Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Don't forget me...

Happy end of summer/third week of school!  Not surprisingly, completely forgot about this blog over the entire summer :/ but now that I'm back in school and have tons of free time to waste, I'm going to be more diligent about updating again!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Spotify Premium

Happy (almost end of) April!  I realized I haven't posted since February, so instead of catching up on school, the obvious choice is to skip class and write :)

So on Monday, I finally caved and signed up for Spotify Premium.  I was getting kind of sick of listening to ads every other song, and since I have limited space (and data) on my phone, I decided I needed an upgrade.  Also, I don't know if anyone has ever noticed, but on multiple occasions, I have been driving, and 97.1, 102.7, AND 105.9 will either 1) all be on commercial break at the same time, or 2) ALL PLAYING THE SAME SONG!

Anyways, I'm currently on my third day of Premium, and it's awesome!! First of all, there are no more ads, so I can make playlists, and listen to them all the way through.  Secondly, I can download the playlists onto my phone, and play it while I'm in the car!  I'm still always going to tune in for Perez Hilton's morning updates, and Ryan's roses, but to the rest of the day - sorry, I'm never going to hear you again.  Finally, yesterday, at the gym, I was able to do the same thing!  For someone who's never been super tech savvy, and never really had an organized iTunes (or much of an iTunes at all), I can already this is going to save me a lot of time, money, and effort from searching for songs online!

So I leave you with my current Spotify playlist - share some of your favorites with me as well please! =)

Alex's Essential Mix (a random, slightly unorganized mix of all the songs I currently have on repeat!)
Maroon 5 - Overexposed (because I LOVE Adam Levine <3 )

And finally, just in case you aren't one of the 94 million who has already seen this:

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Take That, Bon Iver!

Hello everyone!

It's that time of the year again - music's biggest night!   Rihanna was surprisingly normal looking, and T-Swizzle's stage was ...interesting, but love her nonetheless!

In case you missed it, here are some of my favorite moments! 

Ed Sheeran and Sir Elton John singing Ed Sheeran's "A-Team".  As always, Elton is such an amazing singer and never fails to impress me!

Fun's performance of Carry On: They are SO HIPSTER.  I can't handle it.  The guy in the front is wearing a  leather shirt, capri pants, and sneakers.  Also, is it just me, or does the guy in the back look like he's wearing blue scrubs?
And then, it started RAINING. Like, really?  Isn't this a electricity hazard? Won't the electric guitars or microphone or speakers short-circuit/electrocute people??   I'm glad they changed out of their outfits to receive their award


Super cool ad for the Surface Pro by Microsoft


Miranda Lambert sang her song "Over You". This song was also sung by  Cassadee Pope, the last winner of The Voice. As much as I love Miranda Lambert, and as upset that Amanda Brown/Trevyn Hunt didn't win the last season, I have to say that I like Cassadee's rendition of this song a lot better

JT took the stage with his new song, "Suit and Tie", and then proceeded to be in almost all the following commercials (one to advertise his new songs @ Target & another one for Bud light Platinum.
I thought JT's stage was really really well designed.  They did some magic with the lighting, to make everyone look jazzy and b&w colored! And there was a surprise appearance by Jay-Z!!! How do all of these awesome people know each other!?!

Adam Levine gave a wonderful performance, singing "Daylight".  He was then joined by Alicia Keys ON THE DRUMS, in this ridiculously sexy/fierce dress.  I would die to have a body/be able to pull off a dress like hers.  Anyways, they then proceeded to sing Alicia Keys's "Girl on Fire".  I love both of these two, and have been fans forever.  I really respect them because they've really stayed true to their genre/who they are over the years, and really are just powerhouse singers, both on their albums, as well as on stage. :)

I took a little dinner break, so I didn't take any pictures of Kelly Clarkson, who performed "You Make me Feel like a Natural Woman", and presented an award to the Black Keys

Then, they did a Bob Marley tribute, by Bruno Mars, Sting, Rihanna, and some other people that I don't know.  PSA: Bob Marley died of a malignant melanoma on his foot! So be sure to check for the ABCDE's on all of your moles so you aren't caught off guard!! 

