Tuesday, December 30, 2008


The Costco near us has started selling giant chunks of St Andre. This might be bad for my saturated fat intake.

Also, the New York Times just informed me that Obama is a smoker! Noooo!!! I'm kind of disappointed, actually.

Also, we had a very lovely Christmas. Brandon and the kitties and I all went to West Virginia to see my Dad's side of the family. Activities included cutting down a Christmas tree, decorating said tree, eating about 12 kinds of cookies, presents/stockings, singing songs from childhood, poetry reading, Trivial Pursuit (my team won!), and three FOs (pictures to come). It was a very Garmin Christmas, with Jenny, Dad, Brandon, and I receiving Garmin GPS systems and Brandon receiving a Garmin running watch.

Now we're back in Cleveland, cleaning the house top to bottom for the first time since, um...October? Yeah...

I hope you all had wonderful holidays!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

All by myself...

The worst part of this isn't the travel. Or the expense. Or the constant wearing of suits. Or, really, the fact that I've rotated through 4-5 outfits without variation over the past month and a half. The worst part is how lonely this is. I miss my friends and my family. Every once in a while I get to see someone I know, and it is just wonderful.

The other part of this is that it makes you want to bond with anyone familiar - like the other applicants. I now have a handful of new best friends who I know because we're on the same interview circuit. We've exchanged emails and friended each other on Facebook. One woman and I spent 6 hours straight talking nonstop on the train from Boston to Philly. We're friends because we have similar interests and passions and things to talk about. But, really, we're friends because we're lonely. We're so starved for friendship. And we're finding it in each other. And some of them? Some of them will become my best friends for the next four years - I just don't know who yet.

Also. Also, I've learned to eat dinner by myself. Because of the ice storm in Portland, I'm staying in a hotel downtown instead of with my future in-laws up a steep hill. And also because of the ice storm, the resident dinner was canceled tonight. So I found a nice restaurant and treated myself to one of the nicest dinners I've had in quite a while: a salad of endive, apple, cranberries and pine nuts, and some hazelnut crusted trout over farro. And a glass of Rioja. Because this is my comfort. And because otherwise, I'd be ordering room service in the hotel and feeling even more lonely.

Only two more days until I get a break. Until then, I have my comforts.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Rookie mistake

I actually ended up liking the little bit of the south I visited pretty well. Plus, the night before party was next door to Ben Folds house! Awesome!

But.... I ran out of knitting. I don't know how I let that happen. I was working on the second mitten for Annemoi, and even though I knit the first one almost a year ago, I do remember it finishing very quickly. But I did not take this into account in my knitting packing (the most important packing of all). So on Tuesday when I finished the mitten during my Midway layover before the interview even happened, I knew I was in trouble: no knitting until I got home Wednesday night.

So now I'm over-compensating. For a trip from Thursday to Sunday with two flights and one train ride, I've started a sweater (Cherie Amour) and brought two cones of yarn (the yarn Laura made for me in Montreal). I will not let this happen again.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My hair is not big

I am in the south. Not The South, but the south nonetheless. As in, the airport I flew into had a leopard print baby grand. And a lot of cowboy hats. But, apparently the program is newly more Family Planning friendly than I thought, and B really loves it, so I'm trying to swallow the cowboy hats.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Boston (and Hahvahd)

Apparently at the hotel in Boston (Brookline), the shampoo and conditioner come in the following flavors: quinoa and amaranth. At least my hair is getting its whole grains even though my body is not while I travel about and live on Dunkin Donuts. I do like those egg sandwiches though.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Chicago: check

Yeah, I lied. The only picture I took in Chicago was of the guys playing Wii tennis. But, I will say this: Lake Michigan is east of Chicago. Thus, when you are on the bus driving down Lake Shore Drive at 6:30 am, the sun is rising over the lake, and it is just too beautiful. And then if you want to finish viewing the sunset over breakfast from the third floor of a building on the lake in a room with floor-to-ceiling windows, well, that's okay too. Chicago makes a good argument for moving there.

Also. We were staying with one of Brandon's friends from college. He has a giant apartment on the North Side with two roommates. I also have some friends in Chicago, but we wanted to stay together and knew there was room for both of us at this place. Anyway, I wanted to try to see one of my friends from middle school while I was there. I see him when I'm in his city, and we exchange about two long emails a year. One of those friends. Anyway. Once I got to Chicago, I gchatted him to see where he lived, if meeting up would be practically reasonable. Ha. Turns out he lives In The Same Building we were staying in. Out of all of Chicago, it turned out he was just down the hall. I'm all about weird, kismety coincidences like that. So, yeah, we had dinner. I met his cats. It was easy.

Now I am sick and in St. Louis. The whole stress and minimal sleep and flying on airplanes with recirculated air did me in, and I am at the peak of some sort of cold/flu thing. But it's okay, because after tomorrow I get a break: no more interviews until December 3! Yay! I will be flying to and from Portland for Thanksgiving in that time period, but that's a pleasure trip instead of a business trip. And I will sleep and be a real person instead of this weird interview version of myself I am constantly being. I'm looking forward to it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Brief visit home

The title refers both to the fact that I just did a 53 hour stint in Minneapolis (approximately 11 of those hours were for interview activities) and to the fact that I am in Cleveland for one of my little 14 hour "visits." I miss my house. And my kitties.

Anyway, thank you for the thoughtful comments on the last entry. I really appreciate hearing what people who have actually delivered have to say. I also appreciate hearing that my family members have a healthy dose of life-wish and practicality.

And...yes. Off to Chicago. Then St. Louis (an image of Judy Garland just sprung into my head unbidden). And then back for an 8 hour visit to my home. I'll try to take pictures in Chicago, because Chicago is pretty and has that reflective orb thing downtown.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

<24 hours

Tomorrow I finish my stint at Magee. Today I did my presentation on Implanon and had my meeting the the program director. So...tonight I really didn't have anything to do.

So I watched The Business of Being Born. Questionable choice, I know. I went into it knowing that it would get me all riled up. But what with that article in the New York Times and my fellow telling me she is briefly in TBoBB, I felt inspired.

I expected to be angry. But mostly I'm amused by how internally contradictory the whole message of the movie is. Early on, they talk about how awful it is that women are exposed to TV images of birth: screaming, sweaty, grunting - it's totally not true, guys! That's just the media buying into the Message of Fear! But then they go on to show multiple screaming, sweaty, grunting births. Real ones. Far more fear inducing than TV.

Then, they spend a lot of time talking about how awful pitocin is. The evil, evil pitocin that causes the uterus to crush the baby! But then, when the safety of home birth is questioned, they argue, "But, look! We have pitocin in our home birth bag! See? Totally safe! No post-partum hemorrhage here!"

The thing that actually made me mad was when they basically blamed Cesarean sections for the fall of society. You see, when a woman has a Cesarean, she is deprived of a critical bonding moment with her baby and thus never truly becomes attached and loving as Mother Nature intended. What? Sure, it's awful that moms don't get to hold their babies immediately after Cesarean. And a Cesarean is major surgery with all the associated risks. But, really? Moms who have Cesareans don't love their babies as much as moms who have vaginal deliveries. That's offensive. And ridiculous.

Yes, the idea of a home birth surrounded by the people you love, getting to move how you want and eat what you want is lovely. Viewing birth as a personal journey, your own mountain to climb is a nice personal growth tool. And, honestly, if every home birth was in a major metropolitan area with a Certified Nurse Midwife as rational as the one in this film, my feelings on home birth might be different. When they cite statistics on the safety and prevalence of home birth in Europe, it is important to remember the different systemic setting for those births. I'm not saying our system is right. It's clearly flawed. But it is the system we are in right now. In Ohio, for example, you cannot have a CNM at your home birth. Only lay midwives do home births in Ohio. This means less training, significantly reduced ability to handle or recognize complications and no prescription powers (thus no pitocin, no methergine, no hemabate). I'm not comfortable with that. Frankly, after seeing what I've seen in the brief time I've been doing this, that terrifies me.

