Friday, December 28, 2007

We Need To Redo the Office

Our office room is a disaster. It's impossible to do any work in here as the only space left is the tiny area right in front of the keyboard. There are a lot of options between getting another desk, more shelving or some of each. I don't want to spend a ton of money because I would rather be clever and get a good solution that isn't going to break our bank account. On the other hand I really like the Elfa shelving systems at The Container Store and I wouldn't mind spending money on that as we would have it forever. We got one of those deals for our kitchen and it's been a huge help. If anyone has found good office solutions let me know!

So we'll see what we do. We are going to empty the room out and try and get one of our dressers into our bedroom (we have teeny tiny bedrooms but I think we can shove it in there) and then see what space we have and what we should do with it.

That's our project for tonight and tomorrow.

I am going to go to a Pilates class at 9:15 this morning and then run on the treadmill after that. I have never been to a Pilates class, so we'll see how that goes. Hopefully this office comes together into something more useful than what we have now.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A Very Merry Christmas Indeed

Well I gotta say, that was just about the best Christmas Jason and I have ever least in awhile. So many details......I'm going to just tone it a bit down since it's the day after Christmas and well I don't want to blog that much.

Over the weekend we went to Jason's parents house which was nice as always. On Sunday there was a party for Jason's grandfathers 90th (90!) birthday party. Jason's mom and her siblings threw a very nice party for their dad. Lots of food, and cake and cookies (which I brought..which everyone *loved*) and good times. It's always good to see everyone and a nice time was had by all.

On Christmas Eve I made a big dinner including my first attempt at making my own cabbage rolls. They didn't come out like my Ukrainian grandmother's or her sisters, but it was my first time. I also made a roast, mashed potatoes. Then I got some periogis and Borscht at the Ukrainian deli next door. Jason and I set out our china and ate on that while listening to Diana Krall's holiday album. It was just a really really nice evening. We topped it off with hot chocolate, cookies and the best Christmas movie of all time...White Christmas.

On Christmas morning we got up at 6am (ok ok..only because I set an alarm...leave me alone. I like presents) and like two little kids barreled through the stack of presents under the tree. My parents had sent stuff in and then we had gifts from each other. We maxed out getting all kinds of awesome stuff like, Guitar Hero III, Super Mario Galaxy, a post card printer, and the best of all...Jason got me a holiday package of tickets to Blackhawks games. So we have season ticket type things for 5 games this winter. The package came with a signed hockey puck by the Blackhawks new kid, Kane. I'm really excited because I love watching hockey live and I think being able to go to more than one game will also be able to understand it a bit better.

Around 10am, Mike & Barb came over and we then proceeded to play Guitar Hero III until we absolutely had to leave to go to my stepmom's sisters house. Wow is that game addicting and super super fun.

Christmas evening was really fun. I talked to my cousin about his upcoming wedding. They are having the reception where Jason and I got married and so that's exciting since it was a really fun place. We played games and opened presents and it was a very merry time all around.

Unfortunately, Jason had to go to work today....but I don't and so I learned how to play Super Mario Galaxy which is really fun and watched Gremlins (a stocking stuffer for Jason). I am meeting him downtown at Macy's tonigjt. Jason's parents gave us a very generous gift card (thanks again!) and so we are going to go look around and try and decide what to get with it.

So Merry Christmas to everyone. Thank you to all the friends and family that made this holiday one of the best these two kids have ever seen.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

We Don't Want to Quit the Gym!

For you Friends enthusiasts you might understand what that is in reference too....Yes I am speaking to you two :-)

Jason and I joined Cheetah Gym yesterday. Jason saw an ad in The Onion for a two for one deal with a very low initiation fee. So we will only pay $34.50 per person per month, which isn't bad at all. The gym doesn't have a pool or raquetball courts but they do have a very nice facility. The locker rooms are really nice with apparently according to Jason very nice showers and they have free coffee in the mornings. The Bucktown location is in the building that housed The Real World people a couple of years ago.

Running has so not been happening early in the morning because the bed is warm and comfy and I just cannot get out of bed to go slosh through snow at 5am. I don't mind running in the winter if it's during the day though, so we'll still do that on Saturday and Sunday, but during the week we are going to try and go to Cheetah 3-4 days a week.

