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My new favorite euphemism comes from sports:

Apparently, some baseball player, perhaps Josh Beckett from the Red Sox, was unable to play Sunday due to…


Polite language for “he couldn’t get far enough from a toilet for long enough to actual take the field”.

Ewww! (Giggle!)


1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?
Went to Ecuador and the Galapagos.
Touched a whale shark.
Swam with hammerhead sharks.
Hiked to 16,000 feet up a volcano.
Threw a baby shower and became a sort-of (sort-of because we’re calling ourselves aunts, though we aren’t related at all) aunt to Nate and Shelly’s baby Owen.
Began to seriously contemplate giving Owen a sort-of cousin.
Earned my PhD. Officially became a Doctor!
Published a paper from my graduate work.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I didn’t make an official New Year’s Resolution for 2010. Rather, maybe, the nebulous get healthy/stay healthy goal. And I think I’ve done pretty well. Mentally, I’m in a much better place now than I was a year or even two years ago. Physically, I’ve taken care of some healthy issues, really started exercising more, and have even lost a decent amount of weight. So all in all, I’d say I did pretty well. And frankly, I’ll probably make the same resolution. There’s always room for improvement.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yep, Shelly did! To a beautiful little baby boy on Thanksgiving morning. This is also the thing I’m most thankful for in 2010–that two of my best friends became parents to a beautiful, healthy baby. And that Owen is a wonderful baby.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No, though we worried a lot about John’s grandmother due to all the things that contributed to her prolonged hospital stay, which included a heart attack and a pulmonary embolism. But she’s doing much, much better now.

5. What countries did you visit?
Ecuador and the Galapagos (same country, but vastly different). Both were amazing.

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
Health care through my job.
More financial security.
A larger living space.

7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Owen’s birth.
My fifth wedding anniversary.
My dissertation defense date.
My graduation ceremony.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Earning my PhD.
Getting healthy.

9. What was your biggest failure?
With the goal of mental health, I’m not answering.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I threw my shoulder out again on December 26th, 2009, and thus spent the first 3-4 months of 2010 re-healing it.
I was diagnosed with a fairly non-serious medical disorder that is now under control.
Mild aches and pains at times, especially when I took up running again.
But in general, pretty healthy, especially right now!

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Baby clothes for Owen.
A trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos.
Perfect Christmas presents for everyone. It took awhile to find just the right thing for each and every person, but I did! This is, quite honestly, my favorite part about Christmas.

12. Where did most of your money go?
Rent and groceries and utilities and boring adult things.
Paying for my own health care for the second half of the year. Maybe I should have re-thought that whole graduating and no-longer-a-student thing. But it was worth it.

13. What did you get really excited about?
Owen’s birth.
Graduating with my PhD.
My new job.
Elizabeth’s residency here in the Bay Area, meaning she and Mark will continue to live here and we can see them all the time.
The San Jose Sharks pummeling the Detroit Red Wings in the NHL Conference semi-finals.

14. What song will always remind you of 2010?
Black Eyed Peas “I gotta feeling”. (Was that even this year?) But it was a good year and a good song.

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:

A bit thinner. Maybe happier.
Overall about the same. And happy with that.

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Scuba diving.
Exploring California like we always say we’re going to do.
But in general, it was a really good year just the way it was.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Not much. Complaining, maybe, but I think it was a good year. I like it how it was.

18. How did you spend Christmas?
In Iowa, surrounded by family, extended family, and in-law family. Laughing, cooking, taking pictures, sharing memories, gossiping, eating, staying warm.

19. What was your favorite TV program?
Um, I didn’t watch much TV this year, honestly. Except for sports, like Sharks hockey and college basketball. John’s new favorite show is “Wild Justice”, which is pretty good. “Better With You”. “Better Off Ted”.

20. What were your favorite books of the year?
“The Gurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” by Mary Ann Shaffer. Love it. Highly recommend it.
Malcom Gladwell’s “Blink”, “Tipping Point” and “Outliers”.
Atul Gawande’s “Complications”.
I’m sure there were more, probably in the romance category, but none that come to mind.

21. What was your favorite music from this year?

Songs on the radio I could sing along with.
Handel’s Messiah, as always.
Christmas music, at least for the last month or so.
The group Cage the Elephant, who’s music is great for exercising.

22. What were your favorite films of the year?
I think I only went to see two movies this year. A chick flick with Elizabeth, though I can’t remember what it was. And “Eat, Pray, Love” with Shelly. Both were okay, neither were a favorite.

