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19th June 2009

since the thunder and lightening are doing such a great job of keeping me awake

The good news: the leak in my basement when it rains extremely hard does not seem to be coming from the toilet. Horray!

The bad news: I have no idea where it is coming from. Well, I fear that it is dripping down the inside of the bathroom walls, but I can’t seem to locate a source. It just seems to appear, like zombies rising from the ground. Or something like that.

For now, it’s trickling down the basement drain. I only flooded a year ago because the downpour was too much volume and speed for the drainage system to accommodate. I am sure tired of dealing with this issue.

I should have spent tonight finishing up clinic notes. Instead I spent it looking at neurological equipment that I’m not sure I’ll ever use and updating my WP blog to 2.8, importing LJ entries with their new import system. Somehow it messed it up, transferring everything in triplicate and when I attempted to delete it, it deleted the entry on the LJ side. Of course, Livejournal, in their infinite wisdom has decided that you can’t import blog entries to their database, so I had to repost, losing the comments (on LJ. It’s still there on the WP side). It’s going to take me forever to delete (correctly!) and merge everything.

The rain is really coming down now. Come on, little drains, keep up. I’m going to try to sleep.

ETA: Scratch that. It’s coming down the majority of my windows now. The drain that my church installed for me is not keeping up and I’ve got a large puddle puddle at my back door. My rug has already been taken up. It’s supposed to last for the next two hours before letting up. CRAP.

ETA #2: And the drains stopped working and I flooded my basement again. This time I had the sump pump, which I pumped into a sink and managed to keep from flooding every where. Sure am glad that I kept it all up on cinder blocks too. I’m going to be utterly useless at work tomorrow. What I really need to do is take the day off, get everything bleached and call a plumber to come look at my drains. And figure out how to waterproof windows



Of course, it’s starting to rain again.

posted in Adventures in Home Ownership, Domestic Goddess and Rugged Handy-man Me, Handy-man Me | 1 Comment

14th December 2008

Reason for the season

I’m spending Christmas here in Milwaukee this year. I’ve got Christmas day off, but have to work Christmas Eve and am on call the next day, so travel was out of the question and having family come out here is ridiculous. So I’m having my own celebrations. This weekend, I’m driving down to Illinois to see Susan and her family; Suz and I are not only going to see the Metropolitan Opera, we’re going to a English Country Christmas Ball, where we’re going to learn how to dance like a Jane Austen character. Susan states that there were a few cute, single gentleman at the previous dance, so I am very eagerly awaiting the festivities. *SQUEE* So much fun. I may have to break out the satin gloves.

On Christmas, another friend, who is also geographically family-less, is planning to come over for a mini Christmas celebration with present opening and a yummy breakfast. I haven’t decided what yet, but pumpkin pie is somehow going to be involved. The afternoon will either be spent at one of the nursing homes with people who haven’t family (I see so many of them in the hospital; they break my heart) or serving somewhere; I feel somewhat anxious in the need to be there for someone who is also lonely this Christmas. There is so much need in the world but I’m trying to do the pitifully little that I can. I’m listening to the Christmas devotional and have been so touched by Pres. Monson’s talk:

The message from Jesus has been the same. As we follow in His steps today, as we emulate his example, we will have opportunities to bless the lives of others. Jesus invites us to give of ourselves. “Behold the Lord requireth the heart and an open mind.” Our opportunities are indeed limitless, but they are perishable. There are hearts to gladden, there are kind words to say, there are gifts to be given, there are deeds to be done, there are souls to be saved. Is there someone for whom you should provide service this Christmas? Is there one who awaits your visit? … During this season, hearts that are confined reach out and long for a Christmas visit…

There is yet time this year to extend a helping hand, a loving heart, and a willing spirit. In other words, to follow the example set by our Savior and to serve as he would have us serve.

I think the anticipation of the coming weeks is going to be my saving grace. I’m beyond burnt out. I worked 11 hours today; I went to work early so that I could get done in time for church, because it was the Christmas program and ending up not leaving until after five p.m. I feel like I’m living the subtitle of Doctor Strangelove: “How I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb.” Hysteria is shortly to follow, I’m certain.

My holiday cards have been delayed until later this week, so if you’d like to get on the bandwagon, there’s still time. Email me with your address. ๐Ÿ™‚

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2nd December 2008

100 Things

Felt like wasting time. I have to go to bed now, because I’m on call yet again tomorrow, and am still feeling sleep deprived and we’re rounding early. (As an aside, it is supposed to snow all day tomorrow, meaning I have to dig myself out again post-call before I can sleep. And more head traumas as people slide on slick roads which translates to more 4 am consults from neurosurgery when they decide that they don’t want to operate after all with means less sleep. Am somewhat bitter at Mother Nature who is not doing a great job of nurturing right now.)

