Sunday, July 23, 2017

And now for something completely different

I've been her in North Carolina for almost a month now, and life is so different from San Francisco. Here is a little table I've prepared to illustrate just how different it is (click to enlarge):

You can appreciate that fellowship is objectively, quantitatively better than residency, despite the steamy weather that heats up early, and that many aspects of living in Chapel Hill are amazing. I miss some of the food options (read: State Bird Provisions and Uji Time Desserts) that were close and delicious in San Francisco, but there are tasty things here that we're discovering every day (like The Root Cellar, which is literally right outside our side door).

Walter does not enjoy the heat. He is, however, loving having more rooms in which to lounge and a guest bed to sleep on during the day. Here

he is recovering from a long walk in the heat, and drinking from a twirly straw:

Just kidding, he cannot drink from a straw. I just posed him like this in solidarity with a friend who was limited to liquids for a bit. 

Good by to the slogan "Brown is the new green!" that was all over municipal green space in San Francisco during the drought. Here in North Carolina freeway rest stops are beautiful!

The view from the passenger's seat on our drive in.

Friday, May 12, 2017

The Final Countdown

As many of you know, I've installed the "Final Countdown" app on my phone. Filed under "wellness," along with my meditation and yoga apps, it counts down the days, hours, minutes, and seconds until residency ends on June 17, 2017 at 5PM (with the start of cocktail hour at our banquet). As of this posting I'm at 35 days, 22 hours, and minutes and seconds that count down as I type. I've set it to display the countdown in a soothing electric blue that seemed somehow less aggressive than red or green event. As we inexorably move toward the end of residency, I find that in a similarly unstoppable fashion my to do list gets longer and my desire to complete those items evaporates.

Things I've been avoiding:

  • Cleaning out my closet: There are things in there that I moved but haven't worn since residency began. I know, truly, that I will never wear them and that there are others in San Francisco who would, but the effort to remove them from my closet feels Herculean. 
  • Recycling my old medical journals: So many of them have not yet been read. At some point I will just need to embrace that many of them will never be read, and resign myself to the fact that they were lightly skimmed at some point and recycle them. Until that point, however, they will sit, weighing down the desk drawer and my conscience.
  • Studying for boards: This is sort of happening. I'm actually doing a little bit of studying each day, but nothing feels like enough.
  • Finishing manuscripts that have languished for months/years: Can a little bit more languishing really hurt?
Things I've done instead:
  • Went on a little vacation to Monterey: This involved kayaking with the dog, which Lynn thought was a great idea and I was quite dubious about, but which turned out to be fantastic. It also involved a lot of lovely walking, the aquarium, and some new yarn. See photos below.
  • Knit: This could be it's own list. The parade of babies continues, and I have been trying out new techniques and some bold colors. Hopefully all of the expectant parents I know are feeling highlighter florescent accent colors and/or bold stripes...
  • Pumped up my bike tires: I've not been on my road bike in months, and I'm trying to motivate in that direction...
This has to be one of the most photographed trees in the US, maybe the world - the "Lone Cyprus" on the 17 Mile Drive in Pebble Beach. 

The jellyfish were my favorite.

Walter, in the kayak. There is a longer story that involves him jumping out of the kayak and (later) being spooked by sea lions. Maybe for another post...

Monday, February 20, 2017

From the other side of the drought...

For the first few years that we lived in California, there wasn't much rain. I thought this was pretty great, as I bike to work most days, but recognized that it was affecting farmers and also people with nice-looking lawns in many parts of the state. There was much discussion about how best to conserve water, and apportion the water that was available to the most necessary tasks. Enter late 2016 and on into early 2017...

We have so much rain! There have been many recent stories about the havoc the rain has wreaked across the state, from images of people being rescued from river-like streets to threats of old dams and spillways overflowing to the breaking point. Meanwhile, I've been alternately lazy, using various ride services to carpool with strangers, and super intense, suiting up in my rain gear to brave the weather by bicycle. And then there are my succulents. They cannot decide whether to be thrilled or destroyed by the rain. While some are showing a little brown around the edges and there is tropical-looking moss growing on the dirt in one, others are blooming! Lemonade, I suppose.

 Some of the succulents look fancy when they bloom

 This one has grown so tall with all the water that it falls over whenever there is a lot of wind

This one is threatening to outgrow it's pot

Walter hates the rain, but on the sunny days we do have, he loves grazing in the flowers that bloom

Friday, February 10, 2017

Busy is as busy does

And while I've been busy being a resident, (seemingly) everyone else has been making babies. I present to you, the sweaters of 2016... (Along with a little hat and mittens that also came along this year...)