So that's what we did this morning, getting up and out of bed at 5am sharp and getting to the gym probably around 5:40 or so. This morning we just did 3 miles on the treadmill...which of course I have talked on this blog about my hatred of treadmills. However. These treadmills have TVs hooked up to them....and they have USA....which was playing Law & Order SVU which I have a mild obsession with. So as Olivia and Elliot stopped crime in NYC, I got an easy breezy 3 miles in. I went the same speed for the first 1.5 miles, then I bumped up the speed, then at 2 miles, I bumped up the speed, and then again at 2.25, 2.5 & 2.75 so I was finishing with an 8 min/mile pace. I also set the incline to 1.0. This won't take the place of running outside, but seemed to work ok. AND it was just about empty when we were there at about 5:45...AND they have free parking...AND there is no time limit on any of the cardio equipment which in my opinion is huge. I hate going to the gym and then it's all....ok, well you can run on the treadmill for only 30 minutes. So it seems pretty good so far.

After our run we did a few weights which is always shocking to the system after not lifting weights for probably a year or so. I had a coffee and checked my e-mail at their internet stations while Jason showered because he forgot his bag in the car. I'm home now and going to start baking some cookies. Busy busy couple of days in this household!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Winter Blogging

Is apparently right up there with my winter running.

Ok, so its been slow on the running scene, which I'm actually ok with. I love running (obviously) but it's been ok to not only be a runner. There is a gym in Chicago that has a 2 for 1 deal until the end of the month and so I think Jason and I are going to join as it would be pretty cheap for us to do that. It's right on the blue line stop at Damen and so the idea is that we would go work out in the morning and then he could easily take the bus to work. To get up early however we need to go to bed before midnight. SO. In short. We'll get there, but enjoying the holiday season right now.

This past weekend was busy with cooking and baking and candy making with the lovely cousin Lisa and all kinds of wonderful things. It's so nice having Lisa live in town. I am an only child and she is one of 5, but doing all this cooking and baking together and so on....I imagine if I had a sister it would be similar to that. It's nice having someone to bake with and hang out with.

Alright, Christmas is a week away...which is exciting....unlike this post. Stay tuned for some pictures of our super decorated apartment :-)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

3 is More than 0 but Less Than 5

Yesterday when Jason got home from work and after he marveled at some of the new Christmas decorations that I got, we went out for a run. The plan was to go 5. But as usual with winter running, the desire (even after getting dressed) is missing. The love of running is still there, don't get me wrong. But around the holidays and when it's cold outside, I love just being in our cozy tiny apartment and seeing each other and whatever.

But we went. But we did cut the 5 mile run down to 3 miles. Which I contend is more than not going at all which is always good :-)

Come February 25th, Jason is going to be one sad puppy with his fancy job that has little vacation time...cause this girl is heading to St. Maarten to visit the sailing dad and stepmom. I am super excited...mainly because the little kitten will still be kitten sized :-) Plus it'll be great to get out of Chicago when the weather is being horrible as it always is at the end of February.

Next week starts the cookie baking for the holidays. With slightly more planning this year I am hoping to not be up at 3am, with globs of peanut butter in my hair.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Shutter Speed : 1/200s
Aperture : f/5.6
ISO : 400
Flash Fired
Focal Length : 135mm (216 in 35mm)

Choosing Safety

Today I should have gone into the lab. There is a conference happening there where my analysis is going to be presented by a friend of mine. I wanted to be there in case there were any questions specific to my analysis, and my adviser suggested that I head in for the same reasons. However, with the ice storm warning and the look of traffic this morning I chose to stay in the city and out of my car. I am worried that it's going to be one of those things where there is more talk about it being bad than it really being bad. I don't think it's going to be so bad in the city itself, but it did look really bad in the western suburbs and I didn't want to chance it. Driving on ice is the most dangerous time to be in a car. So I'm in the city. I feel bad, but at least I feel safe and not slippery.

Yesterday I went for a 5 mile run in the neighborhood. There weren't too many problems and as always with slushy running, a nice full body workout since half the effort goes to not falling down. I did a lot of the miles in the bike lane in the streets (running against the traffic like you are supposed to do) where it was fully plowed. I also played volleyball last night, and while our team did better is the second and third games we still lost all three. Ah well, it's still cross training.

