Wednesday, October 31, 2007



Big Update in my life!!!

Phosphorylase = Glycogen Phosphorylase

Phosphorylase ≠ Phosphorylase kinase

What's more,
Phosphorylase ≠ Phosphorylase kinase ≠ Phosphoprotein Phosphatase ≠ Phosphoglucomutase





Also, Phosphorylase A = Pac man. As in the video game. Because he likes to eat glucoses off of glycogenl one at a time.

If you understand this, then you can continue to live. However, in all actuality, if you don't understand this, you will likely still live.

This is a reenactment of biochemistry tutoring today:

A:"What catalyzes that reaction?"

T"Phosphorylase kinase."

A"Oh, is that Pac Man?"

T:"No, that's later."

A:"I thought Pac Man was phosphorylase?"

T:"It is. When it's phosphorylated."

A:"So what phosphorylates it?"

T:"Phosphorylase kinase, except when phosphoprotein phosphatase switches the phosphate group, and will dephosphorylate Phosphorylase A to Phosphorylase B."


Oh. My. Word. It's like "Who's on first?" with Abbott and Costello.

I started this because I thought the camera was going again, and worked, and I took a picture of the almost completed sweater...and then it stopped.

But the point remains! The blue sweater, the first sweater I will ever complete, if I can work through the last couple of inches of ribbing at the bottom and sew on a sleeve (and hide the ends) is almost done. Which would be lovely. It's 41 F, and I'm a freezing in class. Sometimes they still have the air conditioning on. Basically, if doctors ruled the world (which they do in our Health-Science Campus...except a few lawyers nearby) it would be very cold and the air conditioning would be on all the time. I'm glad they don't.

Happy Halloween, babe. If there's anything scarier than biochemistry, I don't know what it is. Maybe no knitting?


Tuesday, October 30, 2007


"In the depth of winter, I discovered within myself an invincible summer." -Albert Camus

It was in wartime Paris that Camus developed his philosophy of the absurd--the assertion that life ultimately has no rational meaning. While the philosophy of Camus' fiction often tends to imply that no moral order actually has a rational basis, Camus himself did not act with moral indifference. Rather, since Camus does not draw a direct correlation between the lack of hope and despair, his philosophy can best be characterized as a form of optimism without hope . The absurd hero is a hero because he achieves the ultimate rebellion--that which resists the illusion of a rational order while also resisting despair. - Sparknotes


Camus fascinates me. Not that I think that the question of suicide is the be-all and end-all question of life (To be or not to be...), but the face that he finds an indifference in life and struggles through it all the while. I find this indifference in my life.

"To work and create 'for nothing', to sculpt in clay, to know that one's creation has no future, to see one's work destroyed in a day, while being aware that fundamentally, this has no more importance than building for centuries - this is the difficult wisdom that absurd thought sanctions."

Is this not what I do? Build up stockpiles of information in my mind, learn how to take care of people, heal some, but merely prolonging the wait before death in all. It's like sculpting in sand at low tide. Everything washes away. Yet, I know the beauty is in the moment, at that time, that even though it doesn't last, that very moment in time of beauty is enough in itself. I know this since I have had pain, and I have not had pain, and I would rather the latter.

I both want and need to get myself to the place where the doctor in "The Plague" was on the last page. To know that even though I work tirelessly, and that everything I do is for naught eventually, that I still must do it.

What a terrible thing to be drawn to ponder the philosophical meaning of life while there is the Krebs cycle to study. Though perhaps it is this winter that is bringing out these ponderings. However, not all winter is bad, necessarily. Even winter holds it's own beauty.

In fact, it was a winter day that was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen, so much purity and absolute that it brought tears to my eyes.

Still, I need to discover my invincible summer. I know it's hidden somewhere.


Sunday, October 28, 2007



You already know that I am remarkably happy about James. Ecstatically. However, I must tell you, I feel as if my head is about to explode from the pressure inside it.

I'm going to go pop some more pills.


Friday, October 26, 2007



My mantra for the day was, it will be alright. . . and it was. It is. James passed. I will not even attempt to express how relieved I feel.

