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Lego Star Wars is an awesome and wonderful thing for getting out aggression.

Blowing shit up with The Force? Or purple lightsabers?

Building the Rebel Blockade Runner out of Legos?

And just generally bonding with the 6-year-old inside your husband?

A lovely thing.

I’m not usually so gung-ho about computer or video games, but I can highly recommend this one. It might just be enough to convince me that we really should get an X-Box 360, since you can only get the full story (as opposed to Episodes I-III) for the newer version.

Maybe. Who knows what will happen when we get our economic stimulus packages.



Thanks, guys, for the words of encouragement. I don’t know where this funk is coming from, but I’m doing my best to shake it. Part of it is work (it’s lovely to find out some coworkers think your work is crap and not worth doing), part of it is stress, and I think part of it is just a sort of nebulous “something isn’t right in my world” feeling that is probably just my own psychosis having some off days.

Anyways, this weekend has helped, I think.

John had the weekend off, the first he’s had in awhile. I haven’t gone into work at all, though I may have to this evening if Steven reports back that my viruses are about to take over the incubators. Mwahaha.

Instead, I’ve been lazy. And it’s felt good.

Yesterday, John made his version of huevos rancheros for breakfast. While not all that authentic, they were damn tasty. Then I spent about 4 hours loading music onto my computer.

In the Great Logic Board Replacement of 2008 (4th logic board in 3 years–Apple, take note!), I managed to somehow backup my iTunes preferences folder instead of my iTunes library folder. Brilliant, right? So I loaded CDs onto the computer while sitting on the couch reading. Only problem was that my (new, right?) disc drive only recognized about 1 in 10 CDs, so I had to reboot 9 out of 10 times. Hrm. Apple, you may be getting a call on your 90-days warranty for work. Oh, and the touchpad you replaced? The mouse click button only works on the left, and my thumb rests on the right. Convenient, that. Just don’t wipe my computer clean and give it back to me with Tiger on it, when I gave it to you with Leopard on it. Hrm? Mmmkay then?

We did some grocery shopping, and made a casserole for dinner, but mostly just spent the day doing nothing in our separate ways. I did practice my talk (committee meeting Tuesday, where I justify my existence and paycheck to my boss and 3 random people) a couple times, but also finished my book. It was lovely.

We were supposed to help with a scuba class, which also would have been lovely–compressed air therapy is always nice, and I love working with students. But with 10 students, 4 instructors, and 4 divemaster candidates in the pool, it was pretty packed. Greg and James F and Ben and John and I decided it would be better for the divemaster candidates to get some experience rather than for the guys to have our PADI-certified help in the pool. Ah well, it was nice to do nothing, too, instead of spending 6 hours in chlorine.

Today was a little more productive. More music loading, more cooking (Honey-Mustard BBQ shrimp with pinapples and peppers is being prepared as I write), more hanging out, but we also worked on the backyard. A bike ride was supposed to occur, but the backyard ended up taking more time. The porch was pretty piled with crap, mostly ours but some of Amelia’s, too. We threw away a lot of our crap, took a bunch of stuff to storage, and cleaned off the rest. It’ll theoretically be restacked nicely and neatly in a way that allows more use of the room on the porch. I’m trying to talk John into doing a July 4th BBQ, but we’ll see if that actually happens. Don’t hold your breathe.

I think the laziness and doing fun stuff has helped to get over some of the work-related stress and committee meeting stress, and the comments from the coworker. (Surprisingly, the best “get over it, it’s not worth it” came from the Lab Manager, who didn’t even know the comments had been made, but managed to say just the right thing anyway.)

I’m not sure about the nebulous “WTF is wrong” feeling, but since I can’t figure out what it is, I think I just need to get over it. If there’s anyone out there sending anti-Sarah thoughts my way, cut it out, would you?

Now I’m off to ransack the pineapple that’s being dissected. It smells too tasty to pass up.

I’m not in lab. That’s right, I’m playing hookie. Or working from home, if you will. Annoying labmate was getting to be too much, and ex-labmate (she who screwed me over on my project) was coming by to visit and likely ask how things were going. So I chose to not go in and work at home.