Alright. And it's Tuesday.

Monday, December 10, 2007


Exposure : 1/250 s
Aperture : f/5.6
ISO : 400
Flash Fired
Focal Length : 135mm (216 in 35mm)

Too Much Fun on Friday Night

And by too much fun I mean too much booze. Jason and I had a few glasses of wine and then we went out to meet some of our physics friends at our local favorite Small Bar. When we got there it was way more crowded than I have ever seen it before and apparently Lincoln Park people made their way west because it was pretty Trixiefied. Since we literally couldn't move from one end to the other we decided to see if our friends were next door at Innjoy since they had mentioned they were going to have dinner there.

We got two seats at the bar and didn't see our friends but decided to have a drink. A Cosmopolitan for me and Grey Goose on the rocks for Jason, a super awesome bartender named Madrid and retro dance music from the DJ. At one point the bartender topped off my drink, and then I ordered another one, a guy came in and said to us, "Hey, my life totally sucks shots on me", which was kind of sad...but I'm never one to say no to free drinks.

We left soon after that and I proceeded to have an evening akin to my 22nd birthday, which I have chalked up to the worst night of my life...I mean super fun, and then the realization that you will probably stay wherever you fall....which is good Jason was there to walk me home otherwise we might have had a frozen runner on our hands.

I woke up Saturday morning, probably still a little drunk. I had the cookie bake with Mouse and Barb though at 10am, so I went back to sleep for an hour and then forced myself into the shower. I don't know what happened. It really wasn't that much that I had to drink and I'm frustrated that the drinking to evening behavior don't add up. I'm taking a break from drinking anything for awhile because this weekend, as was most weekends in my early 20s, was completely lost to anything productive.

Except of course the cookie bake. Holy ass hat Batman did we make a lot of cookies. We baked from about 10am till 5pm at which point I don't know where Mouse we even putting the cookies as all the cooling sheets were taken up with the peanut butter kiss cookies. There was even a frosting fight between the other two lady runners as we all got a little wacky as the evening progressed. After the cookies were baked, I went to Wrightwood Tap and met up with Jason and his friend from work who were there watching the IU game. Another win for the Hoosiers and they pounded on Kentucky which was nice to see.

Saturday night we didn't do anything.

Sunday. Literally didn't do no, we did have one of those great Sundays where you ...well don't do anything. We watched three movies (Adventures in Babysitting, Karate Kid & Love Actually) and two football games (Patriots vs Pittsburgh & Colts vs Ravens). I read a bit of my book, we had snacks we napped. It was actually great, although of course we didn't get a run in at all this weekend.

So it's a new week, and another attempt at running 25ish miles is on the table. Another stab at winter health is going to be tried.

Friday, December 07, 2007


Didn't Get To The Path

But...we did run in the neighborhood. We hadn't moved the car between the snow fall we got earlier in the week and I didn't want to scrap it off only to find that I was stuck in the space. So I told Jason to come home and we would make sure to run as soon as he got home. Which we did.

Like I said, it's never that bad temperature wise once you get moving. Running on the snow and ice is always a little annoying because you have to pay more attention because it's really slippery...but it's also a nice full body cross training workout. We decided to go 4 miles as at this point, just getting out the door is what we were looking for. Waiting to run so late is annoying, but running with Jason makes it better. We are going to try and go 5 miles on Saturday and then 10 on Sunday. This brings us to a cool 24 miles for the week. A far cry from where we would like to be, but we are getting there.

There is also a baking party on Saturday, an IU basketball game (watch out Kansas....the Hoosiers are on their way) Saturday afternoon and then Christmas shopping on Sunday.

Happy Friday all.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Fun Happens When Doing Dishes

I Hate Being Cold

There is a part to winter running that I love. There is no doubt, that going out and having a fun run through the snow has something to it. You get back home and feel tough and proud that you went outside and got your run in even though the windchill was at 12 degrees. It's never as bad as you think it's going to be before you and as soon as you get into a rhythm you are good to go.

