son of a nutcracker

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What an excellent seasonal oath. ANYWAY! It’s almost Christmas! Thank goodness: I was in desperate need of a vacation. I’m at my parent’s house right now, but very soon I’ll be in California frantically trying to acquire all the Vitamin D I’ll need until May. I was weirdly busy on psychiatry, but David and I still managed to do some fun stuff in December in spite of that.

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The only holiday decor DIY I did this year was an advent calendar. Instead of little tchotchkes and chocolates, I had each day correspond to an activity. We went to Chicago’s Christkindlmarket, watched A Muppet Christmas Carol, and drank a LOT of eggnog. Mmmm. However, my favorite activity by far was the one in which David and I rewrote the lyrics to popular Christmas songs so that they were CeeCee-themed. I’ve pasted some of our creations below for your enjoyment and my own embarrassment.

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“Me Cleanin’ CeeCee’s Caca” – (to the tune of Mele Kalikimaka) – words by David

Me cleanin’ CeeCee’s caca is the thing to play
On a cold Chicago Christmas Day
That’s the prying feeling of a sticky poo
On the bottom of a litter tray

CeeCee knows that scooping takes all human might
Toxoplasmosis dust fills all the air in sight
Me cleanin’ CeeCee’s caca is the thing to play
To fill our plastic sacks with poo

Me cleanin’ CeeCee’s caca is the thing to play
To say Merry Christmas
A very hairy Christmas
A very hairy dusty airy Christmas, to you!

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“Santa CeeCee” – (to the tune of Santa Baby) – words by Ellie  

Santa CeeCee, just bring a clicky pen into bed for me
Wrestle it while I snooze, Santa CeeCee
So hurry down the hallway tonight
Santa CeeCee, a permanently clean litter box too, no poo
‘Cos we scoop all the time, Santa CeeCee,
So hurry down the hallway tonight
Think of all the puke I wiped
Stepping in your messes gave me such a fright
Next year I could be just as good… if you don’t puke purely out of spite
Santa CeeCee, I wanna cuddle, really that’s not a lot
Been so snuggly all year, Santa CeeCee,
So hurry down the hallway tonight
Santa CeeCee, one little thing I really need…
No kneads, on my boobs ev’ry dawn, Santa CeeCee,
So hurry down the hallway tonight
Santa CeeCee, fill my stocking with string and shiny plastic bling,
Pigeon wings on the top, Canta CeeCee,
And hurry down the hallway tonight
Come and wreck my Christmas tree, strew the decorations far as I can see!
I really do believe in you,
Let’s see if you believe in me
Santa CeeCee, forgot to mention one little thing… a milk ring,
I don’t mean for your hand, Santa CeeCee
So hurry down the hallway tonight
Hurry down the hallway tonight,
Hurry…tonight!
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Now, if you made it all the way to the end of this weirdly long post, here’s a picture of CeeCee gnawing on our Christmas tree as a little present. Happy holidays!! (:

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hey hi hello hola

One of my least favorite things about blogging is reading a post in which the content is only a half-assed apology about not posting more/explanation for the blogger’s radio silence, and a promise to do write more frequently. Yawn. But after two months I’ve gotta start somewhere.