And it helps that I had a nice breakfast. Soft boiled eggs over toast. Thanks, Daddy. I love that dish.

And I’m going to get my hair cut in an hour or so. If only I had remember this *before* slopping conditioner on my head. They’re going to wash my hair in just about 2 hours. It should just about be dry then.

And I’m going to wine tasting/dinner up in the city with John and Amelia and Alexander. We all need this break, and it’s going to be so tasty and fun.

It’s going to be a good day. I’m off to get it started.


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.

We took off at the buttcrack of dawn on Saturday morning, heading for the wild, wild midwest. Despite various plane delays, we made it to Des Moines just after the storm hit, which resulting in some slipping and sliding down the runway (great fun) and a very slow and long drive to John’s family’s house. My parents were kind enough to pick us up and in theory get to spend the afternoon with us, but the weather being what it was, we headed straight north so that they could get home as soon as possible.

Upon arriving, John’s mom Pamela immediately offered us about 15 different kinds of Christmas candy. Now, normally, I may be prone to exaggeration. But here? Nope. Lots of candy. We had a good evening with his mom, grandma and oldest younger brother.

Sunday, we went with them to their big family Christmas. It was a lot of people that I’m now related to, but who I didn’t know beyond being able to sadly tick off in my head each family that never replied about the wedding. We weren’t big on their list, apparently. But they were all nice. We ate a lot of food, watched a lot of football, ate some more food, played a lot of Catch Phrase, had some snacks and talked. And ate more. Constant grazing, really.

Monday, Christmas Eve, we woke up and sat around most of the day. John’s sister and her current flame arrived, and we did presents. Then church (my first Lutheran service, too). Then more presents and dinner. John and I got clothes, cash, books, and all sorts of little random things. Good times.

Then it was off to my family’s celebration. We arrived just in time for dessert to be cleared away, which was good, as we’d been eating nonstop for two days. With the possible exception of when we were snacking. However, lest you worry that we starved, my mom had graciously cracked a bunch of crab for us, and provided it for our grazing contentment. Then church (Episcopal, this time) and home. We stayed up talking with my cousin for quite awhile before crashing.

Christmas day, the family all convened. It was my mom’s sister, my mom’s older brother and wife and daughter, and my mom’s younger brother and son. Two other sisters and their families didn’t come. Great time was had by all.

Though tradition states we do stockings, breakfast, presents, the degree of impending crabbiness from my mom was enough to make breakfast of great importance. And the homemade scones (pronounced “on” not “ohn”–Scottish aunt and all) were delicious. The stockings and family pictures were also good.

We’re also the family that does presents like this: everyone gets one, then we each unwrap, one at a time, with lots of ooohing and ahhhing. But with 11 people and the pile under the tree, I was vetoed it was decided that we’d just go at it. John and I made out like bandits: a griddle, a calphalon skille, a whustof knife, clothes, books, gift cards, towel sets, kitchen supplies, etc, etc, etc. Everybody got lots of kitchen loot, courtesy of Amy’s job in a cooking store and her subsequent 30% discount. It still took us about 2 hours. The presents we took were a great hit, especially the 6-pack of wine.

In the afternoon, we ran to John’s family’s house to do stockings and eat more. Then back home for some more food. Christmas cookies had to be decorated and eaten, ham made, potatoes, salad, the other salad, and Christmas pudding. Fully lit, of course. With brandy butter. We actually got the thing to stay afire for quite awhile, what with all the brandy.

All in all, a very lovely day.

Wednesday, my mom’s younger brother and his son left, which meant we all woke up even earlier than on Christmas, as they had a very long drive. After waving goodbye, we went on a long walk through the neighborhood. This is actually one of my favorite holiday traditions: my family always goes on a long walk. We did at Thanksgiving, we did Christmas day, we did the day after Christmas.

After showering and sitting around for quite awhile, we then went shopping, as all good Americans do. John got a bunch of clothes that he desperately needed, I got some pants and shirts, and we contributed to the local economy. Very thoughtful of us, eh?

