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Have you ever hyper-extended a knee? I think I might have oh-so-slightly done so. The back side of my knee, along the inside, right where I imagine tendons or ligaments or whatnot are, hurts.

It hurts when I stand with my weight predominantly on that leg.

It hurts if I sit/lay with my leg straight out in front of me. But feels better if I bend the knee slightly.

It hurts when I walk. Strangely, it doesn’t hurt when I run. Go figure.

But I’m taking this as a sign to tone down the leg weight lifting, the treadmilling, etc, until it feels better. I’d like to avoid a trip to the doctor’s office if I can.

This year has already seen the Neck/Shoulder Injury Round 2 as well as a few other health problems that I think I’ll keep to myself (not gross or girly, just I don’t feel the need to share), and I don’t need to add to that list with just one month to go.

But it is frustrating to have this happen right when Jeannie, Dave’s wife (we went to high school with him, and I gave him the advice that finally pushed him into intending to ask her out, except she beat him to the punch line–love it!), well, Jeannie has me just about convinced to train for a half marathon.

And go to Florida to run one with her next year. Maybe. We’re debating our commitment, since it involves plane tickets and therefore money and time off from work.

I looked at 12-week training programs, and I’m already running the 8-10 miles a week that they recommend before you begin. And I can handle the weekday routines. It’s the build-up on the weekends, from 2 to 12 miles, that worries me. I need someone to run with. To keep me motivated, and to motivate in return. That’s really the only thing still holding me back.

So I’ll take it easy for a week or so and see how the knee feels. Ugh. Ouch.

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We flew to Florida Saturday for the wedding of our high school friend Dave and his fiance Jeannie.

Dave and I go way back, all the way back to middle school. We dated for 2 and 1/2 years in high school–he was my first love. We were “that couple” in high school, the ones that were going to be together forever. Dave was the sort of person that everyone liked, and he did wonderful things for my self-esteem and my outlook on life. He probably rescued me from myself at times.

Our break-up, just after his first year of college and my senior graduation, was messy, to say the least. Neither of us handled it particularly well, and in the months that followed, I missed him terribly. I had John, who was incredibly supportive when I needed to cry on his shoulder about my ex. For that, I will always love John. Within 6 months of our break-up, we (Dave and I) were speaking again, and eventually fell back into friendship.

Three years ago, he was in our wedding as a groomsman. Two years ago, he came to visit us with his new girlfriend, Jeannie. She’s this tiny, adorable little thing, and the two of them are perfect for one another.

I know it sounds weird and silly, but John and I were so happy, and Dave just kept looking for his One, and I always felt a little bit guilty for having moved on and found someone to be happy with when he hadn’t. He’d clearly moved on, but hadn’t found his Someone yet. And now? Now I’m just excited for them.

I will admit that the 16-year-old in me is a bit nostalgic for that “perfect couple” and what was supposed to have been. Not in a sense of wishing that it had been, but feeling sad for that part of myself that so long ago wanted it so badly. But lives change and move on, and mine went in the direction of John and his went, somewhat indirectly, in the direction of Jeannie.

The live in Florida now, where he’s in school and she’s about to go back to school. They’re talking of trying to have a baby soon. He will, without a doubt, be one of the best dads ever. And she’ll make a pretty darn good mom, too.

So we went to their wedding–I was nervous about being “the ex” and about whether or not she truly didn’t mind me there, much less in their lives or his life. They came to visit us, like I said, but other than sporadic calls and emails over the years, we haven’t seen them. We’d wanted to visit for longer, to spend some time there with them, but as I told Dave, I just love my mom more than the two of them, and so spent the time with her instead.

We got to the hotel about 12:30pm Sunday morning, checked in, and hit the hay. The next morning we wandered around town, had breakfast, bought sunscreen, and just killed time. Then headed to the beach for the wedding.

Keep in mind it was about 95 degrees, and the humidity was probably above 85%. It was hot. The straightening of the hair? Was totally not necessary. It curled crazily, and then the beach wind blew it all about. Luckily, I’d had the forethought to toss a hair clip in the back seat of the rental car.

At the beach, there were a number of people clearly dressed for a wedding and not a beach party, but no chairs or anything. We didn’t know anyone, though we did confirm we were their for the same wedding, so when they all set off down the beach, we followed, assuming they knew where they were going. After walking about 20 minutes (we were now 10 minutes late for the wedding, but figured the 30 or so of us probably constituted a good chunk of the wedding guests), someone finally called Dave, who answered. Turns out the wedding was back where we had started, and they were running late.

Dave and Jeannie and their families did all the set-up and take-down of both the wedding and reception themselves, and they’d been working on the reception site until the last minute. We got back in time to help set up chairs, the arch, and the tent. At which point the minister had to be at another wedding (to whom the bride and groom never showed, go figure), so everything was postponed an hour and a half, or a total of 2.5 hours.

