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"Can we hibernate
and never show our faces
until Winter ends?"

Daily Haiku on Love by Tyler Knott Gregson (via tylerknott)

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Road Trip Summary!

Hi! I am in med school and now i am relaxing for the holidays. Suffice to say that I ended up not having time to talk about exactly what was going on with the rest of my trip! But to summarize - Wyoming was followed by a short trip to Mount Rushmore, then rapid city, then Omaha, and finally Champaign - totaling about 2700 miles and 42 hours of driving. Not bad for me and my dad :) The drive was absolutely GORGEOUS and couldn’t have asked for anything more from Mount Rushmore!

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Medical school has been fantastic. Though I’m busy studying most of the day, it’s wonderful to feel like I’ve made the right decision, to be succeeding, and to have lots of cool new knowledge. The people I’ve met here are super great - supportive, kind, and quirky, just the way I like them.

More soon about Champaign when I get back! Need to take some pictures :)

the-cumming-insurrection:

Fuk da uppa clazz

the-cumming-insurrection:

Fuk da uppa clazz

(via bamf36)

"See, Rowling largely operates Harry’s generation in a clear system of parallels to the previous generation, Marauders and all. Harry is his father—Quidditch star, a little pig-headed sometimes, an excellent leader. Ron is Sirius Black—snarky and fun, loyal to a fault, mired in self-doubts. Hermione is Remus Lupin—book smart and meticulous, always level-headed, unfailingly perceptive. Ginny is Lily Evans—a firecracker, clever and kind, unwilling to take excuses. Draco Malfoy is Severus Snape—a natural foil to Harry, pretentious, possessed of the frailest ego and also deeper sense of right and wrong when it counts. And guess what? Neville Longbottom is Peter Pettigrew.

Neville is a perfect example of how one single ingredient in the recipe can either ruin your casserole (or stew, or treacle tart, whatever you like), or utterly perfect your whole dish. Neville is the tide-turner, the shiny hinge. And all because he happens to be in the same position as Wormtail… but makes all the hard choices that Pettigrew refused the first time around. Other characters are in similar positions, but none of them go so far as Neville. None of them prove that the shaping of destiny is all on the individual the way he does."

Emily Asher-Perren (via nathanielstuart)

(via natalietenaya)

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Roadtripping: Part II

Day 2: Salt Lake City, UT to Cody, WY (469 miles, 8.5 hours)

This might have been my favorite day of the entire trip. After somehow waking up after the long drive on Saturday, we started our trip, drove through beautiful UT, spacious ID, and arrived at Jackson, WY for lunch. I don’t know what possessed me to choose Mexican food for our meal, but it turned out to be surprisingly good!!! But the best part of the trip was the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone Park :) And I need to mention this: CODY, WY IS AMAZING.

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HELLOOOOO IDAHOOOOOOO!

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SO much room out here. And what a gorgeous view!

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This was missed coming into WY but I caught it leaving (FINE I cheated. whatever)

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Grand Tetons National Park! Too bad we didn’t stop here to explore longer…next time!

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Jackson Lake in the park was so pretty we had to stop!

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Obligatory. I had no idea the parks were connected LOL.

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VERY cool. Definitely think everyone should see this at least once.

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Hard to find this in California :)

More to come!

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Roadtripping: Part I

For those of you who didn’t know, I recently moved to Champaign, IL for school! Since I wanted my car, I decided to make it a trip - 5 days on the road, with my dad, from Cupertino, CA. Here were some of the highlights :)

Day 1 - Cupertino, CA to Salt Lake City, UT (12 hours, 771 miles)

This was by FAR the longest leg of the trip and the most exhausting. I wanted to get across Nevada as fast as possible (sorry Nevada), so I left at 4AM. Since I was making a life-changing move across the country, needless to say I was excited and unable to sleep, so thank you to my dad for coming with me and sharing the driving load on this leg (and the rest for that matter). The drive itself was okay - it was amazing how much I-80 looks like I-5. At any moment, I thought I would come across Hanford (Hi Chris). The prize was a beautiful view of the Great Salt Lake, and the beautiful Temple Square. My dad and I ended up having a good time shopping and walking around SLC, and I would be happy to go back! Later: the drive from Salt Lake City to Idaho, Wyoming, and the National Parks! 

PS: Props must go to Janet for the #phillinois hashtag on this trip!

Goodbye California, Hello Nevada!

Am I in Nevada or California?

HELLO UTAH AND MOUNTAIN TIME ZONE (we weren’t the only ones excited about the sign)

Reminds me of San Diego!

The Newsroom

I’ve been on a bit of a TV binge since my funemployment began on the 12th. A lot of that dedicated TV time has gone to two shows - The West Wing and The Newsroom, both written and created by Aaron Sorkin. Here’s a quick blog about the latter.

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The Newsroom is a drama surrounding a fictional cable news outlet known as ACN. The main protagonist is Will McAvoy, a “vanilla” news anchor who was really only concerned with the ratings. All this changes when a new executive producer, Mackenzie McHale, joins the crew and convinces him to “do the news,” not just the entertainment that the uninformed masses have been pushing for. Within this context relationships and subplots grow and develop, and we’ve got ourselves amazing television.