Then it was home to steaks. One of my great aunts usually sends a giant box of the Hickory Farm-type stuff: summer sausage, cheese, crackers, dried fruit, chocolate. This year, instead, she sent a GIANT box of Omaha steaks. And pork chops. And fish. And more steak. And stuffed potatoes. And since there’s 6 siblings in my mom’s family, she sent a lot of all of it. Funny thing is, she usually sends the entire thing just to our family, so no one else gets any. This year, it was even better stuff, and we got to share it. Good timing and delicious!

Thursday morning, we all went out to breakfast, where we convinced Amy to write her name and number on a sugar packet and leave it for the cute waiter who’d been giving her Looks. We’re all waiting with baited breathe to see if he calls. No bets have been placed.

Then it was decided that the remaining brother/wife/daughter should leave, as they also had a long drive and there was snow predicted for today (Friday). John and I had to catch a plane in late afternoon, so we packed up, realized there was NO FRICKIN’ WAY we were getting it all in carry on, and ended up checking two bags and two boxes. Lots. Of. Loot.

We got delayed again leaving Des Moines (lack of a plane will do that), but luckily our flight in Chicago was also delayed. Otherwise we’d have had 6 minutes to make it. But we got home safe and sound, with all our luggage, and James and Cara were kind enough to come get us.

And that was our trip. Yay Christmas!

Okay, don’t want it to get to boring and sad and repetitive, do I, now? So, happy things!

First, a very interesting night last night. John and I took Amelia out for dinner and drinking after her meeting with her boss, wherein he basically told her he was helping another lab scoop her and she should just work faster than them. For the non-science out there, “scooping” is when another lab publishes basically what you’re working on. And science really is publish or perish, so at that point you’re screwed. So the fact that he’s actively helping somebody else potentially harm someone who he’s supposedly mentoring? Just cruel and unusual punishment, if you ask me.

Anyways, so we took her out drinking. To dull the pain and all. A local tapas bar that we like to go to shut down just as we were walking in, which sucked, because we’re friends with the bartender and he lets us drink for free. Good guy, even when we pay for drinks. So we went next door and had beer and pizza, and the bartender joined us (he’s got a crush on Amelia). It wasn’t exactly the drinking-and-bitching that Amelia and I had planned, but that was, in some ways, probably all for the better.

As we were standing outside, having finally decided to let the poor pizza boys close shop, we heard a screech, then a bang, then another BANG. And then we see a little white Honda in the parking lot across the street rocking violently. And then a yellow mustang came roaring out of the parking lot and took off. Bartender called the police, and I got the first 4 digits of the license plate number. A chick across the street took off running after the car, a couple people in the parking lot took notice, and a bunch of the waiters that were closing shop at all the surrounding restaurants took notice, too. Between us, and several other calls to the police, things were likely to get taken care of.

The mustang had a pretty bent up front, with what looked like more than just fender damage. Served them right, frankly. The white car, when we oh-so-casually-I-swear-my-car-is-parked-over-this-way walked by, was bent up at the back, and bent enough that there was some structural damage there. As John put it, you can get a lot of power coming off the line in a mustang. The saddest part was, we thought the girl running down the street owned the car, and it turned out she didn’t–she was just being a good samaritan. Very impressive, given the anger she displayed. So somebody, at some point, was going to come back from work or dinner and find their car all bent in. Poor people.

So we all go our merry way.

Then today, Amelia gets a text from the Bartender. Turns out they caught the car just a couple of blocks away, with two roaringly drunk girls in it. He had to go ID them and the car at 1am. Poor guy. He was nice enough to tell the police that none of us got a look at the girls so none of us had to go in. He wasn’t exactly lying, either. I was focusing on the license plate number, Amelia thought it was two boys, and John was trying to figure out if we needed to get out of a trajectory path, given the way they were driving. But they caught them. Apparently the driver tried to swear they didn’t do anything and mouthed off to the police and all. Smart, that one.

So, that made for an interesting night!

Hrm, what else can I tell you??

