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Thursday, December 30, 2010


This happened:

I chopped off my hair:

And I could listen to these three songs on repeat:  1, 2, 3

All strange, but true.

Monday, December 27, 2010


Well, it's official: my sister is definitely having a kid and it is definitely a boy. 

Thumbs up.

"Eff you, its cramped in here." (that's what he's saying, for sure.)


That is definitely a baby.

Oh yeah, and I got him this sweet little number to wear home from the hospital ;)

I'll head to Japan in April to welcome him to the world.  I am so excited. 


This is lovely. Take a few minutes to read.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Peace Be With You

It was Christmas Eve two years ago when under the confinement of a snowstorm and the persuasion of a few friends I started this blog.  Almost 300 posts later who'd a thought I'd have so much to say. 

Here it is again, Christmas Eve.  I spent this morning finishing up making my last gift and have had an otherwise uneventful day.  We had a lovely lunch/dinner with the immediate family. Quiet, drama free, not a dish to do, and delicious; so unlike Christmas Eves of past.  (Poor Oompa has been quite sick and did proceeded to lose her meal all over the bathroom, so that wasn't so great.)

The gifts are all wrapped, breakfast ready for the morning, and we've cozied up to watch one of the greatest movies of all time. I am still the first one awake on Christmas morning at a phenomenally early hour despite all my efforts to exhaust myself.  After much negotiation, I've been given 7:20 am as the time I can wake up the house. However, I think I have successfully achieved exhaustion this night as any cohesive thoughts or ability to write is escaping me. So, I will leave you wishing you peace with you this night and always. Heartfelt holiday greetings to you and your loved ones.

Miss C

Thursday, December 23, 2010

On Repeat - Holiday Edition

Christmas Song - Dave Matthews
Christmas Lights - Coldplay
White Christmas - Otis Redding
River - Rosie Thomas
Winter Song - Ingrid Michaelson & Sarah Bareilles (bonus points for the video)
Wonderful Christmas - Tom McRae
May Love Fall Like Snow - Sara Siskin

Monday, December 20, 2010


I can see the lunar eclipse through the skylight.  I think I'll just lay here and hang out for a bit.

You are in our hearts tonight and always.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Help Desk

I'm in an all day training called "Take Back Your Life" learning all sorts of tips and tricks for managing information (email) and being productive (getting cuss done).

This has been the highlight:

Totally worth 8 hours of my day...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Eight is Enough

Because I was practically bedridden (I use the term bedridden for emphasis, I'm not an invalid, just couldn't see straight and had dizzy spells when standing up straight) for 3 days, I've had a lot of time to think. Most of it was in a hazzy blur but I was reading and thinking nonetheless.

Allow me:

1.) I am grateful for roommates who keep a stocked medicine cabinet. As someone who rarely takes meds (despite the advice of doctor friends and doctor bosses) I finally caved Sunday night and took some tylenol and cough drops which seemed to break my fever and sooth my throat. What a relief.

2.) Max finally got a hold of a pair of shoelaces and ate right through them. I feel like this makes me an official roommate.

3.) I'm reading And the Band Played On which is a.) stunning; b.) heartbreaking, and c.) a must-read.

4.) In the midst of my misery, there has been an on-going torrential downpour which I happen to love. It also made our basement leak, but it sure sounds great pitter-pattering on the skylight.

5.) Oh yeah, I also bought myself 4 new tires for the bargain basement price of $700. As one roomate dropped $4k into her car for a new transimission, the other roommate's car just got a $250 tune up, my 60k miles service will cost $600, I'm having a hard time believing the auto industry is in trouble. Certainly, our household alone is keeping them in business.

6.) I've started thinking about resolutions. I've got some good ones, mostly involved around spending less, saving more, weighing less, reading more, etc. But I got some surprises in store, you're gonna want to stay tuned.

7.) In honor of National Hot Cocoa Day (yesterday), I brought to work peppermint hot cocoa, marshmellows, whipped cream, mini-gingerbread cookies, and butter waffle cookies. I also ate whipped cream by the spoonful. Both true stories.

8.) I went to a movie by myself for the first time in my life. Cross that off the bucket list.

Ok, enough.

Friday, December 10, 2010


I'm getting my ass kicked by an awesome headcold/flu combo that is really taking it out of me.  I left work early afternoon yesterday in an achy hot flash mess hardly able to move.  So I slept and then slept some more and since then have been resting. 

As I was laying there in my misery it dawned on me that I hadn't taken a day off since July 27.  Granted I was on a 3 month vacation just prior to that, but still, that's almost 5 months.  That's longer than a busy season.

I'd also like to add that cough drops are incredibly disappointing. We invented the wheel, bubble tape and put a man on the moon. Certainly a long-lasting throat lozenge can't be too far behind.

Also, I'm craving ramen. Hot, steaming, perfectly portioned noodle-to-broth veggie ramen....mmmm.

Alright, time to roll over and read some more as long as I can keep my eyes open.