So since we’ve last talked (or I talked at you, to be more correct), lots has happened on the personal and academic fronts. I finished the surgery, primary care and psychiatry clerkships. A few shocking things have happened: I loved surgery* **, and I did not love psychiatry. When second year ended, I was pretty sure that psych would be my destination, career-wise. I love talking to patients and spending time understanding them, but psychiatry involves so many medicines, and talking about mechanisms and side effects of different drugs is basically a fast-track to my brain entering an alternate orbit.
Speaking of my brain being in alternate orbit, another thing that happened has been…
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Yup. Almost a month ago, actually. I totally did not see it coming (even though David and I have been dating for over five and a half years), but of course I said yes (: Focusing has been difficult lately. I alternate between daydreaming about sewing my own wedding dress and freaking the eff out over the idea of having to plan a wedding.
Crafting-wise, I’ve been in a bit of a dry spell. I have finished (or almost finished) quite a few knitting projects, but because they’re ***seekrit*** Christmas gifts I don’t want to post about them here (just yet). Spoiler alert, though: I am obsessed with gloves. So tedious and nitpicky!! My favorite kind of project.
Oh! Also. I finally joined the world of modern technology and left my trusty 4.5 year old “dumb phone” by the wayside. This means that I now have an Instagram account, which is 50% crafts and 50% my cat. So check it out and we can ogle each other’s yarnstagrams.
* Definitely not going into surgery, though. I love to eat, urinate, and occasionally sit: these are luxuries not often afforded to surgeons. Also, waking up at 4:15 AM for the indefinite future is not a sustainable habit conducive to happiness of any kind.
** The last case of my surgery clerkship brought with it probably my most favorite memory of medical school thus far, and possibly one of the high points of my life. as I brought the patient into the OR for their hemithyroidectomy, my attending, who had mocked me so much for the whole month, turned to me and said “Ellie, I chose the music for this case especially for you.” He then proceeded to play the entirety of the soundtrack from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. He also called me Hermione for the duration of the case. Needless to say, I was floating about four inches off the ground the entire time.

surgical strike

Behold! This is pretty much the extent of my crafting over the past five weeks – putting gourds (grown by my parents!) in a basket on our coffee table. That shit looks so seasonal.

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As you can tell from my drastically reduced crafting, this surgery clerkship is kinda killing me, but in a way that I kinda actually enjoy. Waking up every morning between 4:20-4:45 is a bit of a drag, but once I get those first few minutes out of the way the day is pretty good. The people with whom I work are overwhelmingly kind and encouraging (okay, with maybe one or two exceptions, but hey, not everyone can be  Glinda the Good Witch), everyone is very interested in education, and the relationships that surgeons have with their patients are both incredibly special and interesting to observe. I have also seen some strange, cool, and sad stuff. Laparoscopic surgery itself is just a very fascinating thing, then I have seen some very traditionally “surgical” things, like poop coming out of man-made or natural orifices from which no poop should ever pass, more anuses than I could shake a stick at (SERIOUSLY! that is one of those things where when you decide to go to medical school, you acknowledge that you’ll see some stuff that’s depressing and difficult to process, but you don’t really stop to take into account how many anuses you’ll be looking at and putting your fingers into for your education/job (pro tip for all future med students possibly reading this blog – you will be reaching into lots of butts)), and some stuff that has been really really depressing. Like lie awake at night and simultaneously think about the 21 year-old that died right in front of you and the elderly man in the ICU hooked up to eight million tubes depressing. Sigh.

Okay, now I just waxed poetic for an absurdly long time about surgery, which is just really weird. Sorry everyone who reads this blog and mostly likes knitting and hates being reminded about poop and anuses. But does this mean I am going to be a surgeon? Nope. I think I still want to do pediatrics, but I do have to say that this rotation is actually inserting a little doubt into my steely rejection of surgery.  And I’ll still be very grateful when I get some knitting time back (:

sweater frenzy

Yup. I finished ANOTHER one. This is the Clarity Cardigan, which I’ve been working on for about 4-ish months now. I started this project after the boards and really just tore through the majority of the body in 3 weeks, then got bored and stopped (of course).  After I finished David’s sweater I pulled this bad boy out and saw that the body was just like an inch from being done – no more excuses! I made short work of the sweater once I picked it up again. The collar is a bit difficult to style, but I’m getting the hang of it. While the color isn’t quite right for fall, I think it will make a really great sweater for those terrible days in March (and April…) when I desperately want it to be spring, but it’s still only 35 degrees outside. It’s terribly sad that those days happen so frequently that I specifically made a sweater for them, but eh – it’s Chicago, what else was I expecting?

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When my dad saw the finished product on me he immediately broke into a rendition of “Rainbow Connection.” (Thanks Dad.) While I do acknowledge that this sweater is particularly Kermity, I won’t be sad because I have a deep affection for the Muppets. If you want more project notes check out my Ravelry page.

