Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Knitting Pics!

I finally broke down and bought a digital camera. I've been holding out because I just love film so much. I have a Canon Rebel that I adore and I'm signing up for a class on B&W developing, and I'll never give up my real camera. But I bought a little digital so I could post photos online.

This is the purse I finished a couple weeks ago. It's Zeeby's bag from Stitch N Bitch, and my first real project, so I'm really proud of it.

This is the progress I've made on my Big Bad Baby Blanket. I have the seed stitch border done; it took forever but I like how it's turned out.

And a close up on the seed stitch. I really like how the yellow and white look together.

Off to watch Gilmore Girls and knit some more!

Monday, January 30, 2006

YAY! Mail!

I got my order from Knit Picks today and I've started my Big Bad Baby Blanket. It's slow going right now; I'm hoping it speeds up when I'm done with the first 20 rows of seed stitch. But I like it so far. The yarn is so soft, and the cream and yellow look really pretty together. I'll post a pic when I have more done.

I recently read Prep and parts of it are so like my life that it's scary. Scarier when I find myself disliking the main character. But I guess it's true that what we dislike in others we have in ourselves. The last couple of chapters really got to me, and I just sat there crying.
"...I want you to know no one in my life has ever made me feel worse about myself than you."
Don't we all have someone in our lives like that? Someone we want to impress, make love us and accept us, and then when they don't any self-esteem we have just crumbles. Anyway, excellent book.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Computer shopping

For the past several months I have been obsessively reading the apple website. I've had various computers since high school with different versions of Windows, and I just can't take it anymore. I'm so sick of the "Blue Screen of Death" that I seem to get regularly as well as the equally frustrating frozen computer. I'm currently using Windows XP and my stupid computer can't even run Internet Explorer and Word together without slowing to a crawl. And forget iTunes, nothing else will run when that's open. So after watching my friend sit next to me in class with her Powerbook, with Powerpoint, the internet, and several AIM windows open and never crashing in over 3 years, I have decided to make the switch. Now the only debate is which model to get: the 12 inch PowerBook or the 14 inch iBook. Thoughts?

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Grand rounds are up at Kevin MD.

I particularly enjoyed How's it Hanging. Me? I'm a Classic II Royale.

Knitting standstill

Since I got hooked on knitting I haven't put my needles down. But I've hit a sort of a wall. I have plans for a couple Harry Potter scarves but they didn't have the yarn in stock at my LYS. I got the red for Gryffindor and the grey for Ravenclaw, but am waiting to the other colors. I knit up the first big red stripe (on my awesome Denise interchangeable circulars) but can't go further until I get the gold. It was supposed to be here over a week ago, but I'm still waiting. I also have plans for a Big Bad Baby Blanket and am awaiting the arrival of my Knit Picks order. Also in the wings is my felted buttonhole bag, also with my Knit Picks order. Of course that's for the Knitting Olympics so I can't start anyway, but I really want to check out the yarn and knit up a swatch before the games begin. I'll just have to make a few more cotton dishclothes for my mom while I wait.


The last of my top three residency choices is East Carolina University. This was actually the last program that I visited, and it impressed me a whole lot more than I thought it would. I drove over there and met the chief resident for coffee; he was very nice and had lots of great information about the program. Later on was the dinner and it was so much fun. Probably the best dinner of the whole interview season, with the exception of my home program (which only was better because I already knew everyone). We were actually out till after 10 (really late for these functions) and I just felt completely comfortable with the residents... always a good sign. The interview day went well; the program director was great. He's the kind of director that makes you think he'll do anything for his residents. Interested in special needs kids? We'll slide many of them over to your clinic. Research? Not required, but we'll set you up with the people who are doing it. Thinking fellowship? We'll get you an away rotation at a program you're interested in. He also really addresses any weaknesses in the program. A few years back a couple people didn't pass the Peds boards so now there are formal board reviews and free review books provided. They also set up mentoring for people who are having trouble on in-house testing. I don't look for perfection in a program, because you'll never find it. I look for a director willing to change what needs changing, who listens and responds to his residents' concerns. I really got the feeling that he does. They also have a combined clinic and combined faculty, which has become a deal breaker for me.

Negatives? Location. Greenville, NC is a small city pretty much in the middle of nowhere. Drive to Raleigh and then go 90 minutes east. It's pretty close to the beach which is nice, but the town itself is smaller than my other top choices. It's much closer to home (only 6 hr as opposed to 16) which is nice, but is that me chickening out of going off somewhere new. Also it's a smaller program and a less prestigious one. Should I at least try for the big name program? I never have before for college and med school, and a part of me regrets it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Knitting Olympics

Can't figure out how to put these in the sidebar, so they're going right here.

