Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A Few Good Things

So I was mentioning that I had some good news. It's really just more of good updates rather than good news.

I had to give a talk in Bloomington on Monday going over my analysis. It was a presentation at the High Energy Seminar that they have weekly. I was fairly nervous going into the talk as I always am. I had given a practice talk to my advisor and I only clocked a little over 30 minutes and the talk was supposed to be at least about 45 minutes. On the way to Bloomington we ran into some traffic and so to pass the time, I gave the talk again to Jason going through the whole thing. That talk ended at 52 minutes, so I was hoping when I was up in front of everyone I would slow down enough to keep the talk pretty long. As soon as I started talking I stopped being nervous. I realized I knew and understood everything on my slides and I was excited to be able to present it to people that I have known for the past 10 years (I was an undergrad at IU as well). I talked slow and comfortable and ended in about 50 minutes. My advisor told me I did a great job and I didn't forget to mention anything on any slide. I am really proud of myself as I have grown as public speaker and I have become so much more comfortable. The first talk I gave I forgot my name. So it was a proud moment for me.

Then yesterday I got an e-mail from my advisor asking me to come to Bloomington and take pictures of the department to update the IU physics website. He said that he has seen some of hte pictures that I have taken and since I know the technical stuff that should be photographed and I know all the people in the department I could do a much better job than if they hired a pro. So that's exciting and who knows what that could turn into.

Jason and I got through 5 miles this morning and felt good. Our plan is to do that tomorrow morning and Friday morning and that's probably it for the week. I don't know how able I'll be able to run on Sunday after an evening of standing is super high heels at Jason's holiday party...but we'll see. Might feel good actually. Then I have a hot date on Sunday night to go see Modest Mouse which I'm super excited to see as it was one of the best shows that we saw at Lollapalooza.

Today my stand mixer is coming in the mail...and yes I'm that excited about it. Happy Wednesday all.

Made it Up

All you have to do is put your two feet on the floor and not roll over and bang on the snooze button and you're you for an AM run.

Not that I'm not sitting here falling asleep as I finish my oatmeal, but dammit I made it up! More later on some good news in these here parts!

You know later....when I can put a full thought together.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

A Fun Night

Friday night at the reunion was great. There were still some cliquish things happening and I am guessing, going by the number of people dancing and the amount of free liquor flowing, that there were plenty of "oh no's" happening as they looked at the person they hooked up with, the morning following. My friend Jean and I just did laps and would see people that we kind of recognized and be like, "Hey I think you look familiar, so what's been going on for the last 10 years". I got a lot of questions about my dad (he was a teacher at my high school), but it was actually pretty fun to see some of the people I was in school with. I wish that more of my people had been there, and by my people I mean the super nerds....but ah well. I think having the reunion in an open bar situation in the city made it tons of fun. I don't think it would have been fun without that part of it, although the headache I had on Saturday disagreed.

The rest of the weekend was great as well. On Saturday afternoon, our good friend Joe and his girlfriend Lisa came to the city. We had lunch at Small Bar and then walked around Wicker Park including a visit to Myopic Books where I found some good stuff and Reckless Records. A relaxing Saturday night followed which was great. I am loving these weekends.

Today, we rean 9 miles in the morning and Jason realized what happens when you don't run at all during the week. That puts my total at 24 miles for the week. I am really liking just running 4 days a week. Especially with the winter weather, I like have the other 3 days for buffers if the weather is bad or whatever. I also ordered my Christmas present from Amazon today and it should be here on Wednesday. I got a stand mixer to help with my Christmas cookie extravaganza. YAY no more mixing by hand!

We are now in Bloomington because Jason got a personal day for tomorrow and I have to give a big talk in my department at 4pm tomorrow. I'm nervous, but I'm trying to not to my usual stay up all night from nerves, then get up at 6am, and be ready to give the talk at 8am so I can then be nervous and worried about it for another 8 hours. SO, I'm going to try and sleep in and I should be fine. With the traffic we had coming down I ran through my talk and felt pretty good about it. Hopefully I'll be able to talk as slow as I did during the run through as it went really well.

Friday, November 23, 2007

The Big Night

Ok. Not really.

Tonight is my big 10 year reunion happening at Sluggers in Wrigleyville. I happened across a picture of myself and a good friend of mine during my freshman year of I looked way young. With my new hair cut and my ability to now wear makeup and clothes that aren't XL, I probably look a bit different.

