Happy Holidays

Posted: December 24, 2011 in Blogging, Hobbies, Love, Science
Tags: , ,

Happy Holidays everyone! I’ve been neglecting this blog for a long time, and for that, I have to apologize. I’ve been going through a lot lately, and I suppose it’s time to catch up. Below the fold, you can find out why I’m spending the holidays alone, in an empty apartment, with my life in boxes.

So what exactly has been going on since I last updated things around here regularly (that was back in June/July for those of you keeping track)?

I suppose I should start at the beginning:

I had a good year fencing. As many of you know, I’m in the SCA, and I have done historical rapier combat for *cough**cough* years now. I’m also a member of the Order of the White Scarf of An Tir, and this year I took two Cadets, one of whom lives here in Texas, the other lives in Oregon. Of course, now that I’ve linked to that I have to remember to let Thoré know to update my page again. They tell me that taking students keeps you young; well these two are certainly a handful.

This year I also won two championships in Rapier Combat. First, the Rapier Championship for the Barony of the Stargate which is the Houston area. I had the honor of serving as the first Rapier Champion to the new Baron and Baroness, which has been very special to me, as I have known him for almost twenty years. Shortly after winning this championship, I won another – the Queen’s Rapier Championship for the Kingdom of Ansteorra, which includes most of Texas and Oklahoma. This meant that I got to spend most of the summer traveling throughout the state of Texas, which was a really great experience, especially in light of the darker events in my life this year.

About those darker events: since I haven’t written about it here – I’m single now. After eight years together, my partner decided to break up with me. This decision has been complicated by the fact that we’ve been stuck in a lease until the end of this month, which has meant that we have been continuing to share an apartment for the last five months. There is probably a whole lot more that I could say about this, but I think that I’ve said everything that needs to be said.

After the breakup, I threw myself into three things: Work, the SCA and Crossfit. Fortunately, all three of them seem to have paid off quite well by the end of the year. Crossfit has helped me climb up to my goal weight (165#) without increasing my body fat percentage (6%). The SCA has kept me sane, by letting me stab people in the face with a sword. And finally, work has been very productive.

This year, three papers have appeared with my name on them, and one more has been accepted (and should appear any day now). Two of these I’m the first author on, and the other two, I’m just a co-author, but still. In addition, there is one more project which is just about finished, which I should get another first author paper out of early next year.

The success at work has translated into other good things as well. In January, I will be starting a second postdoc position at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, where I will join Group T-12 of the Theoretical Division, to work in theoretical chemistry and molecular physics. I’m very excited to join the group and look forward to doing the big science in the desert.

Consequently, I’m going to be moving to Santa Fe, NM, in less than a week. I’m eager to get to the mountains and fresh air, though I’m a little bit worried about the snow (although maybe this will give me an excuse to learn to snowboard!). At least I’ll have an excuse to break out the winter coat.

So that’s the story of why I’m spending the holidays alone, in an empty apartment, with my entire life in boxes. New beginnings have to start somewhere, and even though I’m

  1. Bill Chance says:

    Congratulations on moving to Santa Fe. My cousins live there and we enjoy visiting (and freeloading) off them as often as possible. Actually, in Santa Fe itself – it doesn’t snow very much. You control temperature, and especially moisture, (rain and snow) by altitude, and most of the city is in the warm, dry desert. As you go up into the mountains it gets snowier and colder.

    Los Alamos itself is pretty high up and gets a bit more snow.

    Good luck – you will love it there.

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