Sunday Thoughts

Sunday, September 29, 2013

"Go back?" he thought. 
"No good at all!"
"Go sideways? Impossible!
Go forward?
Only thing to do! On we go!"

-Bilbo Baggins, the Hobbit-

This guy Spamwise wrote this awesome article that you should definitely check out.
It inspired me a lot and I've been thinking about it all weekend.
Seriously, if LOTR is your thing, read it.

source. btw, TUMBLR IS THE WEIRDEST. that is all.

I wish I had remembered this quote back in July
when I first found out that I'd failed.
At the time I remember wanting to crawl into a deep dark hole and hide
and never come out.

I was miserable,
and feeling like an epic failure of a human
so I guess it's not too surprising
that I couldn't see any possible positive outcome from that point in my life.

Luckily I have some great people around me,
who stopped my pity party in its tracks,
forced me to pick myself up,
and keep going.
Without them, I don't think I'd have bothered plodding heavily forward like I did.
I wouldn't have gotten up at  6 every day to study
or taken 3,000  questions worth of tests,
or written out all my mistakes.
I wouldn't have passed the second time around
if I hadn't somehow {miraculously} 
found some strength in me from somewhere
to keep moving forward.

I'll never been running from a goblin army deep in the misty mountains,
or tracking a band of Uruk-Hai doggedly for what seems an inhuman number of miles 
or struggle weakly up a black mountain on my hands and knees,

but medicine is hard
and it's going to get harder. 
I've just gotta remember to keep moving forward.

and when good old Dory fails to remind me of this,
I'm glad the Hobbit's around to keep me on track :) 

When someone in the hospital asks me for directions

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

This is me. All day err day. 

I have no idea what I am doing.
And I am loving every minute of it.

Music Monday

Sunday, September 22, 2013

You Guys.
I start surgery today! 
I'm so excited, nervous and eager all at once.
I'm REALLY looking forward learning more about this field I know virtually nothing about
plus my doc's apparently an awesome dude.
So there's that :)

I wasn't exactly 100% sure what song I was feeling this week.
But after talking to my girl K,
I've had this one on my mind quite a lot.
We're both relatively quiet, timid people (at least until you get to know us)
and we've both been kind of walked over due to that fact
(though in very different ways.)
We kind of agreed that rather than putting energy into being frustrated about these situations,
We're going to learn from these experiences and move on.
And this song helps with that, a lot.

Plus, Roger Daltry is wicked fun to watch on stage
{yea, I just said wicked.
I got a roommate from Bahston, wuddaya gonna do about it??
sorry. I'll calm down.}

Happy Happy week folks! 
Wish me luck in surgery tomorrow!

Sunday Thoughts

The degree to which we love the person we despise the most, is how much we love God. 
- Isaac the Syrian- 

Music Monday

Monday, September 16, 2013

It may come as a surprise to all of you
{except Peter, obvs}
but I don't actually listen to Neil Young and/or classic rock 90% of the time 
{full disclosure- it's probably not even 50% of the time}
I actually listen to other stuff, too, sometimes.
Like this song:

I don't know much Pete Yorn at all
{I literally only know of one other song he's done}
and I have no clue where I heard about this one- probably on a trashy gossip website
because Scarlett Johanssen sang on the track.
bottom line is, this is a great song
the kind that brings you distinctly back to a certain part of your life
that you see now in a light that's much more pretty than it is realistic. 
For me this is Spring of my senior year of college
After I took my MCAT
I was a free bird
and literally the same day I found out I'd made it to the last round of selection for the Fulbright Grant
{that's how I was able to study in Greece for a year}
And then my crazy weird awesome roommates and I spent the rest of the semester
acting like fools and having a general great time.
It brings me right back there,
to afternoons strolling across Landis Green in the sunshine,
jamming out on my headphones like it's my job
and probably looking like a complete and total weirdo.

enough nostalgia from me. 
I've got an exam this week so I'm going MIA till the weekend.
Are there any other Pete Yorn gems I'm missing?
He's got a great voice!

Sunday Thoughts

Sunday, September 15, 2013

{from our cousin, the Catholic church.}

"We should forgive and show mercy.
If we live according to the rule an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,
we will never overcome the spiral of evil."

-Pope Francis-

(I love this fellow)


feelin' for the baddies today for some reason.
but really.
That is a great quote.
And these are the two characters in The Lord of the Rings
who really exemplify this.
{full disclosure: you find really weird fan art when you search grima wormtongue on tumblr.}

The Cooking Saint

Thursday, September 12, 2013

When Peter was chrismated,
he did not choose a new Christian name.
He thought about it,
but he {and I} both love the apostle Peter
{doesn't he seem more human than the rest of them, somehow?}
so he decided against a new Christian name.

