Posted in Life, Review, surfing, travel, Workouts

Inflatable SUP

Thanks to my wonderful fiancé, I’m spending more and more time on the water! The calming and relaxing effects are pretty amazing as well as the vitamin D and sunshine!

I love my big surfboard (8’4″) and just floating on the water. An idea occurred to me to get a big raft. But that’s cumbersome. So, then I thought about practicing my turns and paddling strength in the pool. But what about a lounging island or floating flamingo? Boom: the inflatable SUP seemed like a perfect blend of relaxing raft and ocean cruising in an easy to handle, fold-up, easy-storage, and hide-away apparatus. 

But which one do I get?

The decision was tough, but I love comparative graphs the Outdoor Gear Lab provides. And with an honest breakdown like that and comparing the different inflatable SUP brands… My decision was made. Plus, I love supporting local!

Posted in Finance, Life

Financial Responsibility

I’m in the midst of wedding planning — which doesn’t exactly sound like financial responsibility.  However, we’re doing our best to budget for a beautiful wedding that is an investment in our love.

This article (A Story of a Fuck Off Fund) got me thinking and made me hugely disappointed in Americans and our spending habits.  It’s as if we have to “keep up with the Joneses” who may have wealth or may just be pretending.  The only positive thing out of this article was that the author pulled it together and has this fund.

How many people are struggling to pay their bills — rent/student loans/groceries/health/car/etc. — but are walking around going to parties, drinking Starbucks daily, ordering out lunch or dinner daily?  It makes me wonder if Americans are even serious about their own financial struggles.

I was lucky to have been raised in a less than middle income family — both of my parents worked to make ends meet.  From this experience, I learned a lot about saving money.  I have one friend who always likes to call me a “tight wad” bc I don’t pick up the check every time a group goes out to dinner (but he doesn’t have a problem if I’m kind enough to pickup his bill).  Granted, my income is higher than most of my friends, it shouldn’t be an assumption.  I didn’t win the lottery and have just buttloads of money bestowed upon me.  It was decades of schooling, decades of lost time, massive amounts of student debt (yes, that I chose to pay off early!).  Everyone makes choices in life, and I feel that if my non-American, English-as-a-second-language speaking parents could provide me with all the tools to succeed…. then other people could also succeed.

But that seems to be where it stops short.  Fun is way easier to experience than work.  I had friends who were out partying nightly in college — and now they say I’m “lucky”.  Luck isn’t synonymous with hard work.  It’s almost like they think it was handed to me.  The luck is that I believed in hard work.  I learned that hard work would lead to financial stability…I just had to put the hard work in first.

Now, my thinking seems to be in line with this article (No You Cannot Have A Few Minutes of My Time).  And going one step further… I evolved into what this article is all about (Why Most People Will Never Be Successful).  The article may sound elitist, but I don’t think it is.  I think it’s true in life that as you start to specialize and hon your craft, some things in life will have to give.  I used to love going out with friends or acquaintances to “hang out”.  But over the years, I found that nurturing the special relationships are way more important.

So here is where I am now (How I Learned to Love Investing , How to Choose Investments for Retirement , Why you need to start saving for retirement now!).  And some point along the way, this (What I Learned About Money After My Parents Died) happened to me but with only one parent.

I commend this couple who realized how important it is to take care of debt:  Interview with a person who paid off $48,000 in student loans in 4 years.   But sadly, some people continue to live like this girl (but I hope they’re learning and figure it out like she did): What I learned about money in my 20s.  And this guy… nailed it in What it Means to Save: A Year in the Life.



Posted in work

The Price You Pay

“Now you can’t walk away from the price you pay” Bruce Springsteen, The Price You Pay…..I was called in at 2:30 a.m. recently for an aortic dissection. Seems like no one ever dissects in the middle of the day. When Dr. Newsome walked into the room he looked at me and said, ” it seems like we’ve done a few of these over the years.” Indeed we have…these cases are generally long and difficult. There is a feeling you get at the beginning of the case, usually around the time when you first see the patient, when you realize that you are more than likely going to be there anywhere from 8 to 12 hours or longer. It’s kind of a sinking feeling, especially if you had something planned that you were hoping to do, but the feeling recedes and you go about your business doing what must be done. It is a wonderful thing to be part of doing something that prolongs someone’s life. We are also financially compensated for what we do. But it comes with a price. It is a very surrealistic feeling to be driving home on a sunny Sunday evening at 6:00 p.m. after being at the hospital since 3 a.m. People are out enjoying life, surfing, riding bikes, going out to eat, whatever else they might enjoy, and all you want to do is make it home and fall into your bed. Basically, you have given up a day of your life. Which, at this stage, is not an infinite supply. It takes a toll on your body also. You feel like you’ve been run over by a truck. Everything hurts, and it’s usually a couple of days before you start to feel like yourself again. That being said, I can’t really complain as the scrub tech for the case was the amazing Ann McCullough who seems to have twice the endurance and stamina of someone half her age. Plus I got to spend the day with Drs Stahl, Wang and Newsome as well as Danny and Chad….priceless…oh yeah, at the end of the day when everyone was leaving Danny congratulated Chad on doing such a great job and said he would take call with him anytime. Seems like a small thing but the smile on Chads face told me it meant a lot to him. Things like that are why Danny is such a great person to work with…..

