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I have the plague again. Or something equally nasty. I blame you, Internet. You’ve obviously given me a virus.

I woke up yesterday with a sore throat, a headache, and a general achy feeling. By 5pm, I was starting to cough and wanted nothing more than my bed.

So I went home and slept. From 5:30pm to 10:30am. I didn’t even get up for dinner, despite John being nice and caring enough to make me chicken noodle soup.

Today, I still feel like crap, only it’s a medicated kind of crap. And I’ve become a one-woman mucous factory. Ewww.

I’m back at work for a very, very limited amount of time. Then home again to maybe sleep for another 17 hours. Or, you know, watch Stanford pound the Washington Huskies into the ground. (Sorry, Al!) But at this point, I’m likely to go swipe my card to get my “I was there” points and head home. To pillows, the best medicine ever invented.

I finally pulled my trainer off the porch and got my bike up on it. After two weeks of not being able to get out do to a combination of lacking time when the weather’s nice or having time but the weather being crappy, I gave in and pedaled for an hour. It felt good.

No, the trainer isn’t nearly as much fun as being outside. Yes, I can watch basketball or read a book while pedaling. No, I’m not motivated to work hard like I would be when I get to hills. Yes, I’m moving.

No surprise, but I’ve been stress eating over the situation with my mom. The doctor at my annual physical told me that it wasn’t a great way of dealing with stress, but if that’s what I needed to do, I shouldn’t worry about it too much. I don’t think she was giving me the okay to pile back on the pounds, but I think it was her way of telling me a cookie when I need it is okay.

But.

I have gained a pound or two back. Or 5. And that’s not good. That’s the edge of the “going back on the meds” zone. And I don’t want to go back to living my life nauseous.

So there’s biking. There’s eating better. And there’s trying to limit the cookie intake to when I really need it.

But!!

My mom’s almost finished with the second round of chemo, and is headed back for more complete scans. So far things look good. Bones, all negative. Lymph nodes in armpit, smaller. Cancer, may be smaller, but it’s hard to tell from the scarring of the biopsy. The skin over it is less thick, according to Amy’s report to me, and I’m not quite sure what the docs meant by that, but it’s apparently good. She’s got more scans on Friday, then a meeting with the Head Doc next Tuesday to find out the new verdict. And if only two rounds of chemo have already done enough to be able to see a difference, that’s good, right? Right?

Cross everything, will you??

And things at work look good. Some of the stuff that I’ve been working on for forever finally seems to be working. Which may mean I’ll actually graduate at some point in the future. Some day. Far, far in the future. But there may be a very dim light at the end of the tunnel.

Finally, sort of, the pressure is vaguely off for bike training. Amelia and I haven’t thrown in the towel for the extra 40 miles/2000 feet of climbing in the Big Ride, but we’ve admitted that (a) training is lacking, and (b) it may just not happen. Which means I only have to get through 60 miles and climbs that I know I can do. If I did them last year, I can do them again. Yes, I need to do a lot more training, but I’m not worried about it. As Amelia says, I can do it regardless. Training just determines how happy I’ll be when I’m done.

So hopefully that’s three less things to stress about, or at least three things to stress slightly less about. So maybe I’ll need less cookies in the coming weeks.

And there is vacation in just two weeks from day–3 sorely needed days off to head to LA to watch some boys with lovely arm muscles try to put a ball through a hoop. Woot!

And then maybe a trip home to see my mommy. Which, really? I think is what I really need.

Are pancakes. Made in the oven.

No babies are involved. Or Dutch, in my case.

Just in case you were wondering.

*****

Dutch Babies
or, if you prefer, Puffed Oven Pancakes
From the Betty Crocker Cookbook (I think)

3 eggs
1/2C milk
1/2C flour
1/8tsp salt
2Tbl butter

1. Put the 2Tbl butter into a frying pan and place the pan in the oven. Preheat to 400°. Yes, put the pan in there during the preheat. It melts the butter.

2. Beat the eggs with a whisk. Blend in the remaining ingredients.

3. Pour into pan on top of melted butter. Bake at 400° for 20min or so. Should be light and fluffy and puffed up along the edges of the pan.

4. Cool slightly before eating. Don’t worry if if deflates a bit.

I eat this “as is”, since the butter makes for a nice topping. John puts syrup on it, and it’s also great with jam or just about anything else that you’d put on a pancake. So long as whatever the topping is goes well with butter.

Usually.

Today, for example.

For starters, though I didn’t get the wine Abby suggested, I did get sushi. Amelia called while she was at work, and I was still at work, and we were both exhausted and cranky and tired. She wanted to know if John was working late–sometimes she feels like she’s intruding on our time together. I always tell her that if she is, I’ll let her know. In the mean time, she should feel welcome to include herself in our life.

