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Alright, so NaBloPoMo didn’t quite kick my butt, but it did get a few swipes in in the form of one missed day, and some posts that probably shouldn’t really have been posts but were because I had to post, dammit!

Anyways, I’m glad I did it, tried hard, and even if I missed a day, kept going the rest of the time. Something to improve upon next year. I can almost guarantee you, though, that you won’t get a post from me tomorrow. Just to show NaBloPoMo who’s boss.

That, and it’s the Stanford-Cal game, and I plan to be tailgating (drinking enough to kill the germs), then cheering and then celebrating.

Maybe the celebration part. If Cal doesn’t do the lateral play against us again. Notre Dame did it to us just before halftime, though they weren’t awarded the points–I almost with they had been, as it was hi-lar-i-ous! If I were in charge of Cal, I’d play that for the opening play. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, go google some combination of Stanford + Cal + football + lateral + band. Seriously.

Anyways, today has not been lost. I successfully managed to leave the seminar room before hacking up a lung, thus only disrupting people with my movements and not the resulting hacking. I got through my presentation for the seminar speaker pretty well, and only hacked a bit at the end. Labmates all congratulated me, though a couple had some comments (and were a bit dubious) on my data/conclusions (frankly, I’m a bit dubious about it–lots more proof is needed).

Now I’m trying to get ahold of Amelia to see if there are plans, or if I should go home, take some cough syrup, eat my delicious arroz con pollo from last night’s trip to La Bodeguita, and go to sleep.

I’m feeling better, thanks very much, but still crappy enough that cough syrup + sleep is a very valid option. So, that’s my day in a nutshell.

I feel like I’ve been doing a lot of random little snapshots lately, nothing big and coherent and important–I think that petered out early on in NaBloPoMo. Bah.


Thus, only two more days for NaBloPoMo. Bah.

Move along, folks, move along.

Not much is happening here.

World domination plans continue: the plague has been passed (as best as possible) to the undergrads (though hopefully not my basketball boys), and potentially the visiting team, thus the eastward spread to Sacramento.

I’m taking the departmental speaker to dinner tomorrow, so may even be able to spread it all the way back to Bahs-ton. (Then again, the man can be described as a Virology God, so maybe that’s not such a great career move. Hrm.)

I spent most of the day sleeping, then talking with Dr. M, then poking around on the internet until Rhiannon was ready for a ride home, then following Amelia around while she figured out if her cells were good enough to infect.

Really, it was a terribly exciting day. I know you all want to hear about it in excruciatingly fine detail, but really, there are some limits that shouldn’t be pushed.

If it weren’t for NaBloPoMo, you wouldn’t even get this.

I’m off to eat my turkey sandwhich with cough syrup dressing and go to bed.

… is going to keep me from going to my basketball game.

It’s all part of the plan to infect the kiddies undergrads.

Hack. Hack Wheeze. Cough.

I swear I’m fine, why do you ask?

About a week before Thanksgiving, John got sick. Just a cough, with really no other symptoms. Except that he spent the next couple nights keeping me awake by (a) coughing, and (b) coughing ON me. Ewww.

And then, Thanksgiving night, I started to cough. Just a bit at first, and nothing severe. It was, really, one of the colds that’s only bad at night when you’re in a horizontal position and your body decides to rebel. I can live with those colds. They mean I can still function during the day, get stuff done, and then I just pop a Nyquil and go to bed. Case closed.

Until today, when the cold didn’t let go when I got up. And now I’m hunched over my desk, coughing, sniffling, and generally feeling crappy. And joy of joys, I get to go get food for lab meeting today. And then go to a basketball game tonight. And then host Journal Club for all the first and second years on Thursday night.

My plan, for world domination, is to infect everyone I come into contact with. Thus, it will begin with the Stanford campus, both undergrad and grad, and spread from there. Mwahahahaha!!

Oh, you think it can’t be done, do you?

Did I ever tell you about the time I singly handedly gave my ENTIRE THIRD GRADE CLASS the plague?

Okay, okay, it was strep throat, and it was only about 25 of the 30 kids, BUT STILL!!!

Apparently, strep throat doesn’t present with a fever for the first 24hrs or so, and the nurse at my elementary school figured if I didn’t have a fever, I wasn’t really sick, and thus couldn’t go home. I visited her 3 times, I felt so bad, but no luck. (Hopefully I infected her! Mwahahah!)

Throughout the day, I came into contact with classmates, and at lunch, felt bad enough that I’d just take a bite or two of a sandwhich, fruit, cookie, whatnot before giving it away to a classmate who wanted it. (Mwahahah!!)