But if I had to pick one for him,
I'd go with Euphrosynos, the cook,
for pretty obvious reasons :)

Saint Euphrosynos was something of a Byzantine Jamie Oliver
{or Gordon Ramsay? 
Is it obvious yet that I know nothing about chefs or cooking?}
He was widely 
known not only for his excellent preparation of the most mouth-watering and  scrumptious meals
but also for his generosity,
as he gave all he could of his large cook's salary as alms.
Later on, when he left his position as top chef Constantinope
{that's only 30% joke}
he entered the monastic life, again as a chef,
but this time preparing much simpler, blander meals.
After all, 
while food is needed to nourish our bodies,
gluttony is not exactly smiled upon.

Our Pascha meal- TOAD IN THE HOLE- plus some freshly baked bread
So Peter is GOOD at cooking. 
We're talking any kind of dish from Cretan to Croatian,
delicious vegetables and herbs
{these days fresh from his own little garden}, 
and {of course} tons of hearty Olive oil.
What's more, 
He legitimately enjoys cooking.
Yea, I've got it made :)

Needless to say, Euphrosynos would have been a pretty good 'Christian name' for him
{although let's be real:
no one- myself included-would be able to pronounce it}

P.S. Here's some of my favorite recipes (plus a few I haven't tried)
I've also got one for food for fasting days/periods.

P.P.S. I promise you guys I have interests other than gushing about my boyfriend.
It's just that these days, 
all I do is study and talk to him and my folks and roommates.
So the other option is blog posts on when to surgically intervene on carotid artery stenosis.
does that sound fun? 
{I'll answer that question for you. It's not.}


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

War is never good.
I think very few people can deny that.
It destroys life,
snatching it swiftly away regardless of age, creed or class.

But what happens if we do not fight for justice?
What happens if we turn a blind eye to massacres, to genocide, to murder?
And how do we know when it is the right time to stand and fight?

I don't have the answer to any of the above questions.
I wish I did.
But I do think it is a bit overly-simple
to be against all wars,
a stance taken by many public figures in the 21st century.

Faramir is one of my all-time favorite characters in the LOTR trilogy
and this stance on war 
is exactly why: 

War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all;
But I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness,
nor the arrow for its swiftness,
nor the warrior for his glory,
I love only that which they defend.

Source: Donato Art

I think about this quote a lot these days
As I've been working with quite a few war veterans (WWII, Vietnam and Korea)
As we commemorate the victims of 9/11/01 today, 
as my church and my priests pray for Syria,
Christian, Muslim and in between,
for their safety and protection from the harm and violence that rocks their country.

I guess this is the nature of living in a fallen world.
I really very strongly dislike Obama
{and pretty much any politician}
But I feel for him very keenly these days,
when he's been called to make an extremely tough decision
without the foresight to know whether it is right or not.

I think Bishop Basil of the Antiochian Archdiocese has the best perspective on this
{at least from the Christian slant.}
He spoke just a few days ago on the subject at a church in Kansas

In the mean time,
all we can do is pray.

Music Monday

Monday, September 9, 2013

So I've been trying to avoid getting overly sentimental
on this here website-stroke-online-journal that I have the audacity to call a blog.
Lots of people write about their relationships online
-and that's totally fine, don't get me wrong-
but my self conscious self still can't fathom why anyone would find my musings and gushings 
on how much I love and/or miss my boyfriend
remotely interesting.

But gosh-darn it, I miss that guy!

cringing right now.

Do you know how soothing a gentle English voice can be?
Peter is a pretty level-headed guy
he knows just when to try and cool me down when I'm fired up
and when to playfully tease me for my indignation
and when to say
"yea babe, you're so right about that!"
It's a gift, I tell you.

And I know it's not very tough or modern to say that you need someone in your life,
but I really do need this guy around.
He is my rock. 
And I miss him terribly.

I'm going to blame this post on a combination of PMS hormone-driven emotions
and Peter's hotel's inability to keep the internet working for more than 5 minutes at a time
{thanks for nothing, Poros!}
but in the mean time,
here's a song 
that fairly accurately encompasses my emotional spectrum at the moment...

Oh, Mondays...

Sunday Thoughts

Sunday, September 8, 2013

We need a Third person in our relationships.
Just as the priests, who embrace one another in the heart of the divine liturgy, say
"Christ is in our midst,"
So we should do the same in our life.
God is not an intruder in our personal relationships, but the One who will cleanse and perfect them.
He will make them secure because his great and eternal love will strengthen and inspire them.


