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It’s been an interesting week. Lots of random stuff going on, and all I want is a good night’s sleep.

All my co-workers are away for a conference, so it’s been mostly just me in the lab, with the exception of one or two other people. It’s been nice, but I’ve gotten some cool data that I need to talk to people about. And I have a kick-ass experiment in the works that, if it works like I hope, will be super kick-ass! But I have to wait until next week at least to get the results.

Also, the reviews came back for my paper, and provided I can answer the reviewer’s concerns and change/correct/whatever what they had problems with, it should likely be accepted. But there’s been no one to celebrate with in lab, even if the celebration would be for a not receiving an out-right rejection as opposed to an acceptance. Such is life. In any case, HUZZAH! Not rejected! (Yet.)

On the flip side of work, we’ve got a weeknight scuba class going on right now with a bunch of kids in it, which I’m super excited about. So lots of fun there, although I’m discovering more and more that I love working with our staff when Greg and James lead things, but Ben’s lack of logistical planning makes me want to climb the walls. Luckily, he doesn’t do much leading.

The sticky part of this class comes in when all these kids, and the other students, get in the pool tomorrow night and the staff could really use the four extra hands and eyes that John and I provide. Especially with Shelly ill and James out of town for a week.


My parents are coming to town tomorrow and staying for a couple days during their Great Road Trip of Western America 2009!

As Amy pointed out, this is probably the first time they’ve been able to wander where they want and stop and look at all the little brown jobies (i.e. non-descript birds, or LBJs if you’re in my family) with Amy and I in the back seat fighting or being bored or complaining about something. Or at least for the last 25+ years or so. So I hope they’re enjoying it.

So far they’ve visited a lot of the northern states, and angled into California yesterday and today. They’re staying with my grandparents tonight, then coming down here tomorrow. So part of me feels an obligation as a staff member to be there in the pool and help out, and part of me feels that my parents are only in town through the weekend, and thus I should spend time with them.

Either way, I’ve been working on cleaning the house like mad. And either way, I’m super excited.


In the same vein as the true friends post…

Every once in awhile, you innocently get a glimpse into the depth of feeling and care that exist between two people who are absolutely right for one another and who love each other so much. Example:

James F was offered a job today, taking a lot of stress out of his life over being unemployed and trying to support Cara while she finished school.I was with him when he got the offer, and he was so ridiculously happy and excited about it.

The number one reason?

Health care benefits, not for himself, but for Cara. To the point where if they didn’t offer it to a domestic partner before they got married, he said “we’ll be going to a courthouse with you and John”.

That, my friends, is a happy man because he can take care of the woman he loves.

And he has a job.

Are the ones where you sit around talking and laughing for 5 hours so much that your sides hurt, and you go home feeling sad that the night is over.

That’s the kind of Saturday we had with James and Cara and Nate and Shelly. We all got together for dinner at N&S’s house, planning to eat, drink, be merry and play some games.

Plenty of “You bitch, you stole my sheep!” and “What shield works against chocolate-covered anti-matter raisins?” type of yelling was planned. All in fun, of course.

But instead, we all stood around talking, drinking wine and eating appetizers, then worked on making dinner together, and then ended up lingering over the dinner table, then the backyard patio table, and finally, once the cold air drove us inside, the couches until far too late at night to start board games.

It may not make for an interesting story, but really, nothing spectacular happened. Just a really fun night with the six of us.

And at the end of the night, all I could think of was how much I’d enjoyed an evening of doing nothing with my best friends.

True friends–the ones you can do nothing with and still laugh until it hurts and have the best time possible.


Dear John,

We’ve been married for four years, and together for just over nine. Our relationship may not have had the most auspicious beginnings, but look where we are now.

It feels like we’ve been married both much longer and much less than four years. Perhaps, in part, it’s because nothing changed in our relationship after our marriage other than some technical legal matters. We already knew we loved one another and were committed to one another, and we didn’t need any official documents to tell each other that. But at the same time, I feel like all the magic is still here in our relationship. Nothing we have shared has faded or dimmed, regardless of the passing of time.

I owe so much of who I am to you. You’ve helped me regain my self-confidence too many times to count, supported me when I needed it, and made me stand on my own when I should. You know exactly when I need a bit of babying, but you never let me get away with too much. You’ve been my rock when I needed something solid while things feel apart, and you’ve always been ready to hold me while I cry, or to smile and nod while I rant and pace. You put up with so much from me. You even laugh at all my bad jokes, or at least most of them. Thank you.

We may have our arguments or our times when we don’t see eye-to-eye, but when it comes to the big things in life–money, living locations, plans for jobs or children or the future–we’re on the same page. It reassures me that even when you irritate me for no good reason, we’ve still got a big picture that’s pretty good looking.

Over the years, you’ve been the best friend I could ask for, and the best husband. I hope I’ve been the same to you. I know, sometime in the future, you’ll be a wonderful father.

