Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas to All!

We are packed. The apartment is clean. Our (many) wake-up alarms are set. Reservations and ticket confirmations have been printed and stowed in carry-on luggage. Reading material for the plane rides and beach lounging has been purchased.

And in a bit more than thirteen hours, we will be in the air. Boo-frickin-yah, baby.

Here's how much of a nerd I am - I am stoked that my most excellent (and, yes, my only) husband got me a copy of the Merck Index for Christmas. It is the chemistry geek's bible, and I finally have a copy of my very own. Seriously, this thing is freaking extensive. You can, for example, use it to find out the LD50 (dose that is lethal in 50% of cases) for caffeine (127 mg caffeine per kilogram of body weight in male mice...also represented are values for male and female hamsters, rats and rabbits) or look up the CAS number (registry number of the Chemical Abstracts Service) for riboflavin (83-88-5, just in case you were interested). Want to know how the Diels-Alder Reaction works? You can look it up! I know you're all doing somersaults of excitement along with me, right? ;) Well, I think it's awesome.

All right, folks. That's it for this year. See you in 2007. :)

Friday, December 22, 2006

Nerds on Ice!

Tom & I went ice skating last night. I had, previously, only been skating once. And that was 12 or 13 years ago. We already know how coordinated I am on land; skidding around a giant ice patch on a pair of razor blades may not be the wisest choice of activity for me.

Nevertheless, while I flailed about and looked for all the world like an enormous goof, I survived uninjured. And even enjoyed myself. Still, I found myself continuing to hope - as the ten year-olds whizzed around and cut me off, spraying up chunks of ice - that our eventual offspring acquire Tom's agility and athletic prowess, rather than my...complete lack thereof.

All in all, though, a fun wintry outing. I'd like to go again sometime, after we return from...

...Cancun! For which we depart in three days! Wha-haa!

(Excited much? Yes. Yes, I am.)

There is quite a bit to get done before we leave. Mostly cleaning and packing. Tomorrow is already "Christmas Eve" (we're leaving early-early on Monday morning, so we are shifting Christmas celebrations backward by a day), which means that tomorrow night I make calzones and we watch A Christmas Carol (though the official title of this version is Scrooge, I can't bring myself to call it that). Jolly good!

I shall try to post once more before we depart, but if I don't get around to it, I wish you all a very excellent [holiday of your choosing]. Probably won't be blogging from the trip, so a safe and happy New Year as well!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Yay! It's the weekeh-

Man, this weekend went by way too fast. Last night we roasted a duck at Max's, and holy sweet baby Jebus on a trampoline, it was tasty. The boys stuffed it with apples, pork sausage, chestnuts and cranberries. We also had latkes, which were quite delish, and peas. A fine feast indeed.

Today we did chores and then drove down to Yaya's in the afternoon to exchange Christmas gifts and hang out for a little while. Back home, I wrapped a bunch of presents for my family. Now it's time to get ready for bed, but dang it, I'm not ready for the work week to begin anew. My only consolation is that it's the last week of work before our super-fantastically awesome vacation. In case you couldn't tell, my excitement is unmeasurable. It defies your scales and...instruments of measurement and stuff.

Ugh. All right. To bed. More here in a day or two.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Los Angeles is occasionally pretty

There has been roofing going on right outside my office for the past two days. I swear, I don't know how anyone can be a hot tar roofer for a living. (Not that I'd expect anyone to do it for fun.) That smell just permeates everything in the general vicinity, floods your nose and lodges in your brain, resulting in (after several hours of continuous exposure) a headache that makes you feel as though Snow White's dwarf buddies are trying to mine some cranium coal. Today I resorted to sitting at my desk with my respirator on, removing it only to answer the phone. It helped somewhat.

Anyway, in an attempt to escape the nasty tar smell, I found an excuse to go over to the lab on the other side of the facility. This required me to walk outside, at which point I noticed that the mountains were really, really, really clear. Usually they're dulled by the ever-present smog haze, but not today. The clouds looked as though they'd been airbrushed or computer generated - too perfect to actually look real. There was a nice breeze flowing, causing the puffy white wonders to drift casually across the sky. Then, by the time I had finished my lab errand and was returning to my office, the clouds had darkened and the wind had picked up. By late afternoon, as I walked out to my car, my hair was whipped about my face by the gusts, and the sky looked as though it were ready to start dropping rain at any moment. It was so lovely and fresh, which was a perfect counterbalance to the stenchful morning.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Happy :)

We went to a super-fun holiday party this evening. There was fire breathing involved, and lots of skewered meats. Also, it started raining a little. I am a happy girl. :) Fa lala lala, and all that.

en fuego!
D breathing fire

Monday, December 04, 2006

In which our intrepid hero acquires some perspective

At work today, I was going through my computer, getting rid of a bunch of files I don't need anymore. I came across an email archive I'd saved from my college account right before the account expired. It contained the vast bulk of the emails I'd received from Tom, from the weekend wherein we met up again for the first time since high school up until shortly after I'd moved down here and started my job. Just over two years of correspondance. These emails were not in any discernable order, so as I began to read, I was plunged immediately into the days shortly after I first left for England. I was struck by the strength of the memories, and attendant emotions, that were evoked just by reading through these old letters. It was a rough year, for certain, but time has served to kind of dull the intensity of those memories. Reading Tom's emails made me feel all of that again, the pining and the distraction and the loneliness.

It occurred to me then that 2002 Sue would absolutely despise me for daring to complain about things like not feeling fulfilled by my job or wishing my belly were flatter. I've got the one thing she wanted most in the whole world - I don't have to go weeks or even months at a time between visits with Tom. In her mind, I have no room to complain about anything!

2002 Sue does have a point. I've got it pretty good. I've been trying for a while to find a way to shake my fixation on the small stuff, the little day-to-day annoyances that have lately been bothering me more than they should. This may have done it, at least for a little while.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

More Scuba Photos

I promised my mom I'd put up some of the really good photos taken by other people during our open water class, and now I'm finally getting around to it. So enjoy these, and I'll get around to actually writing something tomorrow. ;)



These first two were taken by Tom.


Kelp forest


Pretty green anemone


Can you see the rockfish?


Closeup on a rockfish face



It wasn't a rock...it was a ro-ock lobster!


Baby horned shark


Juvenile Garibaldi - too bad they lose all those nifty neon spots when they grow up


So shiny