In conclusion, I'm pretty sure I've said some things that will make people angry. Have at it. I respect your right to choose the birthing process you desire, but as a practitioner I'm not comfortable with sacrificing the option of emergent interventions just for an experience. My final outcome is a healthy baby, and I really don't see what's so wrong with that.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I am at work, supposed to be working on my Implanon presentation (Implanon, the new, improved Norplant! Now less painful to yank out of your arm!), but all I want to do is shop for yarn for a Clapotis. Why? Why now? Clapotis has been around since 2004, and I never caught the bug before. But now that it is cold and I am bugged out on rotations and interviews, there is very little in the world I want more (besides, you know, peace on earth and good health for my family and loved ones and whatnot).

Also, do you know how many residency programs Brandon and I applied to combined? 68. And do you know how many interview invitations we received? That number would also be 68. Booyah. (We're only going on, um, 40 or so combined, but we still feel very loved and wanted.)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Wow. We did it.

Um, go vote (duh)

I'm gonna keep being nervous until tonight is over. Because as much as it looks like things are going to go for Obama, it ain't over until it's over. Obviously, if you're the sort of person who reads this, you're the sort of person who doesn't need to be reminded to vote. So, good for you. Way to vote (unless you didn't, in which case, go do it now).

Anyway, I had my first residency interview yesterday. I am happy to report that I agree with Delores and Meredith: Sofft shoes rule. Are they Dansko comfy? Well, no, not quite. But for 3.25 inch heels, they are awesome! I definitely had more spring in my step than the women in other, non-comfy heels, and I think that was what clinched the interview.

I'm a little hesitant to talk too much about specific interviews here, since I'm paranoid. What if a program director is here and I said nicer things about other programs than I did about their program? Or what if they realize who I am and that they really hate my choice of yarn? So I'm going to be vague.

Yesterday I was at an excellent academic program in New England. It was beautiful, all fall-in-New-Englandy, and I was very impressed with the program. The residents were incredibly friendly, and they honestly seemed happy. I think I could be happy there. Also, driving through the happy New England town this morning, streets were lined with "Go vote!" signs, and I felt happy. Then I went to the airport where I randomly ran into someone who used to make me feel incredibly unhappy on a regular basis. Again, here I will be vague, but I was not quite ready for that. It went well, considering the situation, and I left with some sense of resolution that I had never really obtained 8 years ago. In summary, a productive two day trip.

Also, go vote.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


My first residency interview is in a very short 8 days. It's both exciting and terrifying. I think I'm ready. I need to think of a good, marketable weakness that isn't so cliche as "I work too hard" or "my standards are too high." (Internets? What are my marketable weaknesses?) My suits are clean, well-fitting, cute, and hemmed. I have a variety of shirts that say "Professional! But fun! And good at pelvic exams!" And...I may have bought new shoes. Because I want to be tall but still have intact nerves in my feet at the end of the day. Sofft claims that they can accomplish both goals with arch support and cushy insoles. And, look! Cute!

Did I really need new shoes? No, probably not. I could have just had my suits hemmed to work with flats. But then I wouldn't have had an excuse to buy new shoes.

Monday, October 20, 2008


I'm in Pittsburgh. It's not a bad thing, but I miss my home. I miss B and the kitties and our kitchen and the water pressure in our shower (in approximately that order). It's fine here. I think this elective will give me an edge in the application process, and I'll learn a lot. I'm in a safe living situation with a bed and shower (albeit crappy water pressure) and fridge and microwave and such. It is a 45 minute commute, but my mornings aren't that early (and the commute involves waiting for the shuttle from the off-site parking lot).

I'll probably have weekends off, so I can go home then. Only four more days.

I'm trying to think of the ways in which this is my last big premarital quest. It's me doing something I love (family planning) for me by myself. I'm being really, mostly independent again. I'm sure it'll get fun soon. But for now, I just miss my home.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I am very busy. Very, very busy feeling sorry for myself for ridiculous reasons. And this state of self-pity is kind of maybe keeping me from being productive. You see, I am in the middle of interview offer season (follows application season, precedes actually going on interviews). And I have been very, very lucky. Too lucky. So now I have the problem of trying to schedule all of these interviews at the same time. To say that spreadsheets are involved in this process is putting it lightly: I live and die by my google doc of interview dates. Right now, the month of December looks something like this: drive to City A, interview, drive home, fly to city B, interview, rent car, drive to city C, interview, drive to city D, interview, return car, fly home....andonandonadnon. I will basically live out of a suitcase for three weeks straight. And then go to my grandparents' house for Christmas and collapse on their couch, more drained even than last year when I arrived 12 hours after finishing a nasty bout of food poisoning.

And, because OB/GYN seems to be offering interviews earlier than ER is, I'm scheduling things without really knowing where B will get interviews. So far, we do have a lot of overlapping cities, but there are a few where I might end up canceling (no point on going if we're not both interviewing there). So I can't buy plane tickets yet. Which is driving me nuts. Also, my schedule has become so full that I had to schedule two interviews during my rotation at Pitt. I was trying soooo hard not to do that. The people there seem cool with it, but I still don't like it. I mean, at this point, I love Pitt. A lot. And to leave a rotation there to interview someplace that maybe I don't love as much (but maybe I do! won't know until the interview!) seems...odd. But I'll do it.

I was reading Yarn Harlot yesterday, and I now have a new strategy (or is it a tactic?) for coping with this scheduling stress: pretend it's a book tour. See? More fun already. Instead of interviewing, I'm marketing the story of a young woman who has to convince an endless series of people of what a great doctor she'll be! The story gets a little repetitive in the middle, but the ending is worth it (I hope). The real question is, do you think I could get any of my interviewers to hold the sock?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Re: Religulous

Dear Bill Maher,

I love you, but your movie made my head explode. More specifically, the people in your movie made my head explode.

Warm regards,


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I voted today

Because Ohio has an early voting option (in person at the Board of Elections), and because I'll be in Pittsburgh on election day, I voted today. It actually felt pretty special. And I got a sticker.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Photographic evidence

I recently downloaded a bunch of pictures off of Brandon's camera, which I now want to share. Because I've been seriously lacking in the picture department.

It turns out that I have continued on this whole knitting lifestyle thing (it's not a hobby...it's a lifestyle. You know.) This is Summer Lace Shawlette by Sandi Wiseheart. It's meant to be in a heavier yarn, but I had KidSilk Haze, so I used it. And.I.Love.It. I know that I'm an old lady, but I perhaps have worn this shawlette to coffee shops. I held off from wearing it to a bar. For now. Oh, but where am I in this picture? That would be the French Laundry. Indeed. My little shawl got to make her premiere at the French Laundry. Perhaps this is why I love her so.

Also, in case anyone out there is questioning why I am choosing B as my partner in life, I'd like to point out that he took this picture. We went to Art Fibers in San Francisco a few months ago. Not only did he happily hang out while I waffled between which yarn to buy for my mother, he documented the experience. Which is excellent, because I was way too overwhelmed to remember to take my camera out of the bag. In conclusion, my fiance takes pictures of yarn. The end.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Update on the Fly

-Bought a dress! I totally gave in and decided I would go insane if I kept looking, so traditional (as in ivory) it is. But traditional with flair. And soul. It's a relief.

-Hanging out on the Surgical Intensive Care Unit = not so much fun. Rounds take forever, people die, everyone is on a ventilator. But I get to be the reigning champ of all things ob/gyn whenever we get an ob or gyn patient, so that's something. On Thursday I gave a lecture to the team on various forms of ingrown placentas. Yay!

