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Book List 2015

1. Pinups for Pitbulls, by Deirdre Franklin

2. All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr

3. A State of Laughter: Comic Fiction From Alabama, by Don Noble [editor]

4. All Creatures Great and Small, by James Herriott

5. Blackbird House, by Alice Hoffman

6. All Things Bright and Beautiful, by James Herriott

7. The Magicians, by Lev Grossman

8. The Magician King, by Lev Grossman

9. The Magician's Land, by Lev Grossman

10. All Things Wise and Wonderful, by James Herriott

11. Black Heart on the Appalachian Trail, by T.J Forrester

12. The Lord God Made Them All, by James Herriott

13. Mountains Beyond Mountains, by Tracey Kidder

14. The Color of Magic, by Terry Pratchett

15. Anansi Boys, by Neil Gaiman

16. The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrians Guide to Paris, by John Baxter

17. Stardust, by Neil Gaiman

18. Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn

19. re-read A Game of Thrones, by George R.R. Martin

20. re-read A Clash of Kings, by George R.R. Martin

21. re-read A Storm of Swords, by George R.R. Martin

22. Church of Marvels, by Leslie Parry

23. re-read A Feast for Crows, by George R.R. Martin

24. re-read A Dance With Dragons, by George R.R. Martin

25. The Blade Itself, by Joe Abercrombie

26. Before They Are Hanged, by Joe Abercrombie

27. The Last Argument of Kings, by Joe Abercrombie

28. The Gone-Away World, by Nick Harkaway

29. Five Quarters of the Orange, by Joanne Harris

30. The Martian, by Andy Weir

31. The Lost Continent: Travels in Small Town America, by Bill Bryson

32. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, by Cheryl Strayed

33. Maskerade, by Terry Pratchett
Three books and I'm hooked. My new 'thing' is going to be scouring all used bookstores for books he's written. Contrary to how I am usually, I won't read them all at once. There's too many and I'd like to always have some to look forward to.

34. Blackberry Wine, by Joanne Harris

35. Station Eleven, by Emily St John Mandel

36. Wyrd Sisters, by Terry Pratchett

37. Hector and the Search for Lost Time, by Francois Lelord

38. Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson

39. Tigerman, by Nick Harkaway

40. Fevre Dream, by George R.R. Martin

41. Birds of Pandemonium: Life Among the Exotic and Endangered, by Michele Raffin

42. New Guinea Tapeworms and Jewish Grandmothers by Robert S. Desowitz

42. Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers, by Robert Sapolsky

43. Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know, by Alexandra Horowitz

44. The Girl On The Train, by Paula Hawkins

45. A Hanging at Cinder Bottom, by Glenn Taylor

46. Witches Abroad, by Terry Pratchett


48. Raising Steam, by Terry Pratchett
This book was really terrible. It hurts me to say that about any of Sir Terry's work, but this was his second to last Discworld novel and I think the Alzheimer's may have really gotten to him by then. Apparently there is some controversy over who the true author is; some think its his daughter. Whatever it is, it isn't him.

49. Lords and Ladies, by Sir Terry Pratchett

I had so wanted to make it to 52 books, but as 2015 draws to a close I'll have to accept that I just didn't make it. Looking back on my list for this year I have to admit that I didn't enjoy most of these books very much. The favorites of this year were definitely The Goneaway World, and A Hanging at Cinder Bottom as standalone novels. And of course, anything by Sir Terry. I remember when he passed away I read an article and there was a quote that resonated with me: I can't find it now, but something about how most other books have a special spot on the shelf, but Terry Pratchett's are in the kitchen, in the living room, on the floor of the bedroom, just scattered through every part of your life. It's definitely true. When I feel down or I need to get away or I need something to lighten my spirits, I turn to a Discworld book, which will balance sarcasm and cynicism with humor and originality, which has characters I can rely on and can lean on.
Also, re-reads don't figure into this otherwise ASOIAF would obviously be listed.

Favorite TV show we watched this year would have to be The X-Files, which we started in April. I was too young when I saw it last and truthfully I don't even remember how much of the series I watched. Eight months later, we're on season 5.

Favorite trip would probably be a tossup between Maine and our Eurotrip that we just got back from.

