Free Fun with Photos!

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This afternoon I found myself in the same situation many college students do, I had time off, but was short on cash. I called up a friend of mine who is usually in the same situation and talked him into a photo-shoot. Basically we just drove to the industrial side of town and tried to take as many artsy photos as possible on our phones. Then we spruced them up with Instagram filters.

Going on an impromptu photo shoot is a simple, creative way to spend some extra time on a nice day. It can take as long or as short of a time as you like, and you don’t need any special equipment. Like I said above, my friend and I just used our phones (somewhat old phones at that). Furthermore, the good thing about digital photography is that you can take tons of photos and sort the good ones from the bad later.

Probably the worst thing about this type of excursion is that you get some confused looks from passersby who don’t often see 20-somethings wandering the industrial neighborhoods taking photos. Ultimately though, nobody bothered us. On a side note, as a resident of one of the more dangerous cities in the US, I definitely recommend going in groups and in daylight whenever in an unfamiliar neighborhood just in case you run into dangerous people.

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Update (and Game Hen)

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I realize its been a long time since my last post, so here’s an update as to what’s happened since. I have always held independence and self sufficiency as my major ideals and therefore living off of student loans really (REALLY!) rubs me the wrong way. There’s just something nauseating about spending money I didn’t earn and that I really don’t have.

I thought about remedying this by joining the Air Force (AF), which offers a scholarship and a living stipend for medical students in exchange for serving 4 years as an AF doctor. I started into the paperwork, but unfortunately my school was put in a situation where it may lose accreditation right before I graduate – throwing a wrench in my plans. If that happens with my loans I’d be out a couple hundred grand at a terrible interest rate, but were I to join the AF I’d be out even more money at a substantially higher one. I decided then that the financial risk given the uncertainly of the school’s accreditation was just too great and I stopped the application process to the AF. Unfortunately this means I’m still living on loans, despite it feeling like making a “deal with the devil” every time I complete the FAFSA.

Spring came and went, and for my final summer break, I wanted a true break from everything medical. After the first week of total freedom, I decided that if I remained idle I’d go insane. I took a couple summer jobs, one gardening and the other selling fireworks. These were a blast and provided enough funding for some fun camping trips.

Now it is fall and my attention as with that of all 2nd year med students turns to “STEP 1,” our first licensing exam. I’ve put my financial woes and the ever looming threat of accreditation loss out of my mind as there’s not really anything I can do about either and they are therefore worth no further consideration.  I plan to resume posting here with some regularity as we get into winter, but will likely drop it again between February and May as testing season begins.

Finally, I promised you game hen, and I hate wordy blogs that make you scroll through half a million words and pictures to get to the good stuff, so for reading this far, you get a double feature…

I’m a big fan of the weird scifi show, Red Dwarf, and so when I found recipes from it online I just had to try some out. I read this recipe: http://feastygeeks.blogspot.com/2013/06/red-dwarf-recipe-chicken-marengo.html on a now inactive blog and put my own spin on it. (I have yet to try the beer milkshake).

Game Hen Marengo

Ingredients

1 cornish game hen (cut in half)
1 can diced tomatoes 1 onion chopped
2 hard boiled eggs
8 shrimp (peeled and deveined)
splash of cream sherry
granulated garlic (fancy garlic powder)
oregano, basil, salt, and pepper to taste olive oil

Directions

1. in a skillet on medium low heat, caramelize the onions in olive oil. (takes a while) 2. Add the halves of the hen to the skillet along with the garlic, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper and allow to brown.
3. Add the tomatoes and sherry and bring to a boil.
4. reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for about 45min (or until the birds reach 165 on meat thermometer)
5. add the shrimp and cook until opaque (about 10min).
serve in a bowl with the halved hard boiled eggs and a piece of stale french bread.

time: 1hr, serves: 2.

Tandoori Game Hen (really really good)

Ingredients

1 cornish game hen
4 heaping Tbsp sour cream or unsweet yogurt
1 lime or lemon
4 Tbsp curry spice (cumin, garlic, ginger, tumeric, cayenne, and garam masala, or premade mix)

Directions

1. Cut hens in half (easier to handle) and place in a zip-lock bag with the yogurt and spices. Squeeze the lime juice in too, and throw the bits of lime in as well. Let them sit in the bags overnight in the fridge.
2. preheat oven to 500 (or use broil) and place hens directly on oven rack with a pan on the rack below to catch drippings.
3. turn heat down to 400 and continue cooking for about another 25min or until 175 on thermometer and juices run clear.

time: overnight + 45min, serves: 1-2.