How would you describe yourself to a complete stranger?

i thought long and hard about this before giving up and settling on this.

What is something I still do not know about you?

i'm a synesthete. i'm not sure if i've ever told you that, but if i say that a number "feels" a certain way or if you see me try not to roll my eyes whenever someone mentions seeing people's auras, that's why.

What's your favorite childhood memory?

running around our backyard and chasing our chickens around in orinda.

What worries you most about the future?

whether this planet can sustain human life given the way that we treat it. whether we'll survive the current presidential administration without any irreparable harm.

What was the last thing you did that made someone smile?

i made lemon ricotta pancakes and bacon for breakfast this morning.

When was the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone? What did you do?

um...intentionally? a few months ago, i think. you already know!

What advice would you give your 13-year-old self?

take it easy and stop worrying about what people think about you. don't rely on other people to make you happy.

Is it more important to love or be loved?

to love, i think. though ultimately i'm not sure that it really makes a difference, which is probably the less-nice way to say that i'm not really sure how to answer this these days.

If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be and why?

i wish i had bigger boobs.

Would you break the law to save a loved one?

yes. probably. i think. depends on the law.

Which is worse: failing or never trying?

never trying. you can learn from failure and mistakes.

What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?

i just want to do good.

Are you a feeler or a thinker?

a little bit of both? my job relies on thought and logic but a lot of that eventually becomes intuition, too. if it looks like a horse, walks like a horse, and sounds like a horse, it's probably not a zebra...but you should always trust your gut.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

cake for breakfast. justin bieber's "love yourself." curly fries for dinner. all of the ridiculous shows that have come out of the real world and road rules.

What's the biggest personal change you've ever made?

i started training for a half marathon a few months ago, so that's forced me to change a lot of old habits.

What's the stupidest thing you've ever done?

i've lost track of the number of times i've put on lotion and then rubbed my eyes.

If someone gave you the power to save just one animal species on earth, which would it be?

dogs, duh.

What is your favorite part about yourself?

uh...well, i have a great butt, for starters.

Why is yawning contagious?

mirror neurons!

If you had three wishes from a non-tricky genie, what would you wish for?

a few million dollars to get myself and friends and family out of debt, a workable solution to climate change so that we can sustain this world for a little bit longer, and a cure for cancer.

Where would you go in a time travel machine? Would you stay?

you know that whole do-over thing? i'd probably go back in time to about two years ago and try to steer myself around making some really questionable decisions.

What do you most regret and wish you could re do?

if i could have a do-over on the past two years, i'd gladly take it.

What's the absolute best vacation you can imagine?

somewhere warm and sunny, preferably with a hammock on the beach and lots of tropical drinks.

Do people really get any wiser as they get older?

i'd like to think so. i've met plenty of people who support the idea, but i've also met tons of others who disprove this.

What happens if Pinocchio says 'my nose is going to grow now'?

he self combusts.

If you could be a farmer, what would be on your farm?

dogs. lots of dogs. probably some cows and chickens, too.

What would your DJ name be?

i'm taking a page out of jess day's book.

When did you consider yourself an 'adult'?

i feel like an adult at work, for the most part, but when it comes to my home life, all bets are off. deciding to have ice cream for dinner makes me feel like an adult because i can make that decision, but it also makes me feel like a kid, because who else would wanna have ice cream for dinner?

What's your earliest memory?

going sledding for the first time on one of our visits to see you and your family.

What do you imagine sex is like for the opposite sex?

like warm apple pie, i guess? i haven't really thought about this too much.

You can give one object (the same object) to everyone in the world. What is it, and why?

does a shred of human decency count as an object?

What long-lost childhood possession of yours would you like to see again?

my stuffed bunny.

If you had to pick a new first name, what would it be?

i spent years and years hating my name, but i've grown to like it, so i'll keep it. or maybe i'll just change it to princess conseula banana hammock.

Who's your fantasy celebrity boyfriend?

olivier giroud.