Posted in Life, Relationships


What makes one happy?

There’s a ton of articles on what makes people happy.  But that’s such a generalization.  It seems difficult to me to apply one general rule to a population only to glaze over the various individual emotions/behavior of one person…much less a group.

Sometimes these articles say “fake it til you make it”.  That only lasts for so long.  Or they say express “gratitude” — tell that to someone who is dying from cancer or suffering from a long-term illness…  tell that to the parent who just lost a child…. tell that to the guy who just got fired…. c’mon!  At times it strikes me that the people writing these articles have never been through hardship.  It makes me want to strangle them because their inability to relate and give advice is like a slap in the face to people who are truly struggling in adverse circumstances.

I’m a happy-go-lucky gal in daily life.  I do give my best effort in looking at the positive things in life (instead of the negative).  There are so many people with so much more going on in their lives that are challenges — whether it’s physical, emotional, spiritual, etc.  Lately, I haven’t been my happy self.  I’m not sure what’s the reason.  Nothing has really changed.  Things at work are great.  I just got back from a fabulous vacation with my fiancé.  I’m tackling new hobbies.  But I can’t seem to dig myself up and out of this rut that I’m going through.

So as much as I’d love to take the advice of these articles…

I only related to the last two.

Looking forward to a new season…..

Posted in Uncategorized

Nurses Week

Here’s why I love our nurses so much….. I can’t tell you how many times over the years I have seen them do or heard about something that they had to do where I said to myself, “Why would anybody want to be a nurse?” They get to do the dirty work, that’s for sure. Patient caregiver, advocate, educator, mentor, shoulder to cry on, bridge between physician and patients families, they wear many hats, to say the least. The ability to multi-task isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. As is the need to have eyes in the back of your head. Here in the O.R.    the nurse is in charge of the room. They have to keep an eye on and help the surgeon, anesthesiologist, scrub tech, and other ancillary personnel. They have to use the computer to chart. The phone rings, guess who answers it? The doctors pager goes off while scrubbed, who do you think takes care of that? All this while keeping an eye on the patient at all times. Consider the Intensive Care Unit nurses. They get to take care of critically ill patients with multiple invasive lines, multiple drips, and other assorted life support devices. The doctor drops by to talk to the family, who don’t really understand much of what’s going on. Guess who gets to try and unravel the mystery for them? After spending 12 hours a day with these people trying not to get too attached to them( unfortunately not all outcomes are good) then it’s time to go home and take care of your own family. Next day, repeat the process….like I said earlier” Why would anybody want to be a nurse?” I’m not sure I know the answer for that but I know I’m glad you did. You are truly the backbone of our hospital, happy Nurses Week to each and every one of you…..

Posted in Uncategorized

Mother’s Day

Thirty years ago I married a mother. While this certainly doesn’t make me an expert on them I have learned a thing or two over the years. When I met this particular mother she was raising 4 children while going to school and working. I was riding my bike and running a lot. She was all about other people. I was all about me. That’s a mom for you, though. They will do anything for their kids. Their own interests always come after everyone else’s. t dinner time they always make sure everybody else has enough before they serve themselves. First person in the kitchen, last one out. Moms make holidays special. They stay up late to hide Easter eggs, stuff turkeys, and even if Santa has fallen asleep they are up late filling stockings. They get up early to get green bagels on St. Patrick’s day before the bagel shop runs out of them. Midnight Mass, no problem. Easter sunrise, she’s there. I don’t think anyone sleeps less than a mom. I know nobody gives more. So for all this we give them a day each year. It hardly seems enough. Once upon a time there was something known as a stay at home mom. These days, however, they get to do all these wonderful things after working all day…..or night, as the case may be. Then there’s the single mom, who not only works while being a mom but doubles as dad, too. As if being a mom wasn’t enough….So here’s to all our departments Mothers, you have my respect and admiration not just this day but every day……Tom Precht