Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I've Moved On....

Check out my new blog at www.apublichealthyappetite.com

It's all about food. Food. Yum.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The End.

Well, Jack to School fans (aka Elana)...

The votes are in and there is an overwhelming landslide for me to keep blogging. The current tally is 2 to 0. What a turn out! Unfortunately, as I learned in biostats, 2-- when I have an average of 10 readers a day-- is too small of a sample size for me to go on. (although 20%? Maybe it's not. I know there's a formula to figure that out, but whatever). So, alas, Elana, we'll just have to keep in touch the old fashioned way-- email. As for the rest of you-- yes, I know who you are-- feel free to email me, too. This way, it won't be so one-sided, ya know?

And of course there's always the old facebook, for those of you who are my friends or "friends." Besides, the only things I really want to talk about anymore are my awesome plants. Zucchinis, cukes, tomatoes and basil are in the ground. You should see them! If only I still continued blogging-- you could! Ha ha!

All in all, it's been a good year. Changed directions, fell in love, got more knowledge up in my brain. I have no idea what will come next-- as in May, 2010. For now, I'm sticking it out in Baltimore, though.

Maybe I'll pick this blog up again. But that may require me getting a PhD. The chances are slim. I was thinking about maybe keeping this going with more pictures, less talk. We shall see. But, don't hold your collective breath.



Friday, May 15, 2009

The End?

Well, Ladies and Gentlemen, I completed my last assignment for school on Wednesday, making this blog perhaps obsolete. I suppose I could sum up all I have learned this year or write some meaningful thoughts on the conclusion of this year, but you can just read past entries and use your imagination on what I could possibly write. All in all, it's been a good year. I'm glad I did it. I'm starting my field placement (the second part of my two year master program) on Monday. Sticking around Baltimore for another year. Back to full-time work. Or should I say Jack to Full Time Work. I shouldn't.

Anyway, I'm done with classes! Woohoo!

I'm taking a poll on whether I should continue this blog. Feel free to vote. (although full disclosure: the final decision will not be democratic).


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Counting Down

The countdown is on. A week and a half left of school. I just handed in my one big paper for this term last night. It was eh. But it's done. I actually like the class a lot... It's online and a management/policy class. I never thought I'd be able to deal with an online class, but it's actually awesome. Especially because I don't have to listen to annoying people raising their hands and asking asinine questions. In the few "live chats" that we have, people still ask asinine questions (my questions of course are brilliant), but it's all over text. Much more easy to tolerate. The interesting thing will be when I have to give a presentation online. Hope my internet connection can handle it. That will be the last thing I have to do before I'm done and done. Yay. Then off to a friend's wedding in NYC and summer...

I'll be working this summer at CCP. Oh! I forgot to mention I went to a congressional briefing last week in DC for malaria and Rwanda's success with it. It was very cool to see how shit actually gets done in Washington. Here's what I've been working on at work, by the way: This project. Specifically the podcasts. I produced them. Fun times. Tomorrow I will figure out what I will be working on for the next six months. Hopefully it will include travel. Fingers crossed.

In other news: the swine flu. Public health in action. Pretty cool, although not cool at all. Anyway, reading all the articles, I actually understand what's going on behind the scenes. Seems like I learned something here. Ok, I'm being flippant... I truly am surprised and impressed with how much I feel like I learned this year. I actually get the whole going back to school thing. It's not just for the degree. I'm more knowledgeable! Crazy. And this swine flu thing... It's like an epidemiology refresher from first term. Other than that, it seems like people are freaking out. But that's what people do. Just take precaution. And maybe avoid Mexico.

Speaking of Mexico. Who needs it? It's 89 freaking degrees here. Yesterday the bf had off and we ended up at an outdoor bar on the harbor drinking and eating midday (before I finished my paper that was due at midnight). It felt like being back in LA. Except that there were fat people at the bar. And fewer designer jeans. Oh, and the black bean burger I had was $3.50. Go Baltimore. I'm also in the market for a new road bike. Before the bar we went to the fourth bike store of this bike-buying journey to check out what they had. And I think I found my perfect bike. I'll be taking it out for a test drive on Sat. Why am I telling you this? Because the bike store was yet another Baltimore highlight. Local. Friendly. With a woman, the owner, who actually took the time to measure me and fit me and blah blah. I cannot wait to get out for a ride. Cannot.

I have my second to last four hour class today. It's quite painful. Next week are the presentations, so really I just have to make it through this class. It's all about snacks. Snacks are key.

That's enough random ramblings for now. Tata.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Poor Baltimore

I just sat down to read the Sunday Times. The Style section always comes first. A glance at the weddings and then onto Modern Love. Today's Modern Love is amazing and I suggest you all read it. It encapsulates so many things I've mentioned (and haven't mentioned) in my blog: how watching The Wire is more than just watching The Wire, Baltimore, public health, and love. I can't do it justice, so just read it.