It has been a wonderful year. I've shared so much with people I love and I've traveled quite a bit more than previous years have allowed me to. Pony had a great birthday, and so did I. I've learned a lot, faced some real challenges, and completely absorbed into the world of psychiatry (which I hope is gonna stick!)

This post feels so rushed because we literally just got back from Europe and now I'm rushing to get ready for New Years Eve. I haven't thought much about my resolutions, so it will have to be another time.


I'd love to meet you.

"There are those types of people you feel you'd like immediately, those who you feel you could grow to like in the fullness of time, and those who you immediately want to push away from you with a very sharp stick."
-The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, by Douglas Adams

If you'd like to find out how compatible we are... friend me, and find out!

Book List 2014

1. Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman

2. The Woman With A Worm In Her Head, and Other True Stories of Infectious Disease, by Pamela Nagami

3. Masters of Mystery: The Strange Friendship of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini, by Christopher Sanford

4. Do You Believe In Magic? The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine, by Paul A. Offit, M.D

5. The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman

6. Bitten: True Medical Stories of Bites and Stings, by Pamela Nagami

7. Basic Immunology: Functions and Disorders of the Immune System by Abul K. Abbas.
Sorry to put this here. i know it's a textbook, but I read it cover to cover not because I had to but because I want to understand immunology super well for both me and Zach. So it was kind of a fun book.

8. Advanced Cardiac Lifesaving Skills - sorry now it's March and I've hit the point of no shame

9. First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 2013 edition

10. First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 2014 Edition

11. re-read First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 2014 edition

12. re-read First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 2014 dition

13. re-read First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 2014 edition

14. re-read The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R Tolkien

15. re-read The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers by J.R.R Tolkien

16. re-read The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King by J.R.R Tolkien

17. re-read The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

18. The Remedy: Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Koch, and the Quest to Cure Tuberculosis, by Thomas Goetz

19. The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick's Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption , by Jim Gorant

20. The Fault in Our Stars, by Brian Green

21. Atonement, by Ian McEwan

22. Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

23. Rosemary's Baby, by Ira Levine

24. The Coldest Winter Ever, by Sister Souljah
This is the most different book I've ever read. I really didn't intend to read a book about a ghetto bitch, but I had nothing for the train so I had to use what I got. It left me feeling uncomfortable and kind of disturbed but it definitely left me thinking. It was very captivating and page turning; it also made me realize that I've never read a 'black people book' before.

25. The Museum of Extraordinary Things, by Alice Hoffman

26. My Dog Tulip, by J.R. Ackerley

27. A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail, by Bill Bryson

28. Here On Earth, by Alice Hoffman

29. The Dovekeepers, by Alice Hoffman

30. Walden and Civil Disobedience, by Henry David Thoreau (finally)

31. A Kiss Before Dying, by Ira Levin

32. The Elephant Vanishes, by Haruki Murakami
First book by this guy. All I have to say is, I don't get it, and all his stories make me feel vaguely uncomfortable and unsettled.

33. Redeployment, by Phil Klay
So I read this book because it was up for National Best Fiction or something. I feel like I owe it to our men and women in service to understand, or at least try to understand, what they are sacrificing for us. Plus, in psych I'll be seeing a lot of veterans. Zach told me I wouldn't be able to handle it; I said I would be. Yeah so the first line of the book is "We shot dogs," and by the end of it I was crumpled into a little ball on my bed, bawling and clutching Pony so tightly. It's really intense, and really good, and the first story brutally yanks you into it. It's a brilliant book and that guy deserves all the accolades he's getting. Also Obama is reading it right now. I'm reading the same book as Obama.

34. Outer Banks Mysteries and Seaside Stories, by Charles Harry Whedbee

^Not a bad haul this year, except that I embarrassingly wrote down First Aid every time I went through it. I'm going to allow it because as a second semester second year I deserved it. Better than any other med school year, at least.

So what did you do this 2014 and how did you feel? Are you who you were when you started? Are you who you wanted to be?


