My new favorite euphemism comes from sports:

Apparently, some baseball player, perhaps Josh Beckett from the Red Sox, was unable to play Sunday due to…

“INTESTINAL DISTRESS”

Polite language for “he couldn’t get far enough from a toilet for long enough to actual take the field”.

Ewww! (Giggle!)

Someone posted this on FB a few weeks ago, and it’s really gotten me thinking:

An old man once said, “There comes a time in your life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad, and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don’t. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living.”

Now, I’ve no idea who said it, or if it’s an accurate quote, but I really like the sentiment. Especially the part about walking away from people who create drama in their lives and instead surrounding yourself with people who make you laugh.

A few years ago, maybe two, a friend told me that I could choose to be hurt and upset, or I could choose to be happy. To get over things. To live my life as my life.

Both of these feed into the philosophy that I’ve been trying to live for awhile now. There are days when I still take things too personally, when my skin is too thin to bear with certain comments or actions. But there are days when these things roll off my back, when I shrug and move one. Those are the days I’m comfortable in my own skin, that I’m happy being me. Those days are growing in number. And there isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not thankful for the people in my life and the love and support they unconditionally give me, and in which I work to provide the same back to them.

Smile at a stranger – the little things can make a huge difference.

Walking to the parking garage after a hectic morning at the new job and an all-afternoon meeting at the old job:

Man, walking towards me: (singing outloud)

Me: (rubbing eye randomly)

Man: Don’t cry!

Me: Oh, I’m not.

Man: Have a lovely day!

Me: Thanks, you too!

Man: (walks on, singing)

I continued on to my car, grinning like a fool the whole time. Not sure why, but this was a great pick-me-up and made my day. Going to try to pass it on.

I’m at the store, buying a graduation card for a friend.

Cashier: Do you need a bag?

Me: Nope, thanks.

Cashier: {puts card in a bag}

Cashier: Do you need cash back?

Me: Nope.{Wonders if I’m going to get cash back anyway.}

No such luck, maybe next time.

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?
Went to Ecuador and the Galapagos.
Touched a whale shark.
Swam with hammerhead sharks.
Hiked to 16,000 feet up a volcano.
Threw a baby shower and became a sort-of (sort-of because we’re calling ourselves aunts, though we aren’t related at all) aunt to Nate and Shelly’s baby Owen.
Began to seriously contemplate giving Owen a sort-of cousin.
Earned my PhD. Officially became a Doctor!
Published a paper from my graduate work.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I didn’t make an official New Year’s Resolution for 2010. Rather, maybe, the nebulous get healthy/stay healthy goal. And I think I’ve done pretty well. Mentally, I’m in a much better place now than I was a year or even two years ago. Physically, I’ve taken care of some healthy issues, really started exercising more, and have even lost a decent amount of weight. So all in all, I’d say I did pretty well. And frankly, I’ll probably make the same resolution. There’s always room for improvement.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yep, Shelly did! To a beautiful little baby boy on Thanksgiving morning. This is also the thing I’m most thankful for in 2010–that two of my best friends became parents to a beautiful, healthy baby. And that Owen is a wonderful baby.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No, though we worried a lot about John’s grandmother due to all the things that contributed to her prolonged hospital stay, which included a heart attack and a pulmonary embolism. But she’s doing much, much better now.

5. What countries did you visit?
Ecuador and the Galapagos (same country, but vastly different). Both were amazing.

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
Health care through my job.
More financial security.
A larger living space.

7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Owen’s birth.
My fifth wedding anniversary.
My dissertation defense date.
My graduation ceremony.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Earning my PhD.
Getting healthy.

9. What was your biggest failure?
With the goal of mental health, I’m not answering.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I threw my shoulder out again on December 26th, 2009, and thus spent the first 3-4 months of 2010 re-healing it.
I was diagnosed with a fairly non-serious medical disorder that is now under control.
Mild aches and pains at times, especially when I took up running again.
But in general, pretty healthy, especially right now!

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Baby clothes for Owen.
A trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos.
Perfect Christmas presents for everyone. It took awhile to find just the right thing for each and every person, but I did! This is, quite honestly, my favorite part about Christmas.

12. Where did most of your money go?
Rent and groceries and utilities and boring adult things.
Paying for my own health care for the second half of the year. Maybe I should have re-thought that whole graduating and no-longer-a-student thing. But it was worth it.

13. What did you get really excited about?
Owen’s birth.
Graduating with my PhD.
My new job.
Elizabeth’s residency here in the Bay Area, meaning she and Mark will continue to live here and we can see them all the time.
The San Jose Sharks pummeling the Detroit Red Wings in the NHL Conference semi-finals.

