Tuesday, June 28, 2011

二週間で参照してください

I'm on my way to Japan for 13 days to visit with family and friends. After the earthquake, I've been feeling pretty antsy to see my people over there, so I'm really excited for this trip. Also, seasonal Japanese food in the summer is my favorite. I will be adhering to the freeing experience of not bringing a computer, so no posts from this spot for a while. またね!

Gifu-jo

current medical students answer, "Why Stanford?"

Five of my former students respond to why they chose to come to Stanford medical school. One student, Raymond, gave a shout out to my course! Also cameos by other former students and faculty Ian Tong and Greg Gilbert.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Stanford tradition: frisbee golf

My old housemate Kevin is back from Austria for the first time in 9 months, and he came eager to participate in activities he missed from being abroad. One item was eating a burrito from Chipotle. Another included the Stanford frisbee golf course.

frisbee golf

The rules are simple. Follow an unofficial-official 18 hole course. Tee off from predetermined points. Use your frisbee to hit various landmarks. Drink cheap-ish beer as appropriate.

frisbee golf

I went with Kevin, Evan (another former housemate), and Gabi. While I didn't play (and we didn't exactly follow the course in order), I got to enjoy both the beer and the hilarity of experiences like Kevin climbing a tree to look for his frisbee, only to realize that it was in a bush 3 feet away. Or Gabi proclaiming, "Go big or go home!" right before whinging her frisbee into an abandoned pool (her resigned conclusion of "I should have gone home..." sent Kevin and me into a fit of giggles).

frisbee golf
frisbee golf
frisbee golf
frisbee golf

"we got a minefield of crippled affection"

Over the last week, I've discovered that some of my friends have transitioned from having "troubles" to having TROUBLES. I haven't been sure what to do as these people I care about seem to be struggling monumentally under the weight of their worlds. It's made me wonder if my usual M.O. of giving people space and letting them figure things out on their own with support is actually just cowardice wrapped in false compassion. And I feel sick inside thinking of them working through these trials alone, but lacking the nerve to push myself further into their lives.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

sourdough: before and after

Sourdough pre- and post-kneading:

sourdough kneading
sourdough kneading

This dough fulfilled its destiny as my Father's Day present. In my reckless old age, I smuggled the first rise through airport security on my way to Vegas this weekend. Go big or go home.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Easter Weekend, Day 2: Wilder Ranch

Another day, another nature field trip, this time to Wilder Ranch State Park in Santa Cruz. Located right up against the coast, it has the double greatness of a historical farm/hiking trail to the ocean.

Wilder Ranch State Park

While wandering the grounds after lunch, we were intercepted by a docent who offered to give us a tour of the houses. Um, hell yes.

our surprise tour guide

The idea that you could buy some land, build a house (or two), and then raise five generations of family in the same location is such a foreign, romantic concept to me (and probably most of my friends). I think my family needs to go back three generations in order to find that sense of rootedness.

Wilder Ranch State Park
growth chart
player piano music
egg weigher
Wilder Ranch State Park

After the tour, we wandered down the trail that took us to the glory that is the Pacific.
Wilder Ranch State Park
Wilder Ranch State Park
Wilder Ranch State Park

Saturday, June 4, 2011

wormwood and hot sisters

Per my friend Greg's impulse event planning, we took the trip up to Alameda last Sunday to do a tour and tasting of St. George Spirits.

entrance sign

St. George Spirits is a distillery housed in an old naval airplane hangar overlooking the San Francisco Bay. They make a variety of spirits, including probably their most popular item: Hangar One vodka.

tasting room selection

Our tour guide, Pauly, took a giant group of us around for the distillery tour. While super knowledgeable and clearly comfortable around crowds, there was something of a "substitute teacher who is cool because he swears and agrees that algebra is dumb" vibe to his presentation. He was also pretty critical about a lot of things (competitors, people's taste in alcohol, distribution processes, etc.), which could either be awesome or offensive, depending on your mood. However, it is clear that he is passionate about what the distillery produces.

inside the distillery

Our tasting guide was awesome. Because it was so busy (and because the tour ended late), she was initially a little brusque, but warmed to our group on the third item and really took the time to educate us a bit about the things we were tasting.

inside the tasting room

Our tasting menu (for $15):
  • Aqua Perfecta Pear Eau de Vie
  • Hangar One Straight*
  • Hangar One Buddha's Hand*
  • Hangar One Mandarin Blossom
  • Hangar One Kaffir Lime*
  • Hangar One Chipotle
  • St. George Single Malt Whiskey (Lot 10)
  • Firelit Coffee Liqueur*
  • Aqua Perfecta Pear Liqueur*
  • Aqua Perfecta Framboise Liqueur
  • St. George Absinthe Verte
  • The Root of All Evil (absinthe and root beer)

Nearly everything was superb. I really, really wish I liked absinthe (especially theirs; St. George was the first American distillery to distribute absinthe after the U.S. ban was lifted in 2007), but the one-two punch of fennel and anise just proved to be too much. Almost everyone picked up a bottle of the coffee liqueur. Whit and I also got the Buddha's Hand citron vodka.

More photos:
inside the distillery
inside the distillery
view of tasting room
inside the tasting room
inside the tasting room
inside the tasting room
inside the tasting room