-Grey's Anatomy with Bernadette Peters?!!! Yes, please. Also, "Pen trach?....Hot!"

-Knitting things: finished Wallis cardigan...pictures to come...eventually. I like it. It's blue and simple and fits pretty well. However, when sewing on the hook and eyes, it took me a while to remember how to sew things on in a method other than the one I use for central lines. (That's weird, Karen.) Also, Laura bought me yarn! It's beautiful! And enough for a sweater! Which means I have about five sweaters worth of yarn waiting to be knit!

-Went to a Blessingway. Awesome. The mother we honored is already a great mother, and I'm excited for her to have a second child. It was also pretty great to be part of a ritual again. It's been a while. There was smudging and goddesses and symbolic yarn and candles. Internets, hope for a good, easy birth and a good, easy baby for D.

-Residency interviews: I have them. Not all of them, by any means, but enough to feel pretty confident that I will end of somewhere awesome. Two of my top five have invited me, so that's good. Suffice it to say, I will live on an airplane from about November 16 to January 7 or so (small break for holidays).

That's all for now. More when I'm on anesthesia (better hours).

Friday, September 19, 2008

Go to bed, Karen

To say that I am stressing about this whole wedding dress thing is putting it mildly. We found a few options last weekend, but I'm just not feeling right with this whole traditional white (ivory) with train thing. I think I will get there. Maybe. But right now, I'm balking. It feels like giving in, somehow. And yet, maybe, on that day, I'll want to look like "a bride." Or whatever. Those of you who commented about color options you've done or seen are definitely helpful. I really appreciate everyone's support (both commenters and friends). Tam, thank you for cards and buttons and emails and comments and really knowing what I'm struggling with. Kristin, thanks for compliments and alternatives and your generally positive outlook. Delores (hi!!), thank you for the same. I love that your daughter got married in brown (I kind of want pale aqua - our color). Seriously. I realize that this is, on some level, not a big deal. But in our culture, it is made to be this Huge Big Thing. Have you picked The Dress yet? What does The Dress look like? As if there were never dresses before and I will be wearing pants for the rest of my life. So, yes, I want to get it right, as it were.

But, for inspiration, I just looked through a friend's wedding photos, with the goal of figuring out what was awesome about her dress, what made her decide that, yes, this piece of cloth is worth the money. While her dress was awesome (modern, no froo-froo factor, flattering), what stood out was how beautiful she was. She was absolutely beaming, and the dress was really not the focus. That's important. Also, B was a groomsman in that wedding, and every once in a while, I'd click to a picture of him. Then I would beam. It'll be okay. Whatever I'm wearing, I'll be really happy, so maybe the dress will fade into the background.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


I went to knitting group today. At a coffee shop. This is what transposed when I returned home.

B (after smelling me): Awww....you're like a Good Eats character.

Me (confused): What?

B: You know, like the Lady of the Refrigerator. Only you're the Lady of the Coffee.

Me (not exactly thrilled): Ahhh...

In conclusion, I love my knitting group, but I wish it did not make me smell so much of coffee. And sometimes panini as well.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Some days...

Some days instead of delivering babies you monitor pregnant women after they've been assaulted. By their mothers.

And when you ask if they have a safe place to go home to, they say yes, but you knowknowknow they are lying. But as long as they won't say otherwise, our job here is done. Until next time.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

I will not be afraid of women

Yesterday I made my first appointment to look at wedding dresses. And then, I hung up the phone and promptly burst into a cold sweat.

I am not freaked out by the getting married part of this whole wedding thing. But I am freaked out by the "wedding" part, particularly the "wedding dress" part. I am scared of the women who work in these wedding dress shops who will try to make me spend more than I want on a puffy, white, beaded cloud that will make me unrecognizable. Frankly, I'm not even 100% sure I want to get married in white (or ivory/cream/diamond/ecru/champagne/whatever).

In two weeks we have the mega-wedding-dress-shopping weekend. My parents are coming to town, so Mom will be with me the whole time. Sometimes my grandmother or my aunt will be with me as well. They are all pretty sensible people, so I'm hoping they'll help me shoo away the poof. Because I don't want the dress to weigh more than I do.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Today I slept in

Today I slept in until 11 am. It was amazing. Since my last weekend of my medicine AI was my "black" weekend (on call from Saturday morning to Sunday afternoon), I have not had a day off in two weeks. Also, I didn't sleep post-call last weekend because a friend was in town (hi, Alex!) and I had coffee with him. It was worth it, but did not help the sleep count.

But, guess what! My medicine AI is over! Yay!!! (Note the appropriate spelling of "yay," Jan.) Now I'm back on pregnancy and babies (maternal fetal medicine elective) for two weeks. On Monday, the first thing I did was a C section at 7:30, and as my scalpel hit skin for the first time in months, something inside me breathed a sigh of relief. That's right. I hated last month, not because I hate medicine, but because it is not the sort of medicine I'm supposed to be practicing. This is. While I've been getting up at 4:15 most mornings, I don't care. This is better.

And now, three day weekend! I'll probably go in at some point today because my attending has a patient delivering, and he usually calls his students to come in for the delivery. But, still, three days in a row to sleep in. It is amazing. And he usually lets me do the delivery practically on my own, so it is totally worth it to go in.

Oh, and by the way, I'm applying to residency in, um, three days. The real action doesn't get going for a bit longer, but the application will be submitted. Whee! Or something.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Stephanie Tubbs Jones died today of a ruptured brain aneurysm. She was driving in Cleveland Heights when that errant vessel gave way; that's how close to home this is, literally.

Just like with Wellstone, there isn't a lot to say that would be appropriate. Cleveland, Ohio, the U.S., anyone who calls themselves a liberal... We are hurting today.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

For those of you keeping score, I have 11 days left of this rotation and 3 more calls. Call = staying overnight = 31 hour shifts (oops! I mean "30" hours, ACGME). Last time I was on call I got 45 minutes of sleep. And during those 45 minutes the Family Medicine resident in the call room next to mine was doing a pretty poor job of answering his pages promptly, so his pager kept beeping and beeping.

So far, I haven't actually lashed out at anyone, but let me tell you something. There is very little that makes me angrier than when I am post-call but still about 6 hours away from going home and I am on the elevator with people who are not physicians or medical students and they are complaining about having to work a 12 hour shift that day. Come on, I worked 12.5 hours today and it was my short day. I never express that anger, because I know this schedule is my own fault. Yes, I'm paying for the privilege to work like this. I chose this. But, still, could you people wait to complain about your tough schedules until there is not some half-dead medical student slumped against the elevator wall? You've been around. You know the signs of post-call misery. Show some tact.

Today my intern said that he sensed some frustration and anger beneath the surface in me. I wonder what he meant.

Monday, August 4, 2008


Or...I can do a different style. Instead of "information" and "updates" and "pictures," this blog will maybe be a place to whine, short form style. Yes?

(Okay, brief update: went to T&J's wedding (awesome! beautiful! yay, T&J!), studied for Step 2, took Step 2, went to California, ate at the French Laundry (oh.my.god.), met Brandon's extended family, came back, started my Internal Medicine Acting Internship, cried a little.) More on all that later. Maybe.

So, someone in the Ravelry wedding forum mentioned that white dresses for weddings were for people to show off their wealth, in that they can afford a seriously impractical and easily made dirty garment. White is not a practical color when around mess. So....why the white coats for doctors, people? Seriously? Gross.

Also, when you give a guy a hefty dose of narcotics and then wake him up from a deep sleep, and he can't remember your name, but pretty much knows where he is and what's going on, do not page me worrying about his mental status. Trust me, when you wake me up, that patient is going to be a lot more oriented than I am. Then, I will drag myself across the hospital to go see said patient, and (with my senior) give him the life-threatening diagnosis of "sleepy."

