back to the books. A dear friend of mine—thoughtful and observant beyond measure—knows me and my love of meaningful quotations well. She pretty much nails it whenever she sends me a sweet note (Quotable, ftw), and this most recent card is no different. Reading the card below should give you a decent rundown of how life is going right now--

Now, don't take that to mean I am falling flat on my face right now. I received my final [passing] transcripts from Oxford, I decided on a wedding dress last weekend, and I'm doing a-okay in my med school classes. I'm doing fine, but always have more to work on (:

I am blessed; I am busy. I strive; I struggle.

Till next time,

Friday, September 27, 2013


One year ago, I arrived in Oxford, England.
One month ago, I submitted my dissertation.
One week ago, I finished my first block of medical school.

The various relocations, adjustments, and transitions of the past couple years have been exciting+challenging+fun all wrapped together, and I thought today would be an appropriate day to shed light on this most recent Oxford --> Duke shift. It's been interesting to see the curious ways these two very different places have common threads connecting them. Here are a few I've noticed so far:

Monday, June 17, 2013

time: it flies, it flees.

(photo cred: Charlotte Koldeweij)

If I could tell you one thing I've learned in this year in Oxford, it's that time has an unrelenting, undiscriminating capability to…fly.

I suppose I should be used to it by now—undergrad passed by quickly enough—but there's something about a completely unique experience in a completely new place [which coincidentally happens to also be a very old place…] that really makes it tangible. Even little things are making my impending departure start to sink in. For instance: I wrote this transcribed post aboard a train back to Oxford from a day-trip to London, looking out at landscapes I will fly away from in 3 weeks, using as paper the back of a Tube map I will never need again. 

There have been many aspects of my Oxford journey that have continuously taught me time's fleeting nature:

Thursday, June 13, 2013


Today marks Zack's (and Micah's!) entrance into this world, oh-so-many years ago. Woot! 

But since I'm far away [and only put a bday card in the mail yesterday...woops...], I gathered up a few friends after Formal Dinner to send Zack a fun bday message. We had a good time with it.

Here's what resulted:

Mel is my favorite.

And this last one would have been fun, had our photographer not caught me putting away my cardigan. We can just admire(?) my calf:

So happy birthday, Zack! We love and miss you in Oxford!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

lyrical poetry. or poetic lyrics? or something like that.

Life...It just keeps movin' right along.

On another note: Dunno if it's coincidence or if I'm going through some sort of phase, but I've noticed a whole lot of suuupa lyrical music coming out of my speakers lately. Two examples that have been cycling through as of late are Passenger [a Brit] and Frontier Ruckus [very American, but I saw them in Ox just a few weeks ago!]

Passenger's songs are full of plays-on-words (a phrase I hate to pluralize almost as much as passersby), rhymes, and quips much more insightful/philosophical than first meets the eye ear.

Take this snippet from Things That Stop You Dreaming, for example:

Saturday, April 06, 2013

whether the weather would rather I wither.....who knows?

Before I came to the Oxford, a friend passed on to me an "Unofficial Guide," the very first page of which reads,

"As an intro of sorts, here are a few impressions that we would like to share:

  1. It really does rain a lot. We know you think there is no possible way for it to be as bad as people say, but you are wrong."

And they were...well...right.

I have to admit, however, that my biggest frustrations/complaints have had less to do with the rain itself, and more to do with a weird combination of uncertainty and monotony.

[other words that could be substituted for 'monotone,' according to my computer's thesaurus: 
                             vapid, unrelieved, insipid, stodgy, jejune, unimaginative, and dullsville (my fave). 
And all of those are also accurate.]

To explain:

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

black* beauty.

Last week, a friend joined me on an adventure to DUBLIN.

We hung out with a crew of Stetson Law students for a couple of days, and while they were off acquiring knowledge about Ireland's interesting independence/peace process, we learned some history of our own.

I'm talking, of course, about Guinness.

Monday, March 25, 2013

contemporary selfies

Traveling as a pair requires some creativity in obtaining photographs that include both persons. Throughout Z's visit, my camera found itself balancing (sometimes precariously) atop park benches, trash cans, tree limbs, stone walls, hand rails, and even random [parked] car hoods—timer at the ready—in attempts to snap some pics of our travels.

Because of the weather, and our venturing sans-suitcases, we look....pretty much the same in all the pics. Ignore that. I promise these were all taken across the two weeks and not on one day!

Note the occasional blue skies!
In Gloucester, at the historic docks.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Z's visit

Okay, with all that silly engagement excitement behind us, I reckon I might as well post a few photos from the rest of Z's lil UK adventure.

We started with a few days in Oxford--
Highlight: Kazbar. This fab tapas restaurant on the edge of Oxford's ethnic hub served up some seriously satisfying grub. I probably shouldn't call it grub. But I will.


...and after:

It was goooooood.

On one of our afternoons in Oxfordshire, we ventured to the nearby village of Woodstock. [Did I just take that line straight from JRRT?] We goofed around, laughed at toilets on Browns lanes, visited not-very-secret gardens at Blenheim Palace, and with all the Canada geese and Baptists running around, it almost felt like home.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Adventure time!

Z starts the AT today!

He's been pretty excited about it lately. When he was in the UK, we did even did a little bit of warmup hiking to get him ready. It was really rugged.

We even made sure to wear our sturdiest hiking boots, just to be safe.