14. What song will always remind you of 2010?
Black Eyed Peas “I gotta feeling”. (Was that even this year?) But it was a good year and a good song.

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:

A bit thinner. Maybe happier.
Overall about the same. And happy with that.

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Scuba diving.
Running.
Exploring California like we always say we’re going to do.
But in general, it was a really good year just the way it was.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Not much. Complaining, maybe, but I think it was a good year. I like it how it was.

18. How did you spend Christmas?
In Iowa, surrounded by family, extended family, and in-law family. Laughing, cooking, taking pictures, sharing memories, gossiping, eating, staying warm.

19. What was your favorite TV program?
Um, I didn’t watch much TV this year, honestly. Except for sports, like Sharks hockey and college basketball. John’s new favorite show is “Wild Justice”, which is pretty good. “Better With You”. “Better Off Ted”.

20. What were your favorite books of the year?
“The Gurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” by Mary Ann Shaffer. Love it. Highly recommend it.
Malcom Gladwell’s “Blink”, “Tipping Point” and “Outliers”.
Atul Gawande’s “Complications”.
I’m sure there were more, probably in the romance category, but none that come to mind.

21. What was your favorite music from this year?

Songs on the radio I could sing along with.
Handel’s Messiah, as always.
Christmas music, at least for the last month or so.
The group Cage the Elephant, who’s music is great for exercising.

22. What were your favorite films of the year?
I think I only went to see two movies this year. A chick flick with Elizabeth, though I can’t remember what it was. And “Eat, Pray, Love” with Shelly. Both were okay, neither were a favorite.

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 28. My dissertation was due to my committee about a week later, so I probably spent the day working on it. Went to dinner with friends, if not on my birthday, then right around that time.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
It was great as it was. For others, better health for John’s grandmother. Less heartache in the beginning of the year for my sister. A Stanley Cup for the Sharks instead of for Chicago.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?
Comfortable.

26. What kept you sane?
John. My friends. My family. Scuba diving. Running. Graduating.

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.

Learn to be happy with who you are, or work to be who you can be happy being.

Merry Christmas to all (or alternatively, Happy Saturday), and may 2011 bring you all you wish for.

Well, when I leave work in a few hours, I’ll officially have survived the going-into-work-for-40-days-straight. Of course, the point of this was to have nearly all the work done for the paper that I would then spend January writing and editing. Of course, the Science Gods have other plans in mind, and something really cool has come up that, while being really cool, will require a bunch more work in January. I’m clearly never going to be finished with this job.

But it’s still finally starting to feel like the holidays. The parties and dinners with friends are wrapping up, and tonight John and I set off on the trek to Iowa, with the hopes that Chicago won’t have airport delays tomorrow morning.

All our Christmas shopping is done, mostly wrapped and shipped back home. A few packages that were delivered straight there are waiting for wrapping paper, and then everything can go under the tree.

Of course, before then, we both have to finish work, pack, and get on a red-eye flight and make it home! But the end is in sight! And it’s an official white Christmas end! Huzzah!

And the thing that I’m going to be celebrating most this Christmas is the advent of a NEW JOB!! That’s right, I was offered the job I really wanted, in the lab I really wanted to join, doing the research that I’m super excited about. And every indication I have about this new job as far as people and work environment and expectations and everything is good. It’s making me super excited. Gotta finish the new job first, but I can’t wait to start the new one, maybe in February or March. Huzzah!

I hoep you all get what you’ve been wishing for for Christmas, and that if you travel, it goes smoothly and safely.

I recently agreed to guest post a holiday craft post for Abby, and it went live late yesterday. If you have any interest in a recipe for chewy molasses-spice cookies, check it out!

The holiday grind is gearing up, just as the work grind is slowing down.

Next Thursday, when I come to work for the last time in 2010 (not work for the last time, as I’ll be doing some off-site work, but actually, physically come to work), it’ll be day 40 of a no-days-off-since-early-November stint. Ugh. I could really use a day off!

And I’m so glad I get to celebrate the end of my last day at work by immediately getting on a red-eye flight to Chicago! (Now where is that sarcasm font when you need it?)

Because the last time I did that it was all fun and games. Including a call for medical personnel while we were somewhere about half-way between the Bay Area and Chicago. Yeah, fun and games.

Although my work-life balance is already out of whack, and I have basically no time to myself these days, I am looking forward to the next week or so of holiday parties. Tonight with Mark and Elizabeth. Tomorrow with a friend coming into San Francisco for the week. Thursday night with another friend. Friday to myself, just to be at home with John. Oh, and make tons of food for Saturday, which is the big annual holiday party thrown by James and Cara. Sunday is a smaller party with just us, James and Cara, and Nate and Shelly. And the baby, of course. Then there’s another two dinners next week before we leave.