Then there is the other part where getting me out the door is like ripping off my fingernails one by one. We had big plans to go running when Jason got home from work last night. But I was already freezing since the heating in this apartment has to be violating many housing codes since there is one stupid vent no where near the living room, but that's not the point of this post. The thought of having to go out and slip and slide through a run, while at the same time freezing my nose off was less than inviting. However, sitting under a blanket and cuddling with Jason while watching the last two episodes of Chuck that we had recorded on DVR (by the way....that show is awesome! I heart Chuck) sounded just perfect.

This is why my running always takes a turn for the worse in the winter months. It becomes so not fun anymore. Tonight I am picking up Jason from work and we are going to go to the lakefront path to run as at least it's pretty over there and since he won't ever get home, there will be no tempting cuddling taking control. Let's just hope I can get the car out of it's parking spot.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Well, that was a nice run

Monday meant two things: rooting for the Patriots to lose and running alone. Leah has volleyball on Mondays and so she runs during the day, which leaves me to run at night.

Since I stop graduate schooling and started real-jobbing, I've been sort of off on the running. I'd like to say it's been sporadic, but that'd be too kind. Actually, most of the times I've gone running during the week it's been by myself and has been kind of boring. I'd take music, but I didn't want to lose one of my five senses while running in the city at night (I refer, of course, to my sense of smell). But, today I got to take music as we got in the mail a new pair of headphones to test and review called AirDrives. Super awesome headphones, to be more precise.

No really, they were really sweet. They go around your ears (or over your ears, I guess) and then, instead of being inserted into the ear cavity, it lays on the outside nubbin part. I put them on and I wasn't really sure if I had them on right since I couldn't really feel anything, but then I turned on the music and there it was. Clear as day, so to speak. And since the headphones didn't go in my ears, I could still hear the street noise (and since I didn't stick them up my nose, I retained my sense of smell). And another nice thing was that when I put the hat on over my ears, it didn't hurt. When I have regular ear bud headphones, they always get jammed into my ears and it can get kind of uncomfortable. No such issue with these.

Okay, enough gushing about the headphones. The point of the story is that I had a really nice run and the first really enjoyable solo run since the marathon pace run I had to do by myself back when Leah was in Florida. I definitely think music was the key, so yay to nifty headphones.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

AirDrives, the Wonder Headphones

About a month ago we were contacted by a representative for AirDrives Headphones who was looking for honest reviews of their new headphones. We said we would love to try them out and so about a week ago we got the headphones in the mail.

I have to say, I was a little skeptical about the headphones. The idea is that instead of jamming a plastic ear bud into your ears the speaker sits on the outside of your ear on the little nubbin thing and then the music is delivered, but you still have full access to the sounds around you. For such a tall girl I have remarkably small ears and so I didn't think that the headphones would stay on my ears, and especially when I started running I thought that they would bounce right off. I have only found that the over the head headphones work for me, especially while running. Plus, the speakers weren't even in your ears so how were you going to hear the music.

I went out for a run yesterday morning (5 miles..yadda yadda, it was a good run) and took the headphones out for a test drive. I put them on and then realized you can tighten down the grip around your ears so it doesn't really matter what size your ears are. I turned on the iPod, waiting to not hear the music because how could this ever work, and then all of a sudden, perfect sound. I adjusted the volume to what I thought would be good and headed out. I had a ear band on on top of the headphones because it was cold outside and that was the first huge difference I could notice. If you have plastic headphones in, when you put a hat or ear band on they no doubt get pushed farther into your ears and that's not ever comfortable.

The AirDrives are amazing because running in the city I like to be able to hear what's happening around me and this was perfect. It was like running with someone carrying a boombox next to me. When there was a ton of traffic around me, I couldn't hear the music as well...but then again I shouldn't as I should be able to hear the traffic around me. That being said, there was never a problem hearing the music in general and since it wasn't jammed into my ears I could turn the volume up but not hurt my ears because I wanted to rock out during the last mile of the run.

For the last half mile of the run I thought that maybe they were just working so well because I had them somewhat stuck on my ears because I had the ear band on, so I took that off for the end of the run to make sure I test all aspects. I took it off and no problem. The AirDrives didn't slip off and the sound was perfect. Still could hear the music no problem among the city sounds.