1. Started your own blog (I have several right now. Most are just mirrors of my original livejournal, but I do have my own that will be revealed officially to the public as soon as WP 2.7 is released and working properly).
2. Slept under the stars (Several times)
3. Played in a band (I jammed with my 8th grade guitar class but I don’t think we ever made a band)
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
Read more

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28th November 2008

Protected: Christmas cards

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28th November 2008

Gray Friday

*grumble grumble*

My chief resident sent out the holiday schedule earlier this week, so we would know who was covering each service and could plan our time better. I noticed that I wasn’t listed to work at all until Sunday, which I knew wasn’t right. We have 4 days off a month, and my four days are later. Because I know from personal experience how overwhelming the neuro ICU can be on the weekend (splitting 12-16 patients between 2 people is hard enough; when they’re sick enough to be in the NICU, it can take you a half hour to just gather information on each one, much less actually see them) and since that’s the service that I now belong to, I decided to do the morally right thing. Instead of sleeping in and going out to shop* for Christmas presents and a Christmas tree, I went to work. We were promised that even though it wasn’t an official holiday per the hospital, the neurology department was still treating it as such and therefore only needed to be there until approximately 12-1pm. Half days are so deliciously refreshing (sun! air! couch!) that they almost feel like a full day off.

I was done with everything by 1:30. I had admitted a new patient, talked the plan over with the fellow, written orders, confirmed results from the consult services, rechecked labs, finished notes and updated the signout sheet. And my fellow wouldn’t let me go. First, it was making sure the radiology would do the study we needed. Then it was signing out to the resident who was on call that day. Then it was waiting for the fellow who was going to start on the service starting that day; he was supposed to show up at 3, he didn’t arrive until almost 4. Then it was the back and forth decision of whether or not to place a central line in our new patient (patient left for the above study, removing that decision). Finally, both of the fellows left, leaving me to go around and write all of the orders that they had decided were suddenly needed.

I finished at 5:30 pm. Happy holiday to me.

(Did anybody understand the above paragraphs? I swear I really wasn’t trying to be cryptic.)

This is an important month for me. I love neuro critical care. I love the complexities of patients broken down into easily managed systems. I like the procedures (even though it’s been over a year since I did a central line or an art line. At one time I liked them). I like that it’s evidenced based. I just don’t know if I like it enough to do another 2 years of fellowship. More years of training, with long hours and which would require starting to do research now so I have a resume that looks impressive. And I don’t like research. All for a career that will always be demanding and time-consuming and I don’t know if I have the physical or emotional endurance for a lifetime of being an intensivist. I’ve been trying to make up my mind about this for months, mulling over both sides and never quite getting to a decision that felt right. So I’ve given myself this month to figure it out.

*Actually, after the news of the worker getting trampled to death at the Wal-Mart in Long Island, I’ve decided to continue my tradition of avoiding shopping on Black Friday, permanently. Because, that’s insane.

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5th October 2008


Once, I danced. Mondays and Wednesday mornings. Thursdays at the Naval Science building. Saturdays at the Murray Arts Center. Beginning ballroom. Latin. Swing. My favorite was the Tango, the sultry dance where the movements came from the hips, the directions from the heart. I never was very good, my moves were too clunky and I never had enough trust in my partners to ever let go of control completely, but during the tango, I could close my eyes and pretend, for just a few minutes that I was a sexy, graceful dancer in the smoky streets of Argentina.

Yesterday, listening to the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra perform the Bandoneรณn Concerto, I felt transported back to those days. The hum of the bandoneon (a modified accordion) blended with the violin and cello and occasional oboe and infused in my veins. My heart beat the time.

Today, I drove my friend to our bishop’s house for conference. He lamented that medical school had drained him from being an interesting person, that once he could socialize, converse on a variety of topics, entertain those around him, and now, he was an introvert, a shell of his former self. It’s true, I sympathized, running through the conversations that I had had with the various other medical students and residents that day. “Hi, how are you, what rotation are you on? Who are you working with? Getting any sleep? Had the day off today?” We ran through the conversations like robots, only venturing out on occasions to talk about something else. We had become absorbed into the culture of medicine that we have lost our personalities. I’ve managed to retain a little of my previous life, a play, a concert, a party here and there and thought until last night that I hadn’t done so poorly.

But, once, I danced.

