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2009: A (Personal) Year in Review

Posted Jan 05 2010 12:00am

Yeah, yeah.  I know.  Everyone is already over the whole new year thing, and the train has already left the station.  But, suffice to say,  the end of 2009 and start of 2010 has been a bit… less that desirable, and I am running a bit behind here.  December was plagued with no electricity, followed by a plumbing valve issue in which,  no joke, my toilet started spewing soapy water like a geyser (that was a fun one to clean up), and of course, leaving me without water for 2 days while the condo plumbing was searched for problems.  Then, my laptop bit the dust (it had been having problems, so fortunately everything except my Lightroom custom presets were backed up)… and this week, my desktop decided to stop connecting to the internet.  And today was the icing on the cake – received a call from the condo manager that water was leaking from my unit into the basement.  He searched our bathroom and couldn’t find any problems from this end, but tomorrow they are turning off all the water to the building and tearing out drywall to see if they can locate a problem.  Awesome.

So, that said, things are running a little behind.  Here is my belated personal year in review – later this week, I’ll do a lab (lack of) progress year in review!

January 2009:

Every year, the best part about January was attending the Pennsylvania State Farm Show – a giant indoor affair in which farmers from across the state bring their prize livestock, tractors, and produce for competition.  The Farm Show Arena is mere miles from my house, so despite the traditional “Farm Show Blizzard” we would always make the trek to visit the animals and eat the amazing food (personal favorites include fried mushrooms, mushroom soup, vanilla milkshake, and potato doughnuts).  This year, we took Husband for his first farm show!

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We also braved the crowds and the cold and went to the Inauguration.  When you live in walking distance, how can you not go?


February 2009:

The beginning of February brought the Superbowl… and with it, a sixth Lombardi trophy for the Steelers.  So maybe we didn’t even make the playoffs this year… but at least we are still Sixburgh!  To celebrate the occasion, I threw a big Superbowl party…. complete with the amazing edible stadium.


March 2009:

In March, Husband and I, along with another friend, took a tour of the Naval Observatory.  It had been on my to-do list for quite a while, but tours are only offered a few Monday’s a year, so it’s something that needs to be scheduled far in advance.  We were all far more impressed than we thought we would be, and it was a crystal clear night, so they even broke out the gigantic telescope so we could check out Jupiter.  If you are in the DC area, I highly recommend checking out the Naval Observatory!

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April 2009:

By the time April rolled around, Preppy Chemist had moved up to D.C. and was settling in, so I offered to take her on a cherry blossom monument tour.   Preppy Chemist moving up to D.C. was definitely one of the highlights of 2009 – someone who started as a casual blogging acquaintance has rapidly turned into one of my closest friends in DC!

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May 2009:

In May, Husband and I attended two weddings in one day, on the weekend of our own anniversary.  It was quite a whirlwind, but we were thrilled to be able to attend both weddings!

First up, Husband’s friend from medical school was married in a nearby church and had a reception on a rooftop with a beautiful view of the Capitol!

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Then in the evening, we attended the reception of our college roommates.  I lived with the bride and Husband lived with the groom the year they started dating, so I feel like I’ve been through their whole relationship, too!


And, of course, we celebrated our first anniversary!  Even though it fell on Memorial Day, we both had to work, but we were able to take some time out to go to a dinner at Bourbon Steak and have a few bites of our wedding cake afterward.

June 2009:

The end of May meant VACATION!  We spent 10 days through May and June traveling to Husband’s uncle’s house in Myrtle Beach, where we relaxed on the beach, took a day trip to Charleston, and visited my best friend on the way down and a good friend of ours from undergrad on the way back up.  The trip was a little bittersweet, though – as soon as we returned, Husband moved to Philadelphia for the rest of his radiology residency.  June was kind of the low point of the year – along with Husband, two of my closest friends from D.C. also moved away, and I was left without my husband and my girlfriends.

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On the upside, the Penguins won the Stanley Cup and we spent a weekend back in my hometown for the Harrisburg Brewer’s Fest – aka “drinking for charity”!  Every year, downtown Harrisburg sponsors a big festival, closes off a few streets, and dozens and dozens of breweries show up with kegs upon kegs.  The proceeds go to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and we spent the evening drinking lots of beer!  My two best friends from home came as well, and we had a great time.


July 2009:

July was a really uneventful month.  I started the first of what will be many Greyhound disastrous trips to Philadelphia, but mostly I used my newfound free time to crank out more experiments in the lab.

August 2009:

August started out with the family concert – Husband, my Mother-in-Law, my parents, and I all went to the Billy Joel/Elton John concert in Philadelphia.  It was the first time our parents were together since the wedding, and it was nice to have everyone together. 

The lab also went berry picking at a local farm, kicking off an entire week of blackberry related recipes.  Mmmm…


September 2009:

September was also a relatively unremarkable month, mostly due to two weeks with swine flu.  I also had a biopsy done on a “totally healthy, normal mole” which I thought was the end of the story.  I did, however, return home over Labor Day, and was able to hang out with two of my favorite people!


October 2009:

Husband and I took a trip up to NYC to visit an old high school friend of his.  We spent the morning walking around Chelsea Market (home of the Food Network!) and Central Park, and then met his friend at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


I also received news that the biopsy returned as melanoma in situ and would have to undergo more surgery to try to remove all the cancer cells before they spread.  26 years of avoiding the sun and always applying sunscreen… and my reward is melanoma.  Harumph.

November 2009:

November was the busiest month of the year… in a great way!  I was barely in lab (two thumbs up) because I spent 10 days in the Caribbean, came home for a night to do laundry, and was then off to Boston for my first conference (details to come).

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December 2009:

The month started off with my melanoma surgery, and even now, 5 weeks later, my foot STILL has not healed.  In fact, just yesterday I had to return to have the wound cauterized, since the stitches dissolved.. and my foot is still bleeding through two gauze pads and my sock.  But, the pathology result did come back with clear margins, so even if takes another 5 weeks to heal, it will be worth it to be cancer-free!

We had our yearly Chrismukkah party in the beginning of December… maybe even our last Chrismukkah in DC!


And lastly, I rung in 2010 fun and low key… a couple friends, lots of classic board games, and a plethora of alcohol.  I think we had way too much to drink by the time Life rolled around, because there were lots of “drunk driving” accidents!


So… what will 2010 bring?  Who knows, but I’m up for the adventure.  Hopefully, however… it will include a Ph.D.!  Disgruntled Julie, Ph.D. has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

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