In some ways, though I don’t wish her to stay single, I worry that when she finds someone, in the newness and specialness of a new relationship, I’ll fall by the wayside. As, possibly, it should be, but I hope we still have time for our lounging on the couch days during basketball season. You know?

Anyways. Sushi. Tasty. There was sake involved, but I’ve never been a big fan of it. And a lot of ranting by both Amelia and myself about our lab work, our labmates, her boss, the suckiness of life in general, and anything else we needed to get off of our chests. It was very cleansing. And tasty.

Then, today, I “slept in” until 9:15 or so, and then lounged in bed playing with the cats until 10. John, reading over my shoulder, claims that should read “then annoyingly woke my husband up”. Hrmpf. He can get a blog and then word it however he wants. In the meantime, we’ll stick with my version.

But it was a nice, relaxing way to wake up, and waking up naturally when your body’s rested is always a good feeling. Then there were Dutch babies for breakfast–mmm. And basketball and catching up on email and general lounging.

Amelia had a meeting with her boss, the current bane of her existence, and then she and I went off to meet with Jenny, the old admin for our department. Amelia needs some advice on how to deal with her boss, and we figured Jenny would be appropriately supportive and motherly and wonderful, which she was. It was exactly what Amelia needed.

Then we went to a very late Chinese New Year’s party for some incredibly tasty food, and came home just in time to see Memphis lose to Tennessee. They didn’t play like they deserved to win, but it would have been nice to see.

However, I’ll take what I get, as that includes Arizona’s win over Washington State. And really, the girls from Washington State who sat behind us at the Pac-10 Tournament last year were annoying enough that I’m not a big fan of Wash St. And the name “Cougs”? Cou-gars, for pete’s sake. Ah well, that’s just nitpicking, and Arizona won so I shouldn’t be bitter.

But really, today went really well. And tomorrow is a bit of lab work, the Stanford-Cal game (which we’d better win), and probably more lounging.

Oh, and I’ve been promised eirefaunkuken. Or however you spell it. German egg pancakes from my 100% German husband. He’s very proud of that. I keep telling him he better not mind if his kids aren’t, cause I have little to no German in me. Czech, yes. Bermudan, yes. German? Maybe, if you go back far enough. And tilt your head to the left. And squint. But regardless, breakfast should be tasty.

I’ll try to post the recipe soon. Especially if someone can tell me how to spell it correctly.

Arizona lost to Washington. They’ve got to pull themselves together and win 3 of the next 5. And even then there’s a chance they won’t make it to the Big Dance.

The next 5? Include Washington St, UCLA, and USC.

F**k.

And I got a pissy email this morning.

And it’s raining.

And I didn’t have enough DNA for my experiments.

And I don’t have time for the lunch I’m supposed to go have today with Elizabeth.

And I’ve got a ton of work to do.

And I’m just in a foul mood.

Can you tell?

Heading over to officially purchase my Pac-10 Tournament tickets with Rhiannon.

Why?

Because it means in 3 weeks, I will be sitting in the Staples Center in LA, watching basketball. Good basketball. With good friends (John, Rhiannon, and Amelia if she gets her butt in gear and goes to buy her tickets). And I won’t be in lab.

Which, at 7pm on a Thursday night when there’s still an hour or so more of work to do, is a beautiful, wonderful thing to contemplate.

Yes, it does mark the beginning of the end of basketball season, but it the Pac-10 Tourney and the NCAA Tourney are fun times. Especially now that I’ve roped Amelia into being a fan, and together we’ve roped Rhiannon into it.

There’s a light at the end of this long dark tunnel, and it leads down I-5.

EDIT:
Especially when, while watching the Oregon-USC game, the announcers talk about how you can see all 9 games for as little as $140. You know those are the nosebleed seats.

Our tickets? $35. Location? If it’s anything like last year, we’ll be in the first row behind the player’s seats on one of the ends. Some of the best seats in the house.

Thanks, Stanford, for subsidizing my ticket to cheer for Arizona! Oh, yes, I’ll cheer for you, too, unless you’re playing my boys. No worries.

Amelia and I volunteered to help with the Tour of Cali bike ride Prologue from Palo Alto to Stanford today. Here are some thoughts, appropriately numbered 13 because I feel like it:

*****

1. The lady who checked us in who told us we had to go stand in downtown PA shouldn’t have gotten so pissed when another lady told us we could be posted on campus, thus much closer to where we currently were and where Amelia’s car was. It’s volunteering, not life-or-death.