Saturday, August 2, 2008

See you in a month

I can't pretend. This isn't happening right now. I'm on my medicine acting internship and it is EATING MY SOUL. Luckily, I have a plucky little soul, so I expect to make it through okay, but there will be no blogging in the meantime. Probably. See you August 25th or so.

In the meantime, entertain yourself with this:


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I remember this feeling...

Apologies to people who actually bother to read this. I know I was all, "stay tuned...more coming." I forgot that I was about to StudyForBoards. Last time I did this, I pretty much became a hermit. Well, if hermits are allowed to go to coffee shops, that is. But I didn't talk to people except for Brandon, and I spent approximately 16 hours a day in front of my textbooks or online test question bank. So, yeah...that's basically what I'm doing again. People told us, "Oh, Step 2 isn't as bad! You won't have to study that hard!" Yeah...they lied. Brandon and I take the test on Monday, July 21st, so we're both kind of in panic stage, which means no pictures for you. Yet.

But, here's a cute little story. Tonight we ordered takeout from this little Indian place we go to occasionally. Indian food because we deserve a treat, takeout because we still have to keep studying while we eat. So, we went and got our food, but when we got home, we realized the kheer was missing. And I love me some kheer. Half the point of getting the Indian food is the kheer. So B went back. And when the Indian man at the counter realized he'd left out our kheer he was waaaay apologetic. And then he said, "And you are regulars, too! I'm so sorry. Here, I'll give you two beers." And he put two bottles of beer in the paper bag with the kheer. We're regulars! They recognize us at the Indian restaurant! And they love us enough to try to buy our love with beer. It made me feel special. Granted, I'm not all that into lager, but it's the thought, you know?

Okay, off to try to sleep. Sleep is tricky lately, because I have the adrenaline and the palpitations and all of that goodness. But that's what Benadryl is for, right? Haha...no, seriously.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I've actually been living life in the real world...weird

The last week has been long and busy. The last 9 days, really. So, I do want to update, but it's going to have to be in installments. Which means maybe I'll update more regularly? Eh?

Two weekends ago two of my very best friends came to visit - Marissa and Amy. Seeing as how Ris is my maid of honor and Amy is a bridesmaid, I was super, super excited about their timing. I did my best not to be all, "Blahblahblahweddingblahblahdressblahblahcolortheme," all weekend. You can ask them how I did. (No, I don't know how you can ask them, since I'm not posting their phone numbers or anything. Some of you know them, so I guess you could ask them. Anyway.) We ate Turkish food and went to the Cleveland wine festival and ate dinner at Lola and brunch at Tommy's. I think I did a reasonable job of convincing them that Cleveland isn't a total wasteland (which it isn't, but they have recently lived in places like New York and Philadelphia and Seattle, so...yeah.) And then I was sad when they left. Because I love them a lot. Okay, I'm done being sappy. For now.

Besides, there was not time to be sad, because the future in-laws were coming! Wes and Kris are really great people, and I like them a lot. But...this was the first time when I would see them as Future-In-Laws. So, maybe I was a leetle bit stressed. It was completely fine. They took us back for a second Lola dinner (yay!) and were otherwise quite low-key. Wes has learned that I like cheese, so whenever he visits our fridge becomes full of awesome cheese. Today I ate half a loaf of bread with about a quarter pound of cheese and some tomatoes for some sort of lunch/dinner combo meal. I was a happy girl. Basically, I have a future father-in-law who likes to increase my access to cheese and wine. I am more than okay with this.

Then, all of us (Wes, Kris, Brandon, and Karen) drove down to Dayton, Ohio for the wedding of Jeremy and Tamara. Jeremy is one of B's friends from elementary/middle/high school. B was a groomsmen, and Jeremy will more than likely be part of our wedding party. Tamara and I met once in real life before the wedding, but we've become really good blog friends (you may recognize her name from the comments). So, I managed to score an invite to the bachelorette party, the rehearsal dinner, the wedding, and the next-day barbecue! Sweet!

On the way down to Dayton, we drove so close to the house I lived in from age 7-14 years, so I made B stop. So...just so you know, when we lived there the garage was not painted with a giant O. We are indeed OSU fans (both of my parents have multiple degrees from THE Ohio State University), but not that kind of OSU fan. The trees are much bigger, and I'm pretty sure that the hostas in front were planted by my mother about 15 years ago. Kind of fun.

Okay, that's all for now. I leave you with this teaser picture from the bachelorette party. (Note to relatives who read this: only one of those martinis is mine. That's not saying I didn't order a second one later in the night, but I definitely did not have six. Just sayin'.) Come back next time for stories of multiple parties and a wedding and meeting more internet friends (hi, Jennie and Heidi!). You know you want to.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Go Fish!

Dear Minnesota,

Thank you for holding the 2009 fishing opener on May 8th and 9th, thus making those dates open and available at almost all of the ceremony and reception sites we are considering. Yes, I realize that May 10th is Mother's Day, but my very own mother pointed out that Minnesotans are more likely to schedule their weddings around fishing than mothers. No, we haven't set a date, but I'm happy to know that there are dates to be had.

Big Heart,

Monday, June 23, 2008

And so it begins

Because I am me and being me involves an intense love of planning things and a hefty pinch of neurosis, I am neck deep in finding a date and a venue. It will be done, and it will be done soon and in budget. So help me.

For the most part, it's been going fine. We have a number of options, and my parents have kindly agreed to check them out for us. I'm fairly confident that we'll be able to come up with something good fairly soon (luckily, I'm not all that picky in this area). However, all this planning means I've been spending some time on wedding planning forums (mostly the Ravelry forum, because I'm still a little scared of brides but I'm not scared of knitters...it's like my baby step into bride-land). One of the common topics on these forums is how crazy one's mother or future mother-in-law is, how overbearing, how ridiculous. They talk about all of their parents' friends who have to be invited who are obnoxious. They talk about disparaging comments about their weight or their dress or their invitations. Some of the stories are truly terrifying.

I just want to take this moment to say, publicly, thank you Mom and Dad and Kris (FMIL) and Wes (FFIL) for being so amazingly sane. And supportive. I realize that this wedding will be challenging to plan since B and I are in Cleveland and the wedding will probably be in Minneapolis. Also we are med students. That probably doesn't help. But you guys are awesome. Nobody is insisting on venues or colors or guests we don't want. It probably helps that B and I both, you know, actually really like our families and want to invite all of our aunts and uncles and cousins. Also, we like our parents' close friends. But, seriously, thank you. You have all been very clear that you are thrilled for us and will do whatever you can to help without being at all invasive. I couldn't ask for anything better than that.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A very happy birthday

Yesterday I turned 25. That's right, I now have a quarter-century of life experience under my belt. Honestly, I wasn't getting so hyped up about the whole thing. It was on a Wednesday this year, so I wasn't planning on doing all that much. Last Friday I want to Bar Cento with some friends and ate Belgian fries with three varieties of house made mayonnaise. But it didn't really feel like a Birthday; it felt like a bar with friends, which is fun but not Birthday.

Tuesday I asked B if we were doing anything on Wednesday (my birthday). He just smiled and said, "Yes," then went back to his Emergency Medicine textbook. Hmmm.... Something was up.
We had a class meeting yesterday where they told us all of the ins and outs of applying to residency. Some of us are neurotic and already knew the details, but I went anyway. B was a no-show. He left me a voice-mail saying something about "being stuck in traffic."

When I got home, I came home to this. The kitties like roses. Gan likes to chew on the leaves and then puke them up. Biscuit likes to stand on her back legs and smell the roses. Pretty freaking adorable.

Also, this. 25 balloons. The kitties thought this was excellent. We didn't manage to get any kitty-balloon action shots, but trust me. They like the balloons.

(I also like balloons and roses, but my enjoyment was less gustatory and more visual.)