I also wanted to say that while I was waiting for this phone call I was sitting outside reading my lab manual, and I noticed this guy who was skateboarding, trying to jump down a few concrete steps and ultimately falling each time and hitting the grass in a full-body roll. I realized that I have new-found respect for him. He was willing to fall in front of people.

I had another realization. I saw a girl wearing super-man pajama pants and realized it was the first time this year I had seen anyone wearing pajama pants. It made me think of Justin. The first time I saw anyone wearing such articles of clothes in public when I was in a T-ball club as a young child. For one of our practices it would be decided that we should all come in our pajamas. I'm not sure this act was motivated by a desire to drive us to greater heights of T-ball perfection. We weren't so competitive in those days. I like people who wear pajama pants in public.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007


I just found this picture again and liked it so I thought I would share.

hats hats hats


Oh! So many new techniques! I looked at your links and was so intrigued. I'd done the three-needle bind-off, but I've never even done a short-row before, let alone on a sweater or some fancy Japanese version. One of these days I need to work on some technique. As in, not a project per se, but a dabbling of different techniques that I've never looked into. There are so many things I want to try. You must show me pictures when you can of your sweater and how this is working out.

I finished two baby hats this weekend; a pumpkin one and a more muted hat with a modified basket stitch. No pictures, since there was that difficulty with the alarms being set on Monday morning and so the baby hats were whisked away before I could take a picture of them. One of James' coworkers had a baby this weekend, a little girl. I've been promised pictures of the child in the hats, so maybe we can get that up here someday.

Another hat project is in the works, this one is going so well. It's even and lovely and simple but pleasing to knit during class or grading reports. It's really not anything exciting to report yet, just some ribbing. It's a project for James. I was realizing today how much joy there was in knitting. I'm even branching out and have three projects in the works at one time. Such a change for me. And then I was thinking, did I even knit anything last year? I can honestly only think of one project that I worked on the entire year. That can't be right, can it? Can it really? That's utterly depressing. I don't really even understand why knitting is so satisfying. It seems to be so repetitive, and yet, it never fails to entertain. It's even absorbing just to watch other people knit.

I had my students fill out index cards with information about themselves at the beginning of the semester. I found these cards a couple of days ago and was going through them. One of the questions I asked them was what are you interested in doing with your education--what major or career goal might you have. Over half of my students want to be doctors. I found this incredibly fascinating. That is a hugely high percentage of students that are interested in this profession. Now, I know that first semester general chemistry lab is not representative of the future success in all the sciences. But still. Knowing what I know now from you and your experience of not only getting into medical school, but thrashing around with it once you are in, I cannot imagine that many of my students will make it. I feel like they need to be warned. Although, perhaps if they are freshmen this is just a whimsical goal. Perhaps there should never be anyone to tell them that they can't do something.

I don't know, really, but it made me all the more prouder for you, because you have made it so far and you have so much to be proud of. Alright, so you're aiming for 'average' right now. But your new peers are in the stratosphere, so the word average doesn't hold much weight anymore.

I have tests to study for tonight, so I should get on top of that. Strangely, the urge to "succeed" is slipping from me, and I'm starting to care less and less about my classes. Hmmm, maybe I should work on that motivational thing.

James' test = Friday. I'll let you know.


Friday, October 19, 2007

This is called, Karen almost lost James his job


Entrelac looks crazy. It reminds me of something an insane person would wear. Someone who teases their hair like Helena Bonham Carter. I don't know anything about her, I'm not implying that she's insane, but the look fits. I also imagine the wearer of those gloves wearing a giant skirt with plenty of layers so that it poofs out. Wait a minute. I know who I am imagining wearing those gloves. It's so obvious. A vogue knitting model. We still need to declare a day in which we, too, will dress as vogue knitting models in our wildest and craziest of knitting attire.

Okay, I started this blog on Friday, but then we talked about things, and so I just erased some stuff that would seem redundant.

But here is my relief that I must share now and then finish the post later. James had this test today (not the one on Friday that we're fearing, but some other one). But still, if he didn't pass, he could lose his job. Nothing to worry about, really, though. He practically had the test and its answers to study from. Only, I set alarm mistakenly for 4:30 PM instead of AM. Woke up at six. And oh, I've been spending the whole morning worried that I cost him his job. But no! James is still employed!! At least until Friday. More updates on that to come.