And while I'm on the topic of Baltimore, this is volunteer week, so I decided to join some fellow Hopkins grad students for a morning of volunteering yesterday. I spent the morning cleaning up and gardening an abandoned lot in East Baltimore. The cleaning involved picking up dozens of broken alcohol bottles, from fifths to tiny airplane liquor bottles. The gardening involved digging and weeding and tilling (I actually used a gas powered tiller. Fun! The other Hopkins girls didn't go near it). Today, I am indeed sore and have a large blister on my thumb, but I am so glad I did it. Sure, volunteering is ideally seen as altruistic, but being outside, doing manual labor was what I enjoyed most. Getting in a zone digging out massive weeds was completely refreshing. Somehow manual labor allows my mind to wander where just sitting or walking or running outside doesn't. I think I'll be back next week.

In sad Baltimore news, my favorite coffee shop here closed. I'm a part-time student this term and rather than spending any more time at school than I need to, I've been at my office for my job, or at cafes to study. The other day I went online to see if Bluehouse, the cafe/eco-friendly furniture store in question, was open on Mondays. It was not. Nor had it been open any other day for the past month. It really was a great place. I would always run into classmates there, the coffee was good, the decor was modern, it was sunny, plenty of seating, and in a really cool old warehouse. Plus, as a study break, you could wander around the store and look at (and sometimes buy) the very cool, unique wares, that you wouldn't see anywhere else. There's still an online store and a store in Towson, but the flagship space is gone.

I'll end this post on a more uplifting, or at least amusing Baltimore story. Yesterday I went out for a walk (and to buy beer) because it was so freaking nice out. I walked by one convenience store, but couldn't remember if they sold beer or not. I peeked in to jog my memory and realized they did, so I kept walking. About 3 feet away from the store was a guy standing there, probably in his 20s, who looked to me like either a drug dealer, addict, or alcoholic. Or all three. Anyway, he said something to me that I couldn't understand. Normally, I would just walk by someone like that. But I was feeling generous because of the weather, so I asked him what he said. He held out two five dollar bills and asked me if I could go into the store and buy him something. By then, he had engaged me in conversation and for some reason (see posts on my Persuasive Communications class) I couldn't then say no. He asked me to buy him a pack of Newports and Phillies. Oy. So I went in and bought the Newports. Then, totally uncomfortable, I said, "Do you have Phillies?" (What was I doing?). The guy behind the counter told me that he didn't have the regular kind, he only had strawberry flavored. Now was the time when I had to decide whether dealer/addict/alcoholic was the kind of guy who would want strawberry flavored Phillies. I concluded, no. So, I walked out of the store and handed the guy his Newports and his change and said, "All they had were strawberry Phillies, sorry." Then he said, kind of annoyed, "That's what I wanted." Um, really? Strawberry. So quick to judge. Lesson learned.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Hey Elana!

Since you're the only one who really reads my blog on a regular basis, I figured I might as well just direct my posts to you. Anyway, it was so great to see you and Stephan last night. I told you about my zucchini plants. I was not kidding that they're on steroids. You might want to sit down for this:

Ridiculous, right? I'm like a gardener or something. We need to move them outside soon.... If only it weren't 40 freaking degrees in April. Grr.

Here are the nemos in the back. They had a tough time surviving Passover without us, but we're back and giving them lots of water, so hopefully they'll perk up soon. (Like the plants, I also need a lot of water on Passover. Water and prunes).

Tomatoes and basil are in the front above. We almost have a caprese salad.

And from this morning:

If you don't hear from me soon, it's because I've been attacked by a giant zucchini. (And I don't even like zucchini that much... )


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Spring Break

Since I've been back from my Spring Break, I've taken a little blogging break, you may have noticed. That's because exciting things are in the works that have been distracting me from my blogging. I'm not going to apologize. Oh no. But, yes, good things are on the horizon. Details to come when they are more finalized.

Anyway, Spring is here. It's quite lovely, I admit. Did I miss the seasons in LA? No. Not at all. There was one awesome season all year 'round. And it was not winter. But now that it's Spring on the east coast, I do appreciate it. (which is not to say I didn't appreciate the awesome weather all year in LA. Oh, I did).

The bf and I decided to start a garden. How green of us. I've never tried this before, so starting a garden from scratch is all new to me. And really fucking cool! Here is what our first sprouts looked like a few days ago:

Cool, but really tiny. Although, I was super psyched at the first sign on sproutage. Nature really works! And I didn't kill them yet!

The ones shown above are Nemophila. (They love the movie Finding Nemo? Me too.) Their other name is Baby Blue Eyes. They're flowers. Not veggies, but we're diversifying.

Anyway, here's what they looked like a few days later:

The Finding Nemos are crazy! And below is the first basil sprout a few days ago:

Basil! We've almost grown something edible. But, look what we have today: more Nemos, snapdragons, lots of basil sprouts, and even some tomato sprouts in the front right (All organic seeds and soil, by the way. Yeah. I know. I'm a stereotype).

A massive zucchini sprout below:

And another shot of our Nemos, tomatoes, and basil:

Stay tuned for more adventures in seed growing! (Oh my god, what have I become? Soon I will be watching PBS and nothing else).

Happy, Cheesy Spring!