mercredi, mai 28, 2008

bailey's plea

Bailey is the son of a high school friend that I just reconnected with. He has Rhabdomyosarcoma and is fighting tall odds at CHOC (Children's Hospital of Orange County).

Rhabdomyosarcoma is a fast-growing, highly malignant tumor which accounts for over half of the soft tissue sarcomas in children. Rhabdomyosarcoma tumors arise from a cell called a "rhabdomyoblast", which is a primitive muscle cell. Instead of differentiating into striated muscle cells, the rhabdomyoblasts grow out of control. Since this type of muscle is located throughout the body, the tumors can appear at numerous locations.
His comments in the first video are a good reminder of what's most important in life.

Bailey and his sister Gaby loving each other

Bailey (SuperBay) and his sisters Gaby and Addison enjoy Halloween at CHOC.

lundi, mai 19, 2008

it's good to be on top

From the maps section of Scandinavian Airlines' magazine.

Proof (yet again) that it's all a matter of perspective.
"Upside-Down" North America
Originally uploaded by Claire L. Evans
Via Mercedes

mercredi, mai 14, 2008

breathing again

This semester was arguably the most stress I've endured in my academic life. It wasn't so much the difficulty of the subject matter -- it was the confluence of circumstances that left me spent.

I realize that most of this stress was due to choices I made, but I survived it, in large part because Leo kept me pointed in the right direction and did all he could to help me keep it together.

Here's a snapshot of what I've been up to since January, which may explain why the hell I haven't been blogging on a regular basis:
  1. Academic highlights: My two classes in two different colleges included midterms one day apart, short papers due biweekly (one day apart), 15-page research papers and 30-minute group presentation projects one week apart.
  2. Professional highlights: Getting and starting a new jobby job, one with corporate hours and a very steep learning curve in an industry that's new to me and a product release cycle that's dizzying.
  3. Health highlights: A "routine" surgery on my right wrist that was anything but routine and required Leo to feed, bathe, and dress me for a while.
  4. Family highlights: Adopting Ruby, who is super smart, amazingly cute, awesomely gentle, and very willful and taking the time to properly socialize and assimilate her into the pack order of our home.
  5. Mental health highlights: Agreeing to do a big favor for a friend when I should've held my ground after saying "no" several times. Feeling bad about doing a crappy job for that friend because I really didn't have the time to do the job correctly. Coming to terms with regret, finding peace, and saying goodbye to a different friend whom I should've been a better friend to while he was still alive.
I'm just grateful that I got through it all and managed to taking a week to get out of dodge with Leo and enjoy the California coast between San Diego and Monterey. There are plenty of other things to celebrate, like good friends getting engaged, me regaining almost full range of motion in both hands, and other friends finishing chemo and radiation. But right now, I'm just glad that I don't have to be in a classroom for two whole weeks and that there are only 219 days until my MBA is done and I get my life back.

do you wear nail polish? dress for breakfast?

I routinely put my ice-cold, candy apple red-painted toes on Leo to warm them up.

Clearly, that explains why I'm not marriage material according to this marital suitability rating scale.

vendredi, mai 02, 2008

keep calm and carry on

My colleague was sent this after she had an especially craptastic day at work this week.

The poster is a reproduction of the British government's message during World War II. As the Battle of Britain wore on and Nazi bombs were falling left and right, the government urged citizens to adopt a stiff upper lip and not to give the Germans the satisfaction of disrupting every aspect of daily life.

I find it refreshing and sage advice and a stark contrast to our own government's pumpkin, fuschia, and chartreuse color-coded warning system. I'm hereby adopting this as my new mantra. It should be particularly helpful as I finish graduate school.

Only 231 days, 03 hrs, 04 mins, 30 secs to go.
Keep Calm and Carry On: sage advice from a sane wartime government
Back in WWII, when the UK was being pounded by daily barrages of high-explosive, the government's message to the people was Keep Calm and Carry On. Not "ZOMG TERRISTS GONNA KILL US ALL ZOMG ZOMG ALERT LEVEL BLOODRED RUN RUN TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES MOISTURE BOMBS ZOMG!"