Saturday, December 30, 2006

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. I sure did. After working 17 days straight I had a week off and got to go home. Flying over the holidays, esp post call and on no sleep, isn't the most fun thing I've ever done but it was great to go South for Christmas. The weather was amazing; it actually hit 70 degrees one day! For contrast, it snowed the day I got back up here. And it was wonderful to spend time with my family. I'm such a homebody and I'm really close to my family, so it's been hard being this far away. Just hanging out cooking and shopping was a real treat. An update on my Christmas knitting... no, I didn't finish. Good thing I had some back up presents. I've decided not to stress about finishing since the past month was so crazy; I'll finish up soon and mail them home. I was working on my mom's scarf at the airport in hopes of finishing it and learned an important lesson - I should never knit after being awake for over 36 hours. I messed up so many times it became funny. I wonder how it looked to all the passersby - sitting on the floor repeatedly ripping out row after row of knitting. I gave up after a little while and took a nap instead. Wanna know what I got for Christmas? Prepare to be jealous!

Isn't it wonderful?! I LOVE this bag. Roomy enough to fit a project, a book, wallet, cell phone, and my on call essentials like a toothbrush and chapstick. Great bowling bag shape and a super cute pattern. This is now my official on call bag. Speaking of on call, I was on last night and got no sleep. Must go to bed now.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

I'm a weirdo!

Is it weird to like being tagged for a meme? Probably, but that's just one of many weird things about me. Since Sarah tagged me, here goes...

THE RULES: Each player of this game starts with the 6 weird things about you. People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment that says "you are tagged" in their comments and tell them to read your blog.

1. I was born in a car. A powder blue Buick Skyhawk (with bucket seats, as my mom likes to emphasize) to be exact. While going over 60 mph on I-385 (for those of you familiar with the Greenville area, it was right at the Pleasantburg Rd exit). This is a favorite story of my mom's which can last over 15 minutes when you really get her going.

2. I'm a morning person. Not a normal one, a crazy don't mind getting up at 4:45 one. I always woke up early as a kid, like around 6 am, and would go to my grandma's (she had an apt attached to our house) to watch Tom and Jerry cartoons. As I got older I slept later, but never was one to sleep till noon. In fact I spent my high school and college years never sleeping past 9. I always took 8 am classes in college, and have totally gotten used to coming to the hospital way before sunrise. I like driving in with my radio blasting and a travel mug of coffee and getting practically a full day's work done before most people have started.

3. To complicate that whole morning thing, I sometimes forget to go to sleep. I will start reading a book or watching a movie or knitting, and get so caught up that I don't realize what time it is and when I have to wake up. There have been many nights when I never went to sleep at all because I stayed up reading an entire novel not realizing the time till I saw it was light out. Of course there's also the sleep obsession that I've acquired since internship started. I often go to bed before 7 pm because I'm too tired to be bothered with dinner or anything else. I was embarrassedessed about this until I realized that so many other interns do the same thing. Maybe it isn't weird at all.

4. I often break into song or dance at random points in conversations. Not sure why, but I can't stop myself. I also feel the need to pantomime for emphasis.

5. I have no filter. Things go straight from my mind to my mouth without slowing down for editing. This becomes an even bigger problem post alcohol consumption. I put my foot in my mouth so often in college that my roommate gave me a box of coffee filters.

6. I have insanely small and neat handwriting, especially at work. I can fit a patient's entire medical history and current labs in a 2x2 inch space. And my notes in charts are the same way. People are always joking that my notes are written in 6 pt font.

And that's enough blogging for one call night. I'm sure I've broken too many rules by blogging at work, but I just don't care anymore. Before dashing off to save lives (or at least distribute Tylenol) I'm tagging Kaitie Tee, Beth, BBStewart, Katie, Rachel, Colleen.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

We have a winner!

With a guess of 87 skeins (only 1 off of the actual final count of 86) the winner is ... Gina! No picture of the prize yet so it can be a surprise in her mailbox, but I'll post one when it gets to her. I was feeling guilty about my stash accumulation until I saw some of your guesses. 300 skeins?! That would be crazy. Yarn taking over my entire apartment, filling entire closets, spilling onto the floor.

I finished my Handmade Christmas Gift Swap project. Yay! One down, three to go. I learned a valuable lesson in this process... I am a very slow knitter. How is it that a project that claims to take 6-8 hours winds up taking me 6 weeks?