Christmas season officially begins for us today, or possibly yesterday, or possibly Thanksgiving. John’s mom bought our heinously expensive plane tickets to come home. I take back everything I’ve ever said about that woman and how she hated me. Sort of. Woo! We’re going home! And my mom’s family is doing a giant Christmas all together, so we get to see all sorts of fun relatives!

Last night, while waiting for Amelia’s meeting to finish, we started our Christmas shopping. We’re having to ship everything home, as we’ve got a 55 minute layover in Phoenix, so there will be NO BAG CHECKING BECAUSE WE’RE NOT CRAZY!!! Plus, liquids and all.

So our first stop was Trader Joe’s to buy fun candies and cookies and soups and coffee and stuff that you can’t get in Iowa, because, let’s face it, it’s Iowa and Trader Joe’s, and no one in Iowa is hippy and green enough to care about Trader Joe’s, and no one in Trader Joe’s sells enough pig fat to care about Iowa. Ok, that may be a generalization, and not that I’m bitter about a place where it’s below freeing for four months out of the year, or where there was once a blizzard ON MY BIRTHDAY at the end of April, for pete’s sake, but yeah.

So there was that. We still need to come up with something to give Amy, and go buy some fancy-schmancy teas for my parents, and come up with something for my Dad, who is the world’s hardest person to shop for.

Me: Mom, what do you guys want for Christmas?

Mom: Oh, I don’t know. We already have everything we need. Don’t get us anything, we don’t want anything.

Me: Oh-kay, that’s helpful. What about some TJ’s stuff?

Mom: Oh, your aunt and uncle are coming from Columbus, and they’re driving, so we’ll just have them pack the car.

Me (silently): Dammit!

Anyways, so if any of you have any idea what to give my parents, let me know. Seriously. Anything is a good idea at this point. Please?

We haven’t gotten out our fake tree or anything to decorate yet, and sadly, may not, as we won’t be home. Hank the Bunny always eats the fake pine needles, anyway, and that’s probably not very good for his poor little digestive system. The cats, although they love to chew on plastic bags (really? why? so annoying!), haven’t ever viewed the tree as a chew toy, or the ornaments as amusement, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time, so leaving them home alone with it for a week? Maybe not so good.

We officially start with the holiday parties tonight. We’re headed into the city for a wine tasting and dinner with Amelia and the ex, who she’s still good friends with, and then tomorrow there’s a party at the spa that Amelia and Rhiannon and I go to when we have extra money and don’t know what to do with it (i.e. never, almost). Free gift bags! Woo! Friday there’s two different departmental parties, one for my department and one for Amelia’s department. Sunday is my lab party. Then next Thursday, there’s a third departmental party. And the following Monday, Amelia, Rhiannon, Sam, John and myself are going out for our annual Big-Giant-Fun-Dinner-Instead-of-Gift-Exchange dinner. Mmmm.

Somewhere in there I’m meeting with the endocrinologist, so should maybe think about not enjoying the festivities too much. Bah. Or rescheduling for January, either way. Except for that whole fancy test thing to measure your blood glucose levels over the last three months. Bah.

Ok, so, recap: fun stories! Fun times! Life isn’t all work and plague!

Hope you all find the holiday spirit somewhere, perhaps dusty and under the bed, but somewhere. And stay away from the plague, it sucks!

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!

I’ve got baseball on in the background, I’m in my pajamas, I’ve got tasty leftover soup for dinner at somepoint, and I’ve got my computer to play solitaire with or some books somewhere.

Life was looking good.

And then One Smart Cookie had to go and freak me out. (Hi! Thanks!)

I am totally prey to my overactive imagination at times. Frankly, I’m amazed that I’ve made it through three seasons of CSI. Granted, sometimes we have to stop watching and let the episodes pile up on the DVR while I clear my head, but we still watch.

I did have to give up Criminal Minds, despite Inigo Montoya, when the sick and twistedness got to be too much.


I left work late, too, and had to call John and have him talk to me all the way to the car. It’s lit the whole way, but not very well in some places, and it’s a 12min walk, and with John getting home late tonight, were something to happen, no one would know for way too long.