In all seriousness though, he's been super tuned-in to anything hiking related these past several months. For example:

Monday, March 18, 2013

A modest proposal

It is upon my return to Oxford, after seeing Z off to the airport, that I finally have access to a computer and time to write this update. Unfortunately, his departure means we won't see each other again until July, but he's off to amazing adventures through Appalachia, and there remains much work for me to accomplish before my own exit from Ox, so it's probably for the best. Besides this, I can't complain too much because his visit was a pretty great one for several reasons, not least of which being....

(to be married, more specifically.)

I'll spare you the satire and get on with the story:

After a few days together in Oxford, Z and I did some train-hopping that brought us to a few towns/villages in the Cotswolds, west of Oxford. [I'll post some pictures+stories of the actual trip later; we've got more important details to cover.] On our third day of trekking, we found ourselves in Bath (minds out of the gutter, folks) and with our thin wallets preventing us from paying for fancy tours or special exhibits, we needed to kill some time...

Thus we ended up in Henrietta Gardens—a lovely place, even in the cold—and proceeded to take silly pictures as we wandered through the park. The whole trip, we'd been using my camera's self-timer to snap pictures of the two of us together, and sneaky little Zachary used this fact to trick me good: In one corner of the park, he set up the camera to take a bunch of consecutive shots for what I thought was going to be a goofy little way to pass the time. He got me.

....without further ado, here's the frame-by-frame:
[And I promise, folks, it's authentic. I'm pretty sure I couldn't have acted this out if I tried.]

Thursday, February 28, 2013

the beauty of music

Even in cloudy ol' England, burdened by the lived-up reputation of cold dreariness, live music provides a reason to get out and about. A friend and I made one such venture last weekend, and I could not have been more pleased with the result.

[Okay, that's actually a lie. I would have preferred to come out the experience with at least partial function of my vocal cords, but alas, ya can't win all the time.]

In any case, my recent trip to Birmingham was quite pleasant. I made the journey with a friend on Saturday, tickets in hand and excitement overflowing for that night's Lumineers show. To pass the day, we trekked around the old industrial town, popping in and out of various coffee shops, museums, and vintage shops. We rested our feet for a while at a free "Sax in the City" gig at Symphony Hall, which was lovely, but basically served to get us only more excited for live music a bit above the volunteer-community-band skill level (uhh, no offense?). We even stumbled across some rannnndom street art:

The reason for this intricate mosaik's presence on this Birmingham, UK side street, I know not.

Upon my brother's recommendation, we grabbed some Balti food for dinner. [[Because of the whole colonization thing, Indian food as many people know it was actually developed within UK borders, and Balti dishes apparently developed their popularity in Birmingham. Or something like that.]].
it tasted better than it looks...

With full stomachs and happy hearts, we made our way to the venue.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Well, well, well, another half-month has passed. I'm in denial of how rapidly this year is passing.

For risk of letting another chunk of time pass us by before another post is written, I'll abbreviate my intended ramblings and give you this quotation (from Nancy Scheper-Hughes, a big name in Medical Anthropology)...

"Action without reflection is wrongheaded; 
reflection without action is self­-indulgent."

I was lucky enough to venture over to London to attend the Royal Society of Medicine's 3rd Annual Primary Care Ethics Conference yesterday, and on the bus back to Oxford I had plenty of time to reflect, stuck amongst the post-work commuters back to suburbia. Maybe one day soon I'll type out some of those thoughts. More importantly, maybe one day soon I'll turn those reflections into action.

Hope you're doing well, wherever you are.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Mindful Monday x29

I don't know why, but this Monday, as I struggle strive to write on an unfortunately philosophical/theoretical prompt for my grad program, this song is playin on repeat (in between the Ronald Jenkees tunes that keep me intensely diligent. obvi.). I don't have enough mind juices left to decipher its meaning, so I'll just leave it here for you to mull over.

Happy [mindful] Monday!

Saturday, February 02, 2013 have four eyes.

Yep, I'm still alive. Sorry for the absence. It's been a fast-paced couple of weeks, with a few first-in-my-lifes sprinkled in.

Every once in a while, I have to utter David's sentiment, just to keep everything in perspective [the cute, "is this real life?" part, not the rage-filled-outburst part, don't worry]. Turns out this is real life, and turns out, life is pretty...interesting.

Last Friday marked the birth of Scotland's Robert Burns, a famous poet and honoured figure. Each year there is a Burns Night Dinner to celebrate his life and works, and I was able to attend my college's installment of this occasion. The meal has an interesting agenda, part of which includes the main dish being paraded around the room with a bagpipe escort. We happened to have a Fellow (basically, an esteemed professor...I think??) who delivered absolutely fabulous renditions of Burns' poems throughout the evening, including the all-important Address, as well as in incredibly entertaining delivery of Tam O'Shanter. What's neat about these poems is their phonetic verse--it adds a true Scottish flavor, as well as rendering them completely incomprehensible to someone like me, unfamiliar with the accent. No bother. 'Twas entertaining nonetheless. Hard not to be when there's a man, in a kilt, standing on a chair,  yammering off unintelligible balladry:

Saturday, January 19, 2013

winter has arrived

Going back and forth between Florida and England in December/January has made it hard for my body to decide whether it is winter or not.

There's no longer any uncertainty.

Monday, January 14, 2013

back to "reality" (MM #28)

First of all, remember Mindful Mondays? Wowza. Flash from the past

Just wanted to post a rather quick update, although it's probably not news to anyone reading this. I have made my way into Oxford life yet again-- classes started today, so I officially have to get back to work. Don't get me wrong, winter holiday was absolutely wonderful—filled with family, friends, and celebrations—but now it's back to my current reality (which often does not, in fact, feel very real at all).

Example: apparently this is a thing that happens in my life now--