Speaking of tons of food, one of the things I’ll be making Friday night is my traditional Chewy Molasses-Spice cookies. Best cookies ever. There are some ass-less moles wandering around…. Ha, I crack myself up. And John too. The rest of you don’t have to laugh. BUT! I’ll be guest posting that recipe over on the lovely Abby’s Bright Yellow World, possibly tomorrow, so go check it out!

I can’t wait to give presents and hugs and love to all my friends. I love finding just the right present for someone, and then getting to see their face when they open it. In fact, I’m so eager for this that I already gave John his Christmas present last Saturday. It’s a book that I heard about and knew right away that he’d love, and figured he’d need something to read while we fly home! And he loved it! Go me!

It’s a good thing I love my friends and family so much. This is the pick-up I need right now to get me through the next ten days–something to look forward to nearly each night. Something to make work not seem quite so dreary when I continue to come into lab for five days after the university officially shuts down for the holiday break. Yeah, research doesn’t do itself, sadly.

And although I plan to arrive home early, early, early Christmas Eve morning, have breakfast with my parents, then lunch with my in-laws, and then face-plant on a couch somewhere for a much-needed nap, the whirlwind of the next weeks is going to be worth it.

May it all be merry and bright!

So I know this is week-old news, and I also know that I should be working on my post for the lovely Abby over at Bright Yellow World (I promise I’ll get to it soon!), but I’ve had this comparison in my head for awhile now.

And I didn’t mean to abruptly quit when November ended. It was more like work snowballed me under, plus I had a job interview yesterday to prep for (I’ll find out Monday, cross your fingers for me!), plus I only had spare time to sleep and maybe eat.

But! Here I am! Home from work after almost 10 hours, so I didn’t make it to the gym, which magically means I have some extra time! Not sure how that math works out, but nonetheless!

So, last week, as most of you probably know (unless you’re living under a rock that is buried under the tundra somewhere under the dead moose carcasses that SP The Horrible is leaving in her wake), LeBron James went back to Cleveland with his new team. Apparently the crowd had some signs, and there was a fair bit of booing, but overall the Sports Center commentators thought the fans were pretty well-behaved and tasteful.

I’ll admit, we watched the much more important (to us, anyway) San Jose Sharks v. Ottawa Senators game the same night.

And so, um, tasteful and well-behaved? Not so much the hockey fans that night. To the point where the Sports Center people even pointed it out! And there’s almost never any hockey love on Sports Center!

It was the game in which Dany Heatley returned to his old rink to play against his old team.

Back in 2009, Dany basically (so I understand it) requested/demanded a trade since he wasn’t happy with the way things were in Ottawa. They arranged a deal to send him to the Edmonton Oilers. Well, if you watch hockey, you know the Edmonton Oilers, especially last year, were/are not particularly great. They didn’t win a single game in January of 2010 (I think).

Dany said no. Flat-out refused.

So a new deal was constructed, one that sent him to us in San Jose in trade for Milan Michalek and Jonathan Cheechoo. James F actually had a hat signed by Michalek and Cheechoo, which we referred to for most of last year as the “I’ll give you this hat for Heatley hat”.

And Dany Heatley really shined last year. He scored 39 goals for us, I think, and played excellently on the first line with Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau. We had a great year, and made it to the conference finals, losing to the Blackhawks. (Grrrr.)

So the game last Thursday was the first time that Heatley had returned to Ottawa. They came here to San Jose to play last year, and we skunked them. But he hadn’t been back to play them.

The booing apparently started 20 minutes before the players even made it onto the ice. During the game, anytime Heatley stepped onto the ice, there was loud and continuous booing. It was actually kind of useful to signal when line changes were happening! And the booing never really diminished. It lasted the whole 60 minute game. Every time Heatley was out there.

At one point in the third, when we were up several goals, a big group of guys came down to the rink and all threw their old Heatley jerseys onto the ice. Pretty well orchestrated, to tell you the truth.

There were also a lot of “Traitor” chants throughout the game, and a lot of signs using “H(e)ATE(ly)” in various phrases.

And finally, at the end of the game, which we won 4-0, the fans who were still left started throwing things at our players (that’s a bit too far, in my opinion). Heatley all but dived off the bench toward the dressing room the minute the horn sounded.

So really, for all the hype and fanfare of LeBron leaving Cleveland, for all the broohaha over his return, when it comes to commitment, be it for your team or against the other team, hockey fans can take basektball fans any day.

Oh, and two nights later when we played in the somewhat-neighboring city of Montreal? Heatley got booed there, too.

I’ve gotta give credit to fans that are that dedicated to their teams. Hockey is a great sport.

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