I thought your days might need a pick-me-up. I know you love this song, and I sincerely enjoy the costumes and dancing. Ra ra rah!

In other news, while studying last night I fell asleep with all the lights on and didn't wake up until my roommate called me from the bus. She was worried that I wasn't awake. She was right. I quick threw on clothes and hopped in my car and drove and barely made it in time to the test. If she wouldn't have called, I wouldn't have made it, and likely failed the class, since that test is half our entire grade. This also means I would have to take off an entire year of school just to retake that class, but still pay full tuition. I am so in her debt right now it's not even funny.

Also, I've only had a cup of coffee for edibles/drinkables this entire morning, so my entire body is quivering in overcaffeination combined with hypoglycemia. I'm going to go eat some sugar. Straight up.

I love ya. I really do.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Just in case


It seems that some peoples were concerned with my post a couple days ago, which may have been slightly dark and depressing for a knitting blog. That is too bad. It is my life. What more shall I do?

Yay for gloves! Entrelac is fun in the...very, very dark, dreary, and confusing lecture halls.

And the gray mystery is nearing completion!

Just in case anyone else is curious, Shostakovich wrote his 8th String Quartet the year after the 1st Cello Concerto which Karen alludes to in her comments. At 1:56 in the 2nd link, you hear a theme directly out of the very top of the first movement of the Cello concerto. That one is also great fun.

I had a good day. Other that my first biochemistry class, when I didn't have any coffee yet. Then I crumbled and grumbled, and finally found some coffee. Then the day was far better until this evening, when I realized I have not studied this material for genetics to the level at which it needs to be known. So, to that effect, I make my graceful exit.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

if you want to sing out sing out


I imagined myself chewing the grass today--figuratively speaking--but found myself unable to. My figurative grass is more like hay I think; it's dry and stiff. My saliva cannot penetrate. And then I spit it out, unable to chew.

On an unrelated topic, my stomach is shrinking. I feel mildly as though my dependence on food is diminishing. I also feel like I'm not responsible enough to make my own food yet.

Homecoming, how happy. It has such a nice ring. I never went to the parade, did you go this year? Did you know that when you have children and they join a sports team that you are expected to go to every game? I find this insurmountable. That is most likely why I don't have children yet.

This is my beautiful male rabbit, whom I continue to refer to as a "she" because I'm already used to the pronoun and find it difficult to change. Which leads me to think about the hypothetical circumstance that someday someone I know will have a sex change and I will forever be using the wrong pronoun in reference to him or her.

This is Hazel-Rah in his torpedo position. I guess you can't see the shape very well from this angle, but it reminds me of a torpedo. When he's all floppy and lazy and lying on the floor you could pet him, fold over his ears, cup your hands over his eyes, or move his body like a mop on the floor, and he wouldn't budge. Only don't try to pick him up, because then he'll run away.

This is Hazel on the skateboard. He won't go very far, because James removed the wheels.

And Hazel with some spinach on her. Him. Whatever.

I went to the fridge to get some happy food and came back with creamed corn. Is it wrong that that seemed the happiest thing in our kitchen?

I went to a seminar yesterday. It was a student in her last year of grad school. She wasn't a very good speaker and I was kind of tuning her out, but I liked her, because in the end of her presentation, she showed pictures of all the people that she wanted to thank. Only she had photo-shopped the pictures so that her faculty adviser was a gremlin and some other member of her group was Indiana Jones and etc. for at least 10 people. I thought it added a pleasant amount of accessibility to her project. But then the faculty grilled her with questions and I came away with a sense of hopelessness.

When the possibility of moving to Las Vegas was still up for grabs, I looked into the university there and found that it was only a couple of blocks away from the strip. Somehow that calmed me and made me feel as though I could handle the level of chemistry at that school. I find the big picture far more overwhelming than the hypothetical 2x2 on my hypothetical desk.