Dave was, to say the least, a bit stressed by the whole endeavor. I’m sure Jeannie was, too, but she was back at the house waiting in the air conditioning.

We sat in the shade of the tent, talking with him and the two groomsmen we did know, for the next hour. We also met Jeannie’s grandma, a lovely, funny woman.

Then, with the skies darkening and the lightening and thunder starting, we had ourselves a wedding.

Jeannie looked beautiful. I started tearing up the moment the whole thing started. I never actually bawled, but there were some tears. The minister was great at inserting jokes to relieve the tension caused by the delay and the approaching storm, and the whole thing was beautiful. A bit overly God-y, but beautiful.

Afterwards, nearly all the guests carried their chairs back to the parking lot, where they were stowed in Jeannie’s brother’s car and our rental SUV (tip: when you reserve a compact car, and they don’t have one, you get a free upgrade! That said, the Jeep Patriot is a crummy, crummy car!). We all hightailed it out of the parking lot just as the rain started to spatter down.

Like I told Jeannie, it’s good luck to have rain on your wedding day, and it was the perfect way to have it–we didn’t actually get wet, and it had stopped again by the time we got to the beach house that was serving as the reception site.

There, we set up all the chairs. The busy work was good because we felt helpful, but also meant we didn’t have to stand around awkwardly when we didn’t know any of their Florida friends or her friends from Iowa. The ones we did know were up at the head table. Ah, well.

The reception was 2.5 hours late starting, so most of us pounced on the food. Jeannie’s grandma joked that the bride and groom should eat first but she was just too hungry! It was a good buffet, and the house was gorgeous.

If you’ve got an extra $6 million laying around, I know a house you can buy. Lots of bedrooms, a pool, big kitchen, beautiful backyard, deck and dock, swimming platform, the works. Not on the beach, but the works nonetheless.

Then there was dancing, drinking, cake, champagne, swimming in the pool (for some), and lots of talking. I greeted all of Dave’s relatives, most of whom I’d already met. I talked for a long time with both his parents, his sister and his aunt. Most of his family came from South America, and not all of them speak a lot of English, but enough that they all greeted me and kissed my cheek–I think I got more cheek kisses than ever before! His family is a very lovely group of people, and it was nice to see them again.

Jeannie and I had a chance to talk at one point, and she reassured me that she really did like me and didn’t mind me at all, which was lovely. I told her that if she every wanted to talk about being newly married (most of their friends aren’t, so we’re the only ones who’ve been through what they’re about to do/have just done recently), I’d be happy to talk with her. I also invited them to come visit us again sometime soon, and received the same invitation in reverse.

She really is one of those incredibly sweet people, and they are so good for one another. It was, I have to say, a perfect wedding, even if it did have some hitches in the beginning. In a year, they’ll laugh about it, even if it caused stress at the time.

We were disappointed to not stay longer in Florida in general, or at the party, but we hung out at the house until 11pm, about the time it was just the Florida people, most of whom were drunk and in the pool. Figuring we didn’t know them and didn’t need to see the likely results of drunks in a pool, we said our good-byes (more tears) and left. It was tough, but I’m sure we’ll see them again, though it may be another two years.

Then it was back to Iowa on Monday, where it was cloudy and rainy again.

The basement, when we woke up this morning, was no damper than it was last night, which was a relief. I’m with my mom for her chemo now, and then we’ll have a nice lunch somewhere and make our way to the airport to head back to California. More good-byes, but I’ll be home again soon. In just about 5 weeks, actually.

Amelia once told me that it’s been shown that when boys listen to music, they listen to the music itself, while girls listen to the lyrics.

I polled John, but I don’t think he counts.

He doesn’t really listen to music, per se. Oh, he likes certain kinds of music–classical, irish, Journey, Eve6–but given a choice in the car (the only place he really listens to music), he’ll listen to the comedy stations on XM.

When I’m in the car, I tend to change it to the music stations, as I love to sing along. I’m pretty bad about recognizing specific artists and titles and connecting them to the songs themselves, but I do know the lyrics to a lot of music. And other than rap, there are very few kinds of music I don’t like.

I love, especially, the creativity of some lyricists. For example, Eve6’s song writer is damn clever with the word plays, and they have some very creative songs. Plus, I just like them a lot.

We once drove all the way to Chicago, John, Dave and I, to see them play at the House of Blues. It was a great concert, but when it ended at 1am, we then had to drive all the way back to Iowa. It was fine, except for the getting lost and managing to drive through the Projects at around 3am. I was asleep in the backseat and woke up at this point, at which both boys immediately ordered me to lay back down and go back to sleep. That was fun.

Anyways, they’ve got some good word plays. Jason Mraz is a recent artists who has this effect, too. However, when he titles the song ‘Wordplay’, some of the appeal is lost. Don’t get me wrong, I love the song, but when you point it out? But maybe that’s the point.

