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... 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

This one's for you...

Last weekend's big ride was in memory of an incredible physician and human being. He had an inspiring professional career spanning many decades, dedicated to advancing science and educating residents and fellows, as well as an enviable work-life balance. He loved to be outdoors, and he will be missed. Rest in peace, Dr. P.

 I rode around Strawberry, around Tiburon, and up to China Camp State Park. One of the weirder portions of China Camp State Park is shown here. 

The sun always shines on Team Menstrual Cycles...

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Turns out this year is busy

I've been pretty consumed with residency these past two months, but am still biking hard! I'm exhausted, and have little time to post, but here are some recent cycling photos...

 Tiburon by bike

 Angel Island


 In which I prevent bicycle theft and also use a state-park toilet

 The view heading toward Tiburon

San Quentin...

In case you'd forgotten, I'm bicycling 200 miles this year for good causes. Can you give $1/mile? Or just $0.50/mile? To support me, click here:

Monday, July 04, 2016

Time marches on...

I'm now two weeks in to my last year of residency. Some of you may have noticed that a few weeks back a countdown labeled "The End of Residency" appeared in the sidebar with a terrible font and clunky free interface. It is ugly, but it is the truth; there are now fewer than 365 days left in residency! 

This transition marked the departure of another dear group of colleagues and friends, all headed to jobs and fellowships that sound amazing. I'm sad to see them heading out, but happy for their much-anticipated transitions and inspired by their soft landings into the careers they've been planning for years now. 

I don't really have anything eloquent to say about this, other than what I've been saying about everything in residency to date - it will be, and then it will be over. Hard to imagine, but here we go. Hold on to your hats for one last year of this wild ride.

Claudia and I prepare to emcee the banquet for the graduating residents

Saturday, June 11, 2016


It's done. I've officially registered for two century rides, two weeks apart, for two great causes. I first mentioned them here, and as of today am registered for both. There are two things I'm absolutely depending on for these rides:

1. Patience: I am slow. There are not a lot of things in my life where I am content to admit that I'm slower than almost everyone else and am satisfied there, but cycling is one of them. I'll train as much as I can train, but there are certain immutable facts (namely residency) that slow me down. Luckily, I'm pretty happy riding all day all alone, so even if the friends, family, and colleagues who will be joining me on these rides are much faster, I don't mind bringing up the back.

2. Your money: You read correctly. I've made some rather lofty fundraising goals in order to feel good riding in both of these rides. Compared to my ride last year (40 miles), I'm increasing my mileage this year by 500%. Can you do the same with your donations? If that percent increase seems a bit steep to you, perhaps consider a 100% increase since I'm doubling my number of rides. Here are the links to my fundraising pages:

BikeMS: Waves to Wine

Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle

Last weekend I rode 54 miles (all at one time!) on what was the longest bike ride my new bike has ever experienced. Apart from grossly underestimating the amount of water I needed, and forgetting to sunscreen my legs, both of which only became apparent after 95% of the ride, it was lovely.

 In which I demonstrate that even in the daylight I favor cycling safety

China Camp State Park, or, the very lovely surroundings of the public restrooms around which I planned much of my ride

Friday, June 03, 2016

Some thoughts about regional cycling culture

In Michigan, looking cool on a bicycle meant several things. First and foremost, it meant sporting a variety of cycling clothes (jerseys, shorts, socks, etc) from the various events you had previously completed. Started riding DALMAC (the Dick Allen Lansing to MACkinaw) in 1971 when it originated? Then wear that vintage jersey from the first year they made them to show just how awesome and dedicated you are. Secondly, although there were probably small subgroups of cyclists that favored the matching kit, where the jersey and the shorts are made to match, the vast majority favored mixing it up, perhaps to demonstrate the wide range of interesting pieces of cycling gear available to the enthusiastic rider. My rides would leave me asking questions along the line of, "Huh, I wonder where I can get those bright crazy shorts that guy had, so that I can wear them with my florescent pink jersey with the little devil on it from the ride through Hell, MI?"

In San Francisco, and I suspect in most of California, the approach is completely different. Fitting in and looking like you mean it on a bicycle requires a matching kit. You may select a pattern or color, and if you are part of a professional or amateur cycling team, it is acceptable to wear that jersey, but otherwise black is the preferred color. All of the fancy cycling clubs seem to produce all-black cycling gear, perhaps with accents that attempt to prevent accidents and make you more visible. While my training rides here have also prompted question asking, they have been more along the lines of "Why would you market a line of black, solid colored cycling garments in a city with so much fog?"