I ALSO loved this outfit of Carrie Underwood's!! What made it even more awesome is that they lit it up/used it as projector screen during the performance!! Creative and exciting!

Finally to close, Juanes (!! remember him from HIGH SCHOOL??!) and LL Cool J both performed, and Adele presented the Album of the Year Award to Mumford and Sons :)

That concludes my Grammy coverage!  What were your favorite moments, outfits, or performances??

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Real Life Disney Princesses

After a pretty stressful/tiring/rough week last week (combined with that stressful Superbowl game on Sunday - while heartbroken that Kap couldn't pull the niners through to the end, happy for everyone in Baltimore!), I'm actually feeling pretty refreshed (and somewhat caught up) this week!

As the Christmas season draws to a close (ish), I ran across Harrod's 2012 Christmas window display, and I just had to share - a designer Disney Princess display!  With dresses by well-known designers such as Oscar de la Renta, Valentino, and Versace, all of these dresses are absolutely stunning!  I wish I had been able to see it in person this year, but this is almost as good :)

Check out the Vogue analysis here

My favorites I would have to say are Cinderella and Jasmine!  What do you think?

Ariel from The Little Mermaidby Marchesa:
Aurora from Sleeping Beautyby Elie Saab:
Belle from Beauty and the Beastby Valentino:
Cinderella, by Versace:
Jasmine from Aladdin, by Escada:
Mulan, by Missoni:
Pocahontas, by Roberto Cavalli:
Rapunzel from Tangledby Jenny Packham:
Snow White, by Oscar de la Renta:
Tiana from The Princess and the Frog,by Ralph & Russo:

Friday, January 25, 2013

How to Win a Million Dollars (but lose your phone) in Vegas

First post of the New Year! I hope everyone is having a fantastic January :) Have you been keeping up with your New Year's Resolutions?

Whew, it's been such awhile since I've had the time to sit down and write.  Since we've been back from break, we had a whirlwind of a first system, and now we're already two weeks into Hematology!  Last weekend, I went to Vegas with my roommate!! So I didn't actually win a million dollars in Vegas, but I did win at roulette (close enough, right?).   Here are some of the places we went:

     - Friday: we left from LA right after class got out at 3pm, and made it to the strip a little before 8pm.  We stopped by our hotel (at the Venetian) to get ready, then it was off to Marquee (Cosmopolitan) where Dirty South played that night. I really liked Marquee, although I was really sad they closed off the pool area since it was cold outside.  The cool thing about Marquee is that the go-go dancers are on a platform behind the dj that spans the entire stage, rather than a single podium, so that the dancers can walk across the top of the stage and interact with each other.  I wasn't really paying attention, but I noticed them walking across the platform at some point during the night

     -  Saturday: after coming back from a fail of a trip to the AT&T store, I wandered around the strip for a little bit, mostly looking at the fountains and the displays outside of hotels, and window shopping, then I met up with some friends at Bills Casino for a bit.  Just fyi, it is JUST Bill's Saloon next to Flamingo.  Don't let anybody tell you they are at Buffalo Bills, because that is a casino at the CA-NV border.  JUST Bill's.  For dinner, we went for sushi at Goyemon (  Although I wan't hungry enough to go for the AYCE option ($27 for dinner, $20 for lunch), I had a really delicious sashimi platter.  I think next time, I'll plan ahead for it, as there are probably like 50 options that you can order for the AYCE, from sushi to sashi to lychee ice cream for dessert.  For the night, we went to XS (in Wynn/Encore).  I really liked XS, although it was WAY TOO CROWDED.  Some large man definitely jumped on my foot several times- ouch!  I need to practice my biceps strength so I can push people out of the way and clear some breathing space.  FYI, It can be very hard for short people to breathe in crowded spaces sometimes.  Despite the crowdedness, the space is really nice!  Some of our friends got cabanas outside, which are really nice, and each has a tv screen that shows the DJ and you can adjust the volume in each room.  Afrojack was really good!  I was kind of bummed that he didn't really play any of his old songs (ex. Take Over Control) though.  Anyways, the cabanas were awesome, we ended up chilling in one at the end of the night, and when they closed down the outside, they ended up moving us inside to the floor!