However, apparently the high school gods have it in for me given that I am having an acne problem. I went off the thing that kept things in check and so now once a month around "that time" I get some major problems on my face. Never had a pimple in high school. So the first time I see people in 10 years and it's going to be all, "Hi, it's Leah. OMG! How are you? Yes, yes I do have adult acne". Jason the perfect hubby says that it doesn't look bad at all, but did add in that "it's going to be dark in the bar so it won't be so noticeable." Ah well, if I still cared what those people thought about me I would care more. I am actually looking forward to seeing people. It should be a wacky good time. I am meeting my friend Jean ahead of time at another bar for martinis and she is going to bring her yearbook so we can study :-)

Jason and I had a great Thanksgiving at my Aunt Donna's house. All the food was amazing as always, and everyone was there but one (out of five!) of my cousins and my dad and stepmom. They were all missed. I should have some pictures up soon from the activities.

Alright, well I need to get multiple drinks down before I go. Let's hope I don't pull a, "Well, you were a bitch in high school and looks like you still are" to anyone. :-)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

We Aren't Moving...Yet

Well after having beef with our rental agency for the last week, we have decided not to move. They made big steps in attempting to fix the problem yesterday and so we'll see if this work. I am guessing it won't so there will be more tears and yelling and threats of lawyers in the future. Our apartment is pretty cheap and if we stay here we can pay off all of our debt and really start either looking for a condo or another apartment come September 1st, depending on how much money we can save and depending on what kind of job I get....which will be coming up soon as I plan on starting to write my thesis soon. I have the template for it I just need to fill it in with more than my title page and name :-)

Yesterday, I went for a 5 mile run and since I have to fit in the fancy dress in two weeks I have changed the weekly plan to try and run 5-6 miles every day with a long run on Sunday. I know this is ridiculous, but I just don't feel as guilty eating the Jalapeno Artichoke dip from Dominicks if I had a longish run earlier in the day. Although Thanksgiving is the day of eating and being fat and lazy so I might not run that day :-)

The run yesterday was good. I had sore shins for the first few miles but that went away after that and I had a great finish to the run, coming in nice and strong. I have been running more with music since I am running when Jason is at work and I must say it's a nice change and makes it much less boring. I still prefer the Doc, but we'll get that more organized soon enough. Speaking of the JMan, he got his business cards for his company. Jason R*****, PhD...hell yeah!

Today I am at the lab to give a practice talk for my Candidacy Seminar I have in Bloomington on Monday. This is a talk you are supposed to give about 5 semesters into the PhD...I am 5 years in. They forget about you when you come to Fermilab and given how non-organized I am this is what happens. Now I'll give my defense in about 6 months, which will be almost the same talk, oh well. It's really good so there should be no complaints :-)

Alright, back to making cool motion in iWork08. Let's hope The Advisor thinks all my graphics are cool too and not distracting.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Fancy Dresses, Containers and Miles

This weekend was jam packed just the way we like them.

On Saturday morning I met up with my stepmom's sister Andrea downtown at Macy's (Yes I miss that it's Marshall Fields...but Macy's bought them.....there isn't anything you can do about it) to do some shopping. Jason has a holiday party for his company coming up on December 1st at a hotel downtown. The invite calls for cocktail attire and as most of our parties at Fermilab took place in a barn on the Fermilab site we are without cocktail attire. So a pretty dress was in order. I tried on tons of dresses and it came down to two, a halter top with some sparkly business on the top, and a plainish strapless deal. I ended up with the sparkly one and it's so pretty! Then we went to get shoes and I got a great pair. They are really high, but they just matched the dress perfectly and I don't think that just because I'm tall I should have to live without pretty high heels. When I got home I wasn't going to show Jason the new ensemble, but of course that didn't last long and tried it on about 5 minutes after we got home. So Jason is tall....but with my new shoes I am taller than him! But when he puts on his dressy shoes we end up at just about the same height. So whatever. I'll just be really tall. I spent my high school days slumped over and so I have learned to love my Leah at 6'3" here I come.

On Saturday evening we cleaned out our pantry and reorganized it and headed to The Container Store (which if they would let me just curl up in one of the containers I would do it...I heart that place). So we got some containers for our pantry and headed home and finished up the reorganization. Later that night we met out my fabulous cousin and her friend for some beers at Easy Bar on Division which was pretty nice.

On Sunday morning we went for a run on the lake front path. Apparently when says 10mph out of the East, they mean way more than that directly out of the south. So the first 4 miles of our run was a little tough, but turning around felt great. We did 8 miles total putting us at 20 for the week. I haven't worn my Garmin since the marathon. I think we are enjoying just being out there running and keeping our endurance at a respectable level. This week we'll try and get up to 22-24 miles. We aren't training for any race in particular but just trying to run without a purpose.