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14th September 2008

i love weekends

I have had a fabulous weekend. It’s been so refreshing and relaxing that it almost feels like I had the entire weekend off, instead of just Saturday.

Friday, I came home post call and packed for the “girls only” camping trip. It was one of my friend’s 30th birthday, so to celebrate, we decided to go camping. Yay! I’ve been wanting to go camping all summer long but have been thwarted over and over again by forgetting tents, threatening rain and long work hours. The weather didn’t look promising, but I was naive enough to believe the forecast of “20% chance” of rain. It started raining before we were even on our way. There went those plans. Instead, we went to my friend’s mother’s house, and sat under her car port, grilling our tin-foil dinners (seriously, tin foil asparagus is the most incredible food ever), and basking in the glow of the fire pit (I’m more determined than ever to get one). Afterwards, we all came back to my house and had a sleep over; my upstairs room almost looks like an oversized tent and everybody fit perfectly. We stayed up late talking (well, they did. I crashed early. 2 hours of sleep in 40 hours does not a coherent Julia make) and in the morning consumed pancakes (cooking tip: the addition of vanilla, cinnamon and cardamon makes a fantastic pancake). I haven’t had so much fun in a really long time.

After they all left, I decided to take advantage of my one day off and went over to Home Depot to research more about garage doors. The contractor was busy with another customer, and I got impatient waiting, so just as I was about to decide to leave and just order the darn thing online, one of the other sales associates stopped me. He listened to my rambling complaints of what was wrong with my door and felt that the door and opener were not the problem, that likely I needed some lubrication and new wheels as they get worn out.

I attempted to install the wheels yesterday and I think I’ve figured out the whole problem. It’s doesn’t even seem to be worn out wheels. The tracks were entirely caked in about 6 layers of grease and grim and the bottom part has rusted and the wheels were in a similar state (I don’t think those wheels have made actually contact with the tract in years, hence, there is barely a sign of wear on them, once you remove some of the grime).

I spent all day yesterday getting as much off as I could with a combination of paper towels, knife, fingernails (they could angle the best. I chopped them all off afterwards), and finally, dish soap (didn’t work so well). There’s still at least one multiple layers, but it’s already running just a little bit smoother. I just need to find a really good grease solvent to cut through the rest of it (any ideas???), and then lub it up good with some WD-40, and I think I’m set! YAY! You have no idea how much of a relief this is, this possibility that I might not have to replace my garage door. Of course, I still might have to actually replace the tracks if the rust at the bottom is worse than my original glance-over, but my bishop’s wife has recommended an independent contractor who is reasonable, so I might be able to get that done for a quarter of what I originally predicted. SWEET.

Afterwards, I cleaned up and went over to my neurology program director’s home for dinner which was nice. Everybody brought their kids, there was more food than imaginable (we have a rather large mix of vegetarians, meat consumers, Muslims observing Ramadan, etc). And then after that, I went to my friend Laura’s birthday party. She decided that she wanted to do a sing-a-long party, so we all got together and sang “The Music Man.” Yep, you read that right. We are such nerds. I haven’t seen it since high school at least; I remember most of the lyrics.

This morning, I rounded on all of our patients. We’ve cut the number patients down a lot, which made for easy rounds so I actually was able to make it to church for the first time in three weeks. And then I came home, ready to make potato soup for our on-call pot luck tomorrow, but I’m missing several ingredients, so instead I’m heading to the grocery store bright and early, chopping the vegetables and bringing it all to work so that it can cook in the crockpot all afternoon. Yummy.

And, I’ve figured out most of the problems with my from-scratch blog. It should be up and running in a couple more days. I’m so excited for its unveiling.

This week will be busy. I’m on call tomorrow and Friday. Saturday, I’ve invited my entire church over for a party. *boggles* Not sure exactly what possessed me to agree to host a party when I’m post call and sleep-deprived but there it is. It’s going to be fun, with a firepit in the backyard with camping chairs around and white Christmas lights on the fence, music in the front room, games and instruments downstairs, more games upstairs and tons of food. Luckily, I have the day off on Thursday to clean and all of my friends are coming over Friday when I’m at work to set up, so I don’t have to do that; hopefully, all I’ll have to do on Saturday is nap, take a shower and put on clean clothes and greet the guests.

Okay, I’m off to bed. Gotta get those veggies in the morning. ๐Ÿ™‚

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15th June 2008


It was one of those rare occasions where Chris and I both had the same day off work, so we made plans to meet up. Of course, as is always the case, his free day was rapidly trimmed from all day to just a few hours mid-afternoon, but as I have not talk to him more than a total of 10 minutes over the last two months, I grabbed at the chance to spend a few hours together.