Book list 2013

I didn't post this on New Years on account of I was in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with no WiFi. But here it is, my disappointing 2013 book list. Most of these were read on train rides and plane rides throughout Europe and Nepal and India, I cannot say faithfully that I managed to complete ANY while school was in session. Last years was 52; this year I barely hit 16. Everybody else says "Well at least you still managed to read!" ...Everyone else doesn't have the standards for themselves that I do.

1. The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern

2. Flight to Arras, by Antoine de St-Exupery

3. Night Flight, by Antoine de St-Exupery

4. The Pigeon Pie Mystery, by Julia Stuart

5. re-read The Alchemist, by Paulo Coehlo

6. The Salmon of Doubt, by Douglas Adams

7. re-read Enders Game, by Orson Scott Card

8. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, by Rachel Joyce

9. The Earth Moved: On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms, by Amy Stewart

10. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs

11. Between Man and Beast: An Unlikely Explorer, the Evolution Debates, and the African Adventure that Took the Victorian World by Storm, by Monte Reel

12. The Violinist's Thumb: And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code, by Sam Kean

13. Spillover, by David Quammen <3 <3 <3

14. The Devil and Ms. Pryn, by Paulo Coehlo

15. Cutting for Stone

16. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman

Anyway, I'd like to discuss specific and general goals for this year.. New Years Resolutions a little over a month late.

This year I want to:
-Rock my boards. I just want to do my best.
I want to have biochem reviewed and annotated by the end of March, as well as the Path intro, as well as Micro.
I want to start doing 50 UWorld questions every 3 days.
School grades are no longer as important to me, but, I don't want my GPA to drop from last semester though, and I made a strong effort all of last semester. So we'll see how it balances out.

-Lose 5-7 pounds. When I roll over at night I feel myself roll over and then I feel my stomach follow. There is an actual delay because my stomach has begun acting as its own entity. This is terrifying, for someone who has never had to struggle with weight before. I stepped on the scale last week and the number was atrocious. I won't say it here because no one will empathize with me. Y'all forget that I'm really short; I'm only 4'11 and 3/4. So even though my weight might seem low, it's high for me.
I'm gonna do it by cutting down my Pepsi intake significantly. I now drink out of a plastic measuring cup whenever possible so I can watch how much I drink, and I am going to try to exercise.

**NOTE: The goal of rocking my boards is not conducive to losing 5-7 pounds.

I think those are the only goals I have for right now.
Book List 2012

1. A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule The Future, by Daniel H. Pink

2. Bully for Brontosaurus: Reflections in Natural History, by Stephen Jay Gould

3. Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, by Douglas Adams

4. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins

5. Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins

6. Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins

7.  Natural Acts: A Sidelong View of Science and Nature, by David Quammen

8. Gentlemen of the Road, by Michael Chabon

9. A Brief History of the Smile, by Angus Trumble

10. The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, by Douglas Adams

11. Wild Thoughts From Wild Places, by David Quammen

12. The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values, by Sam Harris

13. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, by Aimee Bender

14. Dexter by Design, by Jeff Lindsey

15. Dexter is Delicious, by Jeff Lindsey

16. The First Scientific American: Benjamin Franklin and the Pursuit of Genius, by Joyce E. Chaplin

17. Dexter in the Dark, by Jeff Lindsay

18. The Tiger's Wife, by Tea Obreht

19. re-read The Giver, by Lois Lowry

20. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, by Jules Verne

21. Migraine, by Oliver Sacks

22. The Botany of Desire: A Plant's Eye View of the World, by Michael Pollan

23. Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinction, by David Quammen (phew)

24. A Song of Ice and Fire: A Game of Thrones, by George R.R. Martin

25. Last Chance To See...., by Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine

26. Poseidon's Steed: The Story of Seahorses, from Myth to Reality, by Helen Scales

27. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.M James (whaaat?)

28. The Exploits of Brigadier Gerard, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

29. A Clash of Kings, by George R. R Martin

30. A Storm of Swords, by George R. R. Martin

31. A Feast For Crows, by George R. R. Martin

32. A Dance With Dragons, by George R.R. Martin

(For reference: the next three were read during the first two months of med school)
33. re-read The Hobbit, by J.R.R Tolkien =)

34. The Shining, by Stephen King

35. Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later, by Francine Pascal (it's okay, you can judge me this time... it was worse than it sounds; i.e worst book I've ever read in my whole life.)

