today was both a good and bad day.  good because i cooked 滷肉飯 for the first time EVER, and it actually came out pretty delicious! 😀 😀 😀  so glad my parents prepared all that cut meat for me in the freeze from back in the summer when they visited, because i only had to cut through the pork bundle once through to get pretty much the correct size for 滷肉.  thanks dad and mom!  it’s pretty watered down, and i probably used too many spices, but it actually came out almost perfect for me, since i don’t like having my stuff too flavorful anyway.  so basic steps: oil + meat, cook until almost all the water in the meat is cooked off.  take out of pan.  put in more oil and add half an onion and a little later add some green onion.  i threw in some of my frozen ginger at this point because i was too lazy to wait for it to thaw.  after they were cooked a bit, throw back in the pork for a bit.  added some regular soy sauce and some less sodium soy sauce, then water to cover and turned up the heat.  let it cook for a brief moment, before deciding it probably needs more soy sauce, so added quite a bit more of both, and a bit of cooking wine (splashed in too much today lol), and added 2 八角’s, too much cinnamon (probably like 1 tbsp or more on accident), too much 五香 (more than 1 tsp)), and more water until it went up to the 4 cup line (just happened to be that much).  Waited until it boiled, then turned down the heat and let it simmer for about an hour, while putting in the rice to cook.  Delicious.  Also eating it with avocado now because I’m weird like that.  And getting some strawberries warmed up to room temp for later. 😀

bad news for the day is that i found out I literally failed the 10 page lit review paper we had to turn in for one of my nutrisci classes.  yeah.. the one i spent hours every day over “spring break” last week researching and writing, and the one i pulled my first ever all-nighter for last Thurs-Friday (from like 9am the first day to 5pm the next day). sigh.  luckily we’re allowed to redo it, due in 2 more weeks.  it is rather disheartening though.. i’ve never worked/tried so hard on something for school before, and look at the result.  though, to be fair, i knew it was pretty bad when i turned it in (so it’s not really a shock) because i had to rush so much at the end and had to cut down 6 pages in like 5 hours, which of course was not great.  but yeah, still a bit of a “bummer”, as one of my friends here would say.  not to mention that i already have a lot to do/catch up on in these next two weeks… 2 make-up write-ups for the MSTP course b/c I’m never able to make journal club due to a class conflict (luckily finished one of those today), stats homework, which usually takes forever because they’re like 5 pages long, 2 patient encounters with a resident = history and physical, + write-ups, which again take me at least 2-3 hours each, whatever other random assignments are left in the nutrisci class that paper is due in, and not to mention i actually have experiments scheduled for the next two weeks that will take up 4 whole days at least. sigh… way too much writing.  i have realized that while i enjoy writing/being in “the flow” when i actually get to that point, i take a very very long time with every piece of writing, and thus can get overwhelmed quickly when there are lots of them to do. which really makes me wonder if i’m cut out for the life of a PI/in academia, where it’s nothing BUT proposals and grants and writing. meh. maybe it’ll come easier with experience… i don’t know though.  so far i’ve basically failed all 3 major papers that i’ve had to do at UAB – the MSTP grant-writing proposal, the Nutrisci grant-writing proposal, and now this lit review.  granted, there were special circumstances regarding each one, somewhat self-inflicted, that made each one more difficult that it probably had to be, according to my peers (the first one was chosen on a topic completely unrelated to my research rotation or anything anyone did, so i had to do a ton of lit review on my own without guidance, the 2nd was during 2nd year of med school + Step 1 studying so time was also an issue (+ sad as it is, emotional stuff i was going through b/c of my ex), and this last one i again chose a topic that was way out of my league, which had hundreds of papers on it that i couldn’t hope to get through in so short a time.)  one would think i’d learned by now – after all, 3rd time’s the charm right? – but i seem to always pick things that are too hard to handle in too short a time.  so moral of the story?  pick MORE SPECIFIC topics and be CONCISE and above all START EARLYYYYY.  that last is probably the hardest – it’s hard for me to get much done, even when i actually do try to start early, until there is a time crunch.  it seems my mind only shifts to hyperdrive focus when i know time’s running out.  (this apparently is a common problem, as addressed by a very prominent PI in a great talk last week about tips to succeed as a young investigator, which is why setting deadlines (before the actual deadline!) is important.  i’m going to start trying that).

anywhoos, last random thing i’ve noticed during my time doing SP work the last couple days… i’ve noticed that girls tend to have much colder hands than guys.  from a chinese med perspective, i wonder if that’s because they have more “yin”, or if they are more withdrawn/less healthy/robust/don’t get as much sun/workout than the guys?  i should add that the girls with cold hands also tend to be more slow and withdrawn in character. also wonder if that plays into some patients preferring male doctors at all (subconsciously of course)…

anyway, time to get my strawberries!