On Sunday night I met Lisa out for some shopping. Lisa has always made candy for Christmas and last year we did it together and so we are going to do that again this year which will be fun. We wanted to get some containers to put the candy in and found some really cute ones at World Market.

Thus ending our weekend. Happy Monday all.

Friday, November 16, 2007


I love this time of year. My favorite holiday of the year is coming up in less than a week, which I can't believe and then we are closing in on the big one for the year. I totally do not believe in buying any Christmas related things until after Thanksgiving. That was until I was a the CVS today and noticed that Sour Patch Kids have come out with a holiday variety where they just have the green and the red flavors in there. Since those are the two best I got a bag. But only because I am going to pick the red and green out anyways so this will make things easier for everyone...and let Jason get to eat something other than orange and yellow. See everyone wins.

Next week we'll be going to my Aunt's (Dad's sister) house as always for thanksgiving. This year will be different however because Jason has to work the Friday after Thanksgiving and so we'll be there only for about a day and a half. I love Thanksgiving. When I was a kid, every holiday was dependent on which parent's year it was to get me....except for Thanksgiving which my Dad got and Easter which my mom got. I am already dreaming of Turkey and my uncle's homemade stuffing...oooh yeah. I can't wait.

Then we'll get into the Christmas season. Decorating and baking cookies and what have you. We are still in an apartment battle, and since our rental agency sucks my ass nothing is moving forward. Little do they know how ruthless and how I have kept track of every single phone call for the past 2.5 months. We'll see. I just hate people that do bad business. It's really really not that hard. I am a reasonable person, just treat me with respect and be honest and we are good to go. But this bullshit they are throwing my way is just too much.

Anyways. I have no updates on the situation. I love the neighborhood, just don't love the apartment, so we'll see what happens. Tonight Jason and I are going to dinner at Hacienda on North Ave which should be a good night out.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I'm the Result of the Week

At Fermilab there is a daily publication called Fermilab Today. It's a general noting of happenings at the lab. On Thursdays however, they have a description of a "Result of the Week". It's just a small article about a new analysis at the lab and this week... IT'S MY ANALYSIS.

You can read about it here : It's on the right hand side of the page.

In other news, we don't have any updates on moving yet and I don't want to talk about it here, just yet. I have no morals about apartment people, but I don't want to do anything until I have to. We did see some really nice places yesterday through The Homestead Group and the guy we were working with was really nice.

For those of you who aren't from Chicago or lived here very long....the renting season is October 1st and May 1st and so the number of properties available is a bit lower now. However, the good thing is that we saw a lot of empty apartments and so could perhaps get a better deal because they want someone in the apartment and we are willing to move in immediately.

As far as running. Tuesday was a *highly* stressful day and so chose to drink too much wine and eat too many snacks and so didn't get up early to run on Wednesday morning. Then after another long day yesterday we opted for DVR and Penny's Noodles instead of running.


This morning, we got up right as the alarm went off at 5:30am and we were out running by 5:50. It was perfect actually. It was a bit chilly but nothing that the right clothing couldn't take care of. We are hoping to do this about 3 times a week and even if we just do 5-6 miles we would get the mileage back up there. We are going to try and go again tomorrow morning, and then 8 on Sunday.

Oh right. I know all the words to the songs that are on the new Fresh 105.9...which makes me feel old as they are advertising it as "hip light music". Add to that, my 10 year high school reunion is a week from tomorrow.....which is terrifying. I am going with my one high school friend that I still talk to and we are meeting ahead of time to study our yearbook so we can know who people are :-)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Running, Volleyball & Perhaps Needing to Move

Yesterday I did 3 miles around the neighborhood around noon. It's so nice to go running in the afternoons. Then I played volleyball at night....we won all three games.

Alright then, fascinating.

More interesting...we are having some problems with our super ghetto apartment and in the process of trying to get of our lease and look for new apartments. This isn't the renting season in Chicago so I don't know if we are going to find anything...but anything will be better than the garbage we are currently living in. I'm not going to go into details but ... well let's just say that we need to move and I'm hoping we can get all the cards in order to make this happen in the next couple of weeks actually.

We'll see. At least I have time to do all the packing if it comes to that. I have to get my game face I want out my lease face.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

I Ran 4X

Well well well.....see what happens when you put your mind to something. You run a whopping 16.5 miles.