2. Standing from 11:30 to 3:30 and telling people to stay back behind the curb is a rather tiring and thankless job. Especially when people pull their feet up, wait until you’ve walked a step or two away, and then just put their feet down. However, all the cute dogs does somewhat make up for their owners. I need a puppy…

3. Whoever gave out cowbells for spectators to ring, or the blow-up noise tube thingys to wack together, should be shot. Four hours of them is way too much.

4. Cali is very capable of being beautiful and blue and sunny and COLD. Especially when there’s wind. And you’ve expected a nice day and thus just a have a light fleece non-windproof jacket.

5. The mini croissant and apple that you hand me at 9:30am? Not lunch. It’s assumed to be breakfast. And when I’m then promised lunch so I don’t have anything beyond a granola bar? I get a bit hungry. And thus touchy.

6. Releasing 132 bike riders a minute apart makes for 132 minutes of boringness interspersed with several seconds of being surrounded by cheering.

7. There were some beautiful bikes there. And the leg muscle on those guys? Awesome! Almost as lovely as the arm muscles on basketball players.

8. People from the Webcor bike team are tools. They don’t need to show off their uniforms or anything. And when I already know that they’re ass-ish on rides, such as not warning riders (such me or Amelia) with a polite “On your left” that they’re about to pass? Bah.

9. George Hincapie and Levi Leipheimer aren’t that exciting when speeding by at 30mph or however fast they were going.

10. A nap is a wonderful thing. Until your husband comes bursting into the bedroom, while on the phone with your best friend, simultaneously freaking out because your stuff is home and you aren’t and thus she’s obviously abducted you and waking you up very quickly and thus you’re somewhat startled by it all.

11. The single-day volunteers are not coordinated well. There was very little organization or instruction beyond a lot of emails that said nothing.

12. When it comes to biking, I’d rather be out on my bike than watching others be out on theirs.

13. I’m learning to expand my food horizons and beginning to like Indian food. Amelia and John are very excited about this.

*****

So, tomorrow’s a holiday, and I’m celebrating by going into work for a bit, then having a “girl’s day” with Amelia. And then maybe sitting down on my trainer and pedaling a bit. Hope you all had a good weekend, and do something fun with Washington’s Birthday/President’s Day!

Here’s a starting fun thought for you: Duke just lost to Wake Forest 73-86. Woot!

Arizona plays Stanford today.

Arizona has always been my team. They always will be.

But I know the Stanford boys. I’ve watched them play for 1-4 seasons, depending on their grade. They’re “my boys”.

Three years ago, the teams split, each winning their home games. I was okay with that. The last two, Arizona has won both games. This year, Stanford already won their home game.

I was home with my mom, and really? Basketball was far removed from my sphere of priorities. So I wasn’t too upset with Arizona’s loss to Stanford. Though it would have been a good mood lifter if they’d won.

But this game? Stanford needs to win to stay in the upper rankings. Arizona just needs to win in order to keep working at making the NCAA Tourney. So I think, in the long run, in my hopefully somewhat impartial opinion, that Arizona needs this win more.

And they’re at home.

Go Cats!

And Cardinal? Just don’t lose too badly, okay? I’ll cheer for you again next Sunday against Cal.

UPDATE: Arizona lost 66-67, but it was a good game. Arizona would’ve been helped by winning, but it’s not going to hurt them that bad. Still…. May have to hurt Amelia and Rhiannon now. Especially since Amelia sat on me in an attempt to AIM Rhiannon instead of letting me do it, and thus I couldn’t cheer, and thus my boys missed their last-second game-winning shot. Hmpf.

But, depending on how the rest of the season plays out, Arizona should be in the top 6 in the Pac10, and thus get a buy on the first day of the Tourney. And really, they’re in the NCAA Tourney. They need a higher seed, tho.

And if they play Stanford again in the Pac10, it’s really hard to beat a team three times, so they should have a good chance against Stanford. Hope.

People!

When you say “2500 characters or 300 words” but what you really mean is “300 words and only 300 words sohelpyougod, oh and 2500 characters despite 2500 characters actually equaling about 400-450 words”, but I take you at face value and write an abstract that’s less than 2500 characters but about exactly 398 words?

And it’s shiny and beautiful and perfect as it is? Which happens to be a form you don’t like, so you summarily chop off the last 98 words?

Things don’t go so well.

When I write a beautiful abstract and try to submit it to your competition so I can (hopefully! please cross your fingers!) go to Portugal in July, and then you stymie my efforts by making me take out ONE FOURTH of my words, things don’t go so well.

My once shiny beautiful abstract? Bit marred by the chopping.

*sigh*

Please, virus gods? Please, can I go to Portugal?

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I'd love to hear from you! Leave me a comment here or send me an email at: arizona (dot) girl (dot) 2007 (at) gmail (dot) com