The weather was gorgeous when I left around noon. Chris called to say that he had finished his 65 mile (!!!) bike race and we made plans to meet in about an hour. 30 minutes down the road, I pass a sign. “Freeway closed ahead.”

They weren’t kidding.

Suddenly, traffic was diverted from the 3 lane highway to a 1 lane, narrow country road that was heading south. The perpendicular direction of where I wanted to be heading. No matter, I’d take one of the east-west routes… only big signs were plastered that those roads were closed further on.

I drove on. And on. And on. And eventually made it out to another highway, where I discovered that I was now as far away from Madison as when I started out.

It took me 3 hours to get to Madison. THREE HOURS.

By the time I got there, found my way downtown (missed a turn, ended up in Oregon), argued about where to meet for lunch, got lost, etc, etc, my afternoon visit turned into a mere hour. We met with a couple of his friends, started to eat lunch…. and then it started to downpour. “Lunch” was spent huddled under an awning, and after the rains slowed, I drove them to their cars, and said goodbye, because they all had to get ready for a dinner that night.

I did manage to get a map this time and we plotted the way back (where I once again missed a major turn). The adventures on the way back were almost as fun. The road I was taking had a washed out bridge…something not mentioned until you were there at the bridge, so I had to back track. At one point, it started dropping torrential rain and hail, so heavy I could barely see the road and the wind was gusting hard enough it almost pulled me off. I did manage to pull over and wait some of it out, but I was concerned that if I waited too long, those rains would cause further washouts, so I crept my way forward, until I made it to the freeway. The east bound freeway was open and I drove it the rest of the way home. There was water from the overflowing rivers on the west side, so really, I’m a little glad that they closed it, although I certainly wasn’t feeling that way driving out.

All in all, I put 220 miles on my car, drove over 5 hours, for a hour lunch that got soggy. Somehow, I think it was worth it.

I’ve missed my friend so much, I don’t think I could ever find the words. For four years, he was such a part of my life, that this… “acquaintance”ship where we talk once every couple of months for 20 minutes and don’t share anything important is killing me (Sidenote to all of my friends out there who I talk to once a month–it’s different. You and I get on the phone and gab for hours. We really catch up on everything. You aren’t flitting off to your real life within minutes of getting the update that I’m alive). We do great when we get together in person, that old camaraderie is felt in full force–we tease each other and laugh and it’s great. So I’ll take any chance I’ve got to get that back, if even for an hour on a random afternoon.

(More pictures that I took during the trip can be found here. I unfortunately was not able to get the really cool pictures of the rain storm as I was gripping my steering wheel in fear of my life. Just take my word that it was awesome.)

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8th February 2008

stuck in a rut

I spent my day off today sleeping in and lounging around the house. I only left to get pancakes, because after this past week, I deserved pancakes. I transferred yet another patient to the ICU (who by the time I finally managed to talk to the fellow (who has to see and agree to admit patients before they get transferred), didn’t look quite near to death as he did mere minutes before, so the fellow thought I was quite off my rocker. Especially since I had a tearful breakdown in the middle of the hallway, because I couldn’t find anybody to help me out. I’ve never ever done that before at work, and I’m still horrified by my behavior.). My team was on “daytime admissions” so we were admitting patients who I had to see and discuss with my interns, while this other patient was slowly funneling down the tube. I was at the hospital until 10:30 last night running around seeing everyone.

It had, as forecasted, dropped 12 inches of snow (luckily, not 18: I don’t know what I would have done), and I managed to drive home, only to get stuck in middle of the very much not plowed side street that I live on. I trudged back to my house, got out my shovel, and tried to dig myself out with no luck. Finally, somebody with a truck (I LOVE TRUCKS), came back and pushed me out to where I could slide my car in front of my car. Of course, I get out today to get my pancakes to realize that the plows had finally come through and had plowed me in again, so I was stuck again and had to be pushed out again. Argh. Getting tired of this snow thing. If I have time before heading to work, I’ll try to take pictures.

The only saving grace in this, is that yesterday morning as I was fractically trying to snowblow before heading off to work so that I’d only have 8 inches to plow through, is that my neighbor offered to do my place. So I at least came home to mostly cleared sidewalks. I’ll have to see what I can offer in terms of homemade goodies to entice him to do it again. ๐Ÿ™‚

They’re going through with the plow again right now, hopefully it’ll be more driveable in the morning.