(For reference: these were read during the past two weeks of winter break)
36. Sand, Wind, and Stars, by Antoine de St Exupery (this book made my top ten. I'm in love with this man. He's the definition of bravery.)

37. Billy Ray's Farm: Essays From A Place Called Tula, by Larry Brown

As for resolutions.. I would like to have in my head "I want to get a positive Z-score on this test" (equal to a middle B) rather than "I hope I pass". I think expectations and perspective have some, if not a lot, impact on your grade. I would like to do Anki cards routinely to help me through my classes this semester. First semester material isn't tested all that much on the boards, it's mostly second year and second semester. If I have to do full on content review for first semester when the time comes, that's still fine if I can keep up with Anki starting now.

I'd like to not fall behind in classes, but that's not ideal or realistic. It's more a hope than anything. I'd like to read during school, and not pathetically like my school list this semester. And I'd like to be at Zach's more. Go out to dinner more. Celebrate life and us in small ways that don't involve stuffing myself in my room all weekend and pretending I'll perform better because of it. 

Most of all, I'd like to enjoy this trip to Nepal and have it remind me why I want to go away and travel so much rather than feel like a homebody like I always do before I leave. I'd like to be the kind of traveler that St-Exupery and Kenneth Kamler taught me how to be, but right now, I'm so panicked about the shower situation (freezing water only) and the toilets. St-Exupery would never even have had such a thought cross his mind, and anyway, when I think of Tanzania, are those really the first thoughts that come to mind? Well, right now they are. But normally they wouldn't be. And it wasn't even that bad. And Jesus, it's two weeks, it ought to be incredible, so why am I wasting the few hours before I leave whining about bathrooms?? Why am I such a little bitch??

Well, I'm sure as fuck not gonna wash my hair. I can get away with not washing it for longer than most people and I'm just going to keep it up in either braids or a ponytail. I know when it's dirty because it gets really itchy, but most of the time people can never tell that I haven't washed in a few days and usually I wash once a week anyway. I bought some dry shampoo just in case it gets really bad, but I've never used it before and I'm hesitant. I bet the toilet is outside. I bet the hole in the ground is really shallow. I hope I don't have to go to the bathroom that much. I hope getting water isn't too much of a problem.. but this isn't anything I haven't faced before. It's just... been awhile. And I've always hated being away from Zach. I wonder why water is like, the third priority I've listed here. I've packed enough undies for every day and enough socks. Enough underarmor that I can turn it inside out and not have it be too much of a problem. I'll be under enough layers. What am I saying?

Hello passport, I AM excited to travel again, I'm just nervous and my plane takes off in six hours. I didn't sleep last night, I'm going to be jet lagged as fuck for at least four days (so embarrassing for a traveler but I have terrible, terrible jet lag) and I'm going to be IN A HOSPITAL HELPING PEOPLE. Okay, that terrifies me, but this is the best experience I could possibly get. Ever. And I'm getting it right now, first year. 

I land on January 1st. Happy new year everyone, I'm sure I'll be back before you know it; I'm sure everyones used to the bitching and whining that precedes each scary trip.

At least it ends with a 14 hour layover in Amsterdam. I can pretty much guarantee that I'll need a nice joint after this one.

I think I needed a reminder of this post:

and particularly this quote:
"What I learned was this: that I had defined myself as a person who didn't like heights or cold, a person who didn't like to be dirty, a person who didn't like physical exertion or discomfort. And here I had psent five days cold, dirty, and exhausted, I had lost 20 pounds, and I had had a wonderful experience.

I realized that I had defined myself too narrowly.

The experience of climbing Kilimanjaro affected me so powerfully that, for a long time afterward, if I caught myself saying "I'm not a person who likes to do that, or eat that food, or listen to that music," I would automatically go out and do what I imagined I didn't like. Generally I found I was wrong about myself- I liked what I thought I wouldn't like. Andeven if I didn't like the particular experience, I learned I liked having new experiences."

-Travels by Michael Crichton. 