So, do you listen to the music, or the lyrics? And do you have a Y chromosome?

Apparently it’s that time of year again when the marriage bug starts to bite people. A bunch of my friends are getting married!!!

There’s my best friend from high school, Dave, who’s marrying the cutest, sweetest girl for him in the world next spring in Florida. They are adorable together, and I’m so glad he’s found someone to make him happy. We dated in high school, and most people probably assumed we’d end up together. Needless to say, things ended, and I got John (that worked out well, don’t ya think?), and we all became friends after a bit. But there’s always been a lingering sense of something, not really guilt, but responsibility (maybe? still not quite the right word) about his happiness in relationship-land. It’s along the lines of I found John and we’re happy, and I want that same happiness for him. Now he’s found it, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Plus, I love her, so it’s even better!

Then there’s my childhood best friend, who’s marrying next October in Arizona. We’ve loosely kept in touch, but I know she’s occasionally struggled in the past with boys, and I’m so happy she’s found someone!

Then there’s a guy in my class, who just proposed to his girlfriend. I’ve only met her a couple times, but he’s a great guy and I’m sure they’ll be happy.

There’s the Brits, Nate and Shelly, that we know through diving, who are getting married in September. You should have seen me running down the street in a 7mm wetsuit to find her when John told me they’d gotten engaged. Imagine a short all-black penguin waddling really, really fast. It was hilarious to watch, I’m sure, but I had to find her and congratulate her/them! They leave in just a short time for England, and will be gone for two months–we’ll miss them, but they’re going to have so much fun!

Then there’s Rae and Aaron, another diving couple, who we met during their Advanced class. They’re not quite as far along in the planning stages, but are also a great couple, and we love to hang out with them. Theyr’e thinking of getting married up in wine country, which would be beautiful!

And finally, last night at the shop, I ran into a friend who I hadn’t seen in a couple months. I knew his girlfriend was moving here from Thailand, but I was certainly surprised when he introduced me to his wife! She’s a sweetie, and he was getting her ready for her first diving weekend in Monterey. I wish them luck!

Good thing I’m already married to John, or I’d start to get my hopes up about finding someone! 😉

Walking in to work this morning, I heard a voice call my name.

Last time that happened, it was Elizabeth, who’d just arrived for MedSchool and recognized me.

This time, it was Jenny, the ex-student admin for our department. Jenny is the nicest, most wonderful, motherly, loving, understanding, accepting and easy-going person I have ever met. If I ever got to pick a second mother, she would pretty much be The List, with the possible exception of Dave’s mom, who’s also pretty wonderful.

Example: When I was here for interviews, I was still taking my anti-diabetes medication, which caused me to somewhat regularly wake up in the middle of the night and toss my cookies. Sadly, I made it to the bathroom of the hotel room but still managed to get said cookies all over my pajamas. The next day, I asked Jenny if, during some free time, I could go find a laundromat. I had two days of interviews here left, and then was headed to UNC. Jenny told me to just have the hotel do the laundry, charge it to the room, and the department would pay for it. Granted, not her money, but she let me do it, and then spent the rest of the time making sure I was okay and everything. It was so wonderful, and she really was one of my top reasons for coming here for school.

Sadly, she took time off to have a baby, then another baby, and then be a stay-at-home mom for awhile, so she was only around for a little bit at a time once I actually got here. When she decided she wanted to come back, the department only had a part-time position, having already hired someone for her old job, but still needing help for that person. She wanted full-time, and moved on.

But then I saw her today, and she’s back on this side of campus, and my day went from 0 to great in the time it took for her to call out my name. We talked only briefly, about John, diving, research, the nearness of my graduation, her kids, her new job, but it was a wonderful couple minutes.

Do you ever have someone in your life who can just brighten everything, even with brief exposure? That’s how Jenny is.

And suddenly, even doing a bunch of harvests today wasn’t that bad, even if I did have to work with the incompetent labmate.

Coupled with an hour of coffee and gossip with Rhiannon, life is great.

AND we leave for vacation in 5, count ’em, 5 days.

*grin*

It was a great weekend, folks!

I spent my birthday being lazy, having lots of fun with lots of friends, and not doing any work-related activities!

On Saturday, I stayed in my pajamas until 5pm. Whee! I mostly spent the day talking to all the people who called, reading, or playing computer games. I also laughed a LOT with/at Amelia, while trying to give her boy advice.

I had meant to go on a bike ride, but in the end, I just had too much fun sitting in the back yard, talking with my mom, my sister, Amelia, Dave, John’s mom/grandma, and all sorts of other people.

Plus, it was kinda nice to be able to sit and play computer games for awhile. I’m not a huge computer game fan, and I only play a very restricted number of them. I don’t even play that often, but every once in awhile, it’s fun to sit and just mindlessly play. Plus, most of my games are for PC, and so I can’t play when John’s on the computer. He’s got a PC for gaming, and I’ve got a Mac for work, so sometimes there are conflicts.

