Thursday, August 30, 2007

Too much


In order to prolong the excitement, I am not going to show you everything all at once. would overload you. Let's just say I haven't quit dying or knitting. But we'll get there bit by bit, okay? Let's start from, if not the beginning, then, at least, another very good place to start. The Iowa State Fair!

I won 5 ribbons! For 5 projects! That's really exciting for me. I don't have all the pictures, but I'll share a few. Okay? Okay. Here's my teasers. So Kris and I went to the fair, and where did we travel first? To visit my knitting!

In the background there do you see a sock with pink stuff on it? That's my stockings! They got an honorable mention, because apparently they were different sizes. Perhaps they were. I know I knit them the exact same rows, stitches, everything, (I was very careful) but perhaps tension varied. Gauge is such a delicate issue. I got another honorable mention, though perfect score, on my scarf (and they commented that yes, the yarn was extremely soft). My handspun, handknit gloves got 4th place, a pink ribbon. They liked the color. Me too. Actually, it's not my favorite, but I did dye it, so I'm still proud. Not bad for first handspun. I got third place on my baby selbu mittens, which I was very proud of. Perfect scores, and the two other mittens were very impressive. First place was a lovely pair of Latvian mittens. But what about the last entry, you ask? Can you find it?

There is a very cute male blushing next to his birthday blue ribbon green gloves. What's that you said? Who got third in your category? Only the winner of the best of show last year. Oh yeah! Not that it's a competition, well, it kind of is, but I was really happy to pull a blue ribbon out. I certainly didn't expect it.

Then, of course, we visited the sheep. There was a knit in at the fair, and the wool show. But I got scared of talking to all these spinners who seemed so good and better than me, I ran away. But not before I felt the prizewinning fleeces. There were definitely some beautiful ones. Afterward I went to feel them, and there was so much lanolin on my hands, I had to go wash them straight away. Very sheepy sheep. We visited this lovely llama and other happy sheep, which I don't have pictures for right now. But you'll see. I tried to pet the Blue Faced Leicester, but she kept running away from me when I snuck close. This llama was taking a nap when we came, but stuck his head up just in time for the picture. Notice the sleepy llama eyes.

We probably spent half the day just checking out the sheep and me gazing at my blue ribbon knitting. There was also some obnoxiousness about a lemon shake up (Never, ever buy. Unless you are a fly.) Kris and I wanted lemonade, so we went and bought a 32 oz. lemonade (it said lemonade) for 5 bucks. Because it's the fair, and that's what you pay for lemonade. I watched them make it. They grabbed a cup, threw some sugar in it, threw in half a lemon, and filled it with water. Then they shook it up. Then they handed it to me. I tasted it. I had been hoping that the powder they put in was a lemonade mix. It was not. It was, literally, sugar water. 5 dollars worth of water with sugar and a half lemon in it. I took it back to the stand. I told them, this is not lemonade, this is sugar water, and I cannot drink this. A woman shucking corn in the background looked at me after a young lad had conveyed this to her. She shouted that no one had ever complained before. Perhaps others like sugar water. I don't, particularly, and told her I'd paid for lemonade, not whatever this was. She refused to give me my money back, and said I could have other things instead. The stand only sold sugar water and grilled corn on the cob. I left the sugar water on the counter and said no, but that I wouldn't accept it, and I walked away, angry. As we passed the next stand, there was another man complaining that what they'd given him was sugar water. Apparently lemon shake ups were big at the Iowa State Fair this year. Not with Amy, however. Therefore, we trecked over to the local church-run tent by the sheep barn. I always figure church people won't cheat you because they want to be on your good side. I was right. 32 oz. of lemonade, real lemonade for 3 dollah. They made me very happy. We came back for another an hour later.

I have more to tell you, but I have to go learn how to dissect a heart. And a mediastinum. Our guy had heart bypass, so it'll be interesting to see what they did, and what the heart looks like. Hope your classes are as exhausting as mine.


Wednesday, August 29, 2007



I am sorry for my reprieve. Things were crazy. For longer than things should ever be crazy for nonstop. I mean, at least give me a day's respite! That day was Sunday, for me, and it was fabulous. This early afternoon, I give you life news. But, later tonight, just you wait, you're in for KNITTING NEWS! Because there is much that has been knitted. Things that I never thought I would knit, that anyone would knit, I have knitted. And just like Justin did to sexy, I brought knitting back.

But first, I present you with, "My life."