    - Sunday: was kind of painful waking up, but got lunch and watched the Niners dominate (sort of) over the Falcons @ Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria (Aria).  Afterwards, we went to Todd English's Olives (Bellagio) for dinner, and then headed over to my first Cirque du Soleil show! O (in the Bellagio), was amazing!  The friends I went with actually said they were underwhelmed by the quantity of the acrobatics, but for a first timer, I was so impressed by how they used the water as the stage.  I can't figure out how they get hire all of these performers who are so multi-talented (acrobats, trapeeze artists, synchronized swimmers, AND olympic level divers??) and especially, how they get people in and out of the water so flawlessly!! I'd love to hear your thoughts on this if you have any.

UNFORTUNATELY, I also said goodbye to my phone in Vegas, so I don't have any pictures to upload :( I borrowed a classmate's spare iPhone, and have definitely been introduced to the wonders of iMessage.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

So Much Technology!

Merry Christmas!  I hope that all of you had a fantastic Christmas- wherever you are in the world- surrounded by friends, family, or just people you love!

It's still raining here in the Bay Area...apparently it snowed ~5ft in Tahoe these past few days.  I really hope I get to go skiing soon, because that sounds AMAZING.  For all my LA friends, my roommate is driving me back to LA, and I'm going to bring my skis, so let's go every single weekend ok? Awesome.

Christmas really is one of my favorite times of the year.  Everyone is just so happy and friendly and festive.  It's one of those holidays (other than Halloween) that people really get into.  And as I'm one of the cheesiest people ever, that just makes me so happy.  I would love Halloween more, but I'm a humongous chicken, so it's hard to really enjoy anything while being terrified of being eaten by a zombie.  Watching Ellen's haunted hallway on Halloween in the comfort of my own bed was enough to give me heebie-jeebies.  so no thanks, Halloween, I think I'll stick with Christmas.

Our new neighbors this year put up a large front yard display, complete with reindeer and a two story light tree, along with a light up sign that says "Tune in to 88.9".  After a few days, I came to the realization that the christmas channel 88.9 is LOCATED INSIDE THEIR HOME, and that the light show syncs with the music.  Mind. Blown.

This led me to think about how incredible technology is these days - ipads, computers, cell phones, etc - and how reliant we are on everything.  As many of you know, my phone died on me this past week, so I've pretty much been living out of my computer.  There were so many little things that I had to adjust to, and I never realized just HOW much I use my phone on a daily basis.  Here are just a few of the things that have changed in my life since having a smart phone:

1) Using my phone as an alarm clock: Having your only reliable source of time, and the only thing that gets you out of bed in the morning die two days before your exam really is not a fun experience.  So I went to Target to buy one of those small alarm clocks, but once I came home in the evening, I realized that I had bought AA rather than the AAA batteries that the clock needed.  So, I scoured the apartment and realized that there was NOTHING IN OUR APARTMENT THAT USED BATTERIES!  So the first night, I set my "internal clock" to wake up for the next morning's review session.  I basically told myself right before I fell asleep that I was going to wake up in seven hours.  Surprisingly, this worked!  The next day, my classmate told me about these online alarm clocks that you can set on your computer.  However, my laptop installed updates in the middle of the night and restarted, which turned out to be a fail and I had to rely on my internal clock anyways.  Don't ask me why I didn't just go buy some AAA batteries for the alarm clock.

2) Using my phone as a music player:  When I went running, I felt super vintage because I had to dig up my old iPod Shuffle (yes, I have the original one circa 2005), and use my analog wristwatch to check the time and listen to music.  I'm pretty sure that the last time I updated my ipod shuffle was sometime prior to 2010, but I really enjoyed listening to songs by Green Day, Lady Gaga (Fame album), and there was also some Britney/Backstreet Boys on it too!