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 28. My dissertation was due to my committee about a week later, so I probably spent the day working on it. Went to dinner with friends, if not on my birthday, then right around that time.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
It was great as it was. For others, better health for John’s grandmother. Less heartache in the beginning of the year for my sister. A Stanley Cup for the Sharks instead of for Chicago.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?

26. What kept you sane?
John. My friends. My family. Scuba diving. Running. Graduating.

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.

Learn to be happy with who you are, or work to be who you can be happy being.

Zenyatta lost, sadly, but gave it a good effort.

Stanford is whomping Arizona. Sort of. Arizona’s not going down without a fight. Though arguably I’d be happy with either one winning.

The San Jose Sharks are up 2-1 over Tampa Bay, with two goal by Patty, including a shortie. Let’s get him a hat trick!

And even though all sorts of excitement is happening on TV, I’m off for a date night. In my new super cute boots.

Remember to set your clocks back, and enjoy an extra hour of sleep!

Hrm, so it’s been nearly a year. Maybe I needed a break. Maybe I felt like I didn’t have much to say. Maybe it’s been nice just to not be tied to posting. I don’t know what it’s been, but I just haven’t felt like writing.

So I’d been thinking for awhile that November NaBloPoMo might be a good way to get started again, and lo and behold, it’s freaking November all ready. Yikes!

So, I’m diving into the deep end head first.

Here’s some things that have occupied me since I last wrote:

December: A wedding and a 90th birthday in the family! What fun to get everyone together and celebrate throughout the holidays. Very joyous, although the 5 year anniversary of the date we lost my cousin did dampen the spirit a bit at times.

January: Another massive neck/shoulder injury. Ugh. Xrays, several specialists, and back to physical therapy. Happy times.

February: We found out that there was going to be a baby! No, not mine, but my best friend’s! So excited for her.

March: Massive last push for data in the lab begins and ends. I basically decided what would and wouldn’t be in my thesis and went from there. Not much sleep occurred.

April: The Cough of Death and thesis writing were not a good combination. Too much sleeping, and the rest of the time was spent writing. Thank goodness for cough medicine!



July: Month o’ Travel! We went to Ecuador for four days and the Galapagos Islands for eight. Massive amounts of fun, and stories to come. Promptly upon arriving home, we drove the 18 hours to Wyoming for a massive week-long family reunion that my mom organized for her 60th birthday year. Then, as soon as I got home and did laundry, it was off to Salt Lake City for a conference. Ugh. But I did get to see a friend who lives there now. Oh, and a snake. Never going back. Ever.

August: Oh crap, you mean I have to find a job? Two interviews, two job offers. Neither is perfect, but both work.

September: Realized I wasn’t as close to being done with the old job as I thought. Another interview, again not quite perfect. Must I make up my mind?

October: Hrm, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel to finish this job, plus some exciting job prospects–two tentative job offers that I’m super duper excited about! Things are looking up! Except for that downer where my grandmother-in-law shattered her femur and got shingles and had an allergic reaction to morphine that swelled her throat closed. Needless to say, we traveled home for an emergency visit just to be on the safe side. She’s hopefully starting to recover. And I have two tentative job offers

Now: The San Francisco Giants won the world series. Huzzah! And I started blogging again. Huzzah!

One down, twenty-nine to go!

It may be the “best game ever played”, but even those who love it clearly harbor secret feelings suggesting otherwise!

One-ish month until hockey starts!

Two-ish months until basketball starts!

You just had to go and jinx it again, didn’t you?

Gah. No more references at all!

So, how about those Mets? No, Julie doesn’t like baseball. How about those Oscars?

No jinxing things, okay?

So, what else to mention…

Well, I’m still working on writing my paper, which is great fun, let me tell you! Despite not providing too many comments on my writing, my boss commented to me on Wednesday that if I’ve got a committee meeting coming up, I should try to have a final draft of my paper by this weekend. Yeeeaaahhh. I’m working on it. And progressing, theoretically.

Hrm, fun things to talk about…

Oh, my shoulder/neck is getting better! I was pain-free for nearly a week leading up to my appointment a week ago, then made the faulty decision to do some cardio kickboxing with minimal punching moves on Monday. And then proceeded to have mild neck pain for the rest of the week. Apparently there’s a difference between feeling fine and being fine!

And here I was, about to make diving plans with Sydney and whoever else was interested. D’oh! Maybe I can convince people to carry my gear into the water for me, so I don’t have to carry the weight.