Before I start with why I love this show so much, a disclaimer: though The Newsroom characters argue for unbiased and fact-based reporting in a emotionally manipulative era of news broadcasting, I have noticed that a lot of the stories portrayed in the first season center on right-wing and conservative political candidates and policies and arguments against them. Take that as you will (though it doesn’t really other me since I agree with a lot of the things being said).

It is amazing how seamless ACN seems to fit into the list of real news outlets, and the show’s ability is help us remember and reassess past news stories like the BP oil spill and the death of Bin Laden are astounding. Sorkin is a detailed and meticulous in his portrayal of each news report and the cast involved in producing the stories, as well as the side plot that happen off the broadcast and show itself.

The Newsroom itself is impeccably acted. A favorite character is Charlie Skinner, played by Sam Waterston. YOU GO JACK MCCOY!!! But the real heartbeat of the show is the theme of informing the electorate. News outlets have too often catered to the guilty pleasures of viewers and have less and less provided the important content that is necessary for an informed electorate. If the show continues to push this and voice this opinion, I think it’ll go far.

This is the closest thing to the beauty of The West Wing we have had in a long time, and needs to be watched! Go now!

2nd Disclaimer: I’m drunk. 

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Great show - blog to follow soon, but take a look at this powerful opening scene from Season 1!

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The Fault in Our Stars

Oh my! I bought a new computer for medical school! This is my first post from it! I hope it doesn’t explode while I write this!

Now, jokes aside, the next blog post is a bit sad so let’s tone it down.

Yes, the above photo is cheesy and fan-fiction. But it was the best I could do, without just giving you a picture of the book cover! 

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green revolves around the relationship between Hazel and Augustus - two teenagers who are diagnosed with cancer and meet at a mutual support group. Green’s novel outlines how the two meet, get to know each other, and fall in love. Simple enough, right?

Wrong. Though it’s tough to say much about the book without giving away too much of the plot, it’s safe to say that it is not only beautifully written but also a fair representation of some of the emotional struggles I’ve witnessed of people fighting cancer. I had a close friend at work during college that fought, and beat, advanced breast cancer and I swear that some of the feelings that these characters share and describe about their lives are eerily similar to her own story. Beyond the love story, it is a testament to the struggles of people and families dealing with tough illnesses - and for that, it is already worth reading.

The book was tough to get into at first. Green’s decision to write the story from Hazel’s point of view was hard for me to get over - her language was pessimistic, negative, and yet now that I think about it, fitting. But getting past that, the story itself was gut-wrenching and well thought out. The characters are quirky and memorable, though you should be warned there are some cliche scenes between them that might get the most realistic of us groaning.

In the end, I guess the most telling (yet not surprising) thing I can say about this book is that it moved me to tears. On a plane. Where the two people sitting next to me MUST have been terrified by my emotional outburst. Go read the book! Okay? Okay.

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The Blessed Unrest

NOW WHAT KIND OF NUMBER 1 FAN WOULD I BE WITHOUT WRITING A REVIEW THE DAY THE CD DROPPED? A shitty one, and obviously that is not true since Sara and I are best friends. So.

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The Blessed Unrest is Bareilles’ 3rd major record label full-length offering. Following up 2010’s Kaleidoscope Heart, this album again pulls further away from 2007’s Little Voice in both size and scope. Boasting longer songs, broader themes, and more eclectic musical choices than the other two combined, the album finds itself in new territory. After the short EP Once Upon A Time dropped in 2012, with elements of all of Sara’s past work intertwined with some new ideas, I was curious to see what direction the new album would take. So what was the outcome?

Though the album starts similarly with the normal piano pop (Brave) we are used to hearing, the real gems start to come after and towards the middle of the album. Bareilles plays with multiple music forms here - from the heavily synthesized Satellite Call and Cassiopeia to the doo-wop-y Little Black Dress. Remnants of her tried and true ballads also remain (Manhattan), and are by far some of the best songs on the album. Through it all, one thing stays true - the vocals are powerful, gut-wrenching, and emotional. 

However, there are some musical decisions that I’m sure will not sit well with everyone - and personally I have a few critiques of my own (LOVE ME SARA I’M SORRY). At times, the new direction seems too forced and akin to some themes that no longer feel like her own. Eden feels a bit too 80’s for me, and Satellite Call is a bit too, pardon the pun, out of this world. Even those I enjoyed, like I Choose You, seemed pulled out of another person’s set list (see Colbie Caillat’s I Do, though Sara does it better). To be fair, there were also some wonderful surprises - Chasing the Sun, with its heavy bass and beat, and 1000 Times’ lyrical depth by far lead the pack for some of the newer experimental favorites that Bareilles has conjured up and still feel like the artist we met in 2007.

The summary: the CD itself is one that I would listen to over and over, but it’s not one I can listen to in one sitting without skipping songs. It’ll take time for me to digest the new direction. To be honest, this was how I felt when I first heard Kaleidoscope Heart, and now it is one of my favorite albums. Go buy the album, and let the new vibes sink in before you make all of your final decisions everyone!

Edit: There are multiple bonus tracks that if you don’t know about you should check out:

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1. Beautiful Girl

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1. Root Down