Like a boss

It went well! The whole situation was frustrating; i.e having to go to Maryland and be around my whole entire family and take the bus there, but the surgery itself wasn't bad. They talked me through everything that was going to happen as it happened, and before i knew it, my mom was tearily hugging me and saying goodbye and I was being led into a room WITH LOTS OF MACHINES and lying down on a couch and hugging a rainbow pillow and they were telling me to lie still.'
I numbly said 'Wait I can't see I need my glasses' and then realized that I was a numbskull.

I laid still.

They taped my eyelashes to my forehead, dropped in a numbing drop, and everything blurred. They inserted a speculum into my eye (I can only imagine it looked like something from Clockwork Orange) applied suction to my eyeball (which is one of the STRANGEST things that has ever happened to me) and everything blurred.
"Ruchi you're doing really well," I heard the surgeon say as I struggled not to think about that scene from A Clockwork Orange. "Everything will go dark now, okay?"

Everything went dark. I was more scared than I Thought I would be. I was actively shaking, not sure if it was from the freezing room or my own anxiety. I saw something pass over my eye, and then I felt pressure. Then I heard them counting down from 30, 29, 28.... and then it was over.

Quick as lightning they taped my other eye. By this time I had begun reciting scenes from The Golden Girls in my head in order to stay calm; you'd be amazed at how many scenes I was able to run through in one minute's time. The surgeon kept asking "How you doing, Ruchi?" But I didn't want to move cuz that would make it take longer so I responded with the ever-descriptive "Mmmm."

"Everything should go dark now, okay?" second time.
"Mmm." Frantic pause. "Wait! WAIT! Nothing is going dark!"
They had to re-apply suction.

And then another minute, another twelve scenes of the Golden Girls, and it was over. They helped me sit up, and I said stupidly "I can see you."
"Mhmm," the surgeon said. "Yep."
And I said "But I can see you."
"Let me help you back to the room," he said.

My mom cried. He checked my eyes and said it had gone perfectly and I did terrific, lying totally still the whole time. We drove home and I went to sleep. When I woke up my eyes were burning and scratching and I couldn't read.

I stumbled downstairs. "What are you doing out of bed?" everyone demanded.
"I can't read," I said frantically.
"That's normal," everyone said. "Your eyes have just been assaulted by a laser. Stop trying to read."
"You don't understand," I snapped. "I CAN'T READ."
"Why don't you go back to bed," they said.

I went back up to bed and forced myself to read. I held a book really close to me, fully aware that I was acting like a stupid weenie. When Zach called, I tried him.
"What if I can never read again," I sobbed.
"Ruchi. You just had surgery. And if that's true, I'll just read to you. And if not, you'll just need glasses, and you'll be in no worse of a position than you were before."
"I can't read," I wailed.
"Stop trying," he said.

I stumbled through 180 pages of Game of Thrones that day, ignoring the throbbing. Zach sighed, rolled his eyes (over the phone but I could hear it) and said "I wouldn't have expected any less."
When I woke up I could read fine. :)

I was suposed to wear these new stunna shades for three days. Even while doing regular things like:

Every day I wake up and I can see and I reach for my glasses or freak that I slept in my contacts and I think "What new devilry..." just for a second.

Every day before I get into the shower I reach to take off my glasses and then I smile.

I was sort of scared before because I felt like my vision was a shield. Like if I can't see the world, the world can't see me... but now I can see the world and so the world can see me and I know that doesn't make sense but it was intimidating nonetheless. But the one step of getting headaches because of lack of peripheral vision with glasses, or dried out contacts, that extra step missing... it really feels good. Really, really good. :)

Book List 2011/ Bye 2011!

Happy New Years Eve everyone! I am so happy to be sharing another New Years with YOU, friends that I love and care for so deeply. Oh, and also these guys: 

What did you accomplish in 2011? What did you do? How did you feel? What was the best part? What was the worst part? How can you repeat the best part and avoid the worst? Nice philosophical thoughts to have on this day, isn't it?

Well, I accomplished one of the goals I had last year: I read 52 books this year. That was the minimum I wanted to read, actually, but unfortunately I got stuck on this evolutionary biology essay compilation and it took me much longer than it should have.