If your home were on fire and you did not have to worry about saving any of the five P's (people, pets, photos, papers, prescriptions), what one item would you choose to save?

either my phone or my laptop. luckily, both of those things survived the fire.

Are you more introverted or extroverted?


What do you find funny?

deadpan humor, puns, and harmless pranks.

What are your top five favorite characteristics in the opposite sex?

intelligence, kindness, drive, communication skills, and a sense of adventure.

Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?

michelle obama.

Would you like to be famous? In what way?

i wouldn't. i don't really like being the center of attention, so this whole fame thing wouldn't suit me very well.

Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?

sometimes. if it's an important call, i might write up some notes beforehand so that i don't forget anything.

What would constitute a "perfect" day for you?

one where i only work twelve hours, cross off everything on my to-do list, have a real dinner, and get a full eight hours of sleep.

When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?

in the shower this morning. earlier today when i was making breakfast and my roommate's puppy was hanging out with me, hoping for some bacon.

If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?

i'd take the mind of a 30 year old. i've watched my grandmother's mind and body deteriorate over the past few years, and while the loss of physical ability is difficult, her mental decline has been the hardest for her to deal with and the hardest for me to watch. aging is hard and dementia is cruel.

Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?

probably because of a stupid and/or arrogant decision that i've made.

For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

i'm grateful for my friends and family and how supportive they are. i'm less grateful for family members who lie to me, and for other people who've decided that they know what's best for me.

If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?

i would've loved to have stayed in one place for an extended period of time. we moved around a lot and that made i hard for me to make and sustain friendships.

If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?

a better memory.

If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?

i'm not sure that i'd want to know anything unless i could know everything because i have no self-control, but where's the fun in that?

Is there something that you've dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven't you done it?

i need a vacation, does that count? i haven't taken one because my schedule doesn't allow for one until early next year.

What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?

going to med school and finishing my surgical residency.

What do you value most in a friendship?

honesty, loyalty, trustworthiness, and steadfastness.

If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?

i'd work to cross as much as i can off of my bucket list. i'd probably lose some inhibitions, too. if i only have a year left, that's not very much time at all, so i might as well just live it up. in ordinary circumstances, we aren't promised tomorrow, which i guess is a good argument for doing this anyway, but. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

What does friendship mean to you?

it means having someone else's back. whether that means being someone that they can talk to, someone they can lean on if and when it's needed, someone to bring them a hot meal or make them laugh, then so be it.

What roles do love and affection play in your life?

there's a lot of different kinds of love in my life, but most of my affection is reserved for puppies and kittens right now.

How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people's?

my parents were pretty warm when i was growing up, at least when i was still living with them. my extended family is pretty close, though i don't see most of them too often even though i live near them. i don't think my childhood was happier than other people's, but i don't think it was all that sad, either.

How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?

we usually talk a couple of times a week. she's not really my confidante or anything like that, but we're close enough, i guess. usually. right now our relationship is kind of strained.

When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?

in front of my therapist a couple of weeks ago. while i was re-reading all of harry potter, also a few weeks ago.

What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?

this is hard for me to answer, since i often joke about things too soon after they've happened. suicide or self-harm, i guess? my coworkers and i laugh at gallows humor with each other all the time, but never within earshot of patients or their families. we see a lot of bad stuff on the job, and no matter how long you've been doing it, it doesn't get any easier. sometimes that's all that we can do to cope.

What was a childhood dream of yours that you wanted to achieve?

i wanted to learn how to surf, which i finally did a few summers ago! not well by any means, but at least i stayed standing.

Do you believe in magic?

in a young girl's heart? ... anything is possible.

If you could survive on another planet, which would you choose?

i'm not sure that i would. i have to think about this.

What's the best advice you've been given? What's the worst?

life tends to work itself out, so don't stress too much. that's probably also the worst advice, or at least, the hardest to follow.

Do you have any favorite quotes? If so, what are they?