See the little bags in the balloons? There are things in those bags. Birthday present type things. And in the third bag there was a note that said something about "anticipation" and "happening right now." And there was B down on one knee. In about half a second, my brain said, "Oh! That's a ring! The ring you will wear for the rest of your life. Wow. Wait, this is the part where you say, 'yes.'" And then my mouth said, "Yes," and then my hand looked like this.

So, yes. In the end, I'd say that birthday pretty much rocks the socks off of any other birthday.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Always the hypochondriac

I have a new mythical, totally not accurate, self-diagnosis. I've decided that I'm hypothyroid. Not a lot hypothyroid, just enough to make me be pretty tired (lots of naps), a little heavier than my standard weight set-point, and having various mild GI and gyno issues which I won't go into because some of the people who read this are, you know, normal and don't like that sort of thing (I can't imagine why not). It's probably not my thyroid. It's probably something far more simple, such as, oh, I don't know, the stress of being a med student. Still. I'm trying to convince myself to go convince the student health people to draw thyroid labs. At this point in my career, I've found I can strong-arm them into most things, as they realize that I actually do know some things.

Anyway. That's my way of saying I'm tired and paranoid. Moving on.

Last weekend I went to church for the first time in a few months. B came with me for the first time ever. I didn't want to make a big deal about it, but it really was a big deal to me. It's not like I need him to be Unitarian, but I like that he didn't hate it. He even said he'd come back this week, since this is yet another Sunday morning that neither of us are working. Also, I am a total geek. We already knew this, but apparently I am a church geek as well. So, when I graduated high school, I received a copy of our hymnal, "Singing in the Living Tradition." Well, apparently there is a new additional hymnal, "Singing the Journey," and I HAD to have it. Why? I'm not entirely sure. There's one song that I love very, very much in it, and I just like owning books. I come by it honestly. Anyway, it arrived today, and I spent maybe 30 minutes paging through it and trying to sight read the songs I didn't know. Me = geek.

Also, it's my birthday next week. Apparently. It kind of was sneaky and I forgot all about it. But, because of B's schedule, we're celebrating with friends tomorrow. It will involve a kind of trendy bar and pommes frites and cocktails involving Grey Goose and limoncello because that is how I enjoy birthdays. Although, honestly, I'm just not all that geared up for this birthday. I'm not sure why. I blame my thyroid.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

My mom tagged me - I gotta do it

The Rules - Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5-6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

1. What I was doing 10 years ago:

Um...about to turn 15, so that would mean... Yeah, pathetically, I don't really remember much from exactly one year ago except I was dating one of the lamer of my ex-boyfriends (maybe not the lamest, but definitely in the bottom few). It was summer, so I wasn't doing school things. Later that summer I would dump the lame guy and start dating the best friend of one of my good friends (who had a huge crush on me), thus creating significant drama in my little high school world. One year after that I would go to Transylvania, have a little 16 year old epiphany that I had let myself be defined by my relationship with this guy (who was really quite dreamy and romantic but totally not ambitious enough and far too Catholic for me), freak out about my lack of identity, and break up with him at a Barenaked Ladies concert. A year after that, his rebound girl would break up with him...again at a Barenaked Ladies concert.

2. What 5 things are on on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order):

-finish my Reproductive Health Externship application, now that I finally have confirmation from Pitt that I can go do my Family Planning elective with them

-cook something with the broccoli and mushrooms I bought at Costco last weekend...maybe with shrimp too?

-read a chapter in Clinical Reproductive Medicine and Surgery

-work on knitting Notorious, now that my extra ball of yarn has arrived

-go to bed at a time that will make me mostly undead when I get up at 5:30 tomorrow

3. Snacks I enjoy:

Cucumbers with hummus, cottage cheese, low fat string cheese from Trader Joe's, red wine, blueberries, Tasty Little Cookies by Kashi, St Andre cheese

4. Things I would do if I was a billionaire:

-pay off my student loans (and B's too)

-probably buy too much yarn...and more yarn storage...Alchemy and ArtYarns and Great Adirondack come to mind

-give money to things like the Ryan Residency Training Fellowship, Physicians for Reproductive Choice, Heifer Foundation, Doctors Without Borders

-hire a cleaning service...I know, it's horribly classist and bad and I hate myself, but I hate mopping more.

-travel to places like Prague, Spain, Amsterdam, and Japan

-be able to buy a house wherever we end up matching, even if it's in San Francisco or Boston

5. Places I have lived:

Cleveland, OH (x2); Blacksburg, VA; Harrisonburg, VA; Columbus, OH; Minnetonka, MN; Northfield, MN; Minneapolis, MN; briefly Chicago, IL

I tag:

No one. Unless Tamara wants to do this. But my guess is she's busy preparing for her wedding!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I like my ovaries non-leaky

If there was ever a rotation to convince me to start trying to get pregnant prior to hitting 30, this is the one. Infertility treatments. Man. They are not fun. Or cheap. I mean, I'm glad we have all sorts of technology, but the scheduling and the planning and the side effects are intense. Even the low-tech treatments seem to leave women in some amount of pain and anxiety. And your risk of twins and triplets goes up, which I am against. I mean, they are super-cute, but that's a lot of baby all at once.

Thankfully, I come from good, fertile stock, so I don't really anticipate problems. But it's easy to scare yourself when all you see every day is women (couples) who want babies they can't have without our help.

Note: I have 5 years before I hit 30 (5 years and 15 days, really). No rush.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Disturbing fact of the day

Tomorrow I start Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility elective. I have four weeks of high-tech baby-making! (Also, four weeks of menstrual disorders and endocrinology that isn't diabetes.)

Tonight I'm reading the infertility section in my little red book (not just for communists anymore) for OB/GYN. It tells me that there are many drugs one can use to stimulate ovaries. Some come from more conventional hormone sources (urine, artificial synthesis). But some come from, well, other, somewhat surprising sources.

Specifically, three in this book state they come from "Chinese hamster ovary cells."

What? What do Chinese hamsters have in their ovaries that American or Canadian or German or Indian hamsters lack? I find this very bizarre.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A hefty dose of fiber (about 3kg)

While I was away (from the internet...not on vacation), I went to my first fiber fest. Yay! I was constantly reminded that I am not a spinner...yet. The "yet" is what all of the people selling roving would say when I said I wasn't a spinner so please stop shoving your soft, soft alpaca fur in my face.

But...there was yarn too. And I didn't spend waaaaay too much, but considering my yarn:available knitting time ratio at present, I really didn't need yarn. At all. I blame Laura (in the hat in the last post). She made me go and then enabled. But I did score some good stuff.

First, some cashmere/merino/nylon sock yarn. It is very soft and very pretty and claims to be machine washable. I asked the lady if she was sure I could throw it in the washing machine, and she swore to me I could. We'll see. As previously discussed, I have a love/hate relationship with socks and sock yarn. I'm really not into sock yarn that makes stripes and checks. However, I understand that some subtle variation might make it pretty. It's a balance. I think this one is subtle enough. Besides, it's not really a fiber fest if you don't buy sock yarn, right?

Then, I came across some cheap (-ish) bamboo in a bright, bright blue. My goal of the day is to buy things outside of my color safety zone (green and teal and blue-green). Bright blue counts. Also, I've been craving bamboo for about 6 months now. Not sure why. It's very soft, and I'm thinking maybe Wallis cardigan will be made from it (go here if you don't have Ravelry access). It's variegated, but Wallis's simplicity should work well with that. But probably not this summer. Unless I blow off the boards and knit all through July. It could happen.

Finally, I really went out of my safety zone and bought a cone of orange-rust, DK, 100% wool. It's a teeny bit scratchy, but I'm thinking it will be a hoodie or cardigan and not next to my skin. I don't currently own anything remotely this color, but Laura and the sales lady claimed it worked well with my hair. Worst case scenario, I donate it. The yarn was cheap.