While I'd like to avoid high inference statements about cycling clothes that demonstrate that you have money rather than cycling clothes that demonstrate that you have fun, this difference seems stark. Am I missing something? Is there another obvious reason to eschew mismatched cycling gear in favor of the all-black kit? Help me out, dear readers. Perhaps needless to say, I continue to pair pieces of my maize and blue University of Michigan kit with other random bits, like the bright pink jersey I mentioned earlier, and my Menstrual Cycles team jersey, all with the primary goal of making myself as noticeable as possible to cars on the road, and the secondary goal of wearing clean things while riding. Look for me on the roads in an awesome kit comprised of colors and patterns that were never meant to be!

 Looking out over the Marin Headlands

 Finally biked up to Muir Woods

Clouds from Twin Peaks

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Quick updates!

It's somehow suddenly very late on Sunday, so here are some updates on the posts from the past few weeks.

The baby barrage: The neonates have started to arrive, and my list of knitting to-dos grows. They are all so cute, and so far have come with only the expected amount of drama. The combinations and permutations of yarns and patterns is increasingly overwhelming...

The cycling craziness: Last week was a cycling failure. Abject failure. I'm back in the saddle as of this morning, and aiming to increase my mileage pretty significantly this week. I'm planning to register for both rides shortly, and you all can anticipate desperate fundraising pleas to come!

The pet prancing: It continues. Need I say more? This week's feature is Aleks, who is shown below snuggled into his cave bed, nuzzling the squirt gun that has quickly morphed from a disciplinary tool to a game, and with his head stuck in a bag of caramel corn.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Like farm animals... making cute baby farm animals...

When one of my best friends and college roommate told me she was pregnant, I was super excited for her. When she told me how far along she was, I realized that her due date would line up with approximately five other friends who were expecting babies this year. All of them were due in the springtime or early summer of May and June. Shortly after I shared this, there was a thoughtful pause in our conversation. "We're like farm animals" she said, "all having babies at the same time." 

And here we are in early May, with all of my friends either at term or nearly so, and my list of things to knit keeps growing. You see, when I first started knitting things for babies I made tiny things: socks, hats, booties, etc. As the years went on I got faster and faster and more interested in knitting challenging things and creative things. This generally meant sweaters instead of hats and booties and when I was in graduate school this wasn't a big deal. The babies were fairly spaced out then (except for one year when there were ten) and I had lots of lecture time in which to occupy my hands. Fast-forward to residency, a time during which I have knit the lowest volume of items since learning the craft, and I'm struggling. The only saving grace is that everyone loves a six-month-size sweater even more than the newborn one. 

A sampling of the most recent garments:

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Less thinking, more pets

This week was a whirlwind of driving and call, so I've done very little cycling or anything else. Here are some highlights of my week.

This is how Walter greeted me post-call yesterday. He desperately wanted me to rub his belly.

 Eli does not fit in the small box, but he is not willing to admit that he needs the larger box to accommodate him. I think he prefers the fit of the small box because it is snuggling him.

 Here I've captured Aleks climbing down off of my back where he thought he should ride after I leaned down to pick up the cat food. 

I stopped at the Lafayette Reservoir to knit for a few minutes post-call on Friday. I had a little time to sleep overnight, and an appointment in the East Bay that was just a little later than I'd expected. It was lovely. 

Monday, April 25, 2016

In which the pendulum swings entirely in the other direction

Having just written about the very real downsides of setting ambitious goals, I thought I would share today some of the ambitious goals that I've set for myself. It's been almost exactly four years since I last rode in a century ride, documented here. That was during the early part of my fourth year of medical school, and I think it's only fitting that I attempt another (at least) one while I'm a resident. It's not clear to me whether I'll actually have time to train, but I'm committed to trying.

The first ride is the Best Buddies Challenge from Carmel to Hearst Castle. The possible routes are detailed here, and I'm hoping to complete the 100 mile ride with my cousins. Both Matt and Chris are in much better shape than I, but hopefully they will ride slowly with me! If all else fails, I'll drive a little further down the coast (maybe Big Sur) and meet up with them for the last 62 or 30 miles, which I can definitely complete.

The second is a reprise of last years Waves to Wine with Team Menstrual Cycles. Last year I rode 40 miles on the second day, and this year I'm hoping to ride on both days, ideally completing the 100 mile ride on the first. I'm already registered (the link goes to my fundraising page!) but have realized that my clinical schedule may be all but impossible on that weekend, so keep your fingers crossed for me. Here is a flashback to last year's ride:

Chris and Matt, if you're reading this, you, too, could rock a cycling jersey with a uterus riding a bicycle!