I still need to get a desk. Is it wrong to go shopping for artwork before practical needs have been fulfilled? I went into this second-hand store, only it was a good one, and they had all of this shiny jewelry and I got a pair of earrings in the shape of whisks. Whisk whisk whisk whisk whisk!! And they had lovely shiny loopy costume jewelry that made me think of you. I would have bought you earrings, but they were clip-ons. There were llama cuff-links there.

Oh wait, this is a knitting blog . . . I feel like I don't have any friends . . . or any interesting knitting news. Didn't you knit your washcloth in cotton?

I need to buy buttons.


ps. I think I inhaled a fair amount of carcinogens today. Lab=sparklers. Lab=incoherent Karen.

Sunday, October 14, 2007



It was lonely without you, dear, but I went to homecoming this past weekend, and it was a lovely time. Weird when you feel out of place, though. I feel old. Pretty much no knitting got done this weekend. I think I put in a few rows on a finger. Yup. A finger of a glove got maybe 3 rows done. That's how much not-knitting I did.

I did go to a dance, and showcased my ability to dance to rap, latin, soul, general retro, jazz, whatever. It helps when you have an amazing partner.

We also discovered some...swords? Something...and we dueled to the death for awhile. Until we decided that dueling to the death was silly, since we both wanted each other to live.

I was told my face was a bit proud. Obviously this is only because I am the most amazing bamboo sword (?) fighter ever, and it comes through in these pictures.

I won't duel you, Karen, unless you train for at least 12 years first. Just in case I forget to restrain myself.


Thursday, October 11, 2007



While I don't entirely apologize for the craziness of yesterday's post (was it yesterday? two days ago? everything blends...) I did forewarn you. Let me explain.

I am tired. I am very, very tired. My insides feel like they are vibrating, I am so tired. I don't know why, I even looked through some books, and they don't talk about guts vibrating. Let's ignore that. My brain is ceasing to work, however. And thus, my latest post? That was actually ruminations on the difficulties of dissection. Very abstract ruminations, because I didn't want to gross people out. Because, Karen, my dear, you really don't stomach those things well. So there you are. Eventually all medical students become crazy. Once we're bad enough, they call us interns. Then you begin the process of becoming uncrazified, eventually resulting in becoming a full-fledged doctor! Some people take longer than others, such as cardiologists, or pediatric cardiothoracic surgeons. Actually, the surgeons never really lose it. And then they kind of get arrogant, because their patients are mostly asleep and, while awake, daren't damage the ego of someone who is about to rummage inside them. I digress.

I knit a cotton preemie cap for the preemie project, which collects baby caps for all the teeny tiny babes in the hospital, of which we have a high amount, comparatively with a regular hospital. This made me realize something:

1) Preemie knitting goes even faster than baby knitting
2) I hate knitting with cotton. So painful. My right wrist was shot all yesterday. I could barely write. My wrists just can't take that harsh of a fiber! So right now I'm working on a cashmere lining for the gloves I'm knitting. I really, really like cashmere to knit with. It has about zero elasticity, but really, who cares. It is so soft and lovable, you just want to hug it and knit with it all day. Cashmere doesn't hurt your wrists. Cashmere and cotton shouldn't even both start with "C," they are so not in the same category. I'm going to start thinking "Kashmir" when I think of it now, because we all know that "K" is so much better than "C."

I want to introduce you to someone I met in my genetics class today!

This is Godfrey Harold Hardy, one of the founders of the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium concept/equation. Apparently he played Cricket with Reinald Punnett (of the square variety) who told him about the problem of population genetics, and Hardy figured it out! They showed this pic in class today, and the girl with a good sense of humour and I both burst out laughing. Because look at him. My first thought was, "He looks like he's about to attack the camera-man with those hands. And that face!" My next thought was, "Oh, my gosh! NO! He wants to knit! He's got his hands ready to go, and nobody ever taught him, and this was his cry for help." Look at how depressed he seems. It's because he's not knitting, Karen.

We could have helped Hardy. I feel sad that he is dead 60 years and that he never learned. It's really a shame. So many people's lives could be improved by knitting.

Biochem test tomorrow. Wish me luck!