To further illustrate my excess of yarn acquisition, here we have the yarn that I bought in New Orleans:

And here is yarn my wonderful mother sent me from Switzerland. You can't tell with this photography, but one of those balls is not like the other (blue rather than teal...hey! my colors!). I'm kind of thinking Sahara. But we'll see.

And guess what I wore to the fiber fest? Josephine! I didn't even tell you I was knitting it, did I? Well, I was. And now I'm done. Lots of mods, but I think I like the result. Very within my safety zone. The yarn is Wildflower D.K., so it's washable.

New knitting? Sure, why not. I'm finally participating in a Sexy Knitter's Club KAL and knitting Notorious by Annie Modesitt. I'm not totally sure what to think at this point except that I might be needing more yarn than I ordered. Luckily, there's an easy way to fit in a skein of a different dye lot, so I'm not too worried. It's mostly on 8's, so it's moving along pretty quickly. Also, I'm on geriatrics for a few more days, so I continue to have free time. Today, I spent an hour spoon feeding a patient her lunch. It is thrill a minute, I tells ya.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

NOLA adventure

After four weeks of intense OB/GYN, I needed a vacation. So I went to New Orleans...for an OB/GYN conference. It was a chance to eat great food, get a tiny bit of color (through the SPF 45), and network with residency program directors.

First, the food. We hit up Cafe du Mond, home of the famous beignets and chicory coffee. Luckily, Julia, one of the women with our group knew how to navigate the French Quarter already. We took the streetcar down and then waited in line to fill ourselves with fried dough and cover ourselves with powdered sugar. Sooooo good. Apparently they are open 24 hours a day, which means you can have your beignets for Sunday brunch (as we did) or post-Bourbon street excitement (as some other Case students did). Both good options.

Since we were in New Orleans, we had to try a John Besh restaurant. John Besh was the runner-up in The Next Iron Chef. Our guy from Cleveland Michael Symon came away with the glory, but John Besh was a worthy contender. Luke was our choice for evaluation, since Restaurant August was more expensive and more formal. It was pretty fabulous. I have to say that I enjoy Symon's Lola a bit more, but the caraway, caramelized onion, Ementhaler flamenkuche was definitely playing to win. For me and my family, a good trip involves good food, and NOLA satisfied.

Also, yarn! I believe in obtaining souvenir yarn from trips as opposed to silly, useless souvenir things. Thus, when we found a yarn store on Chartre street. It's actually a needlepoint store called Quarter Stitch, but it sold yarn. Pretty yarn. Yarn by the Great Adirondack Co, specifically of the bamboo/silk variety. The bamboo/silk was $43/skein = too expensive to knit anything out of. So I compromised and bought some worsted weight, mixed, hand-dyed with sequins glitz. It's a combo of browns and purples and might be perfect for Sahara. We'll see. I'll take pictures once we have good lighting in Cleveland again (aka June). Julia bought cotton for a yoga bag, and Laura tried on a hat that she wants to knit. They wrapped our purchases up in decorative bags, Love Actually style. It's kind of silly. I don't need confetti and whatnot to make my yarn pretty. It just is pretty. All by itself.

And that's pretty much it... Oh, right, the conference. It was good. I got some help with my CV and personal statement at a workshop, and I learned about some programs. I've now added University of New Mexico to the list and deleted University of Virginia. Oh! And we went to the exhibition hall and got obscene amounts of free things: pens, a personalized leather folio, USB drives, an insulated mug (for endometriosis! love it!), bumper stickers, a manicure kit, and multiple pregnancy books (What to Expect When You're Expecting, The Joy of Pregnancy, and a kind of dumb Fertility Journal). And I have obtained new tote bags: two for ACOG, one for University Hospitals in Cleveland, and one that says "Don't let politics trump medicine." I'm a sell-out, but I have lots of fun new toys.

And now that's really about it. I'm on geriatrics now, so, you know, I'm bored. But my schedule is not very demanding. It's all a balance. Now I will take that extra free time and cook some asparagus and local tomatoes and remember that it's spring somewhere, even if it's gross in Cleveland right now.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Creation and Destruction

This is Black Pearl. We got him when we got my first kitten (Tigger). I contend I was maybe 8 years old? Not sure. Jenny was not supposed to get a kitten, but the friend of the family who was bringing me my kitty tucked this little black kitten in as well. When Jenny saw him, her eyes lit up and Mom didn't have the heart to take him away from her. And so both brothers joined our family.

We already had a middle aged lady cat (Slim) who my parents got shortly before I was born. I'm not sure why my parents thought that they should get a kitten and a baby at the same time, but I'm gonna blame Mom's hormonal status. (Feel free to deny it in the comments, Mom!) Anyway, Slim was not amused by these two new additions and proceeded to beat the heck out of them whenever they tried to play with her. They thought this was mostly fun. After a while, she learned to tolerate them and use them for their body heat.

Slim passed when I was 16 and off visiting colleges. She had been slowly succumbing to renal failure for years. Tigger passed very suddenly when I was in college. At the time, I didn't really know what happened, but now I wonder if he had pneumonia and a thoracentesis resulting in pneumothorax. So Pearl became last cat standing. He and Judit (the dog) developed a lovely camaraderie, especially when they were both playing in the yard.

I took these pictures last June, when I was at my parents' house for my sister's graduation. At this point, he was old (16? 17?), but reasonably happy and healthy. Over the past 6 months or so, he has not been so happy or healthy. I'll spare you the details, but things were not working like they should have been. And yesterday, he passed.

It isn't tragedy, but it is very, very sad. He had a good life with lots of laps and treats and pets. And now he is with the rest of his kitty family. I've been giving my kitties here in Cleveland extra pats and forgiving their presents that they leave us in hairball season.

And here's my Eunny Jang Deep V Argyle Vest. It's my offering of creation to give this some sense of balance. I love Knit Picks Merino Style. Cheap and slow to pill. I look coy in the picture because there is wind in my face and, well, because I'm kind of coy.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Silence is golden...or at least an attempt at honors

Today my very nice gyn resident asked (in response to OHSU being on my list of possible places for residency) if I knew that "OHSU is the only program that requires abortion; that's why I didn't apply."

I said, "Mmmm," and pretended my mouth was full (we were eating lunch between OR cases).

I did not say, "No, it's not. There are a lot of other OB/GYN programs that require abortion training. In fact, to be accredited, a program must offer training."

I did not say, "Yes! I did know! In fact, two weekends ago I met the guy who made it a requirement. He was giving a talk at the Medical Students For Choice conference I attended."

I just said, "Mmmm," which was probably the right call. I'm not proud of keeping silent, exactly, but I'm pretty sure that wasn't a conversation that was going to do anyone any good. I'll have to have that conversation later, on the interview trail, with other people. I'm probably doing an away elective in Family Planning at Pitt, and that is kind of a dead giveaway to where I stand on choice.

Anyway, besides the awkward politics that is ingrained in the field, I am loving my OB/GYN AI (Acting Internship). Since I did my rotation at Metro, the local community hospital, I'm doing my AI at the Cleveland Clinic. I wanted to see what the fancy, academic, semi-private life was like before I chose a residency. I have done a ton! Thursday on labor and delivery call, I first-assisted a Cesarean (I cut and sewed muscle, fascia, uterus, skin), I did a vacuum delivery (with much supervision), and assisted a very complicated third repeat Cesarean (lots of scar tissue). Today I got to take a skin incision down to peritoneum for an abdominal hysterectomy. Since they (attendings and residents) know that this is actually what I'm going to do, they're letting me do more and teaching me more advanced technique. And for an AI, the schedule isn't bad. Sure, it's surgical, but this week I'm out at a private hospital where our service is tiny, so rounding doesn't take long. Tomorrow, our first case starts at 9 a.m., so I'll probably hit the hospital around 7:45. Not bad at all. Yes, last week I was getting in at 5:45 and sometimes staying late, but it's all relative.