Here’s to having a wonderful life, such that someday, our grandchild will want to get married on our 60th wedding anniversary, just like we did on my grandparent’s 60th. Only 54 more years to match them!

I love you.


Today is..

(or would have been) the 74th birthday of my father-in-law.

(or would have been) the 106th birthday of my paternal grandmother-in-law.

the 11th cancer-free anniversary of my mother-in-law.

the 6ish-month cancer-free anniversary of my mother.

the birthday of a good friend, made bittersweet by the fact that it’s her first birthday since her brother was killed in a car accident last August.

the 64th wedding anniversary of my dad’s grandparents.

the 4th wedding anniversary of John and I.

“Will you still laugh at my jokes on our 60th wedding anniversary?”

“Who’s to say I laugh at them now?”

Happy anniversary, my love. Here’s to many more in the hopes of making it to at least 64.

Thank goodness because we were teaching another scuba class, and if something had gone wrong, that’s a lot of paperwork to file!

Especially good because I didn’t break myself, which I’ll get to.

I didn’t even break anything Friday, unless you count breaking my broken dish streak. 🙂

Anyways, the class rocked. Seven great students, a new instructor for Greg to keep an eye on (he’s a QA guy) who did pretty well, and good things to see.

4:30am came awfully early, as it always does, but Monterey this past weekend was a nice mix of gray clouds and bits of sun, and not to warm but not to hot. I never remember to put on sunscreen, so this at least saved me from looking like a beet. Plus, just fun times and friends.

My students spent most of the first two dives working on just figuring out the whole “I’m under the sea” thing, which is pretty typical. The did well on skills, enjoyed the dives, and had a good time. We did have one who got horribly seasick (underwater, even), but she handled it well and made it back to land safely.

We didn’t see much other than some decorator crabs. Above water, it was pretty clear that it was sea lion pup weaning time, as the little ones were everywhere. There was a lonely little pup up on shore, where most of them end up if they’re hungry/stressed/tired/sick. Of course, it’s where people can easily harass them. Sad. Animal rescue people came and got him eventually, but he was cute to see from a distance.

Shelly and I kept an eye on him whenever we were on or near the beach, and had to ask several people to not get up close and personal with the little guy, which is against the law here in sunny California–it’s harassment. One guy was pretty rude about it, and told me I was breaking the law too by being within 10m (or whatever the distance is) to the pup (I’d say I was 15ft away, about as far as I could get with students exiting the water), but he was within 1-2 feet. Idiot. James defended me, but the guy’s response?

“I’m an experienced diver!”

My response, had I not walked away in a huff, would have been, “That doesn’t mean you can be an asshat!”

Bah. Thank goodness the pup was taken into animal care. We saw a ton of them out on the rocks along the breakwater wall, but only the one sick one on the beach.

The only downside to the day was that both times I exited the water, I had students but no staff, and since I couldn’t leave the students alone, I had to head out with them, carrying my gear. All 80-ish lbs of it. Which I’m still pretty much forbidden to do by all sorts of people with medical training. Thankfully, not a lot of pain, and I only went as far as I absolutely had to. Here’s to not making the problem worse! (Sunday, James and John both forbade me from giving a repeat performance, but we all surfaced with our students at about the same time, so it worked out.)

The afternoon was filled with pizza, hot tubs, the usual Safeway run to buy gallons of water and Dove bars, plus some free chinese food from one of the other guys who dives through our same shop. Nice! We had a student stay with us in the room, but he didn’t seem to mind all our strangeness, which Greg pointed out made him good staff material. Plus, he was pretty damn good for a new diver.

We also watched “Pineapple Express”. Can’t say I’m a huge Seth Rogen fan, but I suppose it had it’s moments. It also had it’s low points. Maybe I’m just not cut out for that kind of humor.

Sunday was also cloudy and about the right temperature. We were sort of hoping that the dense cloud cover would trick all the little octopi into thinking it was dark enough to come out and hunt, but alas, none were to be found.

My student and I had two pretty good dives. Not anything specific on the first dive other than just a good dive. On the second dive, however, we saw a good number of rainbow nudibranchs, these big reddish guys that climb up the tube anemones and eat them. Some were perched on top of stalks, having already eaten, and some were on the sand, but none were in the process of “hunting”. Or at least as much as a snail-like creature can hunt a non-moving creature. It’s apparently pretty cool to see the moment of capture.

We also saw a frilly white nudibranch that I’ve been trying to identify for a year or two, but to no avail–he’s still around, and frilly and white, but still without identification. Also lots of fish, as well as people. Tons of people out kicking around, specifically kicking the sand around. The visibility wasn’t as good as the day before. Just as we finished the sun came out, which made for a beautiful afternoon on the beach.