This is how I'm spending New Years- I'm typing away while Zach and his brother Elliott are playing their wonderful instruments. Like every New Years, it's going to be quiet: we'll probably watch some Lord of the Rings, make tacos, eat pizza. And I made a triple batch of Elliott's favorite cookies.

Last year I said I wasn't making any resolutions but that I hoped that 2011 brought more more luck than ever before.
-Well, I got into med school! If only I could go back a year and let myself know. Don't worry, things work out!

-I did my road trip! The one I've been dreaming of since high school.

-MY PRESCRIPTION HASN'T CHANGED IN THREE YEARS. I AM GETTING LASSIK. This may sound shallow and cosmetic but my prescription is almost a -8.0, so for me it's really about being able to SEE without glasses or contacts. I am used to it on the one hand, but it'll be awesome to not have to struggle and fumble anymore.

-I realized that moving home isn't SO bad, and I had the opportunity to spend time with my best friends in all the world.

-I went to India! I've been wanting to do that FOREVER~

-I am fortunate to have found out about med school early, in December. I just quit every responsibility I have and am going to spend all my time till August doing absolutely. nothing. No job, no volunteering, nothing that I don't enjoy doing. I want to be so sick of baking and having fun by the time med school comes around that I'm delighted to be working again! Idealistic? Perhaps. But I've been so lucky to have had a year and a half of time to figure myself out and the things I like out before I sacrifice my life to MS. I'm really going to live it up the next few months.

One thing that I would never repeat is that awful "vacation" with my mom and Zach. You couldn't pay me enough to ever go anywhere with her again. She was such a nightmare to travel with.

New Years Resolutions: Because this year there ARE things I think I can do.
- I have always missed and yearned for the respect of my fifth grade teacher, Mr. O'Connell. Every year I say I'll go see him but I always think I haven't done anything that's worth being proud of. I know that's silly: I work at hospitals all the time, I travel often, I do well, I'm a good person and I've worked so many jobs. But now, I got into med school! So I'm GOING to go see him in the New Year. Why not? I want to hear him say that he's proud of me. Because then I'll believe it.
- This year I want to read 52 books before STARTING med school. Ambitious? Yes, but remember: I'll have nothing else to do ;-)

-I just signed up for laser hair removal packages for $600. This step is sort of risky but I hate shaving my legs and sometimes they come out bumpy and it's time consuming and I figured I'd take the chance. So I resolve to go to my appointments and get ti done!

-I would like to learn some Anatomy before moving into MS just to give myself the leg up, so I'll probably purchase some sort of book and work my way through it.

-I want to stop biting the skin around my nails for real, because if this is how stressed I am NOT in MS, I won't even have fingers by the time I begin.

- Soon I will make a post asking desperately for opinoins. I'll explain this in a further post, but I would like to handle the upcoming situation with Sara well.

-Write a story. I truly, truly hope I do this. I also truly hope January and February last forever.

-After I move into my new apartment for MS, I want to spend more time with Zach. I'm sick of having a weekend boyfriend. I want our relationship to go back to where it was: most time spent together. Even if we're just studying or working, I need to sleep next to him and eat dinner with him, Wednesdays as well as Saturdays.

THANK YOU EVERYONE. I love you all, for being here not only when everything worked out but for being here when all was a shitstorm. I truly think I'm the luckiest girl in the whole wide world.