This is exactly why we run to the church
where the grace of God in the sacrament of marriage will sanctify the union of the man and woman
so that they will compliment each other with their talents
and work together for a perfection which will be reflected not only in their loving relationship in this life, 
but in the eternity of the kingdom to come.

The Lord said,
'Without me you can do nothing.'


From the talk, 'Our personal relationship with God'
Archimandrite Zacharias
Saint John the Baptist Monastery, Essex

Have a blessed Sunday

Through the Lens: Captiva

Friday, September 6, 2013

Here's the last of the photos from our brief trip to Captiva
{do you think we took enough?}
These are from Peter
and were taken with his new fish eye camera!

Driving over!
In my pretty white dress....
which was the only thing I had that weekend.
Because I forgot my bag.
Smart girl.

The view from our unit

My Papou is a hipster.

Me and sissy!

This is a picture of my brostaki.
{and his nostrils.}

I don't know why we laid out on the golf course.
But it happened.

Watching the sunset together...
definitely my favorite night in a long time
and my favorite sunset ever!

One of my favorite shots of the weekend.
The sky was beautiful glorious stunning indescribable

Pretty typical car scene
Papou's always happy
kiddos are always on their phones.

And that's it for Captiva photos
If anyone's interested,
Peter's camera is pretty tiny and awesome.
He purchased a prototype
on a campaign- funding website,
and I have to say,

Prayer for the Traveler

Thursday, September 5, 2013

O God, our God,
the true and living way, 
who didst journey with thy servant Joseph; 
do thou journey with thy servant, 
and deliver him from every storm and snare
and peace and vigor continually provide.

Be pleased that,
having accomplished every intention of righteousness, 
according to thy commandment,
and being filled with temporal and heavenly blessings, 
he may return again.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory,
of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
Now and always, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Peter flies to Athens today. 
I will miss him dearly, 
and always get a bit nervous for any of my family members 
on such a long journey.

I hope anyone traveling in the upcoming days and weeks 
has a safe and uneventful journey
there and back again :)

More Captiva

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

On Sunday,
after a beautiful liturgy at Annunciation Greek Orthodox church,
we headed over to the Island Cow 
We were a bit too late for the breakfast menu,
but given the huge selection of lunch and dinner items, 
along with the availability of mimosas,
no one was too unhappy.
With this guy, again. He is kind of my favorite.

While waiting for a table, 
my Dad and brother started to play some corn hole

Tin even taught Peter how to play!
He couldn't possibly look more all-American if he tried :)

Island Cow is open daily til 10-ish 
{per their menu}
If pineapple french toast sounds like your thing,
get their before 11 am!
{noon on Sundays}


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

we had such an amazing time at Captiva.
The weather could not have been more gorgeous,
the sea could not have been warmer,
and the company could not have been better. 

We set out SUPER early, 
getting up at 5, 
and arriving just in time for breakfast. 

And of course,
We wasted no time hitting the beach!
Oh yes, and this happened.
I love my rainbow-umbrella-toting awesome and confident man 

My Dad and Papou, 
contemplating the mysteries of life...
or what's for dinner

Peter and my Sister...
and the rainbow umbrella, of course

Captiva's beaches are literally crawling with coquinas
a beautiful bivalve mollusk that burrows into the sand with a foot-like body

Naturally, Peter had to find them immediately

see the foot thing?? DO YOU SEE IT???

They come in so many colors and patterns!
If you're ever at a beach in Florida,
dig around a bit in the sand right where the waves hit
They can be found on both coasts, as far as I know.

That night, we watched an incredible sunset from the beach...
it was perfect
{in of spite the 27 bug bites I obtained right on my arse}

Being artsy fartsy and crap

Just look at that sky. LOOK AT IT.

And that face.

And that sky and that face {or the back of it, anyway)

Somehow it seems the sunset becomes even more stunning once the sun has slipped away behind the water
The sky turns deeps shades of blue, purple and blush
and the tips of the clouds look as if they were delicately painted by an impressionist.

Hope you guys are having an awesome short week.
Did you catch any ridiculous sunsets?
Hit any pretty beaches? 



Photos taken with iPhone, Nikon D5100 and Android
Edited with afterlight, beautiful mess app and/or God.
so not kidding about that 3rd one. 

Music Monday + a Sneak Peak

Monday, September 2, 2013

Captiva was amazing, needless to say.
Despite having an itchy bum
from being out at dusk without bug spray,
I am completely contented.
We had such a lovely, relaxing time with my family,
and the bug bites were well worth the shots we got of the sunset. 

I love this song, by a band called Bear's Den
I don't even mind that they mispronounce the Greek word for love {agape.}
{should be pronounced ag├ípi̱}

Enjoy your labor day!