Before I begin writing about the day and night, MERRY CHRISTMAS to all! Although not many folks read my blog, I am grateful to those who did and have left comments.
After sacrificing all the mice necessary for an in vivo portion of the experiments, I have been feeling quite awesome since yesterday evening. Spending four hours, from 2:30 to 6:30PM, in the animal facility was not too pleasant with the smell of murine urine, but I am glad that the work is done and that I get to relax a bit.
Today was pretty sunny, and so I walked around town starting at 11AM. ‘Twas fascinating to see people walking up and down State Street, since Madison was empty during the previous few winter holiday seasons. Perhaps people were staying home a lot more due to an increase in travel costs…but I was even more amazed when I went to the mall this afternoon. When hopping on the bus, I thought that only foreign students and I would be the ones in the mall…but I was wrong. I went to Target to pick up some light bulbs for home improvement, and ’twas crowded with people shopping for last-minute gift items. The parking lot was full, and people were even fighting with cars to cross lanes. I then went to Sentry’s, a grocery store, and boy was it filled with humans aggregating around the entire store! Lines of carts and groceries paraded the check-out area while customers fought for the ham and turkey. ‘Twas just amazing for me to see Madison being so heavily populated around this time of year! I am glad that I am not the only one walking around too 🙂
I later walked around the mall hoping to find a good-looking sweater for clearance at Macy’s. I saw it on the website, but it was nowhere to be found in the store. Oh well…I then walked all the way to my lab while enjoying my time and the sun, and soon I was done collecting serum samples from the blood I drew yesterday. When leaving lab at 4PM, I bumped into my Thai friend Tawin, who was going to his lab. I always bump into that oncology graduate student in the weirdest places at the weirdest moments, but now we are planning to meet up for lunch next Monday. ‘Twas nice to see him too.
I went back to my place and took a good nap after getting some food. I was really tired from the walking, and I looked like a zombie 😉 I did however remember to go to the midnight Mass. I walked to the church and arrived at 11PM, prayed for a bit, and enjoyed some of the preludes. I am always fascinated by the organ with its majestic tones, and the shape of the church made voice float around the air, making tutti sound so grand. That always reminded me of the churches in Germany, where the voices of so many can strengthen the community and unite one to another. I also love the incense fabreezing the entire church and my clothes, and I was surprised to see so many families, including one with six children! The bishop of Madison was responsible for the Mass, and there were quite a few folks! On my pew that was about ten to twelve feet long, a total of eight folks sat on it! I was in the middle since I was one of the earliest folks to arrive, but ’twas nice to see so many folks coming to church NOT to just receive the “free cookie” as my dad would put it, but to pray and celebrate.
The Mass ended at 1:45AM, and I immediately thought of text messaging some of my friends a Merry Christmas. I of course sent M the first of the messages at 1:45AM since I have been thinking of him and even thought more of him after Mass…and he replied! So below is our conversation, with J being Joe (me):
J: Merry Christmas, M___! I just got done with the midnight mass and thought of you.
M: Thanks, that’s sweet of you 🙂 Merry Christmas to you too!
J: Lol thanks…how come you’re still up?
M: My family went to midnight Mass too, now I’m buying Kindle nooks for my parents.
M: Books, not nooks. They make awesome instant gifts. Haha I’m waiting for Santa to come of course 😉
J: Glad to hear that you’re spending quality time with your family. your parents will be so happy to receive those kindle books! lol do you see something wrapped like an ipad?
M: My parents were still getting out all the Santa gifts when I went to bed, so I’ll have to wait until tomorrow. 🙂
J: Hehe cute…well, dont be disappointed if you dont get one…family moments are more precious…or else i’ll get you an ipad…made of chocolate chip cookie dough!
M: Lol, that sounds like a delicious idea. I learned long ago not to get too “wrapped up” in Christmas gifts. I like getting and receiving gifts that are thoughtful and unexpected, regardless of the size or cost. I will be happy and grateful for those gifts more than an iPad anyway.
J: You’re a good man with that thought 🙂 I hope that you’ll have an exciting xmas morning nonetheless too!
M: Thanks! I think I’ll try to get some sleep now. I hope you have a chance to talk to your parents on Skype tomorrow. I’ll give you a call, too. 🙂
J: Thanks, M___. I talked to my parents yesterday and the day before when ’twas xmas eve over there. i’m going to my tutee’s place for dinner at 6, but would love to chat with you and hear your voice…iff i wont take away your family time. may you sleep well and have sweet dreams 🙂 good night.
So that conversation ended at 2:11AM. My fingers were freezing and shivering when I was typing, but I enjoyed the chat with M. He is such a wonderful guy, and I was glad that he offered to give me a call! I’m loving him more and more, even just as a good friend…and I hope that I’ll be able to spend more quality time with him before he leaves Madison for a job…
With this idea, even a simple thought of word can produce warmth during the holiday season. A special holiday, such as Father’s Day or Mother’s Day…or even Christmas when people noticed the presence of family members…should occur everyday in our lives. We should not forget about our dad after Father’s Day, and we should always cherish the moments we share together. ‘Tis true that giving and receiving gifts can be joyful, but one thing I noticed is that many of my friends, including Eric and Chuck, were happy enough to receive a card from me without any elaborate gifts! My conversation with Matt drew me closer to him because he is happy to receive anything from anyone! He won’t be pouting if he does not receive an iPad, and that made me smile. Instead of making holidays into materialistic or hallmark holidays, let’s be glad for the joyful tidings!
Bed time calls…and yes, I am invited to go to Duncan’s place tomorrow for dinner at 6PM. His mom left me a message earlier, and I’ll have to call back within a few hours to thank her for the invitation and to confirm my attendance!