Ok. Ok. I know it's nothing to cheer about, but the fact that I went out 4 times last week is something to cheer about. Even more exciting is getting out there for a 7 miler this morning along the lakefront path with Jason. I think the less mileage has made a huge difference on our legs as we felt great. It was so nice to run together and enjoy the lakefront path which we haven't done since the marathon.

No pain which is a first in awhile. I think that marathon training really takes something out of you and there is always a little pain here or there. The many days off and lower mileage has really given our legs the chance to relax a bit. So our plan this week is to run on our own tomorrow. And then together early on Wednesday and Friday and then long again on Sunday. I am thinking something like 3 miles tomororw, 5 on Wednesday, 5 on Friday and then 8 on Sunday getting us over the 20 mile mark. Building slow like I like it.

I made a huge mistake in my work stuff. I feel like a bit freakin' idiot. It's always nice having to send that e-mail too. Hi Advisor Perfect Man. I made an error that makes me look like an undergrad. Awesome. It was a good shot for my self esteem. Oh well. It's working correctly now. Because Jason got it working .... cause he already has the PhD and so he doesn't make mistakes.

Oh and we looked at the new iMacs today and drooled all over them. Why do they have to get better. I hate computers, as soon as you buy one it's is a new shiney one, too bad for you. We got a new keyboard so we *feel* like we have a new computer....well that and I spilled water on the old one and we were left without a space bar which just doesn't work.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Lady on Northerly Island

I Ran this Morning!

And by morning, I mean 10:30am.

We went to see some music at Uncommon Ground last night and I didn't get to bed until midnight and so getting up at 5:30am was not an option. We had a great time in the old neighborhood stopping at Bernie's for a burger and some fries and then heading to Uncommon Ground and having martini's and coffees. The martini I had was called Lemon Ginger, I guess it was just vodka and lemoncello.....which tasted *exactly* like lemonade. I only had one, but my god we have to get some lemoncello..that shit is delicious!

I did go run in the late morning and went about 5 miles and felt pretty good. It's still boring running alone, but I'm starting to get into a nice groove and enjoying my iPod a bit more. We are going to go run about 6 miles on Sunday on the lakefront path, which should be fun.

Tonight our Fermilab friends are coming to the city to go out because Tuula is going back to Finland on Sunday. Tuula was one of the first people that we met at the lab and we have been good friends for the past few years and so she will be missed.

Alright.....back to "work".

Thursday, November 08, 2007


Writer's Strike

Ok. I am starting to freak about not having new The Office episodes to watch....although...on the other hand....

My DVR is curretly 85% full. I have episodes of Heros to watch from February. So..if there is not going to be more new shows recording I might actually be able to catch up with my favorites.

So starting with the picture up from yesterday, I'm going to work on bringing back photos of the day. I have been playing around a lot with my new camera which has been fun. Thanks to Jason's friend (boss?) at work, it was recommended that I try using Adobe's Lightroom program and he loaned me a book to work with it. It's really powerful and I tried shooting some photos in RAW and it seems that I have a bit more control over the end product. It does take more work because they come out of the camera looking a little dull, but it has it's place when I would have time to work with the pictures. At Christmas for example when I take 400 pictures of my nieces it might not be the best bet and jpgs might be stuck with.

The old head of my group at Fermilab said a few words at our weekly meeting about Andrzej (the IU Professor who passed away last week) and it was really emotional. He is going to be really missed in our group here.

Jason and I are going to run tomorrow morning. YES WE ARE. We are getting up at 5:30 and doing it. I don't know how Lana does it, I go...hmm...cold floor and then going running? Comfy warm bed and hitting snooze...option 2 every time. I just have to get into a rhythm I think and I'll get there.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Best City in the World

What Kind of Runner?

Well Monday's volleyball game wasn't too bad. We have a new team and managed to score about 14 points per game (we play to 21) against the best team in the league. Not too bad for a group of 6 that hadn't played together before. The ref, Ed, said hi to me when he got there and asked if I had been practicing...I laughed and said haven't touched a volleyball since the playoffs. Which was really obviously when we started playing.

After the game I decided to run on the treadmill because it was cold out and my gym membership is actually due and so I couldn't get back into the gym with my ID. So of course do I just run 3 miles on the treadmill...oh noooo. I have to pick some god awful preprogrammed Cross Country death march. So I punch in 30 minutes, set the pace to just under 9 min/mile and 1.5 miles later I was dripping and dying. I decided to step away for a minute to get my breath and my legs back under me but when I came back someone had taken the treadmill (there is only one). So I figured an hour of volleyball and a mile and a half of death was enough so I headed home.