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12th November 2007

flirt flirt flirt

Highlights of my weekend:

  • Getting lost in a town of about 2000 people. Three times. (Even funnier is the fact that I got lost in the same town two months ago when I went to the medicine retreat).
  • Arriving (finally) at the cabin, and realizing that David (aka DateBoy) was there who I hadn’t seen/talked to since the date. He jumped up to talk to me very shortly afterwards. Very cute. I think there were some pretty intense eye connections during the weekend. *squashes optimism*
  • Jared (in the middle of a conversation with two other people): “You look really cute today. That outfit, your hair, the glasses… yeah.”
    Me (staring and blushing, because yes, this is the same Jared: Um, thanks *am lame*

  • The first five minutes of Transformers. Which as a movie, is almost as lame as me. ๐Ÿ™‚ *pounds down optimism*
  • Aaron has the prettiest teeth.
  • Tramping out into the woods to star gaze with Tracy and Jonathan.
  • Pajamas and gossip while lying in sleeping bags. Haven’t done that since girls camp.
  • Early morning walk, kicking the leaves and enjoying the sunshine as it filtered through the trees. It may have only been 100 yards from the freeway, surrounded by summer homes, but at least I could pretend that I was in “nature.”
  • The best breakfast I’ve ever had. The eggs! *mouth waters*
  • A rambling but short walk in the woods with David who referred to our date a total of three different times. Because of that, I asked him over for Thanksgiving dinner, which may or may not happen. *stomps on optimism*
  • Giggling, laughing bonding with some of the most wonderful people around. I love my ward!

(For a glimpse of the weekend, see here. There may or may not be photographic evidence of my date.)

The other highlights of my weekend included being on call. With a migraine so severe that I almost started vomiting during a physical exam. Luckily, I managed to get some tylenol, ibuprofen and aleve AND take a short nap at 9 pm (until one of the patients decided to develop a heart attack and demand my attention). The night was busier and I only got another hour of sleep, but at least I wasn’t overwhelmed. It was manageable. I like manageable.

Oh, and I bought new curtains for my living room, a dark red that is thin enough to allow the summer light through, but thick enough for privacy. Once the room gets painted on Saturday, I think it’s going to be gorgeous. I’m so excited.

And I got new pants. That too is very exciting.

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25th October 2007

just gotta

Gotta love the 13 hour days. When we don’t round until almost 6 pm, and I’m still so far behind that I’m just finishing the admission note for the 8 o’clock (am) stroke. When Cointern takes the day off. And senior resident is post call. And there are four strokes within a hour of each other, with just me to see them.

Things did get better, two of the neurology residents stepped in and admitted two of the patients (*loves*) and I did manage to see all of my patients by the time we rounded, so I guess I should be proud of that *snort*. But I never got lunch (and I only had orange juice and Saltine crackers for breakfast) and I missed the “interview” dinner where we take out the potential residents…free food, love it. That’s probably a good thing, because I am so tired and so frustrated and so ready to be done that I might have painted an overly negative view of the program and then nobody would want to come here which would create more work for me.

And now I’m scrounging up a frozen dinner and climbing into bed, because if I don’t get more sleep tonight, I will start crying tomorrow.

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8th October 2007

Random things

I decided to make a list. I don’t know why.

– Crush news (which right now, is ever so much more interesting than patients and their neuroanatomy): He has a freckle on his right ear lobe, and a faint, thin scar down his right middle finger. His hair curls across his forehead (it’s such a good thing that these many many years have trained restraint!) and he’s had his beard for as long as he’s been a resident here (as evidenced by his name badge) which manages to hide a very small dimple and I can’t find adjectives to describe his blue eyes. And he has really bad breath post call. Oh, and he owes me big time for doing his discharge summary for him. Am I wonderful or what?

– I had a wonderful weekend. Saturday night, when I woke up from the post call coma, I went to the symphony with one of the neurosurgery residents. Mahler. My dad used to love Mahler, but until Sat. night, I never understood why. I’m now addicted. Absolutely lovely.

– Sunday I went to watch conference at my bishop’s house, which is always a spiritually uplifting time. Pres. Hinckley is still looking amazing for his 95+ years. One of the guys there hugged me and reminded me that it was exactly one year since we had met. I had forgotten. I thought that was sweet.

– It was the first day off that Chris and I have had off together in 2 months, so I drove up to Madison and spent the afternoon and evening with him, fixing his bike, eating Vietnamese food, and digging through all of his music collection. I came home with 300+ new songs and all of his pictures from Ireland and Scotland. Scotland was incredibly gorgeous from his pics… I guess I’d better add that back to the list of Must-Go places.

