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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.


December 2010
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