Grace kicked my butt

In yet another attempt to work out and get in shape, I downloaded some workouts from iTrain. The site has workouts led by Hollywood trainers that you download and put on your iPod. They have all kinds of workouts including treadmill, weights, yoga in various lengthes. They play with cool music in the background and a trainer telling you when to step it up and offering encouragment. I figured I try it because I'm completely unable to motivate myself... I rarely get to the gym and when I do I don't really push myself and quit pretty early. So today I put in some time on the treadmill with Grace, who totally kicked my butt. I'm going to try cycling tomorrow, but till then I must drink more water.


The second of my top three residency choices is the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY. I absolutely loved this place when I went to interview. It was the week of Thanksgiving and I hadn't been home in over a month and thought about cancelling it, but since the program directot called me to invite me to interview I felt bad. So I went. I got into town early and spent the day walking around Rochester, wandering in and out of little shops and having coffee. Passed by a little independent movie theater showing Bee Season but I didn't have time to see it. I liked the city a lot, though I was cold all day. Then it was time for the pre-interview dinner. Instead of taking us to a local restaurant like most places do, we went to a resident's house where at least a dozen residents were waiting for us. We all gathered in front of a fire and had dinner and just chatted about the program and the city. I just felt so at ease almost immediately. By the end to the evening we were debating which Harry Potter book is the best and whether the movies are any good. Such a great night.

The interview day itself was kinda grueling, or at least long. We were picked up at the hotel at 6:15 and taken to the hospital where we met with the program director and had breakfast. We then met the chief resident who answered our questions about the program. Then we went to Medicine and Pediatrics morning reports. I was so impressed. The Medicine morning report was a presentation on EBM from one of the Med-Peds residents. It was well thought out and inspired some great conversation between residents and attendings. Pediatrics morning report was the usual case presentation, but just done so well. There were a ton of attendings there and they really added to the dicussion of differential diagnosis. The thing that really struck me during the day was how happy the residents were. The program is the oldest Med-Peds program in the country and provides excellent trainint, but it isn't stagnant. It really responds to the residents and takes their criticisms and suggestions seriously. The program director is awesome -- I really felt like he cares about his residents and wants to make the environment comfortable so that they can learn.

Negatives about Rochester? Location. Winter is so long and cold. It started snowing during the interview day and continued into the night. It snows an average of 120 inches per year up there... yikes! There is houseing (the so-called "White Coat Getto") really close to the hospital, so it wouldn't be like the 20 mile commute at Baystate. But it gets dark at 4pm and is FREEZING! And it's 1000 miles from home. I'm trying not to think too much about the far away thing, but I'm just such a family person that I don't know if I could handle seeing my parents once a year. Esp during the hell of residency.

The only reason you're conscious right now is that Jack Bauer doesn't want to carry you.

I LOVE 24, am completely addicted to it. I've watched whole seasons on DVD without any breaks. And I am loving this season. Loved this list that I saw on Happy Catholic.

Some random facts about Jack Bauer:

1. If you wake up in the morning, it's because Jack Bauer spared your life.
2. If Jack Bauer was in a room with Hitler, Stalin, and Nina Meyers, and he had a gun with 2 bullets, he'd shoot Nina twice.
3. Upon hearing that he was played by Kiefer Sutherland, Jack Bauer killed Sutherland. Jack Bauer gets played by no man.
4. Jack Bauer's favorite color is severe terror alert red. His second favorite color is violet, but just because it sounds like violent.
5. Jack Bauer once forgot where he put his keys. He then spent the next half-hour torturing himself until he gave up the location of the keys.
6. Jack Bauer got Hellen Keller to talk.
7. Jack Bauer killed 93 people in just 4 days time. Wait, that is a real fact.
8. Jack Bauer was never addicted to heroin. Heroin was addicted to Jack Bauer.
9. 1.6 billion Chinese are angry with Jack Bauer. Sounds like a fair fight.
10. Superman wears Jack Bauer pajamas.
11. Jack Bauer doesn't miss. If he didn't hit you it's because he was shooting at another terrorist twelve miles away.
12. Let's get one thing straight, the only reason you are conscious right now is because Jack Bauer does not feel like carrying you.
13. When you open a can of whoop-ass, Jack Bauer jumps out.
14. If Jack says "I just want to talk to him/her" and that him/her is you -- well amigo, you're f****d.
15. Killing Jack Bauer doesn't make him dead. It just makes him angry.
16. When life gave Jack Bauer lemons, he used them to kill terrorists. Jack Bauer f*****g hates lemonade.
17. In grade school, a little boy punched Kimberly Bauer, and Kimberly ran home to tell her dad. That little boy's name? Stephen Hawking.
18. Jack Bauer does not sleep. The only rest he needs is what he gets when he's knocked out or temporarily killed.
19. No man has ever used the phrase, "Jack Bauer is a p***y" in a sentence and lived to tel-
20. In kindergarten, Jack Bauer killed a terrorist for Show and Tell.
21. Jack Bauer literally died for his country, and lived to tell about it.
22. As a child, Jack Bauer's first words were "There's no time!"
23. Jack Bauer's family threw him a surprise birthday party when he was a child. Once.
24. If you are still conscious, it is because Jack Bauer doesn"t want to carry you.
25. If you get 7 stars on your wanted level on Grand Theft Auto, Jack Bauer comes after you. You don't want to get 7 stars.
26. Guns don't kill people, Jack Bauer kills people.
27. Everytime Jack Bauer yells "NOW!" at the end of a sentence, a terrorist dies.
28. Jesus died and rose from the dead in 3 days. It took Jack Bauer less than an hour. And he's done it twice.
29. If you send someone to kill Jack Bauer, the only thing you accomplish is supplying him a fresh set of weapons to kill you with.
30. Jack Bauer could get off the Lost island in 24 hours.
31. If Jack Bauer was gay, his name would be Chuck Norris.
32. After arguing over what was the better show, 24 or Walker Texas Ranger, Chuck Norris went to attack Jack Bauer with his trademark roundhouse kick. Jack Bauer caught it.