But at my last doctor’s appointment on Friday, she said that despite the pain, I was less tense, or whatever she’s feeling in my back/neck/shoulder, than I had been, so things are progressing towards being okay despite my bad decision.

And John has been absolutely wonderful. He told me I was going to my club meeting Wednesday night, despite whether I wanted to or not. It was actually a great decision, and I met someone who might help me with finding a job in the next year or so, as well as someone who had some good information on finding a new place to live! Productive night! Then I went to dinner with Nate and Shelly and Rae and Aaron, who were great and distracting company.

Then, Thursday, John took me to see the Sharks game. Just so I wouldn’t be sitting at home worrying. Lovely boy, eh? The Sharks won, which was also good. And I reconnected with three old friends over the course of the day.

And yesterday, when a headache came out of nowhere and blindsided me, probably a result of the stress and worry of the week, he made me a lovely dinner and helped me relax.

Now I’m sitting at home, on the couch, drinking coffee and watching the Sharks game and theoretically working on my paper. Clearly that’s going well, as I’m writing this and not it! But I’m feeling good, and things (all of them) are well. That’s what counts, right?

Plus, I think there’s a chocolate banana cake recipe calling my name. Anyone want to come by for a taste???

Apparently I jinxed the Sharks by talking about how they were a good team and all.

They lost last night for the first time in regulation play at home. (They’d had 3[?] overtime losses at home already.) Had to (theoretically) happen sometime, and as James F put it, everybody’s seen them win at home but we’ve seen them lose at home!


Now hopefully they can get back on track and stop coasting along. It takes work to stay at the top, and that’s where we all want them come play off time.

Aside from the loss, though, we had a lot of fun. We had two sets of three seats, two rows apart, so we sat girls and boys, and were still close enough that we could call out to one another. Shelly, Cara and I had a blast, and I’m sure the boys did, too, although they might have paid marginally more attention to the game than us.

Also, our seats were back and above the Flames’ goalie for the first and third period, so we had good views of one of the goals and a lot of the scrimmages. And I swear the third goal that the Sharks scored in the third period, but that no one counted.

Apparently the folks in Toronto who review these things didn’t agree with us. Clearly the 17,000+ of us in attendance were right, too! Majority rules, right?

Happy Friday!

Given how I’m not a fan of being cold, I’m planning on wearing 14 jackets to the ice rink tonight. You think that will be enough?

James F, Cara, Nate, Shelly, John and myself are all going to see the San Jose Sharks play tonight against the Calgary (maybe?) Flames. If I have my facts right, the Sharks pounded the Flames last time they were here, but the Flames pounded the Sharks last time they traveled there. Should be an interesting game. Beforehand, we’re all headed to a bar down south for some drinks and happy hour appetizers for dinner. Should make an interesting game even better!

I’ve actually really started to become a fan of hockey, surprisingly. I had nothing against it, but didn’t feel like I had a whole lot of interest in it either. Then last year, we watched a lot of the playoffs that the Sharks were in with James F, who’s a huge fan. We really got into it, and this year have been watching a lot of the games.

In some ways, it’s been nice to have a team that’s doing ridiculously well to root for to go along with rooting for the Arizona men’s basketball team, which is not so hot this year. They were 9-3 in pre-conference, and opened the season 2-2, including the loss against Stanford. Boo. Those numbers aren’t too bad, but they’re not up to what Arizona should be capable of doing. They play UCLA tonight–I’m not holding my breath, though I am hoping for wireless at the HP Pavilion so I can keep an eye on the score on my iPod. I’m definitely not giving up on Arizona, and all things considered when it comes to Lute Olson and various players fleeing, they’ve been doing pretty damn well. But it has been nice to have a team like the Sharks to cheer for as well.

It doesn’t hurt, either, that there’s a number of good looking guys on the team, and I’ll admit that the fights are pretty fun to watch, too. Go Sharks!

Well, I succeeded. Congratulations to everyone out there who did the same, or even tried. It’s impressive regardless.

The internet is still sporadic at our new digs–it didn’t work until late last night, when it suddenly started up. This morning, it worked long enough for John to check the Sharks game stats from last night, then for me to check my email, then shut down about the time I started checking the news. Bah.

So I’m stopping by home on the way back from work. Plus, this way, I can let the bunny out for awhile. Though it would help if he would leave his cage, but you know, you can’t have everything, and if he just wants to sit and glower, that’s fine with me.

I’m off back home to hang out with John on a weekend day we both have off, but I’ll be back sometime. Maybe not every day, but I still owe you all the end of Fiji stories.

Happy last day of the holiday weekend!


May 2019
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