Way back in 2005, I started a blog that chronicled my adventures in graduate school. I used it as an outlet to share funny stories from the lab: the time the lid fell into the centrifuge and we had to wrestle it off with a tire iron that a PI just happened to keep under his desk; the little old lady in the elevator who rapped me across the shins with her cane and told me I needed to spend more time “praying to Jesus” for the cure for cancer; the day my heel caught in the spongy mat in front of the ice machine and I tripped and landed face-first in my ice bucket. Over time, grad school became less enjoyable for me, and by the end… I was just exhausted, mentally and physically. Every morning, I dreaded getting up and going into work and I completely lost the ability to find the humor in anything. I started posting more recipes and pictures, along with ranting about my far less-than-positive experience. After a while, I started to subscribe to the “if you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all” philosophy… and from that, this food blog was born. A new place to share my kitchen experiments without hiding behind my prior pseudonym and the slow deterioration from new, happy graduate student into someone who felt like the will to live had been beaten out of me by my lab.
Over the past few months, I’ve started to miss sharing more personal stories – something more than just what’s coming out of my kitchen. My current lab experience is vastly different than my graduate experience (that is to say, it has been an overall positive experience and I am generally quite happy with where I am) and sometimes there’s a funny story from the lab that I’d like to share. I miss interacting with readers – I used to use my blog to crowdsource, whether it was for book recommendations or deciding which shoes to wear for my wedding. As such, I’ve decided to participate in the “Five on Friday” trend that so many other bloggers do: a little chance to share a few personal things from my week. Welcome to my first edition!
I tweeted about this one last night and it led to some interesting comments, so I thought I’d share it again on here. One of my husband’s coworkers is leaving their current practice to move across the country. Her new job comes with 17 weeks of vacation time (while still maintaining a 6-figure salary). 17 weeks. I’d be thrilled with 17 days of vacation time each year. A few people responded saying they have no idea how to use 17 weeks of vacation. I’d start by never working another 5 day work week (hello, grocery shopping on a weekday morning and not waiting in an hour long line to check out!), followed by reading all the books and knitting all the things. I’d also tackle the mile-long “to do” list around the house, which includes tasks like actually painting some of the rooms in our home, which we said we were going to do 2.5 years ago when we moved in. Also, traveling, but that goes without saying.
2) Beach Trip.
It seems funny to already think about beach trips when it’s cold and snowy outside, but every fall we take a long weekend trip to the beach with a group of college friends. People have already started putting in vacation requests for December at my husband’s practice (only two attendings can take off at a time, meaning that vacation gets pretty competitive) so I already sent an email to a few friends to see if we can pick a week/end for our annual beach trip sooner rather than later so Husband can request the time off. We just returned from an amazing beach trip (work related, for him) and I’m glad to have another trip on the calendar – life is so much more tolerable when you have a vacation planned, even if it’s not for another 9 months!
3) Game of Thrones.
Yes, I am well aware that I am several years late to this, but I just read the first book (I have not watched any of the TV series yet). I picked up a few of the books years ago, but I haven’t had the kind of free time to dedicate to reading that much all at once, and I was afraid if I tried to fit the book in with my normal life, it would take me so long to read it that I’d have a hard time keeping track of all the characters. I brought Game of Thrones along to Aruba, and finished it in three days on the beach – I loved it! Now the debate: should I watch the first season of the TV series now, or wait until I’ve read the next book? I’ll probably start the second book soon, although I anticipate it will take me a whole lot longer than 3 days to finish it, seeing as how I won’t be sitting under a palm tree for 6 hour stretches anytime in the near future (sob).
4) Super Bowl Party.
Even though neither my husband nor I have a horse in the race anymore, and find the two teams left standing to be utterly boring, we’re going to host a Super Bowl party. Last year, I posted a series of my favorite party recipes leading up to the big game (caramelized onion dip, chili bean dip, crockpot-friendly spinach and artichoke dip, also crockpot-friendly pulled pork, my absolute favorite chocolate chip cookies, and the best rolled sugar cookie recipe ever), but I’m on the lookout for something new an exciting. What are you making this year/what are your favorite go-to crowd-pleasing party recipes? Send ‘em my way!
My husband is on call all weekend, meaning I’ll be hanging solo with the dog. I originally planned on taking a long, leisurely walk around the city on Saturday, but the impending snow/sleet/rain combo looks like it will put a stop to those plans. Hopefully the weather will clear out by Sunday for our bi-weekly pack walk with a neighborhood pet store/dog training business, but it looks like we’ll be stuck inside on Saturday. I have grand plans to do a thorough house cleaning and catch up on some podcasts, but otherwise – shaping up to be a pretty boring weekend (NOT complaining – a boring weekend at home is still 1,000,000x better than a weekend spent in the lab!). It seems like a good opportunity to bake something – any suggestions? Are there any recipes you’d like to see over here, perhaps a recipe that has been troubling you or something you’ve been trying to replicate?