Saturday, April 09, 2016

On the perils of goal setting

Most people, including myself, would place the setting of goals solidly in the Venn diagram circle of "good" things. Today, however, I found myself reflecting that goal setting might instead be more accurately placed in the Boolean intersection of the circles encompassing "good" AND "bad" things. Some thoughts I had today while on my bicycle:

  • Simply by setting goals I find myself to be more motivated to meet them, and doubly and even triply so if I've articulated them aloud or in writing and shared them with someone else
  • There is almost nothing that I love more than checking things off of a to-do list
  • Writing down specific goals often helps me to break up a task into more doable sections

  • Sometimes goals cannot be met for an assortment of good reasons, and one can undertake crazy or unreasonable things simply for the sake of meeting a previously stated goal
  • Items piling up on a to-do list are overwhelming
  • Even the broken down goals may be way too much

Here I am at the top of Twin Peaks. You cannot see anything around me (nor could I) because I am surrounded by fog. I am soaking wet from the rain, and did not wear my bright green cycling rain jacket. I was inside the clouds, and not in a euphoric, cloud nine kind of way. In my defense, it was not raining when I left the house, and having recently created some very large cycling goals (more on that later), I couldn't bear the thought of missing out on a ride today. About 12 miles in, I am trying to look happy in this photo, despite being very cold and wet. Check?

Sunday, April 03, 2016

The return of the post-call bike rides

My third year of residency has truly been a tour of models of resident coverage in a variety of different settings. At different points throughout the year I've worked in clinic only without any call, I've been the covering resident for anyone who is ill or otherwise unavailable, I've been on a night float team, and I've taken 24 hour call every three days, and I've been part of weekend call teams. There are definitely pluses and minuses to each one, and frankly all of them are exhausting in some way. For this current six week block, I'm on a (seemingly) random 24 hour call schedule, so I'll have non-weekend post-call days again! 

I'm definitely not in Hawaii anymore, and my post-call surrounds are distinctly more suburban versus exurban than tropical, with some agricultural sights thrown in for good measure. I'm also driving a car belonging to my amazing and gracious co-resident that does not hold my bike. These facts have necessitated a reconsideration of my previous (island-bound, Prius-driven) cycling regimen. I have dreams of a century ride (or even two!) in a few months, so we'll see if I can make those come true. 

 First post-call ride was a jaunt through Golden Gate Park and down the beach. Sometimes I forget that we live in a really beautiful place...

Second post-call ride was a painful reminder through the Presidio that my night float biking was really only my short nightly commute and that I am profoundly deconditioned...

Saturday, March 26, 2016


This weekend feels like one long post-call day. I'm finally done with my block of nights and am trying to adjust back to living in the day. The last block was a bit of a low time both for taking and posting pictures, but back by popular demand is an Anne Geddes-inspired photo of the dog, and some flattering close-ups of the cats...


Monday, February 15, 2016

The clouds of SF

I've continued to lament the lack of breathtaking beaches and mountains in my bike rides since returning from Hawaii. There is nothing quite so satisfying as sharing not only that I biked some longer-than-expected mileage, but that I also saw an oceanscape that would make most postcards jealous. After moping about this for some time, however, someone wiser than I suggested that most people consider Northern California to be quite beautiful in its own right, and that I might be selling the Bay Area a little bit short. Since that conversation, I've gone on some pretty spectacular rides - through the Marin Headlands, around Twin Peaks, up and down in the Presidio, just to name a few - and must begrudgingly acknowledge that San Francisco is quite a lovely place to ride. Lately, in particular, I've been noticing that while the fog is not generally considered beautiful, it seems to sometimes lead to lovely clouds. Some examples below.

 Over Sausalito

 From the lookout in the Presidio

 On Ocean Beach

 From Twin Peaks

At the corner of Gough and Eddy

Monday, February 08, 2016

As old as the redwoods, and other weekend escapades

Many of you will know that I had a birthday on Friday. It was not a major milestone birthday, but it did happen to fall during a clinical block where I, wait for it, did not have any cases scheduled so had a secret day off. Yes, it's true, I lounged around the house eating french toast and watching television in the morning, and then went on a bike ride in the afternoon. It was phenomenal. In honor of becoming old(er?), I opted to bike up to some redwood trees on Friday. I ended up riding up to the young ones near Muir Woods because I had it in my mind that I would bike 33 miles round trip, and the older trees were too far away.

 I stood in the middle and contemplated briefly that, in the scheme of things, I'm not so very old. 

 Later in the day I also got carded when I ordered a beer, so then I really felt not so very old.

Later in the weekend I also biked up into the headlands. My lower body is sore today, but I'm feeling good that I biked >90 miles last week!