More Jack Bauer links:
Restraint or Just Plain Laziness
Daze Barry on Jack

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

My new, all consuming hobby

I've started knitting. I learning to crochet in college from a girl on my hall and spent my four years making afgans from cheap acrylic yarn purchased at Wal-Mart (hey, it's the best I could do). But I always thought it would be cool to learn to knit. No one at school knew how and both my grandmothers had died years earlier, so I finally decided to teach myself. I came across a pretty cool sounding book at Barnes and Noble one day -- !).Stitch N Bitch -- have been happily stitching since.

By now I've made a scarf and some dishclothes to practice various stitches and then tackled a real project. I just completed a cute tote bag in deep, pine green with silvery gray accent stitching. If I actually buy a digital camera I'll post a pic of it. I'm so proud of myself! Something useful that I actually made myself. Now I'm working on a !).Harry Potter scarf in Gryffindor colors. I also have plans for a Ravenclaw scarf. I'll probably keep the Ravenclaw one and give away the Gryffyndor scarf, even though burgandy and gold are my college colors. I just think Ravenclaw would be my house, not brave enough for Gryffindor.

So this new hobby has also brought me to a whole new world of blogs. In reading them I kept hearing about the Knitting Olympics and I've decided to join in. I'm going to make a felted purse. The instructions say it a quick project but I'm still pretty slow, so it will probably be a challange to finish it in 2 weeks, esp leaving time to felt it (which I haven't done yet and I'm super excited!).


One of my top three residency programs is Baystate. I spent a month there in the combined Med-Peds clinic and loved it. I loved the attending, esp the program director, and the residents and the patients. They are an older, larger Med-Peds program with lots of grads working in the area and plenty of dual trained faculty. They have an awesome reputation in the Med-Peds world and their grads can really do whatever they want after finishing their training. They go on to successful practices or great fellowships, and many stay on as faculty in the clinic or as hospitalists. So great training with people I got along with.

Now for the all important (but should it be?) location factor. Baystate is in Springfield, MA, which is the Pioneer Valley in western Mass. The area is beautiful and near the mountains so there's lots of outdoorsy stuff to do on weekends off. It's an easy 90 mile drive to Boston and not too far from NYC. The negative about location is basically that it's 1000 miles from home (so no seeing the family except on weeks off when I can swing the plane fare) and quite a climate change. They get a fair amount of snow, which as a South Carolina girl would take some getting used to. The major drawback is the city of Springfield itself. I was there for a month (yay for free student housing!) but was not impressed by the city. I spent my weekends leaving town, either to Holyoke a few miles away to go shopping at the mall and Barnes and Noble (a staple in my life) or the further away Northampton. Many of the residents live in Northampton which is a really cool college town that I could totally see myself living in. Lots of little coffee shops and ethnic restaurants, funky little shops, and two independent movie theaters. But it's a 20 minute drive to the hospital. Do I really want to drive that far at 5am? Do I really want to make that trip during the winter when it's snowing?

Resuming Blogging

Been missing for months. I was on an away rotation for a month and then I hit the interview trail. This picking a residency thing is really hard, much harder than I thought it would be. Initially I figured I would stay here in Greenville unless some other program really knocked my socks off. But after going on all these interviews I find my home program slipping further and further down the list and now I have a difficult decison to make. I'll be posting about possible programs to help me sort through things, esp my top three programs.