Book List 2011
1.Moby Dick, by Herman Melville (NEVER again)
2. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson
3. The Girl Who Played With Fire, by Stieg Larsson
4. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest, by Stieg Larsson
5. The Beekeeper's Apprentice, by Laurie R. King
6. Tales of Unease, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (collection of short stories)
7. The Haunted Hotel and Other Stories, by Wilkie Collins
8. Alvin the Maker: Prentice Alvin, by Orson Scott Card
9. Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen, by Christopher McDougall
10. Sideways Stories from Wayside School, by Louis Sachar
11. The Moonstone, by Wilkie Collins
12. The Westing Game, by Ellen Raskin
13. The Man Who Would be King, and other stories, by Rudyard Kipling (I will never read anything by him again)
14. Alvin the Maker: Alvin Journeyman, by Orson Scott Card
15. Alvin the Maker: Heartfire, by Orson Scott Card
16. Alvin the Maker: The Crystal City, by Orson Scott Card
17. re-read Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen (yes I KNOW that I only read it six months ago but the movie was coming out and I wanted Zach to read it and I wanted to own my own copy so I ordered it and I MEANT to just skim my favorite parts but then y'know I couldn't put it down and it didn't take so very long anyway and who are you to judge me??)
18. Travels, by Michael Crichton
19. Sick Puppy, by Carl Hiaasen
20. Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast: The Evolutionary Basis of Why We Believe by Lewis Wolpert
21. Stormy Weather, by Carl Hiaasen
22. The Magician's Elephant, by Kate DiCamillo
23. The Tower, the Zoo and the Tortoise, by Julia Stuart
24. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle (no I had never read it, surprisingly)
25. The Matchmaker of Perigord, by Julia Stuart
26. The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales, by "Dr." Bruno Bettheheim
27. The Disappearing Spoon and Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements, by Sam Kean
28. The Boilerplate Rhino: Nature in the Eye of the Beholder, by David Quamenn
29. Howliday Inn by James Howe (Childhood favorite, I found this in the Goodwill store for a dollar and almost cried with joy)
30. For Matrimonial Purposes, by Kavita Daswani (skip it, not enjoyable)
31. Chocolat, by Joanne Harris
32. Why We Get Sick: The New Science of Darwinian Medicine, by Randolph M. Nesse and George C. Williams 
33. Nicholas Nickleby, by Charles Dickens
34. Re-read The Princess Bride, by William Goldman  (only book I had during the flight home)
35. Sweet Valley High: Too Good to be True? "by" Francine Pascal (25 cents at Goodwill yeaaah)
36. The Girl With No Shadow, by Joanne Harris 
37. Lucky You, by Carl Hiaasen
38. A Stolen Life: A Memoir, by Jaycee Duggard
39. Native Tongue, by Carl Hiaasen
40. The Ultimate Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams, including:
-The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
-The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
-Life, the Universe, and Everything
-So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish
-Mostly Harmless
-Young Zaphod Plays it Safe (short story) 
41. Monster of God: The Man-Eating Predator in the Jungles of History and the Mind, by David Quammen
42. Unaccustomed Earth, by Jhumpa Lahiri
43. re-read The Alchemist, by Paulo Coehlo
44. The Flight of the Iguana: A Sidelong View of Science and Nature, by David Quammen
45. Ronia: The Robber's Daughter, by Astrid Lindgren
46. Five Classic American Plays of the 1950s [various authors]
47. The Andromeda Strain, by Michael Crichton
48. The Terminal Man, by Michael Crichton
49. Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, by Mary Roach
50. Running With Scissors, by Augusten Burroughs
51. Elvis and Me, by Priscilla Presley
52. re-read Ender's Shadow, by Orson Scott Card

I hope you enjoy your New Years everyone, and have the opportunity to spend it with people you love! I am, and I can't wait to hear how all of yours went. =)
Oh, and just to end this year on the right note, here's a silly blooper:

Book List 2010

Zach found Art Garfunkel's Library. recently. He has decided that he wants to keep a similar list of books that he reads year to year, and I think that's a fabulous idea so I'm going to copy him copying Art Garfunkel. It is either a really inconvenient time to decide to do this, or a really convenient time: a new year is starting, but this year is ending. I'm going to try and remember all the books I read this year, but it won't be comprehensive because this year was a big reading year for me.

re-read The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Volume 1 by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

re-read The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Volume 2 by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Vampire Stories, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Four Loves, by C.S. Lewis

The Pornographer's Grief, by Joseph Glenmullen

Beatrice and Virgil, by Yann Martel

re-read The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens

Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen

Cat's Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut

A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens

Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens

The Woman In White, by Wilkie Collins

Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher

The Porcupine Year, by Louise Erdrich

Orlando, by Virginia Woolf

Phaedo, by Plato

The Republic, by Plato

The Plague, by Albert Camus

Inferno, by Dante

Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley

Skin Tight, by Karl Hiasen

Skinny Dip, by Karl Hiasen

Hamlet, by William Shakespeare

Hector and the Search for Happiness, by Francois LeLord

DAVID COPPERFIELD <3 by Charles Dickens
re-read Flowers for Algernon, by Daniel Keyes

Re-read Enders Game, by Orson Scott Card

Alvin the Maker: Seventh Son, by Orson Scott Card

Alvin the Maker: Red Prophet, by Orson Scott Card

and a loootttt of Archie comics, New Yorkers, Food Network, and Bon Appetite magazines.
In keeping with the theme, I recently rearranged my bookshelf so that books are stacked instead of standing. I can store six times as many books! Awwwesome.