Also, I heart the Clinic. Big heart. It makes me a bad person (they are evil! they only love money!) but I cannot help myself. It's all shiny and fancy and clean. The food at main campus is amazing (Mexican, Au Bon Pain, Subway, Starbucks....it is a veritable airport food court), and the food at the private suburban hospital is free for medical students. Free! The main campus is a huge conglomerate of buildings connected by skyways, which feels like home to me. Also, the scrubs at the private hospital are teal, people. Is there any color in the world that complements my coloring better? I think not. These are scrubs I am not planning on returning to the laundry.

Anyway, I am rather busy since I'm trying to do this AI thing to the best of my ability, but I am overwhelmingly happy. Much happier than I was on neuro or psych or radiology, even though I was working about 60% of the hours I am now. That says something.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Gyn on the brain

Right now I'm working on the last of my four powerpoint presentations for radiology. It's on Mullerian anomalies (when the uterus and cervix and vagina don't form normally...you're all excited to hear more, I can tell), so I've been playing with a lot of gynecology texts. If you're me, this inevitably leads to reading about other gyn things, like use of the Maylard incision or the exact steps used to do a laparoscopic total hysterectomy. So, I've been reading a lot of gyn. But now I'm actually trying to finish this presentation so I can watch last night's Beauty & the Geek before bed. (Who will Tara pick? No, no, don't tell me.)

I just tried to write the sentence, "History of infertility, recurrent abortion, dysmenorrhea, or amenorrhea can be suggestive."

Instead, I wrote, "Hystery of infertility...etc." And it took me a moment to figure out what looked wrong about that.

And I'm almost embarrassed enough by how geeky this post is to not post it. Not quite.

Monday, March 31, 2008

And he still has his boyish good looks

B's birthday is tomorrow. Yes, that's right. April Fool's Day. Despite all of the shenanigans that could have come from an April Fool's Day party, we opted to celebrate on Saturday instead of Tuesday. We had more people over than we've ever had in our house at once. And we put them straight to work.

Making pasta! We had two pasta rollers at our disposal (mine and a friend's), so our rolling was reasonably efficient. Lots of people brought filling (artichoke, asparagus, ricotta, sun dried tomato, pepper, mushroom, gorgonzola, pear, you name it), and our friends proved very accomplished at stuffing ravioli. In the end, we had four types of ravioli, plain fettucine, and green fettucine. Turns out pasta dough, much like play-doh, can be dyed with food coloring. Fun! (The really fun part was when guests asked if it was spinach. I would just say, "...no..." and watch the look of horror slowly evolve on their faces. Hilarious.)

It was quite the undertaking, but it was worth it. You know what else was worth it? This cake. The first two birthdays that Brandon had while we've been dating went without cake baked by me. The first time we were in Chicago for a conference (I bought cupcakes at the Corner Bakery). The second time I was on my internal medicine rotation which was more intense than it needed to be (torte from Whole Foods). This time, I wanted to do it right. He told me he wanted chocolate and raspberry, so this is what he got: almost flourless chocolate torte topped with chocolate mousse topped with unsweetened whipped cream topped with overpriced raspberries. All told, that cake contained 3/4 lb butter, 9 eggs, 16 oz chocolate and 1 c cream. And a little sugar, flour, vanilla, and salt. If it weren't consumed by 14 people, I'd be concerned for the state of our arteries.

Friday, March 28, 2008


While shopping at Trader Joe's tonight, Brandon and I disagreed over a few things. Stupid things, like whether to get the tiny perlini mozzarellas even though they didn't have an expiration date or whether to buy a nicer bottles of wine (nicer = not Charles Shaw...we're talking $8 bottles...oooo) for the little get together we're having tomorrow night. We weren't fighting really, but it was 8:50 and all I'd had for dinner so far was some cottage cheese, so I was hangry (hunger resulting in crankiness/anger). So on the drive home, I was sulking a little.

And then I looked out the window and saw a helicopter racing towards MetroHealth, probably carrying someone who had real problems, problems that made my cheese and wine crankiness seem as petty and obnoxious as they truly were. This is one of the things I like about medicine. It's hard to stay cranky/sulky about the little things when every day something real happens.

And that's why, despite the cush lifestyle (big money, short work week), I could never go into radiology. That's what I've been doing for the last three weeks. Whenever I tell the radiologists that I'm going into OB/GYN, they make a face and tell me what an awful life I will have. They are wrong. I will have an excellent life, even if I do not have excellent sleep. Nobody thanks their radiologist when they have a good outcome.* Nobody sends pictures of their babies to their radiologist.

Anyway...this is not to say that I will never be cranky or petty again. I'm just looking forward to being back on a rotations where I have more of a direct effect on patients. Sure, I'll miss the regular hours, but at this point in my career catching a baby or scrubbing in the OR beats an extra hour of sleep any day. And, yes, I know that two years from now I will be redacting that statement.

*Yes, I know, there are interventional radiologists. They treat people, and sometimes those people give those radiologists credit. But most radiologists really don't treat at all. This is not a slam on radiologists; this is just not how I want to be a doctor.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Catching up

Watch out, this is gonna be photo-heavy. Deal.

Hey, guess what! Last weekend I was the maid-of-honor in my cousin's wedding. It was a beautiful wedding, and she was a beautiful bride. Unfortunately, my camera's batteries died while we were at the salon pre-wedding, so you will just have to imagine how beautiful it was. But, you can see pre-wedding festivities! Almost as good!

Here are Marie and I at KramerBooks the night before the wedding. B used to write med school essays there, and he said the food was good. He was right. We ate dinner with our moms. They're identical twins, and many of their physical and personality traits have been passed onto us. It was a really fabulous night. I know it makes me a total lame-o, but I had way more fun with my mom, aunt, and cousin than I have in a long time.

Here is Marie the morning before the wedding. We grabbed lunch at Cosi. She was being a good bride and drinking water so her skin would be all dewy and whatnot. I drank Diet Coke. Because I like it. Although, I think that's appropriate; aren't bridesmaids supposed to a balance of sweet and bitter? Like Diet Coke? Anyway, I would just like to point out that even just out of bed with bottle of water in hand, Marie takes a fabulous picture.

So, to further support Marie's fabulousness, guess what we did the afternoon of the wedding. We played Wii. Wii bowling, to be specific. It probably goes without saying, but my Wii bowling score is far superior to my real-life bowling score. Marie thinks I'm a total dork for taking this picture.

Then we went and got our hair done. Mine was just super curly, because that's fun. Marie's was sort of old school glamor, swept back in carefully pinned curls. And when I say "carefully pinned," I mean what I say. In this picture, the thought going through Marie's head is something along the lines of, "Okay, that's the 45th time you've repinned that curl, lady. I'm about to be late to my own wedding. It's time to let it go." But everything worked out in the end.

And, hey, look! Knitting content! It's so sneaky! Jan, Marie's mom (my aunt, if you're keeping track) knit Marie a gorgeous shawl. It's cashmere and silk and goes with her wedding colors. Beautiful. Marie was nice enough to try it on with the white of her shirt showing through, so y'all can see the stitch pattern too.

Okay, that's all for now. Now that I have new camera batteries, I'll try to get a shot of my wedding shawl (way easier and less impressive - don't get excited) and my Eunny Jang vest (which I finally finished last weekend). Oh, yeah, and I started a nightgown. So, yes, pictures are in order.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Yes, we will.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Oh, my little car, plodding along through these nasty winters...