– Chris broke up with his girlfriend. And didn’t tell me until I pressed. Okay, I think I overlooked a big dropped hint earlier in the evening, when we were putting together pictures for a framed collage, but still. *sigh* Anyway, we had a great talk sitting on a park bench overlooking the lake. I told him about the many dating woes of the past two months. He thinks I’m missing clues (I think that no reciprocation and avoidance of conversation afterwards speaks volumes). He’s thinking about taking up Match.com dating, which I can’t wait to see how that goes. ๐Ÿ™‚

– I’m still really bad at music guessing games. Apparently I need to listen to more Phish and Eagle Eyed Cherry(ies?).

-He beat me on the word games as well. The Word of the Day emails are not helping.

-I’m not on call again until Saturday. !!!

The Seeker has gotten terrible reviews and didn’t do so well at the box office. Maybe that will stop any sequels.

-Still can’t figure out exactly what you do on Facebook, but at least it lacks the ads and spam of Myspace. Am trying to collect friends like mad over there. Perhaps I will make a trophy wall with all of my friends. I guess I need to add more photos, or so a little bird told me.

-I’m reading New Moon right now, as I finished Twilight a few weeks ago on call (man, I miss the ICU call). Liked Twilight, although spent a majority of the book irritated at the heroine and her love interest. I’m really looking forward to reading this, after mulling over valancy_s‘s recent posts about why we go for vampires.

-Congrats to Michelle and Kelly! Maybe, hopefully, I’ll be able to see this little one before he/she’s 40 (are you going home for Christmas?)

-I love Matchbox Twenty. This new album is just gorgeous as always.

You all are watching Friday Night Lights, right? You’d better be. Best show on TV right now. I’m watching it online, so what’s your excuse?

-Clinic tomorrow. Only 3 patients. Maybe I’ll actually finish on time (and possibly get my notes done, that would be amazing).

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27th September 2007


So, my little hometown apparently has two escaped convicts on the lam. Murder convicts at that. Luckily, it appears they have left town and were spotted 40 miles away, so I can stop freaking out about my parents’ safety. It’s a town of about 250 people, where nobody locks their house or car and we live out away from town–not the best combination with unsavory people around. The sheriff’s department is receiving a lot of flack about the escape (and they should receive some criticism about safety concerns as this is not the first escape and to the department of corrections who should have never put such dangerous criminals out in a county jail to begin with), but I’m really getting tired of reading all of the news articles, editorials and comments from people who really have no idea how small towns work and how truly small my little hometown is.


In other news. I have the day off tomorrow. What I really, really want to do is get in my car and go driving up into one of the nearby lakes, have a picnic lunch and take pictures of the gorgeous fall leaves. Instead, I will be cooped inside studying, because I take Step 3 on Friday and Saturday (2 days of 8 hour testing! YAY!) and since studying during my ICU month wasn’t nearly as productive as I had hoped, I will be doing some major cramming. I’ve found it very difficult to study on my own–for the past how many years, I’ve had a partner, and even if we did most of our studying separately, at least you knew there was equal suffering and if you had a question, then you could bounce it off and come up with the answer. I’m horribly distracted when I’m by myself (I watched the entire first season of Friday Night Lights in the last week. Not good. For my studies, that is. The show is awesome and I’m addicted and I promise, it’s not really about football and I’ll stop now). Also, I haven’t found a good study place–I found a coffee house just around the corner that showed promise–until I saw that it closes at 4 pm!! I miss my Beehive Teahouse or Coco’s Cafe (yeah, I’m a little homesick right now).

All I need to do is pass, because retaking this thing would be nightmarish.

I return to the neurology department on Sunday. Which I’m not exactly looking forward to. I really had a great month this month (even if I didn’t get the number of procedures that I wanted: 3 central lines, 1 that was a failure, 2 arterial lines and I missed both of those. No intubations. Bugger. Oh, and not one real code. Still useless at ACLS.) and any change isn’t going to be as good. I’ve been away from neurology for so long, that I really don’t feel like a part of the department–I’ve been left out of social invitations, I haven’t been able to go to the business meetings, etc. Plus with all of the drama recently over call schedules, well, I don’t want to get sucked back into all of the (pointless) drama.