In other news, I think I've decided to keep the Nook. My New Yorker subscriptions get sent to Zach's house and usually by the time I get there there's a whole stack that I have to catch up on.. with the Nook, I wouldn't waste so much paper and the magazine would be downloaded automatically. Also, I don't want to own all seven of the Alvin Makers... but I would be open to having them on digital file. And there's been plenty of times where I've wanted a new book to read but didn't want anything in my bookshelf... with the Nook, I have a whole bookstore open to me anytime I want. I'm going to play with John's a little bit before I make up my mind, but this is what I'm leaning towards. And anyway, I'll probably want one in a few years time like I always do with technology. Might as well bite the bullet and get this now.

So 2010 is over. I'm not making resolutions because I never stick to them and they never get me anywhere. Hopefully 2011 will show me more luck and hope than I've seen yet, and it will finally show me what my future holds. 2010 was a lot of fun, studying and time spent with good friends; new experiences and another wonderful trip abroad. Moved into the Burrow, hiked up  the Reichenbach falls, worked my butt off for the MCAT, reaffirmed my love for my three best friends through the loss of Erin last year... pulled up my GPA, joined Golden Key..

I'm grateful for my friends and family. Which is cliche, but this year more than ever. I know that it's easy to love a person who smiles and is full of love all the time; and it's harder to love someone whose constantly down on herself (which is what I am and have been). Yet no one has left me; you're all still here and still on my side which is the best gift of all. Not only in real life, but I have such a faithful group of friends here on lj too. I'm grateful for my mom, who seems to finally care about what makes me happy and not what she thinks I need to do with my life; and who only wants to take care of me now, and as always, I'm so grateful for Zach.

I hope 2011 will bring me more luck and hope than 2010 has for goals that I want to accomplish, more adventures, and as always, more love, and more family. Bring it on!

And then it grew fangs and I bit its ears.

I was walking to the Psych B building just now, and there's a squirrel not a foot in front of me looking confused. It does the typical 'glance frantically to either side' thing, and then scurries TOWARDS me. So I stayed still to see what would happen. It stayed still too; total stalemate. So I inched towards it. And IT inched towards ME. And then I stayed still.

And then it scurried towards my shoe and attempted to bite it. WEIRDEST SQUIRREL EVER.

Oh, and all my moms' food went bad at once, so I had to throw it all away. I made a box of EZ-Mac because I used to eat it all the time at home. Now, not so much. I ate the whole box through the course of yesterday and by the end my stomach hurt terribly. The last thing I want to eat today is EZ Mac, and Zach's up at his interview chillin' in some fancy hotel with other ridiculously smart people so I can't go grocery shopping. I might just buy school food.

Speaking of food, I've been eating a lot and I've gained a little weight. I'm a bit chubbier, but I actually think I look healthier. Wanna see?
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The Life of Ruchi and Chloe, Part II

I just want chocolate and candy and caffeine, and we don't have any of that in the room. So last night, I freaked out and pulled out the easy bake oven to make two tiny layer cakes. Yes I have an EZ Bake oven in my college dorm. Chloe was cynical and sarcastic and I was cranky and mixing water and this weird crumbly mix that turned into batter after two teaspoons of water. I also yelled things like "I SLAVE OVER A HOT DINNER FOR YOU I HAD A LONG DAY AT THE OFFICE TOO IT WAS A TOUGH DAY'. I took the cakes out two minutes early each, and you know on the front of the box for the EZ Bake there's a freaking layer cake. WHAT KIND OF EIGHT YEAR OLD BAKES A LAYER CAKE.
Chloe said, future AP students.

We ate out of the pan when we finally ate them, and due to the high content of all the fattening horrible trans-fat, and high fructose corn syrup, my craving was satisfied.

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