3) Using it as a social media device: After a week, I'm still having a little bit of withdrawal (edit: a lot), but I miss not being able to check in on foursquare everywhere I go!  Also, I can't seem to figure out how to look at other people's instagram on my computer!  Although, now, when I wake up in the mornings, I can't check my phone, so I usually just get out of bed.  It's so productive that I get an extra 10 minutes every morning hah

4) Probably most important, Using my phone as a source of  communication!  It was definitely a little difficult to get picked up to go back home, and not have a phone, but we made it work!  Also, since I only use Google Voice to text, I have to wait until I get home to text people or respond to texts, which is not particularly efficient.

After this week, I'm kind of thinking about reactivating the texting plan on my phone, but  hopefully my new phone will be super reliable and not die randomly a year and a half in (I PROMISE I DIDN'T DO ANYTHING LIKE DROP IT ON THE FLOOR OR IN THE WATER OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT).
But hopefully my phone will arrive tomorrow, and I can just go back to being a hopelessly addicted smartphone user.  Does anyone else have the Samsung Galaxy S3?  I'm super excited to be able to bump phones and share playlists, videos, and photos with you if you do!

Sunday, December 23, 2012


It's so nice to be back in the Bay Area after a semester at school - despite the fact that it's basically flooding here and nearly zero visibility on the freeway, nothing can really compare with sleeping in my own bed and being welcomed with tons of home cooked FOOD.  One of my new year's resolutions should definitely be to learn to cook some new things, so that I'm not constantly eating salad + whatever looks good in the frozen section at Costco.  Another resolution is to take better care of my cell phone, I'm getting a new one sent to me on Wednesday, and because I don't ever think it's worth my time to back anything up, google may or may not have saved everyone's contact info. That being said, I did take pictures of all the food I ate over the past month, but sadly, unless I uploaded them onto facebook, those are definitely gone forever.  So you'll just have to paint lovely pictures by yourself (or look at the pictures that I borrowed off google)!

I'm officially 1/8 towards M.D. degree!  I can't believe it!  It was definitely a hectic semester (and by no means getting easier anytime soon), but just the fact that I got through the "Foundations" part of the curriculum, I feel a HUGE sigh of relief, and am definitely looking forwards to systems! In just a few short months, we went through pretty much all of basic biochemistry, genetics, pharmacology, pathology, immunology, microbiology, and most of gross anatomy.  Whew!  I think my favorites were definitely microbiology (parasites, viruses, bacteria) and gross anatomy.  It's a pretty exhilarating feeling to hold a human heart or a lung in your hand (despite being dead & preserved) and be able to see the incredibly INCREDIBLY complex network of blood vessels  and nerves (although for the most part, we weren't all that good at dissecting out any nerves... ) that is inside of your body, and seeing different pathologies and how the body has compensated in order to continue functioning, such as sprouting new access routes between arteries and veins, or enlarging heart wall muscles.  Despite its ups and downs, through all of the amazing opportunities I've had to learn from the dedicated faculty, shadow in the ER & labor delivery, learning how to suture, etc, this semester, I'm now convinced I made the right decision to go into medicine :)

On the plus side, I now know how to check blood glucose and take blood pressure, so if I see you over the next few days, I'd be more than happy to take your blood pressure!  However, I am unable to offer you any reliable medical advice regarding the number I give you :/

Now onto food reviews! I wrote a lot of these around 7am when we were roadtripping back up to Northern CA yesterday, hah

1) The Edison (Downtown LA): After our exam, a bunch of people in our class went to this bar in downtown called The Edison.  The third and fourth years also had their shelf exams (the exam they take after each of their rotation), so they were there to celebrate too.  The Edison is a 1920s/speakeasy themed bar, in a building that used to be a factory or a powerplant of some sort.  It was actually really cool!  They also have “absinthe fairies” – complete with light up wings - pushing around little carts bottles of absinthe.  If I didn’t think I would die, I would definitely try it and let you know how it is.  Anyways, every hour, they have these faux circus/rope acts, where they hang up a rope or triangle of some sort and have someone do acrobatic tricks on it.  It's what I imagine Cirque du Soleil to be like, although one of the girls in my ICM informed me that Circque is "oh my gosh so SO much better than this".  But still, it's cool - they're kind of like the male version of the go-go girl dancers at clubs.  Unfortunately, it was a little crowded, and we kept getting jostled because they had to clear out space everytime for the acrobatic show, so that was kind of annoying.  Also, there is no place to put down your drink after you finish it, and you have to make your way all the way back to the bar.  All in all, I really liked it - everyone is well dressed, and the drinks are strong.

