In search of solid ground

rough-surf

About 6 or 7 years ago, StarMan and I found ourselves surrounded in way-too-high waves off the Florida Space Coast, stupidly trapped in a rip-tide.  I knew that we were in trouble approximately 20 seconds before he did.  We had been in the water for at least 40 minutes, laughing and enjoying the bouncy waves.  We were unaware that with each playful wave jump, we were getting carried a few feet further from shore.  The waves were tall and irregular that day, a fact that was made abundantly clear only after we were wore out and ready to go back to our beach towels.  Continue reading

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Happy Vernal Equinox: Celebrating More Than Just Spring (or … A Love Story, Part 1)

(Let’s pretend that I got this one posted “on time” 2 weeks ago, ‘kay?) The vernal equinox, otherwise known as the first day of Spring (here north of the equator!), has meaning to me that goes beyond its astronomical significance.  March 21 is the day that the StarMan and I have long regarded as our anniversary date.  Going all mushy or TMI is not my style, but I really don’t give StarMan the credit he deserves. He is the embodiment of unconditional love, and I am the luckiest person alive to be the person with whom he decided to share his life.

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Observations Of A Circuit Theory Lab Experiment (From the Perspective of the “Wire”)

Today, I had an EMG test in my neurologist’s office.  Goal?  Figure out what the eff is wrong with my right arm. It was the most un-fun visit I’ve had with Dr. K.  Things started out innocently enough … the nice chatty lab tech hooked up some electrodes along my arm, touched my arm in several places with what looked like the end of the power cord for a washing machine, producing a slightly uncomfortable but decidedly purposeful twitch in various parts of my person (confined, mostly any way, to the general vicinity of my arm). StarMan came along, for entertainment purposes.  He said that the scene reminded him of this:

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A Good Kind of Tired

open_house

Last Saturday, my alarm went off at the very uncivilized hour of Oh-dark-early. The incessant screeching from my smartphone at 3AM was even more annoying than usual. Perhaps my having gone to bed past midnight had something to do with it? With considerable effort, I pushed myself out of bed, splashed some cold water on my face in hopes of reviving myself to an acceptable level of consciousness, chugged a cup of coffee for good measure, then quickly grabbed a fistful of nails, a hammer, and got busy. Today demanded multi-tasking by a jack-of-all-trades, in record time. There was no time for self-pity by the sleep-deprived! Continue reading

The Perpetual Two-Body Problem

An example of a 2-body problem: Two objects with the same weight (mass), orbiting around a point in space (credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two-body_problem)

An example of a 2-body problem: Two objects with the same weight (mass), orbiting around a point in space (credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two-body_problem)

Amongst the colleagues in my profession, the phrase “Two-Body Problem” is a geeky way to describe the challenging situation that a married (or committed) professional couple finds themselves in, when  they are looking for jobs in similar research fields in the same geographic location, in hopes of sustaining their careers and keeping their relationship intact.  StarMan and I are, by all accounts, a strongly-coupled  Two Body Problem, and we just got news today that dashed some high hopes. Continue reading

Heartbreaking News In The Cardiologist’s Office

Norman Rockwell's "Doctor and Doll"

Norman Rockwell’s “Doctor and Doll”

The dreadful, shocking news I received at the cardiologist’s office on Monday morning left me a sobbing mess for most of the day.  As you may recall from my last post, I recently visited my Primary Care physician to get his take on the problems I experienced during a recent bike ride.  After a thorough checkup, he referred me to the cardiologist, and stressed that I needed to set up a follow-up appointment to see him immediately after the referral visit.   I remember thanking him and saying “good bye, see you again soon” and, at that moment, putting my finger on one of his attributes that I found so refreshingly  quaint:  he was dressed in one of those zip-off hiking pants/shorts and was wearing a casual polo shirt.  I’ve seen plenty of pretentious doctors  during my life; he was the first doctor who actually listened to me, who was humble almost to a fault.  Thoughts of him stir visions of an old-fashioned doctor in a Normal Rockwell painting, although “youthful and in-touch” would represent his persona just as accurately.  I would have never guessed that this “good-bye” would be the very last. Continue reading