Eventually the fever hit and I was out for a week or so, sick as a dog. By the time I came back, only a handful of kids in my class were still there (literally, only 3 or 4), and the school was actually thinking of shutting our class down until we were no-longer plague-ridden.

Seriously. I kid you not. All because of yours truly!

I am an index case waiting to happen.

(Geek alert: That’s the epidemiology term for the first person to get/spread the disease.)

So, lab today, undergrads tonight, grads on Thursday!

If only my body didn’t hate it when I tried to move, this would be a brilliant plan!

At the Dementia Semifinals

Crazy guy: … And all the companies of the New York Stock Exchange — I own them all… And you invest in them with my peanuts… And Sarah bought all the real estate in New York City with my money — it’s all mine.

Hobo: Bullshit. That squirrel over there sold it to me for an acorn.

Crazy guy: Shut up, bitch, before I throw you off my island!

–Bethesda Fountain, Central Park 
From Overheard in New York

I guess what I was trying to say here, in my oh-so-eloquent manner, is that there’s a fine line between working hard and getting stuff done, and working so hard that everything else falls by the wayside and you begin to make stupid (stupid, stupid) mistakes due to frustration and tiredness and decreased mental facilities.

Here’s to continuing to remain on this side of the line!

It’s always hard, after a long break, to get back into the mindset of work. I haven’t done ANYTHING work-related since last Saturday, and believe you me, my mental health is so much better now than it was a week ago. I don’t feel like snapping at anyone and everyone, and aside from random back pain throughout the night (scuba injury long ago that reawakens often) and the cold John gave me (cough, cough), I slept fine.

No waking up in the middle of the night wondering what I’d forgotten to do at work, or what I’d left of my list of TO DO for the coming days, or what I’d messed up. No laying awake for hours mentally going over what needed to be done and how to do it.

I honestly feel so much more mentally healthy. However, the number of emails and stuff to catch up on is just heinous. I’ve actually done very little work-work today, and mostly caught up on lab correspondence and lab duties and whatnot. And met with Dr. M to review my thesis committee meeting, and plan how we’ll deal with our guest lecturer on Friday–apparently I get to give the lab talk for him.

(Insert heavy sarcasm here.) Yippee! Yay me! (Okay, we’re done now. Maybe.)

But, the best part was, as I went to go actually start some physical bench work, Steven told me not to bother, to do it tomorrow when I have all day. Woot! Love it when a mentor tells you NOT to work. I may be able to forgive him for whatever he did the other week that pissed me off so badly.

So here I am, kind of twiddling my thumbs, waiting for Journal Club to role around in half an hour or so, after which I can flee! And then…unexpected free time! Not sure what I’ll do with myself, but I’m thinking baking. Or watching a movie. Or reading a book. All things I haven’t done in a while. Of the things I now have the mental capability of dealing with.

I’m actually thinking of having a Holiday party in a week or two just so I can have Thanksgiving-type food and have leftovers and have tasty stuff again! My mom had a killer dressing recipe (I have it on good authority that it can only be stuffing if it’s, well, stuffed), and a pie crust recipe that involves VODKA. Now that’s my kind of pie! Apparently the vodka makes the crust moist, but then evaporates to leave it flaky? Trust me, you had me at VODKA. Oh, and I suppose we’ll have turkey. And then we can make a Thanksgiving casserole. Oh dear god, that sounded good!

And really, I just haven’t done any theraputic baking recently, and need to do some. You know things are getting bad when your therapy (baking and reading trashy romance novels for me) gets lost in the hubbub of being too damn busy being stressed.


Also, I’ve got basketball in the mix now, and even though my beloved Arizona boys put up a good show last night, they just couldn’t pull it together in the last couple minutes. (PASSING!! CATCHING!! NO TURNOVERS!! FORTHELOVEOFGOD BOYS I CAN PLAY BETTER THAN THAT!!! Btw, great job catching up to and hanging with #4 Kansas, but SERIOUSLY!!! You’re going to have to do better than that!!!) Basketball at least ensures that on one or two nights per week, I’m out of lab and home by 7pm in order to catch the games. We’re (Amelia and I) also working on bringing Rhiannon into the cult that is basketball fandom in order to get her out of lab.

But actually, what I’m really hoping I’ll have time for now that I seem to be back on my mental feet, stability -wise, is being there for others who aren’t stable. Amelia, specifically, who’s having some “fecal matter hit the rotary propeller”, as the case may be. Family-wise, work-wise, health-wise, love-wise, she’s having a time of it right now. Last Friday night, what was supposed to be a “Help Sarah recovery from committee meeting” turned into a “Help Amelia by listening and refilling her wine glass” night. And then this Saturday a bit, too. I think that sometimes I get wrapped up in my own little world and don’t have the ability to deal with other’s problems. I promise you, though, that has GOT to change. She needs me, and I’m going to be there.

