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Trivia questions:

There are three hockey teams in the NHL who’s names are not plural. Can you name them? (Admittedly, I got started on this from some blog a week or so ago that I can’t now remember, sorry.)

How about the NBA? How many and can you name them?

Or the NFL? How many and who are they?

And here’s some fun trivia for you, or possible trivia answers:

Hockey-related: Recently, the New Jersey Devils recorded the first home shutout since 1997 for a goaltender NOT named Martin Brodeur.

Men’s NCAA basketball-related:

The longest Division I men’s basketball game went five overtimes (Cincinnati defeated Bradley in 1981). The longest DII game went seven overtimes (Black Hills beat Yankton in 1956 for DII).

The record for DIII schools was just set by Skidmore v. Southern Vermont.

Here are some facts from it:

Skidmore set an NCAA all-division record with 69 points after regulation.

The combined total of 133 points in overtime is the most ever in a men’s NCAA game.

And finally…

The game had more rebounds than fans. 142 people came to watch, but the teams had a combined 166 rebounds. Another NCAA record.

Good for Skidmore and Southern Vermont. What a hell of a game.

I am, quite clearly, living for the weekend these days. And this was a pretty kick-ass weekend.

To start off, John worked late Friday, so I got to spend some time at home by myself. The grand plan was to make cookies as a house warming present, but did my brain remember this? No. So I loafed around and enjoyed some time by myself.

Saturday, after a brief couple hours at work, John and I went off to run errands–joy of joys–but its been fun to spend time with him on all his weekends off. We also discovered a German bakery, where we bought Nate and Shelly their house warming present–an assortment of pastries for breakfast the next morning so they wouldn’t have to worry about that post-party. And some champagne, just for good measure. Because we love them, crazy Brits that they are.

I tried to convince John to buy a cheap-ass bottle so we could get Shelly to break it on the house and christen it like they do with ships, but he thought they’d enjoy drinking the stuff more. He’s no fun, is he?

We headed south after running errands, swinging by his work place, then on to James F and Cara’s place for an hour or so. We all debated the fact that Nate and Shelly wouldn’t likely notice if we gave them only 4 pastries instead of 6, but managed to keep our salivating thoughts to ourselves. Then it was on to the party.

About 3-4 months ago, Nate and Shelly bought a house. They then had a huge series of house guests from the Motherland (England, where they don’t speak properly!). Finally, with the house back to themselves, their realtor threw them a housewarming party. She catered it, and had plenty of good food and wine and port.

And their house? Makes me wish John and I could go back and buy a house when we were talking about it. Because their place is perfect. Not that we could EVER have afforded it, but perfect. 3 bedrooms, two living rooms, 4 bathrooms (including one with a steam shower and an inappropriately height-ed window and another one with a jacuzzi tub), a climate-controlled wine closet, and best of all, an entire shed for their scuba stuff. Next to the 2-car garage. And this place not only has it all, but is beautifully decorated. The paint colors are nice, there’s a fire place, there’s marble countertops, there’s stained glass windows and stained glass lighting.

*sigh*

I think they need to adopt me. Or at least rent one of the bedrooms to John and me.

There were a ton of people that stopped by, and we got to sit and chat with quite a few people as the evening wore on. There was Olympic marathon-ing in the background as we all waited with baited breath for Michael Phelp’s eighth race (WHOOHOO!!!!!!). And there were lots of oohs and ahhs about the house itself. All in all, a fabulous party, and we all have a new party hangout.

I even tried to oblige Cara, who wanted to see me drunk because she thought I’d be an amusing drunk, but the evening went so long that my drinking just kind of kept pace. There was a lot of giggling, though. Fun times.

Sunday, after work, John and I met up with Elizabeth and Mark and went on a bike ride out and around, with plenty of miles behind us but also plenty of breaks for some hilarious conversation. We were supposed to do dinner with them afterwards, but they ended up having to (get this…) be interviewed for some prize they’d won in the local paper!!! So no date for us, sadly. But we can claim to have (sort of) famous friends!

Instead, we headed south again to James and Cara’s place, to the old stand-by of BBQ. Cara likes to experiment with new dishes and make us try them out.

“I’ll know you’re my real friend if you try the potatoes!”

We even went to see the Star Wars Clone Wars movie. It was actually surprisingly entertaining. Perhaps because the guys each had light sabers (green for James and red for John–apparently we’re a Sith family), I got a little-kid-sized double light saber (seriously, about 18 inches long, it was hilarious), and Cara wore Princess Leia hair buns and carried a blaster gun. We amused ourselves greatly. And a little 3-4-year old at the theater who couldn’t stop following around James and saying “He has a light saber!” Although I’m not sure his mother probably appreciated the effect…

The real gem of the evening was that James wasn’t disappointed by the movie. It wasn’t great, but it was good, and the friends made it worth the time. He only found 2 errors, geek that he is–apparently one of the bounty hunter droids that makes an appearance wasn’t invented at the time, and also the storm troopers that fly are supposed to have different helmets from the ones on the ground. Who knew??