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16th September 2007

Anne girl

2008 marks the 100th anniversary of the publication of Anne of Green Gables. 100 years, can you believe it? Wow. Prince Edward Island, in continuing their traditions of pandering to the tourists, is celebrating the occasion with year long festivities. There’s a big part of me, that pesky, sentimental tourist (I do realize that I’m a hypocrite, but not so much that I can embrace the idea of “meeting” Anne and Diana in the streets), that really, really wants to be in PEI for the festivities

Of course, equally verbal in the inner dialogue is the frugal, money-panicked me who is trying to calculate airfare, lodging and transportation costs and wondering how I can possibly save up the money plus get the snow blower that I so need to make this winter more bearable.

Choices, choices.

Anybody inclined to tag along?

Today was my day off; 16 days without any time off is a very, very long time to survive. I was getting a wee bit punchy by the end. I only accomplished one thing today… I slept in until 11, which was exactly what I wanted to do. ๐Ÿ™‚ I got up in time to prepare my lesson for church (on marriage, which everybody groaned when I mentioned the topic, but I think I pulled it off well–got a few laughs and some good discussion until the end where it veered off into pointless tangents), went to church and then have spent the rest of the afternoon and evening on the couch, doing absolutely nothing. It’s been great. Unfortunately, I’m on call tomorrow, so the reprieve was very short. Hopefully, this call will go a little nicer than the last, and I can actually get a few minutes or even better a couple of hours of sleep. Last one, I came home so exhausted that I went straight to bed and woke up around 3 in the morning. Hence the reason for no posts recently.

I take Step 3 of my boards in 12 days. I’m starting to get nervous now, because I really have had little time to study. And I still can’t tell my dermatologic diseases apart. All of this schooling and training and I still don’t know half of what I really ought to know.

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19th January 2007

Life and its meaningless diversions

I love days off. More than that, I love call nights where I get almost 8 hours of (uninterrupted, but still restful) sleep and then have 2 days off back to back after that. That’s virtually 3 days off people. 3!

I spent most of yesterday trying to figure out how to do Laura’s wedding and Ireland in 1 week. I have a feeling that Ireland isn’t going to happen. ๐Ÿ™ It’ll be okay. I’ve been fretting about the cost anyhow–while the tickets are supercheap (as in $500 dollars. Yes, you read that right.) and never will be so again, I’m in tons of debt still from moving and all of my travels last year. So being a little more frugal isn’t a bad thing. A boring thing, when I was so yearning to be a world traveler again and see the Cliffs of Moor and the Blarney stone and practice my grotesque Irish accent.

I’m still mulling over her engagement. I’ve always known that Laura would be the first of the D****** sisters to get married. She’s always been the athletic, pretty, popular one, whereas Karin and I have been much more plain. In high school, where I struggled to make friends (and fared a little better than Karin did, which is saying something), Laura was the queen as she was funny, smart and friendly. She’s had dozen of boyfriends (not that she’s introduced any of them to the family) and I figured she’s be married by the time she was 21, so I’m really happy that Laura’s undergone a few more years of maturity.

I just wish I wasn’t such a failure, a nonstarter in the relationship department. I think it comes down to jealousy. That even though I knew that Laura’s much more dateable and marriageable, I still had hoped that somehow it would be me first.

Enough with that.

When I was tired of manipulating days and http://www.sidestep.com (the best website for travel. It looks at every site and you can find really good deals), I found myself on YouTube watching episodes of Dr. Who. Yay! Finally! I’ve wanted to watch this show for absolutely forever, ever since eponine119 started posting about it on her LJ and wrote this awesome Sawyer/Dr. Who crossover which I adored even though I had never seen the show. Then all of my flist seemed to be going Dr. Who fanatic and David Tennant was that nerdy cute that makes my heart go thud, but I didn’t have cable to watch it and the Blockbusters down the road didn’t carry it, so I thought I was never going to get to watch it.

And then, behold the power of YouTube.

So far I’ve seen The Girl in the Fireplace, Christmas Invasion, Doomsday, The Impossible Planet, The Satan Pit, The Idiot’s Lantern, part of The Parting of the Ways, and The Runaway Bride. It’s cheesy, but a good cheesy. ๐Ÿ™‚ And David Tennant is just lovely. Which others do you recommend and which should I stay away from?

Other browsing squees of the day:

I haven’t been the biggest fan of the Harry Potter movies as they always seem to let me down, but I do like the previews and the behind the scenes look and the next one at least looks amazing so far. Helen Bonham Carter looks absolutely perfect for Bellatrix, as does the young Evanna Lynch as Luna. I’m so so on Umbridge.

Anyway, behind the scenes clips of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix .

Two Phillip Pullman books are being made into movies. One, The Ruby in the Smoke, is a BBC production and stars Billie Piper for the Dr. Who fans (see, everything comes back to that show!), and will be playing on Masterpiece Theater on Feb. 4. Between that and Jane Erye playing this weekend, it’s almost enough to entice me to get cable again.