All in all, a great weekend, and John and I agreed it was really nice to be down there teaching with the whole staff, just like old times. I may have even convinced him to start Assistant Instructor training sometime soon!

Wednesday night, in an attempt to set a dish on the counter, I accidentally dropped it on the floor. Oops.

Thursday night, while putting my computer on the table, I knocked over a glass, which shattered perfectly around the middle into a shorter glass and a ring. Don’t know how I did it, but I did.

John asked, politely, if I could try not to break anything today, Friday.

So it’s a good thing that I took my breakfast out today on a plastic plate. I had to go get blood drawn before eating, so I took toast and a banana with me when I ran out the door. Then, on the way to the doctor’s office, some jerk pulled in front of me and I had to slam on my breaks. The breaks locked, I skidded a bit, but all was well and both cars remained intact.

The plate went sailing onto the floor, as did all my food.

At least my toast landed butter-side up!

And with just over an hour to go, I haven’t broken anything yet today.

Of course, with a scuba weekend ahead, there’s always toes and tanks to be wary of. Wish me luck!

Well, I joined a gym.

I re-gained a not-totally-insignificant amount of the weight I lost a year and a half ago, and haven’t had any luck with re-losing it based on the old methods. Plus, with the shoulder injury still preventing some if not all of certain activities, I felt like my ability to exercise was pretty limited. Hence, Sarah the slug. Not so good.

My exercise is still limited by my shoulder/rotator cuffs, but at least I’ve expanded my options.

The gym’s not far from my house, on the way home from work, has wight machines that I know and like (and thus aren’t intimidated by), and some good treadmill/stationary bike stuff. No elipticals, but they’re apparently looking into them.

My goal is 2-3 times a week, so we’ll see. Of course, I can’t do any of the arm/shoulder weights for now, not with the physical therapy still limited to less than 5 lbs, but some day!

And I’m really hoping that I’ll commit to this this time around. So far, it’s been a super friendly place, with very nice people, so we’ll see. No kickboxing class (alas, alack) and plenty of yoga (banned for life by the physical therapist, sadly), but all else seems good.

Here’s to getting back to the weight of a year and a half ago!

A husband, who last night, jokingly referred to the line from Shrek:

“And in the morning, I’m making waffles!”

And then this morning, as we enjoyed our first sips of fresh-made coffee (mmmm, Trader Joe’s coffeee!), turned to me and asked, perfectly seriously:

“Do you want blueberries in your waffles?”

Ahh, true love!

Life has been so full of stuff lately that I feel like I haven’t had a chance to sit and breathe, let alone do anything extra. There’ve been scuba classes to teach, research symposium applications to finish, weddings to help with and attend, plus all sorts of work.

The biggest thing John and I had on our plate lately was Elizabeth and Mark’s wedding. We’ve been having all sorts of lunch and dinner parties to help the happy couple make table center pieces or arrange favors or have bridal showers. We’ve been on a number of bike rides to help the bride tone her arms and back. It’s been really great to watch two people so clearly in love, and so right for one another. Plus meeting all of their other friends has been a blast.

Their wedding was last weekend, and it was beautiful. Hot as hades, but beautiful. Full Catholic mass ceremony, which was a bit much for a non-air-conditioned church (one of my friends from high school nearly passed out but made it through), and a great reception. We’d helped set up the reception area beforehand, so knew how nice it was going to be. There was also a post-wedding brunch, for which my oven was on at 400deg for 2 hours on Saturday, while the outside temperature was hovering around 100deg. Hot, but the food was oh-so-tasty.

Elizabeth and Mark are off on their honeymoon for the next couple of weeks, and I’m sort of sad to not have them around, and to have no more wedding party excuses for getting together, but we’ll be back to our usual routine the minute they’re home, I’m sure.

The other big thing that’s been taking up my time, and absorbing most of my words, is my paper, which was submitted Monday to a journal, and has been sent out for review. Such a relief. I went home Monday, sprawled on the couch, and didn’t move for hours. That may have been due to the heat, in part, but still. It’s done, or at least I don’t have to think about it for 4-6 weeks. Cross your fingers for me, will you?

I’m pretty proud of this paper. Yes, maybe it’s not as great as it could have been with massive more experiments (there’s always another paper, I suppose), and no, it’s not going to change the world, and yes, it’ll likely be one of two instead of a whole handful that I end up graduating with, but that work? It’s mine. I did it. I completed it, with lots of help, but it’s still mine. And I’m pretty proud of that, regardless of the comments that have been thrown at me in the past about it.

Now to just get a second paper out and aim to graduate sometime. Key word: sometime.

But hopefully with the paper done, I’ll be around a bit more. I’ve clearly kind of forgotten how to do this whole blogging thing, but hopefully it’s like riding a bicycle, which, hey, I’m allowed to do again! Here’s to the paper being sent off, and theoretically only 2-3 more months of physical therapy! Whee!


July 2009
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