All in all, a pretty good weekend. And my batteries are recharged. But it would sometimes to have a 5-day weekend and a 2-day work week.

“Must go faster, must go faster, go go go go go!”

Name those movies…

Two movies, same quote.

Here’s a hint, same actor, too!

Well, that’s pretty much what my day’s like.

There’s the timer, gotta run.

We went to Maverick in the city again for New Year’s Eve dinner, along with Amelia and her ex. They’re friends, so it’s not awkward, but it’s a bit weird for all involved.

It was tons of fun, though. The boys were in their suits, and Amelia and I in our little black dresses. None of us have jobs where we get dressed up, so sometimes it’s fun to go out and “act our age”.

Maverick did an awesome 4 course meal with wine pairings, and it was all delicious. I’ve discovered lately that I’ll eat cheese if it’s cooked, but apparently bleu cheese is just good as is. Given that Maytag bleu cheese is from Iowa, I wish I’d discovered this sooner. And I had some of the best steak of my life, I believe.

Also, the wines were amazing. The waiter was great about the fact that I didn’t like a lot of the reds. He’d fill my glass anyway, and the ex or John usually drank it. Instead, I got a bit more champagne, but I was also the DD, so it didn’t matter that I handed off the glass to others.

We had a great time, and the drive there and home were both very safe. I was a little nervous, given what happened to my cousin three years ago (he was driving home from the city, too, except up to Marin Co), and was very glad when we reached home without incident.

I was so keyed up from the evening that even though we were in bed by 3 with the lights out, I was awake until 5 or 6. Which made for a very, very late morning yesterday.

I’d gotten bagels, eggs, sausage, ham, OJ and coffee the day before, anticipating a nice and lazy morning on the couch. We did the nice lazy morning part, but were so lazy that only the bagels and the coffee were touched. We mostly sat around watching football: Michigan v Florida (go Michigan), USC v Illinois (go USC), and then the Sugar Bowl, where we cheered for Hawaii to win, or just score, or just do something right. Poor boys.

Amelia came over for the last game, and we had cabbage and black-eyed peas and ham for dinner, to bring luck and health and wealth, or at least two of the above. Apparently it’s a Southern thing? Eh, I’m all for it.

Today it’s off to work I went, although Lab Manager made some comment about leaving at 2, so you can expect me to walk out of here right around 2:01.

It’s Steven’s birthday tonight, so we’re off to celebrate. And then the Stanford-UCLA basketball game tomorrow. Then scuba class. Then the Stanford-USC game.

I’m going to need an evening off before long. Sunday is an official “do nothing once scuba’s over” day, I think.

Hope you’re all enjoying the last days of vacation.

From All&Sundry

1. What did you do in 2007 that you’d never done before?
Gave a talk at a research conference. Held a nurse shark in Belize. Went to the Pac10 Men’s Basketball Tourney. Completed a metric century on a bike.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don’t remember what my resolutions were last year. If I do make some for this year, they’ll probably be standard: lose more weight, save more money, drive safer, think of others first more.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Nope.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Nope.

5. What countries did you visit?
US of A (LA, San Diego, Iowa) and Belize

6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?
More patience. A publication. Better understanding of others. A certification as an Assistant Instructor. Better money management. Better time management. A dog.

7. What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

I can’t think of any. Maybe because nobody died or gave birth.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting selected to give a talk. Not ruining Christmas by arguing with my mom. Continuing to lose weight. No longer being considered pre-diabetic. Getting along well with John’s mom for 2 of the 4 times we saw her.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not checking the work of others, and just trusting that everything was A-OK until I was almost done with the work, then having to start over.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
The plague. And ringworm just now, which I get every time I visit home, likely due to Amy’s dog. I’m horribly allergic to it.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
A heated mattress pad. Tickets home. Legos for John.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Those who gave selflessly and helped others without asking anything in return.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Those who didn’t.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Rent. Bills. Scuba gear. New road bikes.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Going to the Pac10 Basketball Tourney. Going home for Christmas. Becoming a Divemaster.

16. What song will always remind you of 2007?

Ummm…Any that came out this year?
Actually, iTunes just played “Never is Enough” by Barenaked Ladies, and they line “You get your Ph.D. / How happy you will be / When you get a job at Wendy’s / And are honored with employee of the month” is a pretty good reflection of my frustration with my current career path and where I see it going.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
 a) happier or sadder? 
b) thinner or fatter? 
c) richer or poorer?