Plus, the talking with Amelia was really nice. For my birthday, she gave me a bento box for my bike, and we apologized and said we’re all okay and everything. Yay! Plus, she’s having some boy issues that were really funny, and I was trying to help her out without laughing at her too much.

For dinner, I met up with her, John, and some other classmate/friends for dinner, including Rhiannon and Sam, at a local fish restaurant. It wasn’t quite as tasty as I’d remembered, but we had lots of fun. I was kinda worried, since a labmate/classmate who’s extremely uptight and rigid (for example: she won’t talk to people who are drinking, and has been known to just turn and walk away in the middle of the conversation when she realizes you’re holding a beer) had said she might come, but she stood us up (gee darn!) so we were able to be fairly liberal and fun in our conversation. Another friend, the Albanian, also had some girl issues, so we traded stories and gave advice. And hey, calories don’t count on your birthday, right?

Sunday was less lazy–I went for a bike ride–but I also spent most of the day just lazing around. The bike ride was out west and north to a brand new route, and I got kind of lost in among some residential areas, but had a great ride. Then I spent the afternoon being lazy again, mostly playing the same computer game.

For dinner, John and I went to a local BBQ joint with all our scuba friends. It was hilarious! We had a ton of fun, and a friend had a great idea to bring a small memory book and have everyone write in it. I think that’s a great idea! And now I have a record of all the people that were there. Someone even brought me pink sparkly antenna on a headband that I got to wear around the restaurant for the evening. And, just when I thought I’d managed to get through three dinners with no one singing, James F got the restaurant to bring me peach cobbler and sing. It was great!

And to top it all off, I got notified today that I was selected to give a talk/poster at the international conference for my virus. Awesome! Terrifying!

Happy birthday to me!

Reasons for being an Ohio State fan? Aunt and Uncle work there, Cousin goes to school there.

Reasons for being a Florida fan? Dave goes there (though he has about as much interest in basketball as I do in drowning while diving). Amelia is a fan for the guy she likes.

Not being a particular fan or anti-fan of either Florida or Ohio St., I have to say that the game tonight was disappointing. If you’re a fan of a particular team, then a game like that is either great or a heartbreaker. If you’re just in it for good basketball, like I was tonight, then there wasn’t much excitment. No amazing come-from-behind wins. No buzzer beaters. No back-and-forth lead changes. No overtime(s). After last year’s also anti-climactic finish, I was hoping for a good game. Sadly, not to be found.

At least not on TV.

So John and I have spent the evening playing Yahtzee. He took an early lead, but now we’re neck-and-neck for best of five. May not sound like a particularly exciting evening, but when you’re with your best friend in the whole world and the one you love the most, just about anything is a good evening. Even Yahtzee like boring old grownups.

*****

And even when I do lose 1-3.

Then again, there’s always Sudden Death Yahtzee…

Or Strip Texas Hold’em. I already beat him at that tonight once.

Now how do you play Strip Yahtzee??

Last night, while putting my time in on the bike trainer, I watched Jeopardy.

I love that show. I have copious amounts of trivial knowledge, apparently, and Jeopardy and Trivial Pursuit are great ways to use it. Probably the only ways to use it. And while I’ll never try out for Jeopardy (you put me in front of a camera and I wouldn’t know my own name), John and I play Trivial Pursuit a lot. We have 3 or 4 editions, actually, and for one of them we have specific boxes that we each use. We both like to read all the clues and answers while the other is thinking, and at this point we’ve played so much with that particular edition that we have to have our own boxes because we know most of the answers to most of the questions. I suppose it’s good learning, as well as tons of fun.

Anyways…

Last night I was watching a Jeopardy from several weeks ago (I love the DVR I gave John last Valentine’s Day–great dual present!), and one of the catergories was “Movie Quotes” or some such thing. Now, John and I do this great (to us) thing where one of us will be reminded of a movie quote, and force the other to guess the movie. A good friend of ours, Dave who was a groomsman in our wedding, even referenced this during his toast, saying it was a sign we’d go far. I hope!

So I figured I’d skunk this category.

And then I didn’t know a single one! I didn’t even know 4 of the 5 movies! Godfather 3 I’d at least heard of. Sheesh. Takes me down a peg or two, I suppose. Lots of fun, even so.

And a good way to pass the time on the bike when I’m not outside. Yelling at people on TV amuses the neighbor’s, too, I’m sure. Especially when it’s an obvious (to me) answer and none of the three know it. Even better during the Teen Tournament. I may not know a whole lot of pop culture, but good god do those kids know nothing. And there’s a Young Kids Tournament coming up.

*rubs hands together in evil anticipation while cackling*

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