On Sunday, little Fekete started being very, very loud. Kind of like it did, oh, about 2.7 years ago right before I drove it out to Ohio. Much like then, the exhaust system seemed to be upset with me. And by "upset," I mean "rusted out." So as to not poison myself with CO, I took it into my mechanic (The Lusty Wrench - best name ever!) today. I got the call of potential doom today after lunch:

SAM: Blahblahblah...so it will be around $580 if we're fixing.

ME: If we're fixing? You sound like it might be time to say good bye.

See, you need to understand that I drive a 1992 Honda Civic. That makes it 16 years old, with about 165,000 miles. But I don't exactly have cash flow and the ability to find a new[er] used car until residency, which is 1.5 years away. At this point in the conversation I was starting to be a little tachycardic.

SAM: What? No! I mean, if you want to sell at this point, great! I'll buy it from you. Your car is in amazing condition...I mean, apart from some surface scratches this is the best looking car its age I've seen in a long time.

He echoed that sentiment again when I picked it up this evening. And then, the assistant mechanic told me that he was shocked and amazed at how good my car looked "underneath." They promised me that it would last 1.5 years.

Which was almost worth $580.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Something about mature coping mechanisms

It is possible that my high point of today came when I got to say, "Your mother," to a psychiatry attending.

It was in response to a question ("What did we think caused psychiatric disease in the time of DSM-II?"), and it was the right answer (you know, Freud and whatnot), but it was still kind of pleasing, in an immature giggling sort of way.

Also, my main psych attending pegged the other student on my team as a surgeon pretty quickly. Today I asked him if he knew what I was going into. OB was his second guess. His first choice was Pediatrics. I told him that was nice of him.

(For those of you who don't know, pediatricians are known for being very nice. OB/GYNs...not so much.)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Before I go to the locked psych ward...

Here's a little note about the knitting I've been doing. Because I have been knitting, I just haven't been documenting it very well.

I finished Dad's scarf, but that darn navy blue just refused to photograph with this Cleveland winter light. Sorry. Imagine a cabled scarf, and that's pretty much the idea. The yarn is Aussi Wool, navy blue.

But look, Fetching! I modified this pattern to make it fit Brandon. Basically, I just increased the number of stitches cast-on, did an extra repeat on the cuff, and knit a little longer for the hand. I'm modeling them here because up until two days ago he was on surgery and never home. (Whooo! Surgery is over!) The yarn is also Aussi Wool, because apparently that's all I knit anymore. The man at the cute yarn shop near me sells it, and I like it. So there. Brandon likes his mitts, especially since it is very cold in Cleveland and we are cheap when it comes to heating the house.

And, lastly for now, a little baby sweater. It's the One-Piece Baby Kimono from Mason-Dixon Knitting. The neighbor upstairs had a baby, and I figured I had yarn laying around that could easily become a sweater. It's CotLin, so it will wash and wear well. The neighbors aren't people I'd normally knit for, but I had leftover yarn that I wasn't really going to use for anything else, and baby knits go satisfyingly quickly. And none of my peers are having babies any time soon, so there ya go.

The shawl for Marie's wedding has one and a half pinwheels left to go (then blocking and sewing and whatnot). I've got two and a half weeks, so I think I'll make it. Speaking of Marie's wedding, wow is it coming up soon. I finally got my act in gear and bought shoes (silver! cute!) and reserved a hotel room near Dupont Circle for the night before festivities. I've started drafting a little speech in my head. Marie is making a hair appointment for me, so I don't have to worry about that. Now I just have to plan how I'm going to entertain and honor Marie in the 20 or so hours I have with her before the wedding. At least I'm starting psychiatry on Monday, which is supposed to have cush hours, even if it does freak me out.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Long time gone

I'm still here.

OB/GYN sort of surrounded me in business. And then we started scheduling 4th year (which kind of starts in March - so soon!), and I started freaking out about that. There's been some knitting (Dad's scarf, Brandon's fingerless mitts, work on a shawl to wear to Marie's wedding, an almost done easy baby sweater for the baby upstairs...), but I'm at a coffee shop without my camera, so there will be no pictures for now.

I do kind of have the start of a schedule for the first chunk of 4th year. In March, I'll be doing radiology at the bigshot hospital here. This is in preparation for the acting internship in OB/GYN I'll be doing at the same hospital in either April or June. I figured I should get oriented to the place before I'm really performing. Also in either April or June, I'm hoping to do a Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility (REI) elective at the academic center right by our medical school. Because, frankly, if I decided I wanted to do REI, everyone would be a lot happier (big $$, cushy lifestyle). In May, I do Geriatrics at the community hospital I've been working at recently. It'll be easy, but the real reason I'm doing it is because I'm missing the first few days of that block for a conference in New Orleans. The conference is the clinical meeting for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Networknetworknetwork. So, yeah, geriatrics. I'm not about to miss days of something that actually matters to me.

By the way, whoo New Orleans! I realize that in May Cleveland will actually be thinking about getting warm, but New Orleans will be way ahead on that front. Also, I'm traveling with two women I really like and respect. And we're all foodies, so we're going to hit up a John Besh restaurant. Because, really, how could you go to New Orleans and not?

But the real reason I wanted to write is because we're two days out from Super Tuesday (also Fat Tuesday, incidentally...SuperFat Tuesday?). I've tried to convince myself that I'll be pleased enough if Obama wins.


It's not true. I know that policy wise, I'd be happy with him. It's not that I think there's anything wrong with him. But there is something inside me that wants to know that a woman like Hillary can win it all. I want the woman who works hard and is stubborn and is far smarter than most of the men around her and gets in trouble for sticking her neck out and understands how to work the system to make it. Because if she can't, I can't help but take it personally. A lot of things that people don't like about her are things that people don't like about me. And a lot of her strengths are my strengths. And guess what? I know that she's politically manipulative. Do you really think that she'd be where she is if she weren't? I'd rather have someone who works the system and then uses it to good than someone who naively tried to get by on her charisma and plucky spirit. And do you think that she's alone in her campaign strategies and manipulations? Or could the public react differently to her political scheming because she's a woman, and women are notorious for being tricky, manipulative, seductive, calculating...the list goes on.

Is she perfect? No.

But neither am I.

So, on February 5th, I want to see her rise up. And if she doesn't, I'm gonna hurt. And that's just how it is, right or wrong.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

"Thundercats are go!"

For anyone still wondering, Juno totally lives up to the hype. Man. Best movie I've seen in a loooong time. It doesn't hurt that it's about my favorite subject (pregnancy), but I'm pretty sure that most of the movie reviewers who also love it are not future OB/GYNs, so don't let my bias fool you. It's extremely funny but also human enough to have me in tears at the end. Not that it takes much to bring me to tears, but still. And did I say it's funny? The dialog is brilliant. Brilliant and rich with quotes that are far superior to, say, those from Napoleon Dynamite.

My favorite quote is probably from Brenda, Juno's step-mom (played by Allison Janney) who says,"Juno, honey, it's because doctors are sadists and like to watch lesser people scream," when Juno asks why she can't get her epidural NOW. Priceless.

Anyway, for those who are curious, B and I had a pretty low-key New Year's Eve. He'd flown in that morning on a red-eye, so he wasn't exactly up for a night on the town. I made paella, he made this butternut squash/cranberry/candied pepita salad thing (pictures are of New Year's food), and we drank sparkling wine and watched the ball drop. BTW, who at Times Square decided that Lenny Kravitz was back? Because I'm pretty sure he's not. Whatever.

We're now spending the next few days sleeping in and trying to learn things we didn't have time to learn when not on vacation. I still really want to see Sweeney Todd, even though it will give me nightmares, and he wants to see There Will Be Blood, so there will probably be another movie in the near future. And once the roads get better plowed, I'll probably hit the mall. Whoo...exciting. No. Really. Any day that doesn't begin before 6 a.m. is a good one.