1. Spend a week looking through books and websites looking for a good project idea.
2. Pick a project.
3. Go to LYS and spend an hour walking around looking for the perfect yarn. Settle on the recommended yarn listed in the pattern.
4. Start project.
5. Realize gauge is completely off. Frog and start over.
6. Realize that you hate this project.
7. Realize it isn't the project but the yarn that you hate.
8. Throw project and yarn on the floor and spend 2 weeks avoiding looking and stepping on it.
9. Realize that the deadline for finishing this project is fast approaching.
10. Spend more time looking at patterns. Still like the original project.
11. Return to LYS for new yarn in completely different fiber and weight.
12. Start over with new yarn. Miraculously get gauge.
13. Frantically knit during all evening hours.
14. Block and wait for project to dry.
15. Spend entire day off finishing project. Realize that sewing seams sucks.
16. Assemble swap package.
17. Realize it's Sunday and the post office is closed.
18. Drive to nearest post office with 24 hours DIY mailing center.
19. Celebrate having one Christmas project actually finished.

I'll post a picture once it's gets to Gracie.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Ack! It's December!

Like so many others, December really snuck up on me. I can't believe the year is almost over. My internship is almost half over... in seven months I'll be expected to teach and supervise interns and medical students. There's no way I'll be ready for that since I can still barely take care of myself on the wards. And in just one month I won't have to have an attending see all of my patients in clinic. For the first six months of residency I have to precept all my clinic patients with an attending - tell them why the patient came in, what I think is wrong, and what I plan to do about it. Then they tell me what's right and wrong about my plan and go see the patient briefly with me. Starting in January I don't have to do that anymore. So if I feel comfortable with a patient, I can just make a plan and send him home. I'm still coming to terms with patients actually thinking of me as their doctor; not having immediate backup scares me.

The other scary thing about December it that I have less than a month to finish my Christmas knitting. This is a disaster of epic proportions. My mother's scarf is only half done. I'm knitting it in two pieces and will graft it together; that way the pretty curly edges will match. My major concern is length... I did 45 pattern repeats and got a piece 25 inches long. This is half of my yarn so I stopped, but I'm worried about the final length. My mom is little - only 5 ft tall - so I don't need a giant scarf, but 50 inches is definitely not long enough. Being lace I'm sure this will grow with blocking, but I've never knitted lace before so I have no idea how much. Any experienced knitters out there who can make some predictions?

Then there are my father's socks. "But Gina," you say, "that's not a sock. That's just a skein of yarn with no actual knitting." Yeah, I know. I started, got through the ribbing, and frogged. Now I have nothing. Two socks, 12 inch long feet, 23 days... yeah, that'll happen.

To make the Christmas knitting frenzy worse, I have to put it on hold. I have knitting for two swap to finish. My Handmade Christmas Gift Swap project isn't done yet. My partner generously gave me an extension, but I really need to finish it this weekend. And then there's the International Scarf Exchange. I mailed my scarf over a month ago but it hasn't arrived. And while it was going cross country there's no way it should take this long. I think I can safely say that the USPS has lost my ISE package, so now I'm frantically knitting a replacement. Of course me being me means I've already screwed up a couple times and started over once, so this is all I've got. This must also be done very soon, like this week soon, so my poor pal doesn't get stuck without a new winter scarf.

To add more trouble, I start my CCU (cardiac ICU) rotation tomorrow. That means 12 hour days, q 4 overnight call, no weekends. In fact, I only have 1 day off between now and my Christmas vacation, and I board a plane for home immediately after signing out post-call on my last day. This could seriously be a disaster. I think it's time to buy back-up gifts.

On a lighter note, it's my one year knit anniversary. One year ago I was driving up and down the east coast on interviews with a skein of Red Heart, some aluminum needles, and a copy of Stitch and Bitch teaching myself how to knit in hotel rooms. And here I am a year later completely obsessed with knitting and with a growing stash of yarn. So in honor of the occasion, a little contest. It's the "guess how much yarn I've accumulated in the past year" contest. I haven't actually counted it all up yet so I can't give a good clue, but it's outgrown the wicker laundry basket it was originally housed in. I blame the close proximity of Webs for my stash; I have no self control. Leave a comment with your guess and I'll post the winner next weekend. You have till December 8. The winner will receive an as yet to be determined selection of yarn from my stash.

I leave you with today's Saturday sky.