The Golden Compass is also coming to the big screen and it looks fabulous. So excited and can’t wait for the trailer!

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27th November 2006

small things

It’s so hard going to bed after a day off… Going to bed means the day has ended and tomorrow another day at work begins.

I’m worn out from work. I’ve been carrying 8-10 patients for a week now, discharging one, only to collect another 3…or a bouceback, a patient that I had only just discharged. The Q3 call (call every three nights) for 3 straight calls bled me dry and I’m only now recovering, only to face another call (my last!) on Wednesday. All things come to an end… Thursday will be the end of this rotation, just in time for me to move back to neurology with the three pagers and even more painful calls. (But on the plus side, another 2+ weeks in the NICU! yay!)

I tried to spend the day doing things around the house, namely scrapping paint off the wall again. It is excruciatingly slow, and I’m getting frustrated. I want to be done! I want my room to be pretty and painted brightly in one color that I picked out, not still finding deeper layers of paint below the salmon pink.

Plus, Chris is coming to visit in a week. One week from tomorrow. Guh. How could it have come up so quickly? He’s doing an interview tour, and I’ll only get to spend like twenty minutes with him, but it’s twenty minutes more than the usual. He’ll stay the night on Tuesday and hopefully find someway to entertain himself while I’m at work and then we’ll meet up before he takes off for the next destination. I’m hoping to get off early… I found out the exact days he was coming too late and I can’t get the day off. The plan is to then meet him in Chicago for the weekend…. I’ve avoided going to Chicago like the plague, but I don’t think I’m going to be successful this time. Anybody with any suggestions of what to do there?

In any case, I want things ready when he comes, show off my pretty house, and that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. *sigh*

Nonmedical update on the rest of my life upcoming, I promise.

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13th August 2006


Today I went to Berlin, London, Norway, Denmark and Belgium! And I gained a new state, Michigan, for my visited state map, leaving only 19 to go! Wow! Very good work for a day off!

I have the whole weekend off, in fact, and was going to spend it camping… but I was post call yesterday, and came home to take a nap, and didn’t wake up until 11:30 at night, and then slept in again today. So I took off today, drove through northern Wisconsin and Michigan, but I couldn’t find a campground that was further than 10 feet from the highway, so ended up just driving back. Kind of disappointing, especially when I was so looking forward to being away from the city, where I’d have a chance to see the meteor shower. I stopped a couple of times on the way home but it was too cloudy/foggy to see anything. It was so nice to get away, to just drive and not think about anything. I had my first “made on a farm” Wisconsin cheese and saw the Packers stadium and had a picnic by a waterfall.

I understand now why they are called “golden weekends”, these precious, rare two-days-together-off. I’m already getting sad at the mere thought that i have to go back on Monday…

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3rd July 2006

doctor in infancy

Today is my day off. Which is nice. I survived the first two days of internship, as did my patients, which is always a good thing. It wasn’t too horrible, except there was so much that I forgot (didn’t do a physical exam on two of my patients. Not good. Didn’t tell the nurse that I was changing medications. Not good.) and I spent most of the time floundering in the decisions that I did make (giving that patient cough syrup, was that okay, or did I just make the other medical condition that we were treating him for worse? (you laugh, because it’s just cough syrup but when you think of all of the drug interaction….)).

So now, I get to enjoy the day being away from the hospital. Except I can’t figure out how to put a notification on my pager that I’m away, so I keep getting paged. I’ve just ignored them. That’s probably bad too.

And my next day off? Will be on July 22nd. That’s right. 19 days without a day off. I’m already getting crabby at the thought.

Don’t get me wrong, I am really enjoying this, I am between the freak out fits, and it was wonderful to be back in the hospital environment. I love talking to the patients and getting to know them. My patients have been wonderful and have very nicely been as well as they can be in a hospital, so I haven’t had to worry too much about them. But I get antsy when I have to be up every morning at 5 and don’t get a chance to just be lazy. *sigh*

I’ll be on call tomorrow, so I won’t be done until 9 pm, so I won’t be really celebrating the 4th, except by taking care of the veterans who sacrificed so much of themselves to protect our country, and when you look at it that way, it seems like the best use of a day.

Still without internet access. Getting beyond perturbed. It’s flipping a switch people, it shouldn’t take 10 days to do. I really, really, really need it working, so I can figure out how to get my new Pocket PC working and download some oh so valuable medical information so I’ll actually know how to manage my patients.

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