I moved. That was. I moved. Let's leave it there. I burned wool. In the stove, overnight actually, but there was still water in the pot that I'd left in the oven, which I'd left on. So when I went to work in the morning....didn't realize I was burning wool. When I came home and smoke was coming out from the doorframe....realized something was burning. Threw open the windows, off the oven, on with the fans, and promptly realized I was screwed. The next day my mom came to help me clean the smoke smell out of everything (burnt hair smell....burning human...yeah. Lovely.) Then the roomate came in and dropped off her cat. We FREAKED. No idea she was coming back. We thought I needed to be out of the apartment, packed up everything, I've never been so...not scared...but...feeling utterly screwed. Utterly screwed is probably the best way to put it. And so we were going to ionize the place to get the smell out, and couldn't now because the cat and the roommate were there. So....yeah. Don't do that. I still don't know if the place smells like smoke...I hope not. We cleaned hard best as we could, but I don't know. I told them I burnt dinner, because I don't know that they would understand if I said I burnt wool. But I haven't heard anything back about there's life.

Well, there's 3 days of it. Then I had to finish my research at work. I had 1 week left. I had everything to do. Interviews, transcriptions, data analysis, conclusions, write a presentation, let alone write the paper! Suffice it to say, I did everything except the paper in 2.5 weeks. Yup. Worked 1.5 weeks unpaid. Because life is like that. So I started summer work 1 day after graduating, and finished 0 days before I started Medical School Orientation. Which left me with exactly 4 days of vacation summer: the day I moved in, and Independence Day, and 2 days after Independence Day which I took off and ran around with my parents. So...yup. Not exactly what I wanted, but hopefully when I'm published it will pay off.

The last week when everything was abstract, my practice presentation on Monday, my final, "I'm giving this in front of doctors, medical students, and world experts in my topic" presentation on Wednesday, I got sick. Bad sick. Stomach flu and I'm not really sure I exist anymore sick. Monday, I almost fainted during the practice. That was hard. I didn't eat anything all week that stayed down besides soda crackers and a little fruit. I was more worried, as I wrote, on Wednesday, about throwing up during my presentation than messing it up otherwise. But I got through it, and that was really happifying. Really happifying. (Seriously, the guy who literally wrote the book on my topic is in our department. It's the universally accepted major book in the subject. A bit intimidating.)

Thursday and Friday were orientation! Orienting! I think I also gave you a call on Wednesday or something, because I was definitely feeling the stress and lonliness, and you came through fo sho. Thanks. It really helped. And I've met some really nice people here so far. No known life-long chums yet, but that's just because you're the only one I've ever known to wear pasta on her head to let others know where to look for a friend, we don't typically do that at medical school. It's intimidating. Let's be honest. What did I think medical school would be? But it is. It's a lot of information, but absolutely zero busy work, all of it is extremely useful. It's weird learning something about nerves in anatomy and thinking, "This might be the last time they teach me this. After this, I'm responsible for it. Forever." It really gives you motivation to study so that you don't kill people. I feel like everything we went over in Biochem in 2 weeks I've learned here in 2 days. Literally. My notes, preprinted, because you can't write everything down that fast, are approximately 32 pages/day for biochem alone. Anatomy notes have the girth of a medium textbook. They throw random clinical bits in, and I'm now resonsible for them. Like where to place needle when removing fluid from the pulmonary cavity (inside the chest, outside the lungs). Fun stuff.

Off to study, but I'm showing you knitting later tonight! We like to knit, right! The pictures are at home, so I'll wait until then. But I know you're excited. I sure am.

Missing your pasta glory,

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Bulimic Bees

I had to figure out how to upload pictures onto James' computer. But now that I know, way easier than mine. Unfortunately, I've been slacking with my picture taking. I had some views of my drive to school, but they didn't quite turn out the way I wanted. I also took them while I was driving, so that could have been part of the problem. But it's a lovely drive, despite the annoying length. Lots of mountains and scrubby brush and rolling hills. I guess I was expecting AZ to look identical to NM but it's completely different. Far better. I do enjoy the mountains. I mean, they're not ice-capped or anything, but they are lovely.

I found this delightful knitting shop about a mile away from campus. I picked up some alpaca, warm and sooooooft and delightful. I started knitting up a hat with it. Tried to take a picture of it, but the flash made it too bright and without it, it was just a dark blob. I found a link from knitty to this website and subsequent hat and fingerless mitten pattern. Oh, it was so exciting to start up a new project again. Unfortunately, I decided tonight that without a variegated color scheme, it is difficult to pick up the design in the pattern. The eye seems to register the pattern as just stockinette stitch--well, from a distance at least. So I'm trying to decide if it's worth it to keep the pattern in or not.

I've also had this picture on my camera for a while, and I've been meaning to comment on it.

This was on my cereal box. It was a little cartoon of these bees playing baseball. They need a pitcher, so they pull the above bee out of the stands. Not only is he clearly bulimic--I mean, he's holding a pot of regurgitated honey, what else are we supposed to suspect?--but in the end he cheats! He throws the ball, but because his hands are sticky with his own regurgitation, the ball snaps back to him and the batter is unable to hit it. This apparently deems him a hero. I was appalled to find this type of cartoon. What is our world of cereal advertisements coming to?


Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Done Done Done Done Done!

Wishing I could vomit...


I'm serious. I wish I could just throw up right now. I give my presentation in an hour, and I cought the flu on Monday, and it was really bad then, but my stomach is now upset still when I eat anything, and it doesn't want to keep in the mashed potatoes that I tried last night. I would gladly let them out, since I'm struggling enough between nervousness and sickness that I don't care about the mashed potatoes all that much to worry that those potatoes are the only thing I've eaten and kept down since Monday.

But I can't get them out! Out, out damn spuds!

I will feel better, if not entirely, but emotionally somewhat, in about 1.3 hours.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I love traffic.

Ideal. I had my first TA experience this morning. Nice group. Lots of pre-med students. I was an hour and a half late. Yeah. My morning wasn't stressful at all. There was a lorrie that was burning on the freeway and I was sitting a few miles away, behind a line of cars, for two hours. Most of that time I was trying to find the number for the teaching lab so I could tell them I wasn't going to make it on time. It was not very helpful that the university's info desk opens at 7:45 and my lab starts at 8. Nor was it helpful that only about one in five calls that I attempted remained undropped (there was poor reception). Oh dear. The second hour that I was waiting, however, I did work on my knitting. There was some stress relief in that. I was glad I brought it along.

We have spontaneous company this evening. James' friend from college (the one he went to before he transfered) is in Tucson. He's there on some type of work or business trip. Staying in a lovely, expensive hotel, but for some reason is opting to give that up for one night to sleep on an inflatable mattress on our living room floor. Luxury, I tell you. Anyway, I get to pick him up in an hour.

This keyboard, on my desk, has crusty keys. Really. Like if I scraped off the top of the keys (especially 'y' and 'b') I would have a gross film underneath my fingernail. Interesting.

Thursday, August 9, 2007



I still stand by my statement of last week. However, the stress continues. I can't write now, I just can't look at a computer screen anymore. I'll say this:

I burned wool in my subleased apartment. It smells like burning flesh. Yes, the apartment does. Still. I burnt it bad. Smoke everywhere.

The other person moved back in so we couldn't clean it out completely.

I moved out.

I moved in.

I am swamped at work so that I worked until 7 tonight. And I'll probably do some more work as well later tonight. I worked here, at home, until 11:30 last night.

I missed the bus multiple times today, got on at one point, realized I had forgotten something, ran back here, picked it up, and proceeded to miss the bus some more.

I need to return a spinning wheel, but I can't when I need to (this Saturday).

I am really stressed out.

I am reading Harry Potter. Because I really need to get away from this reality right now.

I have to present my research in a little under two weeks and I haven't even collected all the data.

I'm screwed, just screwed, all over. All over. You know I'm screwed when I randomly find myself tearing up at work and singing, "Everyone knows I'm in over my head, over my head. 8 seconds into overtime..."(because I am in over my head right now, and I'm going to have to work past when I'm getting paid, officially, because I have to finish this research.)

I'll get back to you when I can. Good luck! Congrats on the desk! I'm going into La la land for awhile, now.


chemists who knit

There are three incoming graduate students (including myself) that are knitters. I feel that camaraderie is on the horizon. I brought my mitten project to work on during the down time, but so far no one else has braved to bring their needles within sight. Hopefully this will change. From what I know, the other two are baby knitters. They like to make baby projects for infants. But that's all I know. It's kind of like detective work so far.

I've had orientation since Monday, but nothing particularly useful yet (besides the knitting information). We start learning about how to TA tomorrow, which is actually something a bit practical. When do you start your medical classes? Oh! And I got a desk today! That was exciting. With a computer. Although it doesn't quite work yet. We'll have to see about that. Or rather, someone else will, because I wouldn't want to fiddle with it. The desk was also covered in boxes and other people's junk (you know, the type of stuff you don't know where to put so you just put it on someone else's desk), but it has since been cleared off. I'll have real internet in the apartment on Saturday, so I won't have to go to the library to type and read. Oh! And James is coming tomorrow!!! With his family. I had the morning off so I made bread. And lasagna. Mmmm. I am so hungry. But I have to wait around for Elisa, because when she's done with work we are going out to eat somewhere. And tomorrow I'll see James again! Hooray.

Wishing you an excitingly accurate and precise day,

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

movin' on

Oh dear. Oh no. I'm sorry. I am moved in too. Only not so many problems. Just no furniture yet. Well, there are two chairs, but they're camping chairs, so they're outside on the porch right now, because they're dusty. Right now, I kind of wish I was a librarian. This library that I am writing from is so calm, peaceful, bookish. I like the smell of books.


Sunday, August 5, 2007

Moving is hard


This last week? Hell on earth. Utter. There was even fire and bug demons. I don't want to relive this past week (which is still ongoing) ever again. Okay? Never ever.