Happier, probably. Thinner by 13-15lbs, depending on the day. Richer, but probably not by much. 3 for 3!!

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Relax. Scuba dive. Spend time with friends. Pay attention. Give.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Worry. Work.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
With the families, laughing and loving.

21. Did you fall in love in 2007?
Every day.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
CSI. Jeopardy. My Boys.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Nope.

24. What was the best book you read?
Harry Potter #7

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
That I don’t suck at Guitar Hero as much as I thought I would. Of course, a sense of rhythm would help.

26. What did you want and get?
Friendship. Love. Acceptance. A heated mattress pad. (Ahhhh, so warm!!) A relationship with my in-laws that seems to be moving into the positive spectrum of things.

27. What did you want and not get?
Understanding, at times. Acceptance, at times. A dog.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
I don’t think I saw any that were particularly great. What with Netflix, I tend to see them later rather than sooner.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Went to dinner with many, many friends. Turned 25.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Success at work.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?
Comfortable.

32. What kept you sane?
John. Diving. Reading. Computer games. Fred the bunny. Biking. Friends. Blogging.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
None, really. If I had to pick, George Clooney.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Those regarding of freedom.

35. Who did you miss?

My mom’s parents. My cousin.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
Julie! (Okay, so we didn’t really meet, but I can’t think of any other new people who made as big of an impression, be they in person or out in the void, so it totally counts! She’s a great writer, and always there with the funny little comments to brighten my day.)

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007.
Let things go. Love people for who they are. Never forget to tell them that.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
“Everything is gonna be all right / Be strong / Believe” From Yellowcard’s Believe

Thanks, Lara!

*****

What did you do yesterday?
Got up, checked 6 days worth of email, wondered why my “t” key wouldn’t work without some vicious pounding, showered, went to Safeway to buy cream so I could have coffee, went to work, went to a meeting, came home, read 200+ blog entries (man, you people write a lot!), read a book that’s the prequel to one I got for Christmas so I’d remember where the story line was, made dinner with John, ate and watched TV, finished the book, went to bed.

What memory do you miss the most?
Times with my mom’s parents and my cousin. Being a kid.

What memory do you want to forget?
Times when I was too close to the edge and didn’t know where to turn.

Name something you regretted after it was done?
The times I’ve fought with my mom. The times I’ve said mean things about John’s mom, deserved though they may have felt at the time.

What was the last song you heard?
Surfin’ USA by the Beach Boys was the last to play last night. I just turned on iTunes and it flipped to Without You Here by Eve6.

What was the last CD you bought?
I can’t think of the last CD I bought. What with iTunes, it’s been awhile. Maybe Gutterflower by the Goo Goo Dolls? But that would have been before moving to CA. Wow.

What was the last time you cried?
Sometime the week before we left for IA.

What was the last movie you saw in a theater?
Quite possible Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer for James M’s birthday. I’m not sure I’d recommend wasting the money.

What was the last thing you ate?
Coffee. Oh, ate? Dinner was pasta, garlic bread, and a homemade truffle my mom sent home with us. We have no food other than boxed stuff right now.

Who was the last person you called?
James F to let him know we were at SFO and had our luggage. But my mom called me after that. And I’ve texted a whole mess of people.

What color nail polish do you wear?
None. Clear polish that supposedly strengthens nails sometimes. When I have a pedi or mani, I do French style.

Have you ever made a model volcano?
Nope. Ooooo, plan for today!

When was the last time you showered?
Yesterday morning. And about 30 minutes from now.

Who was the last person who complimented you?
John. Last night in bed, while we were both reading, he turned to me and said, “You’re beautiful. I haven’t told you that today, have I?” Any wonder why I keep him?

What are you listening to?
iTunes, now playing Collide by Howie Day. The whirrr of something in the kitchen, possibly the fridge.

What are you wearing?
Red flannel pants with pink and white snowflakes on the lower legs that were a gift for Christmas quite awhile ago. Blue underoos. A white camisol. Maroon-ish slippers.

What are you thinking?
Did I really just write “underoos”? That’s a fun word!

What are you scared of most?
Snakes. Very psycotic fear. I’m so afraid of them that I have intense panic attacks, hyperventilate, and react very, umm, wildly. To the point where I’m convinced that they’re going to crawl out of the TV or off the book page or the stuffed ones are going to come to life and come after me. And I’m going diving in Fiji in 10 months, where there are sea snakes. If anyone has any idea how to (a) cure this or (b) deal with a panic attack at 60 feet underwater, I’d love to hear it. I’ve come to the decision that there will be some therapy before we go. And no, I’ve never been attacked by one, so there’s no real reason for this.