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Forewarned: Crazy talk

I am a coconut inside my gut. The centipede hung out on the beach while the sun set, and he drank tequila, ruminating on whether Pascal really was right, about religion being all a game of roulette and chance. Dried coconut fell out of my fingertips. When will the coconut stop? How much is there? Why does it all fall into the bucket and where does it then go? Together with the other coconut, or stay on it's own, or does it just disappear. Because maybe coconut can do that. Though it doesn't seem so.

Figuratively, of course.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007



Sadness. The merino is one that I am frustrated with sometimes. It does not like to take cool colored dyes...the warm colors of the browns have thence left only reds, yellows, and oranges. Now, at a standstill orange, though swimming in blue dye, I am left with only one option. Well, two options.

1) Love the orange. Be the orange. Think how much you like to eat oranges.
2) Saturate that puppy with black so hard it will think that it's Halloween and it got left behind during Trick-or-treating.

I'm going for two. Sometime. Sometimes when it's not 2 in the morning. Besides, absolutely no one here uses the stove but me. Except Erin sometimes. Hopefully she was not planning on making Lasagna tomorrow.


Orange you glad it's only $4 yarn?

Now that I have added khaki (with a hint of green) camel, and golden brown it has turned orange. It seems to have a like for only the warmer members of the color wheel. Therefore, I have now added blue. This was only supposed to take like an hour. Or less. Preferably less. Other people can't help but get brown. They get brown accidentally and don't want it. Why can't I be like those people at this moment? Perhaps I'm going through the rainbow. Yellow is next. Then green. Actually, I have added blue, so we might not be so far off if we guess green.


Another Running Blog Entry


I am dying yarn, yet it is not turning out well at the moment. You see, when I added all the dark brown dye, attempting to get brown, I did not.

It turned cherry red.

Cherry as in the top of your Dr. Pepper bottle cherry. While this is not a nasty color at all, it is not brown. Which was the goal.

Luckily, I realized that

1) I had too much yarn and too little water in the pot for it to dye evenly and
2) It was red

before it got too terrible, and I threw out the red freakish dye water and threw in a bit of khaki and golden brown to change it up. Because maybe that will work? I may need more khaki in order to counteract the red. You know, green + red = brown. Maybe. Maybe that will work.

Oh the stress of life.

I came to some major realizations in my life.

This sweater, which I don't even think I told you about, but which I have been obsessed with, has to go. It is scratchy. Far too scritchy scratchy. 60% Alpaca 40% merino, but sure doesn't feel like it. It almost feels synthetic nasty. That's what I get for randomly buying offline when I haven't felt it before. The place is yarntreehouse on ebay, and this sure doesn't feel like the blend it is stated to be.

I put down this sweater awhile, pondering what I would do (I had taken these pictures earlier documenting where it was driving me crazy with it's messed up gauge) and then I realized. The 78% merino 22% nylon blend! Surely it would dye nicely for me and be the sweater I want!

We'll see if I can fix it. However, I don't hold too much hope. In the meanwhile, I've still been busy.

Blue cashmere, ripped from a Goodwill Sweater, and not nearly as shiny as it looks. Actually, it is the opposite of shiny. It is dull and soft. The yarn not in a ball (I had to wash it) shall be the lining for a pair of gloves, possibly one at the bottom at this post.

Once very purple Linda Allard and Ellen Tracy sweater, 70% wool, 30% silk.
One shinier than it looks teal 2XL Men's Peruvian Connection Sweater, 80% Baby Alpaca, 20% Silk.
I must say, these are two of the most (probably) expensive sweaters I've ever ripped. $4 for me, but much more for someone else out there. The purple is gorgeous. Probably the highest quality of yarn I've really ever worked with. It doesn't feel like wool when it's in the sweater, it's so soft. I can't believe I actually felt that it was when I was going through the racks and checked the tag. But it is immensely high quality, and was a dream to rip. The teal was not a dream to rip. It is what we call exactly the opposite of a dream to rip. But let's forget about that. Like in the Hip Hop Kids, "Well, you need to get past that, because they got ripped, and that's all they is."

And maybe you know what this is now?

Sorry the pics are a bit blurry, hard to take them indoors. And it is a'raining outside, so that was not happening.

Man, I need to speed up my Exit Scrategy! I'm going to dance it out of this post!