Better luck tomorrow. 

PS. Max knows how I feel....just kind of want to curl up into a ball.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


When I joined the Foundation in July I knew of a looming meeting that I was responsible for planning and had been planning since then.  It is the second largest external participant event the Foundation does and this was the fifth year. New to the systems and process, the people and players, the general operations, my naivete was both a blessing and a curse. 

Prior to this meeting there was an additional dozen+ pre-meeting meetings to arrange, a snow storm, Thanksgiving, a 200 page briefing about the meeting, a boss on a three week three country European trip, and the coordination of a particular special guest (which is remarkably difficult).  Oh, and apropos, our meeting happened to fall on World AIDS Day which, although very cool, added to a heightened sense of awareness and recognition.  But perhaps the most anxiety I felt was around not feeling enough anxiety.  Everything was going according to plan and we had planned and planned this meeting that I couldn't possibly image a scenario where we hadn't anticipated.  But, as I have planned many events in my day, I knew there would be something.

Last week the date had arrive for the big meeting. It was showtime. Two hundred and fifty participants, one Grand Hyatt Hotel in Downtown Seattle, three days, over forty scientific presentations, sixteen hour days and one soaking hot tub at night to make it all worth it. The meeting was an absolute success. No hiccups, no issues, a seamless meeting if there ever was one. It really couldn't have gone much better. 

I would crawl into this tub every night and soak and scrub the day away. And every time I stepped in I thought, I could work this hard every day if I came home to this every night.

The food was beyond your average hotel food.  Butternut squash ravioli, twice baked potatoes, roasted asparagus, spinach walnut salad with raspberry vinaigrette and deconstructed northwest salad. And that was just lunch one day. 

When I rolled over Friday morning I dialed room service from my bed. While I treated myself to the below delicious meal. I thought, "I could really get used to this room service business." Also, it was maybe one of the best breakfasts of my life, although I'm not really sure how much of that qualifier is that it was brought to my room piping hot or that it was actually that delicious. I think both.

I stumbled into the office Friday (later) morning completely exhasuted with an all-day retreat to plan happening the following Monday, and lots of this meeting follow-up.  I stood in the cafe in utter befuddlement as I had had catered meals served on platters to me for 4 days and I couldn't make a decision between a salad or a sandwich for lunch.  It was remarkably paralyzing and gave myself the little pep-talk of, "It's lunch, not your future husband, just make an effing decision."  And that was just the minimal struggle of my day post-meeting.

Many lessons learned this year and I feel further edified in my role and the purpose and objectives the team works tirelessly to pursue. I am honored and privileged to work with some of the most dedicated, intellectual, and professional individuals trying to develop a vaccine for one of the world's most devastating diseases. The research and collaboration occurring in the academic field is unprecedented and because of their collaboration, the audience was optimistic, energetic and encouraged on the progress and discoveries being made.

While I advocated for next year's meeting to be in Europe or Hawaii; they've opted for the same place.  Which, as long as that soaking tub is involved, I'll be ok.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Thanksgiving: How I Ate So Much It Hurt

If you know anything about how my holidays go and my extended family, you know it's usually painful and that the family is board certified batcrap crazy.  Holidays have always been something we've dreaded as it usually meant pickeled herring and lutefisk for appetizers, a brawl brought on by too many cooks in the kitchen, too many drinks in grandma and minced meat pie for dessert (wtf). It wasn't unusual to stop by McDonalds before or after Thanksgiving dinner because we were hungry and dinner couldn't satiate the appetite.  Oh, then there was that Thanksgiving (or was it Christmas?) when my uncle put a gun to his head in front of his kids and threathen to commit suicide.  Needless to say, holidays around the extended family is often less that enjoyable. 

However, in recent years and since the grandparents have passed, the holidays have been spent with close family friends with traditional thanksgiving goodness.  Take a look:

A table set for royalty, or at least 7 hungry gluttonous Americans.

The hostess with the most and the poor (but delicious) bird. She cooked two just to that we could have leftovers to take home. That's friendship. 

My menial contribution to this dinner were the baked from scratch honey rolls that were melt-in-your-mouth delicious doughy goodness. 

Let's talk mashed potatoes.  It is no secret that I can eat my weight in potatoes, particularly of the mashed variety.  Now that being said, these mashed potatoes are hands down the best I've ever had.  The secret:  the potatoes are boiled in cream, butter and 24 gloves of garlic for a few hours and then mashed in all its cooked goodness.  Surely these potatoes will be served in heaven.

Dad's famous sweet potatoes.

Obviously, larger plates are needed.

Same time, same place next year.  Please?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Room with a View

It looks like this when it snows.
On a clear night, you can see the stars and the moon
On a stormy winter evening, you can listen to the rhythm of the falling rain.

It's my favorite thing about this house. 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,
I've been a very good girl this year. In the spirit of being well-behaved, may I kindly request a new set of tires? Please advise if I should provide a larger stocking.
Many thanks,
Miss C