I think the AirDrives are unreal and I would highly recommend them. The only con to the headphones I would say is the price as they are running at $99. That being said, I would say that they are worth it. Good sound & safer for both your ears and your well being since you can hear the world around you.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Delayed Posting

Means that tons of cool things happen and then I don't post about them, and the multiple super cool things build up and then I have to have really long posts about it. SO here we go.

My dad just got a new kitten named Mismo, although I think they are referring to her as "Mismo the Wonder Cat". She is only a month old. The mother abandoned the kitten, and her and her brother were the only two to survive. She's enjoying living on the boat so far and really....could she be any cuter!?! Click on the picture of her for a photo album of more Mismo pictures.

Fort Wayne & In-Laws

On Friday night we drove to Fort Wayne, because Jason's oldest brother Andy and his daughter Caeli were in town and we wanted to surprise them. Caeli was asleep when we got there unfortunately but we stayed up late talking to Andy and Jason's other brother Jamie who came down with his daughter Sam. I am an only child and it's very strange still to be around the three of them. They don't see each other that often, especially Andy and they are so similar with the same senses of humor. It's very strange. On Saturday morning we played with Caeli for a few hours which was very entertaining. She is 18 months old and spectacular. I wish we had the chance to see them more often. With Jason making more than peanuts we should have money to just take a quick weekend flight to Philly to visit more often.

It's great seeing Jason's family as always, but it also always makes me realize how much I miss my family. I had a very bizarre relationship with my parents where they were both so important to me (of course they still are) and I always had them all up in my business and the drama that is Leah. I would call almost every day and I would see them all the time. With my dad on the boat I only hear from him when he can find a phone and I still call my mom a lot, but with her in Florida I only see her once a year if that. I started thinking about Christmas Eve and on one hand I am super excited because Jason and I are going to chill out with each other and do whatever we are going to do....but on the other I just want my mom. Christmas Eve ended up being her day around the holidays and we would watch White Christmas after everyone went home. I don't know. If she was around I am sure there would be multiple episodes of drama, but after all that ended and the tears and doors slamming would be over (I kid...that didn't happen *every* year) we would sit with only the Christmas lights on and eat Christmas cookies and watch our movie. She is planning on moving back and I just can't wait for that to happen. I don't think my dad will ever move back, and so I tend to just not think about that. I am planning a trip to St. Martin in February if all works out...but I'm really only going to see Mismo :-)

Anyways...moving on.

Holiday Party

Saturday night saw us at Jason's company's holiday party. It was the first non-Fermilab party that we have ever gone too. It was cocktail attire and so we got all dressed up and had the best time! It was open bar and had only top shelf liquors. The food was buffet style, but it was all really fancy with lobster tail, sushi and tons of other tasty treats. Jason introduced me to the owner of the company and we talked with him and his wife for quite awhile. They were both really nice and his wife was from Finland so we told her about our friends here at Fermilab from Finland. As soon as she said where she was from, we both were like, of course! that' why you sound exactly like Tuula.

After dessert the floor opened up for dancing, which was interesting in my 3.5" heels to say the least. Everyone we talked to was so happy about the company and no on was bitching and it was just a good classy time. Jason at one point looked around and said, "How do I get to work for these people". I'm so glad he's so happy with his company, as I would think it would make having a real job more bearable.

We might have come home and taken a lot of drunk silly pictures now that I have a tripod for the camera (I also got a new flash which is making my life so much easier!). To see a few more go here. We are thinking about making the one on the right our holiday card picture.....maybe not.

Modest Mouse
Last night the ever famous Running Jayhawk took me to the Modest Mouse concert that was at The Congress Theater. We had a ton of fun and who heart's Modest Mouse....oooh I do. It was a pretty good concert although during one the of the songs the lead singer got a little over excited and ended up having both of his microphone stands in the audience. They also had a couple instances of feedback problems which I am guessing was intentional but I'm hoping now because it was kind of annoying.

Running last week was pretty much non-existent. I did go for a run this morning which ended up being pretty good even though it was really cold out. Stay tuned tomorrow as Jason and I will have a review up on a new pair of AirDrives headphones we got.