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PS – this is a scheduled post – as you’re reading this, I’m on trauma call at the hospital. Eeep!

a mad man, a box, and a pair of earrings

Saturday, August 23 was a special day. It was a day for which I had waited since CHRISTMAS! It marked the return of Doctor Who and the beginning of Twelve! EEEE. In order to celebrate (besides wearing my TARDIS shirt, drinking out of my TARDIS mug, dressing my cat as a TARDIS, you know, the usual), I made some earrings (which then subsequently went unphotographed because the camera was in Alaska and I was in Chicago).

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These aren’t just any celebratory earrings. The beads are abstract-ish DW-themed ones I made from my summer class last year.They were among the first beads I made, so they’re quite rudimentary in comparison to my chickens and initial attempts at flowers. The little blue rectangles are little TARDISes, and the red,white and blue beads are a mini-tribute to my favorite Doctor, Ten (and his 3D glasses).

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Since the 23rd I have watched the new episodes multiple times and engaged in many serious discussions about the new Doctor, Clara and other companions, etc etc. My opinion? I like Twelve. I like his grumpiness, I like the fact that he seems mad (in multiple meanings of the word), I like his kvetching, and I just absolutely loved, loved, loved the scene with the silver platter in “Deep Breath.” One thing that will take some getting used to: the Scottish accent. I definitely would have benefited from some subtitles of all that very Scottish ranting. That being said, I thought “Into the Dalek” was kind of poorly written and very confusing and while I am super excited about Danny Pink, I thought his initial character development was not done well. What do you think? And if your response is that you don’t watch Doctor Who, then I suggest that you change your television viewing habits (and consequently, your life) posthaste. That will be all.

surgerizin’

Hi blogging party people.  Last Tuesday I started my surgery clerkship! This mostly means that I now work a LOT. By a lot I mean I start at 5:30 in the morning. It is, um, grueling. Grueling is a good word. At the same time, I feel very lucky to have the schedule that I do have and to be working with some truly nice, inspiring folks. While getting to see inside real, living human beings while the capable folks next to me fix their problems is an absolute privilege, I unfortunately don’t have a lot (read: almost any) time for crafting. This part is a bit hard, as I spent a lot of time over the past two years striving to be someone with a lot of hobbies and an excellent work-life balance. But hey! It’s only eight weeks, and I am trying to console myself with thinking of ways that surgery and crafting are similar. Here’s what I have so far.

  • You know how sometimes when you’re crafting you lose track of time, then startle yourself into awareness and realize that it is some ungodly hour and it’s been like ten hours since you last ate, drank or peed? That’s surgery.
  • Accidentally doing your work in such an un-ergonomic position that you later find yourself in a secluded hallway, subtly trying to massage your own back on a doorframe.
  • And duh. The sewing. One is sewing clothes, and the other one is closing skin incisions. The biggest difference is probably the fact that when I’m sewing Lady Skaters, my knees aren’t literally knocking together with fear.

harry potter and the obviously different dye lots

Why do so many of my blog posts involve me writing the word “TRAGEDY” in all caps? Um, maybe it’s because I eff up my projects so much, but this is getting ridiculous. This one is definitely 100% my own stupid fault. Read on to join my pity party.

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I decided to knit my sister a sweater for Christmas, and chose Ginny’s Cardigan from the Interweave Harry Potter Knits magazine.  I had 5 balls of superwash DK in a purplish red color in my stash, so I just bought a couple more from KnitPicks to have enough to knit the sweater. I was almost done with the sweater body today when I realized that there was a stripe where no stripe should be.  It turns out that the dye lot for the KnitPicks Swish DK Bordeaux colorway has shifted slightly to be just a little more purple. Unfortunately, I was in the middle of a lecture hall so I couldn’t fully express my frustrations, which would have involved much gnashing of teeth and loud sobbing.

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See? Very obvious stripe. Ironically, there was a post on Fringe Association yesterday about the same exact thing! I read it and thought, “Wow. I would be so sad if that happened to me.” THEN IT DID. Murphy’s law of knitting, I suppose. In the end, I decided to frog everything that I had done (and by that, I mean I decided to make David frog everything I had done, because there would be no way I could do that to myself) and buy more of the newer Bordeaux.  So much for making headway on Christmas gifts before the surgery clerkship. Luckily, this hasn’t represented TOO much time spent knitting (thank goodness for DK weight, size 6 needles and a loose gauge). Time to see how quickly I can catch back up.