How many people are on your buddy list?
29 on both of them. 17 of them that I occasionally talk to. 4 on a regular basis.

What is your occupation?
Slave to Grad student at Stanford.

What was your marriage site?
Chetzemoka Park in Port Townsend, WA, overlooking Puget Sound and the Cascades.

Where was your honeymoon?
Oahu and the Big Island, specifically as far as we could get from Honolulu, and then Kona.

What is your favorite place to live?
Tucson, AZ

Do you want/have kids?
Yes, though that’s up to the whims of nature, currently. Oh, and my ovaries. Good luck.

What kind of car do you drive?
Toyota 4Runner. I am the epitome of small little person in a big giant car, but it’s great for scuba diving and was the right price.

What are you doing tomorrow?
Working a bit, maybe, sitting around relaxing before getting into the swing of things Monday. Maybe I could make a model volcano…

Will there be a WW III?
Optimistically, nope. Pessimistically, yep. Practically, probably.

Will politics ever be truthful?
HA!

Will humanity snuff itself out?
See the answers to the WWIII question.

Can the government be changed?
HA!

Do you believe in the devil?
I believe in evil. And people who do it.

Do you believe in god?
I believe in the spirituality of all things, probably similar to what many Native Americans believe. I think it’s comforting to believe in a higher power, but sometimes my rationality gets in the way. And I’m not a huge fan of organized religion, although I do believe in something. So, maybe, yes.

Do you believe in aliens?
Yes.

Do you believe in ghosts?
Yes, especially if I’m alone and in the dark.

Do you believe in the spirit/soul?
Yes.

Do you believe in soulmates?
Yes, especially the plural.

Do you believe in reincarnation?
I believe that people live on in our memories and hearts, but I’m not sure about the actual reincarnation part.

Do you believe in love at first sight?
Or do I need to walk by again?
Yes.

Do you believe in karma?
Oh good grief YES!

Who and when was your first crush?
Umm. I can’t remember his name, Carl maybe. Sixth grade. I went to his soccer game, then we went to TGIFriday’s for lunch, while his dad sat in the bar.

Do you have a crush now?
John. Fred, my baby bunny boy.

Do you have a celebrity crush?
Not really. Though some of them are darn tasty looking!

Who do you want to be with right now?
John. My family.

Whose number do you want?
I have most of them.

What is something you don’t understand about the opposite sex?
Do I have to choose just one? Lots.

If you could go on a date with anybody, who would it be?
John.

On scale of one to ten, how romantic are you?
5ish, give or take. Sometimes I am, sometimes I’m not. But I’d like to be more romantic. I think it’s why I read trashy romance novels.

First thing you notice about the opposite sex?
Eyes. Smile.

What do you look for personality-wise?
The ability to comfort, to make me laugh, to smile through adversity.

Happy 161th birthday!

A. We were an hour and a half late leaving to drive to the city to meet a friend for dinner, as John’s boss told him he could leave early, and thus we told our friend this, and then his boss kept him until closing time. Not helping customers, oh no, but doing construction work. Eh, the building will be nice, but still!

B. Instead of turning onto 5th St (as I’d just told said friend we were doing), we got on the 5th St on-ramp to I80. Two different left turns, separated by a measly concrete barrier. I’m sure the Maxima could’ve jumped it if John had tried.

C. We got to explore Treasure Island and view the lights of San Francisco as we turned around to get back onto I80 heading back to 5th St. The lights are very nice, by the way.

D. We got to see some backing up the entrance ramp onto I80 on Treasure Island. The entrance ramp is fairly long and curvy and they were fairly far down it. It was rather startling to come upon.

E. We wondered why deargod why there was a stop sign at the bottom of the entrance ramp. In order to make merging onto an interstate highway with cars and trucks that are already going 75 mph more fun? Possibly.

F. We found an incredibly good seafood restaurant. Shrimp and spinach and dungeness crab cannoli. In sherry cream sauce. Mmmmm. And I’ve got a second one for dinner tonight!

G. We spent a fortune (well, by our standards, and that we don’t have) on customized calendars and wine for Christmas presents.

****

Well, if you picked G, you’re right!

We did that this morning, right before I went to sit in the laboratory waiting room for 90 minutes waiting to give somebody, anybody, really, two measly vials of blood so I could stop fasting and go get my coffee.

It’s gonna be a looong day. But hey, now I’ve got caffeine!

Today is the birthday of the German bacteriologist Robert Koch. He would have been 164.

For the non-math-inclined out there, that means he was born in 1843.

Koch’s Postulates are the basis for pretty much all bacteriology, and generally most microbiology, and thus, the work I do. Sort of.

Happy Birthday, Herr Koch!

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