As he described it to his boss, “I’m making sure she doesn’t get stabbed and murdered and raped, at least without me knowing about it.”

Thanks, sweetie, love you too!

But yeah. I think it’s resonable to aware of your surroundings and implement safety measures, especially if you’re female. I’d like to think the ‘female’ part of it doesn’t matter, but sadly it does.

And now I’m home, and the door is locked, and we haven’t turned the heater on so the house isn’t (yet) going to burn down, and the iron isn’t on.

Then again, I wouldn’t put anything past the cats.

I used to clean when I was upset. Argument with my mom? With John? Bad day at school? Bad hair day? My room would be so clean you could eat off the floor. (Ignoring, of course, my dog and the fact you could NEVER get all the dog hair out of the carpet.)

So today I cleaned house, which I have to say I wasn’t really upset enough to do, but it needed doing and it helped with the whole cleansing process anyway. It was sort of cathartic to scrub the shower, I’ll admit.

I also went shopping with John, who isn’t quite as fun as Amelia in that he tends to lean towards the don’t-spend-money end of the spectrum, but still nice. I ended up getting another pair of size 4 jeans. If this is a fluke, Gap and Anne Taylor are in on it together, and I’m really okay with that. Macy’s is too, but not for the same price. I also got new bras to (finally) replace the ones that were stolen from our laundry room awhile back.

Steven, a post-doc in the lab, called me a slacker for not coming in, and then offered to set up some cultures for me so I didn’t have to. Go figure. But it was a really nice gesture, and one which I appreciate a lot.

I’ve also played a lot of dominoes with John this weekend. Mexican Train Dominoes isn’t quite the same with only two people, and the game goes pretty fast, but we’ve had fun. It’s been nice to just sort of laze around or do the errands that need to get done without worrying about work.

I think my new policy will be No Work On Weekends until I get my head on straight. Unless it’s setting up overnight cultures or something. (And we’ll ignore the fact that we’ve got Open Water scuba class the next two weekends, so I couldn’t work even if I wanted to.)

Stanford spectacularly lost the football game last night, but we played well in the first half, after letting Oregon score 14 point sin the first 3 and 1/2 minutes. We were actually up at half-time. Of course, we then let them continue to score in the second half without actually doing so ourselves.

All the undergrads are back on campus, as classes start Monday (I think). I will never understand the concept of wearing a miniskirt to a football game, or taking a gigantic purse. Or having a blackberry as an UNDERGRAD. Geez, I wish my parents loved me that much. But noooo, they had to go teach me the value of earning money on my own to buy myself stuff. Stupid life lessons. Hrmpf.

Let’s see… What else can I ramble about?

Oh, yes. Food. We had salmon for dinner, in a tasty honey soy teriyaki glaze. Now I just have to hope I still fit into those size 4s in the morning.

But you know what? I think this whole weekend has done me a lot of good. I think I’ve pretty much come to terms with trashing the last 2.5 years worth of work and starting over.

And if I haven’t, there’s always the kitchen floor to scrub.

So apparently, although we wouldn’t wish it on our worst enemies, it helps that both Amelia and I are having our worlds crash down around us, somewhat not metaphorically. We’ve both recently discovered that the last two years worth of work needs to be redone. It’s not that it’s not valid, it’s just that, for various reasons, everything needs to be repeated..correctly.

So what did we do to celebrate? We basically spent most of the weekend together.

Friday we had morning coffee, then went to lunch. Then she came with me for Discover Scuba, although neither of us ended up getting in the water. Next it was off to the bar across the street to wait for John, where we happily drank and watched the amazing 8th inning of the Yankees-Red Sox game.

The plan, next, was to head to Soo’s Mongolian BBQ (oh my god is that place good), but they close at 9pm (!!!) on Fridays, apparently, so we went home to frozen pizza and Filipino rum. And then most of a bag of Doritos. And then most of a pan of brownies.

So much for that diet thing, but hey, sometimes you just need to say, screw it, and eat what will make you happy.