This morning I did 3 miles around the neighborhood. It was fine. Easy breezy.

Pertaining to the title of this post....there are some runners that can take time off and get right back on the horse pulling out 30,40+ mile weeks. There are others that fall off the horse and fall off completly and watch it run away from them...I think I am somewhere inbetween. I know I do better when I am signed up for some kind of race as it's really hard to go out and run in the winter when it's cold and nasty out. I don't have a problem with 20ish mile weeks...but anything more right now anyways and there is just no way. So I have a tentative training plan to get back up to higher mileages. I just wish that I could be back at those high miles without it being a ton of effort. I'll get there soon enough.

Working at home is going *ok*. It's lonely without Jason here and I am way trying to get out of the funk that I have been in for the last week or so. I just alwyas need to be entertained and it's sooo not happening right now.

Alright, the hair must now be blowdryed.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Wow..I'm so not doing NoBlo..whatever it's called.

Alright then.

So right, the last time I wrote was Friday.

I did end up running the rent in on Friday afternoon. It ended up being a great run. It was so beautiful out and blah blah blah...and I felt really good the first 7 or so miles of the run. The last three were walk/run, but whatever that had been my plan all along. A new running/working out/volleyball plan is in the works. This week getting out there 5 times a week is the goal, even though those days are all going to have low mileage.

We went out for a partial date night on Friday. We ended up meeting Fermilab friends out for drinks at 9pm, so we just did dinner. We went to Moonshine on Division and I have to say I was really disappointed. I had been there for lunch before and had a good meal, and the decor is nice and whatever. The dinner food (we had a good appetizer) was pretty bad and way costly. I got garlic mashed potatoes with my pork chops and they tasted like instant potatoes that were way too dry. Not. Good. I am a going out to eat whore, I like anything so it was really pretty bad. Jason and I are thinking about about doing a restaurant review once a week if we keep date night going and so that should be coming soon.

On Friday night when we were out with friends, we learned that an IU professor had passed away. He and his wife came to our wedding and he was a major influence in Jason's analysis as he was head of Jason's editorial board. He and his wife were both physicists and have been together since they were teenagers. The have been married for 41 years and they have worked together side by side for many of them. His wife had visitors over on Saturday evening in Bloomington so Jason and I went to pay our respects. They seemed eerily like Jason and I and it was just really sad (it always is I know). My apologies go out to his wife and son again, Andrzej was a wonderful person. We did the Bloomington trip as a there and back in one day but got to see Jason's brother and family on the way home which is always fun.

Sunday we didn't do much of anything. Exhausted from Saturday (and to top off the long travel day, I spent Friday evening sampling several (!) martini's at the Blue Line in Wicker park...and just because they look like candy....and taste like candy...doesn't mean that they aren't 100% liquor....hence most of Saturday was done with a hangover on top of it). So we cleaned up and watched the Colts/Patriots game and I made chili and cornbread from scratch.....and had a really nice relaxing day. Oh..don't bother with The Exorcism of Emily Rose...kinda of creepy but not worth it in my opinion.

Today is the first volleyball game of the season and we (new team!) are playing the team that won it all last year. Oh well..might as well jump all the way in. I am going to run 3 miles before the game I think and then work out a little bit after the game. Alright then.

Happy Monday.

ooh....congrats to Mike for a job well done at the NYC Marathon!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Dancing with Nerds & 10 Coming Up

Jason and I attended the Fermilab Halloween party on Wednesday. It was pretty fun. Always good to see old friends now that we aren't ever at the lab anymore. They also had free booze which is always fun in my book!

So I ran 5 miles on Tuesday and have done nothing since. I mean I have sat at home ... and done nothing. This working at home thing kind of sucks. My deadlines are "as soon as possible" I need dates people. Cause then I work my ass off....but as soon as possible...that's really wide open. In all seriousness, most of the stuff I have to do needs to come after I make a new giant Monte Carlo Sample and so that is currently running.

Speaking of running.

I am going to run in our rent today. The rental agency is about 5 miles away which I'm going to do nice and slow. Lots of lights along the way as well to get some breaks in. So should be a total of 10 miles. Tomorrow my new volleyball team has a practice at the lab. Jason needs to wrap up his thesis stuff and publication stuff, so we are going in to do those two things. I think we'll also do some weights at the gym. Going to really try and get back into that at least 2 times a week.

I think tonight we are going to have a date night. We are going to try and go to a movie and dinner most Friday nights. So I think....Dan in Real Life, or American Gangster are on the table. I am a total movie whore though, so they all sound good to me.

Happy Friday everyone.