So, no more crazy hectic weeks at work. I’m going to maintain this new-found stability. Even if we are gearing up and getting back into the swing of things, I’m going to be swinging slightly less. Or simply with less enthusiasm.

Hrm, that sentence alone doesn’t really convey what I want it to convey, but oh well! We’ll see what fun search terms it brings up! Hello all you random people who show up because of it!

Here’s to remaining sane through the rest of the holidays!

Well, the internet was slow enough, and it was cold enough outside, at home, that I just basically checked email for things that appeared immediately important, posted enough to try to make it through NaBloPoMo, and checked the headlines to make sure the world still existed.

Which meant, upon arriving home Friday, I had 400+ post to read. You people write a lot. And there are a lot of you. In all fairness, I most just read the newest post, so it wasn’t that many, but it was a. lot.

But it’s good to be home where the weather is warm(ish), the bed is my own, the internet is fast, and life is good. Family is fun, but when you’re constantly on family-behavior for 4 days because you have to make the most of those 4 days, it’s pretty exhausting. Not that I wasn’t grateful to be home and sharing the holidays, and not that I’m not looking forward to doing it all again in a month, but home is home. You know? Good.

The beasts cats don’t seem to have missed us much, other than trying to insert themselves under our skin as we try to sleep, being the sort of beasts cats that only want attention when you want to sleep. George the Bunny is still as twitchy as ever, and would be allowed out if he hadn’t immediately left his cage and chewed through the cord on the handvac that we use to clean up after him. He, apparently, was miffed at being stuck in his cage for 6 days straight. Not that I blame him, but that vac was useful.

Friday was a recovery day. Immediately after being picked up by Amelia, I drove with her to the other airport to pick up a classmate of ours. We then flaked on the couch watching football, went to the local Mexican joint for dinner, and then John and I hit the sack at 7pm, and were asleep by 7:30. Yes, you read that right. But in all fairness, we’d been up and about since the equivalent of 1am.

Yesterday was also all about sports. We went to the joke of a football game that was Stanford v. Notre Dame. There were so many turnovers and unbelievably bad plays that it was like a comedy of errors. Not only the players, but the refs. I don’t think I’ve ever watched/seen a game that had three calls overturned. Sadly, Notre Dame committed the least number of errors, and thus won. The Stanford basketball boys took this to heart, and played hard and pretty well against Colorado State. They need to work on getting rebounds–they hardly got any, and that’s going to work against them when they play a team that’s good. Amazingly, Robin Lopez played a great game–he made free throws, he made a 3-pointer, and he had a couple good blocks. The kid is really improving since last year.

Today, I’m just vegging on the couch, waiting for the Arizona-Kansas game to start up in about an hour, cleaning so that rabbit fur doesn’t make the other Zona fan who’s coming over have a massive allergic reaction, and basically catching up with all of you.

I’ll congratulate Arizona on setting up a good pre-conference schedule that will give them a great Strength of Schedule ranking in the pools, but at the same time, if they don’t win these games, that’s going to hurt them a lot. And a lot of the ESPN guys are giving the game to Kansas. Ouch. I think my team is, sadly, on a downswing, but I refuse to give up hope in them. Go boys go!

And so, to leave you with something that’s better late than never, here are some things I was/am thankful for, but haven’t had time to post:

For family who, despite the fact that we haven’t always gotten along, still is wonderful and warm and inviting and friendly. And for a family of in-laws that make my family look normal, and who have recently decided to accept me with open arms, despite their past views.

For friends, like Amelia and Rhiannon and James and Cara and everyone else, who are there for me when I need them, and who are just plain fun to be with.

For John. And everything about him. Even his family, I suppose.

For the fact that we have a roof over our heads, good jobs, and enough money in our bank account to make it until I get paid again in January. For our cats and rabbit, and our ability to have what we have and enjoy it.

For my job, which I do enjoy, despite the tedium and hardship and problems I’ve faced.

For you people out in the void who stop by, either regularly or randomly, either of which makes me happy.

For lots of things that I take for granted every day, that people all over the world don’t have and that I should learn to appreciate.


Well, in the battle of who could suck more, Stanford emerged the victor over Notre Dame.

Sadly, this means Notre Dame won the football game.

It was really pretty bad, with lots of turnovers and bad plays, and even the refs were questionable–three calls were challenged and reversed, which is a lot.

The basketball team won, at least. They skunked CSU by 21.

So, I know I promised an actual post, but I’ve been jumping up and down at sporting events for 8 1/2 hours now, first at football, then at the bar to watch the Kansas-Mizzou game, and then to watch basketball, so I’m off to bed.



November 2007
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