Saturday, John and I were supposed to be in the pool doing the skill circuit for AI training, but the after effects of the previous night meant neither of us was really up for exercise, especially in an aquatic environment. So we just did classroom stuff instead, which needed to be done as well. Greg understood, but I feel kind of bad being all talk and no action when it comes to finishing AI. Hopefully, if the plan works, we’ll be done by the middle of next week. Maybe. Hope so.

We were home in time to see most of the Yankees-Red Sox game, as well as the Michigan-Notre Dame game, and the Florida-Tennessee game. Amelia brought over her cable cord so we moved our second TV into the living room and had baseball on one TV for John, and flipped between the two football games on the other. With a gigantic pot of coffee (I’ll warn you now that Joya del Dia from Starbucks is good, but after a couple cups, it just starts to suck, and and it only gets worse from there) and grilled ham and cheese sandwhiches, we were pretty much settled in.

Michigan scored pretty much every time we changed the channel to the Florida game and pummled Notre Dame. Watching the freshman quarterback from ND, we felt pretty bad, but it was as if the ND team just failed to show up and then failed to play. Wow. Florida-Tennessee was a bit more exciting, but the Yankees-Red Sox game was sad. Poor John.

Then there was Arkansas and Alabama, and USC and Nebraska. I don’t like Nebraska, but I think I like USC less. And I will admit that Nebraska has a decent home field advantage. Sadly, it wasn’t quite enough.

After viewing all of Amelia’s recent pix from her Asia trip, I wanted sushi or Soo’s even more. Both were too far away, so in the choice between mexican, gyros or vietnamese, John picked vietnamese, a decision we all came to regret.

This was a place we’d tried before, and figured one bad night might be a fluke. A second bad night? Eh. There’s one thing on the lunch menu that Amelia wants to try before we give up altogether, but I’ve had enough greasy entrees to last awhile. It’ll be appetizer spring rolls for me next time.

Then she and I went off to the Stanford football game, while John lazed about at home. We didn’t expect much other than some fun with our Albanian friend, but were shocked and awed when Stanford managed to score several field goals, followed by FOUR TOUCHDOWNS! If we’d scored just 3 more points, we would have beaten the point spread in the Florida-Tennessee game. Stupidly, the team decided to go for 4th and something instead of punting for those last three points. It was 37-0, so it wasn’t really needed, but still!

Apparently, not only did the school replace the coach, they replaced all the players, too. And found an amazing kicker(s). The place kicker and the field goal kicker were both great, and possibly are the same kid. The game was fun, and halftime with the band allowed back was good, too. Maybe we’ll do better than last season’s 1-10 this year.

Afterwards, on the way back to the car, we saw the team coming out of the stadium and headed somewhere, and WOW are those guys big. Granted, they’re all multiple years younger than us, but WOW. Scary bigger than us, actually.

Sunday, Amelia and I went to brunch, and then ended up in Gilroy shopping, which was pretty disappointing, except for the SIZE 4 jeans I got! Yay me! But overall the outlet mall there is sort of depressing. And there was no good football on, so the only thing left to do last night was laundry and watch the Yankees manage to pull a win out of nowhere. Homering off Schilling was nice, but leaving the bases loaded with Big Papy on board was just plain scary! We could have done with just a 1-2-3 out, thank you very much!

The only real downside to the whole weekend, since we did an overall good job of forgetting about work and sort of mentally getting ready to come back and kick work butt, was that the pizza we made Friday spilled about half its cheese down onto the bottom of the oven, and it smokes now. I tried to make brownies last night, and it sort of worked, but we basically need to clean the oven before we can do anything with it. So I think that’s my goal tonight: babysitting an insanely hot oven.

But hey, I’ve felt pretty good at work all day today, despite the plans to start from scratch. I think (hope) it probably happens to most grad students, and it really matters if you can get up, dust yourself off, and fix the problem. We’re not here to cure cancer or anything, just to do enough that we can show our committee that we’re worthy of a piece of paper. And really? I’m okay with that.

It was a long weekend, but I think we’re finally back on track.

Hope I didn’t just jinx us.


December 2018
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