2) Au79 Cafe (Downtown Pasadena): As always, new boba place is a must!  I checked out this place called Au79 Café in Pasadena.  It’s across the street from Pasadena City College, so it’s customers are mostly the students there.  I’m a little undecided about how much I like the place.  On one hand, the boba is well made, and you can adjust the sugar level in your tea (1/4, 1/2, etc).  However, they put all drinks in their blender, and so you end up with this large layer of foam in your cup.  Nobody likes foam in their beer, so why would we like it in boba?  That was -50 points.  But, if you’re a student, they give you 10% off with your student ID, and during their “happy hour”, 8-10pm, all drinks are 15% off.

3) Intelligentsia (Old Town): Another café I studied at for FMS4 is Intelligentsia, which is an (artisan) coffee shop in Old Town Pasadena.  This was my favorite quote on yelp: "Brooklyn in the middle of Old Town Pasadena.  New York décor, California-sized space.  Exposed brick and casual hanging lights give this space a hipster cool. "  The place is a little confusing, as there aren't really any signs when you walk in, but order on the right side of the bar from one of the baristas, and pay in the middle where the cash register is.  If you order coffee, it can take awhile because they brew a single cup at a time by pouring hot water directly over the fresh ground coffee.  All the bartenders wear vests and suspenders and newsboy hats, which gives it kind of a vintage/hipster vibe.  Also, Abed from community frequents it a lot (!!), so if you go, I think he goes every Friday afternoon.  Another sighting to add to the celebrity list, which is always a plus, so the place gets five stars from me   

4) Daikokuya (Little Tokyo): One of my littles came to visit me the week after Thanksgiving, and we went to get ramen in little Tokyo.  A bunch of my friends recommended this restaurant called Daikokuya, so we decided to try it out.  We ended up waiting an hour and half to be seated, since the restaurant is really small - it only seats about 20-30 people.  Be prepared to wait if you go, the lady on the phone said 30 minutes when I called, but boy was she off!  I got the Daikokuya ramen (I think there are only 2-3 options on the menu anyways), and it WAS good, but I'm not sure if it was extra flavorful and yummy because I was so deliriously hungry after waiting for so long, or because it was actually good...  However, there are also locations in other parts of LA, so I’ll probably try the one in Alhambra next time, which is supposed to have 1/2 price pitchers during happy hour and a much MUCH shorter wait time. 

5) Fig & Olive (West Hollywood): I went for brunch with one of my old college roommates, who is also working in LA this year! First of all, the restaurant is beautifully decorated and arranged!  I imagine the ambiance is also fantastic when it's dark out, but on a sunny Sunday morning, the high ceilings and windows make you feel like you're in a Mediterranean/Greek area, with plants and olive trees in the dining area.  I borrowed some images off of google below:

So much olive oil!  We were seated right next to it, and you can see the chefs working behind it in the kitchen!

To start off, each table gets a bread dish with three different types of olive oils.  I think we had two different dark ones from Spain, and a lighter one from the US.  I think depending on the day, or maybe how the waiter is feeling, you will get different types of olive oil, hence the huge assortment on the wall in the picture above. We both ordered the South of France poached eggs with Salmon.  I had kind of been craving Lox earlier in the week, so I figured anything with Salmon for brunch would be good.  Although I was completely off and that it had a sauce of a totally different flavor, it was still delicious!  Next time I go, I definitely want to try all the crostinis, which I think is what the restaurant is best known for.  The restaurant was so well put together in terms of service, presentation, and decor, it definitely gets five stars from me as well! 

 That's all for now!  Hopefully I'll have time to blog again a few more times over break!  Happy holidays :)