I'm hoping to start posting more regularly now. Fingers crossed!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Next step, dream job...

The last few months have been more than a little crazy clinically, and I just haven't found the time for a big announcement post... Work continues to be crazy, but I'm traveling for a conference right now and have random moments in the airport, in between sessions, and have cobbled this together.

At the end of June 2017, we'll be heading to North Carolina! I'll be joining the University of North Carolina Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology as a fellow in their Training in Epidemiology and Clinical Trials program. Many people have pointed out that the most recent news featuring hurricanes, voter suppression, and bathroom policing are not exactly the most welcoming, but they seem not so terribly different in scope from earthquakes, rampant gentrification, and well, there is no parallel for the bathroom policing that I can come up with, but my point remains the same. We're tremendously excited at the prospect of seasons, having more than one closet in our home, some semblance of work-life balance, and a road trip across the country with two cats and a dog in the car.

Come visit us!

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Too tired to boast... almost...

It's already been a week since my last ride, which is hard to believe. and I'm just getting to this post. I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to everyone who donated over $2000 to two great causes, the residents and fellow who helped me to arrange my call schedules so that I wasn't working either Saturday, and to the lovely Lynn, who spent an immense amount of time helping me to get to and from the start- and finish-lines. 

On Friday, September 9 I drove directly from work to Carmel. Early Saturday morning, my cousins and I headed to the starting line for the Best Buddies International Hearst Castle Challenge. I was so nervous that I wouldn't be able to keep up! I held my own for about 65 or 70 miles, thanks mostly to their willingness to let me draft behind them, and then rode with a slighly slower crowd for the next 15 miles. We met up at the last rest stop, and they slowed a bit and I pushed myself, and we all rode in together at Hearst Castle. It was a fantastic ride! I had to work the next day, so I got on the early bus back 100 miles north back to Carmel. I picked up the car, and drove to San Jose, where I met up with Lynn so that she could drive home. I slept most of the way...

I then worked on Sunday, and started my new rotation on Monday. I worked all through the next weekend, only biking as a commuter. On September 24, early in the morning, Lynn dropped me off at Cow Palace for the starting line for BikeMS: Waves to Wine. I rode most of the ride with various Team Menstrual Cycles riders, most of whom were doing some portion of the 82-mile route. I turned off on my own for the inland loop that distinguished the 100-mile route, and found the Marshall Wall to be a scorching, miserable climb that I do not plan to repeat. I was much, much slower without the benefit of my very fast family (7:50 moving time instead of 6:43 moving time), but I still had a great time. I slept on the way home that day, too. 

#200in2016 complete!

Also, thank you to Strava for diligently recording my rides, and to my Nexus 6P which has a decent battery life that allows me to record my rides

My cousin Chris and I in the fog that engulfed almost the entirety of the Best Buddies Ride

A cute lizard that joined me at the Hearst Castle Ranch

Another Menstrual Cyclist tackling Waves to Wine
(Don't worry, I'm stopped and standing on the ground while I take this photo.)

Looking sunny in the official Team Menstrual Cycles jersey

The view from part of the hot, desolate segment of the 100-mile route on the Waves to Wine ride

Sunday, September 04, 2016

How is it September? And other surprising things about the proximity of my first century of the year...

It's hard to believe it's September already, and Labor Day is Monday. My first century ride of the year is less than a week away! I just returned from a beautiful 60+ mile ride around the peninsula, and am feeling okay about the cycling part of this commitment. I am slow, for sure, and nearly got passed today going up a hill by a child with training wheels, but I'm also okay riding alone, so this shouldn't be an issue.

The fundraising, however, is painful! My personal fundraising page would have you believe that I have reached my goal, but that is so far from true! I'm responsible for the balance of the fundraising if I haven't met my goal by the ride, and that has already been processed! Please know that when you get a fundraising email from me, every little bit helps! And also please know that I hate asking you all for money, even for a good cause... So help stop the desperate emails, Facebook posts, and blog entries, and help me raise $500 more before next weekend!

Donate here

And now some photos from my ride...

 Crystal Springs Reservoir


 I know this gives the impression that there is not a drought... 


 Pulgas Water Temple

Behind the water temple...