"do no harm and take no shit." i'm really, really bad at that last part.

What's a food that you love? What's a food that you absolutely hate?

chilaquiles! i looove chilaquiles but i have a hard time finding a place that does them to my liking. i like to think that i'm an adventurous eater and i can't really think of any foods that i really hate, except for maybe tripe. i can't.

Is there any kind of flavor that you can't stand?

anise or licorice. i learned to tolerate pernod well enough, but that's as close as i can get to anise itself.

You get one wish to change the world for the better, what wish do you make?

just one? i'd want to solve this whole climate change and unsustainable earth thing.

If you could have someone else's singing voice, who would it be?

josh groban. because i'd love to open my mouth and have josh groban's singing voice come out of it, just for fun.

Who's the Sour Patch Kid in your life? (First they're sour, then they're sweet)

me, probably.

What song gets you dancing no matter where you are?

gloria gaynor, "i will survive." the foundations, "build me up buttercup." britney spears, "hold it against me."

Do you think there's such a thing as Fate?

not really. our choices make us land where we do in the end.

If I grabbed your hand to pull you along on an adventure, where would you wanna go?

let's start with brunch and go from there.

Can we buy a farm and adopt lots of puppies and kittens and goats?

don't forget the chickens and cows!

What's the worst first impression someone's ever made on you?

i had an intern last year who was all sorts of terrible. he had a lot of drive but was arrogant as hell and spent an entire day leading me around the hospital because he also thought i was a clueless intern and not his chief resident. i went along with it until he actually put someone's life at risk and then tore him a new one after that. he's no longer in the program, but that's not my fault.

Close your eyes, think of the future, and where do you see yourself in ten years?

hopefully settled down and with a family of my own, though i'm not really sure what that looks like. maybe it's me and a partner and some kids, maybe it's me and a farm full of dogs.

Which celebrity would you want to be married to?

i'm not sure how i feel about this whole marriage thing, or this whole celebrity thing, but keeping in theme with the last celebrity question, let's go with thierry henry.

Which celebrity would you just wanna have a torrid affair with?

i live under a rock and i'm running out of famous people here...let's go with olivier giroud again.

What's one side of your personality that makes you happiest? Saddest?

that i'm resilient and funny, or at least i like to think i am. saddest...i'd rather not say in public.

If you had to make a collage to describe yourself, what would you include in it?

sour patch kids, glitter, probably some gummy bears, a few unicorns, puppies...basically my collage would look like a lisa frank trapper keeper.

three favorite books? movies? tv shows?

the harry potter series, the spellman files series, and...well, that's way more than three books. when breath becomes air by paul kalanithi was an amazing read, too.

three favorite movies?

the back to the future series, scott pilgrim vs. the world, and clueless.

three favorite tv shows?

friends, the gilmore girls, and suits, but i'm way, way behind on that last one.

favorite memory?

match day 2012! the nerves, the excitement, and confirmation of where i'd spend the next five years of my life. it was great.

what was the last thing you dreamed?

i was being attacked by a gecko. don't ask me, i can't explain.

why did you want to become a doctor?

i really enjoy science. i love learning and i love problem-solving, and medicine lets me do all of this. i'm constantly amazed at how complicated the human body is, and how fragile it can be while being so durable and adaptable all at once.

if you could be anything else, what would you be?

i don't think i could be, or at least, it would take me a lot of time and soul-searching and trial and error to figure out. i was recently forced to take a short sabbatical from work, and not being able to do what i do has reinforced that it really is what i want to be doing for the foreseeable future.

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

100 duck-sized horses. wait, that's not right.

What's your favorite song and why does it speak, or sing, to you?

spotify's been spitting tegan and sara's "where does the good go" at me a lot lately and that's my current ear worm, at least.

When and where's the best time and place to catch you like you was Pokemon?

normally, probably at the hospital at any given time.

Why are these questions so terribly lame?

they're not!